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Outsideleft Week in Music: Maybe It's The Flutes? Reviews of: Spoon and Adrian Sherwood, Christeene, R.A.P. Ferreira, Asbjorn, Bobby Oroza, Sam Fischer, Holy Hive, Sam Ryder, PINK, Bnny, Bastille, Breeders, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bruce Springsteen, North Americans, Spencer Cullum, Marbles and Riovaz

Outsideleft Week in Music: Maybe It's The Flutes?

Reviews of: Spoon and Adrian Sherwood, Christeene, R.A.P. Ferreira, Asbjorn, Bobby Oroza, Sam Fischer, Holy Hive, Sam Ryder, PINK, Bnny, Bastille, Breeders, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bruce Springsteen, North Americans, Spencer Cullum, Marbles and Riovaz

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: November, 2022
I sent Spoon and Adrian Sherwood's 'My Babe' from Lucifer on the Moon, to my bandmate saying "this makes me want to do a spaced out cover of 'Sledgehammer,' maybe it's the flutes." - Alex V. Cook

"Maybe it's the flutes?" Alex V Cook, listens to Spoon with Adrian Sherwood and more this week. Alex, who has been with Outsideleft since the beginning, is joined on the HOO (Hotseat of Opinion) this week by Tim London, Tim Sparks, Toon Traveller, Ancient Champion, Spanish Pantalones and Lee Paul

SINGLES

SPENCER CULLUM - Kingdom Weather (feat. Yuma Abe) (Full Time Hobby)
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by Alex V. Cook

The album Spencer Cullum's Coin Collection from 2021 still beguiles with its soupçons of Grateful Dead and Can and John Fahey and general raga-folk-fetishism and this single ups the globalism with Tokyo-based singer Yuma Abe gently along for the ride. Spencer Cullum's take on the the whole American Primitive guitar thing is a relief in that, for him, it is not a speed trial or a museum lecture but deft fingerpicking in the service of a song, putting a thousand stars up to make one delightful night sky. Nag champa not required, but it pairs well..


P!NK - Never Gonna Not Dance Again (RCA Records)
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by Tim London

In the video Pink wins the election for Biden by dancing in a supermarket and a carpark, initially, crucially on roller skates and latterly in a pair of voluminous jeans that wouldn’t have been out of place in Doncaster market circa 1989. There’s a lesson to be learnt here: the, on balance, goodies should always have more fun and wear clothes that just don’t work whilst holding a gun. The song itself, an ode to getting old enough not to give a fuck at a reception when your fave tune comes on (in this case, Bill Withers’s Lovely Day) is BBCR2 in excelsis.


RIOVAZ - Tell Me Your Fears (Darkroom/Geffen Records)
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by Tim Sparks

This video title graphic suggests some horror movie, though it's anything but, it's a nice harmless melodic synth rhythmic track which doesn't really deviate much, so I guess it might sit well in a club but not something I'd drop on my playlist, it's a bit too tame for me. That said, it sounds fine as a production, and at 18 years old, the artist has plenty of time to develop their sound. Maybe one to keep an eye on.


ASBJøRN - X In My Sensual (Embassy of Music)
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by Tim London

Antiques in the USA are 50 years or older. Vintage in 2022 is the 90s and this is the 2000s, probably seen as a throwback to a classic era, produced to within an inch of its life with all the natural, organic goodness of George Michael pressing ‘go’ on his Apple keyboard whilst smoking a laced blunt and believing he’s done a good day’s work.


