Rocker/director Rob Zombie’s “prequel” origin story of The Munsters is scheduled for release this week on digital and Blu-ray, but for those looking for something more along the lines of the original show, mpi Media Group has something on the way next month.
mpi Media Group announced Monday, it is scheduled to release Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Show Cast & More Lost Treasures Oct. 4. The classic presentation is scheduled for release exclusively on DVD. The forthcoming special marks the first time ever that the 1965 TV special will have seen the light of day on DVD.
Along with the title special, the collection also includes a 1966 full-color The Munsters themed “episode” featuring star Fred Gwynne in costume and character as the beloved bumbling head of the Munster household, Herman on The Danny Kaye Show. There are also some rare and vintage segments from other talk shows and a new featurette titled “Munster Memories.” The special presentation features Butch Patrick (who played Eddie Munster in the original series).
In addition, guest appearances by Edie Adams and Joey Bishop, as well as music from New Christy Minstrels.
Marineland Carnival with The Munsters TV Show Cast & More Lost Treasures will retail for MSRP of $19.98. Its run time is listed as two hours.
More information on this and other titles from mpi Media Group is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:
Independent rock band The Guitar & Whiskey Club will release its debut EP this fall.
The band is scheduled to release the record Nov. 7 through The Orchard/Sony Music. The band has been working on the EP since 2019. From beginning to end, the EP features elements of southern rock, “sleaze rock” and even a touch of 80s rock, according to information provided about the EP.
The record’s lyrical themes vary just as much, focusing on life on the road (touring), the impact of the decisions we make in life, and the all too familiar topic of a broken relationship.
Founding member/guitarist Jeffrey Donovan talked about the record’s creation amid the pandemic during a recent interview.
“The pandemic was hell,” Donovan said. “Gigs were cancelled, studios closed, everyone was locked in their houses. Some of the members suffered from what I call ‘pandecitis’, a lack of inspiration and the will to continue.”
The Guitar & Whiskey Club is available to pre-order through Amazon.
More information on the record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Early this month, veteran metalcore band Miss May I unveiled its latest album through SharpTone Records. The band’s seventh album, Curse of Existence is an interesting new presentation from the band that is likely to find the majority of its appeal among the band’s most devoted audiences. That is proven in part through its musical content, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content will also appeal to that targeted audience. It will be discussed a little later. The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation and will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. Collectively, they make Curse of Existence a record that metalcore fans and Miss May I’s established audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once.
Curse of Existence, the latest album from Miss May I, is a presentation that will appeal largely to the most devoted metalcore masses and of the band’s established audiences. That targeted appeal comes in part through the album’s featured musical content. The content in question is the band’s familiar blend of metalcore and death metal influences is just as present here as in the band’s existing albums. From one song to the next, audiences can clearly once again make comparisons to works from the likes of As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, and to a slightly lesser degree, the band’s label mates, Of Mice & Men. The heavy, crunching down-tuned guitars that rip through each song with the sharpness of a chainsaw pair with the equally tight drums and low-end from the bass to make each song powerful in its own right. Given, the overall musical content does not necessarily break any new ground for the band, but it is still such that it will appeal to said audiences what with its wall of sound effect from one song to the next. The addition of front man Levi Benton’s powerhouse screams makes that even clearer. To that end, the record’s musical arrangements are, again, a safe choice for the band this time out but still play well into the album’s overall presentation.
The musical arrangements featured throughout the course of Curse of Existence are collectively, just one part of what makes Curse of Existence worth hearing at least once. The record’s overall lyrical body does its own share to make the album engaging. That is because said content largely presents themes of facing and overcoming adversity in life. That includes facing it internally and externally.
As Benton stated in an interview about the album, “Curse of Existence is exactly what it reads, the curse we have in our existence. This doesn’t mean anything strictly negative, but it covers all existence that is the good and the bad, the highs and the lows; the sorrow and the joy. Everything that comes with life comes with a lesson and a price that is what we have put into this album.”
Those highs and lows are present throughout the album’s lyrical content. The album’s single, ‘Unconquered’ is a prime example of this. Benton sings/screams in this song of that personal/inner strength. He states right from the song’s introductory lines, “If it’s us versus the world/Then I will remain/The last man standing/SO bring on the pain” before continuing in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I walk alone through a crowd of eyes/I see a vision of red/terrified/It goes from bad to worse/If every blessing is a curse/Then how will I survive/The walls are closing in/What’s on the other side/It’s been so long/Since I’ve felt alive/Maybe I’m the only one who can save me/From the monster I’ve become lately/All these ghosts still chase me/And there’s nowhere left to run.” This is that message of realization of one’s self, that realization that a person is at a certain breaking point and it is up to that person to change himself/herself. Again, it centers on that inner strength to overcome that personal adversity. The message continues in the chorus tied to the second verse, which states, “So heavy/The world around me/Can’t let it crush me…The only way out is through/And the sun that stops the flood is still inside you.” He is saying that said inner strength is there and that people must remember they have that power to stop the bad. It is a message that is certain to resonate with so many audiences.
