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ORANJJOOLIUS: Look out rest of the country, here comes one of those LA inside jokes with both barrels blazing. Ostensibly a surf punk trio hiding behind a trio of assumed identities, they tear it up like the alleged pros they are on a busman's holiday crafting a wild ride for today's ADD attention spans. It takes real chops to pull this off and these masked men have them. Utterly wild stuff that's pure fun house ride, strap yourself in and discover the wild side rock once had on this double discer that always heavy on surprises.

ELOUISE/Deep Water: Really putting the Goth in southern gothic, this set is what would have resulted if Nico and Siouxsie Sioux met the devil at the crossroads. In what would other wise be punk country, this crew starts out playing it sort of straight, realizes it's not possible and calls their version of bluegrass blackgrass. Very apt. If you've ever understood lyrics like ‘got Sunday meeting in the morning, gonna do my sinning tonight", you've already got a leg up on this set. An utterly original set that you have to listen to at least twice because the first pass will leave you feeling like this is a soundtrack for a suicide, there hasn't been a record with this kind of striking, damaged beauty in way too long. Killer stuff throughout that's sure to abort your preconceived notions.

deCOLLAGE/Magnetize: Denver's leading neo pysch pop malcontents turns the mixmaster up on high as they throw in everything the multimedia can handle on a 5 inch slab of plastic. If Beavis was picking out college music these days, this would be at the top of his list. A trend setting release that will crate a raft of followers, this is the one that sets the standard and will rise to the top no matter what. They are letting their freek flags fly to encourage you to do the same.

MIGHTY MOJO PROPHETS/Record Store: This unstoppable duo that has been tearing it up since their debut in 2011 had to go out and start their own label because they are so hot and high octane it seems like no one modern blues label could contain them. Feeding off their own energy this time out, if you dug them before, you are going to be totally knocked out this time. Modernizing electric and jump blues, often at the same time, these cats keep tradition in tact even if they've never picked cotton. Blues that modern frat boys, and those who want to be, can easily party all night to, Paul Butterfield never knew his inventions would come to this when he first wandered into Theresa's a million years ago. Utterly hot stuff that'll remind you why you first started buying records in the first place. Just plain perfect.

TANBOU TOUJOU LOU/various: Hmm, a funky anthology with an agenda. This collection of Haitian party musics that you probably never heard and no nothing about is served up with the intent of reviving and educating about Haitian music culture. Loaded with dance music influenced from various ports in the Caribbean and Africa, the focus is on music from the 60s to the 80s and there's a lot more electronic moves than you might expect. A well stocked anthology with tracks pulled from private collections, this is tailor made for listeners that get their musical adventures from Putumayo collections, which this falls right in line with. A great bet for people that like discovery, this is a beach party that never has to end. Well done.

NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT/Beethoven Symphonies 4 & 5: Being basically classical tourists, we didn't discover Harnoncourt until late in his career which left us wondering why we didn't find out about him sooner. On this, what would become his last recording before passing, he goes back to the period of some of his greatest works, his Beethoven years. Re-examining to master's symphonies, he approaches them from a different point of view as could only be considered by a serious classical musician whose quest is to go ever deeper into mysteries we can never fully resolve at this point. Leading his own orchestra playing period instruments, his re-examination of Beethoven some 20 years later is no mere retracing of his old steps. A powerful, masterful recording, cynics will eat their own works if they think this is just a commercially motivated traipse through warhorse repertoire. This is a well crafted, final statement from a pure blooded artist on sure footed ground. Well done.

SCOTT NEUMANN-TOM CHRISTENSEN/Spin Cycle: The two co-leaders bring in two other leaders to round out this collection of leaders kicking it ensemble style. Vets of the New York's jazz arena after arriving here from various parts of the country, they have resumes that could choke a horse, loaded with diversity and depth having literally played everything with everybody. Coming together to serve up traditional, hot New York muscular swing and post bop, this is one seriously high octane release hard charging, straight ahead jazz fans will love. With chops and energy to spare, this is a set that certainly knows how to hit all the right notes loading the disc with different flavors from the ones shown on other, previous releases. Well done.

DEREK SHEEN/Tiny Idiot: An alt.comic that has pals like Patton Oswalt and Brian Posehn (who he kind of looks like), turns his ire on pretentiousness and stupidity with observations the rest of us would have if we had the time to think about it. A sworn enemy of complacency and mediocrity, the Pacific Northwest native came to Chicago to vent making this release possible. This cat is a bonafide laugh riot that's sure to have your sides hurting in no time. Hot stuff.

JIM GAFFIGAN SHOW season one: The regular guy comic checks in with an autobiographical comedy series that feels like it capitalizes on his schtick from about a decade back. Transferring well from stand up stage to TV screen, this is a reminder how funny regular guy stuff can be. With subversive pals on board that keep him from getting too normal, the standard sitcom tropes do get turned on their heads. Fun stuff that takes you behind the curtain in a George Burns kind of way.

Volume 39/Number 179
April 28, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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