Serengeti and Polyphonic


Anticon Records


Both from Chicago, rapper Serengeti and DJ Polyphonic invest their second full length recorded collaboration with a plethora of stylistic approaches. Hip hop, electronica, and elements of world music create a hybridized music, melding in varied, often stirring ways.

For example, on “Bon Voyage” there is a triangulated give and take between synthetic elements, a beat template imbued with pitched percussion and interlocking rhythmic figures, and Serengeti’s urban poetics. “My Negativity” matches downtempo electronica with echoing repetitions of the title lyric. “Cleveland” allows Polyphonic to take the lead, creating an evocative synth suite on which Seregeti’s vocals take on a more ornamental role.

The duo doesn’t eschew accessibility – “La Lala” features winsome keyboard riffs and an appealing mixture of sung vocals and clipped rapping. But often, the choices of instrumentation underscore the lyrics’ visceral worldview. For instance, reptilian squawks and an ominous backbeat give “My Patriotism” an appropriately confrontational ambience. Meanwhile, “Playing in Subway Stations” uses a swath of layered rhythms to create an apt sonic approximation of commuters’ hurly burly. Far from prehistoric, Terradactyl is positively cutting edge music-making.

You can hear more of S&P at their MySpace page. RCRDLBL also has a page devoted to the group, including a downloadable remix of the song “2 Times 2.”


Record Store Day in the Southwest

 Back Ted N-Ted

Sporting a severe-looking Mohawk, Ryan Breen’s pliant dance music with a twang belies its creator’s gruff exterior.

Billed as “new wave for the 21st Century,” his group Back Ted N-Ted has an EP for sale on ITunes;

an LP is slated to drop this summer.


In celebration of Record Store Day, Back Ted N-Ted will be appearing at 4:00 PM at Stink Weeds in Phoenix Arizona. Bring your dancing shoes.

Record Store Day in Canada!

Record Store Day in Toronto

Paper Bag Records’s artists will be performing across Toronto at local record shops including Criminal Records, Sunrise, and Sonic Boom this coming Saturday, April 18th, 2009.    
Giveaways at each show.

Sunrise Records
336 Yonge Street,
Toronto, ON
1:15 pm

Sonic Boom
512 Bloor Street West,
Toronto, ON
5:30 pm

*stripped down performance
Criminal Records
493 Queen Street West,
Toronto, ON

Sonic Boom
512 Bloor Street West,
Toronto, ON
8:30 pm

Record Store Day Treasures Two: A couple more 7″s

7″ single with “Everyone is Guilty b/w Total Destruction”
Limited to 1000 copies

Everyone is Guilty”” is from Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free and “Total
Destruction” is only available here.
Black Moth Super Rainbow:  
7″ orange vinyl with “Born on a Day” b/w “Born on a Day (demo)” Limited to 500 copies.

Dark was the Night – Bright was the music-making

Dark Was the Night

Various artists – 2xCD


It’s hard to believe that this is the twentieth installment in Red Hot’s benefit compilation series to raise funds for and awareness of people with HIV/AIDS; how time flies and, regrettably, illnesses stubbornly persist. While the Red Hot series has often mustered star-power, it has never been this consistent in its musical inspiration. This is certainly in part due to excellent curating by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner. Dark was the Night features two discs of recordings by indie’s finest, including imaginative covers and special collaborations.

David Byrne and the Dirty Projectors, are lovably quirky and rhythmically buoyant on “Knotty Pine.” Kronos Quartet provides an instrumental rendering of the Blind Willie Johnson song that is the collection’s namesake; the unusual juxtaposition of blues and string quartet indicative of the imaginative pairings found throughout. Books and José Gonzalez deliver a multilayered rendition of Nick Drake’s “The Cello Song.”   Antony Hegarty and Bryce Dessner supply a touching, homespun version of Bob Dylan’s “I was Young When I left Home.”