‘A Smile That Does Not Exist,’ the album’s opener, is another song that is certain to resonate with audiences, what with what comes across as a message of overcoming one’s own mental health struggles. This is inferred as Benton screams in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “The world has kept the chosen ones free/Safe from the storms that rain down on me/The coming winds of catastrophe/Face the beast or find no peace/Descend into madness/Shattering glass into fragments/Locked eyes watch me writhe across the floor/Pick up the pieces/Come back for more/In the mirror/A blank stare/No one’s there/No one cares/I pretend that we share/A smile that does not exist/My obsession with the darkness in my reflections/I always see the worst in me/Breathe in, Breathe out/Drown in self-doubt/It’s always in your head/But it’s only in your head.” That final statement that “It’s only in your head” is so important. It is a reminder that all of those negative thoughts that so many of us fight daily are just that. They are in our head. That self-doubt is there, but it can be overcome. This reminder is so simple, but so important. Benton adds a statement in the song’s second verse of memories fading away, “devouring brighter days.” Again, this is that emotional darkness that countless millions the world over feel every day. The reminder that follows once again, that it is all in one’s head is sure to motivate so many listeners. Once again, it shows the importance of the lyrical content featured in this album.
‘Bleed Together’ is yet another example of that importance. In the case of this song, it comes across as a commentary about someone coming to terms with a troubled childhood. This is inferred most clearly in the song’s second verse, which states, “I only sang a silent lullaby/You let a part of me die/A broken God through a child’s eyes/I’ve walked these hells before/But now I’m re-writing history/Please let the apple fall far from the tree.” That mention of the apple falling far from the tree is typically used to talk about connections between children and their parents, so to that end, this really does point toward some emotional conflict and disconnect between a child and parent. Later in the song, he adds, “I will not stand in the shadow of your demons/No/Bury the past in the dirt/I refuse to relive the hurt/There’s only one thing in this short life/I won’t give to you, my dear/The key to all the pain I’ve locked inside.” Again, this comes across as a discussion from someone facing a past that involved a troubled childhood relationship with a parent. If in fact this is the case, then it is certain to resonate with audiences in its own right, too. That is because there are so many people who had those stormy relationships with their parents. It is another topic that is all too familiar in the rock realm, but one that is still just as relevant today as it has ever been. To that end, it is yet another clear example of the importance of this album’s lyrical content. When it and the other themes addressed here are considered alongside the rest of the album’s lyrical themes and with the album’s musical content, the whole creates a solid foundation for the album.
As much as the content featured in Curse of Existence does to make the album worth hearing, there is still one more item to address here. That item is the album’s production. The production is important because of its role in the album’s general effect. Each song featured in this record is so intense, musically. Thanks to the attention paid to each musician’s part in each song results in each work having so much impact. No one part overpowers its counterparts at any point in the record. The result is that the album’s general effect is positive in its own right, too. Keeping that in mind, the production that went into this record does just as much to make the album worth hearing as the album’s content. The whole makes Curse of Existence worth hearing at least once.
Curse of Existence, the latest album from veteran metalcore outfit Miss May I, is another work that the most devoted of the band’s audiences and the most devoted metalcore fans will find engaging and entertaining. This is proven in part through the record’s musical content, which is fully familiar to those audiences. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements is important, too. That is because of its accessibility. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, creating a positive general effect that does its own share to keep audiences engaged. Each item noted is important in its own way to the album’s presentation. All things considered they make Curse of Existence anything but a cursed record.
Curse of Existence is available now through SharpTone Records. More information on the album is available along with all of Miss May I’s latest news at:
Trombonist Steve Turre is, next to Leon Pendarvis, one of the longest-serving members of Saturday Night Live’s current house band lineup, having served with the band since 1985. It is just one of his claims to fame, though. He has also released more than 20 records as a band leader himself since the release of his 1987 album, Viewpoint, which was released through Stash Records. He released his latest album as a band leader Sept. 16 in the form of Generations through Smoke Sessions Records. The 10-song record, which runs an hour and 10-minutes, is such an enjoyable presentation what with its varied musical arrangements. That diversity in the record’s musical content will be addressed shortly. The background on the album and its songs provided in the record’s packaging adds its own share of appeal to the record. It will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of this album. All things considered they make Generations yet another welcome addition to this year’s field of new jazz albums.
Generations, the latest album from Steve Turre, is an enjoyable new offering from the veteran trombonist that will appeal widely among jazz audiences. The record’s appeal comes in large part through its musical content. From beginning to end of the hour-plus album, the record’s musical content is quite diverse. Early in the album’s run, audiences get some big band ballroom vibes through the gentle, flowing, ‘Dinner With Duke.’ The richness of Turre’s trombone leads the way here while drummer Orion Turre’s gentle work with the brushes on the snare pairs with Isaiah J. Thompson to create such a rich musical picture. Audiences can see the lights on the floor, the big band on the side, performing the song as couples slow dance on the fully waxed floor that reflects the light from above.
The swinging blues approach of ‘Blue Smoke,’ which immediately follows takes audiences in a completely different direction, picking up the album’s energy. It is such a fun, infectious composition that is led, once again, by Turre on trombone.
As the album progresses, Turre and company keep the changes coming, turning to the reggae realm in ‘Don D.’ The familiar staccato style work on the guitar and the use of the horns is a toss to so much reggae. It is sure to appeal to so many audiences in its own right while continuing to show the diversity in the album’s musical content.
Even later in the album’s run, listeners get a touch of some Afro-Latin sound and style in ‘Good People.’ The use of the drums and the horns will take audiences to the streets of Havana on those warm summer nights from the 1960s. It is its own infectious work whose instrumentation puts the talents of the whole group on full display here. It is just one more example of the diversity exhibited throughout Generations. When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s compositions, the whole shows even more clearly, the diversity in the album’s primary content. The result is that said content forms a solid foundation for the album.
The foundation formed through the album’s musical content is strengthened even more through the information provided through the album. Penned by A. Scott Galloway, the information in question is an in-depth examination of the songs’ backgrounds and how the album came about. Galloway writes in the liner notes that Turre’s original intent was to craft this record in 2020, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its creation. It was not until February of this year that Turre and a group of musicians finally managed to record the album in a single day. If that really is the case, then the rush of getting things done in a single day still resulted in a fully enjoyable presentation.
