Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kiss Me Kate

Kate Bush’s new release, 50 Words For Snow, is one of my favorite cds of the year. It’s her first recording of new material since 2005, and it’s worth the wait. There are only seven songs in it but the album is over an hour long. The songs are quietly haunting and ponderous. Kate’s voice and piano playing are in superb form here. The album features several guest artists including the bassist Danny Thompson, the drummer Steve Gadd, and the actor Stephen Fry. They all contribute to make this a most remarkable and memorable album.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Angelic Angelique

Excuse me for being lazy. I’ll keep this post short. Angelique Kidjo was born in Benin and has lived in Paris for a number of years. She has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard. Her music is all over the map, from traditional African to jazz, funk, and rock and roll. If you ever get the chance to hear her live, jump on it. She puts on one heck of a show. Just about the whole audience will be up on their feet dancing.

Have a safe and peaceful holidays. And thanks for following my blog!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Sound is the solo project of Bradford Cox, the vocalist of the indie group Deerhunter (an interesting band well worth looking into). He was born in the musical hotbed of Athens, Georgia in 1982 and formed Deerhunter in 2001. He’s been releasing solo cds under the Atlas Sound moniker since 2008. His voice is delicate and has an amazing range. Atlas Sound is spacey, quirky and catchy. His latest release, Parallax was released in 2011. It’s brilliantly produced and is full of earworms like the song Te Amo. Love it!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wing And A Prayer

There’s just something about the music of the multi-instrumentalist Courtney Wing that make me want to listen to it over and over. It’s some of the happiest, warmest music I’ve heard in a long time, and instantly puts me in a great mood. He comes from an interesting background—his father is Chinese and his mother is Russian and Icelandic. Wing started playing music as a youngster and when he was in his 20s, he played in a reggae band in Belize and learned flamenco in the south of France. He has a couple cds out and his youtube videos are quite creative.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

To Esmerine, With Love And Squalor

Among the many splinter groups of Godspeed You Black Emperor!, my favorite is the Montreal-based group, Esmerine. Unlike GYBE!, which is focused on layers of guitar, Esmerine is relies mainly on cello, marimbas, and percussion. Their sound is quiet and relaxed, and could be labled neoclassical. Great, late night music. Esmerine has released three cds since their 2003 recording, If Only a Sweet Surrender to the Nights to Come Be True. And 10 points to anyone who gets the reference in this review’s title.