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The Heliocentrics: From The Deep

I picked up this album because the damn cover looked so cool. That seems to be the way I’ve been choosing new music, and for the most part, it has been working out nicely. 

I mean, look at this cover. How could I resist? It reminds me of Star Wars, and that was good enough for me to snatch it up. 

Anyhow, The Heliocentrics‘ latest album, From the Deep, is a confusing listen at first. There are 19 tracks in all, and most of them only last a couple of minutes at best. I sat on my couch wondering what the hell I was listening to. Jazzy, funky, bee-boppy… it sounded like a collection of ready-to-be-sampled excerpts for beatmakers.

It then hit me that I was listening for a song, rather than for an album. I guess once I made that mind shift, the record made more sense. 

As a whole, the album works in that it constantly changes and creates a new mood with each piece. Since the tracks are so short (save a few), I never got bored. The rhythms and beats are super cool to hear. I found myself thinking how cool it would be to sample some parts for songs. 

Check out “The Five Thing” 

Super. Cool. 

I can’t say this album is for everyone. Those of you wanting to hear vocals, or melodies, or anything remotely pop will most likely get bored of this record quickly. Those of you that enjoy experimentation in the genres mentioned above may embrace the performances on From the Deep. Just be prepared to say, “What? The song is over already?” to the majority of the tracks. 

I can’t say that this record will be in my regular rotation, but for now it’s a fun listen and a great inspiration for stretching myself creatively. From the Deep reminds me of the fun of full albums. Sometimes it takes a complete listen to get the message. That’s pretty cool on my book. 

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Izzy Bizu: A Moment of Madness

When I was a kid, my mom would drop me off at  Rhino Records as she went shopping. I’d have about $20 to spend as I like. Being a kid, my music knowledge was quite limited. All I knew was what my oldest brother played on his stereo. 

So I’d be there, staring at the endless shelves of records with nothing to buy. This made me quickly develop a sure-fire method of finding new music to hear: by judging a book by its cover. Yes, I’d buy the record with the coolest cover or name. 

This method led to the discovery of The Cure (Head On The Door), New Order (Brotherhood), among others. I still use this method today. 

So I picked up this featured album simply because I totally dig the artist’s name. “Izzy Bizu” just rolls off my tongue and sounds super cool.  Try it. 

I tell you- judging a book by its cover works. I’m still digging A Moment of Madness and I think I’ve played it 4 times through today. Izzy has a voice that reminds me of a cross between Amy Winehouse and Adele… the music could suit either of those singers as well. If you’re a fan of Winehouse or Adele, or if you like the soul/R&B/funk/jazz/pop, I’d highly recommend you take a listen to this record. 

To put it simply, A Moment of Madness has some good songs, some really good songs. For me, the standout track is “Mad Behavior.” It has an odd-time-gospelly-epicness that I can’t help but play again and again. Bizu cowrote every song on the record, and this song showcases the depth in her style. 

Izzy Bizu. Say it 10 times in a row. It’s fun. 

Then go buy this record. It’s awesome. 

Izzy Bizu links: [Official Site]

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Eva & The Vagabond Tales: “Keep Me”

Lately, I’ve been working on a project of magnanimous proportions… a project so huge and important, that it demanded every second of my attention and focus… a project that was so vital to my survival that, if I didn’t tackle it immediately, my world would collapse and crumble before my very eyes.

Yes, I was working on what my computer desktop wallpaper would be.

What? You scoff at this? You say, “Come on, man! That’s not important!”

Well, I scoff back and say to you, “Dude…” That’s it… because sometimes just one word can say millions.

I wanted something that said, “Power,” and “Wisdom,” and most importantly, “Friggin’ cool,” all rolled up into one. After countless hours of debate, I settled on this:

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How cool is that??? You can find this one and other cool Jedi wallpaper here.

Now that I had completed that monumental task, I went back to listening to some awesome music out of Southern Cali. I came across Eva and The Vagabond Tales.

Cool name, cooler music.

On their Facebook page, Eva and The Vagabond Tales (EVT) describes themselves as, “Antique old-time melodies from the town on the side of the river.” When you take a listen to their music, you realize just how on-the-mark that is. Listening to their album, Letters From the Moon, I felt I was transported to old France, Italy, or somewhere European… I’m an amateur on those countries, but I think you’ll agree.

