Saturday, February 28, 2015


February 1, 2015
"Good To Your Earhole" performed by Funkadelic
"Youthful Expression" performed by A Tribe Called Quest
"Slave 2 R Freedom" performed by Jesse Johnson
"Leave With Your Own Mind" performed by Chuck D-WSPC PREMIERE
"The Charade" (live on "Saturday Night Live" 1-31-15) performed by D'Angelo and the Vanguard-WSPC PREMIERE

"Tiger, Tiger" performed by Duran Duran
"Ethnicolor I" performed by Jean Michel Jarre
"The Seventh Day" performed by Jan Hammer

February 2, 2015
"I Want To Tell You" performed by The Beatles
"Yard Of Blonde Girls" performed by Jeff Buckley
"Black Coffee In Bed" performed by Squeeze
"Ana Lucia" performed by Sloan
"Slaughter" performed by Billy Preston

"Black Maria" (live 2009) performed by Todd Rundgren

February 3, 2015
"Dodo/Lurker" performed by Genesis
"Sharkey's Day" performed by Laurie Anderson
"I Am What I Am" performed by Adrian Belew
"Wild Wild Life" performed by Talking Heads

"It's A Long Way To Tipperary" performed by John McCornack
"Long, Long Way From Home" performed by Foreigner
"I Believe I'll Go Home" performed by John Lee Hooker
"Six Days On The Road" performed by Steve Earle
"Goin' Mobile" performed by The Who

February 4, 2015
"The Chain" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Boom Boom" performed by The Animals
"I'm Lost And Then I'm Found" performed by The Godfathers
"I Don't Wanna Fight" performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
"Need Your Love" performed by Cheap Trick

February 5, 2015
"Bad Day" performed by R.E.M.
"News Of The World" performed by The Jam
"Fred Jones Part 2" performed by Ben Folds
"Headline Hustler" performed by 10cc
"Reuters" performed by Wire
"He's Evil" performed by The Kinks

"Late Bloomer" performed by Jenny Lewis-WSPC PREMIERE
"I'm In Love With You" performed by Ryan Adams-WSPC PREMIERE
"Spaceboy" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"The Lithium Stiffs/Crest" (live) performed by Tortoise
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" performed by The Robert Glasper Experiment

"It's Not The Size Of Your Mix, It's How You Use It (Mix Tape Vol . 1-Obscure Series)-performed by Prince Paul-WSPC PREMIERE IN ITS ENTIRETY

February 6, 2015
"Bizarre Love Triangle" performed by Frente!
"No Rules For Kings" performed by Oddisee
"Promiscuous" performed by Nelly Furtado with Timbaland
"Harajuku Girls" performed by Gwen Stefani
"Mixed Bizness" performed by Beck
"Bizarre Love Triangle" performed by New Order

February 7, 2015
"Land Of Feeling" performed by Here We Go Magic
"Sea Of Tranquility" performed by Book Of Love
"Let's Go To Bed" performed by The Cure
"Don't Stop" performed by The Stone Roses
"Expectation" performed by Tame Impala
"Love That's Gone" performed by La Sera
"Pitch The Baby" performed by Cocteau Twins
"La Femme D'Argent" performed by Air

February 8, 2015
"Untitled (How Does It Feel)" (live at the Apollo 2-7-15) performed by D'Angelo and the Vanguard-WSPC PREMIERE

"Restart" performed by Bilal
"Star 69" performed by Common
"Brotha" performed by Angie Stone
"Black Girl" performed by Lenny Kravitz
"Around The Way Girl" performed by LL Cool J

February 9, 2015
"Down And Out In New York City" performed by JAMES BROWN

"Waking Light" performed by Beck
"Suffering" performed by The War On Drugs-WSPC PREMIERE
"Brown Eyes" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Lana" performed by Tangerine Dream
"You're A Hurricane, I'm A Caravan" performed by World Party

February 10, 2015
"L-O-V-E" performed by Joss Stone
"Heart" performed by Rockpile
"Give A Little Love" performed by Bay City Rollers
"Katy Be Mne" performed by Tony Carey
"All I Want" performed by The Pursuit Of Happiness

"Love Plus One" performed by Haircut One Hundred
"I'm In Love" performed by Wilson Pickett
"I Love Every Little Thing About You" performed by Steve Wonder
"Cherry In Your Tree" performed by Andy Partridge
"Your Own Special Way" performed by Genesis

February 11, 2015
"White Sky" performed by Paul Weller-WSPC PREMIERE
"D'You Know What I Mean?" performed by Oasis

"Carnival" performed by The Cardigans
"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" performed by Lou Rawls
"Sowing The Seeds Of Love" performed by Tears For Fears
"Love Will Find A Way" performed by Yes
"Feelings" performed by Morris Albert

