The Covalent Bond

This site is dedicated to the sharing of ideas in the field of music, literature, and whatever else strikes my fancy. To play the music, you must have Rhapsody. I am just getting started. There will be more to come. "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

Friday, September 30, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 30, 2005

Breakout the Stoli, it's time to party gypsy style. Even without the Stoli, I predict you will be dancing to the Eastern European rhythms of Gogol Bordello. Their song "Sally" combines violin, accordion, explosive guitar sounds, and a vague resemblance to the early energy of The Clash. Don't stop with the track "Sally." The rest of their album Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike is an excuse to lose all inhibitions, whether Stoli fueled or not. I especially liked the tracks "Never Young," the punked out polka of "60 Revolutions," and the dance hall influenced rhythms of "Not A Crime." I was very surprised to find out that Steve Albini had a hand in making the record. The man just has the magic touch. Click here to listen to "Sally," my song of the day. Click on the link to hear their whole album Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike

Monk and Coltrane - Rediscovered!

The discovery of lost recordings of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane is equivalent to finding the mythical city of Atlantis. Both musicians were geniuses of jazz, and forever changed the respective music of the piano and saxophone. This week Blue Note released Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane- At Carnegie Hall. The recordings were made in 1957, and were lost at the Library of Congress, but were luckily for us discovered earlier this year. There were not many recordings of Coltrane and Monk together, two of the most influential musicians in jazz, so this new find is a particular joy. Click here to experience a bit of jazz history.

1. Monk's Mood - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
2. Evidence - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
3. Crepuscule with Nellie - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
4. Nutty - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
5. Epistrophy - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
6. Bye-Ya - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
7. Sweet and Lonely - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
8. Blue Monk - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane
9. Epistrophy (Incomplete) - The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 29, 2005

I love the funky 80's influenced rhythms of The Joggers' "Wicked Light Sleeper." I was a sucker for that guitar sound twenty years ago and I still am. Echoes of The Gang of Four reverberate throughout The Joggers music much to my delight. I love the dissonant guitar chords. They are like hot sauce to bland food, they spice up the music, giving it that little extra something. If you are a fan of 80's retro music, you will definitely like The Joggers. Just a side note for those of you in Chicago, they will be at Schuba's on Nov. 17th. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 28, 2005

I can't quite take the HorrorPops seriously, but I do enjoy listening to their music occasionally as it reminds me of the 80's. The track "Hit 'N' Run" definitely delights in the influence of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders. It is a great pop song, with catchy riffs and a great chorus. The HorrorPops are a six member Danish band that was part of this summer's Warped Tour. They recently entered the British charts with their latest release Bring It On! They are currently touring the US. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 27, 2005

Mixel Pixel reminds me of The Fall, Pink Floyd, and a dash of The Unicorns. They have a psych-folk sound mixed with strange samples and a feeling that something is about to go out of control. This is particularly evident in the track "I Am The Contact Kid." The male vocals sound heavily influenced by The Fall, while the female vocals add a touch of contrast. There are lo-fi beeps and ominous sounding synthesizers, which reminds of Pink Floyd. The whole effect is one of a psychedelic nightmare; the kind where you wake up in a cold sweat as you feel yourself falling to your doom. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh, My Aching Head

It was a long weekend. The martinis were cold, excellent, and numerous. Now, it's time for a little hair of the dog that bit you. Yes, it might be a bit loud and rude for a Monday morning, but sometimes that is the only cure. Click here to listen.

1. Message - The Grates
2. Death Connection - The Flesh
3. Bastard! - Electric Eel Shock
4. B1 - Part Chimp
5. Cover - Enginedown
6. Tell Tale Drum Machine - Mixel Pixel
7. Ladyfingers - The Fever
8. Noble Stabbings!! - Dillinger Four
9. Struggle Like No Other - Epoxies
10. Apple Tree - Wolfmother
11. Salt In My Wounds - The Cuts
12. Room 34 - Goddamn Gentleman
13. Leslie - The Pink Mountaintops
14. Forest Fire - Dead Kennedys
15. Chop 2 - The Mae Shi
16. Knot (Live) - 7 Year Bitch
17. All-Right (Oh, Yeah) - Local H
18. Modern Music - Black Mountain
19. Get Up On Down - Dead Meadow
20. Raygun - The Gris Gris
21. I Don't Know - Naked Raygun

Song of the Day - Sept 26, 2005

The Flesh are from Brooklyn and they have created a surrealistic sound reminiscent of The Doors. The track "Copticon" starts out with a driving bass line, followed by a carnival-like organ, and then the vocals enter into this psychedelic orgy of sound. The effect is the same as stepping off the Tilt-a-Whirl, slightly disoriented, stumbling, blinded by flashing lights, feeling the rush, and wanting to do it again. Click here to listen.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 23, 2005

