Showing posts from 2008

Best Albums of 2008- Part 1

While I was compiling this Best Albums of 2008 list, it became painfully obvious to me that I wasn't fully prepared for the task at hand. Since the majority of music I listened to this year was culled from the massive archives of the sharity blogs, I haven't paid much attention to current trends in music. After sifting through an ocean of new records released in 2008, I had so many melodies and chord progressions floating through my brain matter that the notes were spilling out of my ears.

The method to my madness was simple, or so it would seem. I proceeded to gather every "Best Albums of 2008" list that I could find to make myself aware of releases that had slipped through the cracks of my listening repertoire. Then, I compiled a comprehensive list that represents the diversity of the music released throughout the year. Today I am posting the first part of this list starting with #11-20. I hope you enjoy this list and discover some new music.

11) Juana Molina- Un Dia

I Hear a New World- Christmas Podcast

The eighth episode of I Hear a New World is finally ready to be downloaded at:

This is a special two-hour Christmas edition of I Hear a New World that I have been compiling over the past few weeks. It includes a wide range of styles including blues, folk, old-timey, jazz, easy listening, rock, rockabilly and many more. Artists include Lightnin' Hopkins, Arthur Lyman, 5, 6, 7, 8's, Red Red Meat, Cottontop Mountain Sanctified Singers and Loretta Lynn. I have to give a huge shout out to the various Christmas blogs because this Christmas podcast would not have been the same without the songs I downloaded from their blogs. Thanks goes out to A Christmas Yuleblog, Ernie Not Bert, Big Rock Candy Mountain, Christmas A Go Go, 77 Santas and Dartman's World of Wonder. I hope you guys enjoy this special edition of I Hear a New World. For those of you who would like a tracklist, please let me know in the comments.

Be on the lookout for my Best Alb…

White Christmas Cookin' Under a Blue Yule

To my utter amazement, the streets of Portland were completely covered with snow before I stumbled out of bed this morning. According to my calculations, it has snowed about three or four times every winter that I have lived here, so it caught me off guard.
My girlfriend Verity was born and raised in Oregon so it is an exciting thing for her whenever it snows in Portland. Since I am from the chilly midwest (Peoria, IL to be exact) I don't get nearly as excited as she does about the magical white powder that falls from the skies. Nevertheless, we ventured outside to experience a winter wonderland filled with youngsters snowboarding and sledding down the steep hills of our neighborhood park. I thought that I was well prepared for the treacherously cold weather, but I could have used a face mask to block the cold wind that was slapping me in my face. Apparently, temperatures are expected to remain cold throughout the week with a high likelihood of more snowfall by Wednesday. Damn, I …

I Hear a New World- Podcast #7

The seventh episode of I Hear a New World is available to be downloaded at:

This podcast was originally intended to be broadcast on Portland's local independent radio station- KBOO. Unfortunately, I was only able to play a couple songs that night, so I decided to post this mix on my podcast. It features an eclectic blend of artists including Joe Meek, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, The Monks, Reeks and the Wrecks and Del Jones. I hope you guys enjoy the first part of this two-part podcast.

Here is the tracklist:

I Hear a New World Podcast #7- KBOO Podcast

1. Joe Meek- I Hear a New World
2. Scuffle and Dustcough- Gimlet
3. Reeks and the Wrecks- Nutsack Cadillac
4. Group Inerane- Awal September
5. Idris Ackamoor- Mogho Naba
6. People- Urban Fable 1- The Accidental Ruin of a Romantic Populist
7. Natural Dreamers- Diamond Mines
8. The Monks- Monk Time
9. Del Jones- Cold Turkey
10. Chrissy Zebby Tembo- My Ancestors

Total Time: 59:34

It's Been a Long Time

It's been a long time since, well... since I've posted something new on here. During October I was pretty prolific with the posts, but I had a feeling that the frequency of posts would go down after I began two new jobs in the middle of November. Since I received a few negative comments on the last post, I have decided to put the kebash on anonymous posting. I thought long and hard before coming to this decision, but I ultimately felt that it was the best thing to do.

