Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday on Wednesday

Last November I posted up some Latin fun by Rene Lopez from his Johnny Wants To Be A Matador EP. Well, it's been a while, but he's finally getting ready to release his first full length on May 4th, titled People Are Just People. One of the numbers off of it is Wednesday, the catchy tune featured in the video about. While I haven't heard anything from the album except the above song and some streaming bits on Amazon, I enjoyed his EP, and I'll happily share a track from it below.

Rene Lopez - One Thing : Johnny Wants To Be A Matador EP

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Post to Wire

well i don't care
who was right
and who was wrong
who was left
and who was leaving

and i'll overlook everything
if you can overlook everything
i know you're worn out
but you know
i'm worn out, too

if everyone screws up
and i know that we both do
doesn't it make sense
me with you

if you and me
if we blow it
well that's the last thing we should do
don't you think that we should stick together
don't you think that we should be the ones who go

post to wire
months to years
days to nights
minutes to hours

i know you're worn out
i know you're worn out
i'm worn out, too

This is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a while. It comes from an EP that's almost equally emotionally powerful. Six songs about love in its glory and despair. Mostly about the darker side.

Visit Madeline's website, her label Orange Twin Records, and become her friend on MySpace.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Best Contest EVER (possibly)

So what do Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons, The Del McCoury Band, Julie & Buddy Miller, Steve Earle, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket, and Jason Isbell all have in common? They all appeared on the benefit compilation Preservation: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program, which I wrote about at the turn of the month. If you missed reading about it then, it's a benefit to raise money for Preservation Hall, a jazz musical hub for the city of New Orleans.

For extra credit now though, what else do they all have in common?

If you answered that you can win a copy of every one of their albums for yourself, then give yourself bonus points! That's right, in what's possibly the best contest I've run in these parts, you could get all seven albums, plus a copy of the Preservation compilation, delivered right to your mailbox for the price of a comment or email. Simply leave one or send the other with your name and your email address and you'll be in the running for all eight discs. I'll choose a winner at random from the entries and notify them next Mondayish. If you don't win, I'd still definitely recommend picking up a copy of the benefit compilation as it is chalk full of good music and supports a worthy cause. You can also catch the Preservation Hall Band on the road with My Morning Jacket, dates are listed below.

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons - My Heart Would Be There : Death Won’t Send a Letter

The Del McCoury Band - Honey Hurry Home : Family Circle

Julie & Buddy Miller - Ellis County : Written in Chalk

Steve Earle - Colorado Girl
: Townes

Andrew Bird - Nomenclature : Noble Beast

My Morning Jacket - Librarian : Evil Urges

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - No Choice in the Matter : Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit

Preservation Hall Jazz Band - St. James Infirmary : Big Ol' Box of New Orleans

Upcoming Tour Dates with My Morning Jacket

04/27: St. Augustine , FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater
04/28: Charleston , SC @ Family Circle
04/30: Raleigh , NC @ Koka Booth
05/01: Columbia , MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
05/02: Columbus , OH @ LC Outdoor Pavilion

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Soul - Boogaloo Down Broadway

Come on baby, it ain't hard to do,
You've been doin' it ever since you were two.
That's it baby now you've got the swing
Come on baby and shake that thing
Baby, oh baby,
Boogaloo down Broadway

(and yes, it's the same instrumental with different lyrics if you're wondering)

Get them both on Boogaloo Down Broadway.

Jazz Brunch Jam - Green Africa

I've shared music from Mulatu Astatke a few times last year, first about his joint album with the Heliocentrics for the Inspiration Information series (here) and then about the compilation spanning his work from 1965 to 1975 (here), but today I have some brand new music of his to share with you. That's right, Mulatu Steps Ahead, which came out at the end of March, is his first official solo release in over 20 years.

