KICKSTARTER PROJECT: Help Bess Rogers Make A New Record
It’s almost three years to the day that I reviewed the debut album by Bess Rogers, called Decisions Based On Information. She has remained active since then with a number of new songs and concert dates. In 2011, she will be recording a new album and she looks to have a bit of public input with it. Click the video to find out what it’s about, which she does in her own unique way with a song. Afterwards, click here if you want more information.

If you would like to hear more of her music, you can click to this page or that page, both of which will take you to Bandcamp (that is a primary link too). She will be doing a number of shows on the East throughout April, check her homepage for where you’ll be able to see her next.

SOME STUFFS: Trevor Horn puts on producer’s hat once again for Yes

Big progressive rock news today. Legendary music producer Trevor Horn will be working with Yes for a new album, to be titled Fly From Here. It is the first studio album for Yes in ten years, while it’s the first time Horn and Yes have worked together since 1987’s Big Generator. Will this album work for fans in 2011? Perhaps.

Some useless facts. This is the third time Horn and Yes have worked together. The first time was when he and keyboardist Geoff Downes, both of them known as two-thirds of the group The Buggles, became members of Yes for their album Drama. Horn served as the band’s new vocalist (replacing Jon Anderson. The album was somewhat of a flop and they split up. Two years later, bassist Chris Squier wanted to make new music and formed Cinema. Eventually, Cinema eventually became a Yes project again, Jon Anderson rejoined the group, and Horn (being one of the “it” producers at the time) was asked to join in as producer. It was Horn who made it possible to place Yes on pop radio for good. Horn worked on a few tracks for their follow-up album four years later, Big Generator, although many felt that the album’s core came from guitarist which many felt was more of a vehicle for guitarist Trevor Rabin, who joined the band for 90125.

Horn will have worked with Yes under three different singers: himself, Anderson, and the band’s current vocalist, Benoit David (Anderson had fallen ill three years ago and was given doctor’s orders to rest. The group didn’t want to wait around and chose to tour without him, which moved Anderson to comment publicly that he was disappointed by their decision.)

Yes have been together as a band since 1968, with bassist Squire being the only member to have been with the group throughout their 43-year duration. Let’s be honest though: while Yes’ “classic period” and their 90125 album (which is 28 years old and no doubt classic, but purists will say “no, give me The Yes Album over that electronic clickety-clack) will remain FM radio staples, can this album make an impact on buyers in 2011? On older buyers, indeed. For fans of Horn, definitely. Or is the album merely an advertisement of sorts so that they’ll be able to say “we have new music, which most of the public will ignore but by the way, we’re going on tour”? Plus, a singer that is a complete unknown, and Horn knows how fans reacted to Yes when he was their singer. Looking back, Drama is a really good album but David is unproven. However, Journey has had Arnel Pineda as their lead vocalist for the last few years, and has managed to gain a loyal following not only by Journey fans, but by Filipino fans around the world who love that “their boy” is in one of their favorite groups. Will people be that loyal to David? Hard to say, since Yes has never had that kind of youthful following like Journey did. Only time will tell (and yes, that was an Asia reference, a group that featured Yes/Buggles keyboardist Downes and guitarist Steve Howe, who is also in this incarnation of Yes).

At the end of the year, we’ll see how well this re-re-union between Horn and Yes worked out. Cheers to both.

VIDEO: Raashan Ahmad’s “Pain On Black”

Everytime I see what Raashan Ahmad is doing as of late, he seems to be “elsewhere”, in that he’s networking, building, and just making sure he’s keeping himself busy with new music, tours, and whatever. Anyone who creates art for a living would love to be in his position, and then just when one assumes things are quiet, BOOM… new video.

This is for “Pain On Black”, from his most recent album For What You’ve Lost. If you’ve kept up with him through my posts about Ahmad here, you’ll want to subscribe to his YouTube page, as well.

RECORD CRACK: Circle Pit release new single this week

These two may look lost, but they are actually found. Okay, maybe you have to seek and find them, but “them” are a duo called Circle Pit, who just released a new single yesterday called “Slave” b/w “Honey”.


You can take a listen to both tracks by clicking the player below or buying the record directly from Hardly Art. Creepiest picture sleeve of the year? It’s only the end of March, we’ll find out in nine months.
Circle Pit – Slave / Honey by hardlyartrecords

VIDEO: Black Bombaim live @ Caldas da Rainha

Black Bombaim live @ Caldas da Rainha from Fipu z on Vimeo.

As Black Bombaim prepare the world for their second album, they’re still playing shows to strengthen their attack for any forthcoming tours to come this year. Here is a video of a live performance that shows what they’re about.

I reviewed them here, and their new album will be reviewed as well when it arrives. Until then, you can listen to their music by clicking to their Bandcamp page

BANDCAMP SUGGESTIONS: Big Jesus’ self titled EP

Photobucket It may look to be gospel music, but instead the big-ness of Big Jesus is on the boldness of their brand of hard rock and heavy metal, with tinges of the lost grunge movement and a punch to the gut that is undeniable. Put together elements of Helmet, Unearth, and My Sister’s Machine and you’ll have a feel for what these guys are able to do on this, a 4-song EP. I love the slide guitar work in “Apecave”, and while this would sound very home in Seattle, Big Jesus hail from Atlanta, thus the Southern rock influences within their loud brutality all makes sense.

RECORD CRACK: Colemine releases new 45 by Monophonics

It looks and sounds classic, and now you can have it in your hands in hard copy form. This is the new 45’s by the Bay Area’s premier funk band, the Monophonics, “Like Yesterday” b/w “Freedom”. The record will be highlighted this week on PJ Gray‘s radio show Galactic Fractures on WMFO this Sunday (April 3rd).

The 45 itself can be found at your favorite vinyl shindigs, including Dusty Groove, or order directly from Colemine Records.

VIDEO: King Fantastic & Rusko’s “Why? Where? What? (Troublemaker Edit)”

King Fantastic & Rusko – Why? Where? What? (Troublemaker Edit) from RemixTheVideo on Vimeo.

WARNING: this video contains adult female nudity. Viewer discretion is advised.

You may have heard this song, but you may not have heard it like this. If you know the song and may have heard the song on a radio show or random mix somewhere, you’ll want to see this video. Very sexy, and you may want to clean your house, apartment, or bungalow in the nude. Then again, maybe not but it’s a nice track nonetheless.

(Mahalo nui to Asteroid Belt for the recommendation.)

REVIEW: Howe Gelb’s “‘Sno Angel + Melted Wires” 7″

Photobucket Upon receiving this new 7″ single that will be Fort Lowell Records‘ contribution to this year’s Record Store Day, I wasn’t sure who the music was by or what it was exactly, other than a blue vinyl object that played music. Okay, I’ll cut the shit: was this a split 7″ featuring two artists: ‘Sno Angel and Melted Wires? No, the artist is a musician named Howe Gelb, who has been recording and releasing music for about 30 years. Are the song titles “‘Sno Angel” and “Melted Wires”? No, those are the names of albums Gelb has recorded, and the two songs here are from those sessions. So let’s clarify:

ARTIST: Howe Gelb
TITLE OF RECORD: ‘Sno Angel + Melted Wires
SONG TITLES: “Spiral” b/w “Cordoba In Slow Motion”

Gelb has done a wide range of music, so one can’t tell what the music will be like on a particular release until they listen. “Spiral” has a folky and smoky vibe to it, very Americana but not all the way country, kind of sounding like a cross between what Shawn Mullins did with “Lullaby” and some of the works of Robbie Robertson over the years. The song sounds and feels like an open wound, if not a private diary entry that you found at a bus stop headed out of town, source unknown. Yet the story it tells is one that you believe in, because it almost feels like you wrote it. In fact, you may have written it in the future, and it’s yourself warning you of what’s to come. Okay maybe not that deep, but it could be, and it comes as a surprise (if you don’t read the credits) that it’s a live recording. Sounds powerful.

The B-side is called “Cordoba In Slow Motion” and while it could be considered a nice compliment to the A-side, its jazzy overtones is perfect enough to stand out on its own merits. Think of the rustic qualities of what groups like Medeski, Martin & Wood and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey are able to do when they stop the freak-outs and just make music for their immediate circle (i.e. themselves), it feels that intimate and you wish Gelb (on piano) and friends (John Convertino on drums, Thøger Lund on bass, and Jacob Valenzuela on trumpet) could play like this forever, or at least release more singles if not albums.

The nice thing is that the songs on ‘Sno Angel + Melted Wires may contradict each other musically and sonically, but that’s fine. I rather hear something like this than hear a complete carbon copy that makes me never want to pick this out of the box again. I want to hear Gelb again and again, and it is sure to move new fans to discover his back catalog.

(‘Sno Angel + Melted Wires will be available for Record Store Day on April 16th. If not at your favorite vinyl shindigs, you can pre-order a copy or two directly from Fort Lowell Records.)
Howe Gelb – ‘Sno Angel “Spiral” by FortLowellRecords

VIDEO: Lee “Scratch” Perry honored with documentary film and new book

If you are a serious fan of reggae music, then you will know of the name Lee “Scratch” Perry. Perhaps some of you have already examined his music. It would be impossible for anyone to have heard everything he has recorded, for he still has a few master tapes and multi-tracks fermenting in rich Jamaican soil, or he may have given a few tracks to aliens who have visited him. Nonetheless, if you are aware of the beautiful strangeness of Perry, or want to know more, you’ll want to see a forthcoming documentary that a number of critics have given praise, called The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry. It will open in select theaters (i.e. it’s not going to be in every city that Harry Potter will open), so check it out if it plays near you.

In the mid-1990’s, the Beastie Boys magazine Grand Royal dedicated an issue to Perry, which prompted not only music fans to discover who he is, but also moved Island Records to releasing the incredible Arkology box set. Journalist and longtime reggae fan Jeremy Collingwood will have his book on Perry’s discography released in the U.S. this Friday called Kiss Me Neck: The Scratch Story in Words, Pictures and Records. Dub plate junkies, unite!