Friday, February 29, 2008

Sergio Mendes – Encanto

This album is a party wrapped in a box. It’s not often I write about an entire album here at eartaste. I’m sure I’ve done it, but I can’t recall when it was. And, to be absolutely honest, as much as I praised Timeless when it was released, I seriously did not expect it to be anything more than a fluke. It was simply so good that I thought it a beautiful little blip on the screen of my life.

Well, Sergio returns with the same energy and some of the same artists to keep himself relevant in 2008 better than most artists ¼ his age. His is not afraid to rediscover his past with modern flavorings. If he had not thought of the projects himself, I’m sure someone else eventually would have; but I know from experiences with hundreds of “tribute” albums that most fall flat and add no taste in the world. Sergio beats them all to the punch and produces his own tribute, with his own energy & creates party albums that will keep us dancing all year. Timeless has not left my party stack since it arrived, and I already know Encanto will be a very close partner in the small pile.

The party sneaks in with a noodling keyboard sounding like a fancy hotel lobby with wine being served as we all check each other out – the noodle tune is “The Look Of Love.” It doesn’t take long, probably about 20 seconds, before the beat picks up and the dance starts, with Fergie adding some hip-hop Sergio-tinged lyrics to the melody. Kittens are purring throughout. Funky Bahia follows with percussive realities heating up the dance floor. The guests on this dance groove are and Siedah Garrett “dancing in the ghetto”, where “music is the potion.” The beats pick up even more for Waters of March sung perfectly sexy by Ledisi. The hip-hop flavors have disappeared, but the dance doesn’t stop, and the break at the end returns to earlier jazz vocalizings that hip-hop grew out of. Odo-Ya by Carlinhos Brown is pure world-music flavored hip hop – no rest for these feet.

Somewhere In The Hills is a jazz-tinged search for reality that rests my feet long enough to finish the wine & re-fill my glass as Natalie Cole gives Friday a whole new meaning. Jovanotti brings everybody back to the dance floor with Lugar Común, perhaps with a few clichés, but extremely flavorful ones. Next, just for fun, Sergio invites a singer from his first mega-smash album and her husband, who helped make Mendes a household name 40+ years ago, to favor us with a 1966 sound. Nice, slow dance while Lani tells her “sad little dreams to the soft evening air.” Herb sounds better here than ever and makes me wonder when his new record will ever appear. It’s cool to hear voices remaining so strong while Sergio makes us fall in love all over again. A whistle brings the party back to a Morning In Rio with an extremely lively mood. Cool-down was quick, but worth it because my feet are loving this. Of course, I have to apologize to several people because my wildly swinging arms tend to brush against their heads.

You get the message by now, this is a party album filled with many types of dances and flavors, and wonderfully arranged to be sure there is always action on the floor for an hour. The DJ can throw this on and get some dancing in himself. A quick shoutout for Acode by Vanessa da Mata & a quick note to let you know you can pre-order this album directly from Concord. Be ready to party all summer! I know you'll love Zap Mama as much as I do.

Sergio Mendes - Encanto

Contest: How good are you with song lyrics? [CONTEST OVER]

This contest is sponsored by Organic Entertainment and Digital Music Marketing. They have supplied a copy of a new CD release Small Town by Wind Cries Mary.

The first winner, Mike from Essex, will receive that plus 10 other CDs from my pile.

The second winner, John from Milwaukee, will receive a second CD from Organic & Digital entitled A Sentimental Education by Anton Sword, along with 10 assorted CDs from my pile.

The third winner, Ruth from Redding, will receive 10 assorted CDs from my pile.

Here are the answers. If you recall, I mentioned that they would be from Hit songs. The first group were the ones selected by Mike, which matched mine. John found a few others, which were acceptable, but Ruth obviously listens to a different hit radio station, but since she also sent proof the lyrics matched, she is the official third winner.

