Thursday, January 31, 2008

Strix Vega – Tides

A lone garage style guitar starts this slow tune on one string. As the rest of the band joins in, I feel like I’m standing right in the middle of the garage as the poet intones that he is “watching the bay as it recedes and feeling the void that it leaves. Eyeing the ridge of happiness and watching the truth undress.” I love the fact that these guys have the confidence to put their wonderful melodies to tape without feeling the need to overproduce and add unnecessary sheen. They are able to maintain this lively garage feel throughout, especially on the shoutout Mrs Loveless. The music matches the intensity of the emotions. Excellent. Strix Vega

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lenny Kravitz - Love Revolution

A hump day dance party song, with a great beat, and some fresh retro-sounding licks. Soul beat with rock guitar leads. Life feels great – “it is time for a love revolution! It is time for a new constitution!” I feel like Woodstock Nation has returned, with a vengeance. Shoutouts for the bass driven Bring It On. Hurray for folks who make music for dancing fools! Lenny Kravitz

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sheryl Crow - Love Is Free

“Money’s got no hold on me”. Easy to say when you’re making music this good. Folks are bound to play this song. A lot. And that’ll make Sheryl lotsa money =:-). And there’s nothing wrong with that. Been a long time since I’ve heard a sonically open-sounding song like this from Sheryl, and I am very happy to hear it. Shoutouts for Out Of Our Heads (And Into Our Hearts), the happiest anti-war song I’ve heard this year, Detours & Beautiful Dream. Powerful, fun, and exciting back to roots album. Sheryl Crow

Monday, January 28, 2008

Willie Nelson – Worry B Gone

After First I have to admit to being wrong wrong wrong. On his 50th anniversary in the recording industry Willie Nelson released Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other & I felt for sure that was his crowning achievement. Well, the man hasn’t quit, and he’s still singing and playing with enthusiasm & hilarity.

My mother first bought a Willie Nelson “Long Player” in 1961. She was a huge fan of Patsy Cline, and read the magazines, so she scouted around and found the Willie Nelson record. At some point in that year or the next she scrounged up a version of Rainy Day Blues b/w Nightlife. And I never got around to asking where she got a copy of No Place For Me b/w Lumberjack, but it still holds a place of wonder in her collection. What I’m saying is that Willie has been a part of my eartaste adventure for 47 years, and my mom obviously had good contacts before that. We had about 15 albums that were released in the 60’s. Willie covered an early Joni Mitchell song in 1970. In 1971 he was covering James Taylor. I remember my mom swooning when she heard Willie singing Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain in the mid 70’s. He seemed old then!

I remember my mom’s favorite advice, “if you don’t have something good to say…” Well, you know the rest, and regular readers know I only pick on the best songs for that reason. So, let’s talk about the two good songs here.

“Give me just one more sip of that worry be gone. I plan on feeling much better before too long!” Guy Clark lyrics to a tune that’s Willy 100%. Coulda been recorded in 1968, 1978, or any year till now. “Got a world of trouble that I need to forget, I’m on my way, but I ain’t there yet.” Good, vintage eartasting, with lotsa bluesy licks to dance the night away. “Well I can’t suffer fools wasting my time. Don’t give me no advice that rhymes. Just give me one more puff of that worry be gone.” If you love your Nelson undiluted, this is the perfect antidote. The co-singer, Kenny Chesney, does not distract one bit. Classic Willie! The shoutout is You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore! “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Willie Nelson

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shauna Burns – Bloom

“When Stella decided that she would stay, we both decided that it was time to fly.” Ethereal. Not a common word in my vocabulary, but that’s where the music takes me. Delicate, floating on another world. The language was one I was unfamiliar with till I pulled out a lyric sheet. English. Shauna focuses on the vowels, and the story becomes unimportant compared to the melody. The keyboards float toriamos-like high above the percussive beat that grounds my feet. The bird-like flavors add to the quality of the scene. Subsequent hearings start to bring out the language and allow me to hear the story with more clarity as I float higher and higher. “When thunder hits, it’s our cue to run as fast as you can.” Shauna Burns

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Santana - El Fuego

My Spanish is not great, so this is extremely rough, which doesn’t matter, ‘cause I love the tune. “Thank you for the fire, for the intense heat that’s grown inside my heart because of you. You’ve given me the freedom to search for the truth. You’ve shown me your face and your love unconditionally.” Hot, fiery guitars, keyboards & percussion accenting a beautiful melody. There’s no more precious way to spend a Saturday evening as the sun sets quietly beyond the horizon. The scene here is very much worth praising God for, and I have a more than passing suspicion that Carlos is directing this tune toward the one who is the light of the world. Shoutouts for Hermes and Da Tu Amor (“No hay razón para la guerra” – roughly, there is no reason for war). Santana

