Uncategorized

Bliss Blood Leaves Me Stunned

I rarely do reviews on music, I don’t think I’m qualified to critique musicians that are in many cases much better than myself, but when I heard Unspun, the new album by New York based duo Bliss Blood (Moonlighters, Pain Teens) and Al Street, I felt a duty to share my impression of this ethereal album.

Unspun begins with the hypnotic, acoustic and almost psychedelic, Entropy. The language play and dreamy rhythm guitar in the song recalls some of Syd Barrett’s solo work, but with virtuoso Spanish guitar work by Al Street quietly complementing the song, adding a bit of edge, flare and flavour. Above at all of course is the clear voice of Bliss Blood. Alternating between different singing styles, such as in nuyaim, where the vocals recall an almost Middle Eastern sound, to an old time style give me lots of sugar, which could be right out of the 1920’s. No One Gets It All is a catchy, emotional, modern song driven by Bliss Blood’s ukulele and honeyed voice, which has taken on a mournful, regretful mood, supported by intense bursts of flamenco guitar from Street and haunting lyrics from Blood.

Unlike too many performers these days, Bliss doesn’t try and over-sing, but restrains her powerful singing voice, complimenting, but not overwhelming the songs. Mixing her trademark old time Jazz/Blues/Hawaiian sound with some more sad, atmospheric and personal lyrics than her work with The Moonlighters.

Despite the fact that many of the songs have a dream-like, mellow psychedelic folk sound, the album never becomes boring; each song is exactly as long as it should be. In snowmelt, Bliss’s voice washed over me like sonic honey and morphine.

I can’t pick a favourite track on this album, but the title track of Unspun is a strong contender, with its driving rhythm and intense and emotional solos by Street playing back and forth with Bliss’s singing. My friend and drummer said that vixen reminded him of an Elliott Smith song with a female singer, and I can’t say I disagree. This is the only song on the album that employs electric guitar, and it is employed to the best effect, coming out of nowhere like a bluesy, rockabilly dust storm. In Pitfall, Bliss sounds like a seductive and untouchable 1930’s Jazz singer.

Unspun is a beautiful, emotional, and intense album that fuses together old Jazz, the Blues, Hawaiian music, acoustic music and intense lyrics all woven together by Bliss Blood’s dreamy, seductive, opium smoke vocals and Al Street’s perfectly timed and executed Spanish guitar parts. Its far too easy to miss great independent performers these days, and if you want my opinion Bliss Blood and Al Street are two that you don’t want to overlook.

This is by no means Bliss Blood’s first album, and you can check out her Bandcamp profile for more albums by her and Al Street, the Moonlighters, and Pain Teens. We’ll be taking a look at some of those other albums in the near future so stay posted. Until then, do yourself and independent music a favour and get yourself a copy of Unspun.

-Jack Blare

Download Unspun Here: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com/album/bliss-blood-al-street-unspun

Bliss Blood’s Bandcamp profile: https://blissblood.bandcamp.com

Advertisements
Standard
alternative, grunge, independent, Lydia Lunch, music, New Music, underground

Christine IX: A Profile

Italian post punk, grunge singer Christine IX just released her first solo single and accompanying video, called Black Corolla. IX, who was born in Italy but speaks fluid english, is in the midst of recording her first solo album, which has yet to be given a formal title.

The music video for Black Corolla, which was written and edited by the singer and directed by Salvatore Zillion, has a very professional look, and shows different shots of IX in surreal environments, such as a gothic style room painted white with burning candles and strange, occult items and surgery equipment laid out on a table. as well as playing the bass guitar, lying on a bed with scarlet sheets, or in a strange room, also red with IX dressed in a deep crimson coloured Victorian era style dress and small top hat. Shots switch between IX playing bass guitar, singing on a bed, or writing a letter with an old fashioned quill and ink.

