Blow Up Hollywood | Collections

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Rock: Experimental Rock Avant Garde: Experimental Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Collections

by Blow Up Hollywood

An array of different styles, songs and idea's that never made it on any of the previous records.
Genre: Rock: Experimental Rock
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. DDK
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4:41 $0.99
2. JCK
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6:12 $0.99
3. Crash
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3:55 $0.99
4. Cello/Piano/Radio/Woodwinds
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8:36 $0.99
5. Slow Down
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3:48 $0.99
6. When It's Over
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3:58 $0.99
7. Caged
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8:14 $0.99
8. NCK
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5:34 $0.99
9. For Jessica
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3:54 $0.99
10. Kitty Kite
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5:31 $0.99
11. More Caged
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8:19 $0.99
12. Sweet Memory
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3:18 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
By and large, this is a collection of songs that didn’t make it onto
any of our previous CD’s for one reason or another. In some cases it
was because I didn’t feel the song fit the flow of the over-all
recording at that time, and in other cases it was because the song was
written without a concept for an intended release.

A unique addition is the inclusion of female vocals. In 2007, I was
feeling quite lost both personally and musically, and I wasn’t at all
sure of my future or if blow up hollywood would even continue. I took a
hiatus and spent several months alone in Los Angeles. While I was out
there I came across a wonderful artist that really moved me, Kim
Wayman. After a brief introduction we agreed to meet back in New York
City to try writing some music together.

So when I got back to the city we met on several occasions and had a go
of it. Although we had some success, it was not to be. One day, while
I was tinkering around on her piano, she heard a melody she really
gravitated to. It was a song I had written while in Los Angeles. I
showed her the lyric and she began to sing it like only she could.

A light -bulb went off and I now knew what I wanted us to do. We
attempted to have her sing other blow up hollywood songs, with the idea
of making a CD entitled, Little Kitten Space Girl sings Blow Up
Hollywood. The idea was that she would sing songs from our previous
catalog that we felt worked well with her voice and aesthetic, but done
in a really broken-down and organic fashion. We gave it go and tried a
few different numbers, but scheduling and artistic differences stood in
the way, and we never completed the project.

There are three tracks that made it onto the Collections CD. “Crash”,
written by Kim and I, “Slow Down”, which is a song I wrote that does
not appear on any previous CD, and “Kite”, from our self-titled debut.

Historically, the band has refrained from listing any credits on our
CD’s. It was an idea we decided upon before our debut release in 2002.
However, as the years have passed the initial line-up has morphed and
changed. It has become much less a band and more of a collective. I would
like to take this opportunity to credit these extraordinary musicians
and dear friends.

Original Line Up and Gold Members
Nik Chinboukas – electric and acoustic guitar/keys/bass/sound
design/vocals
Dave Diamond – drums/piano/keys/bass/sound design
Rich Kern – electric guitar/piano/keys/artwork
Thad Debrock – electric and acoustic guitar/piano/keys/
Daniel Mintseris – piano/keys/sound design
Dave Eggar - cello/piano
Steven Bonacio – bass
Andrew Pfaff – bass
Steve Messina – vocals/electric and acoustic
guitar/piano/bass/keys/sound design

Our New Friends
Kim Wayman - vocals
Jason Crosby – piano/keys
Noah Hoffeld – cello
Teddy Kumpel – electric guitar
Harvey Jones – piano
Bryan Crook – woodwinds and brass

Other Notables
John Scarpulla – saxophone
Rachel Golub – violin
Noah – vocals








Reviews


to write a review

Dan

Great album! Universal themes.
One thing that strikes me about this album is how universal the themes are in many of the songs. For example, “Crash” sounds so delicate and fragile while full of force, with an echo in parts of the singing as if unheard; the classic inevitable struggle one has with the cycle of love. Same thing with “When It’s Over” which indicates all good things eventually come to an end, exploring the pain and beauty of the universal goodbye and loss we all experience. Even the conceptual sound pieces “Caged” and “More Caged” are haunting and disturbing works that seem symbolic of being trapped either literally or figuratively.

Erin

Great LIVE performance AND good album!
While traveling in New York City on business last Fall I was thrilled to discover a new favorite band! I was mesmerized by the live performance and the charisma and energy of Blow Up Hollywood. It’s no surprise to learn the various members of this collective have studied at Julliard and Harvard, have performed with former Grateful Dead members, Pete Seeger, and other notable musicians, and have even been featured in the soundtrack for the film Body of War. I’ve listened to enough bands to know sometimes the spectacular live performance of a band doesn’t always translate in the recording studio. I was pleasantly surprised that Blow Up Hollywood sounds great recorded as well!

