2 Years and 700 Posts

•January 6, 2012 • 2 Comments

I’ll leave you to do the listening.

Mississippi Fred McDowell

You Gotta Move

We All Had a Crush on Jan

•January 5, 2012 • 1 Comment

The Brady Bunch kids started singing in some episodes, thanks to ABC’s Friday night companion series The Partridge Family. In fact, the recordings used the very same session singers.

Time To Change

Go Forth

•January 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This is a recording lifted from a Levi’s commercial. The appropriated spoken word part is an excerpt from a reading (I do believe by Will Geer) of Walt Whitman‘s Pioneers! O Pioneers! I remember the first time I saw the ad, stuck in with the trailers at a movie theater, and I thought “Whoa, what have we here…?”

The poem itself speaks of Whitman’s passion for the westward expansion, for those who sought a more fulfilling life, and their courage in making those choices.

Pioneers! O Pioneers! (excerpt)

Dark Romanticism

•January 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Mmmmm…new stuff from the stalwart Tindersticks. I’m devoted to this distinctive band and their elegantly obtuse orchestrations.

Medicine:

A Slow Chant

•January 2, 2012 • 1 Comment

This piece still stands as strong as it did when it hit the streets in ’82. It’s sort of the What’s Goin’ On of hip hop, introducing a grim voicing of society’s concerns to a genre then dominated by Sugar Hill’s good times.

Oddly enough, Grandmaster Flash himself doesn’t actually appear in this recording. He was the glue that held together a crew of performers. The vocal itself is by session musician Duke Bootee, lip-synced by member Raheim in the video, and the tensions that mounted as this rap gained popularity caused the band to diverge.

The Message

Vocal Loops and Layers

•January 1, 2012 • 1 Comment

I’ve always been a big fan of ethereal female vocalists, from Cocteau Twins to Bjork to Sheila Chandra to Meredith Monk.

Drenched in layers of and reverb, Julianna Barwick sounds like the moonlit lapping waves of some ghostly shore.

Prizewinning

Leftovers

•December 31, 2011 • 1 Comment

I read an article in the New York Times about how rock and popular music is spinning its wheels, and I can’t agree more. Simon Reynolds’ Retromania struck a chord in me when I read it last summer, and I’ve been bothered that so much recent music is just re-hashed variations on greater music.

It’s not that I don’t like certain things, there’s a lot of recent music that sounds great and fires me up. Is it cool to listen to? Would I enjoy seeing them play over a few beers? Yes, certainly.

But there is this nagging sensation that follows most recent musical output, like some starving mongrel nipping at its heels.

Listen to this song by The Fumes. It rocks, but couldn’t we say this duo is an Australian Black Keys, and follow that line back to more original and distinctive origins?

Cuddle Up the Devil: