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Sunday Plays: an Autumn Equinox mix

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 22, 2013 05:08pm | Post a Comment

black sabbath volume 4 snowblind bell book and candle soundtrack dead can dance aion staying alive travolta dance movie bee gees frank stallone vinyl record album wax sunday plays mix tape autumn equinox fall first day
Sundays are conducive to relaxed habitual activities like alfresco brunches, bible study and bingo.
However, I choose to spend most of my brunch money on records and my Sunday School days are behind me. Plus, I'm pretty certain I'm immune to the bingo bug thus I spend my Sundays catching up on the records I've acquired during the week or otherwise play curator to my personal wax museum. I usually get the coffee or tea brewing and then select four albums at a time, because that usually adds up to two and a half hours, and play them in the order seems to best fit the feel of the day's mood. Then you brunch or check your email or write your blog or roll around on the floor or whatever -- that's your business.

Anyway, the enjoyment that comes of listening to records on a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon is, for me, the very definition of creature comfort. This Sunday being the Autumnal Equinox I'm reluctantly ringing in fall with these selections:
finola hughes staying alive dance film laura devil woman satan's alley john travolta fire burn soundtrack red bob mackie franck stallone sylvester
Staying Alive - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

This year my dumb ass didn't really get around to reveling in the splendor of Summer until it was almost over. Somehow, like magic, listening to this soundtrack is making it all okay. On the one hand I am so completely bummed to see Summer go, but I've also always been such a ho for Autumn, this film and the music that completes it. For me, right now, it's the remedy to all my Summer woes. Especially the breakdown part of "(We Dace) So Close to the Fire" where it claws it's way into a sexy, fragmented downtempo beat set against a corny gasping vocal, repeating "dance... fire... BURN!" signaling Finola Hughes' slinking she-devil entrance in the dance piece within the film, Satan's Alley (see the vid below). Who knew Sylvester Stallone's brother Frank was so musically gifted? I mean, "Moody Girl" is a criminally overlooked smooth soul jammer in my opinion. 

New Albums: Dead Can Dance, 2 Chainz and More

Posted by Billy Gil, August 14, 2012 06:47pm | Post a Comment
just tell me that you want meVarious ArtistsJust Tell Me That You Want Me                 
 
Starting out with a slice of guitar nirvana as Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis joins Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and his band for a trip through the early instrumental Fleetwood Mac jam “Albatross,” a highlight of the period before Stevie and Lindsay joined the band and helped launch them to worldwide fame, Just Tell Me That You Want Me hits all the marks as a tribute album. Ubercool artists are called upon to tackle an intimidating catalog full of both iconic songs and gems buried beneath those tall trees. Antony takes a done-to-death cover with “Landslide” and somehow breathes new life into it with his quivering shivery croon. Up-and-coming singer Trixey Whitley puts on an extraordinary performance of Peter Green’s “Before the Beginning,” while Best Coast provides not her cover of “Storms” — that honor goes to Matt Sweeney and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, who put their own Appalachian spin on the Stevie Nicks torch song — but instead inverts the darkness of “Rhiannon” and makes it into a jaunty, piano-led singalong. Artists like Washed Out, MGMT and especially Tame Impala infuse Mac classics with psychedelic eletronics, and the collection also excels by its possibility of introducing bands who more obviously follow in Fleetwood Mac’s footsteps to fans of Fleetwood Mac, especially L.A. darlings Best Coast and Haim. Just Tell Me That You Want Me succeeds by taking a few chances while staying true to the band it covers.
 
