Monday, October 31, 2011

Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Ol' Man River

Today's post was almost.. I mean by a hair it was almost "I Put A Spell On You". So if you're feeling for that, go click the link and enjoy that classic shock rock.

But if you want something different, something you might not have heard before that still fits the current mood (or Halloween mood for those of you reading in the future), then listen on because today I've got child-scaring-music just itching at the base of your ears.


No, wait. Stop. Pause the video. It might be smart to hear an original version first. Click here to enjoy the version performed by Paul Robeson for Showboat.

Then go back up, listen to Hawkins' more... extravagant version, and admire how much he was able to change that song. Consider the era, we're talking 50's here, and he managed to pull something off more modern than a lot of people were even thinking about yet. Pay attention to his voice, his strong tone, the way the music switches every few minutes right after his scream sessions.

And face it, those screams are something that you'd expect people to enjoy during these modern times. Even for Screamin' Jay Hawkins they were a bit out of place. But it's the things that stand out that make a difference most of the time, right?

This is another one of those songs that you can get on a few albums. Again I'll recommend the original,  At Home with Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

Buy: CD

This isn't an album for everyone, but it is a good creepy album. And it's a full recommendation, with bonus songs to make it more of a 'best of' than just the first album.

Of course I recommend it, but some of the true beauty behind this guy is his shows. Look him up on Youtube if you're feeling for it. It's worth it and you can easily spend a good few hours watching his material.

For if you're bored or something. Yeah.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cream - Strange Brew

I woke up this morning afternoon with this song stuck in my head. It's fairly appropriate since I really did have a few strange brews last night, and it's even better because it won't hurt my head to listen to it.

Plus, any day is a good day for Cream.

For those of you who don't know (shame on you!) Cream was a pioneer in Psychedelic Rock. They also made way for the genius that is Eric Clapton.

Today's song features Clapton himself on the vocals. Enjoy the classic hit.


Mmm. Cream, it's been too long.

If you haven't heard this song before, this is another one you can get in many 'best of' albums. But trust me, you're better off with the original album, Disreali Gears.

Have I ever lied to you about music? Come on.

Cough.

Buy: CD | mp3

Any self respecting Psych-Rock lover should already have this album, but for the rest of you there's a few very good reasons to own this. The most obvious of those reasons being that it's the album that has Sunshine of Your Love.

If that song really does't ring a bell, please, click the link where Sunshine of Your Love is. It'll be my good deed for the day just to have you know that it exists. Go.

Of course, maybe it's not for you. The album is a bit slower than the modern stuff a lot of you have had to grow up with, but well, give it a listen anyway. How you do is up to you, but in a few years time you'll probably look back on that first listen and be thankful the trio ever existed.

Again, trust me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Basshunter - Welcome to the Rainbow

Well tonight I'm going to some Trance/Dance thing with some buddies, the price of being.. nice, and I'm trying to psych myself up with it. And how?

Well I checked my library and found this old thing. I'm not sure who gave me this, I'm pretty sure this wasn't consciously bought by me, and I can't really figure out why  kept it either. I guess I'm glad I did though, it might prepare me for tonight.

Maybe.

Give it a listen or something. I won't hold it against you for skipping today's post.


The ultimate trance experience. Well alright. To be fair, it didn't sound that bad this time, maybe it's already growing on me. That transition around the 2 minute mark? Sweet stuff right there, right? Kinda?

I'm not gonna try that hard. This stuff reminds me of what the girls I'd try to hit on listened to back when I was 14. I guess it wasn't that long ago so this music doesn't necessarily have to be dated.. but..

It can be catchy. If you like this type of catchy, maybe you want the catchy album in all its catchy-ness.

Buy: CD | mp3

Does it look like it's from the 90's? Funny thing, it's not even 5 years old. Now You're Gone - The Album is his 2008 release. It has fairly less vocals than on his previous and awesomely titled LOL <(^^,)> (I have that one too..)

It's pretty great if you're into having happy beats rammed into your brain with a machine gun. Or if you're preparing for the worst, like me.

OH and a note, yeah that particular song doesn't actually come on the album. iTunes bonus track. I guess that's where the one iTunes gift card went. Sweet.

Friday, October 28, 2011

War - The Cisco Kid

Yes, a lot of you will know this song well. Those of you can go ahead and give yourself a pat in the back because all the rest probably only know War for that one hit Why Can't We Be Friends. And a lot of those might not even know the song was by War.

It's okay, it's old music. It takes research and time to know things your parents were raised with. That's why I'm here. Oh, and before anyone asks, they're not the ones with the funky Motown War song. That'd be Edwin Starr. (I've been asked this before..)