"The Speed Of Love" performed by Rush

February 12, 2015
"Afraid Of Love" performed by Toto
"Getting Away With It" performed by Electronic
"Love And Anger" performed by Kate Bush
"Jealousy" performed by Queen
"Tunnel Of Love" performed by Dire Straits

February 13, 2015
"No Reply" performed by The Beatles
"I Hate Love" performed by Garbage
"Love Stinks" performed by J. Geils Band
"Love And Bullshit" performed by Fishbone
"I Want You" performed by Elvis Costello and The Roots
"You Don't Love Me" performed by Matthew Sweet
"Silver Springs" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"She's Out Of My Life" performed by Michael Jackson
"I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)" performed by Howlin' Wolf

"Wow, I Think I Love You" performed by John Hughes
"Love Action" performed by Human League
"What Is Love" performed by Howard Jones
"Love Goes On!" performed by The Go-Betweens
"Enchanted" performed by Prefab Sprout

February 14, 2015
"My Valentine" performed by Paul McCartney
"It Must Be Love" performed by Madness
"If It's Love" performed by Squeeze
"Falling In Love Again" performed by Eagle Eye Cherry
"Falling" performed by Ben Kweller
"All You Need Is Love" performed by The Beatles

"Happy Valentine's Day" performed by OutKast
"I'd Rather Be With You" performed by Bootsy Collins
"Ooh Baby Baby" performed by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
"I Like The Way You Love Me" performed by Brenton Wood
"I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More" performed by Barry White

February 15, 2015
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" performed by Simple Minds
"Fire In The Twilight" performed by Wang Chung
"Love Theme From 'The Breakfast Club'" performed by Keith Forsey

February 16, 2015
"High Fidelity" performed by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
"Black Math" performed by The White Stripes
"The Equalizer" performed by The Clash
"Happy" performed by Public Image Ltd.
"Infected" performed by The The

"Under The Milky Way" performed by The Church

February 17, 2015
"Greenman" performed by XTC
"Trouble Man" performed by Marvin Gaye
"Down To London" performed by Joe Jackson
"Children's Crusade" performed by Sting
"Lonely Soul" performed by U.N.K.L.E. featuring Richard Ashcroft

February 18, 2015
"Deathwish" (live) performed by The Police
"Eyes Wide Open" performed by King Crimson
"Big Swifty" (live) performed by Frank Zappa
"I'm A Man" performed by The Spencer Davis Group
"The Wire" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Time Slowing Down" performed by The Sound City Players
"NYC" performed by Modern Mod-WSPC PREMIERE

February 19, 2015

"Too Cool Hats" performed by Stanley Clarke and Stewart Copeland
"Qakastan-Hymn Of the Republic" performed by Serj Tankian, Omar Fadel and Stewart Copeland
"Untitled Blues" performed by Andy Summers, Jeff Lynne and Stewart Copeland
"This That Shit" performed by Snoop Dogg, Armand Sabal and Stewart Copeland
"A Little More Noise" performed by Neil Peart, Stewart Copeland

"More Than It Would Help" performed by The Essex
"I Live" performed by Jason Falkner
"Black Crow" performed by Joni Mitchell
"Winning Hand" performed by Bilal
"One Mo' Gin" performed by D'Angelo
"Only Over You" performed by Fleetwood Mac

February 20, 2015
"Go" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"The Snakepit" performed by The Cure
"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" performed by The Smiths
"Ignoreland" performed by R.E.M.
"Black And White" performed by Todd Rundgren
"The Soft Parade" performed by The Doors
"Gay Sons Of Lesbian Mothers" performed by Kaki King

"Uprising" performed by Muse
"Fight The Power performed by Public Enemy
"You Are (The Government)" performed by Bad Religion
"Money Talks" performed by The Kinks
"The Revolution Stars NOW" performed by Steve Earle
"Revolution Rock" performed by The Clash
"Fight For The Nuttmeg" performed by Fishbone

"Slightly All The Time" performed by Soft Machine

February 21, 2015
"Change Your Mind" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"After The Ordeal" performed by Genesis
"Sometimes" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Younger Than Yesterday" performed by Real Estate
"An Ocean In Between The Waves" performed by The War On Drugs-WSPC PREMIERE
"Heart Of The Sunrise" performed by Electric Wurms-WSPC PREMIERE

"Sivad" performed by Miles Davis

February 22, 2015
"Travels With Myself And Someone Else" performed by Bill Bruford
"Inn Keeping" performed by The Sea And Cake"
"Diagonals" performed by Stereolab
"I Believe In Fate" performed by Papas Fritas
"Aja" performed by Steely Dan

