Monthly Archives: October 2008

Spangle call Lilli line releases another album in November

Not even two months after releasing ISOLATION, Spangle call Lilli line releases a new album titled PURPLE on Nov. 12, reports Intended to be a counterpart work to ISOLATION, PURPLE goes the opposite route of its predecessor’s classical bent, focusing instead on a laid-back sound that involves the entire band. There’s a lot more description in the article and on the band’s web site, but essentially, the band is pulling a Use Your Illusion. Spangle call Lilli line will also embark on a 10th anniversary tour.

Off the playlist, or best of the rest

I’m listening to more music, but I’m writing fewer reviews. Between my monthly eMusic allowance, discoveries on the Evil Sharing Networks and releases by artists I already like, my playlist tends to average two days’ worth of listening. As of this writing, it’s 53 hours long.

At the same time, I find it harder to write very many featured reviews. In the early days of the site, I would try to dash off three reviews a week. These days, it’s an effort to finish seven in a month.

And that’s how it should be. The bar ought to be set pretty high for reviews that take up their own entry. If not, I could conceivably find myself playing more Mad Libs with these reviews than I already do.

So while I have an "On the playlist" feature that lists the new stuff I’m listening to, I’m starting an "Off the playlist" feature to showcase albums that deserve mention but not quite their own featured review. There will be obvious overlap between the two. It differs from "The Slush Pile", which features albums I just won’t explore after a few first listens.

Now let’s clear a few things off the playlist.

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VOLA guitarist leaves band

Guitarist Aoki Yutaka has left VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE, reports Aoki plans to devote more time with instrumental rock band unkie. VOLA leader Ahito Inazawa said the band plans to rearrange its old songs to accommodate Aoki’s departure and to continue in its reconfigured form. Aoki’s departure comes right before the release of VOLA’s major label debut Halan’na-ca Darkside on Oct. 8 and a subsequent tour in November. unkie is also scheduled to release a new album, too many secrets, on Oct. 22.

Austin Record Convention purchase report, Oct. 4, 2008

I’m not sure why I didn’t get a postcard reminder about the Austin Record Convention this past weekend, but luckily, I had stopped by Waterloo Records and found fliers announcing it. (Kind of early in the month.)

For some reason, the System’s 1987 hit "Don’t Disturb This Groove" got lodged in my head, and after hearing a few excerpts on Amazon, I’ve become somewhat fascinated by it. As much as I tried to resist the prevailing pop sound of the time, groups such as Exposé, Nu Shooz and the System became part of my subconscious. And really, there’s no reason I shouldn’t mine those sources as I do everything else.

I didn’t find it, though.

I did end up with:

  • Roberta Flack, Softly with These Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was the No. 1 song when I was born, and I actually don’t mind that fact.
  • Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual Yet another disc I had sold for cash when money got tight.

Now I should think about what I want to get for the Waterloo Records storewide sale, which is a few weeks away.

Favorite edition 2008: Quarter third

Wow, third quarter, where did you go?

It’s now Q4, and the Favorite Edition list for 2008 is pretty much unchanged from Q2. I did spend a lot of last quarter listening to classical, catalog and reissues, but the release schedule for Q3 did seem a bit lightweight. If anything, the biggest releases of that quarter were catalog: a slew of remastered U2 and a b-side collection from Shiina Ringo.

Perhaps the biggest Q3 release — for this site, anyway — is one I’m a bit too broke to get: ZAZEN BOYS’ ZAZEN BOYS 4. Here’s hoping the banking crisis won’t cut too deeply into raises or profit-sharing this year. (Right.)

Onward to the list …

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Former ART-SCHOOL members now make up half of STRAIGHTENER

Former ART-SCHOOL guitarist Ooyama Jun is now a full-time member of STRAIGHTENER, reports What started out as a duo, then grew as a trio, is now a quartet.

Ooyama and bassist Hinata Hidekazu — who pulls double duty with Mukai Shuutoku’s ZAZEN BOYS — were both members of ART-SCHOOL, and they left the band at the same after the release of LOVE/HATE in 2003. Original STRAIGHTENER member Horie Atsushi tells Bounce the band felt a great sense of chemistry with Ooyama to bring him on full-time. The newly-configured STRAIGHTENER makes its debut on Nov. 26 with the Hello Weekend Tour. The band is also recording a new album.

I’ve only been casually following STRAIGHTENER since the release of its first major label album LOST WORLD’S ANTHOLOGY in 2004. But with Ooyama and Hinata reunited, I’m much more interested to hear how the band sounds now. It kinds of makes me curious, though — is Kinoshita Riki that difficult?

BONNIE PINK releases Christmas EP in November

BONNIE PINK releases a Christmas-themed EP titled CHAIN on Nov. 26, reports The six-track EP includes two originals, plus performances of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", "Wonderful Christmastime", "Let It Snow" and "The Christmas Song". Tomita Keiichi produced the titled track, while guitarist Watanabe Kizumi makes an appearance on "The Christmas Song". Details for a limited edition first pressing were not yet available.