Friday, January 25, 2008

Herbie Hancock with Santana & Angilique Kidjo - Safiatou

Listening to Herbie this week took me to my cd closet. I spent many hours with this cd today, so you get to re-visit it with me. Santana and Herbie worked in tandem to create a wonderful opening to this friendly samba. Reminds me of the close relationship of Mies and Trane on their collaborations. Angelique sings beautifully, and we are treated to a whole slew of musicians who work together to bring joy to those with ears to hear. Shoutout for When Love Comes to Town with Joss Stone & Jonny Lang Herbie Hancock

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jack Johnson – Hope

“Your shadow walks faster than you. You don't really know what to do. Do you think that you're not alone?” A steady close to jimmybuffetrasta beat makes you think about life and love and wonder if this guy knows more than you about all that stuff? “The shadow is on the move and maybe you should be moving too, before it takes away all that you learned to love. It will defeat you and then teach you to get back up ‘cause you don't always have to hold your head higher than your heart.” Sounds profound enough. You can decide if it is or now while I dance around the room happy for the happy music. Shoutout for Enemy (“I picked up the pieces when I woke
Put them in a boat made of things that I don’t want to see”) and What You Thought You Need (“We can park the van and walk to town, find the cheapest bottle of wine that we could find and talk about the road behind. How getting lost is not a waste of time.”) Jack Johnson

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Radiohead – Nude

A space walk, for a good, slow, meandering hump day with chicken wings chased through weightlessness. There must be a way to capture that margarita while floating. Does it matter? The mood is set by the music, and it’s easy to flow with it. “Don't get any big ideas, they're not going to happen. You paint yourself white and fill in the noise, but there'll be something missing.” Shoutout for another type of mood, Jigsaw Falling Into Place. Radiohead

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Herbie Hancock – Solitude

Dave Holland on bass pulls me through the eye of the needle as I visit the heavens with Herbie and Vinnie Colaiuta. It’s so great to see Billie’s eyes sparkling as she listens to this piece with Duke by her side. We are all in agreement, that no performance could out classic her own, but Herbie manages to take it beyond the realm of classic into the realm of peace and distinct awareness of our need to contemplate our purpose without interference from others. Perfect solitude is a necessity. Wayne Shorter joins ont party on the shoutout tune, Both Sides Now. A fine visit to beat-era stylings rounds out this tasty treat with Leonard Cohen intoning The Jungle Line. Herbie Hancock

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bob Mould - Stupid Now

Strong voice starts the CD with a guitar banging in the background. “Please listen to me and don’t disagree.” I get the idea he’s going to smash my face if I dare say he’s wrong. Lots of anger, convincing, and makes for a smashing Monday morning wake-up call. I’ve no doubts that he’s absolutely serious. Great entertainment. Like Nicholas Cage playing a drunk in Leaving Las Vegas. Couldn’t figure out why/how he could make another movie after that. Didn’t he die? Horrible movie that sticks in the brain way too long afterwards. That’s the same way this album is coming at me. That, along with the dance beat. The drummer makes sure his part of the anger moves my feet. Shoutouts for Who Needs To Dream and New Highs New Lows. Bob Mould

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kate Nash - Merry Happy

“Watching me like you never watched no one.Don’t tell me that you didn’t try to check out my bum, cause I know that you did, cause your friend told me that you liked it.” Caught. But the fun is just beginning. Now that he’s caught, the narrator goes along with the truth and they hang together long enough to create a situation where she now says, “I know now that we were not the people that we turned out to be.” Seems she was willing to give the bum-watcher a chance at what he was lusting for, and she even muses about the fact that she was pleased for awhile; “you make me merry, make me very very happy.” This story, alas, does not have a perfectly merry happy ending, and I’ll even give it away – “but you obviously, you didn’t want to stick around.” I gave away the ending because the music is the important aspect to this song, and very much worth paying attention to. It starts out with a piano hitting 2 keys. Very simple, just like the lyric. But as the story deepens and the plot thickens, so does the music. Very nicely arranged & performed superbly. Kate Nash

