Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 2

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Last October Oliver Ignatius released Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen-Section 1. Not so much a greatest hits compilation as a sampler of the artists that had been recording in his studio. Just nine months later we’ve received Section 2-a selection of 12 songs that represent the past year in Mama Coco’s history. A few of these bands have been featured here before, so I’ll get those out of the way first.

It’s been a pretty great year so far for Ignatius and company. Of the releases through today, four of them have tracks on my top 25 songs of the year so far. Also, albums by Oh! My Blackbird and The All-About find themselves on my top 25 albums. Not too shabby. The songs on this new compilation that also show up on my songs list are The Great American Novel’s “Layne Montgomery Is No Good At Girls” and “The Stick Song” by Oh! My Blackbird. Both fantastic songs and great albums. Check them out!

The lead track for Section 2 is “Sadie Hawkins,” the new single from The All-About. It seems like a continuation from their album Winterpop, with a bit more influence from The Killers. All the tunes by Zac Coe have an upbeat surface that’s constantly battling the darkness trying to bubble over. He has a great summery atmosphere around his music that makes his songs the most accessible to mainstream audiences (for better or worse).

One of my favorites of the bands I was not familiar with going in is Dr Skinnybones. Their song “Bad Education” is lyrically clever and musically compelling. Dynamics change from surf pop and punk to soul and country while Jake Williams sings about acceptance in American society. The lines “As we walk the streets I always knew, I will sing the songs that I usually do. Darlin don’t you ever think that I’m too dumb for you? I’m not good for you,” are delivered with equal parts anger and humility. That makes this one go from a merely well put together song to a great one. Continue reading “Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 2”

Ghost Pal-Extended Family EP

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It’s hard to believe that a week ago I was sitting here watching as Don Draper reclined in his chair to The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and now I’m listening to Ghost Pal cover that song as the lead track of their new EP. Is Revolver the most culturally relevant album of all-time? I can’t say for sure, but it is my favorite Beatles album-and that makes it pretty great.

What I like about the Ghost Pal version is that they capture the sound of the song without copying it. The fact that’s the Beatles created This song in the late 60’s is astounding. I’m not a record producer, but I have to think that even making some of that stuff happen in 2012 isn’t easy. This version gets a lot of help from a strong sax by Henry Kandel and embellished organ laying a foundation for Oliver Ignatius to build around. Ignatius has always had a Lennon-ish voice, but he doesn’t play it up too much here. “Tomorrow Never Knows” is a song that is very easy to mess up. Ghost Pal gets it right. Continue reading “Ghost Pal-Extended Family EP”

Early Warning: Ghost Pal-Get Thee Gone

Ghost Pal will soon be releasing their EP, Nathan Jones Is Dead, and it’s time to drop a single so folks get an idea where it might take them. Lead singer/producer/mastermind Oliver Ignatius sent me an unfinished mix of the song to check out, and I have to say I dig it. The song is the first that the group have done built on a … Continue reading Early Warning: Ghost Pal-Get Thee Gone

Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 1

It’s funny how things come together sometimes in life. When I started this blog I didn’t know what would happen. In my wildest dreams a couple of people would read it and I’d give myself something to do. It’s become much more than that, with bands from Boston and San Francisco submitting their music to me because they think somehow a review by this site … Continue reading Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 1

The Hysterics: The Rest Of The Story

If you were paying attention last week, you know that we had a special guest comment on an article I put up about the band The Hysterics. The guest was Oliver Ignatius, former lead singer/songwriter for that particular band. In his comment, he mentioned that the demise of the band was basically that they were too young to handle everything that was going on around … Continue reading The Hysterics: The Rest Of The Story