Timisoara-based Methadone Skies are definitely onto something special with “Mirra,” the song that kicks off their upcoming album, Eclectic Electric. From the ground up the track shows how much the outfit have evolved musically from their debut full-length: the main motif is acutely filtered through various modes, being augmented with Turkish saz and mandola. This expanded instrumentation lends the composition an oriental flair that channels the free-flowing spiritualism of Om. The mood constantly switches from idyllic to sinister in a kaleidoscopic fashion, yet the song never loses its sharp focus, exemplifying instrumental psychedelic rock at its best.
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 16th, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Amogh Symphony – Vectorscan (Amogh Music Library)
September 6, 2014: “Never” is my favorite track of the year. If anything comes along and dethrones it, I will be more than positively surprised. In a paradoxical manner, I often can’t pinpoint why a certain song or an album resonates with me the way it does. That’s because as a person, I’m more adept at feeling and experiencing than sharing my exact thoughts in a coherent piece of writing. I know what I like, but can’t necessarily explain why every time. In conversing, I’m more often than not a stream of consciousness type of talker – something that I find hard to translate over into writing. I know exactly why I like “Never” though: it speaks to me about as much as it speaks of me, and that is a lot.
“Never” is barefaced as much as it is multifaceted. Structurally, both instrumentally and rapping-wise, it is a relatively straightforward track. Inversely, its message can be interpreted in many ways. To take it in the context of the full album it originates from, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, it’s part of a narrative, part of a story. I like to be self-centered with the track though – I like taking it out of context, pulling it apart from the rest of the record, because while I enjoy &TYSYC very much as a full-length offering, no other song on the album digs as deep as “Never” does when I forget what The Roots might have wanted…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 9th, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
American Hi-Fi – Blood & Lemonade (Rude Records)
In case you’ve been sleeping (or ignoring those trending Facebook items like a good, red-blooded whatever nationality you are), rock god, virtuoso, musical authority, and in no way, shape or form, a mere cunning businessman who played rock ‘n’ roll to the tune of inflating his bank account, Gene Simmons (not to be confused with fitness guru Richard Simmons) declared rock music dead in an interview with Esquire magazine. While Ace Frehly (official doctor of rock medicine) declined to provide a time of death, he did pander a bit about his recent solo album. Which is more than Mr. Simmons can do. Meanwhile, Simmons, in his coroner’s report, officially declared that lack of funding was the ultimate cause of death.
According to Simmons’ reports, it would seem that none of the many rock and metal bands rising up through the modern day miracle of free, online publicity and simplicity of self-recording/releasing made an impact in attempting to revive the presently deceased genre. In fact, said modern realities were glossed over in acknowledging that rock died because “no one will pay you to do it.” The deceased bands counted in Simmons’ toll number in the tens of thousands, many of which will have to be told to cease touring and producing music due to the recent death of their genre. Many do not expect this news to be easily received and believe…
Tags: Gene Simmons, rock, Satire
The notion that “human beings don’t change” has gained prevalence in modern society. We’ve all heard variations of it before – he’s stuck in his ways, or the famous once a cheater, always a cheater – and while some people show it more than others, I can guarantee you that we all do evolve. It’s not something you can necessarily witness all at once. Every day, we absorb different stimuli, we’re faced with new decisions, and our character is ever so slightly altered until they all resonate as something noticeable. It’s why your best friend is less likely to notice small changes occurring in you than someone who sees you once per year, such as a distant relative. People like that are subject to brief windows of observation, because they have no frame of reference other than your previous, dated encounter.
If music was life and Brand New were a person, we’d all be distant cousins. We saw them at Your Favorite Weapon in 2001, and they were very much a product of their peer groups, albeit outshining the likes of Taking Back Sunday and other pop-punk groups of that era. Then came Deja Entendu in 2003, and we all marveled at how much the band had matured. The same reaction followed suit, perhaps double fold, upon the release of 2006’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, an epic transformation with overarching spiritual and existential themes. Once again, we transport ourselves years forward to 2009. Daisy was…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 2nd, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Blonde Redhead – Barragán (Asawa Kuru LLC)
One of the most revered and prolific psychedelic rock acts today, Causa Sui, have released a new album, the 3rd part of the Pewt’r Sessions. Straying from the summery vibes of most of their LPs, these spontaneous collaborations with Ron Schneidermann are rather haunting and the most free-jazz oriented volumes in their catalog. It is very interesting to listen to the intense chemistry between the members, as they lay to tape various segments chopped off long jamming sessions. In an attempt for me to gain more insight into the band’s creative process and their thoughts on the music industry today, I contacted guitarist/El Paraiso Records co-owner, Jonas Munk. Luckily, he found some spare time to answer a few questions for SputnikMusic:
So, new year, new album! Tell us more about the latest volume of the Pewt’r Sessions. How did it come to fruition?
