California’s Royal Jelly Jive has a name that evokes the 1930s and 1940s, which is ideal in that their music is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of that era, while blending in bluesy rock guitars. Don’t mistake the group for just another swing revivalist, however. Royal Jelly Jive brings elements from swing and prohibition era jazz into the modern age by blending those sounds with blues, rock and even hip-hop in the groovy bits. “Dear Mr. Waits” goes more for a straight blues swing and it’s an irresistible, slinky, sexy song celebrating the work of fellow Sonoma County resident Tom Waits.
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Doc Mitchell’s a good guy. There I was: kneeling, hands tied, facing down the barrel of a gun above a shallow grave in the middle of the Mojave. My killer’s a classy guy—he looks a bit like a sentient Ken doll—and he apologizes before pulling the trigger. Flash of white, cut to black. Doc’s sitting across from me. Careful, he says, I’ve been out for a few days. His eyes are dark and his mustache is a wispy white. He looks like a post-apocalyptic version of an old-fashioned country doctor, which is what he is.
This being Fallout: New Vegas, I enter my name, edit my appearance, and choose my stats. I put a bunch of points into speech (as I heard you can defeat the final boss just by talking to him). It’s my first Fallout game, and the possibilities seem endless. I can walk to the bar and trigger the first quest, or I can wander off by myself. I can scrounge for cigarettes in people’s cabinets. I can repair robots. I can befriend robots. I can appoint a robot as sheriff. I can meet people who eat people. I can eat them, too, if I want. I can play the way I want to play, or so I heard.
Chris Ingalls: My immediate reaction upon hearing this song in its entirety is one of complete lack of surprise. That is to say, it sounds exactly like what you would expect Radiohead to sound like in 2016. Thom Yorke’s mournful, processed vocals, light effects with a gorgeous minor-key piano, strings, an eventual insistent bass line. This is a band that always keeps things filled with tension. Even something as beautiful as a ballad needs to be spooky. Radiohead have spent the last 20-plus years making music on their own terms and the result is almost always soaring, moody, and brilliant. [9/10]
Grammy-winning Bonnie Bishop had left music behind when she got a call from Americana producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell). After 13 years in the music business, Bishop had an awakening one night at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville as she realized all of her long hard work had been for nought, slowly going broke with no manager or agent. So she headed home to Texas to reassess and ended up applying and getting accepted into the prestigious the University of the South creative writing graduate program. It was while focusing on her writing that Cobb made that fateful calling, praising her for the honesty in her music. Cobb was intrigued and wanted to make an album with Bishop.
Pryor Stroud: Backboned by a pitched-down vocal sample and a sprawling, nearly gelatinous bass groove, “Dammn Baby” is an unimpeachable work of pop artistry from one of pop’s preeminent artists. Its light-as-air melody seems like a revelation stolen from the ether; an act of inspiration-thievery that Janet’s brother was also verifiably guilty of. Like the best dance-pop tracks, it’s a song suited for both public and private consumption—an ecstasy of rhythm and sonic affirmation made for the dance floor but eminently capable of accompanying a night alone with a pair of headphones. [9/10]
// Channel Surfing
"The show serves up an Avengers-esque character round-up, but the plot is powerless.READ the article