Friday, August 27, 2010

It’s Back to School Time

School of Seven Bells is the brainchild of Ben Curtis and features the dreamy vocals of twin sisters Claudia and Alejandra Deheza. The group debuted in 2007 and has two recordings to their credit. Their music is full of catchy hooks, and hum-along melodies. It’s somewhat spacey and full of electronic psychedelica. It’s hard to compare them with anyone else; you’ll just have to judge them for yourself. (Forgive the sound quality on the live performance—it’s the best I could find on youtube.)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hard to Beat

And hard to describe. The group Beats Antique blends such a mind boggling and diverse mix of sounds, it makes one’s head spin. Balkan wedding music, Middle Eastern belly dancing, flamenco, hip-hop, and more, all underpinned by heavy dance beats and electronica. The group is comprised of David Satori (guitar, saz, viola, and percussion), Sidecar Tommy Cappel (keys, toy piano, drums, and percussion), and ZoĆ« Jakes (belly dancer, composer, and arranger). As you can imagine, they produce quite a variety of sounds, from rich and complex, to dance tunes reminiscent of those you’ve heard at Greek and Jewish weddings. Classical belly dance music meets the 21st century. They look like they’d be an absolute blast to see live. There are a ton of Beats Antique vids on youtube. Check ’em out.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Extra! Extra!

Eli “Paperboy” Reed is the latest example of a renewed interest in Motown-era R&B music making. As a young kid, growing up in Brookline, MA, Eli listened to his dad’s record collection of R&B, gospel, and blues music. He taught himself to play piano, guitar, and harmonica. Reed spent some time in Mississippi where he picked up his nickname, “Paperboy”, due to the newsboy-type hat he wore. Eli moved to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago. It was there where he met the soul singer Mitty Collier. He so impressed her he was invited to be the Minister of Music at her church. Reed eventually returned home where he put together his group the True Loves. His first recording was released in 2005 and he has since released a couple more excellent cds. The good news is that R&B is alive and well!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pining for the Fjords

Thomas Dybdahl is one of the most popular singers in Norway. Obviously, that doesn’t mean much here in the U.S. His voice has been compared to Nick Drake’s and Jeff Buckley’s. Not a bad comparison, however he definitely has his own sound. His songs deal for the most part with love and loss. Dybdahl released his first cd in 2000 and now has several recordings to his credit. He is starting to attract attention here in this country, but it certainly has been a long time coming. On a slightly different note, anyone get the obscure reference to the title of this blog entry?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Not Harsh, Karsh.

Karsh Kale was born to Indian parents and grew up in the United States. His music is an original blend of beat-driven electronica and Indian folk. His first outing was with the group Tabla Beat Science and he released his own recording, Realize, in 2001. The song, Light Up the Love, on this cd has to be one of the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard. Although it’s not sung in English, the subtle, sensual power of love come shining through. Kale is an incredible tabla player and he’s played extensively with the group Midival Punditz and other like-minded groups.