Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Soul - Two Lovely Pillows

breakfast time i stare
across the table at an empty chair
life's so lonely living without you
the whole day i just think about you

but when i walk through my bedroom door
that's when my tears begin to fall
because two lovely pillows
on a king sized bed
make one lonely night
when only one lays their head

loneliness is staring me in my face

Laura Lee - Rip Off : Rip Off 7"

Laura Lee - Two Lovely Pillows : Rip Off 7" B-side

Get them both on the multi-album compilation Women's Love Rights / I Can't Make It Alone / Two Sides of Laura Lee.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gave Up

perfect little dream the kind that hurts the most
forgot how it feels well almost
no one to blame always the same
open my eyes wake up in flames
it took you to make me realize
it took you to make me realize
it took you to make me realize
it took you to make me see the light
smashed up my sanity
smashed up my integrity
smashed up what i believed in
smashed up what's left of me
smashed up my everything
smashed up all that was true
gonna smash myself to pieces
i don't know what else to do
covered in hope and vaseline
still cannot fix this broken machine
watching the hole it used to be mine
just watching it burn in my steady systematic decline
of the trust i will betray
give it to me i throw it away
after everything i've done i hate myself for what i've become

i tried
i gave up

throw it away

Nine Inch Nails - Gave Up : Broken

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Soul - I'm Sorry I Met You

im sorry i met you
for you taught me to cry
the words i once cherished
are words of good-bye

i'm sorry i met you
for you hurt me so
the hands i held tightly
just let me go

Barbara Lynn - I'm Sorry I Met You : Sorry I Met You 7"

Barbara Lynn - You're Gonna Need Me : Sorry I Met You 7" B-side

Find them both on The Jamie Singles Collection.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Beat Generation

"The original Beats made their own rules, celebrating life at the margins of American society. The movement that begun in the 1940's with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs soon swelled to include other avant-garde poets and writers, as well as filmmakers and visual artists on both the East and West Coasts. There are many parallels between the Beat Poets of the past and the musical Beats of the now.

Although once rejected by mainstream society as outlaws, rebels, and being morally dangerous, today the Beats are recognised as icons of America's counterculture and as one of the most influential cultural movements of the 20th century. This statement originally made about the writers of the 50's is also a true expression of Hip-Hop music and its relationship with society.

The Beat Generation is a dynamic series of albums. It has started a frenzy of dialogue amongst the worlds 'beat' community. There are going to be some very exciting musical years- 'oh uh get ready...' "

You could have a long and very heated discussion about the present state of hip hop. Its global influence is impossible to refute, but with its widespread acceptance, many would say it sold its soul along the way. Even if you feel so though, there are still some artists out there who are laying it down for real, keeping the flame alive. Many of those could be found showcasing their style on BBE's Beat Generation series, whose manifesto (taken from BBE's site) can be read above. BBE brought in some of the most highly regarded hip hop heads, men like Jay Dee, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, Madlib, and others, and gave them the opportunity to record carte blanche, no strings attached. What resulted was a series of albums that shone forth as beacons of hip hop hope.

Now, 10 years after the series kicked off, BBE has put together a 10th anniversary compilation currated by DJ Spinna and Mr Thing that pulls together thirty six damn fine cuts that represent the breadth and depth the series established in its first decade. While that might seem like a bit of overkill, the truth is that you need that many to do justice to the various styles and aesthetics of the artists. In addition, there are additional continuous mixes, each roughly an hour give or take, tacked on to the end put together by DJ Spinna and Mr Thing on the CD version, and an added one by Chris Read on the digital release. This is not your top 40 hip hop; this is finely crafted art put together by masters of their craft. Don't expect to find all those hits you hear in the club or your local big box radio station. Pre-order a copy of the album HERE.