Today's song is one of their hits, nice funky freshness from 1972 Los Angeles, California. The song is about the heroic Mexican caballero and how he was their friend. Cough.

Just listen to it.


So contagious.

The song has been sampled, remixed, re-done, etc. many many times, the most popular versions can be found right here.

But really, nothing can top the original here. Not Method, Red and Cypress Hill, not Sublime, not Rage Against the Machine, no. The original is where it's at. And it's even better when you listen to the rest of the album.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl

Now I could tell you to go and get one of the dozens of the 'Best Of WAR' albums, and maybe a lot of you should. But this album, The World Is a Ghetto.. Mmf.

I could have posted another song, but I reached my amazing songs that are longer than the average attention span limit this month, so I went with the classic.

Today's post honestly almost was this one 13 minute track, City, Country, City. It's like an Egyptian cotton q-tip. smooth to the ears.

If I didn't have any value for my life, I'd even go as far as to say they were like some funk version of  Pink Floyd or something. But just know that I do value my life very much, and that I would never actually make that comparison, psychotic Floyd fan that was about to behead me. You know who you are.

Really though, if you like The Cisco Kid, give the album a listen. Thank me later. Thank me by enjoying it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Hi-Lo's - Some Minor Changes

Let's continue the day with some Vocal Jazz classics, The Hi-Lo's.

Heard of them? If you have, what are you doing checking my blog, grandma? Remembber to take your pills. Kisses.

And for those of you who haven't, they were inspiration for many Doo-Wop groups, Pop musicians and other Vocal Jazz musicians that would then inspire even more young musicians and ultimately shape the music that we listen to today.

Neat, huh?

Today's song should be an easier one to listen to for the average set of ears, give Some Minor Changes a listen.


Contrary to what Youtube would like you to believe, the above song is much shorter than 5 minutes. The song is barely 3 minutes long. It's amazing how after just 3 minutes I feel like saying gee-whiz!

I'm well aware they're not everyone's cup of tea, so if you prefer some Hip-Hop, have them sampled by the Jurassic 5 in The Influence.

But if you did like it, why not check out the album for an occasional listen?

Buy: CD | mp3

This is a once every 3 months listen for me. I appreciate the impact they had and how they helped make what music is, but taking in too much of that blast from the past makes me want to dress like my great grand pappy. And that tends to freak people out a little.

All the same, you'll enjoy The Hi-Lo's And All That Jazz if you like the earlier Doo-Wop sounds, and might enjoy them even more so if you like intricate vocal layering. They were no amateurs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keller Williams - Warning

Now this is a guy I admire. Multi-instrumentalist, multi-genre inspired and lyrically versatile as well, I mean come on.

Today's song will have a hint of Jazz, some soulful sounding music and a very nice piano to accompany it through.

It's not hard to listen to on its own, but the lyrics kick it up a notch too. Now don't expect the most amazing vocals, just don't expect bad ones.

Enjoy yourself Keller's Warning.


Yeah, no Youtube embed for this song. If both Grooveshark and Myspace Music aren't working for you, well just stop reading and pretend you're not missing out. I'll help you.

It's a terrible song. Now stop reading before you find out how awesome I think it is.

Who wouldn't like to warn those poor birds?!

The first listen will come as a bit of a shock, but the second time will still pack a weird punch. You see, comedic music usually stands out because the whole music bit tends to take a back seat, the lyrics and the jokes take the driver's seat. You'll be able to tell.

Just go listen to Stephen Lynch or Bo Burnham. They're not hard to listen to, they're funny! But the music sounds like it's working up for comedy. In Keller Williams' case, if you leave this on in the background it'll still sound pretty decent.

Now, the whole album isn't solely comedic, it pretty much sounds like selected thoughts. If you want to see what it sounds like to have a  good personal blog in music form, I'd recommend his 2009 album Odd.

Buy: CD | mp3

A heads up though, he has this Country-ish Bluegrass-y sound at times that some people won't like, and I get that.

But then there's stories like when he had a doobie in his shirt pocket in his suitcase at the line in the airport, or things we can all relate to like when you lose your keys that are in your pocket, that make up for it.

What really makes it great is that he's not trying to be funny all the time. He's just writing or improvising or whatever he wants. You can tell he enjoys it, and that makes the listening experience better.

To me, anyway.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Junior Senior - Move Your Feet

Today's song has seen the charts all over the world, but was especially popular in Europe. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if a lot of you have heard the song, but I also know that these singles sometimes slip under the radar, even with fairly popular play.

