Putumayo World Music’s Latest Cuban Music Compilation Is Another Magical Musical Journey

Courtesy: Putumayo World Music

Cuba has been in the news quite a bit lately.  It hasn’t been for the best reasons, either.  Luckily though, where certain events have caused quite the division among Americans and natives of the island nation, Putumayo World Music has bridged that gap with a new collection of Cuban music in the recently released compilation record Cuba! Cuba!  The 10-song record is a collection that will unite everyone regardless of political persuasions and ethnic backgrounds.  That is due in part to the songs featured in this latest collection of Cuban compositions.  It will be discussed shortly.  The artists and acts featured throughout the record are collectively just as important to discuss in examining the record’s whole as its songs.  This will be discussed later.  The record’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the album’s whole.  All things considered, they make this record one of the year’s top new World Music offerings as well as one of the year’s top new Jazz and Blues records.

Putumayo World Music’s latest Cuban music compilation Cuba! Cuba! is one of this year’s top new World Music albums and new Jazz & Blues offerings.  That is due in part to the 10 songs that make up the record’s body.  From start to finish, the songs vary in regards to the eras in which they were released and in terms of their styles.  From Samba to Rumba to Bossa Nova and beyond, so many sub-genres of Cuban music are represented throughout the course of the album.  This shows that those behind the record’s sequencing clearly put a lot of time and thought into assembling and sequencing the songs.

That time and deliberate thought is exhibited just as much in the variety of eras represented here.  The balance of new and classic Cuban works is expertly balanced with five classics and five originals featured here.  Even more interesting to note is the fact that some of those classics are presented in a new setting through younger acts who specialize in Cuban music.  Case in point Asere’s take on Cuban composer Luis Marquetti’s song ‘Oriente,’ which was included in his 1980 album Fe, Esperanza y Caridad and Septeto Nacional Ignacio Pineiro’s cover of singer-songwriter Marcelino “Rapindey” Guerra’s ‘Me Dieron la Clave.’  On the more modern side, listeners get Sonlokos’ original tune ‘Rumba Con Sabor a Melao’ and Palo!’s original composition ‘Al Monte.’  This is just a glimpse into the division of new and classic tunes that complete this record.  Audiences will hear for themselves the full division when they pick up the album for themselves.

Staying on the matter of the album’s featured songs and their performers, the performers featured in this record are just as important to discuss as the songs and their variety.  That is because the list of featured performers is just as varied as the songs.  Those behind the record’s creation put just as much thought into choosing the record’s featured performers as the songs.  Legendary Cuban singer Roberto Torres is featured as part of the collection alongside fledgling Miami-based outfit Sonlokos while fellow up-and-coming Miami-based Palo! is set alongside veteran Cuban-American musician Jose Conde to round out the record.  Earlier in the record’s run, Al Valdes is partnered alongside veteran La Familia Valera Miranda for a solid 1-2 classic Cuban pairing – one more example of the diversity in the record’s performer lineup.  Keeping this in mind, the diversity in the songs and performers featured in this record becomes clear along with the importance of said diversity.  Even with this in mind, that extensive diversity is only a portion of what makes this record so enjoyable.  The companion booklet that comes with the record rounds out its most important elements.

The musical diversity and that of the acts chosen for the record are both critical to its overall presentation.  They are not its only key elements, though.  The record’s companion booklet is just as important to its whole as the songs and their featured performers.  That is because the booklet provides a brief but concise history on each performer and its associated song.  For instance, audiences learn in reading the booklet that while Roberto Torres started his career as a performer, he is now a successful label owner.  Audiences also learn through the booklet’s notes that La Familia Valera Miranda’s musical roots reach back generations, going all the way back to Santiago de Cuba, “the largest city in the eastern part of the island.”  As if that is not enough, another Santiago de Cuba resident, Armando Garzon gets his own highlight here.  Audiences learn of his history that he was born in the city in 1948 and lived most of his life exposed solely to the region’s music thanks to his grandmother and great-aunt.  These are just some examples of the depth of information provided in the album’s booklet.  Again, even more information is provided both on the featured acts and songs throughout the booklet.  The whole of that collective information makes for an educational experience that is just as enjoyable as the experience provided via the album’s songs.  Keeping all of this in mind, the songs that make up the album, their performers and the record’s booklet join to make the album in whole a collection that will take listeners to Cuba without the need for expensive passports, tickets, vaccinations or anything else.  Considering this, they make the record in whole, one of this year’s top new World Music records and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues offerings.

