Friday, October 31, 2008

Arizona - Ghost

A fun song to pull out to keep on repeat out among the leaves of the bushes on the way toward your front door on halloween. “I am a ghost in your house, and you’re the only soul I’ve seen. To me living life’s an ancient dream. And I can’t sleep.” The music wonderfully matches both the tone and spirit of the lyric. Lots of fun, and very much worth seeking out. Shoutouts for You Were Right (“Would you like to hear a story that will make you smile?”) and Swimming Hole (“I thought I had it all along, but now I know I was wrong”). Arizona

Bruce Springsteen - Jersey Devil

Just enjoy =:-) Download

October 31, 2008

I think my brain has returned to my body. I will be testing this theory today. I've spent the last few days listening to Classical Heaven and feel good and ready to re-enter the world of rock and roll hootchie coo!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lead Singer Needed

The Chipmunks are looking for a new lead singer and you can win a chance to be a part of the band (and receive an Xbox with the Rock Band bundle). Their new album “UNDENIABLE” will be available November 4th. See below for a streaming link to “Shake Your Groove Thing” feat. Drew Steely.

Streaming Link for “Shake Your Groove Thing” feat. Drew Steely

Become part of The Chipmunks – Click to fill Alvin’s Paws

Retail Link

It happens to the best of them: Journey. Judas Priest. Van Halen. And now, The Chipmunks need their Sammy Hagar. After 50 years with the same line-up, Alvin has left the band. One of America's most beloved and biggest-selling artists will be holding tryouts for a new lead vocalist—and the job's available to anyone who visits

The band parted ways with longtime frontman Alvin following the smash success of the 2007 movie Alvin and The Chipmunks and its accompanying Top 10 soundtrack, which is nearing platinum sales. It seems Alvin is leaving the band high and dry right before the November release of The Chipmunks latest album, UNDENIABLE.

“The last time I yelled ALVIN!, he was nowhere to be found,” says longtime Chipmunks songwriter/producer David Seville. “I mean, he usually makes me do it three times. After that we work it out. But no. Then I saw that item on Perez Hilton about him and Miley Cyrus dining out at Geisha House with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake,” Seville continues. “I've been in this business since 1958. I know a guy who's looking to make a solo record when I see one.” Alvin could not be reached for comment. “Theodore and I have seen this sort of thing before,” says brother and band mate Simon. “Success is going to his little furry head.” “Dude thinks he's a movie star,” adds Theodore.

But with a new album, UNDENIABLE, hitting the stores November 4th, The Chipmunks can't wait for their egocentric former leader to regain his senses. And while the band considered filling Alvin's paws with Steve Perry—“Don't Stop Believin'” is one of the new record's highlights—they ultimately felt an unknown would bring new energy.

Visitors to will be able to upload a video to the band's YouTube channel. Any song will be accepted and costumes, props and other creative ideas are also welcome. The site will also feature all the latest Chipmunks news.

“I've said it before – I've been lucky to work with just one interpretive vocalist as great as Alvin,” says Seville. “It's gonna be a thrill to search the whole world for another. Now I know how Max Martin felt, getting to work with Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson.”

Working with a brand new singer will be one last huge change for a band that has already reinvented itself over the course of more than 40 albums, whether it's Christmas, country-western, punk or hip-hop. Like its predecessors, UNDENIABLE showcases a band that's mastered every style, from the funky title track and remix of “We're The Chipmunks” (the theme song from the popular cartoon series) to a moving version of Bob Marley's “Three Little Birds.” There's also a new holiday hit in “Ho Ho Ho,” an epic take on Bon Jovi's “Livin' On a Prayer” and an inspired version of Led Zeppelin's “Rock and Roll.” Rising pop star Drew Seeley (High School Musical soundtracks, Another Cinderella Story) is also featured on a duet of the classic disco hit “Shake Your Groove Thing.”

“With all the hubbub of the movie, it has been a long time since we rocked n’ rolled,” says Simon. “The Chipmunks have always been about the music, man. We want somebody who feels the same way. I'm excited to see all the YouTube videos.” “Me too,” adds Theodore. “But don't you think “Theodore and The Chipmunks” has a nice ring to it?”



10 days ago my dad died. It was not unexpected, but came quick because we were not allowed to visit him the last year of his life. I tried and am still trying my best not to be angry and/or bitter about that. The thing that kept us close through all the years was music, so I am sure I will continue this blog. But I am meditating on my activities and analyzing what I am needing to do to spend more time with those I love. It may include a major move in the next few years. Depends on whether or not the housing market comes back down to the arena in which a normal human being with a regular job can afford a house or not. Many things to consider and mediate on. I know I have a few late review that I promised last week, but I'm sure you folks will understand. Music is important to me. My parents instilled the belief of music as a path toward enlightenment and understanding of life. Most of the time.

