Friday, September 29, 2023

Music Review // Maya Blue "Hey"


The sound of Maya Blue is so refreshing because it reminds me of the type of band who was on the radio after grunge.   A lot of music people tend to feel like music hit that peak with grunge and so they don't give enough credit to those artists who came after it all, but there was a lot of great music and I can hear those sounds in "Hey".

While this song has these starts and stops it can feel like it's moving at a steady pace.  It's not fast enough to cause a panic but it's not slow enough to be a ballad either.  One of the biggest names that comes to mind when I hear this song is Lit and that is in no way a bad thing.   There is also a really big guitar solo within here.

I also feel like coming out of the grunge scene, post grunge if you will, a lot of bands had this slacker mentality and would sing about how they were no good.   Bands like Wheatus come to mind because I can also hear a little bit of them in this song by Maya Blue.  In that same way, this song seems to have similar themed lyrics as they say: "Hey pretty woman / Can you let me in / Though you shouldn't"

Whether you feel like this is a place for the music you love but stopped hearing so much of to pick right back up or whether this feels more like a fresh start in new music for you, the fact remains that Maya Blue have created a great rock song here.   In a world of rock musicians, one of the most difficult things to do is find your own sound and I do believe Maya Blue has done that and everyone else should be taking notes.  

Music Review // Borza "Mundo de ilusión" (feat. Yoandris Torres Fondin)

Music has always been something to me which has transcended language.  You may not understand the lyrics on this song, but there are a lot of artists out there who have lyrics in English that I don't understand so it's fair.   This song begins with these steady beats and acoustics.  There is singing in here but also at some point you can hear someone speaking.

What I like about this song is that it feels like a nice party type of song to just put on and let play because of the rhythm of it.   If it maintained the same sound from start to finish, it'd be fine in any playlist for a party especially those bordering on hip hop.  But at some point deep into this song, the mood changes and the tone shifts.  A guitar part comes on and I'm reminded of some artist such as The Doors.

While it isn't easy to describe, there is a nice change of going from this more pop/hip hop influenced sound with the beat being kept in that way and then to this driving rock sound which has more of the guitar and percussion.   It follows the same set of ideas, but just seems to deliver it with different instruments.

By the end there are horns and it just goes back to feeling like a party.   If this song played through the entire way in a similar manner to how it starts, I would definitely like it because it just feels so fun.   But adding that idea of putting a little bit of rock n roll into it just further makes it stand out from other songs out there and makes me like it even more.  

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Music Review // The Crowleys "Seasons"


"Seasons" is an appropriately themed song for right now because Summer is coming to an end and Autumn is on its way.  This all depends on where you live, but here in the Northeast we are going from the warmer summer weather to the cooler Autumn weather and the leaves begin to change and then fall off of the trees.  This song by The Crowleys touches upon that subject but also dives a bit deeper into it.

With their sound of trippy and mellow rock n roll, this feels like Mazzy Star or something along those lines more than modern music.  Before the end of the song there is this great guitar solo and the music within may seem like it's simple because it seems almost like it's being delivered in slow motion, but it's still so good and can almost feel like it's coming out in a dreamy -gaze way.

This music video shows different seasons through an old school type of lens.   People are walking around, playing acoustic outside and then end up inside.  One of the biggest points I think that this song seems to make is how the seasons have changed.  When I was a kid, it always felt like we went from warm to cool within a week and then it stayed like that.  Now, we might still reach the 80s in October (which is too warm)

The way I think about it now is that sometimes we might have Halloween and it's snowing and sometimes we might have Halloween and it's shorts weather (too hot to wear your costume).  This shouldn't be and on "Seasons" it feels like The Crowleys address that issue that the weather is changing.   It's not just that it's changing from season to season, but from year to year the seasons themselves are changing and that needs to be looked upon more.

Music Review // august brodie "Sofa King Lonely"

We've all been lonely at some point, right?  For many people, it can even become their personality because they're just used to being alone.   And, for the record, being alone doesn't always mean being lonely in the sense that you can live with roommates and still feel lonely, surrounded by people.

In any event, August Brodie brings out a pop punk side that reminds me of blackbear.  This song is also catchy as hell so whether you've been lonely or not, it's likely after hearing this you're going to walk around singing "I'm so fucking lonely" as the chorus does.   The song tells a story about two people who spent time together in August but now are apart, so it doesn't even have to be a break up because you could be apart for any number of reasons.

I do enjoy that in the lyrics August Brodie seems blunt, as he sings: "I'm so lost / without you / I wrote this / song about you".   Most artists would leave you guessing if it was about you, so this is a nice change of pace.   All of the lyrics feel like they can be related with and if not they're at least to the point where you can sing along with them after a few listens. 