Putumayo World Music’s new Cuban music compilation Cuba! Cuba! is a hit twice over.  It is one of the year’s top new World Music offerings and one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums. As has already been noted, that is due to the partnering of 10 songs and acts that span the rich, expansive history of Cuba’s musical history.  The companion booklet that comes with the record, which is nothing new to Putumayo World Music’s offerings, puts the finishing touch on the album’s overall presentation.  All things considered, the album proves wholly that it deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new World Music albums list as well as the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Putumayo World Music is available online now along with all of the company’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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Killset’s Sophomore Album Will Leave Aggro-Rock Fans Making Plenty Of Noise

Courtesy: Scratched Records

The wait is almost over.

After nearly two years of touring and crafting new songs, Killset will soon release its sophomore album S.T.F.U.  The ten-song, 43-minute record is a solid new effort from the independent Southern California-based band.  That is evidenced through arrangements that will appeal to fans of Limp Bizkit, Taproot, Staind and other agro-rock acts from the late 90s and early 2000s and through lyrical content that will move listeners just as much as the songs’ musical arrangements.  The album’s lead single ‘Killers in the Pit’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  The brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ supports that statement in its own way, too.  ‘Animal,’ with its fiery arrangement and equally powerful lyrical content, also supports that statement, and is hardly the last song to support that statement, too.  The album’s proudly defiant opener ‘Get Up’ and its follow-up ‘Bully’ are two more examples of what makes this album a success for its targeted audiences along with the rather interesting cover of Kris Kross’ ‘Jump’ and the brooding ‘Not A Love Song,’ which comes late in the record’s sequence.  Between these songs and the pieces not noted here, the whole of this record is sure to have its target audiences *ahem* making plenty of noise.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.

Killset’s sophomore album S.T.F.U. is a work that is certain to leave its target audiences making plenty of noise.  That is due to musical arrangements and lyrical content that echo influences of so many of its aggro-rock ancestors.  This is evidenced in part through the album’s lead single ‘Killers in the Pit.’  This song’s musical arrangement is full on aggro-rock and will appeal directly to Limp Bizkit fans from start to finish.  That is thanks to a guitar and drum line that clearly echo influences from Wes Borland and John Otto and a vocal delivery from front man Luca that just as quickly conjures thoughts of Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst.  Bassist Mark Baker can’t be ignored here either as he provides an equally infectious low-end line, adding even more impact to the song’s musical arrangement.  Whether one openly admits to being a Limp Bizkit fan or keeps the band as a guilty pleasure, that overall infectious arrangement is in itself proof of what makes the song and the album a success for Killset’s key audiences.  The same can be said of the song’s lyrical content, which delivers a boldly defiant message about music’s power to heal.

The lyrical content of ‘Killers in the Pit’ delivers a powerful 1-2 punch that hits listeners just as hard as the song’s musical arrangement.  That is because it stands up against the stereotypical statements about anger management, showing that the power of aggressive music is just as pivotal in mental health as so many other outlets, if not more so.  Luca sings in the song’s opener, “So first they say to count to 10/Now f*** that/Then they say just take a breath/F*** that/Oh, you can be happy/just take these pills/Now f*** that/We’re done with your pills and your chemi-kills/F*** that/They will no longer control the way we choose to find our peace/We’ll show the world how we get down.”  He goes on to say in the song’s second verse, “If you love standing up for what you believe, say hell yeah/If you love being part of this beautiful scene, say hell yeah/We do what we do/We say what we mean/If you believe/That God believes, say hell yeah.”  Don’t mistake that statement for the band being some Christian rap/rock outfit.  But it is one more positive statement from the band.  When that statement is joined with the rest of the song’s lyrical material, the whole is a statement that will resonate with any listener.  The addition of the song’s musical arrangement adds to that impact even more, showing why this song helps to solidify S.T.F.U.’s appeal with Killset’s fans.  The combination of those two elements makes ‘Killers in the Pit’ just one example of what makes S.T.F.U. in whole a work that will appeal to Killset’s fans.  The brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ is another example of what makes this record a work that will appeal to the band’s key demographic.

‘Killers in the Pit’ is a work that shows clearly both musically and lyrically why S.T.F.U. will resonate with Killset’s key fanbase.  That is evidenced through the combination of the song’s infectious, aggro-rock arrangement and its proudly defiant lyrical content.  Even with this in mind, it is not the only song included in this record that serves to show what makes this record appealing to certain audiences.  ‘Broken Angel,’ with its brooding yet powerful musical arrangement and lyrical content, strengthens the album even more.  The song’s piano-centered arrangement starts off gently, eventually building until it reaches its climax in the song’s bridge.  Opinions may vary in comparisons, but this critic’s own comparison leans toward similar works from the likes of Staind, Linkin Park and other (again) aggro-rock acts from the late 90s and early 2000s.  That is not a bad thing, though.  Once more, it shows a very directed aim from the band in crafting the song’s arrangement.  As with ‘Killers in the Pit,’ it is just one part of what makes the song important to discuss.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here.

The lyrical content at the heart of ‘Broken Angel’ is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement not just because of its content, but the depth that it adds to the song when set alongside that brooding arrangement.  The song’s subject sings through Luca here, “All your perfect imperfections/The chaos in your mind/You’re tortured/Neglected/Beautiful inside/Your heart has a melody/It only speaks to me/Your smile so perfectly hides the pain…I can see your suffering/Your eyes/Angel/Unto me you are the blessing that I would never change…don’t give up/Don’t give into the pain/Before you’ve had the chance to truly spread those wings/So pure/You’re broken just right for me.”  This song is full on teen angst, with one person saying to the emotionally scarred love interest, “I understand you, etc. etc.”  It’s uplifting.  There’s no denying that, but the almost goth style angst expressed lyrically is the kind of thing that will definitely appeal to a very directed audience, especially when it is joined with the song’s equally brooding musical arrangement. The pairing of the two elements makes clear why this song is one more way in which S.T.F.U. will appeal to Killset’s key fans, and is still not the last of the songs included in the record to do so.  ‘Animal’ is yet another of the record’s songs that shows what makes this record appealing to Killset’s key collective fans.

‘Killers in the Pit’ and ‘Broken Angel’ are both key examples of what makes S.T.F.U. a record that will certainly resonate with Killet’s key audiences.  That is thanks to the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical content.  While both songs are clear highlights in this, the band’s sophomore album, they are not it’s only standout songs.  ‘Animal’ is yet another example of what makes this album another success for Killset.  As with the previously noted songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement is a straight-forward composition that is driven jointly through the work of guitarist Dave Comer and drummer Jason “Jas” Dillon.  Dillon solidly keeps the song’s up-tempo 4/4 time signature moving even as he works his musical magic.  Comer’s guitar line helps keep the song moving just as much with its straight forward approach.  That partnership creates a solid foundation for the song’s arrangement that is strengthened even more through Luca’s vocal delivery and Baker’s bass line.  All things considered here, the straight forward rock arrangement presented here easily could hold its own with so many arrangements from the band’s mainstream counterparts.  It is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Animal’ is just as important to note as the song’s musical arrangement because it comes across as taking on one’s inner proverbial demons.  That is inferred as Luca sings in the song’s lead verse, “All these voices/Play in my head/So much noise/I’m coming unglued/Just ignore them/That’s what they said/But if only they could hear them, too/I’m so sick I’m about to freak out…can’t get ‘em out now.”  This contemplation continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse with the subject admitting seemingly to a love interest that he has some serious issues to deal with.  It almost comes across as a song that, in its own way, takes on the issue of domestic violence.  That is, of course, just this critic’s own interpretation, so it should not be taken as the only interpretation.  When this is set against the song’s driving arrangement, it shows even more why this song is another important addition to S.T.F.U.’s body.  When the whole of the song is joined with the previously discussed works and the other songs not noted here, the whole of the album proves to be a solid new effort that is certain to leave listeners making their own noise.

Killset’s sophomore album is a very directed effort, with musical arrangements and lyrical content that is certain to resonate with the band’s targeted audiences.  That is evident  in the defiant, fist-pumping anthem ‘Killers in the Pit,’ the more brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ and the powerful seeming commentary on domestic violence of ‘Animal.’  All three songs show three very distinct arrangements separate of one another but that are still very much within a specific musical continuum. That is evidenced just as much in the likes of the album’s defiant opener ‘Get Up’ and its equally powerful anti-bullying follow-up, ‘Bully.’  Even in the band’s playful take on Kris Kross’ classic hit ‘Jump.’ The band sticks to a certain musical era and audience here and in the rest of the songs not noted here.  Each work shows in its own way to be important to the record’s whole.  All things considered, they show, once more, that S.T.F.U. is certain to leave listeners making plenty of noise beginning July 7.  More information on S.T.F.U. is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/killsetofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_KillSET_

 

 

 

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Every Listener Should “Dive Into” Jenny And The Mexicats’ New LP

Courtesy: Mexicat Records

Early this spring, Barcelona,Spain-based outfit Jenny & The Mexicats released its latest full-length studio recording to the masses.  The album, Open Sea, is the band’s third full-length studio effort and was released independently via the band’s own Mexicat Records.  Full discretion moving forward, this record is this critic’s first introduction to the group and its music.  Coming from that vantage point, it proves to be a record worth the listen.  That is due in part to the songs’ arrangements.  This will be discussed shortly.  The record’s companion booklet plays its own pivotal part in the record’s overall presentation, too.  It will be discussed later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the record’s whole.  Altogether, they make Open Sea a record into which any listener will want to dive.