My funniest memory is in 1962, we were living in Germany. My dad came back from Hamburg and told me about some "screaming mee-mees" he called the Beatles. He musta been in his late 20's at the time. A few years later when I was playing some records, he loved them and asked who they were. He was very surprised they were the Beatles. He loved jazz & pop & music from other countries - especially Germany & Spain. My mom loved country & western & folk. We had many types of music playing in the house, and when we moved to a new place my dad immersed us in their music because he knew, innately, that music is the key to culture.

We lived in many places. The last place any of us ever expected to end up was Texas. But here we are. My mom and dad are buried together here in Texas. Life takes some strange turns, but continues to move forward. I'll return soon with tales of new music I am enjoying. Christmas albums are pouring in & I'll try to write about some of 'em soon so you can have your house filled with new music all season.

Thanks for reading the ramblings of a soul still sorting his mind out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights (CD)

Come on pull those old records off the shelf. “Let me testify, let me rectify!” As I predicted there’s no way I can stop the dance this evening. Sharon called in and said she’s willing to reprise her 33 minute set for my ears & of course I say “yes, just let me refresh my drink.” At least she allows her band 30 seconds to warm before grabbing my butt back to the dance floor to be arethafranklined and ettajamesed with pleasure the rest of the night. It’s going to take a lotta willpower not to pull down the other 2 CDs sitting up on the shelf by the Dap-Kings. Ouch, I just love the way Sharon breathes oooh-wee into my ear with the funky band dreaming the night away. I need to warn you that you will have a craving for those after hearing Sharon whispering her soul into your ears for 30 minutes. You have not heard true freedom until you've heard this band sing This Land is Your Land. But I need a shower. Feeling great, however knowing it’ll take a few days to recuperate. The children at school are just going to have to put up with me walking on clouds all day tomorrow. “No sorrow will surround me!” And, praise high. The last tune is a slow dance. Cool down. “Answer me, sweet Jesus. I have so much to say, but all I can do is moan.” Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It (CD)

It’s humpday, and when there’s a party album available for humpday I’m going to just shutout the whole album. Soul, motown, dreamer, dancer, lover, it’s all here in a 42 minute set of pure party.

The dance starts with Sure Hope You Mean It, which marvingayes me back to a wonderful spirit. The bass opens a sensuous smokey flavor on the next cut, 100 Yard Dash, “light me a smoke so I can sing some jazz.” Temptations start the smiling of Keep Marchin' – which is cutely programmed right fter the 100 Yard Dash of Love. Should give you a hint that you will be sweating a lot every time you decide to listen to this album because there’s no way you can hear this sitting down.

I won’t walk you through each cut – it simply needs to be heard to be believed. Well programmed, with some slow dances snuck in for old folks who need a few moments to catch their breath. Raphael puts on a great show, but you might be further enticed to listen in when you find out that there are guest appearances by Joss Stone & Stevie Wonder (both sounding amazing here). Which is okay, but trust me – with the great band that keeps the grooves going, no guest stars are needed to feel the joy. They’re just slight sprinkles of sweetness on a fantastic eight course soul-filled meal. Raphael Saadiq

Eli Paperboy Reed & The True Loves – Roll With You (CD)

After a cursory 10 minute break to get fresh drinks, the next band gets up on the stand and presents another 40 minutes of party dancing. These guys pull the ears toward the bandstand with some great horn interplay, but the beat never stops and my feet stay happy. I am getting so energized that I don’t even think I’ll need to sleep tonight – the vibes will carry me wide awake all day tomorrow. Fantastic bluesy soul with many many flavors to keep the night young . Otisredding flavors abound, with dreams from marvin and pure unadulterated Eli Paperboy Reed. Songs – ah, forget it, buy the whole CD – there’s nothing here you won’t want to dance to. If pushed, I’d say The Satisfier really keeps my slyandthefamilystone hunger happy. But, why push? The dance is beautiful. Because as soon as Take My Love With You starts I have a brand new favorite all over again. After hearing the last song on the CD you’re guaranteed to hit the record shelves and put another dance record in. If you have his other, ore blues-flavored album, you’ll love this just as much. If you don’t, trust that you’ll want it soon after buying this one. Eli Paperboy Reed & The True Loves

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm From Barcelona - Paper Planes

Oh man, I love this. Voyeurism at its best. The narrator lives in an apartment house and is talking about his neighbors. He feels like he is “surrounded by strangers” My favorite is the “old man in his underpants who plays his clarinet every night.” He keeps appearing, even as others are discussed. We eavesdrop on folks making love, folks watching re-runs on TV, cats outside, and more. In the meantime the narrator is making paper planes to clear his head.

