Saturday, June 30, 2018


June 1, 2018
"In A Sentimental Mood" performed by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
"Six In One" performed by Thelonious Monk
"Solea" performed by Miles Davis

"Sunshine" performed by Mos Def
"Write At Home" performed by Talib Kweli with Datcha, Bilal and Robert Glasper
"Beach Dr." performed by Oddisee
"Goodbye Isaac" performed by Questlove
"Keep On" (live) performed by Alfa Mist

 June 2, 2018

"Cowboys To Girls" performed by The Intruders
"Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" performed by The Main Ingredient
"So Very Hard To Go" performed by Tower Of Power featuring Lenny Williams
"Wild Flower" performed by The New Birth
"There'll Never Be" performed by Switch

BOILER ROOM DJ SET LIVE IN NYC-performed by Kaytranada

June 3, 2018
"Church" performed by Gary Clark Jr.
"How I Got Over" performed by Mahalia Jackson
"Mary, Don't You Weep" performed by Aretha Franklin
"The Old Landmark" performed by The Harmonizing Four, Bishop Kelsey,Rev. Little and the Dorothy Norwood Singers
"We'll Understand It Better By And By" performed by The Davis Sisters
"Blessing Me Again" performed by Snoop Dogg featuring Rance Allen

"Beyond" performed by Leon Bridges-WSPC PREMIERE
"Screwed" performed by Janelle Monae-WSPC PREMIERE
"Queen" performed by SiR
"Thank You" performed by Black Thought with 9th Wonder-WSPC PREMIERE
"Masters Of Our Fate" performed by Raekwon featuring Black Thought


June 4, 2018
"Here We Go Again" performed by The Isley Brothers
"Oh Honey" performed by Delegation
"Lovely Day" performed by Bill Withers

"The Birds Are Singing" performed by Sananda Maitreya
"Simply Beautiful" (acoustic live) performed by Al Green
"America" performed by Tracy Chapman
"Somebody's Daughter" performed by Tasmin Archer
"The Seed 2.0" performed by The Roots with Cody ChesnuTT

June 5, 2018

"In The Cube" performed by Fishbone
"The Charade" (live SNL) performed by D'Angelo and the Vanguard
"Slave 2 R Freedom" performed by  Jesse Johnsn
"Talk Show Created The Fool" performed by  Chuck D.
"Consumerism" performed by Ms. Lauryn Hill

June 6, 2018
"You Really Got A Hold On Me" performed by Smokey Robinson and the Mracles

"After Hours" performed by A Tribe Called Quest
"Come Over" performed by The Internet-WSPC PREMIERE
"Last Ole" performed by Damu The Fudgemunk
"Bahia Dreamin'" performed by Karriem Riggins
"Nights" performed by Frank Ocean

June 7, 2018
"The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker"
"I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man" (from the "Sign O' The Times" film)
"Laydown" (live on George Lopez)
'"I'm Yours"
"Willing And Able"
"Somebody's Somebody"

"If I Was Your Girlfriend" (from the "Sign O' The Times" film)
"America" (live 1985 France)
"Silver Tongue"
"Mary, Don't You Weep"-WSPC PREMIERE

 June 8, 2018
"Stay Around A Little Longer" performed by Buddy Guy featuring B.B. King
"Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" performed by Scrapper Blackwell
"Where Did You Sleep Last Night" performed by Leadbelly
"I Can't Quit You Baby" performed by Otis Rush
"Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong" performed by  T-Bone Walker

June 9, 2018

"Love And Happiness" performed by Al Green
"Let's Get It On" performed by Marvin Gaye
"Happy" performed by Brick
"Sweet Thang" performed by Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
"Fool's Paradise" performed by The Sylvers


June 10, 2018
"Jean De Fleur" performed by Grant Green
"Gazzelloni" performed by Eric Dolphy
"Jitterbug Waltz" performed by Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy
"Jitterbug Waltz" performed by Herbie Hancock Quintet
"Fists Of Fury" (live on Jools Holland) performed by Kamasi Washington-WSPC PREMIERE


June 11, 2018
"Blue Monday" performed by Fats Domino

"Untitled Original 11383" performed by John Coltrane-WSPC PREMIERE
"Gypsy Airs" performed by Dorothy Ashby
"Incense" performed by Erykah Badu
"Let Me Ride" performed by Sly5thAve featuring Jimetta Rose-WSPC PREMIERE
"Executive Life" performed by Jeff Parker

June 12, 2018
"Would You Mind" performed by Earth, Wind & Fire
"Just To Be Close To You" performed by The Commodores
"Street Corner Symphony" performed by Kool and the Gang
"Dove" performed by Cymande
"Ecstasy" performed by The Ohio Players

June 13, 2018
"Wanna Be Startin' Something" performed by Michael Jackson

"Sugar Daddy" performed by Macy Gray
"Here We Go" performed by Minnie Ripperton with Peabo Bryson
"Day Dreaming" performed by Aretha Franklin

