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April 2024:
 
babysue comic strips, News, Views and Perspectives & Notable New Releases
 
See different stuff each month at babysue.com.


April 2024 News, Views and Perspectives

* Discerning musicologists take note.  A new eight CD box set has just been released that collects all five Stereolab Switched On albums into one convenient spot.  Entitled Switched On Volumes 1 - 5, this is another must have from this perpetually entertaining music group.  All the tracks have been remastered from the original master tapes.  Hats off to the folks at Warp Records for releasing this one.  Highly recommended.  *  One of the most pivotal and cerebral progressive rock groups on the planet, the Stick Men band has once again been roaming the world presenting ultra-cool heady vibes for listeners who can't get enough.  These guys are so good at what they do that they leave many others far far away in a trail of powdery dust.  [continued below]



* Obscure and Unusual.  We love obscure and unusual things, particularly when they're really strange or funny.  We recently came across an odd little item that is both.  In 1949 Kenner made a toy called Blow-A-Tune.  It was a novelty toy probably intended to be played with for a day and then thrown away.  The toy is a peculiar little harmonica type thing with a handle.  You put a cardboard (?!) 'record' on it and then you crank the handle while blowing into the tube.  The cardboard record only allows air to go through the right holes to play the desired notes.  Yes, it does work...but it requires a great deal of work to play tunes that you can barely recognize.  And to make it work you have to have a lot of blowing power.  Attaching the damn thing to an air compressor might work better.  In any event, we were fortunate enough to find Blow-A-Tune in the box with all four cardboard record sets.  This toy is so ridiculous that it's a modern damn scream.  *  Illusion vs. Reality.  We love it when a celebrity is exposed for who/what they really are instead of what we think they are.  An excellent illustration of this can be found on some tapes that were leaked of the late Judy Garland in advance of what was supposed to be an autobiography (this never materialized for obvious reasons).  The tapes were eventually leaked to the public under the title Judy Garland Speaks, much to the dismay of devout Garland fans.  It's strange indeed hearing sweet little Dorothy Gale swearing and spouting off like the bitter old woman that she eventually became.  Not only are the tapes revealing, but they are also often exceptionally hilarious.  We recently came across some videos created by comedian Dickie Beau in which he managed to memorize (!) long segments of the tapes and then act them out for a live audience.  Beau is amazingly believable in his performances and his lip syncing is fantastic.  The video performances definitely add some extra zing to the audio, making some segments even funnier than they were in the first place.  If you've never heard the Judy Garland tapes you need to hear them.  And you also need to view Dickie Beau's videos.  *  The New Cheese.  New Cheese is here and everyone is talking about it.  The cheese first started appearing in small rural areas, covering trees, houses and vehicles.  Then it slowly began traveling interstate highway systems to reach more populated areas.  In most major cities New Cheese now covers about 98% of everything.  The good news is that everyone loves cheese, although many note that they only like it in limited amounts.  Whatever the case, New Cheese is here to stay.  It is thick and gooey.  And it won't be long before everything is covered with the stuff.  Like it or hate it, this is the new norm.  It won't be long before you won't be able to get anything without cheese anymore.  *  Rich Arithmetic is back...again.  A lot of folks were surprised when a new Rich Arithmetic album surfaced in 2021 (the well-received Shiftingears).  After all, there was a blank period of about 26 years since a previous album was released.  The good news is that Rich is already back with a brand new batch of tunes.  Released jointly on the Kool Kat Musik & Optional Art labels, Pushbutton Romance features 15 well-crafted tunes that are bound to please fans.  Listeners will no doubt be falling in love with tracks like "When You Want Somebody (To Make Love To)," "Battered & Broke" and "You Are Always Right."  Here's hoping another new album will be just around the corner. * [continued below]



* Christine Santelli has just released her tenth album on the Rapid Records label.  Recorded with Heather Hardy, Live In The Parlour is just that.  Santelli and Hardy recorded these songs live at Fox and Crow in Jersey City, New Jersey in June 2022.  And now that performance is available for the rest of the world to enjoy.  Nice solid tracks delivered with integrity and style.  The live approach works well for these two captivating ladies.  *  The Earl Scruggs Music Festival returns to Mill Spring, North Carolina from August 30 to September 1, 2024.  A whole slew of well-known artists will be performing.  *  Kacey Musgraves did something but we can't recall what it was.  *  Words can't describe how sad we were to learn that Steve Harley (Cockney Rebel) recently passed away.  Mr. Harley will forever be one of our all-time favorites.  We've mentioned this in the past but...it seems absolutely criminal that his best album (The Psychomodo) has never even been released in the United States on any format.  It's an incredible album from start to finish with killer songs and no filler.  We memorized each and every single syllable long ago.  This man was a genius lyricist.  Steve was unfairly dismissed by many without good cause.  His music was and is in a category all its own.  And he recorded some of the best progressive pop songs of all time.  If the only track you're familiar with is "Come Up And See Me (Make Me Smile)," you have unfortunately missed out on a whole treasure trove of additional material that is just as good if not far better.  Highly recommended songs include "Hideaway," "Red Is A Mean Mean Colour," "Mr. Soft," "The Best Years Of Our Lives," "Sweet Dreams," "Singular Band," "Loretta's Tale," "Tumbling Down," "(Love) Compared With You," "Sebastian," "Timeless Flight," "The Psychomodo" and "Seeking A Love."  God, we could go on and on and on with this list.  Do yourself a favor and turn onto this extraordinarily talented man's lesser known recordings...and you will be warmly rewarded for decades.  R.I.P Steve Harley.  Thank you for making all the fantastic music.  *  [continued below]



