Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harajuki Barbie - Valley girl, real deal, real ass, SUPER BASS

Where can American Pancake get their own Harajuku Barbie? Nicki Minaj is a powerhouse, the real deal with a real ass. Her playfulness and tender tough persona works and when she channels her inner valley girl it is hilarious and when she channels Katy Perry on the chorus it works as well.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Radiohead - "The Daily Mail" @ Glastonbury

Oh Thom, you sexy son of a bitch. Let's go off to New Yorke and make it legal already.

The Ettes-

"a visually stunning group that oozes sensuality." - BUST Magazine

"Lead singer Coco Hames' voice sounds the way Leslie Gore's might if she'd taken pouting and strutting lessons from Mick Jagger . intimate and explosive." - ELLE

"Nancy Sinatra style, Patsy Cline twang, and Stonesy rock." - ALL MUSIC GUIDE

"Lead singer Coco channels some of the best bouffanted singers of the '60s while adding a sleek punk edge" - NPR

American Pancake concurs

The Ettes (Hell, yeah)

The Janks

Something mellow- soft and sweet...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Holy Ghost Station - The Dustbowl Revival - (EP) Album Review

Where can you hear a dizzying blend of music on the fringe of 1930's swing, blues, jazz, gospel, jug band, bluegrass and French folk? At the Holy Ghost Station, of course. There you will find The Dustbowl Revival, a consortium of skilled musicians of all sorts lead by the little bit crazy and highly creative Zach Lupetin. As you listen to songs like "In That Old Dust Bowl" or the slow shuffle blues of the title track, it is easy to be so overcome by the musical chops that you may gloss over the lyrical content. The players seriously jam and it wasn't until the third or fourth listen that I started seeing the images of Americana that Lupetin paints with gritty emotion and tender humor- "Ain't is sad when they take your home when your crops go bad and you lose your soul." Lupetin sings lead vocals on most of the tracks but lucky for us, Caitlin Doyle, in wonderful form, coos out- "Well, you know you don't got no looks. Lord knows you don't make no money but when another day is in the books. You are still my honey bunny" in the horns drenched and cutely sexy- "What You're Doing to Me."

There are so many surprises on this EP. "Le Bataillon" is one of them. The arrangement from the "Bom baddom baddom" vocals, tuba bass, horn and accordion phrasings, dancing mandolin and more is elegant and raucous at the same time. It has the intoxicating party feel of Bob Dylan's "Everybody Must Get Stoned" and, again, Lupetin is both story teller and provocateur. "Western Passage", an instrumental (except for some backing vocals) creates super wide vistas of styles. From its decidedly Spanish guitar that transforms into some form of ultra hot cowboy jazz, to its almost calypso beat, to its Russian folk breaks, it is a marvelous composition. Horns and bass swirl around a wonderful clarinet and guitar interplay with a banjo picking all the while. It is a cinematic sound scape that is part Spaghetti Western, part Hope and Crosby road show, and part European spy caper that could be and should be in a Quentin Tarantino movie. "No Anchor Rag" is a fiddle and acoustic guitar infused hand clapper and foot stomper - "Git me on a boat that aint got no anchor"- that conjures up depression era folks in an Oklahoma revival tent feeling the spirit.

Apart from the fact, that The Dustbowl Revival creates both complex and just damn fun music, apart from the fact that the musicianship displayed is formidable, Lupetin's vision also take us on a musical journey. As the Black Keys rendition of "Grown So Ugly" helped to turn on a new generation to Louisiana Blues musician Robert Pete Williams, maybe The Dustbowl Revival will have some of us also "looking back" as they reincarnate and reinvent the type of jazz, folk and blues that was in constant flux and change in the 30's and 40's. If you listen carefully to Holy Ghost Station, hopefully, you will see and hear the ghosts of luminaries like Blind Boy Fuller, Bob Will and his Texas Playboys, Les Paul, Woody Guthrie, Gotham Stompers, Bessie Smith, and more.

