Showing posts from September, 2017

Digging into Hot Fudge Sundazzze

I can remember a time when Portland's sole representation of community radio was KBOO. While KBOO still featured a few interesting musically curated shows in the first part of 00's, it began to slowly but surely eschew music shows to make way for more politically-minded talk radio shows around the middle of the decade. Recognizing that there was a serious void to be filled, an innovative community radio station named XRAY fm debuted on the airwaves in the Spring of 2014, promising to focus on free-form music shows that would challenge the current status quo of radio.  One of the unique things about XRAY was that it would be available not only to locals in Portland via FM radio, but streaming on its website to the entire world. Another way that XRAY got the jump on the aforementioned KBOO was to archive a couple of their shows to be available to listeners on-demand, alleviating the need to be listening to the broadcast while it happens.  Considering that I had been wai…

Rediscoveries of Lost Gems- The Trees

The Trees- The Garden of Jane Delawney
[CBS Records International, 1970]

The 1970 debut from this British folk rock band starts out unassumingly enough with the chiming guitars and slow moving bassline of the opening track "Nothing Special" easily drawing comparisons to Sandy Denny and Fotheringay.   In fact, on the surface, most of the songs on the Garden of Jane Delawney sound like traditional folk ballads, but the band's sense of musical timing and dynamics will undoubtedly hold your attention. The first track that blew my mind was the second one on the album entitled "The Great Silkie".  While the beautiful vocal phrasings in the first verse of the song put the listener in a relaxed state of mind, it suddenly turns on a dime with a face-melting guitar solo that completely comes out of nowhere. Other standouts on the record to me are the haunting ballad "The Garden of Jane Delawney," the entrancing, bold and explosive "Lady Margaret," an…

Journey into the World of Mdou Moctar

I'm sure that most of you will notice that some cosmetic changes were applied to the layout of Eclectic Grooves last week. These changes were mostly necessary due to the blog taking almost a minute to load in the past few weeks. I tested the site with the layout changes before finalizing everything, and was happily pleased that it now opens immediately. There are some things that I still need to tweak like getting the podcast player to work properly again, but it's mostly ready for prime time. I would love to hear what you guys think of it, as well as if you have any thoughts on making it even better.

Onto the music...

Mdou Moctar- Chet Boghassa and Maheyega Assouf Igan
From: Afelan [Sahel Sounds, 2013]

I first became aware of Mdou Moctar's music when I heard "Tahoultine" from the compilation called Music From Saharan Cellphones, released on Sahel Sounds in 2011.  This track was dominated by drum machines and Moctar's specially treated vocals sounded like auto-…

Rediscoveries of Lost Gems: Desert Heat

Desert Heat- Cat Mask at Huggie Temple
[MIE Records, 2013]

With a new Gunn- Truscinski Duo album on the horizon, I figured it would be fitting to explore one of Gunn-Truscinski's other projects called Desert Heatthat was released in 2013. Admittedly, this post would have made more sense earlier in the summer when the blistering heat in Portland was almost akin to a desert heat.

While most of Gunn's output of late has been of the laid-back variety, this record really kicks up the dust with two side-long epic jams filled with vitriolic guitar solos cranked to eleven and tempo changes that turn on a dime. Also along for the ride on this one is the equally talented guitar virtuoso Cian Nugent, who combines with Gunn for a dynamic one-two punch that never quits. The first track "Cat Mask at Huggie Temple" starts out with a transcendent guitar melody that slowly but surely kicks into a frenzy with Truscinski's drums serving as a sturdy backbeat to the mesmerizing interp…

Sweltering Hot Rats

Frank Zappa-Willie the Pimp and The Gumbo Variations
From: Hot Rats [Bizarre Records, 1969]

With the sweltering heat wave coming through the Pacific Northwest region as of late, temperatures are set to average between 95-100 over the next several days in Portland. With that said, I plan on writing this post as quickly as possible while not sacrificing the quality of the review.

I have never been the biggest Frank Zappa fan, mostly because the material I had heard up to that point was of the hokey parody variety, and it didn't sit quite right with my tastes at the time. Over the past couple years, I've grown an appreciation for the skilled musicianship and innovative ideas contained in much of Zappa's recording output from '66 to'72, especially Chunga's Revenge and Freak Out. Considering this, it's odd that I had yet to give Hot Rats, one of the most critically acclaimed records in Zappa's discography, a true listen until this past week.

Obviously I knew…