REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Lanie Flowers – Live in NYC

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November 21, 2014
Lanie Flowers – Live in NYC

Who doesn’t like Singer-Songwriter music? Who doesn’t like a good live album? I’d all hands go up in the air. I mean, while Singer-Songwriter, which by the way kind of emerged in the late 60’s and 70’s with the arrival of artists like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Jim Croce and Billy Joel...
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JIMMY BARNES, Hindsight

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November 20, 2014
JIMMY BARNES, Hindsight

The release of this CD celebrates the Australian’s 30 years as a solo artist, and 15th studio release. The artist was formerly with the band Cold Chisel. This release features an ensemble of friends and associates including Steven Van Zandt, Joe Bonamassa, Jon Stevens, Jonathan Cain, Neil Schon, The Living End, Diesel, Baby Animals,...
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Heart, Heart and Friends – Home for the Holidays

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November 20, 2014
Heart, Heart and Friends – Home for the Holidays

Heart is without a doubt one of the most successful bands in rock ‘n’ roll music history. The Wilson sisters have cemented a name for themselves in an industry that, as a general consensus, is perceived by many to be an all-boys club. By the time Heart’s debut album “Dreamboat Annie” was released in...
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Strength and Kindness – “Somebody’ Else’s Nightmare” (2014)

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November 20, 2014
Strength and Kindness – “Somebody’ Else’s Nightmare” (2014)

Strength and Kindness is a Jazz Project based out of San Francisco. This latest CD entitled ““Somebody’ Else’s Nightmare” (2014) is a powerful and eclectic album tells the story of a gifted player/composer with beautiful melodies, a smooth playing style, that is emotional and at times very refined sonic feel. I am talking about...
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Ashley Rivera, Danger Dreaming

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November 19, 2014
Ashley Rivera, Danger Dreaming

Ashley Rivera is a singer/songwriter/vocalist from Georgia who just released their latest CD entitled “Danger Dreaming.’ This impressive release is an original blender of sound mixing Adelle, Vanessa Carlton, Lisa Loeb, Paula Cole, Beth Orton, Delta Rae and The Swell Season. Visually I must admit she bares a similar resemblance to some of the...
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The Satisfactors, The Satisfactors

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November 19, 2014
The Satisfactors, The Satisfactors

The Satisfactors are balls to the wall rock and roll. Everything they do taps into the spirit of early classic rock. With a defiant, party attitude to their songs their entire album is pure fun. Lyrically the songs explore the grimy side of rock, from parties to escaping bad situations. None of the songs...
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Universal You, Perfect EP

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November 19, 2014
Universal You, Perfect EP

Universal You’s “Perfect EP” is pop perfection. Bursting with energy the EP virtually demands to be played loud. That way every particular nuance of the songs shines through: from the strong vocals to the infectious melodies, “Perfect EP” is exactly how pop music should be. In fact the vocals are the heart of the...
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Vinyl Floor, Vaudeville

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November 19, 2014
Vinyl Floor, Vaudeville

“Vinyl Floor is a 3-piece rockband which hails from Copenhagen, Denmark. The band was formed in 2007 and consists of the two brothers Thomas Charlie Pedersen and Daniel Pedersen and the longtime friend and colleague Rasmus Bruun. It’s always a breath of fresh air to hear a new and exciting band that’s not afraid...
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Jason Masi, Life is Wonderful

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November 17, 2014
Jason Masi, Life is Wonderful

Let’s be honest for just a second shall we. I get a lot of albums sent my way for review and I mean a lot. Most of them don’t do anything for me. They don’t always get happily placed in the CD player, but the ones that do usually get a three song stay...
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Sarantos, “Let’s Call It Love”

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November 17, 2014
Sarantos, “Let’s Call It Love”

Sarantos succeeds with beauty on “Let’s Call It Love”. The style recalls that of dimly lit Bossa Nova. Luxurious and rich the sound is pristine. Jazz-influenced the vocals are reminiscent of Arto Lindsay’s graceful singing. By letting these many elements play off of each other Sarantos is able to create an atmospheric, softly sung...
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Charley and Jesi, With Love

