Archive for the ‘Other Music’ Category

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REVIEW: The CRY – Dangerous Game LP

February 4, 2014

Note: This review originally appears on the CRKO Fanzine blog. Read it in full here.

Cry-DangerousGame_LPI was introduced to THE CRY! in early 2012 when I stumbled across the then-digital only release of their “s/t” debut album. Delivering twelve power pop tracks in the EXPLODING HEARTS vein I was completely blown away by their songwriting skills and impeccable delivery. Well, two years have passed and the band have just finished up recording their second album and had the courtesy of sending me a promo, to which I’m much obliged.

Kicking off with the B.T.O.-esque “Discotheque”, the band launches into ten tracks of perfectly written power pop gems with a healthy dose of rock’n’roll, garage and glam thrown in for good measure – and there’s even some shuffle to boot! Influences intact I still hear a band that’s matured and have taken their songwriting skills to a whole new level. Somehow this affair got me thinking of THE CLASH circa “Give ‘Em Enough Rope” – not that they sound anything like it, but I can sense a similar development of their sound as touring, writing and gigging made them gel as a band that in a similar manner let their influences shine through without aping anyone.

The end result is a true party album with ten consecutive hits, a great sounding effort delivered with sweat and passion and every time it ends I find myself wanting to hear more – the tell-tale sign of a truly great record. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if this made Best of 2014 lists towards the end of the year. A+. Get it => release-date: March 1, 2014.

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Ka-Boom!

February 3, 2014
copyright Sellergren Design 2014!

copyright Sellergren Design 2014!

Well, new week and a new Japanese-inspired design. I wasn’t planning on making Ka-Boom! official as early in the week as today, but I received an email from Society 6 informing me that artist’s promotion was available, so starting today (and lasting up until Sunday the 9th) people buying my stuff receives free shipping and something called “array off” (???) using the link below.

Frankly, even though I write and speak English fluently to the point I am considered to be bilingual I never heard the phrase before, and googling it just gave me a bunch of results focusing on PHP. Whatever it is you’ll get it by clicking http://society6.com/SellergrenDesign?promo=f170d3 so check it out. While on the subject:

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Extended play for today

December 30, 2013
courtesy Vic Mars.

courtesy Vic Mars.

Well, Matt aka Vic Mars just sent me his latest EP, the second installment of “Extended play for today”, entitled – what else? - Extended play for today: two. Six tracks in total of cool, laid-back electronic music with a nice retro feel. I haven’t been able to give it that many spins yet, but my faves so far is the quirky, electro-funk Foxmoor Casuals and the kinda Kraftwerk Music 500.

Like I’ve stated earlier, Vic must’ve been really inspired by the class room films we all saw back in the 1980s, because he emulates the sounds and feel just perfectly. Check it out here and make sure to visit his Facebook for the cool, giallo-esque video entitled Teufel Kosmisch.

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It’s All in the Reflexes

December 18, 2013
copyright Pterodactyl Squad 2012!

copyright Pterodactyl Squad 2012!

For some creative genre-influenced sounds make sure to check out UK-based netlabel Pterodactyl Sounds‘ freebie compilation It’s All in the Reflexes! An 8-bit tribute to the soundtracks of John Carpenter, it offers twelve tracks by artists like Comptroller and Videogame Orchestra marrying the minimalism of said soundtracks with the minimalism of primitive 80s sound chips.

Pretty much summing up all that was cool about the 1980s – NES and VHS rentals, baby! – the dozen tracks are brilliantly executed and inspired to say the least. Just one of those fan efforts that surfaces online every now and then. My personal fave was Assault on Precinct 13 that had me salivating and wishing there actually was a game based on the genre classic, but make sure you give them all a spin.

Get if here, check out their Bandcamp here and join them on Facebook here. Check out Comptroller’s (lo-fi) live performance of his cover:

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Fist Fight!

