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CARTOON

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Cartoon biography
In the deep and darkest depths of 1978, two Camelback High School (in Phoenix, Arizona) friends Scott Brazieal (keyboards) and Mark Innocenti (guitars), with boundless energy and a penchant for liking old cartoons, progressive rock and jazz, decided they wanted to form a band, to play improvisational and off-the-wall music. CARTOON was the band that simmered slowly at first, finally hitting boiling point and eventually entered into the realms of avant-prog folk-lore with their second album "Music from Left Field". With help from others, they unleashed themselves onto an unsuspecting pop, punk and AOR-loving world in 1980, with some live performances in San Francisco (once as a support act to A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS).

Scott and Mark made their first forays into composing music with the tracks "Shredded Wheat", "Apathy In America" and "Shark" (which all took a few months), whilst Scott Brazieal - with his classical training - scored "Ptomaine Poisoning" and "Atomic Bolero", which utilised a structured and precise development.

Cartoon at this time, had no drummer, so Scott and Mark tried hard to find a drummer that could play their demanding structures and shifting meters, but none of them could grasp them. Eventually Mark met Gary Parra (who imported European imports for a record store), a very talented drummer, who could play in different styles. All three of them hit it off both musically and as friends and so they now could do some recording.

In May 1979, the band went into Synchestra Studios, in Arizona, to record "Flotsam" and "Apathy in America" (originally intended for a sampler of Arizona bands, but they were deemed too "eclectic"), which they distributed to local clubs and record companies; none of which felt they were suitable. Musically - at the time - they were off the map in their native Arizona. They did however secure some gigs and they played their first gig at Scottsdale Unitarian church, to an appreciative crowd. However, good news was on the horizon, when Steve Feigenbaum of Random Radar Records heard their demo and enjoyed their music. Steve convinced the band members to record an album independently and he would then distribute it through his then burgeoning mail order music catalogue, Wayside Music.

Recording of their debut album "Cartoon" took place in 1979 and was completed in 1980, again at Synchestra Studios, ably assisted by producers Jon Wilson and Ed Van Fleet, on only eight track. Unfortunately, ...
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Cartoon official website

