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January 2015
The Goodbye Party
"Silver Blues
"
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The Goodbye Party, a.k.a. Michael Cantor (formerly of The Ambulars), has released a new record Silver Blues via Salinas Records. The album finds Cantor largely in control using a vast arsenal of instruments, while also enlisting Joey Doubek (of Pinkwash) for percussive duties on a series of tracks.
 
“Heavenly Blues” nudges the entrance open to the cathedral of sound. Cantor’s smooth trustworthy vocals deliver a suggestive message amid a chamber of sonic layers, “…you have halos, you have lights, you have ghosts that sing into the night.” There is a well-produced divide, between that enlightening tone fortified by a residual hum, the soft drops and tapping tambourine, and bowed guitar that provides a more ominous dimension.
 
“Crossed Out” shoves that door further open with its optimistic jangly guitar/rolling percussion and bass, illuminating the scenery - “holes in the windows, where the wind slips through…” There’s a balancing point between the coldness of the lyrics and the resounding warmth of Cantor’s delivery and instrumental accompaniment. Taking foreboding tones of thumping percussion and the stirring rings of guitar, “I’m Not Going to Your Heaven” silver-lines them as the ringing morphs into a pleasant cry while the song winds down with a scratchy conclusion.
 
In a flash of joy, “Personal Heavens” is jumpstarted with a groove yet despite this, the lyrics reveal a grey point of view - “Homesick for personal heavens and homes you’ll never see again.” Slipping you back into the cathedral in “27 Times,” the finessed layering of backing vocals wrapping around Cantor’s lead shields it from the cold.
           
“New Decay” has a jaded push behind it, as guitars twist into knots and drums smash a path for Cantor to admit, “I keep breaking what I’ve already fixed/I keep fixing what I’ve already fixed.” Silver Blues closes with the bone chilling solemn string-oriented “White on White” - “the world/burns in the dark/echoed songs, resonations, every night.”
 
The record sweeps through ones mind in what seems like a moment. However, its melding of darkness and light leaves poignant, beautiful moments that makes Silver Blues worth revisiting frequently. - Michael Colavita

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Classic Juke-joint Appeal w/Toy Soldiers at KFN Feb. 15

Classic Juke-joint Appeal w/Toy Soldiers at KFN Feb. 15

Blues may be the tie that binds all three acts on the slate tonight at Kung Fu Necktie. Headlined by Toy Soldiers, while we await the spring release of their sophomore record The Maybe Boys, which is produced by Bill Moriarty, the group is guaranteed to bring their patented combination of steady-rolling, train-churning, funky blues and soul. Whether it’s Ron Gallo’s “no holding back vocals,” the unrelenting boogie-down groove perpetuated by the threefold marriage of bass, keys and percussion, the simple thick country-blues guitar riffs, or the sweet moans of the blues harp, this group has that classic juke-joint appeal. Their sound will celebrate the joy of the oncoming weekend of freedom. Toy Soldiers will be joined by North Carolina duo Goodnight, Texas, who also dabbles in the folk/blues milieu. August John Lutz II from Levee Drivers will be making a solo appearance playing gritty, hard-driving blues to round out The Swollen Fox-presented bill. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., $12, 7:30, 21+ - Michael Colavita

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