The Grodog's New Tunes of Note

I've been trying to expand my musical horizons lately, so I've been a bit more experimental in listening to new bands.  Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, I no longer have continuous access to the beloved Love Garden (on Mass St., in Lawrence, Kansas), and I have been forced to roam further afield.  Zippy and Corey recommended that I check out Amoeba Records, which I haven't done yet, but will soon!

Without further ado, here're the goods:

New Black Box Recorder cd's from Christmas arrived on January 18th (a big Thank You to my brothers Phil and Brian), including The Facts of Life (new release) and the two "The Art of Driving" singles (one of which includes an excellent cover of David Bowie's "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide").  

  • Black Box Recorder.  Wow.  A goth-ish band formed by The Auters' founder-leader, Luke Haines.  I think I'm in love with Sarah Nixey's voice (she's  similar to both Tori Amos and--more importantly--Beth Gibbons from Portishead)!  

I'd read a review of these guys at some point, somewhere, and bought them after listening at the Love Garden:   haunting vocals; brilliant lyrics; understated, subtle, and moving music.  I'm hunting for their two CD singles, so feel free to trade with me, send me somewhere, etc. to acquire them. 

Plus, they do a brillliant cover of Seasons in the Sun.  What more could you ask for?

  • Deep Forest:  a trancy, rainforesty, pygmie-y CD.   Sort of like Enigma meets the ebola virus.
  • The Swans' various failures and The Great Annihilator:   another goth band (Slackerdog would be so proud!)
  • The Psychedelic Sounds of Thirteenth Floor Elevators (Roky Erickson):  I'm torn on this one:  I really like "Roller Coaster" and a few other songs, but the rest are fairly throw-away:    where do I go from here?
  • New Stuff from my favorite bands:
    • FishThe Complete BBC Sessions:  A pair of live sets from '89 and '91, with some noteworthy versions of songs, including "Fugazi" and "Vigil," and "Kayleigh/Lavender/Heart of Lothian" and most of the rest of the '91 show. 
    • Tori Amos:  to venus and back:   A studio CD and a live CD.  I wish Sarah McLachlan had done this with Mirrorball domestically (you could get a 2 CD set in the UK that was Surfacing with Mirrorball about 2 years ago....).  I haven't listened to this one enough yet to have an opinion (the car just isn't as conducive as my apartment, still CD-player-less!).
    • Indigo Girls:  Come On Now Social, as well as the "power of two" single (found at Alley Cat in Lawrence).   Thumbs up!
    • YesThe Ladder:  In part, this CD is the soundtrack to the PC game Homeworld).  I haven't seen the game yet, nor checked out the PC stuff on The Ladder, but I do like the tunes on an initial listen.
    • StingBrand New Day (including the singles "When We Dance" and "Brand New Day" [a UK single that includes "Windmills of Your Mind" from The Thomas Crown Affair).  
    • Robyn HitchcockJewels for Sophia.  I like this CD almost as much as I do his 1990 Eye effort, which is hands-down my favorite Robyn album. 
  • City of Angels soundtrack (library sale, who could pass up Alanis, Peter, and U2 for $4?); this has the same title as Jon Anderson's 1987 City of Angels album, which my old PSU roomie Tony misspelled as "The City of Angles" = R'lyeh = Cthulhu.  Kinda makes you think, eh?  8-)
  • The 80's Fevre Dream (it goes on, and on, and on . . . . ):   Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (both CD's), Don Henley Building the Perfect Beast, etc.  These, among other 80's bands, were featured at my 25/9/99 party. 
  • old standby's:  In Search of the Lost Chord by Moody Blues, the Indigo Girls' Strange Fire, and Laurie Anderson's Mister Heartbreak and Strange Angels (or Strangels as we like to call it)

I continue to listen a lot to Renaissance (Scheherezade), Porcupine Tree (The Sky Moves Sideways), Marillion, The Blue Nile, Hawkwind (oddly enough, Doremi Fasol Latido seems to be the one I'm craving lately), and Sarah McLachlan (Fumbling...). 

I've also been forced to rediscover my tape and album collections, as my CD player remains on the fritz:  hence, I've been pulling out 12" singles, the Beatles, Neo Pseudo,

Feel free to read my older new tunes scribblings, if you like.

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