In regards to the background on the songs, listeners will be interested to learn that ‘Dinner With Duke,’ for instance, was in fact named and created in tribute of sorts to legendary jazz front man Duke Ellington. Galloway writes here that Ellington played a big role in Turre’s development and that of Galloway. Galloway even notes Turre’s use of a plunger on the trombone opposite Wallace Roney, Jr.’s work on the trumpet makes for a certain sort of musical conversation. Audiences really can hear that conversation, too. It makes for even more interest here. What’s more, understanding the influence that Ellington had on Galloway, Turre, and his fellow musicians makes for even more appreciation of the song. That is because audiences can really hear that Ellington influence throughout the song.
Another interesting note that Galloway makes in the liner notes is that of ‘Pharaoh’s Dance. The name itself conjures thoughts of ancient Egypt, but that could not be farther from the truth. As Galloway points out, the song is a tribute of sorts to the influence of famed saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders. It is also an homage to equally respected and revered pianist McCoy Tyner. Audiences who are familiar with each musician’s work will really hear clearly, their influence. What’s more, it shows that importance of having background information for any instrumental music. Song titles can clearly be misleading, and having that background really offers full understanding and appreciation for said work.
Galloway’s discussion on ‘Resistance’ is another interesting way in which the liner notes prove their importance to the album’s presentation. He cites Turre as saying that the song is a statement piece. “I wrote ‘Resistance’ around the time of the 2016 election,” he cites Turre as saying. “I’m tired of the negativity, the division, and the lack of compassion…the greed and the selfishness, and the willful ignorance of facts, truth and science. I don’t resist by hating. I resist by putting positive energy out there.” Once more, audiences get more proof of the importance of liner notes here. Understanding Turre’s comments, the juxtaposition of the tension early in the song against the more positive vibes that are presented through the rest of the song really does well to illustrate his comments. When this information, the other information noted and the rest of the liner notes, the whole shows without question, the importance of the liner notes featured in this album.
The liner notes that accompany the album’s primary content do plenty to strengthen the album’s presentation. They are still not all that the album has going for it. The record’s production rounds out the album’s most important elements. From one song to the next, the production brings out the best of each ensemble’s work. The horns and percussion each compliment each other so well, as do the bass lines along with everything else. The piano line adds its own welcome touch to given songs, too. Each musician gets a moment in the spotlight in each song and throughout by connection. The result is that the production creates such a positive general effect throughout the album, ensuring even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment. When this aspect is considered along with the album’s primary and secondary content, the whole makes Generations a fully enjoyable new offering from Steve Turre and another welcome addition to this year’s field of new jazz albums.
Generations, the new album from Steve Turre, is a successful new offering from the veteran musician. The record succeeds for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being the record’s primary content. The musical arrangements that make up the album’s body are diverse and so fun from one to the next. The background on the songs (and the album’s creation) make for even more engagement and entertainment. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and puts the finishing touch to the presentation. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make the album another welcome addition to this year’s field of new jazz albums.
Generations is available now through Smoke Sessions Records. More information on the album is available along with all of Steve Turre’s latest news at:
Independent rock band Liar Thief Bandit released its latest studio recording this month, a little more than a year after the release of its then latest album, Deadlights in the form of Diamonds. Released through The Sign Records, the band is marketing the seven-song record as a new “mini-album.” In other words, the 27-minute record is an EP. This EP is a fully engaging and entertaining new offering from the band, too. That is evidenced through its musical and lyrical content alike. The record’s early entry, ‘Better Days,’ is just one of the songs that serves to make that clear. It will be discussed shortly. The band’s cover of Graveyard’s ‘Ain’t Fit To Live Here’ is another notable addition to the record and will be discussed a little later. ‘Send Me Home,’ the EP’s closer, is yet another way in which the record’s collective musical and lyrical content makes it interesting. It will also be examined later. All three songs noted here are interesting in their own way to the whole of the record. When they are considered alongside the record’s other entries, the whole makes Diamonds another welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs.
Diamonds, the new EP from independent rock band Liar Thief Bandit, is another enjoyable offering from the band. The band’s fourth studio recording, it is being marketed as a “mini-album,” which everyone knows is just a euphemism for EP. EP or album, it is another enjoyable offering from the band. Its musical and lyrical content collectively make that clear. That is evidenced early in the record’s run in the form of ‘Better Days.’ The musical arrangement featured in ‘Better Days’ presents an intriguing blend of classic rock influence (which should come as no surprise considering that The Sign has a lot of neo-classic rock bands on its roster) and the band’s more familiar garage rock approach. Right from the outset of the three-minute-plus song, the dual guitar approach immediately conjures thoughts of Thin Lizzy’s timeless hit song, ‘The Boys Are Back in Time.’ The choruses that follow also present that comparison while also giving the song its own unique identity with even more classic rock influence. The verses meanwhile present more of the noted garage rock leaning. The overall musical presentation makes this song completely infectious.
The positive sound and style of the musical arrangement featured in ‘Better Days’ is a good fit with the song’s lyrical theme. The clear lyrical theme here is that of knowing our limits and not setting ourselves up for disappointment, by connection. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “We’ve been making efforts/But nothing seems to change/All our past decisions/Led us to where we are/And we go too far/Better days are really hard to come by/Taking a stand is better than to stand by/We had it all figured out/Why can’t we just be satisfied.” The inferred theme continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “In constant search for shelter/We found our own way/It took a while to settle/For less than a shooting star/But this is who we are.” This line makes that seeming theme even clearer. It comes across as a statement of how we as a race had to learn to not set our expectations too high, but that that is just who and what we are, wanting instinctively to reach too high. It is as if the song is a reminder that it is okay to reach high and have certain expectations in life, but at the same time to know our limits. The seeming message, paired with the positive mood set in the song’s musical arrangement makes the song overall a positive addition to the record and just one of the songs that stands out here.
