Monday, July 24, 2006

Jack L

I don't know if anyone is aware of Jack L outside of Ireland, I hope so as he's a firm favourite here by the Doors. He played the Galway Festival last night, (sold out as usual) and he's got a new album out - Broken Songs. There is a new openness to his writing, and although you can still hear the influence of Jacques Brel and Scott Walker, these tunes are simpler, less theatrical and beautiful. Have a listen:

Wicked Way

Apes and Angels

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Reggae/RockSteady Podcast

A while back i posted about Prince Buster and today CP at Merguez Frites posted a link to a Japanese site offering Rock Steady podcasts. Check the Pirates Choice link at the top of the page over at Drum and Bass Records

Nice find CP. Thank Ye.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Celia Cruz

I stumbled across this CD one day with my heart wide open and took it home with a glint in my eye. Knowing nothing about it except the song titles and the Artist's name. Celia Cruz. How come the hunch? I dunno. It turned out to be a collection of the early recordings by the Cuban born Queen of Salsa on the Seeco label from 1951 to 1965 and it's a real delight. Highlighting her strident and swinging voice, and recorded mostly before she moved to the States in 1960, every track now has me going "Ah yes, and this one, I love this one too"

Mr Lucky says She started out in her native Havana singing on the radio and then hooking up with La Sonora Matancera, which included trumpet player Pedro Knight, who later became her husband. Their 15-year collaboration lasted throughout the 1950s and much of the ‘60s and took them from Cuba to Mexico and finally to the United States. Our first exposure to Cruz was through these recordings and we have to admit we were somewhat confused about the Celia Cruz legend. To our novice ears, Cruz' voice sounded like a cannon without much subtlety or direct emotional contact. The observation about the cannons might be true, but her voice is so pure, it goes right for the jugular. The directness, which at first is disarming, is later one of the best things about her. All the little vocal tricks we've grown accustomed to (and even like) are gone. You'll laugh, but she's almost like Ethel Merman with a bongo.

This brings us to the other aspect that sets Cruz apart from everyone else, and that's her rhythm. She sings like a percussion instrument, especially on the call and response sections of her songs, never repeating herself and the sound is like nothing else, Cuban or otherwise.

When first listening to these early recordings, originally on the Seeco label, there's a tameness to the arrangements that wasn't exactly inspiring our hips to sway like the palms. It's only after repeated encounters that you realize that the Sonora Matancera is more like a slow hot simmer than an outright boil. The clever musical exchanges are subtle rather than bombastic.

Right on. Perfect for the recent heatwave, here. It's like being slow-cooked and marinaded all at the same time.

Ciao, Ciao Mani Picao
Meloa De Cana
Mi Bomba Sona

And as a special treat:

Friday, July 21, 2006

Living in Stereo - War! Good God!

Living In Stereo has today posted versions of the Tamla=Motown Classic written by Barrett Strong-Norman Whitfield. Living In Stereo is fast becoming one of my favourite Blogs after their great post about Mavis Staples, the other day. (Are you following this?)
I'm starting to get the Stereo image, too. Not just surround sound but the duality of being human, being esconced in delightful everything at your fingertips internet, and having access to information from places you might not want to think about, the dilema of the craziness of War, and the need to stand up and defend yourself, your beliefs, and your family.

Go there, download the music. Pick your favourite version, and blast it from the car, or your bedroom window, or take some speakers onto the train, or ring your local radio station and request, or buy it as a present for your friends, just in pure hedonistic relief that they are still alive, and that the families and friends being killed today aren't yours.

Good God!

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Ace Of Spades

As covered by Belgian cowpunk band Hetten Des. Lovin this vid.

Check out their Myspace site at Hetten Des. The bad news is they split up last year, so write and complain, this band needs to be up n about.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Home of the Groove: Tough Fluff

Over at the Home of the Groove: Tough Fluff there's a gem of rollicking 60s New Orleans pop music by the virtualy unknown Kathy Savoy. Go See.

More great New MacIDOL tracks

Feelin Good About Love by Me And Boris The Bull A storming bubblegum (thanks, Kilroy) pop tune with Boris' lyrics catching you unawares and lifting the whole thing onto another plane. And then a chorus that never lets go. Listen once, that's all it'll take.

Jollof Rice by Dave Jones Dava is exploring his beloved African rhythms and laying down an uplifting ambient track featuring marimba.

The King Of Lies by Karen Link Karen is rocking out here, and stretching the dark and thinning it out. it's got that great Led Zep III feel, and all with a guitar, flute and voice - I love this.

