Thursday, December 31, 2009

Così Fan Tutte

For the New Year, two selections from Mozart's opera. We'll start with wit and wisdom about human folly and the wounds it causes:

And we'll close (or rather, open a new year) with the hope and the potential for something beautiful nonetheless:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dido - "Thank You"

A repeat, because it works so well for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Heavy - "How You Like Me Now?"

"Sixteen," borrowing from Screamin' Jay Hawkins, is also worth checking out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Amadou & Mariam - "Sabali"

The very last "bye-bye" is clipped here, and I wish the song was longer, but it's memorable.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sufjan Stevens - "John Wayne Gacy, Jr."

"Music Video using educational films from the 50s and anonymous family footage. Dir: Claire Carré." In honor of the upcoming Halloween, here's a haunting song. It's from Sufjan Stevens' 2005 album Illinois, which is extremely varied and creative (and the rest isn't as dark as this song).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

VV Brown - "Crying Blood"

She'll be doing a live session at KCRW next week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rodrigo y Gabriela - "Buster Voodoo"

This is from their new album. They're fantastic live.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baaba Maal - "Television"

Here's his recent live session at KCRW.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

David Gray - "Fugitive"

It's slightly out of synch, but this is the official version from David Gray's channel. What I've heard so far of the new album is quite good.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mew - "Beach" and "Comforting Sounds"

The Wiki entry on Danish band Mew has more about them. "Beach" is from their new album. The video is a fan-made piece using clips from the French film Rumba, which I haven't seen, but it seems to work really well. (Driouxcipher passes on the official video for "Repeaterbeater" from the same album). "Comforting Sounds" was released in 2003, although the performance appears to be in the past few years. It has a good build.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Peter, Paul and Mary - "500 Miles"

I saw Peter, Paul and Mary perform a few times, and my mom and one of my brothers saw Peter and Paul perform just last month. Mary was not doing well.

As late as the early 90s, they would still join in demonstrations and get arrested, too.

Years back, I remember listening to their version of this song over and over to figure out their harmonies. It's a very pretty rendition, even haunting, expressing great yearning. They popularized some very good and important songs over the years.

Their website has statements and photos. RIP, Mary Travers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bonnie Raitt - "Angel from Montgomery"

Written by John Prine.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lisa Gerrard -" Sanvean (I Am Your Shadow)"

This appears to be the official video, but the fan video above is pretty remarkable. I think this is one of Lisa Gerrard's most memorable tunes. A few years back, I saw her do it live on a Dead Can Dance reunion tour. More aging goths than you could shake a stick at...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ten Years After - "I'm Going Home"

Live at Woodstock, in honor of its anniversary.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul and Chet Atkins

RIP. Chicher posted this video for Les Paul's 94th birthday, and also quoted a nice tribute to Les by Gibson guitars. I own a Epiphone Les Paul, and while there are some legendary guitars out there, for electrics the two biggest are probably the Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul. It'd be difficult to list how much great music's been made on that style of guitar, and hard to overestimate how influential Les Paul was. Les was still playing away at an advanced age, having fun and entertaining audiences, and that's probably what kept him going. Thanks for the music, and rest in peace, Les.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Neko Case – "This Tornado Loves You (Live)"

Here's an interview with her, and her session at the Newport Folk Festival this past weekend. You can hear more of the festival here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Candi Staton/One EskimO

Candi Staton – "He Called Me Baby"

One EskimO – "Kandi" (Live)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Purcell/Baker - "When I Am Laid in Earth"

Also known as "Dido's Lament," this aria comes from English composer Henry Purcell's short opera Dido and Aeneas (1689). Unfortunately, Purcell died when only 36 (so, as some have observed, the English had to keep importing Germans). This is Janet Baker in a 1966 performance – she was known for this song. I greatly appreciate her commitment to the role as an actress as well as a singer. This comes near the end of the opera. Dido's true love Aeneas is leaving, and though he vows to return, Dido knows it shall never be. Naturally, there's nothing to do but to sing a heart-wrenching song, and die.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Camera Obscura – "French Navy"

Here's their most recent KCRW appearance.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cast of Glee – "Don't Stop Believin'"

Cheeseball 80s power ballad? Glorious excess? Both? It's almost impossible to go too "big" with this song. But after years of playing rhythm police, diva wrangler and coaxing shy kids out of their shells, I found that the pilot episode of Glee provoked both warm memories and cringe-inducing moments approaching PTSD. I'm hoping the series turns out well – and like some other viewers, hope it goes the Freaks and Geeks route for feel. Here's an interesting Fresh Air interview with show creator Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck).

"There's nothing ironic about show choir!" – Rachel Berry

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Theresa Andersson – "Na Na Na"

Here's the ridiculously talented and creative Ms. Andersson at KCRW.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Koko Taylor – "Ernestine (Live)"

RIP. Check this one out, too.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Philip Glass – "Knee 1" from Einstein on the Beach

Just the music, but if you're a Glass fan, who needs more?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Metric - "Sick Muse"

Just the music, although I hear there's an official video coming out at some point.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vampire Weekend - "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"

Vampire Weekend name-checks Peter Gabriel in this song, and he responded by recording a great cover with Hot Chip. Now that's one helluva compliment:

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ennio Morricone - Music from The Mission

As the YouTube poster relates, this is Morricone conducting the Roma Sinfonietta in 2007 at the United Nations. Carlo Romano is on oboe. The music is adapted from three pieces from The Mission score: Gabriel's Oboe, The Falls, and On Earth as It is in Heaven. I'll just add that Morricone is one of my favorite film composers, and "Gabriel's Oboe" is one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever heard.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sarah Vaughan - "Bye Bye Blackbird" (Live)

This is one of my favorite tracks from "Sassy" Sarah Vaughan, but odds are you haven't heard it. It's an audience request number from a Live in Tokyo album that seems to be out of print, but luckily, iTunes has it. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Emiliana Torrini - "Me and Armini" and "Jungle Drum"

She recently recorded a live session at KCRW here in L.A.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - "Black Dog" (Live)

Not on their album, unfortunately - maybe the next one. Via skippy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bitter:Sweet – "The Bomb"

An interview and live performance can be seen here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Al Green – "Let's Stay Together"

Apollo Hall of Fame Concert, 1993. Now that's how ya rock the house.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bajofondo y Julieta Venegas – "Pa' bailar"

There are crisper versions of the video out there featuring the instrumental version, but I like Julieta Venegas' vocal. Bajofondo member Gustavo A. Santaolalla has also put together some great film soundtracks and scores, winning Osars for his fine work on Brokeback Mountain and Babel. (Thanks to Buck for the video assist.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"

This week called out for some upbeat Marvin.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brett Dennen - "Make You Crazy"

Featuring Femi Kuti. And yup, that's Mandy Moore in this rather incongruous video.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Flight of the Conchords – "Business Time"

Kick off the new year the right way.