Thanks for helping me clear off my desk & enjoy your disks! -Rich

The winning entries:

01 wailing guitar: Hoyt Axton - Greenback Dollar/Townes Van Zandt - Loretta/The Hollies - Out On The Road

02 capture moment: The Association - Windy/Bon Jovi – Bed Of Roses

03 desert rain: America – Horse With No Name/Iced Earth - Desert Rain

04 green play: The Lemon Pipers – Green Tambourine/Shakin' Stevens - Green Door/Jim Croce - Charlie Green Play That Slide Trombone

05 sponge bake: Jimmy Buffet – Margaritaville

06 never recipe: Richard Harris – MacArthur Park

07 sweet bassman: Jerry Jeff Walker – L A Freeway

08 spit wind: Jim Croce – Don't Mess Around With Jim

09 porch radio: Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road/The Comforters - Transplants

10 gray leaves: Mamas & Papas – California Dreaming/Sentenced - Dead Leaves

11 love funeral: The Doors – Light My Fire/9 Days - Funeral For A Love

12 rattlesnake utah: Bruce Springsteen – The Promised Land

13 disappearing ruins: Bob Dylan – Mr Tambourine Man

14 please sneeze: Ringo Starr – No No Song/Crash Test Dummies - Aching to Sneeze

15 caviar daydream: Pink Floyd - Money/Exies - These Feeling Lo-Fi

16 Candy Island: Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side

17 landslide reality: Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

18 job older: Hoyt Axton - Bony Fingers/Garth Brooks – Big Money

19 broken gloom: Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel/Quimby - At The Table Of Gloom

20 twist requests: Sam Cooke – Having A Party

21 fire imagination: Rolling Stones – Satisfaction (I Can’t Get No)/Laura Branigan - Imagination

22 ragged pants: Pete Seeger – Battle Of New Orleans

23 diesel rained: Kris Kristofferson (or Janis Joplin) – Me And Bobby McGee/Jackopierce - Bringing On The Weather

24 slip dreams: Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday/Lindsey Buckingham - Cast Away Dreams

25 interested teacher: The Temptations – Ball Of Confusion

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Soko - The Dandy Cowboys

The song begins tenderly, with just the right amount of emotion, “I just can’t be myself when I see you because you’re very cute tonight”. These junior-high school emotions will always be present, because for whatever reason – people keep having kids. And, I’m glad. Keeps me employed, and keeps adding to our pile of extremely creative ways of looking at relationships. This one will be my favorite for a long time to come. “I still want you, but not as a friend because you’re the man, I’m the girl, we look good together! You with your hat, me with my boots, we are the Dandy Cowboys!” Fun, fun, fun. The honest emotive peek into a young girls diary continues with the outstanding shoutout tune, Sh*tty Day. Soko

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

REM – Airliner

A high-energy instrumental power taste for a super Wednesday party. Surf meets indie-alt-rock with a vengeance. The surf is pounding, the bombs are dropping, the margaritas are spiked extra heavy. Excitement is the rule, and everyone is smiling bigger than their face. A new song that fits our old parties just fine. Shoutout for Supernatural Superserious – another song filled with excitement, promising that the new album will be one of the top 5 REM albums of all time. 20 plus years and the ability to reach the rock behind the roll is still blossoming! “Everybody here comes from somewhere that they would just as soon forget.” That’s why God created hump day parties! “Enjoy yourself with no regrets.” Easy to say type of platitude, but the narrator even shares some words of wisdom of why this philosophy works for him, “nobody cares, no one remembers, and nobody cares”. I can add an amen to that – my time on this planet shows this truth to be self-evident – that most folks are just visiting the earth to get what they can for themselves. “You don’t have to explain.” REM

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Star Anna - Five Minutes To Midnight

The music is good, but the taste that engulfs the senses here is the fine vocal. “Count it down, count it back, count it right.” I don’t feel like Star Anna is singing to me, but to “all the clouds that hide the moon tonight.” And, that’s alright – because the emotion comes through and convinces me that anticipation is important. What we’re waiting for doesn’t matter, simply the tension of knowing we’re waiting is enough. The shoutout tune, Wait, takes it a step further and gives a hint that I’m waiting for the light to come back to take away my pain. “Sadness hangs on our front door just like it has many years before, and I pray to God it isn’t here to stay.” A spiritual exploration where salvation is offered, but not immediate gratification. Beautiful performance. Star Anna

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dive Index - For Centuries

Can a mind float? Mine seems to be floating above and beyond time. The percussion is the key – both timeless and borderless, but it doesn’t end there. The bass playing is subtle, the synths and guitars holding my visions on unseen strings high above the atmosphere. As the singer reminds me, we are “bound by the skins with eyes that look out and barely ever can see in” – but the arrangement of the voices and the instruments allow me to overreach the boundaries and see both inwards and outwards at the same time. Extremely cool – almost dreamlike. The actual poem, for me, speaks out against current world leaders (“senseless crusades”), but goes deeper and explores the truth that we are all an integral part of whatever the leaders have done (“the pulse that beats behind rib cage, from your restless sleep, awake!”). Today’s shoutout is Sole Fisherman (“he plays loud hip hop to drown out a lonely life”). Dive Index

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Polydream - Catch Me If You Can

“Here we are another space and time” introduces a musical sphere of emotion that allows the dreamer to easily escape into the intellectual arena of pure thought introduced by the narrator. “I can’t tell you anything will be the way we were promised it would be.” He’s speaking to the nexr generation, as the children join him in the background and beg for acceptance of each other’s humanity, “if we don’t learn to live as one we won’t outlive the sun.” The cynic may accept that’s going to be true anyway, but there are those of us who can imagine humanity moving out and beyond the earth without the need to consume to create wealth, merely to live and explore. The music is composed in a fashion to encourage dreaming of a positive future. Rock and roll with philosophy driving its function. Beautiful. Shoutout for In The Daylight (“I connect every dot between all the stars and the moonbeams and I watch them fade till all the world is blue again”).

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rodney Parker & Fifty Peso Reward - A Knife Beneath Your Pillow

“What are you gonna do when they play you for a fool?” Good question. Loud, dancing and thoughts about the “diesel fumes get in your head.” Sometimes we have to wonder about these things, but hey. Let’s dance – it’s Saturday, and this band knows how to have a good time. The singer is threatening “something’s going to happen to you” like he means it, but the band knows the truth is all that’s going to happen is that we’re going to have another beer and dance to the great music. I love the way Rodney is willing to enunciate all his fears, but allows his friends and neighbors and listeners to let his spirit move their feet. The shoutout, 11 Hours, is more reflective, but effective. I am definitely drawn into Rodney’s meanderings and thoughts about life and the power of relationships. The band, wisely, keeps itself in the background as the folks that pull the story forward for my pleasure, not showing off their skills for their pleasure. Of course, as mentioned about, Rodney allows the 50 Peso Reward lots of other places to show off their craft on this album. Nice work. Rodney Parker (to be released in March, click here to stay tuned)

Dr. Dave & Mr. Haze: Author's Notes

Davide has been working on this album awhile, and you know it'll be mentioned here on Eartaste when it's released. In the meantime you can see what he says about the songs on the album here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Animal Liberation Orchestra - Empty Vessel

“Heart full of pain, head full of doubt.” Fun way to start this Friday party. These things happen at a tough week at work. “I do believe I’ve had enough. I tell myself it’s all in my mind.” Yep, you’re right. Grab a beer and after 3 or 4 of ‘em join us on the dance floor. All these feelings will come out with the puke at some point in the evening, but it’s all worth it because it’ll prepare us for another wonderful working week next week. Don’t sweat the small stuff, you’ve got a whole weekend to lose the hangover. Besides, the guitar palyer is wonderful enough to lead you to some personal liberation. “To the left of right, a line has been drawn.” Get it out on management while you’re drunk, cause they’ll still eb there Monday. “I’m gonna leave, I do believe I’ve had enough.” Yep, eight beers is probably enough. At least you didn’t mix your drinks. Shoutouts for Monday & All Alone (“I’m contradicting myself, I’m stealing from the past”). Fun party album! Animal Liberation Orchestra

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bayard Russell - Just Feel

Space is never far from my mind, and I am disappointed when there is an eclipse of the moon yet the clouds cover it. I had high anticipations for this party. So is there good news? Of course. The good news is the music I chose still manages to eclipse our brains even though the clouds obscure our vision. The instruments are glad to take us on a trip beyond our senses. “You took my breath, my love. You took my breath away.” My mind prepared this soundtrack to coincide with the sight of the earth crossing the moon. My mind had to accept the music itself as honest, as real, as empowering despite the clouds. And, it worked. Bayard does not overpower , but empowers my emotions. “If I could feel once more, I would feel anything at all” he intones as the bass player and synthesizer enable depths in me to “just feel again.” I am alive, I am one with the percussion, I travel on a plane with the harmony singer encouraging me to “feel.” The shoutout tune is, well, just plain fun, Crazy For You (“We should have a dozen kids and name them all after you”). Having been involved with these wild emotions once or twice in my life, I can readily identify with the guy who says “maybe going insane is what you’ve got to do when you’re in love”. And, lets face it, the synthesizer production at the end of this cut is insane. Fun insane. Bayard Russell

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Handcuffs - All Shine On

It’s party day! The week is half over, can you believe it? I can't. “Where do we begin? At the beginning or the end?” Good question. Since you’re asking, my opinion is, let’s start at the beginning. But, thanks for asking! Not many people do. Most people pretend they know me before talking to me, and then simply decide it’s not worth the effort to talk to me because they already know who they think I am. And perhaps they’re right. Who really knows? “Where do we go when the going gets too slow?” How about the dance floor? The band has a great beat going, and the song is fun. “Can someone answer the call?” You don’t have to ask this guy twice if you’re calling for the dance floor to fill up. Once The Handcuffs get this party shaking, they continue with “Can't Get The Girl,” which is melody-filled advice as to exactly what it takes to get the girl. All packaged in good, old fashioned cynical rock and roll. The cool-down song also offers some insights to the mysterious, Sex and Violins: “Stradivarius positions in his head.” Those with a twisted mind like mine may swear the vocalist is saying “she loves sex and violence, string quartets and discipline.” But, maybe not. Great fun! The Handcuffs

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Willie Nelson - Always Seem to Get Things Wrong

“I’m stuck here looking back where I lost the thread. So ashamed sitting here thinking back how I lost my head.” This album is a soundtrack of a life. I’ve never seen the movie, and don’t really need to, the album stands with a life of its own, enjoyable to listen into the private thoughts of the narrator as he travels down the dark roads. Lots of shoutouts here: Brad Mehldau, Feist, Cat Power, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, M Ward. Movies for the head. “I hear the wail of people crying alone.” Special mention for Black Keys for managing to say more with two instruments than many people do with a stage full.
Jesse Harris – The Hottest State

Monday, February 18, 2008

Rodney Parker & Fifty Peso Reward - Tell Me What

“I was mending fences, I was knee deep in the mud and I was dying in suspense. My knuckles caked in blood, now tell me – where were you?” First off, this song rocks. It wakes me up with a great feeling, cause the players shake every bone of my being awake. Second off, wow those lyrics! A song about unheralded reality we all have to deal with from time to time. I’ve been there too many times to mention – all done with the job when the person that was supposed to help shows up & adds the last nail. At the end of the day that fool gets as many or more beers than me, but who did all the real work? You know it – the person who does all the real work is never given credit, but at least we have a song now! A song written for the underdog! The song tells a few other stories worth listening to – a lotta fun. The first shoutout, Firefight, is a faster rocker – moving along the freeway at 85 while singing “everything’s easy, everything’s slow”! HA!! LOL!!! The second shoutout is a slower song about “lessons” the narrator has learned, I'm Never Getting Married. The entire album is steeped in Irish Whiskey flavors. Rodney Parker (to be released in March, click here to stay tuned)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Putumayo Presents - Euro Groove

Spring is returning to South Texas, without the rain we need. But the air is clear. It is great to have change, and Putumayo snuck in some mind-changing attitudes on me this week. Nearly always when I get a Putumayo album I’m expecting a dance with the moon and the planets in my backyard, with lots of sweat and pleasurable discussion. This time out, the discussion is still pleasurable, the dance still apparent, but the sweat has disappeared. This is cool jazz, with the dance centered more around the stars deep in Andromeda instead of our solar system. Still grounded, but with a weightlessness only musicians of deep thought can accomplish. The flavors are from many countries, and like all Putumayo products, the flavors defy boundaries. Most Americans associate curry with India, when in fact it is used all over the world. Samba, Brazil. Ha! Now we can samba on the moons of Saturn without blinking. Music is indeed universal. And Putumayo helps us reap the benefits.

Toufic Farroukh is living in France, but pleasures us with middle-eastern flavors with Destins et Désirs, featuring the singer Jeanne Added. Jazzamor shares their South American flavors from Germany. Fiamma Fumana checks in from Italy with the acoustic flavors that both Spanish and New Orleans tinged, with a slight touch of bagpipes to keep the pleasures joyful. !DelaDap borrows from the smooth jazz flavorings of the US and Brazil while adding instrumentation that spices the music with gypsy romance. Mystic Diversions, like their name, is not claiming any precise flag to comfortably wrap themselves around but find themselves chilling out in Italy while Pati sings the song in French. It’s obvious the cultural “melting pot” the United States likes to brag about without any truth or proof is truly alive and real in Euraope, even though they don’t talk about it. They simply live it. Thanks, Putumayo! Putumayo Presents - Euro Groove

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sally Anthony - Your Way

A few weeks ago Sally had me dancing all over the place on Saturday night and telling you all about her spirit. Now she’s telling me “Baby you could be anything at all.” Alone with a guitar. “If you believe in love you can take on anything.” Sally has. On this album she rocked me, she hip-hopped me, and now she is ballading me with sincerity and conviction. Shoutout for I Could Be Great. Sally Anthony

Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band - Ten Cities Beyond

Saturday night just wouldn’t be right without some dancing, so the parties continues loud and proud! This largely instrumental dance step has some shouting going on to let you know there are real humans behind all the fantastic retro60moviessoundtrack flavors on this disk. Did I say cowbells? Farfisa sounding organs? Sounds like he’s shouting “chocolate garden,” but it doesn’t matter. The dance continues with a dylan-flavored harmonica played through the nostrils with the organ player and drummer hamming it up with a fuzz-bass sound on Wicky. I’m glorying in heaven with a long-lost garage party band. The important thing to mention is that these folks are alive and well here in 2008, demanding our attention. Irreverently. They are not copying the sixties sound. I hear them creating their own sound to fit their own dance moves. Their 2008 credentials come full circle with the shoutouts This City Got The Better Of Me & Doom City. Snake & Jet's Amazing Bullit Band

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sky Cries Mary - Small Town

“I live for the silence when the snow shuts the city down.” We don’t get snow here in South Texas, but last year we had an ice storm that shut everything down, and I have to admit the beauty was spectacular. 12” icicles hanging from eaves trees, ice completely covering the leaves on the fig trees, and wow – entire 17’ high oleander bushes were beyond magnificent. Hearing a few folks in a recording studio capture the feeling that induced is something to marvel at. The point of the narrator is that the snow turns a huge city into feeling like a small town – in the sense that the snow has stopped traffic and other city noises. “Even silence has a voice.” Excellent composition, with a perfect match of instrumentation and lyric. Shoutout for Your Head. Sky Cries Mary

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Adele – Tired

“Hold my hand while you cut me down. It had only just begun, but it’s over now.” The love story is fun, and I love the way the melody is exciting despite the title and the obvious blues of the lyrics. Sounds like the narrator is feeling complete freedom in her life by exorcising the demons that were dragging her down. The vocalist has a raspy sound that could be taken as a blue thought, but the bass player and synthesizer player won’t let her get away with it, and the drummer doesn’t help with the playful diddles. “Never mind, said your open arms.” Shoutouts for Cold Shoulder and Chasing Pavements. Adele

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wolfkin - Brand New Pants

Hump day dance with a vengeance. “You’ve got money in your pocket.” Instrumentation is interesting here, lots of fine flavors to move the feet. “It’s all about ego, it’s all about self. Everybody’s trying to make it to the top shelf.” The music never settles in one place for long, making the dance all the more intriguing. “Playful children make a lot of noise.” Gotta play this for those teachers who insist the kids need to be quiet while eating lunch in the cafeteria. Shoutout for Adore Toi (“When you speak language rude and foul, I enter the room wearing nothing but a howl.” LOL!!!) Wolfkin

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Willy Deville - So So Real

“I ain’t no rocket - I’m a shooting star!” This album was extra fun to listen to. The album sounded like it was by a fresh, exciting recording band, though well-traveled on the bar scene it seemed to me. I have 6 albums by Willy in my collection, and am intimately familiar with the music, especially the first few when his band was called Mink. I danced to his music a lot in those days, and once upon a very very long lifetime ago opened for him in a gig in California in a band I was with at the time. There was always one of his songs played on my radio shows. But like everything else that pops in around here, I did not look at the cover before throwing the CD in the player. I immediately loved the record – sounded like the next great new band that I’d be writing about for many years to come. The only other thought that came to mind while listening & dancing is that this would be a very special group to see live because it’s real obvious the band can stretch these songs out for some wild and crazy solos.

Well, I knew I was going to write about this album, I was falling in love with one song after another. There were things happening on some cuts that were a bit retro, but in a powerful 2008 bar band type of way. After the last cut I checked out the artist & well, as you can tell, I’m blown away. Willy is still rocking my socks off by seeking out a new way to present his visions even after 30 years in the business. I did not recognize his “style” simply because he did not rely on his past glory to tell me about his new thoughts. I am thoroughly impressed. Shoutouts for Been There Done That & When I Get Home. Willy Deville

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lenny Kravitz – Confused

Last Monday Lenny woke me up with a spiritual quest – to turn my life around and look toward Jesus. Now, a week later he’s waking me up with a tasty 2008 version of the blues, telling me that he’s confused. And I love him for that. We can be so sure of ourselves at certain crossroads, only to be revisited by doubts and concerns and realities that cannot be fully explained by simple words. And the beauty of all that is this song about confusion has a deeper spiritual depth than the one he shared last week. Good work, Lenny. Shoutouts for the light reggae flavorings of Uncharted Terrain, and the rock spices of I Want To Go Home. Lenny Kravitz

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ruby Jane - Sweet Georgia Brown

Take a warhorse like this and get something new out of it? I have to admit my expectations were pretty low. As soon as I heard the first chorus, I knew this was a first-rate player with excellent chops. But you’re not going to get eartasted because you can do a fantastic cover of a song performed to perfection by so many before you. So why am I writing this? Ah, the second chorus had scale runs that tickled my ears with primitive pleasures, not to mention that the backing group has my ears dripping with dangerous excitement. Shoutout for Cripple Creek. A simply dreamy Sunday afternoon set. Ruby Jane

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles - The Day We Met

A radio ready guitar riff introduces the narrator, “Ready or not, baby here I come, I’m going to throw my big white arms around your neck!” Enthusiasm abounds, along with a fun dance beat. “How many ways can I say I love ya?” Okay, perhaps a bit normal as far as narration, but some gets awfully fun – they oughta declare a holiday for the day we met “to commemorate all the things we said.” LOL!!! Shoutouts for Open Up Your Back Door & False Eyelashes Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles

Friday, February 08, 2008

Norah Jones - The Story

“I don’t know how to begin ‘cause the story has been told before.” The narrator exudes confidence, a commanding presence, and a distinctive voice. “I will sing along, I suppose,” she says, as the bass player and percussionist impel her forward with sensuous warmth. “I don’t know how it will end, with all those records playin’.” Sway through the night with some delicious bass runs, and reminiscent flavored piano meandering.My Blueberry Nights (Soundtrack)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Karli Fairbanks - I Could Arrange You

“You’re too free to hide.” Optimistic? Perhaps you’ll think that by the end of the poem where freedom is transformed. In the meantime, banjo & steel guitar pleasure my ears with an understanding that I am not listening to any form of country song. Karli has arranged the tune in a completely post-modern flavor without any hint of irony. I am impressed with the instrumentation, but the icing on this delicious, bittersweet dessert is the poetry. “Darling, if you want a broken soul, I could find you some blue.” The story opens veins and locates memories poured into salted tears and saved for very special reveries. “You’ll find your cross soon enough. Just hoist it on up. Your shoulders will bleed, but you’ll finally be free.” Karli Fairbanks

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Details - Reunion Souvenirs

“I can’t wait to calibrate all the things we find have changed since the last time when the distance wasn’t greater than the connection that we had.” Sounds like a mouthful, but imagine this – it’s not just a poem, but a song. Yep, the narrator gets this out intelligibly. And, the story makes sense. There’s distance put between families and friends in this “modern” world. For what purpose? Ah, the question we all wish had an honest answer. The poets here have the ability to face these issues and put them into terms we can use to start our meditations with. No answers, but clearly stated questions. Nice work. Shoutouts include Underground (“I wrote a clever song. I always dreamt the crowd would sing along to my empty thoughts and kill the poets to save their dying art.”), Capture and Develop (“Only the boldest admit what they can’t defeat.”), and Hit Parades (“there are million dollar price tags that come with my million dollar friends.”) The music complements the intelligence of the poetry. The Details

The 50th Annual Grammy Awards Quiz

UPDATE: John G has won, with full list of artits, titles, as well as years and awards! Lots of work - great job! Complete set of 5 CDs on the way! Here are the answers:

1 - Downtown - Petula Clark 1964 [Best Rock & Roll Recording]

2 - Monday Monday - The Mamas & the Papas 1966 [Best Contemporary vocal Performance by Group]

3 - Light My Fire - Jose Feliciano 1968 [Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Performance, Male]

4 - Everbody's Talkin - Harry Nilsson 1969 [Best Male Contemporary vocal performance]

5 - Up, Up And Away - 5th Dimension 1967 [Record Of The Year][Best Performance By A Vocal Group][ Best Contemporary Single]

