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Eclectic Vibes - May 2009


CD/DVD Micro Reviews by Andrew Frey

Repo: The Genetic Opera

REPO: The Genetic Opera
On April 19 we had a pleasant surprise when we got to the UW Memorial Union in Madison. After enduring an underwhelming set and a half from “U-Melt,” one of the more stereotypical jam bands I have seen (sorry guys), we noticed flyers for a midnight showing of “REPO: The Genetic Opera.” Being familiar with the soundtrack, we were excited to see the flick.

“I’m i-n-f-ec-t-e-d by your genetics!” sings Shilo, one of the lead characters to a holographic bust of her mother near the beginning of this uncouth rock opera which revolves around the premise that in the near future a company called GeneCo has grown rich on selling body parts and when too many payments are missed…REPO MAN!

Certainly not one for the squeamish, the movie manages to connect elements of such classics as Phantom of the Opera and Rocky Horror Picture show, but also has a bloody lot in common with Sweeny Todd. I sincerely hope this film manages to attain the cult status it wishes to because it fucking rocks! See for yourself or score it from Netflix. www.repo-opera.com.

MICRO REVIEWS: This Month's Rating Scale is from 1- Sprinkles thru 10 - Tsunami
Bhagavan Das - Loves Songs to The Dark Lord

Bhagavan Das

Loves Songs to The Dark Lord
Record Label: NuTone Music
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 9

I breathed a sigh of relief when I confirmed the Dark Lord mentioned had nothing to do with Dick Cheney. This enlightening master brings us simple rhythms imbibed with potent and powerful traditional chants and mantras. Contemporary Kirtan to tickle the mystic and satisfy the seeker.



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Birthday Massacre - Show and Tell

The Birthday Massacre

Show and Tell
Record Label: Metropolis Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 8

A Canadian group recorded live in Hamburg Germany. We find a haunting harsh delirium of carnavalesque electronic dreamscapes blurred and whirled by gothic metal preponderances. DVD version to be released soon.



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Black Water Rising - Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising
Record Label: Capital T Productions
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 9

These former members of Dust to Dust, Boiler Room, and Stereomud have banded together and produced an appealing determined and cohesive hard rock entry filled with mega fuzz and compelling angst anthems of difficult situations.



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Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks - Tangled Tales

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks

Tangled Tales
Record Label: Surfdog Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 8

This influential and enduring song writer hosts guests a plenty on these12 tracks of clever toe tapping and insightful lazy Americana with a jazzy, country western tilt and swingin’ swagger.

SEE LIVE 5/14 at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee; 5/15 at Majestic Theater in Madison, WI; 5/16 Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis



Deuter - Atmospheres

Deuter

Atmospheres
Record Label: New Earth Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 8

Taming the wilds of your mind so that inner healing can occur, on this release Deuter harnesses impressionistic piano to fill but not overfill the musical space. Another in his line of excellent massage, Reiki or meditation CDs, the songs here contain a carefully measured harmonic blanket of sound and result in a cosmic blissful state.



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Lion's Share - Dark Hours

Lion's Share

Dark Hours
Record Label: Blistering Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 10

Excellent fist pumping, head banging melodic thrash metal from Sweden that ironically spends their well crafted lyrics on topics from America in the 1960s. Vocalist Patrik Johansson (also of Astral Doors) is in top form together the band blasts some kick ass anthems to wreck your neck with!



Mastodon - Crack The Skye

Mastodon

Crack The Skye
Record Label: Reprise Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 9

Storming the progressive rock and metal scene with a fervor, diversity and originality heralded by few others. Their groundbreaking musical vision continues here by adapting a slight whirling psychedelic tinge to their entrancing metal megalith.



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New Mountain Kickers - Two Days in August

New Mountain Kickers

Two Days in August
Record Label: NMK Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 8

Clever kickin’ bluegrass from the mad city! Catchy auburn tales of an impassioned life are picked and strummed from a vintage view while the female vocals issue forth the call of fun and frolic. The simple melodies touched by twang and an effortless glint appeal to my brain and perhaps yours as well.



Queensryche - American Soldier

Queensryche

American Soldier
Record Label: Rhino Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 7

Harsh and haunting perspectives of war are discussed, reviewed and examined in the somber gothic progressive metal style that they are known for. As thoughtful and powerful as this release is, I find the most memorable moments also being the most chilling and depressing.



Billy Sheehan - Holy Cow

Billy Sheehan

Holy Cow
Record Label: Mascot Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 8

Legendary bass player Sheehan shoots this solo load in a predictable direction. Featuring several prominent guest musicians, this release is competent, catchy and progressive within the bass-centric structure.

 



Tosca - No Hassle

Tosca

No Hassle
Record Label: K7 Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 9

Warm and inviting downbeat and chilled electronica written and produced by Richard Dorfmeister & Rupert Huber. These soundscapes of serenity, if fondled gently, can produce an effortless musical epiphany.



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Tower Of Power - Great American Soulbook

Tower Of Power

Great American Soulbook
Record Label: Tower of Power Records
Review published: May 2009
Rating: 6

High energy funk, delicate jazz and deep soul all find a structure on this release filled with revisioned soul classics that the band found influential. It’s pretty OK. Guests include Tom Jones and Huey Lewis.






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