Thursday, November 29, 2007


is my favorite song on Alicia Keys' new album. I love it. Well-written musically, and the best her (great) voice sounds on this album. Have a listen:

Once again, sadly, I can't endorse buying this entire album. Why the wildly talented Alicia Keys has yet to put out a consistently stellar album I cannot understand given how many amazing individual songs she has, but at least this album has many more good songs than her past albums have. These are the tracks worth buying, in my opinion:

*Wreckless Love
*No One
*Go Ahead (the chorus is awesome -- the rest of the song is nothing great)
*Superwoman (hell yeah, she needs to go on Oprah with this one ;)... "Even when I'm a mess, I still put on a vest, With an S on my chest, Oh yes")
*Like You'll Never See Me Again - this song gives me chills every time
*Lesson Learned - i like the john mayer groove in this one - you can tell he co-wrote even though he doesn't take over the song
*The Thing About Love

p.s. haha, as I'm writing this, dear husband tells me: "I actually like R&B. You know why? Think about it! It's happy bop bop, but different." YES. "Wreckless Love" is definitely "happy bop bop", but different. Indeed. Ha. Good job, husband.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sean Rowe

I honestly don't remember how I first came across Sean Rowe. Maybe myspace? All I know is that every time it's been a while since I've listened to him, and I play a song, and I'm like ohhh yeah, I really really like this guy's music. He's got a really unique, deep & gravely voice, paired with quality songwriting and guitar. For people who like these sorts of comparisons, let's see... maybe you'd get something close to Sean Rowe if you crossed Ray Lamontagne with Martin Sexton and then added some Barry White and some Nina Simone. But even then, he's still his own musician. He now has a youtube I can share with you. I recommend his 2003 album "27." highly. Apparently he's working on a new album now too (yay!)- he's got a couple new tracks posted on his myspace page now. He plays fairly regularly in NYC (he's based in Albany) - I really need to check him out live one of these days soon. Can't believe I haven't already. If anyone's interested, let me know.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jay-Z On Charlie Rose = Weird... but good

I currently obsessed with American Gangster. I mean obsessed. It's the best rap album since Hell Hath No Fury and one of the best rap albums ever (like the latter too), probably.

So, anyway, on my one night off from work in weeks, after some quality family time with the sis, the cuz, and my fav pug-nephew Wilbur, I found myself on the couch watching Charlie Rose interview Jay-Z. I have to say it was a weird interview. I have never seen Jay-Z look so stiff/uncomfortable OR Charlie Rose ask questions so awkwardly/hesitantly. They both seemed to be trying so hard. There were definitely many moments when Jay-Z relaxed for a sec -- when he breaks out into a wide grin the whole mood is transformed. And Charlie Rose definitely got him to share some classic stories - e.g., involving Diddy calling him into his studio to share amazing soulful 70s samples that he had "no one to give to now that Biggie is gone" - samples that he had just been using for blasting in his house to dance around to in his socks. Ha. BUT Jay-Z draws the line for Diddy's involvement: "You can't executive produce an executive producer!" When asked what he thought when he first met "his lady", he said that the first thing he thought was that she was just an amazing talent, that she sang so fast while completely on pitch - that she sang like a rapper. That's a really great way to sum up what's so unique about Beyonce - never thought about her that way. (Charlie was like THAT's what you thought about first? her talent? Jay ignored that though, to his credit -- that says more about his respect for women than any lyrics ever would.)

Every time Charlie Rose asked him to do a few lines from a song, he would be like: "oh, that's good" -- in a sort of an awkward, almost patronizing way. I don't think Charlie Rose actually gets hip hop, despite having Jay-z on his show. Even while I do give him massive credit for having Jay-Z on his show, pushing himself out of his comfort zone.

And I give Jay-Z credit too, for going to talk to an old white suit -- I'm sure it was in the service of being a good ambassador for hip hop much more than it was about selling records. Part of his whole plan of "chasing history". Russell Simmons should be proud, despite their arguments about lyrics. Still, when Charlie Rose put him on the spot to make his case for hip hop's being "something special/contributing to popular culture", I cringed on Jay-Z's behalf - I was seriously embarrassed for my fellow white upper middle class, overeducated brethren - you know, the collective NPR-listening crowd. Are you kidding me? Of all people, Jay-Z should not have to defend hip hop in interviews. Just listen to the music, people. I don't totally understand how people can't feel the music, because so much of it moves me personally... but even if it's not your thing, if you really listen, I don't know how you could possibly not appreciate the artistry involved. Just listen to the music for a few minutes. Buy American Gangster.

Thank You For Blogging, Adam Duritz

I sometimes feel like I "get" Adam Duritz more deeply than I get a lot of people I actually talk to regularly. His blog is so bravely human and real and ridiculously well-written. And I find myself relating on a philosophical level over and over - just like I do with his lyrics. I recommend his latest entry highly.

I think I've determined my answer to the age-old question about what celebrity I'd most want to go to dinner with. Conveniently we both live in NYC. Ha.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

See, Husband? It's Not Just Me! Our Brains Want to Dance

Here's a link for more on that and other cool info from what neuroscientist/music producer Daniel Levitin has been learning about "our brains on music". On that page, look for the link to the audio of WNYC Soundcheck interviewing him.

Today, my brain is loving dancing to this while I push through(continue to push through...) my mounds of work. I keep going back and forth between this and Yo-Yo Ma. Two geniuses.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Alicia Says Everything's Gonna Be All Right

This song is getting me through today.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Since The Last Time

WOW! Who knew? Arrested Development just came out with a new album a few days ago - after 12 years. I've always been a fan. I'm listening to the album for the first time right now -- so far, it's good. Nothing life altering, at least yet (and songs like "People Everyday", "Mr. Wendal" and "Natural" really were life altering for me back in the day - I still listen to those songs, actually). But anyway, I like this new album. It is making me bop around in my seat and feel good despite having to spend my Saturday doing statistics. I hope they tour with this album - wouldn't an Arrested Development show be fun!?

p.s. they borrow from Los Lonely Boys' hit in the song "How Far Is Heaven?", and it makes the hook all new again and works! I also like "Miracles" and "Sunshine so far.