Review: Sarah Fimm – Near Infinite Possibility

Well, here we are–that lovely time of year where we sit in eager anticipation of a Sarah Fimm release. This time, we get it ahead of time in the form of streaming audio from this site!

Reading over the song credits for individual tracks, I immediately noticed that the musicians vary from track to track. The venerable Josh Freese plays drums on quite a few of the songs. If you’re not familiar with his work, check out A Perfect Circle. He’s an amazing drummer. I don’t recognize any of the other names, but if they’re playing with Sarah, I trust that they’re quality. Listening to this new CD, yah–they are.

The greatest and most obviously noticeable difference between this and the Karma Phala project is the minimalist electronic music that went in to this new offering. Whereas KP was heavily laden (and most beautifully so) with keyboard, synth and loops, Near Infinite Possibility picks up where Red Yellow Sun left off. The music is much more organic and instrumentally driven. Her voice becomes a blend of

Three tracks from Karma Phala make the leap to the new CD : “Everything Becomes Whole,” “Sing,” and “Invisible Satellites” are some of my favorite tracks from KP, and I’m glad to see them getting a greater distribution through the new CD.

The new CD has a sort of pysch-folk-rock sound to it. Some tracks have a very fundamental rock sound to them (listening to Flames at the moment), drawing on such classic acts as Skynard and Aerosmith (that’s the 70s version of Aerosmith … not the post-“Dude Looks Like a Lady” Aerosmith). If the streaming track list is representative of the CD track list, she saved one of the best for last. Reaching back to her classic rock roots and channeling the likes of CSNY and a hint of Simon and Garfunkel, we’re treated to “Morning Time.” Other tracks, specifically two of the aforementioned tracks from KP ((“Invisible Satellites” and “Everything Becomes Whole”), have a much more alternative sound to them.

On all of the tracks, Sarah’s voice warmly shines through and makes you wish you had heard of her much, much earlier than you had. There is just something about her that is absolutely riveting. There’s an inherent danger to listening to her music; if you are of the mind-set that fidelity in a marriage is important, then listening to her at work or on a business trip is probably not a good idea. Some locations that would be *perfect* to take in her music:

  • The Honeymoon suite in any given hotel in Niagara Falls
  • Bedroom
  • Living room
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry room (hey … why not mix it up, right?)
  • Secluded beach (cuz really, we don’t want to watch …)
  • Log cabin in the mountains by a well-stoked fire

You get my point, right? Her voice is the soundtrack to your love life.

The new CD comes out on May 5th. Get it. Hear it. Love it.


Sarah Fimm Listening Party!

On Sarah Fimm’s Facebook page, she has announced a May 5th listening party on AOL for her new CD, Near Infinite Possibility . This makes me *extremely* happy! If you’re not familiar with her material, I would highly recommend becoming such. Ethereal, haunting, moody, and like I said before, just flat-out, downright sexy.

For the non-inculcated, here are some vids.

And finally, a duet with the King of Goth, Peter Murphy:

If this isn’t enough to whet your appetite, you can check out the video for her new single, “Yellow,” on her website. I won’t embed it here so you can all check out her site.

Relaxing Evening with Photomatix and Metallica

Yes, you read that right–relaxing evening with Metallica. Garage Days Re-Revisited. Well, the Garage Inc. Version, anyway. Lots more songs on it than the 5.98 EP, so it works for me.

Is it wrong that I still loathe Bob Rock for taking their incredible sound and literally destroying it? I mean, … and Justice for All was just so amazing, regardless of what Jason Newsted being relegated to almost non-existence. At least for that CD. I don’t know. The black album had some gems, but … it really was the beginning of the end, and for 17 years, they tried denying it. The black album, Load, Reload … just weren’t anything special. Again, some good songs, but … that’s it. It was extremely difficult to listen to those two CDs all the way through without skipping at least half the tracks. Compare that to Kill ’em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and Justice. Every single song on those 4 CDs are winners. Well, okay … if we’re being totally honest and open, Kill ’em All had a few relative duds, but those “duds” still kicked ass over most anything on the 3 aforementioned weak CDs.

St. Anger … what? Does anyone even talk about that CD? Seriously?

Their saving grace from the ultimate “Fade to Black” was writing Death Magnetic. While it definitely shows James’ age and voice deterioration, it also shows that they still have some balls left. I’ve written a review of the whole CD a while back, so no need to rehash it here. It just amazes me that after … I don’t know. They didn’t quite suck cuz they did have some great songs, and hoorah to them for trying to branch out. I just don’t think it worked out in their favor. They might have been commercially wildly successful. That doesn’t mean they were good. Not in my book.

Anyway, ever since I was in high school, I’ve always found some soothing element in listening to Metallica. I can’t explain it. Pantera doesn’t have that affect. Iron Maiden doesn’t either. No other metal-style band does. Of course, artists like Azam Ali, Marissa Nadler, Sarah Fimm … of course they have a soothing and relaxing effect. They’re *supposed* to. So go figure. Not sure what the deal is. Don’t care, either. ūüėČ

Speaking of Photomatix, these HDR images aren’t gonna tweak themselves.