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November 14, 2014
Charley and Jesi, With Love

In our modern age of Rap synths and autotune it can be difficult to find the top seeds among the harvest. What makes masters The White Stripes, The Lumineers and Two Door Cinema Club so sought after? Sure they sound good, they look great, the feel is good. But above that they got something...
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Bobby Livingston, High & Away

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November 13, 2014
Bobby Livingston, High & Away

Bobby Livingston’s “High & Away” displays a keen sense of storytelling. These songs play like chapters in a life. With each one representative of another phase of life they come together quite nicely to form a fully formed individual. Observations are astute. Here the band proves to be of the utmost importance helping to...
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Neil Thomas, Devadatta

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November 13, 2014
Neil Thomas, Devadatta

‘Devadatta’ is the follow up album to 2010’s ‘A Century of Lullabies’. Much like it’s predecessor, it’s another concept album (with more than a nod to the progressive rock genre) mixing stark imagery, social commentary and humanist philosophy to create a tapestry of vivid soul-searching and storytelling. There is immensely detailed substance to this...
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Patrick Ames, Oakville Ontology

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November 12, 2014
Patrick Ames, Oakville Ontology

Patrick Ames sings directly from the heart. “Oakville Ontology” possesses a pure spirit. The songs are deeply felt. Ruminating on loss while looking for hope, the songs offer moments of quiet reflection. Arrangements are simple and effective. With a low key approach these are songs that have been worked on many times until they...
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Heart & Soul Radio, thieves

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November 12, 2014
Heart & Soul Radio, thieves

Heart & Soul Radio “thieves” is an indomitable force. Bursting forth with great energy it is infinitely optimistic. Elements of it hark back to the halcyon days of alternative rock movement: of Dashboard Confessional, 30 Seconds to Mars, even Blink 182. Yes their songs are unforgettable. The choruses invite the listener to sing along....
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Astrobleed, Astrobleed

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November 11, 2014
Astrobleed, Astrobleed

A lot of rock bands forget the debt they owe the blues. Astrobleed is not one of those bands. Barreling through with powerful pieces that display true grit and soul, Astrobleed shows that it can say more without saying a word. Instrumental rock rarely sounds this unrestrained. The album virtually begs to be played...
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Joseph Eid Releases “Human”

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November 11, 2014
Joseph Eid Releases “Human”

Joseph Eid composes in an eclectic style borrowing from Folk-Pop music, combined with an Alt-Rock aesthetic. His lyrics share a black humor/self-deprecating sensibility. He writes of the mundane and the complex, and probably doesn’t understand everything but questions what he already knows. On this his latest entitled “Human” it seems to captures the spirit...
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Buffalo Huddleston Band, Sunrise

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November 11, 2014
Buffalo Huddleston Band, Sunrise

Buffalo Huddleston Band’s “Sunrise” is a tapestry of sound effortlessly weaving together hip-hop, reggae, folk, and classical into a colorful whole. “Sunrise” Tasteful and refined they are a unique beast in the musical kingdom. No other band quite sounds like Buffalo Huddleston. Their vision is entirely their own. With a sound that remains playful...
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Tan, A Summer To Remember

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November 10, 2014
Tan, A Summer To Remember

“A Summer To Remember”, released March 6th of this year, is the debut EP of Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Tan. Born and raised in Malaysia, Tan always had a passion for music, contradictory to his upbringing and the established norms of success through traditional college education. Tan began his musical career as a child...
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Les Fradkin, Baroque Rocks!

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November 6, 2014
Les Fradkin, Baroque Rocks!

