Monday, May 31, 2010

Are you cursed?

So it's been close to two weeks since I've shown my typing around these parts. Part of it is that it's summer, the other part is that my file hosting service crapped out on me. SOOOO...I've found another and am back up and running.

Josh Ritter's new album So Runs the World Away is out. As can be expected with Josh, he hasn't rested on his laurels. That's all I've got for you. Watch the video. It's one half creepy, one half artistic, one half romantic, and one half tragic. Yeah, I know, that equals two. Watch it.

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Connect the Dots of Love

If you haven't figured it out by the absence of new posts over the last week, summer is pretty much here. That's right, I've decided that Spring is somewhat over-rated and am ready to skip right to the hazy lazy crazy days of Summer. Of course with the change of seasons comes a change in sounds to match the mood, and lately I've found the first album of this year's summer for my ears.

Besides having an adorable title, Connect the Dots, and matching cover, this debut album from Rabbit! is full of adorable, upbeat, kitch-catchedy tunes that are light enough to breeze you right through the summer. Even my six year old daughter unknowingly bops along to this when I play it. It's one of those albums that seem so simple that anyone could play it, yet has the most gentlest, yet pointed hooks that just don't let go.

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Pororoca from Laura Escudé on Vimeo.

I don't normal spin a whole lot of techno ambient digital instrumentals, but this song is truly something beautifully elegant and enchanting in an entirely different way that than the acoustically melodic song I posted last week, I Blame Baltimore. And the video takes it to a whole nother level. Trust me; watch it at least once. It's from music technologist, violinist, composer, sound designer and educator Laura Escudé, and is the title track from her upcoming debut Pororoca.

Laura Escudé - Pororoca : Pororoca

Visit her website and become her friend on MySpace.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Blame Baltimore

Sebastian Blanck "I Blame Baltimore" from Rare Book Room Records on Vimeo.

well i don't like being on the road tonight
i'd rather be sleeping by your side...

...there’s no lights on the road, without you

Beautiful song and and equally beautiful video. Can't wait to check out his debut album Alibi Coast, which comes out next month.

Visit his website, his label Rare Book Room Records, and become his friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the Midnight Hour

Here's a banging track from Talib Kweli from his forthcoming album set to hit next week (titled Revolutions Per Minute) on the 18th. He's teamed back up with producer Hi-Tek, with whom he forms Reflection Eternal, and on this cut he's paired up with Estelle to take you on a hip hop trip through the 50's girl group sound. Here's an old one, order the new one HERE.

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

Monday, May 10, 2010


Listening to Raw Power thirty seven years after its release is quite a different experience than it was in 1973 when it first hit shelves, for sure. So much in the music world has changed: bands have hit and faded, styles have come and gone, basketball players have tried to rap. What hasn't changed is the influence it and the band who recorded it has had on other musicians.

Although Iggy and the Stooges weren't long for this world (only six years and three albums in their first run), the ramifications of their music would produce aftershocks for years to come. Now lauded by many as the progenitors of the punk rock movement, the group brought forth a sound that, at the time, wasn't all that well received, either by critics or the listening public in general. Although it sounds rather tame by today's standards, Raw Power was an album that was so unlike the other music being spun in February of 1973. Recorded and then mixed under the hands of David Bowie, the album was one that sold very poorly, and the band lost their contract with Columbia Records soon after. It's story doesn't end there though, and it's been cited by numerous artists as artistically influential in their own development, including Kurt Cobain (who named it his favorite album ever), Henry Rollins (who has Search and Destroy, the title of one of the album's songs, tattooed on his body), and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.

And now, after the band was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year, the album has been re-released through Sony's Legacy label in a few different editions. The most basic is a 2 disc release which features the original album on disc one and a live recording from October of 1973 when the band was touring in support of the album on disc two (as well as two bonus studio outtakes). The second edition is a massive four disc affair that looks like this:

It includes the two discs on the smaller edition, an additional audio disc that includes rarities, outtakes and alternate versions, an additional DVD documentary which includes interviews with Iggy Pop, James Williamson, Scott Asheton, Mike Watt, Johnny Marr and Henry Rollins, a 48 page soft cover book, and a handful of 5"x7" prints. (investigate it further here)

Either way you go you're getting your hands on a seminal album that belongs in everyone's collection. And the beauty of these Legacy editions is that you get additional music without the additional cost.

Visit their website, the album's label Legacy Recordings, and become their friend on MySpace.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunday Soul - Bleeding Heart

Every morning,
the willows weep 'n moan for me
Every morning,
the willows weep 'n moan for me
The boy sing me a little song,
my baby has caused my heart to bleed

Elmore James - Bleeding Heart : Bleeding Heart 7"

Elmore James - Mean Mistreatin' Mama : Bleeding Heart 7" B-side

Friday, May 07, 2010

Northern Lights Contest

So last week’s best contest ever was a phenomenal hit, so much so that I decided to choose TWO winners. That’s right, I gave away a total of SIXTEEN CDs. Congrats to Melanie and Erik, hopefully they’ll enjoy their new music.

That being said, I have another great give-a-way to run today as well that might not be as big, but is pretty darn cool in its own right. I’m giving you a chance to win a copy of Under Great White Northern Lights, the film that documents The White Stripes’ summer tour across Canada back in 2007 while they were supporting the release of Icky Thump. It includes concert and back stage footage of the tour and includes sixteen songs performed which span the depth and breadth of their catalog. Also available is a single disc album of the same name.

While many concerts oftentimes sound like a replaying of album versions, only with less clarity and more smelly people bumping into you, that is not the case here. Jack and Meg go off in all sorts of directions while working their way through this artificially constructed set, and while most if not all of the songs will be familiar (they are all at least three years old or older after all), they feel fresh in their rawer concert forms.

