Showing posts from 2010

Best Albums of 2010

I know that I promised to have this list up in the middle of December, and I had every intention on following through with this goal. Unfortunately, this was not to be, as I received news that my grandmother has passed away at the age of 99. She lived a great deal longer than any of my family ever imagined in our wildest dreams, and she passed on without feeling any pain. When I saw my mom's name on the caller ID on my cell phone, I could just feel it in my bones that my grandmother had passed away. There are some things that I have an instictual feeling about, and this proved to be true. It was bittersweet to hear that she had passed on. Sweet, because she had been ready to go for a couple years, and bitter because it is always hard to lose someone that you care about. I dedicate the year of 2010 to my grandmother whose spirit lives within me.

Because I needed to fly across the country to attend my grandmother's funeral service, and drive back with a generous, unexpected gift …

I Hear a New World Podcast- Best Albums of 2010

Well, I know that Eclectic Grooves has been neglected lately, but serious life issues have materialized recently that have required more of my time and energy. This is not to say that I will be abandoning the site though, as I have a couple huge posts coming up over the next month. One of these posts is the massive list of my favorite albums of 2010 that I have been compiling over the past couple months. I am certain that there are still going to be some albums coming out in December that may deserve to be on this list, but I plan to have this list done no later than December 15th.

With that being said, today's I Hear a New World Podcast focuses on music released in 2010 that will likely be included on my year-end list. I have included a setlist below just in case you are unable to catch the artists and song titles from my repartee throughout the show

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available for download here, and at

I would love to…

Halloween Hodgepodge 2010

The Halloween Hodgepodge edition of the I Hear a New World Podcast is available for download here, and at

Given the time of the season, it is once again time for me to dredge through my seemingly endless archives of spooky music to present a new Halloween mix to the readers. Last year I was rushing against the clock to complete my Halloween podcast before the clock struck midnight on Halloween. After learning my lesson from this, I began compiling my list two weeks ago with possible songs that could make the cut for this years mix. These songs were culled from my own collection, Soulseek users and the numerous Halloween blogs and forums across the internet. Without the help of these sources, it would have been practically impossible for me to finish this mix on time.

Considering my tendency to strive towards perfection, finishing this mix before Halloween has meant spending hours painstakingly crafting a two-part mix of the most terrifyingly bone-ch…

I Hear a New World Podcast #22

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available for download here, and at

This week's episode of I Hear a New World primarily features albums that were released in 2010, as I gear up for my annual "Best Albums of the Year" post. Artists on this podcast who have released albums from 2010 include The Intelligence, Quasi, Thee Oh Sees, Madlib, and Grass Widow. Interspersed throughout the set are a couple jazz greats and some choice international cuts for a good balance of sounds.

I would love to receive some feedback from the listeners as to what you think of this edition of I Hear a New World.

Also, keep your ears peeled for another edition of Plain Brown Wrappers as well as the annual Halloween podcast since Halloween is just around the corner.

Mix Tape Recollections

Recently I have been digging into my old crates of tapes looking for forgotten gems to play in the tape deck of my girlfriend's Saturn. Since she only has a tape deck in her car, and this is the only mode of transportation we have right now, I have been revisiting old favorites that I compiled many moons ago in a dusty basement with nothing but my record collection, a creative imagination and my trusty JVC dual cassette deck. Similar to the warm crackle of vinyl, the grainy hiss of a cassette tape gives it a more raw, analog sound that is largely missing on the highly digitized reproduction of a compact disc. Because of this, I am more drawn to compiling mix-tapes than mix CD's.

Lately, there have been numerous books released which discuss the merits of making mix-tapes and reflecting on mix tapes that remind us about the best and worst times of our lives. My favorite book on mix tapes is called Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture which was curated by Thurston Moore. From the…

Blasting Through the Sonic Furnace of the Sky

Today is probably one of the first times that I have featured a fairly new album in its entirety at a great bitrate. The reason that I have chosen to stray from the normal policy is that this fantastic Sublime Frequencies release from Omar Khorshid came out back in May and went out of print within 6 weeks of its actual release date. This is an astonishing feat to say the least, and I feel that it should not fall on deaf ears.

While I wasn't fortunate enough to snag a limited pressing of this record, I was lucky enough to download the complete album from a friend on Soulseek at an astonishingly rare 320k bitrate. For those of you who are familiar with the discography of Sublime Frequencies, you know that the quality of their albums is top-notch and that their releases typically go out-of-print at a rapid rate. Hisham Mayet, along with Alan and Richard Bishop (from the now defunct and legendary experimental band Sun City Girls) started Sublime Frequencies a few years ago to primarily…

One From the Vaults- Jean Cohen-Solal

It hasn't quite been a month since I've posted on here, but it's definitely not due to a lack of creative ideas. Lately, I have been listening to a wide variety of albums from 2010 as I gear up for the annual "Best Albums of the Year" list. Be on the lookout for this list when it officially drops in December. Until, then, I will whet your appetite with some of my favorite records from 2010 in an upcoming I Hear a New World podcast.

