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Kind of Sappho

impressions and musings on music

(As we were provided by the artist/s with the highest resolution 24 bit/48 khz wav masters of the songs for Fight to the Death, we are playing them through the highest version of our upstairs home stereo system). The words that follow is merely our impressionistic interpretation of events)

Fight to the Death is a narrative in multiple voices of a planet trying to save itself

Sappho’s Fight to the Death harkens the cold metallic version of the BBC version of the days of future past meets now tale as opposed to a certain Tom Cruise manic run for your life and an annoying screaming Elle Fanning,


As one knows this is La La Land territory with song and dance threatening to break out any moment. This spacey soap opera entertainingly and with amusing lyrics covers so many dancey styles of music ranging from the get-go with techno dance tracks to South American jazz guitar samba leading to the finale rave on.all encompassed under Sappho’s soaring voice. Each stage of this space opera musical has its own backstory replete with music. We did say La La Land or the false nostalgia for the day the earth stood still one day?

After an overture of the Fight to the Death theme for the night, the chanteuse with a lively stratospheric voice spells out the chain of events. In the first song of sci-fi internet musical “Fight to the Death”, in which a lonely scientist seeks a connection to something greater, the scientist looks to the skies above for a sign of life out there in the West Side Story somewhere universe. Be careful of what you wish for!

a nightmarish extraterrestrial hears radio signals emanating from Earth, and begins their journey towards the unsuspecting planet

I got your distress call
Might just be your downfall, baby

Distress Call in a musical role reversal where after the protagonist sends out the siren call signal and in counterpoint it is the receiver of message who interprets it as a distress call and relishes what is to come. The music instead of being filled with frenzy and panic is laidback, reflects the calm confidence and menace of the alien eyeing its target. Lizard Person has the hero eyeing those eyes – the truth is out there with a X-Files paranoia as they face the enemy among them taking over their world. By the countdown for the final showdown of the titular song, Fight to the Death has hero and foe as counterparts in a strummed guitar jazz samba duel duo off that would fit inside an Ennio Morricone score, one could imagine the crack of the whip.. The finale of the opera goes Out With A Bang. a fabulous techno rave ending. Yet the conclusion is nebulous, as to who wins with one left in a state of wonder or a Matrix dreamscape. We have met the enemy and all that jazz.

(The tale and more re-mixed tracks can be fully obtained via the sappho.music bandcamp site !)

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Kind of everything is fine : One Question with Skye Wallace

One Question
with
Skye Wallace



Feel free to ignore the premise. Taylor Swift speaks in common language, she will use similes and metaphors her words tend to speak in the venacular (but I come back stronger than a 90s trend) or directly. You both speak in folklore or evermore with your stories are either more couched in vivid imagery or the clever and fun. Taylor is more concise whereas Skye Wallace conjures more poetic sophistication? Upfront and simplistic, veiled and sophisticated? speak in the vernacular or in classic dreamy imagory?  Is your approach with lyricism in songwriting tailored to observational or the conjectural abstract?

This is my pre-ramble to the one question to Skye Wallace.

I have been playing Norah Jones Come Away with Me along with the likes of Getz / Gilberto (which gave the world The Girl From Ipanema and Corcovado Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars) and Frank Sinatra Songs for Swingin’ Lovers. Their lyricists which include themselves evoke more romanticism in a few phrases and Frank can pack more volume in a swinging line than Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran. Again with Taylor Swift, she self-admittedly is her own elephant in the room. She can bring in her own army of musical support along the lines of The National or Bon Iver. I have always been drawn to the adrenaline rush either live or on record or disc of earlier Skye’s songs on the first albums with that mystique of Blood Moon or MeanSong 2 or Dead Things. And you cannot ignore the literal wallop of Skye Wallace album on Swing Batter or Death of Me or There is a Wall or Body Lights the Way. So here comes the question.

(Once again feel free to ignore the premise of the question or the question.)

SKYE WALLACE: Good question. I think there’s a lot of merit to both ways of writing. My way of more veiled poeticism has been both something that people really love and something that I’ve received criticism about, especially with desires of entering into the radio world. I’ve had people tell me that songs on the radio these days just say what they mean and that I should be more literal, but the more I tried, the more I felt that I strayed from my own spirit of writing. I’m down to try new things and I even wrote a bunch of more literal songs that I love, but I do also think there’s absolutely a place for more poetic, less-literal lyricism. I think it’s impossible to align yourself with trends and “what’s on the radio” anyway; a losing battle. As soon as you emulate a trend, it will inevitably have changed. All you can do, in my opinion, is be yourself and do your thing in a way that you care about and the rest shines through.

