REVIEW: Zoon van Snook’s “(Falling From) The Nutty Tree”

Photobucket The opening track on Zoon van Snook‘s (Falling From) The Nutty Tree started off with a bit of ‘ukulele playing before the sound of the instrument is chopped. I’m expecting the rest of this album to be this eclectic, as it’s on Mush and Mush aren’t known for their acoustic qualities. Then “Cuckoo” begins with hard beats, synths and keyboard layers over a high pitched melody that sounds video game-ish, and this is nothing like the acoustic sounds that start the album. I’m smiling mentally.

Gentle obesity, light gluttony, I can come up with a lot of ying-yang terms to describe his music and most of them would be right/wrong (see how I did/didn’t do that?). His bio states the album is “a warm, humorous and hook-laden sonic collage of Kitchen-sink eccentronica”, but it’s a lot more organized than just random sounds thrown in for the hell of it. Then again, another perspective of “kitchen-sink eccentronica” is to say that it doesn’t sound like a lot of electronica, but the best electronica always strives to be its own sound,not what’s hip, what’s now. The fact that these songs would sound good at camp as much as it would sound good at a Motel 6 group sex session speaks volumes, because it could tickle your fancy in a number of ways. The earthiness of the instruments used, mixed in with various synths (including a number of analog sounding ones), makes this a satisfying listen. It’s an album where you’ll discover new things with each listen, and that to me is the benefit of an album. Even when you think you know it inside out, there’s going to be something that makes you want to know it outside in.

((Falling From) The Nutty Tree will be released on December 7, 2010.)

BLACK FRIDAY MAYHEM!!! I’ll be honest, I’ve never slept in early on Thanksgiving night to wait up in the wee hours of the morning to take advantage of anything for Black Friday. I’ve joked and said that I would be the kind of person to go to a Best Buy parking lot, take out congas and just jam for the shoppers. I don’t have congas, so I’m down one.

Nonetheless, online commerce makes it possible for you and everyone to take advantage of Black Friday bargains without taking part in a mob scene. Slipping over someone’s vomit for a digital camera isn’t worth it, my friends. Okay, this may sound like a sales pitch and it is but see the banner here? has a number of Black Friday bargains that will be valid not only for the day, but throughout the entire weekend. You don’t have to click a damn thing, but if you want to see what they’re
offering, click and browse. That’s it, no need to buy anything. If you do find something, make a purchase.

  • Since many of us have been online for many years, we also know about Cyber Monday. Amazon is doing that too, and you can find out about what bargains will be had on Monday by clicking here.
  • I’m also a fan of CD Universe,who have an excellent selection of CD’s, DVD’s, box sets, video games, MP3’s, and even a nice adult video section if you are old enough and want to share a little something extra without your significant other (or others). To see what CD Universe are offering on Black Friday, click here.
  • Here are a few other places that you can also browse through to find a wide range of goodies. I’ve either bought from these places before or support what they do. Check it out:

    Atomic Books (indie books + more)
    Buy Olympia (indie books, mags,videos, shirts + more)
    Dusty Groove (soul/funk/jazz/world vinyl, CD’s, DVD’s + more)
    eFoodDepot (different foods from around the world)
    Giant Robot (eStore of one of my all time favorite magazines)
    J-List (all the good things you know of from Japan, and many you should have)
    Made In Oregon (Oregon items)
    Quimby’s (indie books + more)
    Teefury (limited edition T-shirts)
    X.Vex (guitar pedals/stompboxes)

  • SOME STUFFS: Belleruche cover Michael Jackson

    Belleruche are about to tour throughout the U.S. in support of their 270 Stories album, but they’re sharing with fans their cover of Michael Jackson‘s “I Can’t Help It”, which they performed live on BBC 6 Music’s Craig Charles Funk n Soul Show. Belleruche Live on BBC6 Music (Set1) by Tru Thoughts

    REVIEW: Alaskan’s “The Weak And The Wounded”

    Photobucket Alaskan are a Canadian band who pressed up their second album, The Weak And The Wounded (self-released) as a limited edition cassette pressing of a mere 50 copies. At least they know who their initial target audience was, but now making it available online, their fanbase is sure to expand big time.

    One blogger called their music a nice mixture of Isis and Zao and you will hear that in Alaskan. It’s nice, doomy metal with progressive textures so that they get heavily dramatic during verses, and just dig deep into the hellish unknown in between, leading the listener from one world into the other with the stench of blood and misery everywhere. The songs on this 4-song EP all go beyond the six minute mark, so it averages to about 7.5 minutes per song. A track like “Greed And Grievance” sounds so brutal at the beginning, then has a sense of hope that is promising, only to feel like an endless hell that is threatening as much as it is orgasmic.


    REVIEW: concrete swords’ “Action Series”

    Photobucket Mix up your favorite style of IDM with a bit of 8-bit blip and click, and you have the music that is featured on Action Series (Dystopiaq) by concrete swords.

    There’ s a lot of complex and heavy sounds going on, and I love how some sections will just build on itself while remaining the same, unveiling something new with each peel and yet going back to its original theme. It moves forward even though by the end it feels as if you’ve been moving in circles. The use of 8-bit sounds tends to feel a bit as if you’ve been able to move back in time with the percussion power of the last 25 years, and yet is friendly now as it might have been in the days of Nintendo. Action Series pulls in and spews out a number of influences like a sponge ejaculate, and you can feel it breathe and catch its breath.

    REVIEW: Mikhail Lezin’s “Sounds Of Ronald Noorman”

    Photobucket Mikhal Lezin plays all of the sounds you hear on his album based on the art of Ronald Noorman, and it’s electronic music for those with a craving for the experimental.

