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Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 05, 2016 8 comments
"He is also an entertainment law professor and edits and scores films". So reads part of composer, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge's bio and that bit about film scores is relevant to our Download of the Week: Something About April II, released on Linear Labs January of this year, reads like a soundtrack from one of the most fascinating films you've never seen.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 29, 2016 3 comments
Holes. I've got holes in my musical knowledge all over the place; if my body was a pitcher and you poured water into my head, you'd see thousands of tiny spouts spitting water through those holes. African Head Charge was one until I plugged it up thanks to Tidal HiFi. African Head Charge was formed in the early 1980s by percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noa and developed over time into a varying cast of musical characters. The band's music, dubbed "psychedelic dub", has hit my head and heart hard.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 08, 2016 2 comments
I love Bob Dylan. From 1962 to 1975 he has me all in, hook, line, and sinker. After that, I lose track. Except: World Gone Wrong. World Gone Wrong, released in 1993 on Columbia, his last record to seal his decades old contract, has had me in its grips since I first heard it. We're looking at Bob his guitar and harmonica, singin' folk and blues classics. To my ears, it's classic.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 01, 2016 2 comments
Dreamy, breezy and oh so easy, Erykah Badu described But You Caint Use My Phone (Mixtape), released in December on Motown Records, as "TRap & B" but I feel lots of soul as well. From the press release:
The mixtape expertly weaves Erykah Badu’s trademark soulful vocals with psychedelic soundscapes, hip-hop-inflected beats, smooth R&B, jazz, art-rock and found sounds into a new genre Erykah describes as TRap & B.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 25, 2015 32 comments
We had this idea in mind that someone quite innocently would come along to a record store and see [the record] and think they would be getting 20 really good jazz/funk greats, and then they would put it on at home and they would just get decimated.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 18, 2015 3 comments
Chris and Cosey have been pouring sonic tonic into amygdalae for decades. Add Nik Colk Void and we're off to the funhouse.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 11, 2015 1 comments
It has admittedly taken me time to warm to Kurt Vile. With his latest record, b’lieve i’m goin down, (Matador) we're cookin'. We may as well be cousins.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 04, 2015 2 comments
Back in college in Vermont I had a few, and I mean a few, cassettes in my painting studio that were on near infinite repeat including a Hank Williams compilation and Sonny Rollin's Freedom Suite. A decade or more before college back home in NJ, we had an "uncle" who wasn't my uncle who dressed up like a cowboy and sung and strummed Hank Williams' tunes and C&W classics in smoky bars. Mom took us to see him perform and I always found the bar, the smoke, and its patrons at least as interesting as Uncle Pete, who was certainly a colorful kinda guy.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 20, 2015 4 comments
Jacques Coursil on his time with the Sioux Indians in South Dakota in the 1970s:
"I was there during the birth of the American Indian movement and I was deeply impressed by the seriousness of those people, who don’t talk much. But when they say something, it’s heavy. There are a lot of books about this [the Trail of Tears], but that is nothing compared to people telling me things bit by bit. The musician always translates into music what they see and hear and smell and experience, so instead of making a theory out of it, I made music."
Trails of Tears was conceived back then only to be realized, recorded and finally released in 2011.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 13, 2015 7 comments
Oh baby! I do love finding deliciously rare and delightful finds. Fille Qui Mousse (girl foam?) "was a leftist political collective led by journalist/musician Henri-Jean Enu in the very early '70s in Paris." according to AllMusic. In In 1971 the collective went into Futura Records studio and put down their one and only record in one day. Futura was having financial difficulties, some things never change, so the album originally titled Se Taire Pour Une Femme Trop Belle sat on the shelves until 1973 when a few, five according to Futura, test pressings were made.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Nov 06, 2015 0 comments
Hermits On Holiday (Heavenly Records, 2015) is the first album from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley (aka White Fence), together known as Drinks. Sometimes I like my music all jangly, loose, and raw with a bit of a wink. Sid Barret's Barrett being a particular favorite on that list and Hermits On Holiday joins it in sound and pleasure.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 30, 2015 3 comments
I'll just say it; Joanna Newsom is a songbird. Or maybe a fiendishly lovely automaton. Either way, you can certainly become enchanted with her sound which will leave you hopelessly lost in some Pre-Raphaelite medieval garden. Listen in to what she's singing and saying, and you may just fall in love.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Oct 23, 2015 2 comments
I spent yesterday evening glued to a second tier seat in Carnegie Hall. The Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons tickled every part of my brain with their stunning telling of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky followed by Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. If it were possible to download that experience and share it with you, I would. During the intermission, I commented to John DeVore, who was responsible for the invite, I felt as if I had been given a deep massage; the typical tension in my shoulders and neck was gone (it still is). Music heals.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 25, 2015 0 comments
Kevin Martin, aka The Bug, along with Roger Robinson and vocalist Kiki Hitomi have teamed up with Austrian guitarist / electronic musician Fennesz for Editions 1 (Ninja Tune) a foray into dreamy static-filled skies.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 18, 2015 5 comments
I love Low. With their new album Ones and Sixes released on Sub Pop earlier this month, they have become even easier to love. Duluth, MN-based Low consists of Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker and Steve Garrington who together form a power trio delivering beauty, menace, and a lit fuse-like groove.

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