Liar Thief Bandit’s cover of Graveyard’s ‘Ain’t Fit To Live Here’ is another notable addition to the record. Liar Thief Bandit’s take on the song, which is featured in Graveyard’s 2011 album, Hisingen Blues, largely stays true to its source material right down to the frenetic drum solo that opens the song and the stoner rock approach taken in the original song. Even the subdued choral effect used in the song’s bridge is here, just as in the original song. The whole is a little more amped up in terms of the production, but overall, it is right in line with its source material, just amping it up even more. What’s more, the song clocks in at three minutes, 15 seconds, just 10 seconds longer than the original, so that shows even more just how closely this cover sticks to the original, paying full tribute to that work. It is just one more notable addition to Liar Thief Band’s record that audiences will appreciate.
‘Send Me Home,’ which closes out the EP, is one more notable addition to Diamonds. This song’s musical arrangement is completely unlike anything else on the record. The bass-driven composition almost immediately lends itself to comparison to so many vintage works from Black Sabbath. That is especially when the pairing of that bass line and the controlled guitar is coupled with the vocal delivery here. Even with the comparison clearly there, the song still boasts its own identity separate from the noted similar works, making the arrangement all the more enjoyable.
The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical content makes for its own enjoyment. Lyrically, this song is a deeply contemplative work. The lead verse and chorus state, “I’m giving up on getting further down the line/I’ve watched the second sunrise far too many times/Life is wasted on the living/The gift that keeps on giving/I’m giving in my resignation/I’m way past an explanation/I’ve been looking for a decent road to roam/I’m through/Searching for a reason/Send me home.” This brooding contemplation comes across as being from the point of someone at a very low point in life; someone who has just gotten fed up with so much. As the song progresses, the second verse adds, “Infatuation means there’s a reason to hold on/Six degrees of desperation takes over once it’s gone/There’s poetry in motion/But I’m not ready for such devotion.” This line leaves itself open for interpretation, clearly. The third verse adds, “Those who will not move/Never notice their own chains/Naïve behavior leaves you abandoned with the remains/People don’t change/They just get older/Standing by as the wind gets colder.” Taking this verse into account with the other two verses, what audiences get here is something along the lines of an existential rumination of sorts. It is a work that is certain to connect with specific audiences. The addition of the song’s musical arrangement to the mix makes for even more interest. The whole makes the song overall yet another noteworthy entry in this latest offering from Liar Thief Bandit. When it is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole makes the record overall another mostly successful offering from Liar Thief Bandit.
Diamonds, the latest studio offering from Liar Thief Bandit, is another engaging and entertaining offering from the independent rock band. That is due to its musical and lyrical content featured throughout the record. When those songs are considered along with the res of the record’s songs, the whole makes Diamonds another welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs.
Diamonds is available now through The Sign Records. More information on Diamonds is available along with all of Liar Thief Bandit’s latest news at:
Flugelhorn player Enrico Rava has been producing recordings for ECM Records since 1970. His catalog with the label totals 15 records and reaches as far back as 1975 and as recent as 2021. On Friday, Rava released his 16th record with the label in the form of The Song is You. His 48th overall album as a band leader, it sees him joined this time by pianist Fred Hersch for a group of covers and originals that is worth hearing at least once. Among the most notable of the covers is that of George Bassman and Ned Washington’s ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.’ This song will be discussed shortly. Among the most notable of the originals is ‘The Trial.’ It will be examined a little later. The duo’s cover of ‘Round Midnight’ is another interesting update featured as part of the record’s 42-minute body and will also be examined later. All three songs noted do their own respective part to make The Song Is You an interesting presentation. When they are considered along with the record’s other entries, the whole makes the record a presentation that most jazz fans will find worth hearing at least once.
The Song is You, the new album from the pairing of Enrico Rava and Fred Hersch, is a presentation that many jazz fans will find intriguing. That is proven through its originals and covers alike. Among the most notable of its covers is that of George Bassman and Ned Washington’s timeless classic ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.’ While Bassman and Washington were the song’s craftsmen, the composition was made most famous by Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra way back in 1935. That composition, led by Dorsey’s work on trombone, was (and is) a very subdued, romantic work. The use of the piano in support of Dorsey’s work and the eventual introduction of the clarinet line to the mix makes the song even more schmaltzy, but in the best way possible. It really is one of those true Make-Believe Ballroom type songs (R.I.P. Jim Kelso – for any Public Radio East fans out there who go way back). Rava and Hersch change things up slightly here, giving the song a slightly more up-tempo approach. The clarinets and other elements incorporated into the original are gone, replaced by just the duo’s own work. The result is a song that is longer than the original at almost six minutes (five minutes 55 seconds to be exact) but is still enjoyable in its updated take that balances nicely the source material with updated content.
While Rava and Hersch do quite well taking on that classic big band era tune, the duo does just as well with its original content here. That is evidenced through the performance of ‘The Trial.’ Clocking in at six minutes, 47 seconds, the gentle, flowing composition is presented largely in a minor key and uses chromatic scales to create an interesting sense of tension throughout. However, it does gradually progress more into a major key and more into a semi-bluesy approach as Rava joins Hersch. Hersch leads the way here through his performance, which is more modern classical in its approach than jazz. That is not to say that there is not a jazz leaning here. In fact, there is the most subtle jazz touch balanced with the more classical leaning side to make for even more engagement and entertainment. Sadly, there are no liner notes included with the album to explain the back story behind the song. That background would have added even more interest here. Throughout it all, the duo keeps the composition so subdued. It forces audiences to engage themselves in the song in order to fully appreciate the work. That could be a good or bad thing depending on the listener. Regardless, the song holds its own alongside the record’s other works, showing just how much the record’s original content does for the album’s presentation.