Are you lonely right now? Even if you aren't, I feel like just thinking of this song in relation to August Brodie is enough to get it stuck in your head.   You don't have to be lonely to enjoy this song if you can think of it as August Brodie being lonely and by listening to it you can at least empathize with him if not relate.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Music Review // Diane & The Gentile Men "The Bad and the Beautiful"

The music of Diane & The Gentile Men will take you on a rock n roll ride throughout the album "The Bad and the Beautiful".    It all starts with the single "Lace Up Your Sneakers" and then goes into another song about dancing called "Dance Til Dawn".    In this way, I imagine this album as if it were a live performance and as everyone is sitting at tables in the back of the club, as soon as these first two songs hit they're drawn out of their seats, onto the dance floor and closer to the stage.

As Diane Gentile is joined by Alejandro Escovedo on "Walk with Me" I am reminded of Bruce Springsteen and then there are big acoustics coming out on "Fade Away Author".  "Shimmy" is just rocking fun while "Far Away Down the River" leans a little bit more towards folk/country as moonshine is mentioned as well.   "The Hook Up" is a fast paced rock n roll number, borderline on that rockabilly sound, while "Sugarcane" just brings out the blues. 

By the end of this album you will hear a big piano ballad called "Kiss the Sky" and it just overall goes to show the way that the music can slightly shift genres throughout yet stay on the same guided path.  Lyrically, I really enjoy lines like the chorus on "Dance Til Dawn", which says: "All you want to do is dance til dawn and be famous", which is a nice way to think of life.

Ultimately, I feel like the music of Diane & The Gentile Men is close to Americana in the sense that it isn't really threatening or dull, but it is there to rock and that's just what it does.  But even more than that, it has lyrics that you can imagine someone singing in a bar and the patrons of the bar nodding along in not only agreement to the words but to the sounds of the music. 

Music Review // Apryll Aileen "Our Time"

One of my favorite things about "Our Time" is that the whole song is just such a vibe.   There is this sort of upbeat and care-free way about it, like if you bumped into someone and accidentally spilled their coffee and they just responded "No worries".  It's not just in the music but in the lyrics as well.

This is a refreshing take on life and lessons learned as Apryll Aileen sings about if she never sees someone again then she at least wants them to know she enjoyed the time they spent together.   I think it's important to admit that sometimes things don't work out between two people and no one is to blame so why not end on a positive note.   There are certainly enough anger-fueled breakup songs, this is a nice change of pace.

I'm really not sure who this compares with musically as it is light and pop, but it doesn't quite match up with any other sound I've heard before and I like that as well.  It sounds what you would expect a song to sound like that just seems to have that mentality of "It's over and that's fine".   It's not even mean or uncaring, it's just such a positive outlook on life.

While this music video spends a lot of time at the beach it also mentions the seasons.  This makes me think how summer is coming to an end and sometimes relationships which work in the summer don't work so well afterwards.   This may or may not be related to that, but if you do happen to be going through those end of summer blues then this song is certain to lift your spirits. 

Music Review // Moh Flow "Reckless"

Moh Flow spends time singing and rapping during this song which is obviously hip hop but doesn't really have anyone to be in comparison with.  If pressed, the closest sound I can compare "Reckless" with is Post Malone, but even then there are differences.   There are pop elements and that also means that could be easily accessible.

This song has the chorus line that says: "I came up now I'm reckless" which just seems to imply that as he's getting older and well known he's also becoming more reckless.  But other lyrics in this song and just the overall vibe of it make me feel like it's the opposite and he's growing and becoming less reckless as he gets older.

One line sings about how he slipped up and almost let you have all of his trust, but because he didn't slip up-- because he didn't do those things-- it feels like he wasn't being reckless, or at least not as reckless as he could've been.   This really feels like a coming of age song and something that everyone would listen to because if you can't relate to it now you either should have at one point in your life or you will at some point in the future.

While I fully realize this song is called "Reckless", I feel like it's about not being that any more.  So hopefully this song can get stuck in the heads of some of the younger generation and then they can get out there and not be as reckless.   This just song has that feeling of me wishing someone tried to convey this message to me when I was younger.  

Live Music Review // Pink Sap / The Electric Nature / Trance Macabre
September 26th, 2023
at 33 Golden Street, New London CT

More photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

This was my first time at 33 Golden Street but as someone who has traveled numerous times to New London back in the day for shows at the El N Gee Club, this just felt like old times going down Route 9.   This place has a really nice aesthetic as you can find Dog Town skateboards up on the walls as well as posters of Joe Strummer and just a ton of other really cool art that makes it just so visually appealing as soon as you walk in.