Also, for those of you who live in Portland, OR, get your ass to Dante's this Friday to check out Thee Oh Sees. What comes to my mind when listening to Thee Oh See's lates EP Warm Slime is an image of a speeding freight train as it violently careens off the tracks. This isnt too far from the feeling one gets when experiencing their live show. When they bring their catchy brand of psychedelic-garage rock to Dante's, you can bet that the whole place will be a sweaty mass of bodies frantically bobbing up and down to the sound o…

One From the Vaults: Roman Bunka

As I promised two week's ago, here is the answer to the latest Plain Brown Wrappers: Tomrerclaus- En Spade Er En Spade. No-head decided not to ruin it for the rest of the readers, but it turned out that no one else even ventured a guess this time around. Anyway, En Spade Er En Spade was a towering achievement for this phenomenally talented guitarist from Denmark who played nearly all of the instruments on the record himself. As far as I know, this record is way out of print, so I hope that you enjoyed it.

Today, I am introducing a new series to Eclectic Grooves called One From the Vaults. This series will showcase out-of print and extremely hard to find records that have generally been slept on by the general public. I figured that this record by German kraut-psych masters Roman Bunka would be a perfect album to introduce this series to you. All I really need to say about Dein Kopf ist ein schlafendes Auto is that it transcends genre tags, throwing every imaginable musical style i…

Plain Brown Wrappers #9- Synapse Ticklers

Recently, I managed to give the blog a spiritual cleanse, as I deleted over fifty spam messages that had accumulated on here over the past several months. Hopefully, the rate at which I have been receiving spam will go down considerably since I now require all users to enter a code whenever they leave a comment.

Well, let's get on to the matter at hand.

This is the 9th episode of Plain Brown Wrappers, and I am proud to say that this is one of the most mind-bending platters of wax to ever be featured on Eclectic Grooves. As I listen closely to each sound that the guitarist on this record manages to squeeze out of his instrument, it is clear to me that this is either the product of a brain-fried visionary from the psychedelic era, or the whacked-out experiments of a lonely, pimply-faced music geek set loose into a musical playground filled with echo chambers, effects pedals and stompboxes.

While you are taking this musical excursion for the first time, I want you to think about what ki…

I Hear a New World- Podcast #21- Stacks of Wax Vol.7

Yeah, I know that it's been way too long since I've graced your presence, but between visits from family and friends, summer concerts and basking in the sun with my sweetheart, I have had absolutely no time or energy left for posting here.
Besides checking out the incredibly talented trio of gypsy-klezmer stylists, Shicky Gnarowitz, last week at the Division Clinton Fair and yesterday at The Woods, I have been gathering a list of upcoming shows that I plan on checking out during the remainder of the summer. PDX Pop Now, SMMR BMMR and Music Fest 2010 are three festivals that I plan on attending, but every time I check the local weeklies there are more that hadn't been on my radar yet. Be on the lookout for a breakdown of these shows, as well as an exhaustive list of the bands that I plan to check out during each show.

Other things that are on tap at Eclectic Grooves are new features that I have been cooking up in my mind over the past couple months, the long overdue podcast …

I Hear a New World- Podcast #20- Stacks of Wax Vol.6

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available for download here, and at

This episode features a wide-ranging set of eclectic styles including psychedelic, blues, free jazz, garage, post rock and afro-funk. Bands that are featured on this episode include Brainiac, Animal Collective, Slint, Reverend Gary Davis and Orchestre Poly Rhythmo.

I hope that you enjoy this episode as much as, or more, than I had putting it together.

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think of this week's show.
I have a friend coming out to visit over the next week, so things are going to be pretty slow on here during that time. Feel free to pillage the archives while you are awaiting the next post.

The Revelation

Well... it has become apparent to me that the popularity of this site has been decreasing considerably over the last several months. My hits have been dwindling since February, and they keep going down at about the rate of 1000 hits a month.

I figure that there are many reasons for this shift in popularity:

1) Sporadic posting (Once or twice a month isn't cutting it)
2) Fewer full-album posts
3) Many of the blogs who once linked to me are either gone or have removed my blog from their links, which tells me that they have decided that my blog isn't worthy of space on their site
4) The design of my blog is archaic compared to the Flash and You-tube filled sites that are flooding the internet, which is evident by the amount of visitors who spend two seconds on the site and then move on
5) The blog is cluttered with too many gadgets, players and links to other sites.
6) I haven't featured very much experimental or free jazz music on the site lately, which is the style of music that s…

Plain Brown Wrappers #8- Electric Sunbursts of Sound

Even though I tweaked my back out while exercising this morning, I decided that I didn't want to postpone the listening party any longer. Since I am icing my back as we speak, I plan on keeping this short today.
This episode of Plain Brown Wrappers is brought to you from that corner of my brain that revels in bringing you the most twisted, innovative and head-spinning music that I can possibly muster. It is being transmitted from the overactive brainwaves of a creative genius who just might have you humming these tunes while you sip your morning latte in the back of a crowded Starbucks. Of course you will have to be locked away in your own soundworld, with a pair of headphones that allow you to explore the full spectrum of sound that this album demands. You can't put it on while you carry out the mundane activities of the day such as washing the car or cleaning the house.

