March 2020 Comics, Poetry, and Reviews by


LMNOP discography. Listen/stream on Bandcamp, CDBaby, & Spotify

babysue comix #380
babysue comix #381
babysue comix #382
Be Bop Deluxe*

Steven Bradley*
The Brankas*
Bill Bruford's Earthworks
JJ Chardeau
The Coffin Daggers

Dante Fox
Le Grand Sbam*
Kim Harris

William Hooker
Hot Club of Los Angeles

Jesus comic #71
Jeremiah Johnson
Ian Jones

Paul Kelly*
Lucid Child*
Rob Martinez
Michael Nau*
Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends*
Ben Noble
Not My God

Terry Ohms*
Udo Pannekeet
People Years*

Pet the Tiger / Brian Lucas
Anthony Phillips*
Jonny Polonsky*
The Proper Ornaments*
Massimo Silverio
Smoke Fairies
Stutter Steps
Sum Knob
What Ting?

Gary Wilson
*Top Picks

Additional Items Received

March 2020 Thought.

Thinking is overrated.

Beauts - Dalliance (CD-R, LHM, Underground pop)
Although this band has previously released three well-received EPs, for us this (their debut full-length) serves as an introduction. And what an introduction it is. Once we heard the propulsive rhythm and fantastic vocals on the first track ("The City Loves Me") we were instantly hooked. This Halifax, Nova Scotia-based quintet is on a quick path to becoming a favorite among the coolest music fans on our planet. Dalliance presents tracks that range from heady danceable pop to atmospheric rock. The press release that accompanied this album compared the band's music to other artists like The National, Interpol, The Cure, and New Order. If any of these float your boat (or even if they don't), progressive-minded listeners are sure to find a lot to appreciate here. Precise rhythms combine with cool spacey guitars and wonderfully subdued vocals to create a universe in which euphoria is infinitely possible. The band is comprised of Palmer Jamieson, Jeff Lawton, Darryl Smith, Erik Van Lunen, and Joel Waddell. These guys have apparently already come a long way in a short amount of time. Our guess is that this release will really spike their career up several notches. This is a short album that clocks in at just over half an hour. But in that amount of time these gentlemen make their point loud and clear, and prove they're in this for the long run. Mesmerizing intelligent cuts include "The City Loves Me," "Good Measure," "Receipts," and "Shut In." Hypnotic, smart, and intriguing. Recommended. Top pick.

Be Bop Deluxe - Modern Music: Deluxe Edition (Double CD, Esoteric Recordings, Pop/rock)
Ahhhh...our top favorite Be Bop Deluxe album gets the deluxe reissue treatment. Although many Bill Nelson fans seem to prefer Sunburst Finish (which is also a total knockout), we've always felt that Modern Music was the album that really hit the target dead center. Fans who enjoyed the recent deluxe edition reissue of Sunburst Finish will find this double disc set equally satisfying. Time has been very kind to Modern Music. These tracks still sound phenomenal. If you want to hear the songs exactly as they were originally released, this set features those tracks newly remastered. But if you want to hear them in a slightly different light, the second CD features new stereo mixes courtesy of Stephen W. Taylor. The remixes were done with extreme caution, obviously being very careful to recreate the original overall sound and vibe. And that was a very wise decision, because our guess is that many of Nelson's fans would be very wary of any mix that strayed too far from the original. So...is there a big difference between the original and remixed tracks? No and yes. Those who aren't familiar with the album probably won't notice all that much difference. But Nelson's fans will immediately realize that the new tracks are cleaner and there's far more separation between instruments. Also, some of the nuances that got kinda buried originally now seem to creep out and become more audible and transparent. There are a few bonus tracks to complete the package, of course. Also included are the B-side "Shine" as well as the first recordings of "Forbidden Lovers" and "The Bird Charmer's Destiny." Housed inside the exquisitely-designed quadruple-fold digipak sleeve are a cool booklet and mini poster. For those who are more compulsive and driven, there's also a super deluxe version that includes much more material including a 5.1 mix (which we'd guess probably sounds incredible given the intricate arrangements on this album). So...Be Bop Deluxe fans will undoubtedly want this one. But anyone else who wants to hear the best of the best in the world of 1970s pop/rock will also get a major kick out of this release. This album should have been hugely successful. It spins like a string of incredible guitar pop classics. But instead, at least up to this point, it has been mainly an underground cult favorite. Hear why so many have praised this exceptional album for such a long period of time. Modern Music is easily one of the very best albums ever recorded. Use this as a starting point...and then continue from there to discover the unbelievable wealth of fantastic music that's been created over the decades by the one and only Bill Nelson. There's a reason why this guy is so highly respected among discerning music fans. Highly recommended. Top pick.



People hatch
Present no patch.
People bub
Present no glub.


Steven Bradley - Summer Bliss and Autumn Tears (Vinyl LP, Porterhouse, Pop)
Smart and immediately familiar sounding guitar pop from Steven Bradley. Although this name may not ring a bell, this fellow's name as a producer probably will. When he's producing Bradley uses his real name Steve Kravac. And he's made quite a name for himself producing such well-known artists as Less Than Jake, M.X.P.X. Blink 182, and Pepper. But rather than allowing himself to be pigeonholed by his previous projects, Kravac made the wise decision to release his own music under a different name. It was also a smart move because the songs on Summer Bliss and Autumn Tears are ultimately pure pop in nature, and have much more in common with bands like Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Marshall Crenshaw, and Fountains of Wayne. Although some amazing folks lent their talents to the recording of this album, Bradley played most everything himself. But rather than sounding like a one man band, these tracks sound very much like a full live group of musicians playing together. Guess all those years working in the studio might explain why. With the release of this album, Bradley immediately lays the groundwork for what is bound to be a solid and captivating career in the world of cool and truly inspired guitar pop. This multi-talented man has the songs, the voice, and the studio know-how to go all the way. All of these tracks hit the target, but some of our initial favorites include "Love Tumbles Into Obsession," "You Walk By," "Capitol Hill," "Summer Bliss and Autumn Tears," "Loose Ends," and "The Bargain." Wonderfully resilient and real stuff delivered with style. Recommended. Top pick.

The Brankas - Safes (Independently released vinyl LP, Underground rock)
Wild. Crazy. Noisy. Abrasive. Intelligent. Zany. Harsh. And even quite funny at times. Safes is an instant hit here in babysueland. This album reminds us why we fell in love with early recordings by bands like The Butthole Surfers and The Flaming Lips. The Brankas is the band/duo comprised of Theo Slavin and Taylor McElroy...two wildly creative musicians who are obviously more concerned with making far out noise and having fun than creating music for money. In the 1990s Safes would have been an instant hit and possibly catapulted these guys into instant fame. But in the year 2020...who knows? Fortunately, there seems to be a 1990s revival happening. Lots of musicians are starting to turn the volume up and focus on creativity more than pandering to the masses. If you're looking for something tame, simple, and familiar, you're probably going to be confused by this album. But more adventurous and truly open-minded music fans are going to love this one. Safes works on so many different levels. These recordings are exciting and ultimately very intense. But this is not just noise for the sake of noise. These guys write smart memorable songs. But they have the courage and the inspiration to screw around with things during the recording process. While spinning this, we can't help but wonder why more folks don't take major creative leaps with their music. Oh yeah, we almost forgot...it's because the motivation is usually for fame and money rather than creating something credible. The cover art is excellent and the LP is pressed on beautiful bright red vinyl. This is one of the best and most intense albums we've heard in months. Kickass cuts include "Fresh Fish," "Burning Hands," "Careful," "Selfie," and "I Wish You Would." A true thrill ride. Highly recommended. Top pick.

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Heavenly Bodies: An Expanded Collection (Double CD, Summerfold, Jazz/progressive)
We've been on the fence about purchasing the lavish all-inclusive Earthworks box set that was recently released. So it was good timing that this one arrived in the mail to give us a nice chunky taste of what's included in that set. As all good music fans already know, Bruford will forever be known as the incredibly talented drummer in the progressive rock bands Yes and King Crimson. His fluid rhythms are one of the key variables that made those groups so impressive and effective. Over time band members tend to delve into different outside projects of course. Bill decided to go the jazz route with his Earthworks ensemble. It was a very smart choice because if he had immediately gone right on carrying the progressive rock torch, critics and fans would have been constantly comparing the music to his former bands. And that would surely have been irritating and annoying. When we first heard this band many years ago we weren't too impressed. But that's because when we were very young we hated all jazz music. Well times change and sometimes so do we. A while back a friend turned us onto some of his favorite classic jazz artists from the 1940s and 1950s...and our opinion immediately changed. We're now big fans of jazz and, as such, we have a new appreciation for groups like Earthworks. This cool double CD package presents a wealth of well conceived and impeccably recorded progressive jazz music. Each disc spins for over and hour. And, as you might expect, at this point in his career Bill chose to only play with the best of the best. If you wanna sprint for the megaset, by all means do. But if space and/or cost are factors, then this would certainly be the next best thing. Twenty-three tracks of pure jazz excellence. The sound quality is impeccable.

