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Old 07-11-2009, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aural Fixation- Gavin B.'s Music Blog

A lot of new music falls into my hands both at work and in cyberspace. 95% is not my cup of tea. The Song of the Day feature of my journal will share some of the relatively obscure groups and artists that I've come across that show a glimmer of artistic vision. On a music site like MB some of my picks may be already be already known to some forum members especially the music conscious Brits. I am hoping that many of my picks will be new to most folks.


Song of the Day


Adam Young is Owl City


Rainbow Veins by Owl City Owl City is a recording project of Adam Young who has produced three albums in his basement in the last year and a half. He hails from Owatonna Minnesota, which is a mighty cold region of the United States. Owl City's music is in the musical territory of indie electronica. To me it sounds like trippy psychedelic pop.

Adam just released his third Owl City album called Ocean Eyes and will be doing his first big national tour beginning in September to promote the album. Here's a link to Owl City's My Space page. Rainbow Veins is from Owl City's first album, Maybe I'm Dreaming" which was released in 2008.


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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-26-2009 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default The Music of New Orleans VOL I

The Music of New Orleans is something I've wanted to write about for a long time. I spent the first 14 years of my life living in New Orleans and it's impossible to grow up in the Crescent City without being exposed to the jazz, R&B, French creole zydeco, Caribbean, and rock and roll that is the unique heart and soul of NOLA. The Music of New Orleans is intended to be a quick and dirty survey of about 20 or so artists and groups that are at the foundation of New Orleans music.

The Pianists

James Booker was the finest pianist you never heard and he was grand master of New Orleans piano in the style of Jelly Roll Morton. But the Spiderman was versatile and could play the blues, boogie, barellhouse, and the latest R&B or pop songs.





Champion Jack Dupree was the king of boogie woogie and blues in the Crescent City style.



Mac Rebennack aka Dr. John was the most commercially successful of the NOLA pianists and his awesome reputation as a player was hard earned. He's still one of the most sought after session pianists in the music business.



Roy Byrd aka Professor Longhair developed a rhumba boogie style of piano playing that came to define the sound of New Orleans piano. He is arguably the most influential of the Cresent City piano masters.

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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-17-2009 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I was hoping you'd do one of these someday. Great start as well - the New Orleans scene is something I've been looking to investigate for some time (given the Elvis Costello-Allen Toussaint link there is), so I'll be keeping an eye out for some of those.

Looking forward to more from this thread. Keep up the good work eh.
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Song of the Day


Karin Dreiger Andersson aka Fever Ray

When I Grow Up by Fever Ray Fever Ray is a side project of musical eccentric Karin Dreijer Andersson, who is one half of sublimely dark Swedish electro act The Knife. Fever Ray's self titled debut album remains at the top my running list noteable albums of 2009 at halfway point to the end of the year.

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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-12-2009 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default New Orleans Music Vol. II

The Jazz Players

Louis Armstrong- Louie was the very definition of jazz New Orleans style. Here's a 1959 rendition of Mack the Knife written by Kurt Weill for Bertold Brecht's Three Penny Opera.



Eddy Davis' New Orleans Jazz Band- St. James Infirmary is an old blues song that is older than jazz music and Eddy Davis performs a rousing rendition of it New York City's National Underground Music Festival in the summer of 2008.



Wynton Marsalis- Wynton does an impromptu solo rendition of Buddy Boden's Blues the earliest New Orleans jazz song.



Jelly Roll Morton - Here's Fred "Jelly Roll" Morton's own recording of his famous Finger Breaker. Jelly wrote this to show of to New York Ragtime pianists (A.K.A. Early Stride pianists) that he had fine technique too. And was made even more famous in the excellent film "The Legend of 1900" I knew a classically trained pianist at the New England Conservatory of Music who told me that playing stride piano in the style of Jelly Roll Morton was far more difficult than playing any Chopin sonata.

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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-22-2009 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I recently came across an item in the venerable American magazine, Newsweek, that challenges the "conventional wisdom" of recording labels, the RIAA and their minions of intellectual property attorneys. From Newsweek 7/11/09:
Quote:
In November 2008, Monty Python gave away popular clips on YouTube. By February its DVD sales were up 23,000 percent on Amazon. This is win-win "freeconomics": because some pay a premium, everyone gets to graze for nothing.

Consumers win, too. Economists say everything carries a cost—even if it's hidden or distributed—but the "cost" of online infotainment is so distributed that it's imperceptible.
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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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One of the hippest and most infomative music sources on the web is (believe it or not) the National Public Radio Music website. Are you doubled over in laughter at thought of NPR being musically hip? Before you choke on your coffee and spray it all over your keyboard, check out this link to the NPR Music website .

NPR's music coverage is quite expansive and covers everything from indie, to worldbeat, to blues, to jazz and just about any other music in the galaxy of genres that comprise contemporary music. There's even coverage of classical music.

