Thursday, July 22, 2010

Horsing Around

The New Young Pony Club is my pick for this summer’s cruising around with the top down on a hot summer evening band. Their music has a nice, dancy beat, sparse instrumentation that has a Talking Heads feel, talky vocals, and simple lyrics. The perfect combination for mindless background music. The London-based group put out their first cd in 2005 and just released their second recording this year. Play them a couple times and their music really grows on you. Not bad music for working out too, either.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nuts To You!

This is going to be a short and sweet review. Okay, maybe not sweet. We're talking about the group Bullitnuts. There's almost nothing on the internet about them. So I'll just give you a brief description of their music and post a few of their songs. They're a spacey, techno, drum & bass, ambient group with a funky edge to their music. I discovered them on Soma-FM on their Groove Salad channel. I looked up their music on and was surprised at how much their cds go for. A hundred bucks for a used cd? Wow! Anyway, they only put out three cds in the late 1990s and apparently broke up in 1999. But with the quality of their music, you'd think there'd be reissues. Oh well. Have to turn to youtube to hear any of their recordings. What a shame.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Caro Mia

Caroline van der Leeuw is a Dutch singer who I recently discovered. Not exactly a catchy musical name. So she understandably records under the name Caro Emerald. She studied music, focusing on jazz, at the conservatory in Amsterdam, and went on to work as a vocal coach. In 2009, she had a big hit in the Netherlands, “Back it up”. As my daughter pointed out, what’s a big hit in a country of, what 3 million people? She does have a point, but in all fairness, this woman can sing. Her music is reminiscent of 1920s Parisian swing. It’s fun, listenable, and catchy. It’s so new, there isn’t a lot available. But enjoy. I think there’s a lot more coming.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mad About Madeleine.

The first time I heard Madeleine Peyroux I thought to myself, “Sounds like a cleaned up engineering-wise) version of an old Billy Holiday tune. But upon listening closer, she has her own sound and phrasing. Peyroux was born in Athens, GA, but was raised in Southern California, Brooklyn, and Paris. She started busking on the streets of the Latin Quarter when she was just 15. Her first recording, “Dreamland”, was released in 1996 and is absolutely flawless. It features a group of first-rate jazz musicians, who underplay, which helps showcase her unique voice. Most of the tunes are covers, but also has three original Peyroux compositions. For some unknown reason, she didn’t release another recording for eight years. Her subsequent recordings feature an increasing number of originals and are every bit as good as her first cd.