Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 6

She is. She’s a singer, songwriter, master multi-linguist, sound architect, heartbreak officianto extraordinaire, cunning jab-ist, person ultra-aware, beautiful, hurt, angered, bitter, sweet, sensible, and drawn to the mircophone and the power it yields in any fashion they sway the weapon and recording that surrounds it. There, I’ve described them all on this Album Review Saturdays, now go listen hard and listen well to three wonderful ladies that know the mission of the music multiverse and the power of sound in an album in 2023.

Bella WhiteAmong Other Things

The youth of today have a new, beautiful, twang-truth-tellin’ vocalist emerging as a folk-root country, slow rockabilly songbird, which her lyrical line emulates; “like the little bird I’m learnin’.” That she is! Among Other Things, her sophomore release, is a well crafted, well told, and masterfully produced slice of country-folk with such great attention to the raven and redbird at the mic. The surrounding musicianship is pristine and devoted to holding great nostalgia in every string, peddle and bass. This is a must listen for those that dangle in this category, and it should be the album that puts Bella White in line as a vocal expert in her heartfelt, weathered authentic pasture from Calgary to Tennessee and back.
The band:
Bella White – vocals, acoustic guitar
Jonathan Wilson – drums, percussion, B-Bender, National Resonator, electric guitar
Gabe Noel – acoustic bass, Ampeg Baby Bass, baritone guitar
Omar Velasco – nylon acoustic guitar
Buck Meek – electric and nylon guitar`
Patrick M’Gonigle – fiddle, violin, tenor guitar
Drew Erickson – piano, Hammond organ , string arrangements
Erin Rae – backing vocals on “Break My Heart,” “Dishes,” “Numbers” and “Marilyn”
Among Other Things Listing:
1 The Way I Oughta Go
2 Flowers on My Bedside
3 Dishes
4 Break My Heart
5 Marilyn
6 Numbers
7 Rhododendron
8 Worth My While
9 The Best of Me
10 Among Other Things

FeistMultitudes

You kind of wonder where else this nearly three decade indie, multi-instrumentalist sensation is headed, and then here comes her sixth album, Multitudes! We always knew she was unpredictable, vocally intoxicating, sharp in delivery and clever in album structure, but in Multitudes, Feist has truly gathered an exceptional contrast of song writing, vocal, and delivery! What am I saying? Okay – the first track is some wild Bjorkian Vespertine that kind of feels like vocalized lightning in a microphone booth with all kinds of cool trips and production punctuation that kick the album off. Then we’re struck down to powerful minimalism with such intimate, vocal detail, close + seemingly untouched. Don’t worry that Bjorkian-like detail and production never leaves, if you’re paying attention (hint). In multiple listens (which this record truly should have) the depth of her vocal is amazing. How it pulls at you, draws you in, and then releases you back into the subtle ether surrounding it. I was constantly reminded of the end songwriting of Gordon Downie, which Feist was the only person to sing in his spot for The Tragically Hip (At the Juno Awards of 2021 performed their 2002 single “It’s a Good Life If You Don’t Weaken”). And, I stand by that, and encourage that trip as well, as it’s not standard songwriting and rhyme driven constant that radio think is always king or queen. We know better – right!? This record showcases the depth of talent and heart this artist has for her craft and the power it can deliver in such simple form – yet complex in it’s multitude, purposeful delivery.  PS: She’s a hell of producer too, as you really start to hear this record and all that’s pulling and pushing on your ears!
The band:
Multitudes Track Listing:
1. “In Lightning”
2. “Forever Before”
3. “Love Who We Are Meant To”
4. “Hiding Out in the Open”
5. “The Redwing”
6. “I Took All of My Rings Off”
7. “Of Womankind”
8. “Become the Earth”
9. “Borrow Trouble”
10. “Martyr Moves”
11. “Calling All the Gods”
12. “Song for Sad Friends”

Joy OladokunProof of Life

I’ve been waiting for this record with some anticipation, as her previous album, In Defense of My Own Happiness. Proof of Life continues the joy-ous revelations, clever integration of a unique folk, R&B, hip-hop vocal conveyance that’s melded in Tracy Chapman realism and en-joy-able pop-rock production. She doesn’t hold to a genre, but she holds to her truth, and her pursuit of love and respect for all. She tells interesting short stories in phrase and prose, as well as allowing the production to give her a new soundscape to script on, including a unique collaboration with Manchester Orchestra, as well as Chris Stapleton. She has all the means and avenues to be a force for the singer-songwriter’s in the music multiverse that are trapped in having to delivery some belt-it-out, hang-the-note too long bullshit. Write interesting songs with great attachment to the people in the real world, with real concerns, real problems — and deliver it from your best voice, the real one — unvarnished by auto-tuning. The real joy comes from that! We’re listening — and we love real proof that the songwriter has life and is ultimately — “trying!”
Proof of Life Track Listing:
1. Keeping The Light On
2. Changes
3. Taking Things for Granted
4. Somebody Like Me
5. Friends (feat. Mt. Joy)
6. You At The Table (feat. Manchester Orchestra)
7. Sweet Symphony (feat. Chris Stapleton)
8. Trying
9. Pride
10. Revolution (feat. Maxo Kream)
11. The Hard Way
12. We’re All Gonna Die (feat. Noah Kahan)
13. Somehow

