Alarm Will Sound's recording of Steve Reich's monumental orchestral/choral works The Desert Music and Tehillim, released on the Cantaloupe label in 2002, greatly benefits from the group's close connections with the composer: the ensemble's conductor, Alan Pierson, and several of the performers studied at the Eastman School with Brad Lubman, a conductor frequently enlisted by Reich. Also, Pierson's arrangements, which reconcile the chamber and orchestral versions that exist for both works, were prepared in close consultation with the composer; thus, this may well be the definitive recording of these pieces. Brilliantly sonorous in their climaxes – the burst of light near the end of Desert Music, the "Alleluias" that close Tehillim – the players also articulate Reich's intricate canonic textures with nimble precision. Voices and strings are always an Achilles heel within Reich's percussive textures (leading him to eliminate part doublings in favor of giving each line to a lone, amplified performer), but here the singers and strings maintain an impressive rhythmic vitality.
Recorded at Boston's Paradise Theatre in 1983, King Biscuit Flower Hour is a typically passionate performance by the Alarm, which was broadcast on the titular syndicated radio program. The band's performances strike a nice balance between tight professionalism and raw vigor, and their commitment to the material is total (if unsubtle), making this an exciting listen for devoted fans.
This is the debut long-player from the southern California-based Strawberry Alarm Clock – the title track of this album topped national singles charts in December of 1967. As the cover art might suggest, their image practically defined both the musical as well as peripheral aspects of the pseudo-psychedelic counterculture. However, below that mostly visual veneer, Strawberry Alarm Clock actually have more in common with other "Summer of Love" bands such as Love and Kak than the bubblegum acts they have long been associated with. Prior to Strawberry Alarm Clock, the band was initially named Thee Sixpence and issued a 45 – "In the Building" b/w "Hey Joe" – in the spring of 1966. As legend has it, none of the actual bandmembers sang lead on the hit single; the singer was in fact a vocalist named Greg Munford, who was attending the session as a visitor.