Slipped Discs December 2010

Discs You May Have Missed
by John Noyd

Puppin sisters

Puppin sisters

Initial Thoughts

The year’s end usually consists of holiday-themed CDs, gift-worthy reissues and the curious solo projects. Not to begrudge THE PUPPINI SISTERS’ rosy, cozy, robust, “Christmas with the Puppini Sisters,” THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO’s wickedly winsome, “Christmas Special,” THE SUPERIONS’ deliciously fruity, “Destination…Christmas” or mind-blowing live JEFFERSON AIRPLANE circa 1966 plus deluxe editions of classic albums from KING CRIMSON, QUEENSRYCHE and TOM PETTY but for December’s seasonal blessings go solo.

Disc Reviews

Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern - Essex Arms

Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern - Essex Arms

Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern

Album title: Essex Arms
Record Label: Fortuna POP

Hefner’s Hayman weaves beautiful, magpie melodies inside English folk-rock serenades; brisk, busker’s delights laced in sweet, solemn solace and poetic biography. Adventurous remembrance culled from sharp, detailed hindsight and a journalist’s lens, “Essex,” breeches bittersweet sequences, framing youthful folly as personal mementos, adolescent messages turned into classic verbal portraits wistfully pilfering willful nostalgia, exhuming a vanishing era in crafted memories.

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Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern online:

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Rusty Willoughby - Cobirds Unite

Rusty Willoughby - Cobirds Unite

Rusty Willoughby

Album title: Cobirds Unite
Record Label: Local 638

Veteran of Seattle bands Pure Joy and The Llamas. Willoughby gathers talented friends together to croon clue-strewn Americana constructed from vagabond bravado and heart-felt camaraderie. Decorated in classy attachments, “Cobirds,” blends vibraphones to steel guitars, banjos and cellos before injecting Visqueen’s Rachel Flotard’s ghostly back-up vocals into burnished, burnt-out ballads dipped in desolate effortlessness, alt-country hunches formed from waltzing thoughts.

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Rusty Willoughby online:

Download Cobirds Unite from Amazon
Purchase Cobirds Unite on Amazon

Radioseed - There Has To Be More

Radioseed - There Has To Be More


Album title: There Has To Be More
Record Label: Quince

Serving cosmic cocktails in vibrant trip-hop gospel and shambolic ambient landscapes, Eurovillage’s Peter Wikstrom lays sun-kissed synths over dazzling Belize-teased beats. Androgynous dreamboat psychedelia sashays down air-brushed runways, turbo-lifted into paisley gravy and padded madness. Stratospheric furnaces cook delirious conspiracies, melting swells and poolside exotica. Ushering carpets of calm, “More” extends, suspends and upends convention within imagination’s all-night disco temple.

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Radioseed online:

Purchase There Has To Be More on Amazon

Brian James - Brian James Gang

Brian James - Brian James Gang

Brian James

Album title: Brian James Gang
Record Label: Easy Action

The Damned’s former guitarist cruises bargain basement blues in leathery, rock and roll ecstasy, squeezing out ballsy British punk-rock rants in snarling, cat-scratch flash and rabid, stabbing grit. Amped up and adamant, “Gang,” rumbles with bristling swagger, dancing along powder keg edges while lighting nuclear fuses. Mod, fitful firing squads sculpt churning, anarchist’s shrapnel, prowling provocatively beneath seething cathartic artistry

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Brian James online:

Download Brian James Gang from Amazon
Purchase Brian James Gang on Amazon

Birthmark - Shaking Hands

Birthmark - Shaking Hands


Album title: Shaking Hands
Record Label: Hidden Agenda

Synthesizing and simplifying haunting chamber-jazz into sequestered sambas and cinematic symphonies, Joan of Arc’s multi-instrumentalist Nate Kinsella spawns songs drawn from resplendent intelligence; composing potent tones honed and harnessed, methodically weighed and conveyed. Smoothing moods and stirring scourges. “Hands,” cerebrally conceived art-folk moments juggle backwards tracks and monochromatic mantras to create precarious canvases, pairing acoustic solitude alongside avant rabbit-hole confessions.

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Birthmark online:

Download Shaking Hands from Amazon
Purchase Shaking Hands on Amazon

Terry Ohms - What Do You Mean What Do I Mean?

Terry Ohms - What Do You Mean What Do I Mean?

Terry Ohms

Album title: What Do You Mean What Do I Mean?
Record Label: Skybucket

Rambling musical munchies welcome blissful hippies and slick hipsters into rainbow roadhouses and sunshine sideshows as Vulture Whale’s Wes McDonald unleashes loose-lipped lyrics over languid street corner boogie and tasty Southern funk. Party-dude grooves elevating scruffy shuffles to Orgone-lubricated sojourns, “Mean,” celebrates life’s idiosyncratic happenings, a free-wheeling eco-friendly Bohemia poured into blessedly messy drawls, devil-may-care come-ons and stoked folk-jam remedies.

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Terry Ohms online:

Download What Do You Mean What Do I Mean? from Amazon

The Innocence Mission - My Room in the Trees

The Innocence Mission - My Room in the Trees

The Innocence Mission

Album title: My Room in the Trees
Record Label: Badman Recordings

Sweetly sleepy poetry acquiesces beautiful folk-jazz acoustics; nuanced and modestly confidence, embroidered tapestries cushion TIM’s passively happy and quietly kind observations. Graceful descriptions waft between quaint restraint and captivating compassion. Tentative and demure, “Room,” provides tranquil relief through wide-eyed wonder languishing within waking piano, whispery strings and dreamy guitars.

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The Innocence Mission online:

Download My Room in the Trees from Amazon
Purchase My Room in the Trees on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Solo projects, side projects, one-time collaborations; the season simmers with musicians comingling. From former members of Black Dice and Town & Country come SOFT CIRCLE’s electro-rock fantasies, “Shore Obsessed,” Animal + Bitch’s ANIMAL PRUFROCK unfurls whimsical socio-political folk-funk on, “congratulations; thank you + I’m sorry,” meanwhile Grateful Dead’s Bill Kreutzmann, the Meters’ Harry Porter Jr. and Papa Mali conjure swamp-funk mojo in their deep-fried self-titled debut, “7 Walkers.” Lastly, cross-pollinating cultures inspire exotic synergy as Sufi, Middle Eastern and Indian prodigies team to weave the rich, bewitching tapestry, “Nagore Sessions”