February 23, 2015
"Check The Meaning" performed by Richard Ashcroft
"Lovers Of Today" performed by The Pretenders
"Undefined" performed by Modern Mod-WSPC PREMIERE
"Silver Snail" performed by PIXIES
"Silver Trembling Hands" performed by The Flaming Lips

"Gunman" performed by Them Crooked Vultures
"The Rover" performed by Led Zeppelin
"Stick It Out" performed by Rush
"Animal" performed by Pearl Jam
"Desperate People" performed by Living Colour

February 25, 2015
"Help!" performed by The Beatles
"Isn't It A Pity-Version 1" performed by George Harrison
"How Am I Different" performed by Aimee Mann

"White Flags Of Winter Chimneys" performed by Wendy & Lisa
"Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box" performed by Radiohead
"Detroit" performed by Gaz Coombes-WSPC PREMIERE
"Something In The Water" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Push It" performed by Garbage

"Couldn't I Just Tell You" performed by Susannah Hoffs and Matthew Sweet
"Hold Onto Me" (live) performed by The Cold And Lovely-WSPC PREMIERE

February 26, 2015
"Someone's In The Wolf" performed by Queens Of The Stone Age
"Discipline" (live rehearsal) performed by Nine Inch Nails
"Eyes" performed by Modern Mod-WSPC PREMIERE
"Mouths Of Babes" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Shut 'Em Down" performed by Public Enemy

"Promises, Promises" performed by Naked Eyes
"The Cell" performed by Erykah Badu
"To Be Invisible" performed by Curtis Mayfield
"Warped" performed by Red Hot Chili Peppers
"War Cry" performed by Joe Strummer

February 27, 2015
"Driven To Tears" (live) performed by The Police
"Volunteers" performed by Jefferson Airplane
"Signs" performed by Five Man Electric Band
"Rising Down" performed by The Roots
"Stand Or Fall" performed by The Fixx

"Trapped" performed by Utopia
"If Not Now, When?" performed by Todd Rundgren
"Passive" performed by A Perfect Circle
"Ology/Fight The Fight" performed by Living Colour
"Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" performed by JAMES BROWN

"Mr. Spock" performed by Tony Williams
"Believe It" performed by Planet P Project

February 28, 2015
"The Musical Box" (live 1973) performed by Genesis
"No Surprize" performed by Aerosmith
"That's The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes" performed by Peter Criss
"Cinema" performed by Yes
"The March Of The Black Queen/Funny How Love Is" performed by Queen

"Takin' It To The Streets" performed by The Doobie Brothers
"Get Up" performed by R.E.M.
"The Rising" performed by Bruce Springsteen

"When The Lie's So Big" performed by Frank Zappa
"Dumb All Over" performed by Frank Zappa
"Republicans" performed by Frank Zappa
"Watermelon In Easter Hay" performed by Frank Zappa

"Oh Where Oh Where Is Love" performed by The Kinks

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Released March 18, 2014
"LOOK SHARP" JOE JACKSON Released January 5, 1979
"I'M THE MAN" JOE JACKSON Released October 5, 1979
Released April 23, 2002
Released December 15, 2014
Released February 28, 2012
Released September 30, 2008
Released October 1, 2013
Released 1990
Released April 9, 2013
Released April 6, 2004
Released January 16, 1998
Released September 17, 2002
Released September 14, 1981
Released October 26, 1973

Released 1988
Released July 21, 1969
Released March 8, 1974
Released November 12, 1971
Released August 18, 2014
Released December 9, 2008

Wednesday, February 18, 2015



Shannon Connor: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Mitch Deitz: Vocals, Guitars
Siv Earley: Vocals
Sam Galligan: Bass Guitar
Brendan Manley: Drums

All Music and Lyrics by Post Social
Recorded and Produced by Ricky Reimer at Science Of Sound in Madison, WI.

Released December 6, 2014

For those of you out there who may be feeling frustrated, discouraged or completely disillusioned at the current state of music in the 21st century, I firmly believe that I am able to point you in the direction of two recent releases that may serve to be powerful and reinvigorating antidotes for any musical malaise.

If you have been somewhat regular visitors to this site, you will already know that I do indeed listen to and purchase quite a healthy amount of music in my life. That being said, and for all of the new releases I bought in just the last year alone, I have found myself often falling into that aforementioned spell of being frustrated, discouraged and disillusioned at precisely what is filling our radio airwaves and television screens. Too often, everything just feels to be so vacuous, so innocuous, so unimaginative, so plastic and processed, that I truly wonder that if I were a teenager today, what would I ever find myself being inspired by musically?