The first shoutout for Headphones, which sounds like it’s about a child willing to go anywhere, as long as he can wear his headphones. I know adults like this, too. I’m guilty. “Now I’m gone with my head in a cloud, and the songs they’re just dancing around, around, around.”

The other shoutout is for Mingus, which may or may not have anything to do with the jazzman, but has a great dance beat and talks about how you gain possessions, which you’re allowed to keep because “you have a job you hate, you get home too late.” Then the memories of friends talking in high school, “do you remember what we used to say? Oh my god! I’ll end up just like you!” The fear of growing up is hard for 18 year olds, for 28 year olds, for 38 year olds, for 48 year olds. I shalln’t go further; but methinks it’s true all the way to the end. At least for boys. Thanks! I'm From Barcelona

I'm From Barcelona on Eartaste

Monday, October 13, 2008

Reeve Oliver - I Want Burns

“Sitting in her bedroom and she’s listening with headphones to a song that I once sang.” This starts off with a guitar and voice, so it’s a slow wake-up, but some 30 seconds in the drummer wants “to start a riot in the streets” and he succeeds at waking me up bouncing all over the room looking for my heart that came pouring out in a fever pitch in shock after such a relaxing weekend. I love it! Blood rushing, heart pounding, wake me up & find the week with loud rock and roll. “For the sun to rise, it must get dark.” Well, the darkness is over! Let’s head to work. “Oh-oh–o-o-o-oh!” Shoutout for Wings (“This world is out to get you, and you’re bound to fall and break apart”), and Madachu (“You can spend your days watching sunligt in the shade!”) Reeve Oliver

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn – Rain Down

Introspective production and vocals. “I keep a notebook for some unknown reason. Maybe someday someone will read. It’s written in silence, but I’m sick of silence. It’s not quiet like it used to be.” The narrator sings of longing for a mother and a sister who have both become ‘angels,’ and seem to remind her of a merciful spirit she cannot touch at this point in her life. Wonderful song to spend a Sunday evening with, thinking. Shoutout for Sunny (“She says love is boring. It’s the same old story, when there’s no morning anymore. It runs straight to night, lying with the liars.”) Autumn

Putumayo Kids Presents: African Dreamland

One of the perks of writing a blog is that readers take care of you. I received a box that asked to remain anonymous, so it shall. However, the contents scream for recognition. Inside were 18 disks called Putumayo Kids Present, which I listened to all day yesterday with great pleasure. The note inside the box goes “I notice you teach children, and that you love Putumayo recordings. I notice you have never put the two together, so I assume you are ignorant of the enclosed.” Turned out to be true on many levels – I am ignorant of oh, so many things. I was also very ignorant of the Putumayo Kids series. I can blame their publicity department, but truth is I have been a Putumayo addict for a long long time. In the US it’s one of the few places we have to find out what music is popular around the world.

To the Kids Presents. There are 18 CDs here, ranging the gamut of Reggae, Brazil, Asia, Celtic, France, etc etc. In other words, the kids series closely resembles the “adult” series. American audiences will be familiar with Arlo Guthrie, Carlos Santana, Miriam Makeba, Judy Mowatt, Rufus Thomas, Michele Shocked, Trout Fishing In America, Leon Redbone, Rita Marley, Rosie Flores, Eric Bibb, Flaco Jimenez, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Desmond Dekker, Taj Mahal and Toots and the Maytals. The New Orleans Playground is filled with great hits, and could have been released for an adult crowd with pleasure. Which points out the fun of this series. Adults can listen with pleasure while children explore the sounds of the world in a calm setting in the dreamland series; and a totally fun setting in the playground series.

Most of the songs started off on an album made for an adult, but the astute ears at Putumayo know which songs can sooth and energize a child. What I’m saying is that the Kids Presents label is simply a marketing tool to get moms and dads to buy some great music for their kids. At the same time, I bet the parents become addicted and start buying the “adult” versions for themselves. Whatever works. I am impressed, as usual, with Putumayo, and encourage all grandparents to buy a full set for the youngsters in their lives – if only so you’ll have something interesting to listen to when you visit! Finding the series is fairly easy – simply do an Amazon search on “Putumayo Kids Presents”.

