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February 2024: News, Views and Perspectives
* Karl Bartos has an interesting new album out entitled The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Released on the Bureau B Records label, the album features narrative film music and sound design for Robert Wiene's classic 1920 psychological thriller. The recordings on the album were performed by Bartos, Mathias Black and The Ensemble of Sounds. * Clocks are OUT. After many decades of debate, it has finally been decided that clocks are no longer relevant. As a result, everyone is throwing them out because they came to the conclusion that -- in the big scheme of things -- clocks are worthless. The damn things have caused mountains of stress and difficulty for far too long. And it's not just standalone clocks that are going by the wayside. The time component embedded in electronic devices will also be deleted in all future operating systems. * Ashburn, Virginia-based label Soundstage Records has just released the new self-titled debut album from Evan deNicola. The album features the singles "One Last Cigarette," "Any Longer" and "Goin' To Daytona." * People prefer animals over people. 1,500,000 citizens were asked which they like better: animals or people. When confronted with the choice, 99.9999 percent of the respondents chose animals. This says a lot about how people feel about themselves and their fellow citizens. * New Vegetable Plant. Scientists have developed a new Super Vegetable Plant that produces all vegetables. This should simplify matters for farmers around the globe as there will no longer be a need for all those individual types of plants. The only problem scientists are wrestling with is the fact that most of the vegetables look different but taste exactly the same. But then, the same can be said for current vegetables that grow on different plants. Perhaps the next step will be to produce vegetables that all look the same but have different tastes. * Dan Treacy has been sighted. The sighting is usually invisible but kept in vast confidence. All the Treacy fans out there will be watching and waiting for more information. * Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. The names say it all. * Andy Kaufman always deserves a mention, so his name is included here. * Some of the best underground pop in the twenty-first century has been crafted by Salim Nourallah and his brother Faris Nourallah (together and separately). These two fellows have yet to receive the recognition they so rightly deserve. All of their recordings pass the critical test of time and are highly recommended. * The Solipsistics is another band whose music continues to sound better and better with each and every passing year. Exceptionally unique and refreshing music for discerning listeners. * Independent recording artist Ross Byron has a new disc out entitled Songs From the Q. Bryon describes his music as a combination of Americana Retro Metal, pop punk and boogie blues. * Anna Kendrick is easily one of the most interesting actresses on the planet. There's something uniquely different about her that is enduring and endearing. * We love it when people don't fit into the usual molds. Such is the case with the Washington, D.C.-based duo Griefcat who have an album coming out in April 2024 entitled Late Stage Capitalism. There's little doubt this one will get a lot of attention. First, because these two ladies (Annie Nardolilli and Louisa Hall) don't look like entertainers. Second, and most importantly, they're taking a very different approach from other artists. How many times have you heard two talented female musicians...presenting songs with lyrics that are controversial and often hilarious? But make no mistake, although they have a sense of humor, they are not a novelty act. Annie and Louisa are extremely talented and they have voices that are better than most of the big-time celebrities out there. Griefcat is bound to elicit all sorts of opinions and reactions. Be on the lookout for the new album. Our guess is that it will be one to remember. * Cigarettes are IN. At one point it seemed as if almost everyone had quit smoking cigarettes. But then it wasn't long before vaping came along. And then it seemed as if everyone was vaping/smoking. But now it seems as if almost everyone has stopped vaping. And so it goes that cigarettes are making a comeback now. This is not surprising. The bottom line is that people really just want something to smoke, no matter what it is. * (continued below)
