Muler is a band my friends have championed for something like two decades – and with their latest LP, Unlikely Soldiers, it’s easy to see why. They’re the band that should have been. My main complaint with the record is that it’s only their third full length in 20 years – and from multiple listens it may very well be their best. Like all Muler albums & singles it’s an earnest, smart, & catchy guitar driven rocker – which gives me hope that these perpetual underdogs can turn should have into will.
“Spanish Ship” is the first single from Kurt von Stetten’s tenth Studio album, Bon Fortuna. The song begins with a series of powerful staccato jabs leaving you sea leg weary as you proceed to walk off the Spanish Ship and into what’s another fantastic von Stetten album. Year after year after year Kurt puts out utterly talented & unique albums with songs that ear worm their way deep in the cortex – however, by some cruel act of God they fly underneath the radar, here’s to hoping he’ll have the good fortune of Bon Fortuna getting some deserved eyes and ears on it – it may very well be his most solid work to date, and that’s saying quite a bit.
Woolen Men are a treasured group for me, and one of the rare bands whom I own everything ever pressed on vinyl by. Their music hits such an earnest tone, making strangers seem like friends. I play their records no matter my mood, and without fail, I end up feeling better afterwards.
Their latest album is darker in subject matter than previous releases – yet it still has their trademark ease and pep – keeping it an ambiguous album, perfect – no matter if it’s a summer or a bummer.
Part of my mission statement with Visions of the Unexcused is to expose bands & labels that are under the daily radar – and over the past six years Volar Records have been exemplary in regards to small, independent, and utterly fantastic record labels that repeatedly put out music that places a smile in my ear.
Run by Craig Oliver out of San Diego – Volar has released favorite LP’s and 7″ records that have become mainstays on my platter, in DJ sets, on my Radio Show, and on this very site. Craig’s taste and ear have a batting average that’d make Tony Gwynn blush, and I hope he’s putting out records for many more years.
Below is a 45 track sampler(yes….forty five!!!) that will be available for another week via BandCamp at a price you decide. As lover’s of music it’s equally important for us to not only support the bands, but the labels that are brave enough to put their time and money on the line to expose freaks like me to music that’s as important as air. And if you know what’s good for you you won’t just stop at the sampler, jump on over to the Volar Store and purchase some beautifully pressed (and priced) wax.
Portland Maine is a cool town. Jargon Party is a cool band. “Surf Rock Anthem Number 7” is a cool song. The coinciding video is pretty darn….well, cool. My lack of adjectives are no lack of enthusiasm for any of the above, cool?
Oct 8 – Ralph’s Diner — Worcester
Oct 9 – Fran’s Place — Lynn
Oct 10 – Northeastern University — Boston
Oct 11 – O’Briens — Allston
Recommended If You Like: Duck & Cover, Cloud Nothings, Let’s Wrestle
I never imagined a band from Rochester, NY – my hometown – could inspire visions of me “surfing” the placid waves of Lake Ontario, let alone think Rochester was a place one could actually tan, but with their debut LP Howlo has done just that, proving sunshine can pierce through lake effect clouds. Howlo’s self titled debut has enough trash plate grime to make the restrained bright surf elements not stand out as imposters. This is a guitar driven pop album of high magnitude, with languid call & response vocal’s whose woozy rhythm leads you into a soft self soothe pogo. “Bewilder” may very well give you a cavity due to its perfect sweetness – “Shadowlike” is an anthem not allowed to leave your head – while album closer “Stranger” is the last call song you sing yourself to bed as you pour one last drink too many.
This is also the debut release for Rochester’s City Of Quality Records, a label destined for many, many good things and one you should be paying close attention to – I sure as hell know I will.
Recommended If You Like: Harlem, Beach Fossils, Tony Molina
We clutch Summer as the sun sets – yet despite these efforts, it inevitably slips away. Last weekend I ended a vacation by spinning a set with Summer sitting as my muse. Overlooking gorgeous Ossipee Lake in New Hampshire I let the sun and water guide me – the live set, epic in length and diverse in tones, is one I’m proud of.
