In the press materials for Jonah Parzen-Johnson’s forthcoming full-length, Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow, the baritone saxophonist’s music is described as “lo-fi experimental folk music for solo baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer.” If that description makes anything clear, it’s that Parzen-Johnson doesn’t care much for musical labels, preferring instead to carve out unique sonic spaces that can only be described in oddball terms like the aforementioned genre word salad. Case in point: a new remix of his tune “If You Can’t Sleep, Just Shut Your Eyes”, made by Landlady and Father Figures band member Adam Schatz. Like Parzen-Johnson, Schatz has an acute ear for how to warp sounds; on this remix, he completely defamiliarizes the sound of the instruments, to the point that it’s difficult to say which sounds are coming from where when it’s all said and done. Such sonic experimentation is what makes composers like these two gentlemen exciting as musicians. There’s good reason to keep your ears ready for the June release of Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow.
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In 1975, the famously flute-obsessive prog outfit Jethro Tull dropped their eighth studio LP, Minstrel in the Gallery. It would later earn the Gold status, an honor that the band has earned more than once. With it being 2015, 40 years have passed since that release, which means that the time for the requisite anniversary package has come.
For more on the contents of this rather extravagant release and an exclusive stream of a BBC Version of the tune “Cold Wind to Valhalla”, read and listen below.
You might have heard it mentioned in Rolling Stone‘s recent “Ultimate Guide” to the 2015 installment of Record Store Day. If not, there’s no better time than now to dive into the music of Furious Hoops Vol. 1, a uniquely curated Record Store day release that brings together the worlds of independent music and ‘90s basketball. You can stream the eclectic compilation in its entirety below here at PopMatters.
Composer/musician Jared C. Balogh has a wide variety of music for the taking available right here. The styles present can be interpreted as classical, jazz, or minimalist. However, for Music For Rhymers and Lyrical Designers, Balogh takes a brief step back to one of his first musical loves: in his own words, “old school rap/hip-hop from the early ‘80s through early ‘90s.” Two things stand out when listening to this free, miniature album: first, despite the words “Rhymers” and “Lyrical” being the title, Music For Rhymers and Lyrical Designers is instrumental; second, Balogh is far more interested in updating his past fascinations that just revisiting them. In other words, Music For Rhymers and Lyrical Designers has a great deal in common with his classical, jazz, and minimalist works.
Lindsey Cohen, a native of New York City and a student of Columbia University, kicks off her EP Distance Makes Me Sensitive with the garage rock of “Unhappy Ending”. Yet despite the bitter breakup musings that make up that track’s lyrical matter, Cohen sounds far from unhappy as a musician; in fact, this EP finds her discovering even more rock-driven energy and edge that her 2014 debut Grace Under Pressure hinted at. With rock numbers like “Unhappy Ending” coexisting comfortably alongside piano-driven syncopation (“Exhausted”) and pseudo-Gothic lyricism (“Vampire”), Distance Makes Me Sensitive is sure to find some way to stick in your brain.