Give this one some time to sink in as each song slowly unfolds into an intricate web of styles that combine…

I Hear a New World- Podcast #19- Stacks of Wax Vol.5

The 19th episode of I Hear a New World is available for download at

This week's episode of I Hear a New World featured a couple songs on media other than vinyl, as I wanted to take a little break from the norm. Artists featured on this week's episode include Volcano the Bear, Grass Widow, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and John Fahey.

At just under an hour, it is the perfect mix to upload to your I-pod for the morning commute to work.

I would love to hear what you all think of this week's episode, so please drop me a line. As always, please let me know if any of you want a trackslist for this week's show.

I apologize for not posting very much lately, but I hope to post a new Plain Brown Wrappers soon as well as a few full album posts.

Keep your ear tuned to Eclectic Grooves for the latest and greatest sounds coming out of my stereo.

I Hear a New World Podcast #18- Stacks of Wax Vol.4

The latest episode of I Hear a New World is available for download at

I hope you guys have been enjoying the Stacks of Wax podcasts I've been doing lately. These episodes are much easier to compile than the ones that I record from CD's and Mp3's on my computer. Another reason that I have been more motivated to post the vinyl podcasts is that I have been purchasing a lot more wax over the past year. Because of this, I have been doing the vinyl editions more often.

For this episode I have gathered another eclectic batch of wax for your listening pleasure. Artists that were featured on this installment of Stacks of Wax include Sandy Bull, Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, The Intelligence, Jef Brown and Pharaoh Sanders. As always, your comments are encouraged and appreciated. Also, if anyone would like a trackslist to this podcast, please drop me a line in the comments section.
Until next time, keep the tunes flowing th…

I Hear a New World Podcast #17- Stacks of Wax Vol.3

The 17th episode of I Hear a New World is available for download at

This edition features many vinyl treasures that I picked up at local record stores over the last couple weeks. Artists that were featured on this podcast include Grass Widow, Neil Young, Ornette Coleman, Rev Louis Overstreet and Thee Oh Sees. It features an upbeat mixture of psychedelia, gospel blues, jazz, afro-groove and spanish flamenco.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this week's podcast, so please drop me a line. Also, I would be happy to provide a tracklist for this show to anyone who is interested.

Keep it tuned to Eclectic Grooves for more amazing sounds in the coming weeks.

Plain Brown Wrappers #7- The Unveiling

Well, this one wasn't too popular with the readers, and even the faithful commenters weren't sure what they thought of this tasty platter. What can I say? I can't please everyone all of the time, but I would have hoped for a little more feedback on this one.

It seems like the Plain Brown Wrappers series has run its course, at least as far as most of my visitors are concerned. Your silence speaks volumes. Maybe there is nothing that I can post on here that hasn't been said or done before. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I have decided to call it a day here at Eclectic Grooves. I just need to rethink the direction of this blog, as hits, comments and reader appreciation has been at an all time low.

For the two commenters who were actually curious about the identitiy of last week's featured Plain Brown Wrappers, this post is for you.

While some interesting band names were dropped, neither of the commenters were able to guess last week's artist and …

Plain Brown Wrappers #7- Psychedelic Hopscotch

As I was wrapping up my last podcast, I honestly thought that a new Plain Brown Wrappers was within earshot. But the unpredictable nature of life stepped in to reveal that there are some things that need to take precedent over Eclectic Grooves. I'll be the first to admit that I wish I had more time to dedicate to the blog, but free time has been available in short doses during the past month. For those of you who are still stopping by, I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude to you for sticking by me through thick and thin (believe me I know it's been thin lately).
Anyway, It took a little coaxing from one of the regulars to light a firecracker under my ass, but I am happy to say that I have something special for the latest episode of Plain Brown Wrappers.
What begins with a subtle hum slowly builds into a cascading wave of noise fragments that finally explodes into a full-on frenzied freakout by the closing of the track. You would think that by the sound of this opening track…

I Hear A New World Podcast #16- Stacks of Wax Vol.2

Since, my last post occurred before the New Year, I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year! Thanks to everyone who commented on the Best Albums of 2009 post. It was great to hear that I was able to turn people on to some new sounds. It's been quite awhile since I have posted a new podcast, but I had the energy and motivation to compile something today.

The 16th episode of I Hear a New World is available for download at This is the second installment of the Stacks of Wax podcast. For those of you who aren't familair with the Stacks of Wax concept, the idea behind it is simple: I rifle through my vinyl and compile a mix of songs that fit my current mood of the day. Today's mix features artists as diverse as Group Bombino. Flaming Lips, Evolutionary Jass Band, Gun Club and Vivian Girls. I hope you enjoy this episide of I Hear a New World, and I would love to hear what my listeners think of this episode.

I feel that there could be anoth…