Saturday, January 26, 2008

Rosey's Voice Is So Cool

"It's a Ruse" - I think this will be on her album that comes out this spring. Her song "Love" has been in my Itunes for years, and I have yet to get sick of it. She performs all the time in LA for my socal people. See or for more

Must Be The Water - Marc Broussard

Marc Broussard has a new EP coming out mid-late Feb. This guy can sing. See him live - he gives like 150% and has a lot of fun performing. Glad to see this commercial shining a light on New Orleans!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Honoring Dr. King

I really like what the Brian Lehrer show does to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. They ask listeners to do a little homework and call in or post a one-minute reading by/about any other ethnic group than their own. Read some postings here.

I have two readings to share. The first is a passage from a book by one of my favorite authors ever, Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison's language is music for me; her words strip my own from reach, and quietly, nonconsciously sink down into my chest and make my eyes swell.

From Beloved:

"Something in the house braced, and in the listening quiet that followed Sethe spoke.

'I got a tree on my back and a haint in my house, and nothing in between but the daughter I am holding in my arms. No more running- from nothing. I will never run from another thing on this earth. I took one journey and I paid for the ticket, but let me tell you something, Paul D Garner: it cost too much! Do you hear me? It cost too much. Now sit down and eat with us or leave us be.' ...
Her back was to him and he could see all the hair he wanted without the distraction of her face...
'What tree on your back? Is something growing on your back? I don't see nothing growing on your back.'
'It's there all the same.'
'Who told you that?'
'Whitegirl. That's what she called it. I've never seen it and never will. But that's what she said it looked like. A chokecherry tree. Trunk, branches, and even leaves. Tiny little chokecherry leaves. But that was eighteen years ago. Could have cherries too now for all I know.' ...

Oh! I wish I could type out a few entire pages from this passage for you. The tiny details of the scene are so important to receiving the full weight of the story, the nuances of the interaction between Sethe and Paul D. Please read Beloved if you haven't already. I think I'm going to start re-reading it tonight.

Here's one other thing to share. You've probably heard it before, but it's so powerful that it's another one that merits re-reading. It's by the German Pastor Martin Niemöller:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Excited for Nikki Jean

I think I first heard of Nikki Jean (and her Philly band Nouveau Riche) from ?uestlove's blog a couple years ago. I like her sound *and* her spirit outside of the music, and so I was really excited to see that Lupe Fiasco put her on his new album (which is really pretty good overall if you haven't heard it yet -- better than Food & Liquor). Anyway, check out Nikki Jean's reaction to Lupe's album coming out. This is what I mean about how likable she is!!!

It's You! It's Me! And There's Dancing!

TGIF! courtesy of Los Campesinos!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Morning Jacket Announce Release Date, Shows

Thanks for this good news, Pitchfork. I've missed My Morning Jacket. Z was awesome.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I Like That He Cut Out His Face From the Video

The man can play guitar, and he has a great ear. JT's "I Think She Knows Interlude" really is "ultimate sonic bliss...awesomeness". It's just JM's faces/his stupid mouth that make me ill. So this video is cropped perfectly! (and miracle of miracles, he doesn't say/sing a word through the whole 2+ minutes!) Enjoy the guitar.

From his blog:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's Getting to the Point Where I'm No Fun Anymore

I heard this song in the movie We Are Marshall last night, and it was like I had forgotten it existed and felt so grateful to be reminded. Actually it was more like randomly running into one of your best friends from your suburban US hometown while in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain (that happened once too).

And the opening lyrics couldn't have been more appropriate for how I have been feeling.

I used to listen to this over and over in high school and early college. It's my favorite CSNY song. When my Aunt Lynn passed away, I got a lot of her cds. Music was my deepest connection to her. She used to listen to WXPN in Philly, and it opened up my mind to something beyond Q102 and Power 99 and Y100. All the CSNY albums I own were hers. And she wasn't just into older music from her youth. She also appreciated Alanis Morissette before I could feel safe singing along to some of those early angry lyrics without watching my back for my dad listening. Ahh... my fearful, careful adolescence. But, that's another post.

Anyway, thank you, Aunt Lynn. Thanks for being a lasting positive influence in my life.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adele = WOW

Kanye gets credit for cluing me into this amazing new artist out of the UK too (man, this week is all about British female soulful voices for me, isn't it?). She has an album coming out later this month (in the UK). You can get a free mp3 for this song "Hometown Glory" if you subscribe to her mailing list via her website. See Mr. West's blog again for a cool video she has for another new song, "Chasing Pavements".

American Boy - Estelle Feat. Kanye West

Check out this song posted on Kanye's blog. Estelle is the first artist John Legend (Stephens) signed to his new label, Homeschool Records.

I really dig this song. It's Will.I.Am produced (which makes it more pop crossover than typical hip hop or soul) and is the perfect combo of 80s/Euro pop sound (happy bop bop for RMW & Arik), jazzy/funky vocal styling, amusing/catchy lyrics (from both Kanye & Estelle actually)... just a really cool concoction of influences from probably every talented person involved (Estelle herself, John Legend, Will.I.Am, and Kanye at the least). I don't always like Will.I.Am stuff so much b/c some of it gets really boring in its commerciality. When he gets it right, though, he gets it really right, and this one's a hit for sure.

UPDATE: You can download a copy of this song here, thanks to!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It's Okay, Fellow Obama Supporters

Since music is political even (maybe especially?) when it's not at all explicitly so (see this if you need further convincing), I hope you'll forgive me for hijacking this music blog for a quick political comment. The NH election is on my mind, and for anyone who's curious about how I've made sense of the surprise results, I wanted to direct you to my reply to my friend Julianne's (different) reaction.

p.s. in explicitly musical AND political news, I love that Obama digs Jay-Z & his great American Gangster album (he's just like me! ;) ).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Live "Love Like This" - Natasha Bedingfield

She sang this on one of the NYE shows, and it was so good. I can't stand how they computerize her voice on the studio version, and I don't really think Sean Kingston adds much to that version, frankly. It's better with drums/a full band than completely acoustic/bare like this version, but still, check out this voice and melody:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bubbles & Omar Are Back Tonight

To get even more excited than you already should be for tonight's debut of The Wire Season 5, read Julianne's awesome blog on the premiere party Fri. night.

FYI: Time Warner Cable NYC is running a special right now where you can get HBO free for a month. Don't miss out on the best show on television (ever?).

P.S. NY mag has a couple of short little interviews w/ Bubbles, Omar, and Marlo too.