April 2021 Comics, Poetry and Reviews
babysue comix #398
babysue comix #399
The Deathray Davies*
Dedicated Men of Zion*
Dino DiMuro & Friends*
Down By Law
Ex Norwegian & Friends*
Richard Hell and the Voidoids
Kaleidoscope & Fairfield Parlor*
Ted Russell Kamp
The Last Shall Be First (VA)*
Sook-Yin Lee & Adam Litovitz
Jesus comic #78
The Luxembourg Signal*
The Stan Laurels*
Too Much Joy
Unquiet Music Ltd
The Wedding Present*
Additional Items Received
April 2021 Thought: Let us explain what we are doing.
We'd like to take a moment to explain what we are doing.
But before we do, we'd like to ask that you explain what you are doing.
After you explain what you are doing we will explain what we are doing.
After we have both finished explaining what we are doing we will all do something else.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tamar Aphek - All Bets Are Off (CD, Exag / Kill Rock Stars, Underground rock)
Tamar Aphek is an unconventional musician by just about anyone's standards. I rarely hear underground musical artists from Israel. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting here. One thing is certain. Aphek's music sounds nothing like what is currently popular in the United States. Tamar has an interesting background. For years she sang in a children's choir, took piano lessons, got a musical conservatory education and a degree in law studies. Considering all of this, you would expect this album to sound very commercial and tame. But that's definitely not what's happening here. Aphek composes and records underground rock that may remind many listeners of underground stuff that was swirling around in the 1990s. There doesn't seem to be any attempt to sound commercial or to come up with any hits. Tamar is treading in alternative guitar rock/pop territory and she's not afraid to take chances. All Bets Are Off is a concept album that "tells the story of the cyclicality of moving from the dark side to the bright side of life." That's a hefty mission for any album. But on this endeavor, Aphek succeeds admirably. Cool guitars abound on this one. And I particularly like Tamar's very reserved slightly detached vocals. Nine well-crafted compositions including "Russian Winter," "All I Know," "Beautiful Confusion" and "Nothing Can Surprise Me."
American Culture - For My Animals (CD / Vinyl LP, Happy Happy Birthday To Me, Underground pop)
This is one of those albums that might never have reached my mailbox if it weren't for the progressive and open-minded folks at Athens, Georgia's Happy Happy Birthday To Me label. In the early 1990s I heard tons of artists who sounded something like American Culture. The tracks on For My Animals are exactly like what they are. These compositions were recorded at home with little or no regard for any sort of commercial appeal. The songs are simple and they have the overall sound of someone simply having a great time at home making music on their own terms. I rarely hear this sort of album in 2021 and that's probably because almost everyone now has the ability to tweak everything to perfection. In some cases, that's a good thing. But in other cases, it means all personality gets lost in the process. Folks who want processed music won't understand this one at all. But folks who understand and appreciate the true undercurrents of underground music in the United States in 2021 will find a lot to appreciate here. Cool strangely hypnotic pop cuts include "Silence," "Small Talk," "Drug Dealer's House," "Dub For Eagle" and "Natural Violence."
Jon Anderson - Songs of Seven (CD, Esoteric Recordings / Cherry Red, Progressive pop)
Of all the progressive bands from the 1970s, the guys in Yes have perhaps experienced the most staying power. It could be because they were a 'musicians band,' appreciated most by others who also made music themselves. Or it could just be because they were so good at what they did. We've already seen a host of reissues of the band's classic releases. Over the past few years reissues of the band members' solo releases have also begun to emerge. Originally reissued on CD on the Wounded Bird label, Jon Anderson's second solo album now receives the deluxe reissue treatment thanks to the fantastic folks at Esoteric (one of my favorite British labels). Anderson's solo albums were never as warmly received as Yes releases which seems odd, because a lot of what he did without the band sounded very similar. This reissue includes all the tracks from the original album (of course) plus the bonus cuts "Some Are Born (U.S. promotional single edited Version)" and "Heart of the Matter (U.S. promotional single short version)." Housed in a meticulously-designed digipak sleeve, this release includes a thick color booklet featuring lyrics and a lengthy essay about the album courtesy of Malcolm Dome. Originally released in 1980, Songs of Seven will now reach an entirely new audience who never heard the tracks when they were originally released. Smart progressive pop cuts include "For You, For Me," "Some Are Born," "Everybody Loves You," and "Song of Seven."
The Ataris - Live in Chicago 2019 (CD, Kung Fu / Cleopatra, Rock/pop)
This live album is an intriguing reminder of what life used to be like in the world of music before 2020. Loud rockin' music played like there's no tomorrow while hoards of music fans pulsated to the music. Remember when...? And the amazing part is...it wasn't that long ago. This album finds the band playing for a packed house of appreciative fans in Chicago in 2019. The band was on fire on this particular night, and these tracks capture all the excitement for fans to enjoy for decades to come. Unlike so many popular artists in the twenty-first century, Kristopher Roe, Dustin Phillips, Danny Duke and Michael Doherty play loud rockin' music that is fueled by super loud guitars and perpetually throbbing rhythms. This band's music is a far cry from the digitally tweaked crap that most listeners now prefer. The sound quality of this live recording is superb. So good, in fact, that these songs rival many of the band's studio recordings. Another plus is the fact that the audience noise is relatively low and doesn't get in the way of the music. Kickass rockers include "In This Diary," "The Hero Dies In This One," "Takeoffs and Landings," and "All Songs At Once." A reminder of the way things were...and the way things may be again...soon. Uplifting and truly rockin' stuff. Cool.
Jesse Aycock - Jesse Aycock (CD, Horton, Underground pop)
Up to this point in time, Jesse Aycock has mainly been acting as a supporting artist for other musicians. But with the release of this self-titled album, that all may be about to change. This is not Aycock's debut album, but our guess is that it will serve as an introduction for many listeners (including us). When I heard the first track ("Shed The Light") my instincts told me this was going to be a pure pop album. But that is not the case. After the first track (which sounds very much like a single), things head off into more subdued and moody territory. Many of these songs have a strange sadness threaded through them. They're not depressing, they just have a melancholy self-awareness that is strangely appealing and different. Some of the songs recall early John Lennon while others are slightly reminiscent of Big Star's Third album. Aycock has a voice that is immediately identifiable. He sometimes sounds a bit like Neil Innes, although my guess is that this is not intentional. What I like best about this album is that it is not obvious. Instead of creating songs that are simple and instantly catchy, Jesse seems to prefer baring his soul and communicating real thoughts and feelings to his listeners. Some of these songs have an unbelievable amount of possible commercial potential. A song like "Sadder Than A Sunset" could easily become a classic standard in the years to come. If you love alternative country, folk, or just good solid mid-tempo guitar pop you're sure to find a lot to appreciate here. Aycock has the songs and the personality to go all the way. Impressive and substantial stuff.
babyflow - Oblivious (Limited Edition Vinyl LP, Wildflow, Pop)
On the very first spin babyflow immediately reminded me of Flo & Eddie (also known as The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie aka Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan aka The Turtles). babyflow is the musical project created by Appalachian indie artist Anthony W. Rogers. Unlike the usual twenty-first century that contains songs that all fit within the narrow confines of one style of music, Oblivious goes all over the map and back. You really never quite know what to expect from track to track. Some cuts have a serious overall sound while others are slightly silly and goofy. To get back to the first reaction... Some of these songs sound very much like stuff that was recorded by Flo & Eddie very early in their career(s). Even the arrangements and vocals are eerily similar at times. When's the last time you heard an artist whose music recalls Volman and Kaylan? Joining Anthony on these tracks are Blake and Joe Rogers, Aaron and Sean Liller, Bryson Bush and Pierce Miller. This is a seriously limited edition release. Only 250 copies are being made available for purchase. Good solid music with a decidedly classic twist. Some tracks that initially caught my attention include "Daddy Got Played," "Substitute For Science," "Greaser," "Invisible Mask," and "Karen For Hire." This one comes from a different musical universe than just about anything I've heard thus far in 2021. Neat stuff.
breviT - Small Worlds (Independently released CD-R, Abstract underground pop)
I sometimes wonder why I continue writing about music. After all, most music is now almost free in one form or another out there. And for every cool contact that I make, I probably make about ten times more enemies because people are either disappointed or angry when I don't have time to listen to or write about their music. And that's frustrating because I really don't want to disappoint folks who are kind enough to get in touch. It's a difficult situation to be certain. But then sometimes something comes along like the band breviT...and I realize why I continue forging ahead with this hobby. Being turned onto stuff like this is most certainly the thing that motivates me. In a world where everyone is bombarded with way too much stuff, I feel very fortunate that gems like this find their way into my trusty little post office box. breviT is a solo project created by a nameless individual based in Massachusetts who does everything his way. Like the name suggests, the emphasis seems to be on composing and recording songs without filler. In his own words, the breviT guy states "The songs say what they have to say and then get the hell out of Dodge." I couldn't have said it better myself. So what does the music sound like? Hard to say, really. Although I could probably best sum it up as abstract underground pop. Very few other artists come to mind while spinning this album, although in a couple of instances I was reminded of Sparklehorse. These songs are decidedly not commercial. That said, they are also not unlistenable by any means. This fellow writes strangely puzzling subdued compositions that are slightly challenging, but ultimately very easy on the ears and mind. Each and every track on Small Worlds has something credible and unique to offer. And the more you hear 'em, the better they sound. Standout cuts include "Promise," "Nobody's Lament," "If I Could" (our favorite), "Breathe Deep," "In the Way" and "Round & Round." It's refreshing to come across an artist like this whose music rivals just about anything out there. Wildly creative and different...and ultimately refreshing and resilient in every way possible. Highly recommended. Top pick.