For those of you who listened the last few times, you have an idea of what the new album sounds like: exotic, mystical, occasionally funky musical threads that weave together to form an Ethiopian cloth unlike anything else in your musical library. If you haven't listen below and be entranced

Visit his website, his label Strut Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Joe makes me happy

Joe Firstman has been making the rounds in the musical scene for almost a decade, but listening to his latest album El Porto, one would think that he's just started down the path. Which isn't to say it sounds immature or undeveloped; its beauty lies in its seeming simplicity. Firstman plays everything on the album, which shows his range of experience (at one point he was bandleader for NBC’s late-night program, Last Call with Carson Daly) while keeping it glitz free at the same time. The result is ten tracks that roll along carried mostly by acousticish guitar lines which rollick along while conveying a melancholy hue at the same time. There's a tinge of sadness and regret that permeates the album.
i wore myself thin
burned my soul out
i was the worst kind of friend
for making you doubt

but now i can see
everything that i was missing
what have you been doing
i won't leave you guessing

i want to be the one who makes you happy
i want to be the one who turns you on
Those lyrics come from the album's third track, The One That Makes You Happy, my favorite on the album. The rest of the songs have that same country rock feel to them and that sense that life could be better but in the meantime these songs will help carry you through.

Visit this website, his label Rock Ridge Music, and become his friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hoop + Wire

The nice weather is here. Hopefully for good. And that makes me happy.

This song and video also makes me happy. So I'm sharing it with you. Enjoy!

Boy Eats Drum Machine - Hoop + Wire : Hoop and Wire

Visit his website, his label Tender Loving Empire, and become his friend on MySpace.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Listen to some Late Night Tales

So I'm not sure where I've been for the last decade, but just recently I got turned on to the Late Night Tales series of compilations. Have all of you been in the know about it and not sharing it with me? For those of you who are also late to hop on board, the series has been running since 2001 (originally under the title Another Late Night), and since then 22 more volumes have been added, the latest from The Cinematic Orchestra. For each volume a musician, DJ, or group is asked "to delve deep into their music collections to create the ultimate 'late night' selection". The result is a beautifully diverse collection of songs that represent almost a personal mixtape from the artist.

In this particular case, The Cinematic Orchestra creates a downtempo mix that draws upon songs both old and new:
1 Flying Lotus - Anties Harp
2 Nick Drake - Three Hours
3 Eddie Gale - The Rain
4 Terry Callier - You're Gonna Miss Your Candyman
5 Freedom Sounds - Behold the Day
6 DJ Food - Living Beats
7 Shuggie Otis - Aht Uh Mi Hed
8 Thom Yorke - Black Swan
9 Cinematic Orchestra - Restaurant
10 Steve Reich - Electric Counterpoint
11 Bjork - Joga
12 Imogen Heap - Cumulus
13 St. Germain - Rose Rouge
14 Songstress - Sea Line Woman
15 Sebastian Tellier - La Ritournelle
16 Burial - Dog Shelter
17 Burt Bacharach - South American Getaway
18 Cinematic Orchestra - Talking About Freedom
19 Will Self - The Happy Detective Part 3
While some names might certainly be familiar (Nick Drake, Thom Yorke, Bjork, Imogen Heap, Burt Bacharach, a remixed version of Nina Simone's See-Line Woman, a personal favorite from Shuggie Otis, and a few from the Cinematic Orchestra themselves), many will be less so. Altogether the album exudes a chilled out groove that I've relaxed to many times already. It ends with Will Self reading the third part to The Happy Detective, an exclusive spoken word piece whose first two pieces are on the last two releases.

Like I said above, there is a whole series of releases (including ones from Snow Patrol, Nouvelle Vague, The Flaming Lips, Fatboy Slim, and others - check a list here) that I'm hoping to dig into. Anyone out there have any of these that they'd recommend?

(get the full song on his album Five Leaves Left)

Visit their website, become their friend on MySpace, and the Late Night Tales website.

