Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lots of Obscure Psychedelia, Some Classic Rock & Some New Indies

I've recently added four volumes of the "Love, Peace & Poetry" series- a very cool series of anthologies collecting psychedelic music from various countries. I've added the volumes collecting Brazilian, Mexican, Latin American and Japanese music from the 1960s and 1970s. Really cool stuff that shows United States and Europe were not the only places to feel the psychedelic influence.

Also added three volumes of the Girls in the Garage series showcasing early rock n roll by women.

Stone the Crows - Teenage Licks
Great bluesy/hard rocking band from the 60s with vocals by Maggie Bell.

Frank Zappa - Cruising With Ruben and The Jets
When this album was originally released there was no indication it was a Frank Zappa album.It was simply released as "Cruising" by some band named Ruben and The Jets. If you were a Zappa fan, however, there was no mistaking his twisted take on doo wop music.

Casey Redmond - Real Life Adventures of a One Man Band
Cool five song EP from crazy man Casey Redmond who pens songs like Ian King of Beers and Rockin' the PTA. Reminds me a bit of an acoustic Link Wray. He promises a full album of monster songs for Halloween! I'm waiting!

Jennings - Storybook EP & Femtastic
Powerful singer/songwriter Mary Jennings has a strong voice and a varied musical palate to enthrall us. Her Femtastic release includes two discs- one fully produced and one "stripped down." It's an interesting and revealing technique. We get to evaluate the songs on several levels. The more recent Storybook Ep reveals songwriting just as strong, but with a somewhat more polished production. Both worth a listen.

Korla Pandit - Exotica 2000
Korla Pandit, who, like Yma Sumac had created an elaborate alternate identity for himself, was one of the founding father of Exotica music. Unlike other Exotica practitioners like Martin Denny or Richard Lyman, Pandit didn't pepper his music with musical tricks and sound effects- it was just him and his Hammond B3. He came to fame in a daily 15 minute TV show in which he simply played his unusual arrangements of songs on his organ while he stared intently at the camera. He was a sensation.

I've also been beefing up my selection of Summer music. We switch to our Summer music lineup on June 1st and we've got some great surprises for you!

You can hear all this music on NeverEndingWonder Radio
Or tune in via iTunes by going to the radio section and finding us in the Eclectic section.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Richard Bliwas - Uncovered

I was listening to Richard Bliwas' new release, "Uncovered" and wondering what was going on. This latest CD from jazz pianist/keyboardist Bliwas contains 17 tracks and ten of them are covers. But the name of the CD is UNcovered. And there are pictures of baskets everywhere- front, back, inside- even the disc itself is printed with a woven basket graphic.

Bliwas reveals a wealth of influences here- show tunes like "I could Write a Book," a venerable standard (That Old Black Magic), several Lennon/McCartney compositions, even a folk song and a country tune - all surrounded by Bliwas originals. Then I realised what he was doing. Bliwas is showing us his musical influences, his heritage- he's uncovered them for us, and like a great basket weaver, these influences are woven together with Bliwas' own unique style, the strands and twines of this basket revealed to us in its complex pattern.

Here is Malvina Reynolds' "Little Boxes" as you never thought you'd hear it- bubbling and bleeping with Richard's intricate rhythms and time structures. Same with Lennon & McCartney's "Julia." Bliwas turns it into a haunting evocation of memories as his voice weaves in and out of the melody along with piano runs and organ fills. "That Old Black Magic" seems like a magical spell of its own- the various elements swirling and mixing together to create a unique yet familiar potion.

Listening to the album creates a tapestry of forces and emotions. It's a bit like an experimental jazz version of The Residents Third Reich and Roll. Richard Bliwas is a brave musician- - he has uncovered his musical past for us and woven it into a brand new creation, a unique vision. It's a lovely, startling, rewarding basket. Pick it up, feel it, listen to it, explore it. It's a wonderful treasure.

Check out Richard's website:
Richard Bliwas

And tune in to hear Uncovered on NeverEndingWonder Radio:
NeverEndingWonder Radio
(Or in iTunes, go to the radio section and find NeverEndingWonder Radio in the Eclectic category)