Tuesday, April 18, 2017

That Singles Life: Your Saturday Sins by Dw. Dunphy

We told you this was coming; now it's here.

Dw. Dunphy's first 7", "Your Saturday Sins" b/w "Nothing's Harder Than A Song," is hand-lathed and cut at 33 1/3 rpm, in an extremely limited (no, really) edition pressing. The record looks and sounds great, bringing out both the brightness of the keys and the almost Eddie Offord/Yessongs-esque (take that as you will) sense of space that Dunphy imbues to his relatively lo-fi recordings.

The long overdue resurgence of the vinyl format has brought its share of setbacks; namely, the cost and long wait times at the major pressing plants can make it prohibitively difficult for the most independent of artists to release their music on this beloved physical disc. Remember when independent and fiercely regional small-run releases made up the majority of albums being released? Me neither, but the bins at my local Goodwill tell an intriguing anthropological story. Hopefully, the recent increase in pressing machines (at both Third Man Records and URP) and the proliferation of smaller hand-lathing operations will promote an increased diversity and affordability in the vinyl market. "Your Saturday Sins" is a lovely example of the joy of tangible musical accomplishment in this world of sound and fury, often pressed to nothing.

"Your Saturday Sins" is out now on Introverse Media Ltd., available for purchase from Bandcamp

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday Matinee: Stranger In Your Soul by Transatlantic

Progressive Epics. Folky Meditations. Extended Jazz Improvisations. Some songs are just long, y'know? So when better to sit down and take it all in than on a Saturday with your beverage of choice in hand?

Today's Matinee: "Stranger In Your Soul" is the second 20+ minute epic on Transatlantic's impeccable Bridge Across Forever album. Neal Morse has described the track as "The epic to end all epics," and it's hard to disagree. Every piece in the suite interlocks perfectly with its fellows, there are some heavier rock moments interspersed with quieter numbers, and several genuinely moving emotional highlights transpire. "Stranger" is a strong contender for best modern progressive composition.

Friday, April 14, 2017

One Sentence Reviews: Anoraknophobia by Marillion

Forget the details; let's get to the heart of the matter. Here's our one-sentence review for Marillion's groundbreaking, crowd-funded album, Anoraknophobia.

Anoraknophobia is the fresh, modern, stadium-ready yet nuanced and soulful art-pop follow-up to All That You Can't Leave Behind that U2 never quite managed to record.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The April Playlist: Great Interpreters of Song

Spring. Unpredictable weather, happy thoughts, what was old is new again. To celebrate, we've compiled a playlist featuring Great Interpreters of Song. This is no mere list of great cover songs; rather, we've included artists who, like the great Crooners of old, prove time and again that they can take almost any song and make it their own. The playlist includes two songs from each artist. You'll notice that the secret secondary theme is U2, while the tucked away tertiary theme is Keith Emerson.

1. "Southern Accents" by Johnny Cash (original Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)
2. "Love is Blindness" by Sixpence None The Richer (original U2)
3. "All I Want Is You" by Anneke Van Giersbergen (original U2)
4. "Stardust" by Bob Dylan (original Hoagy Carmichael)
5. "Jerusalem" by Keith Emerson/ELP (original William Blake/Hubert Parry)
6. "Lucky Man" by Magenta (original Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
7. "Unchained Melody" by U2 (original The Righteous Brothers)
8. "Hurt" by Johnny Cash (original Nine Inch Nails)
9. "Don't Dream It's Over" by Sixpence None The Richer (original Crowded House)
10. "Little Red Corvette" by Anneke Van Giersbergen (original Prince)
11. "Full Moon And Empty Arms" by Bob Dylan (original Frank Sinatra)
12. "America" by Keith Emerson/The Nice (original Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein)
13. "Wonderous Stories" by Magenta (original Yes)
14. "Paint It Black" by U2 (original The Rolling Stones)