album coversWe love music, and are always on the hunt for new sounds. These four records have been on “heavy rotation” in our house the last few weeks.  They don’t really have much in common, except they are phenomenally good. Made by artists with clear, inspiring musical visions.  Highly recommended!

1. Montana Fix from the Gunnelpumpers – instrumental music of the highest order. Open-your-head music. An amazing, expansive mix of influences – classical, jazz, world music. The record is intense, moody, introspective, groovy, transcendent, atmospheric, mind-expanding. A great collection of grooves that roam across the sonic horizon. The collective vibe of this group is stunning. Inspired!

2. Invisible Way from Low – A quiet masterpiece. Hushed. Two beautiful voices. Crystalline songs.  Hard. Diamond-like. A very unconventional drummer, and a unique sound. This record sneaks up on you. Can’t shake it.

3. Amok from Atoms for Peace – Thom Yorke’s other band.  Groovier and looser than Radiohead. If you think that’s a good thing, also add in Flea on bass guitar. Total funky underlay! Thom Yorke actually sounds like he’s having fun, even if it’s sometimes hard to tell. Didn’t think Yorke really needed another really cool band. Didn’t think it was necessary. Guess what? This is a great record! Didn’t think it would fly? It flies!

4. Go-Go Boots from the Drive By Truckers – One of their best. Great band. Three distinctive singers. A powerhouse r&r sound with a loose, damn the torpedos feel. The songs are stories, and there’s some kind of loopy, gothic southern narrative thread.  Recorded on analog tape. You can hear and feel it. Warm, organic, kick-ass. This is soul music. Feeds the soul. Their cover of Eddie Hinton’s song “Everybody Needs Love,” is just the best.  Can’t get over it. Love.

Jammer

denguefeverRecord Store Day. Our good friend Mr. Mo reminded us by leaving a voicemail, “Oh, you must be out galavanting with your gal. Just wanted to remind you that it’s Record Store Day.” Yes the Lovely Carla and I were out galavanting. We were at Joy Yee Noodles enjoying a feast of Chow Funn and Udon noodles.

Afterwards, we decided to hit 2nd Hand Tunes.  Why not? We were due for some new music, and we scored lots of cool discs: Mercury Rev’s “Deserter’s Songs,” – exquisite, Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk,” – yeah, why not?, Velvet Underground “Live 1969” – killer,  Low’s “Invisible Way,” – hushed, and Dengue Fever’s “Venus on Earth,” East vs. West Kulturkampf

We’ve spent the last few days immersed in cool sounds. Not one clunker. Dengue Fever might be our latest favorite band.  Most of the lyrics are sung in Cambodian. The music is Cambodian Pop meets California surfer cool, cut with a dash of  off-kilter psychedelia. Cool. Really, really, cool. East meets West. Major Chow Funn! – Jammer

If someone told us that Brian Eno is a real-world Elf starring as himself in the “Lord of the Rings”, we wouldn’t be surprised at all. Eno has always seemed a little other-worldly; he is an intelligent, super-inspiring, creative catalyst, and a consummate collaborator. He has had his finger in many, many musical pies. He is of course one of the originators of “ambient” music, and has collaborated on some great albums by Roxy Music, David Bowie, Robert Fripp, U2 and Talking Heads. Eno is a formidable secret agent of change. He always seems to be thinking outside the box, and he is always devising strategies to break the rules, and to see what happens. He approaches the creative process as a game to play.  And usually, the results are pretty amazing. It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what Eno does, but some of the albums he’s been associated with are the finest works you can imagine. For instance:  “Low,”  “Heroes,” “Unforgettable Fire,” “Joshua Tree,” “Achtung, Baby,” “Fear of Music,” “Remain in Light,” “My Life in the Bush with Ghosts”  – Imagine!  Eno Lives! – Jammer