Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Released May 27, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: An imaginary band. The "pre-fab four." I don't really care what pejorative one woud wish to hurl at Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and the late Davy Jones, collectively and forever known as The Monkees, but this band was the very first band that I ever loved and therefore, became obsessed with. No lie. No shame or apology either.

Now that the BAND has reached their 50th anniversary (!), all of us who have loved The Monkees have received the finest gift that they could have ever given to us: "Good Times," a new album, presumably a final effort due to their ages, yet one that is as jaunty, infectious, instantly accessible and as joyous as the classic material we all know and love from their iconic television series.

Beautifully produced by Fountains Of Wayne/Ivy/Tinted Wndows member Adam Schlesinger who weaves a sonic palate that sounds as if we are hearing the next logical album from the 1960's material, "Good Times!" is frontloaded with breezy sun drenched pop music from world class songwriters like Andy Partridge, Rivers Cuomo, and the late Harry Nilsson, and nearly every song is performed with the expert and trademark vocal gusto of Dolenz. Yet, by the gorgeous Ben Gibbard composition "Me And Magdelena," which features absolutely blissful harmonized vocals by both Dolenz and Nesmith, "Good Times!" only grows in power as the selections written by Carole King, Neil Diamond and even one contribution each from Nesmith and Tork, all become reflective, wistful, and sumptuously bittersweet without ever growing cloying or maudlin. All of The Monkees remain in terrific voice and skill and what a lift it is to hear the choirboy voice of the sadly departed Davy Jones again in a cleaned up and unreleased recording from 1967.

The Monkees' "Good Times!" fully lives up to its title and is honestly one of the loveliest releases of 2016.
Released May 14, 2002
Released May 21, 1996
Released May 27, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: Released as a companion album to the soundtrack to Don Cheadle's wildly audacious film "Miles Ahead," which explores the turbulent inner world of the iconic Miles Davis during his five year self-imposed exile from music during the late 1970's. Idiosyncratic pianist Robert Glasper was tapped to score the film, which then led to this equally audacious project on which Glasper, collaborating with prominent figures like Bilal, Erykah Badu, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Ledisi, Hiatus Kaiyote and even Stevie Wonder, has fully re-interpreted classic Miles Davis recordings and compositions, and the effect is often as forward thinking as it is hypnotizing.

In attempting to forge a unique path for this album, Glasper, working with his collaborators plus the original multi-track recordings from Davis' own sessions, "Everything Is Beautiful" evokes an exploratory spirit that seeks to transcend any and all music genres to solely exist as "Miles Davis Music," which means, the music created for this project could have originated as much from the sound of Davis' trumpet, a section of a beat or melody from an earlier composition, or as often depicted, the sound and tenor of Davis' unmistakable raspy voice. In doing so, Glasper continues to chart his own decidedly and unapologetically individualistic path, which itself merges jazz, hip-hop, R&B, soul, funk and even ambient, making this album a provocative meeting of musical minds and spirits.
Released December 15, 1978
Released July 15, 2007
Released June 16, 1992
Released June 1, 2016
NEW 2016 MUSIC: If I possessed a magic wand and if I were able to wave it, one of the wishes that I would bestow would be to grant the collective of young Madison musicians that I have encountered over the past year and a half some sense of financial security, their own personal studio where they could record at will and the notoriety that I feel that these hard working individuals truly deserve as their respective talents are increasingly evident and impressive.

At this time, both Post Social and Dash Hounds are each preparing themselves to open the floodgates with the release of all new material. In addition are their friends and collaborators in the bands Trophy Dad and Barbara Hans, who have joined forces to release a split single in anticipation of their respective new albums, and on first listen, it is clear that each band has richly raised their games.

With "Addison," Trophy Dad has crafted an absolute stunner. Running just shy of six minutes, the band delivers an aching, romantic that opens quietly with a lone piano and some surreal sound effects before settling itself into a slowly chugging guitar groove fronted by bassist/singer Abby Sherman's gorgeous voice, which is augmented by guitarist/singer Jordan Zamansky's striking baritone vocals. Before long, as the emotions move from simmer to boil, guitars explode, drums bash and pop and by song's end, the band concludes with on a glorious grace note that will undoubtedly shatter your heart.

Trophy Dad's Sherman and Zamansky, alongside guitarist Henry Stoehr and drummer Justin Huber, have created a epic that to my ears felt like Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" tinged with the aggression of The Replacements' most emotionally turbulent and naked songs, thus making the band a unit to keep a strictly close eye upon as the release of their first full length album grows nearer. With "Addison," Trophy Dad has more than proven they've got the goods. Now, all you need to do is find out for yourselves.

With "Bundt Cakes," Barbara Hans, the trio of drummer Teddy Matthews, bassist/singer Alex Leeds and also guitarist/singer Henry Stoehr, deliver a punchy slice of left-of-center power pop which features melodics and a vocal hook that is instantly catchy to the point of becoming addictive. I just found it impossible to not be completely swayed by the song's overall bouncy groove yet, as they demonstrated strongly upon their terrific EP "Slow Pulp" (released June 8, 2015), Barbara Hans is a band that thrives on the unpredictable and just when you think you have a song of their's figured out, the sonic curve balls come flying. "Bundt Cakes" is no exception, again proving that this is a band fearless with mixing styles, genres and time signatures and all the while sounding so disarmingly gleeful in the process.

For this single, I highly urge you to visit either the Trophy Dad or Barbara Hans Bandcamp pages and snatch this great music up!!!

TROPHY DAD: https://trophydad.bandcamp.com/
BARBARA HANS: https://barbarahans.bandcamp.com/
Released June 25, 1984

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