Arcane Fire Vol. 8

Smoker by DMBQ. If you even so much as have a passing interest in Zeppelin, you might want to bend an ear to this spiky, crushing masterpiece by the Japanese improvisational hard rock / experimental band. It’s one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. LOVE IT.

He Poos Clouds by Final Fantasy. Astounding orchestral arrangements framing theatrical songs, sung by a thin-voiced genius. This record was released about a month ago. It’s cool and odd.

Rock and Roll Records by J.J. Cale. A typically perfect, understated gem from the low key master.

Avalon by Mississippi John Hurt. Delta blues acoustic guitar picker Mississippi John Hurt is a great example of a guitarist with incredible technique who chooses to use his powers for good rather than evil. The song is king, but the guitar playing is rich in all the right ways.

Splidium-Dow by Mal Waldron. I met Mal Waldron in a record store in Northampton, Massachussetts a long time ago. An underrated jazz pianist in the US, he lived in Germany for most of his adult life.

Holiday by Bee Gees. Lots of people don’t know about the Bee Gees’ pre-Saturday Night Fever work. If you like colorful 60’s pop, you’re in for a treat, because there are a bunch of totally lovable early Bee Gees records out there to be discovered. This is just one melodic and bitterweet gem among a great many. Early Bee Gees, people, check em out!

Half a Million Miles from Home by Diane Cluck. This particular song starts with these lines: “Have I told you how I like to see a man submit to ecstacy, with all his inhibitions free and moaning like his mother? Close his eyes and float from me, ecstatic in his buoyancy, cut loose and warm as he can be, adrift in beatless wonder.” Nope, but I guess now you have. It’s not easy to say things like that while keeping the music engaging, lovely, and even sing-along-able. She’s a leader if you ask me. Great record.

Internal Crash by Loquat. This super-lovely piano ballad comes up on my Pandora stations a lot, and is so dang beautiful that it just has to be heard by more folks. Loquat is a local band that’s on the Jackpine Social Club label. They are starting work on their second album these days.

Baby Blue by Badfinger. The tragic tale of Badfinger is almost as well known as their huge hit “Day After Day.” This is a great, fuzzy pop song that showcases their great vocal harmonies, cool guitar riffs, and lovable ear for melody.

Money-Man by Poo Poodles. A bit of outsider lo-fi joy. The songs are incredibly short, funny, and if you ask me, charmingly nihilistic. Titles include “Freddie Mercury is Punker Than You, Punk!,” “Little Flower (Please Don’t Eat The),” and “Little Bastard Girl.” Kind of like Ween or The Shaggs.

Brandy by O’Jays. Touching soul tune which I’m pretty sure is about his dog. I like the hook.

and in the coveted last spot:
Mandy by Barry Manilow. Awesome. Seriously. If you don’t like this, you really need to get more in touch with your feelings. It does have one of those 1/2 step modulations at the end which is just unnecessary, because it’s pure swoonabililty from start to finish.

see you next time!
mz

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