The Graveyard Kids-“Bought And Sold”

If Albert Broccoli had selected Red Hot Chili Peppers to write the title sequence song for one of his early 80’s Bond films, it would probably sound a lot like this single from The Graveyard Kids. The throbbing bass mingling with a lush string section of violins, viola, and cello would make perfect sense for Octopussy. It’s sad we never got that song, because “Bought … Continue reading The Graveyard Kids-“Bought And Sold”

Oh! My Blackbird-Violet EP

It’s been a little over a year since Oh! My Blackbird released their first full-length, Dare Me. I thought that album was a sweet piece of folk pop confection that ended up ranked in my top 50 albums of 2012. I’ve been wondering when they would return, and whether they would keep with the style the do so well or change it up a bit. … Continue reading Oh! My Blackbird-Violet EP

Ghost Pal-Nathan Jones Is Dead

Over the past year or so there have been rumblings from the east coast about an album set to change the world. The release date was tentative, and changed more times than I can remember, but it always remained at the forefront of any discussion about the crew at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen. We were given snippets via teaser videos. An EP was released featuring … Continue reading Ghost Pal-Nathan Jones Is Dead

The Great American Novel-Kissing


I keep waiting for the day when someone sends me a record that was made at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen that is terrible. I don’t understand how it’s possible that everything spun out of that studio is so brilliant. A lot of the credit has to go to producer Oliver Ignatius, who is behind the boards on almost all of the songs. A good deal also needs to go to the bands that have chosen to record there. Unknown throughout most of the world, they are quietly making some of the best music you can find. One of the first bands I heard about from the studio was The Great American Novel. You & I was a fun romp, if slightly immature. They’re back now with their second album, Kissing, which came out last week.

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that Layne Montgomery has taken a great leap forward with this record. His songwriting has improved drastically, he seems to be more comfortable with his voice, and the album has a great cohesiveness that You & I was lacking. I had a good feeling as soon as I heard the lead single, “American Weekend.” In that one song Montgomery was able to capture all the angst and optimism that is scattered throughout Kissing.

I’ve listened to this album quite a few times now, and I think the song that really draws me in is “All The Sad Young Literary Men.” All the songs leading up to this one are solid,really solid, but the way the words mix in probably two dozen or so author’s names is pretty impressive. They also give away where the band’s name comes from. The first line had me hooked right away, “It all started when she told me that she loved Vonnegut that’s when I knew that she wasn’t emotionally with it.” The music throughout Kissing reminds me of a post-punk version of Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up,” and it’s never more evident than on this track. Continue reading “The Great American Novel-Kissing”

Ghost Pal-Extended Family EP


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”