dead can danceDead Can DanceAnastasis
 
Dead Can Dance’s music is one of high concept, sewing various world musics across centuries into its black cape of 4AD goth glory. So given the duo of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard haven’t released an album since 1996’s Spiritchaser, and the demise of their relationship as lovers, it seems only fitting to hear Anastis (Greek for “resurrection”) in terms of the band as a concept. The death march drums and elegiac stringed instrument that open “Kiko” give way to a powerful, mournful vocal from Gerrard. Similarly, “Anabasis” moves on the sound of relentless, clanging percussion and unsettling melodic lines that rise to a climactic cry from Gerrard, but it’s also a perfect example of DCD’s ability to appeal both to world music and underground rock fans — both goth and gothic, if you will — as its synths blend with stringed instruments that predate the use of electricity, and its melodies would sound perfectly fitting played on electric guitars. However, despite the music’s usual grimness, there’s also that sense of revival hinted at by the title, and it comes through on tracks like opener “Children of the Sun,” which builds an expansive chamber sound on which Perry intones “We are the children of the sun/Our journey’s just begun.” Perry has said Anastasis is the beginning of a new era for the band, which will continue with a “regeneration” period; if Anastasis is the sound of death, it is one draped in the most beautiful attire and stately ceremony.
 
2 chainz2 ChainzBased on a T.R.U.Story
 
The onetime Playaz Circle rapper formerly known as Tity Boy knows he’s no youngin. The MC went through a number of difficulties before breaking through with Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag,” which featured then rising star Lil Wayne, and now sees his own star rising at the age of 35 following a string of successful guest spots. His solo debut bears these past experiences but doesn’t force itself on its listeners with excessive boasting or self-seriousness; rather, Based on a T.R.U. Story is excellently executed and a lot of fun. “Birthday Song,” featuring Kanye West, gets by on the line “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho.” All of the guest spots are heavy hitters (save for up-and-comer Cap1) who bring something to the table, from The-Dream’s lushness on “Extremely Blessed” to Nicki Minaj, who comically saves the otherwise repetetive “I Love Dem Strippers,” even if she rehashes in part “Beez in the Trap,” on which 2 Chainz previously guested. 2 Chainz’ flow is dynamic throughout, occasionally breaking into faster passages, as on the awesomely strange “Dope Peddler,” though he usually keeps things mellow, favoring economic phrases and quick jokes, perhaps most effectively on “No Lie,” rapping over creepy theramin and sparkling synths before Drake takes over and lends the song his trademark singing-into-rapping style. By playing it cool, surrounding himself with equal talent and not overreaching, 2 Chainz creates a highly effective debut that establishes him not just as a righthand-man rapper but a skillful creator of a consistent hip-hop album.

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out this week 5/17 & 5/23...det vackra livet...brendan perry...robin guthrie...

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 27, 2011 01:49pm | Post a Comment
det vackra livet
I finally got a copy of the new album by Det Vackra Livet. It has actually only been out for a couple of weeks now but I have been dying to hear this album! I fell hard for the Mary Onettes a couple of years ago when they released their second album Islands in 2009. Things sure seem to happen in cycles. The last Mary Onettes album came out about the same time as the first Cold Cave album and another Morrissey compilation and now all 3 have releases this month again! Maybe Morrissey just releases too many albums...but I don't think there really could ever be enough. Some might say that the debut self titled Mary Onettes album from 2007 is even better than Islands, and I go back and forth on which I like better but they are both essential albums that you should own. The band is from Sweden, which is reason enough to fall in love with the Mary Onettes! I am telling you, I just love Sweden. They mix an 80s sort of Ultravox and Pet Shop Boys sound with maybe somedet vackra livet Sigur Ros and the twee sounds of Belle & Sebastian.

The two brothers from The Mary Onettes have just released a new album in their native tongue -- Philip and Henrik Ekstrom are now known as Det Vackra Livet for this new project. It has all of the elements that I love from The Mary Onettes, just without the English. This is beautiful stuff. I have been really loving this new album which was released on the same excellent label that released The Mary Onettes albums, Labrador... which of course has my name right in the middle of it, so of course I was going to love this label! They have put out some of my favorites over the last decade from artists like The Acid House Kings, who also just released a fantastic new album, as well as my favorites Radio Dept. and The Legends. And Pelle Carlberg! And Club 8 and The Sound of Arrows! This label can seriously do no wrong. They have been so consistently awesome that I really don't even understand how they do it. But I thank them for it. Please do yourself a favor and check out this new album from Det Vackra Livet. You will not regret it.