Trance Macabre opened this show and it had been a bit since I had seen them.   They were a trio of bass / sax / drums and it played out a lot like jazz but also maybe in a way which would upset jazz purists.   The set was broken down into a few different songs and it was the bartender's birthday so at one point in between songs people started singing "Happy Birthday" and presented said bartender with a cake.  

You can say that you've seen Trance Macabre before but have you ever seen a birthday party break out during their set?  In other settings this might be rude or just out of place, but it somehow just fit in to where if this was going to happen it made perfect sense for it to be here and now.  I think some bands might've just kept going and played over the celebration as well.  Such is the life of improv music, right?

To hear Trance Macabre play between the blaring of the sax, the pounding of the drums and the bass line staying steady, there is also some singing in here though no one has a microphone.   The way that it all comes together so tightly just makes it feel special because even though you think of it as this free form experiment at the same time it's technical and just some of my favorite music, experienced live or on cassette.

The Electric Nature was in the middle of this psychedelic sandwich.  I've listened to and reviewed the music of Michael Potter and Null Zone for quite some time so finally getting out to see him perform live was something that I couldn't pass up on a Tuesday night.   The Electric Nature has been on tour for what seems like almost the entire year promoting "Old World Die Must" and now there is a new cassette out on Elderdown Records as well.   

At its heart the music of The Electric Nature feels very electronic and I think The Electric Nature is one of those artists where their name really can help you understand their sound.  The electric part of it is that there are electronics and at some point during the set the whole thing had these beats which weren't drum beats but created with bass I believe otherwise and it just made it all feel like it was going to turn into a dance party.

While all of this is happening, there was also guitar looping but then also just some of the most incredible guitar playing you will ever see.  I think that's the nature side of The Electric Nature because it just comes out so naturally, so organically.   Maybe it feels like you're going to a rave or maybe it feels like you're going to see a jam band, but if you like either of those two things and have ever wanted to kind of combine them then this is the sound for you.  

Pink Sap headlined this show and I know who a few of their members.   Michael Slyne might be the one who put this altogether, but he's the one I'm most familiar with in this band.   Dominic Mrakovcich was on keys and electronics during this set as well and he is an ambient composer who has this amazing album out right now called "Rataplan" that everyone should be listening to and talking about.

Along with Michael Slyne there was another guitarist, a bassist and a drummer.  The set started with tape loops and somewhat quietly, but then picked up.  Most of the time you can think of music as being in that verse/chorus/verse way or just going from points of loud to soft and then back to loud again.  Pink Sap started at a point which we could call 0 and then by the end had made it to 10.  The sound didn't really go up and down, it just seemed to start at a quieter place and then become gradually louder until the end.

This whole show was one of those psychedelic type of trips that I think everyone should take during music.   It's so much fun too because it feels like you're out on the ocean riding a wave and you don't know where it's going to take you.  This is probably the closest I will ever come to surfing.   Everyone who played is also so talented, definitely the best at what they do and you can just hear it in the sounds.

33 Golden Street can be found on Instagram here :::

Trance Macabre can be found on YouTube here :::

The Electric Nature can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Pink Sap can likely be best found through Michael Slyne, who is on Bandcamp here :::

However you should also be listening to Dominic Mrakovcich who is on Bandcamp here :::

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Live Music Review // Audio Jane / Ghostwoods / Lee Totten
September 23rd, 2023
at Oh Momma's, Middletown CT

Additional photos can be found on Facebook here :::

For a while now, I've been hearing about these shows at Oh Momma's and this was the first time we were able to make it out to one.   To put this into perspective in the best possible way, there was a Middletown Pride karaoke event going on at Oh Momma's prior to this show.   I think that just set the tone for a wonderful evening of music and we did get there somewhat early (about an hour before) and we heard some of the karaoke.  It was all so good and I could never sing like that.

Lee Totten took to the stage first and he sang songs while playing an acoustic guitar.  It was somewhere between that rock n roll swagger and punk rock.   As Lee Totten talked about his experiences which lead to certain songs, this really also felt like an episode of "Storytellers", which used to be on VH1 but I'm not sure if it still is (or how to watch VH1)  But I definitely enjoyed how it felt like the songs were these personal tales of Lee Totten but in some ways we all felt like we could relate.

One thing I'm somewhat humbled by is that Lee Totten is best known perhaps for writing "The Jager Song", which was on modern rock radio back in 1999.  I've obviously heard that song before but never put two and two together that this was that guy, even though his social media is at "thejagerguy", but that was one of those pleasant surprises that just makes me feel good about not doing my homework before going to a show.   I also really enjoyed the song "Highs & Lows", which he closed with.  I think I might end up remembering him more for that song now.