JJ Chardeau - In Terra Cognita? (CD, L. Records, Progressive rock opera)
The packaging on this one was so beautiful that we figured the music must be good. Once again, we were right (as always...heh heh heh...). In Terra Cognita? is a modern rock opera, but it's different in many ways. France's JJ Chardeau has recorded an album full of intricate precisely-crafted compositions infused with threads of classical music. These tracks flow by like the clouds overhead. There's no telling how much time and energy was spent recording this album. What is perhaps most interesting here are the guest artists. Musicians lending their talents to this project include Mark Andes, Jerry Goodman, Brian Auger, Jason Scheff, Alex Ligertwood, Martin Barre, Kenny Aronoff, John McFee, Danny Seraphine, John Helliwell, Michael Sadler, Chris Pinnick, and Hank Linderman. Talk about some impressive players. What's most curious, however, is the fact that Chardeau's music bears little resemblance to any of these musicians' prior bands. We could go into the basic storyline here but we'll leave that one up to you. At a point in time when so many are specifically recreating the progressive rock sound from the 1970s, Chardeau and his associates have taken a different approach...updating the genre so that it fits more precisely into the world in 2020. Thick well-arranged tracks include "Dream In Moscow," "DMZ," "The Last Rockaway," and "Wall of Laments."

Clifffs - Panic Attack (CD, We Know Better / State Fair, Underground rock/pop)
Direct, punchy, hard-hitting punk/pop that is immediately gripping and real. This Dallas, Texas-based trio hits this one out of the ballpark. Lately there is so much overproduced music in our world that lacks substance. These guys deliver their cool resonant pulsing tunes with passion and style. We were already sold on this album. But our needle was pushed even further into the red when we read the super-intelligent press release written by Rhett Miller (Old 97's). Miller makes all the points we so often make about music (perfection in recording making things boring, music created as a product, etc.). But back to the band and the album at hand. Clifffs is the trio comprised of John Dufilho (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Bill Spellman (drums, percussion, vocals), and Andy Lester (bass, vocals). Panic Attack is the band's second full-length release. It's one genuinely focused and entertaining roller coaster ride. The songs are presented simply, using only the basics. Unlike so many bands who seem intent on making things unnecessarily complex and unusual, these guys apparently thrive on keeping it all super simple. Although they sound nothing like a retro band, there are plenty of elements here that we normally associate with very early punk rock from the 1970s. These tracks absolutely command movement from the listener. We can almost guarantee that you'll find it difficult to sit still while listening to propulsive cuts like "Undone," "Into the Salt," "Panic Attack," and "Life." Gripping smart rockin' fun from start to finish. Highly recommended. Top pick.

The Coffin Daggers - Eleki Album (CD, Cleopatra, Rock/pop)
Here's a good example of what goes around comes around. It's also a good example of how music and ideas travel from one country to another over time. In order to explain, we first have to examine the curious album title. "Eleki" is the Japanese word meaning electric guitar. In the 1960s a whole wave of Japanese bands popped up after The Ventures visited their country in 1965. Those bands are referred to as 'eleki artists' and they combined American surf with traditional Japanese Minyo music. While they were very popular in their home country, that success didn't transfer much to other parts of the world. Switch to the year 2020...and New York-based band The Coffin Daggers decided to pay tribute to this intriguing phase of Japanese rock. Eleki Album presents fourteen credible covers featuring the super fab sound of tracks like "Black Sand Beach," "Flowing Blooming In The Rain," "Murasaki No Yoake," and "Yume Wa Yoru Hiraku." Although the press release didn't mention this, we can't help but think that it would be perfect if the Daggers did a tour of Japan now...and made everything start happening all over again. An eye opening experience for American and Japanese music fans.

Dante Fox - The Roots of Great White 1978-1982 (CD, Deadline, Pop)
This one's an instant must have for fans of the band Great White. Before forming that group, vocalist Jack Russell and guitarist Mark Kendall played in the band Dante Fox. The Roots of Great White 1978-1982 presents, for the first time ever, early demos recorded by these guys in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In addition to songs that are only available on this album, this release also includes some compositions that were later included on Great White albums. These tracks were recorded on an eight track machine so they have a nice simple overall sound. There's a lot to take in here as this disc presents fifteen underground rockers. This is an interesting glimpse into how these guys developed their sound. In addition to the CD, this one's also been released on limited edition blue vinyl. Cool underground rockers include "In Love," "Motor Love," "Front Row Girl," "Lonnie Never Tried," and "She's Got Fever."

Le Grand Sbam - Vaisseau Monde (CD, Dur et Doux, Twenty-first century progressive/experimental/pop/rock)
Whew. This is one strange listening experience. We hear bands all the time who are either copying or paying homage to progressive rock bands from the 1970s. But rarely do we hear artists or bands who take the progressive idea and catapult it squarely into the twenty-first century. This French group is making music that sounds like no one else we've heard before. The tracks on Vaisseau Monde are simultaneously jarring, difficult, complex, and experimental...all the while being surprisingly listenable and musical. It's rare when we hear anyone creating music that can truly be described as avante garde...but these musicians really do. This collective is comprised of Melissa Acchiardi, Antoine Arnera, Boris Cassone, Jessica Martin, Guilhem Meier, and Marie Nachury. While spinning this challenging album, the only other artists that come to mind are Klaus Nomi, the 1990s Savannah, Georgia cult band GAM, and the British experimental band Henry Cow. But that only hints at what's going on here. You can bet your booties that this music is just much too much for most listeners. These compositions combine traces of modern classical with experimental electronics, toss in threads of progressive rock, and then infuse it all with their own unique ideas and vision. Five peculiar heady tracks including "Dins O Sbam," "Kouia," and "Vishnu Foutroline." This one's a really wild ride for those brave enough to take the voyage. Truly captivating and totally far out. Recommended. Top pick.

Kim Harris - Heirloom (CD, LHM, Folk/soft pop)
Really beautiful soft pop that is inspired and highly melodic. Canada's Kim Harris impressed lots of folks with her 2015 album Only The Mighty. She took her time recording this, the follow up. But for her fans it was well worth the wait. Listening to Heirloom, it's easy to see why this talented young lady quickly became a favorite among critics and discerning music fans. Her songs are smart and memorable, and she's got a cool understated voice that is immediately inviting and warm. Produced, engineered, and mixed by Daniel Ledwell, these tracks are exceedingly focused and feature superb arrangements. Harris has some exceptional musicians lending their talents on these recordings. Backing artists include Daniel Ledwell, Michael Belyea, Glen Leck, Kinley Dowling, Stewart Legere, Margot Durling, and Mara Pellerin. Fortunately, despite the large number of musicians involved, these tracks have plenty of wide open spaces that keep them from ever sounding cluttered or overproduced. The songs are what make Heirloom work. These compositions are intelligent and personal. They're also a far cry from the world of commercial pop in the twenty-first century. Ten well-crafted tunes here including "Sanctuary," "Good Luck," "Once You Were Wondrous," and "Neighbourhoods." Hear why so many folks in Canada are heaping praise upon this up-and-coming musical artist. Kim Harris gets a total thumbs UP with this one.



When help
For less
Then life all
Ruin forever.


William Hooker - Symphonie of Flowers (CD, Org Music, Modern jazz)
We weren't quite sure what to expect from this one. We did a bit of quick internet searching and found that percussionist/composer William Hooker is a well respected man in the world of modern jazz. After absorbing this information, we kinda had an idea of what Symphonie of Flowers might sound like. But after spinning the album just once, our expectations were immediately swayed and distorted. Hooker is one very unusual fellow. And we can say without a doubt that some of the tracks on this album are the strangest we've ever heard in this genre. Some of the more lengthy compositions ("Soul" and "Hieroglyphics") delve into experimental sound that will probably be way too atonal and bizarre for most listeners. This man is obviously not driven to create what has been created before. He uses instruments and sounds like paint on a canvas...and spontaneity obviously plays a key role in the music he creates. His songs seem to freely incorporate sounds and ideas from jazz, experimental noise, and modern classical...so you never really know what direction he's heading in from one track to the next. So many folks rely on predictability in music. If you want stuff that's easy to comprehend, then Flowers may be just a bit too much for your mirror. But if you're the kind of adventurous soul who finds pleasure in following artists who truly break new ground in art and music...well then, you might have just found your favorite new bizarre album. This one is so different that it even confuses us...and that says a lot. One thing is certain. After spinning this a few times, we'll have to absorb more of this fellow's work before we can come to any concrete conclusions. Very strange stuff from a totally different perspective. Intriguing.