I truly hate to make myself sound like the dated, mean ol' man down the street telling those darn kids to get off of my lawn but as I look at what is not only popular but what kinds of music are actually being allowed to pass through the gates into the public consciousness compared to my own childhood in the 1970's, my teen years in the 1980's, and my 20's in the 1990's, my heart just sinks. Everything seems to be written and produced by the committee of the same band of people, therefore every piece of music sounds blandly interchangeable and ultimately, the artist in question becomes irrelevant. When I feel especially frustrated, discouraged and disillusioned, it almost feels as if everything that could have possibly been achieved with all aspects of popular music has been accomplished and newer artists are either stiffly regurgitating the music of the past or it is wholly uninspired designer statements that have nothing to do with the majesty and miracle of music in the first place. As much as I realize and remind myself that there will always be bad music no matter the era and great music is always being made someway, somewhere, these days music too often feels like a wasteland.

I often share my laments with my treasured friend Steve Manley, the owner and proprietor of Madison's very own B-Side Records, located on the illustrious State Street and my store of choice when I purchase new music. Late last year, Steve had been proudly crowing about the activities of a local band named Post Social, a five piece group which featured his son Brendan Manley on drums. The band had released their debut album and Steve kept taking any conceivable opportunities to steer me in the direction of their music. Being an extremely proud parent notwithstanding, I must inform you straightaway that Steve Manley's musical taste is as vast as it is impeccable and I trust his musical opinions and recommendations completely. Even so, I did not race to hear Post Social's music as immediately as he may have wished for me to do, mostly because my ears were filled with other releases at the time and I didn't feel as if I could fit in any more musical notes (a great quandary to find oneself in). That being said, and not terribly long after Steve had again and again informed me about Post Social, I decided late one night as I was ensconced in some schoolwork to head to their Bandcamp page to try them out...

I listened to their album in full three times in a row.

Post Social's self-titled debut album impressed me tremendously as I was immediately enveloped by the clean and strong song-craft but mostly from the textured, mature, and supremely confident musical performances from the entire band. It all felt to be so seasoned for a group releasing their first batch of songs into the world yet it was also energetic, enthusiastic and sharply fresh as well. About a week after hearing the album those three times, I went back to B-Side to purchase the CD (much to Steve's enjoyment and continuous pride) and it has remained in heavy rotation for me ever since.

And oh yes...did I happen to mention to you that the members of Post Social are all high school students?
Yes, dear readers and listeners, pictured above are the five members of Post Social and yes, they are all teenagers with three of them at present in the process of completing their respective Senior years at Madison East High, while two members, including Brendan Manley, have graduated as recently as three weeks ago due to their participation in an accelerated program. As told to me by Steve, Post Social formed in 2006 as The Shrunken Heads, a four piece when the band members were in the 4th grade. From the very beginning, they wrote all of their own material, performed live and never included any cover songs whatsoever, already remarkably drawing their artistic purpose and intent as a creative line in the sand.

As I previously stated, I was surprised to hear the level of deep texture and technique within the entirety of "Post Social." The band has truly harnessed a sound that feels intricate, confident and deeply established as they are truly working together as a complete unit where not one member is thrusting themselves out in front as being the "star.". It feels that in Post Social the "star" in question is the song itself and we have five musicians and singers all working for the demands and betterment of the song.

The album opens with the remarkable "Time And A Half," which to me just sounds like Spring sunshine as the guitars shimmer blissfully, like sunlight sparkling through the trees on my beloved Bascom Hill. The album's propulsive second track, "Running On Fumes" collects a romantic urgency and palpable angst that is entirely infectious as Manley's ecstatic drums propel the rhythms and pacing while singer/guitarist Mitch Deitz's cries of "I wanna take you out!! I wanna take you out" to the object of his desire reflect a certain innocence and honest ardor that is wholly missing in much of the music being released, and therefore marketed, to teens currently. In those two tracks, plus "Moving Into The Night" and the album's closing track, "New Song," Post Social sound like a much tighter and unquestionably stronger Violent Femmes.

If the first two tracks serve as vibrant introductions to the album, then the glorious third track, entitled "Days," feels to start the album proper as the sonic palate extends, expands, shifts, transforms and continuously reveals itself for the remainder. The pace of the track is more languid and dreamlike as the guitars and rhythm section float serenely suggesting a musical kinship to the likes of Real Estate. What really grabbed me about this song was the false fade out, which leads to the beautiful coda where Shannon Connor and Mitch Deitz's gleaming guitars plus Manley's shuffling drums intertwine, creating a vaguely African bed of sound which carries the gently insistent romantic plea "Be my my girl."