Putumayo Kids Presents

Putumayo on Eartaste

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

New Policy

Due to the recent upsurge in the number of albums arriving each day, I am being forced to change my policy of listening to every single album all the way through. My new policy will be to listen to the first four cuts. If I hear something that sparks my interest there, I will continue to listen to the rest of the album. If not, that'll be that. I'm a little sad because often I found a cool cut 3/4's into an album, and many times the very last official cut was a good one. I may choose to listen to some of the last cut of albums - we'll see how it goes. But there is simply not enough time in every day to listen to every single cut on every single album. Rest assured that any cut listed here I will have listened to the complete CD. - Rich

Monday, October 06, 2008

Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat

Sure, you can tell that the title sounds like it was written expressly for my Monday wake-up blog. Maybe it was, but I doubt it. Fun song, tho, and I woulda chose it even if they called it something else. Like “Wake me up with a fun song with a beat this week!” Okay, that’s a bit if a stretch, I know. Fast beat that pulls me up to my feet, even though it’s kinda speaking a little bit against my trade. “(Q)What did you learn today? (A)I learned nuthin’!” What teacher wants to hear their student say, “It’s cool to know nuthin!” No sweat, all great teachers know that feeling. Truth be known, we were all students at one point . Fun song, with two vocalists flirting back and forth, one asking questions, the other responding with wise-cracks. And as hilarious as all this is, it’s nothing compare to the great 8 bar guitar bridge that pulls my heart through the stars and back in with some interesting fretting spurring my imagination. Simple things, like “that was cool, how’d he do that?” Shoutout for Good Days Bad Days. Kaiser Chiefs

Opportunity for Musicians

Dear musicians! If some of you are willing to start a band or if some of you have established band and need new original songs to perform, this chance is for you! As you know, I’m a songwriter and piano/keyboard player. Winner of 14 Billboard Song Contest, 2006 Great American Song Contest and 11 Unisong International Contest. I need drums/percussion, bass, rhythm guitar and female singer. We’ll perform at festivals, gigs and tours! Drop me online! I’d be happy to hear from you! Love, Nataliya

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Creaky Boards - The Songs I Didn't Write

“When you have gone to bed, I am alone inside my head. I turn on the stereo, the one only I can know.” An introduction that I can relate to. The music is fascinating, a variety of sounds, not a standard rock and roll presentation, although the spirit and strength of this record is derived from the best in rock tradition. The bass player is often alone here in the beginning, with a visit of what sounds like an xylophone. When the whole group joins in I am transported back to a favorite time in my life, when music was played from the radio that makes me get up, dance, cry, get involved mentally and physically. Everyone from Tommy James to Brian Wilson is channeled here, but we move beyond into the dreams of 2008 and the need for hope. The music of this album relays that hope. I love that Brooklyn is a place of joy that has the sound of California, bringing both coasts into a complete nation of loving the moment for what it is. Shoutouts for Now I'm In The City, Brooklyn, and A Low Level Of Trust. Creaky Boards

Carrie Rodriguez – Mask Of Moses

An intriguing entreaty. The narrator is pleading with the person she is talking with to take of the mask that we wear in public and dig down into the depths of who we are and be willing to expose our humanity. Love it. In public we tend to be Old Testament, hanging onto traditions and religious trappings, even while professing to believe in Jesus whose main claim to fame is being willing to stand up to the religious zealots and expose their shallowness. He is, after all, the one we profess that we want to emulate, yet we become not like him willing to sacrifice ourselves to save the world, but we become like the zealots willing to do anything to save the trappings of power and false fronts. Cool song, one that has obviously set me to thinking more deeply about myself and my place here in this world. Shoutout for Absence. Carrie Rodriguez

Al Stewart - (A Child's View Of) The Eisenhower Years

Al is always fun, and this one has the added plus of hitting home. I was born in the Eisenhower years, and Al has the uncanny ability to bring those memories up to the forefront – recalling the cars my dad drove, the primitive TV we watched, etc. Nicely done. The Ear Of The Night starts off as a beautiful instrumental, but part way through this hilarious line joins the party: “you put your tongue in the ear of the night.” Once you get by the humor, the song has a serious message in line with the concept of the album. I’m also shouting out Elvis At The Wheel because it reminds me of what we’ve lost as a society the past 10 years. “There’s an independent bookstore, the last one that remains. All the others you might look for have been eaten by the chains.” I guess it’s simply time for those of us with good memories of all the mom & pop stores that were a joy to visit to just leave the earth and find our peace in eternity. I’m reasonably sure there’s no Starbucks or canned cake icing in heaven. The arrangements sound just like Al Stewart, with tasty guitar work and memorable background flavorings. Al Stewart

