Saturday, June 11, 2005

Critters Buggin'

Image Hosted by I have an extreme love affair with music, and one of the joys of the blogosphere, aside from sharing thoughts about politics or whatever and learning from the thoughts of others, is the type of blog known as an audioblog. Audioblogs are where people provide mp3s of music that they enjoy and wish to share with others. I recently discovered a really neat website while checking out two audioblogs that I enjoy reading, Xanax Taxi and etnobofin. The site is called, and it allows you to share files that are too large for email by hosting them on it's server and sending a link to your desired recipient.

With the help of, I'm pleased to announce that my humble blog has now evolved into an audioblog. I'll being offering a post once a week that'll include links to 2 or 3 mp3s of songs that I wish to promote. My music tastes are diverse and may appear somewhat bizarre to some, so expect to see genres including jazz, rock, bluegrass, hip-hop, various world musics, and even some crazy amalgamations of those and other styles. The files will only be available for a few days.

Image Hosted by The first installment features a freaky and rather non-categorizable band whose name fits in rather nicely around here: Critters Buggin'. This Seattle based group features four stellar musicians who create a truly unique sound that blends many different styles together, resulting in some strange but sweet sounds to bug out to.

The band consists of Skerik on tenor and baritone sax, Brad Houser on bass, Mike Dillon on vibraphones and percussion, and Matt Chamberlain on drums. Skerik and Dillon have worked together with many eclectic musicians over the years, including bassist Les Claypool and jazz/funk drumming legend Mike Clark. Matt Chamberlain is a world-class drummer who has performed with many well known musicians, including David Bowie, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Pearl Jam, Bill Frisell, and Brad Mehldau. Brad Houser's best known work outside of Critters would likely be with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.

Their most recent album is called Stampede, and it is easily their most mature and innovative output as a band. While much of their earlier work had a very freaky jazz/funk/thrash sort of feel to it, Stampede shows off a much more sophisticated sound, incorporating bits of electronica, dub, string arrangements, and world sounds in addition to their trademark jazz and funk craziness. Guest musicians on this album include Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam fame on guitar, John Brion on piano, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, and Eyvind Kang, who arranged the strings that appear on a few songs.

Without further ado, here are a couple of samples from the album.

ALBUM: Stampede (2004, Ropeadope Records)
Critters Buggin' - Persephone Under Mars
Critters Buggin' - Punk Rock Guilt

These guys may not be touring together right now, but I'm really looking forward to catching Skerik perform in Ann Arbor next week with members of the legendary '70s jazz/funk group known as the Headhunters (minus Herbie Hancock). It should be a blast, and I'll be sure to share some samples of that show if I'm lucky enough to obtain a recording of it at some future date.

By the way, if you scroll down and keep your eyes on the sidebar, you'll notice a legal disclaimer on the bottom that I need to include since many of the songs I'll be sharing here are from official releases and I don't want to get into any sort of trouble or anything at some point down the line.


Anonymous Sunni said...

Way cool! Would you be so kind as to use your title to let interested folks know when music tidbits come up, so we don't miss 'em? (I often save your longer posts to read when I have time to devote to them, and would hate to miss some music.)

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Taxi Driver said...

Welcome on the mp3 bloggin' boat. I'm looking forward to hear the music that you're gonna share with us. I'm listening to "Persephone Under Mars" sounds intresting. Cool hybrid of styles. Part of the string arrangement remind me of "The Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin. Then one thinks of Miles... and well.. alot of other stuff! Great!

9:10 AM  
Blogger freeman said...

Thanks for stopping by Taxi Driver. By the way, I'll be sending you an email with the stuff I promised you later on tonight.

Sunni - I suppose that would be a good idea. My music posts from here on out will be labeled as "Music: ____" to let people know that the post will contain downloadable tunes.

I hope y'all enjoy the music I'll be posting here.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Sunni said...

Thanks, Freeman! Maybe I should check out too ... but I don't know that I'd be using it a lot. I think most of what I listen to is more common than your stuff.

7:44 PM  
Blogger etnobofin said...

I'll add my own "welcome to the audioblogging world" to Taxi Driver's comments. Good luck, and I look forward to making some discoveries :-)

9:05 PM  

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