Crazy World — Crazy World
(Ranch 34-984769-7, 2005, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01
What happens when you take the best of Finland’s rock stars of today and yesteryear, put them all together in one supergroup, and have them write and perform a bunch of songs in the style of the good old days about the rock and roll lifestyle – that is, touring, groupies, sex, alcohol, drugs, and drug rehab? You got it – Crazy World, and this is one crazy outfit, having a good time making great rock and roll like nobody seems to make anymore. Front and center is none other than wildman Mika Järvinen from Five Fifteen... some may remember him at Baja Prog a few years back climbing the walls bare-chested with his fly-eye goggles and covered with silver paint; yep, he’s still the same wildman. At the drum kit is Ansii Nykanen, longtime drummer with Pekka Pohjola’s group, and on keyboards Esa Kotalainen, veteran of Wigwam, Jukka Tolonen’s group, and numerous others going back to the day, as well as a few solo albums too. Rounding out the lineup are Warmen/Stratovarius bassist Lauri Porra, and guitarist Timo Kämäräinen from Husky Rescue. All put together these guys kick ass like no other band I’ve heard in a long time – this album doesn’t sound a day newer than 1973. The influences are evident: Pink Floyd, Led Zep (even covering “Good Times Bad Times”), The Who, pre-dance Bowie, and others of the period, yet the material is surprisingly original and stands up well to repeated listens. The vintage years live again!
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more