Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cold Specks- "Sadly haunting and hauntingly beautiful"

Al Spx aka Cold Specks is a Canadian singer songwriter with a voice that seems aged well beyond her years. Based out of London and on the verge of releasing her debut album entitled "Predict a Graceful Expulsion" (release date is May 21st) she creates captivating music that has been described as "doom soul." It is permeated with a gospel cadence and a dark tone that can tug at your heart  like early African American spirituals, sadly haunting and hauntingly beautiful.
- Adler Bloom


Tour Dates:
May 1st – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
May 2nd – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
May 3rd – Cedar Cultural Centre – Minneapolis, MN
May 4th – West End Cultural Centre – Winnipeg, MB
May 6th - McDougall United Church – Edmonton, AB
May 7th - Central United Church – Calgary, AB
May 8th - Southminster United Church – Lethbridge, AB
May 9th – The Royal – Nelson, BC
May 11th - The Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC
May 12th – Alix Goolden Hall – Victoria, BC
May 13th - Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
May 14th - Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
May 16th - The Independent - San Francisco, CA
May 18th – Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
May 19th - The Compound Grilll – Phoenix, AZ
May 20th - Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
May 22nd - The Prophet Bar – Dallas, TX
May 23rd - Stubb's BBQ (Indoor) – Austin, TX
May 24th - One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, LA
May 25th - Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
May 26th - Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
May 27th - Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
May 28th - Johnny Brenda's – Philadelphia, PA
May 30th – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
May 31st – Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA
June 2nd – The Music Hall, Toronto, ON

“Haunting doom-laden soul”
“Positively spellbinding and downright possessed”
Cold Specks will release their debut album I Predict A Graceful Expulsion through Mute on May 22nd.
The band have signed to Mute and release a video for Cold Specks’ track “Holland”.
Cold Specks is songwriter and vocalist Al Spx from Etobicoke, Canada, who now lives in London. The band’s name is taken from a line in James Joyce’s Ulysses:

The Rezillos- late 70's "Polished Punk"

Every time I go to the Blue Star Bar, the resident DJ plays a Rezillos song which is totally cool but you don't often hear this late 70's new wave band (with a punk patina) anywhere. While this Scottish band made a definite impact with such songs as Flying Saucer Attack, Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight (originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac) and Top of the Pops, they don't get the rotation and adoration of bands like the Ramones although I think their sound is just as potent and catchy. So, last night at the Blue Star, the DJ played Top of the Pops which was awesome. The people I was hanging with at the time didn't seem to know who the Rezillos were but they seemed to dig the song. So, people... those of you who are not familiar with the Rezillos, here are a few videos to school and entertain you.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Random Body Part Saturday: Songs with "Eye" in the Title- !!

It has been said in many different ways that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Eyes, those organs that turn light waves and convert them into electro-chemical impulses that in turn allow us to interpret the things we "see"- have been fodder for poetry and song forever. And why not? Many people say that eyes are one of the features that they find most attractive in others. And so here (in no particular order) we have a smattering of songs,  some very old and some very new, that have eye in the title.

Diana Ross and the Supremes - 
When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

Alan Parson Project - 
Eye in the Sky

Velvet Underground-
Pale Blue Eyes

Green Eyes

Smashing Pumpkins-

Peter Gabriel-
In Your Eyes

The Black Keys-
Midnight In Her Eyes

Peter, Bjorn and John-

Blue Foundation-
Eyes on Fire

Rogue Waves-

Kim Carnes-
Bettie Davis Eyes

Mumford and Sons-
Lover's Eyes

Billy Idol-
Eyes Without A Face

Van Morrison-
Brown Eyed Girl

Dirty Projectors-
Dark Eyes (Bob Dylan Cover)

Local Natives-
Wide Eyes 

Bob Welch-
Ebony Eyes

The Who-
Behind Blue Eyes

La Sera-
Please Be My Third Eye

Rolling Stones-
The Girl with The Faraway Eyes

Silver Sun Pickups-
Lazy Eye

The Beach Boys' "That's Why God Made The Radio" is just plain God Awful.

