Amanda Ghost on Unknown Sunday 02-2016

This week’s “unknown” goes back fifteen plus years, and it’s one of those unfortunate things when something good or great just doesn’t take off, and the band separates or just becomes no more. I find it tragic when suddenly there’s not that second album. I want that next step in their evolution. I want to hear another version of that emerging potential and style that had blossomed and impressed. Often, I find myself perusing the archives of musical band history (Wikipedia and more) to see if they’ve come up somewhere else…or possibly taken it to a solo level. There are some that took it so much further—that you just can’t believe it. So, I guess this could be a bit confusing….being titled “unknown” and all…
This one became a “ghost” of sorts, Amanda Ghost. In the year 2000 (yes, if you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter we did a little post going back to albums/artists of that year—and joked about the skit made by Conan on his late night show), Ms. Amanda Louisa Gosein a singer songwriter from Enfield put a record out with Warner Bros. called Ghost Stories.” It was a grab you by the ears, alternative electronica recording, which featured Amanda’s vocals and punchy lyrics amidst a classical trip-hop, if you will. She had her finger and ear on a pulse of music that was going places, and the record certainly did not shy away from any of it.

Four singles came from the album, and that’s a lot for a 2000 solo, female debut not in the exact mainstream of music. “Filthy Mind,” “Glory Girl,” “Silver Lining” and “Idol” which might, if you check the songs out, suddenly refresh your memory, if you don’t remember this artist at all. Amanda’s album is a strong mix of confessions of confrontations, self loathing, romantic notions wrapped up in different, evocative melodies, beats and electronic production. A dynamite of a first record, and one that I certainly thought was one of the best of 2000.  All Music’s Bryan Buss confessed that this was one hell of a debut album that would be hard to follow up, but…she would be no one hit wonder. Well, he was…right. There was a second album in 2006, but none of us ever heard it, right? I searched the world over for it, believe me! There’s no mention of its name on any album list. There’s Blood on the Line: The Download Collection which I’ve never been able to wrestle to get a copy or even listen (and I started trying again, when writing this article), and it does not have single songs that were listed after Ghost Stories had its run. Maybe Amanda will get this artivle by some devine RRS feed and suddenly send it to me out of self pitty to my recording buying devotion.

Then in February 2009 she becomes the president of Epic Records! Then, after that “wild west ride” she starts her own label, Outsiders with Universal Music Group. So I’m figuring—sweet, now she can release an album, right? No. She’s still pushing, trying to become the second coming of Diane Warren apparently, writing songs/co-writing for Scissor Sisters, Florence and the Machine (Ceremonials), John Legend, Beyonce (these are some very popular tracks), James Blunt (which “You’re Beautiful” got her that Epic gig in the first place), Shakira, Jordan Sparks, Prodigy, Ian Brown, Sub Focus and ASAP Rocky. All of which is cool, and ultimately confirms exactly what was said earlier that she would be no one hit wonder…she’s got plenty of hits, Grammy Nominees, Golden Globe Nominee, and more…and while there’s probably not going to be an album coming out soon, I will take comfort that she remains a wild part of the musical multiverse like an unruly “ghost” in the background.

Now I just have to keep up with who she’s promoting…working with…it’s a hard life.

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Albums in my collection:  Ghost Stories

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on January 10th of 2016, and at the time she was already starting Unigram Productions and getting into crossing medias; like Movies and TV, as well as continuing to write songs for all kinds of popular artists (many of which were used in Motion Picture Soundtracks).  Currently, she produced the soon to release Tetris movie on AppleTV and the Broadway adaptation of “The Great Gatsby” as a musical in 2024!

I still hope for that second album promo “Blood on the Line” to get a full release or put with songs she’s been holding on to for some digital album.   – Mark Kulgowski  [March 26, 2023]

Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 2

On this Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 2, we take on three albums from our music multiverse travels! They range from garage crunch feedback rockers, to a challenging jazz instrumental reaching through space and time, to a cold ass blues record! So, without further build up, lets take you into these three very different albums and see if there’s something that might be for you to sink your ears into!

