Hit The Ground Running

Less than two weeks into 2022, and the music world is exploding between my ears. I have been listening through all my albums alphabetically, all the albums, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am up to David Bowie today and had to pause three albums in. I have found from experience that if I binge-listen to an artist, I risk not wanting to hear any music from that artist for a long spell. So I am going slow and steady on the good ship Bowie.

A litmus test that I frequently use with new music is listening to it, putting it on the shelf, and going back to it later. If I still like it, that passes the litmus test. I have a couple of albums today that passed that test.

First up is Sacred Places by Dope Sagittarius. When I first listened to this album back in May of 2021, I had focused on the music, which was good. Today I focused on the video for their song Black Empress.

Bandcamp https://dopesagittarius.bandcamp.com/album/sacred-places
Vinyl order https://www.buddhabugrecords.com/shop/p/beni-shoga-y62bf-sgpj6
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/6b2Mmfp4TBKl0n6ZDy2BwK
‘Black Empress’ https://youtu.be/7kebfP5yi80
‘Define Love’
 https://youtu.be/9St-uddBmT8 

This video is a signpost for the times we live in and, for far too many, the times we die in. The video features violinist Mazz Swift (Whitney Houston, Valerie June). Paris-based hip-hop legend/wordsmith/rap pioneer Mike Ladd. This rocking hip-hop electro soundclash is a song for this Black Lives Matter age. Morgan Freeman directed this video with support from cinematographer Andrew Coury. The Black Empress video was produced by Carlyle Smith with executive Producers Luqman Brown and LaRonda Davis. Filmed at YouTube Studios New York City, it stars Angelana Jones and Anthony BowmanM.C. Whistler on Vox/ guitar, Ernest G. D’Amaso on Bass, Entrified Mcloud on keys Ramsey Jones on drums.

This video is worth the four minutes and 17 seconds of your life that you will spend watching it. It is a far better way to spend that time than watching a cat doing stupid things video on YouTube.

Next up is Loud Apartment. I like that name, Loud Apartment. I have had neighbours knock on my door to turn the music down more than once, and I had a loud apartment. Fortunately, I live in a house now, and I can crank the volume up if I want to.

I first listened to Loud Apartments‘ new album, New Future, in November of 2021, and I have relistened to it over the last two days. It easily passed the litmus test. I like it even more today than I did back in November. Good music can keep sounding good over time, and the album New Future from Loud Apartment retained its fresh sound with flying colours.

Bandcamp https://loudapartment.bandcamp.com/album/new-future
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/loudapartment
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/35agCFwnA3mZzpwhy0f90j
‘System Breakdown’ LP (2020) https://loudapartment.bandcamp.com/album/system-breakdown

I first listened to An Anthem for the Strange by Black Rose Burning only a month ago, so it isn’t a big gap between the first and second listens. That didn’t dim my respect for Black Rose Burning and this excellent album.

Bandcamp https://blackroseburning.bandcamp.com/album/the-wheel
‘Anthem’ teaser https://youtu.be/Rht5MRB3o54 
‘Automatic Man’ teaser https://youtu.be/FJxh-4hP8B8 
‘No Love Lost’ teaser https://youtu.be/NI1-QTKP6FQ 
‘Solar Angels’ teaser https://youtu.be/Uw6K-n_b6Oc 
‘Black Sun Saturday’ teaser https://youtu.be/OBaGyOj_3IU 
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/5rgo6CEVqJyQzEbRUlSPYc
Apple Music https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-wheel/1597809360

I was fortunate to listen to a sneak peek of Roman Angelos’s album ‘Music for Underwater Supermarkets,’ the full release of the LP is January 28 via Happy Robots Records. Music for Underwater Supermarkets isn’t Muzak, but it ain’t far away from it. It is good music to chill out with, so grab your beverage of choice, sit back with a good book, and listen to Music for Underwater Supermarkets. It works its magic above water.

‘Swimming Through The Aisles’ https://youtu.be/wa5iOEKNJTA 
Bandcamp https://happyrobotsrecords.bandcamp.com/track/swimming-through-the-aisles 
Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/happy-robots/roman-angelos-swimming-through/s-nSSe2nUjgcq 
Album pre-order https://happyrobotsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/music-for-underwater-supermarkets 
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/1RMBOy3qTuHdPWNJaopTbS

There we go then; a flash shout-outs to David BowieSacred Places by Dope Sagittarius and their video Black Empress, Mazz Swift, Mike Ladd, Loud Apartment, Black Rose Burning, and Roman Angelos.

2022 is shaping up to be a stellar year for music, both old and new. Just before Christmas my son, Joel, gave me a Soundcloud file of my Dad singing and playing. He has passed away but his music will be with us forever.

Happy listening and play safe.

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