The last time that I remember The Beach Boys evoking God in a song was on the 1966 Pet Sounds Album. That song,"God Only Knows" (brilliantly produced and composed by Brian Wilson with beautifully simple and elegant lyrics by Tony Asher) stands as my favorite song ever. For our wedding, my wife and I chose it as the song for our first dance. To this day, Carl Wilson's pure vocal performance on that stellar song still gives me chills and at the right moment can bring me to tears. Pet Sounds, Surfs Up and The Holland Album were pivotal sign posts in my musical landscape. Those albums continue to blow me away. A couple of days ago, The Beach Boys for their 50th year in music announced they are hitting the road once more and with a fair amount of fanfare released a new single. NPR, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and a dozen other music blogs heaped varying degrees of praise on the this new song that also evokes God. NPR lauded it as the "The Beach Boys' best New Song in 40 years." NPR's headline is ultimately a back handed compliment as the Beach Boys have released many albums in the last 40 years. It is also perplexing because 39 years ago The Beach Boys released the "Holland" album (considered by most to be the last great Beach Boys album). But besides the fact that those at NPR may need to invest in a calculator is beside the point, this new single that once again evokes God is just plain God awful.

The new single is entitled "That's Why God Made The Radio" and even before listening to it, the title itself did a good job of forecasting how bad this song would be. The lyrics are equally cringe worthy, "That's why God made the radio / So tune right in everywhere you go/ He waved his hand / Gave us rock and roll / The soundtrack of falling in love" and "It's paradise when I / Lift up my antenna / Receiving your signal like a prayer."  Yikes, I got those "bad kind" of chills just typing those lyrics out. This is really bad stuff and unfortunately the musical bed is not much better. It has this over produced sterile sound that even those lush Beach Boys harmonies cannot save. A more organic approach could of helped but ultimately, at it's core, this recording is lacking heart and soul. From the first downbeat to the obligatory fade out it sounds so darn manufactured and so terribly antiseptic. It reminds me of a parody song that would be in some dark comedy mocking Christian values or possibly a Beach Boys type band. I could see a group of Stepford smiling, white shoe wearing, King family-esque singers performing this song with Televangelists in the background clapping off time.

Am I being to hard on this song? Maybe, maybe not. I just know that even "Kokomo" smokes this song out of the water. One thing this new song has done, is make me want me to rediscover all those old treasures that I have on vinyl and that is worth a lot.
Adler Bloom

Video: "Where Do I Come In" from Rosler's Recording Booth

I was introduced to Spottiswoode and his evocative / provocative voice when reviewing his band's (Spottiswoode and His Enemies) last album "Wild Goosechase Expedition." His dulcet tones can pull you into the story of whatever song he is singing like a skilled cinematographer can lure you in with lights and shadows. It is nice to see that he is one of the musical contributors to the concept album Rosler's Recording Booth. In true form, in the song "Where Do I Come In" he is once again the storyteller in a song that plays out like a mini- movie.

- Adler Bloom

(per press release)

Just nominated by the Independent Music Awards for Best Concept Album of 2011 -- Don Rosler:  Rosler's Recording Booth -- releases a new video of one of  the tracks from the album: "Where Do I Come In?".  Award-winning Brazilian illustrator Maria Eugênia completely captures the shy heart and soul of Rosler's song with her magical illustrations and animation.

"Where Do I Come In?" is performed by Spottiswoode and features a formidable group of musicians:  Dave Eggar (cello), Terry Radigan (background vocals, guitar & piano), Joshua Camp (accordion, piano and Mellotron), Bj Karpen (oboe), Jim McNamara (bass), Chris Michaels (drums).  The song is co-arranged and co-produced by Don Rosler & Terry Radigan.


Don Rosler: Don Rosler was born in a blackout in NYC, his mother screaming for tranquillizers when the doctor shone a flashlight on her newborn’s face (TRUE STORY)!

After that rocky start and a saxophone-playing childhood in Massapequa, Long Island, Rosler turned to songwriting and wrote for many artists in various styles and genres, from country to choral to alt-folk/rock/pop to gospel, classical, world and jazz. Rosler never had any aspirations to be a performing songwriter, but once his concept got under way for Rosler’s Recording Booth, he decided to step in and record a few, one of which, "Doris from Rego Park," received considerable radio play and a New York Times feature article, written by Ken Plutnicki "(Doris From Rego Park Lives On In Song"). The album received critical acclaim and has just been nominated by the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Concept Album of 2011. As a lyricist, Rosler recently collaborated with producers Roger Treece and Linda Goldstein for the Bobby McFerrin VOCAbuLarieS album. VOCAbuLarieS garnered three 2010 Grammy nominations and Rosler was honored with a SESAC Award for his contributions to VOCabuLarieS. Rosler is also the co-producer and co-writer of John Margolis: Christine's Refrigerator CD; has co-written songs for Everett Bradley’s Holidelic &Toy CDs, as well as a bunch of songs for Jay Ward’s dogbrain: nest album. He also recently arranged and recorded a version of The Beatles’ “Julia” with the young singer, Emily O’Reilly, for The Beatles Complete on Ukulele project and is currently in the midst of dreaming up a musical.

