VIDEO: Cibo Matto featuring Reggie Watts’ “MFN”

Many have asked what it would take for Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda to get together again? Fans of Cibo Matto have fortunately been treated with a lot of great music over the years but of course, people wanted what made their unified genius so cool to listen to an absorb. The answer was Reggie Watts, and it would make sense considering how eclectic each of them are in creativity and electronic music. The union was made, the end result is “MFN”. It is pleasing to the eyes and ears.

SOME STUFFS: The Chain Gang Of 1974 release new album, head on tour with greats

Fans of The Chain Gang Of 1974 have been waiting a bit for new music from him, and now the wish has been granted in the form of Wayward Fire (Modern Art/ILG), to be released on June 21st.

Normally I’m not one who looks at bios and does a simple cut and paste, but I wanted to single out a quote from the man behind The Chain Gang Of 1974, Kamtin Mohager:

“My brothers and I were surrounded by music growing up. Not Beatles albums or anything like that; more like the Persian records our parents played all the time. And when we got older, it was up to us to discover everything.”

Reading that makes me want to become a believer of him and his music, because of his need to explore. I’m very moved by this, because this is why I write about music. This is why I listen to music. This is why I’ve created music, it’s why I have a podcast. I wish more people thought like this, it would be a much better world.

The Chain Gang Of 1974 is going to explore the road with some help from friends: the recently reunited Cibo Matto and Tapes ‘N Tapes. The tour starts tomorrow, first day of summer in the northern hemisphere (June 21st), in Seattle at Neumo’s, then goes through August. Adjust your calendars:

Yuesday, June 21 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos w/ Cibo Matto
Wednesday, June 22 – Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club w/ Cibo Matto
Thursday, June 23 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ Cibo Matto
Saturday, June 25 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbos 365 Club
Friday, July 8 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex w/ Washed Out, Class Actress
Saturday, July 9 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall w/ Washed Out, Class Actress
Monday, Aug. 1 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Saturday, Aug. 6 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
Saturday, Aug. 13 – Fort Collins, CO @ Bohemian Nights at 262 E. Mountain Ave.
Friday, Aug. 19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Saturday, Aug. 20 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Monday, Aug. 22 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Tuesday, Aug. 23 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Cafe w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Wednesday, Aug. 24 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Friday, Aug. 26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Sunday, Aug. 28 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes
Tuesday, Aug. 30 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress w/ Tapes ‘n Tapes

REVIEW: Ben Perowsky presents: Moodswing Orchestra

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The first time I heard of drummer Ben Perowsky was when he was with the Michael Brecker Quartet, who played at an era high school about 12 years ago. Perowsky was not the drummer who played on Brecker’s albums, so here I am in the high school auditorium getting into the jazz, and here’s a drummer who played with the same fervor as a John Bonham, but in a jazz context. It was so in-your-face, I am almost certain I was drooling on the floor. Okay, maybe not, but at a time when finding musicians on the internet was not so easy as it is now, I could find nothing on Perowsky. His name has always been on the mind, and by the time he was mentioned on various sites, he had played on numerous albums and had done a wide range of session work.

For me, as a drummer this guy was incredible but it seemed he could play any style of music and make it work, so perhaps I’ve been wanting Perowsky to do the kind of album that he has done under the guise of the Moodswing Orchestra (El Destructo). As the name of the project indicates, the music does move around back and forth like mood swings. The core of all of it is jazz, or at least jazz in the sense that Perowsky plays a lot of jazz. But you’ll also hear an accumulation of all of the styles of music Perowsky has done over the years, from haunting pop elegance, to low-brow funk, to Brazilian spoken word with a slight nod to hip-hop. As I listened to this, I didn’t bother looking at the credits until one of singers on here reminded me of the vibe I was getting while listening. The voice sounded like a singer I had heard on the Lovage project from Dan “Automator” Nakamura, a voice I had also heard on a few albums released by John Zorn‘s Tzadik label. The lady has a kind of voice that is eerie and sensual at the same time, but it’s more comforting in that you’ll want to duck and hide as she sings about misery that is equal to your own. I speak of Jennifer Charles, and the vibe that she offers to Perowsky made me feel that the Moodswing Orchestra is somewhat similar in feel to the Handsome Boy Modeling School or even DJ Shadow‘s time with UNKLE. With contributors that include Miho Hatori, Bebel Gilberto, Glenn Patscha, Oren Bloedow, Steven Bernstein, and Marcus Rojas among others, the cast of characters come in and out of these songs and add to a unique fabric with a lot of different tones, tints, and textures. One song may souns like a Portishead outtake while another could be a song Norah Jones wishes she had the courage to record. All of this is anchored by Perowsky’s drumming, showing his versatility as a musician while allowing fans to hear songs, his own songs, take life.

If you like the jazz side of Perowsky’s music, you should like the Moodswing Orchestra. If you’re familiar with him from Joan As Police Woman, you’ll be happy to know that Joan Wasser makes her presence known here too in the beautiful “Sweet Adelaide”, which opens the album in fine style. If you like the unpredictability of his choices as a session musician, you’ll love how unpredictable this album is. Or perhaps as a Perowsky fan, you’ve come to just take in whatever he brings in, knowing that as a fan of his drumming, you’ll be comforted. Good. The Moodswing Orchestra is here to see you through, and hopefully it will not be too long before he comes up with a new release. Or perhaps he has something else ready to be unveiled. That’s good too.