it's been an interesting year musically. first 6 months are in the books, and this week i review some of the highlights.
at times i thought i was hearing another century creep through the time/space continuum. first there was music from the 20th century (brian wilson with an often magically redeeming new cd, and some classic emotion from fairfield's robert reeder, pharrell-produced genuine r&b sung by snoop dogg).
but i also heard from the 19th century (pokey lafarge, [pictured] who sounds (and looks) like he just got off the boat from new orleans, along with fairfield friends the shook twins), and we even heard from the 22nd century (edgey indie motopony, unprecedented harmonies from fairfield's dagmar, and a melodic rihanna groove written by paul mccartney)
the theme song to the great cosmic love story, groundhog day, is sonny & cher's "i've got you babe," originally released in 1965.
turns out there were a lot of great love songs released in 1965 and this week we play them all (well, an hour's worth in any event).
and you'll also be brought into the cosmic weave of "groundhog day" as well, with excerpts from that movie springled throughout these great songs that were released 50 years ago.
they're not all brand-spankling new, but most of them are still in our heads: the righteous brothers, otis redding, manfred mann...et al.
progressive, politically active, hard rock band muse has been selling out massive stadiums around the world for the past decade and winning all kinds of international awards for the best rock band/album/track/etc in the world. in america not so much.
in large part this is because lead singer/composer/guitarist/pianist/lyricist matt bellamy doesn't hold back the hard truths when he describes musically how america's violent and controlling foreign and domestic policies crush individual free will and personal integrity.
check out this anthem from "uprising":
if you could flick a switch and open your third eye
you'd see that we should never be afraid to die.
rise up and take the power back.
it's time the fat cats had a heart attack.
you know that their time's coming to an end.
we have to unify and watch our flag ascend.
but they also write some of the most powerful love songs and sing like queen. so if you don't, perhaps it's time you knew them.
this week i'll preview their new cd "drones" which is scheduled to be released next week. it's safe to say you hear it here first (if not before)!
time to stretch our view of ourselves to the outermost limits...
about 60 years ago, physicist enrico fermi was discussing the famous drake equations (astro-physicists' best mathematical guess as to the number of intelligent planetary civilizations in the universe and/or our local galaxy), and after arriving at a rather large number (with more than enough time and energy to develop a hyper drive, colonize, or otherwise overcome the limitations of space/time we currently perceive) he wondered aloud why we're not regularly seeing visitors on our planet or at least signs of them from other stars.
despite the considerable evidence that we're being visited and/or watched, the question still remains: where is everyone?
astro biologists and other theorists have proposed many fascinating, mind-stretching answers to this paradoxical question. this week i explore many of them, accompanied by the cosmic sounds of ambient group aes danae.
this week, deep tracks will be completely live.
you'll hear amazing versions of songs by jimi hendrix that you've never heard live: "little wing" and "all along the watchtower."
most remarkable: santana's live "black magic woman" followed by a live version by the band that wrote the song, fleetwood mac with peter green.
you'll also hear live allman brothers, and the live, unplugged version of stone temple pilots' [pictured] "plush" with one of rock's more underrated insights:
"and i feel so much depends on the weather..."
not sure if you've heard of the wrecking crew, but you've definitely heard them.
the subject of a recent, fascinating and fun documentary, the wrecking crew was 15-20 (depending on who's counting) of the best session musicians in la from the 60s to mid-70s.
you thought you were hearing the beach boys, the association, the tijuana brass, the monkees, and the byrds, but you were hearing folks like drummers hal blaine, jim gordon, jim keltner, earl palmer; guitarists tommy tedesco, bass player carole kaye, keyboardist leon russell...frequently jazz musicians, who were paid to play tight, solid, innovative rock grooves.
for one show every month on "deep tracks" i'll go deeply into a particular year of music, focusing on the most creative and long-lasting music from that year; on another show i'll play long, extended, improvised tracks that take the time to deeply explore their music and playing; on another show i'll explore the best of a particular genre or artist; and on another show i'll play creative ambient music for you to enjoy and transcend to--letting your awareness go deeper....
this week, enjoy vedic ambience...
50 years ago was the height of pop music.
dozens of artists, whose names we still revere, were at the top of their game.
this weeks will be the beginning of a 5-week review of the best music released in 1965. i'll go alphabetically, beginning with the animals, the beach boys, the beatles, the byrds, the dave clark five, donovan, bob dylan, tom jones, the kinks, the lovin' spoonful, manfred mann, roger miller, otis redding, the righteous brothers, the rolling stones, sonny & cher, the temptations, the who, the yardbirds, and the zombies.
these won't be the elevator musak tunes you've heard 1000 times, but songs that'll be playing in your head til next week when i'll continue with my review of 1965.
this week we go deep into extended, improvised performances by the kings of genre: the red hot chili peppers, neil young, the grateful dead, umphrey's mcgee, and buckethead. (sorry if you were expecting nostalgic elevator music; this won't be it.)
one of the more interesting tracks is an out-take from an album released 40 years ago, featuring shri chimnoy disciples and cajones-bursting guitarists, carlos santana & john mclaughlin [pictured]. i'll play an ecstatic unreleased version of john coltrane's jam, "a love supreme."
also fun for its locality is umphrey's mcgee's live track recorded at their 2004 concert in iowa city.
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.