NPR Music has introduced a number of new indie music artists to my attention long before an internet buzz. I first heard about groups like White Stripes, Firery Furnances and Cut/Copy from new music profiles on NPR Music. NPR's own studio performance videos have often exposed new indie groups to a mass audience even before they've released an album.

NPR Music also has a section with full lenth concerts on demand, including a recent Sonic Youth raveup. My favorite NPR Music feature is the Song of the Day which inspired me to carry a song of the day on my own blog here at MB. Speaking of which, here's my own selection for song of the day.

Song of the Day


The exotic and photogenic Natasha Kahn of BFL


Glass- Bat for Lashes Bat for Lashes is the musical project of Brighton England's Natasha Kahn. Glass is a song from her recently released album Two Suns.

Ms. Kahn is Pakistan expatriate and also does multimedia performance art. Her musical influences are as diverse as Bjork, Dead Can Dance, Portishead, Sheila Chandra and Siouxsie. She has a hypnotic singing voice and a lot of her music is downtempo. Thankfully, Natasha studiously avoids stupor inducing languor of over-chilled electronica. This live rendition of Glass was performed on a radio show last month.

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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-17-2009 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Strange Bedfellows Dept.
Featuring Quirky and Oddball Cover Songs


Jazz Goes Grunge

Members of the modern jazz group, Bad Plus broke into a rousing avant garde rendition of Nirvana's Lithium at last week's Winnepeg Jazz Festival. Their version of the Cobain song didn't get a lot of applause, except from the three Nirvana fans in the audience. Jazz music fans aren't exactly known for their musical pluralism, unlike jazz musicians who are often very hip to contemporary music trends. The vocalist, Wendy Lewis has been doing jazz infused covers of offbeat songs for awhile and she's a great vocal stylist.



Bossa Nova Bunnymen

Nouvelle Vague has been around for about five years now and specializes in covers of post-punk songs with a twist of Brazilian samba or bossa nova. I like this Nouvelle Vague cover of Echo and the Bunnymen's The Killing Moon better than the original. Sorry about that, Echo.



Angry Old Fogies

My final choice is the Zimmer's rousing rendition of the Who's My Generation . The Zimmers were all the rage a mere two years ago and their music video went viral on the internet.

Since that moment of glory, we haven't heard much of anything from the Zimmers. Apparently the band will only be remembered as just another one hit wonder but their rendition of My Generation is a memorable one.

When your band's youngest member is 75 years old, you probably don't get many long term 5 album contract offers from record companies. Who knows?... Maybe half of the Zimmers have kicked the bucket since 2007. The official video of the song is wickedly funny and quite good musically...but copyright law forbids me from it embedding the video offsite. You can view it on YouTube

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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-22-2009 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Music of New Orleans Vol. III

The Neville Family

The Neville Brothers are the personification of 2nd line funk. There are 5 different brothers who perform with the group depending on which night you hear them. Iko Iko and Brother John are both NOLA classics.



Wild Tchoupitoulas are a crew of costumed "indians" who play every year at the Mardi Gras parade. The drum corps is led by Big Chief Jolly Landry and his nephews in the Neville Brothers are frequent participants on vocals. The Wild Tchoupitoulas are a wonder to behold in their yearly performances at Mardi Gras. The group only released one album in 1976 and it's still one of the most sought after items by music collectors. Wild Tchoupitoulas also sponsor and run cultural arts center in New Orleans This is a steet video of the 2009 parade filmed last march, just as the Tchoupitoulas hit the sacred ground of Washington and LaSalle streets where jazz was born.



The Meters were led by Neville brother Art and were produced by Allen Toussaint, the legendary NOLA musician. There is still an academic debate going on about who originated funk music, James Brown or the Meters. I'm not really sure, but I grew up in New Orleans listening to the funky music of the Meters when James Brown will still playing traditional R&B songs like Night Train, Please Please Please Please and Out of Sight.



Aaron Neville is one of America's most venerated R&B singers and generally sticks to soulful ballads and gospel music. Tell It Like It Is is another Allen Toussaint production and was a chart topping R&B hit in the Sixties. Aaron has gone a little too MOR for my taste in the past couple of decades but his early work with Toussaint was a significant contribution to early R&B.

P.S. Don't ask me why a publicity photo from the television show the Wonder Years is pictured on the video. I have no idea of what the YouTube poster was thinking about.

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Old 07-18-2009, 01:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Song of the Day

Periodically Double or Triple is the single first release from Yo La Tengo's forthcoming album Popular Songs album which has a release date of September 8th 2009. Popular Music will be the 14th YLT album and according to Matador Records, Popular Songs will the full range of the YLT musical oeuvre including a two 20 minute plus epic songs. Periodically Double or Triple is a tongue in cheek performance that sounds like suburban lounge funk.

Earlier this year YLT released an album rowdy drunken cover songs under the not-so-secret name of the Condo F*cks. The title of the album was F*ckbook was a big hint to their hard core fans that it was a YLT project.

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There are two types of music: the first type is the blues and the second type is all the other stuff.
Townes Van Zandt

Last edited by Gavin B.; 07-18-2009 at 08:05 AM.
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