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April 2022: News, Views & Perspectives.
Perpetual babysue favorite John Vanderslice has a new album out, and this time he has released the music using the name ORANGEPURPLEBEACH. The 'visual album' is entitled d E A T h ~ b U g (I love the creative capitalization, of course...) and it's another excellent addition to an already mindblowing discography. Mr. Vanderslice is one of the most original voices in the world of music, and I'm very glad he continues recording and releasing his heady intelligent brand of progressive modern pop. A group that does not fit into any easily defined category is Toronto, Canada-based band The Henrys. The band has been making music since the early 1990s and has, over time, impressed lots of listeners with their intelligent sounds and ideas. The band has just released their latest album entitled Shrug, featuring nifty album art by Pete Dako. This one will be warmly embraced by discerning listeners around the world. Check out the band's website and be introduced to a cool world where music, melodies, creativity and personal integrity are the key ingredients that drive things forward. Toronto/Halifax-based art rockers Heaven For Real have a new EP out entitled Sweet Rose Green Winter Desk Top Tell This Side Autumn Of The Fighter Hot In A Cool Way. These folks always present cool quality stuff...and this one just might win the prize for the longest EP title of all time. It's being released by the folks at Mint Records so you know it's great stuff. One of the hardest working credible underground bands I know of is California's Drool Brothers. The band has just released yet another fine EP entitled Bring Your Trunks featuring six intelligent cool tracks. More great solid music from a band who always delivers for their fans. Speaking of delivering...the folks at the (always amazing) Think Like A Key label have just released two more instantly pleasing albums. The first is Days of Carefree Living by the band Rome 56. This group is the latest project spearheaded by longtime recording artist Arthur Lamonica. Think Like A Key has also released yet another spectacular album from Ex Norwegian entitled Spook Du Jour. The album is already receiving rave reviews from people whose opinions matter around the globe. Roger Houdaille's latest is an underground pop classic, featuring twelve perfectly-crafted smart compositions like "Teen Bakery," "Burn It," "Crazy Paving," and "For Your Conveniences." I can't believe some European label hasn't yet opted to reissue the entire Ex Norwegian catalog. Folks overseas would be far more receptive to the music than most listeners in the United States. This isn't new (it came out in 2017), but I just got my paws on the DVD box set Porky Pig 101. Wow. This is a release that I was not aware of. It brilliantly presents the first 101 Porky Pig cartoons in the order in which they were originally created. Most of the cartoons (99) are in black and white, which is just fine with me. I'm a big fan of early Warner Bros. stuff...and this release really hits the target dead center. Brooklyn-based recording artist Pete Galub has teamed up with Matt Kanelos to release a new single entitled "Museum of Brotherly Love." Yet another cool and credible release with a difference. Thumbs up.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *In the obvious core center of everything a tiny light appears. The light gets brighter and then the light gets more bright. Once it gets bozo enough, it will pounce upon the new lousy mousers and howl up a friction ripe. That is the down bed that gets it right when the muffle goes thumpy thump in the early morning night. And that is eventually the thump that gets frowny and horrible when it allows Ralph and Margaret to get to the rodeo on time.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Gentle Giant. Although they were far more obscure and peculiar, Gentle Giant was always one of my favorite progressive rock bands from the twentieth century. When they began releasing music their albums didn't fare so well, probably because they were too moody, strange and unfamiliar for most music fans. But over time the band's music has held up extremely well. I've been pleasantly surprised that over the past few years there has been a resurgence of interest in Gentle Giant music. Long overdue, but better late than never. Most serious progressive fans are already very familiar with this band. But anyone else with even a casual interest in progressive rock should also check them out. The group sounds something like a peculiar cross between Henry Cow, Godley & Creme, Family and early Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, without ever sounding very much like any of the four. Gentle Giant was perhaps the most technically proficient of the original wave of progressive rock bands in Great Britain. For some reason, I never seem to tire of this band's music.