Low Flying Hawks On Unknown Sundays 07-2016

The Low Flying Hawks come to our music multiverse attention through the dark surrendering, slow moving psycho-delia doom-sludge subway, emerging as a metal rumbling and earth tremorring crunch and horroristic howl. Intrigued or completely hiding under the covers? Don’t hide! Be brave and intrigued! Give these “type” o-Melvins a chance (Type O Negative sounding, yes, and these are couple of members of the Melvins involved in the band’s formation). The sludge is deep, but you have 51:30 to go…before…you probably won’t…sleep.
Kofuku begins with a Rob Zombie like 48 second post, which doesn’t exactly prepare you for what comes next. But then again, did you really want it to? Good! Us either! The darkness immediately envelops the chords electrostaticing with the howlingly low vocal delivery as ‘Now, Apocolypse’ and ‘Seafloor Fathom’ take into their musical abyss. ‘White Temple’ keeps asking for release from “this,” and the album isn’t half way through yet! But then, the interlude of ‘Kokai’ delivers us into a hazy stoner groove ‘Ruins’ at 7 minutes where the epic quality of the band really starts to take hold, redirect the darkness toward the monstrosity the is ‘Destruction Complete.’
This is a dark place that will not be for some listeners, but the level of commitment to the dark details of each drudging chord is a shadowy symphonic pleasure. The base playing alone should leave an impression like a vicious murder scene might leave on a scholared homicide detective addicted to the thrills of a new serial hunt. There should be no question in any music listener’s ears and mind that The Low Flying Hawks have created and mastered a very powerful, crushing record here, that will thrill, scare, and bewilder the metal community long after the earth has stopped vibrating from every inch of this band’s oral and instrumental footprint.
SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Low Flying Hawks Albums in my collection:   Genkaku (2017), and Fuyu (2021)

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on February 14 of 2016, and at the time there was no question that metal was making it’s turn, and some bands were experiencing great execution of it (this band truthfully), but the industry was definitely keeping its favorites and albums and bands like these were falling to Bandcamp and other medias to get their sound across.  This was a complete stumble upon, and I was certainly glad to have done so.  The genre has just intensified and fortified itself in that last seven years, and I have grown to really appreciate this on an entirely new melodic, blues-driven level despite the darker it may seem to get.  This is pretty damn smart, primitive-like execution that demands your attention, and a rabbit hole worth exploring, if not for the albums, but for the genre entirely!   – Mark Kulgowski  [April 23rd 2023]

Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 5

This album review Saturdays has got real soul and heart from some really talented ‘broken bones.’  An acoustic surprise that tantalizes from what would have been considered the progressive planet of Mars.  Then we finish off in a truly cinematic masterpiece that has no screen play only a devouring soundtrack straight out of a tension experiment in time.  Are you intrigued?!  Well then, lets get on with this week’s album review Saturdays, so you can find out which one — or all you are going to have filtering into your music multiverse playlist!

St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Angels In Science Fiction

Their new album has a lovely rhythm and blues that’s vocally soulful, and layered quietly with very soft muscianship and subtle additions to create gorgeous texture from the lead…which is definitely the vocal strength we have known about in this group for the last two albums.  If you’re looking for the groove and move, it’s there to some degree, but not that blowback, R&B dance hall style they were taming since their indie sound caught the audio waves.  It’s more about the lyrics, their ability to draw you in at every strained syllable and carefully positioned octave.  It’s really a solid outing, and definitely a must listen for an adult contemporary lover that might have been on the outside looking in.  The vocal is magical, calling out a newer, indie-blues Marvin Gay, and the flow is magically arranged in that continued experimental R&B they conjure so effortlessly.  It draws you in, and in a new way from the first song to the closer, ‘Marigold.’
The band:

Paul Janeway: Lead Vocals
Browan Lollar: Guitars, Vocals
Jesse Phillips: Bass
Kevin Leon: Drums, Percussion
Al Gamble: Organ, Piano
Allen Branstetter: Trumpet
Amari Ansari: Saxophone
Chad Fisher: Trombone

 

 

Angels In Science Fiction Track Listing:

1. Chelsea
2. City Federal Building
3. Magnolia Trees
4. Sea Star
5. Heat Lightning
6. Angels in Science Fiction
7. Wolf in Rabbit Clothes
8. South Dakota
9. Oporto-Madrid Blvd
10. Lonely Love Song
11. Easter Bunny
12. Marigold

 

The Mars Volta – Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazon

This acoustic performance of their previously, self-titled 2022 release gives you the complicated intricacies that you definitely missed when this record came crashing into the progressive rock scene last year.  Like all of their records do – right!?  You knew they were talented.  You knew they could crush the scene, the space, and fill a record with all kinds of instrumentation and crisp, high charged vocals.  And, when you sink your ears into this ultimately stripped down performance, you feel more of the depth of the song writing, the melody intended in the under toe of their spastic progressions and passionate pace.  They really dot the musical “I” and cross the attentive “T” with this, making you really re-think the power of the record in just the acoustic delivery.  It’s a huge surprise, and if I were them, I’d experiment with this further because there’s a jazz element here that could shake the foundation of any small club!  The Mars Volta might have delivered one of the most challenging acoustic albums that we can remember, and we are thinking — why not do this with all your albums?  Oh now there’s a box set we would want in our collection!
The band:

Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar, fluteproductionengineering
Cedric Bixler-Zavala – vocals
Marcel Rodríguez-López – keyboards, Mellotron, piano, additional percussion, mixing
Eva Gardner – double bass
Daniel Diaz – percussion
Leo Genovese – piano

 

 

 

 

Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazon Track Listing:

1. Blacklight Shine (Acoustic)
2. Graveyard Love (Acoustic)
3. Shore Story (Acoustic)
4. Blank Condolences (Acoustic)
5. Vigil (Acoustic)
6. Que Dios te maldiga mi corazon (Acoustic)
7. Cerulea (Acoustic)
8. Flash Burns From Flashbacks (Acoustic)
9. Palm Full of Crux (Acoustic)
10. NoCaseGain (Acoustic)
11. Tourmaline (Acoustic)
12. Equus 3 (Acoustic)
13. Collapsible Shoulders (Acoustic)
14. The Requisition (Acoustic)

 

Ital Tek – Timeproof

This is the seventh album by Alan Myson, an English electronic musician and soundtrack composer from Brighton (which outside of Sussex).  This was our first experience into his par-sec in the music multiverse, and it was the cover and title that engaged us enough to click further while scouring Amazon.com.  This record has so many movements and menacing elements running through it that it’s a musical soundscape to a tense, mind-bending motion picture that plays out in sound (and obviously time).  We’re paying attention — you can’t help it with this album!  He knows ambient pace, and he seems extremely aware of the time and length required in repetition to lose faith in the electronic grand design.  Alan has his finger on the pulse of each track and rising and falling sound action as you walk carefully with your ears (are you following us here) through this 43 minutes in audio time.  It’s a tone told in dense unpredictability but left to your perceptions as the time ticks away.  There’s no question that in the future there’s a good chance he’s going to make the Oscar list.

The band:  Alan Myson – Composer, Electronic Musician, artist (of sound)

Timeproof Track Listing:

1. Phantom Pain
2. Staggered
3. The Mirror
4. One Eye Open
5. Cold Motion
6. Heart String
7. Darking
8. Zero Point
9. The Next Time You Die
10. Timeproof

 

Willow on Unknown Sundays 05-2016

Willow. Yes, that’s right, Willow Smith. Not so “unknown” right? Well, maybe what you don’t really know is that she’s a far cry from the more calculated talents of her famous parents. This is a young girl (teenager–about 15-yikes) that self proclamation “angrier than a swarm of hornets” has us completely shocked, surprised, and in awe of her perplexing debut album “Ardipithecus.” We’re taking notice! Not really reviewing the album here, but taking stock on the unbelievable age and value she has–and might have.
Ardipithecus is a genus of an extinct hominine that lived during Late Miocene and Early Pliocene in Afar Depression, Ethiopia. Yeah, what Wikipedia said. Huh? And then, so begins the album with “Organization and Classification” with her child’s cry that is as genuine as anyone in whine and passion. Think of Silverchair’s debut (I know, completely different genre–but it’s hard to heavy-in at this age/development). This is an artist with a direct intent that is well organized, but careful to deconstruct the classifications of each track to amuse and abuse the listener with aged thoughts (that’s teenage age–not beyond). She’s not trying to outsmart you–she’s just being herself and allowing the emotional writing to match some teen-cleverness in a Bjork meets PJ Harvey vocalization (even pitchy like SIA at times) against modest yet-driving beats and production.
She apparently wrote 14 of the 15 tracks, which at her age is an amazing feature in the ears of us here at Beyond Your Radio. We’re just going to let that all hang here…as…impressive.