1. Gilligan’s Island Theme Song
2. François Lougah – Bravo Sotra (Ivory Coast Soul 2 Afro Soul In Abidjan From 1976 To 1981 – 2012)
3. Mebusas – Do You Know (Mebusas Vol 1 – Blood Brothers – 1973)
4. Toots & The Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number (54-46 Was My Number – 1968)
5. Max Romeo – Give To Get (Reconstruction – 1977)
6. I-Roy – Dr. Phibbs (Hell And Sorrow – 1973)
7. The Clash – Revolution Rock (London Calling – 1980)
8. Free Pizza – Net Babes (Boston, MA – 2014)
9. Ty Segal – Who’s Producing You? (Manipulator – 2014)
10. Mozes And The Firstborn – Peter Jr. (Mozes And The Firstborn – 2014)
11. T.Rex – Bang a Gong [Get It On] – (Electric Warrior – 1971)
12. Wilson Pickett – You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover (A Funky Situation – 1978)
13. Ali Ibrahim – La Ilaha Illalahou (Ali Ibrahim – 1975)
14. Rory Gallagher – Whole Lot Of People (Deuce – 1972)
15. Los Orientales De Paramonga – Lobos Al Escape (Cumbia Beat Vol. 1 – 2010)
16. Niagara – City Walk (Niagara – 1970)
17. Dead Meadow – Dusty Nothing (Howls from the Hills – 2007)
18. The Mothers of Invention – Willie The Pimp Part One (Fillmore East – 1971)
19. Funkadelic – Cholly [Funk Getting Ready To Roll!] (One Nation Under A Groove – 1978)
20. King Curtis – Wet Funk [Low Down And Dirty] (Everybody’s Talkin’ – 1972)
21. Sugar Hill Gang – Kick It Live From 9 To 5 (Kick It Live From 9 To 5 – 1983)
22. Mebusas – Son of Mr. Bull Dog (Mebusas Vol 1 – Blood Brothers – 1973)
23. The Rosnah Dengan Siglap Five – Gembira Ria (Steam Kodok – 1965)
24. The Orange Machine – Real Life Permanent Dream (Three Jolly Little Dwarfs – 1968)
25. The Sweets – Coffee In The Morning (BG073 – 2014)
26. Teddy Robin & The Playboys – What I’d Say? (Magic Colours – 2006)
27. Them – Turn On Your Love Light (Turn On Your Love Light – 1964)
28. The Soft Pack – Answer To Yourself (The Soft Pack – 2010)
29. Joanna Gruesome – Jerome [Liar] (Peanut Butter – 2015)
30. Wilco – King Of You (Star Wars – 2015)
31. Sex Dream – Gods (Gods / Tundra – 2013)
32. Marc Desse – Video Club (Video Club – 2012)
33. The Sweets – He Is My Neighbor (BG073 – 2014)
34. Steve Gunn – Lurker (Time Off – 2013)
35. Mac Demarco – Annie (Mac DeMarco 2 – 2012)
36. The Woolen Men – Rain Shapes (Rain Shapes EP – 2015)
37. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Why’d You Want Me (The Sound Of Speed – 1993)
38. The Unleashed – My Flash On You (She Was So Bad! Unissued Sixties Garage Acetates / Volume Two – 1965)
39. The Lovin’ Spoonful – Blues In A Bottle (Do You Believe In Magic – 1965)
40. The Kinks – Johnny Thunder (Are The Village Green Preservation Society – 1968)
41. Flamin’ Groovies – I Can’t Hide (Shake Some Action – 1976)
42. Beck – Whiskey Can Can (One Foot In The Grave [Expanded Edition] – 2009)
43. Mac Demarco – Hoso Boyo (SOME OTHER ONES – 2015)
44. Air – La Femme D’argent (Moon Safari – 1998)
45. The Juan MacLean – Accusations (The Future Will Come – 2009)
46. Toro y Moi – Lilly (What For? – 2015)
47. Panda Bear – Boys Latin (Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper- 2015)