Pirate Cat Radio

Album Reviews

November 2010 Top 10


November 2010 Station Top 10
1. Zion I “Atomic Clock” (Gold Dust Media)
2. Django Reinhardt “Djangology (10cdset)” (Documents Classics)
3. Brian Eno “Small Craft on a Milk Sea” (Warp Records)
4. Diego & the Dissidents “Contaminated Waters” (Quite Scientific)
5. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band “Greatest Hips Vol II”
6. Iggy Pop “Kill City” (Bomp! Records)
7. Englishman “Englishman” (Cave City Records)
8. The Hundred in the Hands “The Hundred in the Hands” (Warp Records)
9. Swedish House Mafia “Until One” (Astralwerks)
10. Gold Panda “Lucky Shiner” (Ghostly International)

Rock/Pop/Indie
1. Iggy Pop, “Kill City” (Bomp! Records)
2. Englishman, “Englishman,” Cave City Music
3. The Hundred in the Hands, “The Hundred in the Hands” (Warp Records)
4. V/A “Tribute To The Beatles”
5. Cloud Nothings, “Turning On”
6. Common Grackle, “The Great Depression” (Circle Into Square)
7. The Rutles “s/t”
8. Bluebeard, “Port of Sorts,” Badger Records
9. Vernian Process, “Behold the Machine”
10. Man Your Horse, “Man Your Horse”

RPM
1. Brian Eno “Small Craft on a Milk Sea”
2. Swedish House Mafia “Until One (Deluxe Edition)”
3. Gold Panda “Lucky Shiner”
4. White Noise Sound “White Noise Sound”
5. Eskmo “Eskmo”
6. Hair Loss “Triple Whippit EP”
7. Laco$te “The Paradox of Time EP”
8. Dnae Beats “Reptilian MIDI Jazz”
9. Various Artists “Ninja Tune XX Sampler”

Hip Hop/Funk/R ‘n’ B
1. Atomic Clock Zion I
2. Contaminated Waters Diego and the Dissidents
3. Trumpalump EP Dels
4. Mind Over Matter Zion I
5. Blind Threshold Beats Antique
6. Joy Sach
7. Pattern+Grid World Flying Lotus
8. NINJA TUNE XX Vol.1 [[Disc 2]] Various Artists
9. Rock On (Supreme Math Mix) Tokimonsta
10. Shipping and Handling Thes One

Blues/Jazz/Roots
1. Django Reinhart – Djangology
2. Various Artists – Musette to Maestro 1928-1937
3. Django Reinhardt et le Quintette du Hot Club de France – Kimg of Reinhardt
4. Various Artists – Great Swinging Sounds
5. Moreland and Arbuckle – Flood
6. Various Artists – Django & His American Friends
7. John Lee Hooker – The Classic Early Years 1948-1951
8. Gaucho – Pearl
9. Yo Mammas Big Fat Booty Band – Greatest Hips Vol 11
10. Gyan Riley Trio – New York Sessions

International/World
1. Ari Up “Dread More Dan Dead”
2. Arsenio Rodriguez y Su Conjunto “Montuneando con Arsen??o Rodriguez y Su Conjunto -1946 – 1950”
3. Artemis “Gravity”
4. Atahualpa Yupanqui “Camino del Indio”
5. Catalino de Baranquilla “Colombianazo Tropicaliente”
6. Kastoria “As Thimithoume Ta Palia No 1”
7. La Sonora Dinamita “Dinamitazos de la Cumbia”
8. Marika Papagika “The Further The Flame The Worse It Burns Me”
9. Oscar Alem?°n y su Quinteto de Swing “Swing Guitar Masterpieces 1938-1957”
10. The Roots of Chicha “Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru”

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BIG BOY PETE AND THE OFFBEATS Winklepickin CD

BIG BOY PETE AND THE OFFBEATS / Winklepickin CD / 22 Records / 2010

More than 50 years after the heyday of Skiffle music in jolly olde England, an original voice from that era is still reminding the world why that style of music was so incredibly popular and influential in the 1950’s pub scene.  It can be argued that Skiffle was England’s original punk music, with an explosion of 30,000 bands slogging it out in local taverns at the height of Skifflemania.  Members of bands ranging from the HOLLIES to CLIFF RICHARD to a humble little band called the BEATLES cut their teeth in the Skiffle scene.  And all this is to say that this CD is not only historical, but it’s also hysterical.  Fun, funny and infectious with just a guitar, upright bass and washboard, and plenty of voices.  Sounds pretty punk to me…

SOUNDS LIKE:
LONNIE DONEGAN, THE QUARRYMEN, WILLIE NELSON

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
3  “When Lonnie Was King” (the history of Skiffle in less than four minutes)
4 “Hemsby Gap” (easy rolling bawdy anthem to simpler times)
10 “Let’s Make It One In A Row” (fun romp reminiscent of DAVE EDMUNDS)

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DONT’S Those Delicate Chemicals CD

DONT’S / Those Delicate Chemicals CD / Self-Released / 2010

These local indie rock heroes are all over the place in a good way.  Sometimes they’re in updated techno/disco territory, sometimes in ‘90s alt-rock land, sometimes in Arty Quirksville.  It’s all done with a light touch so nothing seems pretentious or overstated.  They wear plenty of influences on their sleeves, but always put things together their own way.  Not groundbreaking, but definitely easily listenable.

