The month of May brings flowers, but it also signals the start of festival season in the Midwest and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s to astounding bands, cooperative weather and amazing adventures this mighty musical summer. Tally Ho!
Few experiences compare or prepare you for your first Acid Mothers Temple trip. This legendary experimental Japanese psychedelic progressive rock and metal band led by Kawabata Makoto has morphed and re-modulated into several facets of the original since their birth in 1995. On the current tour appearing at the Frequency in Madison, WI on 5/17 they are Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O and they perform in support of their newest release, Astrorgasm From the Inner Space. Who knows what astrogasmic wonders it will bring? acidmothers.com
FEELING THE RISING
Rising Appalachia is headed by two women blending traditional southern folk and soul sounds with a modern electronic instrumental background in a unique and captivating fashion. As simple as this may sound, the intertwining harmonies and heart conscious lyrics catapult this into a whole different category to a region near where Nahko Bear lives. See what I mean 5/23 at Revival Music Festival at Harmony Park (near Clark’s Grove, MN) and 5/29 at Majestic Theater in Madison. www.risingappalachia.com
Less than 90 minutes transpired during the set of the doom drone duo known as Jucifer, but the sonic dissonance and tonal mayhem that they wreaked will last a lifetime! Mind numbing riff waves flowed forth from the stage from the moment they started until the ear bleeding conclusion, offering no song breaks or sonic drops for the few dozen in attendance. Legendary for their stage gear overload since their inception in 1993, at The Frequency on 4/6 it took up more than 2/3 of the stage, barely offering enough stage space for the them to perform. What a night! www.jucifer.net
By some fluke the jamtronica band Particle played at The Frequency in Madison, WI on 4/19. This was part of their first major tour in 6 years, so we were excited! Past festival favorites, the band experienced some turbulence after the loss of their original guitarist, but on this night all that was behind them and their two sets were sizzling for the tightly packed crowd. They were three months into their current tour and undeniably kicked out some fierce jams and upheld the live prowess that they are renowned for. Can’t wait to see them again. www.particlepeople.com
This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Stunted - 10 is Immense
Beats Antique - A Thousand Faces - Act II
Album title: A Thousand Faces - Act II
Record Label: 10 Spot
Act 1 was a phenomenal look into the hero’s journey and Act II takes you even further while capturing nearly the same intensity, dynamics and imagination, but with other flavors and twists. Hopping and skipping across a vast sea of musical genres, their compositions are invigorated by a broad spectrum of cultural and geographical rhythms, tones and approaches, while undeniably being Beats Antique. Brilliantly beautiful!
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Brushy One-String - Destiny
Album title: Destiny
Record Label: RiseUp Entertainment, LLC
Millions have viewed the videos of this unique musical sensation from rural Jamaica. His unconventional single stringed guitar playing style gave rise to his name and ultimately his fame. The heart felt blues and soul filling intensity that emanate from his gritty yet warm voice are remarkable and memorable. His simple yet catchy melodies which back his lyrics are filled with the struggle of his experience and when performed are accented by clever percussive taps and knocks on the body of his guitar, which create a full sound and make him musically self sufficient.
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Delain - Human Contradiction
Album title: Human Contradiction
Record Label: Napalm Records
Still having a soft spot for female fronted symphonic metal, I was pleased to find that the Dutch band Delain’s newest delivers an ample amount of crashing metal attacks juxtaposed against delicate refrains and floating synth driven atmospheres. Charlotte Wessels demonstrates an emotional but not overpowering vocal approach, which propels their overall musical ferocity and gothic undertow to new heights and depths.
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Eccodek - Singing In Tongues
Album title: Singing In Tongues
Record Label: White Swan Records
Collaborating with Mali’s Jah Youssouf, Eccodek’s 6th release finds them rooted in Africa, while allowing their sonic architecture to meld with elements from Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Jamaican music. Jah’s exemplary ngoni playing and voice are joined by a dizzying array of vocal and instrumental contributors. An intoxicating musical trip into future globalism.
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