Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Volcano Kings - "11 Ways to Avoid Death in Trash Can City" (2012)

Picture yourself as a character in a grainy, black and white '50s crime thriller. Are you the private eye? The seductive woman who is mysteriously intertwined in the proceedings? The befuddled chief of police reaching for straws? The innocent man wrongly accused? Or the true perpetrator?

The Volcano Kings create music from the darkest, smokiest secret room behind the cigar lounge where only the richest, most powerful members of society are welcome. Organ, piano, twangy guitar, bass, and inventive percussion scream, weave, and bounce their way through bombastically catchy songs, with sparse vocals and samples sprinkled throughout. There aren't huge variations in feel or style throughout this album, but the album manages to remain fascinating through catchy melodies, interesting timbres, and good songwriting.

This album rules. Go forth and listen.

Volcano Kings - "11 Ways to Avoid Death in Trash Can City"

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Young Holt Unlimited- Soulful Strut (1968)

I have been listening to a lot of Kool and the Gang lately, and while driving as I listened to their Greatest Hits album, a random song popped into my head, nostalgic and specifically from my childhood, when my family would go on long drives listening to Oldies 103. They played all the hits from the 50's and 60's, and a lot of my pop music background began on these long car rides. I heard a lot of great classics, but the memory of Soulful Strut by Young Holt Unlimited came back as I was listening to an instrumental section of one of Kool and the Gangs tracks.

Young Holt Unlimited began as a trio with bass, drums and piano writing all the tunes. They then began pumping out hits as a backing band for few studios, adding a horn section as they backed singers and all the while writing their own instrumental albums. Soulful Strut, the track and album, were their high water mark, and oh what a great mark. Soulful Strut is just one of those feel good summertime tracks that never gets old. The rest of the album is proving to be just as wonderful. Blam; heres that big hit if you forgot about it (with some random Charlie Chaplin to accommodate):

soulful strut

Joseph Mancinelli - The North Star

This biz is awesome. No clue why this isn't more popular. Stop reading and go check it out. NOW!

Wait you mean you want me to tell you about it? Just go to the bandcamp brodangs.

The North Star