* Food prolongs the inevitable. Food production and consumption causes so many problems for so many people all around the world. Most people have stopped consuming food because of all the problems, obstacles and issues associated with it. Now that demand is dwindling so is production. It won't be long before food isn't available anywhere simply because no one wants it anymore. * A truly sickening viewing experience. Are you into motion pictures that are so horrible that they're worth watching...? If so, here's one to get your paws on. In the 1970s a pilot was created for a possible television show called In Search of America starring Jeff Bridges. The networks passed on it (no wonder) and the lengthy pilot was eventually aired as an ABC Movie of the Week. It then virtually disappeared from existence. I came across it by accident and gave it a spin. Whoooo-eeee...this one REALLY STINKS. It tells the story of a super clean cut hippy (Bridges) who spars with his parents and grandmother over his decision to drop out of school and head out across the country in a bus. After some initial disagreements, all the family members decide to join in the bus adventure together for a goddamn family adventure. So they all hop into the bus and away they go. If you hate movies about families pulling together and finding common ground, you will either hate...or love...this one. It is extraordinarily cheesy. The dialogue is over-the-top laughable. The acting sucks. It's all so so so soooooOOOOO bad...that it's very very funny. The hippy-dippy-love-each-other music is awful, awful, AWFUL. Easily one of the most stomach-turning movies ever made. * Fans of the band Miss Massive Snowflake are being treated to something different this year. Begun in 2004, the band has released numerous studio albums. But now in 2024 they have released their first ever live album on their own North Pole Records label. Entitled Live At The Filling Station 2022, this one is being released as a cassette, stream and download. * Harry. I'm sure everyone remembers Harry Nilsson. We're always remembering him. * Jim and Tammy. We're still waiting for someone out there to clean up and release all the early Jim and Tammy Baker films and videos. It's about time everyone started giving Jim and Tammy more credit for their contributions to the world of religious entertainment. * Sponge with square pants. We want to mention Spongebob Squarepants because more people need to be paying closer attention to him. * What kind of a perspectives section would this be if we didn't mention M.C. Escher ? * (continued below)
* Fruiting Party. Early this year we were very fortunate to receive V.IP. invitations to a Fruiting Party in the Malaysian Rain Forests. We've been to gatherings of interesting folks before, but never anything like this. This was a huge party with a wild variety of guests. And we do mean W-I-L-D. If you have never been to one of these, they are very exciting. Guests come from near and far to take part in consumption of fruits (figs) that are suddenly in plentiful supply. Even though the food choices were very limited (just one type of fruit for such a large gathering...?), we couldn't help but notice how appreciative everyone seemed to be. And even though all the guests were extremely different , they all seemed to be very focused on one thing...EATING. If you've never been to a Fruiting Party, we highly recommended it. It's a colorful gathering of some of the most interesting living things on the planet. * You are suddenly thinking about Robert Altman now. And do you know why? It's because you just read his name here. * Doilies are back. The next big fad is doilies. Once popular long ago, the strange little circular things are once again inside everyone's homes. The variety seems to be endless. People are using lace doilies and cloth doilies. But they're also using dog doilies and Portugal doilies. But that's not all. Also popular are ceiling doilies, pity doilies, loafer doilies, floppy doilies, royalty doilies, roly poly doilies, transparent doilies, disfigured doilies, salmon doilies, midnight doilies, troll doilies, stomper doilies, clam doilies, kitten doilies, butthole doilies and mushroom doilies. And where do you think they're putting them? Under lamps. On counter tops. Underneath automobiles. On rooftops. Underneath vacuum cleaners. On lunchboxes. Under toaster factories. On pillow tops. Underneath mattress pads. On the tops of weasels. Underneath frilly posture functions. Oh, the doilies. The doilies are everywhere. Repeat the word doilies over and over. Keep repeating the word until you yourself become a doily. Then everyone will love you and want you. * Formerly a member of the band Midnight Shine, Canada's Adrian Sutherland has a new album out this March entitled Precious Diamonds. Ten cool tracks. In addition to making music, Sutherland also authors books. * Peter Astor has yet another nifty new solo album out courtesy of the fine folks at Tapete Records. This one's entitled Tall Stories and New Religions and it will no doubt please fans. As of this year Astor has been recording and releasing music for 40 years. * Could we have some extra...? Pleeeeease...??? Combine John Lennon and Ray Davies with the sound of early 2000s underground pop bands in Athens, Georgia...and you might have some idea of what the band Ex Norwegian sounds like on their new release. The band's latest album is entitled Sooo Extra and it is yet another solid addition to their continually growing discography. There's a heavier emphasis on effects and cerebral sounds this time around, but the songs remain the central focal point. Available on vinyl, CD and as downloads and streams, this eleven track album features dreamy, intoxicating compositions like "Hit The Wall," "Real Bad Bunny," "Extra," "Improbably Probable," "Short On The Wire, " "Send Nudes" and "It's Always Been There." The lyrics on this one are