October 31, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 31, 2011

Gregory Isaacs “Never Be Ungrateful”

Gregory Isaacs “the Cool Ruler” released more than 500 albums, many of them compilations during his over 40 year career.  Isaacs died this month last year at the age of 58 after a long struggle with lung cancer.  I had the opportunity to see Isaacs live several times and if pressed to name a favorite in a genre full of so much talent, I’d have to name Isaacs as my favorite reggae artist.  Throughout his long career Isaacs’s range spanned lover’s rock to roots, dub and dancehall.  During the ’80’s he went from smoking ganja to a crack addiction and prison sentence, a roots rastaman to shaving his dreads, recovering and returning to roots and a highly prolific recording period for the last years of his life.  “Never Be Ungrateful” was recorded between 1968 and 1993.  Much gratitude.

Gregory Isaacs

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October 28, 2011

Bo’s Song Of The Week – October 28, 2011

Death “Politicians In My Eyes”

Today’s song is Death’s “Politicians In My Eyes” from their album For the Whole World to See. The album which was recorded in 1974 and only released a couple years ago, is an example of major label cowardice. Composed of three African American brothers, Death were a Detroit proto-punk band in the style of Iggy & the Stooges and back in the seventies, their label had no idea how to market them. While it also didn’t help that their name was Death (also the name of a Floridian death metal band), the main issue was how to sell a black band that didn’t play R&B or Soul. Punk itself wasn’t commercially viable either, so instead of taking a chance on For the Whole World to See, the label shelved it for thirty years. Upon its release, it was of course  met with rave reviews. The single and best song on the album, “Politicians In My Eyes” is a politically charged blast of rock and roll energy.

Though one of the brothers has passed away, Death has returned to touring in support of their album as well as a more recent release of demos and instrumentals.

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October 27, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 27, 2011

Darwin Deez “Where’s The Chocolate?” (feat. Das Racist)

Darwin Deez describes his music as “happy music for sad people/ white music for black people.”  “Where’s the Chocolate?” features Das Racist, an alternative hip-hop group from Brooklyn.  I’ve been a fan of theirs for some time now particularly their irreverent lyrics, deadpan humor and witty wordplay.  The lyrics of “Where’s the Chocolate?” make me laugh.  “Where’s the Chocolate?” appears on Deez’s 2011 mixtape, “Wonky Beats.”

Darwin Deez

October 26, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 26, 2011

Janis Joplin “Move Over”

“Move Over” is the opening track of Joplin’s 1971 posthumously released album, Pearl which became the best selling album of her career.  Joplin was discovered dead in her hotel room in Los Angeles at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose when she failed to show up to record more vocals for the album.  I’d recently read that Janis is not the only singer to die at the age of 27, she is sadly joined by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, and most recently, Amy Winehouse.  Joplin is arguably the greatest and most influential white rock star of the 1960’s.  What a song.

Janis Joplin

October 25, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 25, 2011

Gold Panda “You”

I couldn’t resist today’s Song Of The Day, my ears are still ringing and I can still feel the vibration in my chest from hearing Gold Panda (see triskamusika The Song Of The Day, July 7, 2011) create an extended cut-up-to-bits version of “You” last night at the Echoplex.  It was my first time seeing him live and I highly recommend it.  He cut up each song to its essential elements and unrecognizable bits and then proceed layering repetition upon repetition to discover the hook again and climax into a delicious dance beat. Portions reminded me of Radiohead’s “Kid A”  others were lost in an Atari game mixed with traditional Chinese music, break beat and dub genius.

Gold Panda

October 24, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 24, 2011

SebastiAN “Love In Motion” (featuring Mayer Hawthorn)

SebastiAn (born Sebastian Akchoté)  is a French electro house artist who started producing music at 15, became known for his remixes of Daft Punk, The Rapture and Cut Copy and just released his third full length album, Total this past May.  Total features dance treat, “Love In Motion” with eclectic DJ/producer, Mayer Hawthorn.  “Love In Motion” not only gets love moving but this week as well.  Moving forward.

SebastiAN

October 21, 2011

Bo’s Song Of The Week – October 21, 2011

Ted Hawkins “Sweet Baby”

This week’s song is Ted Hawkin’s “Sweet Baby “, from his album Watch Your Step. I first heard Ted’s music through Pandora (a service I don’t use frequently, but have made one or two discoveries through). His song “Ladder of Success” played and while I liked it, it didn’t necessarily show the true talent of this soulful singer-songwriter. After listening to that song again one day, I decided to seek out more music by the man. His album The Next Hundred Years is a masterpiece, highlighted by the thoughtful “Big Things”.

Then I listened to Watch Your Step, an album that truly showed Ted Hawkin’s range, going from rock and roll to simple acoustic ballads and the song “Sweet Baby”, a calypso-tinged soul song which I was amazed I had never heard before. This is the type of song I feel should have been a huge radio hit the day it was released. It’s ageless, romantic, upbeat, and simply blew me away. Sadly, Ted Hawkins is no longer with us (he passed away in 1995), but I recommend all of you check out this song and his albums to keep this little-known troubadour’s musical legacy alive.

October 20, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 20, 2011

Justice “On’nOn”

“On’nOn” appears on Justice’s second full length album, Audio, Video, Disco which was released last week. I have been waiting for four years for a follow up to Justice’s amazing 2007 debut album, Cross, which is still in heavy rotation at my house. Audio, Video, Disco is a totally different album and sound from Cross, it is more vocal, less dance and more guitar solo. The album is dark, but it more “end of the world” dark like the title cut, “Civilization” (see triskamusika Music Videos) than the let-go-of-pent-up-aggression dark of its predecessor. I feel like Gaspard and Xavier were listening to a lot of Black Sabbath and dare I say, progressive rock while making Audio, Video, Disco compared to the Saturday Night Fever meets gothic dark techno of Cross. While I could use a little more disco, it’s growing on me and “On’nOn” is my current favorite track.  And, just like Cross, when it end, it leaves me wanting more and wanting to know what comes next.

Justice

October 19, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 19, 2011

Mr. Little Jeans “The Suburbs” (Arcade Fire Cover)

Mr. Little Jeans is actually Ms. Monica Birkenes, a Norwegian singer/songwriter who took her name from a character in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore.  I really love this bewitching version of Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs.”

Mr. Little Jeans

October 18, 2011

The Song Of The Day – October 18, 2011

Dr. Dog “Hang On”

Dr. Dog is a Philadelphia based indie band who favor lo-fi recording techniques and worship ’60’s pop music.  “Hang On” appears on their 2008 release Fate.  I first heard “Hang On” last year and it always makes me happy whenever it comes on.

Dr. Dog

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