Willow will be a forced to be reckoned with if her direction is allowed and tinkered with slightly–allowing her to continue to thrive from her emotions, angst, and vocal exploration (her vocal is young–very young at this point) and grow in the trade of singer-songwriter and broad production values that will make her approachable from a variety of respectable genres. The potential of limitless design and styles is definitely audible, and that makes it all the worth and while. It’s all about the experiences she’s going to have that will mold her next musical endeavor, and that makes it very exciting, considering where she is at this point.

This is quite the jump from the pop-child at 10 years old that caught the “cloud” by storm with the “Whip” of her hair…and we can’t wait for the next big jump–which if you take the time to give her a chance on with this venture, Ardipithecus as it might prepare you better for the next evolution of…Willow.

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Willow Albums in my collection:  Ardipithecus, <copingmechanism>
*Wicked Wisdom Albums in my collection:  Wicked Wisdom (self titled debut)

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on January 31st of 2016, and at the time there was no telling what Ms. Smith was going to do, and of course there’s all kinds of acting business in her life.  The “<copingmechanism>” record is equally interesting and pop-jaw-dropping in effect, but it definitely centers more in a pop-rock environment over systematic production of past, which seems a bit more accessible for sure.  There’s a lot of cool alternative licks and tricks metered in with the pop-friendly leads that really mechanize with her vocal delivery.  Whether this is a stop gap in the evolution of this unpredictable artist, considering her dabbling with mom’s (Jada Smith) metal band, *Wicked Wisdom, joining them live for a reunion, Willow has a lot of traits, musicianship and style to offer the music multiverse. Her namesake or parents might have opened a door, but it was her door to step through and nail it.  And, she’s definitely done that.     – Mark Kulgowski  [April 16th 2023]

Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 4

This week Jason Bieler of the 90’s rock band Saigon Kick gets a fantastic rebirth, we dive soulfully into a tremendous hip-hoppin’ homage from El Michels Affair + Black Thought, and a band we just recently picked up in the used bin releases an astonishing new album produced by Sean Oko Lennon that tips their psychedelic English rock on a pop-progressive edge!  All of this going on, this week, while we have monstrous records from Metallica, Feist, a return from Natalie Merchant and Mudhoney!  So much to choose from!  Hope this opens your ears to something a little bit out of the usual wheelhouse here on Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 4.

Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra – Postcards from the Asylum

Did I mention I’m a child of the 90’s music scene?  Duh, I just said that on Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 3, and when I was notified of the “Postcards from the Asylum” album by a fellow Tweeter, I took down a note to check this album out.  What I didn’t realize was the connection to Saigon Kick!  Now, if you go back to 1992’s “The Lizard” after listening to “Postcards from the Asylum” you will appreciate this mention of Jason Bieler’s rebirth (although Mr. Bieler has been busy and active since).  This is garage meets alternative metal when you think of the past, but this new album has a fantastic production, a great flow of songs, and an attention to song length that keeps your engagement for the 70 minute gaunt listen.  There’s a fantastic addition of progressive rock in “Flying Monkeys,” as well as that grinding garage rock in “Sic Riff.”  If you’re a fan of Saigon Kick, creative genre bending, and great hooky song writing you’re going to want to put this record on for sure!  Those that don’t recall Saigon Kick, you’ve got to give it a listen, as we have a strong feeling (in doing so), you’re going to back down a Bieler-rabbit hole and appreciate it even more.

The band:

Jason Bieler – vocals, guitars (probably)
Baron Von Bielski – who knows, but sited as writer too!
An entire cast of made up names on all kinds of instruments — that are probably famous. Guesses?
Ryo Okumoto – rock keyboardist (he’s the only one I can say for sure) [Spock’s Beard]

Need a little more context?  This is the website information:

“JASON BIELER IS A POST APOCALYPTIC TROUBADOUR WITH A PENCHANT FOR THE SONICALLY GROTESQUE, AN AMATEUR SURGEON, WATER DIVINER, A LIVING SAINT AS RECOGNIZED BY THE CHURCH OF THE OBSCENELY NONSENSICAL DONATION.”

 

Postcards from the Asylum Track Listing:

1. Bombay
2. Numb
3. Heathens
4. Mexico
5. Birds of Prey
6. Flying Monkeys
7. Sic Riff
8. The Depths
9. Beneath the Waves
10. Sweet Eliza
11. 9981 Darkness
12. Feels Just Like Love
13. Bear Sedatives
14. Deep Blue
15. Human Head

 

El Michels Affair + Black Thought – Glorious Game

This has all the love, homage and melody that we love about this genre of music!  The high level of production, mixing, and soulful fillings, funky tidbits, and all kinds of fun musical twists and turns leads you into the greatness of the “Glorious Game.”  The rap flow, lyricism and guest appearances deliver such steady, clever and meaningful vocal elements that your ears are perked up the entire 31 minutes of this album.  There’s no question the detail in the recording, and there are times where I was like, oh that’s a hint of De La Soul…so cool, or I felt like I was rapped up in R&B blanket, and then right out into the street…bass jolted!  The production techniques of Leno Michels is a bombastic connection throughout the entire record with Black Thought’s contemporary, all-star pitch.  This is definitely going to be a record we go back to at year’s end to see if can be a contender for the 23 Best Album of 2023

