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December 2023: News, Views and Perspectives
* 2023 is ending. As 2023 draws to a close, many are looking back and realizing that the year is about to end. As a result, these same people are saying that a new year is expected to begin soon. Tentatively titled 2024, the new year is expected to be very similar to 2023 except newer and not as old. The years look very similar but can easily be differentiated by the fourth number which is different from the other three. * The sky is deceptive. Looking up and appreciating the beautiful blue sky makes it easy to forget that beyond our atmosphere lies millions upon millions of light years full of cold silence and darkness. * What do you get when you add two numbers together? This topic has resulted in a great deal of discussion lately because no one can agree on what addition really is. Is the sum of two numbers the two numbers simply added together to create a new number? Or are there more variables involved that might mean the end result is actually different than the mere sum of the two numbers? The debate is hard and heavy and may never be resolved. There are presently twelve different theories on the topic that are being considered, but it is doubtful that any of them will be universally accepted within the next fifty to sixty decades. * Once again brilliant pop guru Jeremy Morris knocks one out of the ballpark. This time around, the album is (appropriately) titled High Fidelity. The album presents twelve beautifully crafted upbeat inspiring tracks, and they all hit the target. The album is on Jeremy's own JAM Records label. Also just released on JAM is a groovy new album entitled Reach by Cardboard Highway. Cardboard Highway is comprised of Peter Jeremy Morris, Christopher Peters and Matthew Willsea. The songs on Reach were recorded, mixed and produced by Mark Andrew Morris at Endless Light Squares in Kalamazoo, Michigan. * Different directions. Everyone knows North and South, those are the obvious directions. But what many may not realize is that two others have now been added to the equation. The two new ones have been labeled East and West. Scientists are currently incorporating the new directions into everything so that everyone can understand exactly what the new directions actually mean. In the meantime keep your eyes open for these new directions that are bound to make virtually everything start happening all over again. * The fun-loving guys in the band The Hasbros are back with a nifty new twelve track album. The self-released album is God Hates The Hasbros and Other Conspiracy Theories. Fun stuff. * Also new on the horizon are two more mind-blowing releases from the fine folks at Public Eyesore. The first is Badminton, The Volleys by Seeded Plain which presents four puzzling tracks. The band is the duo comprised of Jay Kreimer and Bryan Day. The second Public Eyesore release is Mammoth Flower by Philip Gayle. Gayle incorporates a wild array of sounds and ideas into this peculiar seven track album which was recorded in Japan. * The sun is cooling down. Top loading scientists have now succeeded in cooling the sun down by almost twenty-five degrees. That may seem like a lot, but it actually is a lot when you consider the fact that it isn't really that much although it is a great deal in the small scheme of things. * Liquid Salmon. Salmon fishes have been solid for hundreds of years. Perhaps that's why many were surprised to find that just recently Salmon fishes became a liquid. The cause is apparently due to increased mobility in the currents. Or at least that is what they would have us believe. Those damn Salmon. You never know what they will do next. * It's always cause for celebration when Chicago's Dolph Chaney releases a new album. The good news is that he has a new release out entitled Mug. Additional good news is that he once again worked with producer Nick Bertling. Unlike the last album (This Is Dolph Chaney) that delved into past compositions, Mug consists of brand new songs. The results are stunning and real. Mug presents thirteen groovy tracks with articulate arrangements, cool melodies