Nicola Conte - Like Leaves In The Wind

The music, of course, is superb. Jazz for a Sunday afternoon filled with joy. What I really like the most on this offering is the surreal lyrics, the type of love dreams I read in Pablo Neruda, with the natural world explaining emotions that are inexpressible in logical terms. Macedonia takes off into this realm without lyrics, but is just as meaningful. The use of various vocalists helps to make this cd especially scrumptious. More shoutouts for Rituals, Paper Clouds and I See All Shades Of You. Nicola Conte

Presuntos Implicados - La Fiesta

A nice, quiet afternoon party. With wine coolers & pleasant conversation. Presuntos Implicados

Randy Crawford & Joe Sample – Today I Sing The Blues

Totally convincing & complete taste. Piano, bass & percussion for dessert. Shoutout for This Bitter Earth. Randy Crawford & Joe Sample

Saturday, October 04, 2008

John Mellencamp – Longest Days

Seems like once upon a time ago
I was where I was supposed to be
My vision was true and my heart was too
There was no end to what I could dream
I walked like a hero into the setting sun
Everyone called out my name
Death to me was just a mystery
I was too busy raising up Cain

But nothing lasts forever
Your best efforts don't always pay
Sometimes you get sick
And don't get better
That's when life is short
Even in its longest days

So you pretend not to notice
That everything has changed
The way that you look
And the friends you once had
So you keep on acting the same
But deep down in your soul
You know you, you got no flame
And who knows then which way to go
Life is short even in its longest days

All I got here
Is a rear view mirror
Reflections of where I've been

Let’s just say I’m speechless. The writing is so intense, so personal, so real that I can add nothing to the conversation except everyone should hear this. Shoutouts for Troubled Land (“One man's eyes are full of sorrow, the other man's belly full of unbearable pain”), John Cockers (“Well I'm a little isolated, I live most days in my head”), Ride Back Home (“Now it's starting to get to me, all of this inhumanity”), and For The Children (“I hope you can be a child of life with big dreams for everyone”). John Mellencamp

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nils Lofgrin – Flying On The Ground

Sometimes I get so used to a voice and a technique that I cannot even imagine another person singing a tune that I’ve heard 1000 times with pleasure. This album shows the shallowness of such thinking. It’s a surprise that I’ll speak of a meditative album like this on my Friday night party. This week I simply feel mellow, and whatever you may hear about this, it’s definitely mellow. All of these songs by Neil Young are well-known and played often on “classic” rock stations, but Nils offers them up with tenderness. The songs from different eras laid out with the same musical palette makes for an interesting set. Makes my ears hope that Nils will someday cover an album of his own compositions in a similar acoustic setting. Shoutouts for World On A String, Don’t Cry No Tears, On The Way Home & Harvest Moon. Nils Lofgren

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Pretenders - Boots Of Chinese Plastic

The “Oh-oh’s” in the background come right out of Klystron of the 1980’s. Of course, the Pretenders owned the 80’s. I thought about it, and have to agree if 1980’s retro is performed by a 1980’s band, then why the heck not? “By the way, you look fantastic in your boots of Chinese Plastic.” The Pretenders make no offer to change the world this evening, but they still sound great. Shoutouts for the slower tune, Nothing Maker; the mid-tempo album 50’s flavored title tune Break The Concrete (“don’t tell me it’s progress cause that was just a lie.”). Nostalgia builder. The Pretenders

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Night Watchman - The King Of Hell

“The act has changed, the play is the same” Take it as political or spiritual, or just plain commentary on life. Cool song poem with a good guitar beat. “I was surprised to learn the devil is not the king of hell.” So, who is? Ah, if I told you that I’d be telling secrets. Maybe it’s our selves. Or maybe not. Listen and decide. There’s nothing wrong with this performance, but I’d sure love to hear Johnny Cash singing this song. “I’m gonna find out what the screaming’s about on the other side of that door.” Shoutouts for The Lights Are On In Spidertown (“Stand back, stormtroopers attack on a bright May day”) and The Iron Wheel (“you push and pull against it, but you’ll ride it till it’s through”). Night Watchman

Night Watchman on Eartaste