Enjoy the Indie-Pop/Disco sound that is Move Your Feet. And if you feel like it, by all means, do.


If you can't see the video, well that really sucks. It's  some of Shynola's best work and makes for a pretty fun watch. If you check their website you'll find the videos they've made, that includes today's video and a few others for some big names like Radiohead and Coldplay.

If you really enjoyed the song, you might enjoy their debut album, D-D-Don't Stop the Beat.

Buy: CD | mp3

The Danish Pop duo don't lie, they fork over exactly what they label themselves as. That'd be a Pop/Disco/Funk/Indie Rock hybrid thing that actually works if you're in the mood for it.

This album has some pretty positive opinions on it. However, in my eyes the album can get a bit repetitive, but I guess that's also the idea. Very catchy, memorable, and with time potentially annoying. If it sounds like it's for you, it probably is.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics - An Epic Story

In my experience, telling a story is rather hard without words. I mean maybe if you're psychic or something like that. I dunno.

Today's song is An Epic Story, a completely instrumental piece that delivers exactly what it promises. What the story may be to you is up for you to decide.

Enjoy the father of Ethio-Jazz playing along with some younger Psychedelic Jazz enthusiasts. It's beautiful.


Nothing overdone here. It's gentle but not meditative, it has some great talents going through left and right but no one gets too much of a spotlight, and it keeps a nice pace all the way through. It's like going on a walk on the best day of your life.

Okay, maybe the best day of your life thing is just me. It's an example. Deal with it.

You can find the song and many other talented pieces on Inspiration Information 3.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl

This is the third installment of Strut Records' collaborative albums, and it's just full of ear candy.

At times you'll hear more of Mulatu's Latin Jazz influences, at others you'll hear The Heliocentrics rewind through time and pull something a bit funkier, but the album stands out because it infuses the two into something that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

It's really diverse. It was way too hard picking just one song from the album, but if I'd selected any more this would be another of those never ending posts, and we wouldn't want that.

So just take my word for it, that it's different, but that if you enjoyed this song at all the album will have  something for you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

23 - FUCK YOU (If You Like This Song) [Free Download-ish]

Now, today's track is Dubstep, which means a lot of you won't like it, and so 23 won't have reason to insult you. It's funny how that plays out, isn't it?

He's taken this one song, cut it up into two demo versions and released it onto the public in an effort to rack in 4,000 Facebook likes. At the moment, he's only about 325 likes away from the goal.

Give the demos a listen. Unless you don't like Dubstep, in that case you should scroll down under his logo for something different.


You just heard the end of the track. If you didn't hear it, or if you just want an excuse to listen to more, he released another teaser thing on Soundcloud

Enjoy that if you like.


This may not be for you. It may not be for a lot of you, but don't worry! 23 is as diverse as he is catchy and original. 

Amazing logo brought to you by Wag Scala

There's still plenty of reasons to like this guy. The first of which being that he's admitted he won't be doing Dubstep forever. I find this special.

The second being that he's released some other stuff under other genres that are actually pretty good.

He's got a Drumstep remix (Dubstep/Drum 'n' Bass, it's passable, trust me) of that one Three Doors Down classic Kryptonite

If that's still too Dubstep for you, he's got this one Electro track titled In Soviet Russia, Song Introduces You. It's definitely an interesting listen.

And to finish the post off and show true diversity, you might want to listen to the relaxing Minimal House track, Brooklyn Rooftop. It's an original and it suits certain moods. The ending probably isn't expected either.

I'm pretty sure you can download all of those directly off the Soundcloud, but you'll find more downloads on the Free Tracks section of his Facebook.

So if you can and want, give his page a like, and if you can't, just surf his Soundcloud for what you can.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reggie Watts - Fuck Shit Stack

Whose a fan of explicit lyrics? Because if you're not, you might want to click out of this particular tab and head elsewhere. I suggest Radio Disney.

No, I'm serious. This song will contain swears. This might just be your last warning.

Well, with a title like that you'd expect as much, but the song is pretty much train of thought with self samples and  a lot of bad words. Among them fuck and shit.

Of course, anyone who knows of Reggie Watts should know by now that he'll make it entertaining, but the rest of you should take it from me that he does a damn fine job of keeping your mind occupied and happy.

Give Fuck Shit Stack a listen. (I actually just love saying it. Who could tell?)


See, even the video warns you that it's uncensored. By now you're all so over hyped that it's gonna have bad words that you might just be let down when you hear it. Sorry.

And for those who are seeing the genius that is Reggie for the first time, you should know that something impressive you're missing out on is how he beatboxes his own beat and then rap/sing/whatever he does over it.

