The Long Dead Sevens — The White Waltz & Other Stories
(Beta-lactam Ring mt190+mt192, 2008, 2CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2009-07-01The Long Dead Sevens, an interesting name and an interesting band. Picture if you will, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds covering Leonard Cohen with a dash of Tom Waits thrown in for good measure and you may have an idea what to expect on The White Waltz & Other Stories. The ten ballads on this disc are a collection of atmospheric, brooding, bluegrass, and avant garde tunes. This is some of the darkest pseudo-country/folk arrangements that you can imagine. Many of these songs could have found a home on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack. The Long Dead Sevens are Paul J. Rogers (acoustic/electric guitars, percussion, melodica, sound sculpture, backing vocals), Nick Cliff (vocals), Jennifer Hames (piano, violin, organ), Ian Turner (bass, banjo, resonator guitar, 12 string), and Nick Hames (drum kit, percussion). Jennifer Hames’ piano and violin superbly augment Nick Cliff’s mournful baritone, particularly on “Our Lady Damned,” which could have been written by the Legendary Pink Dots. Over the course of the disc, the music moves away from the wild-west Gothic of the opening tracks to the final experimental sound collage, reversed sound bites, and sepulchral waltz of “The Black Waltz/The Red Waltz.” Notably on this final track, Jennifer’s violin sounds remarkably like the Legendary Pink Dots’ former fiddler Patrick Q. Paganini. All in all, The White Waltz & Other Stories is an impressive debut release, but don’t listen to this disc if you are in the mood for cheerful music.
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more