So, if you want to get a free copy of the DVD delivered to your mailbox for you to watch in the comfort of your own home (maybe you can get a bunch of friends to come over and form a pit in front of the TV to get the full experience), simply leave a comment (or email me) with your name and email address and you’ll be in the running. I’ll announce a winner next Fridayish.

Buy the DVD version.

Visit their website, their label Warner Bros., and become their friend on MySpace.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lets Fall Back In Love

What's better than a free song? How about an EP of free songs! And what's better than an EP of free songs? How about an EP of GOOD free songs!

So the music is from Slow Club, the duo pictured above, Charles Watson (whose voice reminds me of Conor Oberst) and Rebecca Taylor. I've shared the fact before, but male/female duos usually do it for me, and this couple is no exception. In fact, their debut release Yeah So is rather exceptional in my book. As I like my duos to do, the pair sing mostly of love in all its flavors, in songs that rang from choir like (such as the title track to the free EP I hinted at above, Let's Fall Back In Love) to the frenetic (It Doesn't Have To Be Beautiful) to the soft and dreamy (Dance Till The Morning Light) to the delicate (Sorry About the Doom). As matter of fact, that's what keeps me coming back to the album: the almost ADD-like breadth of textures here and equally amazingly wide range of instruments considering there are only two folks in the band.

For a free sample, download their free EP of five tracks, one live version of a song from their album and four other new songs.

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

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Positively Gleeful

So back in November I revealed my latest guilty pleasure: sitting on the couch and watching Glee. For those people who really know me, this would be quite a shock as A.) I'm got a million and one things to get done and rarely have spare time and B.) I don't really watch TV...ever. What really turned me on to the show was the soundtrack though. It was seriously chock full of amazing songs brilliantly reinterpreted. Although I never wrote about it, the second volume was just as hot. And now, I've got Glee: The Power of Madonna to rock out to.

My man Mike over at Popblerd (he's listed over in my musical meccas...if you haven't checked out his little slice of the blogdom, please do) shared some amazing nuggets of trivia that I won't even pretend to have researched myself: "It’s the first non-Disney related television franchise to score a #1 album since 'Miami Vice' back in ’85 (someone correct me if I’m wrong here), and it’s also (if my research is correct), the first 'tribute' album to one artist to ever debut at the top of the album charts." Wow. That's all I'll say about that. Wow.

Anyone catch how Coldplay turned the show down for this opportunity and are regretting it big time? Sucks for them.

Anyway, here's a track from it, and volume 3 is on its way!

Visit the show's official website, the soundtrack's label Columbia Records, and become their friend on MySpace.


Monday, May 03, 2010

Listening to the Valleys of Neptune

By no means am I a Jimi Hendrix afficienado, but I was pretty excited to check out Valleys of Neptune, which came out last month and claims to have "12 previously unreleased studio recordings" from one of last century's guitar gods. The truth is that for the majority of listeners (including me), these songs really are brand new. Hendrix fanatics, on the other hand, might have many of these songs on various other sources, although perhaps not in the exact form presented here. Ten of the album's songs are Hendrix originals and two are covers: Elmore James' Bleeding Heart and Cream's Sunshine of Your Love.

I grew up listening to classic rock on my father's radio, so listening to this album brings me back in a way, even if it is a brand new release. While all the cuts here are studio recordings, for the most part they are rough demos or versions that were later built on. Which isn't to say that they sound rough or unfinished; in the hands of Hendrix, even practice songs soar high above many other artists' work. Be prepared for over 60 minutes of trademark Hendrix guitar wizardry that is simply smokin'. And the sound, it's crisp and sharp (except of course when Jimi's getting fuzzy with his guitar, but it's a sharp fuzzy).

In addition, Sony's Legacy label has released deluxe CD/DVD editions of four of Hendrix's classic albums: Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, and First Rays of the New Rising Sun, available both in CD and 180 gram vinyl LP! Hendrix lovers rejoice!

Visit his website, this release's label Sony Legacy, and become his posthumous friend on MySpace.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Jazz Brunch Jam - Let's Do It

birds do it
bees do it
even educated fleas do it
let's do it
let's fall in love

What a beautiful song from a beautiful woman. Most likely my favorite song from her. Even if it is the b-side!

Ella Fitzgerald - Manhattan : Manhattan 7"

Ella Fitzgerald - Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love) : Manhattan 7" B-side

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Fela, Round 2

Back in February I shared the first batch of Fela Kuti reissues from our friends over at Knitting Factory Records. Well in a few weeks, May 11th to be exact, the second wave of albums will become available: seven CDs with fourteen albums of material. While the first batch were records from early in Fela's career, this second batch includes music from the mid 70's, when he was really hitting his stride. While they're not available yet, you can head over to the Knitting Factory website to pre-order them in bargain bundles either in digital or physical format (you get a digital download automatically with the CDs as well), along with a special edition t-shirt. Included in this second batch are the following albums:

Alagbon Close (1974) / Why Black Man Dey Suffer (1971)
Expensive Shit (1975) / He Miss Road (1975)
Everything Scatter (1975) / Noise For Vendor Mouth (1975)
Monkey Banana (1975) / Excuse O ( 1975)
Ikoyi Blindness (1976) / Kalakuta Show (1976)
Yellow Fever (1976) / Na Poi (1976)
J.J.D. (Johnny Just Drop) (1977) / Unnecessary Begging (1976)

And a little further over the horizon (June 8th), the original Broadway cast recording for Fela! will hit shelves. While I'm not a big Broadway fan, I've been jonesing to get down to NYC to check it out, possible this summer. The recording features performances from the show, which include Antibalas providing instrumentation. Head over here to pre-order that as well!