Adler Bloom

Holy Ghost Station record release on Saturday July 30, 2011 at 8:00pm
McCabe's Guitar Shop
3101 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, California 90405 
You can stream the single - Here

The Dustbowl Revival

Zach Lupetin - Lead vocals /acoustic Guitar / harmonica / tuba-kazoo
Caitlin Doyle - Lead vocals / vocals / washboard
Daniel Mark - mandolin
Ray Bergstrom - Spanish/gypsy guitar
Connor Vance - fiddle
Josh Heffernan - drums
Austin Nicholson - bass
David Silverman - sousaphone
Gee Rabe - accordion 
Matt bBreur - banjo
Ulf Bjorlin - trombones
Nate Ketner - sax, clarinet
Matt Rubin - trumpet

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tommy Santee Klaws - LIVE AP Review - Majestical Roof Stage

It is no exaggeration that Tommy Santee Klaw's music literally takes you away to some other place. Now, where that place is clearly depends on the individual listener's minds eye but the eyes and minds of the audience at the Majestical Roof Stage in Pasadena (part of the Make Music festival) were wide and smiling and somewhere else. Their folk music is at once raw yet sophisticated, arranged with acoustic guitar, mandolin, upright bass, violin, percussion and an array of musical accents provided by Donna Jo. Like Felix the cat with his magical bag of tricks, she pulls out a seemingly endless variety of accompaniments - a tiny toy drum kit, toy piano, a baby xylophone, slide whistle and things I can't even assign a name to. While, this, at first glance looks like more of a quirky stage affectation, it certainly is not. Each sound further enhances the evocative music they are creating.

At the center of all of this is Tommy and apart from the fact that the songwriting is superb, his voice is central to what is happening here. Throughout the set, his vocal style had a patina of sadness and yearning. Like Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit or Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Tommy's voice with one plaintive wail can embrace your heart. Songs like Straight Lines and Through the Woods seem rooted in early American folk music but you can hear the heavy down beats of Irish ballads as well- like the downtrodden foot steps of turn of the century immigrants. The songs have a timeless powerful quality and often times swell with a wall of harmonies provided by Jason Boles (mandolin), Sam Seree (percussion) and Donna Jo. Tom Paige anchored the songs with his upright bass and the violinist (Chrysanthe Tan) created stirring melodies.

The wonderful thing about live music is finding new personal discoveries. During Tommy Santee Klaw's performance a young woman had made her way to the front of the audience, right next to me and bobbed to the songs. She was in the moment and loving the songs so damn much that I thought she was a friend of the band or at least a fan of the band. In between songs I asked her if she knew the band and (wide eyed and smiling) she told me that she had never seen them before but that she thought they were absolutely amazing. I knew, at that moment, she and I were feeling the same thing.

Adler Bloom

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Jill Scott - "The Light of The Sun" - AP Album Review -

Jill Scott - Mother, Sister and Lover

Jill Scott's latest album "The Light of the Sun" is a hybrid of soul, funk, hip hop, jazz, and spoken word that celebrates love, life and the struggle of it all. So often, artists seem to write in the macrocosm painting overly broad pictures in an attempt to strike a universal chord. Jill Scott does the opposite (with better effect) singing in an extremely personal way about her own truths and relationships of all sorts. The lyrical content on the album feels real and intimate like she is expounding her personal feelings to you over the backyard fence or in the corner of a  noisy party. The first track Blessed with it's Mercy, Mercy Me like submarine drum beat wraps a comfortable retro soul vibe around your shoulders in an instant as Jill reminds us how blessed we all are "my grandma almost lived to see 92 - I'm so blessed... my son was born healthy and beautiful- I'm so blessed".  She shares So in Love with Anthony Hamilton, a soulful 70-ish party song that has a stripped down fade out that is to die for. Shame with Eve again evokes a technicolor 70's TV show full of female swagger "I can stand on my own- I'm magnificent. I'm a queen on the throne - I'm magnificent.