One more notable addition to this record is another of its covers. In this case, the cover is that of ‘‘Round Midnight.’ Crafted collectively by pianist Thelonious Monk, trumpet player Cootie Williams and conductor Bernie Hanighen, the original song clocks in at three minutes, 48 seconds. The simple composition features Monk on piano, pairing a steady bass line on one hand with a light almost bop type melody on the other. Hersch meanwhile takes the song in a much more subdued direction. His approach to the song gives it an almost entirely new identity separate from its source material that really does require audiences to engage themselves in the work in order to appreciate Hersch’s work. That could prove divisive for certain, but the song is still interesting regardless. It is one more cover worth taking in, and when considered along with the other covers and originals, shows even more why this collection of songs is worth hearing at least once.
The Song Is You, the latest new studio offering from flugelhorn player Enrico Rava and pianist Fred Hersch, is an intriguing presentation. That is proven through its blend of originals and covers. The songs examined here do well to make that clear. When they are considered along with the record’s other entries, the whole makes the presentation overall worth hearing at least once.
The Song Is You is available now through ECM Records. More information on this and other titles from ECM Records is available at:
For the first time in more than a dozen years, King’s X is scheduled to release a new album Friday. Three Sides of One is scheduled for release Friday through InsideOut Music and will be the band’s first new album since 2008’s XV, and with the recent announcement of guitarist Ty Tabor’s health concerns causing the band to cancel its planned upcoming European tour, audiences cannot help but wonder if this album could end up being the band’s last. That is because this is just the latest in an ongoing series of health concerns for the band’s members. Drummer Jerry Gaskill has a serious health scare in 2019 due to heart concerns, including a pair of near-fatal heart attacks, which also caused tour cancellations. Front man/bassist Doug Pinnick dealt with a hernia in 2013. Considering all of these health issues and that so many years passed between the release of XV and this record, again, it is easy to wonder about the band’s future. If that does end up being the case, the album will end up being at least a somewhat successful final statement from the band. That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively. One of the most notable of the songs that serves to support that statement comes almost halfway through the record’s 46-minute run time in the form of ‘All God’s Children.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Festival,’ which comes past the album’s midpoint, is another way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content makes it worth hearing. It will be examined a little later. ‘Flood Pt. 1,’ which comes early in the album’s body, is also of note and will be discussed later. Each song noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s body. When they are considered alongside the album’s other works, the whole makes the album overall an interesting addition to King’s X’s catalog.
Three Sides of One, the latest addition to King’s X’s already extensive catalog, is not the band’s best album but is also not the band’s worst, either. The record is worth hearing at least once. That is proven in part through the album’s entry, ‘All God’s Children.’ This song stands out because of its brooding musical and lyrical content. The brooding nature of the song’s musical arrangement immediately sets a certain tone for this composition. It starts off quietly, gradually growing as it progresses through its opening bars. Almost 40 seconds in, the guitars kick in heavily, but slowly. The brooding, contemplative mood set at this point continues on through the rest of the song and definitely keeps listeners engaged in unique fashion. It pairs with the song’s equally engaging lyrical theme to make for even more interest.
In the case of the song’s lyrical theme, this element is rather contemplative in its own right, seemingly questioning the religious establishment. This is inferred in the song’s lead verse, which finds Tabor singing, “It came in the water/It came in with the flood/It seeped into everything/That we couldn’t be rid of/We bathed in the fountains, and we played in the mud/We breathed as it rotted/It got into our blood/And all God’s children kept believing/All God’s children believed anyway.” That discussion of something seemingly bad happening and no one questioning it (all God’s children) comes across as that questioning of how people seem to just blindly follow and believe, not questioning what they are taught. That is of course just this critic’s interpretation. Tabor continues in the song’s second verse, “It was down in the basement/You were up on your throne/And while vegetation wasted/We were left picking the bones/But nobody complained/Fact they said it was right/So they all lit up torches/And marched into the night.” This adds a little more to the seeming contemplation. It points at someone bad sitting up on high, not caring about others, yet no one questions it, accepting it. Again, this points to that seeming message of people just blindly following, going about their lives, not questioning things (including what they are taught to believe). It definitely makes for an interesting concept that will certainly generate plenty of discussion among listeners. That is especially the case when this content is set alongside the song’s equally brooding musical arrangement.
‘All God’s Children’ is just one of the songs that makes King’s X’s new album worth hearing. ‘Festival’ is another notable addition to the record. The musical arrangement featured in ‘Festival’ is the polar opposite of that featured in ‘All God’s Children.’ This composition’s arrangement presents something of a neo-classic rock vibe right from its opening bars. That is exhibited through the unique layered vocal approach used as Tabor sings, “Let’s throw a festival.” The guitar riff that leads the way here adds even more to that neo-classic rock sense and makes the song just as engaging and entertaining. Pinnick’s work on the bass and Gaskill’s work on the drums put the finishing touch to the whole, making the song complete.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Festival’ is interesting because of the seeming message of making the most of life in the song’s lyrical theme. That seeming theme is inferred as Tabor continues singing in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Let’s make it so the rest of us can go/I’m thinking of something/I’m thinking of something that we can do/But I’m thinking it might be up to you/It’s gonna be a big thing/Big enough to call everybody you know/Yeah, you better get ready to go/Let’s throw a festival/Let’s make it so the rest of us can go/It’s just an idea/But I think it’s one that we should try.” This celebratory discussion could potentially be the second of those three sides of one; one life. The comment by Tabor in the song’s second verse that “What’s the worst/Maybe somebody dies” adds a sort of sense of cynicism, yet the added note in the second verse that “I think it will all work out” despite the possibility that something bad could happen adds to that seeming sense of just making the best of a potentially bad situation. Again, this is just this critic’s own interpretation. If in fact it is anywhere in the proverbial ballpark, then it is that second of three sides of the whole of life. It is another notable addition not the album that makes the record all the more interesting to hear.