June 14, 2018
"Colors In The Dark" performed by R+R=NOW-WSPC PREMIERE

"Swing It, Sister" performed by The Mills Brothers
"Embraceable You" performed by Ella Fitzgerald
"All Or Nothing At All" performed by Billie Holiday
"Misty" performed by Sarah Vaughan
"Any Day Now" performed by Chuck Jackson

June 15, 2018
"I Wish It Would Rain" performed by The Temptations
"In The Rain" performed by The Dramatics
"Walkin' In The Rain" performed by Love Unlimited
"Date With The Rain" performed by Eddie Kendricks
"Come In Out Of The Rain" performed by Parliament

"The Duffler" performed by Fantastic Negrito-WSPC PREMIERE
"Rock Star" performed by Fishbone
"Fool For You" (live at AfroPunk Fest 2014) performed by Alice Smith
"A Fool In Love" performed by Ike and Tina Turner

June 16, 2018

"Mighty Love" performed by The Spinners
"Use Ta Be My  Girl" performed by The O'Jays
"Want Ads" performed by The Honey Cone
"Love Jones" performed by Brighter Side Of Darkness
"Just Because He Wants To Make Love" performed by The Moments


June 17, 2018
"Thanks, Dad" performed by Sir Joe Quarterman and Free Soul
"Song For My Father" performed by  Horace Silver Quintet
"Daddy's Little Man" performed by O.C. Smith
"Let Me Be The Man My Daddy Was" performed by The Chi-Lites
"Daddy Could Swear, I Declare" performed by Gladys Knight and the Pips
"Papa Don't Take No Mess" performed by JAMES BROWN

June 18, 2018
"Love In Vain" performed by Robert Johnson
"Another Night To Cry" performed by Lonnie Johnson
"Blues Ain't Nothing But A Woman" performed by Helen Humes and the All Star Band
"Bye Bye Blues" performed by Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Willy Dixon, and Otis Spann
"Woman, You Must Be Crazy"/"Goin' To Chicago Blues" performed by T-Bone Walker with Jazz Philharmonic (live UK 1966)

June 19, 2018
"See My Jumper Hanging On The Line" performed by R.L. Burnside
"Dust" performed by Van Hunt
"Movin' Down The Line" (live Red Bull Sessions) performed by Raphael Saddiq  
"Don't Let Go" performed by En Vogue
"Queen Bee" performed by Taj Mahal

"Colors" performed by Ice T
"Self Destruction" performed by KRS-ONE's Stop The Violence Movement
"The Message" performed by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
"ICEbreaker" performed by Public Enemy

June 20, 2018
"Love's In Need Of Love Today" performed by Stevie Wonder

"The Sweetest Taboo" performed by Sade
"Didn't Cha Know" performed by Erykah Badu
"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" (live Montreux 1976) performed by Nina Simone
"I'd Rather Be Blind" (live Montreux 1975) performed by Etta James
"Good Woman" performed by Barbara Lynn

June 21, 2018
"Street Fighter Mas" performed by Kamasi Washington-WSPC PREMIERE
"Pacifics" (live on KEXP) performed by Digable Planets
"Doggy Dogg World" performed by Snoop Dogg with tha Dogg Pound and The Dramatics
'The Story of O.J." performed by Jay-Z
"American Woman" (live at Paisley Park 1999) performed by Lenny Kravitz and Prince

June 22, 2018
"Bustin' Out" performed by Rick James
"I'd Rather Be With You" (live 1976) performed by Bootsy's Rubber Band
"Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" performed by B.T. Express
"Fact Of Life/He'll Be There When The Sun Goes Down" performed by Bobby Womack
"The Pleasure Principle" performed by Janet Jackson
"Cool" performed by The Time

June 23, 2018

"Pillow Talk" performed by Sylvia
"What's Your Name" performed by The Moments
"Hope That We Can Be Together Soon" performed by Harold Melviin and the Blue Notes
"Ain't No Woman" performed by The Four Tops
"Summer Breeze" performed by The Isley Brothers

June 24, 2018
"Darn That Dream" performed by Dexter Gordon
"There Will Never Be Another You" performed by Lester Young
"There Will Never Be Another You" (live Denmark 1965) performed by Sonny Rollins 
"Star Eyes" performed by Bud Powell Trio
"Winterset" performed by Donald Byrd


June 25, 2018
AUGUST 29, 1958-JUNE 25, 2009
"Human Nature"
"I Wanna Be Where You Are" performed by The Jackson 5
"Push Me Away" performed by The Jacksons
"Forever Came Today" performed by The Jackson 5
"Walk Right Now" performed by The Jacksons
"Rock With You"
"Blood On The Dance Floor"
"You Rock My World"
"They Don't Care About Us"
"Billie Jean"

June 26, 2018
"Devil is Watching You" performed by Lightnin' Hopkins
"Preachin' Blues" performed by Living Colour
"Pouring Rain" performed by Fishbone
"Just Like Water" performed by Lauryn Hill
"Evil" performed by Stevie Wonder