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Coral – Cobwebs

“There's a place where the creatures play, I'm going there at the end of the day. Who knows what I'll find in the cobwebs of my mind?” I’m drinking warm peppermint tea, eating ensaimadas, and contemplating the hectic pace of the day, glad that it’s over, and even further pacified by the narrator of this song who’s admitting that there are creatures playing in the cobwebs of his mind also. Gives comfort to know others are experiencing this. Maybe it’s the peppermint, maybe it’s the cinnamon, or perhaps it’s the sweet guitar playing through this song, but I’m feeling good despite the hectic creatures. And, yes, there is more news. “There's a place where the music plays, I'll meet her there at the end of the day. Who knows what she'll find in the cobwebs of my mind?” A fellow wanderer willing to explore the cobwebs alongside the narrator. Beautiful picture of a mature relationship. “She knows where I hide. In the cobwebs of my mind.” Coral

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Putumayo Music Trivia Quiz

Putumayo is sponsoring this quiz, and has offered up a great set released last year, Tango Around The World.

I woke up this morning to 8 emails, and the first had every answer necessary. Will be sending the other 7 folks a used cd from my review pile.

Here’s the “world-music” story and quiz: In 1978 this Jamaican artist’s 3rd solo album was released on a British label owned by a rock band. One of the band members sang a duet on the first single that was written by a songwriting team in Detroit, and had been a hit for an American soul group. Obviously, there are world-wide roots for this single from the album.

For your copy of Tango Around The World, email the name of the artist and the song. Extra credit if you can also name the singer who sang along.


mike c. (UK) to me 4:56 AM


The answer to the trivia quiz is:

Artist - Peter Tosh
Single - (You Gotta Walk) Don't Look Back
Album - Bush Doctor
Guest singer - Mick Jagger

All the best
Mike :-)

The Putumayo connection to the song =:-)

Putumayo Presents: Latin Reggae

There is a oneness in the world that is held together by musicians and poets. Last night a blustery winter entered south texas and has blended with my heating system in such a way as to make it ineffective on the material plane. No problem, I’ve been listening to my collections of 60’s bluesoul all day to keep warm. Then it came time for the eartaste party to start, and the spirit of knowledge of my needs made itself known. Oneness. The first envelope opened today was sort of cheating. Putumayo has a distinctive envelope, so I knew a party was enclosed.

I wasn’t wrong. This entire album moves my body and my soul. The very cool thing is it’s dance, but not sweat-inducing dance. With the cold air enveloping every square centimeter of my surroundings, the last thing I want to do is sweat. But move to a beat and feel the warmth of the spirit moving within and without, perfect. Absolutely. The editors have chosen some fabulous musicians, none of which I recognize as household names in the United States.

Muchachito Bomba Infierno opens with enough ska on Conversaciones Incompatibles to let me know this album means business. Macaco takes over with Mulata Descolorada and offers up some excellent jazz. Next up is Charito Va by Radio Malanga, willing me up from under a blanket covering my body to allow the messenger to warm my understanding of true warmth, along with extended jazz-tinged reggae spirits. And on it goes. The bands are from Barcelona, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and more, with musicians from Nigeria, Netherlands, Chile, Montreal, in short, true to Putumayo tradition, this is a taste of the world through the ears of reggae. Sweet.

Latin Reggae

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Steve Forbert - Middle Age

It’s always great fun when Steve drops by for a chat. He’s been coming around for short visits since way back when I was in the middle of a first marriage, still living and playing in San Diego. The days when punks sorta ruled my ears, but he tickled me in a completely different way. Tonight he’s talking about the joys of middle age and how you need to “laugh at what you used to think you knew.” He’s slyly smiling as he sings this, and encourages me to tap along with his enthusiasm. “Middle age is hectic, much less time for fun. Clearly it’s a good think youth is wasted on the young.” Wise guy. He shared some fun things he’s been learning about north Jersey, and some of the things he’s been studying about the life of Spalding Gray. Somehow we get on the subject of the past, and he tells me flat out, “Man, I Miss That Girl.” There’s a few I really miss, too, so nostalgia reigns here for a brief period, but then we agree, “there ain’t a lot to say” on that subject.

Then he starts telling me about this new girl in his his life in a poetic way, “those laughing stars, those talking trees. Was just a dream we shared that no one else could see. You’re on my mind so tenderly, as time goes by, you’re meant for me.” Then he livens up a bit and shares some cute moments with her, “there’s something special in your arms, there’s something magic in your kiss, there’s something wondrous in the words you say to me.” Steve gets around to telling em why he’s driving through these strange sounding city names in Jersey – turns out Diane lives in what he’s calling “Springsteen land.” He’s wry enough about it.

