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Eclectic Vibes - February 2009

CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey

Fermata caught Live at Frequency in Madison in January 2009 - photo by Andrew Frey

We were treated to a totally packed room when we arrived at the Frequency on Friday, Jan 30. Fermata was just taking the stage, so we finagled our way forward as much as possible, which wasn’t very far. The crowd hardly budged during the set, making it a bit claustrophobic at times, but the band was as enticing as ever. As this night was the release party for their CD “Only Ghosts Remain” the set list was permeated with selections from the disc, but they did manage to interject at least one new song. They were as captivating as entertaining and for that brief moment while they were playing, the tales they spun, transported attentive audience members to the mystical musical gothic chamber pop realm where they dwell. A splendid place indeed: one which we hope to visit again soon.

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1- UnFunkTikular thru 10 –JammerTastical
Casanatra - Death Ride


Death Ride
Record Label: Blue Worm Records
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 8

Two guitars and a drummer from St. Paul blasting out plush, post-grunge, groovy hard rock complimented with multiple melodic vocals and warm fuzzy tones. This band sounds better all the time!

(2914) ViewsPermalinkCasanatra Website
From The Inside - Visions

From The Inside

Record Label: Blistering Records
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 7

Heavily influenced by his recent acoustic slot opening for Journey, this studio brainchild of Danny Vaughn (ex-Tyketto) is overflowing with well written, well produced, radio friendly, melodic rock.

Larkin Grimm - Parplar

Larkin Grimm

Record Label: Young God Records
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 9

Elements of folk, electronica and ultra eclecticism race like wildfire to stoke the pyres of originality and imagination with   astounding results. Her ribald lyrical whit slaps the listeners as sharply a whip and the rhythms worm deliciously into your brain. A real wild one!

APPEARING LIVE 2/17 at The Frequency in Madison; 2/19 at Stonefly Brewery in Milwaukee; 2/20 at Turf Club in St. Paul, MN.

Steven Halpern - Relaxation Suite

Steven Halpern

Relaxation Suite
Record Label: Inner Peace Music
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 8

Sound and vibrational healing techniques were pioneered by Halpern, the worlds leading composer of healing and relaxation music. This time he has chosen to funnel the healing energy mostly through a piano, with a number other choice instruments woven in. Blissful.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Live! (DVD)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Live! (DVD)
Record Label: Heads Up
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 7

The amazing harmony acapella vocals of this group have been heard the world over for over 30 years. Filmed in Akron, Ohio in 2008 this DVD puts recent faces to the voices. 14 songs plus an in-depth interview with the group’s founder, leader and musical director Joseph Shabalala.

Merlot - Insipid Emaciation


Insipid Emaciation
Record Label: Barbarian Records
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 5

With drum beats so fast I had to laugh, this bleak black metal vision, spewn from some undisclosed Illinois location, buzzes and hums with discordant maneuvers of rhythm, tension and noise. The vocals are choked, scraped and scourged against the manic noise-scape tundra and left to fend for themselves. Wow.

(3125) ViewsPermalink
Sugar Red Drive - Sugar Red Drive

Sugar Red Drive

Sugar Red Drive
Record Label: Self Released
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 4

As this young band heartily strives to dip into the commercial hard rock pop mélange, they have fashioning a non descript sound featuring post Seattle style vocal crooning and an unimpressive set of sappy rhythms and grooves that get gummed up with overproduction and lack of originality. Sugar overdose?

(2871) ViewsPermalinkSugar Red Drive Website
Volbeat - Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood


Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood
Record Label: Mascot Records
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 8

A Danish group that has refined their Misfits meets Pantera musical style to include a stronger punk-a-billy attitude with more gang vocals while still maintaining their hep cat swagger and stance. Slick, resourceful and fun.

(3718) ViewsPermalinkVolbeat WebsiteVolbeat Wiki
Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate - Seventy Five (75)

Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate

Seventy Five (75)
Record Label: Heads Up
Review published: February 2009
Rating: 8

Deep reaching double live disc recorded in Lugano, Switzerland culminating the 75 year career of Joe Zawinal who passed on Sept 11, 2007. This world music with a smooth, intricate and innovative jazz backbone also highlights a wide variety of performers and instruments with wide reaching influences.

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