Jenny and the Mexicats’ latest full-length studio recording Open Sea is a record into which any World Music aficionado will want to dive.  That is because it stands out so much from its counterparts in that genre.  It stands out in part thanks to the musical arrangements exhibited over the course of its 13 songs.  From start to finish, the arrangements are never repeated.  From the album’s opener ‘La Primera Despidida’ to its follow-up ‘Boxes’ to ‘Amplifire’ and beyond, the songs’ arrangements display a wide range of musical styles that are sure to entertain audiences in any corner of the globe.  The record’s opener presents an upbeat, pop-rock style arrangement while ‘Boxes’’ acoustic, guitar-driven arrangement presents an arrangement that is clearly more regionally-influenced.  Though, at the same time, that arrangement couples with singer Jenny Ball Volz’s vocal delivery is likely to conjure thoughts of similar works from Shakira.  The group doesn’t stop there.  ‘Amplifire,’ with its laid back arrangement, could be argued to be infused, to a point, with a reggae influence.  As if that is not enough, ‘Under My Skin’ boasts an arrangement that can best be compared to so many R&B works.  ‘Born in the City’ is another key example of the musical diversity displayed throughout this album.  Its guitar-driven arrangement is a light, jazzy composition that will easily have listeners on their feet in no time.  One could easily prattle on about the rest of the songs exhibited here.  The fact of the matter is that, as already noted, no two arrangements in this record are the same.  Each song presents its own musical identity, making the record enjoyable if only for its arrangements.  Of course the arrangements are not the only collective positive point to this album.  Its companion booklet is critical to its overall presentation, too.

The diversity in Open Seas’ musical arrangements is a critical piece of the album’s overall presentation.  That is because none of the arrangements repeat from start to finish.  From one song to the next, each arrangement gives the song its own musical identity that is distinct from its counterparts.  Keeping that in mind, that diversity is just one of the album’s key elements.  The companion booklet that comes with the album is just as important to discuss in examining the album’s overall presentation as the songs’ arrangements.  The booklet is so important because it presents lyrics for each of the album’s featured songs.  Some of the songs are thankfully sung in English, and their lyrics printed in English, too.  In the same vein, the songs sung in Spanish are complimented with clearly printed Spanish lyrics in the booklet.  On the surface, that might not seem overly important.  In the bigger picture of the album’s presentation though, it is highly critical, especially in trying to expand the album’s reach in the Western, English-speaking world.  Having the lyrics printed out to every song will allow audiences who don’t speak Spanish to type up said lyrics in one of any online translator services to learn what is being sung.  Case in point ‘Ausencia,’ which translates to ‘Absence’ in English.  Volz sings in this song, ‘I got carried away/I still decided to jump/By a precipice/And clash with this reality/So that to endure all lusts/to wait if everything/And it is said so that/if we do not last more/so that since…”  This is obviously a rough translation from one of those many translators.  Hopefully it is a close translation.  Regardless, it is a starting point.  Without the lyrics printed (even in Spanish), even beginning to try to translate the lyrics would have been a proverbial wild goose chase, making for far less reason to give the album even one chance.  Having those and other lyrics presented throughout the booklet though, gives reason to give the record a chance.  That chance might even lead to an appreciation for the album by some.  Keeping this in mind, the lyrics provided in the booklet are not the last of the record’s most important elements.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The musical arrangements at the center of Open Sea and the lyrics printed in the record’s companion booklet are both pivotal pieces of the record’s overall presentation.  That has already been noted.  They are not, though, the record’s only important elements.  Its overall sequencing is important to its whole, too.  As has already been noted, Open Sea presents a wide range of styles throughout its collective body.  The energies in those arrangements clearly were taken into consideration in the record’s sequencing.  The up-tempo arrangements presented in the album’s first three arrangements makes for a solid start before the group pulls back a little bit in ‘Aprendimos.’  The record’s energy picks back up immediately after in the full-throttle dance work ‘La Diabla.’  ‘Lion’ really changes the pace with its bluesy, mid-tempo arrangement.  The record’s energy moves up and down just as much as the record progresses through its second half, with equal amounts of upbeat and reserved material right to the end.  The mood changes just enough from one song to the next to keep things interesting right to the record’s end.  The end result is a 13-song sequence that will keep listeners engaged and entertained.  That is especially the case when considering the songs’ arrangements alongside the sequencing.  The addition of the songs’ lyrics printed in the record’s companion booklet solidifies the album’s presentation, ensuring even more its place among this year’s field of new World Music offerings.  All three elements combine together to make Open Sea a record into which any listener will want to dive.

