folk . americana . blues . rock&roll


Genre pick of the week Cover of Charalambides: Tom And  Christina Carter by Charalambides.


Charalambides: Tom And Christina Carter

    Charalambides founders Tom & Christina Carter follow a vision of iconoclastic music as transformative force. Touching on the outer limits of acid folk, psych rock, and improvisation, their sound remains uniquely personal & consistent.

    Since 1991, Charalambides has released many recordings on labels like Siltbreeze, Kranky & Wholly Other. Despite Tom and Christina Carters prolific solo careers and numerous other projects, Charalambides has existed in an unbroken trajectory for over two-and-a-half decades, outlasting the genres that critics and other yardstick-makers have tried to cram them into.

    Their recent performances and recordings retain the directness and delicate menace that mark their early releases, even as they explore an interlocking musical telepathy honed by years of artistic collaboration. Aptly tilted Charalambides: Tom and Christina Carter, the newest album from Charalambides furthers the duos deep psychic understanding of music. Laid down in two sessions with no overdubs, the album entwines their best-known approaches into a raw, fragile, wordless and hypnotic whole. Its definitely the duo at their most exquisite.

    The Skiffle Players


      Supergroup featuring featuring Cass McCombs, Farmer Dave, Neal Casal and Dan Horne from Circles Around The Sun, and Aaron Sperske (Beachwood Sparks).

      Their second album, Skiff, is a new direction for The Skiffle Players. Now, they all sing and write. There is no leader. Recorded at Infinitespin Recorders in Van Nuys CA, with engineer Matt “Linny” Linesch, the album begins with a bold opening; the Farmer Dave Scher-penned “Cara,” heavy information for the soul. Then, into classic Cass McCombs insanity on “Local Boy,” a wild ride on the run from the cops. Third is a touching tribute to a bygone companion, “Miss It When It’s Gone,” written and led by Neal Casal.

      The album’s revolving perspective continues to bounce around, leaving no apparent land to stand upon. In that, it is deeply subversive. For there is nothing to defend, but the ability o transform and imagine.The album continues to unfold back to McCombs with a satire on justice, “The Law Offices Of Dewey, Cheatum And Howe.” It goes from the saloon “Long Horns, Long Necks, Long Legs,” to the rainforest “Herbamera.” Casal blasts in again with the sun-bleached rambler, “Los Angeles Alleyway.” Scher’s “Skiffleman” sings a song for everyone. McCombs plays with memory in a song about coming of age in the Bay Area on “Oakland Scottish Rite Temple Waltz.” Penultimately, “Santa Fe” is an elliptical broadside about materialism and waste. The album concludes by pushing off again, out into the familiar waters of a traditional skiffle number, “Sweet Georgia Brown,” each member taking a perhaps all-too casual solo.This is acoustic dance music at its finest. It is also refreshingly contradictory, irreverent and mystical, deeply personal and communal, and traditional and profane—the ever revolving and disintegrating ship known as Skiff.

      Bubbha Thomas & The Lightmen

      Country Fried Chicken

        Drummer, bandleader and activist Bubbha Thomas had toured America with R&B revues, served as a session musician for Peacock and Back Beat Records, and played straight ahead jazz with legends before the political and social upheaval of the late 1960s led him to a path first charted by Coltrane. Country Fried Chicken, his fourth LP with his Lightmen band is his most accessible, a mixture of funk and spiritual jazz. Contains second disc with bonus tracks: alternate, synth-lead mixes of songs from his first two LPs as well as rare and unreleased disco and boogie tracks. Extensive booklet, download card for WAV files and footage of live performances included. 

        Aby Vulliamy

        Spin Cycle

          Yorkshire composer & musician Aby Vulliamy is a multi-instrumentalist (she sings and plays viola, piano, accordion, musical saw, flute, etc.) whose first serious forays into recording and performing in 2005/6 were with Scatter (with Alex Neilson of Trembling Bells), The One Ensemble (Daniel Padden) and Nalle (Hanna Tuulikki).

          Since then Aby has shared the stage and/or studio with a brilliant array of musicians from a wide range of genres (including Maggie Nichols and Karen Mantler from the jazz/improvisation world, Krautrocker Hans-Joachim Irmler of Faust). Vulliamy's debut album, is an album about love at its most transformative.

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