December 12, 2013

Now that’s a wedding band! The brilliant Saturday Night Live skit Band Reunion at the Wedding sees comedians Fred Armisen and Bill Hader team up with Ashton Kutcher and David Grohl as the fictional hardcore band Crisis of Conformity performing their anthem Fist Fight! at Fred’s daughter’s wedding.

In an interview with Papermag, Fred – who’s an old punker that played drums in Trenchmouth and handled vocals in the KGB – admitted both the skit and the song itself was a tribute to Black Flag and Hüsker Dü. “The idea behind it was to write a love letter to my teenage years, to all the bands that I grew up listening to.” Yeah, I figured the “Cadena-Norton” sign was more than a weird coincidence.

The skit (and song) became a cult hit and Fred later on recorded the track on his own for a 7″ release on Drag City. Check it out below and get your copy here.

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R.I.P. Junior Murvin!

December 3, 2013
courtesy Last.FM

courtesy Last.FM

Just received the news via BBC that reggae vocalist Junior Murvin passed away in hospital in Port Antonio on Monday. Although cause of death hasn’t been established, the singer was being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure.

Murvin reached the UK charts with his Lee Perry-produced classic Police and Thieves that became closely associated with the Notting Hill Carnival in London which ended in rioting the year it was released. It became a staple in the punk rock community after The Clash covered it on their debut album.

Murvin was 67.

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Being John Carpenter

November 27, 2013

Well here’s a pretty cool clip from the UK: Zack Dagoba‘s video (and track) Being John Carpenter. According to his blog It’s Full of Stars, Zack runs Memetunes Studio, and, in his own words, he sometimes get the urge to pretend he’s in the studio back in 1980 making a horror movie soundtrack in the John Carpenter vein. The end result is a cool sounding track just oozing retro and I can totally see this being used in one of Carpenter’s earlier efforts. It’s got a nice, minimalist vibe with a threatening undertone to boot.

Now this is already becoming somewhat viral in certain circles as it was posted by Death Waltz Recording Company on their Facebook page, and as far as I can tell it’s getting roughly 1,000 hits per day. Good news for Zack as it enables him to reach more fans (and clients), and, who knows, maybe this will make the retro soundtrack labels start noticing the modern outfits that produce these sounds today. Read more (including a complete tech list) here.

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Happy Birthday, Ennio!

November 10, 2013
Auguri!

Auguri!

Happy Birthday, maestro Ennio Morricone, born November 10, 1928! His 60′s stuff is just brilliant and have been such an influence on me. Very few composers managed to pull off such a great mix of contemporary “pop” sounds with both avant garde and classical music. No matter the subject, budget or any other constraints, every film benefitted from his work. It’s iconic these days, but back in the mid-60′s, his The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly soundtrack was deemed quite futuristic and genre defying.

Treat yourself to some marvellous sounds by checking out Morricone Rocks‘ amazing playlist on YouTube, collecting tons of his work (that I wrote about earlier here) at http://www.youtube.com/user/MorriconeRocks, and how about giving my Morricone-inspired EP The Ghost of Lee Van Cleef a spin below:

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R.I.P. Lou Reed

October 27, 2013

Well, as the news of his death is spreading like wildfire online, I find myself actually kinda stunned hearing about the passing of Lou Reed. Gee, the grandfather of the racket I spent so much time creating myself is dead and I really don’t know what to say. Along with Iggy Pop (and his team of knuckle draggers aka The Stooges), Lou and The Velvet Underground crawled out of the New York sewers during the “Summer of Love” to freak out America’s flower children with their new brand of dirty, grimy and sometimes barely-in-tune rock ‘n’ roll, that even though initially proven completely commercially unviable turned out to influence generations to come. It took a decade for Punk Rock to gel as a valid musical statement, and Lou and his band of drugged-out miscreants was half responsible for it. That’s quite a unique effort for a musician that took pride in knowing only two chords.