6 - I'll Never Fall In Love Again - Dionne Warwick 1970 [Best Contemporary Female Vocal]

7 - Love Will Keep Us Together - Captain & Tenille 1975 [Record Of The Year]

8 - At Seventeen - Janis Ian 1975 [Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female]

9 - How Deep Is Your Love - The Bee Gees 1977 [Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Group]

10 - What A fool Believes - Doobie Brothers 1979 [Record Of The Year][Song of the year][Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals]

11 - This Is It - Kenny Loggins 1980 [Best Male Pop Vocal Performance]

12 - Rosanna - Toto 1982 [Record of the year][Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal][Best Vocal Arrangement]

13 - Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) - Phil Collins 1984 [Best Male Pop Vocal Performance]

14 - Higher Love - Steve Winwood 1986 [Record Of The Year][Best Male Pop Vocal]

15 - King of the Road - Roger Miller 1965 [Male Country Vocal Performance][Best Country & Western Song][Best Country & Western Single][Best Contemporary (R&R) Vocal Performance - Male][Best Contemporary (R&R) Single]

16 - Harper Vally PTA - Jeannie C. Riley 1968 [Best Country Vocal Performance, Female]

17 - Stand By Your Man - Tammy Wynette 1969 [Female Country vocal Performance]

18 - (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson 1970 [Best Female Country Vocal Performance]

19 - When You're Hot, you're Hot - Jerry Reed 1971 [Best Male Country Vocal Performance ]

20 - The Devil Went Down To Georgia - Charlie Daniels Band 1979 [Best Country Vocal Performance by a Group]

21 - Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden 1994 [Best hard rock performance]

22 - Runaway train - Soul Asylum [as David Pirner, songwriter] 1993 [Best Rock Song]

23 - Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman 1996 [Best Rock Song]

24 - Run-Around - Blues Traveler 1995 [Best Rock Performance by Group]

This quiz was sponsored by Chip Schutzman, President of Mile High Productions. He has supplied this wonderful 5 CD set of Ultimate Grammy Collections for the winner of this quiz:

Contemporary Pop
Contemporary Rock
Classic Pop
Contemporary Country
Classic Country

Thanks to everyone who entered!!! Keep watching for our occasional contests!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bayard Russell - Living At Moms

Steady bass beat, almost an eerie sound coming out of my speakers. Perhaps haunting is a better word. “Sometimes I think I’m a record in reverse, ‘cause I get déjà-vu each time I do the dream-like thing that I do first. Then I concede the second time is worse, when I finally remember all the things I had remembered.” Okay, I admit I feel like I’m walking through a Stephen King novel backwards, but I think that’s Bayard’s point. The melody is whisperingly fascinating, and the lyrics, which I thought might be funny, really aren’t. “I tend to shoulder all the blame.” Excellent composition. The instrument that lays the break has a fascinating sound. I’d guess some sorta synthesizer, but it could be a guitar being run through a synthesizer. Doesn’t matter – it fits, and adds to the overall ambience of the song. “These days are so defeating, not ones that bear repeating.” Shoutouts for I Know, a slower thoughtful piece & Uh-huh, a pop-centered light hearted look at a life. Bayard Russell

Monday, February 04, 2008

Lenny Kravitz - If You Want It

Sing it, preacher. “If you want it, you can change your evil ways. If you want it, just break free and walk away.” Okay, so there’s no true enlightenment here, but the music is outstanding – guaranteed to wake me up on a Monday morning.And there’s nothing wrong with starting my week on a spiritual note, shallow or not. Shallow depths are better than no depth at all! Huge shoutout for the funky dance power of Will You Marry Me? “You are the light and the passion that never goes out of fashion.” Don’t worry, when you’re dancing your heart out the lyrics won’t be on your mind. The guitarist, the bassist, and the percussionist are the stars here. And to keep the day moving with a stones-like groove, another shoutout for Dancin' Til Dawn. Lenny Kravitz

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Scott Campbell & Friends -Still Making It Up As We Go

The title sounds a lot like my life. Every day a new situation pops up, how to deal with this? Dunno, make something up, just try to act like you know what you’re doing. Scott captured this emotion, along with some friends who must have caught the spirit – and I’m betting the reason is as simple as – we’re all making this life up as we go along. Good stuff to think about on a Sunday afternoon while most people in our country claim to be thinking about God, taking a day off just to do that. Yep, people lie especially when it's a choice between contemplation and the Superbowl. The spiritual me tell me the superbowl helps their relationship with God. Said between beers, of course. That’s what makes this song special, no lies. The lyric goes pretty deep, Scott is talking about relationships, and if I’m listening carefully, it’s the most sacred of all relationships – that between a husband a wife. Rocking his heart out!

