Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ghetto Soul Food

With the rise of Hip Hop/R&B came the demise of soul. Or was it the other way around?

Young people like Van Hunt, Alicia Keys, John Legend, and now, Leela James are here to bring it back. Leela sings about her personal longing for the music, and the singing, on her new release, A Change Is Gonna Come.

Ghetto (mp3)

Soul Food (mp3)

Check out the video for her soulful Music here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bob Dylan Approximately

As promised yesterday, here are some tracks from the free September UNCUT CD, Highway 61 Revisited Revisited.

Like A Rolling Stone -- Drive-By Truckers
Tombstone Blues -- Marc Carroll
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry -- Paul Westerberg
From A Buick 6 -- Richmond Fontaine
Ballad Of A Thin Man -- Willard Grant Conspiracy
Queen Jane Approximately -- American Music Club
Highway 61 Revisited -- Dave Alvin
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues -- The Handsome Family
Desolation Row -- Songdog

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tangled Up In Music Mags

In anticipation of the upcoming PBS Scorcese documentary, the September issues of MOJO and UNCUT are both offering free discs with exclusive covers of Dylan classics.

Today we've got tracks from the MOJO, and of course, we'll have some from the UNCUT tomorrow.

Here's the MOJO tracklist:

Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - This Wheel's On Fire
The Hollies - My Back Pages
Nancy Sinatra - It Ain't Me Babe
Hugh Cornwell - Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues
The Stands - Lay Lady Lay
Ben Weaver - Ballad Of A Thin Man
Roger McGuinn - Up To Me
Michael Weston King - Simple Twist Of Fate
The Flying Burrito Brothers - To Ramona
Chris Whitley - Spanish Harlem Incident
Andrew Bird And Nora O'Connor - Oh Sister
Fairport Convention - Si Tu Dois Partir
The Long Ryders - Masters Of War
John Martyn - Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
M. Ward, Conor Oberst & Jim James - Girl From The North Country

MOJO also features interviews, and a top 100 Dylan singles list, as voted by artists such as Arcade Fire's Win Butler, Frank Black, Bono, Nick Cave, Neko Case, Beck, and others, along with their comments.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Happy Birthday Uncle Tom!

Guess who's birthday it is? See that guy in the bowl of soup over there to the right? It's Ech, AKA Uncle Tom. Please join me in wishing him a Happy Birthday.

Here's a song for you, Ech. Just imagine the words "Uncle Tom" in the place of "Mr. President."

Marilyn Monroe - Happy Birthday to You (mp3)

Take Off In Your Soul Ship and Visit a Billion Different Distant Stars In One Second

(from Soul Transportation)

If you are still deciding whether to donate to autism charities by picking up a copy of the Dimension Mix, you're already wasting time, allowing yourself to be disconnected. The cosmos, including Beck, Stereolab, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Apples in Stereo, Eels, Oranger, and From Bubblegum to Sky, is awaiting your buy-in. As a whole, the disc is otherworldly, transcendental, funky, weird, and fun. If my vague adjectives haven't convinced you to make a trip to your local record store, maybe these will:

DJ Me DJ You - Soul Transportation (mp3)

Anubian Lights - Walking Eagle (mp3)

Listen to Beck's version of Funky Little Song and compare with the original here.

And as the efficient mp3blog surfer that you are, you are aware that there is other stuff from the CD floating around. But take my word: buy it. You'll love the packaging, the colorful, informative booklet, and you'll feel better.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Bloc Party Vs Death From Above

Some of the remixes I've heard from Bloc Party's forthcoming Silent Alarm Remixed are disposable. Listen closely once, then throw away or keep as passable background music. Others are keepers. And then, on a higher, heavier plane, there's this one.

Bloc Party - Luno (Bloc Party vs. DFA) (mp3)

Compare to the original track here.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Patrick Swayze's Greatest Hits

The title wouldn't surprise me.

From the Chicago Sun-Times article, Isn't greatness required for 'greatest hits'?

A greatest-hits album once stood as a watershed -- a milestone chronicling a collection of top-rated hits, culturally significant songs or the end of a stellar career.

But in recent years, a flood of ''best of'' titles from acts with only few years in the business -- and performers with even fewer hits -- have called into question how great a greatest-hits collection is.

Among the more questionable greatest hits collections that have popped up in recent years: ''Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika'' (with one hit from the 1980s); ''The Best of Mandy Moore,'' from an entertainer who had more success as an actress than she ever did as a singer,...And while teen queen Hilary Duff has sold millions of albums, she has released only two discs -- the first one in 2003 -- and neither spawned a top 10 hit. Her ''best of'' collection, ''Most Wanted,'' hit record stores Tuesday.