We first started doing improv sessions with Ron Schneiderman back in 2006. Since then we’ve played live with him several times and recorded a handful of sessions throughout the years. Some of the sessions from 2009 were eventually released as Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2 in 2011, and now we’ve just released the third record in the series which was recorded last year in September. It’s the result of an afternoon of improvisations. We recorded roughly four hours of music, I mixed around two hours…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 26, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Basement Jaxx – Junto (PIAS Amercia)
Taylor Swift has debuted a new single and set a new record, 1989, to be released on October 27th of this year. Normally in a blog I’d like to include more details, but I really have no words for whatever is going on here.
In other news, fuck everything.
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 19, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Accept – Blind Rage (Nuclear Blast US)
For the majority of the year, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a placid hub of serene wildlife and meditative arrangements located in the heart of the Bay Area city. At around 1000 acres, it’s easy to get lost in one garden or traverse a series of trails and meadows and totally forget the fact that you’re in one of the more claustrophobic cities in the country. Since 2008, however, the three-day Outside Lands Music and Art Festival has transformed the center of the park into a massive combination of live music, artisan cuisine, wine and cheese pairings, a plethora of local craft brews, and a surreal array of the kind of weird art you’d expect from San Francisco locals.
Peaking with an estimated 200,000 ticket holders and over a hundred performers, the 7th edition of the festival was the largest (and most crowded) yet. Given how integrated the experience has become – with the new “GastroMagic” area that showcases celebrity chefs, local restaurants, and sports its very own stage, along with separate areas entitled WineLands and BeerLands – Outside Lands is now, more than most festivals, a unique celebration of the city it calls home. Instead of divvying it up into its component days, then, here are 30 things I liked.
1. Short of Kacey Musgraves, Run the Jewels likely had the best set of the day (and about as far apart as…
Tags: festivals, Outside Lands 2014, San Francisco
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 12, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Adebisi Shank – This Is The Third Album of A Band Called Adebisi Shank (Sargent House)
Dog Fashion Disco may have one of the wackiest names in music business, but their multifaceted style shouldn’t get discredited because of that. The sextet’s new offering, released 8 years after the seminal Adultery, epitomizes exactly what made their music unique in the first place. Sturdy metal-centered arrangements are augmented by jazzy woodwind instruments and spooky keys taken straight from a horror movie. The allure of the record lies in how effectively these divergent influences are combined. Even though Sweet Nothings is certainly a helluva lot of fun to listen to, there’s insidious darkness loitering beneath the surfaces here, implicit regardless of whether the sextet are rolling at full tilt or holding back. Here’s a brief interview with the group’s singer, Todd Smith.
Sweet Nothings is a worthy follow-up to your amazing 2006’s release Adultery. What motivated you to come back as Dog Fashion Disco?
We are all good friends and we have a great time creating and performing together so we figured, why not?
Although Dog Fashion Disco broke up in 2007, you continued creating music with such groups as Polkadot Cadaver, El Creepo and Knives Out. Did your work under these monikers influence your creative process for Sweet Nothings in any way?
No, those other projects have a vibe and feel that’s all their own in my opinion. When writing the new album we just wanted to give people a diverse and fun album to rock out to.
Adultery was a concept album unlike Sweet Nothings…
The following is something I wrote up a few months ago while trying to consolidate my thoughts on what to tell more-novice writers when they ask “But why can’t I write about every track?” Keep in mind this shows me trying to speak for Sputnik as a whole, but is also my personal opinion, so feel free to chime in as well as discussing my own reasons. Enjoy.
Track-by-track reviews are frowned upon on Sputnikmusic. Why? Because, at best, the site tries to be “professional.” And, obviously, there are different definitions on what makes a review that way, but the one generally agreed-upon rule is that explicitly track-by-track reviews don’t look good, especially beside full paragraph-by-paragraph album analyses. There are a number of explanations for this, and I’ll include a few here. First, track-by-track reviews typically have really, really short paragraphs. Which can be fine, but in almost all types of critical writing paragraphs should have at least a few sentences. We all probably learned this in elementary school: intro sentence, three body sentences, concluding sentence. And that’s probably the bare minimum, and usually even that’s not enough – typically, my paragraphs are about 8-12 sentences, which I think is a pretty good length as it’s beefy but not threateningly long. To reiterate: track-by-track reviews lead to too-short paragraphs, which really doesn’t look well-written and complete.
Second, track-by-track reviews are almost always incredibly disjointed. A review should have some sort of coherent structure (and no, brief intro…