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ANCIENT WARFARE/Pale Horse: Yep, as in death rides a pale horse. Nearly 50 years later, we find the Velvet Underground, who never sold a record in their time, are still inspiring art chicks to put forth Nico flavored drone rock as a career choice. What can I say, I liked VU. Wouldn't this be a wild thing for grand dad and lad to bond over? This bunch has honed the vibe well on the road and knows how to bring it forward without being poseurs.

FALLING STACKS/No Wives: Have you forgotten how shitty Madchester local bands kept telling us Madchester was in the 80s? Here's a trio of Bristol thrashers that are here to remind us how shitty things are. And thrash they do. Today's suburban kids don't want that 80s crap anyway.

MARK GUILIANA JAZZ QUARTET/Family First: This drummer impressed us last year by releasing several records in rapid succession with all having different flavors. This time around, he's making it pretty clear that he expects future samplers to be providing loot to supplement his social security checks. Tackling high octane, acoustic jazz this time around, Guiliana shows himself to be a powerhouse that simply has to be reckoned with. Give him a little more time to figure this internet thing out and he's sure to become a jazz household name.

DIRTWIRE/Riptide: This is the kind of modern record kids like to shove up the oldsters butts. An electro/acoustic duo that never met something that makes sounds they didn't like, they give it that wild world spin that simply takes you everywhere in the world from the usual to the unusual to the stuff they made up in their own minds. Practically music that arises out of nowhere, this is for the armchair traveler that would some day like to have Mars on his world beat itinerary. Subtle but very wild.

DAN RODRIGUEZ/Come on Home: In which we find the guy that made the Bud commercial with the doggie patiently waiting for his drunk owner to come home is a damn fine singer/songwriter with enough heat to thaw out his frozen north home turf. An indie artist that has a knack for working the tools the current indie act needs to work to survive, this is an honest, heartfelt album that connects on each track. Well written, well played, this is a winning set that's is a portent of good things to come, quickly.

MICK ABRAHAMS/Revived!: The original guitarist for Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig goes back to his blues roots but takes it to the industrial side. Then he retro fit's a bunch of 50s rock he grew up on. Then he does originals with pals like Elliot Randall, Bill Wyman, Martin Barre and loads of others who didn't leave Tull and go folkie. An utterly wild record that anyone who loves it well left of center by pros will love. Don't expect no journey through the prog rock past here.

AGULA/Swiss Mongolian Music Exchange Project: C'mon world beaters, this project has a bunch of sponsors including Arts Council of Mongolia and Best Western Hotel of Tuushin and they wrote checks for a project that combines Mongolian music with western jazz with a bunch of leading Swiss jazzbos on board---pay attention. It isn't weird, unless you consider stuff like "Miles from India" or Paul Horn's pyramid stuff weird. A touch out of the ordinary but loaded with places Tony Scott or Sandy Bull would have loved to take you if they had the budgets, imagine how at the very worst, this music will make you feel like the first time Zappa introduced you to L. Subramanian. I don't remember McLaughlin taking you to Mongolia, but he did live in Switzerland and he probably would have taken you to Mongolia if he could, at least for some take out. Anyone with a world jazz ear will love this. Well done and a high watermark for arts council music.

JOE GOODKIN/Record of Life: Chicago singer/songwriter that works around the clock under several guises sheds the various skins to make a personal, modern singer/songwriter set about the travails of his own life, complete with sounds from a haunted guitar. Touching on the touchstones in his life, his stuff will reassure you that you aren't alone.

JOHN YAO and his 17 Piece Instrument/Flip-Flop: What more do you need to say when it's right? Former Chicago kid Yao, who wears New York well, has been apprenticing in the vineyards, and simply hits it out of the park in grand, high octane style leaving nothing that needs to be done undone. A must set for big band fans that want to hear something that takes the form in to the future, this blows the ears open in a mighty way. Hold on to your hat and then check it out. Well done.

NOVALIMA/Planetario: The Afro-Peruvian fusion crew has matured over the last few years as international acclaim has caught up with them from all precincts from Latin Grammys to soundtrack placements. Even if you don't know what they are singing about, the party vibe and street sound rules over all else. A smoking set that any world beater of any generation can relate to, it's elements are familiar to all and whatever turns they take, they show they know their stuff. One killer of an international set that really turns over all the stones from all the corners. Hot stuff.

Volume 38/Number 203
May 22, 2015
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2015 Midwest Record

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