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Welcome Back Outsideleft Week in Music! We're hearing from... Skrillex Pink Pantheress & Trippie Redd, PiL, Cat Clyde, Big Joanie, Dry Cleaning, Tape Runs Out, Pale Jay and Okonski, Fantastic Negrito, The Resolve, Shame, Sleep Token, Automatic, Lonnie Holley, Atlassian, The Lemon Twigs, Tianna Esperanza, Janel Leppin, Debby Friday, John Bailey, John Cale and Low Girl

Welcome Back Outsideleft Week in Music!

We're hearing from... Skrillex Pink Pantheress & Trippie Redd, PiL, Cat Clyde, Big Joanie, Dry Cleaning, Tape Runs Out, Pale Jay and Okonski, Fantastic Negrito, The Resolve, Shame, Sleep Token, Automatic, Lonnie Holley, Atlassian, The Lemon Twigs, Tianna Esperanza, Janel Leppin, Debby Friday, John Bailey, John Cale and Low Girl

by LamontPaul, Founder & Publisher
first published: January, 2023
Skrillex Pink Pantheress and Trippie Redd - As plastic as a house built with shiny Christmas Lego - Tim London

Welcome back OUTSIDELEFT Week in Music! Here we go again...

SINGLES

SKRILLEX, PINKPANTHERESS & TRIPPIE REDD - Way back (WB)
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by Tim London

As plastic as a house built with shiny Christmas Lego. Full of the kind of slight sadness you might feel at the sight of an ex-lover, gone to seed.


BIG JOANIE - Cactus Tree  (Kill Rock Stars)
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by Toon Traveller

This is slab of... Well hard to say what. A slab of somewhere someplace between Blues, but not as we know it, with a layer of post punk funk, pissed over with fuzzed, buzzed guitar. The voice slurred, matches the atmosphere of the song, it's - I dunno, enticing, dancing, beguiling. None of this should work as a song, but it's mixed styles and influences, in way somehow unite. Alt-avant-post metal, anti-thrash music may be close, but not close enough to capture Big Joanie's spirit. Love the key changes and the discordant, off the beat guitars and drums timing, is this 21C JAZZ ROCK? - or Punk jazz? - who cares I love it. Best song I've reviewed in a yearOk hand


JOHN CALE - Noise of You (Domino)
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by Toon Traveller

John Cale's career has spanned almost 60 years, the wonder is that he survived the rocknroll lifestyle for so long, oh and the Velvets. More impressively he's still got something to say. Noise of You opens with a monologue, and some simplistic drums. Synthesizer swirls create a soft soundscape; the voice half sung, half spoken, almost a Leonard Cohen delivery, reflects on love. Don't let this cloud your appreciation, this song builds darkly and dramatically. This is a not lovers holding hands in the sunset affair, this is a man whose made mistakes, and looking for hope and redemption, and there's a sense of confidence, and 'no lies between us', This is not a delightful love song, more one that explores why and how love lasts time's test, and for the oldsters reading an example of aging gracefull.


SHAME - Six Pack (Dead Oceans)
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by Toon Traveller

Throwbacks! Some great lame brain guitar, pounding beats, chanted words, a sorta anthem to god knows what. There's a wonderful middle though, and they sound like they're having fun, but trying to keep it real. Love the playing it could be a first tape to an A&R man, so on that basis, some great ideas, a lot taken from other bands, But that's what all great bands do, isn't it? Shame are very Sham and I'm sure loads will love them for that.


PIL - Hawaii (Euros)
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by Tim London

Quite shocking rocking news about PiL, Ireland and the Eurovision Song Contest in one story. Tim London tells all, about it, here⇒.


SLEEP TOKEN - Chokehold (Spinefarm)
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by Tim London

‘we act out of our holy duty to be constantly awake’… Live, they dress up like skinny halloween kids and have invented some paper thin mythology in order to sell merch. The music sits between a sort of technoemometal and a Norse in-joke. Needless to say, they’re big in Brum.