* The Tonto Bun Dilemma.  Fans of The Lone Ranger might possibly have the answer to the eternal question that people have been asking for decades.  WHY TONTO HAVE BUN.Heads No Longer Turning.  Everyone takes everything for granted.  That certainly holds true when it comes to simple body movements.  For hundreds of years people have turned their heads whatever way they wanted without thinking much about it.  But this year that has changed.  No one can turn their heads now.  Not even a little bit.  Scientists aren't sure if it is genetic or somehow the result of changes in the Earth's magnetic field.  But whatever the reason, the end result is something we would never have imagined could be possible.  Will we ever be able to turn our heads again?  There's bound to be a lot of debate and speculation about most disturbing problem.  *  The taste-conscious folks at Think Like A Key have once again outdone themselves.  This time they have reissued an amazing gem from 1969.  John Bromley's Sing album has been a favorite among discerning fans for years so folks are welcoming this one with open arms.  Available on vinyl, CD (with nine bonus tracks) and as a download, Sing is an album that deserves to be heard by all fans of credible underground pop.  Also out on Think Like A Key is an interesting new album from Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/art-rocker Ward WhiteUnspooling The Reel is an album that is decidedly entertaining and ultimately inspired.  White has been compared to other artists like David Bowie and Mark Mothersbaugh.  This man is a different sort of voice from a different sort of space.  *  No Mo Moon in 2024.  The Moon will not be visible for the remainder of 2024.  This is due to upgrades and some long overdue refurbishing.  Plus, in the Moon's own words, "I'm just really tired of constantly spinning around all the time way out here in nowheresville and I need a break."  * [continued below]



 *  Big Bands are IN.  Big band music is where it's at this Spring and Summer.  Treat yourself to three of the best...Glenn Miller, Paul Whiteman and Duke Ellington.  These guys were top notch bandleaders whose music has held up exceptionally well.  At a point in time when commercial pop music in the U.S.A. has reached the lowest of lows, big band music is sounding mighty damn good.  It's also a strange reminder that the United States was a decent place to live once upon a time.  *  Texas-based folk/pop recording artist Stephanie Simmons has a new album coming out May 2024 entitled Time and Evolution.  Simmons has been compared to artists like Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt.  This cool album is housed in a nifty  cardboard sleeve and features ten well-crafted compositions.  *  Tapete has been one of our top favorite music labels for many years.  And now there's two more reasons why this is so.  The label has just put out new albums by BMX Bandits and Penny ArcadeDreamers On The Run is the twelfth studio album from BMX Bandits and it's bound to be a hit with listeners.  Eleven impeccable songs created with precision and style.  Penny Arcade's Backwater Collage is the creation of James Hoare, the sole member of the band.  Hoare's dreamy intelligent compositions are sincere and genuinely thought provoking.  Both of these new Tapete releases are highly recommended.  *  Badfinger fans take note.  The label Y&T Music has just released Gwent Gardens, a collection of demos and home recordings by the late great Pete Ham.  So many demos and home recordings have already been released by this cool fellow.  We figured this album would be scraping the bottom of the barrel for recordings that weren't the greatest.  Nope, no way.  That is definitely NOT the case here.  Rather than barrel scrapings, Gwent Gardens just might be the most impressive collection of Ham's home recordings thus far released.  The sound quality is surprisingly good and the number of never-heard-before compositions is mind boggling.  If you ever loved Badfinger or Pete Ham, you will want to get your hands on this release before it sells out.  Pete Ham was one of the most talented songwriters ever to emerge in the 1960s and 1970s.  * 