Jenny & The Mexicats’ latest full-length studio recording Open Sea is a recording into which any listener will want to dive.  That is regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the group and its body of work, including this critic.  That statement is supported by the varied arrangements presented throughout the record’s 13 songs and their equally varied energies.  The record’s sequencing clearly takes into consideration those arrangements and energies.  Add in the availability of the songs’ lyrics in the record’s companion booklet, and the whole of this album proves to be worth the listen.  Considering all of this, Open Sea proves to be a record to which every listener should be open.  It is available online now.  More information on Open Sea is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

 

 

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/jennyandmexicat

 

 

 

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Eagle Rock, The Who Shine Again With Band’s Latest Live Recording

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Veteran rock band The Who’s latest live recording Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004 is one of this year’s top new live recordings.  The concert, originally recorded June 11, 2004 during the band’s headlining performance of the festivals’ second night, this recording is yet another standout performance from one of the greatest names in the musical universe today.  That is evidenced in part through the concert’s 23-song set list.  This will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of said set list is just as important to discuss in examining this recording’s overall presentation, as the set list itself.  It will be discussed later.  The recording’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the recording’s overall presentation.  All things considered, this latest live offering from The Who proves, once again, to be one of this year’s top new live recordings.

The Who’s latest live recording Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004 is one of this year’s top new live recordings.  That is due in part to the recording’s extensive set list.  The 23-song set list is important to note for a variety of reasons beginning with its featured songs.  The songs featured in this concert’s set list set it distinctly apart from the band’s 2015 live recording Live at Hyde Park (which like this recording, was also released via Eagle Rock Entertainment).  Some of the songs in the two concerts’ set lists are the same.  However, almost half of the songs featured in the Isle of Wight concert recording (nine songs in total), are not featured in the band’s Hyde Park concert recording.  This is important to note because it gives the Isle of Wight Festival’s set list its own identity separate from that of the Hyde Park Show.  More simply put, it means that this set list isn’t just a carbon copy of that previous set list, which will make any audience happy.

On a secondary level, the concert’s set list is important to note due to its sequencing.  Thanks to the thought put into the set’s sequencing, the music’s energy rises and falls at all of the right points from start to finish.  That is evident early on in the concert’s two-hour-plus (132 minutes total) run time.  The concert starts off with full-on fire and energy, with that energy flowing through the set’s first four songs.  Things slow down a little bit from there as the band moves into ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ before picking back up again in ‘Bargain.’  The song’s finale gradually slows down just enough to let audiences rest before the band launches into the much higher-energy ‘Baba O’Reily.’  The set’s energy stays relatively high from there as the band works through ‘The Punk and the Godfather’ and ‘5:15’ before pulling back for a little while in ‘Love Reign O’er Me,’ ‘Eminence Front,’ ‘Drowned’ and ‘Naked Eye.’  The solid sequencing and energy continues from there throughout the second half of the show, ensuring audiences’ continued engagement and entertainment.

On yet another level, audiences will be pleased to note that the set list presented in this concert is exactly the same both on DVD/BD as on CD.  This is important to note because it was not the case in the Hyde Park performance recording.  In the case of that recording, the set lists were slightly different between the DVD/BD side and CD side.  Some of the songs included in the set list in that concert’s BD/DVD side were set aside in the CD side as “bonus tracks,” essentially breaking up the set for whatever reason.  Luckily that wasn’t the case with this presentation.  The set list for the Isle of Wight Festival concert is the same on both sides, maintaining a certain sense of continuity between the two sides.  Considering this, it is one more way in which the recording’s set list proves to be integral to the recording’s overall presentation. Together with the songs themselves and their sequencing the three elements show in full why the concert’s set list is so important to the recording’s overall presentation.  Even with this in mind, it should be noted that the set list is not the only important piece of the recording’s whole.  The band’s performance thereof is just as important to note as the set list.

