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Summer Jams: Turnstyle's "Riding A Wave"

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 26, 2013 11:59pm | Post a Comment
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I don't know about you, but I'm not back on my quest for fresh cuts to flesh out my latest Summer Jams digest, I'm still on it! Though, "fresh" might be a less-than-ideal descriptive word for this latest discovery as it was very much exhumed from Amoeba's oldies bin during a protracted dig. Nevertheless, Turnstyle's "Riding A Wave" has become a favorite of mine over the last week, with many thanks to British music journalist John Reed -- a man I hold in high esteem for the compilations he has produced, namely Hot Smoke and Sassafras: Psychedelic Pstones Vol. I. I highly recommend this collection, but I digress...
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There's not a lot of information out there about the Turnstyle but that probably has everything to do with the fact that this act didn't last long at all. The band formed in 1968 by 17-year-old drummer and songwriter Mark Ashton and went on to record the somewhat edgy, average pop-psych single "Riding A Wave" (b/w "Trot") for Pye Records. Within six months after the release of the 45, Turnstyle supported the Nice for a few live dates before calling it quits without issuing any further recordings. Ashton, his wave riding days behind him as it were, took to the sky with progressive rock unit Rare Bird.
But wait, there's more!

As with my last Summer Jams post, spotlighting Nick Nicely's "On The Beach", some awesome kindred spirit in the universe has created a music video utilising some gnarly vintage film footage of surf, beaches, and bad boy surfers to accompany Turnstyle's "Ridging A Wave" in a such a way that I cannot help but fall in love with this addition to my Summer Jams 2013 mixtape all over again.

Summer Jams: Nick Nicely's "On The Beach"

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 7, 2013 03:45pm | Post a Comment
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It's Summer and, as always, I'm looking to add to and expand my cache of Summer Jams. Amoeba Music, being the kind of fertile treasure trove that it is -- a place teeming with immeasurable opportunities for finding the next big thing (speaking from personal, individual perspective rather than that of a taste-maker or trend setter) -- my ears perked up when I overheard an esteemed co-worker passionately waxing poetic about the psychedelic sounds of Nick Nicely (or, rather, nick nicely, always spelled in lowercase letters, a musical alias he adopted in 1973 when then Nickolas Laurien claims "one mate said 'give us a fag you sod', and another said 'why don't you ask Nick nicely?'"). After discussing nicely's conspicuously obvious influence on Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and other contemporary Chillwave riders (or whatever else the hipster runoff calls it) I set out to further my travels down the rabbit hole with nicely's 1994 track "On the Beach" recommended as my point of departure.

And -- HOLY DIVER! -- what a flawless summer jam it is!

The below video pays proper tribute to the sensory vibes nicely's decidedly beach-y jam exudes, but I think that the ultimate factor qualifying "On the Beach" as an instant classic, timeless, enduring Summer Jam is the fact that this tune jives with the notion of a "beach sound" inhabiting a broad scope of meteorological conditions, a terrarium of ecological characteristics and pelagic spectrum of berm highs the likes of which Ariel Pink approaches on side A of The Doldrums (and perhaps nowhere else). Check it out this video for Nick Nicely's  "On The Beach"as made nicely-er with some weathered surf and sun-drenched film footage courtesy of Imaginary Animal:

Takako Minekawa emerges from a thriteen year hiatus with Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 20, 2013 05:26pm | Post a Comment
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Sometimes the wait for new material from a beloved recording artist can feel like an eternity, especially when their last album presaged a significant shift in one's personal musical tastes. In February of 2001 I picked up Takako Minekawa's Maxi On! on a heavy vibe-induced hunch (the cover art called to me for reasons I'll never understand -- this kind of thing happens to me all the time) and it forever changed the quality of pop music I seek and enjoy. I spent the next few years digging into her extensive back catalog, digesting it rapidly while anticipating a new release that never came. So began my fascination with an artist that had seemingly just shelved her career as a keyboard-collecting, color obsessed, cat-loving experimental electro-pop singer/songwriter indefinitely.
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Twelve years later and I honestly can't remember the last time I checked Minekawa's near dormant website for news or scoured the interwebs for any new transmissions indicating fresh airs from one of my forever favorite recording artists. Then the other day a co-worker (and kindred spirit who knows me very well) uttered the words, "hey, have you seen that new Takako Minekawa album? We have two!" Gobsmacked. Yes, gobsmacked is the best word for my reaction to this query. No, I hadn't seen it. I hadn't heard it or heard of it, but I am listening to it, again, right now, all fifty seven minutes.

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Cicadageddon 2013: Celebrate with Sublime Frequencies' Insect Electronica LP!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, May 24, 2013 02:44pm | Post a Comment
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You know The Great 2013 U.S. East Coast Cicada Invasion is in full effect when local restaurants begin to tout cicada-centric menu items with hearty "if you can't beat 'em, eat 'em" gusto. For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, the Cicadageddon that emerges from the ground every seventeen years, North Carolina to New England, is a fleeting affair that has everything to do with sound and vision -- the pulsating reverberations of their billions-stong buzzworthy mating calls drowning out the din of daily life, outdoor concerts and all. But you don't have to live inside the E.C.C.S.Z. (East Coast Cicada Sex Zone) to get in on the sonic action as this sort of thing happens in other parts of the world and the well-traveled field recording gurus down at Sublime Frequencies want you to indulge your senses with their oh-so-timely vinyl release of Brokenhearted Dragonflies: Insect Electronica from Southeast Asia.

This limited edition LP pressing of the long out-of-print CD from 2004 presents for your listening pleasure the sounds of swarms of male dragonflies gathered together to join in choruses of high-pitched tones for one purpose: they're looking for sex. The ones that don't succeed in wooing and winning their mates eventually scream so loud that their chests explode and they drop dead to the ground, or so the legend goes. These recordings are a tribute to this legend.

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Ready, Steady, GO! My picks for RECORD STORE DAY 2013!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, April 17, 2013 06:16pm | Post a Comment
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Hey kids! Do you know what this Saturday is?

Now, before you get all greenied on bleezing out in a cloud of puff-puff-pass for "Weed Day" or whatever the kids are calling their ritual observance of April 20th, you might just want to put a foot into your local Amoeba Music to participate in the sixth annual Record Store Day extravaganza! The limited and exclusive releases that drop especially for Record Store Day seem to increase with each passing year and the 2013 list is packed with tons of funky-fresh wax for all us vinyl nerds to gag and brag on. The Last Unicorn vinyl soundtrack movie anime america jimmy webb jeff bridges mia farrow joanna newsom man's road record store day dream album reissue german rare

When it comes to sifting my picks from the torrent I can't help but imagine how I would stack the offerings if I were HBIC of selecting RSD releases.Just off the top of my head, if I had my druthers, I'd demand a proper reissue of Don Cherry's Brown Rice LP for starters, but then I'd also have to have something berserk like a vinyl, possibly picture disc reissue of the rare Jimmy Webb written and America recorded soundtrack to the animated film The Last Unicorn, featuring vocals by the one and only Jeff Bridges. Maybe I could even convince Joanna Newsom to cover "Man's Road" for inclusion as a bonus track just to push the whole package over the top. Oh, if only I could have Record Store Day my way...but I can't complain, really. A girl can dream and there plenty to enjoy this year, here are some of the items I'm particularly excited about:

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