The band:

El Michels Affiar (Leno Michels) – Instrumental Outfit/Multi-Instrumentalist, Producer
Black Thought (Tariq Luqmaan Trotter) – Rap, Lyricist [member of The Roots]
Additional Collaborators:  Kirby (“Glorious Game”), Son Little (“Protocol”), and Brainstory (“Alter Ego”)

Glorious Game Track Listing:

1. Grateful
2. Glorious Game
3. I’m Still Somehow
4. Hollow Way
5. Protocol
6. The Weather
7. That Girl
8. I Would Never
9. Alone
10. Miracle
11. Glorious Game (Reprise)
12. Alter Ego

 

Temples – Exotico

Sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time, and the Temples put me there three weeks ago.  I picked up “Sun Structures” from 2014 in a used bin at my local record store, band unknown, sound unheard, and I couldn’t even read the year it was made because of the incredible fine print and coloring — so I guessed it was progressive rock on the cover alone.  Wrong!  But to my ear’s delight, it was more of a psychedelic late 60’s early 70’s style with a careful musicianship that still held a slight modern edge.  Thoroughly enjoyed that purchase, even enough to put it on a recording of “What’s In Your Ear?” Beyond Your Radio Show (which will be releasing soon).  So imagine my delight yesterday when I see a new release (April 14th 2023) called “Exotico.” I’m immediately going in for a listen to see where the band is today having been unable to listen to a few of the records between 2014 and this one.  This record is much more progressive-pop in it’s truly bombastic recording, which should really make this into a widely accessible record.  The production is just as top notch as the 2014 on my first listen, and then I see it’s produced by Sean Ono Lennon (yes, that’s John and Yoko’s son, who knows exactly what he’s doing in this genre considering his Ghost of A Sabretooth Tiger records).  “Exotico” is exactly as the album title leads you.  This is an exotic psyche-pop trip with all kinds of surprises within the still 60’s/70’s vocal style delivery, but wrapped tightly in much more modern instrumentation, progressively tainted experiments in hooks and bridge work, as well as a much more feverish tenacity and energy.

The band:

James Bagshaw – vocals, guitars
Tom Walmsley – bass
Adam Smith – rythym guitar
Rens Ottink – drums

Exotico Track Listing:

1. Liquid Air
2. Gamma Rays
3. Exotico
4. Sultry Air
5. Cicada
6. Oval Stones
7. Slow Days
8. Crystal Hall
9. Head in the Clouds
10. Giallo
11. Inner Space
12. Meet Your Maker
13. Time Is a Light
14. Fading Actor
15. Afterlife
16. Movements of Time

 

Spur of the Moment Decisions on Unknown Sundays 4-2016

Two spur of the moment decisions: One, a club in Paris, France, the second, Rochester Jazz Festival just looking to get a drink and food at the closest bar before an evening of planned musical entertainment throughout the city. Today’s “unknown” is all about being able to be comfortable with not “knowing” what you’re going to be doing or, in this case, hearing (as well). Sometimes you just go on a picture and gut instinct–and sometimes you’re gut is hungry and you accidentally wind up staying for something more special than you realized at first.  Unknown to us at the time, these became two great experiences to share on Unknown Sundays.
Paris, France, where walking around aimlessly is like a never ending romantic dream. Inspiration comes from sights, sounds, and a feeling (that you have to experience yourself). At the time I’m writing this article, I can’t even tell you where we were in the city compared to our hotel near L’Opera, but I can tell you there was an interesting club–and we could hear jazz. Jazz and a drink in Paris–that’s an easy one. So we do. I can’t recall the musician, sorry. Very good, though, but there was a poster on the wall catching my attention for the next night. I didn’t know the artist, but I had a feeling. Maybe it was the statement from John Scofield, but it was just more like–I got a feeling about this guy. Kurt Rosenwinkel. If you don’t know him/of him, that’s fine. If you do, then you know, what my wife and I were about to find out…
I approached the door attendant and expressed in my worst French, if tomorrow night was something extremely special I should not miss while in Paris? He nodded yes–Sold Out or Packed House, but he would make an exception. We came back early the next night and witnessed–in the most compressed, fire saftey breaking packed house, a set of jazz guitar ensemble that just capped off a fantastic week long experience in one of the most beautiful and inspiring cities in the world. Kurt Rosenwinkel is one of the most influential jazz guitarist of his time, and that puts him in extremely good company (Metheny, Bill Frisell), and we were extraordinarily lucky to catch him at such an intimate venue…let alone in Paris.
Now, let’s get back to the United States, and get a little more local. If you have not been to the Rochester Jazz Festival–and love all kinds of music and musical venues, it truly is one of the best in New York State. ( Rochester Jazz Festival) We were there to see some acts, but really to check out Blackie and the Rodeo Kings (Canadian legend built band from alt-rock to folk icon, but that’s a story for another article). We needed some early dinner/drinks at a comfortable downtown bar (which was going to be a tall order), if we could get in somewhere. It was looking incredibly grim with the amount of people waiting in lines for shows at all kinds of venues and nothing but vendor food tents (which are awesome–but they don’t come with atmosphere). My wife has to go to the bathroom, and she is allowed to go into Max of Eastman Place, where people are waiting in line for a jazz performer called Gerald Clayton (I’m not familiar with much of his work at the moment of our trespassing).
I can’t recall if it was my wife or me that wandered into the bar area and asked if we could have drink and food (considering it was empty), but the bartender was super pleased that we would do such a thing, and we sat down and started a great conversation over glasses of wine and good food. Then as I was starting to think it was getting close to the Gerald Clayton showtime, I motioned to the bartender that maybe we should settle up and free up the seats. “No one purchases these for seats, and you’ve more than paid to be here. Stay, you’re going to love it beyond what you heard at the sound check.” We graciously agreed, and we continued our stay–even after the performance. That’s right, we stayed at the bar finishing up our drinks–when Gerald Clayton came up to the bar, and we wound up buying him a drink! Got to talkin’ of course, and then we had to go to the Blackie & the Rodeo Kings show, but Gerald and the bartending crew let us know that we could come back later for the end of the 2nd show–secret entrance. So we did, of course!
Okay, so here’s where I tie it all together. Gerald Clayton is a very talented classical jazz pianist. The composition and structure is accessible and mesmerizing alone or in accompaniment. Like Rosenwinkel, the professional presentation and detailed improvisation is remarkable, and the situation and how we came to witness these two talents in the jazz arena is why we travel the music multiverse…that and the coincidence that Gerald Clayton–the night we accidentally saw him twice in 2012–was touring for his excellent album “Bond: The Paris Sessions.”

See them both when and if you can. Pick up their record(s)–put them on–and let the jazz take you away. Paris, maybe? It’s all about the journey…n’est ce pas?

 

SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Kurt Rosenwinkel Albums in my collection:  East Coast Love Affair, The Next Step, Inuit, Heartcore, Deepsong, Searching the Continuum
Gerald Clayton Albums in my collection:  Bond: The Paris Sessions, Bells On Sand

This “Unknown Sundays” was done back on January 14th of 2016, and at the time Mr. Rosenwinkel was already well on his way to becoming a sincerely respected jazz guitarist, and his albums had moved into all kinds of forms, including lyrical.  Mr. Clayton was rising quickly, and that year we saw him in Rochester (2011), The Bond Sessions won Best International Jazz Album!  Both continue to make great contributions to music in their instruments in their albums and collaborations, as well as inspire newer artists committed to the music landscape of jazz.

Jazz seems to be a small percentage of interest in the overall music multiverse on YouTube and other arenas, and it’s quite shameful to be honest.  It’s a lot of the basis for rock, blues and especially those into progressive rock, which gets huge followings and support on social media outlets.  I’m hopeful that the music multiverse in which Beyond Your Radio travels in that we do not fall victim to lack of following/excitement because we’re posting jazz.  It’s beyond important — and way way beyond cool!   – Mark Kulgowski  [April 9th 2023]

Music Bites In Case You’re In Love from Sonny & Cher

I was searching my memory the other day for the very first album I listened to completely. When you’re joining Beyond Your Radio as a contributor and panelist, and creating Music Bites, I realize it’s game on — which I love!  My sister got this record for her 15th birthday, Sonny & Cher “In Case You’re In Love,” and I really enjoyed it!  I was 16 and my musical taste varied from The Rolling Stones to The Beatles and some pop rock of the times.

This Sonny & Cher album is a classic soft pop rock compilation. It contains their most popular hits along with quite a few cover tunes. A lot of the songs are recognizable, but they throw in a few “where did that come from songs.”  This album displays Cher’s unique ability to sing in a variety of styles. And, as for Sonny, his kind of crusty childish style seems to pair well with Cher’s melodic voice.

The menu I decided to go with for “In Case You’re In Love” from Sonny & Cher are classic dishes conceived in the 60’s with a twist.  The album and menu goes well with a semi-dry Sauvignon Blanc.  Enjoy the menu!  Bon appetite!