Push a button.
Cast a spell.
Make 'em all go
Straight to Hell.
Camera - Prosthuman (CD, Bureau B, Progressive)
Before I get into the music here I must admit that before this release arrived I was not familiar with the band Camera. And that's kinda embarrassing since they've been around for about a decade. Better late than never, however...and that idea certainly rings true here. I've been a big fan of the whole progressive rock thing from the 1970s for many years. Accordingly, I have also been very impressed with the continuing onslaught of twenty-first century bands who are heavily influenced by the progressive and experimental artists from that ultra-fertile period in musical history. The press release that accompanied this album put the band in the same general category as classic artists like Neu!, Can and La Dusseldorf. Camera is based in Berlin, Germany and their music definitely has that strange experimental German electronic sound that fans of the underground know and love. The strangely titled Prosthuman is an experimental album, but not so much as to make it unlistenable. The gents in this band have the good sense to balance their creative side with just enough familiar substance to make it entertaining for listeners. The band is currently comprised of Steffen Kahles, Timm Brockmann, Tim Schroeder, Alex Kozmidi and Michael Drummer. You can bet your booties that this album won't be commercially successful in the United States. The music is much too intelligent and creative. But these guys aren't playing for the masses anyway. This music is for those who demand and require sound with multiple layers of thought and subtle threads of psychedelia. Each and every track has something unique and substantial to offer. But some of my initial favorites include "Kartoffelstampf," "El Ley," "Schmarf" and "Harmonite." Slightly puzzling and brilliantly executed progressive rock that is often spellbinding and curious. Recommended. Top pick.
Dolph Chaney - This Is Dolph Chaney (CD, Big Stir, Underground pop)
Look out pop music fans. Dolph Chaney's back. And this time he's hit one totally out of the ballpark. Chaney impressed lots of folks with his last release (Rebuilding Permit). That album had a great deal of unique charm, and lots of folks really loved the simple stripped down sound. When I first heard that Chaney had gone for a more polished studio sound this time around, I was kinda concerned. Would the elements that were appreciated so much last time remain intact? Well, hell, the answer is YES. All those elements are still there...but now they've been upped several notches. For this humorously-titled album Dolph teamed up with Nick Bertling (of Bertling Noise Laboratories) and together the two created a modern pop masterpiece. These songs have a much more punchy percussive sound than the last album. But the reason the new approach seems to work so well is probably because of the choice of material. These songs are ultra strong and memorable. And there are no clunkers to be found, period. Several are like mental glue, impossible to get out of your head once you hear them. Even Chaney's voice sounds more focused and gripping. Whereas Rebuilding Permit reminded me of folks like Scott Miller and Alex Chilton, This Is Dolph Chaney reminds me more of The Raspberries at times (and coming from me that's a huge compliment). All of these songs sound like potential hits, but my initial favorites include "I Wanted You," "Cuddle Party," "Pleasant Under Glass," "My Good Twin" (this one is over-the-top killer), "Worship Song" and "Graveyard Shift." If you enjoyed Chaney's music before, chances are you'll be totally blown away by this album. Smart fine-tuned pop music that is inspired and truly resilient. Highly recommended. Top pick.
David Claman - Gradus (CD, Albany, Modern classical/experimental)
Subtle, provocative and sometimes strangely chilling. David Claman isn't taking any of the usual routes in the world of music. Overall, his compositions can probably best be described as modern classical. Some tracks come across like ambient soundscapes while others are pure spontaneous experimentation. David is appealing to a very esoteric audience. You really never know what to expect from one track to the next. The album begins with a strange guitar instrumental ("Loose Canons") before treading into the world of experimental voice manipulation ("The Next Number"). And then two piano tracks appear with an unusual operatic soprano (John McDonald and Elizabeth Farnum). The average listener may very well get lost in the creativity here. But that doesn't matter in the least, because those folks are not the ones Claman is creating music for anyway. This man operates in a world where anything can be a composition regardless of the style or overall sound. I particularly love the tracks featuring cello and violin, but that's most likely because I normally love those instruments in general. There's a lot to take in here. Over seventy-four minutes of sound (!). Gradus is a sonic journey that is puzzling and yet astoundingly unique. Impeccable sound quality from start to finish. An exceedingly well-executed album in all respects.
The Deathray Davies - Time Well Wasted (CD, State Fair, Underground pop)
It's been quite a while since I've heard anything from this band. And that's because they haven't released any new material for about 15 years (!). They had such great material and seemed to be on the verge of going somewhere when they opted to stop. The good news for fans and the band is...they're back. And they didn't just pop up to retread old material or sound more mature and laid back. Time Well Wasted is a fine return to form, chock full of instantly friendly and ultra catchy pop tunes that ought to put just about anyone in a great frame of mind. Songwriter and bandleader John Difilho has lost absolutely none of his magic. This album spins like a non-stop string of underground pop hits. Difilho and the band keep things simple in terms of arrangements so that listeners can focus on the sinfully engaging melodies. Thirteen brand new tracks and they all sizzle with the kind of excitement normally associated with folks who have just learned to play and record. Although it seems to have taken a back seat in recent years to other forms of music (?), it seems as if indie pop may be on the verge of making another breakthrough. At this point in time when people need upbeat escapist music, there couldn't be any better time than now to get all up and involved with albums like Time Well Wasted. This is the kinda album I'll be playing for months as I chunk along in my sturdy little ol' pickup truck...uh...I mean limousine (of course). I am so happy to see and hear this band back in the saddle. Killer tracks include "Tapping On The X-Ray," "False Alarm," "Don't Let Me Fall," "Then You Met Me" and "Trust Me Tonight." Highly recommended. Top pick.
Dedicated Men of Zion - Can't Turn Me Around (CD, Bible & Tire Recording Co., Soul/pop)
The Bible and Tire Recording Co. is a label that immediately caught my attention because they're focusing on 1970s soul music. In addition to reissuing music actually recorded during that decade (see review of The Last Shall Be First below), they're also releasing current day bands and artists whose music has that genuinely soulful sound so many know and love. Dedicated Men of Zion is a group of four guys from North Carolina who may very well make you feel that time has stood still. And yet, this music doesn't really have a retro or dated sound at all (!). This album features tracks that are inspired, gripping and real. The group is comprised of Anthony Daniels, Antwan Daniels, Marcus Bugg, and Dexter Weaver. These men's voices merge together perfectly and they present their songs simply, using only the most basic instrumentation in order to get their messages across. If you're like me (kinda burned out on listening to so many well-known artists from the past), the Dedicated Men of Zion might just give you the jolt you've been looking for. Ten groovy tracks and they all hit the target dead center. My initial favorites include "Father, Guide Me, Teach Me," "Down Here Lord," "You Don't Know," "It's A Shame" and "Work Until My Days Are Done." There's a heavy spiritual feel on most of these tracks that is most satisfying. I'll be digging this one all spring and summer, that's for sure. This one's a HIT. Recommended. Top pick.
D.I. - Greatest Hits A-Z (CD, Cleopatra, Rock)
The past few years have seen a renewed interest in bands either from the 1990s or bands who are heavily influenced by that ultra-cool decade when minds tended to be more open than closed. Creating a solid niche for themselves in the 1980s and 1990s, the guys in Orange County, California's D.I. made a lasting impression on lots of folks. A few months back the band recorded and released an album of covers entitled Flashback Favorites. The album received such positive reactions that the band decided the time was right to head into the studio and re-record some of their most memorable songs. Thus, Greatest Hits A-Z is exactly that...the best and most well-known D.I. tracks presented in alphabetical order. Beginning with "Amoeba" that frontman Casey Royer wrote for his previous band The Adolescents, the band cranks out twenty-three underground classics. These tracks are presented simply, using only the essential ingredients. Buzzsaw guitars, hyperactive rhythms, and driving bass lines support some furiously-focused vocals and lyrics that speed by so fast you can barely understand what's being said. In addition to Royer, the band is comprised of Clinton Calton on guitar, Ed Tatar on bass and vocals and Joe Tatar on drums and vocals. This one's a totally upbeat fun experience, featuring mind-bending tracks like "Colors and Blood," "Johnny's Got a Problem," "Obnoxious," "Spiritual Law" and "Youth in Asia." I'd be willing to bet these guys will continue blowing folks away with their live show. Fast, loud, raw, and real.