Once again it is that time of the year where I gather together a comprehensive list of my favorite albums for the year. This year's list promises to be one of the most eclectic lists since the inception of Eclectic Grooves. I haven't figured out the logistics yet, but I plan on featuring this list before Christmas this year.
Also, I have some re-ups including Jimmy Smith Christmas Cookin' and a stellar compilation of blues christmas tunes called Blue Yule, in addition to a few other new Christmas goodi…

Change Is Gonna Come

Sam Cooke- A Change Is Gonna Come From: Ain't That Good News [RCA Victor, 1964]
Jef Brown- Change Has Got to Come From: Change Has Got to Come [Community Library, 2006]
Bob Dylan-The Times They Are A-Changin' From: The Times They Are A-Changin [Columbia, 1964]
Otis Redding- Change Is Gonna Come From: Otis Blue [Stax, 1965]
I realize that it's been a while since you've heard from me, but I just started a new job in the last two weeks and have been pretty strapped for time. In addition, I start another job this Wednesday, so I will undoubtedly have less time to publish new posts. Please check the archives and let me know when links aren't active, as I will be checking periodically to make sure that things are running smoothly here.
It took two terms of George W. Bush's corrupt politics to get the American people to show up at the polls in unprecedented numbers this year. According to the news, more people voted in this election than any previous election. In a way, I'…

I Hear a New World- Podcast #6

The special Halloween episode of the I Hear a New World podcast is available to download at
This episode is dedicated completely to Halloween. I have been pouring through an endless amount of classic Halloween songs, movie themes, scary sound effects and music that doesn't have a Halloween theme but still manages to scare the bejesus out of me. I hope you enjoy this special episode of I Hear A New World.
Your comments are encouraged and appreciated!
For those of you who are interested in a tracklist, please let me know
Happy Halloween!

Last Batch of Halloween Goodies

Today, I am posting a few more Halloween treats to tantalize your earbuds while you wait in anticipation for my Halloween podcast. I am working on it right now, so I hope to get the podcast up by the end of the day. Please remember to recommend my podcast to your friends by clicking on the "Send to Friends" link that can be found on the podcast homepage. I would like to make the podcasts more of an interactive thing where listeners can send me requests and suggestions through my podmail address at I will try to incorporate these suggestions within the show and give a shout out to the requesters and contributors.

Here is the last installment of the Halloween posts. I hope you enjoy them!
Halloween Sounds & Music For Your Parties, Trick-or-Treaters and School Festivals [D Records, 196?]

Vincent Price- A Graveyard of Ghost Tales [Caedmon, 1973]

V/A-Ghoul-Arama [Scar Stuff, 2001]
This compilation was handcrafted by the amazing Blogger Scar Stuff who ope…

Smashing Pumpkins Is Trendy

I bet some of you were misled to think that this post was going to be about the early 90's grunge band "Smashing Pumpkins" based on the title. Sorry for leading you astray, but the act of smashing pumpkins on Halloween has been around much longer than the band. I plan on just posting the records today without any further critique, since the titles mostly speak for themselves.

Today, I have a grab bag of tasty goodies for your listening pleasure, so without further ado.

Richard Taylor- Terror Major/Random Records, 1962

Richard Taylor- Fright Major/Random Records, 1962

Halloween- Starring Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Kid Stuff Repertory, 1980

Count Chocula, Frankenberry and Boo Berry- Monster Adventures in Outer Space w/ The Monsters Go Disco
Cereal Flexi, 1979

Hallowe'en Spooky Sounds
Sounds EP, 1962
Hope these Halloween treats are getting you geared up for the season!

Nightmare and Horror

I don't have much time to write about these records, so the reviews won't be as in-depth as you are used to finding on Eclectic Grooves. However, I wanted to share these rarities of horror with you at least a couple days before Halloween.

Richard Taylor- Nightmare
From: Major/Random Records, 1962

This is a sinister recording of Edgar Allen Poe's creepy tales "The Tell Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" narrated by Richard Taylor. Behind Taylor's breathless narration lies a stunning backdrop of guitar that comes into the forefront at crucial moments within the tales. Be prepared to be scared out of your wits!

Richard Taylor- Horror
From: Major/Random Records, 1962

The musical backdrop on "The Black Cat Part 1 and 2" consists of eerie, funereal organs. With a slightly more restrained delivery than he employs on the Nightmare album, Taylor weaves a haunting tale about a mysterious black cat that will make the hair on your neck stand up.


