a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
* Present Music – Graffiti (classical)
Motown meets Mozart? “Motor City Requiem” is one of three smart, comtemporary pieces for small ensemble that grace this collection. “Village Idiot” is energetic and accessible in a post-minimalist style reminiscent of John Adams, while “Graffiti” is a series of humorous scribbles that put on the style and affectations of famous jazz and classical composers without any recognizable melody. Clever, vibrant, and beautiful.
Listen to Present Music "Motor City Requiem"
Debashish Bhattacharya – O Shakuntala! (world)
Despite not being included in the video game pantheon, Bhattacharya is a real guitar hero. Having re-engineered the instrument to play Indian classical music, he plays mesmerizing lines accompanied by a simple table drum.
Listen to Debashish Bhattacharya “Baarish!”
The Dandy Warhols – The Dandy Warhols Are Sound (rock)
Artsy-cool electropop. Synthesizers, drums, and whispery vocals. The hipness quotient is so high, I almost feel like a poseur just talking about them.
Listen to The Dandy Warhols “We Used To Be Friends”
Gina Villalobos – Days On Their Side (rock)
She’s got a voice that’ll break your heart. Alternative country bliss with pedal steel, acoustic, and electric guitars side-by-side and just enough twang to reel you in.
Listen to Gina Villalobos on myspace here.
Clutch – Strange Cousins From the West (blues)
Clutch continues the classic rock tradition of buying a bluesmobile and hot-rodding the engine almost beyond recognition. Clutch brings power guitar riffs, hellhound-on-my-trail vocal delivery, and a proto-metal love of extreme volume.
Listen to Clutch memorialize our 16th president in rawk: “Abraham Lincoln”
The Panic Is On: The Great Depression As Seen By the Common Man (folk)
This collection of 1930’s sides is just too timely to pass up. Twenty-three songs about hard times, including tunes from Woody Guthrie, Roy Acuff, and Sonny Boy Williamson.
Listen to Bessie Smith “Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out)”
Speaking of too good to pass up, how about a collection of funk tracks from high school bands off of self-produced albums in the 70’s? Yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds.
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation
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