Nèro Scartch’s Piece of My Life

Nèro Scartch
Piece of My Life
Deska Records, Indies Scope Distribution, 2015

Here we venture into musical territory that I need to explore more with a project influenced by Nine Inch Nails and Prodigy, so this review will be a challenge, but I like challenges and never run from them, though they may slow me down once in a while like this one does. This one’s a puzzle though because of my lack of exposure to more from this genre.

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Mydy Rabycad’s Glamtronic

Mydy Rabycad
Glamtronic
Indies Scope Distribution, 2015

Frankly, as much as I am not dancing tango or anything else at the moment which is overdue, way overdue, even I will admit that dancing is good for your health and your soul, and in the case of Mydy Rabycad’s Glamtronic, dancing is contagious, even in a chair, if not mandatory, and at that, it should be.  And even chair dancing may be impossible after a while as you are compelled to rise and move uncontrollably.

The combination is quite incredible and listenable, on repeat, which this album received several months back.  And still, happily, this album is difficult to get out of my fertile imagination where dancers are flying and dancing with each other to infinite heights around me...

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Ghost of You’s Glacier and the City

Ghost of You
Glacier and the City
Indies Scope, 2015

Simultaneously sweeping and minimalist at once, Ghost of You has been touring and playing festivals for the last few years, honing their musical chops and only stopping to release an EP in 2012.  While it is trivial and trite to say this album sounds like nothing else out there, especially since even the most original music must build on the innovators that have come before and evolved to help us all reach this moment in musical time, Ghost of You is not playing and recording music by the numbers as I am wont to refer to bands that rise and fall by the strength of cover songs that sound exactly like their originals.  No, these are wholly original, and while influenced, are not derivative.

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Čankišou’s Supay

Čankišou
Supay
Indies Scope, 2015

While it’s difficult to comment on lyrics sung in a language I don’t speak or understand (as it will be over the next few albums from a favorite European label, Indies Scope), I can comment on the melodies and the vocal impressions upon the musical moods and mine.  The band and the album are new to me, but Čankišou’s Supay is evolutionary in ways that attract me to World Music and Rromani-influenced music in particular. While this isn’t Rromani specifically, the band and the label are Eastern European-based so the influence is probably there, and it is a nice and chaotic, musically cacophonic interlude.

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Offhensky & Pleq’s A Thousand Fields

Offhensky & Pleq
A Thousand Fields
Infraction, 2015

No matter the day, no matter the year, Infraction releases are always a pleasure to receive, like some natural herb electrified through years of necromancy. They are all ambient, ethereal and wonderful in every way, but; given that I am not as avid a follower of such mindfulness music as I should be (and I obviously should explore the genre), this review will be challenging.

After you listen a few times, you may be overcome with the feeling of free floating just above the surface of a freshly-rained wide open field where the forest dwellers have just emerged after a storm.  Yes, it is quite peaceful.  And while it will remain for you to discover your own field of sanctuary as you listen deeply, the music continues to seep through all of us, becoming part of us in tiny little ways.  And for those of you who are not stricken with slight synesthesia as I am, enjoy the music without all of the imagery.  You may not know what you are missing, but enjoy the music anyway.

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Randi Russo’s Fragile Animal

Randi Russo
Fragile Animal
Hidden Target Recordings/Olive Juice Music
Released 29 March 2011

Long before Fragile Animal, Randi Russo released her second album, her first that wasn’t a CDR, the that one she decided to have mastered (Solar Bipolar), unlike most of the Antifolk class at the time.   Her first release was completely lo-fi, un-mastered, brilliant, and flawed in it’s own way.  This second album had been given the professional treatment.   She handed it to me, hesitant about the way it had been finished, but what an incredible difference the mastering had made.  Since then, we have stopped concentrating on the production values and focused on the more important lyrics and melodies, painful, heartfelt, and visceral.

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Batman: “The Brave And The Bold” Mayhem Of The Music Meister!

Newline Records 2009
Featuring the voice of Neil Patrick Harris
Featuring the music and lyrics of Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter, Michael Jelenic, and James Tucker

Full disclosure: Most of you should know that I have a weakness for animation and cartoons as well as for musicals.  Now you know. This episode and its soundtrack combine both in the best Josh Whedon style.  He wasn’t involved but his influence can be strongly felt, and Neil Patrick Harris of Dr Horrible fame is prominently featured, and that makes this just delicious.

Reviews are something new for me and for Radio Casbah so this will be a continuing and evolving artistic exercise in honest writing and musical reviews.  Bear with me as we grow together.

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Young Circles’ Jungle Habits

Young Circles
Jungle Habits
Self-Released 23 August 2011

It’s a Catch-22, more or less.  You’re a buzz band that’s impressed the hipsters with an effective Publicity Machine.  Or you’re an underground band that only a few are aware of, and those few tell as many of their friends as possible, and somehow, it’s still an open secret from the rest of the world.  Where is the fine line that allows for the hipster dollars and the underground credibility for the true music fan?  Rarely do we have both, and only a few friends have been able to do it:  Regina Spektor, Kimya, Adam, and their Moldy Peaches, Elizabeth Harper and her Class Actress.  Even Nicole Atkins.  But then there are artists like Joie Dead Blonde Girlfriend, The Teenage Prayers, and Gloria Deluxe, brilliant musical creators, that cause me to shake my head and wonder why the rest of the world has not yet caught up to what the rest of us have always known.

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Rosie Flores’ Girl Of The Century

Rosie Flores And The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Girl Of The Century
Bloodshot Records 2009

I remember my first Rosie Flores album as a discovered gem in a corner of one WFMU semi-annual record fair. It was Rockabilly Filly, her tribute to Rockabilly, which has always had a strong vein throughout all of her music, but this one had a few duets with a few greats, including Janis Martin. There have even been several opportunities to attend live shows in Austin as well as a few New Year’s Eve shows the Rodeo Bar in New York City. I have no regrets in this life, but regret missing them all.

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Terminator 2 Judgement Day OST

Brad Fiedel
Terminator 2 Judgment Day Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Silva Screen Records 2010

Like any piece of classical music worth its weight in cartoons, a good soundtrack score will build to a crescendo and explode, sometimes slowly, sometimes accelerating like a car driver that can’t help a lead foot. Music has done that to all of us.  Terminator 2 may not employ much more that a few instruments and a few computer programs, but when it comes to an effective piece of music, it all comes down to only one question.  Does it do the job and does it convey the big ideas.  With Brad Fiedel behind the controls, the answer is yes.

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