SAM FISCHER - Carry It Well (RCA Records)
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by Tim London

There’s a long tradition, going back to, probably, holy men who explained the world to awe struck hunter-gatherers (look, that bright light in the night sky, that’s the eye of the gazelle we slaughtered last week. What’s a week? I don’t fucking know, I’m a hunter-gatherer) and they were believed because they had nice voices. That morphed, eventually, into voice competitions on the telly and the appearance of Sam Fischer's who can explain the mundanity of life’s aggro without upsetting your breakfast. Unless you are an evil-hearted sociopath, like me, who has just tasted his porridge minutes after swallowing it as a result of listening to this. (FIVE HEARTS for the review if not the record - Ed)


MARBLES - World Inside Me (Youtube)
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by Toon Traveller

Marbles reminded of that soft focus soft synth band music of the late 80s', Scritti Politti, or someone like them. I thought that stuff was good lift music, calm and soothing. This has the same diphenhydramine effect, late night sounds for people who struggle with sleep. Relaxing music offering little moments of calm we sometimes need. It's inoffensive   


BNNY - Breaking Up (Fire Talk)
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by Tim Sparks

My immediate thought was thats its a demo, then I realised its just that raw untreated sound which is a vibe in the song. Bnny's vocal sound is very laid back and almost whispered, but it does add an interesting dynamic to the song, and as its starts too build it works just fine, the lyric being a typical event in young lives I guess. Overall its well done. I like the vibe and the way they have made some very backs tracks into a nice mix and production.


BASTILLE - Hope For The Future (Virgin Records)
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by Tim London

In a moment in world history when there should be discord in every piece of art to echo the world screaming Mnsr Bastille produces yet another frighteningly bland gummy bear of a tune to soundtrack what seems to be a film about the burning rainforest (??) or maybe just wildfires in general (???), either way, there’s a website, get involved.


R.A.P. FERREIRA - Fighting Back (Ruby Yacht)
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by Ancient Champion

Fighting Back, R.A.P. Ferreira shows us he's the closest thing we got to to Gil Scott.
"I know it's epic poetry that keeps the cosmos orbiting." Jazzy, lyrical, brief. This is just a brilliant record.


SAM RYDER - All The Way Over (WMG)
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by Tim London

The video? It’s Jesus! You know, the one who appears in wonky paintings above altars the world over wherever European missionaries managed the greatest con trick in history and persuaded the poorest and and suffering to hold off on the revolution because… heaven. What a con man. What a load of old shite. His voice is the squeak of a rectum trying to evacuate yesterday’s meatballs. The song would make the beige painted walls of HR offices across Birmingham look radical. He's coming to Birmingham on Wednesday, go touch his hmmm.


BOBBY OROZA - The Otherside (Instrumental) (Big Crown)
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by Ancient Champion

Instrumental versions from the LP Get On The Otherside from the Scandi King of RnB. Dude this is lush, listen... I have to have. You?


LPs

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS - Let Yourself Free (Elektra Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

What in the fuck happened to Fitz and the Tantrums? The first time I heard about this band, OL was just finding its feet and so were the Tantrums. I saw them play at Spaceland in Silver Lake and I thought they were one of the most exciting bands I'd seen that year. Skinny mod suits, smart haircuts, vintage gear -- they had a great look. 

And they sounded like a miniature Motown/Stax soul revue with indie pop influences. By 2011, they were opening for heavyweights like The Specials and Hepcat, and booking every nighttime talk show on the US television circuit. Everyone in the industry agreed this was the band to watch. 

Then I guess somewhere along the way, things changed. I lost track of them sometime in 2012 and now 10 years later, they don't even look or sound like the same band I once saw turn the Viper Room into a sweatbox. But that always happens when a hungry, young band doesn't break immediately, they panic and change course. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. With Let Yourself Free, it doesn't. Now they sound like every other Auto-Tune band (think Maroon 5, OneRepublic, Imagine Dragons),  desperate for a whiff of the Billboard Top 40.

What a disappointment, what a waste. I wonder what record exec killed Fitz's soul. (Side note: I'm not going to waste your time with shitty material from this new album. I'm linking the video to their debut single "MoneyGrabber," which is how Fitz and the Tantrums is supposed to sound.


