VIDEO: Tracy Shedd’s “City At Night”

Singer/songwriter Tracy Shed caught people’s attention with the release of her 2008 album, Cigarettes & Smoke Machines! (as reviewed in The Run-Off Groove #217.) She will follow it up with EP 88, a 5-song EP that will be released in early 2010, and this is a sliver of what’s on there, a track called “City At Night”. The video was directed by Emily Wilder.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Jack Splash is jumping, but is he a gas x 3?

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First off, is Jack Splash standing in front of a McDonald’s for his promo photo?

I don’t know, but apparently this man has been called “the next Prince” by Missy Elliott, and thus you are able to find out how accurate this is with the release of a forthcoming mix tape-type situation called Heir To The Throne Vol 1. Hell, you don’t even have to wait that long. Just download this track called “In The Future” (4.93mb), featuring Kelis, and judge for yourself.

Splash promises a full length album in the form of Technology and Love Might Save Us All…, due out in March.

SOME STUFFS: Two new gold remastered CD’s from John Mayall Blues Breakers & Rod Stewart

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If you are an audiophile or just love music in high quality form, you probably know about these two latest gold CD remasters from Audio Fidelity. If not, get your credit/debit cards ready.

John Mayall Blues Breakers featuring Eric Clapton made an immediate impact when it was released in 1966, helping to great a blues revival that has never slowed down which also helped bring the music to a wider/whiter audience. This is also the album that would help form Eric Clapton into a superstar. The mono mix of this album is being used as it is the preferred version by thousands of fans around the world.

Never A Dull Moment was Rod Stewart‘s 1972 album and featured the hit “You Wear It Well”. Long before he pulled on the suits and matured, Stewart was of course one of the best spikey-haired rock vocalists around, and this is a testament to that.

Both CD’s can be pre-ordered individually through CD Universe by clicking the CD icons above, and there is a special pre-order price that will expire when the release date of November 10th approaches.

SOME STUFFS: four-legged pants overshadowed by Pants Yell!’s fourth album

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You know you’re clever when you realize your album in a way that looks like a Japanese pressing, complete with an obi strip. Only the Japanese and avid record collectors will get it, but Pants Yell! do because again, they are clever.
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The album in question, 9 songs in 26 minutes, is called Received Pronunciation, being released on November 10th by Slumberland Records. It is the band’s fourth album and they are looking forward to getting out to their fans and perhaps conquering new territory. They’ll do so with a brief tour next month to support the album, so buy those tickets and head to the club.

11/11 – Bronxville, NY – Sarah Lawrence College
11/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Pi Lam at University of Pennsylvania
11/13 – Washington, DC – Black Cat (SLR 20th Anniversary show) *
11/14 – Brooklyn, NY – Bell House (SLR 20th Anniversary show) #
11/15 – Bethlehem, PA – Secret Art Space
11/16 – Cambridge, MA – Zuzu
11/20 – Portland, ME – Space Gallery
12/05 – Brooklyn, NY – Bruar Falls

* = w/ Crystal Stilts, Brown Recluse, Frankie Rose and The Outs, The Ropers, Nord Express, Lorelei
# = w/ The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Crystal Stilts, Brown Recluse, Frankie Rose and The Outs, The Ropers, Nord Express, Lorelei

If you can’t wait, you are able to download a free MP3 from the album in the form of “Cold Hands” (5.58mb).

VIDEO: New Mony Mone video directed by Symbolyc One

You may know Symbolyc One as a hip-hop producer, covering a lot of group and being responsible for producing what may be one of my favorite songs of 2009, “It’s Nineteen” with Braille. But what I wasn’t aware of until recently (read “just now”) was that he also makes videos. In this case it’s a video he made for Mony Mone called “The Proof”, and this may not be the completed version. Nonetheless, nice to hear about producers doing more than just “making beats”, so whether it’s for music or a video production, be on the lookout for S1.

In fact, if you want to see some of the other video projects he has done, check out his Vimeo page.

Mony Mone – The Proof(Reference/Test upload) from S1 (Symbolyc One) on Vimeo.

REVIEW: Fred Simon’s “Since Forever”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Since Forever (Naim Jazz) by Fred Simon is a jazz album that is very engaging when it has to be, moving when it goes there, and delicate in all of the appropriate places. On this album, Simon not honors jazz in all of its traditions, specifically the bebop and hard bop side, but also plays songs in a way that will appeal to smooth jazz and new age fans. The new age element caught me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting it for while I was hearing him and Paul McCandless (saxophone, oboe, English horn, bass clarinet, duduk), Steve Rodby (acoustic bass), and Mark Walker (drums) play melodically smooth, it went to a completely different place a number of times.

