For some, plastering a band name on a bottle of booze is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Others, like Maynard James Keenan, pour everything into their creations. However you define the following, here are a few band-name beverages to request at your next show.
Featuring former Miles Davis and Fishbone collaborator John Bigham, this new jam from The Greyboy Allstars plays out as a discussion between singer and self, with the titular assertion serving as a toe-tapping chorus.
Though eight years apart in age, siblings Natalie and Elliot Bergman have a long musical history. Whether playing together in church in their youth, hearing James Brown and Neil Young records from their parents, or soaking up influences on trips abroad, the two have a shared musical heritage that has manifested itself in Wild Belle, a multi-cultural pop project that was born from Natalie’s demos and rounded by Elliot’s professional experience in Nomo.
Isles, the group’s debut full-length, is a blend of pre-1980s reggae and rocksteady, dub, R&B, rock, and African influences, all held together by Natalie’s airy vocals and lovelorn lyrics. Here she speaks about familial dynamics, quickly signing to a major, and using loss as inspiration.
Morrow: Without room to properly bill it in our title, Orange Afternoons is the new installment of the Greenleaf Portable Series, a return to the informal jazz sessions of yore. Though all of the compositions are credited to all-star trumpeter Dave Douglas, it features a similarly famous/standout cast, including saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, pianist Vijay Iyer, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Marcus Gilmore. It’s a traditional but engaging display of jazz melody and dexterity.
Percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Martin Dosh, better known as simply Dosh, is known both for his electronic-based solo venture as well as his work with Andrew Bird, with whom he’s toured and recorded. The instrumental track is Dosh’s specialty; “Simple Exercises,” which first appeared on Dosh’s 2004 release, Pure Trash, reappeared on Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha in 2007 as “Simple X” with an addition of lyrics. In the piece below, Dosh explains what drew him to instrumental music and how a few classic, lyric-less tracks continue to inspire his own music.
The Alchemy of Instrumental Music by Dosh
I think my interest in music and sound really began when i was around nine or 10 years old; that is to say, that is when I really began LISTENING to music, to the ways instruments and voices worked together, trying to separate the sounds in my mind, trying to understand which sounds were being made by which instruments, and even what the people that played the music may have looked like. I can’t recall what the first song that really captured my imagination was, but it was likely by Devo or The Cars, maybe Billy Squier. I’ve always listened to the music first and digested the vocals and lyrics later. When I first discovered Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, I found the vocals to be distracting. I couldn’t understand why they were there; they seemed like an afterthought.
Once I started playing drums, when i was 15, that was all I really heard when I would listen to a song: the drums. And I played a little bit with some friends, but I didn’t truly discover the joy of volume until I went to college two years later. I spent more time listening to music in my first two years than I spent doing anything else — usually as loud as possible. I was lucky enough to have a few friends who had massive record collections, and I listened to everything.
Chicago Odense Ensemble: “Soup” [audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Chicago_Odense_Ensemble_Soup.mp3|titles=Chicago Odense Ensemble “Soup”]
Hajduch: Chicago Odense Ensemble is the latest foray of Rob Mazurek (Exploding Star Orchestra, Chicago Underground, Isotope 217)into large-group jazz fusion. He’s brought along some of his previous collaborators (Jeff Parker and Dan Bitney of Tortoise and Isotope 217; Matt Lux, also of Isotope 217) as well as some fresh faces (Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt of European psych band Causa Sui and percussionist Brian Keigher).
Mikrokolektyw: “Running Without Effort” [audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Mikrokolektyw_Running_Without_Eff.mp3|titles=Mikrokolektyw: “Running without Effort”]
Hajduch: Mikrokolektyw (pronounced micro-collective) is the Polish duo of Kuba Suchar and Artur Majewski. Together, they make a very primal sort of experimental jazz, rooted in Suchar’s one-man rhythm section of drums and Moog. Atop this framework, Majewski adds restrained, thoughtful trumpet lines. The result is head-nodding and hypnotic, and at times would not sound out of place in an Italian horror film scored by Goblin.
It also sounds like classic Chicago jazz fusion, like what Rob Mazurek‘s Isotope 217 and various Chicago Underground ensembles have accomplished. The sparse, melodic trumpet playing owes a lot to Miles Davis‘ In a Silent Way, and there’s a punchy moment of ensemble playing (here, “ensemble” means Majewski doubled) in “Watermelon from the 80s” that sounds like a riff from a Fela Kuti song. This guy would definitely call the cops on this album.
Dr. Lloyd Miller — an ethnomusicologist, master of more than 100 instruments, and pioneer of Persian-infused jazz — has joined amorphous UK ensemble The Heliocentrics for a turbulent East/West genre-mashing trip.
In the winter of 2008, Danish musicians Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt hunkered down in a Chicago studio with locals such as Jeff Parker and Dan Bitney of Tortoise, Matt Lux of Isotope 217, and composer/cornetist Rob Mazurek of Exploding Star Orchestra and Chicago Underground Duo.
Brought together by Brian Keigher, the group of all-stars combined their unique blend of styles in total improvisation, the result of which recalls Miles Davis‘ ventures in electronic music in the early ’70s. Loose ideas and grooves come together into well-developed electro-jazz soundscapes frequently punctuated by brilliant virtuosic solos.
On 12/31/00, dropped-D alt-rockers Hum played their final show in Chicago, appearing with the Flaming Lips at the Metro. Now, eight years to the date, the group reconvenes in the Windy City for a double dose of reunion performances.
ALARM intercepts transmissions from Hum singer Matt Talbott and bassist Jeff Dimpsey before these impending shows, the first of which is tonight at Chicago’s Double Door.