June 27, 2018
"I've Never Found A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)" performed by Eddie Floyd
"Gotta Hold On To This  Feeling" performed by JR.Walker and the All Stars
"I'm Gonna Miss You" performed by The Artistics
"Malinda" performed by Bobby Taylor
"So I Can Love You" performed by The Emotions

June 28, 2018
"Mary Had A Little Lamb"/"My Time After A While" (live 1969) performed by Buddy Guy with Buddy Miles and Jack Bruce
"Emergency" performed by The Tony Williams Lifetime
"Snoopy's Search/Red Baron" performed by Billy Cobham

"Merciful" performed by Jesse Johnson
"Needed You Still" performed by R+R=NOW featuring  Omari Hardwick-WSPC PREMIERE
"Turnaroundphrase" (live in Berlin 1973) performed by Miles Davis
"Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" performed by Roberta Flack
"I Want You (Marvin's Mood)" performed by Stro Elliot

June 29, 2018
"Too  Hot" performed by Kool and the Gang
"Too Darn Hot" performed by Ella Fitzgerald
"Hot (I Need To Be Loved, Loved Loved , Loved, Loved) performed by JAMES BROWN
"Rollin' With Heat" performed by The Roots with Talb Kweli
"Hot In Herre" performed by Nelly

June 30, 2018
"Like Sugar" performed by Chaka Khan-WSPC PREMIERE
"No Apologies" performed by August Greene-WSPC PREMIERE
"Casa Bey" performed by Mos Def
"Thank You For Talking To Me Africa" performed by Sly and the Family Stone
"We Are Family" performed by Sister Sledge

"One Nation  Under A Groove" performed by  Funkadelic
"Baby I'm A Star" (live 1984) performed by Prince and the Revolution
"Truth" performed by Kamasi Washington
"Got 'Til It's Gone" performed by Janet Jackson with Q-Tip featuring Joni Mitchell
"It Ain't Fair" (live on Jimmy Fallon) performed by The Roots with Bilal
"A Change Is Gonna Come" performed by Sam Cooke

Thursday, June 28, 2018


JUNE 6, 2018

1. "Good To Your Earhole" performed by Funkadelic
2. "Love Having You Around" performed by Stevie Wonder
3. "Mannish Boy" performed by Jimi Hendrix
4. "Blak And Blu" performed by Gary Clark Jr.
5. "Who's Gonna Save My Soul?" performed by Gnarls Barkley
6. "Six In One" performed by Thelonious Monk
7. "Black Kennedy" performed by August Greene
8. "Elvis Is Dead" performed by Living Colour
9. "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)" performed by JAMES BROWN
10."Baltimore" performed by Prince


(hour 1)
1. "It Doesn't Really Matter" performed by Zapp
2. "The Breaks" performed by Kurtis Blow
3. "Black Man In A White World" performed by Michael Kiwanuka
4. "My Own Personal Gravity" performed by P.M. Dawn
5. "Dear God 2.0" performed by The Roots with Jim James
6. "Each Day Gets Better" performed by John Legend
7. "Minnie" performed by Miles Davis
8. "Me And My (To Bury Your Parents)" performed by Andre 3000
9. "Off The Wall" performed by Michael Jackson
10."The Black Mother" performed by Georgia Anne Muldrow
(hour 2)
11."Stratus" performed by Billy Cobham
12."Rising From The Ashes" performed by Ernie Isley
13."Semi-First Class Seat" performed by Mutiny
14."Luv N' Haight" performed by Sly and the Family Stone
15."A Roller Skating Jam Called 'Saturday'" performed by De La Soul
16."The Projects" performed by Vernon Reid
17."Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" performed by Marvin Gaye
18."Keep On Trippin'" performed by Curtis Mayfield
1. "Evrybody" performed by Todd Rundgren
2. "Where Does The Time Go?" performed by Todd Rundgren
3. "One Good Reason" performed by The Tubes
4. "Run And Run" performed by The Psychedelic Furs
5. "Take You With Me" performed by The Pursuit Of Happiness
6. "Lysistrata" performed by Utopia
7. "Mermaid Smiled" performed by XTC
8. "Screaming Through December" performed by Daryl Hall & John Oates
9. "Bread" performed by Todd Rundgren
10."More Light" performed by Utopia
11."Love Science" performed by Todd Rundgren

Brendan Manley and Mitch Deitz of Post Social

1. "Outside Man"
2. "Sand Wand"
3. "From Distance"
4. "Hold This Side Close"
5. "Savor"
THANK YOU TO Mitch Deitz and Brendan Manley for stopping by the WVMO studios once again. It was an honor to have you both!


Released September 1974
Released March 21, 1983
Released June 30, 2015
Released October 22, 1996
Released July 3, 2007

and from the SAVAGE BOOKSHELF...

288 pages
Published by Ecco
Released April 24, 2018

Honestly, is there anything this man cannot do?