What I also like is his tendency to move in and out of… maybe that’s not the right terminology. I like his tendency to weave in his Jewish side in the music so along with jazz you’ll occasionally hear folk tunes, or a style of playing that one might hear in klezmer. It’s not jazz folk or folk jazz as we may be more familiar with, but it’s great to hear the way Simon does it, casually as if all music should sound this way.

There’s so many great songs here, from “Song Of The Sea” to “beginning/Middle/End”, but one that is sure to gain a lot of attention from Miles Davis fans is Simon’s cover of the Joe Zawinul composition, “In A Silent Way”. It seems a bit more personal in this case, still performed at the song’s slow pace, but almost as a means of praise and acknowledgment through music, culture, and influence, Simon’s “silent way” of simply saying thank you.

As with any recording on Naim, the recording on this is superb, wonderfully captured by Ken Christianson and Tyrel Williams and edited by bassist Rodby, who also had a major hand in how these songs were arranged according to the liner notes by Simon. Since Forever is a wonderful recording from start to finish, and if they were in your presence, you’d want to bow and acknowledge their collective greatness.

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SOME STUFFS: The Rural Alberta Advantage take their name (and selves) on the road

The release of The Rural Alberta Advantage‘s Hometowns (Saddle Creek) has made people in their hometowns want to know when the RAA will be touching down on their hometown? If you’re around, you can get down the sounds of what the RAA create on their mound. They’ll be on tour throughout North America beginning on the 11th of November and taking them through early January 2010. Pencil them in or mark it on your Twitter, for this is their travelogue:

11/11 Hamilton, ONT Casbah
11/12 Ottawa, ONT Zaphods
11/14 Kingston, ONT Grad Club
11/15 Peterborough, ONT Red Dog
11/18 Montreal, QC Club Lambi
11/19 Montreal, QC Cabaret Juste Pour Rire / M For Montreal
11/20 Toronto, ONT Lee’s Palace
11/21 London, ONT Call The Office
12/08 Covington, KY Mad Hatter +
12/09 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway +
12/10 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory +
12/11 Austin, TX The Parish
12/12 Dallas, TX The Cavern +
12/14 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room +
12/15 Los Angeles, CA Bootleg Theater +
12/16 San Francisco, CA Bottom of The Hill +
12/18 Portland, OR Backspace
12/19 Seattle, WA Vera Project
01/07 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s
01/08 New York, NY Terminal 5 &
01/09 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

+ = w/ Shaky Hands
& = w/ Passion Pit

REVIEW: Sorgen/Rust/Stevens Trio’s “A Scent In Motion”

This CD has been playing for so long in my CD playing units that I found myself wanting to listen to it over and over and not having to review it. But a review must be done so here it is.

The trio of Michael Jefry Stevens (piano), Harvey Sorgen (drums), and Steve Rust (bass) was one that worked when they came into a New York studio to record A Scent In Motion(Konnex) in 1994. For whatever reason this album was kept locked for 15 years, and jazz fans will be thankful that it is now seeing the light of day. These three musicians have played in countless sessions in the last 15 years, sometimes together, other times pairing up with someone, but you always hear excellents, and they demonstrate this on this album, one that is a mixture of bursts of restless energy before falling back into something more comfortable and soothing. In a track like “Sentry” or “Camco” they’re almost fighting for jazz dominance to where it’s pretty much like free jazz, but then Stevens will play a delicate melody before playing something that sounds like cascading waterfall, as he does in “Fairy Tale”. Even when Stevens ma be playing something very bluesy, you can often hear bassist Rust try to counterplay this. It’s not all the time, but when caught, it’s obvious they’re having fun regardless of the tone the song is trying to convey.

What I also love is sensing their unspoken language, obviously these songs came after practicing the songs for awhile but there’s something in this music, something that sounds like… you can hear mental activity and it’s not just in the way they play or how it’s played. It’s just spot on, and it’s a great thing to hear, especially when done so well.

These three have recorded together a number of times, and I hope that the next one will not take another fifteen years to uncover.

REVIEW: Anson Wright & Tim Gilson’s “Ukiah’s Lullaby”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Guitarist Anson Wright and bassist Tim Gilson create an album that sounds like two musicians simply hanging out on a front patio or park and just communicating with nature through intimate music. At least that’s what it sounds like on this duo album, Ukiah’s Lullaby (Saphu), and at times during this recording it sounds like they get carried away and have a tendency to just drift. However, there is a reason for doing that and they both manage to meet up musically before returning to the themes. Some of Wright’s guitar work is just remarkable, always sneaking in something or adding a tone that may be different from the rest of the song but somehow fits perfectly.

At least in my listening experience, the mix on this seemed to be a bit too bottom heavy, but a tweak of the EQ or bass and treble controls will remedy the situation. Sampler alert: lots of awesome bass stabsB