I was trolling the internet for a new song of the day and about to give up hope, but then it hit me. It hit me like a sledgehammer. This was it. There is no question about it. "Palookaville" by Levelload is an all-out assault on the senses. There will be no wimpy songs to start the weekend. "Palookaville" is loud, rude, and full of distortion, and I am loving every minute of it. Levelload is a London duo by way of Tokyo. This particular song was featured by the legendary John Peel just before his death. Click here to see why.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 22, 2005

I just love Brazilian music and the sound of the Portuguese language. Ever since I was first exposed to the work of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto; the tropical, sensual rhythms have seduced me. If you haven't heard Seu Jorge, you are in for a treat. The fact of the matter is, you may already have, as Seu Jorge did the Portuguese covers of the David Bowie songs from the movie The Life Aquatic. I especially enjoyed the opening track "Tive Razao," which supposedly means I am right. He is currently touring North America, unfortunately I just missed his appearance in Chicago. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Nicholas Payton

Nicholas Payton was at the legendary Jazz Showcase in Chicago this weekend and he did not disappoint. The show was excellent and varied from lyrical ballads to fiery hard bop pyrotechnics. The band was awesome and featured the great alto saxophone work of Steve Wilson, Vicente Archer on bass, Marcus Gilmore, grandson of iconic drummer Roy Haynes, and a great piano player, whose name I didn't catch. If anyone caught the show and can tell me who was the pianist, I would greatly appreciate it, as the piano playing was awesome. I definitely caught shades of McCoy Tyner in his solos. This was not the first time I had seen Nicholas. I actually saw him at the Jazz Showcase when he was 15 years old and touring with Clark Terry. This time I actually got the opportunity to speak with him. He was very gracious in that he took the time to speak with my nine-year-old son, an aspiring trumpet player, and give him words of encouragement and shake his hand. This continues the tradition of Covalent Bond's meeting jazz legends. I put together a sampling of Nicholas' work, whether it is with his band or as a sideman. Click here to listen.

1. Captain Crunch (Meets The Cereal Killer) - Nicholas Payton
2. Wild Man Blues - Nicholas Payton
3. Lotus Blossom - Peter Martin (Jazz)
4. Fela 1 - Nicholas Payton
5. Oliloqui Valley - Christian McBride
6. Blues For My Brother - Nicholas Payton
7. Nica's Dream - Eddie Palmieri
8. Brownie A La Mode - Nicholas Payton
9. Bernie's Tune - Greg Osby 4
10. Tight Like This - Nicholas Payton
11. Of This Day's Journey - SF Jazz Collective
12. A Foggy Day - Bill Charlap
13. Stardust - Doc Cheatham
14. A Touch Of Silver - Nicholas Payton
15. Weather Bird - Nicholas Payton

Song of the Day - Sept 21, 2005

The Bats from New Zealand, like the swallows from Capistrano, have returned. After a ten year absence, The Bats have released their latest album, At the National Grid. They still have that jangly guitar pop sound and are as good as ever. My favorite song is "Horizon," which sounds as if could have come from Haight Ashbury in the 1960's. It is just a coincidence, but yesterday I featured The Knitters after a 20 year absence. Who will be the next artist to release a noteworthy album after a decade or more sabbatical? Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 20, 2005

The Knitters are back after a 20 year absence. For those of you who don't remember, The Knitters are the former members of the legendary LA punk band X and ex-Blasters guitarist Dave Alvin. Specifically, the members from X are: John Doe, Exene Cervenka, and drummer D.J. Bonebrake. If you are at all familiar with X, you will immediately recognize their unique sound, in The Knitters' version of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild." I just love the combination of John Doe's and Exene's vocals. Their rockabilly version of "Born to Be Wild" will definitely get your attention. It is a shame we had to wait 20 years to hear from them. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 19, 2005

Gruff Rhys, of Super Furry Animals fame, released a solo album earlier this year, Yr Atal Genhrflaeth. I know you probably are wondering what the title of the album means. It is Welsh for "the stuttering generation." In fact, the whole album is in Welsh. One of my favorite tracks is "Epynt." The track vaguely reminds me of the underground classic "Eisbar" by Grauzone. Does anybody remember that song? It probably has something to do with the fact that both songs were sung in foreign languages and featured repetitive lyrics and a simple but catchy melody. I love the organ work on "Epynt." I did a little research and according to Gruff, "Epynt is a mountain in Mid Wales. It’s also about the battle between the Euro (the E in Epynt) and the pound (pynt in Welsh). The conclusion is that it’s better to get rid of money altogether." Click here to listen.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 16, 2005