ATLASSIAN - Howl (Atlassianmusic)
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by Tim Sparks

Just dropped on the track "Howl" by the band Atlassian, just shows what hidden gems are hiding out there. An ambient opening with the rumbling drums and guitar riffs kicks this off and carries you into the verse with ease, a sort of wrap around warm sound, just right as the rain comes down outside my window. The cascading guitars keep the rhythm flowing, while a well crafted vocal sits on top together with some great harmonies to keep us engaged. The track has some really interesting parts, and is well recorded with some nice production to match. You would do well to keep an ear out for these guys.


AUTOMATIC - Turnaway (Stones Throw)
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by Toon Traveller

Great intro - drum, bass, then the 80's synthpop voice slips in. Slinky. Easy. But the repeated 70s synth (think 'Echo Beach' at 1/4 speed) chords, that's a distraction, a fly, buzzing around a light as you're trying to sleep. Shame because the song and melody have a lot going. I like the 'not quite in reach' vocals, almost dispassionate, but just this side of caring. It's the annoying, bloody annoying repeated chords that take everything away for me.  It ruins all the other ideas and charm, and jars with the tantalisingly hypnotic lead vocal. Less hearts thanks to the synth player. Should've stayed home that day.


DEBBY FRIDAY - So Hard To Tell (Sub Pop)
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by Tim London

One day someone will count the number of pop videos shot for young Black women singers partly set in their little bedrooms, with the curtains shut. This might be number thirty seven. Another warp in the R&B/electronic/leftfield pop continuum. I kinda dig it.


TIANNA ESPERANZA - Lone Child ft. Valerie June (BMG)
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by Toon Traveller

Just love Tianna Esperanza's acoustic intro and the percussion, her voice soars through the music, a lovely mix of cross rhythms. Acoustic guitar, a pastel sweep to her voice, there's an odd country feel, and the South American sorta groove. The whole song sways and bristles with enthusiasm, and just sheer joy of singing, sounds like someone having fun sharing it with me and you. Tianna said she kept the chorus for an age until finally together with Valerie June they added English verses that explore their feelings on sisterhood, loneliness, and finding your tribe. Our gain. Lone Child leaves me feeling glad to be alive. 


THE LEMON TWIGS - Corner Of My Eye (4AD)
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by Tim London

Well done! Lemon Twigs, well done. You have managed to inspire in me the same loathing I felt when I heard the Alessi Bros sing pretty much anything in the mid 1970s. That’s an almost punk achievement!


LONNIE HOLLEY - Oh Me Oh My ft. Michael Stipe (Jagjaguwar)
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by Lee Paul

Oh Me Oh My. Oh how lovely this one is. Featuring Michael Stipe and from the forthcoming Lonnie Holley F/L of the same name. More info here⇒


FANTASTIC NEGRITO - Highest Bidder (American Songwriter)
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by Toon Traveller

Soulful singer, songwriter, musician, and activist Fantastic Negrito (neé Xavier Dphrepaulezz) has announced his brand new album Grandfather Courage, a reimagined acoustic version of his acclaimed 2022 album White Jesus Black Problems. The first single from it, Highest Bidder begins with a great baritone, but then, oh dear, there's a whining voice, sorta Rod Stewart meets a country singer with a hangover, voice. Which is a real pity, there's some easy groove slide guitar, and a great piano melody driving the song, I'm left with a strange sense of  good song struggling to stay inside the singer, waiting for a better voice to give the song the justice it richly deserves. Here's a new Rustbelt community, a post industrial, left behind, worked out, unloved town. The sort of  place, that's now the sclerotic heart of Trump's resentful, embittered America. A metaphor for our 'monetised' times, on either side of 'the pond'.


LOW GIRL - Bored (Orchard)
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by Toon Traveller

A thick slice of Amera-pop cosplay. The intro riff could be any US top 40 college radio band, chords from all over the place, Journey, Cars, Huey Lewis, (insert similar). That sorta walking bass line, a lovely hook. A car driving, wheel tapping, seat swaying play. Sorry nothing going on that stands out. Well played, good riffs, melody, and competently sung, still listening out for a modicum of substance though. 


PALE JAY AND OKONSKI - By The Lake (Karma Chief)
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by LamontPaul

Lush soul. From lush soulful German Pale Jay and Okonski. A production powerhouse duo. Pale Jay could still be favouring the red ski mask. I don't know. He describes his music as Soulful, dusty and straight from the heart. He knows what he's talking 'bout.