Spottiswoode:  Spottiswoode is one of ten featured artists on Rosler's Recording Booth, singing lead vocals on the songs: "Where Do I Come In?" and "You Won't Believe." Referred to as a “genius” and a “downtown ringleader” by The New Yorker, Spottiswoode is the son of an American singer and an English clergyman.  He has been "one of New York’s more colorful band leaders for more than a decade,” according to WNYC’s John Schaefer. Spottiswoode has been writing and performing in New York for the past fifteen years, most notably as the frontman of Spottiswoode & His Enemies, a septet that has become something of a New York institution. With the band, Spottiswoode has released five acclaimed CDs and has toured worldwide performing at many celebrated venues, including Lincoln Center. The band has been featured on the nationally syndicated radio programs XM Loft, World Cafe and Soundcheck. They have also been profiled on NPR’s Weeekend Edition. Spottiswoode has received four Independent Music Award nominations including his most recent nomination for the band’s latest CD, Wild Goosechase Expedition, as the Best Eclectic Album of 2011. His songs have been covered by numerous artists and have been featured in a variety of TV shows and films including The Gentleman, an anti romantic comedy which he directed and which played for several years on the Independent Film Channel. His gothic rock opera, Above Hell’s Kitchen, was recently performed to sold-out crowds at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Maria Eugênia : Maria Eugênia has illustrated more than 60 books and her books have won awards in Brazil and abroad, including the Bologna Ragazzi Award  ["Nas ruas do Bras " - Cia das letrinhas ] and the White Ravens in ["Bichos que existem, bichos que nao existem" - Cosac & Naify].  Her works have been shown internationally at the Society of Illustrators NY Annual Show, American Illustration Show, Bologna’s Illustrators Exhibition, the Itabashi Art Museum Exhibition (Tokyo), the Bratislava Biennial of Illustrations, and "The fabulous colored pencils," an exhibition with 40 women illustrators from all over the world (in Italy) and many other art shows in Brazil. Ms. Eugênia received critical acclaim for her video for Spottiswoode & His Enemies' "Chelsea Boys" released in December, 2011.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Moonface - "epic late 80's feel" - Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips

Moonface's "Teary Eyes and Blood Lips" has that epic late 80's feel and the verse melody is reminiscent of some other song but I cannot say which (?) (YOU like?)

PS I Love You- Princess Towers

PS I Love YOU- I don't know much about them but Princess Towers has peaked my interest. Musically it has the punk prowess of old school punk but there is something progressive sounding on the fringes. A cursory wikified glance reveals: PS I Love You is a Canadian indie rock band formed in 2006 in Kingston. The band is signed to Canadian independent record label Paper Bag Records. The band is a duo, with Paul Saulnier on vocals/guitar/bass pedals and Benjamin Nelson on drums. Check Princess Towers out-

Random Video: Beach Fossils - Lessons

Beach Fossils sound is as dream inducing as old Super 8 home movies.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Radiohead Coachella 2012 Full Performance on Youtube

(Pic courtesy of

OH MY GOSH- Radiohead full Coachella 2012 concert on Youtube-

1. Bloom (1:05)
2. 15 Step (7:30)
3. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (11:40)
4. Morning Mr Magpie (17:25)
5. Staircase (22:40)
6. The Gloaming (27:20)
7. Pyramid Song (31:10)
8. Daily Mail (36:30)
9. Myxomatosis (40:15)
10. Karma Police (45:15)
11. Identikit (50:30)
12. Lotus Flower (54:30)
13. There There (59:55)
14. Bodysnatchers (1:05:40)
15. Idioteque (1:10:00)

Encore 1

16. Lucky (1:17:20)
17. Reckoner (1:21:50)
18. After the Gold Rush intro, Everything In Its Right Place (1:27:25)

Encore 2

19. Give Up the Ghost (1:37:20)
20. Paranoid Android (1:43:04)

SNL Highlight - "The Californians"- Soap Opera

(pic courtesy of Jezebel)
I still love to watch SNL even though the writing has been flat lately. Last night had some funny stuff, but "The Californians" Soap Opera, for me, was a highlight. While the humor was based on the stereotypical surfer / stoner Cali accent (or is that dialect?) and our obsession with trying to traverse through our god awful traffic efficiently, the comedic writing also hinged on silly soap opera fodder like bad acting and staging. Fred Armisen's accent strayed into mentally challenged more than Californian and Kenan Thompson seemed to be channeling his old pal Kel Mitchel's hysterical So Cal dude speak from Good Burger.

