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Slipped Discs September 2018

Discs you may have missed | by John Noyd


Power-plays slay September albums. Whether infectiously breathless programmer LYDMOR’s sprawling funk-funded, “I Told You I’d Tell Them Our Story,’ or Brisbane pop-chemists THE GOON SAX’S love-sick politics, “We’re Not Talking.” everything vies for control. Side with torch-song thrill-seekers FRONTPERSON’s melodic acrobatics, “Frontrunner,” visceral visionaries THALIA ZEDEK BAND’s willfully earnest, “Fighting Season,”  or persuasive poet-confessor MARRISA NADLER’s melancholy solace, “For My Crimes,” just leave room for shadow-chasing chanteuse MIRAH’s bewitching, “Understanding.”

Slipped Discs appears every month in print in Maximum Ink music magazine, this months reviews are:

Magnetic Fields - Distortion

The Magnetic Fields

Record Label: Nonesuch
Review published: January 2008

Fuzzed-out and corrosive, MF’s alt-pop honky tonk bangs up against a rusted wall of sound. Misogyny, zombies and mistletoe figure in the swamp of serrated guitars and overloaded amps as lonely robots and goth girl groups play droll love songs and tales of romantic woe. Encased in metallic caverns, Distortion seduces with moody splendor.

Tyler Ramsey - A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea

Tyler Ramsey

A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea
Record Label: Echo Mountain
Review published: January 2008

Frail vocals emphasize grand scales then plug into something grander as pre-dawn songs turn after-hours jamming. A Baptist of folk-rock RAMSEY’s warm and honest homilies dive inside shipwreck serenades as fluid runs of sparkling acoustic chemistry flow, splashing affectionately upbeat before gliding calmly into almost spiritual waters.

(4564) ViewsPermalinkTyler Ramsey Website

Super Furry Animals - Hey Venus!

Super Furry Animals

Hey Venus!
Record Label: Rough Trade Records
Review published: January 2008

Smug and subversive, cool and calculating the courageously contagious confections from Wales’ most excellent power-pop pranksters clears a well-constructed road between dazzling RASPBERRIES-era posture and cheeky 10 cc seizures.  Sequined synths ply rhinestone riffs as the clownish FURRIES shine, combining post-modern playfulness with devilishly ironic nostalgia. SFA play Chicago’s Metro Feb 16.

Joe Jackson - Rain

Joe Jackson

Record Label: Rykodisc
Review published: January 2008

Despite a stripped-down sound of voice, piano, drums and bass, JACKSON nevertheless concocts an immaculate universe of sour sages and bittersweet sentimentalists. Sorrowful soliloquies brush against steely social indictments as Rain broods smoothly over classy jazz piano, fires up pounding Memphis soul and turns new wave sophisticated through cutting lyrics, clever irony and consummate razzle-dazzle. Joe is slated to play Milwaukee’s Pabst on April 21st.

Patty Larkin - Watch The Sky

Patty Larkin

Watch The Sky
Record Label: Vanguard
Review published: January 2008

World music and American roots blend into a heavenly choir of musical hybrids as PATTY’s talented imagination turns art emotional and emotions artistic. Whether conjuring spooky Delta blues, thoughtful folk or exotic gospel vamps, Sky bewitches as it whispers. Wistful and mystical, PATTY pits sambas against mantras, instilling educated mojo into cultivated raves.

Photon Band - Back Down to Earth

The Photon Band

Back Down to Earth
Record Label: Empyrean
Review published: January 2008

Orbiting over semi-savage psychedelia, PB’s lumbering Lotharios freefall into the soulful sludge of zero-gravity blues while Earth moves from the vast to the vital. Re-entering the atmosphere like drunk angels on fire, Earth spins off stompin’ rockers, sixties R & B and cosmic shuffles with laser-guided clairvoyance, causal wisdom and heel-kicking gumption.

(2385) ViewsPermalinkPhoton Band Website

Kate Nash - Made of Bricks

Kate Nash

Made of Bricks
Record Label: Geffen Records
Review published: January 2008

Pulling no punches in her melodic bobbing and street savvy weaving, this cocky British bird is a sweet beat poet camouflaged as a flippant pop princess. The bold and brassy NASH grabs bohemian panache, adding jaunty piano and folky trip-hop to make Made a frank yet bubbly cabaret bursting with thrills and sport.

(2406) ViewsPermalinkKate Nash WebsiteKate Nash Wiki

Sons And Daughters - This Gift

Sons And Daughters

This Gift
Record Label: Domino Records
Review published: February 2008

Inspiring the inner punk to take to the dance floor and let loose, Gift boldly goes beyond new wave frontiers. Trashing Clash clichés with post-modern panache, SAD’s razor-sharp shimmies and Cossack rock thunder throbs like slick war path hoopla as images of Deborah Harry and Chrissie Hynde conjure terrific riff rock sock hops.

Eric Matthews - The Imagination Stage

Eric Matthews

The Imagination Stage
Record Label: Empyrean
Review published: February 2008

A bold, smoky-voiced balladeer sauntering through lonely harmonies, grand, sweeping themes and sentimental melodies - Matthews rolls out the big guns with casual gallantry crafting smoldering symphonic spaces and subtly blustery jazz for evocative philosophy at the Heartbreak Hotel. Enveloping the listener slowly, Matthews’ foggy phosphorescence attracts vagabond songs sprinkled among romantic temptations.

(2779) ViewsPermalinkEric Matthews Website

Kula Shaker - Strange Folk

Kula Shaker

Strange Folk
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Review published: February 2008

Slithering hippie metaphysics turns into slightly dour flower power as the newly-worldly KS assess the new century in rump-shaking sass, nature love songs and symphonic psychedelia. Ushering in another round of bell-bottom ashram rock, England’s astralnauts serenade sweet lotus-eaters riding electric funk, battle urban arrogance with over-sized hooks and concoct folk-epics condemning corporate Maya.

Lightspeed Champion - Falling Off the Lavender Bridge

Lightspeed Champion

Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Record Label: Domino Records
Review published: February 2008

Shining folk-soul pop washed in unabashed confession, acoustic fragments sprinkled over dreamy lyrics and warm, twangy arrangements - Champion’s charming inventiveness spins personable homespun theatrics that conjure honest and palatable feelings. An easy-chair and sunlit window, Bridge spans intimate inspirations and open invitations, mixing universal moods over laid-back grooves taking flight.

Flowers Forever - Flowers Forever

Flowers Forever

Flowers Forever
Record Label: Team Love
Review published: February 2008

Partying with a vengeance, Tilly and the Wall’s Derek Pressnall toss urgent and eclectic thought bombs for a monster block of wild-eyed vaudeville, sonic torpedoes and toreador flourishes. Shouting and soldiering righteously before bouncing along in unconditional whimsy, woozy brass circle sinister syncopation as gypsy sparks collide against prankster jams and shredded regalia.

(2242) ViewsPermalinkFlowers Forever Website

Jason Collett - Here’s to Being Here

Jason Collett

Here’s to Being Here
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Review published: February 2008

Friendly ambling narratives and slippery rhymes highlight a lyrically lubricated troubadour of sophisticated fictions. Here jumps a blues train that moans and sputters winding behind fickle hobo hearts while Collett’s rockin’ roots beats propel hip bohemia against the shuffling lilt of ghostly folk and the novel application of cock-eyed pop.

Sam Amidon - All Is Well

Sam Amidon

All Is Well
Record Label: Bedroom Community
Review published: February 2008

Amidon’s steady hand at historical forms give birth to hypnotic epics of quiet journeys Chamber folk gently brushed with sophisticated nuance and wholegrain reverence, All clip-clops nostalgically like raindrops sweetly gathering on windowsills, while touching the contemporary, straddling worlds, public and private, past and present by sincere delivery coupled to angelic arrangements.

(3288) ViewsPermalinkSam Amidon Website

Yoav - Charmed & Strange


Charmed & Strange
Record Label: Verve Forecast
Review published: March 2008

Opening for Tori Amos, Yoav proved a versatile and electrifying performer. Layering sparse loops without ever becoming overcrowded, the agile and empathetic, Strange busks and bobs its diabolical ditties in ghostly echoes and tip toe tempos. An engrossing one man music machine, live or on disc Yoav slyly snaps, crackling with cosmic pop.

(2320) ViewsPermalinkYoav WebsiteYoav Wiki

Kaki King - Dreaming of Revenge

Kaki King

Dreaming of Revenge
Record Label: Velour Records
Review published: March 2008

Kicking off Revenge with a groovy gothic instrumental, the normally mute guitarist then confounds expectations and sings, pivoting from doe-eyed folkie to shoe-gazing popstar before re-introducing her trademark electro-acoustic jazz-folk.  Graceful textures laid over intertwining rhythms; King’s chameleon imagination weave big skies and starry nights, mixing awe with self-assurance, curiosity into inspired creativity.

(2578) ViewsPermalinkKaki King WebsiteKaki King Wiki

Jim White - Transnormal Skiperoo

Jim White

Transnormal Skiperoo
Record Label: Luaka Bop
Review published: March 2008

Country toasted gumbo stirred and spiced with subtle touches. White wiles his way into common dreams and universal visions painting language in earthy tones, suspicious shadows and radiant hope. Whether slithering or celebrating, the backwoods boogie creeps sleepily under the skin. Lazy beats wake to take to the streets as Transnormal trolls tradition.

(2438) ViewsPermalinkJim White WebsiteJim White Wiki

Dawn Landes - Fireproof

Dawn Landes

Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Review published: March 2008

New York based Kentucky native Landes tweaks conventions on her combustible Fireproof. Throwing odd instruments, pop afterthoughts and the occasional alt-rock muscle into her skewed waif folk, Dawn draws from both country and city sources. A recording engineer as well as singer-songwriter, Dawn’s refreshingly low key approach makes Fireproof, intimate, quirky and wonderfully brazen.

Final Thoughts

As above so below. From trans-global chamber-folk composer MANU DELAGO’s sparkling meditations, “Parasol Peak,” to vagabond troubadour NIGHT SHOP’s unforced portraits, “In The Break,” from sci-fi sophisticates AVA LUNA’s suggestive kinetics, “Moon 2,” to art-punk minimalists LOW’s deep, dark and distorted, “Double Negative,” highs and lows divide and conquer. Bounce between maelstrom-rockers GØGGS’ storm-battered, “Pre Strike Sweep,” and alt-pop life-examiner FRED THOMAS’ transcendental screenplays, “Aftering,” before coming around to street-weary road-warriors GOLD STAR’s resilient reconciliations, “Uppers & Downers,” and pastoral orchestra MUTUAL BENEFIT’s tranquil fables, “The Thunder Follows the Light.”

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