Here's a live version of the song, and to see the rest of his talent (he can be much more impressive) try out Binary Existence.

For any wondering, his instrument is called a loop sampler.

Buy: ... Oh, take your pick

Why S#!+ So Crazy? is both a live show and studio projects expertly pieced together. Unless you pay close attention to the audience, you won't even know when the transitions go on.

Or if you watch it. You'll notice if you just watch it.

It's a funny album. His train of thought is definitely interesting. There's some lame jokes that are primarily funny because of how out of place they are, and then there's ridiculous songs about subjects such as what it's like to take 11 Xanax, some wine and Robitussin, or other songs with his interpretation of Dubstep in 'em (Oh yes).

Then again, it's not a very serious listen. It's a great watch, but it's probably not be for your mp3 player.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Nas & Damian Marley - Leaders

It's not the first time I've mentioned Nas and Damian Marley, but considering it's the exact same duo, the songs I'll have talked about are very different.

Today's track is a bit easier to listen than Road to Zion, there's some easy going Reggae in the background that's Hip-Hopified nicely to suit Nas' lyrics. In my opinion, the song contains some of Nas' slickest rhymes of the album.

Jr. Gong (Damian) doesn't fall behind, I don't know what Nas told him to get him to tone down the dialect, but it'll affect many inspired young minds. In this case, that's a good thing.

Give Leaders a listen.


It's easy for me to respect this song, especially since this song can be for you regardless of your background.

It's giving thanks to the good leaders, those people who've changed the world or left the imprint that would or will make a change in the future.

Add the relaxing music and Stephen Marley on the chorus and you get a pretty decent Reggae/Hip-Hop Fusion song.

The song can be found on their collaborative album Distant Relatives.

Buy: CD | mp3

Alright, a lot of people have at least heard of this album. Quite a few of you have probably listened to it. I've heard views in every color of the rainbow for this one, and in the year or so that I've had to listen to the album my, opinion has stayed pretty much the same.

It's a good album, it's just ridiculously over rated.

Let's keep it clear, the lyrical content is excellent. The themes aren't for everyone, but it's not mindless Hip-Hop/Reggae. It's an entire album that contains music with significance, touching all the bases they wanted to without letting the lyrics get boring. The work that went into writing this was great and whilst admirable, should be expected from these two greats.

It starts lacking at the lyrical quality, what I refer to isn't the message in itself, it's how the words sound against the music. They both have their weak moments, but when they go strong they pack a punch so it's easy to overlook.

Finally there's the actual music. About half of the album has some great music, be it made by Nas, Damian or Stephen Marley themselves, or sampled excellently. There's also samples that flat out don't work out nicely, and some self made beats that could use a pick me up.

Overall, it's a great album for what they're best at: lyrics, song writing and providing a message, but if you're looking for something to just listen to it won't be all that.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Luther Allison - Last Night

Who's in the mood for 11 minutes of tender Blues? I thought so, so am I!

I'll be nice today. If you've got places to go and people to see, or just don't want to spend 11 minutes here, you can listen to either the original version of this song by Little Walter or a happier instrumental found on today's album.

See? I can do it, I can be nice.

As mentioned, today's song is a cover. The cover is about 8 minutes longer than the original and we have some slick instruments to thank for that.

The soulful performance by Luther Allison is truly the substance this time, but the instruments carry about as much emotion as his voice. It's a bit more than just the icing on the cake.

Give it a listen.


Go ahead and just feel the pain on his voice as he explains himself. Anyone can just read those lyrics off and seem sad, but it takes something special to make that emotion burst out at once.

It's just something I can admire.

If you can admire it too, the album might be for you.

Buy: CD

Love Me Papa is his fifth solo album, and a nice listen. But then, you could randomly select an album of his and be able to enjoy it. His talent was spread through his career.

This particular album is only 90% of that melancholy feel. There's the occasional splash of happiness to even the album out and make for an enjoyable listen. It really is easy on the ears.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Os Paralamas do Sucesso - Ska

Today's song is by one of the four most influential bands in Brazilian Rock. They may not be for everyone, but they're important to some great sounds.

This particular track should obviously have a nice strong Ska sound to it, considering it's called Ska and all.

The vocals backing it up might sway you, and that can be good or bad. It's not the smooth Portuguese that some might expect from a Brazilian band, but he's not a terrible singer either.

Give Ska a shot.


It might have been a good idea to warn you all that the song won't ease you in before the link. But, well you'll find out for yourself anyway, right?

