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Showing posts from August, 2018

Album 1 Track 1 - Episode 7

This episode features rock music released between the years 1966 and 1970.  It is remarkable how many great bands emerged during that time, especially in 1968.

In this mix, you will hear iconic bands - like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix - San Francisco psychedelia from Jefferson Airplane and Santana, and even some Foghat.

Two things that I find striking in the mix: how powerful and musical Chicago sounds against these other bands and how much the vocals in Spirit's Fresh-Garbage foretells the vocals of Pearl Jam's Eddie Vetter.

Hope you dig it.


Here is the playlist:

Good Times Bad Times by Led Zeppelin

Foxy Lady by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

For Your Love by The Yardbirds

All Strung Out Over You by The Chambers Brothers

Shakin' All Over by The Guess Who

Introduction by Chicago

I Just Want To Make Love To You by Foghat

Waiting by Santana

Pride Of Man by Quicksilver Messenger Service

I Put A Spell On You by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Fresh-Garbage by Spirit

Astronomy Do…

Serano - Gilberto Gil

from the album OK OK OK (2018)

Many moons ago, I was on a six week work assignment in Brasília.  It proved to be a most enchanting adventure; filled with joyous people, the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer, and the incredible sounds of Brazilian music.

At the time, I was deep into an exploration of Bossa Nova and could not get enough of the late night jazz clubs filled with beautiful women and the compositions of Jobim.  I was a fascination for local patrons, an american with a deep knowledge and love for their musical heritage.  It led to people buying me lots of drinks, inviting me to parties, and even a night when I was invited on stage to play bass guitar.

I also sought out music that was, at the time, unknown to me.  Friendly people turned me on to magnificent artists, like Ed Motta and Gilberto Gil.  I ultimately flew home with a treasure trove of their compact discs.

In the years that followed, the Gilberto Gil albums became a staple for late nights when I would be drinking wine …

Smoked Ham And Peaches - Shemekia Copeland

from the album America's Child (2018)

Shemekia Copeland - along with Ruthie Foster - represent the finest female singers in contemporary blues today.  Shemekia's voice, in particular, is so large and booming that I often consider her akin to the Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor.  Just take a listen to Who Stole My Radio? to fully get my just.

Perhaps that is why I am digging the song Smoked Ham And Peaches so much.  This is a slower, more acoustic blues track.  I have never heard Shemekia Copeland sing quite like this before.  The softer dynamics allow you listen to her intonation and articulation more closely.  It is a beautiful listen.

There are also the lyrics.   I like the line "when the whole world seems fake, give me something real." That thing is smoked ham and peaches.  What could be more real?

Of course, this speaks to the importance of the little things.  The things like Al Bente's pasta, and so much more.

Click Here to listen to Smoked Ham And Peaches by…

C - Oh Sees

from the album Smote Reverser (2018)

Oh Sees (or Thee Oh Sees) are one of my favorite bands to catch live.  Extended psychedelic jams that are tasty and grounded in a classic rock sensibility.  My buddy Brett introduced me to the band and has stood next to me at all of their performances.

To me, their new song - C - magnificently captures the vibe of their live shows.

This is perfect for dancing around the house with a cocktail in your hand.

Click Here to listen to C by Oh Sees.

Click Here to read my August 2016 blog post for The Axis by Thee Oh Sees.

Station - Bainbridge & Co.

from the single Station (2018)

A few years ago, I was bouncing around London and staying with my friends Mary and Gareth.  One night, we were sitting in their kitchen, eating Indian food, and telling fun stories.  In the basement, their teenage kids - Martha and Sid - were making music.

At some point, they were playing Come As You Are by Nirvana, when Gareth suggested that I play bass with them.  He busted out his trusty, old Guild and into the basement I went.  I think I taught them how to play Blister In The Sun?  It was more fun then you could imagine.

Later that night, I thought "One day, I'll be able to say I played with Martha and Sid."

Well, that day is today!!!  Martha and Sid are in a band named Bainbridge & Co. and have released their first song, Station.

I am so excited for them and wish them all the luck in the world.  Check it out !!!

Click Here to listen to Station by Bainbridge & Co.

Feel Good - Maribou State

from the album Kingdoms In Colour (2018)

Have you noticed that this decade has not produced any new musical movements?  In mean, in the 1970s we were introduced to punk, disco, and rap.  In the 2010s, not so much.

Another difference is that you don't hear much differentiation in the developed world's music based on geography.  In the 1970s, London bands sounded different than New York bands;Los Angeles bands sounded different than California bands.  Today, I can't really tell if a band is from Brooklyn or Australia.

Music is becoming more of a global blend.  Genres and geographies are melting away, being replaced by grooves and vibes.  New music is increasingly new intersections in older music.  This is bad news for innovation, but the good news is that there are infinite combinations.

Maribou State is an electronic duo from London who embrace this development; offering global samples and stylings in their music.  On their new song, Feel Good, they collaborate with Texas f…

Near - Deafheaven

from the album Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (2018)

When you think of a metal band, do you think of a magnificent and beautiful arrangement that lifts your spirit and satisfies your soul?

That is what you get with the song Near by San Francisco's Deafheaven.

The loftiness of the song might remind you of a dream pop or a shoe gaze band, but the texture and tone is considerably darker.

This is a magnificent song.  I could listen to music like this all day long.

Click Here to listen to Near by Deafheaven.

Nothing I Can Say - Tony Molina

from the album Kill the Lights (2018)

One of the fascinating outcomes of all the whiz-bang technology we are immersed in is its impact on song length.