Hot Club of Los Angeles - Cinema Swing (Independently released CD, Gypsy jazz)
Although there are plenty of advantages to living in a small to medium-sized city, there are also some huge advantages to living in a large metropolitan area. This album is a good example of one of the great benefits of living in and around Los Angeles, California. In the west side of the city on Sepulveda Boulevard is a musical venue called The Cinema Bar. Every Monday night visitors are treated to the cool groovy music created by the folks in the appropriately-titled group Hot Club of Los Angeles. To give you an idea of what these folks sound like, imagine Django Reinhart playing in a small club in the twenty-first century and being backed by some precisely talented professional musicians. The inspired tracks on Cinema Swing capture the sound and spirit of a time gone by...a time when music provided a simple escape. There's no hiding behind technology here, these musicians rely on the skills of their bandmates to create an overall sound that is greater than the sum of the parts. The group is comprised of Josh Workman, Jake Bluenote, Carl Byron, Paul Eckman, Jim Doyle, and Jeffrey Paul Ross. These recordings are ultimately very rhythmic in nature. By combining the best elements of classic jazz and gypsy jazz from the past, these folks have managed to achieve their desired goal. They have created an album that undoubtedly captures the sound and spirit of their live sound. Listeners will find it almost impossible to sit still while spinning this one. Serious toe-tappers include "Cinema Swing," "Cynthia," "Valse Angeles," "Drinking Song," and "Noto Swing." Totally groovy in every way possible.

Huntingtons - Muerto, Carcel, O Rocanrol (Vinyl LP, CD, Burnt Toast Vinyl, Buzzsaw rock/pop)
The Ramones, one of the most iconic and highly influential bands of all time, are unfortunately no longer with us. But thankfully there are others who continue to carry the torch Two of the most respected Ramones-inspired bands that come to mind are Shonen Knife and Huntingtons. But while Shonen Knife add their own curious Asian slant to the sound, the guys in Huntingtons deliver their buzzsaw pop/punk in a straightforward manner that is surprisingly in line with those all those classic tracks made famous by Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, Tommy, and Marky. Huntingtons started way back in the early 1990s. But they're showing no signs of burning out or letting up. Muerto, Carcel, O Rocanrol finds the band doing what they do best...playing at full throttle and presenting songs that are instantly catchy and intelligent. If you love the original Ramones sound before they started playing too fast, you're likely to get a major charge out of this album. The band is currently comprised of Mike Holt, Cliff Powell, Josh Blackaway, and Chris Eller. Despite the fact that the band split up for two years in 2005, after reforming they seem to be stronger and louder than ever. Kickass rockers include "Too Old To Care," "The Slammer," "Thank God for the Bomb," "Say Hi To Your Mom For Me," and "I Don't Wanna Die Alone." This one has been released as a vinyl LP, a CD, a download, and streaming (of course). At this point in time Huntingtons are probably the most believable Ramones-influenced band out there. Groovy stuff from start to finish.

Jeremiah Johnson - Heavens To Betsy (CD, Ruf, Blues/southern rock/pop)
If you love southern rock and blues rock, Heavens To Betsy might just be your new favorite album...because this one combines the best of both words. Jeremiah Johnson and his band lay down some mighty thick grooves here. The main emphasis is on the songs, but that doesn't mean Johnson doesn't get in his share of slick guitar licks along the way. Scanning over the press release we noticed that Jeremiah's last album (Straightjacket) was in Billboard magazine's Top Ten. And that made us start wondering...if good blues music can get to the top of the charts, why are the pop and rock charts always littered with pure trash...? After giving it some thought, we figured this is because blues fans are probably smarter and more discerning. While your average pop/rock fan in the United States will eat up any ol' cornfed slop that's thrown in its trough, the average blues fan is probably more intuitive and intelligent. But back to the matter at hand... Heavens To Betsy is a pure shot of entertainment, delivered with style and integrity. Well chosen songs, a band that's tight as hell, and Jeremiah's voice provides the perfect focal point. Twelve cool rockers, and they're all resilient and super satisfying. Kickass cuts include "White Lightning," "Ecstasy," "Showdown," and "Preacher's Daughter."

Ian Jones - Results Not Typical (CD, Thin Silver, Folk/country/soft pop)
It's a sad fact that as time passes almost all genres eventually transform into processed cheese. It happened with country music. It happened with commercial rock and pop. It happened with soul. And it happened with the singer/songwriter phenomenon that began way back in the 1960s and 1970s. That eventually gave way to the world of Americana music...which also promptly transformed into processed cheese as years passed. If you long for the days when singer/songwriters were sincere real folks with honest messages to convey, you may very well find yourself immediately hypnotized by the music created by Ian Jones. In a world full of phony musical artists, this guy stands out as a credible and genuine human being with some heartfelt stories to tell. The songs on Results Not Typical combine the worlds of folk and soft pop, intertwined with slight threads of country and rock. The main emphasis here is on songs. Jones writes some kickass tunes that are sure to please even the most discerning music fans. He and producer Jesse Sibenberg had the good sense to keep things simple, which allows the listener to focus on the vocal melodies and lyrics. Ian has a cool friendly voice that comes across very much like a real person singing. No digital tweaking to make every syllable sound perfect. Nice smooth resilient cuts include "Rollin," "Someday," "Without You I'm Lost," and "Goodbyes Are the Hardest Words." This fellow could easily become hugely famous in the years ahead. He's inspired. He's talented. And most importantly...he is real.

Paul Kelly - Greatest Hits: Songs From The South 1985-2019 (Double CD, Cooking Vinyl, Pop)
So...who is Paul Kelly? Well, if you're like us, you probably don't have a clue. But it's not because he's not famous and well-known...it's because he's famous and well-known in another country. Australia, to be exact. Even though most Americans don't know this man, most Australians surely do. And that's because he's been writing and recording popular music there for decades. Thanks to the fine folks at Cooking Vinyl, Kelly's hits will now be in the hands of more music fans who aren't familiar with him. Listeners will be instantly impressed with the depth and scope of Paul Kelly's songwriting. This hefty double disc package features some of his best songs recorded from 1985 to 2019...forty tracks that will give you an immediate dose of what this man is all about. This album came out right after Kelly's latest album (Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds) won an ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) award in 2019 for Best Classical Album. Listening to this, we can't help but feel that we've been missing out for many years. This guy is really really good. He doesn't just write hits...he writes smart credible pop songs with substance and style. He's got a cool friendly voice and his songs have an immediately familiar sound. These songs range from catchy to smart to pensive to hilarious. The first CD won us over completely. But by the time we got to the second disc and heard "Every F*cking City" (it's hilarious and oh-so-true)...we were completely sold on this clever and unique individual. So many great songs that we'll just mention a few of our initial favorites which include "From St. Kilda to Kings Cross," "Leaps and Bounds," "Winter Coat," "Love Letter," "Our Sunshine," "Thank You," and "Every Day My Mother's Voice." Focused, captivating, and real. Recommended. Top pick.

Lie - You Want It Real (CD, Mint, Underground rock)
Tired of hearing too much twenty-first century processed cheese...? If so, you just may go apeshit over the rip roaring sounds of the Vancouver, Canada-based band Lie. In just over twenty minutes, these folks make statements that could take other bands years to make. The appropriately titled You Want It Real pounds and mesmerizes, recalling sounds and ideas from a variety of interesting bands from the past including (but not limited to) The Sex Pistols, early Gang of Four, The Poster Children, and early Buzzcocks. But far from being a retro band, the folks in Lie are playing decidedly twenty-first century underground stuff for those who prefer the more artsy side of noisy rock. This, the band's fourth album, is gripping and intense. We love the overall sound of these tracks. Seemingly recorded with a complete disregard for digital perfection, these recordings sound very much like a band playing live...except the wild energy is reigned in enough to make it more palatable coming through your speakers and headphones. Crashing drums. Driving bass lines. Loud distorted guitars. And vocals that are a true exercise in angst and anxiety. If you want loud aggressive underground rock played the way it ought to be played, give this one a spin. We can't help but be hypnotized by kickass cuts like "Digging in the Desert," "Bugs," "Drowning In Piss," and "LSD." The energy and creativity of the 1990s is making a real comeback lately. The folks in Lie are proving that loud, intense, and intelligent crazy music still has a place in our world in 2020. Totally cool rockin' stuff...

Lucid Child - My Universe (Independently released vinyl LP, Underground pop)
Truly peculiar and unusual underground stuff. This band begins their album by immediately breaking the rules. "Opposites_Intro" is an understated short random access track that quickly becomes obliterated by noise. So you know right off the bat you're not in for a traditional listening experience. By the time you're hit with the ultimately heavy and hallucinogenic sounds of "Lucy Chill," you'll probably find yourself quickly falling in love with the sound and style of the appropriately-titled Lucid Child. The band is the Portland, Oregon-based project created by Jonah Moon Gallon...a super talented and creative fellow who apparently doesn't give a rat's ass about making conventional and easily accessible music. That said...fans of loud crazy rock are almost certain to get a major jolt out of these tracks. They're a far cry from what most folks are listening to in 2020. They're also highly entertaining, charged up, and super creative. While listening to this album, we can't help but be reminded of a variety of our favorite artists including The Melvins, The Frogs, and Gong. There are hints and traces of tons of other super creative bands and artists, but those are the first three that come to mind. My Universe is easily one of the most unique albums we've heard this year. Gallon is treading in his own unique audio universe in which anything can and does happen. But despite all the experimentation and bizarre sound, it's ultimately the songs themselves that make this album so exciting and entertaining. Groovy and hypnotic compositions include "Lucy Chill," "Bones," "Dreaming in a Walking Land," and "Opposites." Exceptionally well conceived and executed music for intelligent music fans. Highly recommended. Top pick.