The emotional content within the music also shape-shifts throughout the album and none moreso than in the darker tinged, nearly seven minute "Something In The Water." Musically, the song begins somewhere in the post-rock realm of Tortoise or The Sea And Cake and then builds into something more ferocious, as Manley's drums grow more frantic, with that hi-hat relentlessly keeping time just like former Smashing Pumpkins/Zwan drummer Jimmy Chamberlin accomplished so thrillingly. And to that end, I was consistently impressed by the work of bassist Sam Galligan, whose melodic, supple rhythms makes his work at times function like a lead instrument as well as the sonic glue that holds everything in place as the guitars create the atmospherics and the drums supply the force. Lyrically, the song seems to slide between areas of confrontation, indignation, resignation, and even isolation. The song's terrific and stirring final sections, which propel the repetitive statement of "put another record on," feels like a swirling mantra designed to dull any inner turmoil even as one may feel to be spinning out of control.

Those gorgeous guitars return on the tranquil "Begin," as well as lay the foundation within "Change Your Mind" as Connor and Deitz weave a tapestry that recalled the hypnotic and interlocked stylings found on 1980's era King Crimson albums as well as a hint of guitarist Steve Hackett's work with Genesis. But here is also where I feel that I must make special mention of vocalist Siv Earley's wonderful harmony vocals which appear throughout the album in an almost ghostly fashion. Yet on "Change Your Mind," they haunt and even surround the track, like autumnal winds flowing through the branches of bare trees.

My favorite track on the album is "The Wire," a six minute tour de force for the band with those amazing guitars again crafting exquisite gossamer threads of sound that reminded me of Johnny Marr or even The Police's Andy Summers. With Deitz's baritone vocals, augmented by Earley's spectral backing vocals, imploring "All my love is gone/all my love affairs are fairy tales" over and again, it sets the stage for some widescreen emotional heartbreak that explodes into the band's most forceful playing on the entire album and the effect just raised the hairs on the back of my neck!! Trust me, this level of enthusiasm and creativity, combined with their musicianship, makes Post Social a band that could possibly stand toe-to-toe with a band like, The War On Drugs for instance, and take them at their own game!
Most times when I listen to music, I am more than content to hear an album in full and once completed, then set it aside to hear something new, as if the story of the album in question has been told and will be ready for me to experience it again on another day. But then, there are those albums like Fleetwood Mac's "Future Games" (released September 3, 1971) or The Who's "The Who Sell Out" (released December 15, 1967) for instance, where I can hear them played over and over, as if on an endless loop, because the stories of those albums just do not wish to let me go. Post Social's debut album has quickly qualified as existing as one of the latter for me as I have played it in my car or computer in that aforementioned endless loop as it is indeed a truly intoxicating set of songs.

And while the story of that album keeps playing onwards, I just have found myself desiring more. And in some respects, and again thanks to Steve Manley, I found it...or more truthfully, it found me.

Ronnie Clark: Drums
Livy Kleinfeldt: Bass Guitar
Emily Massey: Vocals
Calem Pocernich: Rhythm Guitars
Maximillian Werner: Lead Guitars

All Music and Lyrics by Ronnie Clark except...
"Papercuts" and "SLUTS" Music and Lyrics by Livy Kleinfeldt
"January" Music and Lyrics by Calem Pocernich
"Tunnels" Music and Lyrics by Modern Mod

Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Jack LeTourneau at The Exchange Recording Complex, House Arrest and The Hit Cave located in Milwaukee and Madison, WI

Released April 21, 2014

After being so tremendously won over by Post Social, I expressed as much to Steve Manley during one of my return trips to B-Side Records. Ever the proud Father as well as sharp salesman and business owner, Steve slyly informed me, "Oh...dd I tell you that my son is in another band?"  

Oh boy...

And with that, I was then introduced to Modern Mod.
Formed in 2012, Modern Mod, like Post Social, is a band entirely made up of high school students, however, the current band lineup has altered from this debut album as two members have departed for college, a move that precipitated Brendan Manley's invitation to join the band. Modern Mod has already created a strong presence within the Madison community as their songs have been played regularly upon the community radio station WORT-FM as well as WSUM-FM, the official student station of the University Of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, lead singer Emily Massey was recently profiled in the free and widely read weekly newspaper, the Isthmus. And believe it or not, the band has also starred in their own music video for the track "Papercuts," a song so instantly catchy as well as a buoyant surprise to my eardrums that after seeing the video and checking out a few selections upon their Bandcamp page, I returned to B-Side yet again and made a purchase, practically handing Steve my wallet upon entering the store.
Unlike the dreamy, atmospheric sounds of Post Social, Modern Mod is described upon their own Bandcamp page and official website as "'60's surf pop...combined with a Euro '80's pop feel." While that is a highly accurate description for those of you wondering what this band sounds like, I will strongly inform you that Modern Mod is not a "retro" act. In fact, and despite any throwback aesthetics and qualities, the music this band has so lovingly crafted on their debut album could only have been created at this point in time.