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Get Your Medieval Rocks Off with Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh's Overloaded Ark

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 29, 2009 08:00am | Post a Comment
 Helena Espvall and Masaki Batoh second album overloaded ark on drag city
The last time Helena Espvall (of Espers) and Masaki Batoh (of Ghost) got together to create an album the end result resembled the kind of sound-tapestry two people of like-minded musical musings might weave over an ocean of space and time. Their first record (self-titled on Drag City) generated a quiet excitement from those of us at Amoeba familiar with the "new folk" weirdness of Espers and the psych-rock wyrdness of Ghost and seemed a sound-marriage of sorts where faded-about-the-edges Scandinavian tunes and other haunting works, both borrowed and original, mingled freely on relic-esque instruments. Nothing there suggests the kind of epic, blast-from-the-distant-past sonic onslaught of Overloaded Ark, Espvall and Batoh's second release on Drag City and the latest source of a new take on a very, very old favorite song. 
overloaded ark helena epsvall masaki batoh second album drag city
Overloaded Ark's opening track, titled "Little Blue Dragon," is a better known by the name of the merry dance it was originally composed for way back in 14th century Naples: the saltarello. It is played in a very fast triple-meter and named after its leading leap-step, in Italian, saltare. Of course, the composer credit for this song goes to the ubiquitous Anoymous who rules the bulk of any Early Music bin selections, but a version of the song, aptly titled "Saltarello," was made famous by that eclectic, neoclassical Australian band better known as Dead Can Dance (and if you've ever been to a Renaissance Faire or a Goth gathering where "dark" world music fits the rotation then I'll bet you a flagon of mead you've heard it before). Another version of the song, performed by Corvus Corax --- an outrageously outfitted German band who champion medieval music and authentic instruments, seems to share the same vein Espvall and Batoh tapped to give their "Little Blue Dragon" life. Espvall and Batoh's take on the Black Death era romp pounds out a feverish pace with traditional instrumentation at the forefront and electrified psychedelic meanderings fleshing out the background. It's really the perfect sort of aural "pants-ing" I felt I needed as a listener expecting to hear an extension of Espvall and Batoh's past works, only to be blown away with their new attitude. 

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out today 7/22 & 7/29...neil halstead...dead can dance...

Posted by Brad Schelden, July 31, 2008 02:45pm | Post a Comment
I still can't believe that summer has already started. I am sure that it will be over even quicker. Soon itconor-oberst will be Christmas time again. The year is a little more than half over and I have been back in Los Angeles for about 6 months now. The boyfriend just moved down last week and it has been a busy couple of weeks for me, but it has been a bit slow for the new releases the last couple of months. Some big things are right around the corner for the next couple of weeks, but not so much for this week or the last. Last week was the week of the debut album for the Black Kids and the release of the second album by CSS. There was another Nine Inch Nails album and a new Dr. Dog.

This week is basically a new Neil Halstead album and a new one by Rick Springfield. Not a very big week. I am a huge fan of both Slowdive and Mojave 3, so I am a bit excited about the new Neil Halstead, but I have not yet heard it. Next week we get new albums from both The Faint and Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes. They both were on the label Saddle Creek Records up until these new albums. Bright Eyes put out a ton of albums on Saddle Creek and helped to make a name for the label, but he has made the jump to Merge Records for his new solo album. The Faint deciddead-can-danceed to go with their own new label for this new album. Conor is one of those guys you either love or hate. Most people I know have some passionate opinion about him. I know I have talked about this before. I was on the hating side for a bit, but crossed over to the fan side about 4 years ago. Conor Oberst will also be playing a free show at Amoeba in both San Francisco and Hollywood. The Hollywood instore is this coming Monday, August 4th. We will also be selling the album the day before it comes out since the actual street date is the day after the instore. He is playing at the San Francisco store 3 days before the album comes out, on Saturday August 2nd. There will be tons of people at both these instores, but I think it is worth dealing with the crowds just to see him perform live. It might convert you to a fan as well.

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