At the behest of listener (and former guest Devin Jackson Mullen of Anxious Kids Make Good People), today we’re taking on Drunk, the latest project by Thundercat, the stage name of grammy-award winning bassist Stephen Bruner. Composed by Bruner, but with the help of long-time collaborator Flying Lotus and a myriad of guest artists, Drunk is a 23-track wormhole that explores the inventive and demented mind of the talented bassist — under any and all of life’s circumstances. Let’s explore the album together before broadcasting a monster monologue [@2:19:21 – @2:40:24] covering the ethics of criticism, a response to an artist, and some changes to the format of the series.
The groundhog has seen its shadow… and in that shadow… lurks CORIMA. If you’ve never heard of the ‘Zeuhl’ genre, then—just for the moment—spare yourself from culling through the 11-album discography of Magma (the genre’s progenitor), and instead dive into Amaterasu, the third album by a vibrant and imaginative group based out of L.A. Taking after the jazz/prog leanings of its Zeuhl predecessors and the fully-enabled “anything goes” attitude of the RIO (Rock in Opposition) movement, Corima is all about fusion, yet also free of inhibition. The result: a two-piece, multi-movement concept work called Amaterasu. In this episode, we begin with an overview of Zeuhl before taking off on a roller coaster of an album analysis.
A “prog” band named Progger — oy, now we’ve heard everything! Indeed, after hearing the Austin-based band’s latest project Scattering (an album that sprung from a collaboration with the band’s newest New York-based members) our horizons have been markedly broadened. Incorporating elements of jazz, prog, funk, and a hefty dose of name-your-poison, Scattering is no aperitif; it’s the full meal. So join us for an in-depth analysis of this gripping work and also for a brief preview on some New Year’s homework: the ultimate mystery genre game. Let’s dig deep and ring in 2017 with shock & awe.
There’s nothing quite like Yugen that we can find. An Italian avant-prog chamber ensemble that derived influence from the RIO movement (Rock in Opposition) of the 70s/80s, Yugen’s latest endeavor is an LP called Death by Water. With a lust for chaos and a penchant for carefully cloaking its oddball leitmotifs, Death by Water can’t be judged by its cover. Check out the album in the Spotify link and just let it happen, folks. And then, we implore you… let us happen as well. Invite Crash Chords into your lives as we reason out this behemoth of an album, from its pinnacles to its perils. And then, in our topic, hear us reason out the disparity between the terms “avant-garde” and “experimental”… if any.
To close out this review season, we bring you the debut album by the most ambitious collaborators we’ve ever looked at… Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. Although they began with a core of five members, the band’s debut album Surf certainly lives up to their name, The Social Experiment, by introducing MANY more musical minds to the table. Offering the album up for free (exclusively on iTunes), the band appears to be as magnanimous as they are community-driven. Enjoy this thorough analysis along with, lastly, some quick thoughts on contemporary music trends — verily on our minds as we fast approach the 2015 year in review.
Today we rejoice in the first guest appearance of our new writer, Tony Catalano! Answering up our earlier, less-refined analysis of Flying Lotus’s Until the Quiet Comes (back in CCP Ep. #19), Tony thrusts us into the artist’s latest project, You’re Dead! — this time with the combined force of the entire Crash Chords think tank. But first, we kick-start the episode with Matt’s detailed account of his journey to see the play Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and presented by the Public Theater. This clever Hip-Hop narrative of Alexander Hamilton’s life—and ultimate feud with Aaron Burr—runs until May 3rd. Finally, after the album, we talk to Tony about Tony, covering his background in jazz, his life as a copywriter, his ambitions for the website, and of course, the eternal theme of objectivity.
Get ready to whip out your jazz hands, because this week we’re making good on our foray into the world of Jazz by checking in on one of the masters of cool, Chick Corea, returning with a new supporting group: The Vigil. Join us in our review of their fresh collaborative release, duly titled, The Vigil. Also, be sure to stick around for our preface to an upcoming discussion on the roles we assign, or shouldn’t assign, to certain musical instruments.