The Bunka Log
RSS Feeds

Entries in Music Review (63)


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

Happy Friday to all! Do you feel it in the air? Spring is on its way and the bitter cold is retreating. I love that day we turn the corner and put the below zero weather behind us (hopefully). Well, it's been another two weeks, so it was time for my friend Josh and I to hole up in the seedy basement bar and record another episode of Half-Pints, Whole-Notes. This week, we talk about new releases and Pre-1900 music. Check it out at the website or through your favorite podcast listening thingy.

Purity Ring finally released Breathing World this week. Brandi Carlile is back with The Firewatcher's Daughter and it's a pretty great album. She is a force to be reckoned with live and I think this album showcases her talent well. Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds released Chasing Yesterday and staying on that indie rock side we've got Of Montreal with Aureate Gloom. Pop star Kelly Clarkson released Piece By Piece as well. And I think that about does it for the big guys.

And even though you still haven't finished last week's, here is the list.

Invasion of the Singer-Songwriters

Just seems like there are more than usual this week. In order from country/americanaish to rockish. Okay, so maybe I'm a little loose with the idea of singer-songwriter this week. It's just the word that keeps popping into my head.

Liz Madden, Legacy - folksy and Irish at times.

Gill Landry, Gill Landry - for some old-style americana

Ryan Culwell, Flatlands - more country sounding

Dorthia Cottrell, Dorthia Cottrell - A lady, a guitar and some singing. A little twang hangs around in there.

Lady Lazarus, Miracles - a lady and a piano and sparsity

Dom La Nena, Soyo - Simple sweet and beautiful.

Best Girl Athlete, Carve Every Word - Another sweeter sound with more instrumentation but still has that singer-songwriter vibe to it I think.

Buxton, Half A Native - Alt rock americana sound.

Best Girl Athlete, Carve Every Word - probably one of those that isn't really singer-songwriter but I just felt it so I went with it.

Lilly Hiatt, Royal Blue - Picking it up now, adding some oomph and pep to the music.

Holly Miranda, Holly Miranda - only one track is available on Spotify but this shows promise.

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper, After - A force to reckon with. Love her voice, her lyrics, her style.

Something else...

Gateway Drugs, Magick Spells - rock.

Eula, Wool Sucking - one of the examples of why I invented the term "Playground of Rock"

Prinze George, Prinze George - Not what I thought it would be. It's a poppy little thing.

Yung, Alter - Again, rock.

Coastal, Beneath the Snow and Streetlights - Keep this in mind for next winter. It will be great for that first snow.

July Talk, July Talk - It's a deep gritty guy and a sweet sounding female. At first I wasn't sure but then I kept listening and I think I started to get it.

Vincent D'onofrio/Dana Lyn, Slim Bone Head Volt - Oh I wish this was on Spotify but it's not. You can hear two tracks on soundcloud. Go here to read about this. I want it. So great.

And now it's time to take off my writing shoes and put on my hanging out shoes, switch my cardigans out and sing a song as I leave through the door. Hopefully you'll find the right level of singer-songwriter for your weekend and Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

 Well we are getting into the thick of it. Releases are abounding and it's my first week dealing with 150 on the list. The To-Listen list got pretty long this week and I'll have quite the time sorting through that one. By the by, if you're a festival-going fan, check out the line-up for Firefly this year. That's a pretty sweet line-up and not just because of Sir McCartney, but Spoon, Cage The Elephant, Run The Jewels, Sylvan Esso, Benjamin Booker, Sturgill Simpson, Matt & Kim, Empire of the Sun, and more? Good job, Firefly, good job.

Whooosh! It's the List!

All right, down to the brass tacks of the week. Kid Rock released First Kiss and it's more country than southern rock to me but that's just me I guess. Iron & Wine is releasing a collection of rarities and live things with the first volume out this week titled Archive Series Vol. No. 1. Do you remember Alien Ant Farm? They did that cover of "Smooth Criminal" over a decade ago, and this week released Always And Forever. But don't worry, the track "American Pie" is not a cover of the tribute to Buddy Holly. Rapper Big Sean released Dark Sky Paradise.

Their Names Belong Together...

Dutch Uncles, O Shudder

Radical Dads, Universal Coolers

Kid Rock, First Kiss

Get Ready For St. Patty's Day...

Tempest, Tracks We Leave - not purely Irish but a blend

Altan, Widening Gyre


Gal Pals, Velvet Rut

The Elwins, Play For Keeps

MisterWives, Our Own House - also winner of this week's best album cover!

Drug Cabin, Yard Work


The Mighty Sceptre, All Hail The Mighty Sceptres! - That 60s grooving music with orchestral instruments in the background, including some flute!

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, No Action

Gal Pals, Velvet Rut - Blondie type of female fronted music

Artisan Loyalist, Lonely Ghost - Kinda 80s pop sounding

If you like... 

Lumineers and The Head And The Heart (Popular Indie/Alt-Rock)? Ewert & the Two Dragons, Circles

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetics crossed with Patrick Watson (dense folksy soundscapes)? Elvis Perkins, I Aubade

Andrew Bird meets Magnetic Fields (i really can't describe that)? Daniel Knox, Daniel Knox

Wolfmother and Django Django (it sounds like straightforward rock but there's a little more to it)? Galaxie, Zulu

Low tempo and sparse Beach Boys (that's really the best way to say it)? Charlie Brand, Monsoons

Foo Fighters and Jane's Addiction (early 90s rock)? Black Star Riders, The Killer Instinct

The Bad Plus (jazz versions of pop/rock songs)? Wolff & Clark Expedition, Expedition 2

Bjork just doing vintagey songs (almost just went into vintage until I felt it had a Bjork element to it, but I might be crazy. I'm a little/very tired)? Via Tania, Via Tania and the Tomorrow Orchestra

Okay I'm calling it. There's a ton of good stuff out there this week. The Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah album, The Rough Guide to Pyschedelic Salsa, Champs, Tisziji Muñoz, Romare, and CeDell Davis albums are all also worth a look at. But the sun is waning in the sky, the boy is a ticking time bomb (as all babies are really) and I need a snack. So go out into the world of music, explore and find something to call your own groove. It's a great week for it. Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

As busy as last week was for big names in releases, this week is not. Let's see here, we've got Kenny G saxophoning it up with Brazilian Nights and Papa Roach with their new album F.E.A.R. Gov't Mule is out with Sco-Mule and americana country Punch Brothers released The Phosphorescent Blues. That's all I have for this portion of the Refrain, but that's not to say there isn't a lot of good stuff out there this week, because there is a lot of good stuff out there this week. I just hadn't heard of most of it.

So dig it - it's The List.

Surprises of the Week

Bettye Lavette, Worthy - Okay so I should have put this in the big names list but I wanted to single it out. From what I sampled, this is worth a listen.

Derek Minor, Empire - Good Christian rap. Wait, did I just link those three words together? Yeah, that's the surprise.

If you're looking for...

...something a little folksy, a little bit of americana? Try out the eponymous Jake Xerxes Fussell album or Danny Kroha, Angels Watching Over Me

...a little World music? Zomba Prison Project, I Have No Everything Here or The Khoury Project, Revelation

...some rock? Zun Zun Egui, Shackles' Gift; Purple, 409 or Menace Beach, Ratworld

...something completely the opposite of its name? Ghastly Menace may lead you to think of a metal band or eerie ethereal noise band but instead its easily palatable indie rock. So check out their album Songs of Ghastly Menace if that sounds like your thing.

... other easy going albums? Natalie Prass, Natalie Prass; or Jib Kidder, Teaspoon To The Ocean

...something psychedelic? Pond, Man It Feels Like Space Again

...a Jack Johnsonish sound? George Ezra, Wanted On Voyage

...reminscent of the 90s? Unlikely Friends, Solid Gold Cowboys combines Pavement, TMBG and the Magnetic Fields? or Dirty Dishes, Guitly brings me back to the female rock bands of yore.

... reminiscent of the 80s? Amason, Sky City with a Phil Collins-esque lead with an 80s twist on early Blonde Redhead; or Desperate  Journalist, Desperate Journalist

...something Michael Buble-esque? Jamie Cullum, Interlude

Other things I'm giving a deeper listen this week

The Dodos, Individ

toyGuitar, In This Mess

Lord Dying, Posioned Altars

Emmy The Great, S

Zs, Xe

Xibalba, Tierra y Libertad

Jorn Lande, Jorn Lande & Trond Holter Present DRACULA Swing of Death

Twerps, Range Anxiety

All right, well that'll do it for this week. My theory on Christmas decorations is to leave them up until Valentine's Day or when the grass shows. It's been warm up in these parts lately and unlike the NE, we've got ground showing, so I guess the jig is up. Time to take down the holly and the mistletoe. At least, I've got some new tunes to groove to while I do it. Happy Listening all!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music...

