Gas may be cheap, but let me give you some advice: Don't go on a 10-day road trip (with six full driving days) with a two-year-old and his 11 and 14-year-old brothers.

My parents did a three-week excursion with two, five and seven-year olds, and I still don't know how . . . or why. We did survive, though we refer to that trip as "The Vacation" (only semi-ironically).

It is summer, though, and you have to do something. Drinking a beer is always a safe choice.


Because Jon and Matt say so

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7/28/16:
Elektro joy

Experimental electronic music can be awfully hard to process. Electronic instruments allow a composer to go as far into the abstract as possible. Frank Zappa often said that he liked the Synclavier because it could do things he couldn't make real musicians do.



Worsel Strauss
Tako Tsubo
(Bukla/EMS/Fenix)
As I am a big fan of field trips to the frontal lobes (using external, not ingested, stimuli), I am attracted to the very weirdest of the weird. Worsel Strauss does wander in the hinterlands, but like Robert Zinio, it does so with a large sense of fun.

So these blips and bleeps dance and chirp in ways that easily delight the mind. They're pleasing on the surface, and the underpinnings ensure pleasure in repeat listens. Now, this isn't pop music and these aren't songs in any traditional sense. They're complex compositions that generally don't adhere to any codified construction form. It is imperative that the listener enjoy riding the wave.

But that shouldn't scare you away. There is such joy and adventure on this album, I can't imagine that anyone who has an interest in the unusual could turn this down. At their best, these pieces are soaring, gorgeous works.

I should just skip the caveats. This is a spectacular album, period. Let the beats infect your soul.