Get your new GP

A few days ago MISB celebrated its fourth birthday, and one of the bands that I've written about every year has been Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. The most recent post was back in February for their cover of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, for the Alice In Wonderland soundtrack. At that time I also mentioned their newest album would be arriving in June. Well, if you don't want to wait that long to see what they've got cookin', you can get a free track from the album now. All you have to do is share their new video (yes, that's it above) via Facebook and you'll be able to download the mp3 for free. Directions for doing so can be found HERE.

Visit their website, their label Hollywood Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Soul - Nothing Takes the Place of You

As... I write this letter
It's raining on my windowpane
As... I feel the need of you
Because without you nothing seems the same

So I'll wait until you're home
Again I'll love you but I'm all alone
And oh, my darling, I'm so blue
Because nothing, oh but nothing takes the place of you

Toussaint McCall - Nothing Takes the Place of You : Nothing Takes the Place of You 7"

Toussaint McCall - Shimmy : Nothing Takes the Place of You 7" B-side

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Record Store Day 2010!

Happy Record Store Day everyone! It's in its fourth year, and its going stronger than ever! Help celebrate with me and visit a local record store. They're a dying breed and need your support. In addition, participating stores have tons of limited edition music released especially for the occasion. To get you in the mood, check out the cut below, from a record I picked up a week ago at a new store that I recently discovered quasi-near me.

Bobby Caldwell - What You Won't Do For Love : What You Won't Do For Love 7"

Friday, April 16, 2010


Four years. Over 1,200 posts. Two or three or four (or five?) thousand songs shared. A few dozen concerts recapped.

I highly doubt that there is anyone out there who's been along for the entire ride, but that's OK. A few people get on board and jam along with me, a few others move on and disappear into internet anonymity. Sometimes I wonder what's happened to readers who use to comment in the past. Have they let their connection to music move in to the background of life, to be replaced by children, a job, significant others? Have their musical tastes and mine taken different paths? Have they given up electronics as their New Year's resolution and are currently living off the land in eastern Montana Little House on the Prairie style?

Why do I stick around here? It's a fair question. At first I didn't expect to have more than two people read it a month. It was simply a personal way of expressing my passion for music in a novel way. But as I wrote and shared, I found that my exploration of other people's writing about music online changed my own connection with music. My horizons broadened exponentially, and as they did, it was reflected in what I shared in my own writing. (Sometimes I wonder if the majority of people who read music blogs are the same people writing music blogs. Are we just an inbred group of insatiable musical fiends?)

I use to check daily to see how many readers visited the site, how many songs were downloaded, what were my most popular posts. Now a days, not so much. Not at all, really. I hope you are all still visiting, but I'm going to keep listening and writing regardless. Although it wanes and waxes, the power of music still holds me tight in its embrace. For better or, in some cases, worse, certain artists, songs, and albums will eternally take me to a particular minute, period, memory, or person. New songs bring me new connections.

Last year at this time I wasn't sure how much longer MISB would continue. This year I'm more optimistic. Does it have another four years in its legs? We'll see. I can't imagine I'm going to run out of music to write about between now and then. Will you still be reading in four years? Probably not. That's ok though. Stick around for as long as you'd like. Listen to a few songs, share some musical moments with me. Just don't go the Little House on the Prairie route, 'cuz life without music wouldn't be much of a life. Whether they're in the form of mp3's, CD's, records, heck even 8 tracks, keep on spinnin'em, and hopefully reading MISB helps you find a few new favorites.

Fred Wesley & The Horny Horns - Four Play : What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves: 1967-1977 [Disc 4]

Johnny Cash - Four Strong Winds : American V: A Hundred Highways

NOMO - Fourth Ward : New Tones

Nina Simone - Four Women : Four Women: The Nina Simone Philips Recordings

Cake - Friend Is A Four Letter Word
: Fashion Nugget

Jay Brannan - On All Fours : Goddamned

Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators - Four Leaf Clover : Keep Reachin' Up

Anathallo - Hanasakajiijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash) : Floating World

Fats Domino - Let the Four Winds Blow : Let the Four Winds Blow 7"