Much of this album approaches it's many musical genres with a full on jazz attitude not afraid to make sudden right turns or U turns at a moments notice. In Cried Out (Redux) Doug E. Fresh provides the beatbox for Jill's amazing vocals that are is at once soul and pure jazz. In an instant the song slaps you in the face with a ragtime piano and 40's flow as you realize that the beat box was simulating tap dance phrasings all along. Jill Scott certainly has full control of her magnificent pipes and can be mother, sister, and lover. Hear My Call (God, hear my call) asks for his help over stirring violins and piano. Until Then (I Imagine) is as sexy as hell and could put Viagra and Cialis out of business. Some Other Time has a alternative trippy vibe ala Santo Gold and is full of Jill's thought bubbles about last night's date or chance meeting with an interesting man. Making you - glides with the stride of a powerful woman and many artists would of taken this powerful groove and turned it large with heavy drums and instrumentation midstream but, no, this production is self assured enough to not do so. It is clear that this entire album is forged in this self assured way. In Womanifesto, Jill Scott goes back to her roots as a spoken word artist and over a day dreamy hum she starts- "Clearly, I am not a fat ass. I am active brain and lip smacking peach deep. Sometimes too aggressive in it's honesty and heart sweet that loves wholly and completely whom it may choose. Whomever it may choose." The piece becomes more personal from there and is as strong and complex as "The Light of the Sun".


Adler Bloom

Stars - "We Don't Want Your Body"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Fidelity - Opiate for the Masses? "California Summer" Single Review -

New Fidelity have always channeled the early 60's Brit pop sound of bands like The Hollies, The Dave Clark Five and The Zombies but also infuse what is uniquely a Southern Californian beach sound as well. The boys hail from Long Beach, California so this makes absolute sense. Their new single is unabashedly bright and in full technicolor. It literally takes you far, far away to a place where Governors don't commute the sentences of murderers and gas does not cost $4.00 a gallon. If you allow the music to do so, it will strip away years of cynicism that can, these days, coat us all like heavy layers of paint. California Summer (A-Side) vacillates between tight bass driven post punk (reminiscent of The Jam) to a chorus hinging on bubble gum pop (reminiscent of The Archie's). Lead vocalist Dan Perkins laments being away from his California Summer expressing how he feels when he is away... "now I feel like a Buddhist Monk in a Church in Rome." The B-side entitled Never Go Away percolates with an enticingly sweet picking guitar with a heavy counterpoint of syncopated  guitar power chords and organ swells following heavy bass and drum down beats. It is a wonderfully complex little dance as each musical entity played at different time signatures all fit so perfectly together. The lead vocals seem a bit more playful than on California Summer giving it a more live performance feel and I like that. Never Go Away inhabits a more power pop 80's jag in that Joe Jackson / Knack universe but let me be clear, New Fidelity is it's own planet. A planet were Beatle boots, Rickenbacker guitars and a brighter tomorrow rule the day.

Adler Bloom

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sea of Bees - "The Woods" LIVE performance

I have a penchant for live performances as well finding that spot with the perfect acoustics. Julie Ann Bee, or Jules as everyone calls her performs "The Woods" live in a grain silo. Enjoy.

Sea Of Bees "The Woods" from Riot Act Media on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Modest Mouse debuts two new songs at Sasquatch Music Festival

This past weekend Modest Mouse performed some brand new songs on the Sasquatch stage at the Sasquatch Music Festival in their home state of Washington.  To date, there have not been any reports if Sasquatch (Big Foot) attended the festival but we can all dream.

As you have probably heard. some tweets by OutKast rapper Big Boi were splashed all over the net back in April indicating that he was working with Modest Mouse.

"Me and @mouche1 (OutKast producer Chris Carmouche) in the studio workin with Modest Mouse on their new album Turnt up ! Shout out to Issac and the crew!"


"Been camped out in the Lab with Modest Mouse all week, workin on the new mouse LP, coolest cats ever. Long Live The Funk"

Well, rumor has it that these two new songs, Poison and Lampshades on Fire (love this title) may be the result of this collaboration of sorts. Check em out: