Album Roundup

Music by Craig Graziano
Issue 56 • October 2017

Featured in this roundup:
DJP and MrT • Won’t Be Tamed + Remixes
Derrick Morgan • Live at Supernova
CT13 aka ChacoTaco • B Sides [unmastered]
Annie Stokes • Livin’ Right
Alluvion • ...Of the One Consciousness

DJP and MrT
Won’t Be Tamed + Remixes

Norfolk • September 7, 2017

Jacki Paolella was tasked with infusing a sense of feminine empowerment and electropop into Shakespeare’s arguably misogynistic and definitely synthless The Taming of the Shrew. Two years later, the seven songs have been officially released along with a set of remixes by artists from Virginia and beyond. The result is intensely catchy while managing to provide a significant part of the play’s narrative, originally performed in the production as The Shrews, a sort of Greek chorus.

The songs are varied in mood and tempo, but all are uniformly gleaming production-wise. On opening track “Modern Man,” delicate notes quickly cascade down until a rallying wail is released and Charles Abadam’s violin takes hold. The strings follow a call and response with the vocals, suggesting John Cale’s viola work with Eno on their 1990 collaboration Wrong Way Up. It operates as an organic element that grounds the songs even while a kaleidoscope of synth and beats constantly flutter abound.

“I Got This” swaggers with bravado as the song’s narrator elaborates on travelling near and far. It stakes the claim of being the only track with two remixes. Available on compact disc and cassette tape (the latter through Leather Daddy Bubble Bath) with digital download.

Derrick Morgan
Live at Supernova

Fredericksburg • May 27, 2017

Ska is a genre known for being happy and upbeat, so you can imagine just how ecstatic hardcore fans would be witnessing one of its originators bringing the heat. That’s just what you’ll get on this live recording of Jamaican music legend Derrick Morgan performing with Eastern Standard Time at Fredericksburg’s homegrown ska reunion, the Supernova International Ska Festival. What better way to celebrate the performer’s 60th anniversary as a musician? Full of classic favorites like “Conquering Ruler” and “Forward March,” it’s the perfect soundtrack for skanking the night away.

CT13 aka ChacoTaco
B Sides [unmastered]

Yorktown • September 5, 2017

This uplifting mixtape highlights inventive television samples and a steadfast positive attitude as CT13 consistently keeps his head up. References to past bad decisions are left behind in favor of clever references to cuisine. “I’m thinking about tacos and champagne showers. I’m really not that picky when there’s food to devour, but I’m only eating gummy worms if you got sours.” A breezy inflection both recalls and name checks Andre’ 3000, “Bombs over Baghdad my alma mater.” On anti-gangsta “Calm Before The Storm,” a repeated “brap” comes across more like a punchline than a provocation. Pay what you want model.

Annie Stokes
Livin’ Right

Leesburg • May 26, 2017

With a voice that encapsulates perpetual grace and versatile musicianship at her side, Annie Stokes’s sophomore album distills a bluegrass sentiment into the indie-rock barrel. Her lyrics draw from time spent in Appalachia and the production recalls Saddle Creek Record’s “Omaha Sound.” From Andrew Gabor’s muscled percussion driving through the title track (with a stomp-clap breakdown to boot) to Alexandra Touzinsky’s sorrowful violin on “Big Church,” each musical element complements the proceedings. The album ends with a reassuring ukulele lullaby that promises safety and eventual reunion. Partial sale proceeds go to the environmental organizations Conservation Music and Trees, Water & People.

...Of the One Consciousness

Fredericksburg • May 20, 2017

“I have this recurring dream, where my flesh falls to the floor, And I continue to sing, Until I exist no more.” Ever since spawning at the turn of the century, Alluvion has only improved upon their brand of melodic psych-sludge with a poignant emotional core. There is plenty of heavily shredded guitar and throbbing drums, but it is John Harmon III’s raw yet surprisingly clear vocals that strike a chord of both festering imagery and unblinking sincerity. The songs gain in momentum and length as they progress, with the final triumvirate dwarfing the six tracks that precede them.

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