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December 2022:
  Abstractions, a babysue comic strip, News, Views and Perspectives &
Notable New Releases

December 2022: News, Views and Perspectives

Long lost album LMNO3 will be released on CD in February 2023.
My (almost) long lost album LMNO3 will be released on CD by the label Think Like A Key Music in February 2023.  It will include a bunch of bonus tracks and, thus, will be entitled LMNO3 Deluxe.  The album was originally only issued on independent cassettes that were duplicated in my living room in 1985.  It was never released on CD or LP and would have been lost forever if it were not for musicologist Jay Dravenstadt who provided me with tracks that he digitized from one of those obscure cassettes.  The songs on the upcoming CD were digitized from the original half track reel-to-reel tapes and mastered by Roger Houdaille.  I have also successfully digitized a solo album recorded in 1981 that was never officially released at all.  These very early multitrack recordings will be leaked out in the months/years that lie ahead.
The David Bowie Space Oddity-related deluxe release Conversation Piece was excellent and thoroughly absorbing.  The Width of a Circle (which focused on stuff from The Man Who Sold The World period) was ultimately disappointing and not even worth purchasing.  So I was wondering whether Conversation Piece could ever be topped.  I'm pleased to report that Divine Symmetry is easily the most satisfying deluxe posthumous Bowie release yet.  Hunky Dory is considered by many (including myself) to be one of the peaks of David's career.  This book and multi-disc set digs deep into anything/everything leading up to the album.  The books are excellent, full of killer photographs, commentary and notes.  It is unfortunate indeed that none of the super deluxe Marc Bolan releases have been created with such genuine care and presented with such class and style.  Maybe one day?  Until then...David Bowie fans will have a field day with Divine Symmetry.  Full of cool previously unreleased stuff.  The packaging is beautiful.  And yes, this one IS worth the money. * It's not often that I hear from music folks in Norway so a recent communication caught my attention.  A cool fellow named Christoffer Schou runs a Norwegian label called Superstar Recordings and also does PR for independent artists in Norway.  Schou's latest project is promoting an album by the dreampop band S.L.Y.C., released on the Metronomicon Audio label.  The band is inspired by artists like Stereolab, Broadcast and The Cocteau TwinsInteresting. * Publicist Krista Vilinskis has turned me onto tons upon tons of credible cool music.  After working at Tinderbox Publicity for 22 years (!) Krista has now moved on and started her own company named Elephants & Flowers Media.  You can bet Ms. Vilinskis' new venture will be a success in the years that lie ahead.  *  Of all the musicians who committed suicide over the years, Pete Ham's death was one of the saddest.  Such a talented young fellow who gave up before he became timeless and legendary.  I have always thought that if he had been able to see into the future and realize how many people he affected with his music, he would have never taken that route.  So Badfinger fans, take note.  There's a new underground release out from Ham entitled Demos Variety Pack.  Released on the tiny label Without You Music in a no-frills package (just a CD in a very simple flat cardboard sleeve), it contains some of the best demo/unreleased material yet from Mr. Ham.  I was on the fence about purchasing this one.  But after reading Bill Kopp's review of the CD on his Musoscribe website (always highly recommended), I couldn't help but bite the bait.  Glad I did.  Demos Variety Pack contains some true gems.  The label has also released a CD featuring early demo recordings by The Iveys that is really hip. *  The folks at Aagoo Records always release interesting stuff, and their artist roster is varied and unusual.  The label's latest release is the album Bon Mots by The John-Pauls.  Aagoo describes the music as "a countrified 90s Sonic Youth"...so you know it's a strange one.  I highly recommend anything/everything on Aagoo.  The label is consistently entertaining and unique.  *  2022 was possibly the best year ever and it appears 2023 will be even better. * Rarely does one hear a band with a sound as harsh and unrelenting as Portland, Oregon's Bothers.  These guys have a sound that is like a cross between early punk, thrash metal and underground pop.  The band's label (Dirt Cult Records) compares the band's sound to Tragedy, Laughing Hyenas, Jesus Lizard, Neurosis, Prison Suicide and Husker Du.  The new Bothers album is titled II...and it will leave most listeners breathless (and scare away many more).  Cool and intense stuff.  You can stream/download II on bandcamp now.  *  One of the strangest Australian musical outfits has to be The Narcoleptor.  The band is a theremin and harp duo, which by itself would be odd.  But even stranger is the band's look.  Their publicity photos recall bizarre artists from the past like Klaus Nomi.  The Narcoleptor recently played live music to a showing of the 1922 film Nosferatu.  How cool is that?  *  Some great news here.  After many years of self-release, The Silent Boys have been picked up by the label Too Good To Be True Records.  The label's first Silent Boys release is the album Sand To Pearls, Coal To Diamonds -- available to stream, download and purchase (physical CD) now on bandcamp.  Nine tracks of pure underground guitar pop bliss.  Wallace Dietz, John Suchocki, John Morand and Grant Oliver have done it again.  With a truly impressive artist roster, Too Good To Be True is a label to watch.  *  One of the more interesting music labels to pop up in quite some time, Australia's terra-cotta Records is off and running with a cool album entitled Whether The Storm by Marcello...offered as a stream, download or limited edition forest green cassette (!).  The label seems to have a decidedly noncommercial interest in music, opting to release music by "...musicians who create from homes and personal spaces, developing unique approaches and sounds, limited by the equipment in their vicinity" (direct quote from the label).  I particularly love the label's cool logo of a single head with one large ear.  *  After receiving a good deal of positive response from the song "I'm Not Better Than Anyone," the band Gene Wilder's Vacation has now released an official music video of this song.  Good stuff, check it out.  *  I wonder how long it will be before Donovan Leitch's 1970s recordings receive the attention and support they deserve.  I love his music from the sixties, but his best material came years later.  Just as is almost always the case, people pay attention when something or someone is popular.  But when the popularity fades, they move onto something else...often missing out on the best of the best.  Widely known for his hit songs in the 1960s, by the 1970s most were no longer paying attention to Donovan's music.  And that's sad, because several of his 1970s albums were among the best things released during that decade.  So...for anyone out there wanting to experience some of the very best folk/pop ever recorded, check out the albums 7-Tease, Open Road, Cosmic Wheels, Essence To Essence, Slow Down World and the self-titled Donovan.  Timeless and genuine, these albums will hopefully one day be recognized for the works of genius that they are.  * Decatur, Georgia-based film producer Kendall Keeling recently hosted a music festival entitled Kendallkeelingfest.  The three day event which ran from November 29 through December 1 featured headliners Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails and The Cure.  Supporting acts included The Fall, Yes, Queens of the Stone Age, Philip Glass, Roxy Music, Ministry, Brian Eno, Spoon, The The, Wire, Cheap Trick...and even yours truly.  A great time was had by all. *

