~Meniscus Archives~
Summer/Fall 2005
Issue #8

Issue #8 Home


Lollapalooza 2005: Revival of the Fittest
Chrystie Hopkins
To Lollapalooza mastermind Perry Ferrell, Lollapalooza is his way of staying in love with the world. This year the city of Chicago provided the ideal backdrop for the 2-day festival featuring high-energy bands from all across the spectrum.

Movie Review:
A Glimpse Through Sci-Fi's Past
Chrystie Hopkins
Predicting and describing the future is no easy task, and eerily, some of the early science fiction writers have hit pretty close to the mark. For a possible glimpse into your future, check out the Meniscus picks for best Science Fiction movies.

CD Reviews:
DJ Williams ProjektProjekt Management
New MonsoonThe Sound
Hypnotic ClambakeMayonnaise


CD Reviews:
Published 9/18/05

DJ Williams Projekt
Projekt Management

Occasionally a band comes along that makes you stop, listen and take notice. That band of the moment is the DJ Williams Projekt. With their latest release, Projekt Management, DJ Williams and crew, have proven themselves as the hottest up-and-coming jazz band on the music scene.

Mixing reggae and latin beats with traditional jazz compositions, they triumph on every track of Projekt Management by keeping the album distinct and attention-grabbing. Many bands with a powerful and prominent guitar frontman, like Williams, become overpowered by the lead. DJ Williams Projekt has overcome this common blunder by achieving balance within the band. On the title track “Projekt Management” and "Panacea”, a ten minute long funk odyssey, the band showcases it’s ability to create unforgettable music together. They make it sound so easy. Just when you think you have the DJ Williams Projekt figured out, they through in tracks like “C.A.K.E” and “Heavy Hands” just to show that this band has no boundaries and cannot be lumped into any one category. This band is called the DJ Williams Projekt for a reason, and on “Fly High” Williams shows us why. This track is a beautiful testament to Williams pure talent as a guitar player.

Dusty Simmons on drums and Todd Herrington on bass, create the foundation of the Projekt. Their subtle driving force carries the band forward as keys player Brian Mahne and Williams lay the complicated notes in harmonic patterns and twists. Sax player and vocalist Gordon Jones adds a layer of depth to the band, which can only be achieved by a horn player of Joneses caliber.

Projekt Management is an aural exploration taking the listener to many different places and partying the whole way. I suggest getting on for the ride before they leave without you, because this band is surely going places.

For more information about the DJ Williams Projekt visit www.djwmusic.com.

New Monsoon
The Sound
Now that New Monsoon has harnessed the attention of thousands of festival listeners over the summer, their latest studio album, The Sound, is giving listeners something to take home with them. Immediately the album greets the listener with a refreshing cleanliness—much like the feeling of the crisp fall air to relieve a summer of hot humidity. On the first track, "Journey Man", you can immediately tell the band is going to take you on a musical voyage.

This third studio effort by the band is by far their strongest display of the rhythmic music that sets New Monsoon apart from the pack. They have spent the summer fine tuning their sound with a summer of festival touring at such events as The Big Summer Classic, featuring New Monsoon along side String Cheese Incident, Umphrey’s McGee, Spearhead and Keller Williams. In addition they stopped by other established festivals such as Smilefest, All Good, and new scenes on the summer festival circuit such as Wakarusa in Kansas and Fire Lake Festival in South Carolina.

Fortified by a summer of making festivarians sway in the layered rhythms from their three percussion players, the transition to the studio was a necessary contrast. Any band that’s strength is live performance, it is not always so compatible with studio. So to help translate the exuberant wailing, New Monsoon brought in the heavy guns. Michael Shrieve, original drummer for Santana, joined them in the studio to produce the tracks, putting his experience as Rock N’Roll Hall of Fame experience to task. In addition, Paul Kimble, from Grant Lee Buffalo, put his ear towards The Sound as well.

Unfortunately—or fortunately, I suppose—the task of capturing the energy of New Monsoon just isn’t possible with the 1’s and 0’s available on a CD. The live performance is where its at. So if you want to experience the textbook version of their songs, pick up The Sound. However, if you want to go out and really understand New Monsoon, go out and see them when they come to your town in support of the album. The live experience is exuberant.

For more information about the New Monsoon, visit www.newmonsoon.com.

Hypnotic Clambake

The latest release from Hypnotic Clambake, Mayonnaise proves that after 15 years as a band, they’ve still got it. Of course, defining “it” is a little more complicated and that is exactly how they like it.

Each track on Mayonnaise has a unique style, and this is an understatement. With more flavors and fun than Baskin Robbins, Hypnotic Clambake has discovered the key to keeping a band fresh: Have fun, and lots of it.

Half way through listening to Mayonnaise I could not help wonder if this band was intentionally being so goofy, or if there was some grand scheme. The polar effect between the bizarre lyrics and the musicianship made me wonder if they were trying to appeal to a certain aged audience. (The type of audience that might attend shows at the children’s tent.) Or, are they forging the way for an entirely new genre of music putting them in the same category as Ween, and Leo Kottke/Mike Gordon. The wide variety of styles and off-the-wall lyrics has the same effect as a Mr. Rogers show crossed with the circus, an eighth of mushrooms, and a 2-litre of Coca-Cola. You feel really happy, but a little over stimulated and confused.

The theatrical styling of Hypnotic Clambake is a refreshing change. Their originality is to be applauded. They have mastered the ability to write refreshing lyrics, and musically diverse, entertaining songs. Mayonnaise is a reminder that nothing is worth doing unless you have a smile on your face.

For more information and tour dates, www.hypnoticclambake.com.



Meniscus Magazine © 2005. All material is property of respective artists.