Halloween Goodies Are Coming Soon

Thanks to those of you who left comments on the Eclectic Grooves 2nd year anniversary! Most of you have probably noticed that I have been a lot more active on here lately. I realize that I have been neglecting the blog, but I am back in full force again with a lot of great ideas for future posts. Recently, I have noticed a spike in the popularity of the Chubby Checker- New Revelation/Chequered post from Jan 2008. So, I made sure that the link is still active for this post, and the last two year'sHalloweenposts. I have a Halloween podcast coming up next week sometime, and a couple Halloween rarities that will hopefully add something to your ghoulish gatherings this year.

In other news, Capillary Action are playing tonight at the Someday Lounge in Portland, OR at 9:00 PM. I believe that the cover is only $5, so there aren't many excuses not to go. For those of you who say, "Who the hell is Capillary Action, Kev" I say to you, "Please check this link for a review of…

I Hear a New World- Podcast #5

The fifth episode of I Hear a New World is available to be downloaded at:

Due to the space limitations on Podomatic, I will have no other choice but to delete the oldest podcast each week to make room for the new episodes. Today I removed the Sonic Youth episode, but it will be available to download from Eclectic Grooves in the near future.

This week's episode showcases the psychedelic soul sound of the 70's that was heavily influenced by Sly and the Family Stone and Jimi Hendrix. Aside from Parliament and James Brown, the artists featured on this episode are veritable unknowns in the music world. Some of the tracks were taken from albums that are no longer in print, and the rest are only available at an expensive import price. It took me most of the week to compile the songs and do further research on the artists for this week's episode. I hope you enjoy the show!

I Hear a New World-Podcast #5- Psychedelic Soul Nuggets

Skit- :46 (Taken from …

Eclectic Grooves 2nd Anniversary

Yes, it's really hard for me to believe, but today marks the second anniversary of the beginning of Eclectic Grooves. As I turn the page, I start reflecting on the past year and what it meant to me. I feel that this was a tough year in many respects, but it was also a time where I learned to grow spiritually and emotionally. While I haven't posted as often as I would have liked, I hope that some of you have heard some music on here that resonates with you. My sole purpose here is to write reviews about the music and artists that I am passionate about, and post rare music that accompanies these reviews.

At this time, I would like to thank the various folks that make this a worthwhile venture for me. First, to all of those people who have stopped by Eclectic Grooves since its inception, I sincerely thank you for your continued support. Secondly, I sincerely thank all of the bloggers who have posted a link to Eclectic Grooves on their blog. You make it easier for everyone to find …

Neutral Milk Hotel- Engine- Pittsburgh-10-18-08

I was just surfing the web when I came across this amazing video of Jeff Mangum from Neutral Milk Hotel performing "Engine," the B-side to "Holland 1945". I got the video and photo from the Pitchfork site just to give credit where credit is due. "Engine" is not only one of my all-time favorite songs by Neutral Milk Hotel, but I believe it is one of the best songs I've ever heard. Neutral Milk Hotel released two albums and an ep before they moved on and left a legion of fans breathlessly awaiting a new album or reunion tour. Legend has it that Mangum decided to run off with the circus to live out his reclusive existence, but there have been several sightings throughout the past decade of him making cameo appearances at Elephant Six Collective reunion shows, as well as a short stint as a radio DJ. Their music is something special that can only be described as magical and otherworldly. This band and especially this song never fails to bring tears to my e…

Things On the Horizon

Since I started doing this blog, I have been searching for a way to host mp3's on my site as well as a way to allow users to to stream the music directly from my site. This functionality is now available by using the Yahoo Media Player along with a file hosting service called Boxstr. Most of the recent posts with individual mp3's can now be streamed right here on the blog and they can be downloaded by right-clicking on the track and selecting "save as". I hope that you guys enjoy this new feature.

Three things that are on the horizon are the second anniversary of Eclectic Grooves on October 23rd, a new Rediscoveries of Lost Gems post and a new post featuring Halloween music. At this point, I don't know exactly what I want to do for my Second Anniversary Post, but it will definitely be something special. The next entry under the Rediscoveries of Lost Gems series will undoubtedly be exciting for free jazz aficionados. I have noticed a spike in the popularity of my …

I Hear a New World- Podcast #4

I just wanted to let you all know that the fourth episode of I Hear a New World is available for download at:

This episode focuses on bands from the Portland area who didn't play Musicfest this year and who didn't work at Music Millennium. It features a wide variety of styles including klezmer, free jazz, noise, psychedelic rock, folk and electronic. I am interested to hear what you guys think of the podcasts so far. Do you like the format of the shows? Do you think they are eclectic enough? Are there any bands that you would like to see featured on the podcasts? Please don't be afraid to comment. All comments and suggestions are welcome as long as they aren't malicious.