Happy Friday everyone! Time to check in on the new releases of the week and see what's what. This week was a huge week for releases, so let's just run down the list of the biggies: the hip-hop/rap scene had a couple of big releases this week with Lupe Fiasco's Tetsuo & Youth and Joey Bada$$, B4.DA.$$; Marilyn Manson is back with  The Pale Emperor; reunited indie rockers Sleater-Kinney released No Cities To Love; two other indie rockers also on the docket this week - Belle & Sebastian's Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance and The Decemberists' What A Terrible World What A Beautiful World; and finally today EDM favorite Aphex Twin released Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Pt. 2. Oh yeah, and emo Fall Out Boy released American Beauty/American Psycho as well.

Phew. That was a mouthful. And now for the rest of the tunes - it's The List!

Welp, I'm a little underlistened because I was really diving into a few albums for a podcast I'm doing with my friend Josh called Half Pints Whole Notes. We review a beer and some music every other week and in it, I'll be giving a bit more of my opinions on some of the bigger releases in a week. Which I usually just gloss over here because this is more about the underdog than the superdog. Here is the link if you want to check it out, or you can search for it on iTunes as well.

Yeah, so not really prepared with too many underdogs this week, especially now that music releases are back in full swing but...

A few that I'm digging right now

BC Campground, How To Die In The North - Maybe it's the bleak midwinter that has me thinking of them, but MGMT came to mind while listening to this one with a hint of Queen.

Etienne de Crécy, Super Discount 3 - dancey electronica poppiness. Get your Friday going.

Darlings, Feel Better - it's on my To-Listen list but my 3 song skim was pretty good for some hanging out rock.

Erase Errata, Lost Weekend - My first skim of this one made me think that if you liked the Viet Cong release this week, maybe you might enjoy this one as well. (can't wait for my podcast cohort to rebuke me on this)

Jim Ed Brown, In Style Again - some old style country for the weekend breakfast times of course!

Raymond Fairchild, King of the Smoky Mountain Banjo Players - Banjo music. Banjos. What more do you need to know?

Hanni El Khatib, Moonlight - it's got a lot going on in the music and seems like it could be a good one.

Light background music for a romantic dinner?

Matt Belsante, When You're Smiling

David Osborne, On the Wings of Love

Well there you go. Somethings to listen to -  musicwise and podcastwise even! Definitely going to be implementing my new notetaking ideas to keep track of albums I like because I think there will be quite a few after this week and it's so hard to remember all the way back to January by the end of the year. My New Year's Resolution I guess is to be better prepared for my best of list because I want to make a "maybe not epicly the best thing ever but you should give it a swirl" list. Anyway, enough of that. It's the 3rd week of January, we're supposed to be past best of lists and hitting up all the new stuff, right? And I've got Hanni El Khatib on as I finish this up, and it's good. Give it a swirl, because I guess that's the phrase for this week. And on that note - Happy Listening!


The Friday Refrain: A bit of what's new in music

Happy Friday everyone! The last weekend before Christmas - often a time of scrambling. Time to wrap up the presents, do some last minute shopping and squeeze in a few more holiday parties. Or maybe you don't do all that, well, don't worry a bit for each of you. Let's start off with what's happening in music this week and then I'll indulge in a little Christmas list after that.

Ho ho ho - it's the List!

Do you hear what I hear?... Not much? Yeah, me either. It's the end of the year, reviewers have already wrapped up their year end best of lists and tied a bow on it. Why bother releasing new albums? Well, because someone out there wants something new and there's always that chance you could hit it really big for last minute gift ideas. So who took the chance? Well, Nicki Minaj released The Pinkprint. While it starts out slow, it starts to pick up a bit later in the album. Charli XCX released Sucker and this might be a late entry but it is doing a pretty good job of tearing its way onto my favorite albums of 2014. I especially like the tracks, "Break the Rules" and "Famous." D'Angelo dropped off an early Christmas present for everyone with his first album in 14 years, Black Messiah. And that's really the news for this week. Not much, like I said.

Beyond the big three, the new single from Laura Marling's upcoming release is definitely worth a listen. I also dug the track "Spring" from The Heartbeat Band's Sailor Heart.

Now that this week is done, let's deck the halls with some Christmas music!

A list of some of the new holiday releases genrefied!

Well, I was going to include a list of my favorite Christmas albums, but I just realized that I need to go and identify what some of my favorites actually are first. That could take a bit. So perhaps I'll just sign off for this week and post a special follow-up if I get my ducks in a row on that one. So Happy Listening and to all a good night!



Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 13 Next 5 Entries »