Ahmir Thompson, most famously known as Questlove, the man of the mighty Afro complete with his trademark pick, who is the drummer/bandleader/co-founder of The Roots in addition to also being a revered DJ, music producer, internet radio host, music history Professor, designer, culinary entrepreneur, musical director of "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" as well as a best selling author (phew!!) is clearly no stranger to the fountain of creativity. 

So, it should be of no surprise that he would have concocted of his fourth book entitled, "Creative Quest," a manual of sorts to help any and everyone discover, nurture, and maintain their own individualistic levels of inspiration and creativity. If there is anything about this endeavor to be surprised about is not simply how compulsively readable this book happens to be but how deeply accessible, especially as the subject matter can easily fly into the arcane and esoteric.

Yet, Questlove, through his beautifully insightful and conversational prose has devised of a work that functions superbly as a multi-faceted experience that straddles the everyday and the philosophical regarding how we can discover our own tools of the trade regarding being creative, from being more receptive to periods of boredom, becoming more astute with the highlights and pitfalls of social media, navigating both failure and success, to understanding why we even try to create in the first place, among even more topics that I found to be deeply inspirational.

Sunday, June 24, 2018


MAY 13, 1950-JUNE 8, 2018

I am compelled to write in tribute to a musical figure who has delivered so powerfully much yet whose level of recognition remains sadly obscured to the point of possibly even having been forgotten. 

It was early in the morning on Saturday, June 9th when I read the news straight from Mick Fleetwood's Facebook page via a message written directly by him and dated June 8th at 8:05 p.m....

"Today was greeted by the sad news of the passing of Danny Kirwan in London, England.  Danny was a huge force in our early years. His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968 where he made his musical home for many years. 

Danny's true legacy, in my mind, will forever live in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac, that has now endured for over than fifty years. 

Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed." 

To that, I can only begin by uttering a solemn "Amen" to those sentiments. To continue, I have to fully express to you the words I first shared after reading this sad, sad news. For all of the attention and acclaim that Fleetwood Mac has received, and deservedly so, since 1975 onwards, I have urged friends over these last 30 years or so to give listens to the likes of the band's "Then Play On" (released September 19, 1969), "Kiln House" (released September 18, 1970), "Future Games" (released September 3, 1971) and "Bare Trees" (released March 1972), all albums that stand as tall as "Rumours" (released February 4, 1977) as far as I'm concerned. 


Dear readers and listeners, please at this time, allow me to impress upon you what is to me a musical truth in the history of rock and roll music. What singer/songwriter/guitarist Danny Kirwan contributed to the artistic and musical legacy of Fleetwood Mac is eternal and immeasurable. And truthfully, if we are still able to hear the ghosts and influences of Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Bob Welch, now the recently jettisoned Lindsey Buckingham plus all members of the past coursing through the heart, veins and soul of this band, then without question, Danny Kirwan's musical voice would be one of the loudest...despite his comparative quietness to that of his bandmates.

I first became aware of Danny Kirwan sometime in 1987, after I had started college, when Fleetwood Mac was simultaneously riding high with the release and success of "Tango In The Night" (released April 13, 1987) as well as undergoing a serious period of transition with the (first) departure of Lindsey Buckingham just in time for their tour. 

My roommate Bob, with whom I shared a nearly perfect symmetry with our respective musical tastes, was as curious about the history of Fleetwood Mac as I was. With his bi-monthy paychecks he received from his student job of washing out test tubes in Chemistry labs, he (and sometimes, we) would venture to Stare Street each Friday afternoon or early evening to purchase two CDs to add to his expanding collection, a bounty of which I was blessed to have equal access due to our friendship.

By the time Bob decided upon exploring the discography of Fleetwood Mac, I vividly recall my interest perking upwards considerably, because of my love for the band, which by that year had been significantly rekindled. I was curious as to how all of the threads connected, from British blues to California pop and all in between and by listening, I gathered the full picture of what Fleetwood Mac actually was, and they were so profoundly much more than I had really ever given them credit for...even as much as I loved them..  
What I discovered for myself was that where original member/co-founder Peter Green unquestionably brought the anguish and grit of the blues to the proceedings, Jeremy Spencer displayed his deep affection for 1950's rock and roll and Bob Welch elicited a certain California post psychedelic mysticism, Danny Kirwan's contributions slid somewhere in between all three men while also crafting, cultivating and carving out a fully idiosyncratic landscape: the one of an inexplicable pastoral melancholia and fragile soulfulness that conjured up hazy daydreams, mournful solemnity, an aching romanticism and a delicate wistfulness while always discovering entrancing ways to honor the base of the blues.

On "Then Play On," Fleetwood Mac's sensational third album, the first song and voice we hear is Danny Kirwan's in the chugging long distance dusty road momentum of "Coming Your Way," which the percussive driven selection explodes into raw, guitar retribution by song's conclusion. Yet, Kirwan's musical agility only proved itself with the plaintive tenderness of "When You Say," the quiet heartbreak of "Although The Sun Is Shining," the late afternoon backporch blues of "Like Crying" and the glorious sunset entitled "My Dream," a more than worthy successor to the band's top charting "Albatross," on which Kirwan contributed.