    The songs do not have proper titles, just “Zonder titel 1”, “Zonder titel 2”, “Zonder titel 3” and so on. The album begins with minimalist dance grooves (if you want to call them worthy of the dancefloor) and then it goes into rhythmless electronic doodling that sounds as if he’s plugging each sound into the mixing board one delayed second after the other. One track (“Zonder titel 4”) is just an electronic drone with random sounds moving in and out of it, sometimes sounding as if it wants to allow in a rhythm, other times it’s just static. “Zonder titel 6” could be a heightened state of being, a follow up to “Zonder titel 2”, and then “Zonder titel 7” turns everything beyond 11, brickwalls it, and makes you feel as if its sole purpose is to deafen. It sounds like someone’s extremely bad bootleg recording on prom night, or an alien is trying to communicate and it can’t because the drummer’s mom bought him a new drum set.

    Whatever it is, it’s meant to be an audio take of someone else’s art, creating art for art’s sake and it’s crazy. I like it.

    REVIEW: Anu~Sun’s “The Adventures Of Mr. Las Vegas”

    Photobucket The first time I heard of Anu~Sun, I felt it had potential but not just yet. Sound quality was an issue for me, perhaps something that most people overlooked but for me it’s essential in making a good listening experience a great one. The Adventures Of Mr. Las Vegas (self-released) is an album that shows someone who knows and understands his talent, and this is a collection of music worth celebrating.

    The adventures Anu~Sun creates as Mr. Las Vegas shows him as a showman ready to strut his stuff, and he’ll do it in a hip-hop context that’s traditional, or as is the case with “rOCk-staARz”, doing things with a pop touch, Gnarls Barkley style. Other tracks will sound as classy as Maxwell if he did more hip-hop. Summary: this is grown hip-hop that doesn’t sound too old, nor is it adolescent. One might mistake some of these tracks for the Brand New Heavies, and one could easily see someone like Amel Larrieux join him in some of these tracks. Some of the tracks have a demo feel in terms of being unadulerated and un-edited, but still sounding professional. Anu~Sun has a nice attitude in these tracks that make listening to this album a treat, it’s confident but not overly so. Ending the album with the 80’s flavored “Nytes Of Pleasure” is a nice touch, and it’s definitely for the grown. Thumbs up.

    REVIEW: Generic Concession Stand’s “Foreign”

    Photobucket Generic Concession Stand are a metal band from Philadelphia who have been categorized as “nu metal” and “new wave metal”. The former I can understand as they have that power crunch but “new wave metal” I’m not hearing. The energy in the opening, title track of Foreign (self-released) shows they could tear up crowds in a live setting, while “Guided” kind of sounds like Pantera mixed in with System Of A Down, but the vocal harmonies throw me off. “Elevated” sounds like unpolished Linkin Park/311/Suicidal Tendencies, as it’s a nice sliver of metal/hip-hop that works half way through before the keyboard melody comes in. The closing track ends up being an explosive pop/metal ballad, not sappy or cheesy but almost feels truly Foreign on an EP that isn’t quite sure how to balance itself.

    One thing is certain: these guys aren’t bad at all. I like what I hear, but I think they need a bit more structure from a producer who can utilize their talents more successfully, It sounds like a demo that just needs to be in the right hands, someone who could tell them what to do and not do, and how to replace bad elements by embellishing on the better parts of these songs. Generic they’re not, but they are a concession stand that’s still being built.

    REVIEW: Copywrite “The Life And Times Of Peter Nelson”

    Photobucket As hip-hop changes and evolves, there has been an increased attack at MC’s who put too much emotion into their lyrics and music. Apparently it’s okay to be faceless and brainless and create music that’s emotionless, and i think wow, when in the world did we become automatons who can’t think for ourselves? It’s as if people are ready to support Sarah Palin and create music for and approved by her. No.

    Now, I look at Copywrite new album, The Life And Times Of Peter Nelson, and while the cover photo is not my own, I can relate to it. It goes back to simpler times when the only thing we were concerned about was if dad was going to come home from work, if I did my homework on time so I could watch a TV show or two before I went to sleep, and have a good meal. There were no adult concerns, no reason to grow up just yet, all of us wanted to take our time in enjoying childhood even though it was simply life, not a part of our past just yet. What Copywrite does with this album, represented by a cover photo of his youth, is explain everything in a realistic yet simplified matter of life as we and he knows it, building up to a song that is based on his eternal love for the woman who made him, who is no longer alive. The song reflects on what we may not have acknowledged before, but now that they’re gone, we can only reflect on what was and the good we learned from it. Then with a track like “Bored”, he taps into the online fanaticism that exists within hip-hop circles and other communities, where it seems one wants to outdo the other without thought. Listening to it, you may be reminded that you are that troll he raps about. Along with Camu Tao, the mock the wonders of the club mentality with “Rob The Club” and proceed to hold everyone inside as hostages.

    The Life And Times Of Peter Nelson is a solid album that represents the man that is Copywrite, and by tapping into his past and present, his future definitely looks bright, both musically and personally.

    REVIEW: Latimore Platz’s “Smokey Part 2”

    Photobucket There’s a somewhat unspoken spirit amongst hip-hop producers in the digital era where an anything-goes approach exists. While you have one section that wants to copy anything and everything that sounds like Dilla or Kanye West, you have others who look at sampling as a continued way to not only exploit the endless catalog music to sample from, but to do it without fear of being sued. Not that artists can’t be sued, but if it’s not going to sell or be noticed as much as Kanye West, most artists are safe from being slapped with lawsuits. This is the mentality of the new album by Latimore Platz, who raids the Smokey Robinson catalogto come up with Smokey Part 2 (Weightless Recordings Continue reading