Thursday, October 29, 2009

Casual Listening -- Havana Cultura plus Rock & Roll CAGE MATCH and Halloween Special!

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

October 30, 2009

! Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound (Latin)

In the musical world, Cuba is the gift that keeps on giving. In this case, it’s giving to a DJ from the BBC who brought back two albums of material, one from a recording session he engineered and another that features recordings of artists he came across while on the island. It’s all hot. The first disc runs from mambo to afrobeat, while the other has strong hip hop, jazz, and reggaeton influences. One of these days the U.S. will lift the embargo and Cuba will become a global musician’s paradise. Until then, we’ve got Gilles Peterson to give us a taste of what we’re missing.

Listen to Havana Cultura Band “Pa’ Gozar

And Ogguere “La Revolucion del Cuerpo

* Jessica Pavone – Songs of Synastry and Solitude (classical)

A collection of tuneful compositions that captures a brooding introspection in the midst of the mundane. These pieces for string quartet move quietly, evenly, and effortlessly. Beautiful stuff.

Listen to Jessica Pavone “Hope Dawson is Missing

The Blind Boys of Alabama – Duets (gospel)

A lineup of A-list musicians from rock, blues, country, and gospel each get a turn with the world’s best backup singers. It’s fun to hear descent singers suddenly sound awesome when surrounded by the Blind Boys’ enormous gospel harmonies. Lou Reed, Ben Harper, and Jars of Clay all get the royal treatment.

Listen to The Blind Boys of Alabama with Dan Zanes “Welcome Table

The Lawrence Arms – Buttsweat and Tears (rock)

OK, so I couldn’t resist the title, but the music’s surprisingly good. High octane, three-chord punk-pop.

Listen to The Lawrence Arms “Them Angels Been Talkin’


Wolfmother ­– Cosmic Egg vs. Winger – Karma

In this corner, the young guns of retro-rock, the monsters of the mainstream, Wolfmother! (YAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!) And in the other corner, it’s the killers from the crypt, the band that would not die, Winger! (yay.) Wolfmother tears through the power chords, taunting Winger with vocals that sound ripped from the throat of Robert Plant himself! Winger seems laughably uncool by comparison. Is there a slaughter rule in the cage match? But wait! Winger cranks it up and launches barrage after barrage of screaming guitar solos! It’s a classic rope-a-dope! Winger unleashes a massive dosage of Rawk and double back even harder at Wolfmother. Wolfmother’s on the ropes! The referee steps in! It’s Winger!!!!!! (yay.)

Listen to Wolfmother “New Moon Rising

Listen to Winger “Deal With the Devil


The Red Shore – Unconsecrated (metal)


Listen to The Red ShoreSlain by the Serpent

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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