Pirate Cat Radio

Album Reviews

DEBORA IYALL Stay Strong CD

DEBORA IYALL / Stay Strong CD / Dottie Records / 2010

The mighty voice between SF’s greatest New Wave band ROMEO VOID is back with songs that go in many different directions musically and lyrically, sounding familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.  She’s definitely no nostalgia act resting on laurels (though with RV songs like “Nvr Say Nvr” she very well could), and the songs here do hearken to the ‘70s and ‘80s without sounding particularly nostalgic.  The kids might not get it, but it sure sounds good to these aging ears!

SOUNDS LIKE:
AIMEE MANN, LAURIE ANDERSON, PAT BENATAR

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
1  “Bring It” (should be a new inspirational anthem for TV’s“Glee”)
6 “Crocodiles” (wistful and danceable)
11 “Fine Black Dust” (would have been a good song for TV’s “Twin Peaks”)

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BROTHERS COMATOSE Songs From The Stoop CD

BROTHERS COMATOSE / Songs From The Stoop CD / Self-Released / 2010

It’s a familiar sound, but a friendly one.  Bluegrass is the nerdy hipster music of the day, and these guys churn it out with plenty of good cheer and tunefulness.  Generally bluegrass seems to work better for me live than on record, so I’ll try to catch these guys some honky-tonkin’ night around town sometime.

SOUNDS LIKE:
BELA FLECK, DOC WATSON, RALPH STANLEY

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
1  “Trippin’ On Down” (goofy and poppy)
4 “Dead Flowers” (sweet version of the nasty ROLLING STONES standard)
11 “26 On The List” (upbeat bluegrass with some fine harmonica)

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NEW AT PCR: Reporter-Time Incredible

Reporter/ Time Incredible/ Holocene

Breathy vocals and 80s synthesizer effects galore are incorporated into Reporter’s new album “Time Incredible.” Grooving bass beats and garage sounding guitars also plays well to off-set such electronic effects heavily use in new wave 80s hits. Upbeats tempos and a slightly European electronica air, opposite of most Portland bands, are armed on tracks such as “Geronimo’s Bones” and “One Night.” The album also consistent in its shifting through danceable track to danceable track, keeps the party going.

Track picks:
1. Geromino’s Bones
4. One Night
9. Love Sounds

Sounds like: Friendly Fires, The Rapture, Glass Candy, Human League

FCC Clean

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New at PCR: Revolver/ Revolver EP

Revolver/ Revolver EP/ Astralwerks
Sometimes, the French just do it right. This is one of those times.
Revolver, a Parisian trio, get what it means to make catchy, uplifting
and downright enjoyable indie pop rock. In a simple yet powerful way
Revolver cleanly layers violins, harmonicas, horns, pianos and
acoustic strumming to create a happiness reminiscent of the Beatles in
the 60s paired with the folk bigheartedness of The Avett Brothers.
Already nominated for a French Grammy, Revolver will surely be a Fall
favorite in the States for Pop, Folk, and Indie fans alike.

Picture a non clinically depressed Elliot Smith writing catchy, boppy
lyrics and harmonies and you’ve got FCC safe track 5, Balulalow. I
envision the music video for this song to be one that includes tandem
bike rides, hand holding beach frolics, and laughs filmed in the nice
warm orange and yellow hues of vintage film

Genres: Pop, Indie, Folk, Rock
For fans of: Jens Lekman, Elliott Smith, The Beatles, Marching Band,
The Format, The Avett Brothers, Ben Kweller
Choice tracks
1, 3, 5

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New at PCR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Horse Power EP

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. / Horse Power EP / Quite Scientific Records

Imagine a modern day hipster-American reincarnation of The Beatles and you have Detroit duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. In Horse Power EP, “Nothing But Our Love” shows off their ability to make a love song sound cool, boasting laid back romanticisms fused with hip hop influenced drums. The Utopian pop sound (especially in “God Only Knows”) make it impossible to pick out just a track or two that I enjoyed. The dreamy melodies alone prompt you to hit ‘repeat all’. Thankfully, we can expect a full length album by this fall. FCC Friendly.

Catch this super duo next in San Francisco with The Rumble Tour at Milk on September 8th.

Sounds like:
Aeroplane, JAILL, Neon Hitch, Tennis, Jai Paul, Young The Gian

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GOMER HENDRIX Revolution 10 CD

GOMER HENDRIX / Revolution 10 CD / Skitz Records / 2010

Humor and rock usually mix like oil and water, but in the hands of some particularly eccentric individuals like MARTIN MULL or CHEECH AND CHONG it can work to amazingly entertaining effect.  Mr. HENDRIX skewers and twists the work and words of many rock heroes, but does so in a creative and often loving way.  There are some un-PC political sentiments thrown out like little Molotov Cocktails along the way here, so be prepared to have some sacred cows served up to you as steaks.

