PEPPERED WITH MUSTARD
December may be filled with shopping, booze and family for most people, but at least one band has decided hit the road and shoot through our part of the planet to play a bunch of area shows. The mighty Michigan based ska/punk sensation Mustard Plug has taken it upon themselves to blast off into tour land even though their last release, In Black and White came out in 2007. Come skank your ass of at their shows - 12/10 at UW Stevens Point, 12/11 at Bay View Brew Haus in Milwaukee, 12/12 at High Noon Saloon in Madison and 12/27 at Metro in Chicago.
On Saturday the 14th of November we were all primed and ready to go see the mighty Wookiefoot perform in Eau Claire, WI. Our plans were to see the show, stay overnight and party down. But that was not to be. A variety of things made us change our mind and realign our thoughts on seeing the band Lotus at the Orpheum in Madison, and so it was.
We got there as the opening act Mux Mool was mid set. This was unfortunate, because by some happenstance this was the worst DJ / techno act we have ever witnessed. It was noisy, grooveless and disjointed. And not in a good way. I asked several others and they agreed that it was some new kind of abysmal.
Eventually it passed.
Lotus was thankfully in excellent form for the evening. The crowd was energetic and ready to dance it up. Lotus poured out selections from their catalog of spacey techno jam rock for all to be refreshed by. Although not as many glow toys as when we saw Pretty Lights, there were quite a number of folks with light toys a poppin’ while they were strutting their groove.
In a surprise turn, Lotus is now a foursome, having dropped one of their percussionists since the last time we saw them. This impacted their sound slightly, but these talented musicians have perfected their craft and we were quickly swept into the fervor of the evening.
Lotus played long and lively on this evening; making sure the crowd was satiated and got their moneys worth. They played two full sets and then came back and pumped out an awesome encore.
Bar time was nearly upon us by the time we got out the door and headed off into the crisp beautiful Wisconsin night. Until we meet again…
This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 – Raunchy to 10 – Pristine
Atrocity - After The Storm
Album title: After The Storm
Record Label: Napalm Records
One of my long time favorite experi-“metal” bands, this German group has explored many facets of musical and cultural heritage over the years. Their exploration continues by refining their folk fancies, expanding on their impressive song structure, and again including the amazing vocals of Yasmin (frontman Alexander Krull’s sister). Powerful, invigorating, and unique.
(1913) Page Views
Big Swede - BS in Da Club
Album title: BS in Da Club
A double disc dose of well motivated and well blended house, Euro, and trance music from Grammy nominated DJ/composer/producer/engineer/multi-instrumentalist Stefan “Big Swede” Svenson. The throbbing beats are expertly matched with some great samples for an effective aural assault. (8)
(1686) Page Views
Big Swede online:
Sonia Brex - Naif
Album title: Naif
Record Label: Piranha Records
Although classically trained at an Italian conservatory, she transplanted to Berlin and transformed her appeal into a delightful electro-ethno-pop filled with an erratic, eclectic and entertaining energy inspired by her home that spins into kitchy flashes of fun with an upbeat edge.
(1979) Page Views
Joey Fehrenbach - Don’t Wake Me
Album title: Don’t Wake Me
Record Label: Delicate Recordings
Strikingly beautiful downtempo electronica, filled with comforting melodies and an effortless appeal. Discerning himself from solo artists with a band name by simply utilizing his actual name, this Arizona based musician undeniably has the songwriting skills to make his name memorable as his musical already has become.
(2170) Page Views
Fonderia - My Grandmother’s Spacesuit
Album title: My Grandmother’s Spacesuit
An award winning Italian group, creating enticing improvisational electronica grounded in a prog rock underbelly. Musical constellations are filled with horns and fuzzy bass lines that melt into lunar jams in the universal rhythmic quagmire that defies description.
(1745) Page Views
Cee-Lo Green - The Ladykiller
Album title: The Ladykiller
Record Label: Elektra/Asylum
Cee-Lo Green has become a musical hero of mine. His style, talent, and incredibly smooth voice stand out from all others. As the vocalist for the amazing Gnarls Barkley, he caught my attention. Now in solo form, he delivers a smashing release containing the infectious viral hit “Fuck You” (and the censored version “Forget You”) which has received millions of hits on YouTube. The remainder of the album shines with a timeless soul groove that is filled with layers of flavors and tip to hip-hop happiness.
(1968) Page Views
Mr. Hunter - The Awakening
Album title: The Awakening
Record Label: Mr. Hunter
An EP from a Hoboken, NJ outfit that pours forth pretty straightforward improvisational type jam rock, set apart by female vocals and a spunky spirit.
(1937) Page Views
Mr. Hunter online:
Brendan Perry - The Ark
Album title: The Ark
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
When Dead Can Dance danced no more, the musical world was an emptier place. But there is hope once again. This key former Dead Can Dance member has unleashed a truly solo effort. He played every instrument, wrote all the lyrics, and recorded The Ark in his own amazing studio in Ireland. The result is a wonderfully haunting and dreamy gothic synth-scape, blissed by Perry’s compelling lyrics and stunning vocals.
(2070) Page Views
Pickpocket Ensemble - Memory
Album title: Memory
Record Label: Odd Shaped Case
Approaching folk music from an urban acoustic perspective, weaving in time worn subtleties and nuances of world café, while managing to engage the listener fully with a depth and perspective all their own.
(1806) Page Views
Janaka Selekta - Pushing Air
Album title: Pushing Air
Record Label: Chaiwalla's Boombox
Prepare for an exotic and lush musical journey as diverse as the road taken by the musician himself. Born in Sri Lanka, raised in the United Kingdom and Kuwait, he now resides in the Bay Area. Over the past 10 years he has been formulating dreamy Indian and Middle Eastern electronica that melts from genre to genre, showing more depth and wonder with each song.
(2150) Page Views