this week, something totally different.
one of the great american humorists of the 1st half of the 20th century was robert benchley (right). precursor to dave barry, he wrote short pieces for the new yorker (he initially wrote under the pseudonym of guy fawkes), harvard lampoon, and vanity fair. he wrote and starred in many movie shorts, such as "how to sleep," and as a result of his screen presence, became a hollywood character actor, appearing in such movies as alfred hitchcock's "foreign correspondent" and "the road to utopia."
this week i'll read several of benchley's short humorous pieces, punctuated by music from another creative genius of the 20s, 30s, and 40s, the belgian gypsy jazz guitarist, django reinhardt, and french virtuoso jazz violinist, stephane grappelli. (click here to read more)
whew!...what a show i'm gonna try to pull off this week: featuring great dance tracks from 1983--like prince, michael jackson, cyndi lauper (pictured), the cure, ub40, herbie hancock, the police, and david bowie. but that's not all! (just classic dance tracks would be boring, predictable, and not worthy of the uniqueness that is kruu!)
each classic dance song from 1983 is mashed together with another great song! got it? get the idea?
here're some mashups you'll hear: michael jackson vs daft punk's "billie jean get lucky," ub40 vs herbie hancock's "red red rockit," whitney houston vs. cyndi lauper's "girls just wanna dance with somebody," the eurythmics vs. the white stripes' "sweet dreams of the seven nation army," and my favorite: the police vs ben e king's "stand by every breath you take."
here's a list of all the mashups.
not a bad year for music so far in 2013...
i'll sample some of the more melodic songs released this year. songs like bruno mars' plaintiff cry, "locked out of heaven," kacey musgraves' refreshing (as opposed to stale) country, "follow your arrow," along with 3 songs from the new arcade fire cd (which wasn't quite the creative whirlwind that was their 2010 "the suburbs," but there is still a refreshing sound, arising out of the band's cross cultural influences from texas and montreal).
this year also heard deep-voiced mysterious melodies and poetry from brooklyn based the national [pictured] (man, these guys are poets!) and deep throated harmonies from the lone bellows. oh, and an eminem song you old timers will just have to hear to believe!
can the music of 1983 really be 30 years old? i don't see how that's possible, but i'll assume the math doesn't lie. this week i'll play some of the most interesting sounds from 1983, featuring david bowie and stevie ray vaughan (pictured).
bowie famously "discovered" stevie, and stevie, dubious and stoned on coke for most of the album, helped make "let's dance" a classic. i'll play 3 tracks from that cd, and a beautiful fender slow blues by stevie ray, released later that year.
then i'll play some difficult to categorize (classical? jazz? progressive? fusion?) tunes by yes, frank zappa with the london symphony, and dutch guitarist, jan akkerman.
here are the songs: 1983
thursday night...sunday morning...
tripped out sounds from 2003...
featuring shpongle ("around the world in a tea daze"), carbon based life forms ("exosphere"), infected mushroom ("jeenge"), tosca ("gute jaune"), an instrumental version of a song by muse ("ruled by secrecy"), and more...
lay back, tune in, turn up...
the beatles broke up in 1970, but 3 years after that, they each released solo albums that collectively, could have been another great beatles album.
in 1973 george harrison's "living in the material world" was perhaps the most creative of each of their solo efforts, and this week's show features several brilliant songs from that album.
also released 40 years ago was mccartney's classic "band on the run," lennon's "mind games" and ringo's collaboration with the band also would have made some great contributions to the 1973 album that wasn't but could have been.
the best music from 2013: new songs from everyone's favorite, former grammy winning, nerd savants, arcade fire (pictured), brilliant pop melodies and fascinating arrangements from vampire weekend, new music from david bowie, paul mccartney, snoop lion, atoms for peace, and a lovely duet from ravi shankar's daughter's norah jones and anoushka shankar.
and speaking of surprising duet's: my favorite this week might be snoop lion and miley cyrus's "ashtrays and heartbreaks."
these songs were all released this year.
this week: dual (perhaps dueling) guitarists...featuring brilliant pairs of guitarists
playing together, off each other, and on each other...from fleetwood mac (who may have started the trend in 1968, with brilliant, stylistic, harmonizing from peter green and danny kirwin), the allman brothers (duane allman and dickie betts), wishbone ash (andy powell and ted turner), and umphrey's mcgee (jake cininger and brendan bayliss), pictured.
all live...and wired.
the eagles (pictured) are touring the midwest this month (they'll be in lincoln friday night and moline on the 21st) and of course they sing one of the most iconic california songs ever. well even though you love it, i'm not going to play the eagles singing "hotel california" on this week's show. instead, the eagles will just play their instruments, and you get to sing!
after spending a fantastic couple weeks in funny californiay, i decided to bring california's vibe back through an hour's songs about california. not all the usual suspects, and some fascinating tunes from tupac, john mayer, jem, joni, and propellorheads! (even a classic like "california dreamin'" but not sung by the mamas and papas)
it's surprising to have discovered how many fairfield residents are quite familiar with the music of the band.
i played an hour of their music last month. people were moved, i was moved. people also said, "wow!"
now let's move on to some more great music that didn't get played last month, all by the band.
one hour just wasn't enough.
their unique harmonies, fascinating tales of early americana, musical craftsmanship, and brilliant robbie robertson compositions, make the band one of a kind. they're now enjoying a world-wide renaissance, partly because of their influence on groups like fleet foxes, mumford and sons, grizzly bear, and lots more, and in part because their sound has no time or style-stamp.
part 2 tunes.