The song starts abruptly and I like that. It's lively, dance-able and fun, all very important with the Ska sound. But yes, I know not everyone likes Ska.

If you like the band layout though, the album isn't all Ska. It's actually pretty well rounded.

Buy: CD

O Passo do Lui is their rise to fame album, made back in 1984. It has everything from the above Ska influences, to some pretty 80's/90's sounding Rock songs and even some Pop-y Ska Rock.

It's a neat album for just whenever. Nothing stunning aside from the influence they've left in future artists, but also listenable if you don't mind their flow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Avishai Cohen - Samuel

I've posted about this guy before. (By this guy I mean the Jazz bassist, not Jazz trumpeter.) In fact, the song I posted was from the same album as today's, the difference being that this song was written for a member of the trio by Avishai himself.

Dedicated to Sam Barsh, the pianist, the song will start off smooth with a peak of pianist's talent and Avishai Cohen spurting out his bass goodness like he can't even control it.

He probably can't. That's amazing to me.

And since I've already posted a song from the album, the Youtube link will be a live performance at the Blue Note in New York.

Give Samuel a listen.


If Youtube isn't working on your area, you're missing a treat! A temporary proxy just to watch those 7 minutes of intense Jazz love would be a recommendation. But the Grooveshark link will still provide a fair sound.

Maybe that's a biased opinion, though. I've heard this song on the album many times, and after a while you can tell this one apart from the rest.

It's not my favorite, I'm not saying this one is better in some way, but it's different. It keeps the album fresh, and after a few too many listens that's very important.

Buy: CD | mp3

Continuo is an excellent album, but still not for everyone. The difference in Samuel in the album and live versions is enough to sway opinions, so if live is for you (and I wouldn't blame you) you can get that album too. It's a CD/DVD combo, it's nice.

Of course, that's for the true admirer. For a casual listen I still recommend Continuo. It's easier, really.

Bavarian Cream

If you came here from a certain blog expecting more along the lines of the creamy goodness I've gotten recognition for, I'm sorry to disappoint. This is a music blog.

It's funny though, I didn't think I was that original, more of just the average coherent thought for me. Cool.


Now if you didn't come from that blog and you want to know what I'd do with the 1.5 minutes of time that I didn't spend reading his blog (and won't be for the rest of the week) the answer is right at the end of this link.

The guy's taking a week break, but it's a hilarious blog. If you aren't already, you should follow.


While I'm at it, I also apologize for the constant Psychedelic Rock/Amazing Jazz posts that have been happening recently, I'll try and switch it up more in the near future.

And by that I mean when I have more time. As for today's post, it's more Jazz. Check it out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

David Axelrod - Urizen

David Axelrod isn't near as well known as he should be. The guy is a Jazz Funk genius, and if you happen to enjoy Hip-Hop, the odds are he's been sampled in more songs than you know.

Just to give those of you who don't know about him some background, the guy's music has bathed in the West coast Rap scene (here's the link for if you can't remember what song it's from), chillaxed with UNKLE and Thom Yorke on Rabbit in your Headlights, and served as a great inspiration to DJ Shadow.

If that doesn't win over some respect, perhaps today's song will. Give Urizen a listen.


This might not really sound new, but I'm pretty sure it'll always fit into 'funky fresh', which is a sound I'll be needing more of as time goes on.

Why that sweet funk sound has faded is beyond me.

This particular song, yes even this one, was sampled by Jurassic 5 in A Day at the Races. It's good Hip-Hop.

And if you're curious about the title, Urizen is a being from William Blake's mythology. But then the whole album is pretty much inspired by William Blake's poetry.

Buy: CD | mp3

Song of Innocence is Axelrod's first release and is inspired by William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. That'd also explain why the second album is titled Songs of Experience.

And the second one would explain why he decided to re-release the debut as Songs of Innocence. Silly, really, but probably a tiny mistake he wanted to fix. It's the exact same album with a different cover.

If you like what you heard, I'm pretty sure you'll like the album. It reminds me of funked out  film scores, so I guess it's what Ennio Morricone might play if he had heavily experienced the Hippie era. But that's just my take on it.

 It's a short album that begs to be replayed a few times. But it might be a bit too slow for some to follow. If you don't mind the pacing and enjoy your musical twists and turns, go check it out.

Skateboarding Zombie with a Dragging Limb

Oh, I wish this was a song title. An album title? I tell you what, it'd make for a kick ass cover as drawn by Crisalys.

Just look!


And by look I mean go to her blog and look! And if you like, follow! There's this sweet thing where you post an idea and she might draw it. The above was mine. Well, it's on her blog. Go check that out.