‘Flood Pt. 1,’ which comes very early in the album’s run, is notable in its own right in part because of its arrangement. The song once again opens gradually, using a tense string arrangement before launching into a heavy, hard rock arrangement, led once again by the pairing of Tabor and Pinnick. From there, the song moves into a more notably contemplative mood as Pinnick sings quite cynically once again here, this time contemplating all the negative in the world.
He sings in the song’s lead verse, “Maybe the time has come, they say/Waters rising/Gonna drown us all away/I used to say that all we needed was love/Now I’m thinking that what we need is a flood.” This is a thought pattern from someone who is just very upset at the world. The anger in those words leads to a sense of confusion and depression in the song’s second verse as Pinnick sings, “Feeling temporary/’Cause it’s necessary/On a binge/No beginning without an ending/Where to begin” before returning to the song’s early statement. Again, this is not the happiest song by any means, but shows yet another side of that whole. The anger and depression is there and is complimented through the duality in the song’s musical arrangement. It adds even more to the song’s impact. When the whole here is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Three Sides of One another interesting addition to the catalog of King’s X. It becomes a record that while maybe not the best of the band’s works is also not the band’s worst. In turn it is a record that is worth hearing at least once.
Three Sides of One, the latest album from King’s X, is an interesting addition to the band’s catalog. It is a presentation that is worth hearing at least once. That is evidenced through the album’s musical and lyrical content alike, as the songs examined here show. When these songs are considered alongside the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album worth hearing at least once.
Three Sides of One is available now through InsideOut Music. More information on the album is available along with all of King’s X’s latest news at:
Family music act Again, Again released its sophomore album, Your Voice is Magic Friday independently. The 10-song record is a presentation that is worth hearing at least once. Its appeal comes in part through its featured musical content which will be examined shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content adds to the album’s appeal and will be discussed a little later. The sequencing of that content brings everything together and rounds out the record’s overall presentation. It will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make Your Voice is Magic an appealing new offering from Again, Again that is worth hearing again and again.
Your Voice is Magic, the new album from Again, Again, is an interesting new presentation from the up-and-coming family music duo Anne Montone and Jennifer Cook. The record’s musical arrangements form its foundation. For the most part, the musical content featured throughout the body is decidedly pop in its sound and approach. However, there are some variances throughout. One of the songs that breaks from the norm here comes late in the album’s run in ‘Captain Bubble Beard.’ The arrangement hear actually is a sea shanty style work, complete with something similar to an accordian and steady drum beat that is meant to sound like feet on a ship’s deck. The vocal delivery here is even sung in similar fashion as that of a shanty, making for even more engagement and entertainment. ‘Chosen,’ the album’s penultimate entry, boasts a sort of sound and style that is somewhat neo-folk in its sound and approach. That is evidenced through the simple, subtle use of the vocals and guitars. The seeming keyboard and synthesized strings also add to that sense, making for even more interest. It is a change of pace that audiences will find welcome from the rest of the album’s content in its own right. The lullaby approach of the album’s finale, ‘Monsters Aren’t Real’ is welcome in its own right, what with its gentle approach. Rather than just being another run-of-the-mill overly saccharine sweet style work that it could have been, it instead has the most subtle playfulness in that gentle approach, giving it a unique identity from other lullabies out there and from the rest of the album’s entries. As if all of this is not, the album’s opener, ‘Signs Up High,’ is a subtle pop rock style composition that has its own appeal, too. When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the arrangements in the rest of the record, the whole makes clear why the album’s musical content is so important to its presentation.
While the musical content featured throughout Your Voice is Magic is clearly an important part of the album in its own right, it is just one of the important items to note. The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content are just as worth examining. That is because of their diversity. As the album opens, the pair tackles the familiar topic of peaceful protest in ‘Signs Up High.’ The theme is made clear as Cook and Montone sing about marching for change and reminding listeners about knowing the difference between right and wrong. The mention of the signs is literally a reference to holding signs declaring that message of belief in certain topics. The promotion of standing up for one’s beliefs is key especially in the current age when so many people want to shout down those who peacefully protest.
‘Pronoun Party,’ which immediately follows, takes on the equally familiar topic of inclusion. In this case, it does so by “inviting” everyone to the “Pronoun Party.” In this case, the pronouns are the words that people in the LGBTQ+ community use to identify themselves. That topic is sure to cause its own share of discussion among listeners, considering how divisive the topic is among both liberals and conservatives both between the two sides and even among the parties. The inclusion theme continues in a different fashion in ‘Girl Included,’ which is a work that promotes gender equality among males and females. The accessible way in which the duo tackles the topic is certain to appeal to the act’s targeted audiences. As if all of this is not enough, Cook and Montone also take on the topic of adoption in ‘Chosen’ and that of personal hygiene in ‘Wash Your Hands March.’ Again, here is more example of the diversity in the album’s lyrical themes. All things considered here, the lyrical themes featured throughout Your Voice is Magic give audiences just as much to appreciate as the album’s musical content if not more. To that end, those themes prove to be just as important as the album’s musical content.