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Buy CARTOON Music


Chapel SessionsChapel Sessions
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$14.51
$13.75 (used)
Cartoons - Witch Doctor - [CDS]Cartoons - Witch Doctor - [CDS]
EMI
Audio CD$13.26
$0.01 (used)
SortieSortie
Cuneiform 1995
Audio CD$39.98
$35.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
VAN BEUREN CD CARTOON BOOK COMEDY MAX FLEISCHER 1930'S ANIMATION CULT USD $6.99 Buy It Now
Life in Cartoon Motion, Mika, Very Good USD $1.30 Buy It Now 3h
Cartoon Cuts ?- Are You Ready Now USD $2.61 Buy It Now 6h 37m
1961 Songs of THE FLINTSTONES Golden Records HANNA BARBERA TV Show CARTOON USD $20.00 Buy It Now 9h 32m
KING KURT Cartoon dog picture disc 1983 Stiff Records "Destination Zululand" USD $7.56 Buy It Now 10h 54m
THE DRIFTERS 24 ORIGINAL HITS '75 BELL/ATLANTIC 2LP SET IN CARTOON SLEEVE*EX/EX USD $14.36 Buy It Now 12h 52m
BO DIDDLEY CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- Flexible Fridge Magnet Approx 5" x 4" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 13h 6m
Mika : Life in Cartoon Motion CD (2007) USD $2.95 Buy It Now 13h 29m
Cartoon Classics By Cartoon Classics USD $1.99 Buy It Now 13h 42m
THE OLYMPICS THE CARTOON SONG/THE THINGS THAT MADE ME LAUGH JUBILEE 5674 USD $11.99 Buy It Now 14h 32m
Blue Cartoon-Are You Getting On? CD NEW USD $16.11 Buy It Now 15h 12m
Rare 1973 Tv Cartoon Themes 7 Inch Vinyl Single.Cartoons/Vintage Tv USD $1.30 [0 bids]
16h 3m
Jeff Sanford`s Cartoon Jazz...-More Cartoon Logic! CD NEW USD $23.26 Buy It Now 16h 17m
VINTAGE PANTERA CARTOON POSTER / ANTHRAX ON REVERSE HOTSHOTS METAL MAGAZINE USD $2.62 [0 bids]
16h 27m
Hanna-Barbera's Pic-a-Nic Basket of Cartoon Classics 4-Disc CD Box Set Rare OOP USD $45.00 [0 bids]
USD $65.00 Buy It Now
16h 37m
RINGO STARR CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- Flexible Fridge Magnet Approx 5" x 4" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 15m
RINGO STARR CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 15m
ROBBIE WILLIAMS CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- Flexible Fridge Magnet Approx 5" x 4" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 15m
ROBBIE WILLIAMS CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 16m
ROBERT JOHNSON CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- Flexible Fridge Magnet Approx 5" x 4" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 16m
ROBERT JOHNSON CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD-MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 16m
ROD STEWART CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- Flexible Fridge Magnet Approx 5" x 4" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 16m
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ROLLING STONES CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- Flexible Fridge Magnet Approx 5" x 4" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 16m
ROLLING STONES CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 16m
The Aristocats 12" LP Children Family Cartoon Stage & Screen Soundtrack Disney USD $7.50 Buy It Now 17h 26m
BO DIDDLEY CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 34m
BOB DYLAN CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 34m
BOB MARLEY CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 34m
BUDDY GUY CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 35m
BUDDY HOLLY CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 35m
BUDDY RICH CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 36m
CAB CALLOWAY CARTOON by NORMAN HOOD- MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 36m
CHAMPION JACK DUPREE CARTOON - MINI-POSTER PRINT 7" x 5" USD $4.59 Buy It Now 17h 36m
Life Is a Cartoon Audio CD USD $29.52 Buy It Now 17h 37m
Life in Cartoon Motion, Mika, Very Good Import USD $1.30 Buy It Now 17h 42m
Hanna Barber Pic A Nic Basket Of Cartoon Classics Four-CD Set KIDRHINO USD $40.00 [1 bids]
18h 39m
ZORN,JOHN-Cartoon S/M CD NEW USD $20.99 Buy It Now 19h 28m
AC/DC cartoon angus 2011 VINYL STICKER official licensed merchandise USD $4.58 Buy It Now 19h 56m
Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Sound FX Effects CD OOP 1994 Flintstones USD $8.50 Buy It Now 20h 29m
THE MISFITS Cartoon Band Member Sticker NEW OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE RARE Danzig USD $4.00 Buy It Now 20h 33m
AMAZING 70s Kids Cartoon Animation LP Soundtrack HUGO The HIPPO Jimmy OSMOND + USD $29.00 [0 bids]
20h 55m
Walt Disney's THE FLYING MOUSE Rare 10" Capital Records Cover Art CARTOON USD $15.00 [0 bids]
USD $20.00 Buy It Now
20h 56m
KAISER CHIEFS - Cartoon T-shirt - NEW - SMALL ONLY USD $22.40 Buy It Now 21h 25m
KAISER CHIEFS - Cartoon T-shirt - NEW - LARGE ONLY USD $22.40 Buy It Now 21h 27m
Cartoon "Same" (1982) LP : Avant-Prog / Mint / Sealed USD $1.35 [3 bids]
22h 9m
Life in Cartoon Motion, Mika, Very Good USD $7.94 Buy It Now 22h 45m
Strange Gospel Selections LITTLE RICHARD LP With Cartoon Cover WILD Shrinkwrap USD $15.00 Buy It Now 23h 49m
Cypress Hill - Los Grandes Exitos En Espanol CD Chicano Rap Cali Mister Cartoon USD $5.99 Buy It Now 23h 58m
Aqua - Cartoon Heroes - MINT CD Single 3 tracks - FAST FREE UK POST USD $3.92 Buy It Now 1 day
Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion (2007) USD $1.30 [0 bids]
1 day
Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion (2007) USD $0.64 [0 bids]
1 day
Cartoon Heroes [Import Enhanced CD Single] by Aqua (2000) USD $6.05 Buy It Now 1 day
Cartoon Heroes Aqua UK CD single (CD5 / 5") MCSXD-40226 UNIVERSAL USD $13.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Mega Rare Taiwan Chinese China Harmonica Music Unique Cartoon Cover 12" CLP342 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Yellow Album by The Simpsons (Cartoon) (CD, Nov-1998, Geffen) Free Ship #HF08 USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1 day
DAVID BOWIE - THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD -USA MERCURY SR61325 CARTOON NM USD $11.50 [4 bids]
1 day
"Rumpelstiltskin" 45RPM with full color cartoon sleve, by The Peter Pan Players USD $3.00 [0 bids]
1 day
The New Three Stooges: Complete Cartoon Collection USD $17.71 Buy It Now 1 day
MIKA Life In Cartoon Motion CD 11 Track With Info Stickered Case EUROPEAN Island USD $6.54 Buy It Now 1 day
78RPM Columbia 38197 Kay Kyser, Woody Woodpecker (Cartoon)/ Veronica Plays Ha V- USD $9.95 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BANANA SPLITS EP on KELLOG'S TV Cartoon Rock USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
CARTOON Alcoholic Show CD 3 Track B/w Ceffylau And Juniper (toon005cd) UK Shine USD $6.54 Buy It Now 1 day
CARTOON Fade Away CD 3 Track B/w They Thinks Its All Over And Dreamscaping (toon USD $2.74 Buy It Now 1 day
THE BEATLES - OFFICIAL VINYL STICKER logo stickers revolver rubber soul USD $1.97 Buy It Now 1 day
ORBITING ESKIMO DANCE SOCIETY Swing And Move 12" 4 Track Lws Cartoon Mix (umm204 USD $4.12 Buy It Now 1 day
BROK Five Sisters 12" 3 Track Cartoon Train Mix B/w Cup Of Tea Mix (ff1007) EURO USD $6.54 Buy It Now 1 day
AQUA Cartoon Heroes CD 1 Track Radio Edit Promo Enhanced Cd Including Music USD $6.54 Buy It Now 1 day
AQUA Cartoon Heroes DOUBLE 12" 6 Track Double 12 Inch Featuring Metro That's All USD $10.28 Buy It Now 1 day
AQUA Cartoon Heroes CD 1 Track Radio Edit Promo Enhanced Cd Including Music Vide USD $4.12 Buy It Now 1 day
CARTOON Men From Mars CD 3 Track B/w Kid And Chinese T (toon002cd) UK Shine 1998 USD $5.49 Buy It Now 1 day
AQUA Cartoon Heroes CD 3 Track Part 1 Radio Edit B/w Tnt Mix And Love To Infinit USD $4.12 Buy It Now 1 day
VOICE OF THE BEEHIVE Angel Come Down CD 3 Track B/w Inconsistencies And Cartoon USD $4.12 Buy It Now 1 day
Rare Tom & Jerry Cartoon Taiwan Only VCD Video CD FCS6517 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
101 Dalmatians II Patch's London Adventure Cartoon Singapore Only VCD FCS6536 USD $17.99 Buy It Now 1 day
LP- HANNA BARBARA - THE FUNKY PHANTOM CARTOON SOUND TRACKS USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
Mega Rare Warner Bros. Tom & Jerry Cartoon Vol.10 Singapore Only 2xVCD FCS6514 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Bugs Bunny & His Friends/Bozo at the Circus-Cartoon-12" Vinyl Record-1975 USD $8.90 Buy It Now 1 day
L'AUGMENTATION Cartoon Strip 7" B/w Cartoon Mix (kookydisc011) Pic Sleeve UK ISS USD $5.49 Buy It Now 1 day
MADNESS Return Of The Los Palmas 7 7" Cartoon Group Pic Sleeve Design B/w That's USD $5.49 Buy It Now 1 day
PIRANHAS Tom Hark 7" Cartoon Pic Sleeve Design B/w Getting Beaten Up (102258) GE USD $6.54 Buy It Now 1 day
WAS NOT WAS Robot Girl 7" B/w Earth To Doris In Cartoon Robots On Tv Sleeve (was USD $1.38 Buy It Now 1 day
CARTOON CANDY CARNIVAL Everything Is Mickey Mouse 7" B/w Mickey Mouse Concerto I USD $6.54 Buy It Now 1 day
SPIN A MAGIC TUNE YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON THEMES VINYL LP BUGS RUPERT SCOOBY! USD $8.51 [0 bids]
1 day
Honey Radar - Blank Cartoon [Vinyl New] USD $16.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Drew's Famous Kids Cartoon - Channel Favorites by Drew's Famous (CD,... USD $5.49 Buy It Now 1 day
Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion (2007) USD $1.30 Buy It Now 1 day
Ramones Sew/iron On Patch/Patches NEW OFFICIAL. Choice of 10 designs USD $5.18 Buy It Now 1 day
Blank Cartoon - Honey Radar 851372002358 (Vinyl Used Very Good) USD $14.48 Buy It Now 1 day
Are You Getting On? - Blue Cartoon (CD Used Very Good) USD $14.10 Buy It Now 1 day
Mika - Life In Cartoon Motion- CD USD $0.07 [0 bids]
1 day
MIKA 'LIFE IN CARTOON MOTION' CD NEW+ USD $14.41 Buy It Now 1 day
MIKA-LIFE IN CARTOON MOTI CD NEW USD $9.61 Buy It Now 1 day
(EL279) Cartoon Food, Elbow Room Only - 2013 sealed DJ CD USD $5.23 Buy It Now 1 day
DON ELLIOTT CARTOON COWBOYS El Kabong Ooch Ouch GOLDEN RECORD FF593 Carroll RARE USD $21.94 Buy It Now 1 day
THE SLITS-CUT-1979 GURL PUNK ON THE ANTILLES LABEL NEAR MINT WITH CARTOON INNER USD $45.00 [22 bids]
1 day
Various-Cartoon & Movie Na CD NEW USD $7.95 Buy It Now 1 day
Top Cat In Robin Hood - ORIGINAL 1965 Hanna Barbera Cartoon LP - SEALED! USD $71.24 Buy It Now 1 day
DEPECHE MODE, etc ICHIOSHI-KUN GA... JAPAN PROMO-ONLY CD w/DM Cartoon PS Y12-72 USD $69.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Vintage 1993 ANAMANIACS animated cartoon tv show songs SOUNDTRACK cassette tape USD $7.96 Buy It Now 1 day