Rob Martinez - Maybe Miss America (CD, Karma Frog, Pure pop)
If you love classic pop from the past several decades, you're almost certain to get a major charge out of this album. Although he's playing and recording mainly for underground fans at this point, Rob Martinez writes songs that have the potential to be huge hits (that would be in countries other than the United States where the words 'commercial hit' now refer to substandard dreck). We've been fans of the Karma Frog label for years, and this release is a good example of why this is so. Produced by Adam Marsland and mastered by Earle Mankey, Maybe Miss America spins like a singles collection. Rob isn't trying to expand boundaries or perplex his listeners with harsh noise. He simply takes the idea of classic pop and creates his own unique version of what he believes it should sound like. He's a top notch songwriter and he's got a voice that really makes his songs jump out of the speakers. Although these compositions sound very much like a full band playing the recordings were created almost completely by Martinez and Marsland, both of whom play multiple instruments with focus and ease. Some of these tracks occasionally remind us of babysue favorites Redd Kross and Anton Barbeau. Eleven songs bursting with energy, life, and completely good vibes. Some of our initial favorites include "The Letter," "All I Ever Wanted," "Wrong From Right," and "If I Could Lie." Top pick.

Michael Nau - Less Ready To Go (CD, Org Music, Progressive underground pop)
Every once in a while we come across an artist who is so strangely unique that they just don't fit in with anything else happening in the world of music. Michael Nau is one such individual. He is very different. And we appreciate his music in the same way we appreciate some of our favorite unique personalities like Kurt Wagner (Lambchop), Dan Treacy (Television Personalities), Rob Crow, Harry Nilsson, and Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart)...although he really sounds nothing like any of them. Nau seems to be one of those folks who is operating outside the normal boundaries of underground pop. Sure, his music sounds slightly familiar and it has certain qualities that make it accessible. But there are subtleties that make this man's stuff easily stand out. We checked out some of his videos and were surprised to find that this exceptionally skilled man with the super smooth voice looks very much like some average guy you might see out there in the world. He looks nothing like an underground pop musician. And from what we can tell, he also acts nothing like an underground pop musician. One of the variables that makes this music peculiar are the oddly treated guitar sounds. While spinning this, many may initially get the feeling that they're listening to a warped record. But after you get used to the sound, you realize things aren't really warped at all. Counterbalancing this strange warped sound is Michael's exceptionally focused voice. This fellow writes some amazingly resilient underground pop songs. But it's his voice that really drives the tunes home. Supporting Nau on these tracks are Scott McMicken, Seth Kauffman, Benny Yurco, Zach Miller, Whitney McGraw, Andrew Dost, and Jacob Rodriguez. Less Ready To Go is unlike anything else we've heard lately. But the music is also immediately friendly and appealing. Rarely do we hear underground pop that is this fully realized and focused. Wonderfully intoxicating tracks include "Hoops," "Poor Condition," "Maybe Just Don't," and "Be Smiling When You Can." Highly recommended. Top pick.

Nektar - The Other Side (CD, Cherry Red / Esoteric Recordings, Progressive rock)
Who would've ever thought the world would be treated to a new album by Nektar in 2020...? The good news is that...the music sounds great. As soon as we heard the opening sounds of "I'm On Fire" (the lead track) blasting through our speakers, we realized this was no tired old rehash from the past. The Other Side does include some new recordings of songs from way back in 1978, but don't think for a minute you're going to hear dinosaur progressive rock that sounds dated and old. The band's new lineup does indeed have many links to the band's original sound, but there are also plenty of modern energized sounds that update the Nektar sound to the present. Following the death of original singer/guitarist Roye Albrighton in 2016, original members Derek "Mo" Moore, Ron Howden, and Mick Brockett reunited in 2018 and were joined by Randy Dembo, Ryche Chlanda, and Kendall Scott. The reunion resulted in the recording of this album. Interestingly, the band is also out on the road this year promoting this one, much to the delight of their fans around the world. Over the past few years Nektar music has probably received far more attention than it ever did when the band was originally active in the 1970s. We can thank the internet for that. The Other Side is a true and credible addition to the Nektar catalog. These songs are smart and intricate, and the sound quality is excellent from start to finish. Energized progressive rock cuts include "I'm On Fire," "Skywriter," "Love Is / The Other Side," "The Light Beyond," and "Y Can't I B More Like U."

Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends - Protons and Electrons (Double CD, Seismic Wave Entertainment, Rock/pop)
Of all the releases we have heard thus far from Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends this one is perhaps their most confusing. It is also one of their best. This hefty double disc package features songs previously released as 7" vinyl singles and online split singles. The songs are divided into Protons (Disc 1, the A sides) and Electrons (Disc 2, the B sides, featuring songs by a variety of musical comrades). Neutron was one of the early artists revisiting the genre-bending sound of the 1990s. The band is comprised of Conan Neutron (vocals, guitar), Tony Ash (bass), and Dale Crover (drums). There's also a variety of talented guest artists lending their talents to different tracks. The band's singles highlight just how cool and catchy their music can be. Twelve fresh inspired compositions featuring driving rhythms, killer guitars, and focused vocals. Just as intriguing is the second CD that features a whole slew of artists delivering cool underground rockers by artists like Trophy Wives, Quivers, Thoughts Detecting Machines, Nonagon, Reptoid, Rally, The God Eaters, Turbo Lightning, Maple Stave, and Cartographer. Plenty of smart heavy underground cuts to satisfy even the most discerning hard rock fan. Rounding out the package is a cool foldout lyric sheet, provided so listeners can follow along with the intelligent wordplay. Conan Neutron and the Secret Friends always hit the target here in babysueland. And this time we're even more impressed than normal. Killer stuff. Recommended. Top pick.

Ben Noble - Where the Light Comes In (Independently released CD, Progressive techno pop)
If you're a fan of technology-driven modern pop, you're almost certain to find this album very intriguing. This is the second full-length release from Minneapolis, Minnesota-based recording artist Ben Noble. This fellow writes and records music that exists in that peculiar place where techno pop meets dream pop. The songs are soft and soothing and they're chock full of atmospherics and thick layers of sound. Whereas most electronic musicians record solo, many of these tracks also include the talents of outsiders. Noble does play most everything, but some very well-chosen guest artists lend their skills which adds extra zest to these tracks. What impresses us most about this guy's music is that it doesn't immediately recall any other specific artists or bands that we can think of. Sure, there are trace elements from other places...but the overall feel and vibe here are different. Soothing and strangely intoxicating, Where the Light Comes In just goes to show how well technology works with pop music when it's executed correctly. Nifty reflective cuts include "Night Wakes," "Bluebird," "Weeping Willow," "Earthshake," and "My Beautiful Blinding Light."

Not My God - Not My God (CD, Cleopatra, Industrial pop/rock)
The debut full-length release from the band Not My God. These guys begin their new band with a built-in audience, thanks to the fact that lots of music fans are already very familiar with their past endeavors. Not My God is the duo of Tim Skold and Nero Bellum. Skold has played in Marilyn Manson and Shotgun Messiah and Bellum played in Psyclon Nine. With the release of this self-titled album, the two take a trip back in time when industrial bands were a formidable force on the horizon. We loved all the industrial stuff that was happening the 1990s, so it's encouraging that more and more bands seem to be picking up the pieces and moving forward with this genre. There's a lot to take in here. Skold and Bellum present thirteen tracks chock full of smart electronics, distorted vocals, and an overall eerie vibe. Considering the state that the world is in at this point in time, it seems like this style of music is poised to make a credible comeback. If you love Marilyn Manson or just about any of the interesting goth/industrial artists from the 1990s, you're almost certain to get a major charge out of this album. Strangely poignant compositions include "Fiction," "Until the Pain Is Gone," "Murder Suicide," "Nevermore," and "13." Hats off to the folks at Cleopatra for releasing this one.

Terry Ohms - Cold Cold Shoulder (CD, Cornelius Chapel, Rock/pop)
If you're a fan of underground pop/rock and you've never heard Terry Ohms, now is the time to turn that situation around. We've enjoyed this guy's music in the past. But with the release of Cold Cold Shoulder we're pleased to report that this talented musician has reached a new peak. Birmingham, Alabama-based recording artist Terry Ohms' real name is Wes McDonald. He was previously in the bands Vulture Whale and The Ohms and also now plays drums in People Years (highly recommended). This solo release features McDonald doing everything. He engineered and produced this album and also played all the instruments. But don't expect this to sound like a one man project, because it does not. Unlike so many modern artists, Terry/Wes doesn't merely churn out digital junk on his laptop. These compositions feature real drums...lots of cool guitars...and totally cool grooves. His songs are timeless in that they don't sound like music from any specific time and they also bear very little resemblance to what's currently happening out there in the world in 2020. We love the fact that these recordings have an overall loose vibe. Things are not tweaked to perfection because they don't need to be. The main emphasis seems to be on a cool and inviting musical universe in which energy and focus are the prime motivating forces. The vocals are particularly on target. Ohms/McDonald sings with a casual 'who cares' kinda attitude. It's a perfect fit for the songs he writes. The more we spin Cold Cold Shoulder the more gripping the songs become. This is certainly not commercial pop. But it's not difficult underground noise either. This is simply a good solid album full of kickass rockin' tracks. Super satisfying cuts include "King of the Mountain," "What Do You Mean What Do I Mean?", "All in the Past," and "That Song." Recommended. Top pick.

