Joup Friday Album: Sunflower Session by The Red Plastic Buddha

The Red Plastic BuddhaThere is a terrific recording studio located on Division Street just west of Western Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. You know when you use a preset on a keyboard or recording application there usually is a default “Large Room” setting. I swear that setting is copied from this very studio also known as Strobe Recording. The room sound is as ideal as they come. Jamie Wagner, owner and proprietor of Strobe, occasionally hosts an event called “Strobe Sessions.” Well…he has for 63 times in the past 10 years! And Number 63 happen this past Thursday and I got to catch a terrific live performance of The Plastic Red Buddha including songs from Sunflower Sessions…this week’s Joup Friday Album. Local Chicago is good.

The Joup Friday Album: Jackie Mittoo – The Keyboard King at Studio One

Jackie Mittoo The Keyboard King at Studio One

Jackie Mittoo The Keyboard King at Studio One

The title of “King” in regards to a craft or technique in the arts is often thrown around a little too loosely these days. That said, I’m going to use it here with the disclaimer that my application of the word is not hyperbole; for Jackie Mittoo, one of the founders of the legendary group The Skatalites and musical director of Jamaica’s label and recording studio Studio One, the crown as “Keyboard King” is earned and appropriate. I’m no aficionado of musicology (although I pretend to be sometimes) but I’ll tell you this: Jackie Mittoo’s importance to the development and influence of the numerous different styles of music that came from Jamaica during the 1960s and 1970s cannot be measured. With that I humbly give you this week’s edition of The Joup Friday Album: Jackie Mittoo The Keyboard King at Studio One.

Beneath the Panels #5: Nameless Issue Two

JAN150694Well, there I was all ready to dive into decoding a new issue of Nameless and, well, Mr. Morrison pretty much did most of the work for me.

Crap.

The enigmatic approach left behind, issue two begins with Nameless and his escorts as they arrive at Paul Darious’s Billionauts base on the dark side of the moon. Once situated we quickly get A LOT more of the Enochian language message we are introduced to in issue #1. We meet Dr. Croft, the base’s former expert on occult matters and see that something has either possessed her or sent her over the edge of sanity. The others on the base have quarantined Dr. Croft and when Burnham flashes to her we see that written on the walls of her cell in what is probably *gag* either shite or blood or a happy mixture of both, what appears to be a continuation of that Enochian message:

Joup Friday Album: Sun Structures – Temples

Sun Structures - Temples (Image courtesy of Heavenly Records)

Sun Structures – Temples
(Image courtesy of Heavenly Records)

Joup Fiday Album – Dada Puzzle

Dada Puzzle (I.R.S. Records/EMI Records)

Dada Puzzle (I.R.S. Records/EMI Records)

Nostalgia. This word means so much to so many people for so many different reasons. A simple photography, movie line or guitar lick can open up a world of memories of place and time once experienced for better or worse. Generally I like to remember the better but sometimes revel in the worse…maybe as we all do. In the last few weeks I’ve really tweaked my sound as a guitarist by adding a stellar early 70s twin reverb as my primary amp. My Strat and Tele have never sounded better. And then I came across a little number from 1992 entitled “Dim” on Pandora this week and everything became a little bit clearer. This week’s Friday Album is Dada Puzzle.


Again back to the early 90s? Come on Grez…surely you’ve evolved from there. I guess in some ways I have or just found a deeper appreciation for the music to which I listen for the past, um, 30 years. I did some homework on the band Dada and this is what I found:

Joup’s Friday Album (ahem): Television Marquee Moon

Television Marquee Moon

Television – Marquee Moon

The Joup Friday Album: Mercury Rev ‘See You On The Other Side’

Othersidemercuryrev ‘Empire State (Son House in Excelsis)’ transports me to a gold and frozen 70s New York Morning. Like the intro to some film that doesn’t exist, the staccato piano stabs and underlying atmospherics serve as a sun-dappled Hudson, before the drums, bulbous bass and fluttering flutes summon-up some 16mm Manhattan panorama, speeding up, slowing down, growing in stature as though to pencil-in the enormity of it all. Horns come blasting-in after the 4:15 mark in a staggering pantomime of car horns, dizzying buildings, swelling and spinning until everything accelerates into chaos like the throng of vehicular and human traffic on the streets below. ‘Young Man’s Stride’ bids a final farewell to the galloping jams that made up much of 93’s exhilarating ‘Boces’, while also reminding you of just how much of a dry run that album was for this one, but while ‘Boces’ sounds like an extraordinary rock record, ‘See You On The Other Side’ evolves into something transcendent – it’s texture more deftly crafted but with organic and otherworldly results; muted and drunken trumpets, lilting wind instruments, wailing soul singers, an idealised, pharmaceutically-enhanced vision of the world’s capital city.

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