Mia Friedman and Andy Allen – Neverland – May 19


They have the love and flow of nature. The music has tones of medieval psych folk but it is softer, with Mia singing, whom some have compared to Baez, but she is more mellifluous. Andy’s woodwinds are interspersed with cymbal strokes, with which Mia braids her guitar. You feel one with this music. When Mia bows her banjo, it is like Indian Carnatic music.


Mark Alban Lotz – Solo Flutes (2014 Loplop Records)


Mark Alban Lotz brightened my Sunday morning. With a cultured Dutch daffiness, he explores zoological and anthropological motifs on his Solo Flutes. His name checks are on target, and funky: Rahsaan, Makeba, even Coltrane (“Whole Steps”?). He’s a cool European in so many ways, but he wraps his heart round the world. He uses everything from piccolo to PVC contrabass flute, and he gets maximum out of range and dynamics, evoking village natives, or deep sea whales. So many solo records can be austere, or just plain pretty. Lotz fleshes out his work, with harmonics, and sometimes voice, for a one man trio. It’s sweet, deep, and humorous.

What Cheer Brigade – The Warehouse – May 17


Everyone’s dancing like they’re lifting caskets at a New Orleans funeral. This is a 20-piece marching band, which just bumped into me, so I grabbed the soft arm of a young woman. It was nice. The girls dance like swans, arching their necks. The last night at a The Warehouse, kids as usual slouching in the bunks against the wall. There’s a retro shade over the light in front of the stage. The band tears mad zigzags across college band music. But this is the kind of band music that would make the kids in the crowd dance on the field.

Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth, Joe Mygan, Vehement Caress – Smokey’s – May 9


Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth

Somewhere between Lady Gaga and Ron Jeremy lies Danny Cruz. He can sing national anthems or heavy metal anthems. In a band tonight with Nick Williams and Loren Burke on guitars, Frank Hurricaine and Coco Schachtl on drums, and guest John on toy accordion, he rides above the sounds like a surfer in the waves, a vulnerable humor in his voice, spry sprightly look on his bespectacled eyes. He’s Ron Jeremy, just listen to the song.

The Flaming Dragons can favor theory over practice, and the liberal ethos of outsider music, but when they catch a groove, they’re as grand as The Grateful Dead.


Joe Mygan

Solo side project from LSDV, just sound, strips and electronic panels. The sound is spacey and hypnotic. Flashes and clouds, echo of cartoon lightning. This is the television set I entered at three, in 1967. This is music of lush, romantic forests. Leafy paths that lead to inner city streets where they play the heavy funk.


Vehement Caress

Lex creates fortress of sound. His atmosphere is serene, with a touch of the ominous. There is something monk-like about it, singing prayers in the abbey. Then the noise rings in, eerie. Cosmic ice floes. Prurient caress. As the shadows of the storm subside.