Dino DiMuro - Stopgap Sam's Last Stand (Independently released double CD-R, Underground pop)
Most commercial music in the United States is shallow and vapid. It's unfortunate, but that's just the way things are. If you want to hear truly credible creative stuff, you have to search through the ever expanding huge variety of underground recording artists making music that will never reach the masses. It would be entirely incorrect to say there's no good music being made in 2021. The truth is that there's a huge amount of great music being played and recorded each and every day. But, unfortunately, most folks don't ever get to hear it because they'd rather eat the crap that's continually forced down their throats by people who either have rotten taste or are just interested in making money. If you want a good example of what the underground has to offer, you need look no further than Stopgap Sam's Last Stand. This whopping double disc set is a true exercise in unbridled musical creativity. For this release, California's Dino DiMuro opted to concentrate on songs that focus on his guitar playing. A groovy idea to be sure, and in this case the idea was executed to perfection. The album starts off on really bizarre footing, presenting an entirely credible cover of "Teletubbies" (the theme song from the wonderfully creative television show that was a high point of the 1990s). But that's just the tickler to get things started. From that point forward, DiMuro (sometimes solo and sometimes with well-chosen pals) goes off on a multitude of musical tangents. Listeners are treated to originals as well as appropriately-chosen covers. The one thing you can be sure of is that things never get boring. Dino is obviously a big fan of guitars from Captain Beefheart's golden years. Prepare to be amazed at how accurately he somehow manages to capture that strange schizophrenic loopy guitar sound that we all know and love. But the playing extends much farther than that. Trying to figure out all the possible influences here would be a tremendous task. So...better to just listen and enjoy. In addition to a wealth of DiMuro originals, Last Stand also includes songs co-written with others. Of particular interest is "Maybe Jah Can Stop It" co-written by Dino, Donald J. Campau and Russ Stedman. Truly heady stuff. Another standout co-written track is "Flapjack Sparkbabble" composed and played with Tom Furgas. Cool, free flowing, and ultimately very melodic. There are so many cool tracks here. One of my favorites is the slightly goofy "From the Mind of a Mouse" that incorporates elements from 1970s progressive rock into a strange twenty-first century musical collage. On the back cover, Dino seems to apologize (?) that his guitar playing is not up to the level of folks like "Hendrix, Zappa, Page, or even Oscar down the street." But in actuality...it is. DiMuro is one of those cool genuinely talented folks out there who invites other bands and artists to trade music. If you want to get in touch, go to his bandcamp page (link above) or email him at Recordings@aol.com. Highly recommended. The cream of the crop in the world of home recorded underground pop/rock in 2021. This one's a real HIT. Top pick.
Down By Law - Lonely Town (CD, Kung Fu, Rock)
The 1990s was a decade ruled by loud guitar bands. And many of them weren't just loud. They were super fast, super loud, and super ferocious. One of the better known punk/power pop/rock bands was Down By Law. The good news for fans is that bandleader Dave Smalley, Sam Williams and Disco Dave K continue to make music that'll grab you by the nuts. Yup, from the sounds we're hearing on Lonely Town it would almost seem as if time has stood still. No schmaltzy digital tweaking here. No attempts to sound twenty first century-ish. Just three guys who turn everything all the way up and then play like there's no tomorrow. You really have to hand it to these guys for not selling out. I have no doubt that the thirteen tracks on this album will please diehard fans. And, if the timing is right, a whole new legion could learn a thing or two from these veteran rockers. Hats off to the fine folks at Kung Fu / Cleopatra for releasing this ultra pleasing modern rock platter. All of these tracks hit the target, but some of my initial favorites include "Denim & Leather," "Lonely Town," "Darkest Sun" and "My Reservation's Been Confirmed." For some reason it seems strange that a few of these tracks remind me very much of The Jam (?!). In addition to being released on CD, this album has also been released on black and white haze vinyl (limited edition, of course). Fun rockin' stuff from a band that always delivers the goods. Great big fun from start to finish.
Equine - Melt (Independently released vinyl LP, Experimental guitar)
I can honestly say this is the first time I have received a release like this. Melt is a good example of why I continue to write about music. And that's because I occasionally receive truly obscure underground things like this that almost no one else is exposed to. So what's so different about this one? This release is an independently released vinyl LP with no writing or titles anywhere on the cover or label. In fact, there's not even any artwork on the cover or label other than the silkscreened / hand-painted artwork on the cover (which is excellent). I love the fact that the album itself has a plain white label. In addition to the album, our package also included a really cool t-shirt featuring the album art, a sticker of the same, a koozie, and some really nifty stickers. So the packaging was an immediate standout because I haven't seen anyone take an approach like this in the twenty-first century. Equine is the solo project created by Kevin Richards. This fellow obviously isn't interested in doing things in any sort of traditional manner. While this is an album featuring guitar sound/noise, it's nothing like what I usually hear in that genre. Instead of super incredible state-of-the-art effects that transform things into orchestral dimensions, Richards opts for a minimalist approach...pretty much letting his guitar and overdrive sound exactly like they do coming out of his amp. The two lengthy tracks (each takes up a full album side) are spontaneous and unrehearsed. And they're very much unlike anything out there. Now some of you might say, "Sheesh, anyone can do that." But the fact of the matter is...they aren't. This groovy fun package immediately caught our attention because Mr. Richards is doing things his way regardless of the consequences. I have to admire someone with enough guts and energy to put out something like this. Hats off to Equine. A great example of what's really interesting in the true underground currents rippling through the United States of America.
Euphotic - Isopleths (CD, Public Eyesore, Experimental sound)
Euphotic is the trio comprised of Cheryl Leonard, Tom Djll and Bryan Day. If you're familiar with any or all of these musicians, then you probably already have some idea of what to expect here. And what you would expect would be...the unexpected. These three musicians operate in the world where sounds and spontaneous accidents become music. The list of 'instruments' used says it all. On Isopleths Leonard plays driftwood, sand, rocks, feathers, marsh reeds, penguin bones, pine needles and oyster shells. Djll plays trumpet and electronics. And Day plays invented instruments. What many may not realize is that in the world of improvised sound there is a great deal of talent and skill involved in creating the really good stuff. In other words, not just anyone can record sounds and make interesting music. This is a very esoteric band and one that will probably be too unusual and confusing for most music fans. In order to appreciate this album, you have to discard the things you normally associate with traditional music. Things like rhythms, melodies, lyrics, etc. I have generally found that most folks either love or hate improvised sound. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. I'm always open to new ideas and sounds, particularly when they're presented with such precise focus and skill. Seven tracks here, and they're all strange audio experiments. Adventurous listeners will find a lot to appreciate in tracks like "Sulfolobus," "Lithotrop" and "Flich Flies." Others will just scratch their heads in confusion. Strangely compelling stuff. Ultimately very different. Recommended. Top pick.
