Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Top Ten Songs of the Week 6/1/09

We do this every week. You’ll see this week’s #1 song on our Best 100 songs of 2009 list at the end of December, along with maybe some of the rest of these too. This is strictly for fun – it’s Lucid Culture’s tribute to Kasey Kasem and a way to spread the word about some of the great music out there that’s too edgy for the corporate media and their imitators in the blogosphere. Every link here will take you to each individual song.

 

1. The Jazz Funeral – Goodnight (Is How I Say Goodbye)

Gentrification and greed as metaphor for the end of a relationship in this fiery janglerock masterpiece – the political as very personal. They’re at Ace of Clubs on 6/6 at 8.

 

2. Edison Woods – Praises & Scrutiny

The latest single from the forthcoming Wishbook Singles cd by the world’s best 6/8 band, lush and haunting as usual

 

3. Tessa Souter – You Don’t Have to Believe

Dark jazz siren with eerie Middle Eastern and flamenco tinges. She’s at 55 Bar at 6 on 6/12.  

 

4. Marni Rice – Priere

Noir accordionist/chanteuse. Haunting, with a string quartet. She’s at Small Beast at the Delancey on 6/25 around 10.

 

5. Black Sea Hotel – Dimjaninka

Haunting hypnotic Bulgarian folk tune arranged for four voices by Brooklyn’s own Bulgarian vocal choir. They’re at Union Pool at 9 on 6/4

 

6. Jo Williamson – Sheepish

Tuneful bittersweet and soulful, like Cat Power without the vocal pretensions.

 

7. Veveritse Brass Band – Samirov Cocek

Typically blistering Balkan madness. They’re at Union Pool on 6/4

 

8. Barbara Dennerlein with Emily RemlerStormy Monday

Scroll down to the middle of the page for this amazing clip from German tv, 1986. Dennerlein – maybe the greatest organist of our time – is her usual amazing self but it’s the late Emily Remler’s offhandedly savage yet obviously opiated solo that makes it.

 

9. Mattison – Yver

Beautiful electric piano triphop tune, Greta Gertler meets Bee & Flower. They’re at Duck Duck, 161 Montrose btw Graham & Humboldt at 5 PM on 6/7 for Bushwick open studios.

 

10. The Courtesy Tier – Set Things Right

Blistering, noisy bluespunk from this guitar/drums duo. They’re at the Rockwood on 6/4 and the Delancey on 6/6

June 2, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CD Review: The Jazz Funeral

This cd has absolutely nothing to do with jazz and isn’t exactly goth, although it’s relentlessly dark. This is a terrifically intelligent, auspicious debut for these lyrically-driven Staten Island retro rockers. It’s a mix of jangly, 60s inflected songs with smartly understated vocals and excellent, brooding lyrics that contrast with the songs’ catchy, upbeat, frequently country-inflected melodies.

 

The cd kicks off with Annie’s Kitchen Table, a fast country shuffle with a slightly Blonde on Blonde feel and a bitter, anguished lyric anticipating a breakup, “the summer months coming hard,” the narrator chainsmoking and anticipating the worst. There’s a nice, tastefully bluesy guitar solo that works perfectly with the tone of the song. The next track, Pulling Off the Wings is a haunting, oldtime-flavored backbeat country song with pizzicato mandolin, all tension that refuses to break, “Clocks don’t stop and cars refuse to crash…it’s so plain to see I’ve been so unwell.” The sarcastic, angry Entry-Level Blues starts out fast and bouncy like the Kinks or the early Move but quickly builds to more of a country feel; Jolene, of the South Shore, a rueful ballad slinks along on a beautifully tense melody, chords shifting from major to minor with elegant restraint. The best song on the ep is its closing cut, Goodnight (Is How I Say Goodbye), begining ominous with layers of oldtimey blues guitar, suddenly jumping to a raging, staccato Weimar blues melody and then exploding into fiery janglerock:

 

If the ghost of Robert Moses came to talk to me

Would you demolish every brownstone in Bay Ridge

All the ghosts you see are real…

Walk toward the light but be prepared to say goodnight

 

Best thing about this cd is it’s free, download it here. Fans of the A-list of tuneful, intense lyrical rockers: Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, LJ Murphy, Matt Keating, Ward White and the rest will devour this. A great ipod album, it screams out for headphones. The Jazz Funeral play Bowery Poetry Club on Feb 14 and then Feb 18 at Ace of Clubs.

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment