Friday, January 29, 2010

Love to Haiti

In response to the horrible devastation in Haiti, I thought I’d post some music by a Haitian artist. Emeline Michel hails from the island nation and is considered that country’s Queen of Song. Her style mixes traditional Haitian music with jazz, samba, bossa nova and calypso. Her voice is smooth and she sings in an effortless manner. Hearing her makes you want to hop on the next plane to the Caribbean. Especially when temperatures hover around 15 degrees.

If you haven’t already done so, please consider contributing to the relief effort for Haiti. Hopefully, the country will head in a positive direction once the rebuilding is over.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some Tasty Stuff

Lemon Jelly is a spacey electronica duo made up of Nick Franglen and Fred Deakin that I discovered by accident. Deacon is a DJ as well as a designer and Franglen is a producer who has worked with Primal Scream and Bjork. They mix synths, guitar and drum beats with found sounds and recorded robot-like voices to create a mesmerizing, hypnotic sound. Their laid back music is perfect for late night listening and is pretty trippy at times. I don’t really know that much about the group so I’m not going to ramble on and on about them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is This a New Avon Product?

Soap & Skin. Sounds like a beauty product to me. In reality, it’s a singer who’s following in the tradition of Iron & Wine, Sea & Cake, City & Colour with an offbeat handle. She grew up on a pig farm in Austria (I’m not making this up) and has an incredible future in store for her—she’s only 19! Her voice and style of music are somewhat reminiscent of Bjork—and that’s a good thing in my book. Some of her tunes challenge the listener, but her voice is always powerful and engaging. I can’t wait for her to do a tour of the States—I’d love to hear her live. And I think I can explain the unusual moniker. Her real name is Anja Plaschg.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An RIP Holiday

First, I heard that Vic Chestnutt died over the Holidays. Then I heard that Lhasa died on New Years Day. What a sad holiday for music buffs. Lhasa’s full name was Lhasa de Sela and she grew up with some amazing parents. Lhasa spent her early childhood traveling around the US and Mexico in a converter school bus, with her parents and her brothers and sisters. How cool would that be? They spent many evenings singing around the campfire singing. She totally embraced her Mexican heritage and her first couple cds have a definite Mexican influence. But they’re much more than Latin—they have a New-Age/World Music edge to them. While they’re hard to classify, they’re also very listenable. One thing you’ve got to remember, I’m a huge Bjork fan. So you might like Lhasa if you share my taste in music. Her last cd is in English, which in my opinion, somewhat detracts from her charm. However, Lhasa died soon after she released the cd after a long battle with cancer, so in my opinion this is in her way of saying, “Goodbye.” Goodbye, to a wonderful spirit.

P.S. I heard that it snowed in Montreal for 40 straight hours after Lhasa passed away. I think she would have liked that.