In addition to the compilation, BBE is also putting out some individual artists' 10th anniversary EPs with remixes and alternate versions of select songs from the original albums. Below you'll find an alternate version of a Roy Ayers interpretation by Marley Marl from his EP as well as a track from DJ Jazzy Jeff's album The Magnificent that also appears on the 10th Anniversary comp.

Visit the BBE site.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Pain Killers

but i know that no painkillers make it go away
i tried them once before and it didn't work for me
work and there's no painkillers make it go away
if i tried to overdose it wouldn't bring no change
suns out on 95
and i'm not dead tonight

took exit 81
i felt like throwing up
i finally did the math on what i'd done
and my heart breaks for you but i got broken too
and i still want to be someone
and i know you want to fight but one day you'll be thankful
that i let you go

Here's another emotionally charged debut from another singer/songwriter, Lauren Pritchard. Her album, Wasted In Jackson, came out late last year, but I just came across it last month. Unlike the vulnerability of Laura Jansen (who I wrote about earlier this week), Pritchard sings with a gravely fire that strikes me as a mix between Fiona Apple and Grace Potter, somewhere along the lines of Joss Stone, with perhaps a smidge less soul tinge. Considering this is her debut, it shows a lot of spunk and assuredness.

Visit her website, her label Universal Republic Records, and become her friend on MySpace and Facebook.
Upcoming Tour Dates

3/17 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's
3/18 Dallas, TX @ Poor David's Pub
3/19 Cypress, TX @ Cypress Saloon
3/23 Santa Fe, NM @ Corazon
3/24 Denver, CO@ The Soiled Dove
3/25 Logan, UT @Logan Arthouse and Cinema
3/26 Boise, ID @ The Reef
3/27 Seattle, WA @ The Tractor
3/31 San Francisco, CA @ Red Devil Lounge
4/1 Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Café
4/2 San Diego, CA @ LeStat's
4/3 Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room
4/7 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottle Neck
4/8 Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music
4/9 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
4/10 St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
4/11 Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
4/12 Chicago, IL @ Space
4/14 Indianapolis, IN @ Birdy's
4/15 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
4/16 Akron, OH @ Musica
4/17 Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel

Monday, March 07, 2011

pieces of us everywhere...

I think you´d like my new hair
I cut it when you weren´t there
That pieces of us everywhere
Were falling down
My bed is now a girl´s bed
Pink flowers under my head
And pillows on your side instead
Of you
´Cause that´s what single girls do
Don´t think about you
I´m reading books on meditation
Praying for my heart´s salvation
I´ve got the motivation
To be a free girl now
I´ve gone drinking with the guy down the hall
Put up a new color on my bare walls
I´m so damn busy
After all
´Cause that´s what single girls do
Don´t think about you
I keep trying
I keep trying
To make my way back to the light where I belong
But God keeps lying
God keeps lying
Saying this is for the best and nothing here is wrong

But I"m still thinking about you

I think you´d like my new hair
I cut it like I didn´t care
That pieces of me everywhere
Were falling down
One more glass of wine
Before I turn off the lights
This time I´ll be fine
I´ll be fine
I´ll be fine

Sometimes you hear a song so divine that upon hearing it for the first time, you hit rewind and play it over several times (or more). Such was the case for me with Single Girls. It's the kind of song that's poignantly dangerous. One that's emotionally barbed to hook into your heart. The video adds another layer that's just as powerful.

It comes from the first full length album by Dutch singer/songwriter Laura Jensen, Bells, an album that combines her first two EPs as well as adding a cover of the Kings of Leon song Use Somebody (a great cover by the way, possibly my second favorite song from the album). Jansen shines brightest on songs like Single Girls, where her vulnerability comes out, but the album as a whole is an excellent showcase of a voice emotionally expressive.

Visit her website, he label Decca Records, and become her friend on MySpace and Facebook.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Jazz Brunch Jam - Also Sprach Zarathustra

Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) : Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) 7"

Deodato - Spirit of Summer : Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) 7" B-side

Find the both on Prelude.