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CARTOON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CARTOON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.43 | 22 ratings
Cartoon
1981
3.94 | 13 ratings
Music From Left Field
1983

CARTOON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CARTOON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CARTOON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 10 ratings
Sortie
1994

CARTOON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

CARTOON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cartoon by CARTOON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.43 | 22 ratings

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Cartoon
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars Whitout the intent to make play on words, the music of CARTOON seems to me exactly that the name says, a soundtrack to cartoons , in special humor/childish cartoons ( for cinema or tv), howevere, their sound is not a children joke. The themes are rich in instrumental virtousity and full of melodic "landscapes" and in fact make CARTOON's music outstanding !. The track 1 "Shark" and track 5 "Apathy In America " presents some musical passages which clearly reminds the tv series "The Simpsons". The track 4 "Flotsam" is "filled" of percussion inprovisation and a Fripp's style guitar melody ! The track 7 "Shredded Wheat" take the main theme to the classical music, [(Liszt(keyboards) meets Pagannini(guitars=violin) meets Carl Palmer for a jam session)], simply fantastic. The only restriction that I can make is the sequence of different themes in a track, which not always make a logic musical sense. Due to this fact I cannot give the maximun quotation, my rate is 4stars !!!
 Cartoon by CARTOON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.43 | 22 ratings

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Cartoon
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Ahhh, the days of the used record store. For a dollar or two you could purchase some unknown gem based only on the look of the album cover, bring it home, and who knows...

This was one of those rare finds. This trio plays music somwhere between Henry Cow and Univers Zero, but definitely occupying their own space. They blend symphonic prog, free improvisation, and jazz stylings into a wonderful work of RIO.

Shark even manages to fit in a bit of Beethoven. Anemic Bolero builds from simple piano noodlings into a spectacular piece. Ptomaine Poisoning reminds me a bit of "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" era Zappa. (I'm pretty sure the titles of the second and third track are swapped on this site, as my LP sleeve confirms).

Flotsam opens the second side of the record with Schoenberg-like orchestration, quickly turning into electronic music madness. Super cool. Apathy In America begins sounding like a Zappa/Mothers piece, but goes well beyond. I Have No Teeth gives a moment of respite before the pure glorious mayhem of Shredded Wheat begins.

I know I've made a lot of comparisons to other artists, but just to give a frame of reference. These guys really do have their own sound.

This is probably the best $1.99 I ever spent.

 Music From Left Field by CARTOON album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.94 | 13 ratings

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Music From Left Field
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars For CARTOON's second and final release they have added a violinist and woodwind player. In my opinion this one is not quite as good as the debut, but it's still excellent. It's really sad though that this great band called it quits back in the eighties. So talented. After this album was released it received great reviews, and the band started getting invites to go to Europe. So they decided to do a small tour over there. It was a huge success as they played in festivals with Christian Vander, John Greaves and many other like-minded bands. They even got to jam back stage with UNIVERS ZERO and listened to the yet unreleased ART ZOYD ballet. They were on top of the world, that is until someone stole the van they were renting and all their instruments, LPs, audio gear and clothes that were in it. It was all gone. Gone too was the spirit to carry on, they would never play again.