Ghostwoods is a band that I feel like really won me over on Bandcamp because they have two cover songs of Nirvana and their artwork for "Let Me In" is a cassette.  I mean, obviously if you're doing something with cassettes that's going to pique my interest, but Ghostwoods is also a really, really good band.  On Wednesday night I felt like I was blown away by Audio Jane and there was no way I was going to miss this show, also because I'd be bringing Jess along and I felt like she'd really love what Audio Jane was doing as well.

In between Wednesday and Saturday, Jess spent time listening to Ghostwoods and fell in love with them.   Their sound blends so many different elements that it's not easy to put into a genre or compare it with another artist, but it's definitely got these elements of rock with big distortion and then at times when there isn't singing there can be screaming.  This might not be the general idea of what "post hardcore" is, but this is what I think of when I see that genre somewhere.  

This feels like it could be based on your influences and it doesn't apply to every song but the only band I think I've ever seen live that Ghostwoods has reminded me of was Thrice.   I also really feel like they may not line up exactly musically, but I feel like Ghostwoods and Chevelle have similar structures in their sounds.   I think Chevelle is one of those bands we don't talk about enough and I'm just so into them.   But, ultimately, it's just this sound that's unlike anything else you've ever heard and may ever hear again.   You need to hear it at least once just so you know.

As Audio Jane took to the stage to headline, I was listening for that song which reminded me of the Gin Blossoms on Wednesday so I could be more specific with it but I didn't hear it this time.  Between Oh Momma's and Cafe Nine, I was near the speakers both times but the music still just comes out in this wave that feels like it could floor you.  Being that these are somewhat smaller spaces, I'd really love to hear Audio Jane somewhere outside, just to kind of feel the music when it doesn't seem so contained.

One thing I also thought on Wednesday that I feel now is how special it should feel to see three artists together who are all so very talented at what they're doing.  It's not just "Oh, I'm here for Audio Jane again" because Ghostwoods and Lee Totten are damn talented as well.  And they all bring something different to the stage, which I think goes to show how amazing the CT music scene is right now (and surrounding areas) 

I also really like that I'm able to attend these shows now because I've known bands in the 1990's that have a similar sound to Audio Jane and have been really big and I've known bands even now that have a similar sound with Audio Jane and are big.   It's not that the music sounds the same, it's more along the lines of if someone in a similar genre can have sold out shows in large venues I don't see why Audio Jane won't eventually.   CT's best kept secrets can only stay a secret for so long.

Imo the best way to stay up to date with Oh Momma shows is on their Facebook page :::

Audio Jane can be found on the web here :::

Ghostwoods can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Lee Totten can be found on the web here :::

Monday, September 25, 2023

Music Review // Luminatrix "Antihero"

The sound of Luminatrix can come through right away as rock n roll, but as you listen to "Antihero" you will hear that sound expand with each individual song.  Back when record labels were something it felt like every artist was aspiring to be a part of, there was a sound where albums just felt complete by having songs which could cross genres but still be all tied together and "Antihero" really reminds me of those days.

Right away I hear some Joan Jett on the opening song, "Nemesis".   Within the second song, "Among Us", I hear these guitars which remind me of Nirvana.  Luminatrix does a great job of finding that space between rock n roll and grunge, but then as we get into "All the Pretty Horses" it has a sort of country twang to it while also just feeling like a spooky rock type of song, which feels perfect for the upcoming Autumn season.

Artists like Heart and Blondie come to mind, but a lot of what you've listened to that shaped your musical tastes might be what you hear in here as well.   "China Again" is quite the hypnotic number as "Verbena" comes out as a power ballad.  This is just such an all around solid album but it also has that album feel to it that many musicians lack these days.  It's not just a collection of songs- they have a purpose.

Luminatrix also just has this way with their lyrics where if you spend enough time listening you'll be able to sing along, but they are also relatable.  Sometimes it's okay to have lyrics to sing along with but not fully understand them, but the fact that you can do both here should help this album to reach a wider audience.   If you're a fan of rock at all, then you definitely need to check this one out.  

Friday, September 22, 2023

Music Review // Diane Gentile feat: James Maddock "Lace Up Your Sneakers"

Right away the sound of Diane Gentile comes out in this upbeat rock way.  There is a pop and also disco element to this song where it feels like a dance number without really straying too far from the traditional sounds of rock music.  I find it to be somewhere between Patti Smith and ABBA, which is really just such a fun place to be.

One of the themes in this song is in the chorus and says: "There's never enough, darling / When you want it all" and as this song is called "Lace Up Your Sneakers" it makes me think of that in the sense of shoes.   Some people own enough pairs of shoes where they could wear a different pair every day and not run out for a year.  I felt that I was that way with t-shirts for a while and then I downsized my collection a lot.

But there is something closer to the teachings of Buddha in these words.  It's that idea that as long as you *want* you will never truly *have* because you won't be satisfied.   I also enjoy that there is a part in this song about writing down your thoughts on paper and throwing that paper away.  Whenever I have thoughts I just can't seem to shake (that keep me awake at night) I write them down, rip that paper up, throw it away and they seem to disappear.

