November 15, 2018

Words about music (474): Leonard Cohen

The basic function of popular music is to create an environment for courting, lovemaking, and doing the dishes. It's useful because it addresses the heart in the midst of all these activities, and it will always be useful in this very important way.

Leonard Cohen

Koto Kill: Fire Down

London based electronic dance rock band Koto Kill - the brainchild of producer Gabriel Ralls - looked to the East for their new single Fire Down, with almost tangible tension created by Ricky Romain on sitar and vocalist Judith Haustein. Prog rock fans will like the licks provided by guitarist Ákos Gadó.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe: tour dates, new album "'Gnomes & Badger"

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe hit the road for a lengthy Winter tour. The funky jazz band will release their new album Gnomes & Badger in February, their fist studio album since New Ammo (2014).

Live dates:
  • 12/04 Annapolis, MD - Rams Head Onstage (Evening with)
  • 12/05 Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore ^
  • 12/15 Snowmass, CO - Bud Light HiFi Concert Series
  • 12/27 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up *
  • 12/28 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore *
  • 12/29 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore *
  • 12/30 Portland, OR - Revolution Hall ^^
  • 12/31 Portland, OR - Revolution Hall ^^

November 14, 2018

Jet Plane: Falls Feather

Russian post-rockers Jet Plane sound a lot darker on their new album Falls Feather, building their tracks on monolithic riffs and loops. Their signature use of glockenspiel, violin and bagpipes has been pushed back into the background and while that is understandable for for their new guitar heavy prog course it also make them less special. When of those instruments gets the chance to be heard in a track like Wildflower the music gains depth. They have another ace up their sleeve however, when they unleash the neo-classical prog grandeur of Moreno.

The band is going through some soul searching in their quest for a new course. Dead ends are unavoidable, but they keep busy cutting their way through the genres to carve a new niche for their music.

November 13, 2018

The Grand East: What A Man

What A Man, the new album by Dutch Bluesy rock quintet The Grand East is a throwback to the soulful guitar and organ music of the late Sixties and early Seventies has quite a bit of soul. They paint with broad strokes, stretching the notes. Melancholy and bravado are playing catch throughout the record. It's all about getting up after been beaten down.

Hammond player Joris van den Berg deserves to be singled for his on point fills and textural contributions. If this is what retro sounds like, it has a bright future.