I do not know if the following sentiment is necessarily true for Danny Kirwan but I do not think that it would be terribly far-fetched to consider, but it seems to me that for each personnel change within Fleetwood Mac, changes within each member's performances would also occur due to the shifts within band chemistry. For "Kiln House," with the departure of Peter Green and the (nearly) full arrival of Christine McVie, who contributed her signature vocals, keyboards and even cover art to the proceedings, Kirwan's own songwriting, singing and playing became more enhanced.

As the dual Sunday morning meditative/ Saturday night anguished remembrance of "Jewel Eyed Judy," the slow churning locomotive epic of "Station Man" and the stinging "Tell Me All The Things You Do" found Kirwan stretching out and stepping confidently into the large hole created by Green's absence, it was the lyrical instrumental of the quiet "Earl Grey," that found's Kirwan's compositional skills growing more elegant and contemplative, conjuring up sustained imagery and emotions that longed to be embraced as the track contained a luxurious quality that would be further expanded upon to crystalline effect.

More personnel changes featuring the departure of Jeremy Spencer, and the arrival of Bob Welch plus Christine McVie's official band status being confirmed, created an era of Fleetwood Mac that I  honestly feel rivals the beloved 1975 lineup of the band, as song for song, and album by album, "Future Games" and "Bare Trees" are two of the finest works the band has ever created. And Danny Kirwan truly arrived as a musical force to be reckoned wt as he delivered his finest material without question. 

As my former roommate would tell you himself, I adore "Future Games." It is indeed one of those albums that I could have on repeat and could never grow tired of. I know this because I have performed this very feat so often over these past 30 plus years. It is an album of sustained, dreamworld sophistication and grace and Danny Kirwan's songwriting, singing and guitar heroics were at the forefront of the album's absolute finest material. He claims center stage on the simmering acoustic based pastoral wonder that is "Woman Of 1000 Years,"a song that, for my ears and spirit, could play for album length but if it did, we would then not be able to hear the stunning brilliance that is the outstanding "Sands Of Time." 

That song, which follows Bob Welch's fantastic organ drenched title track, is a wonderland that actually proves how band chemistry is affected and altered when the principals are shifted and shaken up. Not only do I think that Kirwan probably would not have even written a song like "Sands Of Time" had the lineup from "Then Play On" remained intact, Kirwan and his bandmates are even paying differently than ever before and the result is gloriously mesmerizing. 

For a bit over seven wondrous minutes, just listen to the seashore melody, on which Kirwan's lovely, thoughtful vibrato carries us along as if it were an ocean breeze but more impressively, the time signature changes within the song are simultaneously dramatic and subtle, making for something you hardly recognize is happening yet you know that something has changed the scenery. Christine McVie's supremely warm electric piano perfectly compliments the peerless rhythm section of bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, whose own performance upon this track, I still contend, is one of his finest drum performances ever. 

This superior bed of sound, so enveloping, so lush, allowed Kirwan to build a guitar interplay with Welch that was...ahem...hypnotizing, all circular, intertwining and climbing into the song's final, heartbreaking grace note. And to think, Kirwan also had the gentle meditation of "Sometimes" at the ready as well. 


On what would become Danny Kirwan's swan song with the band, the appropriately autumnal "Bare Trees" album found Fleetwood Mac, and Kirwan in particular at the top of their games. All three songwriters delivered material that was essentially bullet proof, including the original version Welch's "Sentimental Lady." Yet for Kirwan, it is almost as if he knew this album would feature his final statements within Fleetwood Mac as he congealed everything he had accomplished within the band and delivered material that truly felt to be definitive as messages of his artistry.

Album opener "Child Of Mine," the wah-wah drenched "Danny's Chant," and the astounding title track (I vividly remember my Dad stopping cold as he heard this song and exclaimed, "Those guitars!") were great enough but with the instrumental of "Sunny Side Of Heaven" and the album penultimate selection, the gently pensive ode to our collective mortality entitled "Dust," Danny Kirwan's creative voice became majestic as he took the base of the blues and created existential hymns of the soul.

It felt fitting that he would depart the band after that album for what else was there to say after a song like "Dust"? In many ways, it felt as if he personally closed the door on this particular phase of Fleetwood Mac with a unique yet quietly defiant finality, that not only forced a change for his former bandmates but allowed his work to fully reverberate through everything that was recorded after his absence...if listeners could allow themselves to hear the sonic threads.

Dear listeners, for a band like Fleetwood Mac, where a certain mysticism was always a crucial piece of their musical fabric, the work of Danny Kirwan contains enormous echoes. For those of you who already know the work, I think that you will understand what I mean. But, more importantly, for those of you who do not know of Danny Kirwan's legacy and how he fit into Fleetwood Mac, I urge you to go forth and make those discoveries for yourselves as it would be a shame if his contributions were lost to faded memories and the sands of time.

