Pumarosa releases debut album The Witch

Pumarosa (London) singer  and guitarist Isabel Munoz-Newsome met drummer Nicholas Owen when the pair turned up for rehearsals for a new project at a rundown pub in Homerton. No one else turned up and they decided to form a punk duo instead, and began writing material and rehearsing. After they moved their outfit to a warehouse in Manor House, they met Henry Brown(bass), Neville James (guitar), and Tomoya Suzuki (sax/keys), and a full-fledged Pumarosa was born. In 2015 the band  released their debut single, “Priestess,” after signing to Chess Club Records. Despite being nearly eight minutes long, the track received generous radio play and swiftly raised the band’s profile. The following year they put out their second single, “Cecile,” and began work on their debut record with producer Dan Carey (Kate Tempest, Bat for Lashes, TOY). The Witch was released in June 2017

Recommended if you like: Siouxsie and the Banshees, Chvrches, London Grammar



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Tips and Tricks for Surviving After Shoulder Surgery

I live alone so some of these may not apply to you but most should be helpful. As with anything, follow your doctor’s orders.

It’s been four months since I had my right shoulder repaired due to a SLAP tear from years of volleyball and overhand sports. I read a lot of information online and watched a bunch of videos. These are some things I discovered that I didn’t see mentioned anywhere else or at least rarely saw mentioned. Hopefully, you’ll find something helpful.

Pre Surgery Tips:

Buy anything you think you might need. (see suggestions below)

Get your home prepared:

  • Laundry
  • Clean if necessary
  • Food
  • Supplies (see below)
  • Open any jars of food that you might want to use because they are very hard to open with one hand. This goes for both new jars or jars you’ve already opened but might be tight for various reasons. [For example, salsa can dry around the rim and reseal an already opened jar. I struggled with this. ;) ]

Post Surgery Tips:

Sling Tips:

  • Get your sling adjusted and then you can just slide it over your head versus refastening all the straps every time you want to take it off.
  • Your sling serves to not only support your arm but to prevent you from doing stupid things accidentally.
    • After a few days, you’ll gain confidence and leave it off when walking to the kitchen or bathroom. You’ll stumble over something and instinctually move your repaired arm and yell a string of curse words. Be incredibly deliberate with your steps or just don’t risk re-injuring yourself by moving around without your sling on. I was in the kitchen making something simple to microwave when I dropped a fork with my good hand. It bounced off the counter and I instinctually grabbed it out of the air with the hand on my repaired arm. Fortunately, it wasn’t a big movement but it woke me up to what could happen.
  • Ice Machine – “Polar Ice Machine”  – step on one end of the hose to hold it still to help connect the hose joints using only your good hand. (http://amzn.to/2xCvIbz)

Sleeping/Bed:

  • Bed wedge (http://amzn.to/2hiYDgB)
  • Phone/tablet extender attached to your bed or night table (w long charge cable) (http://amzn.to/2hAFVgM)
  • Light dimmer switch for bed (http://amzn.to/2gA1MHA)
    • I put this on the side of my bed so I could easily turn the light off/on or dim it. Super handy!
  • 4 pillows (one on each side, 2 for my head)

Showering:

  • Liquid soap in a squirt/press bottle (http://amzn.to/2xDyguV)
  • Removable Showerhead (http://amzn.to/2gAehTt)
  • Lean forward slightly to wash your repaired arm, use gravity in your favor
  • rest your forearm on the thigh on the same side for support when washing surgery side
  • this goes for anything really but if you need to do something that is a bit challenging (shaving, shaving head) then do the hard side first because your good arm will get tired. it’s easier to do the easier side second.

Getting Dressed:

  • Because I worked from home for a couple weeks I lived in gym shorts and tees… easy to put on
  • Slip-on shoes (like shoelace-less Converse, Vans, slippers, etc)
  • Possible to tie shoes w one hand but it’s hard (look it up on youtube)
  • Completely fasten your pants with a belt before putting them on. It helps a lot if they are slightly too big so you can pull them over your hips. Fasten them, lay down and slide them on, then stand up and tighten the belt. I used one of those D-ring belts that is easy to tighten with one hand once you have them on. (http://amzn.to/2ykZUv6)

Work:

It depends on kind of work you do, obviously, but if you work a desk job then a laptop is much easier to work on because your hands move very little. 

I used a laptop at work and used Microsoft RDP/Apple ARD to remote into my desktop which was right in front of me. This basically allowed me to use my laptop keyboard for my main system. I preferred it over the other small keyboards I tried but you may not. (You can also get wireless keyboard or mini keyboard if you think it’ll help (jelly comb mini keyboard – http://amzn.to/2hs6nxc)

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Favorite Albums of 2016

favorite albums 2016

These are the albums that were released in 2016 that got the most play, listed in alphabetical order:

   Casper Skulls – Lips & Skull
   Daughter – Not to Disappear
   DIIV – Is the is Are
   exmagician – Scan the Blue
   Flyying Colours – Mindfullness
   Living Hour – Living Hour
   Operators – Blue Wave
  Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
   Sunflower Bean – Human Ceremony
   Syd Arthur – Apricity
   Wild Nothing – Life of Pause
   Woods – City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Favorite Songs Released in 2016  Favorite songs released in 2016

Spotify playlist below:

Continue reading Favorite Albums of 2016

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Catherine Wheel’s Ferment and Chrome to be re-released on 180-gram vinyl

Catherine Wheel bassist Dave Hawes reports today that their first 2 albums, ‘Ferment’ and ‘Chrome’, will be released on 180-gram vinyl.