Of course, whenever someone spends more than 30 minutes in my home the subject gets around to politics, and he waxes on a bit with his opinion on Baghdad, but then he hits below the belt and starts reminding me that he’s the same age I am, smirking that “the geometric days are gone and earth is still a sphere, objects in the mirror may be just as they appear. We spin around the sun and call each trip we make a year, 30 more years of this and friend, I am out of here.” I was kinda thinking 25 years, but he’s a bit more optimistic than I am – he believes we’ll live till we’re 80. Then he strums his guitar for a little bit, not talking at all. It’s not a hard tune to play along with, but it’s pretty. Then, he stands up and puts his guitar down and acts like he’s gonna leave. We ask him to stay just awhile longer, so he pulls out his harmonica, picks up his guitar and sings an oldie but goodie for us. Then he says he really has to take off because we’ve been “lost in talk and I waste my time because it’s all been said before.” Hate to see him leave, but he’s right. And I have to get up in the morning. It was a pleasant evening, tho, and I’ll be inviting him back to get “lost in talk” a lot more this year. Everything’s all right.

Steve Forbert

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cascada – Runaway

Some hump days you just need to drink and sweat and not think. Cascada makes that possible by digging out an 80’s disco beat and keeping it running away all night long. It’s hard to believe anyone wants to make neverendingstorymusic anymore, but there are times when I just need to let the sweat pour out and clean all my pores. I’m even going to shoutout a few tunes, not that they’re different than the headline here – in point of fact, they all have exactly the same beat; think dance for aerobic principles. So I need at least 20 minutes of keeping my heartbeat up. I know, some smart crack will let me know that I’m supposed to do this every day, and once in a blue moon ain’t enough. I’ve heard it all before. Once in a blue moon is enough for this old guy, and exercising to fluff can be fun. The shoutouts are all fluffy versions of hit tunes. 1 is Because the Night (Bruce), 2 is Sk8er Boi (Avril) & 3 kept me laughing all the way through, Just Like A Pill (Pink). Cascada

Remi Nicole - Rock And Roll

“They say, ‘You’re not normal, why don’t you sing r&b?’ I said, ‘I got not rhythm, and I got no blues, I’m as happy as can be.’They said, ‘How can you not bop to hip-hop?’ I said, ‘I most certainly do! Did you not see me dancing the other night like the girls on channel two?’” The dance party keeps up with a steady beat, but more variety in tone. “I can dance like the girls in the video, but for me they’re much too slow. I prefer rock and roll!” Fun stuff. Shoutout for Dates From Hell. “Is it too much to ask for something decent, something that will last more than an evening?” Remi Nicole

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brokenkites – Resonator

The truth is never far behind the past, it’s all here in the midst of a concerted effort to remember. I sometimes have the freedom to consider the sounds made by a klystron resonating in orbit around us, to desire the ability to ride alongside and feel the throbs of its inner burnings. Brokenkites, in this hour of intense meditation, has brought to the surface some of these depths. The joy is the fact that there is no longer a pain related to the things left forgotten. No regrets have disintegrated in measures of belief and understandings of this belief. All these moments are both present past future and beyond in a single chord repeated and explored in conjunction with doublestringed chords and thoughts. Shoutouts for Epiphora & Escape Velocity. Special shoutout for the neoprototype Prelude. Brokenkites


Readers know I seldom print press releases, but this one is important. I hate crap like this, and a few of you know that this sorta bologna is what forced me to finally simply stop the podcast. Trying to help people get their music heard was not enough. For some stupid reason companies with deep pockets feel everyone else out there is super rich and has money to spend on lawsuits. There is no income coming into Eartaste from Eartaste endeavors. I'm sure SPiN, as an indie band, is putting out more than is coming in financially. I've been in enough bands to know that's very common.

If you recall, I reviewed a track from the new album on December 15, click here.

Anyway, read & comment:

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* * *

SPiN, Whose Single Debut Single “Home” Recently Catapulted Into The Top 20 on FMQB’S AC40 Chart, Dismisses The Claim As Ridiculous and Vows To Fight Any Legal Action

The edgy Philadelphia based, Jägermeister sponsored pop rock band SPiN wrapped 2007 with the exciting news that “Home”—the debut single from their self-titled EP helmed by Grammy winning producer/engineer David Ivory—had hit the Top 20 on FMQB’s AC40 chart (now #11 on chart). After several years of major East Coast success that included over 100 shows a year, the hardworking group was finally breaking through on a national level.