Missed the link? It's parapheltnalia.blogspot.com

Go.

Today's music post is immediately followed by this one. You can check it out here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cypress Hill - Illusions

I like me some Cypress Hill. Although I admit, it took me a while to get into B-Real's nasal style. It's also safe to say that once I accepted what was there I began to understand what real Rap was all about.

Today's song is one of the lesser known singles and features only B-Real's voice.

Give it a listen.


If by a 1:39 you're not intrigued to keep listening, just stop. The song will captivate those who should be captivated by then, and the rest of you should already be on your way to something you do enjoy. Elsewhere. Shoo.

Still, this particular song is a raw look into the mind of a thug in the mid 90's. It's not about violence, drugs, or being a pimp. It's about living as seen through a specific set of eyes. The way it's told makes it one of my favorite Cypress Hill tracks.

You might want a peek at the actual music video? I dunno, it's got 90's music video written all over it if that wins you over.

Also notable, the beat is a sample from Las Vegas Tango, which can be found in Gary Burton's Good Vibes. But if that's what you don't like, you might wanna try out the Harpsichord Mix which many claim to sound better than the original.

Buy: CD | mp3

Their third album, III: Temples of Boom isn't for everybody. It's hard to chew, hard to swallow, and not near as ear friendly as today's song is. There's a few gems, but the truth is the album is about as dark and spooky as the album cover.

Of course, if you really like your Hip-Hop, you'll probably enjoy it. The lyrical content is much better than their recent stuff that while decent, will never compare with these old albums.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Michael Franti & Spearhead - All I Want Is You

This is a song that had the potential to be some random love song, and to some it very well may be. I can't deny the lyrics seem very generic, but that's only the Michael Franti half of the song.

To support that, we've got the band, Spearhead. It'll give that sweet Reggae bass that evens everything out and makes the song that much more tolerable. If you like the Reggae, anyway.

Give it a shot.


I'm not really a fan of the video, but it's not that bad either so it stays.

This is one of those songs that's just a little catchy and that's what it's got going for it. It's nice to listen to every once in a while as a surprise. It's chill and slightly romantic, great for moments with the significant other (just play it out like you put it on on purpose instead of your mp3 being on shuffle).

If you like the vibe it gives, you might like the album.

Buy: CD | mp3

I really just wish it was "Spearhead" and not "Michael Franti & Spearhead". There's something about the word spearhead that would just seem so much cooler if it was alone. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, the album is about up to par with that song. Nothing amazing, but not a bad listen. You might remember their single, Say Hey (I Love You) which although has much less of that sweet Dub sound, still manages to show how happy the album can get.

There's not much to the album, really. But once a beat hooks onto you you'll have it in your brain for the rest of the day.

Listen with caution.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jaco Pastorius and Don Alias - Donna Lee

It's really hard to casually write about one of the best ever. Writing about Jimi Hendrix was just as time consuming and nervous as this post has been for me. But if you ask for good music, I'll give.

For those of you who may not know, Jaco Pastorius is one of the greatest Fusion Jazz bassists to grace this planet, if not the best.

I spent a good few hours trying to find an excellent song that displays his talents without sharing too much spotlight. The fact that that's hard to find is both pleasing and frustrating, so today I'll be leaving you with a classic.

The spotlight is still shared with some Don Alias on the congas, but since the talent is obvious it'll fit.

Those of you that have followed me for long should know that two things I really love are percussion and bass, having a song with nothing but the two is delicious.

Enjoy it. Donna Lee.


I know, I know. It takes a certain set of ears to get this music. To some, it may even sound like unintentional plucks (but don't you dare actually say it!)

My father actually had some of these tracks, and I used to think the same. "This isn't normal music, it doesn't sound 'awesome', it's just sounds."

I'm glad my ears have matured since then, because this is an admirable piece that shows only some of the finest talent. We all have Miles Davis to thank for composing such a beauty.

Of course if the song isn't for you, (and I could understand why) the album is still full of genius.

Buy: CD | mp3

The 1976 self titled album is your best bet if you're looking to get into Jaco's bass. There's many compilation albums that just won't hand you that full blow you'll get when you listen to this one.

A notable bass standard from the album would be Portrait of Tracy, if you were wondering what the rest of the album would sound like.

And for the older fans who might not know, in 2005 the album was remastered, which is why it has two previously unreleased tracks. This was a particularly nice surprise for me, since all I have is a copy that's older than I am.

Those tracks are (Used To Be A) Cha Cha, a very quick song that more of my Jazz loving followers will enjoy, nudge, and 6/4 Jam, which shows off a lot of Don Alias talent.