Singer Eva told me that she recorded the entire album at home, on her laptop, with a “cheap microphone.” As Darth Vader put it so eloquently, “Impressive. Most Impressive.”

My absolute favorite track off the album is the painfully beautiful, “Keep Me.” If you’ve been following us on Twitter (how come you’re not following us on Twitter???), you would have seen this awesome tweet:

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Now’s your chance to hear this song that has taken over my stereo.

“Keep Me”

I’m listening to it right now as I type this, and it still breaks my heart. Love it. You can pick up the Letters From the Moon album here.

10731091_792426320803100_4820553685489420474_nI’m going to sweeten this post and say that EVT just came in to the studio for a Frontloader Session. Yes, I was lucky to have them here to watch them perform “Keep Me” and a bunch of other tunes right before my eyes. If you’re following us on Facebook (how come you’re not following us on Facebook???), you would have seen some pictures from the session. They’re the first band to come in that brought along props and stuff to dress up the studio. Very cool vibe.

You can see in the picture there that even Sherman was included in the session. He was quite proud and didn’t demand much other than getting “more camera time than anyone else.” Good bear.

Their Frontloader Session will be coming soon, so be on the look out for it!

EVT have some November shows:

November 14th- The Lounge 22, Redlands, CA
November 22nd- The Barkley, Pasadena, CA
November 25th- The Hip Kitty, Claremont, CA
November 29th- Back to the Grind, Riverside, CA

I plan on being at The Hip Kitty show, so come on out watch me goob out.

If you’ve never seen me “goob out,” you’re in for a treat. I come prepared like a “gangsta”:

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Eva and The Vagabond Tales: [Facebook] [Twitter] [Bandcamp]

Alive and Kicking

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m not dead. No, I have been sans computer for the past few months… my Mac decided to die for the second time… unfortunate, but things like this happen.

I’m still a Mac guy, but lack of funds prevents the purchase of one of them new coolio Macbook suckers. I picked up a PC and here I am, back online and back in the saddle again.

I know what you’re thinking – “Swap, I’m so glad you’ve come back because my life has been meaningless without you!” Believe me, I understand. That’s exactly how I felt when The New Kids on the Block got back together.

It’s weird being computer-less. I wasn’t able to find new music, wasn’t able to keep up with the happenings of the world as much as I usually do, and I wasn’t able to check out the new things in porn the fascinating world of cell physiology. Now that I’m computer-full, I can read over and over again about how The San Diego Chargers choked bigtime.

I look forward to getting back into this site… thank you for being patient with me and for reading!!!!

Man ALIVE What an Awful Movie

I just have to say that Pearl Harbor is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. That’s just awful, man. How could they not see that it’s awful?

I mean, at the first screening, couldn’t they TELL it sucked eggs? I can just see the conversation between producer Jerry Bruckheimer and everyone else… I have a feeling some sort of Bugs Bunny trickery happened there…

“Man, that’s not good.”

“No, Mr. Bruckheirmer, it IS good.”

“No, it’s NOT good.”

“IS good.”

“NOT good.”

“IS good.”

“NOT good.”

“NOT good.”

“IS good.”

“NOT good.”

“IS good.”

“NOT good.”

“IS good and I’ll kill anyone who disagrees with me!”

“You’re the boss, Jer!”

After doing some research, it’s apparent that the movie isn’t even historically correct… what kind of tribute is THAT to the veterans?

Just simply awful. I know the movie came out in 2001, but man ALIVE some things never stop sucking.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Pearl Jam Backspacer Album Art Contest

Just a quick post to let you know about Pearl Jam‘s Backspacer album art contest. It’s like an Easter egg hunt… you go around the web, looking for images and then fit them all together to form a larger puzzle.

According to this article at Wired.com, “Once fans click on all the images from around the internet and assemble them on the Backspacer site, they will be rewarded with a freebie that Pearl Jam promises is better than the usual free MP3.”

VERY cool.

So go check out more details at Wired.com or visit the official Backspacer site here to see what it’s all about.