Cheese Fondue Asparagus Toasties

Ingredients

  • 20 stalks fresh Asparagus
  • 1/2 pound shredded Sharp Cheddar
  • 8 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 tsp. dried Tarragon
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • White Wine
  • Sour Dough Bread
  • Butter for Toast
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Make roux, using butter and flour mixed together in a small sauce pan.  Whisk continually under medium heat until light golden color.  Add the cream and approximately a 1/2 cup of white wine.  Keep whisking until the mixture has the consistency of pancake batter.  Add the cheese slowly (not all at once) and mix thoroughly.  The mixture should become thick but pourable.  Remove from burner and let sit on the back of stove covered.

Meanwhile in a 10″ fry pan add the Asparagus and 1/2 cup white wine and simmer for 6-8 minutes till tender.  Allow to cool while your making the next part – the toast.

Butter 4 pieces of sour dough bread.  Put under a broiler until light brown.  Remove toast to plates.

Put two tablespoons of the fondue (resting on the back of the stove) onto each piece of toast and top with 5 Asparagus each.  Divide the rest of what’s left of the fondue to each of the pieces of toast over-top the Asparagus.  Sprinkle Tarragon and serve.

American Goulash

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 Yellow Onions, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups Beef Stock
  • 29 ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 29 ounces Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. Worcester Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Paprika
  • 8 oz. Elbow Macaroni, cooked al dente
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

In a large Dutch Oven, sauteed onions and garlic until translucent under medium high.
Add peppers and saute another 7 minutes.  Add ground beef and cook until brown.
Add the remaining ingredients except the pasta (of course), stir evenly, and cook with cover on for 45 minutes on [low].
Add the cooked al dente pasta and cook for 10 minutes more and serve!

 

 

 

Festive Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 cup Orange Juice
  • 1/4 cup Grenadine
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 Walnuts, chopped
  • 1 can sliced Pineapple
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • Butter

Directions

Butter a 9-inch cake pan.
Evenly spread brown sugar in bottom of the cake pan.
Put the Pineapple slices in the cake pan in a single layer.

Put cake mix in a bowl, add the juices, the eggs and oil and whisk for two minutes.
Add the walnuts and stir for 30 seconds.
Carefully pour the batter on the top of the Pineapple layers in the cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes.  Put a serving plate on top of the cake pan and flip over.  If it doesn’t release tap the cake pan with a spoon until it does.  Allow it to continue to cool for 45 minutes and then you can serve!

Andy Curran on Unknown Sunday 3-2016

Andy Curran is probably a little bit well known to most Canadian music listeners of my generation (wait, that would be dating myself if I time tabled any further). Coney Hatch singer-songwriter and guitarist from the 1980’s, where something should have happened, but timing is everything sometimes, and promotions from the record label after a decent debut went to fund a little band called Def Leppard and their Pyromania album. So, the “Monkey Bars” were starting to corrode, and not even touring with Iron Maiden or having the same management as Rush could save Coney Hatch.
Enter 1990’s Andy Curran solo project, which was not a stretch from Coney Hatch mind you, but definitely showcased that he was capable of writing and making music that related to a certain viable demographic. Songs like “No Tatoos” and “License to Love” proved this well enough to a good percentage of music listeners in Canada, earning him the Juno Award “Best New Male Artist.” However, again, despite accolades the record label dropped Curran, forcing him to find another way to continue his career.
Curran’s knack for the less than serious lyrics under a rocking guitar still kept him a float, forming Soho 69 (album called Scatterbrain) and Caramel (self titled album) . I actually saw Caramel perform at the Warehouse in Toronto with Stabbing Westward and Econoline Crush. There was always this sound that you could identify and just get into…kind of like how people feel about a new Tom Petty track. I always thought he would eventually find the solidified position and make it out of the business funk that was holding him hostage. That would not be the case even with again a great single “Lucy” that came with US airplay. Caramel came to an end and the music industry started to weave away from the light hearted rock and even grunge began to see alterations.
Nearing the year 2000 now, and Curran stayed busy as usual. He wrote for Kim Mitchell while quietly changing the band name and experimenting with a modern sound while maintaining his touches of humor. November of 1999 this band gets a small independent record deal so as to avoid maybe the possibilities of getting lost in distribution. Drug Plan, not exactly the greatest band title in my estimation, but again—there’s Andy’s humor I think, considering the times. However, this is the album that shocked me. I was expecting that standard satire-delivery, but not with groovy hooks and grunge bashing guitar hinting that he’d been embodied by the spirit of Nirvana. What I had missed about not having Andy Curran was there and it was a bit more, which was great to hear. This time it the small independent label kept the album in obscurity. Hell, I didn’t find this record until 2015! That’s right, and I paid $2.99 for it…and I had no idea it was Andy Curran until I turned the record over and checked it on my mobile device. A steal…and I find tons of these mind you…and is the reason I write these articles.
Andy, I believe, is an “A&R” guy for that very band that they shared management with years ago, Rush. Not to mention a slew of others he’s helping/helped: Ian Thornley, The Reason, Dearly Beloved, The Tea Party, Steven Page, and in Andy’s own words, “ I’ve lost track of how many bands I personally formed, played in, produced, etc…just a blur.” Well, I take comfort that he’s still in the music, making a difference today.
Not so much “unknown” this week, as just unfortunately lost…in a blur of music and circumstance. A problem in the industry this still is, but at least some have an advocate who has lived it, fighting for them–in Andy Curran.
SPECIAL ARCHIVE POSTING NOTE