If you liked today's post, or if you like raccoons, weird news and Jewish plumbers, you should thank The Hasidic Plumber. It was his suggestion that I spend hours to write about a genius.

To be clear, I enjoyed every second of it. So again, thank you, Hasidic Plumber!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jorge Ben - Tim Dom Dom

Today's post is on some sweet Brazilian sounds by Jorge Ben Jor. Odds are even if you haven't heard his name and are into Samba, you've heard some of his pieces.

That'll include today's. Sure, I could have just chosen a better known song and get that 'Oh, I've heard that!' reaction, but it's the ones that don't get the spotlight that usually deserve it.

Enjoy yourself some Tim Dom Dom.


The song immediately explains that the Tim Dom Dom is the sound the tambourine makes, the rest of the song will focus on the sound of Samba.

Basically it's music about music, it's wonderful. But if it's not that wonderful for you, you might enjoy the Sergio Mendes version.

It won't be odd for Bossa Nova lovers to enjoy the track, it was released just a few years after Bossa Nova made its debut and by that time it had already influenced MBP (Popular Brazilian Music or Brazil-Pop), which is an active ingredient in today's song.

Buy: CD | mp3

Samba Esquema Novo or New Samba Scheme is a classic for a few reasons. One of those reasons being it's the legendary Jorge Ben's first album. A second, very notable reason, being that it's where the first official release of Mas, Que Nada! took place. It was popularized 3 years later by Sergio Mendes & The Brasil '66 as Mas Que Nada... which was later re-popularized by Sergio Mendes and the Black Eyed Peas.

How's that for musical roots?

The album plays about as soothing all the way through. If any cons, some might grow tired of Jorge's vocals. But I'd say if the track didn't do any bad for you, it'll be worth a listen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Digital Planet - Fly Away

If that instantly rang a bell or if you already know where that song is from, congratulations! You are (probably) one hell of an arcade geek and deserve a medal. I'm not even kidding, go get yourself a medal.

The song is most notably from Initial D 4th Stage, a manga, anime and arcade racing game. I was never really a fan of either, but I remember being  peer pressured into getting  my own car card and playing with friends. Seriously though, I had an automatic, I was destined for failure.

Today's song is memorable though. Different to my norm, a Eurobeat track. Give it a listen.


Images of sitting back and listening to the music as friends played the game flash by my memory. A lot less exciting than possible, but it's still sweet nostalgia.

It's not a song I would really own. I mean the vocals are talented, but they're not to my taste. The music could grow old and boring with time, but again, that's just me.

Also playing a factor to whether or not I own it, the album is pretty expensive.


Currently there's only one in stock in the above source, and it's only about $54. Which is totally reasonable considering the artists got paid for by the company already and probably don't even really make a profit from the sales.

All the same, it'll be great if you enjoy yourself that Eurobeat sound. I know some of you do, well you're bound to. Supposed to. I think.

It's not for me though. Not all of it, I mean I can enjoy one or two songs but I really think the highlight is Digital Planet's Fly Away. Too much club music makes me dizzy anyway.

If you really enjoyed today's track though, you should look into it. And hey, it's fine to whip out those John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever moves to these tunes. That alone is a good excuse.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Lions - Sweet Soul Music

The Lions (technically The LIONS) are a chillax Reggae/Dub band from LA. I'm not sure what musical background you're gonna need to enjoy them.

It's a bit hard to describe, it's like that softer relaxing "Dub" side of Reggae, with Bluesy type lyrics. At least for this song.

Give Sweet Soul Music a listen.


Don't worry, it's not 7 minutes long. It's 5. But see where that mix comes in? His voice just meshes into that silky bass. The lyrics top it off, it really seems like a love song dedicated to the very music he sings.

Still, I know, not for everyone. I can already smell the 'not my cup of tea' you were about to type. Go ahead, continue. I do get it.

If it did work for you though, maybe you'll want to push your luck with the album, Jungle Struttin'.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl

I'm pretty sure it's their debut album, but I'm not sure. It's a very fine Reggae/Dub album, and to those of you who either neglected to hear it the first hundred times I've said it or haven't been around when I did, I'll repeat: Dub is not Dub-'Step'.

Dub is basically a slightly electronic/messed with version of Reggae. It's calm, relaxing and easy to listen to. Maybe a bit too mellow for some, but the album provides what you'd expect of it.

