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Articles By: Ralph Greco

LeeSun: Singing You This Song

LeeSun: Singing You This Song

What I especially like here, beyond what is obviously strong songwriting, is LeeSun’ uncanny ability for managing sweetness with a slight discordant brush to her soundscapes. It makes for an uncanny production and a damn good 13 tunes of Singing You This Song.

Boy George and Culture Club: Life

Boy George and Culture Club: Life

A synth bleating bass and snapping percussion from the fantastic “God & Love” gets us up and moving for the 11-song wonderfulness that is Boy George and Culture Club’s new album Life. Although the songs come at you at different tempos, mostly what we get here is fantastic percussion, lots of horn interplay and George’s voice, lower, but stronger than ever.

Imagination Movers: 10-4

Imagination Movers: 10-4

Imagination Movers is an upscale kids’ song production every step of the way, with obviously lots of the big corporate machine behind them, influencing in just the right quarters and mining a specific genre of music not many rise up high in. I just think the songs, beyond silly ones like “#fuzzylittlecat,” the lyric might have had a little more meat on the bone.

Adam Rose: Levitate the Base

Adam Rose: Levitate the Base

In the grand tradition of Pink Floyd and King Crimson, as well as bands like Russian Circles and Joe Satriani’s work, we get solid instrumental songwriting, producing and playing from Adam Rose on Levitate the Base.

Mike Carnahan: CarnyMusic

Mike Carnahan: CarnyMusic

Obviously a strong songwriter and player, of Mike Carnahan steps out a bit on CarnyMusic.

Nick Mason & Rick Fenn: Profiles [Remastered]

Nick Mason & Rick Fenn: Profiles [Remastered]

There’s two parts to the title track, the first “”Profiles Part 1/Profiles Part 2″ ending the first side of the original album, a good rockin’ instrumental, truly showcasing Fenn’s guitar and keyboard playing. At over ten minutes we get a confectionary-sounding high keys middle leading that slows the rocking down, taking us all the way out with layering key leads.

Dead Friends 46: Hardcore

Pull up your big girl panties, open your ears and chomp down on Dead Friends 46’s new album Hardcore. This Cali hardcore 5-piece is taking no prisoners in the blistering 11 they offer up here. From Sean McGuire’s high-end bass trilling on opener “The Firm,” where vocalist/shouter Don Mazza claims his outfit “has come to fight,” to the slashing power chord attack-of-one’s-enemies assault of “Rise Up,” (great noisy lead playing here from Shaun Andri here), one is in for a penny, in for a pounding with Dead Friends 46.

Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio: It’s Time

Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio: It’s Time

With a slightly off-bear snare snap from Massimo Buonanno and Rose Ann’s electric piano and vocal up front, the dozen tunes here start with the jumpy “Forever Day By Day.” Even more grooving, and snare-rim-shuffling is the sexy and spikey “10 Miles to Empty.” And we are into the first of the ballads here with a swirly piano sound and Rose Ann pleading for a sweet, soft and seemingly well-needed, “Dinner For One.” As It’s Time opens up its pedals we hear loud and clear how expressive this trio can manage a melody and beat, and how emotional Rose Anna’s vocals can get the listener.

Norine Braun: Through Train Windows

Norine Braun: Through Train Windows

“Climbing Table Mountain” is a blues country stomper, the best tune of the first five here for me (and that’s saying a lot since the tunes before it are all great); Steve Hilliam’s tenor sax just sails across it. We are back to acoustic leading the way with some low colors by Adam Popowitz’s guitar on, “Heading Up North,” the lyric surely evoking lonely long lonely places.

THE SEX FILES: End Of The Year News

THE SEX FILES: End Of The Year News

Lastly, although prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, the city’s famous “Red Light District” might just be moved…if the city’s first female mayor has any say in it. In an interview with Bloomberg Mayor Femke Halsema bemoaned how Amsterdam’s prostitutes are often besieged by drunken tourists, as the current 370 windows of 86 brothels exist right up alongside the rowdy clubs and late-night bars of the area (something that amazed me as well when I visit thge city for the first time a few years ago).
Halsema would like to take the brothels outside of the district, in, what she says, is “an effort to ease congestion and revive the historic central zones.”

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