Ex Norwegian & Friends - Ex Norwegian & Friends Sing Jimmy Campbell (CD, Think Like A Key, Pop)
How does he do it all...?!? That's the question I keep asking myself every time I receive a package from Miami, Florida's man-about-town Roger Houdaille. Not only does he head one of the greatest underground twenty-first century pop bands ever (Ex Norwegian) but he also somehow finds time to run the undeniably influential Think Like A Key music label that releases not only his music but also music from a staggering array of obscure-yet-incredible bands and artists (see reviews of Kaleidoscope / Fairfield Parlour and Ollie Halsall below). I have to admit that I'm not normally real keen on cover tunes. But when it's Ex Norwegian teaming up with a whole slew of talented folks to record the songs of the late Jimmy Campbell well then...that's another story altogether. For this release Houdaille enlisted an astounding array of talented artists that are featured on each track. The featured artists are Joe Kane, Coke Belda, The Elms Estate, Jim Camacho, Rhys Marsh, John Ford, Edward Rogers, Mark Johnston, DC Cardwell, John Howard, Cherry Parke, Rome56, Esteban Cisneros and Kevin Robertson (yow!). Fourteen tracks that absolutely capture all the magic of Campbell's songs. This album is bound to expose Jimmy Campbell's music to an entirely new segment of the listening population. If it's on Think Like A Key, you can bet your booties it's a must have. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Ollie Halsall - Lovers Leaping (CD, Think Like A Key, Pop)
This is a remastered reissue of 1979 demo recordings from Great Britain's Ollie Halsall. The folks at Think Like A Key are already achieving their objective of turning people onto artists from the past that they might not be aware of. I have to admit until now I was not that familiar with Halsall and his music. The only thing I knew was that he was a member of one of my all-time faves The Rutles. But in addition, Ollie also played in the bands Take Five, Timebox, Patto and Boxer. Plus he played with Kevin Ayers. If there's a single word I would used to describe Lovers Leaping that word would be...inspired. These lovingly-crafted demos demonstrate an incredible knack for coming up with cool melody lines and heartfelt lyrics. This album may very well serve an important purpose, which is to shed light on this man's talents as a songwriter and vocalist (apparently many only know him for his guitar playing). Seems incredible that something this good could remain virtually unknown for such a long period of time. But such is the world of music. There's always so much great stuff being recorded that no one person can or could possibly absorb it all. Featuring a self-portrait/painting on the front cover, Lovers Leaping will introduce Halsall's ultra-impressive skills to an entirely new audience. I am totally blown away by these songs. Halsall is easily one of the coolest and most under-recognized British artists of all time. Killer compositions include "Hey, Hey, Little Girl," "Traveling Show," "Lovers Leaping," "First Day In New York" and "Summertime Kids." Super intelligent and inventive stuff. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Destiny Street Complete (Double CD, Omnivore Recordings, Underground punk/pop/rock)
Richard Hell is one of those highly influential people in the world of music who has never received the proper recognition he so obviously deserves. Hell started off on fire with the release of his debut album Blank Generation in 1977, which has influenced countless bands and musicians over the decades. But then for whatever reasons things seemed to kinda...fall apart. Unfortunately five years passed before his second album Destiny Street was released in 1982. Even though the single "The Kid With the Replaceable Head" was a killer track that seemed to point to a great deal of potential, much of the rest of the album just didn't live up to expectations. From that point forward, the mistakes made with the album were apparently a perpetual source of frustration for Richard. He reworked the album at one point, but was still not completely satisfied. Skip forward to the present...and the definitive double CD version of the album is released. And this will hopefully put everything to rest with this album for Hell and the public at large. There is, admittedly, a lot of Destiny Street here. Included are the original tracks as they were released in 1982, a stripped down version that was released in 2009, and the new 2021 remix. Also included are the singles and demo versions that will probably be of the most interest to longtime fans. The packaging on this one is excellent. These two discs are housed in a beautifully designed double digipak sleeve complete with a thick booklet with plenty of notes that offer proper perspective on these tracks. What is probably most important here is that this will hopefully finally put this one to rest for Hell and his associates. Personally, I'm hoping this release prompts more listeners to realize what an incredibly long lasting influence Richard Hell has had on musicians for decades. Incredibly, most folks still don't even seem to know him and his music (!). I'm also hoping that this truly gifted fellow opts to dive off into the world with more brand new material. Perhaps earthlings would be more receptive now...? I'd be willing to bet that the answer is...YES.
Doug Hoekstra - The Day Deserved (CD, Drop Autumn, Pop)
The first new album from Doug Hoekstra in over a decade. This one's bound to land on many 'best of 2021' lists. This fellow already has a built-in audience not only for his music but also because he's a successful author. Although I'm not supposed to admit things like this, until now I had never been exposed to Doug's music. So for me The Day Deserved serves as an introduction. And what an introduction it is. This does not sound like most commercial music that's currently released in the United States. The songs have a familiar overall feel and yet...I'm hard pressed to come up with any instantly identifiable influences or soundalikes. The only possible comparisons that come to mind are Leonard Cohen (at times) and the wonderfully obscure British songwriter Andy Bown. On some tracks Hoekstra's voice and melodies remind me ever-so-slightly of Bown's Gone To My Head album (an overlooked gem to be sure). The arrangements on this album are impeccable. If you dig the less-is-more concept, you'll love the fact that there are plenty of wide open spaces in these recordings. Ten beautiful underground pop songs executed to perfection. The more I hear Hoekstra's voice the more I love his music. This man has a totally killer understated manner of singing that is instantly appealing. My favorite cuts include "Seaside Town," "Higher Ground," "Late Night Ramble," "Keeper of the Word" and "Outside Looking In." The Day Deserved is an album that will surely stand the test of time. Resilient, smart and different. This one's a modern-day classic. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Household Gods - Palace Intrigue (CD, Greyday, Underground rock)
Household Gods was a band that did not fit any molds. The band was comprised of Conan Neutron (Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends, Replicator), Lauren K. Newman (LKN, Palo Verde), David Pajo (Slint, Papa M), and Vern Rumsey (Unwound). Even though the music is anything but sad sounding, it's hard to listen to this music without feeling a sense of loss. And that's because after this album was recorded Lauren Newman passed away. Newman was one of those truly talented folks creating music in the undercurrents of our country who never received the recognition she deserved during her short stay on our planet. She was a unique spirit whose presence will be missed not only by her friends, but also by those who have been exposed to her music. But on a more positive note, Lauren left behind some really cool music that will no doubt be appreciated for decades to come. Palace Intrigue is dedicated to Newman. And it's a powerful album in many ways. Rather than playing any one specific type of music, these four musicians delved into all sorts of terrain. The end result is surprisingly melodic and listenable. Some songs have more of a rock edge while others teeter into psychedelia. Interestingly, all of these songs were written on site and recorded immediately afterward. This may explain the cool spontaneous nature of the music. Ms. Newman may be gone. But as years pass I have a feeling her influence will only get stronger. Nifty gripping cuts include "The Sin Eater," "Blackheart," "Conflict Bias," "Storied Past, Bright Future" and "Rest In Power."
Jeremy - Living the Dream (CD, JAM, Pop)
Although he often just goes by the name Jeremy this fellow's full name is Jeremy Morris. And in the eyes of those who know him and his record label, he's somewhat of a legend. While other artists come and go and their output also comes and goes, Morris continues to be an unstoppable source of incredibly uplifting snappy guitar pop. Living the Dream is yet another exceptional addition to his ever-expanding discography. This album was a huge undertaking. Jeremy presents twenty-five cuts here. About half are originals, the others are well-chosen covers presented with all the original qualities of the originals intact. Considering the fact that this is a mix of originals and covers, it's amazing how well everything flows together. I love the cover choices here. Morris presents totally credible renditions of songs by Television Personalities (!), The Beatles, Flamin' Groovies, Rick Springfield (!), Shoes (!!), Status Quo (?!), Shplang (!), Norman Greenbaum and more. What is perhaps most impressive is the fact that Jeremy's own tracks are right up there with the artists who have apparently inspired and influenced his sound. The guitars are lovely (as usual) and the vocals always right on target. Additional musicians lending their skills to these tracks are Dave Dietrich, Jamie Hoover, Todd Borsh, Bill Morris, Matt Wilsea, and Peter Morris. The wonderful cover art of a cat sitting on a fence with a guitar completes the package...making this yet another standout album from one of the most talented folks currently making music in the United States. Yup, he's that good. If you've never checked out this fellow's music, this would be an excellent place to start. Recommended. Top pick.
Robert Jurjendal - Vesi Leiab Tee / Water Finds A Way (CD, New Dog, Progressive)
This is a different sort of album for a number of reasons. Estonian guitarist/composer Robert Jurjendal writes and records heady atmospheric music that is strangely calming and unusual. The sound quality here is phenomenal. These cuts have a nice thick huge sound without ever seeming over-tweaked. Robert is a masterful arranger, carefully layering his instruments so that they all fit together into a seamless whole. Although I hear some elements that remind me of world music or trance music from a few years back, neither quite captures the overall feel of Water Finds A Way. Joining Jurjendal on these recordings are Anti Jurjendal on cello and Miguel Noya on piano. If you like dreamy music that teeters slightly into the world of psychedelia, you may very well find yourself consumed by this album. Fourteen compelling cuts executed to perfection. Some of my initial favorites include "Trust," "Grey and Blue," "The Lake Freezes," "The Clock Ticks - Time's Wing Beat," and "Water Finds A Way." Hypnotic, dreamy and ethereal. Very nice.