The Latest Jazziz On Disc


From A Little Blues In The Mix:

Tony Monaco - Every Day I Have The Blues (mp3)

Pavlo - Mediterranean Eyes (mp3)

The disc also features great songs from Miles Davis, Otis Taylor, Ahmad Jamal, and Jason Moran, among others.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Peter Buck Presents

His fist on a drunken British Airways flight.

That, and this mix CD courtesy Uncut magazine...

(had to put this photo up per popular unrequest...this is the Mikey Mills issue)

1. Ry Cooder - Poor Man's Shanghai
2. The Turn ons - New Jesus
3. The Pernice Brothers - There Goes The Sun
4. Espers - Meadow
5. John Doe - The Losing Kind
6. Orange Juice - Poor Old Soul Part 1
7. Smog - Rock Bottom Riser
8. Martha Wainwright - Factory
9. The Go-Betweens - Darlinghurst Nights
10. Richard Thompson - My Soul, My Soul
11. Stephen Malkmus - Pencil Rot
12. Belle & Sebastian - Lazy Line Painter Jane
13. Jeff Klein - Put You To Sleep
14. Sufjan Stevens - Jacksonville
15. Rem (Same track as the Stipe CD)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Stipe Presents

By now, we all know the story about how REM got together - Michael Stipe frequented Wuxtry Records in Athens, Georgia, where Peter Buck worked. Each admired the other's taste in music, got together for drinks, agreed to form a band, and voila.

I've often imagined the two of them browsing through the dusty vinyl in Wuxtry Records, and wondered what records they pick up to buy these days.

The August editions of Uncut give us a clue, with three "REM Collection" CDs accompanying each edition. These tracks are from the Michael Stipe Presents CD (Disc 2).

1. Now It's Overhead - Reverse (Live)
2. Karen Elson - Coming Down (personal recording) (Jack White's supermodel wife)
3. Papercranes - Knew You When (Singer Rain Phoenix is River's sister)
4. Tilly & The Wall - Nights of the Living Dead
5. The Citizens Band - Je T'aime Scumbag
6. Flash to Bang Time - H The President (Michael's sister, Lynda Stipe, is the band leader)
7. The Checks - Mercedes Children
8. Vic Chestnutt - Aunt Avis
9. Magnapop - Favorite Writer (Live)
10. Angela McCluskey - Hidden Song
11. Leona Naess - No Boys (Live)
12. Joseph Arthur - In The Sun (Live)
13. Patti Smith - Wing (Live)
14. Bright Eyes - We Are Nowhere And It Is Now (Live)
15. REM - Boy In The Well (Live)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sometimes I'm talkative and sometimes you're not talkative, I know.

Mark your calenders for October 15th, when Animal Collective's Feels is released. Earlier this week, Stereogum directed us to these excellent streaming tracks on Boomkat. Here's another solid, drum & rhythm guitar driven track from Feels. The orchestral part around the 3-1/2 minute mark is a heavenly blend of voices, drums, piano, and guitar.

Animal Collective - The Purple Bottle (mp3)

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Swarm of Words Inside His Belly

Blue Dementia

In the days when a man
would hold a swarm of words
inside his belly, nestled
against his spleen, singing.

In the days of nightriders
when life tongued a reed
till blues & sorrow songs
called out of the deep night:
Another man done gone.
Another man done gone.

In the days when one could lose oneself
all up inside love that way,
& then moan on the bone
till the gods cry out in someone's sleep.

already I've seen three dark-skinned men
discussing the weather with demons
& angels, gazing up at the clouds
& squinting down into iron grates
along the fast streets of luminous encounters.
I double-check my reflection in plate glass
& wonder, Am I passing another
Lucky Thompson or Marion Brown
cornered by a blue dementia,
another dark-skinned man
who woke up dreaming one morning
& then walked out of himself
dreaming? Did this one dare
to step on a crack in the sidewalk,
to turn a midnight corner & never come back
whole, or did he try to stare down a look
that shoved a blade into his heart?
I mean, I also know something
about nightriders & catgut. Yeah,
Honey, I know something about talking with ghosts.

- Yusef Komunyakaa, from the Spring 2005 issue of Ploughshares.