The set list featured in Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004 is clearly an important piece of this recording’s overall presentation, as has already been pointed out.  It is not the recording’s only important element, though.  The band’s performance of the set list is just as important to discuss in examining the recording’s overall presentation as the set list.  Watching this concert, it is obvious that founding members Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend were both at least in their 50s if not their 60s.  Yet neither man showed his age by any means.  Rather both men performed with the fire that made them fan favorites in their youth.  That includes not only the men’s performances of the songs but their interactions with the audience between songs.  At one point, Townshend makes a joke about the sound not being turned up loud enough, referencing the old adage that if it’s too loud, you’re too old.  At another point, he makes a joke about the age of the band’s audience, and how many were probably conceived at the band’s last Isle of Wight performance in 1970.  Apparently Townshend, for whatever reason, served as the band’s mouthpiece between songs, saving the singing largely for Daltry, even though Townshend does get his moments in the spotlight. Staying on that train of thought, it should be noted that there is a little bit of foul language used between some of the songs, so viewer discretion is advised.  Even with that in mind, the foul language is kept to a minimum, so it isn’t too bad.  That being the case, the performances by Townshend and Daltry couples with those of their fellow musicians—Simon Townshend (guitars,vocals), Pino Palladino (bass), Zak Starkey (drums) and John Bundrick (keyboards)—to make for a performance from start to finish that will keep audiences completely entertained and engaged thanks to their collective energies.  Considering that, it becomes clear why the band’s performance of the set list is so critical to the recording’s overall presentation.  It is still not the last of the elements to be noted.  The recording’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.

The set list featured in The Who’s latest live recording and the band’s performance of that set list are both critical to the recording’s overall presentation, as has already been noted.  While both elements are clearly important to the recording’s whole, they are not its only important elements.  The recording’s companion booklet rounds out its most important elements.  The booklet is so important to discuss because of the history that it provides audiences.  Audiences learn through Matt Kent’s liner notes that this festival performance marked the band’s first festival performance since it performed at Live Aid in 1985.  They also discover that only two years prior, the band had lost fellow founding member, bassist John Entwhistle, and what followed.  Other highlights are noted in those liner notes, setting the stage (no pun intended) for the performance contained within this set, along with lots more history that audiences will enjoy learning.  Keeping this in mind, the information provided within the pages of the recording’s companion booklet proves to be just as integral to the concert’s overall experience as the concert’s set list and the band’s performance thereof.  Considering all of this, it becomes fully clear that each element is critical to the recording.  Of course there is still far more that could be noted including the recording’s production values (which are impressive in their own right), editing and more to evaluate the recording’s whole.  Those elements solidify even more the recording’s place in this year’s list of top new live recordings, and a piece that any fan of The Who should have in his or her own music library.

The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004, is one of this year’s top new live recordings.  That is evident through so many elements.  From the set list to the band’s performance thereof to the recording’s companion booklet and even the concert’s production values and editing, so many elements serve to support that statement.  Considering this (and even the concert’s availability on so many platforms and its average price point), this recording proves in whole that it deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings and why it deserves that spot.  It proves, too, to be a recording that any fan of The Who should have in his or her music library.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 2004 is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thewho.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thewho

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thewho

 

 

 

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Jane’s Addiction Announces Release Date For New Live Recording

Jane’s Addiction has a new live recording on the way.

The band will release its latest live recording Alive At twenty-Five: Ritual de lo Habitual this summer.  The recording features the band’s Sept. 23, 2016 concert filmed at the famed Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the last stop on the band’s 2016, 20-city worldwide “Sterling Spoon Anniversary Tour.”

The 90-minute recording is the product of a partnership between MVD Visual, Cleopatra Records, Rock Fuel Media and Sonic Films.  It featured the band’s original lineup of Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney performing its classic 1990 album Ritual de lo Habitual in its entirety as well as a number of other Jane’s Addiction hits.

The recording was captured using 20 cameras throughout the arena and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound.  Audiences can check out a trailer for the new recording online now here.

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

The recording will be available on a DVD/CD combo pack and exclusive Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack.  The DVD/CD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $24.95 and the Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack for $29.95.  Both can be pre-ordered online now here.

More information on Alive at Twenty-Five: Ritual de lo Habitual is available online now along with all of Jane’s Addiction’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.janesaddiction.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JanesAddiction

Twitter: http://twitter.com/janesaddiction

 

 

 

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Jimi Hendrix Park To Officially Open Saturday In Seattle

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix, LLC/Merlis For Hire

The city of Seattle, Washington will hold a very special event this weekend to pay tribute to a music legend.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is partnering with the Jimi Hendrix Park Foundation and Friends of Jimi Hendrix Park for the official opening of the Jimi Hendrix Park Saturday.  The event is free to the public and will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Construction of the 2.5-acre park, which sits just adjacent to the Northwest African-American Museum in Seattle’s central district, cost $2.2 million.

