VIDEO: Monster Rally’s “Orchids”

Monster Rally’s latest album Return To Paradise (Gold Robot) is a gallon of adventure, if not much more, and he has created more adventures, this time of the visual variety, with a clip made for one of its songs, “Orchids”. Listening to this in a huge aluminum dome is optional.

SOME STUFF: Express Rising rises again to the glory of all

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For this entry, I’m going to make things brief and easy so that everyone can understand it. Ready? Let’s begin.

Express Rising.


Dante Carfagna.

Private press-influenced.

Second album? It’s on its way.

Title? Unknown, but maybe not. Known, or not. Maybe? Maybe.

Motorcycle John has returned. A good thing.

Instead of Memphix, this one will be released by The Numero Group.

In the words of Prince in “America”, that’s enough.

Oh wait. July 30th. Get ready. Again.

FREE MP3 DL: Greetings From Tuskan’s “Come Close & Whisper”

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Joëlle Lê has released another track under her Greetings From Tuskan moniker, and with an album scheduled for release sometimes next year, this is only a hint of some of the riches to come. This one is called “Come Close & Whisper”, and with a 2:40 intro before the first lyrics are heard, the instrumentation builds up to that moment before you end up with a nice sigh. Lê describes this song as being an interpretation of “the short and fleeting moment of understanding when two people share a moment of intimacy.” It has a romantic feel, but also a haunting one if you allow it to go that direction.

REVIEW: Lilly B. Gardner/Daniel Kobialka’s “Livin’ And Lovin’ With Cole Porter”

Lilly B. Gardner/Daniel Kobialka photo LillyB_cover_zps1162b69d.jpg Livin’ And Lovin’ With Cole Porter (LiSem) is a nice and jazzy tribute to the composer by pianist Lilly B. Gardner and violinist Daniel Kobialka, but one that could easily be considered easy listening, a style of music that I’m not ashamed to say I love. The liner notes immediately calls this “mood music” and rightfully so, as this is the perfect Saturday or Sunday morning music to listen while having a cup of coffee, tea, or brandy. The renditions of material like “I Get A Kick Out Of You”, “I Concentrate On You”, “Night And Day”, “In The Still Of The Night”, and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” are beautiful and even eloquent, and I could easily find myself listening to this all day.

The strings are credited as being by the Koblsai Soundings Ensemble, although I’m not sure if it’s an actual string ensemble conducted by Kobialka or just a code name for him playing keyboards and using sound files to create it, but regardless of what it is, it adds to the music instead of making it clear that it is synthesized/computerized, and I think it blends well with the real instrumentation if it is indeed pre-programmed sounds. While this is meant to represent a tribute to serious music, I would not mind hearing easy listening renditions of some of today’s songs, performed in this exact style. For fans of Porter, this is a dream come true.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Levek’s “French Lessons”

New music from Levek? Not only that, but there’s a new album on the way in September called Look A Little Closer (Lefse), and “French Lessons” is just the first taste of what is on that album, the cover of which looks like this:

Listen to this song while staring at the cover? This sounds like a man who has spent a hell of a lot of time at thrift stores and yard sales, which is a good thing. Look A Little Closer will reach you in full on September 25th.

REVIEW: Jed And Lucia’s “It’s A Wonder” (EP)

Photobucket This is what happens when you live in a home full of easy listening, Brazilian, and folk music, and you realize “hey, let me electrify all of this.”

It’s A Wonder (Ubiquity) is a new EP by Jed And Lucia,to take in various natural and organic sounding music and push it into a modern, clean and fresh electronic landscape. With production done incredibly well, including incorporating various things like tape hiss and sound clipping to make it a part of their deliberate happy accidents, all of this is comforted by the vocals of both Jed And Lucia, to where it ends up sounding like Jackie & Roy. The music is definitely an ode to the past, where one might enter a good thrift store and just raid the racks for space age and/or easy listening music and twist it up. It’s a bit like Portishead but without the misery & gloom. Again, like a modern day Jackie & Roy, and it’s a style of music that definitely pans out some of the crap being released as of late.

REVIEW: Daniel Kobialka’s “Sabor a Mi”

Photobucket This is one case where you cannot “judge a book by its cover”, or in this case, album title. Upon looking at Daniel Kobialka‘s Sabor a Mi (Li-Sem Enterprises) and the song titles, I expected for it to be some wicked Latin jazz. Even the green polka dot dress on the cover made me go “oooh, might be sexy”. Instead, this is a mixture of jazz and classical, and its mood and vibe are far removed from what most would expect from something assumed to be “invigorating”.

I found the songs on Sabor a Mi to be relaxing and meditative, a bit like what one would expect to hear on a 101 Strings album. Is it easy listening? If you want to go that way, then sure, but one could say this would be new age if you want to go down that route, and it wouldn’t be a problem for Kobialka, since he has been known for new age tones in his past releases. This album though: let me say this. If you are listening to this late at night, this may become your lullaby music. It’ll make you drift off, not good when you want to give this a serious and deep listening. Tracks like “Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado” and “La Paloma” will take you up and out into the clouds and allow you to float, if you wish to go that route. In terms of being a romantic album, play this in the background and you will be popping bottles, metaphorically and realistically. A French kiss of an album, but with Latin flavors.