Terry Gilliam. I have been intrigued by Terry Gilliam since I was first exposed to his strange visuals on the television show Monty Python's Flying Circus. After working on that show, he began producing motion pictures and that's when he caught almost everyone by surprise. Brazil is his finest achievement, a film that was far ahead of its time. I highly recommend it. Although I have never really understood the story, the visuals and the overall impact of the motion picture are mindblowing. Because I love Brazil so much, I spent a good bit of time digesting Terry's other movies. Unfortunately, most of them aren't nearly as incredible as Brazil, although they are all great in terms of visuals. Gilliam's second best creation is Tidelands. The film involves so many bizarre ideas that it alienated (and continues to alienate) most people. It's always interesting to read what people have to say about Tidelands because opinions go all over the place. A few people love it. But interestingly, the motion picture seems to make lots of people very agitated and even angry (?). Time Bandits was Gilliam's most successful venture and yet it is probably the most average thing he ever did. And that's probably because it was safe and predictable. Terry Gilliam is a misunderstood genius whose creations get better with every passing year. Watch Brazil. Then 12 Monkeys. Watch some of this other films. And then, when you feel you're ready for it, watch Tidelands.
Open Minds, Closed Tight. I find it genuinely interesting hearing people's viewpoints that are entirely different from my own. But I now find myself a member of a continually shrinking teeny tiny group of folks who feel this way. A truly open mind is indeed a very hard thing to find in 2022.
NOTABLE NEW RELEASES. The Gizmos - Raw '76/'77 (Gulcher). The Gizmos - 1981 NYC Demos: The Midwest Can Be Allright (Gulcher). Laura Brino - No More Surprises. TriTone Asylum - The Hideaway Sessions (Blue Canoe Records). Vajsar Brothers - Intermission. Taryn Hadfield - Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Dashdown - The Dirt Tastes Good Right Here (Blind Pigeon Records). Emperor Penguin - Sunday Carvery (Kool Kat Musik). Dave Cope and the Sass - Julee (Kool Kat Musik). Space Opera - Space Opera (Mall Label Music). Amy Correia - As We Are. Jesse Norell - Aorta Borealis. Bad Montana - Crazy Game. Wise & Eager - Live For Today. The Legendary 10 Seconds - The Musical Almanac. Soulline - Screaming Eyes. New Norde - Whatever's Clever EP. GmBt - 10 Minutes. The Warmbabies - Let's Live Underground (Kool Kat Musik). Little Bohemia - Behind the Disney Parade. U137 - Imagination (Deep Elm). ORANGEPURPLEBEACH (John Vanderslice) - d E A T h ~ b U g. Kenny Dubman - Conflicted. Elephant Kind - Superblue. Pictoria Vark - The Parts I Dread (Get Better Records). Rome 56 - Days of Carefree Living (Think Like A Key). Ex Norwegian - Spook Du Jour (Think Like A Key). Liverpool Park Alligator - Liverpool Park Alligator (Moquette Records). Pocket Princess and the Farm Cows of Upper Minnow - Ain't There No Life For A Poor Woman Trying To Fuss With A Shopping Cart? (Lift Posey Pop Records). The Hose Fosters - Dipping Into the Wallow of Mystery Grips. Dead People Roaming Around the Nursery Plow - Here's Some Money Now Go Bother Somebody Else (Frosty Lark's Little Label). The Singles - L.O.V.E. From the Santa Cruz Archives '82-'85 (Kool Kat Musik). Def Leppard - Diamond Star Halos. Frank Zappa and The Mothers - The Mothers 1971 (Zappa Records / UMe). Greta Thunberg - How Dare You: Greta's Greatest Swedish Death Metal Hits (ABC/Dunhill). Cabin Boy Jumped Ship - Sentiments (AFM Records). Jane Lee Hooker - Rollin'. Andy Ostwald Trio - Field Guide (Digital Victrola). Someone/Anyone? - A 50th Anniversary Tribute to Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything? (Forward Motion Records). Crash Taylor - Retired Outlaw (Fanatic Records). Charlie Winton - The Soul and the Shadow (Melatron Music). Miss Massive Snowflake - Intrepid Feelings EP. Sugaray Rayford - In Too Deep (Forty Below Records). Wasteland Viper - Dead Men Tell No Tales. Echoes From Oblivion - Oblivion. Sic Vikki - The Early Years (FnA Records). Peter Baron - Another Life (Heroic Records). Steven Doman - Our Lady of the High Appalachian EP. Say It Anyway - Picture Frames EP (Real Ghost Records).
[This section only includes full-length releases and EPs.]