Posts Tagged ‘Music’

I have to admit, I still don’t entirely understand the band Gorillaz. But who couldn’t love a virtual band with contributors like Snoop Dog, Bobby Womack, Mos Def and the Lebanese National Orchestra as part of their latest release. Damon Albarn’s (the only permanent musician in the ‘band’) latest project, Plastic Beach, sounds like an immediate classic. I only listened to the album (released March 9th 2010) after friends from both sides of the ocean Twit-raved about the a couple of the new tracks (this might legitimize and condemn Twitter in the same stroke). Start with the track Stylo, then On Melancholy Hill.

Call it pop, alternative or electronic. A band filled with fanciful members shouldn’t be limited to one genre anyway. Plastic Beach may not be as musically progressive as the Gorillaz last release, Demon Days, but the pop hooks, shiny effects and Eastern lines and harmonies may just end up being contagious.

Give it a listen. On Grooveshark. (Why not listen to a virtual band I don’t entirely grasp through a virtual music platform I don’t entirely grasp — careful, this post may have a developing theme)

Also check out Micheal Katzif’s review from NPR.com.

The Civil Wars are getting plenty of play time on my iPod and office computer. The band has only been around for a year and is the result of a collaboration between two great, young songwriters. Joy Williams lends her versatile vocals and songwriting talents to John Paul White’s folk guitar and vocal sound and the result is one of Nashville’s fastest rising duos.

The Civil Wars have already been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, are opening for Switchfoot this week and recently did a joint concert with rising Blue Note artist Kristina Train.

If you enjoy William Fitzsimmons or Iron & Wine then The Civil Wars may just help you get your fix of new, vintage tunes. Check out their single Poison & Wine below or visit Noisetrade.com to download their live album for free.

James Booker

I’ve heard the name a hundred times but only recently did I discover the music of James Booker.  If Ray Charles was a genius, then Booker was a brain surgeon.  If Harry Connick Jr. is an artist, then Booker was da Vinci.  Seriously, this guy is phenomenal.  But Booker wasn’t just a jazz pianist, he played blues, gospel, latin, and classical.  Singer-Songwriter?  He did that too.  Even Ben Folds admits to being influenced by James Booker in his iTunes celebrity playlist.

I have a few friends (Dénes Dosztán, I’m sorry) that would kill me for waiting so late to ‘discover’ James Booker but, in my defense, he really is underplayed and underrecognized as the giant that he was.  A little gospel, a little classical virtuoso, a little jazz and blues, a little latin, more drugs and alcohol than most rock stars dream of, a lot of New Orleans and all legend.