Kaleidoscope & Fairfield Parlour - Sky Children: The Best of Kaleidoscope & Fairfield Parlour (CD + DVD, Think Like A Key, Pop)
I love discovering things from the past that I missed the first time around. One of the main missions of the folks at Think Like A Key seems to be unearthing solid and intriguing recordings from the past and reissuing them to a world of people who might never have heard them at all. Researched, compiled and coordinated by head label guy Roger Houdaille, Sky Children presents the slightly psychedelic music of the British bands Kaleidoscope and Fairfield Parlour. This is the first U.S. release to present an overview of these often overlooked bands. I was won over by these guys on the very first spin and have to admit that until now I was not aware of either one. After being exposed to Sky Children, they will forever be favorites. This double disc set includes a CD with seventeen tracks encompassing all phases of the bands' careers. Plus it also includes a DVD with rare footage that is a huge added bonus. The band members were Peter Daltrey (lead vocals and keyboards), Eddy Pumer (lead guitar and keyboards), Steve Clark (bass and flute) and Danny Bridgman (drums). Although their overall sound and approach are quite different, if I had to compare these guys to anyone it would by The Move. An impeccably well prepared release that's bound to inspire listeners for decades to come. Killer tracks with a uniquely British perspective include "Faintly Blowing," "Flight From Ashiya," "Nursey, Nursey," "Do It Again For Jeffrey" and "The Sky Children." Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Ted Russell Kamp - Solitaire (CD, PoMo, Soft country/folky pop)
This is the third full-length release I've heard from Ted Russell Kamp. Once again, this talented fellow hits one out of the ballpark. In a world full of pretenders and wannabes, Kamp comes across like a real fellow making real music. The emphasis here is on songs...and presenting them simply using the most basic ingredients so that the listener can focus on the melodies and lyrics. If you like singer/songwriter stuff, you're almost certain to get a major blast out of this guy's music. You won't hear any of the latest digital effects here and you won't hear vocals that have been tweaked to perfection. Instead, you will hear a guy singing about things in his life in an honest and endearing manner. Ted is one focused and busy fellow. Solitaire is his 13th (!) full length release. But you'd never know it when you hear these tracks. This songs have all the freshness and spontaneity of someone who has just discovered the joys of making music for all the right reasons. Ted plays a whole slew of instruments, but he's also supported by substantial contributions from Shane Alexander, Jim Doyle, Don Gallardo, Ed Jurdi, Mark Mackay, Vanessa Olivarez, John Schreffler, Matt Szlachetka, and Brian Whelan (whew!). Fourteen well-written contemplative tracks including "My Girl Now," "You Can Go To Hell, I'm Going to Texas," "Western Wind," "Only a Broken Heart" and "Lightning Strikes Twice." Precise and well-focused. Nice smooth stuff that reverberates.
Steve Kilbey - Eleven Women (CD, Foghorn, Underground pop)
Anyone who's familiar with the undercurrents of rock/pop music from the 1980s knows The Church. One of the better guitar-driven pop bands out there, the band's music continues to be a favorite among a multitude of listeners. Bandleader Steve Kilbey has put out a long and exhaustive catalog of solo releases, but up to this point in time folks don't seem to be as familiar with them. Hopefully Eleven Women will change all that. I had never checked out Kilbey's website before now (link above). When I pulled it up, I was immediately delighted to find that it is nothing like the normal musician's website. Instead of coming across like a musical legend (which he is), Steve comes across like a genuinely sincere regular guy who enjoys communicating directly with his fans and other folks on a personal level. So...I was already feeling very impressed with where this talented men is at in 2021. But after spinning Eleven Women a couple of times, I was totally knocked out. These songs have a wonderfully inspired spontaneous sound. And Steve's voice has never sounded better. Great songs are what everyone strives for. On this release, Kilbey delivers eleven cuts that all hit the target dead center. They're pop songs, sure...but they're not predictable and formulaic by any means. They have an overall familiar sound and yet there are always qualities that are specifically Kilbey-esque. I loved The Church for sure. But I would have to say that I love this album even more. It is very well produced without ever sounding overproduced. I can think of few musical artists who have been around for this long who can still deliver recordings of this caliber. Exceptionally well-crafted compositions include "Poppy Byron," "Sheba Chiba" (our favorite), "Queen of Spades," "Baby Poe" and "Think Of You." Smart, reflective, and ultimately resilient. Highly recommended. Top pick.
Kimon Kirk - Altitude (CD, Dos Kay Music, Soft pop)
Wow. Altitude is a great album...! It's not often that I have such a strong opinion of a CD on the very first spin. But when I first heard Kimon Kirk I was instantly immersed in his cool world of intricate mid-tempo guitar pop. What is perhaps most surprising about this music is that it sounds like so many other artists in subtle ways. Yet I have the hardest time determining exactly who those artists are or which ones might have been direct influences. Ultimately it doesn't matter. What does matter is that this man writes winning compositions and has a voice that really pushes the songs to another level. He's easily one of the best vocalists I've heard in months. Altitude is chock full of gliding melodies, fluid guitars, fantastic vocals, and infectious rhythms. If you're looking for the perfect album to spin this spring and summer, this may very well be it. On this album Kirk is joined by Lyle Brewer on lead guitar, Jamie Edwards on keyboards, Jim Haggerty on bass guitar and John Sands on drums. Kimon produced the album himself and he receives extra bonus points in that category as well. These songs have a wonderful warm analog sound that listeners will immediately respond to. This is Kirk's second full-length release. After hearing this, we'll be seeking out his 2011 debut Songs for Society. Altitude is bound to be on tons of 'Best of 2021' lists. Unforgettably cool pop tracks include "Evergreen," "Trampoline," "I Think of You," "The Girl I Used To Know" and "My Old Neighborhood." This one's a classic. Highly recommended. Top pick.
The Last Shall Be First - The JCR Records Story, Volume One (CD, Bible and Tire Recording Co., Soul/pop)
Every once in a while something hits our post office box that seems completely different from everything. This is most definitely one of those cases where the label caught my attention in a big way. The name of the label is Bible and Tire Recording Co. and they have one of the coolest ideas/images I've ever seen for a record label (an image of a Bible and a tire happily sitting side by side...simultaneously hilarious and beautiful). But even more interesting is the label itself. While millions upon millions of listeners love the cool soul sounds of the 1970s, most of us are very guilty of listening to the same old artists over and over and over. This label can immediately change that aspect of your listening behavior (!). The JCR Records Story, Volume One is exactly what the title states. This various artists compilation features a whole slew of really cool Memphis recording artists/bands from the 1970s. And the best part is...you've probably never heard any of 'em. This seventeen track album is sure to inspire just about anyone who loves genuine soul music. This stuff is infused with threads of gospel music and the performers are gripping and real. So...a little bit of the story here (you can read the full story on the internet). Pastor Juan D. Shipp becomes popular spinning soul records on his AM radio show in the 1970s which prompts him to buy a recording studio. Before long he's recording a whole slew of artists, some of who become hugely popular. But along the way there's a whole slew of artists who didn't have as much success. And that led to JCR Records, a label created for the lesser known artists Shipp believed in. For many decades these tracks tended to just kinda sit around collecting dust. But that was before Bruce Watson (the main man at the Bible and Tire and Fat Possum labels) stepped into the picture. He and Shipp spent three months transferring and archiving 170 reels of tape. And thus, The JCR Records Story was born. This is the first in the series, and it'll immediately have people talking. Just about everyone loves cool tracks from the past that they missed the first time around. Totally riveting performers on this album include The Calvary Nightingales, The Silver Wings, The Seven Souls (our favorite), The Dixieland Singers, The Bible Tones and more. Chock full of sassy 1970s soul that'll have listeners instantly groovin' while they're waiting for Volume Two. Recommended. Top pick.
Sook-Yin Lee & Adam Litovitz - jooj 2 (CD, Mint, Progressive pop)
I always love it when I receive music that doesn't fit in with everything else going on at the moment. And that is most certainly the case with jooj 2. Not only does this music not sound like anything else that's currently spinning around on the planet, it also doesn't sound like anything I've yet heard on the (always compelling and intriguing) Mint label. Although most folks in the United States may not know her name, Sook-Yin Lee is very well known in Canada as an award-winning filmmaker, musician, actor, visual artist and broadcaster. Her music is a strange brew of different elements, incorporating ideas and sounds from experimental electronics, pop, techno, rock and more. Lee and Adam Litovitz (her life partner and co-creator) released jooj in 2015. During the recording of this, the follow up, Litovitz passed away. The album was completed by Lee (with Adam's blessing) and it's a real mind blower. These tracks sound nothing like what's popular in the United States in 2021. And that is obviously a huge compliment. The only obstacle for this album may be the fact that it is too intelligent for most listeners. Because the songs can't be easily categorized or described, that may present a problem for some listeners. But it will be their loss because this is one super smart and compelling batch of tunes. Eleven exceptionally well-executed tracks here including "Introductory Escape," "Run Away With Her," "Lake Girls," "Thorns in the Laws of Attraction" and "Adam." It'll be interesting to see how this one is interpreted out there in the real world. Very unusual and exceedingly distinctive. Neat stuff.
Malcolm Lucard - Vagamundo (Independently released CD, Pop)
In the world of music, intent and personality are just as important as the music that's made. And if that is indeed the case, then at some point in time Malcolm Lucard is gonna hit it big. He writes and records music that incorporates elements of folk, bluegrass, country, pop and more. But the main thing that sets him apart is personality. This man has a voice that immediately makes his music stand out. No boring sleepy artist stuff here. Lucard has a cool electricity happening in his soul that comes across loud and clear in his songs. And that's what makes his songs so entertaining and interesting. That...plus the fact that he's got a really keen sense of humor and perspective on life. But the music is played so well and the songs sound so normal that many may not even notice the sometimes odd lyrical wordplay. At some points Malcolm's overall style reminds me of Martin Mull when he started his career as a singer/songwriter. Backing Lucard on these tracks are Daniel Grossman (drums), Paulinho Assis (bass), Uly Lucard (vocals), Gideon Lucard (vocals), Andrea Lucard (vocals), Nancy Howard Mello (vocals) and Jeremy Van Hoy (trombone). You can tell that everyone involved enjoyed working on this project. Good vibes abound on cool captivating compositions like "Silly Man," "Aux Bains des Paquis," "To Do," "Tourist of the Mind" and "I Love You Worse." There are plenty of cool videos are out there that will allow you to experience this intriguing fellow's music from a visual perspective. Vagamundo is successful on a multitude of different levels. These days genuine presence and personality mean a great deal out there in the modern world. And this man has tons of both.
