Thursday, September 4, 2008

Casual Listening - The High Decibels, Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

September 5, 2008

! The High Decibels – The High Decibels (rap)

Sherman, set the Way Back Machine to 1986, to the endless party that was the golden age of hip-hop. The High Decibels recapture the fat beats, scratch DJ fills, and stay-out-all-night lyrics of the era. Guitar riffs throughout connect the duo to even older rivers of blues.

Listen to The High Decibels “That Dude

! Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas – Bristle Ridge (folk)

Achingly beautiful string band balladry. Thick country-gospel harmonies overlay clawhammer banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. These musicians represent the new generation of folk in the best of the American tradition, sans prefixes like “freak” or “anti.”

Listen to Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas “Judgement Day

Nathan Singleton and His Sideshow Tragedy – Itinerant Youth (rock)

An inspired set of rugged, country-tinged rockers. Resophonic guitar colors a band that adds electric guitar, drums, and an occasional piano or banjo. A sharp sound backing solid songwriting.

Listen to Nathan Singleton “The Ballad of Stagolee and the Preacher Man

Broadfield Marchers – The Inevitable Continuing (rock)

Sweet indie pop with warm guitars and breezy melodies. A lot of bands aim for this sound; Broadfield Marchers do it right.

Listen to Broadfield Marchers “Stutter Shaker

Bird Show ­– Untitled (experimental)

A tremendous variety of instrumental pieces named for the array of instruments that play them – “Two Organs and Dumbek,” “Percussion and Voice,” and “Berimbau.” The textural diversity sells this one, while harmonically it reaches from relaxing to agitated. A thoughtful piece of work.

Listen to Bird Show “Mbira, Harp and Voice

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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