Our October offerings seem to be pointing to something - rife with ciphers, the month’s full of mysteries. From string sensation LES TRIABOLIQUES’ tightly-knit Delta-Gaelic folk-blues tapestry, “rivermudtwilight,” to charming singer-songwriter AMY MILLAN’s reconstituted acoustic tunefulness in, “Master of the Burial,” October’s overtures appear deeply oblique; radical riddles wrapped in inspired innuendos. Do the following confoundedly-titled discs circle a common thought or is it merely a trick of the mind?
Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band - Between My Head and the Sky
Album title: Between My Head and the Sky
Record Label: Chimera Music
Fables, haikus, purrs and moans, “Head,” creates steamy Edens and cyber-smooth utopias. Surrounded by a cosmopolitan cast of avant-garde forerunners, Yoko’s immaculate future music mixes philosophical tone poems with polished erotic pop as laid-back jazz, digital dance and urban rock toss impeccable improvisations into new intuitive solutions.
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Hidden Cameras - Origin:Orphan
Album title: Origin:Orphan
Record Label: Arts & Crafts Records
Pop songs draped in self-doubt, starched marches hurtling bittersweet syncopation, THC’s insistent post-modern skiffle tackles existential dilemmas through reverberating harmonies, organizing forceful oratory into glorious buoyancy. A Greek chorus of Canadian comedians, “Origin,” unleashes a somber circus whose pratfalls lines roll off the tongue and whose dark forest voices burst into song.
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Wallpaper - Doodoo Face
Album title: Doodoo Face
Record Label: Eenie Meenie Records
Studio hoodlums commandeer the chronic and ironic, using party-fueled bravado and auto-tuned disco balls to conjugate one funky Pixar slam-down. Techno-gloss lip service carries pastel synths past eighties skating rink rhythms. Wallpaper’s ringtone craftsmanship pulls plugs and rehashes patches as retro-chic meets squeaky clean freaks for robotized revelry, hard-wired free-for-alls upgraded and infiltrated.
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Me'Shell NdegeOcello - Devil’s Halo
Album title: Devil’s Halo
Record Label: Mercer Street Records
Effortless confessions bathed in swirling, sterling fusion, “Halo,” glows iridescently, prowling seductively, flooding the senses in creamy funk, luscious vibes feeding jazzed imaginations. Ndegeocello’s magical incantations gracefully penetrate the subconscious floating, half-spoken memories wrapped in supple soul, roaming and overflowing, a squirming firmament of sophisticated riffs, dynamic shifts and drifting bewitching twilight visions.
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Aliens - Luna
Album title: Luna
Record Label: Birdman Records
Looking Glass Alices hosting magical mystery tours the Aliens’ astral travels roam over a hodgepodge of happening sound collage. Mapping the duo’s borderline genius for twiddling percussion, orchestrated rock and English minstrels, “Luna,” showcases madcap epics slowly exploding in clouds of benevolent sentiments and hard-driving mania - shaggy Britpop blasting paranoid blues through panoramic odysseys.
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Lou Barlow - Goodnight Unknown
Album title: Goodnight Unknown
Record Label: Merge Records
Lo-fi tonics for unquenchable curiosities, Barlow’s restless quests yield broken folkie’s splintered tales harvested among indie-rocker’s ragged holy grails and bedroom pop’s heavily-weathered details. Smothered in casual confidence, tamed by infectious melodies and danced around forthright beats, “Goodnight,” offers a friendly hand to help you down the road - entertaining, authentic and entirely welcome.
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October’s harvest is varied as it is brilliant. Whether it’s New Zealand’s THE CLEAN’s gleaming, “Mister Pop,” Brooklyn’s CYMBALSEATGUITARS’ captive infatuations, “Why There Are Mountains,” the boisterous orchestras of spicy, multi-cultural brass in MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND’s “Rise Up,” or the global road trip with blues slide guitarist DOUG COX and Indian veena maestro SALIL BHATT in the slippery, “Slide to Freedom 2,” it’s an overstocked bumper crop of awesome options.
Also this month, one of Madison’s most legendary exports is doing a show at the Barrymore with Ben Sidran on October 9th. Tracy hasn’t done a concert in town in a very long time and this is a benefit for Madison’s Hackett Hemwall Foundation - to raise money for doctors that provide clinics in third world countries.