News for May 2011
From the noise-master behind Sonic Youth comes his fourth solo album “Demolished Thoughts” produced by Beck. A sonically placid affair chock full of acoustics. If you close your eyes while listening, you could still hear how the Sonic Youth mothership would’ve treated these songs.
Edited: May 31st, 2011
OK…so those that know me well know that I sell dental floss for a living via the Gumbrand websites, so this song definitively strikes close to home. However, my love for this track…or Frank Zappa has nothing to do with dental floss per se…It’s purely on a musical genius level that Frank does it for me…and therefore should do it for you too!
Edited: May 30th, 2011
One of the most homespun and literate songwriters of our generation…right up there with Dylan, Waits, Young, Springsteen…just about any of the greats…you name ‘em! This song is originally from his 1999 album of the same name, here he is performing it on the sadly defunct TV show “Sessions At West 54th Street.
Edited: May 28th, 2011
The music world lost a great one today. Gil Scott-Heron – poet, activist, junkie, jailbird, comeback kid. This one originally hails from his amazing 1975 album “From South Africa To South Carolina.” The Revolution will not be televised? I saw him bring it to the stage several times. Check him out performing this song on TV back in the day!
Edited: May 27th, 2011
Daniele Luppi is a composer of film music influenced by the likes of Ennio Morricone. Danger Mouse is a producer extraordinaire and half of Gnarls Barkley. Jack White is a singular guitarist of his own Stripe. This song comes from the album “Rome” that also features Norah Jones.
Edited: May 27th, 2011
Post American Idol thought…would this man even had a chance on American Idol? I think not! He was too unconventional for his time. If you’re looking for real artistry…or seismic shifts in music, Idol is not the place for you. My prediction: Neither Idol finalist will have much of a career…
Edited: May 26th, 2011
The Five Peace Band consists of Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Vinnie Colaiuta. Fusion Jazz never sounded better on this McLaughlin composition culled from 22 concerts performed throughout Europe in 2008 for their sole Live album..
Edited: May 25th, 2011
Happy Birthday Bob! With a fresh set of songs from the “Desire” album in his back pocket, Dylan hit the road in 1975 with a traveling caravan of ragtag musicians for his Rolling Thunder Revue. They appeared mostly unannounced and created musical havoc on a nightly basis as heard here.
Edited: May 24th, 2011
Two of the most kindred spirits in Jazz were Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong. Both had larger than life personalities and musical chops to spare. So it made perfect sense in 1955 for Armstrong to pay tribute to Waller on his stellar album “Satch Plays Fats.” This version of Louis’ All-Stars included Velma Middleton on vocals and Barney Bigard on clarinet.
Edited: May 23rd, 2011
By the 1974 incarnation of King Crimson featuring Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, David Cross and John Wetton. After this album, Fripp put Crimson on hiatus for six years until 1980′s essential “Discipline” album featuring an all-new lineup with Tony Levin, Bill Bruford and Adrian Belew.
Edited: May 22nd, 2011
If there was a Mt. Rushmore for Country Music, Jimmie Rodgers’ would be right next to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. Although his life was cut short by tuberculosis a scant 6 years after it started, Country music begins and ends with “The Singing Brakeman.” He was also the first artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.
Edited: May 21st, 2011
From the classic “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” this song is one of the many hidden jewels, obscured by the album’s many mega-smash hits. Actually, this song had been kicking around since 1970 where it first appeared as the B-Side to Elton’s early single “Rock ‘n’ Roll Madonna.” It was re-recorded for this album.
Edited: May 20th, 2011
Time has yet to catch up with Miles Davis’ recordings from the early ’70s…still totally fresh and ahead of their time. The line-up here includes Keith Jarrett, John McLaughlin and Jack Dejohnette on a track originally from the record “Live/Evil” and reissued in its full-length glory on the 6-disc “Cellar Door Sessions 1970.”
Edited: May 19th, 2011
Another great Todd Rundgren production from the album “Skylarking.” Making this album was no picnic for the band, they were forced to work with Rundgren by their label or be dropped. Andy Partridge especially didn’t want to give Rundgren creative control. As usual, Rundgren managed to bring out the best in his charges resulting in a classic album.
Edited: May 18th, 2011
Revisiting a record 27 years on can sometimes be a crap shoot of hindsight and fuzzy memories. Revisiting Husker Du’s 1984 epic double album “Zen Arcade” finds it as powerful as ever…maybe even more so. The power trio of Bob Mould, Grant Hart and Greg Norton created one of the seminal opuses of Post Punk that still holds up today.
