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Record Review: Glass Boys

Listen with caution! One listen through of this album may leave you couch-locked as a result of your mind being fully blown. Fucked Up’s latest Matador release, Glass Boys, is nothing short of a juggernaut of an album. The band’s first full length LP since 2011’s David Comes to Life, Glass Boys shows just how far Fucked Up has come in terms of musical mastery. It’s melodic, yet ear piercing; polished rock, yet still hardcore. Like many of their previous releases the album starts off soft and gentle, only to unexpectedly lurch into a furious punk rock maelstrom. Track one (Echo Boomer) begins with 27 seconds of new age wind chimes, leaving one with a deep feeling of wonder as to what the hell is about to happen next. A bass drum pounding bars later, a wall of wailing guitars appears wildly to pimp-slap your expectations across the face. With the familiar screaming of Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham, the album begins in earnest, combining the pure, unfiltered rage of their earlier work with some (but not TOO many) of the softer, “prettier” tendencies of their last two albums. Fucked Up channel the latest installment of their trademark melodic hardcore in a manner we have both come to expect and admire. Pink Eyes’ vocals sound like he may just be poised to kill you, a feeling strongly backed up by high-pitched wailing guitars, pounding drums, vocal harmonies, and overall furious musical intensity. An extremely polished piece of work, Glass Boys is truly a gem, as evidenced by such epic tracks as “Sun Glass” and “Paper the House”. Despite having achieved huge success within the mainstream, Fucked Up use this album to prove that they are no less furiously awesome than they have always been. Released June 2nd, Glass Boys is sure to blast some young, impressionable ear drums in the near future.

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Perfect Pussy – Album Review

Perfect Pussy at the CatalystPerfect Pussy’s full-length first album, Say Yes to Love is a fantastic showcase of the unique, unclassifiable sound that the band has to offer. After the band’s debut EP last year, several people got excited about the band’s future. And after almost a year of waiting, I don’t think fans  will be disappointed. The overall sound can be summed up as a masterfully crafted wall of noise. Guitars mimic the shoegaze bands like Loop and My Bloody Valentine; the drums add a very upbeat, thrashy element to the music. Then there are the vocals-barely coherent from all the feedback added-which are inspired. I think there are some really well orchestrated tracks on the album, but the feedback that dominates over the other instruments gets in the way of the instrumentation on some tracks. The best description of Perfect Pussy’s sound would be “thrash-gaze”; very easy to visualize a mosh pit forming in front of the band at a concert while Perfect Pussy plays their emotionally driven noise. It’s as if D.N.A and Deafheaven got together to record but had really low quality microphones. The album isn’t perfect, but it still leaves you wanting more. After Say Yes to Love, I join the other very curious fans to hear how (and if) the band progresses in sound.

- Brandon Oleksy

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Omar Sosa: Tribute to Miles

Omar Sosa and his group have released a new CD entitled Eggun- a tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. Melodies are constructed by taking bits and pieces of Miles’ various solos throughout the album and, in the process, a new tune is created. It stretches the boundaries of what the music on Kind of Blue previously held while at the same time it takes the sound forward, paying perfect homage to the original. When played live with his sextet at Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz last April, it brought down the house. The show was sold out, however it was one of those rare nights when the standing room people didn’t grump while they were grooving. Hear tracks from Eggun on the Stirrin’ The Soup Jazz Collective Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm on KZSC.

-Jared Frazier, KZSC Jazz Director

P.S.
Enjoy this little shoutout from Omar’s show that you might be hearing over the airwaves in the near future:

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The Jazz Charts: End of April

As we barrel towards summer, don’t let the heat get to your head, hepcats. Stay cool and enjoy what’s swinging high this week in KZSC’s Jazz Department.