Modern Mod's "Tunnels" offers 10 tracks of expertly constructed and performed pop music that does provide an extremely healthy alternative to the dross that has littered our radio airwaves for far too long. Frankly, if the so-called pop music that is slathered upon the radio these days carried any musical resemblance to any one moment contained upon "Tunnels," then top 40 radio would be an unquestionable joy to listen to.

Striping away all of the synthetics, artificial textures and prefabricated emotions of 21st century pop, Modern Mod greatly offers a "back to basics" aesthetic that is supremely refreshing. This just may feel to be a tad silly to read but there really is something to be said that on this album in the year 2015, you can hear guitar picks hitting the strings. You can hear the drum sticks tapping the drum heads. Keyboards are minimal at best. And most of all, the band actually sounds like they are having fun with being able to create and perform in the studio together. "Tunnels" represents unadulterated joy and absolutely none of the jadedness that has permeated too much of what is being delivered to our ears ever makes even a hint of an appearance.

From the opening track "Don't," and additional album selections like "Nostalgia," "January," "Undefined," and the aforementioned and flat out terrific "Papercuts," you are instantly able to hear that Modern Mod is a group that has clearly studied the music of the past as they have strictly adhered to the craft of what it takes to just write a good song. It is a surprisingly effective amalgam of those '60s girl group/Phil Spector melodics and aggressive blasts of rock guitars with the highly confident lead vocals of Emily Massey at the forefront.

As with Post Social, and in addition to Emily Massey's gifted leading presence, the members of Modern Mod are also clearly working together for the betterment of the song, therefore making the song itself the "star" as opposed to individual band members battling each other for the spotlight. Listening to "Tunnels," it really feels as if Modern Mod completely hammered down the actual songwriting to get the actual music into a perfect place, thus allowing them to play within the boundaries they have created for themselves in regards to the actual performances. If drummer Ronnie Clark (whose performances are inventive throughout) wants to utilize the snare drum rims as the hi-hat, as she accomplishes in the wonderful "Monday Mornings," a track that carries the romantic dreams of being "like John and Yoko," then go for it. If guitarists Calem Pocernich and Maximilian Werner want to throw in backwards guitar textures, as they weave into the proceedings on the chugging "SLUTS," or some roof raising solos on the darkly tinged "Eyes," then have at it. It all works beautifully because these musicians have figured out how precisely to use these elements in ways that only improve the song itself.

But at the core of the album is Emily Massey and she proves herself to be a thoroughly gifted frontwoman. No, she is not a vocal powerhouse and you know, she does not have to be, especially now as every female singer desires to be a powerhouse, shattering glass within a moment's notice yet completely unable to make the listener feel anything resembling a real emotion other than boredom. Massey, by contrast, is a tremendous breath of fresh air.

I think the quality that Emily Massey possesses in spades (and in addition to her stellar vocals) is attitude! Like Ronnie Spector or like 1980's era female pop rock singers like Quarterflash's Rindy Ross, The Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle or even Pat Benetar in her slightly softer rock moments, Emily Massey exudes a simultaneous strength and vulnerability that draws you closer to the speakers. She's sensitive and introspective but she's no wallflower and definitely nobody's fool. Massey's presence is undeniably commanding yet never over-bearing as the songs are perfectly suited to her voice and in turn, she owns every song with skillful ease. And to really hit my sweet spot, (and if I am to assume from the album's liner notes), Massey's layered, crystalline harmony backing vocals completely seal the deal throughout the album, most especially on the glorious "NYC" (if that chorus doesn't cement itself into your brain on first listen, then I don't even want to know you) as well as the nearly a cappella title track where Massey harmonizes with herself and takes us back through the entire album vocally. It is a striking closing note, that, for me, echoed the opening solo and stacked a cappella vocals of the first song on Prince's very first album, "For You" (released April 7, 1978), recorded when His Royal Badness was just 18 years old
Dear readers and listeners, my excitement over these two albums is not meant to inadvertently project some sense of age-ism or the idea that it is such a novelty for teenagers to be able to create such strong, melodic, entertaining and defiantly artful music. It is not. I wonder if any misconceptions adults may hold about very young artists just may arrive from the idea that we just may think of artists emerging fully formed, and more often than not, as full grown adults, when in truth, they were all younger than we all may have realized.

Leaping off from the Prince example, also take a moment and think about someone like Fiona Apple, who released her debut album at the age of 19. Drummer Mike Byrne joined The Smashing Pumpkins after being handpicked by Billy Corgan at the age of 19 and furthermore the late drummer/composer Tony Williams joined the ensemble led by none other than the inimitable Miles Davis when he was just 17 years old. Steve Winwood joined The Spencer Davis Group and sang lead vocals on the eternal classics "Gimmie Some Lovin" and "I'm A Man" at the age of only 14. These are just a few individuals who began their musical journeys at quite a young age an din doing so, they have all been able to give us decades upon decades of their art and artistry...and believe me, we are all the better for it. Will Post Social and Modern Mod possibly join their ranks? Only time will tell but how amazing it is that the two amazingly talented bands are here with us right now.