Here is the tracklist for this week's podcast:

Podcast #4-I Hear a New World- Movers and Shakers

Talkdemonic- Indian Angel- 2:52
Au- rr vs. d- 3:48
March Fourth Marching Band- Space Hole- 5:34
Adrian Orange & Her Band- Then We Play- 6:17
Hammer of Hathor- For a Cat W…

Capillary Action- So Embarrassing

Capillary Action- So Embarrassing

A couple months ago, I received an e-mail from the lead singer of Seattle's Capillary Action requesting that I post a review of his band's latest record So Embarrassing. Since my inbox was already flooded with requests from various musicians and marketing interns urging me to plug the next best thing, my intial reaction was to decline. But I had a strong feeling that this was something special that I couldn't dismiss without at least giving it a listen. I replied to Jonathan's e-mail by requesting a CD of the band's music along with a lyric sheet for further examination. A few weeks had passed before the package arrived in my mailbox, but the music that was concealed in this package was well worth the wait. Good things come to those who wait, and I hope that Jonathan feels the same about this review.

As I listened to So Embarrassing, I couldn't help feeling thatI was on a rapidly descending elevator ride through hell, stopping on…

I Hear a New World- Podcast #3

Hi everybody! I am happy to announce that the third episode of I Hear a New World is available for download at:

Just click on the link above and hit play on the latest episode, or download it to your hard drive to listen to it at a later time. Please make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you know when a new episode has been posted. You can subscribe by clicking on "RSS Feed" or "Archive Feed" under the section "Subscribe to This Podcast".

For some reason, the embedded podcast is cut off, so you are only able to listen to the last two podcasts on Eclectic Grooves. Basically, the embedded podcast widget from Podomatic does not show the entire widget. The arrow button functionality is missing which prevents you from selecting the podcast you want to listen to beyond the last two episodes. If any of you know anything about HTML, embedded widgets and the limitations of certain templates, maybe you could shed some light on t…

I Hear a New World- Podcast #2

Hi everyone! I just wanted to make a short post about my latest podcast that is available to download from Podomatic. This week's episode is meant to be listened to as a companion to my last three posts on Musicfest NW, as it features music interspersed with commentary about the bands I checked out. You can listen to it online by clicking on the play button next to the podcast on the top right of the page. You can also download the podcast by going to this page:

After you have listened to it, please let me know what you think. If you dig what you are hearing, please tell your friends to visit my page and download the podcast. Your feedback about the show and any suggestions you have will be considered in future podcasts. I am also taking suggestions for themes to explore as well as song requests. I am really having a great time compiling the songs and researching the stories behind the songs. One of my lifetime aspirations has been to work as a r…

Musicfest NW 2008 Recap- Saturday

September 6, 2008- Saturday

The Strange Boys- Satyricon- 8:00 p.m.

I hadn't heard of The Strange Boys before listening to their songs on Myspace a couple days before Musicfest 2008. I was so impressed with their brand of lo-fi garage tunes that I decided to check them out at the Satyricon on Saturday evening. It seemed to be the best bet for catching the band in all its retro-garage glory. I arrived about ten minutes before they were set to come on, and I think they started the show a little early to appease the eager crowd. My initial reaction was: "Damn, these kids weren't even thought of when I was born". But damn if they couldn't emulate the classic 60's garage rock like it's nobody's business.

Their stage show wasn't very exciting and they didn't have much of a stage presence, but the music packed a powerful punch and got the crowd moving. It featured mainly short bursts of adrenaline-fueled garage rock mixed with slow tunes that showcased t…

Musicfest NW 2008 Recap-Friday

Before I recount the details of Musicfest from Friday evening, I wanted to let you know that I finally created a podcast on Thanks to those of you who have already subscribed to it, and for those of you who haven't- What are you waiting for? I have it featured just below the "About Me" section on my blog. You can listen online by clicking the play button or click on "Visit this podcast" and it will take you to a page where you can subscribe to the podcast. This is a convenient way to keep up on when the podcast has been updated.

It is my first official foray in podcasting- a mix featuring my commentary and insights about the artists featured on the program. Here is a description of the first episode taken from my podcast page which can be found here. Please support my cause by subscribing to the podcast and offering constructive feedback about the show. If you have any questions, please let me know.

This episode was directly inspired by the Sonic Y…