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GEDOS DOES JAZZ: Art Pepper Quartet – Yardbird Suite

Contributed by Chris Gedos

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Listen to this 1953 cut of the altoist Art Pepper lay down Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird Suite”, written back in ’46 at the height of postwar jubilation. Suburban tracts, the Marshall Plan and the G.I. Bill do indeed apply! This is a happy freewheelin’ take on a happy, freewheelin’ composition, capturing the spirit of 1940’s Tommy Dorsey-era New York. Pepper, however, was a native Angeleno who lived for much of his life in Echo Park. A colossal performance almost criminal it’s so good, by one of the Gods of West Coast Jazz. I think the name of the gentleman on the piano is Russ Freeman, BTW.

Art Pepper Quartet – Yardbird Suite

Art Pepper california (All Music)

Rating 9.5

brown93

reviewed by
11-27-11

SHOW REVIEW: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds / The Hours @ Royce Hall, Los Angeles 11/18/11

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Last Friday night at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, The Hours took full advantage of an audience looking for something new in a familiar framework. Like Royce Hall (*see below) and headliner Noel Gallagher, history serves an indicator.

The UK collective fronted by Antony Glenn (former Pulp and Elastica fame to name a few) and Martin Slattery (who shares a connection through collaborations with Joe Strummer) kicked things off with recent single “I Want More.” The song caught the attention of fans stranded in the lobby trying to quickly finish their drinks. The Hour’s opt for Slattery’s multi-sectional musicianship in favor of a traditional bass player. Their blend of pop melodies and driving rhythms conjures an eclectic mix of everything from The Doves, Spoon, The Rolling Stones, and Spiritualized, with even moments Jeff Buckley and his protégés coming to mind. The band’s airtight set consisted heavily of material from their new I Want More EP as well as the band’s It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish US debut. At one point The Hours invited two soulful women to stage to sing a few tracks with them. The audience’s playful approval of hoots and hollering felt most convincing during “Soul Music for Troubled Souls”. It’s the sort of song concerned with bigger messages and overall statements. And in such an economically wounded political environment, something like that might have been why the girl behind me tapped my shoulder to ask who the opening band was. The song drew a welcome response, as the did the band – as well as the bro-Noel banter between tracks. “What’s not to love about Noel” Antony asked? True, but there’s lots to like about watching The Hours. Get familiar and pick up a copy of I Want More.

The Hours – Soul Music for Troubled Souls

The Hours england (Official)

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A musical homage to Noel Gallagher’s mentors played through the house speakers during the sets interlude. It was the High Flying Birds second night in LA on a sold out six city American tour. Having recorded the album in LA, I wondered about Noel’s affinity for American culture? The album artwork on the streets of Los Angeles, the music video in a Pioneer Town like desert world? What role did the west coast play in High Flying Birds? There’s even an American in the band, as Noel himself takes the piss at later in the show. More importantly being a KROQ Presents show, and him being here now with HFB, will Americans find any new inspiration in him?

A variation of “If I Had A Gun” from Noel Gallagher’s forthcoming Amorphous Androgenous collaboration lay stealth in the speakers as the lights soon dimmed and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds took stage. A folky version of early b-side “It’s Good to Be Free” opened the show; offering a fresh take on something classic. Which would set the tone nicely for the rest of the set. In true house band fashion the High Flying Birds performed a majority of their self-titled debut LP near sequentially with several musical intermissions of fan favorites.

Noel looked alive and free of any preconceived notions about his stage presence in Oasis. Standing in the middle of the stage with the conviction of Noel Gallagher, and joining him were four of his High Flying Birds on bass, keys, drums and guitar. Given all of it’s various versions, lead album track “Everybody Is On The Run” sounds even complete with a five piece. Noel’s band sounded great. The back up singing, even finger picking on bass, all the versatility felt just right. But these weren’t hired guns, they each played with style. Noel wears great musicians like he does great songs. But to hear drumming from Jeremy Stacey of The Lemon Trees on songs like “If I Had A Gun” played with the same type of spunk as the early Tony McCarroll… it became clear that this band was a very well fit experience.