While all of the content that makes up the body of Your Voice is Magic is clearly important on its own and collectively, the sequencing of that content is just as important as the content. That is because it plays into the album’s general effect. Throughout the album’s run, which barely tops the 30-minute mark (30 minutes, 43 seconds to be exact), Cook and Montone keep the record’s energy flowing even as the styles and sounds of the arrangements change so subtly from one to the next. In the same vein, the more notable changes in the songs’ lyrical themes change enough to keep audiences engaged and entertained, too. The result thereof is that the general effect will ensure listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment just as much as the album’s content. All things considered the record proves to be a mostly enjoyable addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.
Your Voice is Magic, the new album from up-and-coming family music act Again, Again, is a mostly enjoyable presentation from the duo. The record’s appeal comes in part through its musical arrangements. The arrangements are important because of their accessibility even being mostly poppy in their presentation. Each one boasts its own subtle difference from its counterparts throughout. The lyrical themes that accompany the musical arrangements are even more diverse, making for even more engagement. The sequencing of all of that content completes the picture painted by this album and brings everything full circle. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered they make Your Voice is Magic a welcome addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.
Your Voice is Magic is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of Again, Again’s latest news at:
Family music entertainers Wendy and DB are scheduled to release their new album, Into The Little Blue House Sept. 23 through Tigerlily Music. The 13-song record (its fifth) came Monday roughly two years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Hey Big World. That record won the NAPPA Award, Mom’s Choice Award, and Creative Child Album of the Year. The duo’s latest album is certain to generate its own share of acclaim, too. That is due in part to its featured musical content, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content makes for its own appeal and will be examined a little later. The sequencing of that content brings everything full circle and rounds out the album’s most important elements. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered they make the album a welcome presentation for the whole family.
Into The Little Blue House, the latest studio recording from family music act Wendy and DB, is a presentation that continues the success of the pair’s existing catalog. That is proven in part through its musical content. The musical content that is presented here is a full-on blues work. From the familiarity of 12-bar blues to a touch of some Chicago blues and even some more modern sounds, the record’s musical content offers audiences of all ages a wide range of blues styles. Each is sure to engage and entertain audiences in its own way. One of those more modern pieces comes in the form of ‘Peanut Butter Blues Jam.’ The use of the fiddle alongside the drums and organ kind of gives the arrangement something of a country blues approach a la the Allman Brothers Band. The purer 12-bar blues approach that the pair takes comes early in the record’s run in its opener, ‘Little Blue House.’ ‘Please Go To Sleep,’ the album’s penultimate entry, offers a little bit more of that approach. What’s really interesting here is the sense that said arrangement establishes when it pairs with the song’s lyrical theme of a parent just wishing his/her child would go to sleep. Parents won’t be able to help but smile a little bit hearing the mom plead for her child to go to bed in his/her own bed. Those cries of “Please, go to sleep” against the children saying they want to stay up are really funny and accessible for any parent.
Getting back on the subject at hand, the album ‘Tie My Own Shoes’ offers audiences another variant of the blues with its light swing. The arrangement here is something of a jazz/blues style composition that is just as certain to engage and entertain audiences. On yet another note, the gospel-tinged blues of ‘Women of the Blues’ gives audiences even more variety. When it is considered along with the other styles examined here and with those in the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the musical content featured in this record a strong starting point for the record. It is just one part of what makes the album so enjoyable. The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s diverse musical arrangements makes for even more engagement and entertainment.
The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements is important because of its own diversity. From the album’s opener to its end, the record’s lyrical content focuses on topics ranging from the silly to the serious. Right from the album’s outset, Wendy and DB take on the all too familiar topic of diversity and inclusion. Wendy sings right from the song’s intro that there’s a “Welcome sign/at the door/All accepted/Come explore/A world built from love/Real as it seems/Just imagine/A place of your dreams/Roar like a lion/Whose friend is a mouse/All live together in the little blue house.” The chorus adds, “Where love is planted/Love is grown.” Without question, this small amount of content makes clear, this song indeed takes on the issue of diversity and acceptance. The added note of people talking and listening to one another rather than fighting and learning to express feelings adds even more to that clear message. In an age when this country has become so divided, this message is hugely needed and welcome in itself. It is just one of the many varied themes featured in the record’s body. The pair also promotes women and their contributions to the world through the aptly titled ‘Women of the Blues.’
Wendy sings of the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Memphis Minnie, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe among so many other famous women of the blues in this song. Tharpe gained fame through her take on her unique combination of electric sounds and gospel. The hybrid approach brought her fame among fans of rock and roll and R&B alike. while Memphis Minnie (a.k.a. Lizzie Douglas) really became a groundbreaker for women in the genre in general. That is because she was really the first woman to start playing the blues during her lifetime and to break through in the process. Koko Taylor is briefly mentioned as one of the groundbreaking women of the blues. Taylor, often called the “Queen of the Blues” remains today one of the most revered figures in the blues, not just women of the blues. That is because of the way in which she blended so many styles of blues to make her songs and make them so enjoyable in the process. It is noted in the song that she and the others noted here (along with others) have paved the way for women in what was for decades a largely male-dominated world. So in essence, this song is not just about women in the blues, but about promoting gender equality in general. That deeper theme is such that adults will appreciate it, too.
