I believe in the good things coming! Not just in music, which there is a lot, but also in the energy and awakenings that can be felt all around. We have passed the shift on numerous levels and the changes are thrilling. When you find your flow you will know…
Psycho Polkadot Party
I started the month off with heavy riffs with a humorous message on 4/3 when I ventured to the Frequency and got there just before Polkadot Cadaver took the stage for a frentic, energetic, urgent and spastic yet oddly melodic set of mosh rock.
Spoof metal band Psychostick offered clever and calculated metal with acerbic wit and anthemic fervor. A couple of the members were outfitted with crazy custom headgear. The bass player in particular had these massive floppy antlers on that were hilarious! And the evening simply wouldn’t have been complete without hearing their classic ‘Sad Face Emoticon’ song. On a separate note, all the bands had exceptionally well-built and -designed merch selling stations with clever designs and shwag ta boot.
Opening this auspicious evening at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, WI on 4/12 was Russ Liquid, who I was unfamiliar with before the show, but won me over with his expressive electronica filled with live sampled flute, sax and trumpet. Although rather low key and unassuming, he was really quite impressive stage-wise.
The STS9 of 2013 is such a clean cut, prim and proper version of what they were like when I first saw them a decade or so ago, but their music has grown and the band is better for it. In addition to two wonderful lengthy sets, they offered sensational morphing graphics that filled the stage and looked at times like it was filtered through a giant biometric machine of some sort. For a portion of their songs, STS9 was joined on stage by a three piece horn section, which gave their already amazing music another whole level of complexity and grandeur. Bravo!
Three Shimmies and a Shake
As amazing and fulfilling as STS9 was, Nahko and Medicine for the People on 4/26 at the Majestic Theater in Madison was even better! Medicine for the People member Dustin Thomas brought his rose-colored thunder to the stage when he played as opener to their grander set to follow and primed the audience with inspired and spirited folky jams with bonus beat boxing.
But after that came Nahko. WOWZA!
Nahko has a presence that can be felt from a distance. He has a unique look, voice and vision. The band’s anthems of loving embrace appeal to the blossoming now age we live in and are undeniably strong medicine on their own, but the combination of full moon energy, new album zest, and the momentum from their post pan-coastal touring, made for an utterly stunning evening. Waking their dreams into our reality by playing many of the outstanding selections from their newly released Dark As Night album, Nakho and Medicine for the People brought to those gathered a sense of urgency and attainability which encompassed global perspectives and now age realizations but also had rootsy folk rock spiced with world music flavors and comprehensibility. Simply put, it was one of the most powerful concert experiences I have ever had the privilege of attending. The bliss bubble from the show lasted for days!
This Month's Rating Scale is from 1 is Blistered 10 is Blissful
Beefus - The Itching Below
Album title: The Itching Below
Record Label: Ys Records
Madison’s musical mad scientists are back with more fractured, nonlinear globular grooves fitted with fantastic farcical lyrics and warbled vocals. Disturbed, depraved, and outrageous musical experiments of the most uncouth kind. And at all times, watch out for that itch..
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Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - White People and the Damage Done
Album title: White People and the Damage Done
Record Label: Alternative Tentacles
Seeing Iggy Pop perform with the Stooges for his 60th birthday inspired the legendary Jello Biafra to start a new band, and hence, this project was born. Overall, it sounds a LOT like Dead Kennedys, more so than any of his other side projects, but still offers a few surprises. Acerbic wit, trademark caterwauling vocals, raucous riffage and provocative topics are yours for the taking.
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Kaminanda - Gateways of Consciousness
Album title: Gateways of Consciousness
Record Label: self-released
As our collective consciousness evolves, we seek new and noteworthy landscapes of reflection. Kaminanda provides a playground for this with their confluence of trip hop, dub, downtempo, tribal and chillout atmospheres in a structure that is invigorating and inviting to all seekers. (10) [kaminanda.bandcamp.com]
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Kobo Town - Jumbie in the Jungle
Album title: Jumbie in the Jungle
Record Label: Cumbancha Records
Breathing new fire into the vintage, yet relevant sound of Calypso, Trinidad emigre Drew Gonsalves has become recognized as one of the renowned artistic voices of the Caribbean diaspora. And thanks to his efforts this reggae related genre has found multitudes of listeners ready to soak up the good vibrations and great grooves offered here.
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