Friday, February 29, 2008

Rox and I Feel Electric Feel

Thanks Roxanne! This is definitely the best song off MGMT's album:

America Gets It Wrong Again

I didn't vote, so I guess I can't complain. But I would have booted Luke Menard, Kady Malloy, and Amanda Overmyer, in addition to Jason Yeager. I actually thought both Alexandrea and Alaina had a lot of potential. And Robbie Carrico - yes, there's his wig controversy, but he sings pretty well.

NYTimes Review of Passing Strange

Charles Isherwood really liked it! Yeah! Adam Duritz gushes about Stew, had him open for him a handful of years back (on the tour the Counting Crows did in '03? w/ JM?), and anyway I heard 30 seconds of some of the melodies (see below) in this show & was on my way to buy tickets. RMW and I are going on March 15. Can't wait.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

American Idol Loves RMW

Haha, he's away so I could actually watch tonight. Here's my quick 2 cents - this probably isn't going to come out in the right order.

Michael Johns: He was sadly flat through much of the song. The judges let him off easy.

Jason Castro: Ehh. Judges were right; the song was lame. He wasn't as bad as they said, but he wasn't so great either.

Luke Menard: I pretty much hate it when anyone on A.I. sings anything by Queen. Blegh.

Robbie Carrico: Solid voice and performance. I was thinking that Simon would be all over him this week after the bit about Robbie's drag racing, given that Simon is into racing (or least pretended to be with Anderson Cooper).

David Hernandez: Yeah. He got soul.

Chikezie: Ditto! (I love that American Idol (e.g., Ruben Studdard, Elliot Yamin) seems to be on a mission to repopularize Donny Hathaway)

Danny Noriega: He's ok. Can still do better. He must be seriously gorgeous in drag.

Jason Yeager: Poor guy. He's just way too corny, even for American Idol. And not talented enough. He's not good at those instruments he was playing either. SELF-TAUGHT. Um, ok. Self-taught and AVERAGE.

David Cook: Word to my fellow word nerd. Good vocab is hot. And, yeah, he could be on pop radio as a pop rocker. Not my fav, but he'll do ok probably.

David Archuleta: Little Kevin Arnold was great. I dug the arrangement, and it's surprising how well he could pull that off. That could probably be released as a single. Still, the aww shucks routine (don't leave me here alone on stage with all these swooning girls, Ryan!) is starting to get annoying. You know you're thinking it too.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Life has gotten insanely busy lately, but I'm glad I made time to go see U23D this weekend on an IMAX screen.

The movie is really cool -- and not just from the perspective of being like you're at the show live, with the best seats ever (though that would have been enough). This film was carefully thought out to be more than that - to say something about the role of rock & roll in our lives, the relationship between rock stars and their fans, ... maybe even something about globalization and the meaning of the ONE message.

The camera angles let you flirt with the perspective of what it would be like to be Bono or the Edge or Larry Mullen Jr. or Adam Clayton themselves -- and, even from the audience perspective, on this screen w/ 3D, they look both larger-than-life AND incredibly HUMAN. Bono is short and wears shoes that give him extra height on stage! And he looks out to an ocean of crazed fans, literally freaking out over him.

And they're not even Irish or Americans! It's a South American audience -- English isn't even their first language! He's just a man. They're just a band. The power artists have over people is incredible. Kudos to Bono and U2 for having from day one always been trying to do something meaningful with that power. I've also never been more aware of how much artists depend on people falling hard for them. I kept looking out at the crowds, thinking, in all those people, there are probably so many "rock stars" in their own right, in their own lives -- if only they could see how silly they look totally losing it over this band and this show, bowing down and dying to get a bead of Bono's sweat dropped on them or better yet, a msec-long touch of the man himself.

But, then again, I know I totally fall for music and what I dream up about the people who make the music I love too. What does that say about me? Should I be embarrassed or proud that I totally get sucked into believing in the possibilities I imagine when I listen to certain artists/songs, stand in crowds at certain shows? Why is Bono more inspirational than he is corny? Is it just because he's/U2's so good, musically? (footnote to conversation after the film with JL, SO, & RMW) Is it because his confidence makes you respect him? Is it because he can be as serious and realistic as he is optimistic?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

This Just Pains Me

?uestlove's blog post today

Sam Sparro "Black & Gold"

Arik sent me this with the following note: "Hey, Here's someone who I think will do a 'Scissor Sisters' - i.e., an American artist who's huge everywhere but the US - what with the flashy clothes, lisping and all... A great song, though..."

It really IS a great song - I actually like this SS's music better than most of the Scissor Sisters' music. (I know they are the queens of performance though).

For the record, I did a little research and this guy's actually not American by birth - he's an Aussie, but he's spent a lot of time in Los Angeles. He's like D'Angelo soul (listen to "Cottonmouth") meets Prince funk and gender play meets Hot Chip hipster electronic/pop. I actually disagree about the US prediction -- this has a much better shot of being big in the clubs here than the Scissor Sisters every will, b/c of the funk/hipster edginess.


Sam Sparro - Black & Gold - Watch the best video clips here

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"In Love With A Girl"

First single off Gavin DeGraw's upcoming album. Hmmm...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Please Don't Forget to Vote!

"But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Adele - 19

RMW was gone in Europe all week last week. :( However, the one good thing about that was that he filled my order for the UK release of Adele's debut album, 19!

You've likely heard Hometown Glory and Chasing Pavements by now if you read my blog, but what about the rest of the album? Well, I like it! I worry that she's getting a bit overhyped before she even officially debuts in the US -- 19 is not the best album of the year. However, it's a darn good debut. Adele has a mighty alluring voice. Her songwriting is a bit inconsistent and probably has some maturing to do, but it shows promise for sure. She's got a lot of different musical influences -- I love the track below called "My Same" which is modern, bluesy jazz and sounds like Peggy Lee's "Fever" reincarnated. Two other good songs, which are more retro motown are "Melt My Heart to Stone" and "Right as Rain". I'd like to hear her record more jazz (but realize the business peeps probably fear that'd be a commercial risk...). If anyone can make jazz hot again with a more mainstream audience, though, it just may be Adele.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Yes We Can!

Many thanks go to the ice chewer, Yuval, for letting me know about this fantastic, inspiring video. See for a larger, clearer version too.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Ma ma se ma ma sa ma makossa

(from MJ's Wanna Be Startin Somethin & Rihanna's Don't Stop the Music) Ever wonder where it came from?

This is random, but I somehow JUST discovered Cameroonian legend Manu Dibango today through my streaming. I am loving his music. Sadly though I had set to "non-hits" only, and one of the songs I like best - "Ami Oh!" cannot be found anywhere (itunes, amazon, etc.). Bummer. But his crossover hit above influenced SO much popular music, it's crazy. In case you're wondering, "makossa" means "I dance" in the African language Duala.

p.s. The new 25th anniversary version of "wanna be..." featuring Akon and Will.I.Am is good. Hit MJ's myspace page to stream it, but I think it's on itunes now. I can't wait for the whole 25th anniv. Thriller album to come out. Thriller was my first record! I am feeling old that it is 25. Oh wait, here's a youtube of the song: = intriguing

You tell them what your mood is (or what you want it to be) and pick genres and eras you want. They generate a tree of streamable songs that match your mood. I haven't hated anything they've recommended yet! (impressive)

I'm big fan of musical therapy in general. I use music to change my mood all the time. Try it - it really works!