deep into the indie sounds of some amazing groups:
lots of great vocals: sonia dada (pictured) with african vocal sensibilities, the shins mysterious "sea legs," the temper trap, new johnny cash, tantric, stateless, frou frou (aka imogen heap).
most memorable is leonard cohen's stunning "here it is"--a dickensian review of one's life from the other side:
here you are hurried, & here you are gone;
and here is the love it’s all built upon.
may everyone live, and may everyone die.
hello my love, and my love, goodbye.
this week we go deep into some heavy tracks.
i'll play a brand new song by umphrey's mcgee--their brilliant cover of the beatles' "i want you (she's so heavey)--a heavy song to begin with, but only made heavier by these heavyweight musicians. it was all recorded just before their des moines concert last summer, in abbey road studios. that and their song "puppet strings" will knock your socks off (with lyrics that go deep into the issue of how to live your life):
It's not like there's a book for this or something you could read;
'Cause I’ve looked around.
And I tried to fill these holes with other roles I never learned to play.
It seems like they always falter,
But how the hell should I know?
and then i'll play 3 heavies from the 1969 album featuring amazing musicians, fuse. they were trailblazers in heavy, virtuosic music, as were the amboy dukes, before ted nugent went off his rails and became an insane redneck.
but then i'll change styles while keeping the heaviness coming with "laughing gas" by germany's juno reactor.
the highlight however will be the 23:00 vanilla fudge live masterpiece "break song," featuring--at least in my mind--bass player, tim bogert.
as winter lingers, thursday night (and sunday morning) will be one last time to put the last of the logs on, close your eyes and go deep within.... this week's music will help you transcend.
i'm featuring the deepest trippiest, and most musical and magical musique from british producer ott, austrian duo tosca, british magicians shpongle, norwegian duo royksopp, and (a beautiful modern version of a classique piece by) french ambient composer claude debussy.
these are musical journeys that you won't want to miss.
this week, extended tracks from the allman brothers, wishbone ash, miles davis...
physicist steven hawking tells the story of bertrand russell giving a lecture on the latest astronomical discoveries in cosmology, including the birth of the universe, the galaxies, and our planet revolving amidst our solar system. in the back of the room, a curandera shaman woman stands up and says it's simpler than that, because "the world is supported on the back of a giant turtle." russell, in his best rationalist response, asks, "and what's supporting the turtle?" she says, "another turtle." when russell asks what's supporting that turtle, the shaman replies simply, "it's turtles all the way down."
that description of infinity is the title of country singer sturgill simpson's 2014 track "turtles all the way down." it's not your usual country content.
this week i'll play other songs you may not have heard from the year 2014, including songs by jazz-fusion bassist flying lotus, elbow, the war on drugs, u2, the foo fighters, broken bells, and tycho.
the psychedelic musical wave of the late 60s has peaked, but its influence lives on. in fact psychedelic music is alive and well today.
this week i'll share psychedelic sounds from the last few years.
to the left is/are tame impala. tripster yes, and they can play, write, and sing with anyone.
still based on recreating the experiences of psychedelic experiences, you may be surprised to hear psychedelic tracks from artists as diverse as r&b sylist janelle monae and country-western uber outlaw, sturgill simpson. not to mention new music from classic trippers, pink floyd.
this week we go deep...
two of the most free-flowing, deep, improvisational bands play a half-hour song each.
first we back 45 years to one of the earliest and bestest live improvisational bands, mountain. the play the 1/2 hour version of their classic song, "nantucket sleighride":
Fly your willow branches
Wrap your body round my soul
Lay down your reeds and drums on my soft sheets
There are years behind us reaching
To the place where hearts are beating
And I know you're the last true love I'll ever meet
then it's the heaviest, most versitile, and complex performance ever by umphrey's mcgee. from a live performance last year, these guys show both the past and the future of improvisational music of all genres.
last year saw a better than average crop of exciting music. (iowa has got me waxing poetica--farm style).
from the beautifully haunting melodies of coldplay's "ghost stories" (yes, this is in contention for album of the year in my opinion), to the creative, semi-electronic pop of norway's royksopp [pictured], and across genres to acoustic masterpieces by robert plant and alt-j....2014 heard it all.
one of my blissful pleasures from last year was eric clapton & friends' ode to jj cale. it was a smooth, rolling pleasure.
u2 surprised a lot of people by showing that their passion hasn't faded as much as the years have. and the black keys continue to show us the force of a three-piece rock band.
what a great year for new music. and some old musicians making new music too.
no reasonable person can say what the best album of 2014 was, but it'd be hard to argue that any of these weren't among the best.
the music ranged from the raucus (foo fighters) to the subtly sublime (beck, coldplay), and featured some certified geniuses (jackson browne, leonard cohen, u2, tom petty) to possible geniuses (broken bells, tv on the radio).
then there's the guy with a little of both: john lennon's son sean [pictured with co-musician/singer charlotte kemp muhl], whose psychedlic album "midnight sun" should not be overlooked by those reviewing the past year.
there was so much great music released this last year that i'll spend 2 weeks reviewing it. so this is just part 1 folks.
one of my favorite shows: christmas mashups.
you know mashups: take a bit of this song, mix it briliantly with that song, and blend two completely different emotional and musical contents into one new outrageous song. well this year, the challenge is even greater, as i found some brilliant, creative, outrageous, hilarious, and touching musical christmas mashups.
you'll hear led zeppelin, u2, the beatles, motown classics, and lines like the police classic: "rudolph the red-nosed raindeer, you don't have to put on the red light," and mashups of smokey robinson/jingle bells/queen that will leave you breathless and amazed (and perhaps laughing in the spirit of christmas creativity).
it all started years ago with david bowie/bing crosby which inspired combinations like muse's "madness" mashed with "white christmas," the soon to be classic "don't worry be happy/winter wonderland," and "carol of the bells/papa was a rolling stone." and there's the beatles's "feliz navidad" that you'll swear is better than the original of both songs that are mashed.
this hour ends with my own mashup of 6 different versions of "carol of the bells."
each combination gets better and better if i do say, which makes this the best show i've ever done. and i do say so.