Albums in my collection:  Coney Hatch Live in Quebec 1983, Andy Curran (Whiskey and the Devil), Scatterbrain, Caramel, Drug Plan, and Envy of None

Andy Curran (in the ball cap) with bandmates: Alex Lifeson, Alfio Annibalini and singer Maiah Wynne of “Envy of None”

This “Unknown Sundays” was back on January 17 of 2016, and Andy Curran remains active in the music industry with just this past year finishing a record with Alex Lifeson of Rush and Maiah Wynne as the band, Envy of None.  The debut record is solid alternative style release, which relates nothing to any of the bandmate’s histories.  It’s got a bit of ambient in keyboard arrangements, garage rockin’ with hints of Garbage and Eisley in my opinion, as well as harmonies in her vocal that meet some clever bass and electric guitar moments often enough to give them status above the average.  Whiskey and the Devil is 30 years old now, and is getting a new vinyl pressing, so there’s no question it’s going to get some record collectors ears and wallets ready!   – Mark Kuligowski, April 2, 2023

Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 3

On this Album Review Saturdays 2023 Episode 3, we showcase two albums from the great country and musicianship of Canada! One has the tenacity and new following in the psychedelic rock community, hailing as one of the year’s best.  One’s voice is so legendary, soothing and storytelling, we’re pretty sure he could be in any kind of band against any type of instrumental background.  All in all these make for fantastic experiences in new music listens for 2023!

Hail the Void – Memento Mori

If you’re a metal, hard rock, psychedelic rock lover, and you don’t know this record already – the first time you hear it (you have to get past “Mind Undone” two-minute noise opener) you’re going to have that feeling.  What feeling you ask?  You’ll know it.  It’s like the first time you heard Metallica, or Alice In Chains, or Nirvana.  What!? This is 42 minutes (notice I left out the opener’s two-minutes, if you’re paying attention) of shear blistering, riff-tastic magic made in the kingdom of all that is holy in guitar, bass and drum and in the vocal delivery of the lead void!  How can we be so certain? Just check out the Twitter feeds from all kinds of true travelers in this musical style multiverse, and you will be absolutely certain.  But don’t take my word for it.  Put your headphones on, get ’em cranked up!  It’s the rock record of the quarter, and it’s going to be around for the top 23 of 2023!  These boys from Vancouver know what they’re doing.  They’ll be adoring doom, psyche, metal fans “hailing” and falling into their “void,” if they haven’t already!

The band:

Kirin Gudmundson – Vocals/Guitar
Dean Gustin – Bass
Curtis Bennet – Drums

Memento Mori Track Listing:

1.  Mind Undone
2.  Writing on the Wall
3.  Goldwater
4.  Talking to the Dead
5.  High and Rising5:59
6.  100 Pills
7.  Serpens South
8.  The Void

 

City and Colour – The Love Still Held Me Near

Dallas Green has legendary status in Canadian music, and as a heart-felt human being.  Band member of Alexisonfire, the other famous half of You+Me (with P!nk), or as his City and Colour [solo career], gives you the depth and multitude of styles he can write, develop, and reach for!  City and Colour seems to be the stronger folk heart of Dallas Green rooted closely in the blues, and the power of the vocal and lyrics has always set the mood and tone.  The instruments play beautiful, simple and delicate in arrangement around him.  This record, which continues the similar styles and beautiful pitch vocals within the frame work of his lyrical powers is going to continue to win more and more adult contemporary music lovers into his City and Colour.  This is an album that definitely is emotional in it’s delivery, and the sensible blues, raw subtle rock and folk, carefully holds it all together.  He is a master of his craft, and City and Colour continues to be a marvelous vessel in the music multiverse.

The band:

Dallas Green – Vocals, Guitars, Piano
The rest of the artists contributing were unknown to us at the time of this posting

The Love Still Held Me Near Track Listing:

1. Meant To Be
2. Underground
3. Fucked It Up
4. The Love Still Held Me Near
5. A Little Mercy
6. Things We Choose To Care About
7. After Disaster
8. Without Warning
9. Hard, Hard Time
10. The Water Is Coming
11. Bow Down To Love
12. Begin Again