copyright Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

copyright Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

On the other hand Lou was apparently a notorious asshole that prided himself with being quite impossible to deal with. The legend goes that when John Holmstrom and Legs McNeil (respectively editor-in-chief and official mascot of Punk Magazine) trekked down to Bowery shithole CBGB’s to check out this new amazing band called The Ramones, they found Lou sitting among the patrons and decided to interview him as well for their first issue and get a two-fer out of the evening. Lou – who actually was an early fan of the Ramones – dragged them along for the night hurling snide remarks, sarcasm and insults their way, which was brilliantly recreated as a cartoon in the debut issue. And for those that own McNeil’s book Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk knows of his “steaming” fan encounter that left said fan disillusioned and repulsed. But hey, that is rock ‘n’ roll and no one ever said you had to appreciate the man in order to appreciate his art.

As great as some of his solo work might be (like the Bowie-produced album Transformer) there were also godawful albums throughout his career like Metal Machine Music or the much-maligned Metallica collaboration Lulu, but I’m guessing that’s what truly makes a great artist. They have a tendency to either be impeccably brilliant or a goddamn train wreck – there’s no honor in middle-of-the-road-ish qualities and mediocrity’s for the birds. That said I’d still say I always was, and probably always will be, a bigger fan of The Velvet Underground than Lou’s solo career. The band was solid and had a truly unique (albeit unsettling) vision until drugs and egos started taking their toll. And I’d guess that the constraints within said group that Lou probably thought were frustrating at the time might’ve actually done him good if he’d stuck around a little longer. But that really doesn’t matter know.

Dead at 71 years, with 51 of those spent creating a racket truly his own, the guy pulled it off his way. In the process he also managed to influence some snot-nosed punks to pick up guitars and start creating their own racket. And that’s quite a feat. Rest in peace, Lou.

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Twist-a-Rama 2!

October 20, 2013
copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

Hey, here we go with my second MixCloud collection of Halloween novelty tunes: The Haunted House of Horror’s Horrific Halloween Twist-a-Rama Volume 2! Twenty-eight tracks mainly focusing on instrumentals with some rockabilly, garage and even doo wop thrown in for good measure!

Once again I’m having difficulty sharing the MixCloud player on WordPress (jeez, one year and it’s still not solved, guys?), so check it out at http://www.mixcloud.com/sellergrendesign/the-haunted-house-of-horrors-horrific-halloween-twist-a-rama-volume-2/ and this coming week I’ll add it on YouTube as well.

TRACKLIST:

01 CHARLES FOX Green Slime Theme Song
02 GEORGE BARNES Spooky
03 CHARLES SHEFFIELD It’s Your Voodoo Working
04 DICK DIXON Caterpillar Crawl
05 BOBBY “BORIS” PICKETT & THE CRYPT-KICKERS Graveyard Shift
06 THE POETS Dead
07 THE CASTLE KINGS You Can Get Him Frankenstein
08 THE DEADLY ONES There’s a Creature in the Surfer’s Lagoon
09 THE PHANTOM FIVE Graveyard
10 RENE HALL Night Fright
11 CARLOS CASAL, JR Don’t Meet Mr. Frankenstein
12 THE TED TAYLOR FOUR Cat’s Eyes
13 JOHNNY CALE Shock Hop
14 JOE JOHNSON The Gila Monster
15 BENT BOLT AND THE NUTS Mechanical Man
16 MILTON DeLUGG The Creep
17 JACK AND JIM Midnight Monsters Hop
18 LOS SHAINS El Monstruo
19 REX GARVIN Strange Happenings
20 THE ABSTRACTS Nightmare
21 THE ESSEX Cemetery Stomp
22 THE TARANTULAS Like Spellbound
23 THE NIGHTMARES Horrors of the Black Museum
24 JOE SOUTH The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor
25 BARON DAEMON & THE VAMPIRES Ghost Guitars
26 THE EXECUTIONERS Guillotine
27 THE FIENDS Thank You, Thing
28 THE TOMKOS The Spook

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