Tag: .mp3

Listening booth — DeVotchKa, “The Man from San Sebastian”

Listening booth — DeVotchKa, “The Man from San Sebastian”

Listening Booth, Music
I meant to write up a proper review for the latest DeVotchKa album, 100 Lovers, but just haven't had the time. So instead I'm sharing my favorite track from the album, at least so far. It's the sultry and exotic "The Man from San Sebastian," a cross between Joe Henry and Gogol Bordello if I've ever heard one. Love that watery, reverb-heavy guitar riff. In summary, 100 Lovers is one of the best albums I've heard so far this year, so do yourself a favor and pick up a copy right this minute. It's out now on ANTI-Records.   Related articles DeVotchKa: 100 Lovers (pastemagazine.com) Bold New Music, Old-World Sound (online.wsj.com) DeVotchKa is 'romantic, hopefully exotic, and good' (canada.com)
Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 1

Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 1

Music
With the recent news of Phil Collins' retirement from music, I thought it would be a good time to run this two-part Genesis overview again (originally published on March 10, 2008). I think a proper assessment of Phil's whole career will reveal that he was an important figure in 20th century popular music, and all the cheesy Disney soundtracks in the world can't take away the great work he did. Since one of my favorite things in the whole world is telling people about music I love, I'm starting a series of overview articles dedicated to some of my favorite bands. Similar guides abound on the Internet, and two sites in particular that produce excellent ones are Popdose and the AV Club. The first entry in the series I've dubbed "Get to Know..." is for Genesis. Depending on your age,...
Listening booth — Mary Wells, “Two Lovers”

Listening booth — Mary Wells, “Two Lovers”

Listening Booth, Music
Over at Popdose we're cooking up an exciting new project — a comprehensive overview of the famous Time-Life AM Gold series. Up first is the 1962 entry, which features a whopping 22 songs. One of the early standouts in our discussion seems to be "Two Lovers" by the late, great Mary Wells. It was written and produced by Smokey Robinson, who was well on his way to superstar status with Motown Records. A 17-year-old Wells signed with Berry Gordy's Motown in 1960 and had her biggest hit in 1964 with the immortal "My Guy." She scored one more Top 20 hit the same year and became the first Motown act to perform in the U.K. (opening for an obscure act called the Beatles). Label battles and health problems cut her career short, and she retired from the music business in 1974. She returned later i
Listening Booth – Ray Bryant, “Up Above the Rock”

Listening Booth – Ray Bryant, “Up Above the Rock”

Listening Booth, Music
I discovered this vintage tune quite by jazz pianist Ray Bryant quite by chance recently, when it came up on a random last.fm playlist.  Actually I should say that a remix of the song, by Irish DJ David Holmes, came up on a random last.fm playlist.  You won't find too many jazz songs that start with a drum break, but then this is probably one of the better jazz/soul hybrids I've heard in some time.  Joining Bryant are Grady Tate (drums), Ron Carter (bass), and the horn section of Dobbie Hiques and Snookie Young. Enjoy "Up Above the Rock" by Ray Bryant, the lead track from the 1968 album of the same name.
The Killer Bs – two new albums worth checking out

The Killer Bs – two new albums worth checking out

Music
From two completely different ends of the musical spectrum comes a pair of albums - one new and one upcoming - that both get the coveted GFS stamp of approval. First up is the self-titled debut EP from Build (New Amsterdam Records, 2008), a Brooklyn-based indie classical quintet formed in 2006.  Now I know what you're thinking: "Classical music?  Boring!"  Stop thinking that, you're wrong.  This are modern, tuneful compositions that bears precious little resemblance to your father's classical music. For those familiar with Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Build takes a similar approach to their music.  It's never stuffy or rigid, although it's far from poppy or light.  Composer/violinist Matt McBane has written five songs that are challenging enough to reward multiple listens, but aren't
Deep Cuts: The Beach Boys

Deep Cuts: The Beach Boys

Music
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and that of course means the unofficial start of summer. And what would a summer be without the music of the Beach Boys? It would be crap, that's what. Everyone knows the biggest hits (and there were a ton of them), but there's a lot of great material that has gone unnoticed by all but the biggest fans. So here's ten overlooked classics by the boys from Hawthorne, CA. (note: the audio player's default level is pretty loud, so headphone wearers beware). "This Whole World" (Sunflower, 1970) - If any song proved that the Beach Boys (and a post-breakdown Brian Wilson) could still deliver the goods after their late-'60s commercial freefall, this was it. In just under two minutes the band packed in more stunning harmonies and top-notch so...
Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 2

Get to Know… Genesis – Pt. 2

Music
(Part 1 of my look at Genesis is here.) And so begins the second part of our exploration of the music of Genesis, now sans the costumes and theatrics of Peter Gabriel. After auditioning some well-known and unknown singers, the group finally decided to let drummer Phil Collins assume the mantle of frontman. It was a risky move, but one that reaped immediate dividends... A Trick of the Tail, 1976 (buy) Any doubts over Genesis' ability to function as a viable artistic unit post-Peter Gabriel were quelled with the release of A Trick of the Tail. While nothing on this album is quite as adventurous or weird as their previous work, it is no less satisfying. "Dance on a Volcano" gets things started with a bang, and sounds like it could have been recorded during the Lamb sessions. The ...
The Chordettes – Early feminist heroines?

The Chordettes – Early feminist heroines?

Music
The Chordettes released many great songs over the course of their career. But to me, none of them is as interesting as 1959's "A Girl's Work Is Never Done." Seemingly written as a response "Yakety Yak," which was a #1 hit for The Coasters in 1958, this song seems a lot more caustic in retrospect. "Yakety Yak" told the story of a precocious delinquent who just wanted to have fun and avoid his chores. "A Girl's Work Is Never Done," on the other hand, is clearly a tale of female domestic woe. No hanging out with friends (or anything social for that matter) for her; nope, she best get to cleanin'! A girl's work is never done You boys think we are havin' fun One minute sweeping up the floor Uh oh, the salesman's at the door Never done Never done A girl's work is never done Wa