Edited: May 17th, 2011
Watching HBO’s post-Katrina New Orleans set show, “Treme,” led me to dig out some 1927 Jelly Roll Morton for today’s SOTD. Last night’s episode had one of the characters trying to figure out what made Morton’s recordings so popular back in the 1920s. Just listen and you’ll know…
Edited: May 16th, 2011
Pretty good song…I think this band has a future…
Edited: May 14th, 2011
From Norway by way of down state Illinois record label, Polyvinyl Records, come Casiokids with this great track from their 2010 debut American album “Topp Stemning På Lokal Bar.” Went to see them perform in a small club last August and they did not disappoint.
Edited: May 13th, 2011
Two power pop gems by Eric Carmen, Jim Bonfanti and company. Carmen went on to solo fame with his soft pop hit, “All By Myself,” before embarrassing this rock fan by writing soundtrack mush like “Almost Paradise” for Heart and “Hungry Eyes” from “Dirty Dancing.”
Edited: May 13th, 2011
After three albums with the group Nazz, Todd Rundgren launched his solo career in 1970 with the album “Runt.” While the song “We Gotta Get You A Woman” was the hit single, Rundgren showed his experimental side with songs like this one which was kind of a prequel to his 1973 album “A Wizard, A True Star.”
Edited: May 12th, 2011
Hailing from Cameroon, Africa, Manu Dibango established himself as an in-demand saxophone player working with acts as diverse as Fela Kuti, Don Cherry, The Fania All-Stars and Sly and Robbie. He hit paydirt with this international hit in 1973 whose imprint can be heard all over Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”
Edited: May 11th, 2011
Owen is Mike Kinsella who with his brother Tim have been members of some of Chicago’s finest indie bands including Joan Of Arc, Owls, American Football and Cap’n Jazz. Mike plays drums for most of the aforementioned bands, but he is the front man of Owen. This song comes from his 2009 album “New Leaves.”
Edited: May 10th, 2011
“Wings At The Speed Of Sound,” the 1976 album where this song is from is one of McCartney’s slighter efforts recorded quickly to have a some product on the shelves in time for the Wings Over America tour of 1976. That said, it does have its charms…”Beware My Love,” “Time To Hide” and this breezy favorite.
Edited: May 9th, 2011
Originally the name of a chicken and egg dish in a Chinese restaurant, here’s one of Paul Simon’s earlier journeys into world music from his first solo album. It’s also the perfect song for Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day!
Edited: May 7th, 2011
Could they be this generation’s Crosby, Stills & Nash?…Not by a mile…and they’re better for it. They’re more like the Beach Boys minus the Fun, Fun, Fun. Whatever you hear them as, there’s no doubt that they’re brand new record, “Helplessness Blues,” is a good listen.
Edited: May 7th, 2011
Song Of The Day – “Chronos” by James Farm - Jazz on a Friday morning… James Farm is a new quartet featuring Joshua Redman on saxophone, Aaron Parks on piano, Matt Penman on bass and Eric Harland on drums. I love the way Redman’s saxophone echoes Parks’ piano at the beginning of this track.
Listen To Hear “Chronos” by James Farm
Edited: May 6th, 2011
A Cinco de Mayo special from the 2007 album “La Cucaracha.” Here Ween go all cheesy on an instrumental that is about as “brown” (in Ween parlance) as it gets. Good times from Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween), Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and the boys.
Edited: May 5th, 2011
Here’s a song about a road from one of my all-time favorite albums “Teenager Of The Year.” He was a powerful force within the ranks of The Pixies, but when Black went solo, he really began to show his skills as a musician and a keen lyricist. “Went in from the weather when I got wheezy. I play some Pachinko I play Parcheesi”
Edited: May 4th, 2011
This infectious song is the highlight of Simon’s latest album “So Beautiful or So What.” In it, Simon dies only to find himself in a waiting room filling out forms and waiting in line. “Had to stand in the line just to glimpse the divine, What’cha think about that?”
Edited: May 3rd, 2011
Stafford got his start playing in a band that also included the late great, Gram Parsons. Throughout his career he dabbled in TV, comedy and writing. It was his keen sense of humor that brought him to the world’s attention via songs like this one, “My Girl Bill” and “Spiders And Snakes.” “Take a trip and never leave the farm…”
Edited: May 2nd, 2011