Purling Hiss – Drag On Girard

I’m a young adult of the 90’s music scene, and it was the definite time for grunge and garage rock.  It always seemed like the vocals didn’t have to be all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips.  They just had to keep pace with the crunching guitars and deliver the lyrics in a middle-class, “we’re all in this together” style. Hopefully, you understand what I’m talking about, so that when I give you Purling Hiss, and their new record “Drag On Girard,” you give it the intended spin it deserves. Just do your thing, let it all hang out, and your thirty-eight minutes is good sonic, crunchy guitar fest that feels real and raw at times even hinging on the Crazy Horse, which is what caught my ear (check out the title track).  A special thank you to Kurt Vile, who seems to have been influential on getting Mr. Polizze to form a band and get this garage guitar feedback on the live stage!

The band:

Mike Polizze – vocals, guitars (multi-instrumentalist)
Kiel Everett – bass
Ben Leaphart – drums

Drag On Girard Track Listing:

1. Yer All In My Dreams
2. Something In My Basement
3. Baby
4. Out The Door
5. When The End Is Over
6. Stay With Us
7. Drag On Girard
8. Shining Gilded Boulevard

 

Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall – Their Power Reached Across Time and Space – To Defy Them Was Death or Worse

When you cross over into avant garde instrumental ambient, if you will, it is a dedicated listen. The instrumentalists, producers, soloists, and composers that live or jump in and out of this environment have a tenacity for experimentation with instruments and how their sound(s) might actually mimic that of living things, moods, emotions, and even color.  I know, I might have lost you on that last one, but just think of John Coltrane and Miles Davis and how their sound has color, and you have an idea hear (yes that’s not a typo).  They all tell some sort of story, from the recently popular feeling of trapped at home (COVID), or in this instance a space novel.  This album from Mats Gustafsson & Joachim Nordwall and company is an abstract invention with all kinds of creep, hollow, and eerie that you can feel from your ears to your toes.  Yes, you can hear the breathing on this one with purposeful intent.  What’s best about this, is knowing the list of instruments their using, and how they nailed this “Their Power Reached Across Space and Time – To Defy Them Was Death or Worse” album in gripping fashion.

The band:

Mats Gustafsson – saxophone, fluteophone, flute, clarinet
Joachim Nordwall – electronic musician
Anthony Braxton – multi-instrumentalist, composer
Richard Teitelbaum– synthesizer

Their Power Reached Across Space and Time – To Defy Them Was Death or Worse Track Listing:

1. There Are Some Worlds Where All Dreams Die
2. The Day of Days Was There
3. Love Shows in Her Smile: It Is Confident
4. Their New Life Was Their Final Life
5. Birdbrain
6. His Fingers, Moving in the Air, Produced a Soft Organ-Like Music
7. Oh, Said the Strange Mind, You Want Me to Think for You
8. Her Eyes…Were Like Cold Fires (slut)

The Cold Stares – Voices

Do you like your blues rock straight down the line?  Gritty.  Delivered raw, plastered in riff, and sung the same way?!  “Voices” from The Cold Stares gets this done and done and a little bit more! You know it from the first first lick, and if you’re a blues lover the tones and rhythm of this band’s newest is going to be a favorite in your car, headset, and stereo.  Familiarity is flavored here with a good front man, electric blues guitars that hints at all the eras without feeling like a copy or a shell, even when they’re doing a Nina Simone cover.  This is vintage and modern (as other’s have said in reviews), and that’s what makes it blues listening magic for 2023, and a definite listen for those that love the blues and all the avenues it’s been down and has wound itself around.

The band:

Chris Tapp – vocals, guitars
Brian Mullins – drums
Bryce Klueh – bass

Voices Track Listing:

1. Nothing But The Blues
2. Come For Me
3. The Joy
4. Lights Out
5. Got No Right
6. Sorry I Was Late
7. Voices
8. Waiting On The Rain
9. Sinnerman  (Nina Simone Cover)
10. Throw That Stone
11. It’s Heavy
12. Thinking About Leaving Again
13. The Ghost

 

The Wind and the Wave on Unknown Sundays 02-2015

Back in August of 2014 Dwight A Baker and Patricia Lynn released “From the Wreckage” out of Austin, Texas under the very cool dual sided band name, The Wind and the Wave.  This is cleverly paced folk-blues rock in a genre that had been definitely re-energizing and morphing. For a debut recording (start to finish) The Wind and the Wave clamped down on the vigor of guitar pace, never settling for acoustic over electric or steel over mandolin (it’s got it all), and drove home fantastic lyrical delivery, which definitely put them at a more advanced pace then starting groups of this nature.  Not to mention the intimate drumming as well that really brings it all together.