Something About Her by Jiguma Now I tell you name dropping Dylans 'Visions of Johanna' and then giving us the medieval mystery tour, gets me intrigued straight away, and the Spector/Wall of Sound via the Pet Shop Boys coupled with that rolling rythm and slick production gets me listening to this over and over.

Yesterday's Slave by Air Force One Chilling out in your own reverie. Whether you're up in the mountains watching the sunset or crossing Times Square in a dream, "My mind won't fit in my head", this is a great backdrop.

Smokerings by The Sunray Estate And just when you thought I was gonna let you off - here's a slice of ace indie pop, and there's a ton more at their other site Check em out.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bastille Day

I have no idea how Breton band Manau (la reference de rap celtique) would feel about being representitive for France on this, their National holiday, but I care not because they sound right. I first heard them a few years ago on a trip to Bretagne, in NorthWest France, they were on the radio, sure, but more importantly they were being sung in cafe's, on pavements, bars, outside churches, every so often we would hear a snatch of a chorus from La Confession or another catchy tune as a group of youths walked by .... amidst the glitzt europop of the day it felt like a revolution.

Mesdames et messieurs. Approchez de l’action
Ne soyez pas nerveux. Ne faites plus attention.
Mesdames et messieurs. Approchez de l’action
Et venez écouter la dernière confession.

Ladies and Sirs. Approach the action
Don't be nervous. No second thoughts.
Ladies and Sirs. Approach the action
And come to listen to the last confession.

La Confession by Manau
Un Mauvais Dieu by Manau

The Storming of the Bastille is the focus of today's celebration, and the keys to the Bastille were entrusted to Tom Paine about whom Dick Gaughan said "he was responsible for more revolutions than anyone else, ever".

Tom Paine's Bones MP3 by Dick Gaughan

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mavis Staples

There is an informative glimpse into the recent work of Mavis Staples over at Living In Stereo. Go Listen. Tell em what you think. Buy what you love so you love what you've bought.

My favourite Mavis Staples surprise was when I bought Natalie Merchant's Motherland album in 2001.

Mavis Staples sings emotive harmony vocals on two tracks. My favourite is

Saint Judas

there are other versions of Saint Judas (albeit without the powerhouse Mavis Staples) at Natalies Exhibits page which included verses considered (by whom?) too strong for the album release.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Darkened Room

I keep listening to this and trying to put into words what I feel about it, and end up in that struck place where words don't work. I forget to think. If you had any idea what sort of an achievement that is, you'd be awestruck.

A Darkened Room (remosterberged) by B&Massa and you can Stream the acoustic first draft which I am particularly partial to.

Or get the iPod friendly version

Monday Morning Afternoon MacIDOL Roundup (part 1)

Songalong with MO MP3 by slumbering with MO A match made in Heaven. slumbering's gorgeous vocal with Mark's sinuous guitar. This is so sensual.

Listening Dream MP3 by AkA Gumbo
Venture into the wind in this story and soundscape - a deceptively simple lullaby recorded with slumbering

See? MP3 by Chris Cooke and as he puts it: Like many of my songs, this one has a gimmick. Can you spot it?

Chosen Silence by Frogmorton
Frogmorton (aka Matt Griffin) has long been a favourite artist of mine, and here is his latest folk outing. That's his Hounds and Fox song art up there.

Lift The Curtain by Grady Nickel
Very crisp country tune from Georgia, USA

Funky Meeoooow MP3 by BananaKiller
Solid Funky Fun from the master. Take Fun!

And there's no download for this one but you can stream it with Quicktime:
Carlos Allende by Van Der Waal

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Johnny Burnette Trio 2

The thought of being able to watch Johnny Burnette and the Rock'n'Roll Trio on television never ever crossed my mind. Impossible. Sure they performed for New York TV shows, but hey.

So this is a miracle.

Tuwa's Shanty and The Roots Canal

I have been enjoying Tuwa's Shanty and The Roots Canal and the tracks Tuwa and rosswords have been posting.

At the moment you can hear two great versions of Downhome Girl (also recorded by The Coasters.

Check the Archives, too. And special mention is due for The Voot Article. A gem of investigative Music Blogging.

And also catching my ear tonight is CountryGrrl over at BlueSkies has an alternate take of what is possibly my favourite Bob Dylan track, Simple Twist Of Fate. And a You Tube of Bob performing the song more recently.

And if you're still with time on your hands then Check out The Soul Detective and follow the trail.

INFO: is down since last night, I'll post when it's back up and running, but in the meantime the songs posted here from MacIDOL are temporarily beyond. Who will upload the first new song after the outage??
UPDATE: seems to be back up now