Orqid - Tenderness (CD EP, Disco Couture, Electronica/pop)
What a great name for a band. Seems bizarre that no one thought of it before (?!). We were immediately impressed with this release. The package we received included a beautifully packaged CD, cool colorful stickers, a download card, and a press release. Orqid is Tom Butcher, a talented fellow whose music instantly recalls the 1990s when the world was chock full of thousands of talented electronic artists. Interestingly, the title track ("Tenderness") could very easily become a huge hit for this fellow. But rather than being a strictly commercial affair, this EP also presents tracks that are more artsy and less accessible. Although most people will probably focus on the title tune, it's the remaining five cuts that we find the most captivating. Butcher writes and records heady atmospheric electronic music with layers of breathtaking sounds. This is a truly cool EP that ought to please fans of electronica and electronic pop. In addition to the CD, this release is also available on 12" marbled vinyl. We're lovin' the tripped out sound of tracks like "Our Love," "Melting Heart," and "Civilizations." Smart, upbeat, and well-executed from start to finish.

Udo Pannekeet - Electric Regions (CD, In and Out of Focus, Progressive)
Solid and fulfilling solo release from Udo Pannekeet who is the current bass player in the long running band Focus. Unlike so many other groups who lose their spark and sell out over time, the guys in Focus have managed to stay credible and relevant for decades. The band seems determined to continually create music with substance. Now that the band and individual players have their own label (In and Out of Focus), the releases seem even more focused (no pun intended) and genuine. Electric Regions starts off with a bang. The lead track "Electric Regions Part One" is a lengthy and heady instrumental that goes all over the map and back. The album is rounded out by four additional tracks that are also precise and intricate. All of the compositions are Pannekeet originals. Lending their talents to these recordings are Marcel Serierse, Rein Godefroy, Jelle Roozenburg, Martijn Van Iterson, Eef Albers, Menno Gootjes, Tim Langedijr, Ilja Reijngoud, Jan Van Duikeren, Nils Van Haften, Tom Beek, Remco de Landmeter, Rene Ten Cate, and Jos de Haas (whew!). From start to finish, this album was crafted over a five year period. You can tell from these recordings that this was a true labor of love. These compositions are meticulously crafted and the playing is universally inspired. If you're a Focus fan, you'll definitely want to add this one to your collection. But just about anyone who enjoys good solid progressive rock will also want to get in on the action. Smooth, resilient, and intelligent music for the twenty-first century.

People Years - Animalism (CD, Cornelius Chapel, Underground pop/rock)
There sure seems to be a helluva lot of cool upcoming musical artists based in Alabama these days. Either that...or we're just receiving the cream of the crop thanks to the wonderfully taste-conscious folks at the Cornelius Chapel label. Either way, we can't help but think that we'll be taking a trip to Alabama soon to catch some of these bands live. The curiously-titled People Years is a band that does not sound like all the rest. The group is comprised of four guys who have all played in other bands in the past: Chris Rowell, Tony Oliver, Greg Slamen, and Wes McDonald. Driven by Rowell's songwriting skills, these guys make music that will undoubtedly catch on with the hippest of the hip folks in the underground. The songs on Animalism are reflective, smart, melodic, and different. Although these tracks have a strangely familiar overall sound, we're having the hardest time coming up with appropriate comparisons and/or possible influences. Although some of the songs do occasionally remind us of the criminally overlooked band Let's Active at times. These tracks possess that wonderful rare trait that makes you want to hear them over and over again. And the best part is...the more you hear 'em, the better they sound. Yup, these guys have managed to do everything right here. And although it's very early in 2020, we can easily say that this will end up being one of our favorite albums of the year. Inspired creative tracks include "Recognizable Animal," "Commonly Known," "You Don't Do Nature," and "Fear Culture." This one pushes all of our buttons just the way we like 'em pushed. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.



Billion of star and planet
In universe that extend
Beyond comprehension.
Meanwhile trivial human speck
Bicker and argue
Over nothing.


Pet the Tiger - Gaze Emanations: Pet the Tiger and Co. Perform Drawings by Brian Lucas (CD, Public Eyesore, Experimental)
We've never ever heard of anyone who who has the ability to "perform drawings"...so we immediately had an instinctual feeling that this album would be different. Add to this the fact that it has been released by the perpetually bizarre underground Public Eyesore label...and you've got a recipe for some decidedly wild and unpredictable stuff. Gaze Emanations: Pet the Tiger and Co. Perform Drawings by Brian Lucas is decidedly obscure and non-musical. Folks who require things like melodies and discernible lyrics will probably have a great deal of trouble digesting the compositions on this album. These abstract spontaneous audio experiments are collage-like. Sounds and ideas seem to randomly combine with one another before heading off in different directions. The musicians/artists are Bryan Day, Tom Djil, Phillip Greenlief, Cheryl Leonard, Tom Nunn, Suki O'Kane, Gino Robair, and Davis Samas. These compositions defy conventions. The musicians operate in a world where anything goes and the possibilities are endless. Housed in a slickly designed digipak sleeve complete with a booklet featuring those drawings by Lucas, this peculiar little package is only intended for folks interested in treading the outer realms of audio releases. Confusing and spooky tracks include "Radial Garden," "Accord," "Simultaneity Explained," and "Old Growth."

Anthony Phillips - Strings of Light (Double CD + DVD set, Cherry Red / Esoteric Recordings, Guitar/instrumental)
Legendary British guitarist Anthony Phillips is back with a new album. And it is fantastic. Of all the guys that played in the band Genesis, Phillips is the one we admire the most. And that's because he never ever sold himself out. Anthony was only in the band during their formative stage (the first two albums), but his importance was so extreme that when he quit the other guys considered completely giving up the ship. But while the other members did opt to continue and went on to achieve great fame and fortune, Mr. Phillips continued treading in underground waters where talent and integrity are what matter most. Over time many musicians lose their inspiration and drive. But that is definitely not the case here. Strings of Light is an album brimming over with inspiration, talent, and focus. Listening to this man play, it almost seems as if time never passed. His playing is just as meticulous and hypnotic as it was decades ago. This is a killer release that includes two full-length CDs and a DVD of the songs in 5.1 surround sound. The best guitarists are the ones who can truly convey feelings when playing the instrument. This is what makes Phillips really stand out from so many others. Hearing this man, you can actually feel what he's feeling. Soft, subdued, heady, and precise, these recordings are sparse and minimalistic. And this is perfect because it allows the listener to focus on the true substance that is inherent in these compositions. In a world where so many use technology as a crutch and overproduce everything to pieces, Strings of Light comes across like a crisp ray of sunlight amidst a sky full of dark grey clouds. Each and every track has something substantial to offer. Cool reflective cuts include "Jour de Fete," "Winter Lights," "Still Rain," "Mystery Tale," "Days Gone By," and "Life Story." Highly recommended. Top pick.

Pluralone - To Be One With You (CD, Org Music, Underground pop)
Wow. This is a really entertaining album. To be honest, before now we were never even familiar with Josh Klinghoffer (the man who is Pluralone). A quick search on the internet revealed the surprising news that Klinghoffer was previously the guitarist in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was, that is, until he was fired from his position with the band. The reason we were surprised by this connection is because we never ever cared for the Chili Peppers. Didn't like the songs. Didn't care for the image. And particularly didn't like the live performances. So, at least in our opinion, those guys did Josh a favor...because his own music is light years better than the music he was making with those guys. So what does To Be One With You sound like...? Well, imagine mixing very early Smashing Pumpkins songs with some really creative indie/electronic artists from the early 2000s...and you might begin to have some idea of what these tracks sound like. Klinghoffer's songs are smart and slightly perplexing. And his vocals immediately reminded us of a very young Billy Corgan (before fame and fortune killed that creative spirit). So okay, we have to admit that the audience for this kinda stuff is not nearly as large as the fan base for the Chili Peppers. And that's because music like this is intelligent and artsy and doesn't seem to have been created mainly for fame and fortune. So what we have here is an album that succeeds based purely on artistic integrity. Klinghoffer isn't making music for the masses this time around. And that is, of course, a very good thing. By allowing himself to tread into all sorts of territories with his music, he seems to be challenging himself and his listeners. After hearing this we can only hope he continues forging ahead with his own music. He's far better when he's doing things his own way. And ultimately he now stands the real chance of being considered a credible and genuine artist by people whose opinions matter. Groovy slightly trippy tracks include "Barreling," "Save," "Fall From Grace," and "Segue." Smart, unusual, and resilient. Recommended. Top pick.

