Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Music Review For March 2017 & A Preview of Upcoming News Articles on Seize Your Leisure

In the next few weeks, I'll be posting news articles on the topice of Washtenaw Metro SWAT and also about the current digital platforms of Ann Arbor City Government and ways to improve timely information access so that residents can easily participate in Ann Arbor government bodies without having to submit FOIAs for information we should already have at-the-ready. Stay tuned for that 

In the meantime, let's revel in the new musics I had the privilege to review for the weekly music review sessions at WCBN-FM Ann Arbor. These review sessions, by the way, take place most Monday's [except during some student breaks] at 630pm in the WCBN lobby, which is located in the basement of the Student Activities Building on the Campus of the University of Michigan. It is through these types of volunteer activities that we remain on-the-air without paid staff, but with the latest music for our loyal listeners.

     WCBN is a student-run radio station licensed to the Regents of the University of 
       Michigan broadcasting at 200 mighty watts on your radio dial at 88.3 MHz in Ann Arbor. 
       You can also stream our signal over the internet by clicking http://www.wcbn.org/listen

The Luyas “Human Voicing”
Paper Bag Records 2017
NO FCCs


Fourth album for this Montreal pop quintet. The song structures are somewhat loose for pop but are held together by the drummer, who leaves plenty of space for the other players who shift between guitar, keyboards, French Horn, pedal steel and violin to experiment and push the envelope of pop song structures. 

Lyrically, Jessie Stein uses abstract imagery to describe the struggle of artists to make sense and to make “cents” [e.g. “Self-Unemployed”]. I wouldn’t call her delivery monotone, but rather “uni-tone.” The singularity in pitch and timbre of her voice and the backups stand in stark contrast to the imaginative and, at-times, improvised song arrangements. Not-to-be-missed, I thoroughly enjoyed this album from start to finish. Favorite tracks: 2, 4, 6, 7 

1. Dream In Time
2. Self-Unemployed
3. Dream Of Love 
4. Beating Bowser
5. All Of Everything 
6. No Domination
7. Fed To The Lions
8. Never Before

Here is a live version of "Self-Unemployed" from a recent online live session in which The Luyas were involved.


Allan Rayman “Roadhouse 01”
Communion Records 2017
NO FCCs

Toronto native Allan Rayman submits a second full length album, recorded and produced in Brooklyn, but likely written in an isolated cabin in Lost Springs, Wyoming, where Rayman currently resides. 

There is not much else known about Allan and according to a recent interview in Billboard Mag, he prefers to keep it that way. The songs on this record are well-thought out compositions, but flow like they were written on-the-spot. There are cryptic images, but the sounds convey a forlorn soul. There is also no format here. This album is classified as “funk/soul” but the songwriting has elements of country [esp. lyrics], pop/rock and hip hop. Play anytime, a great freeform record. 

1. Wolf
2. December
3. Sweetheart
4. Repeat
5. Shelby Moves
6. Jim’s Story
7. Left Alone
8. Faust Road
9. Hollywood/ My Way
10. Head Over Heels
11. 25.22
12. 13
13. God is a Woman

Here are a couple of samples from Roadhouse 01 showing the breadth of styles Rayman employs in his sound:




CCCRRCCSSLLRRKKRRSSS S/T
MEGAKUT CDS 2017
NO FCCs

ALL CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I AM YELLING, BUT INSTEAD FOLLOWING THE FORM OF THIS RECORD. THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS PRONOUNCED [SIRKUS-LURKERS] AND KEEPING WITH THAT THEME, THEY PROVIDE US WITH A CARNIVAL OF SOUNDS FROM THE FIRST OF THEIR 6 RECORDING SESSIONS. THE SESSIONS ARE AN UNREHEARSED PATCHWORK OF ELECTRO-NOISE AND MUSIQUE CONCRÈTE [NO, THAT IS *NOT* A REFERENCE TO STEPHEN MALKMUS AND PAVEMENT, STEPCHILD, LOOK IT UP :-)] 

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS RECORDING AND ITS ARTWORK. PICK ANY TRACK AND GO!

1. GAWNG STYLE
2. MIRAGE GARAGE
3. ACT LIKE YOU KNOW
4. GAFFLER
5. SECTAUR

Here is a link to the bandcamp stream for "Act Like You Know"

Zeal and Ardor “Devil is Fine”
MVKA Music 2017
NO FCCs

One of the more intriguing set of musics I had to review for this week, Zeal and Ardor describes their sound as Gospel/Black Metal. The sound is not a fusion of these forms, but instead they are strung together like red, white and blue christmas tree lights along a plantation road. 

Swiss-American, Manuel Gagneux, sings his version of gospel songs to Satan instead of the Christian god often revered in the gospel form. This is a conceptual album in which the songs flow from one to the next making it difficult to separate and play any individual track out-of-context.

Elements of Gospel, Metal, Delta Blues and even Electronic Dance Music [EDM] will connect with your ears when listening to this record. The Sacrilegium series and Children’s Summons are particularly creepy [which means “highly enjoyable” to me :)] Have a blast with this one. Even though I say it is difficult to play tracks out of context, I would play any of these in a free form radio set. Enjoy!

1. Devil is Fine
2. In Ashes
3. Sacrilegium I
4. Come On Down
5. Children’s Summon
6. Sacrilegium II
7. Blood on the River
8. What a Killer Like You Gonna Do Here?

8. Sacrilegium III

This album blew me away so I am including several tracks that show you why :)