JPEGMAFIA x Freaky – The 2nd Amendment

I bought JPEGMAFIA’s “Veteran” album on Bandcamp a while ago and liked it, so I thought I would get this ,too.

The music is a mixture of rap and hip-hop, and is also tagged as punk rap on Bandcamp. The lyrics are political or race related, with the rappers always sounding quite angry.

Overall it doesn’t really grab me much, JPEGMAFIA’s “Veteran” album is much better. But, for only US$5 I am not complaining at all.

The best track also has a video…

Music count 2019: 4

Kretchmer – Music in the Key of Minor

Doing a random search of good music to find on Bandcamp I came across this November 2018 release, and as it was only two pounds I thought it was worth a try.

This release is tagged as “detroit techno” as well as “electronic” on Bandcamp. The musician though is from Nottingham, and has only one other release titled “Music in the key of Major”, from 2016.

The music is nothing overly special, but quite listen able, and some of the song titles are amusing such as the first track which is called “Thinkin’ bout that galaxy, far, far, away”, and the last track “If we die, they live, a win-win situation ver 3.1471”.

Take a listen for yourself here. Using my fave music tracking website LastFM I found that I am one of only 49 people listening to Kretchmer, which puts me in an elite group I suppose.

Music count 2019: 3

Leningrad Cowboys – Total Balalaika Show

This is a CD album I have been seeking out for years, but I was just not able to find it anywhere here. It is available on Amazon Japan used for the nutters price of 20,000 yen (NZ$263, US$181)…some people!

Doing a search for it elsewhere was not getting far until I came across it on Discogs for the very fair price of 7.50 Euros. A chap in Germany was selling it, and I immediately bought it. Postage was also 7.50 Euro, but I was more than happy to pay it. It arrived this morning, only four days after it was posted in Deutschland.

I have heard this album several times before, but it was not very good quality, and as I enjoy the album so much it was my main purpose in life to find it on CD.

It is a live concert of the Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Choir, recorded in Helsinki in 1993. The sound quality is superb, and there are two discs worth of rock ‘n’ roll along with traditional Russian songs. There was also a DVD of the concert released, you can watch them perform the song “Delilah” here. I may consider getting the DVD too one day.

Unfortunately one of the songs did not rip well due to a slight scratch on the disc, so I am bummed about that, but it ain’t no big thing. And our pet bird, who recently loves to munch on paper, bit a small chunk out of the back CD liner (the CD was sent without the plastic case to save on postage costs). So if you have a bird just be aware of this potential situation.

An excellent listen, and my all-time favourite live album.

Edit: I ripped the song that was messed up again, this time using error correction, and it worked out just fine. Yay!

Music count 2019: 2

The 23rd Grammy Awards

The 23rd Grammy Awards were held on February 25th at Radio City Hall, New York.

Christopher Cross was a big winner, getting Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. All of this for his “Christopher Cross” album (released in 1979), and the song “Sailing”. He was the first artists to win all four of these awards in one Grammy show.

Click on the image to hear the song

Best Comedy Recording went to Rodney Dangerfield for his No Respect.

Best Instrumental Composition and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special both went to John Williams for The Empire Strikes Back. Totally deserved.

Best Country Vocal Performance, Female went to Anne Murray for her song “Could I Have This Dance?”, again totally deserved.

Anne released her final album in 2007, and her last tour was in 2008. She is 73 now, and seems to be taking life easy.

“On the Road Again” won Best Country Song, a given really. Willie released an album last year called “My Way”…

He is still touring, even at the age of 85. If he was to come to Japan I would certainly go see him.

Moody’s Mood” snagged George Benson the award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male. George has won ten awards in all in the Grammy Awards. George also won Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male for “Give Me The Night”, an excellent choice there. I must buy a George album on vinyl.

Best Album Package was for the Against the Wind performed by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.

Click on the image to listen

Kenny Loggins won Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for his song “This Is It”. Kenny is now 71, and released his last album back in 2009. He seems to be doing charity work these days.

Pat Benetar won Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for her album “Crimes of Passion”. Here is perhaps her most well known song from the album…

Her last album was in 2003, but she is still touring.

Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male went to Billy Joel for his “Glass Houses” album. The album sold 7.1 million copies. His last album was in 2001, but he is still touring.

I wouldn’t say it was a stellar year for the Grammy Awards, but there were some decent winners there.

If you click here you will see the top albums for 1980 in which the only Grammy winner to appear was Billy Joel. Clicking here will show you a list of number one albums in New Zealand in 1980 (and beyond), and here for England just for comparison.

Here are the top singles for 1980, many classic tracks there, but my pick of the lot would have to be “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.

That song would turn out to be their one and only major hit, and they disbanded in 1985. It was a huge hit though, with the single going platinum in the same year it was released.

Some other albums from 1980 included “Remain In Light” by Talking Heads, “End of the Century” by The Ramones, “Pretenders” by The Pretenders, “Black Sea” by XTC, “Songs the Lord Taught Us ” by The Cramps, and “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” by the Dead Kennedys.

Old Skool Grime

I have been curious about Grime music recently, so I decided to find out what it is all about by purchasing this Bandcamp compilation of “old skool grime” by a chap named DJ Perry D. It cost only 95 pence.

There are 36 tracks and I got through ten of them before I had too much. Even though all of the songs are by different artists, they all sounded the same and the music is really in your face kind of stuff, so it wears you down a bit. I wouldn’t say the music is bad, but it does get a bit much.

Here are a couple of examples…

For 95p I am not complaining at all, but from now on I will listen to a maximum of five tracks at a time.

Music count 2019: 1

Musical CD Catchup

I need to catch up on my recent CD purchases before the year ends, so here they are…

Paul Weller – Wild Wood

I found this in the bargain bins at Hard Off, and at only 108 yen I thought it was well worth a try (I also looked it up online just to make sure).

And for that price it is well worth it, decent and easy to listen to music, but nothing to set the world on fire.

Roni Size Reprazent – In the Møde

I was wondering what Roni Size did after the “New Forms” album, and old favourite, so I found this 2000 (New Forms was released in 1997) follow-up album on Amazon used for only 1 yen (plus postage).

The first song is “Railing Pt.2” which sounds a lot like the original first song “Railing” on New Forms, and upon hearing this I thought that this album is just going to try to cash in on the first album. But, from the second track onwards it turned out to be a new sounding Roni Size.

It still has the Roni Size Reprazent sound overall, but is also a bit more drum ‘n’ bass, and has some jungle thrown in too. I quite like it, I would say it is nearly as good as New Forms.

Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales

Again, this is a bargain bin find from Hard Off. I bought it because it has some familiar tracks on it like “Fields of Gold” and “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”, so I thought I would see what the rest of the album is like.

And it is a decent album, not normally my kind of stuff, but I find it to be quite pleasant listening.

Go to 2 min 30 sec for a harmonica solo…

That is it for CDs in 2018. I will not be buying many in 2019, except for bargain bin finds.

Music count 2018: 114

Musical Download Catchup

I am behind in my music blog posts, so here are my latest Bandcamp purchases. Click on the covers to go to the Bandcamp pages.

Edamame – Nightlights EP

This is a cruisy release by a chap from Denver, Colorado who makes electronic music, this being his latest release.

The music is relaxing, and reminds of the music that you hear in the background of many of the well-produced YouTube videos I listen to. No vocals as such.

The name Edamame is Japanese, and is soybeans eaten directly from the pod, yummy too.

Pulp Fusion – Mixes, Mashes & Freebies

This, as the title says, is a mashup album with mashups of songs by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, The Prodigy, Queen, and many more, as well as some original material. I have not listened to all 70 tracks yet, but most of what I have listened to so far is pretty decent. I do like a good mashup every now and then, although only in moderation.

Emapea – Random Beats

Emapea is an experimental hip-hop guy from Poland, and this is my second Bandcamp purchase of his stuff. It is pretty good too, 19 relaxing instrumental-only hip-hop tracks.

I Hate Models – Spreading Plague

I Hate Models is a French dude who makes hardcore acid beats, real nasty beats. There are only three tracks, but the whole release is over 23 minutes long…plenty of doof doof. I will have to play this in my car some day, loud, and with the windows down. Will need a large woofer in the back seat.

Music count 2018: 111