April 2024 Notable New Releases

Those Dumpy Doctors - Plows For Micky Doodle Doctors (April Monkey).  Tarot - Glimpse of the Dawn (Cruz Del Sur Music).  Tonnerre - La Nuit Sauvage (Cruz Del Sur Music).  April 2024 Is Crummy - May 2024 Will Be Crummy Too (Month-To-Mouth Music).  Celebrate Decline - All Around Us (Library Noodle).  Swinnerton - One Two Four Twelve (Nearly Nearly Feather).  Food Tastes Bad - Pills Taste Good (For Lilly and Borch).  No Men Allowed - The Trash Collector Makes Poppy (Zebra Notion).  Soft Loud Loud Soft - LSSL (387-BH Music).  Buying A New Mouse? - Two Two Three Two (Kicks and Tripods).  Children - Wee Problem (Magic Straps).  Bun - Snout For Brownie (Liver Think).  Old Lomos Deranged - Distance Sauce (Really Now).  Oh My Dear - Two More Stiff Drinks From The Fountain (Eight Nope).  Your Crummy Balls - They Ain't What You Think They Is No Mo (Chapter Chop Chop).  Sirloin Bra - Get Your Potato Mess (Libby Mistress).  Mott The Sucker - All The Way From Cleveland (Tillerman Tracks).  Mouse Bottle - This Thing You Call This (Are So Ain't So).  The Coffee You Perk Will Never Be Good Enough - Please Please That Husband (Rob's Constant Tipper).  John Bromley - Sing (Think Like A Key).  Jimmy Campbell & Billy Kinsley - Yes It Is (Think Like A Key).  Michael de Albuquerque - We May Be Cattle... (Think Like A Key).  The Tremeloes - Master (Think Like A Key).  Rome 56 - Paradise Is Free (Think Like A Key).  Ward White - Here Come The Dowsers (Think Like A Key).  Stephen Barton & Gordy Haab - Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - Original Video Game Soundtrack (Disney).  Deep Tunnel Project - Deep Tunnel Project (Comedy Minus One).  Penny Arcade - Backwater Collage.  Jonathan Brenner - Instagram Success.  Fog Lamp - Anxious Stargazing (The Bucket Records).  Kenny Garrett and Savoy - Who Killer AI? (Mack Avenue Records).  Red Sleeping Beauty - Is This Love? EP (Matinee Recordings).  Nick Shofield - Ambient Ensemble (Forward Music).  Jon McKiel - Hex (You've Changed Records).  Matt Bunsen - I Am Consumed.  Tylor & The Train Robbers - Hum Of The Road.  Ranzel X Kendrick - Hill Country Hip - Best of RXK.  Devil Moon Risen - Fissures of Men.  Brent Seavers - Exhibit B (Kool Kat Musik).  Easy Bees - Easy Bees.  The Hangmen - Stories To Tell (Acetate Records).  SleepMakesWaves - It's Here But I Have No Names For It (Bird's Robe / MGM).  Taj Mahal - Swingin Live At The Church In Tulsa, 2024 (Lightning Rod Records).  BMX Bandits - Dreamers On The Run.  Paved Dowie - Monkey Story (RCB Records).  Peach and Lee - Not For Sale 1965-1975 (Kool Kat Musik).  Def Leppard - One Night Only Live At The Leadmill Sheffield (double vinyl LP).  Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds - That Delicious Vice (In The Red Records).  Jesse Baylin - Strawberry Wind Deluxe Edition (Blonde Rat / New West Records).  Faun Fables - Mother Twilight (vinyl reissue, Drag City).  Faun Fables - Family Album (vinyl reissue, Drag City).  The Legendary Ten Seconds - Folk Rocktronica.  Mira Goto - Before EP.  Lucy Woodward - Stories From the Dust.  Pedal Steel Noah - Texas Madness EP (Lightning Rod Records).  Bricoleurs - False Friends of a Translator.  The Frontmen - The Frontmen (BBR Music Group / BMG Nashville).  Jonathan Reilly - Dark Matter.  Lights & Motion - Wonder (Deep Elm).  Fried Blobs of Mustard Blobs - Penny and the Sunshine Flower Punch (SRMSRR).  Aerial - Activities of Daily Living.  The Anti-Queens - Disenchanted (Stomp Records).  B. Dolan - The Wound Is Not The Body.  King Black Acid - Victory For Mad Love (Cavity Search Records / Mazinga Records).  Haroldo Bontempo - EP (YB).  The Self-Absorbed Band - We Think We Is All There Is (Lofty Flower Music).  Questioning The Question - What Kind Of List Is This Anyway You Can't Just Put Anything You Want In A List (Questionable Music).  Lofty Lid and the Louder Lumps - This Album Is Not This Album (Is / Is Not Music).  Bossy Tonto - When Tonto Not Get What Tonto Want Tonto Get Bossy (Burst Of Music).  Brewster Higley - Old Homes-oh Are Strange EP.  Helia Tatla - Helia Tatla EP.

[This section only includes full-length releases and EPs.]

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  2024 LMNOP aka dONW7

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