This is great news for those who have been trying to acquire either of these out-of-print albums on vinyl in the past decade. They can easily fetch $150 for mint condition copies.

Dave also reports that Cherry Red will NOT be the company handling this re-issue. This is important if you followed the 2010 CD reissues and the quality control issues they had.

Instead, these are being released by Music On Vinyl, a Netherlands company who specializes in 180-gram re-issues, and distributed by Bertus Distributie. If you are thinking of contacting them for more info then don’t, I’ve already tried. I think it’s too early in the process for them to reveal anything as they couldn’t share anything more. If you want to read their faq then that may answer some basic questions.

Their mastering engineer’s experience is listed as:

“Our mastering engineer has 40 years of experience cutting records for many major artists like Michael Jackson, Alan Parsons Project, Santana, Mother Love Bone, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More and many more.”

“Which masters do you use?”

“We use the best audio available to cut our records. We receive and use different kinds of masters: analogue tapes, original metal parts, lacquers cut from analogue tapes and high res digital files 192/96khz/24 bit. Music On Vinyl does not use CD’s as masters.”

No release date information has been given yet but I expect it to be a while.

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Apple’s newly redesigned Music app is a band aid on a much larger problem

My first article on Medium:

Apple announced yesterday at WWDC that they are redesigning the Apple Music app, “from the ground up.” While it is much needed it isn’t enough.

Apple’s Music app was a mess and was in need of a redesign. It looks like they had too many Cooks in the kitchen, pun intended. It feels to me like the creatives were handcuffed by what their executives wanted. They need to make a music app for the music lover and I think this will be a step closer but still many steps away.

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New debut LP from exmagician

Scan The Blue, the new debut LP from exmagician who hails from Belfast is out now on Bella Union. Bella Union is the same label that includes Beach House, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Walkmen, The Flaming Lips, and Wild Nothing.

The exmagician album reminds me of Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

exmagician.com/

Bio:

exmagician’s debut album Scan The Blue, released by Bella Union on March 25th, sees longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith looking to the future with new vigour and confidence. The Belfast duo, who have been friends since their teens, have made a multifaceted, sonically adventurous statement that fully justifies their decision to take full control of their work.

Danny and James last broke cover as the songwriters behind Cashier No.9, whose lush, David Holmes-produced album To The Death Of Fun (Bella Union) brought them critical acclaim (Best Album at the NI Music Awards, shortlisted for Best Album of 2011 by the Irish Times), strong radio support from BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and Radio 2 and a string of sold-out club dates and major festival appearances across the UK and Ireland.

Since then the pair have moved on and returned with something new. Self-written and produced with the help of Rocky O’Reilly (And So I Watch You From Afar, General Fiasco, Mojo Fury), Scan The Blue leaves behind the Laurel Canyon sheen of Cashier No.9 in favour of something louder, fuzzier and grittier, born of a playful attitude, greater confidence and a load of new pedals and synths. “It’s the dirt under the fingernails,” says Danny with a smile.

The musical reinvention is apparent from the very first seconds of opening track Kiss That Wealth Goodbye, which steams in with a filthy riff, the product of a guitar and a synth melding together so you can’t tell which is which – a feature of the album. “It’s like early Beefheart meets Add N To X,” says Danny – a measure of just how broad the duo’s influences are. “David [Holmes] lent me a Korg MS-20 and then I bought one myself. That synth shaped a lot of the record.”

Danny and James’s love for adventurous, psychedelic music from all eras is the current through Scan The Blue, as well as what James terms their “obsession” with detail. There’s Place Your Bets, a hopeful lyric over a shuffling rhythm that gives way to a widescreen coda, all layered synths and a trumpet solo from recurring guest Linley Hamilton. You might hear The Fall or Super Furry Animals on the swinging fuzz-stomp of Wild Eyes; late-period Pavement at their most graceful on the airy, spacious centrepiece Smile To The Gallery; or the heavy-lidded grooves of The Beta Band on Plan Retrieval, one of two songs sung by James, along with the poised ballad Feet Don’t Fail.

It’s a rich record full of sonic surprises, Danny and James’s decision to take the production reins themselves paying off in spades. Yet as James puts it, “The song is king. It has to be bulletproof before we start fucking about with it at all.” These songs have been carefully crafted over some time and only recorded and tweaked once the duo knew they were ready to be heard. Danny compares the process to sculpture, “chipping away at it” until the song is finished.

As for subject matter, don’t expect love songs… “Hope, trust and revenge, they always fall into those three categories,” says Danny. The title track, Scan The Blue, is evidence of that – a gorgeous slice of chamber-pop that brings the record to a satisfyingly hazy close. “It’s now time to drown it out, to move and shift the clouds of doubt away,” Danny sings on the chorus. After so many years of friendship and collaboration, these two songwriter-producers are looking to the future with their eyes firmly set on the horizon.

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