Baker comes from studio background in a variety of categories from working with Blue October and Brandi Carlisle (to name drop a couple), and he represents the “WIND.” Lynn has the distinct and load carrying part as “THE WAVE.” Together they make a back porch jam session of southern psychedelic mixed with alternative acoustic-folk rock.  “From The Wreckage” was one of those records that gets lost in the barrage of modern, popular culture, which is no good for anyone. However, artists and producers of those successful in a genre know how to scoop up an opening act–hopefully (Mumford and Son, Alabama Shakes, just to think of a few). Pick up their boot stompin’ hard hitting “From The Wreckage” to get what the Austin fuss and romp is all about. Their latest record (7 songs) “Covers One,” which does not have the incredible Snow Patrol cover “Chasing Cars” on it, has some variety and nostalgic delivery that’s not as alt-folk as their debut album, but showcases the range and appreciation for history and industry ranging from Simple Minds to Cyndi Lauper to Stevie Nicks, with special takes on more current artists R Kelly, Sia and Regina Spektor.

I’m certainly ready to ride the next WIND and the WAVE when it hits, and where it hits. I’ll be out there in the musical surf wading with my waterproof, wireless headphones ready. Hope you will be, too.

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Albums in my collection:  From the Wreckage, Human Beings Let You Down

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back in December of 2015 on our old website.  The second full length record, “Happiness Is Not A Place,” which was produced by Butch Walker (oh, yeah, go down that rabbit hole my friends – you will not be disappointed), definitely continued their duo-engaged alt-folk-blues with a step more toward rowdy + rough.  They toured with Walker, and even had some dates with Kaleo, which shows you the range of artistry they can hang with. “Human Beings Let You Down” brings in much modern techniques and production, which were interesting and proved that Lynn’s voice can deliver in any format or genre.  The folk part seems like it’s gone with a more blues-pop center moving in.  The Wind and the Wave just released their latest record, “Racing Hearts” at the very end of 2022, and it picks up where the last left off.  This band has always been on a cool pace, like their lyrics and how it speaks easily to a variety of ages and audiences.  It’s a great unknown to experience and listen to the evolution, especially when it’s a duo.  Where the “WIND” or “WAVE” takes us next – hopefully I live show near us!?  Well, maybe I’ll have to throw-down for that “Private Show” option…  – Mark Kuligowski [March 19, 2023]

Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 1

Introduction to Album Review Saturdays

Welcome to Album Review Saturdays, here at Beyond Your Radio! This week, as our first posting, please note that the naming of the article and the YouTube Channel Video will always be the episode year and number.  This episode will not have a YouTube Channel viewing, those will start in April, which is not that far off!  Totally excited for that!  What we do here in the article version is showcase two or three albums that might have been new releases this year, or possibly an older album that we’re not just going back to — or might have just have found out we missed!  We don’t score them in a reviewer’s fashion.  That’s your judgment.  We just merely want to expose you to something you may not have known about, or maybe didn’t want to take a chance on.  We want your feedback, of course!  We listen to a ridiculous amount of albums, but we’re not going to get to them all.  We’re obsessed but not insane.  So, this week, we’re going new releases for both, for your review!

Giant Brain – Grade A Gray Day

“Look at the Giant Brain on… Giant Brain!”  This space rock, ambient pulp-fiction (you got the sub-reference right?) concept album hit’s your headphones deep almost immediately, living up to the band’s name.  So check one for the band in score for calculative delivery.  This is an album in the new era of progressive rock that might be considered one to tune your stereo to, as we continue to be impressed by the incoming and outgoing layers of musicianship instrumentally throughout the album!  The composition is fun, inventive, jammy, and progressive as the album flows to climax and falling action (you’ll understand once you listen).  There’s solos a plenty in all the right places and tempos that fit and ranges that work, whether it’s bass or guitar or electronic programming — as if they might have been improved to a certain degree.

The band:

Phil Dürr – guitars, bass (he passed away in 2019 from a cardiac arrest)
Andy Sutton – bass, vocals
Eric Hoegemeyer – drums, keys, programming, synths
Al Sutton – percussion, programming, keys

Grade A Gray Day Track Listing:

1. Munich
2. Terminator: (Where An Astronaut Dies In Space)
3. The Variac: (His Consciousness Reawakens)
4. Fore: (Rage At The Cruelty Of Forced Transhumanism)
5. Systems Failure: (Uprising, Destruction, And The Escape)
6. Between Trains

For Album Review Saturdays listen, and we had no prior experience with this band beside a Twitter call out from KMäNriffs, this one we’re going to remember for a long time!  Lots to enjoy, get lost in, and re-appreciate per listen even in the ambient moments.  The album was released this year 2023.