The Luxembourg Signal - The Long Now (CD, Shelflife / Spinout Nuggets, Underground progressive pop)
Absolutely beautiful progressive modern dream pop crafted with precision and style. I have heard and enjoyed this band before. After spinning this one a few times, my guess is that The Long Now will always be considered one of this band's best albums. I didn't know much about the folks in The Luxembourg Signal so I went to one of the best sources for artist bios (AllMusic, of course) and found that members of this band were originally in Aberdeen. On this album, The Luxembourg Signal is comprised of Beth Arzy, Betsy Moyer, Brian Espinosa, Ginnky Pitchford, Johnny Joyner, Kelly Davis and Daniel Kumiega. Some folks might place this album in the shoegazer category while others might refer to it as dream pop. For me, the best overall description seems to be progressive atmospheric modern pop. These tracks have a really cool slick sound that never sounds too digitally perfect. Even though these folks use lots of electronics in their music, they also play traditional instruments which gives everything a much warmer sound. The vocals are out-of-this-world killer. The heady overall nature of these tracks reminds me in some ways of Stereolab, except these folks are crafting their music from a much more human zone. I always pay particular attention to stuff sent by the taste-conscious folks at Shelflife because everything they send is exceptionally excellent. This is one of those albums that is not obvious. As such, it takes several spins for these compositions to really settle into your brain. That said, the time will be well spent. These cool drifting cuts are inspired, intriguing...and ultimately very hypnotic. I have totally fallen in love with this album and will never tire of heady songs like "I Never Want To Leave," "Take It Back," "Lost Hearts," "Mourning Moon" and "When All That We Hold Decays." Very different and very satisfying. Recommended. Top pick.
The Mastelottos - Too Much Happiness: A Romantic's Guide to King Crimson (CD, 7DMedia, Progressive pop/rock)
A very different take on the music of King Crimson. The past few years have seen increased attention focused on the band possibly/probably because (a) they're still making totally credible music and (b) more and more bands are making music that is directly influenced by progressive rock bands from the 1970s. In any event, I would bet that listeners have never heard King Crimson tracks presented like this before. The husband and wife team of Pat Mastelotto and Deborah Mastelotto chose their favorite tracks by the band that seemed to focus on romanticism. And then they allowed the songs to evolve into entirely different animals with an overall vibe that sounds very little like the band itself. But that is not a bad thing. In fact, in this case it's a very good thing...because Too Much Happiness is a truly enjoyable and entertaining spin. And it will probably appeal to Crimson fans as well as those who have never even heard the band before. Pat is a master drummer and producer whose credits extend light years in all directions. Go to this talented fellow's website (link above) to see all the various and wildly inventive projects he's been involved with. On this album, Deborah handles the vocals...which is another reason why these tracks take on an entirely new perspective. She has a killer voice. Nice big glossy sound here, with everything executed to perfection. Highly stylized covers include "Two Hands," "Moonchild," "Book of Saturday" and "Sleepless." A different sort of idea that works on many different levels. Dreamy and hypnotic.
Medicine men never win.
Time to start
All over again.
MrENC - We Do Our Own Thing (7" vinyl EP, Velvet Blue Music, Pop)
I rarely review EPs. And when I do it has to be something either very good or very interesting. In this case, you get both. This EP presents four slightly hazy underground pop tracks that are instantly engaging. This band's overall sound reminds me of the 1990s when everyone didn't want to sound like each other. MrENC is the solo project created by Florida's Eric N. Collins. Eric cites influences like Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. And I can hear traces of all of these in his music. Four cool cuts here and they're all rather smashing: "We Do Our Own Thing," "Here Comes The Feels," "Shake The Dust" and "All This Time." This is a band to watch.
Oh-OK - The Complete Reissue (Colored Vinyl LP, Happy Happy Birthday To Me, Underground pop)
Oh-OK has been one of my favorite obscure bands for decades. When I first heard the group's Wow Mini LP (EP) way back when I instantly fell in love. In some ways very similar to babysue favorite Young Marble Giants, these folks created minimalist pop that sounded nothing like anything happening in the early 1980s. Atlanta's Danny Beard gets major points for being the first to release the band's music. I was extremely fortunate to hear Oh-OK play in a teeny tiny Atlanta bar for an audience of about fifteen or twenty people. And they were great. As is the case with so many ultra neat obscure bands, Oh-OK only stayed together for a brief period before the band members went on to other things. This beautiful colored vinyl release contains the bands first and second EPs along with live tracks recorded at the Peppermint Lounge in 1984 and two Japanski Recordings tracks produced by Matt Tamisin in 2011. The neat thing about this band is that their followers have steadily increased over time. When they were together, relatively few even heard their music. But now that the internet makes it possible for things like this to be heard all over the world, Oh-OK fans have popped up in some of the strangest places. The sound quality of the live tracks isn't the greatest, but who cares? This is another excellent release from the fine folks at Athens, Georgia's Happy Happy Birthday To Me. The album was mastered by Jason NeSmith, so you know it sounds great. A must have for Oh-OK fans and an excellent introduction for listeners who've never had the experience. Recommended. Top pick.
Pas Musique - Psychedelic Talismans (Colored vinyl LP, Alrealon, Progressive/experimental)
Cool vinyl release from experimental music artist Robert Pepper who releases stuff under the name Pas Musique. Pepper's modern progressive music is a favorite among folks who favor this genre of music. And for good reason. Over time he has amassed an impressive catalog of music that is unique and well-crafted. This time around Robert opted to release a vinyl LP, and it's a beauty. The color of the vinyl is strange. I can't decide whether it's rose colored...or the color of blood? But the music is what counts, of course. And with the appropriately-titled Psychedelic Talismans listeners are treated to six lengthy instrumentals that would should appeal to just about anyone who ever loved artists and bands like Tangerine Dream, The Orb, Steve Hillage and Clearlight Symphony. These tracks seem to channel the overall feel of experimental progressive music from the 1970s without ever sounding derivative. Instead, Pepper constantly reinvents sounds and ideas from the genre to make his compositions completely his own. These six tracks offer a great deal in terms of heightened consciousness. But they could also very well serve as modern mood music for those wanting to elevate their environment a few notches. Six compelling cuts including "Splash of Red Touch," "Collected Fictions Brightly," "ABC of the Telephone" and "La Bas." Strangely focused modern electronic experimentation infused with cool melodies and sounds. I always love this guy's stuff. The LP includes a code for a free download. Heady beautiful music with a consciousness. Top pick.
Fernando Perdomo - TRGTR (CD, Cherry Red, Pop)
Regular readers may have already noticed that I go apeshit over every release that comes out by the ultra-prolific musician, producer, songwriter and recording artist Fernando Perdomo. But when I received TRGTR I immediately had second thoughts. Covering Todd Rundgren songs is dangerous territory. Many have tried, but almost all have failed. And that's probably because Rundgren's own voice and personality are so integral to his music. When anyone else tries to cover his songs they usually just don't work. So I obviously approached this one with some serious reservations. The good news is that, once again, Perdomo hits the target dead. Why has he succeeded in territory where so many others have failed? Most likely because this is an instrumental album where the lead vocals are replaced with super snazzy and inspired guitars. So in this case listeners are not required to adjust their ears to a vocalist who won't ever get it right. Fernando is one of the most gifted guitarists currently roaming our planet. And on this album, his playing really really shines. Instead of just presenting the most well-known obvious tracks from the past, he instead chose songs from Todd's entire career...including compositions originally recorded by Nazz (an all-time babysue favorite) and Utopia (also an all-time favorite). Todd Rundgren will forever be cemented in my mind as the most incredible one man band during the 1970s and 1980s. Even though it has taken a very long time, it seems as if more and more people are finally realizing this. Sixteen songs delivered with class and style. Perdomo once again shows the world that he is one of the very best twenty-first century guitar gods currently making music. Wonderful stuff. Recommended. Top pick.