Azealia Banks @ Coachella 2012 - Makes the Black Lips set look like a Disney Stage show.

(Picture courtesy of

Azealia Banks performs a set that makes the Black Lips set look like a Disney Stage Show. You can view her entire set on YouTube.

American Pancake- My Maudlin Cover of Moonage Daydream and other thoughts

Head space... sometimes you get in a bad one. It is not something I like to stay in too long but when it happens, when I am feeling down, I always gravitate to my 72 Guild Jumbo and play some music. Usually, it is a time to write some silly song that never comes to fruition but sometimes it is drowning myself in an iconic cover. This was the case last night as I lamented not being able to go to Coachella and, seemingly, not being able to contribute to my blog very much lately.

Blogging takes more time than you think and all bloggers struggle with the time they can contribute (to their ruminations on whatever) as they spend all that other time working their day job or going to school as well as other commitments. Every now and then (lately it has been often) I have let myself slip into workaholic mode with my day job. It is a frustrating, dreary balancing act and sometimes I feel like I am imprisoned by it. That being said it is of my own doing.

I have also added another challenge into the skewed equation that is my life and that is trying to get in shape. I began that crazy ass "Insanity" fitness schedule about a week ago and have already fallen off the wagon missing one day because to not do so would of put me way behind on a project at work (yes, I have a rescuer complex)  and if that isn't bad enough, two days ago I hurt my right foot while doing the high knee jumps!  All, this had put me in that negative head space resulting in this maudlin cover of David Bowie's Moonage Daydream done up quickly at around midnight on a Saturday night. Isolated with my thoughts, myself and the need to sing and play I pulled out my trusty Zoom Q3 pocket recorder, my aforementioned sweet Guild and did it up live. No bells and whistles. The Ty Segall footage was handy and somehow feels oddly appropriate.

My apologies to the man, Mr. David Bowie...


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Babies Always Leave You Wanting More

The Babies lay down amazing grooves, Cassie Ramone and Kevin Morby trading luscious lead lines back and forth while dispensing lovely melodies at the same time. So damn good!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Video: Sixteen Saltines by Jack White - Creepy X-Files-ish Portrait of Youth run Amok

The video for Sixteen Saltines from Jack White's April 24th album Blunderbuss has creepiness written all over it. Directed by AG Rojas, the images evoke youth run amok devoid of any feelings except base emotions. Sailing on a sea of self intoxicants without any moral compass or, apparently adults, except for Jack White himself who is bound, kept hostage and eventually.... well, you'll see. The sense is full on X-Files. The song, itself, is a stripped down glammy kick in the balls rocker with some seemingly random lyrics like, "I eat 16 saltine crackers and then I lick my fingers" or "force fed, force med till I drop dead"-

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In A Soft Synthy Mood? Check out Blow by Ghost Loft

In a soft synthy mood? If so, check out 'Blow' by LA's own Ghost Loft-

Florence and the Machine and Josh Homme's Duet of 'Jackson'

From Florence and the Machines MTV Unplugged performance, a rendition of the Johnny Cash and June Carter song 'Jackson'- with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Video: 'Fancy Park' by Bodhi is ridiculously cool...

Fancy Park, the single for the upcoming (yet untitled) album by Bodhi is a trippy sound fest for your ears and brain. The production swirls with an ethereal dirty organ, distorted drum bed and bass line bolstering edgy vocals dripping with intoxicated sex appeal. The sound is very surreal like Damon Albarn had his creative hands in the mix. It makes me want to hang out in seedy bars and smoke cigarettes. Two things I do not do, by the way. The smattering of public domain images that adorn the video for Fancy Park is comprised of 50's toy commercials, Rocketman, creepy carnival fair and possibly soft or fetish porn making the song sound all the more psyche-delicious.

Check out more sounds at their bandcamp: Bodhi FACEBOOK

Free Song Dnld: Fever by Maps and Atlases

Based out of Chicago, Maps And Atlases are an indie rock band with folk and experimental influences. They are offering their song Fever as a free download from their album Beware due to be released on April 17th on Barsuk Records.

Download Maps & Atlases – Fever

Generals by The Mynabirds

 Courtesy of Magnet Magazine- Listen to Generals by The Mynabirds

MP3 At 3PM: The Mynabirds