On the surface, "Lace Up Your Sneakers" could be a simple dance number, even based on the title.  You can imagine hearing it come on at the club and you put your shoes on and go dance.  I also think about this song in a rollerskating sense, where you'd lace up your skates and get on that circular floor.  But, either way, there's that depth to the lyrics that hopefully people will embrace with the care-free attitude of the music.

Cassette Review // id m theft able "Witch's Voice 1975"

This cassette is a bit unsettling and as it is found audio I'm curious as to if this all ever played out in a sense of who these people are, did they murder each other, etc.   What starts with a man talking about a woman who takes care of her husband, who is 102 years old, and seems almost like a complaint which is going to be filed quickly turns into a woman coming in and screaming while this man is trying to tell his story.

The woman will be calm and just speaking but then start screaming.  At one point the man says "You lost this round you witch!" and I'm not sure if he's saying that as an insult or if he really feels like she could put a curse on him, but as the cassette goes on you can kind of tell he thinks she actually has put spells on him.  She does say "HA HA HA" a lot- especially after making statements- and I don't know if witches do that or not but it seems fitting.

I'm not always sure what this woman is screaming about.  She swears a lot and says the n-word a lot as well.  She calls people thieves and stupid, and also says "Everybody hates you".   At one point I feel like a doctor comes in and she tries kicking him out but she might just be kicking out the man who reminds her she's a witch by asking about his French fries.  She also discusses suffering and hookers, but not together.

There are a lot of troubling parts to this cassette, but I also just kept wondering why this guy kept recording.  You can hear the moments where the tape recorder would pause and then begin to record again and I wondered why.   But as the yelling from the woman goes on, the man eventually comes back and says he has a few more tapes kept "in case... for evidence", so he was very deliberate in his recording because he felt like he was in danger and whether or not he was in any actual danger seems unknown.  

Cassette Review // Abdul Hakim Bilal "Black Boy" (BLIGHT. Records)

The music of Abdul Hakim Bilal is quite interesting and this cassette, "Black Boy", is broken down into three parts.   There are themes to the music throughout the cassette but it also has distinct pieces so you can tell which you're hearing from song to song.   The singing can come out like moans, almost like whining, and there's this deep bass drive rock feeling to it all as well.

One of the biggest musical comparisons I can make with this sound is of the band mewithoutYou who have that sort of trippy / hardcore / post hardcore way about them.   It can feel angelic but also metal at the same time and I'm just not sure who to compare that combination with.  

On "Not Free" there is this cool jazz feeling, the percussion is right on and there is almost a chanting to the rhythm of it all as well.  "Purged (A Comedy)" has big swirling tones with accompanying piano keys and singing.   Those angelic ahh's are in here and it goes into this loop as it comes to an end.   I most like that this cassette has that hardcore / post hardcore / math rock way about it even though it's a different approach from what you're likely used to hearing.

Cassette Review // Everyone Asked About You "Paper Airplanes, Paper Hearts" (Numero Group)

Everyone Asked About You has a math rock sound which can remind me of bands like I Kill Giants, but also there is something else within these punk melodies.   Artists such as The Rocking Horse Winner, The Warren Commission and Discount all come to mind here as well.   The way that these songs move musically is so pleasant but so intimidating at the same time.

There are two vocalists in here as well, which sometimes means trading off on parts of songs and sometimes they sing together.  During one song, one vocalist sings "He was" about what is happening and at the same time the other vocalist sings "I was", which it's fun because you're hearing the same story from two different perspectives all at once.

Not only does this cassette have a titular track, which has a line about how both paper airplanes and paper hearts "always wind up being torn apart", they also have a song that is the band name and that's fun.   The music has these choruses and parts where it just feels like they're meant to be in group vocals at a live setting and I enjoy that so much.

There is a song on the flip side about going to Boston and it's mostly spoken words over a strong bass line.   An audio clip from the movie "Say Anything" is also in here, about the pen, which has this modern sounding cassette hitting all of the right notes in a nostalgic way.   From the past (early 00's) to the present to the future, Everyone Asked About You is creating some of the best music in this genre right now.

Music Review // Robert Jon & The Wreck "Stone Cold Killer"

Robert Jon & the Wreck are back with a brand new music video for the song "Stone Cold Killer".    At first, this song reminds me a bit of ZZ Top.  It just has that classic and Southern rock n roll way about it.   But as the song goes on, the chorus kicks in with the keys and it just feels like a rock song that you'd hear coming out of a bar in New Orleans.

This music video is particularly special to me.  Right away, I can see the resemblance to Spy vs Spy and as the video goes on it becomes even more apparent.   As it goes with the song itself, this woman is a "Stone Cold Killer" and so you see the animated version of Robert Jon running around during the music video, being killed by her in various ways.  This is a nice throwback to Spy vs Spy as a lot of what they did was under similar circumstances (bombs, pushing off of roofs, etc)

There are also these black dots in the animation which reminds me of older styles of comic books and the whole thing is just so much fun to watch.  And I respect it because on one hand you'll have people who see it and get it but then if people don't get it they can still appreciate the style and learn about it.    Having these cool concepts while keeping the past alive is something every musician should strive to do.

During the chorus, the animated Robert Jon is shown singing with the band and just having the backup vocals of the title being animated into its own scene is such the perfect touch for this music video.   Though this music video is not overly complicated (but not everyone can just have an animated music video) it definitely has layers.  Like the music itself, you must appreciate it for what it is on the surface but then also dive deeper and come to love it a little bit more.  

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Music Review // Ekelle "Baddie"

After listening to "Flo", Ekelle has become one of my favorite artists and that only has become confirmed with this song, "Baddie".   There is just a vibe to this song about being a bad bitch that makes me feel like it could be part of the "Birds of Prey" soundtrack, which is literally one of the best soundtracks that I have heard in years.

Ekelle really has no equal though.  There are other rappers out there and whether you're thinking more mainstream like Doja Cat or Nicki Minaj or maybe less known like CupcakKe, there is just something that Ekelle brings to the table which is genuinely her and so you can't compare it with others because they can't offer it up the same way.   It's just a cross between a style and a mood.  

I must admit that since marijuana is legal in most places now, rappers have to rap about smoking that *good* weed because just smoking weed used to be enough but people aren't as impressed by that so they need to know the quality.  I also like that this song is about making money and just all around not giving a shit.  At one point she says something about dating but only if you'll take her to Miami.   It's refreshing to see someone know their worth and perpetuate that image.

The only problem I really have with Ekelle is that her songs are too short.  Once you really start feeling these beats, the song is over.   But you can always put this on repeat and let it go for as long as you want.  It would also serve as a perfect mantra for just getting out there in the world and taking it to your advantage.  This is a powerful anthem for someone who wants to go out and get something because they deserve it.  

Music Review // Chin Injeti "For Better or For Worse"

Chin Injeti has created a dance rock anthem that has undertones of disco in it.  The song remains mostly upbeat and there are these synth notes that ring through towards the end, making it feel truly out of this world.   "For Better of For Worse" is also groovy enough to sing along with and the lyrical content might not be appreciated by everyone now but it will be one day.

Right away the song mentions that finally being in your 40's means you can understand your 20's.  If you're not yet in your 40's and more so if you're still in your 20's then you might not understand this song and you might not find the lyrics of it appealing to an extent, but the music is still a nice ride to take so you at least have that working for you.

One of the biggest life lessons that this song touches upon is that you don't always realize what you're doing or what a certain time in your life means until it's over.  A lot of people spend their 20's just wandering around trying to find who they thought they were meant to be.  Not everyone sees that though until they're older and they can look back and wish they spent their time differently.

At the end of the day we can't go back in time so we're stuck with the choices we made.  But the path we took brought us to here and that's kind of the point of the song as well- that for better or for worse we are where we are now because of our past and we need to really think about that moving forward.  This song also just has such a great rhythm. 


COMPACTOR begins with these loud screeches that'll get you to pay attention if you're not.  Beats come in but it's just somewhere between pounding and thunder where it just feels like heavier than anything you've heard before.   This all begins to move mechanically and the music hits this industrial stride that I really enjoy but it also feels like such destruction.   I realize in listening to this cassette that I love COMPACTOR so much because it feels like music for the working class but for the working class to destroy itself and become something better, something more.

This takes us into a song which has these video game tones to start, which feels very fun and the beat is just so energetic.   The way this all comes together in a beat which still feels like we're playing a video game, to some extent, but it's also just this heavy dance music like you'd hear in the movie "Go".    This becomes a song which is just straight blast beats and the intensity with the pacing is like a bomb is about to go off and you must diffuse it.

As we finish up a song where the beats become more rapid fire, we slow down now into some beats and electronic loops which also have vocals making the "ah" sound within.   It's getting really electronic and just feels like a storm is coming.   A loop feels like it is starting up, as it goes in this pattern from almost like a car engine starting, and then at the end it just sounds like everything has come crashing down to the ground and broken.

On the DIVISIVE side the electronic tones come through with beats and it feels a little bit lighter.   Then an audio clip says "May I place you on hold for one minute" and the entire thing just turns into this wave of harsh noise.   This is exactly how I feel about having to call people in customer service and more to the point I'm guessing people working in customer service feel this way as well.  High pitched screeches come through like modems and this is what we should hear when placed on hold from now on.

Tones begin swirling in now and this feels like it's become somewhat ambient.   I can hear the blissful guitar chords being strummed.   An audio clip now explains how the system is keeping us down and we try to avoid pesticides but we still are probably being slowly poisoned.    We are told about wanting to stay inside and then some dance beats take over and I do want to just stay inside and dance now.  

An audio clip yells about not paying attention because you're always playing games on your phone (I love Tetris) and then the distorted wave begins to expand and contrast as other words are spoken behind it.   The static comes through now in a steady wave and it feels as if there are vocals behind it but I cannot make out any words.    Bells ring back and forth now after an audio clip says "This describes social anxiety disorder".   Louder now, like screaming, as the distortion blasts through and it does feel like social anxiety to me.  

Somehow this all slows down and almost begins to sound like the actual music you would hear when put on hold.   The audio clips about social anxiety continue and they talk about how it's hard to have co-workers and not feel anxious and I agree.   But the best way, I've found, to combat to feel like you're being talked about negatively by others is to just put positive words about people you like out into the world.  

Cassette Review // Detcord Noose "Infinite Regression EP"

Words cannot adequately describe how much I love Detcord Noose.   When I first started listening to really heavy music, I heard so much music which has influences in here but then in the early 2000's bands started adding more melody and singing to their choruses.  Detcord Noose takes me back to the early days of labels you wouldn't believe started out as hardcore labels if you looked at them now and other labels like Ferret Style.

This music is just brutal, powerful, fast paced and unrelenting.  From screaming to growling, from just an onslaught of music to those starts and stops, Detcord Noose hits every note and in the exact perfect location.  The percussion also needs its own mention here, as it just goes above and beyond to make this one feel like you're either being shot by a machine gun or dragged by the scalp through a swamp.

If you've had the chance to see Detcord Noose live you'll know they do have a slower number, which closes out this cassette and is called "Hemorrhaging".    This song has some melody in it, but it's still plodding.  Metal doesn't always have to be fast paced, but it's nice when it at least still sounds like it wants you to hurry up before it catches up with you and something bad happens to you.   

One misconception I think always have about hardcore music too is that just because you're playing fast and loud it means you're playing whatever and not very well.  This cassette is complex as fuck and the music in it is just something that I don't think even the most classically trained of musicians could've come up with.  If you like your music brutal, then you should definitely let this one rip through you.  

Cassette Review // Rear Window "Live at Redscroll Records"

As of now, Rear Window has played at Redscroll Records twice.  The second time I was there (and I got this cassette) but this is a recording of the first time which I missed.  It begins with these haunted feels with scrapes and sharp noises coming through.  I definitely feel like I can hear some sort of vocals sound, almost like a baby gagging but it's not quite that defined.  This does seem to set the mood for a specific type of room, which is perfect for Halloween time.

Organs begin droning as it sounds as if items are being shuffled around.   Scraping sounds come through now with those deep, dark drones that feel like we're in an underground situation.  It gets as sharp as it does dark, going from one end of that sound to the other, and it just feels like we're being put in a place where it is calm but might also be destructive at the same time. 

A popping sound comes in, which feels like ping pong balls being hit but also somehow destroyed when hit because they don't make a sound of dropping.   The synth tones slide back and forth and ignite.   The tones shift to more bass and then it feels as if something is being hammered.  Somewhat sounds of vocals come in here as well, as this banging is in a loop and then after it sounds like someone says "shoo".

Behind this all still feels like that purr of a car engine and every so often you can hear what sounds like an old horn on a car beeping.   This very much takes on the presence of a virtual highway, launching into space.   The scraping sound continues, but it also just feels as if you opened up your window in a city full of traffic.   It expands and contrasts, finding its way to the end and the applause is there to remind us that this was performed live.  

Cassette Review // German Army "Boising" (IDS RECORDINGS)

Ambient tones lift into beats and as this seemed like it might start off calm it quickly turned into a dance number.   Uplifting tones take us into the break beats and then there are also these magical feelings surrounding all of this now.   Suspenseful tones take us into acoustic drumming now, as it feels like we're diving deeper into the forest.   The beats grow stronger as this one grows more intense.

The music switches now to where it has these industrial beats with expanding synth behind it.   This feels like somewhat of a video game soundtrack, like Resident Evil, but it also reminds me of The Brood.   The synth expands to where it sounds like Pole Position and then the next song kicks in strong with obvious percussion and sounds which feel more traditional to Indian music.   It feels like you can dance with it, but then also brings out those snake-charmer vibes.

With jungle beats, like the banging of acoustic bongos, the next song comes out with this slipstream of static while also putting in somewhat relaxing organ tones which feel more suspenseful within the context of the song because everything else is so fast paced.   It slows down into a thing of beauty before we reach the end of the first side.