The park features a variety of items paying tribute to Hendrix and his legacy including a grand entrance and stairway highlighted by Hendrix’s signature at the corner of Massachusetts and 25th Avenue South as well as a walkway taking visitors toward the central plaza that presents a time line of Hendrix’s life and career.  Lyrics from Hendrix’s songs ‘Little Wing’ and ‘Angel’ are etched into a purple ribbon along the timeline.

This is just a glimpse of what the new park will offer.  Four rain gardens and a butterfly garden laden with flowering shrubs also fill the park along with numerous trees, an informational kiosk and bicycle racks.

Jimi’s sister Janie L. Hendrix will join city officials for a brief program and ribbon cutting Saturday at noon to officially open the park.  A number of performers will help celebrate the opening including School of Rock, Henry Cooper, Peace & Red Velvet and many others.  Food trucks, an instrument “petting zoo,” chalk art contest and various youth activities will give families plenty to eat, see and do throughout the afternoon.

Funding for the park’s construction was provided in part by the following donors:

  • Hard Rock International
  • KISW Radio
  • Janie L. Hendrix
  • King Conservation District
  • Northwest African American Museum
  • Seattle Parks Foundation
  • Fender Musical Instruments Company
  • Experience Hendrix L.L.C.
  • Authentic Hendrix LLC
  • Monterey International Pop Festival
  • Nisqually Indian Tribe Charitable Fund
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • Neighborhood Park & Street Fund

 

More information on the Jimi Hendrix Park is available online now along with all of the latest news from Experience Hendrix at http://www.jimihendrix.com/experience-hendrix-llc.

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‘You & I’ Domestic Release Is A Must Have For Any Purist Jazz Fan

Courtesy: Missing Piece Records

Jazz artist Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I is one of this year’s best new offerings in the Jazz & Blues community and overall.  Originally released overseas last June, it was released domestically June 9 via Missing Piece Records.  The 12-song record wastes no time taking audiences back to the golden age of jazz thanks to the pairing of its musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  That is proven in part right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Cherry Blossom.’  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Old Fashioned Kiss’ supports that statement just as much as ‘Cherry Blossom.’  It will be discussed later.  ‘I’ll Remember’ is yet another of the album’s offerings that takes listeners back to that shining age.  When those compositions are joined with the songs not noted here, the whole of the record proves to be, again one of the year’s top new Jazz & Blues albums and one of the year’s top new albums overall.

Ala.Ni’s debut album You & I is one of this year’s top new Jazz & Blues records, and one of the year’s best new albums overall.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in the gentle, flowing opener ‘Cherry Blossom.’  This gentle, flowing song, which is highlighted by Ala.Ni’s beautifully angelic vocal delivery and an expertly placed guitar, is a wonderful way to start the album.  The combination of those elements together creates a dreamy musical environment that is truly powerful in its own right because of its gentility.  Considering this, it is only one part of what makes this song stand out in the album’s overall presentation.  Its lyrical theme is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical theme presented in ‘Cherry Blossom’ is that of romance.  The song’s subject sings here to her love interest to stay with her.  She sings to her love interest in the song’s lead verse, “If you see me somewhere down the river/Come and stand beside me/It’s alright.”  She goes on to sing, “Come to me/Stay with me/Say you’ll be a friend to me/Love/An everlasting love/Is forever and a day/Catch some cherry blossoms by the river/Flowing through the flowing of my heart/I will meet you somewhere down that river/Come and stand beside me/It’s alright.”  There is no pleading here.  One could almost argue that it is a gentle, almost coy flirting the way in which these lines are delivered.  The song’s production adds to that feeling, making Ala.Ni’s vocal delivery sound like it came right out of the 1930s or 40s.  Considering this, the clearly romantic theme and the arrangement, this song is a solid starting point for You & I, and a clear example of what makes the album stand out among its counterparts this year.  ‘Old Fashioned Kiss’ serves to make the album stand out just as much as its opener.

