Inescapably pervasive, “of,” is meaningless beyond its contextual placement. Accurate placement powers guitar-tapper extraordinaire MARNIE STERN’s pyrotechnical spectacle, “Chronicles of Marnia” while alt-rock professor BILL BAIRD’s encyclopedic feats tweak double-deckered semester, “Spring Break of the Soul.” Meanwhile, of uncovers musical gold in analogue-powered JONAS REINHARDT’s ravishing cyber-pageantry, “Mask of the Maker,” raucous blues-stompers THE 4ONTHEFLOOR’s rawhide-inspired rodeo-soul, “Spirit of Minneapolis,” and lofty rockers TWINSTAR’s mellow eloquence, “The Sound of Leaving.”
Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
Album title: Victim of Love
Record Label: Dunham Records
Tear-stained refrains from sweat-soaked vocals, Charles “Screaming Eagle of Soul” Bradley travels between gospel’s desperate redemptions, pop’s brassy appetites and R&B’s suave partying. Cooking hard-luck lessons in shuffling funk, bluesy doo-wop and Superfly psychedelia, ”Victim,” simmers candid abandon and heart-piercing fierceness into ravaged salvation for love-sick trips to horn-heavy heavens. After having conquered Milwaukee’s Turner Hall May 8th, catch the Screaming Eagle when he brings it on December 4th at Madison’s High Noon Saloon.
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Dutch Uncles - Out of Touch in the Wild
Album title: Out of Touch in the Wild
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Acrobatic staccato slathered in classical strings, satin-soft synths and percussive muscle, “Wild,” riles rhythmic prog-rock fissions for an exacting marriage of chattering art-pop patterns stabling feather-weight sabers skating over synchronized visions within linear signatures. Deliciously rigorous and blessedly flexible, DU’s tight-knotted romps blink, flit and flinch; slippery whispers skip over spring-loaded probes whose swooning pneumatic catalysts enchant, recant and romance.
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Vicky Cryer - The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering
Album title: The Synthetic Love of Emotional Engineering
Record Label: Fancy Animal
Assembled by Louis XIV’s Jason Hill, whose friends from The Killers, Muse, NIN and Jamiroquai add admirable pizzazz, VC’s reptilian rhapsodies tease with nimble glitter, libidinous swivels and lubricated grooves.. Bottom-feeding dreamers seething in vintage seventies chemistry, “Synthetic,” meshes leather-clad infatuation among stellar hard-rock struts; coiled catwalk pop into proto-disco groping and blackboard jungle rumbles from prowling T. Rex rapscallions.
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Tin Cup Serenade - Tragic Songs of Hope
Album title: Tragic Songs of Hope
Record Label: Tin Cup Serenade Productions
Sizzling calypso, sad jazz and spiffy Dixieland spritzers make the subtly bubbly, “Hope,” float over champagne smirks, foxy nods and manicured purrs. Coy, buoyant jive slides behind laid-back cats packing hot tropical options, TCS’s witty sophistication lounge atop finessed burlesque; cheeky, scat-happy patter tumbles from languid mambos to casual rags inserting modern takes on swinging traditions for blissful retro-hipster commissions.
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British Sea Power - Machineries of Joy
Album title: Machineries of Joy
Record Label: Rough Trade
Passionate assassins infiltrating cathartic scrap-yard carnivals and regal sea-side séances, BSP’s lush cinematic savages croon, fume and bloom in aristocratic madness culled from immaculate thrashing mounted onto empire-toppling pop-rock. Dismantled mansions crawling with restless, petulant phantoms, “Machineries,” dreams in edgy bonfire elegies nestling skin-tight midnights, mystical guitar-stricken mysteries birthed in tenacious British industry, poignant battle-scarred sympathy and glorious rip-tide ironies.
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Brown Bird - Fits of Reason
Album title: Fits of Reason
Record Label: Supply & Demand
Wicked intricacy provides grizzly intimacy among cleansing frenzies as, “Fits,” whips tricky electric licks and timid minstrel picking into haunted gallows night-tripping. Frisky gypsy fiddle and gritty twisted guitar canter and spar while Spanish tangents planted in galloping arabesques duel curdling Turkish minuets; BB’s smoke-house atonements stoke brimstone moments inside smoldering poetry woven from unrestrained flamencos washed in global hobo-folk.
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Basing themes on album titles leaves a lot of obscurely-named album untouched, but obscure words offer different thinking and inviting puzzles. Decipher spongy electro-pop dungeon-mistress METAL MOTHER’s mercurial melodies draped over chromium Cro-Magnon beats on the vaporous labor, “Ionika,” before diving into indefinable sound-designer VECTOR LOVER’s kinetic aesthetics dripping in twinkling ambience composed entirely on smartphones, “iPhonica.” Bypass all dictionaries translating non-stop indie-pop rockers GENERATIONALS’ effervescent energy reverberating in the percolating, “Heza,” and bruised troubadour and beat-crunching pundit TELEKINESIS’ savvy, catch-phrase treatises, “Dormarion.” TELEKINESIS visits Madison’s High Noon May 16th.