“The Good Rebel” first broke the album’s sequence sneaking in before it’s release’s flip-track “Death of You and Me” – a song that really brings out the Ennio Morricone in Noel Gallagher, with it’s ragtime piano and lyric “I’m watching the TV or is it watching me” maintaining there album highlights. New song “Freaky Teeth” followed as the audience got their second taste of what’s to come from Noel in 2012. Similar to the variation of “If I Had A Gun” mentioned earlier, “Freaky Teeth”explores classic rock and psychedelic roads travelled much less if ever by Oasis. To wrap intermission Noel played a pair of near solo acoustic classics. The audience tried to let him sing “Wonderwall” but couldn’t resist on “Supersonic”.

Switching gears back to High Flying Birds the audience adjusted their Gallagher frequency as the sampled sound of children playing filled the atmosphere leading the band into new album’s anthem “(I Wanna Live In A Dream In My) Record Machine”. In-between songs fans shout for requests as if to indulge in the hilarity of Noel’s retorts. Following “Broken Arrow” Noel mentions that in his head he’d just heard “The Masterplan” the entire time’. Other highlights from the set included High Flying Birds ancestor track, “Half the World Away” and a few extended jam sessions prompting Gallagher to actually introduce each of the band members before ending the set.

The Chief returned to stage with a “thank you so fucking much” for a small encore set of fan favorites before he and his birds took a final bow.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – The Good Rebel

Noel Gallagher england (Official) (Album Stream at Rolling Stone)

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Rating 8.7

brown8

*Royce Hall kind of reminds me of the Soldier Field renovation in Chicago. Circumstances differ but Royce Hall was renovated and redesigned as contemporary within elements of it’s original framework. Add world-renowned acoustics and well I see why the venue fit the evening’s event.

reviewed by
11-22-11

REVIEW: Mike Higbee – Secret Life [LP]

Contributed by Trevor Meyer

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Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Mike Higbee’s new album, Secret Life. The New York native released the album last month. This album is refreshing, not to mention, incredibly diverse. Higbee’s sincere, emotive writing and ability to facilitate different moods and themes are ever-present in this collection. Some of Higbee’s ballads such as “All I Should Have Told You” and “Hotel Lights” remind me of the Moody Blues and Elliot Smith. His vocal work on “Love Letter” (another gorgeous ballad) is beautiful and restrained – providing hanging notes over an extended range of pitches. Secret Life infuses folk, post rock, soul, waltz music, and pop weaved together with stunning dissonant harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics. My favorite track is the slow burner “The Waltz of Dead Love.” Well done, Mr. Higbee, I applaud you.

Mike Higbee – All I Should Have Told You

Mike Higbee – Love Letter

Mike Higbee newyork (Facebook) (Bandcamp)

Rating 8.6

brown8

reviewed by
11-19-11

Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again

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The brand new “Home Again” is yet another example of what UK singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka does so well. It’s just his soul, a guitar, and some minimal instrumentation all tuned into that special MK frequency. Get (re)familiar below.

Michael Kiwanuka england (Facebook) (Official)

Rating 8.2

brown8

reviewed by
11-14-11

NO CEREMONY /// – DELIVERUS

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NO CEREMONY/// bring us their latest with “DELIVERUS”. The track tries on a singer-songwriter feel proving that underneath all of those washy layers and groove based arrangements, and of course hype, there must be an internal consensus for quality writing. Pick up the track below and be on the lookout for more to come from NO CEREMONY///.

NO CEREMONY/// – DELIVERUS

NO CEREMONY/// england? (Official)

Rating 8.6

brown8

reviewed by
11-13-11

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Low Roar live @ The Mint this Wednesday! [Los Angeles]

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Low Roar is the new project of Ryan Karazija. The former frontman of Audrey Sessions will be performing live at The Mint in Los Angeles this Wednesday, November 9th. We wouldn’t dare miss it and neither should you. Just give us a shout by 2pm PST Tuesday the 8th and we’ll enter you to win a pair of tickets for the set! Also, definitely recommend checking out Low Roar’s self-titled debut LP now available on Tonequake.


Low Roar – Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (Edit)

Low Roar iceland: (Facebook)

The MINT info and fix (HERE)

reviewed by
11-07-11

Track x Track: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

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Many are eager to know if Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will fly too high on his forthcoming US solo debut LP. Here’s our track by track on an album we’ve been waiting to hear for a loooonnng time:

Everybody’s on the Run. We prefer the bootleg soundcheck. That said, Noel’s treatment for the track is nothing short of an epic testament to the tune. Instrumentally the song explores some of Noel’s most lush arrangements to date, and it’s just one example on High Flying Birds that illustrates his affinity to a more broad pallet of music and instrumentation.

Dream On. A Gallagher LP standard strut worthy must. Classic brit pop nod to a T, add a fashioned touch. If you like any gems from post-Be Here Now Oasis then you’ll likely enjoy what’s to come. I think of it like the way I perceive some of the Early Wings stuff – of course not because of The Beatles cliches but because it’s a great tune that represents everything Oasis was and still can/could’ve been.

If I Had A Gun. One of Noel Gallagher’s best songs to date. Like what I wanted “Little By Little” to be, an anthem of the most genuine type. It’s been a while since Noel has hit that anthemic single pocket. “If I Had A Gun” seems to pour our out of Noel Gallagher. Like he never doubted a note of it.

The Death of You and Me. Waiting until midnight PST for this track debut on Noel’s website the world got their first glimpse at the High Flying Birds concept. The video, spaghetti western-inflected, portrayed Noel Gallagher’s whimsical and more classically cinematic musical interests. Burt Bacharach, Sgt. Peppers, Going Nowhere… A refrain for the books. Class act.

I Wanna Live In A Dream (In My Record Machine). Another from the Noelchives. I laughed when I saw it was on the LP and definitely don’t blame Liam Gallagher for calling bullshit. “I Wanna Live In A Dream” could be on any Oasis album. A song no doubt plotted for years to be played on a single world tour and then likely never again. Still it’s a good track that really brings out the classic rock influence in Noel Gallagher. Bonus points for the “Stop the Clocks” coda.

AKA What A Life. Noel Gallagher dreams in a style of almost trance-like percussion. #Tailgunner. But seriously a stunning and simple tune by a seasoned writer when broken down.

Soldier Boys and Jesus Freaks. Ladies and gentlemen may we introduce to you Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds? A fantastic vocal from Noel; dynamic, warm, dialed-in. “On and on we go” is the sort of refrain we could of only hoped to hear on this album. The cadences are irresistible.

AKA Broken Arrow Think about an AC version of “D’Yer Wanna Be Space Man” played in a minor key. Like what Paul Weller would sound like if he covered that tune today. “Broken Arrow” embodies the songwriter that flows through Noel Gallagher’s veins in tow with vibrant production that truly paints a picture. It’s no doubt radio friendly for today’s aging formatted audiences.

(Stranded On) The Wrong Beach. Thank you for writing this song Noel Gallagher. Another sneering highlight from the NG that brought us pissed off songs like “Headshrinker”, “I Can See A Liar”, “Force of Nature”. Ironically, either Noel’s mocking little brother Liam at times or it’s just creepy to hear how much the the two can sound like family. Whatever the case, we know you’re in your 40s Noel but never mind the bollocks.

Stop The Clocks. Waves crashing (hmm) lead us into this albums epic closer. And in particular, Liam we feel you on this one. “Stop The Clocks”, written not long after September 11 finally gets it’s record debut. The verdict, another flag waver destined for Noel’s arsenal of writing trophies. At moments I hear how Noel found it outside of the Oasis box, but “Clocks” embodies the qualities that make all Oasis album closers great. It’s like a track that re-assures you have just experienced an album. But does it feel like High Flying Birds?

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will be released Tuesday November 8, 2011. Be sure to check it out along with some of the great b-sides we’ve heard so far from Noel’s new project. #AMORPHOUSANDROGENOUS2012

Stream the entire album at Rolling Stone.