The man of a million sounds and King of the Ztar produced a piece of work that is simply revolutionary, creative genius! The title of the record is ‘Baroque Rocks!” and it showcases Fradkin’s deep love for classical, Baroque-style music with 12 compositions that are pure as gold. Les pays homage to many of...
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ARJUN, Core (2014)

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November 5, 2014
ARJUN, Core (2014)

ARJUN, the three-piece instrumental band from New York, has been trailblazing their own hybrid of rock and improvisational jazz since 2003. Made up of Eddie Arjun Peters (guitar), Lamar Myers (drums), and Andre Lyles (bass), ARJUN fuses the power of rock with improvisational alternative jazz, resulting in a delicate balance of intricately crafted melodies...
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Jude Gwynaire, New York Ghosts

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November 4, 2014
Jude Gwynaire, New York Ghosts

Jude Gwynaire’s music is other worldly, fascinating, engaging, challenging, and altogether mysterious. Time to get lost in space… Track URL: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/judegwynaire67 On ‘New York Ghosts’, Jude Gwynaire has created a sublime soundscape which is peppered with infectious drum beats, nervous sounding guitar riffs, and sliced up vocal samples that create a strange mixture of...
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Solveig & Stevie, Fire and Other Playthings

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November 4, 2014
Solveig & Stevie, Fire and Other Playthings

Solveig & Stevie’s “Fire and Other Playthings” harks back to a more innocent time in pop music. With a mellow sound they are able to accomplish quite a bit from the playful to the dramatic. The songs display Solveig’s power as a singer as well as Stevie’s adept restrained playing. A clear love of...
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Sarah Donner, That is a Pegasus

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November 4, 2014
Sarah Donner, That is a Pegasus

  It’s funny how music can change. It’s so malleable; you could hear it in one setting and hate it, vowing to never again let such filth invade your eardrums again. I’m referring to mainly pop by the way. Then, you could hear it at a different time, in a different situation, a different...
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My Silent Bravery, Diamond from Coal

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November 3, 2014
My Silent Bravery, Diamond from Coal

“Diamond from Coal” is an album full of hope. The sound shines with cautious optimism about the future. Vocals are earnest. At times the songs embody the joy of “The Polyphonic Spree” with its giddy sensibilities. Synthesizers are prominently displayed throughout the album helping to emphasize the gleeful nature of the work. The many...
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Monique Angele, Self Titled

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November 3, 2014
Monique Angele, Self Titled

Monique Angele is a unique emerging singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Her self-titled debut EP is a combined style of classical and pop, officially naming it “divine pop.” Her versatile style portrays pianistic finesse and soaring vocals. Today I am listening to her debut self-titled EP released in 2014. This is such a complex, amazing...
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Rainstick Cowbell, Hand over the Heart

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October 31, 2014
Rainstick Cowbell, Hand over the Heart

Rainstick Cowbell (Scott Arbogast) in an interesting Slop Folk artist based out of Portland, OR. As I gave this, his fourth release to date a right and proper listen I have to agree with the slop folk comments – but it also has remnants of classic Psychedelic Rock. I’m a huge fan of Psychedelic...
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Rachel Lynn Sebastian, Raven Heart

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October 30, 2014
Rachel Lynn Sebastian, Raven Heart

After six arduous weeks of recording, the collaborators were met with a major setback: All twelve “Raven Heart” songs needed to be remixed and re-mastered. The problem was that Rachel Lynn had already scheduled a six-month U.S. tour to promote the album that would not be rescheduled. The decision was made: Cori Jacobs (Master...
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RxGF, Any Other Way

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October 30, 2014
RxGF, Any Other Way

RxGF’s third full length release is action packed and positively brimming with indie cool. “How To Make It”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQR6urI2z4M#t=48 Listen to the full album Streaming links: BandCamp: https://rxgf.bandcamp.com/album/any-other-way SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/rxgf/sets/any-other-way-2014 Any Other WayOpening with title track ‘Any Other Way’, things sound painfully hip from the start, with its sprawling echoes and glacial tone that...
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Love Jupiter, 1967

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October 29, 2014
Love Jupiter, 1967

Over the years we’ve seen rock, pop, and even hard rock slowly erode into over-commercialized, corporate puppet shows providing music that is extremely sing songy, predictable, popish and highly corporate. I hereby call this new breed of music “Poser Rock” and I want to personally thank all the corporate giants for successfully transforming “Sex...
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Wolfgang Douglas, Wonderful Life