The well-known national music monthly Spin magazine took notice—but not in the way the four musicians would have hoped. On January 3, the band received a letter from the attorney for the publication’s parent company Spin Media, LLC, claiming that the name “SPiN” constitutes trademark infringement “of the famous and valuable” SPIN brand.

The letter claims that since the band SPiN is using the “SPIN mark” for music, there is a “strong likelihood of consumer confusion”; it says, “your clients’ unauthorized use of the SPIN mark is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception as to an affiliation, connection or association with Spin Media and its SPIN mark, and as to the origin, sponsorship or approval of your clients’ goods and services.”

The letter goes on to threaten that the magazine will pursue “civil remedies to the fullest extent of the federal and state law” unless SPiN immediately ceases to use the name!

SPiN the band’s simple response: “Ridiculous!”

No matter how you spin the story, the 23-year-old publication is hardly living up to its philosophy of being “Music For Life.” In fact, in what’s shaping up to be a classic David vs. Goliath battle, they’re trying to suck the life and career momentum out of SPiN just when lead singer Eric Rothenheber, keyboardist and vocalist Jim Vacca, guitarist Hank Cieplinski and drummer Lou Chudnofsky are achieving the kind of success every indie artist aspires to.

Vacca says the band has worked too hard to build its name and reputation over the last few years to give into this ludicrous demand. Eager to fight the media company, SPiN is currently exploring its legal options.

“Seriously, how is our use of the name ‘spin’ likely to cause confusion for anyone?” he adds. “You see a band play a show, is that a magazine performing onstage? I’m confused, am I reading a magazine or listening to a rock band on my ipod? C’mon! We’re not calling ourselves Spin magazine or writing articles about music, and we’re not music related media. We’re just a rock band out here struggling to get our music career going. We finally caused a little ripple and got a small taste of success, and now this? We’re not trying to hurt anyone or steal anyone’s “famous and valuable” name. We’re currently figuring out just how to fight this accusation without going futhur into debt in legal expenses.”

Cieplinski also wonders what happened years ago, when the situation was reversed, and Rolling Stone magazine shared its name with a famous band and the title of a Bob Dylan song. “We’ll have to look into the legal precedents,” he says. It would be nice if magazines like Spin would be supportive of hard working bands like ours rather than try to stifle what we’re doing as soon as we start to catch a glimpse of success.”

Ironically, the part of SPiN’s history that the guys are least likey to mention may play the most important part in proving that its name wasn’t deliberately lifted from the title of the magazine. Before SPiN was SPiN, and the guys were making their living—and funding the recording of original material--as a cover band, the group was known in Philadelphia as “Spin The Bottle.” That name was deemed too corny to keep once they developed their original sound, but so many people knew them as “Spin The Bottle” that they decided to simply shorten the name rather than change it completely.

“No matter what happens, we’re going to keep plugging away with continued touring to support the radio release and heading back in the studio in 2008,” says Rothenheber. “We’re hoping this situation doesn’t take too much time away from our primary goal, which is making music. Chudnofsky adds, “maybe they’ll back off once they realize that as of right now, there’s exactly $7.28 in our bank account!”

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ringo Starr - Gone Are The Days

“Sometimes you lose yourself, nobody’s there when you cry for help.” The song title may make you think this is a nostalgia song, but that’s just a ruse. Musically this is 2008, and rocking with a feeling! Sure, there’s fun along the way, wouldn’t be Ringo if it weren’t fun. Let’s face it, you can’t be 67 years old traveling from town to town singing for a bunch of folks who think you’re still a Beatle 38 years after they split up if you don’t have a wry sense of humor. Like the folks who still don’t accept Ron as a Rolling Stone. Weird people, fans.

Anyway, the music is hot, and there’s a sly reference to one of his earliest 70’s hits – “I know you will believe me when I say ‘It Won’t Come Easy.’ ” Another song references Choose Love, his album from 2005. The album makes me smile the same way all Ringo albums do. He wasn’t shy to attack standards in 1970, now even Rod Stewart does that, with no sense of irony. He talked C&W next, then pop & rock of all flavors, from Back Off Boogaloo to Photograph. He never shies away from a genre, just puts it out there, acting naturally. On this album he & his mates wrote all the songs, but they’re willing to tackle jazz flavors, gospel flavors (with a twist in the lyric), and pop, along with some burning rock. A fulfilling album. Shoutouts for Now That She’s Gone Away & For Love.

