Raised on doo-wop and Italian lullabies â mad-scientist, multi-instrumentalist and Yosemite beat-boxer Nino Moschella channels the spirits of Sly & The Family Stone while rocking out ala Lenny and funking floor-bound what a younger James Brown used to do. Gritty soul and funk that can up anyoneâs hipster score. My picks: âThe Fix,â âBetter Off,â âTime Will Tell,â âIn Your Bedroomâ and âDecisions.â Gig alert! Nino Moschella funks out June 1st at SFâs Bottom of The Hill, June 2nd at San Joseâs The SoFA Lounge and June 3rd @ SFâs Poleng Lounge for the album release party.
Driven to near extinction from British overlords the Mbira (thumb piano) music traditions and culture was saved by artists including Stella Chiweshe who is considered by many to be Zimbabweâs cultural ambassador as well as a modern mystic. Decreeing that the Mbira was a tool of the devil women were forbidden from playing it altogether. Celebrating itâs 100th recording Berlin, Germany-based Piranha Musik presents Stella Chiweshe in a mind-altering 2CD set with one devoted to trance hits of African roots folk and the other classic hits from her past two decades of healing through her music. My picks: âZvinonhamo,â âKudara Kwangu,â âMachena,â âChapfudzapasi,â âMudzimu Dzokaâ and âChakauya.â
Pure 80âs #1âs
Unlike the â60s (if you remember you really werenât there) the â80s was a decade that many donât want to remember as it was a decade of excess, denial and death. âBest ofâ compilations may or may not help this, as they can be trite, over-indulgent and/or just plain painful. Pure 80âs #1âs is an exorcise of triumphant human spirit however, with the emergence of new popsters like Boy George and a revived Tina Turner and visionaries breaking new ground for feminists, Australians, video artists, composers, film scores, gender-bending and emo-futurists the compilation is a lovely memory lane trip. My picks: Yesâ âOwner Of A Lonely Heart,â Christopher Crossâ âArthurâs Theme (Best That You Can Do),â Mr. Misterâs âKyrie,â Men At Workâs âDown Under,â Culture Clubâs âKarma Chameleon,â Fine Young Cannibalsâ âShe Drives Me Crazyâ and Michael Sembelloâs âManiac.â
Give âEm The Boot V
Give âEm The Boot V does exactly what you would hope â it makes you want to search out the first four volumes to see what youâve been missing. Los Angeles-based Hellcat Recordsâ annual low-priced compilation does indeed showcase a âdiverse mix of punk, ska, reggae, psychobilly and more.â Street credible rockers and plenty of sass and ska and punky tossers fix any jones you have. My picks: The Slackersâ âCrazy,â HorrorPopsâ âCrawl Straight Home,â The Heart Attacksâ âWidow Maker,â Westbound Trainâs âIâm No Differentâ and Static Thoughtâs âVictim Of Hate.â
The Blistering Sun
New Yorkâs East Village songstress and label-owner Rachael sage has a striking intensity that benefits anyone surviving in a megacity armed with a voice and a poetâs soul. With delicious jazzy arrangements that would swoon any singer, Rachael sage flies around in a great dance bringing a refreshing vibrancy and excitement that anyone working a stage would be proud to know. My picks: âFeatherwoman,â âHit Song,â âPaperplane,â âProofâ and âCalypso.â Gig alert! Rachael Sage shines June 4th at Santa Cruz Pride.
Unhinged at the amp Erase Errata whips out the funky punky attitude adjustment paddle on their third release nightlife, burning the house with scorching screedy guitars, big ideas and chick lit punked rhythms. Expect assaultive humor poetically throwing down against consumerism, war, poverty, political and corporate welfare and love. My picks: âHotel Suicide,â âTax Dollar,â âRider,â and âGiant Hans.â Gig alerts! Erase Errata medicate the masses May 29th @ Santa Cruzâs The Attic, May 30th at SFâs Bottom of The Hill and June 3rd at Davisâs Operation Restore Maximum Freedom Fest.
As part of Disneyâs whole family offerings is this surprise bit of future camp nirvana â a âremaking the bandâ Devo. How we loved them, kinky, funky, odd, stylish and campy rolled into one marketable chunk poking fun at consumerism that then in a parody of itself became huge. DEVO took the name and ideology from de-evolution â that humans are regressing rather than evolving. With social satire, obsession with stylized videos and technology including pioneering synthesizers - Devo was ripe for a new version with the CD/DVD Devo 2.0 tweenster do a fair job and the videos are probably as close to tripping as Mom will want for you. The Devo 2.0 band will be touring and some of their non-Devo material is definitely worth a listen. My picks: âWhip It,â âCyclops,â âBig Mess,â âJerkinâ Back ân Forthâ and âBeautiful World.â
Atmospheric and blissed-out otherworldly electronica floating on a down-tempo vibe guaranteed to melt away all troubles and tribulations. âOxycantaâ comes form Crataegus Oxyacantha (the Hawthorn tree) âa tree whose leaves and berries are known for their heart-healing properties.â Recorded in Sweden, Japan and France the minimalistic compositions all have been mixed together by Mahiane for a yogarific or zoner-ish checkout. Iâm getting more relaxed just writing about it all. My picks: Solar Fieldsâ âDetection (Partially Detected),â Aes Danaâs âMineral Lights (Submerge Edit),â Cellâs âFloating Retention,â Asuraâs âGalaxies Part 1â and Hybrid Leisurelandâs âTrampoline Hotel.â
Experimental alt folk rockers and closet performance artists Danielson inflict group therapy rock opera style with confessionals, sharing and plenty of feedback. Enlisting families and friends to work and rework poetry, visuals and a masters thesis the gathered faithful churn out incredibly inventive, trippy and eclectically hip songs to confuse, inspire and challenge. No matter they are from New Jersey you will simply be visiting their planet. My picks: âShip The Majestic Suffix,â âCast It At The Setting Sail,â âBloodbook On The Halfshell,â âMy Lion Sleeps Tonightâ and âTime That Bald Sexton.â Gig alert! Danielson sets sails June 2nd at SFâs Bottom of The Hill.
Byou featuring Sabrina Bryan
Jane Fonda is highly regarded for jump-starting the video-fitness movement with her home and bedroom-friendly workout videos with paced instructions liberating millions to workout in the comfort of their own space while watching folks in skimpy outfits. Enter Sabrina Bryan from the Disney movie The Cheetah Girls (about high school girls pursuing their dream of âsinging superstardomâ) who coaches cheer squads and dance teams on the side to inspire âtween girls 8-14 with a progressive dance-based workout to raise self-esteem. âDance frees the spirit and encourages individual expression.â The DVD has some of the latest dance and hip-hop moves demonstrated for beginners and advanced levels, the corresponding CD features the music that will certainly get you dancing with or without instruction. âItâs important for everyone, no matter what their age to learn how to move their body.â My picks: Frankie Jordonâs âGood Time,â Drew Seeleyâs âJoin The Party,â Morgan Smithâs âSecond 2 Noneâ featuring Char and Sabrina Bryanâs âByou (The Remix).â