By
October 29, 2014
Wolfgang Douglas, Wonderful Life

Wolfgang Douglas’s “Wonderful Life” lets loose. Everything within the two songs emphasizes this carefree attitude. Sonically the songs resemble The Strokes’ second album hopped up on unreasonable amounts of caffeine. This means the hooks are strong. Rhythms are out of control moving as fast as possible. Lyrically the two songs reflect this overall gleeful...
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Hunter & The Dirty Jacks, Single Barrel

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October 27, 2014
Hunter & The Dirty Jacks, Single Barrel

Here’s to pouring old wine into new bottles. Hunter & The Dirty Jacks, a Los Angeles based blues-rock outfit, have self-released their full-length debut, Single Barrel, without even a blink of irony. While younger, retro-themed bands in other subgenres are increasingly steering towards sharper moments of outright parody, a unit like this never falls...
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Sam Northwood, “Want To Be Home”

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October 27, 2014
Sam Northwood, “Want To Be Home”

Sam Northwood is a pop singer out of London, England. His current single is dedicated to raising awareness of being homeless and the trials that go along with the misfortune. This is a cause that I believe is often marred by judgment and ridicule and I am very pleased with his efforts. We can...
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Leonino, Naked Tunes

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October 26, 2014
Leonino, Naked Tunes

Leonino makes perfect pop music, pop music with true soul. “Naked Tunes” are light lovely pieces stripped of unnecessary excess to get to the heart of the matter. Lyrics reveal a keen awareness of storytelling as each song unfurls to reveal adept skill at observation. Alongside the detailed narratives are catchy warm melodies that...
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Ken Dahl, “Casper”

By
October 25, 2014
Ken Dahl, “Casper”

Ken Dahl’s “Casper” has a brilliant concept with pitch-perfect execution. With a focus on the nastiness of anonymous online bloggers the track moves forward thanks to the help of an incredibly infectious beat. Everything about the track indicates a keen sense of awareness about the double-standards that anonymity brings online. For anonymity allows people...
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Alice Sungurov, Broke My Heart

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October 25, 2014
Alice Sungurov, Broke My Heart

“Broke My Heart” is a lush piece of pop. Alice Sungurov’s voice serves as the focal point for the entire track. With a relaxed easy groove the song reflects upon the oftentimes confusing aspects of being in a relationship and the heartbreak that comes with the end of a relationship. No breakup is easy....
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Random Dander, Second Cuming EP

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October 25, 2014
Random Dander, Second Cuming EP

Random Dander sound truly completely out of their minds on the “Second Cuming EP” and this is a very good thing indeed. Throughout the collection they appear to be possessed by a boundless energy. Hence the songs have a strong physical quality to them as every song appears to be dripping with sweat. Incredibly...
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Tyler Gilbert, Okay Murphy

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October 25, 2014
Tyler Gilbert, Okay Murphy

Tyler Gilbert’s “Okay Murphy” is a well-balanced blend of electric and acoustic rock. His distinctive voice and vision help bring together a diverse range of approaches, from the celebratory to the tragic. “Okay Murphy” takes its many elements to create a beautiful, oftentimes tragic sound. Tyler Gilbert ” Ok, Murphy” EP https://soundcloud.com/tyler-4-2 Kicking off...
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RxGF, Any Other Way

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October 24, 2014
RxGF, Any Other Way

RxGF’s “Any Other Way” is what dark wave should be. The edge in the arrangements is nicely complemented by Angeline Schaaf’s powerful emotive voice. Alongside this the music itself benefits from the extensive subtle use of samples which give the overall sound a greyish foreboding atmosphere. For the more decipherable samples the overall effect...
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Deborah Henriksson, Traces

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October 24, 2014
Deborah Henriksson, Traces

Traces is an eclectic yet unique musical offering from Swedish vocalist Deborah Henriksson. Henriksson has released 4 albums thus far and clearly an established and experienced vocalist. I’ve been to Europe, and for someone like me no doubt inspiration comes from daily emotive impressions including a bumper-sticker, scribbles on a wall, signs of various...
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