Entropy is one of the most important concepts out there.  The more I learn about entropy and all things associated with it, the more interesting it becomes.  Order vs. disorder.  Over time disorder reigns supreme.  Over time everyone and everything is destined to disintegrate into chaos.  And that includes our planet and the universe.  The idea that people have managed to find so many ways to harness disorder and create order from it.  The more you learn about this concept, the stranger it gets.  It seems particularly odd that entropy is so rarely discussed, particularly since it is at the core of almost everything.  Apparently people would rather focus on things that are trivial and unremarkable.
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December 2022 Notable New Releases

Igor Yakovenko & Alik Khristoforidi - The Process (FancyMusic).  Alpha Cat - Venus Smile EP.  The Rutabega - Leading Up To (Comedy Minus One).  Bird Streets - Lagoon (Sparkle Plenty / Deko).  Drowning Pool - Strike A Nerve.  IFSONEVER - IFSONEVER (Jazz & Milk Recordings).  Darkbird - Ballad of a Junebug EP.  The Headhunters - Speakers In The House (Ropeadope).  Adam Giles Levy - Wake of Disarray (Hillside Global).  Eric Ambel - You Asked For It: The Shut In Singles Series.  Steven Patrick - Bad Reign (FnA Records).  Steven Patrick - Guns & Gold (FnA Records).  Pete Mancini - Live on WDVX EP (bandcamp).  Allan Holdsworth, Alan Pasqua, Chad Wackerman & Jimy Haslip - Proto-Cosmos (Blue Canoe Records).  Live People Ensemble - Waltzes.  Stilleklang - Tranen Der Vergangenheit (Schattenpfade).  STUCKINWAVEFORMS - Elevate EP (Cascade Records).  Circles Around the Sun - Language (Calabro Music).  Conner Cherland - Call Waiting (Santa Barbara Records).  Dadfinger - Let's All Argue About Things That Aren't Important (Jelly Records).  Sesame Skreet - Can You Tell Me How To Get As Far Away As Possible From Sesame Street (Wally Music).  The Golden Rail - Songs From Empty Streets (Kool Kat Musik).  Illusion of Safety & Z'ev - No Part Of It.  Jamie Johnson - Gamble My Soul.  Zmeyev & Screen Jazzmaster - From Side To Side.  Gerald V. Casale - The Invisible Man EP.  Yates McKendree - Buchanan Lane (Qualified Records).  Kevin Kastning & Carl Clements - Strand In Strands (Greydisc Records).  Fats Waller - Wallerin' In Mud Puddles (Slawpuddin' Ripple Records).  Barbra Streisand - No More Songs No One Wants To Hear Never Again (Columbian Records).  Dusty Springfield - More Songs about Big Blond Wigs (Echo Recordings).  Popular Creeps - All Of This Will End In Tears (Big Stir Records).  Fine Lame - Fine Lame EP.  Roxane Métayer and Pefkin - Split LP (Morc Records).  The Muffins - Baker's Dozen (Cuneiform Records).  Buzz Amato - Muse Cafe (Blue Canoe Records).  Politicians - We Lie Because You Won't Vote For Us Unless We Lie (Bobby Socker Records).  CUSPS - Out For Blood (Dirty Dog).  Sawyer Fredericks - The Golden Tree EP.  Major Awards - A Tribute To Starflyer 59 (Pacifirecords).  The Vindys - Bug (vinyl).  Helalyn Flowers - Halos EP (Alfa Matrix Records).  Icicle - Summary (Herd Records).  The Godz - Machines.  Barry Schrader - Lost Analog (bandcamp).  The Black Halos - How the Darkness Doubled (Stomp Records).  Carmine Miranda & Robert Marler - Shostakovich Rachmaninoff (Navona Records).  Adam Giles Levy - Wild Earth (Wake of Disarray).  Petyaev-Petyaev - There Is No Death, Part 2 (Fancymusic, bandcamp).  Pacific Walker - Pacific Walker (Orphanology / Bluesanct).  Uncertain - The Descending Spirals of Time (Orphanology / Bluesanct).  The Lucky 13s - Gamble My Soul (Hillside Global Sound Group Ltd.).  Mark Daly - Nothing To Lose EP.  Fateful Finality - Emperor of the Weak.  Tortured Soul - Take the Day Off (Tstc Music).  The New Bardots - Singles Night EP (Bongo Boy Records).  Dan Israel - Seriously.  Eddie V9 - Capricorn.  Vince Herman - Enjoy the Ride (LoHi Records).
[This section only includes full-length releases and EPs.]

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