Post Social and Modern Mod represent the future of music so beautifully, not just through their immense skills with song-craft and performance but through the fact that these musicians are clearly enjoying what they are doing and again, how refreshing it is to hear their joyfulness as there is not one jaded moment on either album. How I have been waiting to write about these two albums for you and how I sincerely hope that to all of you reading, that you will please heed my vehemently enthusiastic suggestions and seek out this new music for yourselves!

In addition to venturing to B-Side Records to purchase these albums, if you happen tolive in Madison or nearby, I do enthusiastically urge you to visit the following sites:



What are you waiting for??????????????

Wednesday, February 11, 2015



It has been a while dear readers and listeners...far too long since I have checked in with you. But now, Synesthesia returns with some words for a key musical figure who has forever influenced my life.

On the morning of Saturday, January 24, 2015, I clicked open my Facebook account to find the following message posted on the official page belonging to the legendary electronic psychedelic band Tangerine Dream:

Dear Friends,
This is a message to you we are very sorry for…
On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna.
The sadness in our hearts is immensely.
Edgar once said: “There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address."
Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.

Oh man...

Dear readers and listeners, we have truly lost one of the GIANTS in music, and for me personally one of the GIANTS who helped to created extremely significant portions of the musical soundtrack of my life and existence.
For the uninitiated, songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist and synthesizer pioneer Edgar Froese (who passed away at the age of 70) will forever be known, remembered and revered as being the founder of Tangerine Dream, which formed in in West Berlin, Germany in 1967. Over the course of just shy of 50 years and a wide amount of rotating band members of which Froese was the sole, consistent member, Tangerine Dream has released over a staggering 100 albums. They were at the pivotal forefront of the "Krautrock" movement as well as what would have once been considered as "New Age" music or now more commonly know as "Ambient," while also threading in elements of rock, blues, classical, jazz and fusion music into their electronic wonderlands.

The compositions of Tangerine Dream as led by Froese typically would stretch the boundaries of music itself through their elongated passages of electronic psychedelia taking the listener upon sonic journeys that captivated the mind as their appropriately dreamlike music could soothe and transfix while also remain eerie, distorted and disturbing. It was music that was provocatively shape-shifting and completely enveloping, qualities that most certainly contributed to the band becoming fervently sought after film composers, most notably during the 1980's.
My auspicious introduction to Tangerine Dream arrived sometime in either 1981 or 1982, when I was in Middle School. It was during one of my many visits to the record store, the now defunct JR's Music Shop in Chicago's Evergreen Plaza, to be specific. My days in that particular record store undeniably shaped me and provided me with so much music that would become the cornerstones of my life. I bought most of my music, from childhood all the way through high school, in that store and as I write, I am marveling at how many hours I must have spent in that store not buying music as well. It was a period during which I would just wander though the aisles with no musical destinations in mind, looking at one album after another, and allowing the album jackets to communicate with me.

As I have said many times on Synesthesia, music chooses you and on one such record store visit, and thumbing through the film soundtrack section, I came across the following album...
While I did know about this film, a crime thriller directed by Michael Mann and filmed in Chicago, I had not seen it yet (and actually wouldn't for a few years afterwards), the name "Tangerine Dream" was completely foreign to me. Yet, as I looked at this album jacket, that name conjured up some images that didn't simply pique a certain curiosity, I really believe the name itself stirred up something relatively primal within me. It was a name that immediately burrowed itself into my brain and it remained as part of my consciousness for quite lengthy spell until the point when I actually did purchase the soundtrack album, and again, without having seen the movie, plus not having read any reviews or knowing anything at all abut the band or the music itself.

On first listen, Tangerine Dream's soundtrack album to "Thief" (Released 1981) was a game changer for me. As I have written about on this site regarding albums by Todd Rundgren, Genesis, Prince, Pink Floyd and J Dilla, Tangerine Dream's "Thief" was an album that completely made me re-think precisely what music's possibilities actually were and could be. The entirely instrumental album captivated me with the very first song entitled "Beach Theme," as funereal synthesizers fade in and slowly build to a crescendo revealing a sort of interstellar blues. On a plush bed of synthesizers augmented by thick sounding drums with crystalline ride cymbal, the track begins to soar through the cosmos with the arrival of some incredible guitar work, that kind which created the feeling of being lost in space. I was hooked. I was transfixed. I was instantly mesmerized and just did not want the song to end but thee was the remainder of the album to voyage through.

