Eclectic Vibes - January 2016

by Andrew Frey

Opiuo with friends

Opiuo with friends

2016? Is it that year already? How did we get here? What new wonders await us?

Remembering all the awesome musical memories from 2015 certainly brings a smile to my soul. Some of the biggest smiles are fondly founded in live performances and festivals. The Floozies, Manic Focus, Peelander-Z, STS9, Trevor Hall, Deli To Dublin, Tubby Love, Peoples Brothers Band, Wookiefoot, Nahko Bear, Dustin Thomas, and Puddles The Clown all made indelible impressions on me over the past year. I also related to the recorded offerings from Dub Kirtan All Stars, Griz, Wildlights, Soulacybin, Omnisquid as well as the Shanti Planti and Adapted Records Labels overall. Gratitude to all of you for kicking so much ass!

My top pick for 2015 is The Opiuo Band! What started out as a solo DJ project has expanded to a full band experience and I couldn’t be more thrilled. The Opiuo Band’s monstrous funky beats, clock rocking glitchy grooves and energetic attitude blew my socks off on each of his early releases and hit again at full force when I was fortunate enough to catch them on their first stateside tour at the Infrasound Festival in June. Even though the conditions were inhospitable, with temps in the mid 40s and the field a muddy mucky mess, I was in awe and ecstasy from the first explosive notes right on through to the bands last blast. Bravo!

Reuniting in 2015 thanks to the tech LLC Powersniff (formed by three ex-Google employees specifically to facilitate their’ return) Babes in Toyland has made an unlikely yet triumphant return to the music scene after playing their last show in 2001. This Minneapolis-born trio surfaced in the late 80s and was the first of their female contemporaries to sign to a major label which propelled them into the national spotlight and onto the covers numerous magazines and other mass media focal points. They were featured in multiple documentaries and chosen as the subject of the book, Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band. Find out if these babes still know how to use their toys on 1/29 at High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI and 1/30 at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN.

This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Fatuous thru 10 is Fulgent

Kishi Bashi - String Quartet Live!

Kishi Bashi - String Quartet Live!

Kishi Bashi

Album title: String Quartet Live!
Record Label: Joyful Noise Recordings
Rating: 10

Violin virtuoso, singer, and composer Kishi Bashi (aka K Ishibashi) soars to amazing heights fueled by the glorious foundation of an accompanying string ensemble that allow him to reimagine his award winning and critically acclaimed first two releases, 151a and Lighght through an orchestral pop lens. Through his experimental and unconventional song writing skills as well as his soaring voice, he has spilled his talent into ever more imaginative and rewarding compositional endeavors.

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Kishi Bashi online:

Purchase String Quartet Live! on Amazon

Wookiefoot - You’re It

Wookiefoot - You’re It


Album title: You’re It
Record Label: Wookiefoot
Rating: 10

These magical now age bards have just tagged you with a full spectrum barrage of musical medicine, hop scotching across genres with whimsy and delight. From reggae to bluegrass to jam to conscious hip hop to middle eastern melodies and the combination of all the above there is never a dull moment, especially when complimented by their ever uplifting, thought provoking and clever lyrics. I am excited to see these tribadellic warriors perform this landmark new material!

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Wookiefoot online:

Purchase You’re It on Amazon