November 2016 Archives

We the Wild - From the Cities We Fled

From the rainy streets of Portland come We the Wild, with one of the most eclectic debut albums ever.
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"Where do we draw the line, between feeding a habit and having a good time?" ask We the Wild, a young band from Portland. The line is from a song titled "Terrible, Terrible" and it is one of ten tracks on their debut album From the Cities We Fled. The rainy streets of Portland are as hostile to youth as anyplace else, and it is those types of struggles that their lyrics chronicle. But it is the music that makes this self-released disc such a gem. We the Wild have a hardcore background, but they mix in all sorts of

DVD Review: Styx - Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas

Styx gives a memorable performance in this new DVD.
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Styx has been bringing their melodic brand of hard rock to audiences since 1972. The group remains a staple of classic rock radio and they are road warriors, seemingly touring every year. Their 2014 tour found them sharing a bill with legendary former Eagles lead guitarist Don Felder. A Las Vegas stop on the tour was filmed and makes up the new DVD Styx -- Live At The Orleans Arena Las Vegas. The show opens with a spot-on rendition of 1981's "Too Much Time On My Hands." Lead singer and guitarist Tommy Shaw's voice is remarkably preserved after all these

DeepSoul: Solange - "Cranes in the Sky"

No longer "Beyoncé's younger sister," Solange finally finds her voice in this instant classic.
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One of 2016's most outstanding -- and surprising -- releases is Solange's A Seat at the Table. Previously best known as Beyoncé's avant-garde younger sister, Solange had recorded two albums and an EP; all received mixed to positive reviews, but failed to equal the impact of her older sibling's work. A Seat at the Table changes this dynamic, as Solange establishes her unique voice not only vocally, but lyrically. Like Beyoncé's recent album Lemonade, Solange's work addresses African-American identity and specific issues concerning women's self esteem. Through her Minnie Ripperton-esque voice, Solange sounds both fragile and strong, laying herself bare

DeepSoul: Mystic Merlin - "Mr. Magician"

The funky, pre-acid jazz track also marks the debut of one of the 1980s' most successful R&B vocalists.
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Mystic Merlin may be a soul-funk group, but they may be better known for launching the career of a 1980s hitmaker. Originally a band that incorporated magic tricks into their live shows, Mystic Merlin eventually focused strictly on their brand of sophisticated funk. On their final album, they recruited an unknown singer to provide the lead vocal on the track "Mr. Magician." The struggling vocalist, Freddie Jackson, had departed the group before the album Full Moon was even released. But Jackson would soon enjoy a run of hit singles such as "You Ae My Lady," "Nice N Slow," "Jam Tonight,"