Kind of au clair d’angel

some impressions of music


Angel Ciair
Art Garfunkel


There was a lot on the line when Art Garfunkel was coming out with his first solo album.

ANGEL CLARE
LP KC 31474 (1973) STEREO/CQ 31474 QUADRAPHONIC


1: TRAVELING BOY (Williams; Nichols)
2: DOWN IN THE WILLOW GARDEN (Monroe)
3: I SHALL SING (Van Morrison)
4: OLD MAN (Newman)
5: FEUILLES-OH (Trad) – DO SPACE MEN PASS DEAD SOULS ON THEIR WAY TO THE MOON? (J. S. Bach; Grossman)
6: ALL I KNOW (Webb)
7: MARY WAS AN ONLY CHILD (Hammond; Hazlewood; Milchberg)
8: WOYAYA (Amarfio; Osei; Tontoh; Bedeau; Richardson; Amao; Bailey)
9: BARBARA ALLEN (Trad)
10: ANOTHER LULLABY (Webb)

Art Garfunkel (vocals)
Larry Knechtel, Michael Omartian (keyboards)
Louie Shelton, Larry Carlton, Dean Parks (guitars)
Joe Osborn (bass)
Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon (drums)

Other musicians:
J. J. Cale, Fred Carter, Jerry Garcia, Paul Simon (guitars)
Carl Radle (bass)
Tommy Tedesco (mandolin/bouzouki)
Jules Broussard, Jack Schroer (saxophones)
Jorge Milchberg (charango)
Stuart Canin (violin)
Milt Holland (percussion)
Dorothy Morrison, Sally Stevens, Jackie Ward & St. Mary’s Choir (vocals)

Remastered from the original analogue tapes by Michael J. Dutton


The feel of the album is a voyage through time. Traveling Boy. Mary was an only child. Old Man from Randy Newman. The renaissance nature of Feuilles-on.

The calibre of musicians involved with the creation of this album is jaw-dropping. The names from the Wrecking Crew abound.

What drew me to acquiring this on SACD was the early foray into the SACD world and the modest price of the album. As a fan of Garfunkel with Paul Simon and owning a few of their albums along with solo recordings, I looked forward to hearing the voice of Garfunkel through SACD.

The most familiar track All I Know starts with a slow build and then absolutely soars. The moment did not let me down and for this makes the whole experience worthwhile.

Kind of the morning after

a few ramblings and impressions on music


J Geils Band
The Morning After

J Geils Band
The Morning After
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 2206
Original Master Recording

1 I Don’t Need You No More 2:35

2 Whammer Jammer
Written-By – Juke Joint Jimmy 2:34

3 So Sharp
Written-By – Arlester Christian 3:09

4 The Usual Place
Written-By – Don Covay, Leroy Randolph 2:44

5 Gotta Have Your Love 4:32

6 Looking For A Love
Written-By – J.W. Alexander, Zelda Samuels 3:45

7 Gonna Find Me A New Love 3:23

8 Cry One More Time 3:21

9 Floyd’s Hotel 3:08

10 It Ain’t What You Do (It’s How You Do It!)
Written-By – Juke Joint Jimmy 5:12



Limited to 2,000 copies.
(c) 1971 & 2019 Atlantic Recording Corp. Made in U.S.A. Disc made in Austria.
No. 000892 of 2000 from MoFi lands in the SACD collection.

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab is reknown for its high end audiophile mastering standards.
Ultradisc UHR on vinyl has Eagles priced at $200. However, this J. Geils Band second album The Morning After is more reasonable even in limited quantity of 2000.

This album is a mix of the bluesy rock which even on SACD delivers the goods.

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Kind of mode

impressions on music


The dystonic post-or-now-apocalyptic world of Depeche Mode with the doom and attendant gloom. The breezy easy days of their debut Speak and Spell have been supplanted by the twelfth album Ultra with its Flood-NIN-Bowiesque style Tim Simenone helter skelter production (and engineered by Q) - as we all come together (or fall apart with Alan Wilder leaving the band) - staring at the end of the barrel of a gun. David Gahan at the low point.

Depeche Mode
Ultra

Sony 888837708822

With the Denon DVD-3910 now in our possession, the hunt was on for music to feed the beast. What better than the series of Depeche Mode releases on the DVD/CD format? The DVD (which is in PAL format and quite playable on the Denon player) portion is presumably on the DVD-Audio side of things with 5.1 mix in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround or DTS 5.1 and a PCM Stereo version. The PCM Stereo version is what is selected here (since the RCA audio connections are all that is present on the back of the Vector Research VR-220 receiver which has served us well since Ring Audio days). The DVD also contains three tracks recorded live in London April 1997 and bonus tracks. With the DVD comes a small quirky documentary film about Ultra (the album that almost did not get finished). Depeche Mode. 1995-1998 (Oh Well, that’s the end of the band).
Needless to say but saying it nonetheless, the music sounds just great in stereo. 

these random writings are styled as part of the “running-in” period for the KEF Q350 double bass reflex speakers. What a double bass.

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Kind of pretox

random ramblings and reflections of random music


what is the good of a heart if you can’t break it


Pretox
Last Call

The CD from the Hammer City based trio moving to the bigg times is a cut above the rest – very much of a live to the floor mix with a crunchy rockstar stylings of Alex Maich on guitar and swingy Jesse Taynton groove bass that kicks the bottom end, and precision metronomic Ryan Luke drumming. Songs of heartache or broken heart and not going to stay sober reflections. Throwing kerosene on a relationship and waking up on a Sunday morning… we’ll be fine. This is not good-bye.

A solid starter from Pretox and representation of the music that kicks even more to life during their more than lively and bantered stage shows where their fueled at last call personalties shine.

52510850_784028888630638_5533524482779512832_o.jpg

This is part of a process of the “run-in” of the new KEF Q350 to warm up the double bass reflex speakers. Viewpoints of the actual music do not change. The quality of the songs remain the same.

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Kind of innercool – Kelly Lee Owens

impressions of music

Kelly Lee Owens
Inner Song

Smalltown Supersound – STS372LP


Track listing
Arpeggi
On
Melt!
Re-Wild
Jeanette
L.I.N.E.
Corner Of My Sky
Night
Flow
Wake-Up


My version of this two LP album is on the white vinyl. White records kind of look cool and still sounds great. The production on this second album from Kelly Lee Owens is superb and fascinating music for listening in the dark. With a big boost of thudding bass and the sweep of the upper end register from the keyboards the feeling is of being right there in the club house.

Haunting effusion of modern day electronics of Wales born Kelly Lee Owens with a cover of Radiohead >>>>> Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood >>>>>> Arpeggi . Experimental clubland music with an off-kilter dance orientation. Soaring high end vocals. From trip hop to bolder presentations with the added spoken lyrical contribution on the track Corner of My Sky from another Welsh musician of note John Cale (of the Velvet Underground and so on).


As the “run-in” of the Dali Oberon 7 speakers continue, records chosen at random are set on the platter to spin.

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Kind of sweet talkin’ woman

impressions on music

Electric Light Orchestra
Out of the Blue
U A JTLA-823-L2

From the October 1977 original double vinyl of the Jeff Lynne helmed Electric Light Orchestra with the iconic cover of the flying saucer space station receiving the spaceship. The crescendo and rollicking Turn to stone, slow down sweet city talkin’ woman. Classical Electric Light Orchestra replete with Beethoven grandiosity and rolling over Beethoven overtures (but that is another album).

Out of the Blue as a double album conveys the sense of the city through the progression of the day, More of a Days of Future Passed for the 1977 era.

A1 Turn To Stone 3:48
A2 It’s Over 4:08
A3 Sweet Talkin’ Woman 3:48
A4 Across The Border 3:52
B1 Night In The City 4:02
B2 Starlight 4:30
B3 Jungle 3:51
B4 Believe Me Now 1:21
B5 Steppin’ Out 4:38
C1 Standin’ In The Rain 4:20
C2 Big Wheels 5:10
C3 Summer And Lightning 4:13
C4 Mr. Blue Sky 5:05
D1 Sweet Is The Night 3:26
D2 The Whale 5:05
D3 Birmingham Blues 4:21
D4 Wild West Hero 4:40


As the “run-in” of the Dali Oberon 7 speakers continues towards the 100 hour mark, the records spin to nurture their appetite for a wide range of vinyl.