particularly unusual and interesting. Is this the best Ex Norwegian album yet? Could be. But it's hard to make such a judgment call because all the albums are insanely great. On the Think Like A Key label (TLAK), of course, of course. * Speaking of TLAK... The label has also released several cool vinyl LPs that are more than worthy of your attention. The first vinyl reissue of the album Too Many Crooks by the band Unicorn is out now. This was produced by David Gilmour and was originally released way back in 1976. Also out is the vinyl LP Everything About The Be Positives (by The Be Positives, of course). This Manchester, England-based band has been making some major waves with their enduring and engaging brand of modern classic pop. The band is comprised of Mike Seal, Rob Hatton, Callum Darley and Simon Mayne. Also out on vinyl is Wally Waller's Kitchen Rock. An ex-member of the band The Pretty Things, Waller created some cool music videos in his kitchen during the Covid-19 lockdown. These were so warmly received that this album was eventually created to present the audio tracks to a wider listening audience. And lastly, Think Like A Key has also released the album Running Through Chelsea by Peter Daltrey & The Know Escape. Daltry is best known up to this point as a former member of the British band Kaleidoscope. But if these songs are any indication, his solo career may very well eclipse the music he created years ago with the band. * MPress Records has just released the album Dawn Of A New Error by James Mastro. Best known as a member of the 1980s band The Bongos, Mastro seems focused on pushing his career forward rather than relying on past accomplishments. And judging by the songs on this album, that is a very good thing. * Killer composer Ted Russell Kamp has a new album out entitled California Son on the KZZ Records / Blue Elan labels. Kamp has captured the imagination of many in the twenty-first century, and he seems to be particularly appreciated by fellow musicians. Twelve well-crafted cuts on this one including "California Son," "The Upside to the Downside," "Miracle Mile" and "Every Little Thing." Highly recommended listening. *
FEBRUARY 2024 NOTABLE NEW RELEASES
Francesco Bosa - Ricercare II. Jack Raymond - The Long Story Short. Hannah Kaminer - Heavy On The Vine. Otis Infrastructure - In A Room. Miter - Washed Memoir In Real Time. Vargen - Vargen (Vargen Records). The Stayres - The Stayres. The Mustard Ketchups - Have Some Tea Cakes (Flounder Mop). Rotted Fish - Run From The Runners (Voluntary Values). Wigs, Figs & InstaPigs: How I Applied Big Amounts of Neuro-technology and Made It Work For Me - Dr. Alfred Benjamin Snooty (book). Cookie Delicious - Collaborations. Laura Karpman & Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum - What If...? Season 2 (Hollywood Records). The Monkey Beavers - Believers Can't Be Believed (Lossless Loss). Ernesto Díaz-Infante - For Jim Ryan (bandcamp). Steeleye Span - Live At The Bottom Line 1974 (Omnivore Recordings). Dave Porter - Echo: Original Soundtrack (Hollywood Records). Richard Turgeon - Life of the Party (Kool Kat). Virvon Varvon - Four Bars of Hate (Girlsville Records). $CUM - Self-Centered Urban Male. Brian K & The Parkway - Killing The Bear. Holler Choir - Songs Before They Write Themselves. Consider The Beast - EP. Dan Baraszu - Lone Guitar (Blue Canoe Records). Dossel - Badoque (Brasil Calling). Breezers - Hideaway (AM Gold / Blackbird Records). Cosmo Sheldrake - Eye To The Ear (Tardigrade Records / FUGA). Steve Drizos - I Love You Now Leave Me Alone (Cavity Seach Records). Sofia Talvik - Center of the Universe. Cyrille Aimee - A Fluer de Peau (Whirlwind Recordings). Nope Dopes - Just Day Nope (Hope Schlope). Taxi Cabs Driving To Hell - Little Lucy's Pity Capsule (Independent). Marina Rosenfeld - Greatest Hits (Info). XTD - Bums & Fires (Living Under the Overpass in Atlanta Records). Find Nest - And As For The Rest The Test Is A Test (M-function). The Dumbanimals - Thrift Pop (Kool Kat Musik). Bugseed - Pizza Pizza (10th Anniversary Edition) (Cascade Records). Dot Dash - 16 Again (Country Mile Records). Showdown - Showdown EP. The Gizmos - Love Songs 1975-1981 (Gulcher Records). Ratty Rat and the Kitty Kat - Trousers For Animal Powder (Field Fried Froze Up Lap Links). Notable New Band - Notable New Album (Notable New Music). Uncle Walt's Band - Anthology: Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Enough Could Sing (Omnivore Recordings). The Sweet Kill - Nowhere (Young & Cold Records / Shadow Zone Records). Josh Abbott Band - Somewhere Down The Road (Pretty Damn Tough). Aaron J. Trumm - Don't Stop (this one is free!). Blue Lab Beats - Blue Eclipse (Blue Note Records). Aves - Transformations (Kieku Records). Ichabod Wolf - Too True To Be Good (The Adult Teeth Recording Company). The Self-Centered Band - We're Only Interested In Things That Concern Us (CCC896 Music). The Sweet Kill - Nowhere (Young & Cold Records / Shadow Zone Records). James Mastro - Dawn Of A New Error (MPress Records). Brian K & The Parkway - Killing The Bear. Linda Chadwick - On The Road: A Texas Groupie's Memoir (book). Pockets Full of Radiation - Lambchops For Pancakes (Linn-Nee-Yar). Choir of Babble - Porno di Plastilina.