Sunday Soul - You Just Can't Win

Oh, when am I gonna realize
Can't bet my heart every time it cries
The things you never expect
That cause so much regret

I could have been much further today
If I had learned from my mistake
Like a stubborn child
I wouldn't use my head
Remember what the old folks said

Oh, you just can't win
By making that same mistake
Oh, Lord, you just can't win
By making that same mistake

Gene & Jerry - You Just Can't Win (By Making the Same Mistake) : You Just Can't Win (By Making the Same Mistake) 7"

Gene & Jerry - Sho Is Grooving : You Just Can't Win (By Making the Same Mistake) 7" B-side

Find them both on One & One.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Something Forever(er)

Back in January, while writing about a compilation entitled Mushroom Jazz Volume 7 put together by Mark Farina, I shared a cut named Macheeto by Slakah the Beatchild. Well today I'm back to share a little more Slakah with you, this time from an album all of his own creation titled Something Forever. It was actually released late last year as a digital only option, but BBE is re-releasing it in physical form in a special edition with four additional tracks next week (get it HERE from BBE and HERE from If you're down with hip hop infused jazz infused R&B, then you'll want to give Something Forever a spin. Thing Dilla's beats mixed with someone like Raphael Saadiq's neo-soul stylings, sprinkle in some rhymes a la Q-Tip, and you'll come pretty close to what Slakah lays down in the eleven tracks playing here.

The top of the album's playlist is filled with a few almost acid-jazzish tracks, including the opener, When the Night Stood Still, a groover featuring what sounds like bird calls. Track 2, the album's title track, moves along at much the same tempo but sprinkles some light vocals on top of the groove. Living For the Rush picks things up a bit, and has that Dilla feel to it. Track four, Things I Do (For Her), transitions more into the neo-soul touch, but it doesn't stay there long, with B-Boy Beef V2 remixes a cut from his last album (check out the video for the original above) that glances back at hip hop's history. Things slow down again with the next few tracks and bounce back into a mostly down tempo neo-soul feel until the new tracks added on to the original album cycling back to the Dilla influence with some rhymes laid on top with the body moving D.A.N.C.E., and closing with the simmering War Within that does a good job of mixing many of the album's elements.

The inclusion of the last four additional tracks certainly strengthens what was a fairly short album, almost EP. If you don't have the first, then I'd certainly recommend grabbing the whole. If you had gotten your ears on the original edition, adding the four tracks to it definitely won't hurt. Here's a cut for you to listen to:

Slakah The Beatchild - Things I Do (For Her) by MISB

And here's one from his last album:

Visit his label BBE, and become his friend on MySpace and Facebook.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Dancing Away the Night

We slow danced in the kitchen
to the sound of all the crickets
and the crackle of the old TV
with Sinatra singing songs about
Chicago and all of me...

So opens Goodnight California, the debut LP from Atlanta singer songwriter Nate Currin. Sometimes it's nice to listen to an album that's refreshingly new and original, and sometimes it's just as nice to find something comfortably familiar. In the case of Currin, it's the latter, as his sound very much reminds me of another artist that I came across a fair while ago (almost four years ago looking back at it now) that I thoroughly enjoy and have followed ever since: Cary Brothers. Both share an accessible pop sound that avoids too much polish and too many cliches, instead coming off as warm and sincere. While overall sporting an easy rocking acoustic+ feel to it, Currin isn't afraid to slow down and get personal, as is the case with Yellow Springs, dip into piano ballad land, such as Coming Home, or dabble with electronic touches, like in Lucid Dream. I'll share the album opener with you, Dance Away the Night, below.

Visit his website, his label Archaic Cannon Records, and become his friend on MySpace and Facebook.

Upcoming Tour Dates

3/5 - Charlotte, NC @ The Evening Muse
3/19 - Austin, Texas @ The Dizzy Rooster
4/2 - New York City, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
4/4 - New York, NY @ The Real Radio Show
4/16 - Durham, NC @ Broad Street Cafe
4/29 - Tampa, Fl. @ Play
5/6 - Gainesville, Ga. @ Wild Wing Cafe
5/8 - Nashville, Tenn. @ The Bluebird Cafe

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Win you some Elvis!