TOP TEN CHARTS:

1    ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ    The Invasion Parade    Mack Avenue
2    LISA HILTON    Kaleidoscope    Self-Released
3    KRIS BOWERS    Heroes + Misfits    Concord Jazz
4    BAD PLUS    The Rite Of Spring    Sony Masterworks
5    IAN CAREY AND BEN STOLOROW    Duocracy    Kabocha
6    BRAD MEHLDAU AND MARK GUILIANA    Mehliana: Taming The Dragon    Nonesuch
7    JANICE BORLA GROUP    Promises To Burn
8    RUDY ROYSTON    303    Greenleaf
9    ULYSSES OWENS    Onward And Upward    D-Clef
10    AMY CERVINI    Jazz Country    Anzic

ADDS THIS WEEK:

brianblade_thefellowshipband_landmarks1    BRIAN BLADE AND THE FELLOWSHIP BAND    Landmarks    Blue Note
2    MO’FONE    Fonology    Evander
3    JESSICA WILLIAMS    With Love    Origin
4    LENNY MARCUS TRIO    Second Set    Self-Released
5    REGINALD CYNTJE    Elements Of Life    Self-Released

Brian Blade and his fellowship of virtuosos returns with the Brian Blade Fellowship Band’s fourth studio album to date, entitled Landmarks. It’s a pensive, dramatic collection of tasteful compositions – from spatial, spiritual ballads to furious out-bop concourses – with Blade’s dynamic  drum-work that will blast you into aural outer-space. Featuring an instrumentation rarely heard in this capacity, get ready for some Eric Dolphy-esque rips on the bass clarinet and soprano saxophone – courtesy of Myron Walden and Melvin Butler. If I’m not convincing enough, check it out yourself in stores or hear it extensively on Stirrin’ the Soup, Wednesdays 2-4pm. Until then, here’s the Brian Blade Fellowship laying it down at New York’s Village Vanguard last year. This guy sure loves to play.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YLU6NcQEzY&w=560&h=315]

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Family Photo takes Indie Rock to New Musical Heights on Debut Album

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The band in question

Taking sounds from the furthest reaches of indie rock, jazz, electronic music, and everything in between, Family Photo’s debut full-length, All We Ever Do, is a tour de force of artistic ingenuity, with no shortage of tunefulness and catchy grooves. Calling to mind the technicality of Dirty Projectors and Maps & Atlases, the Ohio/Boston/Salem-by-way-of-Sacramento group is poised to take the indie world by storm with their complex, interweaving melodies and stellar harmonies. From the joyous bounce and melancholy strings of “Eureka” to the hushed electronics and eerie whistling of “Faceyear”, this album will satisfy all your musical needs. Sit somewhere comfortable, apply directly to your ears, and let the music take you somewhere magical.

Check them out on bandcamp!

Watch the video for “Eureka” below:

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The Jazz Charts: 3rd Week of April

CHARTS:

1 LISA HILTON Kaleidoscope Self-Released
2 AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint Blue Note
3 BRAD MEHLDAU AND MARK GUILIANA Mehliana: Taming The Dragon Nonesuch
4 CATHERINE RUSSELL Bring It Back Jazz Village
5 BOSSA ZUZU Under Leaves Under Sky
6 NIR FELDER Golden Age OKeh
7 MONTY ALEXANDER Harlem Kingston Express Volume 2 Motema
8 PETE MILLS Sweet Shadow Cellar Live
9 RUDY ROYSTON 303 Greenleaf
10 SHAWN MAXWELL’S ALLIANCE Shawn Maxwell’s Alliance Chicago Sessions

ADDS:

1 DAVID HAZELTINE For All We Know Smoke Sessions
2 JERRY TACHOIR GROUP Stories Avita
3 NELS CLINE SINGERS Macroscope Mack Avenue
4 MARK BUSELLI Untold Stories oa2
5 VERVE JAZZ ENSEMBLE East End Sojourn

BOSSA ZUZU
We had the pleasure of interviewing Dan Reckard from neo-Brazilian jazz group BOSSA ZUZU last week. After their fantastic show at Kuumbwa Jazz last wednesday, they are continuing their tour down sunny California promoting their new CD, Under Leaves Under Sky. Check out the group’s website below,  give them a listen and catch them live if you can!

http://www.bossazuzu.com/