Slow tones, winding through in a haunted manner kick things off on the flip side.   Faint beats can be heard in the background, but this big almost horn-like sound takes over the landscape like something out of "Lord of the Rings".   The tones shift a little bit and then the next song brings in acoustic percussion but different from that which we've heard up until now on this cassette.   A driving synth comes through like waves.

The next song comes in with these deep beats and then this ringing like a siren.  You can hear tones in here which sound like a trumpet.   There also just feels like there's a lot going on in the way that it could be in a city.   Someone can be heard speaking now, as seductive tones return with the beats.  In some ways, this song reminds me of a slowed down "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-n-Effect, which was built on a saxophone sample so maybe even that's a comparison point.

The beats on the next song remind me of "Mambo No. 5" as the rhythm brings in these high pitched vocals as well.   There is this humming/buzzing, but ultimately this just feels like a fast paced level in a video game where the pressure is on to win it before time is up.   This takes us into a song where it feels like the percussion is knocking and the organ tones are something like "The Addams Family", which is perfectly spooky for this time of year.  

Live Music Review // Jake Manzi / Audio Jane / 77 Apes
September 20th, 2023
at Cafe Nine, New Haven CT

Additional photos can be found in an album on Facebook here :::

One of the best ways you can spend your Wednesday night in Connecticut is at Jake Manzi's Record Release Show, especially if that show happens to also have Audio Jane and 77 Apes opening.   This was one of those shows where if you see one of these three artists listed and then you don't know the other artists, you should still go out of your way just to see them (and maybe hear some new music you like in the process).   How these three artists got onto the same show is rather special as instances like this don't occur every day.

This show started with 77 Apes who have a unique style of rock music that you can't put an overall label on but rather can take on more of a song by song basis.   In fact, they have an album which came out this year called "Genres" (and you should be listening to it) which has a different genre for every song on it and cover songs as well.   This just goes to show their range as musicians because not all artists can break down the proverbial walls of genres.

When I first heard 77 Apes I had compared their sound with Bruce Springsteen, but it goes into the blues as well.   They played a pop punk song and even ended the set with a song that had keys as the focal point.  I think we're beyond the time of when bands would play songs that all sounded closely the same, or at least we can find that in 77 Apes.   If you can be diverse in your songs and still retain that same quality then I say go for it.  But not everyone can do what 77 Apes is doing and that's also okay.

Audio Jane was up second and their music just hits like a wave.   There are these elements of music from the grunge and post-grunge type of era that must be noted.  Bands like That Dog, Mazzy Star, The Murmurs and K's Choice all come out for me.   But at the same time, there is something modern in here.  At times it can be similar to Metric, but there is also just this feeling of it being some kind of -gaze, where Audio Jane would fit in with the shoegaze crowd and all that entails.

I'm not sure if this exists already or is redundant but I thought of Audio Jane as being grunge-gaze and quite liked that idea.   Their sound took me back to that mid to late 1990's vibes, but also kept me in the presence.  Their guitarist was strumming the hell out of his guitar quite a bit too and that was definitely a sight to see.  This whole band just feels like they're on the top of their game musically and when I say I want to feel music this is what I mean.  I want to feel it in my chest, where it feels like it can knock you over and that's what Audio Jane brings to the stage.

Jake Manzi took the stage and sang songs from his new album, "Here She Comes", which is out now and should absolutely be on your mind.   There is no easy way to describe the music of Jake Manzi and depending upon how you grew up and what your influences were (how old you are) you are very possibly going to hear something different in these songs than someone else.  But isn't that part of the beauty of music?  We can all have our own interpretations but at the same time it can feel so personal and special to us.  

Part of this sound reminds me of that 1950's rock n roll.  Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and even into Elvis Costello.  I was also spending some of the time during this set thinking about Johnny Cash.   During one song I thought of the Gin Blossoms so much that I needed to shout them out here.   And then overall there is also just this sense of The Get Up Kids in here, which partly is based around their "On A Wire" album but also just in a general sense of their sound.   But I listen to a lot of music from a lot of time frames and so maybe if you're younger, maybe if you're older you're hearing other artists and that's all right too.

I think that the moral of this show is that three artists can come together, be so uniquely different not just from each other but from everyone else as well, and yet still play songs to the extent that if you were to put them onto a movie soundtrack (say "Empire Records") it would just work.   What they're all doing also just happens to be so incredibly good- they're all so talented- that it just made for an overall show that should not have been missed.  

Cafe Nine can be found on the web here :::

Jake Manzi can be found on the web here :::

Audio Jane can be found on the web here :::

77 Apes and all related links for them can be found on Instagram here :::