There are very few people I’d prefer to hear singing Vashti Bunyan than Vashti herself, but Feist and Ben Gibbard create a cozily atmospheric version of “Train Song.” Beirut continues its lustrously sung love-letter to France with “Mimizan.” Stuart Murdoch sans Belle and Sebastian is still endearing – lopsided, lyrical, and sweet-voiced – on “Another Saturday.

And this is hardly the half of it. Dark was the Night is mandatory listening – how often do you hear that about a benefit CD?


U2 on Myspace


Entire Album Available for Free Streaming on February 20, Over a Week Before Hitting Stores

MySpace Music (http://www.myspace.com/music), the world’s premier online music portal, announces the exclusive world premiere of No Line On The Horizon, the new studio album from U2. Beginning on February Feb. 20, MySpace U.S. users will be able to stream the album in its entirety from U2′s official MySpace Music profile at www.myspace.com/u2, giving fans a chance to preview it before the U.S. release on March 3. No Line On The Horizon will be available for purchase on MySpace Music starting on March 3.

U2 recently premiered their latest video for the hit single Get On Your Boots on MySpace Music to fans around the world. No Line On The Horizon is the group’s highly anticipated 12th studio album and their first release since How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb came out in late 2004. Recording sessions for No Line On The Horizon were held in various locations around the world, including Fez, Morocco, the band’s own studio in Dublin, New York’s Platinum Sound Recording Studios, and Olympic Studios in London. Long-time U2 collaborators Brian Eno and Danny Lanois produced the album, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite.

For more information about U2 and to stream No Line On The Horizon, visit their MySpace Music official profile at: http://www.myspace.com/u2.

Fire in July plays Brooklyn Tonight

 Fire in July


Fire in July is playing Wed. night in Park Slope at the Brooklyn Lyceum.   We’re heading into the recording studio this weekend, and are going to perform all the tunes live tomorrow night!   We really hope you can come and check out what we’ve been up to!


All the best,

Jody Redhage & FiJ




Jody Redhage, cello/voice/compositions

Ken Thomson, clarinet/bass clarinet

Alan Ferber, trombones

Tim Collins, vibraphone

Fred Kennedy, drums & percussion


WED. FEB. 4, 2009

8:00 and 9:30 pm sets

The Brooklyn Lyceum

227 4th Ave. at Union St.

Park Slope, Brooklyn

R train to Union

$10 cover






Featuring the original art songs of “adventurous cello songstress Jody

Redhage” (Time Out NY) and some of the most versatile and talented

improvisers and chamber musicians in NY, FIRE IN JULY melds the

sensitivity and detail of art song with the energy and drive of pop,

rock, and jazz improvisation

New Myspace Site

The weather outside is still frightful, but sometimes that suits composers. It’s easier to stay indoors to compose, or catch up on the myriad odds and ends, when one isn’t enticed to abandon the desk by sunny weather. Of course, as Galen points out on the S21 Homepage, there’s always the danger of cabin fever. But  there’s music to write, theory to ponder, reviews to pen, and packages still to wrap; I think I’m sufficiently occupied to ignore ‘the stir-crazies’ for the moment.

Nasty weather....

With final papers graded and several last-minute projects completed, I decided to work on getting my tunes up on the web, at long last creating a Myspace Site. I’ve included two pieces premiered this year: “Otherwise,” a piece for singing cellist Jody Redhage, and Butterfly Flourish, a solo flute piece that was programmed by Locrian Chamber Players. Also up is an older piece that’s recently been revived: a trio for flute, vibraphone, and cello. My keen-eared compadre Ken Ueno was quick to point out how closely related the pitch materials are for the latter two pieces. Sometimes, when you like a sound palette, it’s nice to return to it from a different vantage point.

Someday, I’ll get to creating one of those fancy “dot-com” sites like my pals above; but I’m glad to be making inroads into getting the music out onto cyberspace. As I’m new to the MySpace world, suggestions for refinements and enhancements are always welcome.