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CD Review Rahul Mukerji - Ma De Re Sha

Rahul Mukerji

Ma De Re Sha
Record Label: Rahul Mukerji
Review by Sal Serio
June 2017

Rahul Mukerji is an Indian-born guitarist, composer, and visual artist living in Maryland, and ‘Ma De Re Sha’ is his debut recording. Mukerji plays all guitars, synth guitar, E-bow, tabla, sampling, and drum programming. Bruce Ng provides additional drum and percussion sampling, and Ruben Rubio plays bass. This album is a collection of 12 instrumental songs, with a widely eclectic and multi-cultural musical approach. The title track ‘Ma De Re Sha’ got it’s title from a word, or phrase, that a 2-year old daughter of one of Mukerji’s friends would robustly exclaim for a variety of occasions. The origin of this exclamation is unknown, but the spirit and conviction of it provided inspiration to the recording of the album.


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DVD Review Plasmatics - Live! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81

Plasmatics

Live! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81
Record Label: MVD Entertainment Group
Review by Sal Serio
June 2017

What if you took the cartoonish rock spectacle of KISS, and mixed it with carnival sideshow freak show visuals, a juggernaut of pulsating bar chords, and the primal pornographic sex appeal of Marilyn Chambers? You’d have the Plasmatics, of course. Rod Swenson, singer Wendy O. Williams’ longtime domestic partner and manager, dug deep in to his archives to reveal about 64 minutes of rare, raw, and early Plasmatics concert footage (16 songs total).


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CD Review The Smells - Manure Spreader

Smells

Manure Spreader
Record Label: Rare Plant
Review by Sal Serio
June 2017

The Smells are a new-ish four-piece band from Madison, and they call their music “grain belt rock n’ roll”. They have two singers who also play guitar. Their names are Leith and James. Leslie plays bass guitar and sings. Josh provides the drumbeats. The Smells released an 8-song cassette tape called ‘Manure Spreader’. This is what I have to say about that.


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CD Review Big Thief - Capacity

Big Thief

Capacity
Record Label: Saddle Creek
Review by John Noyd
May 2017

Big Thief steals your heart in small ways; tossing soft, modest waltzes in traveling vagabond ballads while defenseless confessions trickled with ticklish licks, windmill trills and ghostly solos smolder in glowing emotions. Penning beautiful second-thoughts and half-caught eavesdrops into bittersweet indie-rock subplots, song-writer Adrianne Lenker brings tender strength and subtle wonder to the band’s sophomore release deploying discerning ear-worms slipped in whispers uncoiling coy joys from stair-climbing rhymes. The charming, demure, “Capacity,” packages timid sympathies with earthy verses besides purring purges blessed in acceptance for driving folk woven from corrosive commotion and smooth blues tipsy with sing-song tonics rich in wise kindness. Returning to Madison for the first time as a headliner, Big Thief plays the High Noon Saloon July 3rd with Virginia folk-singer Twain.


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CD Review Franky And The Band - Austin, Texas - The Rock Opera

Franky And The Band

Austin, Texas - The Rock Opera
Record Label: Round Rock Records
Review by Sal Serio
May 2017

Every once in a while, a package crosses my desk which catches me off guard with it’s unique and captivating presentation. And, let’s face it… in this modern age, to experience something artistic and musical that arrives from a road less traveled, is a rare and welcome event. In this instance, the road leads to and from Austin, Texas, and the project is a concept album about Austin, paired with a companion novella based in Austin. The brainchild of this conceptual undertaking is guitarist, singer, songwriter, and arranger Fehmi Nuhoglu, known more commonly as “Franky”.


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CD Review PHO - two

PHO

two
Record Label: PHO
Review by Sal Serio
May 2017

Recently in Madison to open a show for TAUK, the 7 piece horn-driven instrumental powerhouse from Minneapolis called PHO got the evening off on the right foot… well, both feet actually, as they immediately won over the Madison music freaks and got everybody off their butts and on to the dance floor. As such, I did not hesitate when asked to review the group’s new CD, their sophomore effort, simply titled ‘two’. There is a Prince vibe present here, which is not by accident. His Royal Purpleness had taken notice of PHO shortly before his passing in 2016, and actually invited them to open for Larry Graham at Paisley Park. Additionally, percussion on the ‘two’ CD is courtesy of Kirk Johnson from Prince’s New Power Generation.


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