SOUNDS LIKE:
TALKING HEADS, BLOC PARTY, GANG OF FOUR

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
2  “Breakdown” (more danceable than the TOM PETTY song of the same name)
5 “Killove” (for fans of the early LIARS)
10 “Gasoline” (techno CLASH?)

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THUNDER BUFFALO s/t CD

THUNDER BUFFALO / s/t CD / Sarathan Records / 2010

Familiar doesn’t necessarily mean boring.  The sounds here have all been lovingly “borrowed” from many more famous garage/psych/skronk bands, but they still pack a potent punch to the eardrums.  A hint of darkness and danger helps to add to the mystery and fun that these songs deliver.

SOUNDS LIKE:
SUICIDE, MODERN LOVERS, BLACK KEYS

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
1  “Stereo” (upbeat like MY BLOODY VALENTINE)
2 “BeBop Sing-A-Long” (for fans of the new garage revolution)
4 “Middle Of The Street” (fast anthem dripping in distortion)

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WHITE NOISE SOUND s/t CD

WHITE NOISE SOUND / s/t CD / Alive! Records / 2010

This aptly named band manages to get all kinds of drone going, and then revs into a full-on pop song when you least expect it.  A world of music is created here that exists at the corner of Krautrock and Shoegaze, with field trips to Psych and Garage.  Timely and timeless.

SOUNDS LIKE:
CAN, LOOP, BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
1  “Sunset” (garage techno shoegazer stuff)
5 “Blood” (shades of VELVET UNDERGROUND)
8 “Don’t Wait For Me” (spacey psychedelic anthem)

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PAUL COLLINS King Of Power Pop CD

PAUL COLLINS / King Of Power Pop CD / Alive! Records / 2010

I’m old enough to remember the first wave of power pop, championed by L.A. radio great RODNEY BINGENHEIMER and Bomp Records.  Bands like the SHOES, the ROMANTICS, the REZILLOS, the RUBINOOS, DRAMARAMA and countless others made pop cool again in the late ‘70s.  Now an original from that scene proves that the charms of power pop have not faded with time, with a brilliant solo release on a subsidiary of Bomp called Alive!.  This release, expertly produced by Detroit rock genius JIM DIAMOND (who’s on fire recently with another great release by SCOTT MORGAN) is more than nostalgia and still beautifully raw.

SOUNDS LIKE:
NERVES, RAMONES, DAVE EDMUNDS

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
3  “Doin’ It For The Ladies” (hilarious and catchy)
6 “Many Roads To Follow” (poignant NERVES classic)
8 “Off The Hook” (great summer driving music)

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UNITS History Of The Units CD

UNITS / History Of The Units CD / Community Library Records / 2009

Some consider San Francisco legends the UNITS the first synth-punk band to be represented on 7” (“High Pressure Days” in 1979), but whether they were indeed the first they were one of the best.  With the underpinning of an angry anti-consumerist manifesto giving them a strong philosophical thrust, they resisted succumbing to traditional punk band instrumentation in an effort to break molds on many different levels.  Though they weren’t ultimately successful in breaking through to a wide national audience like many of their peers, they retained far more integrity and creative control than the flood of synth-pop bands from the era documented on this disc (late ‘70s and early ‘80s).

SOUNDS LIKE:
GARY NUMAN, DEVO, SCREAMERS

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
5  “High Pressure Days” (synthpop antidisestablismentarianist anthem)
12 “Warm Moving Bodies” (sarcastic dance hit)
19 “Digital Stimulation” (nice double meaning)

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New Music: Loden “Buggy” Mush Records