Noel Gallagher england (Official) (Purchase Album)

Rating 8.7

brown8

reviewed by
11-07-11

Lucy Schwartz – Domino

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“Domino”, new from LA singer-songwriter Lucy Schwartz, sounds pretty much exactly like its subject matter. The organ-driven track is a slow build, dominoes falling in line one-by-one, a build pulsing with a great dramatic tension laid on by subtle guitar and tom-tom drums. The melodies on “Domino” are great; but its been bugging me all day… – where have I heard that melodic resolve in the verse before? It’s not The Cranberries’ “Zombie”, although similar, ugh…. Help! Anyway, peep the track, you will like it. And look out for Lucy’s “Keep Me” EP out now.

Lucy Schwartz – Domino

Lucy Schwartz california (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.0

brown8

reviewed by
11-02-11

SoKo – I Thought I Was An Alien

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The French born songstress SoKo has released her latest dreamy creation “I Thought I Was An Alien”, in tow with a new Spike Jonze filmed video. SoKo you’re not alone – we always feel like aliens!

SoKo – I Thought I Was An Alien

SoKo california (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.0

brown8

reviewed by
11-01-11

B3SCI MIXTAPES: Halloween Vol. III

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Get ready for this year’s SPOOKY as hell HALLOWEEN mixtape handpicked by the freaks and ghoulz at team B3SCI. #makelikesnipes #blahzay

01. Oholics – Susan Banyon Blues
02. Rocky Horror Picture Show – Time Warp
03. Toxik – Saw Theme Song (ToxiK Dubstep Refix)
04. Green Go – Brains for Breakfast
05. Lupe Fiasco – The Cool
06. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
07. Michael Jackson – Thriller (Villains Too Tight Pants Remix)
08. Roky Erickson – I Walked With A Zombie
09. O. Children – Dead Disco Dancer
10. Skrillex – Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites
11. Classics IV – Spooky
12. The Beatles – Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
13. Screamin Jay Hawkins – I Hear Voices
14. Bo Diddley – Bo Meets the Monster
15. Ministry – Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones Cover)
16. The White Stripes – Jack the Ripper
17. 2pac and Eazy E – Halloween
18. The Cramps – Goo Goo Muck
19. Beetlejuice – Beetlejuice Theme (Figure Drumstep Mix)

Download the full mixtape here

Check mixtapes 2009 and 2010.

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reviewed by
10-27-11

Low Roar – Patience x Low Roar

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Low Roar is the new project of Ryan Karazija. His forthcoming self-titled debut is a stunning example of pensive songmanship. Formerly of Bay Area band Audrey Sessions, Ryan had moved to Iceland where he ultimately found his voice with Low Roar. A voice that’s delicate yet dauntless. Get familiar with Low Roar and be sure to pick up the LP on November 1 as the first release on Andrew Scheps’ new Tonequake label. Forthcoming US West Coast tour dates below:

11/2/11 – San Jose @ The Blank Club
11/3/11 – Oakland @ The Uptown Nightclub
11/6/11 – San Louis Obispo @ Frog and Peach
11/7/11 – Hollywood @ Hotel Cafe
11/8/11 – San Diego @ Tin Can Ale House
11/9/11 – Los Angeles @ THE MINT
11/10/11 – Echo Park, LA @ LOT 1

Low Roar – Patience

Low Roar – Low Roar

Low Roar iceland: (Facebook)

Rating 9

brown93

reviewed by
10-27-11

RAVE’S FAVE: Pete Molinari – Streetcar Named Desire

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Pete Molinari hails from the UK. This song was brought onto my Moheak Music Meeting show and got a unanimous thumbs-up. It’s a feel good track with an old school country vibe. Not what you will usually find in this space, but that’s the idea. Contributed by Bruce Rave

Pete Molinari – Streetcar Named Desire

Pete Molinari england (Official)

Check out Bruce’s “Go Deep” show on Friday’s around 2p Pacific, 5p Eastern. Also listen to past shows at Bruce’s blog and follow Bruce on Twitter.

reviewed by
10-27-11