HOLY HIVE - Holy Hive Instrumentals (Big Crown)
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by Ancient Champion

I love how languid this is and I want to hear it a lot and then when I do the rimshot begins to be all I can hear, like a woodpecker tapping on the side of my skull. Trepanning my tranquility. The luvverly chording more diminished and not in a musical way. Later there is less woodpecker and it is better. So yes, great really. But less woodpecker, please.


CHRISTEENE - Midnite Fukk Train (Spaceflight Records)
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by Tim London

Tim London has your review of Christeene's hotly anticipated Midnite Fukk Train LP, here...


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - Only the Strong Survive (Columbia Records)
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by Spanish Pantalones

On paper, it sounds novel: The Boss drops the working class Jersey Guy® pose for a bit and sings old tried and true American soul songs, some great (“Someday We’ll Be Together”) and some questionable (“Nightshift”). In reality, Only The Strong Survive sounds like a bunch of studio musicians giving an overproduced ‘80s sheen to old R&B familiars, while letting Bruce sing along. Unfortunately, he sounds completely out of his depth. 

For example, take “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do).” The song starts off sounding a lot like Springsteen's souped-up 1978 version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Then that gravelly vocal fry kicks in and I’m taken completely out of the northern soul moment. Bruce sounds like your boozy East Coast uncle getting carried away on open mic night, and the song's canned audience applause only strengthens my claim.

I don’t understand why The Boss had to rehash a bunch of moldy oldies when the world is currently rich with fodder for writing material. Maybe in an alternate universe, there’s a Bruce Springsteen who never got out of Asbury Park "on the skeleton frame of burned out Chevrolet" and the material on this new LP are really the songs he sings at wedding receptions in some unknown simulated dimension. And maybe I need to stop writing these reviews after edibles.


NORTH AMERICANS - North Americans Lost Tracks (2018-2019) (Third Man Records)
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by Alex V. Cook

Angelic voicelessness telegraphed in the wires traveling from stoned people with gizmos, sweet guitars, an old piano and, no doubt, vintage recording gear direct into yr dopamine reservoir, rippling and cascading like a naked beauty flying off a rope swing into a still mountain lake. Excellent ambience for correcting spreadsheets, watching your pour-over drip, running away. 


SPOON AND ADRIAN SHERWOOD - Lucifer on the Moon (Headz/Matador)
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by Alex V. Cook

I sent "My Babe" from Lucifer on the Moon to my bandmate saying "this makes me want to do a spaced out cover of 'Sledgehammer,' Maybe it's the flutes." Sherwood does not exactly make dub out of Spoon's latest album (Does Adrian Sherwood actually make dub? Or, rather, make actual dub? He's always felt more dub-adjacent than dub-wise.) but it is a groover and mover. It's almost one narcotics delivery from being a Gorillaz product. "On the Radio" is probably the most effective of these "reconstructions" with Britt Daniel's rasp coming through the windows like a cartoon apple pie aroma. There are plenty of soft-rock applications here that will no doubt appeal to normal people with happy lives, as does the original Spoon, but thankfully, there are moments of reverb slider danger for the rest of us. Now get to work on reconstructing So.


Other Materials

BREEDERS - Cannonball (4AD)
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by Lee Paul

The Breeders, absolutely magnificently postmodern. So why not?


Essential Info
Main Image Tore Sætre - Own work
Spoon at the main stage in the Vigeland Park. The concert was part of Piknik i Parken and took place on 22. June 2017 in Oslo. Lineup: Britt Daniel (guitar and vocal), Jim Eno (drums), Rob Pope (bass guitar), Alex Fischel (keyboard) and Eric Harvey (guitar).

LamontPaul
Founder & Publisher

Publisher, Lamontpaul founded outsideleft with Alarcon in 2004 and is hanging on, saying, "I don't know how to stop this, exactly."

Lamontpaul portrait by John Kilduff painted during an episode of John's TV Show, Let's Paint TV


about LamontPaul »»

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