As I mentioned yesterday, I just got back from a little vacation to Memphis, a town steeped in musical history, and was able to take in some truly historic sites: the Stax Museum of Soul Music, the Rock and Soul Museum, the Sun Records studio, the Gibson guitar factory, and last, but not least, Graceland. I'm not going to lie to you, I was initially hesitant to visit Graceland, fearing it would be the creme de cheese of tourist attractions, with a kitsch factor off the scale. Don't get me wrong, I can dig Elvis' music, his snear, and his pelvic thrusts, but I was afraid of running into too many folks who believed he was still alive and popping up for sitings every so often for the National Enquirer. I ended up saving Graceland for my last day in Memphis, and ultimately I'm very glad that I went.

Graceland itself (the house that Elvis lived in that is) is amazingly humble by today's superstars' cribs' standards. You can actually see the front door from a main road, and the property is bordered by normal, everyday houses that you can clearly see. There's no 10' fence around it, no wall of bushes too dense to see through. And while there are some eccentricities (the Jungle Room, the racquetball court building, the separate building for his staff to take in fan mail and deal with business), I can actually imagine someone legitimately living there and there not being rooms and parts of the property that no one ever gets to.

Across the street from Graceland are the museums that house all of the Elvis memorabilia and paraphernalia, including exhibits detailing his wardrobe and sense of style, the news coverage he received, a small portion of his car collection, his two private jets, and his '68 comeback special. Oh, and literally about 8 or 9 different souvenir shops. Here are a few pics I snapped:

ANYWAY, all that leads up to today's contest for a brand new Elvis release that's coming out March 8th from the Legacy label. It's a double disc release collecting two of Elvis' albums (Elvis Is Back! and Something For Everybody) and his hit singles from that period (including Stuck On You, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Little Sister, and others). These two albums came out right after Elvis returned from his stint in the Army over in Germany, hence the title of the first album. Both of them were a tour de force for Elvis, presenting him and his music in a new light, with more sophistication, more depth of material, with the first recorded over the course of only two nights, and the second in only one! Along with the tunes is a set of liner notes that, much like most Legacy reissues, adds another dimension to the albums for listeners. 

I've got an extra copy of this release to share with one lucky reader. All you need to do to be in the running is to leave a comment (or email me) with your name, email address, and favorite Elvis tune. I'll pick a winner next Wednesdayish and notify them via email.

Visit the official Elvis website, and the Legacy Recordings website.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Luv Clowns (or be scared of them)

Hey all! I know it's been eons since I've shown my face around here. All apologies! I just got back yesterday from a pilgrimage to the home of some of my favorite music: Memphis, Tennessee! Besides hitting up all the top notch tourist spots like Sun Records, the Stax Museum, and Graceland (look for Elvis related music AND contest later this week), I had strong intentions of searching out some great vinyl hunting spots. I was lucky enough to stumble across two: Shangri-La Records and Goner Records (look for the fruits of those hunting trips in upcoming Sunday Soul posts). Which leads me to a little something that I had actually had before the trip, something put out by the above-mentioned Goner Records.

For all you music listeners out there who have kids and are looking for something different to throw on the radio for those long trips where you're listening to the same CD over and over and over and over and over....   check out the Luv Clowns. I know what you're thinking: the name is semi-creepy / semi-campy, and to be honest, that just about sums up their music, but in a good way! Usually it takes my daughter a few listens to warm up to new music that she's not familiar with, but she immediately liked this album on first try, and asks for it in the car all the time now. One of her favorite tracks, one which she oftentimes asks me to skip to, is K-I-D-S, which you can hear below without asking me to play it!

Visit their label Goner Records, and become their friend on Facebook.