I just love all girl bands like Go Betty Go. They are a power punk quartet; the vocalist and drummer are actually sisters. They recently played in the Warped Tour and have been getting a lot of press lately. Check out the track "I'm From LA." which actually is the band's hometown. The track starts out with the ubiquitous cell phone ring of LA, and proceeds to just rock, never slowing down. There is no laid back attitude in this song at all, just high energy music, with a Southern California edge. Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 15, 2005

The Beautiful Mothers are a Seattle based band with Chicago connections. They have been compared to Jesus Lizard and The Wipers. The drum and bass intro to "Last of the World's Gentleman" is extremely addictive and will get your blood flowing. The guitars follow and then the vocals enter creating utter chaos, while the bass and drums pound out their menacing rhythms. If loud and rude is what you are looking for, look no further than The Beautiful Mothers. Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 14, 2005

I guess I couldn't stay away from the psychedelic influenced music for too long. My latest infatuation is The Low Flying Owls. Their music definitely has touches of Syd Barrett, along with early Joy Division. Their track "Glad to be Alive" is an awesome representation of the post-modern psychedelic music scene. The guitars entrance and sound is reminiscent of New Order, while the vocals and lyrics seem to echo the spirit of the sixties. Beware of Low Flying Owls, you may not escape their grasp. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Random Jazz Musings

I had a craving for some jazz today. Below you will find some of my random jazz musings. There are a few new finds in the mix for me. They include the wonderful Shelly Berg Trio, please take a moment to listen to their work, Alan Shorter, who happens to be Wayne Shorter's brother, and the opening track by Jeremy Pelt, beautiful trumpet work. Please don't ignore the rest of the playlist, there are some gems in the mix. Click here to listen.

1. Haiku - Jeremy Pelt
2. Rumba a la Patato - Marlon Simon and The Nagual Spirits
3. Rise and Fall - SF Jazz Collective
4. Gangsterism On The Rise - Jason Moran
5. Straits Of Blagellan - Alan Shorter
6. African Village - Mccoy Tyner
7. Oblique - Bobby Hutcherson
8. Thanksgiving Prayer - Bill Mays
9. Cosmic Groove Slinky - Ben Allison Quintet
10. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing - Shelly Berg Trio"

Song of the Day - Sept 13, 2005

It's time to get up. If coffee and your alarm clock don't work, try Kaito. Kaito is a four piece band from Norwich in the U.K. They have been labeled art-punk and you can definitely hear it in the track "A.S.A. to Accuracy." I love the menacing,jangly dissonant guitar intro. Oh yeah, you bet they listened to some Gang of Four. Nikki Colk's sugary vocals are the perfect foil for the beautiful noise of the guitars. There also is this guitar in the background, basically playing the same note over and over, that just gives the song that something extra. This is one great song. Believe it or not there is a connection with Monday's song of the day, in that Battle had toured with Bloc Party and now Kaito will be doing the same in October. Click here to listen.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 12, 2005

"Isabelle" has that sound, that indie sound, influenced by current faves Interpol, but truly reminiscent of the likes of Joy Division, The Cure, and in this case Echo and the Bunnyman. Battle is a quartet from London, and they are getting quite a bit of press by the likes of NME and others. They have toured with Bloc Party and recently played shows with The Subways and The Rakes at London's Mean Fiddler. Click here to listen.

Friday, September 09, 2005

M.A.D.D. - Musical Attention Deficit Disorder

Yes, I am M.A.D.D. I know many of you suspected it. Now, it has been confirmed. I have musical attention deficit disorder. My intention with this playlist was to feature songs that tended to be more on the acoustic side of the spectrum. I just couldn't do it. My mind wandered off, led down various musical paths never knowing where it will take me. I love it. If you would like a glimpse of my disorder, click here to listen. By the way, I am aware that M.A.D.D also stands for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which I fully support.

1. It's Not the Hunting - Mount Eerie
2. What You Were - Angels Of Light
3. Tracking - Traindodge
4. Voices - Espers
5. Worlds Away - Summer At Shatter Creek
6. Oh Canada - The Blow
7. Raindrops Keep Fallin On My Head - Mummy The Peepshow
8. Passed Out On Your Lawn - Kinski
9. Gamma Knife - The Dead Science
10. Future Levelers - Minmae
11. Jazz Monkey - DAVID LYNCH
12. Somebody hurt you - A Girl Called Eddy
13. It Won't Take Long - The Rolling Stones
14. A Song Is 'A What The' 'A Whoo Why' - Thanksgiving
15. Louisiana Blues - Muddy Waters
16. Sun King - The Cult
17. Life On Mars? - David Bowie