Loden “Buggy” Mush Records
Review by Salex

“Buggy” is a fun, bouncy, melodic and glitchy IDM adventure; a glimpse into the complex musical mind of Brussels’ born producer Loden. The album has a cinematic quality, and each one of the tracks is completely unique from the other, yet closely related and I especially enjoy the cohesiveness of them together as a whole, as if he were performing a live DJ set. They flow around diverse array of tempos, melodies, themes, deep bass, samples, delays, textures, soundscapes and moods. IDM is limitless in possibilities, and he does not hold back one bit. He uses 8-bit video game sounds keys and bass lines, Theremin tinged blips and chorus filled synth lines, different keyboard instruments and cleverly placed vocal samples throughout the album. Loden expertly combines chill uplifting downtempo ambience, minimal techno, electro, disco, breaks, and dirty funk with a hint of darkness. The album kicks off on a mellow minimal tone and gradually builds up the tempo and mood. I like the dark vibe of “Fantast” It is starts out with just simple bass notes, slowly adding chords, arpeggios, vocal samples and beats. Robotic, mechanical noises are arranged into melodic stories. If you are a fan of electropop you will love “Eeties”, which is a great tribute to 80’s synthpop. Things get a bit grimey on “Friek”, where the beats and bass are super dirty. “Buggy” is the perfect choice for an afternoon or early evening “chill session”, but is total psychedelic mind candy at the same time, so it is really best enjoyed on a well equipped sound system.
Genres: RPM, IDM, Glitchy, Electro, Ambient
For Fans of: Aphex Twin, Orbital, Mux Mool

**FCC Warning** #13 “Hot” is NOT CLEAN **

My Track Picks:
#3 Rubber Floors Give More Bounce
#7 Waking Up Radio Problems
#8 My Face Came Off
#9 Fantast
#11 Unpaid Waver
#14 Alice Go Go Go

Artist Site: www.myspace.com/lodenmusic
Label Site: www.mushrecords.com

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New Music: Jammer “Jahmanji” Ninja Tune

Jammer “Jahmanji” Ninja Tune
Review by Salex

Back in March of 2010, I was quite excited when I heard a remix of Jammer’s “Better Than (Lorn Mix)” on the Ninja Tune March 2010 singles EP. Shortly after the single hit the airwaves, dubstep and grime DJ’s were quickly rocking that tune on the dance floors. Its a proper banger with crunchy synth stabs and a dark thick gnawing dub bass line. That track was a hard hitting declaration of Jahmek Power’s [Jammer’s] mic skills, straight from one of the original grime producer/MCs. “Jahmanji” takes that grimey attitude to a whole new level of swagger, incorporating reggae rhythms, 4×4 basslines, Soca rhythms, 808 beats, glitchy electro samples, and lots of synths. pioneering Londoner has greatly influenced other emerging artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Wiley, M.I.A, and The Streets. Grime pretty much is to the UK as Hip Hop is to the US. They are very important musical genres in the underground and main stream scenes. Many music lovers in the US were never really aware of grime until UK Grime and US Hip Hop MC’s and producers started banding together with collaborations. Grime is dance music that comes from so many cultural, political and musical influences, that it can cross “scene” barriers, and get everyone down and dirty on the dance floor. Grime is heavily influenced by Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, more so than American Hip Hop. Jammer takes his sound to whole new levels on this release by including electro, R&B, breakbeats, drum & bass and 4×4 garage/2step house that is a little bit 90’s Chicago/NYC and 2-Step Garage bottled up for the 21st Century. Jammer is a master of knowledge and words, and his close observations and interpretations of day to day life experiences, internal realizations, and society are transcribed into vibrant, emotional tracks. This is definitely a great album for clubbers, ravers, dance, grime and hip hop fans, as well as first timer’s who are ready for a completely new addition to their music libraries.
Genres: RPM, Grime, Electronic, Hip Hop
For Fans of:
Dizzie Rascal, Kano, Wiley,
*** FCC WARNING #8 – “Back to the 90’s” is the only FCC CLEAN TRACK***

My track picks:
# 1 The Beginning
# 4 Bad Mind People
# 5 Max Not Minimum
# 8 Back to the 90’s
# 11 Party Animal
# 12 One Too Many featuring Kivanc
#13 Better Than

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New at PCR: Jukebox the Ghost/ Everything Under the Sun/ Yeproc Records

Jukebox the Ghost/ Everything Under the Sun/ Yeproc Records

I was excited when I got this album to review (a physical CD no less) because I was familiar with their previous album. That and- who doesn’t love some happy pop rock about band boys liking girls? Let’s just say that Jukebox the Ghost didn’t change course with their new album, Everything Under the Sun. They are a band that plays happy pop rock somewhere in between Phoenix and Sugar Cult. Though it seems as though they can’t quite make up their mind if they want to appeal to the 14-18 year old pop alternative crowd, or the mid twenties indie snobs with a desire to dance their face off to happy pop music, they still appeal to a nice middle of the two quite well.

Schizophrenia, the opening track, is by far the catchiest. And honestly, it’s pretty darned enjoyable to listen to while driving on a summer evening. The rest are exactly what you’d expect from a band that’s toured with the Ben Folds and Adam Green from the Moldy Peaches. Good old fashioned pop-rock.

My favorite tracks of innocent melodic synth-keyboard pop are:
1- Schizophrenia,
10- The Stars (where the singer most certainly resembles Ben Folds)
11- The Popular Thing

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