Ringo Starr

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Norah Jones – Easy

“It’s only love, and oh how it feels. Feeling is easy. When I was young, you know it was real.” Beautiful melody surrounded by flavors not usually associated with Norah. Of course, this is not her album, this cut came from the album of her half-sister, Anoushka who adds special tastes of sitar and percussion. The entire album makes for a comforting Sunday afternoon in some sort of ethereal space that’s occupying my brain. I’m loving it. Shoutout for Ghost Story. Anoushka Shankar

A second Norah shout-out for another stray cut from an older album, Angels. This song, like Easy, is not typical of the songs from her solo releases.

Jesse Cook - Matisse The Cat

Lively percussion and a wonderful guitar player. Many flamenco-type flavors, with a touch of what was termed neo-flamenco flavorings there for awhile. What sets this one apart is the dynamic energy. Shoutouts for Havana, La Llorona, and Alone. Jesse Cook

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dax Riggs - Demon Tied to a Chair in My Brain

“Blackbird a-tapping on the windowpain. Sick man smiling at a stray dog in the rain. Demon tied to a chair in my brain.” It’s not often I’m completely taken over by an entire album. This one starts with Demon Tied To A Chair and never lets up. Each song is a unique individual musically, but lyrically we enter into a poetry that is seldom explored in popular music – the inner recesses and depths of a person seeking for spiritual truths. I’m excited by the arrangements and the vocal energy that carries my thoughts into the heart of another person’s vitality.

1/2 way through the album, this line is intertwined with the music to cause deep meditation on my part, "Have mercy on the devil, he's a friend of mine. . .sometimes."

Shoutout for the whole album. I’ll simply share from the final cut, Dethbryte:

“All this fades and reappears
and we will always be everywhere everything
dreams tonight
don't bleed it so white
the fragile waves of days
they break against the shore
of all these years
don't scream and bite
don't bleed it so white
if all death is as bright”

Dax Riggs

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not My Day - Jaffa Del Mar

Clean sound. I love hearing a rock band that is careful to let me hear every instrument clearly, and this guys succeed. I can hear the bass in the middle, the guitar off to the left, and the drums just right of center. I’m standing in the garage with these guys, amps blasting, drummer having a field day in the corner. The bass player works with the drummer to keep this Friday night rock dance party pleasantly loud and steady. I have no idea what Jaffa Del Mar is – sounds like a beach. Apparently it’s something one thinks. Main thing is it really doesn’t matter, to me at least. The vocalist has a fine instrument and I can hear every word clearly, but I’m allowing the words to wash over me as my body gets caught in the wave this band is exerting. The retro lead guitar work is refreshing. Shoutout for It Matters! Not My Day

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Title Me Wrong – Ejit

I had to look Ejit up. If google has any validity, it’s an Irish slang for ‘idiot’. Couldn’t figure that out from the lyric. “The future is bright only of there is a light, and let me tell you there is a light.” The guitars are set to drone hypnotically. The drums are set to excite, but there are cool eartastes sliding in and out of this song. At one point the drums stop and the voice wrangles with a piano “finding the good in in life”. The instruments are well-recorded, a band worth seeking out. The vocalist seems to prefer running his voice through a machine. As the band grows and prepares to conquer America, I hope he’ll change his mind. Shoutout for She’s So Pretty. Title Me Wrong

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Jackson Taylor - Outlaw Women

Spending my hump-day in a down-home honky tonk beer bar, and Jackson is on stage pulling it off without a hitch. Could be 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, or 2008. Traditions. His fiddle player stroking his 18” woman under his chin with a 24” long horsehair collection. Not dancin’ is not an option. A few beers and everyone is on the dance floor slippin’ on the suds. “Here’s to the smoking hot mamas. . .they come in so many shapes and sizes, and every one’s a perfect fit!” Amen to that. Got some BBQ in the back to go along with the shout-outs Dark Days (“I ain’t afraid of the devil, and I ain’t afraid of losing you”), She’s A Real Good Girl (“Hey bartender I’d like to buy the house a round, cause I just quit my job”), and Honky Tonk Heroes (“gullible losers and no-account boozers”). Jackson Taylor

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Deborah Cox – Misery

Blue guitar, blue brushes, blue bass and blue piano work together to introduce a beautiful blue voice. A voice with the personification of misery. “Thoughts of you should bring me joy, but they only bring misery.” The guitar break is a perfect lamb shank with peppers and prosciutto, tasty. Shoutout for New Blowtop Blues. “I used to be a sharpie, all dressed in the latest style. But now I’m working down Broadway wearing nothing but a smile. . .I’m a gal that blew a fuse ‘cause I’ve got them blow-top blues.” Deborah Cox