Song of the Day - Sept 9, 2005

Angels of Light is Michael Gira of The Swans plus a few of his friends. The music is bittersweet and melancholy. His songs feature acoustic instrumentation primarily and are very beautiful, quite a contrast to the heavy duty rock and roll featured earlier this week. I sense the influence of Bob Dylan in Angels of Light. I particularly enjoyed the track "Palisades." Click here to listen.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 8, 2005

"Sonar In My Soul" emerged from the fog and scotch induced haze of Glasgow to catch my musical attention. The work of Richard Young, the track is composed of a repetitive bass track, overlaid with Richard's plaintive vocals, assorted noises, and fragmented bursts of distorted guitar. The effect is almost Zen-like, despite the above description. As The Negative Creep said, "Strange, but I like it." Click here to listen.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 7, 2005

I guess I am just in a rock and roll mood. The music I have been listening to lately is loud, angry, and rude. Hey, we got to get all that pent up aggression out of our system. Part Chimp, a London four piece, fits the bill perfectly. I can't quite understand the lyrics, the guitars are pure distortion, and I think they have taken a lesson from Spinal Tap and set the volume to 11. The emotion is all in the music. Part Chimp's "ExLadyboy" is a prime example of the above. It starts out with a simple arpeggio of a chord, which explodes into a series of sonic concussions, which will either fill you with delight or give you a headache. I, for one, am delighted. Click here to listen.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 6, 2005

The Makers were ahead of their time and a look back to the past. They had their start in 91, back in Spokane. Their music is strongly influenced by the likes of The Stooges and is a precursor to the popular garage style bands of today, such as The White Stripes, Hives, and other garage dwelling groups of musicians. This is great rock and roll! The songs, for the most part, are songs that The Makers had recorded before, but they actually did the songs over for the album Stripped. Check out their song "Sharp Leather Walkin' Shoes." Click here to listen.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 5, 2005

Today is Labor Day and you have to have a brass band. Well, I happened to come across Drums & Tuba, a funky band out of New Orleans, that features a tuba among other things. The track "Eight Degrees In Buffalo" is infectious, with its funky, groovy tuba driven beats, Robert Fripp style guitar licks, and trumpet choruses. Their sound is definitely something you do not hear everyday, though the New Orleans influences are clearly evident. Now is your chance, give them a try. Click here to listen.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Song of the Day - Sept 2, 2005

I thought I would throw a little bit of a high energy song in today for the Labor Day weekend. If you like your music rough and full of energy, then the Time Fly's are the band for you. The Time Fly's are channeling the spirit of the New York Dolls on their debut album, Fly. The track "Anti-Depresants" is full of distorted guitars, screaming vocals, and pounding percussion. I guess I couldn't stay away from the dark aspect of the song, which is always more appealing than over the top cheeriness. Take your Anti-Depresants and enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

August's Songs of the Day

August was a great month for musical discoveries. The songs of the day varied from current bands like The Warlocks to gems from the 80's from the likes of B.A.L.L. I especially like the psychedelic sounds of the Alchemysts and the British influenced indie pop of Koufax. Click here to listen. Leave a comment and tell me which are your favorites.

1. The Cruel Night - The Green Pajamas
2. Hey Mersh! - Moe Tucker
3. Vampires - Bumblebeez 81
4. Doppleganger - Lucky Bishops
5. Flannery Said - The Moaners
6. Gone - Alchemysts
7. Meadow - Espers
8. Ice Cream Van - The Workhouse
9. Fear Of Fireflies - Calla
10. Cloisterphobia - Thee More Shallows
11. Why Bother At All - Koufax
12. Ageism - Thanksgiving
13. Pretty Soon - Koushik
14. The Nation - Sciflyer
15. Born For A Short Time - The Mae Shi
16. If I Breakdown - B.A.L.L.
17. Hey Now Now - The Cloud Room
18. Shadowland - Youth Group
19. Primary Colors - Anna Oxygen
20. Thursday's Radiation - The Warlocks
21. Circles - Kelli Hanson
22. The Platform On The Ocean - Arthur Russell
23. Elected - Inouk

Song of the Day - September 1, 2005

I love the juxtaposition of Snow Machine's lyrics versus their music. The music, melody, and vocals all impart a feeling of happiness, but if one pays attention to the lyrics, one finds that the message of the song is much darker. This bittersweet style is evident in the track "Camel Lights." Listen to the lyrics:

The money is gone
And mother threw your records on the lawn
But hey, who needs a car
When you got me

The almost toy-like piano combined with Katherine McElroy lovely vocals are the perfect compliment to the bittersweet lyrics. Click here to listen.

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