The song makes use of the quiet verse, loud chorus style invented by The Pixies and popularized by Nirvana in the early 90’s Seattle grunge movement. IX’s melodic voice leads off the song, along with bass and guitar. The song’s energy slowly builds until exploding into the chorus with heavy distortion and electric guitar, IX’s voice starting out sounding like Amy Lee’s, from the band Evanescence, then switching into a harsh, punk rock style scream, sounding like a mix of Brody Dalle of the Distillers and Live Through This era Courtney Love, from the ground breaking grunge band, Hole.

Though this is Christine IX’s first solo effort, she is no stranger to music or the music industry, having formerly fronted several projects including, Nahema ( 2003 – 2007) La Starlet Maudite, Danza Di Nervi, Storie D’amore Inventato, and Nobody’s Daughter.

Aside from her past projects, Christine IX is still involved in a number of other bands. She plays guitar, sings, writes lyrics and music and co produces the albums for Shotgun Babies. She also fronts Choke on Mirrors, a grungy rock band and does a project called Lectura Dantis, in which she performs with a loop station based on the words of the Italian poet and author of The Inferno, Dante Alighieri.

With all of these projects on the go, its amazing that Christine IX has enough free time for her solo career, but not only does she sing on Black Corolla, she also plays the guitar for it, as well as playing the piano, bass guitar, harmonica and even the xylophone. It seems as though there is very little that Christine IX can’t do if she puts her mind to it. The lyrics are written by her as well. They are evocatively poetic, and they are beautiful to read in either English or Italian.

Christine IX has released ten albums to date, beginning with the EP Destroy Your Beauty, by Shotgun Babies, which came out in 2008. Her most recently released album is the full length LP, Private Games, which hit the shelves in 2014. Now she has just released the single and video for Black Corolla, which you can listen to for free on her website, christineix.it or on her Soundcloud page. The music video is free to watch available on youtube, as well as on IX’s webpage.

With her musical talent, great songwriting style and poetic lyrics, coupled with her long history as front woman, first for Nobody’s Daughter, then for Shotgun Babies and Choke on Mirrors, it seems likely that Christine IX’s solo album will make a lot of waves when it is finally released. Her style combines undeniable sex appeal, a tough attitude, an Italian upbringing and alternative grungy sort of early 90’s Hole and Nirvana style songs, but a bit more modern sounding and more melodic but with just as much hard rock and roll bite. It seems certain that Black Corolla, and Christine IX’s first solo album, and eleventh as a musician, will attract a great deal of attention when it is finally released.

Jack Blare

Standard
alternative, independent, literature, mortal, politics, Uncategorized, underground

Canadian Blood Services Would Rather Let You Die Than Receive Blood from Gay Donors

The link between HIV and homosexuality was thoroughly disproven in the ‘90s yet CBS will not let any man who has had sexual intercourse with another man within 1 year donate blood. HIV doesn’t leave the blood after one year and affects men women and children of any age or sexual orientation.

Would you rather die than get blood from a homosexual donor? CBS has taken that choice from you. There is no shortage of donors or blood, in fact CBS turns them away on a daily basis on unscientific and clearly homophobic grounds. There is more than enough blood to save everyone that needs it but CBS sticks to outdated and discriminatory policies. If anyone you know has died of blood loss its because CBS is vetoing over 5% of the population who could potentially donate. This homophobic and unscientific process has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent people in the guise of public safety. We need policy change NOW.

Enough lies about blood shortages when you won’t accept healthy donors. They would rather let people die and continue their pseudoscientific anti-gay policies. Test the blood. If it contains blood borne diseases then veto it. If not then it should go to save lives and those responsible for this policy should be fired and have their licenses to practice medicine revoked.

This is a follow up to an article I wrote while still in college seven years ago. CBS employees I spoke to promised change “in the near future.” There have been no policy changes in nearly a decade. This amounts to little more than judicial murder backed by doctors who seem to either be unable to understand how blood borne viruses work or have personal issues with gay people. In either situation they need to be replaced by doctors who are able to do their jobs without prejudice, which CBS has proven they cannot.

-Jack Blare

Standard