Monday, January 07, 2008

Shine - Soulful Music

I’m by a lake, with wildflowers speaking a language of soul longing for innocence. The sun sets, the stars come out and the music breathes deep in the lake awakening the life beneath the surface. I’m warm, seeing new life dancing in the brisk wind coming from the gulf, some 300 miles away. I wonder how the breeze can travel those distances with the music intact. I’m pleased. In the Midlife Zone leads smoothly into Rest Your Head on Me. I’m quiet. Shine

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hidden Beach Recordings

Hidden Beachis a soulful jazz label that has made this Sunday afternoon a pure pleasure to participate in. Dry red wine in a slow dance mood.

Leigh Jones is first up, “the first to be willing to compromise”. The song titles weren’t provided, as this is an album that will still be coming out. “I’d rather have it your way than not have you at all. Leigh wraps herself deep into the club scene, sparring with excellent partners on keyboards, guitar, drums, bass, and especially the trumpet player. Definitely worth keeping an eye out for on the Hidden Beach web site. I’ll guess the song title to be Love Is Pain.

Cornel West – Bushonomics. “Revolution requires participation, but sometimes people be hesitatin’. The government must respect the will of the people.” Dream on is the easy thing to say; I’ve felt this way all my life and even when I see those who agree with us find their way over the hill and into the system, they soon become a part of the rot. Tom Hayden is the first of many that comes to mind. Jesse Jackson. Right down the line. But there’s still a part of me that hopes there’s young people out there still willing to hear the call that the government is here “to serve the people, the people don’t serve the government.” Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. “It’s like a jungle sometime, I’m at the front of the line. I ain’t tripping, but I stumble sometime and I get right back up.” The background to Cornell’s lyrics is tight, jazzy, and strong. My wish is that this would be heard by all Americans, “we go from the bling bling to let freedom ring.” My bet is this will be censored from all popular media sites. Because we live in a land of free speech, we cannot let people speak the truth. Shoutout for Mr Man.

Keita Young – Thinkuboutmi. The Sunday Party continues a bit more funky with Keita getting me on the dance floor and going all free-form with my arms and legs. “It ain’t about me.” Party on slystone style. Excellent.

Jeff Bradshaw - Happi Feelings. Round out the afternoon with something a bit stronger, perhaps some pina coladas to fill our glasses with this smooth jazz guitar returning the dance floor to those of us who need to slow down. Just a bit. Extra tasty instrumental, and I don’t know where you can purchase this album. I can only suggest that you keep your eye out on the Hidden Beach web site. I like seeing a label that calls its own shots, and Hidden Beach has found a way to do that, even in 2008. Nice work.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Jose Feliciano - Dancin' And Romancin'

It’s Saturday night and I’m being serenaded by the best. Jose maintains his soulful vocals and ability to make people dance without thinking. Lay out a few candles in the backyard, throw on this album, and you are no longer responsible for your actions. Dance becomes necessary. For the other half of the equation I recommend finding a more private spot, however. The guitar is hot hot hot. The brass section adds to the heat. “How was I to know the rhythm would get me?” Shoutout for the fine instrumental Baker's Thing. Jose Feliciano

Friday, January 04, 2008

Brooks & Dunn – Tequila

The organ plays, the drummer sways, then the rockin’ starts. Got my dancing shoes on & am ready to party. Been practicing these lyrics all day. “One shot, two shot, three tequila, four - cowboy bouncers ‘bout to throw me out the door.” Sound like elementary rhyme? You betcha! “Got me mumbling – that worm’s got a kick like a Tennessee mule.” You know how it is. Texas mules have better kicks, but they don’t match the syllabic necessity of shakesperian bar songs. “You’d think by now that a workin’ man would learn – you don’t go toe to toe with a little bitty worm.” This one is a goodie, lotsa fun & perfect to pull out for your Friday night partyin’. “Great big buzz in a little bitty glass.” Shoutout for Drunk On Love – “I’ve danced on the bar doing my very best cowboy ballerina”. Brooks & Dunn

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dave Gahan – Miracles

“I don’t believe in miracles. And they happen every day.” As Pete Townsend would say, I can’t explain. But I can love the music. This is a slow tune, with slow meandering synthesizers. I like the way the seeker attitude. “I want to know the truth, I really do”. But, the narrator, like most people, is afraid of losing their friends if they commit to salvation. No sweat, there’s no easy answers here, but lots of eartastable food for thought. Dave Gahan

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Alex Arrowsmith - Pass By Palestine

Kinda funny. Alex put out this record, and then 7 years after forgetting about Palestine, I stuck a teeny tiny mp3 player with a built-in speaker under Bush’s pillow with this song looping on it. The President wakes up and says “wait, I don’t want to forget Palestine”. So the past few weeks Bush made some noise about Palestine for the first time in his life. Not that he’s being real about it, but at least that teeny speaker we stuck under his pillow worked on his subconscious in a very small way. Of course, it could just be true he has a very small subconscious. We know he has no conscience whatsoever. Oops, giving away state secrets when I’m supposed to be talking about music. Wonder that.

