• Music

    Anna Michaels & Yordan Kostov Quintet – Abstract Attitude

    Anna Michaels is not the Toni Morrison-kind of poet I can’t get into.  Rather, she has the power of a street storyteller, the sort of person who you can engage at a New York or Los Angeles coffee shop talking about her experiences across the world, her observations of American life both as a local and a foreigner in some sense, and at her best, her words can be rather spellbinding.  She is the sort of person I would utterly enjoy a coffee with. It’s quite a treat to know that she has paired up with Yordan Kostov’s band, one…

  • Music

    Jisr (جسر) – Too Far Away

    It’s a minor tragedy that Jisr have not made their debut album available as a download on Bandcamp, but you can find it over at La Boîte à Musique and Turtle Records in Belgium, Deejay.de and Decks in Germany and surely other fine record shops near you, though I’d pick this up quickly as it’s running out of print everywhere I look. To the music.  This is ecstatic spiritual jazz infused with Kosmische Musik, odd progressive and improvisational rock (think Embryo and Dissidenten, especially since the legendary Roman Bunka is involved in this disc playing oud and guitar), but the…

  • Music

    Yukihiro Takahashi – Saravah!

    This album works on so many levels.  There is a blend of Italian romance, easy listening, French chanson, sophisticated City Pop, bossa nova, a touch of schmaltz, and electro-pop all rolled into one fine album. Drummer Yukihiro Takahashi had just helped form the Yellow Magic Orchestra after leaving The Sadistic Mika Band at about the time this album came out (circa 1978), and his new bandmates, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi “Harry” Hosono, ably assisted him in arranging everything from synths and brass.  It’s an elegant album and would appeal greatly to those into everything from crooners like Al Bowlly and…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Brazil USA 70: Brazilian Music In The USA In The 1970s

    We’ll have to rely on a different way of hearing the tracks on this phenomenal comp released by Soul Jazz Records and Mr. Bongo.  Consider heading over to Sounds of the Universe’s page to sample tunes from one of the best and widest-ranging comps I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in some time now. From Sounds of the Universe’s website: All of the music featured here on this new Soul Jazz Records collection was created by Brazilian artists living and working in the USA in the 1970s. The album brings together some of these finest works and comes complete with…

  • Music

    Imam Baildi – Imam Baildi III

    This was a punchy and fun release to come home to.  Imam Baildi are brothers Lysandros and Orestis Falireas backed by a band who manage to blend laïkó, rebetiko , hip-hop and alternative music into a high-energy take on Greek and Balkan fusion.

  • Music

    Tomáš Vrana – Therapy

    We’re on the road today in Las Vegas, Nevada, but listening to music never ceases. Today we share a Slovak dark ambient composer called Tomáš Vrana. His style is very cinematic, and you can hear references to composers like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Hiroshi Yoshimura and Abeoji (아버지) among others.

  • Music

    Max Brody – MAXBRODYWORLD TV 2006​-​2007: THE SOUNDTRACK

    If you haven’t heard the name Max Brody before, you probably know a lot of the bands he’s worked with: Ministry, the Test Apes, the Butthole Surfers, Scratch Acid, the Big Boys, Lubricated Goat and so many others.  He was a powerhouse drummer in the Austin Industrial music scene, but has since moved to the state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest, where he has been working on projects such as a rock documentary/travel blog which is, sadly, no more. Of particular interest is the project Fried Smiling which includes my old friend, business partner and a fine video director,…

  • Music

    Jauno Jāņu Orķestris – Div’ Svecītes

    The Jauno Jāņu Orķestris (The New Midsummer Orchestra) are a folk music band hailing from Latvia, an area we don’t get to cover terribly much here on this blog, which is a shame.  This is a one-track single of very well-done traditional music with, of course, updated production values and a very full sound.  The vocals are cheery and dramatic, and as far as I can translate the lyrics (shown on the band’s Bandcamp page), it’s hard to pin down if they are referring to early Christian or pagan times.  It’s a fascinating song regardless.