Sara Petite - Rare Bird (CD, JTM Music, Pop)
If having a strong personality and presence translate into success in 2021, then Sara Petite will soon be a superstar. She released her debut album Coming Home in 2006 and has been making a mark on the world with her music ever since. Rare Bird, her sixth full-length release, is chock full of smart compositions with a really big chunky organic sound. Backing Petite on these tracks are Michael Kastner on drums, Patrick McClory on bass, Mike Butler on guitar, Harry Stinson on vocal harmonies, Steve Peavey on guitar, pedal steel and lap steel and Jeff Houck on guitar. Talk about an all-star lineup (!). Sara is all about songs and vocal delivery. There are so many folks out there who can write good songs, but they just don't have the presence or the voice to really make everything click. Petite does. She's got a really magical voice that is believable and real. And her lyrics deal with subjects that just about anyone should be able to relate to. One sad fact to note is that producer David Bianco died during the early stages of this album. But his spirit and personality will live on through music. Rarely do I hear musicians who come across as likable and genuine as Ms. Petite. If things go as they should, Rare Bird should find a huge welcoming audience over the coming months. This is exactly the kind of feelgood music fans will want and need to hear as they slowly morph out of the Covid-19 era. Solid groovy tracks include "Feeling Like An Angel," "Scars," "Rare Bird," "Crash, Boom, Bang" and "Working On A Soul." Uplifting and cool from start to finish. This one's an instant hit. Recommended. Top pick.
Kowtow Popof - Action Figure (CD, Wampus, Underground pop)
It's been several years since I've heard from underground recording artist Kowtow Popof. I loved the last couple of releases from this talented fellow. The good news is that he has once again hit the target with Action Figure. The mysterious man with the bizarre name actually writes and records music that is surprisingly normal and accessible. But the way he markets himself is uniquely different. The album cover art (provided by Julie FitzGerald) looks more like artwork for a Residents album that an underground pop release. And if you pull up some of Popof's videos you'll get a big whopping dose of some really strange experimental visuals. Kowtow's songs are simple and direct and feature excellent lyrics. But the thing that really draws me in most is the delivery. These songs come across sounding totally inspired and real. In another time and place, several of these songs could easily be very successful hit singles. Kowtow has a great voice that is a perfect fit for the style of songs he writes. Nine exceptionally cool compositions here. Some of my initial favorites include "Funksucker," "Cheap Wig Blues," "Mayor of Geneva," "Egyptian Wafers" and "Lorn Song of the Balladeer." Smart and ultimately refreshing music that works on a multitude of different levels. In a world where so many are trying way too hard and failing to deliver the goods, Kowtow Popof succeeds using only the basics. In a world where mainstream music usually means bad music, Mr. Popof once again proves that there is great music being made in the twenty-first century. But these days you really have to dig to find it. Highly recommended. Top pick.
The Shut Ups - I Was Made For These Times (Independently released CD-R, Stuff, Underground pop/rock)
Yet another entertaining and absorbing collection of songs from the Atlanta/Athens-based band The Shut Ups. I couldn't help but chuckle when this album began, cuz it starts off with a tiny snippet of the instantly identifiable cheesy electronic drums from "Da Da Da" by Trio (easily one of my top favorite singles of all time). But the Trio sound instantly dissipates into the title track, a gripping and catchy composition with insightful lyrics and an impossibly catchy melody. If there's one thing that stands out about this band most it is their strangely hilarious sense of humor. The interview that accompanied this release is one of the funniest I have ever read. Bandleader Don Condescending's answers to (his own?) questions are appropriately far out in left field, and nothing like what should be heard from any proper up-and-coming pop star. I am particularly knocked out by the third cut with the painfully funny title ("How Long Will You Be Simple, Simple Ones?"). Although the lyrics are odd, the song itself is surprisingly normal and accessible...and inspired. It shouldn't take long for anyone to realize that lyrics play a huge part in this band's overall image and sound. Plenty of tongue-in-cheek references that should send most intelligent people into hysterics. If you get very tired of all the super samey dull lyrics splattered throughout most band discographies, these guys' clever wordplay will be a welcome and refreshing change of pace. In addition to Condescending, the band is comprised of Ben Spraker (vocals, guitar), Thad Thompson (bass guitar) and Jason NeSmith (drums). Background vocals are provided by the band plus Kay Stanton and the five Condescendings (Wendy, Zoe, Phoebe, Max & David). This EP is one great big fall of crazy fun. While there are plenty of laughs here, it should be noted that this is not a joke band. The songs are solid and genuine and will hold up to unlimited spins. Yet another hit from this supremely intelligent band. Recommended. Top pick.
Skold - Dies Irae (CD, Cleopatra, Industrial pop/rock)
Hold onto your seats, hard rock fans. Skold is back. With so much interest in the 1990s lately, there couldn't be a better time to release an album like Dies Irae. Tim Skold's harsh industrial pop/rock has a thick gripping angry sound that should be particularly appealing to those who have been dying for months to go to a rock club to hear some really loud angry music. This album should be instantly appealing to anyone who ever appreciated artists like Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. These tracks are urgent and seem to spiral out of sight in a very short amount of time. What is perhaps most surprising about some of these compositions is that if you stripped away lots of the electronics you would be left with some surprisingly accessible pop songs. Lots of cool effects on the instruments as well as the vocals. This is one of those cases where just about everything is in overload. And that's probably the exact desired effect Tim had when he was recording these tracks. Angry and alienated...and yet somehow simultaneously resilient in many ways. Cool harsh cuts include "Dirty Horizon," "The End Is Near," "As Above, So Below," and "Goodbye."
The Stan Laurels - There Is No Light Without The Dark (CD, Big Stir, Pop)
Instantly magnetic smart guitar pop done right. This is the fourth full-length from this one man band created by Austin's John Lathrop. To give you a good idea of what these songs sound like, imagine combining babysue favorite Fountains of Wayne with mid-period Beach Boys (much more the former than the latter). This guy has a totally winning sound and style, and he's really good at what he does. The arrangements and sound quality on this release rival anything that's being released by anyone these days. Even though there's a lot of layering and polish, it never ever gets in the way of the songs themselves. In fact, the sometimes lush arrangements actually add extra layers of coolness to the music. And man oh man...what a voice. John's vocals are sure to send fans of pure pop right up into the clouds. In a perfect world or in another dimension, this album would yield multiple huge hits. Things being as they are in the United States (when most everything that sells is inferior junk), The Stan Laurels will probably be an instant favorite among underground hipsters who hate commercial junk. But my guess is that Lathrop is going to experience even bigger success with his music overseas. This sounds like the kinda stuff folks in Great Britain, France and Sweden go apeshit over. The important thing to remember is that There Is No Light Without The Dark is a total success in terms of artistic integrity. And it's one helluva wonderful uplifting spin. If you think great guitar pop is dead, think again. The Stan Laurels will make a believer out of even the most jaded music fans. Killer pop tracks include "Florida Man," "Lost & Found," "Red-Handed Puppet," "Mo Collins" (we love her) and "This Is Your Life." Highly recommended. Top pick.
Juanita Stein - Snapshot (CD, Nude, Underground pop)
This album serves as my introduction to Juanita Stein. I was immediately impressed with Snapshot for a number of reasons. First, it doesn't really sound like anyone else that immediately comes to mind. Second because Ms. Stein has a totally fantastic voice. And third because the dreamy production tricks on this one are absolutely mesmerizing. You really have to hear the psychedelic guitars and vocals at the end of "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6" to believe 'em. Totally tripped out wild stuff...! This album might best be described as hallucinogenic moody pop. No light upbeat cutesy stuff here. Juanita is obviously too intelligent to take that route. This is a very depthy collection of songs. This one may very well leave some feeling confused or puzzled. Each time a song ended, I couldn't wait to see what else Stein had up her sleeve for the next. Some of the melodies and vocals bear a very slight resemblance to Kate Bush at times. But Juanita is obviously a little more focused on injecting psychedelic twists and turns into her songs. I should mention that Snapshot was produced and mixed by Ben Hillier. This is a man to watch, as he creates some totally bizarre and peculiar moods that you won't soon forget. And he was the perfect choice for recording these tracks, because the wild atmospherics add dreamy odd substance to these well-crafted songs. This is such a strange album that it's really difficult to describe. Some of this stuff honestly sounds like nothing I have ever heard before. For proof, check out the ending of the title track. Whew. You are very likely to feel like you've accidentally ingested something after you hear this crazy slab of surrealist audio art. But just as soon as the colors of everything start dripping away, things shift to Juanita playing a soft lullaby on an acoustic guitar ("Hey Mama"). What is perhaps most amazing here is how well all of these tracks fit together, considering how different they all are. This is easily one of the most interesting releases we've heard in 2021. Juanita Stein is a true original whose music will hold up to hundreds of repeated spins. She's smart. She's different. Her creativity extends well beyond what most folks are accustomed to hearing in the world of music. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
The Telescopes - Songs of Love and Revolution (CD, Tapete, Progressive)
This band has been an ongoing favorite in the babysue offices for many years. Folks who know The Telescopes tend to be very devoted and follow along with each and every release. Folks who do not know this band are simply missing out on something credible and different. Songs of Love and Revolution is the group's twelfth full-length release. Like previous albums, it's a strangely psychedelic listening experience. The group is the ongoing project created and led by British recording artist Stephen Lawrie. This fellow apparently prefers to keep a low profile, as the latest press release doesn't even mention his name (how cool is that...?!). And his name isn't even mentioned on the album cover. This is a far cry from what most folks are listening to in 2021. There are no catchy hits. There are no clever cute passages. There are no upbeat dance tracks. There is virtually nothing here that connects the music to what's happening in our world today. And that, of course, is a truly beautiful thing. Lawrie and his associates make music that is timeless and strangely inviting. Unlike so much music that is now being recorded, these songs have an overall sparse sound utilizing only the necessary ingredients in order to get the idea across. Key words that come to mind here are subdued and restrained. These songs are very moody and seem to have an introspective ideology...although it's really hard to tell because in many cases the lyrics are difficult to understand. If you like tripped out moody modern rock, you may very well have the same reaction I did. I will probably be a fan of The Telescopes for life simply because the band never ever sells out and because they always have their own distinctive and inventive sound. Mentally challenging tracks include "This Is Not a Dream," "Strange Waves," "Come Bring Your Love," "Songs of Love and Revolution" and "We See Magic and We Are Neutral, Unnecessary" (excellent song title there, Mr. Lawrie). Totally groovy from start to finish. Another must have from this perpetually challenging band. Recommended. Top pick.