The theme of parents wanting to get their kids to sleep (that eternal struggle) is also approached in this album late in its run in the also aptly titled ‘Please Go To Sleep.’ Every parent will relate to this song’s theme. That is because every parent has fought that proverbial battle of wanting his or her child(ren) to get some much-needed sleep so that they themselves can sleep. The way that the mom basically pleads with the children to sleep in their own bed while the kids say they want to stay up all night is certain to bring plenty of laughter. When it and the other themes examined here are considered with those in the rest of the album’s entries, the over all lyrical content in this record makes for even more reason for audiences to hear the album.
The sequencing of the album’s content puts the finishing touch to its presentation and is also worth examining. The sequencing is important because it keeps the record’s energy flowing from one arrangement to the next while also ensuring the diversity in the record’s content changes constantly throughout. The result of the attention paid to the sequencing is that it keeps audiences just as engaged and entertained throughout as the content itself, because of the positive general effect crafted through said presentation. When it is considered along with the album’s overall content, the whole makes the record a complete success.
Into The Little Blue House, the new album from family music act Wendy and DB is an impressive new offering from the duo. The record’s success comes in part through the album’s musical content. That content is important because it takes on the various sub-genres of the blues throughout its body. That in itself creates plenty of engagement and entertainment. The lyrical themes featured alongside the album’s musical content makes for its own engagement and entertainment. That is because it is just as diverse as said content. The sequencing of that content rounds out the most important of the album’s elements. That is because of its impact of the album’s general effect. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered they make the album one more of the year’s top new family music albums.
Into the Little Blue House is scheduled for release Sept. 23 through Tigerlily Music. More information on the album is available along with the duo’s latest news at:
This past May, Evan Drybread (yes, that really is his name) released his new album, Tiger Tail independently. The jazz saxophonist’s eight-song record is a mostly successful offering that listeners will find worth hearing in part because of its featured arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. While the musical content that makes up the record’s body is important to its presentation, the lack of any background on the songs in the packaging detracts from the album to a point. This will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Tiger Tail becomes another welcome addition to this year’s field of new jazz albums.
Tiger Tail, the new album from Evan Drybread, is an engaging and enjoyable new offering from the young jazz saxophonist. The 41-minute record’s appeal comes in large part through its featured musical arrangements. From one to the next, the arrangements offer a respectable amount of diversity. The record opens with a smooth swinging bop type composition. That is exemplified through the chord changes and the occasional chromatic approaches to the runs that Drybread presents. Trumpeter Mark Buselli’s solo here also adds to that sense of bop, what with the complexity of his run.
‘High Priestess,’ which immediately follows, is completely unlike its predecessor, showing that diversity a little more. The use of what sounds like a soprano saxophone against the drums, an electric bass, and keyboards gives the song a distinct modern fusion approach a la Herbie Hancock. That funky, driving arrangement, what with its complex polyrhythmic patterns played by drummer Kenny Phelps and the saxophone work by Drybread alongside the noted work on the bass and keyboard makes the song so immersive and unique. It is another wonderful, unique addition to the album that displays the diversity in the album’s musical content.
Later in the album’s run, Drybread changes things up quite notably again in ‘Atlantic Mirror.’ The song is a simple composition that features Drybread on the soprano saxophone alongside Christopher Pitts on piano. At times, Drybread’s performance lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Kenny G. However, the addition of Pitts’ performance gives the opus its own identity; an identity that is so immersive throughout and that will keep listeners fully engaged from beginning to end. It is yet another example of what makes the album’s musical content so important to its presentation. When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the likes of the Afro-Cuban-tinged ‘The Downey Wives,’ the uber funky Woodruff Place Town Hall,’ the classically tinged closer that is ‘Waltse’ and the record’s two remaining songs, the diversity in the arrangements becomes fully clear. That clarity makes clear why the record’s overall musical content is so important to its presentation. It forms a strong foundation for the album’s presentation.
While the musical content that makes up Tiger Tail’s body is unquestionably important to the record’s presentation, the lack of any background on the songs anywhere in the packaging weakens that foundation to a point. The background on the songs was provided to the media through a press release about the album’s release, but that only goes so far. If in fact the consumer copies of the album do not contain any background information then yes, that definitely detracts from the enjoyment. That is because (as this critic has noted so many times), instrumental music needs some point of reference, that starting point. Not having it only allows for a surface level appreciation for said music. To that end, the apparent lack of any background on the songs anywhere in the packaging is not enough to make the album a failure, but at the same time, it certainly did not help the record’s presentation, either.
Knowing that the lack of any background on the songs is not enough to doom Drybread’s new album, there is still one more positive to note. That positive is the record’s production. As already noted, the arrangements that make up the album’s body are diverse throughout the album. That means that a special amount of attention had to have been paid to each composition. That attention was meant to ensure each song’s best general effect paid off in each work. From the more subtle tones of ‘The Queen of Cups’ to the more upbeat vibe of ‘Tiger Tail’ to the relaxed vibes of ‘The Downey Wives’ and more, the record’s production brings out the best of each composition. The result is a positive general effect throughout the record that shows the time and effort that went into the production paid off in each work. The result is that the production proves just as pivotal to the album as the songs themselves. When the positive of the production is considered along with that of the songs’ diversity, the pairing gives audiences plenty of reason to take in this record at least occasionally.
Tiger Tail, the new album from Evan Drybread, is an interesting presentation that every jazz fan will find worth hearing. That is due in large part to its featured arrangements. The arrangements are diverse throughout, giving listeners reason in itself to hear the album. The lack of background on the songs in the packaging detracts from the overall listening experience but is not enough to make the album a failure. The record’s production works with its songs to rounds out its most important elements and makes the album’s general effect positive in its own right. Each item examined is important in its own right to the whole of the record’s presentation. All things considered they make Tiger Tail another welcome addition to this year’s field of new jazz albums.