Upcoming Releases for Fantastic Music

This morning, as I was heading in to work, Alela Diane’s “White as Diamonds” shuffled through my phone. Having not listened to To Be Still in a while, I “unshuffled” my playlist and started from “Dry Grass and Shadows.”

There are few voices as distinct as hers. There are also few voices that can evoke such emotion–such raw, visceral feeling. She pours her soul into her music. Not that most artists don’t, but hers … sweet cabbage and mutton, how does she do it?

I started wondering if she has anything coming down the pike. In the “HUZZAH!!” category, we have this bit of news straight off her website: new CD coming out in the spring. No specific date, but her site is in a state of overhaul, I guess … at least that’s the illusion on the front page, so maybe more news will be forthcoming with the new site.

So THAT got me wondering who else has new stuff coming in the near future. Here’s a list I’ve compiled of potential releases in the next few months.

  • Alela Diane – Spring release.
  • Sarah Fimm – A new release is immenently close at hand. She’s taunting us with talk of a new song on her Facebook page.
  • Azam Ali¬†– From Night to the Edge of Day, March or April.
  • The Dears Degeneration Street, Februray 15 (though this might just be a Canadian-only release date … not sure)
  • Dredg¬†– early 2011 (nothing on their site other than a post from August targeting an “early 2011” release)
  • Eisley The Valley, March 1

Brief interruption … looks like the good folks from Gypsy Death and You are hooking me up with some tune-age. Again, I refer you to NewBandDay‘s post about them for “Crocus” and “Something I Can’t Have.”

And now, back to the list. On with the show, as they say, blah blah blah.

  • Samantha Crain¬†– coming at some point hopefully in 2011, but it looks like she has a lot of projects that are keeping her well booked, so we’ll hope. She’s writing new stuff, so that’s good!
  • Well, crap. I wanted to post that Rush will be releasing their new CD this year, but it looks like they’ll resume recording in the late summer or early fall for Clockwork Angels, which will probably be released in early 2012. Well *that* sucks.
  • Howling Bells¬†–¬†early to mid¬†year (?). Looks like they’re done with the recording and they’re well into the¬†mixing stage, if not past it. Of interesting note is the fact that Mark Stroemer, of¬†The Killers fame, is producing the¬†CD. Hmm.
  • Marissa Nadler – Her site has a donation page set up, and the funding has been met as of December 9th. Not sure if she’s in the studio or not, but you can follow her blog here.

Honestly, I’m sure there are a ton more, and I’ll do some more research later, but for now, that’s enough to whet just about any musical appetite. Stay tuned …

Karma Phala in All Its Glory

It is with much over-due pleasure that I review one of my most recent musical … acquisitions. Not purchased, not pirated. A simple email, a simple response, and a simple response to the response. Next thing I knew, I got a lovely little package in the mail. Sarah Fimm is working on her 7th CD. Meanwhile, she had been working on a project called “Karma Phala.” This compilation was distributed in the single most philanthropic method I’ve ever seen:

She mailed me a thumb drive full of music, pictures, and a video, and she mailed it to anyone who asked.

That’s it. And she’s been¬†mailing them all over the world. Correct me if I’m mistaken, because oftentimes I am, but isn’t the current music business model to sell your soul to the RIAA so they can rape and pillage our wallets? So … how is she doing this? WHY is she doing this? Truthfully, I don’t have an answer. All I know is that I am the happy recipient of a thumb drive full of love and beauty. Maybe it’s the fact that she knows how to “pay it forward”: she mails off this nifty little gift with tracks from her previous 6 CDs PLUS previously unreleased material, and she hooks people enough for them to want to buy all 6 CDs (if they don’t have some or all of them already). For the unfamiliar, it’s a great way to indoctrinate new fans. For those who are well-acquainted with her work, they’ll be¬† happy to have new material to tide them over until the new CD comes out. For everyone, it’s a piece of awesome-ness.

Oh. And it’s not just a thumb drive. It’s silk-screened with a fitting little logo. You really should just get one of¬† these. I don’t know if she’s still running this promotion, but if she is, jump on it.

Now … for the music.

To understand the scope of this project, keep in mind that there are 31 tracks, 13 of which are previously unreleased material. In that mix are a few instrumentals and experimental tracks, all of which will haunt your auditory canals until the day you die. And even then you’ll probably mix and mingle with the ghosts of Karma Phala past, present and future.

Rather than review individual tracks, I’m going to give you an overall view of what you can expect. You can expect to get some lovin’ with your significant other. And by that, I mean intense, sweet, hot lovin’. There are some serious grooves on here that will turn the most shriveled up grape into the sweetest bottle of wine. You could actually get drunk from listening to this over and over. It’s that intoxicating.

She works her vocals like a snake charmer works a python in and out of a trance. She’ll take your breath and she won’t give it back until she’s ready. There is something ultra-sexy about her voice and music that … riles. Turn off the lights, light some candles, burn some incense, and grab your lover cuz there’s gonna be some sweet-ness going on. If her music doesn’t have that affect on you, you’re void of life. Or at least of hormones … cuz seriously? Damn.

There are definitely some stand-out tracks on this compilations, but I’m going to let you discover those on¬†your own.¬†You know what I think of the music. Now … if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find my wife and some candles. ūüėČ

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