 

The Bad Ends – The Power and the Glory

So this a real healing, friend driven collaboration of some simply good Athens musicians brought together again, reinvigorated after their long and varied musical journeys, including REM’s Bill Berry.  The record plays like a polished indie-rock gem.  It speaks of experience and genuine fruitful collaboration that lies in the thought of creation and not the money associated with having to actually make a single sound.  They’re does not seem to be a shred of industry pressure, tricks, or radio-dial pretentiousness detracting from their music mission.  The styles range modestly from a very quiet and calculated instrumental that doesn’t go too deep, to more college glory rock that’s a little less anthem based more rhythm driven, to melodic pieces with noticeable lyric shifts that are the real highlight.  The ingredients here seem to be a splash of early REM, stories that feel Crosby Stills Nash, a smudge of Elvis Costello, slide and stringy guitars, and modest well placed crescendos and a solo that lets them show some chops!

The band:

Mike Mantione – Vocals, Guitar
Bill Berry – Drums, Guitar, Electric Sitar
Dave Domizi – Bass, Vocals
Geoff Melkonian – Keyboards, Piano, Guitars, Vocals
Christian Lopez – Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo

The Power and the Glory Track Listing:

1. “Mile Marker 29”
2. “All Your Friends Are Dying”
3. “Left to Be Found”
4. “Thanksgiving 1915”
5. “Ode to Jose”
6. “The Ballad of Satan’s Bride”
7. “Little Black Cloud”
8. “Honestly”
9. “New York Murder Suicide”

This album suits the obscure older type indie-rock listener that likes it not over-worked, delivered in a garage and jangle motif.  Please note that the lyrics become a cool, twisty centerpiece as you go back and listen.  The album was released this year 2023.

Hauschka on Unknown Sundays 01-2015

Hauschka has been around the instrumentally deep, avant-garde composition music scene for a while.  And, when you consider the expert pianist that Volker Bertelmann is and the catalog of music and score compositions, he is a perfect example for the first post of Unknown Sundays. The awareness to utilize composer Vincenz Hauschka last name is another example of the progressiveness of Volker’s unique blend of classical piano and modern — even alternative-like approaches to overall compositions.

Even as an avid music collector, and one who goes beyond the first 20 pages of releases per week, I sometimes just pass up on artists, bands, soundtracks, because of time or just sometimes it’s the terrible look of the album cover–or the name of the band (sorry). And, I certainly believe Volker Bertelmann’s name would have been something I would have passed on over.  However, seeing the well developed font, band name of Hauschka and the brooding album cover and title, “Abandoned City,” I was hooked without a single sound.  A note to all of you out there with the talent, ear, and love of musicianship like Mr. Bertelmann, that you should always consider the power of marketing (just ask Finger Eleven, who were originally “The Rainbow Butt Monkeys”).  Although, I guess Ólafur Arnalds or Alexandre Desplat didn’t go this way and things have worked out splendidly for them.

For my first ever “unknown” on Sunday, it’s an instrumental (slightly electronic) band called Hauschka, and their dark, dense album that started me down the rabbit hole of the entire catalog (well as much as I can get) –  “Abandoned City.” I don’t do reviews here, I just simply put this out there for you all ear-ing around the music multiverse, as I would hate for your to miss out on this extremely talented musician. There’s no question that there’s a soundtrack in the future with their name all over it!

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Albums in my collection:  Ferndorf, Foreign Landscapes, Silfra, Abandoned Cities, What If, and A Different Forest

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back in March 1, 2015 on our old website.  In that year, Volker Bertelmann was nominated for the soundtrack to “Lion” the following year.  And, I’m posting this archive today on our new website, he’s nominated for Oscar this Sunday for “All Quiet on the Western Front!”  Hauschka still remains a staple of my music listening per year, and “Abandoned City” remains a favorite for “Meal To Music” that I hope to put on in the very near future!  It was our 11th pick for top 15 albums of 2015.  Oh, and he just won the Oscar for “All Quiet On the Western Front!”  – Mark Kuligowski [March 12, 2023]