I believe that it is indeed up to us listeners and fans to serve as beacons for those who can no longer speak and advocate for themselves. Please do take the time to listen to Danny Kirwan's tenure within  Fleetwood Mac and I guarantee you will experience a sophistication of sound and songwriting that contains tremendous texture, shadings and melodicism--the sort that has existed at the foundation of this band for over 50 years. Now that he has passed onwards, I invite you to investigate and then, celebrate with what he shared with the world, for what he shared was sensational to say the least. 

Thank you, Danny Kirwan. May you rest in power.

Thursday, June 7, 2018



Huan-Hua Chye: Vocals, Ukulele, Keyboards
Nick Davies: Vocals, Keyboards, Trumpet
Cal Lamore: Guitars
Paul Marcou: Drums, Percussion
Anneliese Valdes: Bass Guitar, Saxophone, Baritone Horn, Trumpet, Backing Vocals

All Music and Lyrics by Gentle Brontosaurus

Mastered by Carl Saff
Art by Michael Sambar
Engineered and Mixed by Cal Lamore

Released May 12, 2018

Dear readers and listeners, at this time, I am wondering if any of you tend to match certain musical genres or artists to specific seasons of the year.

For me, during the Fall and Winter months, my musical choices may turn towards songs that lean into more electronic territories, or selections that prove themselves to be more synthetic to varying degrees and definitely more atmospheric, therefore matching tone and mood with the darkening skies earlier and earlier in the afternoons. The Summer months you would not be surprised to find me listening to more languid, lengthier tunes, specifically prog rock or extended soul and funk selections, songs that tend to stretch out just as the days themselves are lengthening and the temperatures grow increasingly hotter.

Yet for the months that make up Spring, my synesthesia tends to receive a workout as I am seeking songs whose melodies luxuriously demand color after the grayness of Winter. Spring means pop songs, pop songs and even more pop songs, music that seemingly wills the warmth of the season back into fruition and the colors of nature into full view. For me, bring on Badfinger, Dwight Twilley and Big Star. Give me The Anniversary. Spoil me with The Pursuit Of Happiness and Sloan. Grace me with late period XTC!!! I think you get the picture.

The pop songs that I love during the Spring are the ones that inspire you to open the windows, either of your homes or your car, and all for the sole purpose of allowing such songs the ample air and space to travel as widely and as far as possible, bringing the colors of the world back to life alongside the warmth of the sun.

At this time, I wish to turn your attention to a new release that provides precisely what I have been explaining and extolling to all of you. The band in question is the Madison, WI based quintet named Gentle Brontosaurus and I am terribly excited to point you towards their second album, entitled "Bees Of The Invisible," a release that sounds and feels like the season of Spring itself has been magically weaved into this jaunty, ebullient, instantly affectionate collection of 12 indie power pop tunes.

With an overall sound that often suggests the alt-pop music of Rilo Kiley or 10,000 Maniacs, Gentle Brontosaurus conjures up visions of those nice kids down the street, writing and playing away in a neighbor's garage, a la The Partridge Family. The songs jangle happily, with rhythms and melodies that will enthusiastically invite you to sing along and certainly, the band's instrumentation, which includes brass and ukulele, sweetens the deal with delightful dollops of twee.

But even so, with even the best Spring days, clouds can always arrive and in regards to the songs of  Gentle Brontosaurus, thee are darker, more turbulent emotions bubbling under the shiny surfaces of their idiosyncratic pop sheen, making for an album experience that is eager to dance with you as it quietly disturbs, unsettles and at times, breaks your heart.

With the inviting bounce of band member/lead singer Huan-Hua Chye's ukulele and augmented by trumpet fanfares Gentle Brontosaurus' "Bees Of The Invisible" opens with "Morgan," a song that sonically sounds like a child skipping down the sidewalk so lightly that blissful zero gravity might be achieved. Yet, it is within the song's lyrics that a troubling weight reveals itself. In fact, the lyrics almost sound as if they emerged from a gritty blues song.

"If I could measure the distance between your fingers and mine
Maybe my stuttering fingers would start to march in time
I'd ride to the crossroads and throw off my long coat
Bargain with whoever would have me
Deal with the devil or give up the worn soles of my dancing shoes 
Tell the whole world what I'm looking to lose..."

The tricky juxtaposition of sounds and moods builds with "The Hedonist," a selection where the guitars and New Wave styled keyboards achieve a hula hoop hip swaying groove but is in actuality a first person character study of the self-described titular figure who matter-of-factually proclaims that "Poison for my body is like food for my soul" and how "Whiskey drink, velvet clothes, sex, sleep and food/Chase away the ticking clock and the existential blues," all the while delivered via Huan-Hua Chye and Anneliese Valdes' cheerfully warm, inviting, and again, sing-a-long vocals.