Jonny Polonsky - Kingdom of Sleep (CD, Ghostworks Recordings, Progressive pop)
Lush, layered, hazy, dreamy progressive pop. Jonny Polonsky has been a very busy fellow over the past couple of decades. In addition to recording and releasing his own music, he's also been involved with the bands Big Nose and Puscifer and has lent his skills to recordings by an amazing array of well-known established artists. Although some highly influential folks have offered kind words of support for Polonsky, at least up to this point in time he remains an underground icon whose music is appreciated most by folks who aren't into the world of fabricated hits. Kingdom of Sleep is an exceedingly focused album chock full of inspired songs with a heavy emphasis on studio technique. These tracks have cool eerie qualities mainly due to the extremely subdued and hushed vocals. Jonny's voice is a perfect fit for the type of songs he writes. Although you'd never know it from listening to these tracks, Polonksy single handedly produced, engineered, arranged, composed, and performed everything. But never fear, these compositions don't have that sterile sound you may associate with one man recordings. This guy is a master craftsman in the world of sound and arrangements. Jonny's recordings are so polished and professional that many may wonder why he's not already hugely famous. There's an easy answer to that one. This guy's music is far too heady and complex for the average listener. As such, many may feel overwhelmed or confused when listening to Sleep. One thing is certain...it's a far cry from the world of commercial music in the United States in 2020. In terms of artistic success, this one hits the bull's eye dead center. The more we spin this album, the more remarkable the music sounds. Each and every track has something substantial and real to offer...but our initial favorites include "Ghost Like Soul," "Sign in the Window," "No Tears," "You Turn Me On," and "A Willing Eye." One of the most dreamy and ethereal albums we've heard in quite some time. This one's a true winner. Highly recommended. Top pick.

The Proper Ornaments - Mission Bells (CD, Tapete, Underground pop)
Although we realize that it's very early in the year to be making such a clam, we can state without hesitation that Mission Bells will easily end up being one of THE VERY BEST underground pop albums of 2020. This is the fifth full-length release from this exceptionally talented British band...and it just might be their best yet. Although these folks definitely have their own unique sound, a good reference point would be to say their music is in the same general vein as babysue favorite Starflyer 59. Groovy, moody, subdued pop music with subtle oddities that make it immediately stand out from the pack. The band is comprised of James Hoare, Bobby Syme, Max Oscarnold, and Nathalie Bruno. These four musicians make music that is exceedingly intelligent and well-crafted. Although these compositions have an overall laidback sound and feel, they are never ever boring. The arrangements are somewhat sparse but exacting. And the vocals are absolutely out-of-this-world fantastic. And if the songs and melodies aren't already enough to blow your mind, we should also mention that the lyrics are light years beyond what we normally hear in pop music. Smart, pensive, unusual, and delivered with cool restraint, the words are indeed one of the central focal points of this group's music. We'll be playing this album into the ground over the course of the next few months and years. It's that good. Wonderfully creative tracks include "Purple Heart," "Black Tar," "The Wolves at the Door," "Flophouse Calvary," "The Park," and "How Do You Get To Be So Cold." Highly recommended. TOP PICK.

Pyjamarama - Simple Living (CD-R, A Tant Rever Du Roi, Underground pop)
Although it's not stated on their bandcamp page, our guess is that the folks in this band got their name from the early Roxy Music single which was released to help promote the For Your Pleasure album. Scanning over the details the band does provide will probably pique the interest of many music fans. The three musicians in Pyjamarama compare what they're doing to Stereolab, Deerhoof, Pinback, Mozart, and Frank Lloyd Wright. The list might lead you to believe the music would be confusing and difficult, but instead the opposite is true. The tracks on Simple Living are light, breezy, smooth, and instantly warm and friendly. The band is comprised of Nicolas Cueille, Rachel Langlais, and Lucas Morin. On this, their second full-length release, they keep things simple and straightforward which allows listeners to appreciate the inherent substance in their music. These tracks are sparse and direct, but they're by no means brainless. Cueille, Langlais, and Morin know exactly what they're doing here. They present listener friendly music that is immediately catchy and simultaneously very danceable. Underground music fans will find a lot to love here. Kickass tracks include "Signals," "Cool Off," "The Zone," and "S.L.C. (Smart Lads Committee)." We forgot to mention...the band's favorite topics are UFOs, geometrical fiction, outer space communication, and dice games. Love it. Truly cool underground stuff that's infectious and effervescent. Recommended. Top pick.

Massimo Silverio - Null (this actually should be the null symbol rather than the word), (Independently released CD-R, Progressive)
A far cry from the commercial dreck that currently poisons the minds of listeners in the United States in 2020. Massimo Silverio is a vocalist, guitarist, cellist, and composer based in Carnia, Italy. And he makes music that is pure art. Deemphasizing any sort of commercial appeal, Silverio is obviously making music out of a pure passion for creativity. This is a short disc that clocks in at just over twenty-two minutes and only contains four tracks. But those tracks are ultimately meticulous, unusual, and inspired. And just so you know, he sings in Italian...which for us makes these compositions even more beautiful and interesting. Who does this sound like? No one else that comes to mind really. Our feeling is that the best word to describe these tracks is progressive, but this isn't like the sort of progressive music that most of us are familiar with. The second track ("Som") is particularly eerie and provocative. This is a daring and peculiar release that will challenge listeners and confuse the public at large. Truly beautiful stuff, crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

Smoke Fairies - Darkness Brings The Wonders Home (CD, Year Seven, Underground rock/pop)
Smoke Fairies is the British duo of Jessica Davies and Katherine Blamire. Darkness Brings The Wonders Home is a very different album that sounds very much unlike most everything we're hearing in 2020. This is the duo's first new album in four years, but for us it serves as an introduction. Davies and Blamire traveled to Seattle, Washington to record this album with producer Phil Ek (The Black Angels, Fleet Foxes, The Shins). The end result...is an album chock full of moody modern progressive pop with a peculiar overall sound and feel. Although the sound is much more current, while spinning this we couldn't help but be occasionally reminded of Curved Air. These two ladies write what might be described as slightly heavy progressive pop...but the vocals are decidedly smooth and melodic. And it's those wonderfully magical voices that make this music so ultimately stimulating and entertaining. It's difficult coming up with any other possible influences or obvious reference points because these ladies seem to be creating music that comes from their own combined consciousness. The songs are built around some truly cool guitar riffs...but they're also layered with just enough extras to give them extra punch and depth. Ten captivating cuts including "On The Wing," "Elevator," "Coffee Shop Blues," "Chew Your Bones," and "Don't You Want To Spiral Out of Control?"

Stutter Steps - Reeling (CD-R, Blue Arrow, Underground pop)
Cool and instantly memorable underground pop from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recording artist Stutter Steps. This band is the project created by Ben Harrison as an outlet for his musical output. This cool twelve track album occasionally recalls The Velvet Underground and alternative British pop artists from the 1980s. Harrison delivers his songs with understated precision, never forcing things and never burying the melodies underneath unnecessary layers of sound. He's got a nice loose vocal style that makes his songs come across particularly genuine and real. Lending their support on this album are Anthony Lamarca, Phil Jacoby, and Cindy Yogmas. During the day Harrison works as a curator for the Andy Warhol Museum. But our guess is that this talented fellow's true passion is making music. And that's because Reeling is a very cool and totally inspired spin. These tracks sound particularly out-of-place when compared with all the commercial dreck that's so popular in the United States in the twenty-first century. And that, of course, is a very good thing. Defined and well-crafted compositions include "Giant Sand Heart," "Keepin' On," "Been Here," and "Radar."



The sum
Of each and all
Is equal to
Dirty purple


VvvV - The Wreck (CD, Metro Beach, Electronic/pop/rock)
No, we did not make up this band name. The curiously-titled VvvV is an electronic duo based in Bordeau, France. When you hear the words electronic duo in 2020 you probably have a good idea of what the overall sound is. But if so, our guess is that the music on The Wreck may surprise you. Instead of creating digital dribble that sounds just like everyone else, these two guys make their music using analog synthesizers plugged into powerful guitar amps. The end result...are some intriguing tracks that sound something like an electronic version of hard rock played without guitars. The duo consists of Bardou-Jacquet and Le Mage who have already made names for themselves in the bands Franco Divine and Year Of No Light. The compositions on this album merge elements from a variety of different genres including pop, rock, dub, dance, new wave, kraut rock, industrial, shoegazer, and more. Considering how eclectic these songs are, it seems amazing that they also have a good deal of potential commercial appeal. This is the second VvvV album, and it should please diehard fans of underground electronic pop/rock. The vocals are surprisingly smooth, and these tracks have melodies that are instantly catchy and easy to follow. The more we spin this disc the cooler these tracks sound. Eight groovy modern classics here including "Mirrors," "Paradise," "Resonances," and "Sparkline Neons."