Only a decade ago, the idea of a "radio-friendly" song abounded.  Ideally, a song would be three minutes long, fitting perfectly into commercial formats.  But today, with most people consuming their music via alternative channels, it is increasingly common to hear an eight-minute electronica track, or to purchase an extended remix (allowing you to get more music for your $1.29) than to find a three-minute song.

Sadly, I have always thought of this in terms of longer songs.  That is, until I started listening to Tony Molina.  On his new album - Kill The Lights - eight of ten songs are less than two minutes long, with the majority clocking in at under eighty-seconds.

I particularly dig the opening track: Nothing I Can Say.  At one-minute-eleven-seconds, this is still a complete song.  There is a verse, a chorus, and an instrumen…

Pink Squirrel - Episode 6

Hey, y'all!  I am really digging Episode 6.  It features a bunch of indie and alternative tunes from 2018 that sound great together.

One of the more interesting threads that runs through these songs is the abundance of 1980s new music textures and tones.  As you listen, you will be reminded of Echo & The Bunnymen, INXS, and Lena Lovitch.  There is also a new David Byrne song included.

I am pretty proud of this mix; it is cohesive, driving, and melodic.

Hope you dig it!!!


Here is the playlist:

Salton Sea by Josh Rouse

Heat Wave by Snail Mail

Make 'em Like You by Tom Grennan

Violent by Grapetooth

Blue Rose by Amen Dunes

Sugar & Spice by Hatchie

Heaven's Only Wishful by MorMor

Now U Got Me Hooked by Against All Logic

Chasing Stars by Alice Ivy

Bad Dreams by Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson

Incidental Boogie by U.S. Girls

Plastic Skeletons by Jealous Of The Birds

Everybody's Coming To My House by David Byrne

Sloane Ranger by The Essex Green


And, in case you missed any, here a…

Walking To Oman's - Fraser A. Gorman

from the album Easy Dazy (2018)

Two days ago, I had never heard of Fraser A. Gorman.  Then I discovered Walking To Oman's, a new song by the Australian singer-songwriter.  By yesterday afternoon, I had his song blasting out my Sonos player as I sang, danced, and washed the dogs.

With its jangling melody and groove, this song made me happy.  It is wonderful when the right song finds you.

And as I sit here today, slugging espresso before the sun rises, I am anxious to share this song; because I imagine it provoking similar reactions for friends in places like Boston, NYC, London, Denver, and Atlanta.

If it feels like I've done this a thousand times before, it is because I have.  As serendipity would have it, today marks my 1,000th blog post on this website.

Now, that's a milestone worth celebrating!

Click Here to watch the official music video for Walking To Oman's by Fraser A. Gorman.

Plastic Skeletons - Jealous Of The Birds

from the album The Moths Of What I Want To Eat Me In My Sleep (2018)

Naomi Hamilton is a splendid singer and songwriter from Belfast, Northern Ireland.  I admire her, not just for the sound she creates, but for the way that her visual imagery can take on a philosophical and spiritual nature.

Add to that her process.  On her new five song EP - The Moths Of What I Want To Eat In My Sleep - four of the songs are new versions of songs she released on her 2016 album Parma Violets.  These versions contain subtle changes that, in my opinion, make the songs more listenable and better connecting with her audience.

Naomi Hamilton is actually applying an agile development methodology towards making and releasing music.  This process of defining a minimal viable product and then continually reiterating until you reach your destination is a central pillar of software development and is used on all theirs and gadgets that define our times.

I am not sure if she is aware that this is what she is doin…

Even Now - Walter "Wolfman" Washington

from the album The Future Is My Past (2018)

Walter "Wolfman" Washington is one of the great soul men who have never fully received their due.  A New Orleans native, Washington spent his teenage years immersed in music; getting singing lesson from the legendary crooner - Johnny Adams - while mastering his chops as a guitarist.

By the time he was nineteen, he was touring with Lee Dorsey's band.  Soon after, he was playing on some of the 60's greatest New Orleans recording, including Working In A Coal Mine (later covered by Devo), Ride Your Pony, and Get Out Of My Life Woman.

Along the way, he became the leader of a touring band who would support great singers, including Johnny Adams and Irma Thomas.

Now severity-four years old, he has reunited with Irma Thomas on the duet Even Now.

The song is a slow-burning, deep soul masterpiece.  The vocals, with their texture and dynamics, are chilling and timeless.

I am also incredibly captivated by the drumming.  There is somethi…

Lemon Glow - Beach House

from the album 7 (2018)

Many moons ago, my buddy Jack needed a place to stay and I let him sleep on my couch.  He wound up staying for four or five months.  It was the most important period in my musical education.

These were the days before Jack became a world-class guitarist.  Days when he would play for ten hours straight, perfecting his technique and tone.  As a gracious host, I would spend several hours a night laying down bass grooves for him to play over.  My faithful basset hound, Elmore James, was usually sleeping on the couch.

We spent endless hours talking about tone.  We would listen to great guitarists, like Dick Dale and B.B. King, and then try to recreate their sound.  It always started with the instrument and amplifier.  Next came the strings.  It is amazing how slight variations in the gauge of a string effects a guitarist's tone.  Equalization and effects also matter.

At the end of the road, you find technique.  Even if you everything perfect, you still can't…

Now U Got Me Hooked - Against All Logic

from the album 2012 - 2017 (2018)

Against All Logic is a pseudonym sometimes used by Chilean-American producer/DJ Nicolas Jaar.

I am digging his song Now U Got Me Hooked.  It is filled with great synths, beats, and a vocal line that you can easily lose yourself in.

I picture myself sitting in a comfy chair at some fancy SoHo lobby bar, cocktail in my hand, listening to this song in somebody else mix.

Good stuff.

Click Here to listen to Now U Got Me Hooked by Against All Logic.