Modest Mouse - Four-Fingered Fisherman : Sad Sappy Sucker

Robert Johnson - From Four Till Late : The Complete Recordings [Disc 2]

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Living Sisters

Put together the three beautiful songstresses Inara George (of the bird and the bee, who I recently wrote about here), Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond), and Eleni Mandell together, and you've got a trio made in heaven. The three ladies have taken a step away from their respective gigs to put together a ten track album, love to live, that combines the skills and beauty of all three, and which features songs written by each of them. The tracks weave together the voices of all three ladies, and the melodies that result are incredible. As a whole the album has a retro doo-wop/jazzy inflection to it that will remind you of each of the ladies' individual work in some respects but which also holds an original charm of its own.

Visit their label Vanguard Records and become their friend on MySpace.


the bird and the bee - Again & Again : the bird and the bee

Lavender Diamond - Find A Way
: Imagine Our Love

Eleni Mandell - Make-Out King : Miracle of Five

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Masta Killa Live

Live rap albums? Not exactly growing on trees. This is one you've got to check out though. It features Masta Killa, member of the renowned hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan with some guests that include Streetlife, GZA, Prodigal Sunn and Inspectah Deck. Killa spits out rhymes from his own solo work as well as his time with the Wu, putting together a ill set that delivers the goods. It hit shelves yesterday, but check a track from it below (as well as El Michels Affair's brilliant cover of the original).

And speaking of Wu-Tang news, a couple months ago DJ Mathematics (who's worked with the collective consistently) put together a nice comp named Return of the Wu that brings together 15 tracks (13 of which previously available) from the group's catalog as well as individual members output.

Visit his website, his label Gold Dust Media, and become his friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I miss you, so come home.

you know that i miss you

oh darling
you know that i miss you

you've been gone so long
you've done me wrong
i need you so

Ted Taylor - Miss You So : Miss You So 7"

Get both, along with all of his other singles with Ronn Records,
on Ever Wonderful.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Soul - Don't Push It Don't Force It

my nature is high inside
i'm burning about to lose self control
i can't fight this feeling
my love is much to hot to hold

don't push it
don't force it
let it happen naturally
it will surely happen
if it was meant to be

don't push it
don't force it
let it happen naturally
it will surely happen
if love was meant to be

Leon Haywood - Don't Push It Don't Force It : Don't Push It Don't Force It 7"

Leon Haywood - Who You Been Giving It Up To : Don't Push It Don't Force It 7" B-side

Find them both on The Best of Leon Haywood.

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Frames re-framed

As a long time fan of the Frames, I'm glad that Glen Hansard at least got his due with his new project The Swell Season and the soundtrack for Once, but really the band as a whole needs more recognition than they've ever received. This June, two of the groups classic 90's albums, Fitzcarraldo and Dance the Devil..., will be reissued, each fully remastered and each containing five additional bonus tracks (look on Amazon for the originals and you'll find them for $55 and $40 new respectively). I'm eager to check them out and will sure to let you know once I get a chance to listen. In the meantime, here's a track from the original release of Say It To Me Now on the Fitzcarraldo album (yes it's the same song he'd slow down, deconstruct, and re-do with Markéta Irglová for Once).

The Frames - Say It To Me Now : Fitzcarraldo

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sunday Soul - My Love Don't Come Easy

love me good baby
if you love me right
cuz my love don't come easy
not tonight

hold me close
let me know
you feel the way i do

take your time
love my mind
and kiss me
thrill me
do all the things that satisfy me

Jean Carn - My Love Don't Come Easy
: My Love Don't Come Easy 7"

Jean Carn - Was That All It Was : My Love Don't Come Easy 7" B-side

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hit Me Up Joe

So as you might have guessed, the new computer is up and running with only a few glitches to (hopefully) iron out. New computer means I can finally listen to music again. Thankfully, I still had my turntable to listen to, otherwise I just might have been committed, but it's nice to be able to listen to some new stuff as well!

