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Friday, March 15th, 2013
Music Reviews

ACIDIC, Blue Ribbon Healers and More - The Beat’s Record Roundup


Live at River Plate (2012)


The souvenir CD soundtrack to the excellent DVD documenting the show you probably didn’t attend. They were great when I caught ‘em on the Blow Up Your Video tour 25 years ago, and their power hasn’t diminished a bit that I can tell.

- Chris Manson


Copper Man


Bucking the current hard rock trends, ACIDIC are a treat. At times reminiscent of Jane’s Addction, Wolfmother and Eve 6, the band manages to successfully combine indie rock elements with bombastic guitar grooves. Standouts include the title track and “Pirate Eyes,” two high-energy songs that best showcase what this band is capable of.

- Nikki Hedrick

Editor’s Note: ACIDIC performs with Hinder at Destin’s Club LA March 16.

The Blue Ribbon Healers

The Blue Ribbon Healers


Five songs full of whimsy and charm make up the Healers’ newest EP—part old-timey music, part jazz vocals and part gypsy music approached with a ton of heart and creativity. It’s a lovely release that brings into focus what makes this sometimeslocal band special.

- Nikki Hedrick

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Push The Sky Away

Bad Seed Ltd.

Perhaps more minimalistic than previous Bad Seeds releases, but that doesn’t make it any less enticing. “Higgs Boson Blues” is irresistible simply because it is every bit the off-the-wall type song that one has come to expect from Cave, complete with a Miley Cyrus reference. But it’s the title track that steals the album with its haunting beauty.

- Nikki Hedrick

Kevin Eubanks

The Messenger

Mack Avenue

Former Tonight Show bandleader and jazz guitarist Eubanks was never really Jay Leno’s second banana, but his latest puts him center stage. With an ensemble that includes siblings Robin (trombone) and Duane (trumpet), Kevin runs through an 11-song roster that includes works by Coltrane and Jeff Beck. The title tune may or may not be a reference to Eubanks’ time with jazz-Yoda Art Blakey. Whatever, this is a pleasurable mix of all kinds of good sounds—funk, Latin, blues—and proves that virtuosity isn’t always a chore to listen to.

- Bruce Collier

Stella Levitt, et.al.

Freedom Jazz France

Heavenly Sweetness

Heavenly Sweetness has produced a 10-track collection of “rare and obscure” works by a mix of French jazz musicians, circa ‘60s-’80s. Most of the pieces are short, except for a near-20 minute one called “Le Musichien” by Francois Tusques. Other artists include VS Quartet, Noah Howard and Michel Roques. There’s some avantgarde (there’d almost have to be, right?), Caribbean, cabaret, coffeehouse, and melancholy piano bar stuff. Someone reads a little poetry, but it’s brief. Some of it is mildly experimental, some plays like soundtrack music…which it may have been.

- Bruce Collier

Van Morrison

Born to Sing: No Plan B (2012)

Exile/Blue Note

Rock’s most lovable kook, still tapping into the mystic (and jazz and soul and…) with the usual strong results.

- Chris Manson

Searching for Sugar Man

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD 

After watching Malik Bendjelloul’s 2013 Academy Award winning documentary, you’ll probably wonder why the show runners didn’t ask (or beg) Rodriguez—this great and inspiring film’s subject, a failed folkie who found a huge following in South Africa—to perform at this year’s Oscars. God forbid they’d have had to trim some of Seth’s opening monologue or one of the many inexplicable tributes to Chicago. The soundtrack album’s awesome, too, but you might as well splurge for Rodriguez’s complete discography—all two albums.

- Chris Manson


Pinnacle of Bedlam

Nuclear Blast

Every genre of music has its forefathers. For death metal, one of those bands is Suffocation who formed some 20 years ago. Pinnacle of Bedlam puts on display what makes them champions of the brutal death and technical death metal subgenres—alternating tempos, clear vocals, and strong guitar prowess. This is a beast of an album.

- Nikki Hedrick