What ting you want?
You must want
Rotten dam


Gary Wilson - Tormented (CD, Cleopatra, Rock/pop)
Great cover art on this one. Gary Wilson presents himself as a real oddball with his big shaggy hair, weird sunglasses, and exceedingly messy lipstick. Wilson has been active on-and-off for many years. He started recording way back in the mid 1970s, developed a cult following, disappeared completely, and then started making music again in the 2000s after some key individuals cited him as a major influence. Tormented is a peculiar spin, but probably one that fits right in with Gary's discography. Some of the melodies in these songs remind us of Frank Zappa, but only slightly. We're also occasionally reminded of babysue favorite The Frogs. Wilson is apparently one of those cool guys out there who does what he wants to do with little regard for commercial success or monetary gain. That said, many of these tracks are surprisingly accessible. Sixteen tracks in thirty-two minutes. How cool is that? Some of our initial favorites here include "A Special Day," "Life With the Sin Eater," "The Wind and the Trees," "Frank Roma is Tormented," "Where Is Linda," and "A Sad Town." This album makes us want to go back and discover all of Gary's previous releases. He's a truly strange man playing the game his own way. Smart, unusual, and quirky.

Additional Items Received:

Academics for Pure Boredom - Slurps
Additional Items Composed - Reversal of radishes
Additional Items Reversed - Back to the additional items
Adele - My frisky rat puppy done ate my head off
Alice Copper - Lob it to Seth
Allman Brothers - Aunt Sissy's lather bastard
Am Not - Am too
Anohni - Hopelessness
Anthroplod - Plodroanth
Antlers for Booboo - Oh no not that tired old runt again
Ape - Don't say no words
Apples Got Smushy - Train smush
Application For Crap - Please submit crap
Athens Is Not A City - Trauma for the bush animals
August Wish - Traps for punted
Augusta Is Not A City - Wilma for the plush panels

Bad Bump - Banana tread
Badfigure - Crooked down
Bambi Dambi - Lambi
Ballerina Pumps - Blackass
Barge - Limpy
Beadulls - Desmocker
Beatles - Medium
Beatles - Medium rare
Beatles - Rare
Beatles - Not as rare
Beatles - Stuff that was never recorded
Beatles - Stuff that we wish had never been recorded
Bee Numb - Numb bee
Beyonce - Sorry album
Beyonce - I can dance but that's about it
Beyonce - My face is ugly
Beyonce - Don't you get tired of hearing my stupid name all the time
Beyonce - I'm really a boring old hag
Beyonce - My fans have poor taste
Beyond the Beyonder - Blander and blander
Bjork - Jorky B
Black Tabitha - Pastor of senility
Blankets for Blankets - Laps
Blender in a Blinder - Fizzle
Bobo's Pretty Duster - Lamp off, lamp on
Davis Bowee - All the dumb dudes
Breezer the Flew - Like dazzlers in fume
Garth Brooks - I've recorded tons and tons and TONS of music
Garth Brooks - And yet you babysue folks have never reviewed ANYTHING
Garth Brooks - What is wong with you goddamn undergroud music snobs?
Garth Brooks - I'm rich, rich, RICH
Garth Brooks - If you've got lots of money, nobody cares if your voice is shitty
Bumps Fifty - West
Jenna Bush - Why does my face resemble the rectum of a pig?
Jenna Bush - Trying way too hard to be clever and cute
Butler Pudding - Lippity gris gris
Buzz's Lamp Cord - Tawny frink

Car Mump - Dazed and refused
Casket of Corformity - Laser dog
Cast of Cast - Lastly
Cat Grave - Mickey's laboratory
Cesula - Maid in martians
Chance The Rapper - Coloring book
Chicky Chicky Clock - Rump of the month slob
Chump - Malaria
Chunks of Paisley Pumps - Lordy the snore is a plaza burn
Eric Clapton - I still don't know what a guitar is
Phil Collins - No vocal skills required
Sean Combs - How come I never get reviewed in babysue?
Sean Combs - You don't like me just because I'm hugely famous
Sean Combs - Hey, I make a lot of money you underground jerks
Sean Combs - I'm rich, rich, RICH...ain't that what it's all about?
Sean Combs - Lookin' ugly for everyone
Come To Lulu's Nurse - Romp and the bumpy tum tum
Confederate Railroad - Happy to snort crystal speed
Conscious Or Not - Grumpy lazy
Crap You Like - Tape measure
Crosby, Stills & Nash - We were friends once upon a time
Crunchy Links - Switches and prawns
Miley Cyrus - How come I never get mentioned in babysue?
Miley Cyrus - I guess it's because my music lacks substance
Miley Cyrus - I wish I wasn't dull and boring
Czerchnkii - Dim

Dadfinger - Where's dad's finger when you need it?
Dae Dae - Mae Mae
Daisy Days - Freezing
Damn People - Damn People
Damn Tumblers - Damn Tumblers
Damn Warp - Damn Warp
Damn Zoo - Damn Zoo
Devonte - I'm fish food now
Diets Are For Dimwits - Lassie's lost pudding cup
Dimmer than Dim - Inputs
Diorssi - New York is my damn
Dirty Pennies - Flocks and pimps
Doves That Die Today - Lassie
Drake - Setting a bad example for the world
Driplite Dirtbag - Directional
Dry Potato - Sync
Ducks for Ducks - Nine hundred ponies
Dumb Sounds - Like Nanny and the poodle

Each and Each - Teach
Eachy - Preachy
Eat The Bounty Feathers - Naptime
Ectonerf - Bah baddah bah
Elephant Muff - Beneath the blurry knob
Elves and Bumpy Thumpers - Original motion picture soundtrack
Emergency Flakes - Phasers
Empty - Flow
Empty Flower - 1 2 3 4
Enough for Five Thousand - One bottle
Enter the Entrance With Lockets - Glasses on the puddle
Eventually We'll All Die With Nothing - Pom poms
Everyone But - But Everyone
Ewe - Ranch funk
EZ - Not so

FA - La la
Famous Famous - Converter
Far Out Far In - Farin
Faxes Forever - Limp little pixies
Ferz - Lizzy
Fifty Million - Zero lads
Finks Forever - Live at the dead
Five Times Fifty-Five - Live
Four Times Four Is Four - Five times
Foxes - All I need
Fume - Lumps
Funky Laminate - Parking
Fur For Francis - Pouches

Gang of Flower - Untertainment
Gas Pumps - Last primper
Gauge Rage - Now cow
Germany's Burp - Lamp drill
Get Your Begging Done - Tower bitch
Vince Gill - Down to my last bad habit
Goddamn Children - Goddamn us all to hell
Graham Slackers - Naturally grabby
Ariana Grande - My fame proves that people are retarded schmucks
Grandmothers and Grandfathers - Nothing else to live for except the goddamn grandchildren
Grass Patches - Dolby
Josh Groban - Sitting on a toilet for charity

Hamster on a Bun - Heartache on a bun
Hamster on a Lettuce Leaf - Try to find something to stuff in your cheeks
Jennifer and Sarah Hart - Where did our love go
Jennifer and Sarah Hart - We loved Jesus very much
Jennifer and Sarah Hart - Happy together forever because we died together
Hay - Hay
Hazle - Measurements
Hell for Humans - Happiness is a dumb puppy
Help Me Help Me - Liver
Help the Hopeless - Bloody hearts get you nowhere
Hissy - Laserbon
Hitt - Dawn for the loud birds
Hizzers - Stuck
Whitney Houston - Howzuh bauwduh nuthuh drank?
Whitney Houston - You put water in my drink
Ian Hunted - Punts and nuttters
Husperate - ADN
Hut for Henry - Universe of sandy
Huzzle - Earlier albums

Ian - Jackknife
Icky - Picky, picky, picky
If It Dies Don't Touch It - I offered more than they wanted and they took it
If You Knew Nothing You Would Be Nothing - Drips
Inky Doll - Dampness and dryness
In The End The Beginning - Ridgefield
It Stays Warm - Square butter
IX Lamb Sweater - To each his each
IZZ - Each his to his

Alan Jackson - Now that I'm a girl
Alan Jackson - Now that I'm half a girl
Alan Jackson - My dress has a big tear in it
Alan Jackson - And my eyeliner is all messed up now
Michael Jackson - Off the floor
Michael Jackson - Towers of mops
Michael Jackson - Nose dopes
Jerry's Apple - Towers
Jerry's Crud - Narry a buster
Jersey is Swervy - Translustre
Jethro Toil - Sick as a tick
Jethro Wump - Aquatong
Jethro Zoo - Minstrel in the snake exhibit
Elton John - Where did my voice go?
Jones Is A Donkey - Drammamine
Jones Is An Elephant - Mine ain't mine
Judas Priest - Battle cry
Junk Is Just Junk - Lady trunk

Kaas - Lacey
Kalesh - Kaos
Kandy and the Ks - Lassie's drool
Kows - Land of the Kows
Kraftlunch - Radio lunch
Kraftdinner - Electric dinner
Kraftsnack - Trans euro snack
Krap - Krap
Krazy Cow - Lots of tips
Krunchy Krunch - Captain's caps and tons
Kudzu's Lamp - Drastic
Kunks - The Late Glossy Kunks Album