So something that is newish, but that I've been listening to for a few months now, is the independent release from Oakland singer/songwriter/producer Joe Burge. It's titled Dare Go Wrong, and looking at it, you'll get the feeling that it's a CD that someone walked off the street, made on a whim, and ended up in a $1 bin. Don't let what's on the outside fool you though; the music inside completely transcends its packaging and will leave you thankful that you dug deeper.

Listening to the album, I'm amazed at how well produced it sounds for being practically a one man product. It's smooth, not in the super slick manner, but in the damn this guy put some effort into making this sound fine manner. It's R&B for the 21st century, with a programmed beat feel to it that still retains a sense of intimacy and warmth that makes good mix tape material for that special someone. Take No Words (Hit Me Up) for example, a song about making love connections through texts. Honestly, you'd think that with everyone including your grandmother texting, this topic would be all over the airwaves. It's my favorite track from the album (although not the only good track) and you can check it below. It's not the only song to feature smooth, sexy vocals though, and the album is definitely one to spin when you're looking to get your love groove on.

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Help Preserve

Located in the French Quarter, Preservation Hall was opened in 1961 as a musical epicenter to keep jazz alive in a city key to its early development: New Orleans. Since then, it's wore many hats. It's given local artists, both young and old, a place to rub shoulders, to learn and teach, to pass on the music that has partially formed the life blood of the city. It's served as an intimate venue for musicians to perform for the public, retaining it's flavor and tradition for close to 50 years (it still does not have running water or air conditioning). It's been home to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a band that has traveled throughout the world, giving people from many countries the chance to experience fine New Orleans style jazz. It's reached out to the community's youth and instilled that music in future generations.

A few months ago, Preservation: An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program was released to help raise funds for the Hall to continue in its mission to fill all of the many roles listed above. On it you'll find nineteen tracks, nineteen compositions that express that good ol' New Orleans spirit that is so characteristically unique to the city. While many people might have problems identifying one jazz artist to the next, or bebop to hard bop, New Orleans jazz is a flavor all of its own. The album's main players are the Preservation Hall Band, but it also features a whole slew of guest artists who donated their time to the project. Here's the track listing:
1. Shake It And Break It (with Andrew Bird)
2. Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea (with Paolo Nutini)
3. Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing (with Tom Waits)
4. Louisiana Fairytale (with Yim Yames)
5. After You ve Gone (with Del McCoury)
6. Freight Train (with Ani DiFranco)
7. Blue Skies (with Pete Seeger & Tao Rodriguez-Seeger)
8. Nobody Knows You (with Jason Isbell)
9. Old Rugged Cross (with Brandi Carlile)
10. Trouble In Mind (with Richie Havens)
11. Basin Street Blues (with Merle Haggard)
12. There Is A Light (with The Blind Boys of Alabama and Clint Maedgen)
13. Winin Boy (with Dr. John)
14. Rocking Chair (with Louis Armstrong)
15. Baby Won t You Please Come Home (with Amy LaVere)
16. Taint Nobody's Business (with Steve Earle)
17. Some Cold Rainy Day (with Cory Chisel)
18. I Ain't Got Nobody (with Buddy Miller)
19. La Vie En Rose (with Angelique Kidjo & Terence Blanchard)
Put the musicianship of the Hall's band behind the vocals of these artists, and you've got a most enjoyable combination. As stated above, proceeds from the sale of the album go to maintaining the Hall's many musical programs and is a worthwhile investment.

Upcoming Tour Dates with My Morning Jacket

04/20: Birmingham , AL @ Alabama Theater
04/21: Nashville , TN @ Municipal Auditorium
04/23: Atlanta , GA @ Chastain Park
04/25: New Orleans , LA @ Jazzfest
04/27: St. Augustine , FL @ St. Augustine Amphitheater
04/28: Charleston , SC @ Family Circle
04/30: Raleigh , NC @ Koka Booth
05/01: Columbia , MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
05/02: Columbus , OH @ LC Outdoor Pavilion