Vocals aren't very common, so if you'd like, go ahead and listen to an instrumental to get that full album feel. It's nice relaxing stuff.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Campo-Formio - Crackman

Some of you might remember a song I posted by this band a while ago called Lord of the Obstacles. It's still free so if you missed out, go ahead and click your way to a free, fresh sound.

Unlike that one though, today's song is a bit rougher. The Punk shows a lot more, and even my telling you that it's pretty much a Prog-Punk piece won't prepare some of you for what's coming.

Those of you that asked for lyrics the first time around have gotten your wish. Give Crackman a listen.

No alternate link at the moment

I'll mention that the lyrics aren't in English. Just to be nice and not make you focus on something in some foreign language.

If for some reason you can't use Grooveshark, you're a bit out of luck. The band haven't quite gotten around to posting the tracks on their Bandcamp. Only two songs, one 40 second one (which I wouldn't bother posting I guess) and the previously mentioned Lord of the Obstacles.

If you really like Crackman, it's possible you'll want to buy the album of the same name. It's definitely a great quality and you won't be disappointed.

There's a slight issue at the moment and that would be that the digital downloads aren't available to everyone just yet either.

But if you buy the vinyl, you'll  get the download code for the mp3s!


It's $8 without shipping. The 7" vinyl spins at 33 1/2 RPM, not the most common record to come by. The fact that it's a limited edition "crack-white" and that there's only 500 made means buying it will earn you hipster points. And who doesn't wanna be a hipster these days?

Cough. Anyway.

The vinyl comes with the mp3 downloads plus 2 bonus songs, Lord of the Obstacles (which you can get free) and Amor Borbónico by StoneTape. A nice, down tempo, Electronic song that finishes the mp3 well. They ship fast, I've already got my copy. Wink.

Go ahead, click it. It's HQ.

A blind buy isn't usually a great option, so I've upped the album personally until their Bandcamp features the songs. When they do, they'll be on this link. Until then, enjoy it on Grooveshark.


A suggestion, if you're interested in the songs but only have time to skim them, hear yourself out some Paco Pepe.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grant Green - Ain't It Funky Now

Quite some time ago, James Brown came to us with a question, many of us may not have heard this question, but it's never too late to hear it. He asked: Ain't It Funky Now?

Of course, if James Brown is asking, it probably is. And it was.

It was also the cause for Grant Green's cover, it seems Grant agreed the song was funktastic. Whether or not you'll prefer today's version over James Brown's is a matter of taste, I'm siding with the cover though.

Give Grant Green's magical Jazz Funk guitar a listen.


So, yeah, it's about 10 minutes long. Uh, it's possible to consider it lengthy I guess.. And maybe some people will find it monotonous.. but  the Jazz! It's pure, it's beautiful!

It is awesomely put together though. After the minute you'll hear Grant on his guitar, tearing away for a few, then you'll hear the rest of the band. That's the part I love.

I love when a musician doesn't think he's the main attraction. 2 minutes of guitar work and then everyone else gets a spotlight, it's not about the ego, it's about the music. That's what turns this music into quality.

Buy: CD | mp3

Now if you're already knowledgeable on Grant Green's fine work, you might want the original album, Green is Beautiful.

If you already have the album or if you're new to the sound, I recommend Ain't It Funky Now: Original Jam Master Vol. 1. If you liked the above, you won't be disappointed. It's just a few of his classics, remastered. Sounds like today's music equipment got shipped back in time to record that wonderful sound.

Except it wasn't and stuff. Badass.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

En Annunakilandia - Eduardo Cabra

I'm pretty sure I got home last night sometime after 2:00 AM, and I'm also pretty sure I woke up extra early this morning to get some things done on time. Considering all this is going on, I think what my ears would like today would be some soothing, gentle music.

I'll make myself the playlist, you get to hear one song from it. That'd be En Annunakilandia (or In Annunakiland) which is technically an interlude in a Calle 13 album, but I see it as the band's composer manifesting his talents for a short time. I hope to see more of his personal work in the future.

It's short, give it a listen.


The Anunnaki are a classification of Sumerian deities from the 12th planet according to Sumerian mythology. They're basically strong, superior giants from another planet. It's really interesting but far too complicated for me to pass along, so if you're interested, go ahead and read.

Now with just a little bit of a background on the song title, it becomes something a bit more special. This is someone's interpretation of what it would be like to be in these Gods' home.

I love it.

Buy: CD | mp3

I've talked about this album before, and just like last time I'll agree that it probably won't be too special if you don't speak Spanish. Today's song is an exception, but aside from that, too foreign ears it'll just be Spanish rapping over nice music.

(Why this post saved as a draft is beyond me.)

ShareThis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...