SOUNDS LIKE:
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC, FRANK ZAPPA, BONZO DOG DOO DAH BAND

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
3  “Here Comes The Rain Again” (EURYTHMICS gone classic rock)
8 “The Wind Cries Shazzam” (HENDRIX meets a comic book reference)
9 “Prince Loves Himself” (ROMANTICS meet some purple-hating)

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SHAREEF ALI & THE RADICAL FOLKSONOMY The Once And Future Boyfriend CD-EP

SHAREEF ALI & THE RADICAL FOLKSONOMY / The Once And Future Boyfriend CD-EP / Self-Released / 2010

It’s a familiar sound, but a friendly one.  Who would have thought that after all the noise that was popular the last 20 years in the music underground that there would be light and easy sounds on the other side, but that’s the sound of the day today.  Anti-Grunge?  At least the thoughtful lyrics here don’t insult my intelligence.

SOUNDS LIKE:
BRIGHT EYES, DYLAN, RICHARD THOMPSON

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
1  “Come Closer” (autobiographical country folk boogie)
4 “Broken Record” (skewed country)
6 “Married To The Sea” (folk-skronk ala THE KNITTERS)

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New at PCR – ceo / White Magic / Modular

ceo is Eric Berglund, one half of the Swedish duo The Tough Alliance. Obviously, if you like TTA, you’ll love this album. It’s happy, moody, groovy, electronic, tropical, and bouncy. All that, in only 8 short tracks. It’s electronic by nature, which shows in the production quality. But musically it’s characterized mostly by the melodies and hooks of indie rock. Illuminata best captures this, and will likely make you want to get out of your seat and run through a meadow. There some interesting electronic compositions here as well, that will appeal to the late night clubbers. But tracks like Come With Me really sum up the album, and straddle that boundary between pop and indie that also taps into something so groovy that you can’t help but smile and bob your head.

For fans of: Cut Copy, Crystal Castles, The XX, Caribou, Phoenix

Choice tracks:

02 Illuminata

04 White Magic

07 Come With Me

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PILAR DIAZ s/t CD

PILAR DIAZ / s/t CD / SiteLA Records / 2008

Few artists are able to successfully meld sounds from this century with sounds of centuries past, but Ms. DIAZ pulls it off here with creativity and aplomb.  Clearly she has a lot of respect for Latino musical traditions, and that gives her the ability to mix up those traditions a bit without seeming cloying or opportunistic.

SOUNDS LIKE:
MANU CHAO, BEBEL GILBERTO, BJORK

SUGGESTED TRACKS:
1  “Tu Y Yo” (great layered samples meld old styles with new ones)
3 “Novia De Soldado” (a touch of indie rock)
6 “Perdido” (wistful guitarron, accordion, and fiddle mix)

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Ecid “100 Smiles And Still Runnin’ ” New Music Review

Ecid 100 Smiles And Runnin’
Accompanied by Arsenic

Review by Salex

Ecid’s latest release “100 Smiles And Runnin’ ” is a lyrics-heavy, intellectually stimulating hip hop album. With the expert production from Arsenic, and Ecid’s record crate diggin’ for samples, he delivers a really good album. He samples melodic jazz and soul records over simple drum and bass lines. The lyrics are gritty and heartfelt. Minneapolis based Ecid holds nothing back. His whole goal was to make great long-lasting music, rather than just a generic club banging album. This is a really good underground hip hop record. His rhythmic lyrical choices get the tracks grooving over the minimal music in the background. No cheesy dance floor hooks; just emotional, believable hip hop paying serious credit to the life-long crate diggin’ vinyl junkies. I was hooked from the first track, and has such a classic vibe with great lyrics with a deeply meaningful message. If you like to chill out and let the music get in and expand your mind, this is the perfect album for you.

For fans of: Aesop Rock, Simian Scribes, Eminem, Living Legends
Genre: Hip Hop (underground)

**There is only one FCC Clean track: #12 Damn it Feels Good to be a Charmer

My Track Pics:
#1  Beautiful Smile
#3  Party Manimals
#4  Big Things
#5  FITB Famous (Fill in the breaks)
#9  Crawl
#10 Presidents Day

Artist Site: www.myspace.com/ecid
Label Site: www.fillinthebreaks.com

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