Too Much Joy - Mistakes Were Made (CD, People Suck Music, Underground pop/rock)
This release caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, it was sent by the totally taste-conscious folks at XO Publicity (they always promote cool stuff). And second, because the CD features some killer artwork that shows what burning mountains look like while driving through them. Too Much Joy is a band based in Scarsdale, New York and they've been making music since 1987. I couldn't find a lot of additional biographical information (which is fine, of course)...so the remainder of this review simply focuses on the music itself. This is a true underground album that the band recorded and released themselves. That said, you might be surprised at how much commercial potential some of these tracks have. What makes this band's music work is the intent behind the music. While spinning Mistakes Were Made you can tell that these guys had a blast recording these tracks. The songs have just enough rough edges to make them interesting and just enough studio polish and layering to push them to the next level. What impresses me most are the songs themselves. These fifteen guitar-driven pop/rock songs have a fresh inviting sound that is characterized first and foremost by really cool melodies. There's a lot of variety in the overall sound of each track. But this band has their own sound, and that is the one constant that makes this album cohesive and intriguing. In the 1990s this album would've been an instant underground hit. In 2021...who knows? All I know for sure is that this is one helluva entertaining band with a great deal to offer those who are exposed to the music. Cool kickass cuts include "Blinding Light of Love," "Oliver Plunkett's Head," "Flux Capacitor," "Shouting Across the Ocean" and "Just Around the Bend." Totally upbeat and fun stuff with a difference.
Charlie Treat - The Comet (Independently released CD, Pop)
Good solid mid-tempo guitar-driven pop that's delivered with focus and true style. Originally from New England, singer/songwriter Charlie Treat now resides in Nashville. He released a self-titled EP in 2018 that was well received and then spent a good deal of time playing live in local venues. Now comes The Comet, an instantly friendly and hummable full-length release that should appeal to a wide range of listeners of all ages. And for most folks this will serve as their introduction to this talented fellow's music. Just about every composition on The Comet sounds like a potential hit. Treat has a voice that really makes his songs come alive. And he's supported by a wide range of talented individuals (the list of contributors is amazing) who give this album a nice big thick sound. Charlie's songs incorporate elements of pop, country, blues, folk and more. You will no doubt be seeing and hearing this fellow's name more and more in the coming months. He's got personality to spare, and it comes through loud and clear on all twelve of these well-executed tracks. Every song is a keeper but particular standouts include "I Ain't Gonna Be The One To Do It," "Drive My Blues Away," "Soul Owner Of My Own Heart," "Rain Again" and "Tune As Pretty As You." This is an exceedingly nice independent release that rivals anything heard on major labels these days. Smooth, nice, and highly melodic stuff.
Unquiet Music Ltd - In The Name Of... (A Prayer For Our Times) (Independently released CD, Experimental)
Some albums are easy to listen to and write about. Others are more difficult. This one fits into the latter category. First, because I had to do a bit of searching to actually figure out who the artist is (!). And second, because the music itself doesn't easily fit into any obvious genres. If I had to try to slap a label on this one, I would have to say these tracks fall somewhere in between ambient and space music. But that doesn't really capture what's happening because some cuts sound like neither. There's a whole lot of spontaneous improvisation happening here, so you never really know what to expect from one moment to the next. The album is divided into four sections: ...The Father, ...The Son, ...The Holy Spirit and Amen. And yet I don't really hear anything that sounds like any religious music I have heard in the past. Mixed by Markus Reuter and Benni Schafer, this is a truly peculiar album that defies categorization. The sounds and instruments used are bizarre and yet somehow they invite the listener into this peculiar musical universe. This one's a truly wild sonic ride.
Ally Venable - Heart of Fire (CD, Ruf, Blues/rock/pop)
The fourth full-length release from Texas-based blues guitarist and rocker Ally Venable. It's amazing how many ladies are playing killer blues guitar music in 2021. And if you want to hear the best of the best you can usually find 'em on Germany's Ruf label. As soon as I heard the snazzy wah-wah guitar in the opening bars of this album I was immediately reminded of classic blues/rockers from the past like ZZ Top. Venable's got a winning sound and style. And many listeners may be very surprised that such a beautiful young lady can play a guitar with so much muscular intent. These tracks were recorded simply, using only the basic instruments necessary in order to make them work. You won't hear the usual twenty-first century effects threaded into these cuts. Ally and her band play back-to-basics blues rock. Listening to this album, you may very well feel as if you're listening to the band playing live. The songs have all the spontaneity and power that only a live band can provide. The rhythm section is solid and focused, thanks to the expertise of drummer Elijah Owings and bass player Bobby Wallace. If you're a blues guitar fan, you're almost certain to find something that floats your boat here. Eleven killer tracks that'll keep you entertained for hours. Ally Venable is the real deal. Cool focused cuts include "Heart of Fire," "Hateful Blues," "Do It In Heels" and "What Do You Want From Me."
When we're young
We wanna be old.
When we're old
We wanna be young.
When we're dying
We wanna stay alive.
When we're alive
We wanna be dead.
The Wedding Present - Locked Down and Stripped Back (Vinyl LP, Happy Happy Birthday To Me, Underground pop/rock)
I have been a big fan of The Wedding Present for such a long time that it seems like forever. David Gedge and his associates never fail to deliver cool credible music regardless of the year or the lineup. This is one of those cases where the Covid-19 crisis produced something great. Because the band could not play together or play shows, Gedge took it upon himself to re-create new stripped down recordings of some of the band's favorites by sending tracks back and forth over the internet. Locked Down and Stripped Back presents ten re-recordings and two previously unreleased songs ("You're Just A Habit That I'm Trying To Break" and "We Should Be Together"). Over time, most successful bands tend to overproduce their music and lose the original magic that made them so great. Over time, David seems to have avoided that trip. Recent releases have found the band with the same basic sound they started out with. But on this release, things are stripped down even further (thus the album name)...and the results are absolutely wonderful. These tracks sound like very well-done home recordings. Because the arrangements are simple and effects kept to a minimum, the focus is on the songs themselves. Killer songs played the way they ought to be played. What more could a listener ask for? An absolute must for fans of The Wedding Present as well as anyone else who just loves great underground pop/rock. Wonderful stuff, delivered with style and integrity. Highly recommended. Top pick.
Lyle Workman - Uncommon Measures (CD, Blue Canoe, Progressive pop)
This fellow's name immediately rang a bell in my head, but I couldn't quite remember why. A brief internet search revealed that up to this point in time Lyle Workman has worked mainly as a sideman and session musician in addition to composing music for film and television. And he's worked with a mind-bending array of well-known artists and motion pictures along the way. After many years making music from behind the curtains, Workman now steps into the spotlight with the release of Uncommon Measures. Recorded with a 63-piece orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London, this collection of instrumentals shows why this man has been in such high demand over the years. These compositions seem to capture both worlds of Lyle's musical achievements over the years. The tracks display an incredibly command of the electric guitar. This man can obviously play circles around just about anyone who might even try. But these recordings also capture the excitement and energy of some of the best orchestrated soundtracks. A huge number of musicians contributed to this one, the list goes on and on and on. Featuring a great big sound and an intense wall of technical abilities, Uncommon Measures will further cement this man's place in the pages of musical history. Impeccably recorded tracks include "North Star," "Arc of Life," "Unsung Hero" and "Our Friendship." Smooth, exhilarating and fanciful stuff with plenty of sparks. Nice.
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
KWKWERA - Lists
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
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