CAT CLYDE - I Feel It (CC)
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by Toon Traveller

Canadian indie-folk artist Cat Clyde has released a new single “I Feel It” which reveals her experience of being an empath. With a maudlin intro, a song of exploration, slow piano, words almost spoken with sparse strings and plunking (in a delightful way) piano. Her voice soars and swoops, a paper bag in the wind. This is one for those who find most Adele too happy. Cat Clyde has a lovely range, and the cello at the end will take you right down to a trough, of a cold winter's stark light in your soul. If this were a painting it would be  Bruegel  'the Hunter's Return'  a classic in hopes dashed in winters's harshness.


THE RESOLVE - Satisfy (Independant)
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by Tim Sparks

I found The Resolve lurking on the social forum and this track Satisfy got my attention as it fires out a simple but effective big guitar chord riff which just attacks you from the outset, and doesn't ease off the gas either, a bit of a more refined sound from the Oasis era. The vocal melody sits well in the mix with some cool backing and harmonies to boot, a great vibe full of energy throughout. As we get through the chorus the whole thing really rocks with melodic hooks to keep the listener engaged, maybe one more play... Check them out. 


TAPE RUNS OUT - Souvenir (Trapped animal records)
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by Tim Sparks

A cool intro, which I always like, then the guitars ...2nd box ticked, this has a relentless pace and groove with the wide sound filling the stereo space nicely, its well recorded and a great mix, almost punk pop which is sadly lacking in the current climate. The vocal melody has sort of off key vibe but thats partly what makes it interesting for me, then the keyboards which remind me of Numan mixed with Dr Who...pretty cool! Some nice harmonies and riffs keep it all flowing along. all in all a nice track.


DRY CLEANING - Hot Penny Day (4AD)
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by Toon Traveller

Hmm great intro on this track, lovely wah wah guitar work. And then the doom and gloom vocals slide in, sorta pissed off, disinterested, disconnected to work, life and anyone. Like a bratty teen at the kitchen table disprecting dad's cooking. You know that sound. A paean to alienation, in a dead life drawl... What's the message here? Like the singer, I don't give a damn either. I suppose guitar passages are good. I can't imagine enjoying them live, there's too much gloom and her 'don't care about me, you, the world, anything' heard it all before. It's all a tedious pose. She probably lives in Islington and eats at The Ivy restaurant. A London voiced slice of  'Manchester miserabilism'.  


LPs

JOHN BAILEY - Time Bandits ft. George Cables, Scott Colley & Victor Lewis (Freedom Road Records)
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by Toon Traveller

I am listening to the lead off track from John Bailey's third LP Time Bandits (Freedom Road Records). This opens bright as a new pin, upbeat and happy, an antidote to that slow lane miasmic delirium that permeates the post Christmas-New Year fall out, played out, spent out, cold out, time to sit, reflect and prepare for the year ahead. Recession, fuel costs, job losses... Favourite bar closures... This is music that skips along, full of hope. It's dominated by the delight that is Bailey's virtuoso trumpet. It soars just when you feel it should soar, and it floats just when you're ready for a little floatiness. There's the wonderful piano and drums underpinning the whole piece too and a great bass solo that forms a great bridge to super percussion breaks... I am immersed.  


Other Materials

JANEL LEPPIN - Woven Forest (Cuneiform Records)
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by Toon Traveller

I missed this from Washington DC based composer & cellist Janel Leppin last year. Janel bridges jazz and classical music with her Ensemble Volcanic Ash. I love the opening drums, cello, strait out one of my favourite jazz periods, and sounds, That early mid 70's avant garde, post free form, jazz. ECM, Affinity, Impulse, seemed to promote and support. This has it all, crystal razor sharp sound separation, a swirling, floating sax, above the turbulent, but perfectly appropriate fingers and keys. This sing of open spaces, in Patagonia, across Arizona, sweeping the Steppes, hiding in the Serengeti's grasses. it's a magnificent slice of evocative Jazz.


Essential Info
Welcome Back Week in Music reviews by Toon Traveller, Tim Sparks, Lee Paul, Tim London and LamontPaul

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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