"Quotes" is the 15 1/2 minute epic and opening track. It opens with synths and lots of atmosphere as the sound builds. This is heavenly. It changes before 3 1/2 minutes in to a soundscape of intricate sounds that come and go. Piano, violin and drums end up leading the way 5 1/2 minutes in. I like the aggressive guitar a minute later. A change again 7 minutes in as the melody stops and we get lots of atmosphere. Flute, violin then piano 10 minutes in. It gets a little crazy before we get a great sound 13 minutes in. It ends in a haunting manner. "Bedlam" opens with funny vocal sounds. Love the intricate collage that follows, an incredible sounding melody. A weird steady noise sort of hums until the intricate melody returns before 3 minutes. Random sounds take over, then our melody is back again.

"Light In August" is dark and scary. Bass, French horn and synths are prominant. The tempo picks up after 1 1/2 minutes as the guitar comes in ripping it up. Nice. It then becomes very UNIVERS ZERO-like with the darkness, percussion and overall sound. Violin before 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar is back after 4 minutes as drums pound away. "Scherzo" sounds like they are having lots of fun with these incredible yet cartoonish melodies. "Bottom Of The Ninth" has a good melody, and I really like the sound of the guitar before a minute. It turns dark 1 1/2 minutes in without a melody until the previous one returns a minute later. Outbreaks of drums as keys are played before 3 1/2 minutes. People are yelling funny things in the background to end the song.

In the liner notes they say that this record was improvised to a preconceived form. A must for fans of Avant-gard music.

 Cartoon by CARTOON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.43 | 22 ratings

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Cartoon
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars CARTOON have been compared to UNIVERS ZERO and HENRY COW for their classical influenced, Avant- gard style of music. What amazes me about their debut is that it is played by a trio (drums, keys and guitar) when the music often seems like it is being played by a 6-8 piece band, as the soundscape is often filled by a collage of intricate sounds.The drums and piano really lead the way most of time.This is so complex, yet so melodic at times.Very impressive.

"Shark" opens with a good beat as piano and guitar take turns taking the lead. Things get a little dissonant before 2 minutes when the melody stops. A new melody takes over and it sounds fantastic. Very melodic and beautiful. A change after 5 minutes as another melody takes over after some cartoonish sounds. Guess what ? This sounds really good as well. That melody stops before 7 minutes as some samples come in.The last section includes some aggressive guitar. Nice. "Ptomaine Poisoning" opens with some random piano sounds. We start to get a piano melody after a minute. Drums come in and then a full sound before 4 minutes. The full sound comes and goes. Great sound 6 minutes in. "Anemic Bolero" features some intricate guitar and beautiful piano melodies as drums keep up the beat throughout. "Flotsam" features what sounds like violin sounds as drums jab away. It gets dissonant a minute in with voices in the background. It all stops as different sounds come and go with no melody, then the previous melody returns with some angular guitar. Nice. The contrast coninues. Great tune. Some cartoon moments as well.

"Apathy In America" features outbursts of drums and piano that come and go. They become more steady until before 2 minutes it changes to a calm as it settles down until 3 minutes. Then back to that soundscape of intricate sounds. "I Have No Teeth" is experimental and turns spacey. "Shredded Wheat" is rather dark and haunting as we all know shredded wheat can be. You'll never hear corn flakes described this way. Anyway I like the dark mood they create here. It kicks into gear 2 minutes in with some ripping guitar. This is intense. Check out the piano. There is yelling in the background after 4 minutes. Vibes 5 1/2 minutes in. It's eerie again after 6 minutes. A new melody 8 minutes in with drums and piano. Angular guitar 9 1/2 minutes in is fantastic followed by a complex array of intricate sounds. The song and album ends with a funny phone call. My favourite tracks are the opening and the closing ones.

This is music for those who like it challenging, well played and humerous. 4.5 stars.

 Sortie by CARTOON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.84 | 10 ratings

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Sortie
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by progadicto

4 stars I was waiting many time to see Cartoon (from USA) here on PA. Since the first time I heard their selftitled debut album I was captivated by the exquisite arrangements of every song. Then years after I found this kind of compilation of their two albums (the other is Music from the Left Field) and I get immediatly!

So here is the deal: even when Cartoon doesn't break any musical codes and can be consider a band like many others into the avant garde scene, the truth is that you can find wonderful and awsome details in any of their compositions. Scott Brazieal (keys) and Gary Parra (percussions), natural leaders of the band, had the talent to turn any of their instrumental songs into a nice and enjoyable piece of music, full of syncopated rhythms (Ptomaine Poisoning), catchy crescendos (Shredded Wheat) or funny short melodies (Scherzo).