Lab Crutch - Tramps that David hates
Ladies For Pretzels - Louder than the other thing that we had discussed earlier
Lady Gaga - How come I never get mentioned in babysue?
Lady Gaga - If I look really strange, nothing else matters
Lamb Peppers - Smuppy
Lamps for the Homeless - These goddamn things don't work
Cindi Lauper - Elderly grandmothers with bad hair colors
Laxative Preamble - Naps and snappers
Let There Be Let - Now there be meow
Lisa Said - First time, long time
Lists - Stop the Lists
Loretta Lynn - Sings her favorite Nine Inch Nails songs
Loud and Loud - Dull and dull
Lumineers - Cleopatra
Lumps - Lousy mouses
Lung Disease - Trowel

Manners and Nanners - Tablets for pokey
Maroon 5 - Music for shitheads
Maroon 5 - Stupid people love our music
Maroon 5 - Our lead singer is one ugly old homo
Trayvon Martin - Skittuzz fo evuhbuddeh
Trayvon Martin - Juss a boy on his way to duh candee sto
Masta Ace - The falling season
Matchbox - Going down there
Math for Math's Sake - Plazas
Maze Lops - Trazzler
Mazer's Big Torch Bucket - Lipsy
Bruce McArthur - People in pots
Bruce McArthur - Landscape architect blues
Bruce McArthur - Big 'n' playful
Paul McCartney - Nursing home blues
Tim McGraw - Do anything for charity
Tim McGraw - Do anything to make money
Millie's Pork Bucket - Boxes won't go away
Money for Puny People - Lucky drop
Monkey Chuck - Arlene
Monkey Davis - Nervous
Monkey Pauline - Damnable
Moo Moo the Bow Wow - Trouser's ain't fresh no more
Motorhead - Clean your clock
Motorbutt - Clock your cleaners
Mrowl - Prowling for mrowl
Murphy and Nop - Dammy and slop
Murphy and Nuns - Drippy nun bitches
Murphy's Paw - Plaid and dumb
My Evening Girdle - Snippets and drabble
My Evening Snot - Things my animals forget to learn

David Nail - Fighter
Nasal and Tonsil - Lasers and urchers
Ned and the Headrumpers - Trowels
Aaron Neville - Apache
Newsboys - God's not dead
New York Dolls - We weren't real dolls
New York Dolls - We were real dolls
New York Dolls - We were really from Portland
New York Dolls - But we realized no one would buy music by the Portland Dolls
No More Blouses - Farmy
No More Bundt Cakes - Prowler
No More Cactus - Deal or no no
Nothing That You Haven't Heard Before - Repeat it
Now Cows - Blouses and thermometers
Numb's Fumbler - Town and mouth

Octorub - Norbie
Oh No That Old Shithead Is Here Again - Rotten old schmucks with no manners
Oooh - Uuuuuh
Oooh Oooh - Uuuuuh uhhh
Opposite of Opposite - Lopposite
Orange Floyd - Sharp glide of the goon
The Orb - It's 1963 and the stripes are grinding
The Orb - Big fluffy omelets
Osmosis - USB #7
Other Muzzles - Howdy Pops
Oz and the Schnoz - Pow wows and monkeys

Painted Fuss - Nope
Pants and Pantless - Rainy press
Part Blub - Fran is ugly
Dolly Parton - Lots of money makes me happy
Dolly Parton - Lots of attention makes me happy
Dolly Parton - Lots of everything makes me happy
Paws With Fingers - Ink bus
Pet Shop Boys - Super
Poodle Powder - Dust of the dawgie
Mike Posner - At night, alone
Pranks for Steak Loads - Heaps of slop
The Puddles - Nappy load
Punk Biscuits - Sap
Punk Noodles - Take this noodle and cook it
Puny - Runny infection
Pusfergradison - Nay, the basket sayeth

Quacks - Trippy truck
Quails and Trucks - Lamb power
Queen For A Tray - Lower the pork
Query - Stop the questions
Quest for Dope - Smoking snuff
Quails Got Drunk - Beer and tissue paper
Quarternelson - A trotter in snuffer's cloning
Quicker Than Daffy - Cords that don't work
Quiet Little Worm Thing - Never thought about it and never want to now
Quiz Germs - Links that don't work
Quurtie - Lousy bench

Radiodud - Half of the basic shop
Radishes - Lavish stickers
Debbie Rafter - Lemme after
Raws - Raws and raws
Reel to Raoul - Mouthpiece
Reform Club - Never yesterday
Rely On Relish - Candy dash
Mick Rhodes & The Hard Eight - Paradise city
Roasted Trap - Asia's not there anymore
Rolling Bones - Get your mama's kraut
Rolling Chunks - Flower pots
Rolling Dammits - Sure thing not sure
Rolling Elderly People - Stocky plungers
Rolling Joints - Finky stinkers
Rolling Monkeys - Monkeys on Main Street
Rumpy - USBs and RTDs
Runny - Tippy's revenge
Rush - Beneath, between and behind
Ruzzer - Bow to the Ruzzer
Rylo - The dog's head is not steady anymore

Larry Samual - Barney doesn't have hugs for me
Santa Died Last Night - Presenting...
Santa Did It - Lamenting
Ed Sheeran - How come I never get mentioned in babysue?
Ed Sheeran - It's because my music is crummy, isn't it?
Ed Sheeran - Why do I look and sound so crummy?
Ed Sheeran - Are there any questions that have answers?
Blake Shelton - Can't help it if I'm a boring dullard
Blake Shelton - If you're into what I do you're obviously on the wrong web site
Blake Shelton - If people think I'm handsome they must really be confused and retarded
Shotgun Louise - Rampy dim
Shotgun Tina - Lousy lamps
Shotgun Zappa - Mouses and mouses
Smashing Drumsticks - Pass the pepper
Smuppy - The tatters that ground pepper
Sparse - Kim's Ono spy mouse
Bruce Springsteen - The Crazy Boss
Bruce Springsteen - I'm a generic old woman now
Bruce Springsteen - Shallow songs that everyone can buy
Barbra Streisand - Barfing up my breakfast
Styx - Suite madame blue: Radio broadcast 1977
Sultans of Swing - Subcontinental drift
Swap and Change - Loudness weird
Swenter - Flowers
Taylor Swift - How come I never get reviewed in babysue?
Taylor Swift - Well, if your publicist would send something...you might.
Taylor Swift - Really?
Taylor Swift - Sure
Swy - Rent

Tai Tai - Lists
Talking Sheds - Lambs forking up tonsils
Tea For Lunch - Massachusetts isn't a country
Teepee Tupperware - Laura's butter pand
Telltale - Taller toll
Thuds - Ready for emperors
Thunder - All you can eat
Justin Timberlake - Can't stop being shallow
Tonk - Thoughtly
Trilly Dills and Damp Dippers - Witch white
Trunk Idiots - Laugh when it's all over
Try To Try - Stop and try
Tummy Bus - Lambs and prawns
Tunker - Lassie's paw
TZ397 - Rowl the smunk

Ugly Banana - How do the hussy wink
Ugly Orange - Do the mouse
Ultraplucks - Eyebrow mania
Umbrella Vision - Church of tassle
Uncle Duck - Mushed
Uncle Pregnant - Does and rodents
Carrie Underwood - I'm proof that people will buy anything
Carrie Underwood - Making money is more important than making good music
Carrie Underwood - Cliff diving lesbians
Keith Urban - More pork from my smelly pig face

Various Artists - A collection of dull dribble that no one will ever notice
Various Artists - We stopped makin' em because they stopped buyin' em
Various Artists - No one buys these kinds of compilations anymore so that's why we keep producing 'em
Various Artists - Tribute to someone whose name we can't remember
Various Artists - Trying to get something heard never works
Various Artists - The most boring bands you never cared to hear
Various Artists - We're the last ones to know the last ones
Various Artists - Our albums are always the first to get thrown away
Various artists - Who gets to eat the trash

Wally Is Near - Stamp that thing goodbye
Wanda and the Wandas - Limp
We Don't Get It - Now is the now
Well I Guess This Is Just Another One - Lumps
Whether Or Not - Lousy weather
Why Can't We Eat It In The Car - Marbly
William XIII - XIII or 238
Wind That Goes - Don't

X - The day we tied our shoes wrong
Xie - La la the distance away
X-ray Pecs - Lookie away
X-ray Stats - Box cutters and tramplers
Xzistance - Lift down

Yack Yack - Tacky tick
Yell All The Time For Whatever You Pay For It - Taxi service
Yellow Floyd - Park wide until noon
Yesterday's Potties - Damp portions
Yes We Will Be Bananas - Trap doors
Yes You - You guessed it
You might - Yes you might
You never - Well I never
Young and Bland - Stick, stuck
Yoyos for Panama - Sharp
Yoyos for Zop - Trollo mia presto
Yuck This Tastes Awful - Don't eat it then

Zappa and the Zappettes - Trown
Frank Zappa - How flowers got in the potty train
Frank Zappa - Lukewarm mouses
Zi - See Zi play
Zunk - How the leaves got patchy
Zupper - Towels for Blanche
Zyle - Twelve and fifty


©2020 LMNOP (aka dONW7)