‘Cherry Blossom,’ with its gentle flowing arrangement, which includes Ala.Ni’s vocal delivery, and its classic romantic theme, is a solid start for You & I and a clear example of what makes this record stand out among its counterparts.  It is not the record’s only notable songs.  ‘Old Fashioned Kiss’ is just as notable as ‘Cherry Blossom.’  As with ‘Cherry Blossom,’ that is due in part to its musical arrangement.  Yet again, the song’s arrangement is centered on Ala.Ni’s gentle vocal delivery and the soft, simple guitar line that accompanies her singing.  Speaking of her delivery, listeners familiar with their music history will instantly make a comparison between her singing style to that of a young Aretha Franklin.  The simplicity in that delivery and of the song’s guitar line couples with the finger snapping to make the song’s overall arrangement infectious in its own right, proving true the old adage that sometimes big things really do come in small packages.  It is, of course, just one of the song’s key elements.  Its lyrical theme is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical theme presented in this song is, like that of ‘Cherry Blossom,’ centered on romance.  What is interesting about the theme here is the way in which Ala.Ni delivers the lines.  She is gentle yet somewhat playful in her delivery, going so far as to start off with some scat a la Mrs. Fitzgerald.  She sings here, “Just an old-fashioned kiss…How can I resist/Oh how you tease me/Simple kiss upon the cheek/Makes my knees a little weak/Your lips are like spring/Morning dew on a red rose.”  The playful vibe doesn’t stop here.  The song’s subject goes on singing just as happily about being kissed by her love interest with plenty of positive vibes along the way.  That upbeat vibe and equally upbeat lyrics couple with the song’s happy-go-lucky arrangement to create yet another distinct emotion and moment in this rich musical experience.  Considering this, the song proves in the end to be yet another example of what makes You & I a standout offering from Ala.Ni.  It is not the last of the songs that shows what makes the album stand out.  ‘I’ll Remember’ serves to make the album stand out just as much as the previously discussed works.

‘Cherry Blossom’ and ‘Old Fashioned Kiss’ are both key examples of what makes You & I stand out in this year’s field of new Jazz & Blues records as well as overall records. They are just two of the songs that show what makes this record stand out, too.  ‘I’ll Remember’ serves to show how much this album stands out in a way completely unlike the other noted works.  That is due in no small part to the record’s deeply moving musical arrangement.  Unlike the arrangements presented in ‘Cherry Blossom’ and ‘Old Fashioned Kiss,’ this song’s musical arrangement is a very subdued composition.  It evokes a bittersweet emotion that is sure to move any listener with its genuine approach.  That is again thanks to the pairing of Ala.Ni’s vocal delivery and the song’s companion guitar line.  The very real mix of sadness and hopefulness creates an emotional impact that cannot be ignored or denied.  Keeping that in mind, it is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  It couples with the song’s lyrical content to add even more emotional depth to the work.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘I’ll Remember’ tugs hard at listeners’ heart strings.  That is because of the genuine emotion exhibited in the song, including Ala.Ni’s own vocal delivery.  The lyrics that the song’s subject sings add even more to that emotional impact.  That is because the subject’s words come across as genuine as the emotion in the song’s arrangement.  She sings here, “And if we never ever meet again/I’ll remember kissing you/Will you remember kisses, too/If we never ever meet again/Then the memory of love will see us through/When you left/My heart was drowning tears/So much I cried/But then a little voice spoke to my heart and told me I will be just fine/For if we never ever meet again/I’ll remember kissing you/Will you remember kisses, too/And if we never ever meet again/Then I’ll remember/Will you remember/Oh, I’ll remember loving you.”  It’s a short statement, with the song clocking in at only two minutes, 23 seconds.  Even in that short time, the subject’s bittersweet adieu is such a powerful statement that could bring tears to anyone’s eyes.  That is especially the case when this heartfelt statement is set alongside the song’s equally moving musical arrangement.  When both elements are paired, the emotion exhibited in the song (and its story) sets it completely apart from the record’s other offerings, showing once more the diversity presented throughout the record in terms of its musical arrangements and moods.  When this is considered in the bigger picture of the album, the end result is a work that audiences will agree is one of the year’s top new domestic albums and one of the year’s top new domestic Jazz & Blues albums.

Missing Piece Records’ new domestic release of Ala.Ni’s 2016 album You & I is one of this year’s top new domestic albums and one of the year’s top new domestic Jazz & Blues albums.  That is due to the wide array of musical arrangements and moods exhibited throughout the course of the record.  From the coy, flirtatiousness of the album’s opener to the more playful, happiness of ‘Old Fashioned Kiss’ to the bittersweet, heart string-tugging emotion exhibited in ‘I’ll Remember’ to emotions and arrangements in-between, this record offers plenty for any purist jazz fan.  That is especially the case for fans of music from the golden age of Jazz.  The production of this record’s original tunes makes them sound like they were lifted right from the brightly lit ballrooms of the 1930s and 40s.  Considering this and the previously noted items, it should be fully evident why this record is such a surprise release. All things considered, this record is a work that this critic believes is one of the year’s top new domestic albums and top new domestic Jazz & Blues albums.  It is available now in store and online.  More information on You & I is available online now along with all of Ala.Ni’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.ala.ni

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alaniofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alaniofficial

 

 

 

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