Following the segregation of "popular" and "race music" in the 40s and 50s, the liberal values of the 60s and 70s saw an integration of sounds without regard to labels and genres. If music was good, we listened to it, whether it was rock, soul, country, or jazz.
This week my show features some of the earliest and best voices of classic soul music. Before the Beatles scorched their version of "Twist and Shout" The Isley Brothers sang it in a looser, more danceable style.The first dance at a wedding may still be Etta James' [left] slow "At Last" but her "Tell Mama" will move you from head to toe, along with dance tracks from Otis Redding and The Four Tops.
Then I play a medley of soulful love songs, featuring The Spinners and Al Green. Some is sad, some is blissful; it's all about love.
One of the most interesting documentaries released in 2010 was the biographical sketch called "Who's Harry Nilsson - and why is everybody talkin' about him"? The answer to that rhetorical question either provokes a hesitant, "...uh..." or an emphatic, "Yes! Harry Nilsson." Today's show will help answer that question.
Harry was a voice, composer, arranger, and stylist with few peers during his heyday from the 60s to the 70s. Some of the songs I play you will have heard ("Everybody's Talkin'" for which he won a Grammy in 1969) and some are relatively obscure and will leaving you wondering why you haven't been hearing them as regularly in the last 40 years ("The Puppy Song" or "Cuddly Toy"). Read More...
In case you were too busy looking back or forward, this week's shows will remind you that some excellent music was released in 2010.
I start the show with the raw sound of the Black Keys [pictured], mixed with more refined music of Of Montreal (that's not a typo), Local Natives, and Flying Lotus.
I found a radio-friendly version of Cee Lo's song "FU" and a track from one of the few progressive rock bands still alive, Karnivool. Then there's the hard to categorize double CD from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim--spinning the life story of ... (get ready for this) Imhelda Marcos (well, David Byrne has done stranger things I'm sure).
I continue to review last year's music, and there's a lot of good stuff. This week you'll hear tracks from RJD2, Vampire Weekend, and Gorillaz. They're real but they look like cartoons; Snoop Dog performs with them (he's somewhat more real, but barely).
My surprise discovery for 2010 is Emancipator. You'll appreciate their smooth, ambient style, but with more sophisticated arrangements and melodies than most ambient artists.
The surprise new artist of 2010 was Jimi Hendrix, whose long forgotten "Valleys of Neptune" was finally released.
"Classical rock" -- not classic rock -- is the theme for this week's show. Perhaps it's a musical aberration, but the last year and a half has seen a strange increase in releases by classically-trained rock musicians of classically-based music. Even stranger, they're mostly Americans rather than Europeans.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has been making and performing electric/classical Christmas music for years. "Night Castle" is their second non-Christmas CD. And while much of it is pretentious and mood-makey, some is excellent. I feature two tracks, one is their take on part of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."
Also heavily influence by "Carmina Burana" is the 2010 release by LA group E.S. Posthumus, called "Makara." Formed by brothers Helmut and Franz Vonlichten (pictured), this CD features tracks inspired by Vedic deities, such as "Varuna," "Kalki," and "Vishnu." They create an almost new genre of music, fusing classical and rock instruments with powerful vocal choruses.
I'm continuing to review this year's music. A lot was excellent and overall it was diverse. You're in for some surprises.
Here's one: an interesting collaboration between Carlos Santana, Yo Yo Ma, and india.arie (pictured). Pretty interesting eh? Well, wait til you hear their dark and beautiful version of "While my guitar gently weeps."
My nominations for albums of the year: ES Posthumus's "Makara" and Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs."
Also, some downtempo magic from Emancipator's debut CD "Safe in the steep cliffs" and Billions and Billions' "It was beautiful."
The complete playlist is here: http://kruufm.com/node/9305
It's that time again. That time when you're driven out of your mind by mindless Christmas music. This week I play music that will help keep your sanity.
Aimee Mann and Michael Penn (her husband and brother of Sean, both left) start the show off with a dreary reminder that "Christmas time" returns again. But the tone quickly shifts with the humor and good spirits of Brave Combo, Mel Blanc, and Danny Elfman.
Then: artists I can almost guaranty you've never heard before, but absolutely need to hear: La Botinne Souriante (Quebec's answer to...well, what was the question), and the song "God rest ye merry gentlemen" performed back to back by Sarah McLachlin & Barenaked Ladies and then Chick Corea's Elektric Band.
This week's show will help remind you that Christmas is at least supposed to be the season to be jolly. One thing is for sure: you will laugh.
Bob Rivers has made some of the best, over-the-top funny, Christmas-like songs ("It's the most fattening time of the year," "The 12 pains of Christmas"). And so has Mel Blanc, Warner Brothers/Looney Tunes' man of 1,000 voices.
Tis the season to be irreverant, and Steve Martin's "5 wishes for Christmas" and The American Comedy Network's "How the Grinch stole Hanukkah" will show you, and Tchaikavsky is torched by the original musical satirist, Spike Jones.
The playlist: http://kruufm.com/node/9204
The musical year in review reveals enough musical creativity for several of my shows--taking up the rest of the year.
Alot of critics were blown away by Kanye West's new CD. I was "mehed" by it--especially his intentional (god, I hope it was intentional) off-key singing, and inconsistent rhymes. But I found something worthy of your listening
Eminem's "Recovery" was also released last year. Compared to Kanye, his highs were higher and his lows were lower into the gutter.
My vote for the possibly-best CD of the year goes to Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs." The Montreal-based, surprisingly anglophonic group cannot be readily categorized, except to say that their melodies are fresh and their arrangements nearly perfectly understated.
For the complete playlist, see: http://kruufm.com/node/9081
Only 5 years ago, the year 2005 had some breakthrough music.
British semi-real act Gorillaz released some great tracks on their CD "Demon Days"; I'll play "Feel good inc" which balances the melancholy vocals of Daman Albarn with the powerful rap of De La Soul
The UK electronic band Shpongle [left] released a surprisingly melodic and joyful CD, "Ineffable Mysteries from Shpongleland."
Best track: "Levitation nation."Bob Sinclair's "Love generation" will play in your head for the rest of the day.
For the entire playlist, go to: http://kruufm.com/node/9089