With consistent emphasys on keyboards and drums, Carton music is a real delight full of surprirses (a little homage to Beethoven in Shark is a good example of that), complexities and epical moments, specially on the first part. Music from the Left Field songs are a more experimental and sometimes even improvised, but with brilliant dark moments, specially in Quotes and Bottom of the Ninth.

This album is an excellent (and maybe the unique) opportunity to know one of the most interesting and underrated Avant GArde bands of the 80's... And if you tried PFS or 5UU's (Brazieal's projects after Cartoon) and you liked it, CArtoon will be definetively one of your favourite bands!

4.0*

 Music From Left Field by CARTOON album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.94 | 13 ratings

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Music From Left Field
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A slight departure from their first release and a determined progression forward, American avant- garders Cartoon slam their fist onto the prog table with 'Music From Left Field', their aptly-titled second album from 1983. Craig Fry (violin), Herb Diamant (woodwinds), the tin foil drums of Gary Parra, Mark Innocenti's dirty guitar and Scott Brazieal's unhinged piano devour the 15-minute opener 'Quotes', setting this album's frantic tone. A piece that on its own could satisfy any prog gourmet, full of continual variance, gutted melodies, decompositions, clattering street noise, orchestral tunings, Scott Joplin ragtime, John Lennon, Bartok, the Twilight Zone, children's lullabys and creepy cartoon themes. As if that weren't enough to satisfy, 'Bedlam' follows and calms things a bit to let us digest before it goes down a troubled path of dissonance and manic fever. Cartoon's music is both indefinable and deeply disturbed, splitting apart at any opportunity like a crazed man running off half-naked into the street, chased by the screaming harpies in his head. 'Light in August' keeps up the urgency and demented pace, and 'Scherzo' is a tortured soul wanting out of a madhouse that may or may not exist in a world of carousels that go too fast and clowns that smell bad... this is a place for neither children nor adults but no matter how hard you try, you can't find your way out. There are animals too, moustached vendors, dwarfs, geeks, slow children at play, small men in hats and fat women in wigs, all attending this freakshow of an album. Fever-pitched, not for the faint hearted, smashing good stuff.

 Cartoon by CARTOON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.43 | 22 ratings

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Cartoon
Cartoon RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars 1979 was the death knell of the classic progressive rock era, and only a few gems would arrive by 1980 with Drama, Permanent Waves and a smattering of others, but it was all over and everyone sensed it. But in Phoenix, Arizona, things were just getting started and a local group of talented young musicians had something surprising on the menu, especially for an American avant-garde rock band at that time. Keyboardist Scott Brazieal, guitarist Mark Innocenti, and drummer Gary Para wanted to do highly complex rock that was playful at the same time, and their fondness for incidental cartoon music was as strong as the neo-classical foundation provided by Brazieal's keys. The band relocated to San Francisco in 1980 where they were joined by violinist Craig Fry and Herb Diamant on woodwinds, releasing their debut Cartoon in 1981.

Though the music is likened to avant-garders such as Univers Zero and Henry Cow, it is neither as dark as the Zeroes nor as loose as Cow, with a symphonic structure in Scott Brazeal's piano and a heavy rock edge from Innocenti's guitar. Much Zappa-like humor is on hand as well and makes for a well rounded prog rock experience. The chaotic 'Shark' opens the album, a pounder that quickly slips into strangeness before just as quickly becoming light, melodic and linear, with appearances by Ludwig Von's 9th and the fine arrangements and ambition of this outfit who, though perhaps not as tight as their counterparts across the Atlantic, were just as zealous about expanding rock. Brazeal's keyboard takes over for the troubled and angled 'Ptomaine Poisoning', Ravel's influence and some great virtuoso playing shows on 'Anemic Bolero' followed by the crawling anthill 'Flotsam' with its asylum tone and muffled voices, all quite rattling for a group of unknown American rockers in the early 80s. 'Apathy in America' is disjointed and counter-layered with powerful piano, synth, bass and drums, finishing with the descriptive cartoon themes the band liked to highlight and hints of Aaron Copland. 'I Have No Teeth' is a beautiful one-minute synth/guitar tour of linear space and squeaky moments, and the album closes with the eleven-minute opus 'Shredded Wheat'.

A splendid band nearly lost to history, Cartoon reminds us that the United States had some prog treasures to offer at a bleak time in popular music. A real delight.

Thanks to Geck0 for the artist addition.

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