The astounding "track1.mp3" is easily one of the album's highest standouts. Nick Davies takes over the lead vocals, while Chye and Valdes coo behind him, in a selection about a music fan who falls hopelessly in love with the previously unknown voice and song of a soon to be discovered long deceased artist.

Containing a palate that suggests Modern English's "I Melt With You" merged with The Who's "Pictures Of Lily," the song is a glorious tribute to the ephemeral power of music, especially when it transcends time, space, life and death. And just so the tune remains grounded and not esoteric, I particularly loved how the song's narrator occasionally attempts to downplay or even sidestep his rapturous affection by asserting that "It might not be a brilliant song," only to find himself unable to stop himself from expressing his devotion by admitting the following: "I put you on all my playlists and my mixtapes... you'll live on in a file on a flash drive/Or a Russian pirate site/Until the DMCA/Makes them take it down/They'll never find you/Up there in the cloud/track1.mp3" Absolutely terrific!!!

The rapid momentum of the album accelerates even more with the percussive tale of envy, "A Shot," where this song's narrator, as voiced by Chye, incredulously views the nose to the grindstone determination and drive of an acquaintance to leave their small town for greener pastures while she remains behind, wholly unsure, and possibly even unable to discover the same motivation within herself. As Gentle Brontosaurus accelerates and builds the tension, as augmented by percolating bongos and rising trumpet blasts, "Bees Of The Invisible" soon settles into a mid album daydream..albeit one that is not quite as pleasant as it may first sound.

Davies returns to the lead vocals on "For Emma," a grim lullaby depicting the raucous odyssey of a woman who was "never well behaved." Upon some investigation on my part as the song makes references to Proust, imprisonment and the critical location of Sach's Cafe, I am wondering if the band in indeed detailing the story of the anarchist political activist and writer Emma Goldman, who passed away in 1940 and was a crucial force in the rise of anarchistic philosophy in the early 20th century.  Yes, I could reach out and ask the band but I think I'd like to sit with this for a while as I like the idea of a song that presents itself so quietly in effect being about something so seismic and turbulent.

Even moreso, is the nearly six minute surreal suite "The World's On Fire." With Chye on lead vocals once more, I found myself, of all things, thinking about Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" (2011) as this song utilizes its deliberate pacing, lyrics and musical sections to possibly describe, either separately or concurrently, the end of a relationship or a descent into depression or even the end of existence itself. "Shield your eyes/The world's on fire," Chye repeats throughout, each time eliciting gradually increasing feelings of doom and ultimately apocalyptic finality.

Once the dust settles, Gentle Brontosaurus brings out their dancing shoes and picks up the pace once again with the infectious herky-jerky rhythms of "My Ultimate Form," a celebratory song of emergence and the shedding of a former skin for a newer, better existence. The trumpet fueled dance party of "Wicker Park," serves up the unapologetically joyous ode to a messy abode, a ditty that reminded me of the deceptively peppy bounce of 10,000 Maniacs' "Candy Everybody Wants."

The album's final third opens with "Pull The Van Around," a Nick Davies sung track about "A gracious, patient friend" who remain forever steadfast when he should clearly just walk away and not look back. The travails of a struggling young actress arrives in the clever short story "The 8th Degree Of Kevin Bacon" while the self-explanatory "Jerkface," complete with its African rhythm influenced by way of Paul Simon's literary pop, unveils the full admonishment of a boorish office worker.

"Bees Of The Invisible" draws to a close with an epic finale, and in actuality, the one song where the musicality and lyrical content feel to be in lockstep--essentially the band's "A Day In The Life," a song to work as a counterpoint to the frothy sounds that had arrived before. "Hobo Signs In The Liner Notes" unquestionably places a creepy period to the album's conclusion as the band explores unhealthy to potentially and progressively terrifying celebrity obsessions.

"I saw you on that TV show
And you looked into my eyes
I saw you wore that red jacket
The one you know I like...

...In the basement of the thrift shop
I found a letter with my name
Well, I know you're out there
And I'll wait...

...I saw you in that magazine
Morse code kerning spelled out my name
I understood what you meant there
We are the same
We are the same..."

The growing, unsettling tension of  "Hobo Signs In The Liner Notes" makes for a song that, to my ears, has found a certain similar thematic space to tracks like The Carpenters' "Superstar" and Eminem's "Stan" to even elements from films like Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975) and definitely real world tragedies, most notably John Lennon's assassination on December 8, 1980. 

And yet...there is something that is inexplicably warm about the song, with Chye's vocals, her finest on the album, weaving a sound that is almost wistful, to Cal Lamore's lyrically climactic guitar solo, and the elegiac wash of organ and keyboards that are as lush as a setting sun. All of those qualities allows the song, which could have solely existed as a song of increasing menace, to simultaneously serve as something akin to Fountains Of Wayne's heartbreaking "Hackensack" tossed in for good measure. Gentle Brontosaurus certainly saved the best for last with this track, a song where all five members dug deeper, reached higher and grabbed tighter in a song that congealed a variety of emotions and moods to a seemingly effortless degree. And believe me, hearing Chye sing the words "I'll wait" repeatedly, provided the album with the perfect grace note on which to conclude.