Odetta - Another man done gone (mp3), from Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues

Johnny Cash (with Anita Carter) - Another man done gone (mp3), from Blood, Sweat and Tears

Friday, August 12, 2005

Antony & The Johnsons with Good ID3 Tags

I keep forgetting. Sorry.

These mp3s from Antony & The Johnson's WNYC Spinning in-studio performance (8/5/05) (see previous post) have good ID3 Tags.

For Today I Am A Boy
I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy
The Lake

Mysteries of Love

Friday Live - All Antony

Today's edition of Friday Live features Antony & the Johnsons, because their in-studio performance on last Friday's WNYC Spinning On Air session was the most soulful music I heard all month, and maybe all year.

Antony & the Johnsons mp3s from WNYC Spinning in-studio performance (8/5/05):

For Today I Am A Boy
I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy
The Lake

From their May 2005 performance on XFM:

Hope There's Someone
You Are My Sister

And a non-live "somewhat available" track ripped from the WNYC Spinning session:
Mysteries of Love

Listen to the entire interview and performance here. Antony talks about Edgar Allan Poe, the disturbing children's letters in the I Am a Bird Now liner notes, and details about the songs he performed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Visual Guide to Fresh Mouth vs. Meth Mouth

Fresh Mouth

Meth Mouth (from NPR news story, 'Meth Mouth' Strains Prison Health-Care Budgets 10 Aug 05)

Fresh Mouth

Meth Mouth (from St. Louis Today news story, Rural dentists report surge in "meth mouth", 25 Jul 05)

And a public service cartoon here, from Hail Dubyus.

Beck and Heavy Metal Aerobics

BECK: That was when I was in a punk-metal band called Loser...I'd play most of the set in a closed coffin, and I wouldn't come out till near the end when I would do the big solo. The door would kick open and I'd come ou, wailing on the guitar. We also considered making an aerobics video.

BLVR: A heavy metal aerobics video?

BECK: Yeah. In a graveyard. Cause, you know, if you're gonna be a head-banger, you have to maintain neck musculature. And you can't rock out with flabby thighs.

- From this year's Believer Music Issue.

I mourned yesterday when I looked at the new Beck tour dates, and realized that I will be in New Jersey when Beck comes here to the D.C. area. But then I rejoiced when I looked a little lower on the list and saw that Beck is playing in New Jersey when I'm there.

And dig this:

Beck - Missing (Remix by Royksopp) (mp3)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Stride in Blue Moods, Sex, The Dream, and Jungle Drums

It's not a weird post title. They're the names of the three songs I'm posting today.

James P. Johnson was one of the originators of the stride style of piano, which was a bridge between ragtime and jazz. You can hear elements of each in these recordings. He influenced Count Basie, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Art Tatum, and Thelonious Monk.

In Blue Moods, Sex (mp3), he foreshadows Monk by holding some notes for just a moment longer than you expect, and by creating harmony with dissonant keys. It's slinky, sly, and playful.

Jungle Drums (mp3) has no drums, but you hear them anyway. I don't just mean that you feel the rhythm; if you have any imagination at all, you hear the drums in there. Aggressive and forceful.

Dream (mp3) is a masterpiece of timing and finger acrobatics. You can't play this.

All solo piano mp3s from The Original James P. Johnson: 1942-1945, Piano Solos.

More .ram files to listen to here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Visions of Bliss

Gentle "chill out" music usually bores me to tears.

Last night, though, I came across the U.S. edition of Quiet Letters, the new album from Bliss. I tried to resist, but some of the songs surprised me with pleasant contrasts--I won't give you specifics, but you can hear some in the first track below, and I smiled at the visions (hey, I'm vacation-rested and open-minded) I had while listening. Maybe Bliss will do the same for you. You'll have to listen with headphones, though. Meditative postures optional, along with incense and any other smokes.

Long Life to You My Friend starts out like Donnie Darko background music, and morphs into an amalgam of international sounds. Just when you think it's going to be lame and boring, the uplifting African vocals come in. My vision during this track? That great epic Shakespearean tragedy, The Lion King. If Timon and Pumbaa were to say farewell to the hakuna matata days and part ways, this might be the theme music. Kinda makes you want to cry, doesn't it.

Bliss - Long Life to You My Friend (mp3)

Right There brought visions of a great Shakespearean comedic drama - the High School Prom. It's the perfect prom theme song. It will take you back to your ballroom dance floor, when you wished you were slow dancing with someone else as you sucked face and groped ass with your high-haired pimplefaced date. Too bad it will never be played at a prom.

Bliss - Right There (mp3)