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LIZ MANDEVILLE/Stars Motel: Chicago's national blues treasure continues to take you on a tour of the hot spots of my misspent youth memorializing a place that was condemned for nefarious reasons and torn down in front of my eyes while sitting in a sandwich shop across the street. Oh yeah, back to Mandeville. She might be singing about torn panty hose instead of picking cotton but this white gal and her pals got the blues, modern version of the traditional post war electric variety. A smoking set of originals that's deep in tasty depth and scope, you aren't going to find the nine millionth rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago" here, just pure west side vibes taken to a world wide scope. Clearly a hostess with the mostest, the legend continues to burnish deeper. Killer stuff.

CAROLINA EYCK/Fantasias for Theremin and String Quartet: One of the great things about being an arts critic is you get to live in a subjective world and whatcha gonna do about it? Why do we like some art chicks and why do we slag others? It's subjective, baby! Chops and vision probably have something to do with it. Passion isn't enough because a kook can be quite passionate. We lyke Eyck. She remembers what the original Nonesuch records were like and is a Theremin virtuosa. If this isn't the road to get you as far away from Wall Street, what is? Giving off more than good vibrations on this set of her originals, Eyck displays a heady mix of humor and vision that finds classical music and space rock sharing the same oxygen mask in deep space. And it's not arts council music so you don't have to tip toe around it. Just imagine Suzanne Ciani sitting at master control in Houston and... Well done.

ADORATION DESTROYED/Ritual Damage: Do you really think everyone on Austin is sitting around the Continental Club drinking PBR? It's electro Goth power trio time as dark 90s nostalgia rears it's head----like a pissed off Cerberus. Disaffected suburban youth no longer have to pillage the records their older brothers left behind when they got that job as a quant and moved out.

CARVED SOULS/Whispers: If no stalgia is good stalgia, then this contemporary take on dark wave synth pop will be welcomed by kids that don't want to listen to New Order because their parents did. More like a trip through the sewers to escape the monsters under the bed than a trip through Hell or Berlin, these cats that originally got together to make commercials and industrial soundtracks have done a fine job in turning their energy into making those Freddy v Jason soundscapes that ring in your head and keep you up at night. The really cool element in this mix is these cats are making music that doesn't pander or talk down to the listener. That move really separates the whet from the chaff. Check it out.

NOURA MINT SEYMALI/Arbina: Girl friend music doesn't get any wilder than this. Sounding like a pissed off belly dancer, Seymali delivers on her griot heritage but unless you are that much of an armchair traveler or world beater, you probably wouldn't know that. This sounds like what you'd get if Pat Benatar did belly dance music back in the day. Utterly wild stuff whose songs are mostly about asking God for help, this must really be what they are talking about when they talk about giving yourself over to the music. If you want to take the chance on something new and different, Glitter Beat is a brand you can trust not to let you down.

DWIKI DHARMAWAN/Pasar Klewer: The piano man leaves the fusion of his debut set off the side and goes more to the melting pot sound that emanates from his native Indonesia. A multi faceted mash up that doesn't remind you of McLaughlin's Shakti days, it's more like acoustic jazz on a busman's holiday, more like "Take the A Train" on a ride through emerging nations. Quite an ambitious double cd, there's a load of up and comers on board that should be filling your ears in due course giving it their all here to take this to the next level. A cliché avoiding joy ride, this might well be your welcome to jazz in the next stream. Check it out.

SAVOLDELLI CASARANO BARDOSCIA/Great Jazz Gig in the Sky: A madman vocalist re-imagines "Dark Side of the Moon' in a way that should please the malcontents that originally propelled it into being one of the biggest albums of all time---even if they are 45 years older. Recorded 3 years ago and waiting in abeyance to escape since, this baby is money all the way, especially if you like that way to be way out. Not creative for the sake of creativity and not a slaving homage, this is what you get then you take a work that stood the establishment on it's ear and stand that on it's ear. If you're plugged into the eternal groove, you'll get it just fine.

ELAGE DIOUF/Melokaane: This is another one of those indigenous Senegalese records that grabs you by the ear and makes you go ‘huh?'. With engaging, low key instrumental backing and passionate vocals that leave you wondering what the singer is singing about, the rhythm and the motion that carries this set along is more than enough to pull you in. One of those international dates that's recorded in various places around the world, you really have to think there's a lot more going on out there beyond the top 40 that let's these guys move around so easily. Whatever it is he's talking about, we're glad to hear and feel it all. Killer stuff that comes across as much more than just a record. Check it out.

Mn'JAM EXPERIMENT/Live With a Boom: So, is this just another bunch of young foreigners that never heard Frank Zappa or a bunch of groundbreaking surrealists that are trying to take you places you've only heard in dreams? With technological advances Zappa didn't have at his disposal, this spiritual descendant to "Freak Out" and "We're Only in it for the Money" not only reflects his then love of Varese, there's certainly a nod to Sandy Horwitz as well. A maxed out multimedia package where even the cover serves a multi faceted artistic purpose, every few years there's a new crop of kids that think they invented sex. This is made by the bunch that thinks they invented dada. Way out kats and kitties will know how to groove here in this sonic world where nothing is what it seems.

DOM LA NENA/Cantanado: Nice little busman's holiday ep that finds La Nena keeping herself in your eyes and ears between full length records. This is a charming set of covers of songs she loves that she either sings in concert or around the house. And this Parisian by way of Brazil shows her love of Brel and how chanson comes so easily through her saudade. Sophisticated listeners and fans will enjoy this glicee.

Volume 39/Number 323
September 21, 2016
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2016 Midwest Record

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