Chelsea Baker

From John Cage to SEXY all in one album!
“Collections” is a dynamic and exciting newly released album by New York City based band Blow Up Hollywood. The first track is a high energy rush with drumming on the off beats, a fast guitar tempo, and dramatic piano interludes. I adore “cello_piano_radio_woodwind”; imagine John Cage meets underground Kansas City style jazz. A refreshing change from the “in the box” music of pop culture and a brilliant gem. I recognized some earlier Blow Up Hollywood songs from the past, but this time with a lovely female vocalist with a gorgeous sultry and breathy voice. I equally loved various songs featuring the sexy voice of Steve Messina; my favorite being “Sweet Memory” which was a beautiful finale to the album with the gorgeous sound of an old phonograph and remembering pastimes.

Phil Hall

A Collection of Great Non-Dance songs
I was privy to Collections as early as November 2009 and have had the 'album' for a full 16 months. Steve Messina sent it to me for an article I wrote for a comics website I used to write for, in a series of musical interludes and because he wanted a transatlantic perspective.

When Messina sent me the disc, which until last week was filed under BUH 2009, he offered me a vague reason for why this album would be called Collections, but for me the reason it is called that is because it collects the wide array of styles you find in Blow Up Hollywood's music. There's everything from prog to rock to soul to jazz to ambient noodling stuff. The band, of which Messina is the principal songwriter, don't do labels; of their 6 'albums' no two are alike, although the eponymous titled Blow Up Hollywood and its follow up Fake are probably the most similar, but even then it is just Messina's vocals that connect the two.

Collections is good. It kicks off with two really powerful prog like instrumentals - NCK and JCK, both of which show some of the influences that have helped define this vastly underrated band. It is followed by the atmospheric DDK - possibly my favourite instrumental track on the album; it reminds me of early William Orbit, but with a depth and gravitas that Orbit's early stuff seemed to lack and it has a layered guitar in it that makes you want to pick up an air guitar and noodle along with - well, it does me...
Sweet Memory is a lovely love song about loss; it combines piano, Steve's voice and a subtle use of strings to convey an almost 1930s feel. I didn't like this much on first few listens and now I find it's been put right at the end of the release I think it's a great way to end the album. This is followed by When It's Over, a song about loss that seems to examine who ends up taking the blame; it's also got a sing along quality, something you could argue BUH are not renowned for.
Then we're treated to the cover version of Kite; Kitty Kite is in many respects the best track on the album; but this might be due to the fact that Kite is one of BUH's best loved songs. The female vocalist, Kim Wayman has a fabulous voice, all croaky and soulful and she really gets to use her ability on Slow Down - a song that Messina tends to sing at live shows, but Wayman really makes this a soulfully beautiful track. Her final input is Crash, another painful sounding song that seems to describe the affects of a full on affair has on people.
In many respects, Collections is split into sections; the modern rock instrumentals; a section of vocalising the impact of relationships, of love and loss, and then there's a final section; the jazzy experimental stuff; where BUH's love of cello, John Cage and the avant garde really shines through.
For Jessica is a deep, rich and almost sad piece of music that has a feel of Take Flight, the last BUH album. It also reminds me of the early instrumentals from the eponymous album and the original reason why I fell in love with Blow Up Hollywood's unique style. This also acts as a sort of bridging point for the full on weirdness of Caged, More Caged and Cello/Piano/Radio/Woodwinds which explore the dark side of the band's love of the unusual and the uncommercial. While Blow Up Hollywood have never been commercial, they do have songs that you could play at parties; these 'weird' pieces of music are the kind of thing you put the headphones on when you're in need of a self-analysis moment or are feeling a wee bit introspective. You can understand why a sideline of the band is to produce soundtrack music and you can see why they also have a love of the freeform - whether it's jazz or modern classical. This is wall of sound as far removed from Phil Spector as is earthly possible.
In many respects, the three avant garde pieces don't sit naturally with the rest of the album, mingled with the rest of the songs they almost throw down a gauntlet, suggesting to the listener that what they're listening to isn't your standard fayre.
The album is only available as an MP3 download at the moment and would cost you a measly £6.99; which by today's standards is a great price for an album that defies description in places. Do yourself a favour and buy the album and remember something, with the release of the band's last album Take Flight, they gave the proceeds to a building program in Nicaragua, to help the homeless there have some place to live. this from a band that are barely known outside of their native New York. You don't find the U2s, Arcade Fires and Radioheads of this world doing such a charitable and altruistic gesture and that alone make this a band worth speculating on.

I score Collections a monumental 9 out of 10