“I’ve lost all the blood flow to my heart. And on top of this, the lawn mower won’t start.” Funny the things we thing about when our blood doesn’t run smooth. “I’ve been the same since the day you married. You wanted a life so quite unburied. It’s no surprise to me that I’m dead, and on top of this the cats are overfed. And if I ever leave earth I have to remember life like this. Don’t want to forget to pass by Palestine.”

Alex has allowed me to keep my sanity for over a year now. Thanks, bud. Don’t know what I need it for, but I’m thankful to be able to tell folks that this album, which I discussed way back two months ago is finally available for your consumption. If you don’t buy a copy today, what can I say, you’re a loser. Alex’s last album was in the top 23 of 2007, and unless a bunch of really cool people suddenly become musicians, I have no problem guessing that this new album will top the list of 2008. How can I say that so early in the year? Well, listen to these shout-outs - Going Insane For The McCain Campaign & a song you BETTER NOT play while driving - High Speed Chase (I got my 3 cylinder 30 HP Geo up to 90 while listening to this)! Oh there’s more cool stuff on this album, but just in case you can’t find your credit card to order from CD baby at the moment, I’ll tell you about a few more songs on a few weeks. Keep that wallet closer to your computer, loser. If you clicked on the link below & bought your copy before reading this far, you are an excellent person.

Alex Arrowsmith

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Motown Complete Singles Vol 8 (1968)

I can’t think of a better way to start off a new year than to listen to music from 40 years ago. 1968 was a banner year for music. The Moody Blues were fooling around with adding a symphony to rock and roll, psychedelia had become mainstream. Pat Paulson was running for President. And Motown was just as caught up in this madness as everyone else. The songs themselves were still fairly conservative musically and lyrically, it’ll be another year before Motown joins the political fringe; and I’m sure that was a backlash to an idiot running as vice-president who swore puff the magic dragon was a song about marijuana. That kind of idiocy drives all creative people nuts. The most risqué song on this set is Love Child. I’m seeing 1968 as the last year of innocence. There’s Gospel music (His Eye Is On The Sparrow by Marvin b/w Just A Closer Walk With Thee by Gladys) and Christmas music (Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer b/w Silent Night by the Temptations) released this year, along with instrumentals by Eivets Rednow that fooled no one because the harmonica work was so distinctive.

In every way possible 1968 was a banner year for Motown. Temptations, Four Tops, Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Supremes, Marvin & Tammi, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Night, Martha and The Vandellas, Billy Eckstein, Jr. Walker & The All Stars, Jimmy Ruffin, The Spinners and much more (does anyone remember the poweful soul of Blinky?). Even Shorty Long scored a top 40 single with Here Comes The Judge b/w Sing What You Wanna. Brings back memories of Rowan & Martin + The Smothers Brothers. Edwin Starr was still singing love songs. One of my favorite B-side song titles came out from Smokey: When The Words From Your Heart Get Caught Up In Your Throat. The radio was pleased to entertain us with Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day by Stevie.

This brilliant set contains every single released by Motown in 1968, so we hear every hit and every B side, as well as the ones that coulda made it but were squeezed out by great songs coming out of Stax and many other great labels owned by people, not conglomerates. It takes 7 hours to listen to this set straight through, but trust me – you’ll spend much more than 7 hours with it. So many songs beg for a second listen even as I’m listening. Plus, this set will stay very close to my turntable, along with its brothers and sisters listed below. Rocking soul is a sweet way to breath in any day, and in this case an entire new year.

Motown Complete Singles Vol 8 (1968)

Previous sets:
Motown Complete Singles Vol 1
Motown Complete Singles Vol 2
Motown Complete Singles Vol 3
Motown Complete Singles Vol 4
Motown Complete Singles Vol 5
Motown Complete Singles Vol 6
Motown Complete Singles Vol 7
Motown Complete Singles Vol 8