“You didn’t come with instructions. But then, what good would they be?
You’ve always been a moving target with a fresh scheme up your sleeve.
Though I’m sometimes skeptical, I help you play them out,
Cause your vision of the two of us is one I never doubt.

We seek, we plan, we leap, we land.
It’s the bends in the flow, where we lend and we owe,
Still making it up as we go.

Nobody gave us a manual, it would have gone out of date anyhow.
I look at that kid in our wedding pictures and he’s a stranger to me now.
So in another twenty years I don’t know who I’ll be.
But the one thing that I’m sure of is, you’ll still believe in me.

We shift, we turn, we drift, we learn.
It’s the bends in the flow, where we lend and we owe,
Still making it up as we go.”

The shoutouts add deep flavors to the musical textures. I Want A Woman With Some Miles On Her is a blues-flavored rocker, Blue Ivory introduces a psychedelic spice, and When Hearts Are Broken is a story ballad that tears deep memories out of my soul. “When hearts are broken they still beat, but they don’t mend.” Thanks for sharing your soul Scott. Scott Campbell & Friends

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sally Anthony – Goodbye

Tonight’s party starts off with some irony. Who starts a party with Goodbye? Welcome to my world. Weirdness reigns supreme. With your dancing shoes on, of course. The song is kind of a send-off for a friend who needs a send-off, at least in the opinion of the narrator. So, while dancing through the stars be prepared for some down-to-earth lyrics. Intermingled in the anger is some really cool lines, like “it’s a beautiful thing for me to know that you hear this on your system while driving in your car.” Good, sassy way to start off this dance, which continues loud and proud with the lively Don't Fall in Love (With Me). Every song has its own flavors, which makes for great variety and an enjoyable evening. Sally is obviously in this business to entertain, while keeping her unique personality intact. Sally Anthony

Wampus Multimedia seeking submissions for 2008

Wampus Multimedia is currently seeking submissions of music and ebooks for 2008. If you are interested in expanding your audience through the orchestrated marketing and distribution of your work, consider Wampus Multimedia as your media partner.

Music: singer-songwriter; postmodern rock; indie pop; modern folk.

eBooks: literary fiction; creative nonfiction; expert guides; travelogues.

Deadline for submissions: Friday, February 22.

Materials to: Wampus Multimedia, 4 Weems Lane, #300, Winchester, VA 22601.

--- Q&A with Mark Doyon ---

Q. What is Wampus? How can it help me with my work?

A. Wampus is a media company -- a music label, media shop, sound studio, ebook publisher, and marketing communications group. We have marketed and distributed more than 50 records and books, in the United States and around the world, since 2002. We serve as a creative partner in design, production, manufacturing, promotion, and distribution.

Q. Can't I do that stuff myself?

A. Maybe. But it's better if you have the resources of a company dedicated to doing it. Partnering with Wampus gives you expertise in image, branding, and strategy. Most importantly, you get people who will either care deeply about your work or recommend other options.

Q. How do I know if I'm a good fit for Wampus?

A. Visit the Web site, explore the things we're doing. Ask yourself: Is my work unique? Am I unwilling to change it for commercial reasons? Do I want to maintain creative control of it? If you're nodding "yes" to these questions, you're in the ballpark. We're not in love with mainstream appeal. We're looking for originality.

Q. Don't you need mainstream products to stay in business?

A. We focus on niche products, not blockbusters. A distinctive release, marketed well, has greater staying power than a typical mainstream one. We would rather market a release for decades than just during the first month. It's about building something over time -- an idea, an ethic, a community.

Other questions? Contact us at mail4(at)

Friday, February 01, 2008

Andy Juhl - Down The Lane Pt 2

The guitars blast my daydreams and head nodding from a long week to slam-dunk wide awake jumping up and moving across the floor. The drummer doesn’t hurt – his incessant beat brings a huge demented smile across my ears as they take in this instrumental meal of hunger-depleting energy with a perfect moon scraping melody. Thanks to modern technology I can put this cut on repeat repeat repeat, otherwise I’d complain about how short it is. Andy Juhl