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Saturday, May 25, 2019





Dengue FeverVenus On Earth (M80) :: What starts out as a Klaus Schulze synthesizer space-out immediately morphs into a Jefferson Starship psych-out before finally ending up perched on a rice paddy next to a finger-snappin’ mini-skirted Cambodian chanteuse who coolly coos sweet foreign-tongued somethings in your ear against a slinky bongo beat—and that’s just in the first 45 seconds. Stick around and you’ll hear an eclectic blend that’s one part sensual Sade, one part suave Japan, and one part pop tart Dee-Lite. Sounding as if it slowly sashayed out of a Tarantino flick, this is one air-borne virus you won’t want to be inoculated against.


Johnny HollowDirty Hands (Orange) :: Imagine longtime Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann reincarnated as two gals and a guy and you’ll have a pretty good idea of just how spooky this album is. That’s ’cause Johnny Hollow have what it takes to be the world’s preeminent Goth band—and on Dirty Hands they prove it by cleverly carving out one of the finest examples of the genre since Siouxie & The Banshees’ landmark A Kiss In The Dreamhouse. Merging NIN-nuanced electro-atmospherics with a lush surfeit of strings that accentuate a multiplicity of instrumentation, Dirty Hands is uneasily the most eerily haunting record you’ll hear all year.


Lori CullenButtercup Bugle (self released) :: If you heard Calling For Rain, Lori Cullen’s last album of classic covers, then you know that she has one of the purest voices in a generation and more than enough talent to become the next premier interpreter of our time. That’s because when Lori sings, she lives every song without the slightest hint of ironic inflection. And on her new record Buttercup Bugle she offers up a delightful bouquet of gentle brass-backed melodies which are light and airy, just like windswept love is supposed to be. This clever Cupid’s got a hammer and she’s swingin’ it all over this land.


SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Judith OwenLost And Found (Courgette) :: Bein’ a rock critic these days is just like bein’ a cheroot chompin’ music publisher back in the old Tin Pan Alley era a hundred years ago. The only difference bein’ that instead of havin’ to suffer through a never endin’ array of auditionin’ piano players plyin’ their songs on an upright in your office, nowadays y’gotta suffer through the endless ordeal of listenin’ to hundreds of new records. But now as then the name of the game remains the same: to hear somethin’ so unique it’ll snap open your saggin’ eyelids and elevate your interest level a notch or two above the usual albatross dross.


And nothin’ peeled my pooped peepers faster this month than hearin’ this woman belt out a torchy nightclub version of Deep Purple’s goofy guitar classic “Smoke On The Water.” Backed by only a tinkly piano, Judith manages to wrap her well endowed pipes around the most inane rock lyrics ever written and make them sound as if they were penned by the great Sammy Cahn. I know you’re not convinced yet but by the time the accordion solo kicks in, you will be.


Be seeing you!

Sat, May 25, 2019 | link 

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