From the drum machine propelled and dirty guitars of "Dr, Destructo," to the percolating and poly-rhythmic synthesizer textures of "Burning Bar" and "Scrap Yard." From the floating in the ether textures of "Trap Feeling," to the intensely metallic "Igneous" and the album's masterpiece, the 10 minute tour de force of "Diamond Diary," I found a new album that enraptured me so seismically that I played it to death!

Tangerine Dream with Edgar Froese at the helm was the band that actually made me fall in love with the synthesizer, no small feat as being a drummer, I had held these rigid attitudes about what music could and couldn't be and how it should or shouldn't be performed and realized (all the while not really knowing how many synthesizers were actually present in the music that I had already loved...but I digress...), What Edgar Froese and his collaborators illustrated to me was that synthesizers were not going to take music away from "real musicians." Synthesizers, like the guitar and yes, like the drums, were just tools utilized in order for composers to express themselves creatively and with Tangerine Dream, I heard textures and colors that I had never heard in quite that specific way before, and frankly, I have not ever even heard it in the same way since. The music of Tangerine Dream, has often been copied over the years, but it has never been duplicated, for how could it be without Edgar Froese at the epicenter?

After being held so tightly in the grasp of Tangerine Dream's "Thief," it was then that I began to try look up background information about the band and its (then) three members of Froese, Christopher Franke and Johannes Schmoelling. Since there really weren't any music magazines that I knew of at the time where I could find out about new or past Tangerine Dream albums, all I had to rely upon (aside from a rare album guide) was the record store, a source so invaluable to my musical development and whose importance still looms so largely over my life.

Back in my early adolescence and the prime of my teen years, I would scour the record store aisles again and again, looking through soundtracks as well as the band's own labeled section to procure any information that I could find about their music. But,"Thief" was, and remains, the album that will forever have a place deep within the confines of my musical heart of hearts. I fell in love with this band and the musical vision of Edgar Froese through this one, singular album, for so often, one, singular album is all one needs to be forever transformed.
So beloved this band became to me that I raced to see Writer/Director Paul Brickman's Chicago filmed teen satire "Risky Business" (1983) on opening weekend (and again knowing nothing about the movie) for the sole reason that the late Chicago Sun Times film critic Roger Ebert happened to mention their film score within his film review. And what a film score it was!! With selections like "The Dream Is Always The Same," "Lana," and the iconic "Love On A Real Train," Tangerine Dream brought seductive European sheen to the Chicago suburbs as this film score was a surreal, hypnotically erotic collection of pulsating electronic textures and soundscapes that somehow perfectly mirrored stages and phases of adolescent ennui, lust and longing as well as giving the cacophonous Chicago 'L trains a soundtrack that is irreplaceable and indispensable.
The music of Tangerine Dream filled my adolescence as I became devoted to studio albums like "Force Majeure" (released February 1979), "Exit" (released September 1981), a smattering of individual selections heard on compilation releases and especially the extraordinary "Tangram" (released May 1980), an album I listened to almost nightly for a large portion of high school while I did my homework at my desk underneath a small bright light in a darkened bedroom.
While I haven't followed the band since perhaps my early years of college, as I think the overall sound of their late 1970's/early to mid 1980's releases just hit my personal sweet spot, I have been so thrilled to know that Tangerine Dream has soldiered onwards, creating and captivating listeners around the world. Even now, long into adulthood, their music has ingrained itself into my soul. It does not matter if I happened to have not listened to a particular Tangerine Dream album for a lengthy stretch of time, for I can instantly recall all of the rhythms, textures and percussiveness of the interlocking synthetic patterns of sound. My moods or even just waking up in the morning and peering outside of my window to gather the climate of the day, there is always that inexplicable feeling that will make me think to myself, "It feels like a Tangerine Dream kind of day."

To this very day, I have never read an interview with Edgar Froese, nor have I ever heard him speak either. And perhaps, I never had to for he has been speaking to me for so much of my life through this extraordinary, and wordless, music that magically, mysteriously and majestically, all that ever needed to be said I was hearing and understanding anyway. To date, I still know very little about the man and yet, I feel I have learned all that I needed to know through hearing and living through this extraordinary, and wordless, music. Edgar Froese harnessed the power of music so heroically that words simply were not ever needed and that, in and of itself, is a feat obtained by a champion.

And so, I pay homage to Edgar Froese, his art and artistry, his music and musicianship as it has sustained me for so long and will continue to do so for the remainder of my life.

"A change of cosmic address" indeed...if oyu have never experienced the music of Tangerine Dream before, I urge you to go straight to YouTube and see what you are able to find and if you allow yourselves, you just may be able to hear from Edgar Froese from whatever cosmic addresses he resided at throughout his stay in the material world. And for those of you who are already fans, let's travel back to those cosmic addresses in tribute to a true musical visionary unlike any other.
June 6, 1944-January 20, 2015