Gentle Brontosaurus' "Bees Of The Invisible" is a first rate slice of expertly conceived and delivered pop, the kind of which that would easily elevate the perceptions of what pop music could actually be to larger audiences should they find the avenues to even hear something as strong, yet as left of center, as this release. It is an exceedingly well crafted group of songs, performed with a jubilant energy (most especially, Huan-Hua Chye's lead vocals, which keep reminding me of the certain tone and timbre of Natalie Merchant) that connects instantly and most certainly rewards repeat listenings where for me, I have been so excited to hear new flourishes each time.

In fact, as I have now heard "Bees Of The Invisible" several times, I wish to extend my thoughts about how the music feels perfect for a Spring day. To me, this beautifully sequenced album sounds as if the musical flow could conceptually occur over the course of a Spring day, with the first four songs representing a glorious sunrise and early morning, all leading to that middle of the day dreamy haze, the late afternoon rejuvenation to the eventual, and sometimes melancholy sunset. Only the members of the band know for certain if something like this was part of their original intent or not. But even so, I find it fun and fruitful to have been this inspired as I listen.

That is a testament to the craft and skill on display throughout as Gentle Brontosaurus proves that pop music need not be forgettable. Pop music at its best is unquestionably artistic and it is also not nearly as easy as it may sound to create. Yet for Gentle Brontosaurus, they make every song feel as clear and as easy as the Spring breezes upon your faces. 

In regards to their contemporaries within the Madison music community, from Skyline Sounds to Anna Wang to Slow Pulp and the now defunct Modern Mod, Gentle Brontosaurus has achieved their artistic success in the same fashion: by understanding that the song is the star and any potential egos need to be brushed aside entirely in order to fully serve the song. In doing so, for this album, there is not one wasted moment or even one song that is not deserving of your attention and affection.

Gentle Brontosaurus' "Bees Of The Invisible" is the sort of pop music that inspires images of sun drenched garden parties, vibrant, multi-colored balloons and sticky sweet bubble gum, swirling polka dot dresses, gloriously fizzy lemonade and bouncing beachballs. It is an album that you would desire to wrap your arms around it and deliver a powerful embrace.

But watch out, there are some compellingly hidden spikes inside!

Friday, June 1, 2018



7 years.

You know, when I look at that amount of time and give myself pause to really think about it, I feel so proud. Not in a self-congratulatory sense of pride. I think it is more that it is something that has felt to be so positive for my personal spirit and my relationship with my heritage as well as with the music itself.

Black Music Month is a time where we are all invited to celebrate the Black musicians, singers, songwriters, producers and artistic visionaries from around the world who have graced our individualized and collective worlds with their artistry over time and space It is a period of discovery and education, as well as obvious entertainment, for music exists for our spirits and bodies to be moved and through the enjoyment, our selves work in communion with the works of these artists who were possessed with the gift to create and the bravery and generosity to share.

As always, the content upon Synesthesia will most likely not strictly follow the Black Music Month celebration, as it is something I will partially utilize my Savage Radio program on WVMO-FM and mostly via my Facebook page and You Tube feeds in creating daily playlists that one may choose to experience. By the end of the month, what will have been amassed is the complete curation of a month's work of music spanning genres, styles, decades and generations, all of which hopefully illustrates just a piece of the scope and breadth of what Black musical artists have delivered to all of us.

7 years.

With each year, there are moments usually at the very beginning of the celebration where I feel simultaneous bouts of excitement and a bit of trepidation, as I do not wish to simply re-hash anything I have picked from the past 6 years. Of course, there will be some repeats of songs and cherished artists. Yes, I do hope to have each Saturday morning serve as commemorations of "Soul Train," just as I experienced the television program in my childhood growing up in the Chicago, IL of the 1970's and 1980's.

But mostly, I do wish to challenge myself. To find the artists that I have not previously played or artists that I am completely unfamiliar with, in the hopes of further expanding my palate, knowledge and appreciation. No easy feat but one that I wish to have fun with, and I hope that the fun I am having translates to you.

Black Music Month is about community to me. The community of my African-American heritage unquestionably. But, the community I am speaking of just as importantly (if not even a tad moreso), it is the community that we share collectively as human beings. So much can be learned and experienced solely though the music and  honestly, how much better off we would be if we just took the time to understand each other, even just a little bit more than we had previously, if at all.

Yes, I know. It may sound too terribly simplistic to think that a month's worth of music will accomplish any sense of healing and understanding between the races while having the music of love, peace, and soul as our soundtrack. know...stranger things have happened and at t his stage in the game, I think we need all of the help that we can receive.

So, with that, let's all jump into this 7th year together and let this experience be whatever it shall be...and of course, as you listen...PLAY LOUD!!!!!!!!!

7 years, y'all...7 years!!!!