Monday, February 27, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Singer/Songwriters Lisa Bouchelle, Mercy Weiss And Patrick Ames

Americana music artist Lisa Bouchelle recently released her new EP titled "Lipstick Tomboy" and it features the amazing country duet "Only The Tequila Talkin'." Blues Traveler's John Popper lends a hand with his undeniable vocals and fabulous harmonica work. Lisa and John work together perfectly on this new country radio staple. Lisa has shared the stage with some of rock's elite artists, singing backup for Bruce Springsteen and performing a duet with Jon Bon Jovi among others, which gives her a confidence, which shines through in her songs. The country/gospel feel of "Heart vs Mind" and the gentle, folk cover of "If You Could Read My Mind," showcases the warmness in her vocals, whether she is delivering an up-beat song or a quiet acoustic melody. To find out more about Lisa Bouchelle and her latest release "Lipstick Tomboy," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/LisaBouchelle.

From Brooklyn, NY comes the innocent, smokey vocals of Mercy Weiss with her new five-song EP, simply titled "Mercy." She begins with the slow, jazz-swing of "Ice Cream" as Mercy whispers her way through the sweet vocals. The nostalgic, classic jazz club feel of "Lioness" is unlike anything on today's pop chart, but the album closer "Evil Baby" is extremely addictive as Mercy aims her words toward President Donald Trump. To find out more about Mercy Weiss and her latest release "Mercy," please visit mercy-ep.bandcamp.com.

From Palo Alto, CA comes the latest EP from singer/songwriter Patrick Ames titled "Four Faces." Each song takes on a different persona as they reflect the album's artwork that was created by Patrick's older brother. The new four-song release begins with the up-beat, rock/gospel "Reawakened" as the music builds with each verse. Patrick uses his MIDI guitar synthesizer to recreate the bluesy tones of "The Lonely Lie So Easily," before closing his new album with the care-free, pop tones of "This Small Town." To find out more about Patrick Ames and his latest release "Four Faces," please visit patrickames.com.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Concert Review: The Music Of "Game Of Thrones" Comes Alive At Mohegan Sun

The HBO drama "Games of Thrones" has becomes one of the most popular cable shows of all time. The show is based on the best selling book series "A Song Of Fire And Ice," written by George R.R. Martin and has just completed filming it's seventh season which will air this summer. The music featured in each episode is just as iconic as the characters who give the story heart, soul and emotion. Now, for the first time, composer Ramin Djawadi is taking the music of "Game Of Thrones" on the road in a live concert experience. The show features state-of-the-art technology mixed with live orchestral music that brings out the best of what "Game of Thrones" brings to its millions of fans.

The stage laid across the length of the arena floor from end to end as one side featured the orchestra and the other side would feature soloist stage. Two huge screens would play clips from the show all evening as Ramin Djawadi would lead a local east coast orchestra performing the themes of each scene.

After the roaring applause following the opening "Game of Thrones Main Theme," a quiet violin solo would turn part of the stage into a tree with falling leaves. Fans would cheer as their favorite characters that would appear on screen and "booed" the evil enemies. The music was so perfect and sounded great as the stage came alive with smoke, lights and even fire for the "Mother of Dragons." Vocalist Stephanie Alexander closed out the first half of the show, leading a wonderful chorus during the theme song for Khaleesi.

The second half of the show dealt with the most recent sixth season of "Game Of Thrones" as an aggressive feel of the theme of the High Sparrow and the intense strings of the Whitewalkers keep the energy flowing. The drum heavy "Battle of the Bastards" and the sweeping "Flight of the Dragons" would receive huge praise from fans as both featured epic scenes from the show. Djawandi would be featured playing the lead instrument, like the dulcimer during the song "Needle" and the piano/pipe organ during the climactic explosion of the trial in the "Winds Of Winter" episode.

The night's grand finale featured the "Game of Thrones Theme" once again with a larger sound, filled with a chorus of angelic voices. After a standing ovation, the musicians would close the evening with a baroque-folk style rendition of the original song "The Bear And The Maiden Fair" as every character flashed on the screen. This night showcased how important the talents of Ramin Djawdi and the music of the "Game of Thrones" is the success of this one-of-a-kind drama series as all await to what the future holds.

CD Review: Composer Anthony Partos Provids Music For Oscar Nominated "Tanna"

The Academy Award nominated film "Tanna" recently released its award-winning movie score composed by Antony Partos. Partos is an Australian-born TV and film composer who has won numerous awards for his work on films and in 2015 was named Vice-President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. His latest work on "Tanna" has already won awards in his home country for its movie score and the film is nominated for "Best Foreign Language Film."

The movie score features 11-tracks, but only runs about 25 minutes long. The songs are short, but uplifting as Partos allows the music to swirl around and relax your mind. The longest song is five minutes and it impacts the whole soundtrack as the pinnacle piece of music. It brings together deep, dark tones with screeching metallic drumming to give the song a pulse. The rest of the soundtrack features the airy combination of electronic elements and angelic voices to capture the emotions of the movie. To find out more about "Tanna" and it's newly released movie score, please visit facebook.com/TannaMovie.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Reissues The Muffs "Happy Birthday To Me"

Since the California rock trio The Muffs reunited in 2014, Omnivore Recordings has taken upon itself to re-release the band's catalog. This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Muffs third album "Happy Birthday To Me" and Omnivore is preparing to reissue the album on CD and on white vinyl.

The original 15-song release is considered by many the band's most hook-filled album as they looked to capture the mainstream popularity of alternative rock radio. Their new release was quick and high energy as the band were firing on all cylinders. Many of the tracks featured The Muffs' signature punk sound, as in the opener "Crush Me" and "That Awful Man," while they also stepped up their songwriting with the addictive "My Crazy Afternoon" and "Outer Space." The rawness of "Nothing" and "Keep Holding Me" allowed The Muffs to adapt to the new wave grunge movement overtaking the country on the late-nineties, but the album closer "The Best Time Around," showed another dimension to their development as a band.

This new reissue features the original album along with seven bonus tracks, beginning with the U.K. B-side, feedback-infused "Pacer." The other six bonus songs features previously unreleased demos for almost half of the songs on the album. The demos sound almost as good as the released versions of the songs, even two decades later. To find out more about this new issue of The Muffs "Happy Birthday To Me," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, February 24, 2017

CD Review: Crystal Fairy Gathers Some Of Alternative Rock's Elite Artists For New Supergroup

Members of The Melvins, At The Drive-In and Le Butcherettes are ready to unleash their new band upon the world. Crystal Fairy just released their self-titled debut album on February 24th through Ipecac Recordings. The new 11-song release features the backdrop of King Buzzo (Buzz Osborne) and Dale Crover from The Melvins and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez  from At The Drive-In. The combination of this trio gives the music a jolt of grunge, alternative and punk, which allows lead singer Teri Gender Bender to deliver a raw, stellar high-powered performance.
 
The album begins with the quick, punk-like pace of "Chiseler" as Bender's vocals soar over the screeching guitars and thunderous drumming. Crystal Fairy bring on the rage of "Necklace Of Divorce" as Teri's voice takes over the song with raw emotion before heading into the big wall of sound from "Moth Tongue." The band digs-in for the bass-heavy rhythm of "Secret Agent Rat" as the song is sung in Spanish. The album wraps up with the chugging, aggressive power of "Bent Teeth" and the hard rock attack of "Vampire X-Mas" as the band flex their grunge muscle paving the way for Teri's wildly exciting vocals. To find out more about Crystal Fairy and their new self-titled debut album, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/crystalfairyband.