and exceptional vocals. This one is available courtesy of the fine folks at Big Stir Records. * Speaking of Big Stir...the label has also released a whole slew of credible albums by other folks as well in 2023. Those include The Lunar Laugh's In The Black, Shplang's Thank You Valued Customer (hilarious title there), Tony Valentino's Dirty Water Revisited, Flashcubes' Pop Masters, Chris Church's Radio Transient, Graham Parker & The Goldtops' Last Chance To Learn The Twist, Steve Stoeckle's The Power Of And, Arthur Alexander's ...Steppin' Out!, and Sparkle Jets U.K.'s Best of Friends. And last but certainly not least is an exceptionally entertaining album from Popsicko entitled Off To A Bad Start. Comprised of Keith Brown, Tim Cullen, Marko DeSantis and Mick Flowers, the band presents smart melodic songs that stick in the brain like glue. * "When you think of 2023, what do you think of?" We asked 52,000 people from all ages and all walks of life this question. The most common responses were 'nothing' and 'snackish.' When respondents were asked to explain their answers, they all refused and got huffy. There is very little to be learned here. * Today's weather. The weather today will be three degrees. Tomorrow the weather will be eight degrees. For the remainder of the month the weather will be minus three hundred degrees. Next year the weather will be one degree. * Cool Drool. Whittier, California-based band The Drool Brothers have another exceptionally entertaining CD EP out entitled Mondo Electra. A couple of the tracks on this EP are strangely reminiscent of early Young Fresh Fellows. If you like smart underground pop with a decidedly peculiar sense of humor, you will totally dig this band. It's almost impossible to not be blown away by songs like "Quiet Vacation," "Sophisticated Twist," and "Mondo Electra." The band is comprised of Tom Slik, Dan Marfisi and Chuck Mancillas. This independent band continues to do everything right. *
December 2023 Notable New Releases
Semisonic - Little Bit of Sun. The Orion Experience - Cosmicandy: Deluxe Edition (Sweet! Records). Ian M. Bailey - We Live In Strange Times (Kool Kat Musik). Genus Ordinis Dei - The Beginning (Eclipse Records). Ken Kase - Ken Kase EP. Andrea England - Evidence of Love EP. Oblomov - Standard Monstre. wht.rbbt.obj - Whiskey Hotel Tango EP. Siger - When We Fly (Trad Records). Siger - Rodeland (Trad Records). Mike Ruby - A Million You's EP. Tom Hanley - Overnight. Jiants - Tall Tales. Ordahlia Nera - Mask of Broken Glass (Universal Music). Wiesinger - Stuck In Your Head. Norma MacDonald - In Waves. Sydney Mae - Rhythm EP. The Flower Bed Popples - Towers of Poppleheads (Dress Lupton). The Bowling Cones - Out of Our Cones (Libby's Little Label for Lousy Loopers). Jenner - Prove Them Wrong (Fighter Records). Shawn Carter - Boston to Bristol (Blonde Medicine). CatsMelvin -Seasick Circus. Mipto Kick - Rinse (Wok). Miss Lice - Nice Lice (Shower Potato). The Upset People - House For Little Bobo (The Mouse Combo). Coats For Coats - Lights For Lights (Nook). Shower To The Pupil - Give Reece A Prance (Too Much Pants). All The Dumb Dumb - Resist The Master Blink (Rowdy Puff). Searching For Something New To Be Upset About - When There's Nothing To Cause Frustration We'll Just Have To Find Something Anyway (Row Row). Pointless Polly - Give Polly Something Pointless (Less and Less). Paul Cauthen - Room 41 (colored vinyl, Lightning Rod Records). James McMurtry - Childish Things (colored vinyl, Lightning Rod Records). Oak Ridge Boys - Front Porch Singin' (colored vinyl, Lightning Rod Records). French TV - A Ghastly State of Affairs (Cuneiform Records). Hannah Kaminer - Heavy On The Vine. Puddle Dobber - Wink Wink Tug Tug (Brunchers). Howlin' Jaws - Half Asleep Half Awake (Bellevue Music Recordings / Modulor). Legendary Ten Seconds - The Acoustic Almanac (bandcamp). Baby Jey - Crop Circles. Will The Quadrangle Be Broke Up - Fifty Thirty Twenty Zero (5030200 Music). Little Kitty Kat - Mighty Big Songs For Such An Itty Bitty Kitty (Ranch Dressing Music). Nervous About Everything - That's The Way It Goes (Rick Rack). The Silverbeets - Mr. Brown Goes To The Cabaret.