Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Yawn and stretch

Sherman Jr. finally woke up, but only because he heard the news that one of THE best online music stores is going digital! Yes, Soul Seduction will go digital as of next Monday, December 5th!!! They will continue to be a vinyl and cd store, but have decided to step up and bring their great selection to the masses! I am thrilled! They have turned me onto so many great releases. They gave me Parov Stelar who as you know is the current nearest and dearest to my heart. This is incredible news! Great music to go straight to Sherman Jr. I love it!


Is it me or is the new Tristeza album (yes I said album and probably will from time to time) a trip back in time? A Colores sounds a bit like the 60's and 70's smashed up to me. It's a bit psychedelic and very space rock oriented. The first track, Bromas is a bit too anthemic for me, but the extended mix of this track on the single release is fantastic. The rest of this disc is pure instrumental bliss. This is their first release in 3 years and the first without Jimmy Lavelle. Jimmy left to start Album Leaf and I am so grateful he did. We will talk about that project another time!! For sure! The past releases from Tristeza were rather ambient, while this release seems to turn things up a bit. A Colores was written in Mexico and the influence is definitely heard on this. It was then recorded in Michigan. Pick this one up, turn it on after a night out and enjoy!

Next I would like to draw your attention to a series of animated shorts that I have grown to love. They are the Valley of the Cnuties. The cnuties were created by Craig Robinson who is also the creator of Flip Flop Flyin one of the finest sites on the internet. You may know his mini pops from some Yahoo!Music commercials that aired in the states. The cnuties are short episodic animations created to represent different decades and the musical accompaniment is from said era. Personally, I just love 'em and can't get enough of 'em!!!

I always feel like when it's time to do the Guilty Pleasure of the day, there should be a drum roll of some kind. So there it is. Today I bring you one of mine and Sherman Jr's all time favorite love songs, Biggest Part of Me by soft rock officiandos Ambrosia. Believe it or not, they were discovered by LA Philharmonic Conductor Zubin Mehta. After that, it took 4 years to get a record deal. Once they did, the late 70's/early 80's was their time in the sun. Biggest Part of Me was #3 in 1980. With romantic lyrics such as these...
Well, make a wish baby
Well and I will make it come true
Make a list baby
Of the things I'll do for you
Ain't no risk now
In lettin' my love rain down on you
So we can wash away the past
So that we may start anew


how could it not be a hit??? Ambrosia is not just a holiday salad, but a serious group that created some awesome makeout music.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Zzzzz.......Do I snore?




Sherman Jr. accidentally heard the new Enya CD today and has been sleeping ever since. More tomorrow.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Snow in Seattle and the DeFranco Family

I have to laugh, as they are predicting snow for Seattle tonight. This is such a funny thing to me. Panic follows snowfall in this city. We have something like 20 plows for the entire metro area and they can't handle it. Two inches will grind this city to a halt. We have already started the "storm watch", "snow watch", "winter's grip" teasers on all of the local tv stations. Who knows, Sherman Jr. may be sledding at this time tomorrow! Fingers crossed. Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! Full tummies for everyone!

Now onto the music. I spent some time with the new release from Imogen Heap, Speak For Yourself. I have been familiar with Imogen from her work as lead singer of Frou Frou. For those who may not know Frou Frou, I am hoping you saw the film Garden State Zach Braff's directorial debut from last year, produced one of the most surprising successful soundtracks in years. Frou Frou's song "Let Go" was THE ideal track to play in the final airport scene. Rent this film!
It is fantastic. I guarantee you will feel the same way about that song as I do. After that track, I wanted to find more about Frou Frou. This is when I discovered that Frou Frou was a two person group consisting of Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth. Guy has written and produced for Madonna, Bjork, Seal, Britney Spears and Bebel Gilberto. His affinity for the female voice led to his producing a track on Imogen's first solo release, I, Megaphone. After going back and listening to that release, I remembered independent radio playing the track "Come Here Boy". That's where I had heard that unique, sensous and dynamic voice. Then I sought out Details, the debut album from Frou Frou released in 2002. That is the disc containing the track from Garden State, not to mention several other fantastic songs including "Must Be Dreaming" and "Good to Be in Love". Now comes Imogen's second solo release, Speak For Yourself. Imogen re-mortgaged her London flat and self released this album on Megaphonic. This was worth it all! This is an amazing piece of work. This lyrics work their way into your head and the melodies find their way under you skin. It's a uniquely beautiful record. There is no one else out there with this sound. Her voice is at times warm and sensual, but can feel cool and remote, as well. The music is glitchy and electronic. Stand out tracks for me are "Just For Now" and "Goodnight & Go". The holidays are around the corner and this is the ideal gift for anyone who is looking for something different than the average female fueled CD. Give this release a listen!!

I really felt like taking a trip back in time this morning so today's guilty pleasure goes back to 1973. "Heartbeat It's a Lovebeat" by Tony Defranco & the Defranco Family. This song was the #1 selling single of 1973. That came as a surprise to even me and I was a fan. Who couldn't be? Look at those faces. There was something for everyone. Cute girls and boys singing in groovy matching outfits...hormones blazing! Check out this picture of Tony DeFranco today. You have to go to his site and read his blog. Yes, he has a blog. I love it! What could be more exciting than keeping up with the DeFrancos?? This is where we get to learn that he coaches his son's hockey team! Tony...save the last dance for me.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Welcome Back Beth!!!


Just finished listening to the first single from the forthcoming Beth Orton release, Comfort of Strangers. The single is entitled "Conceived". It is so good to hear her voice again. Great track. Already stuck in my head. Beth composed all of the songs on the 14 track album except for the title track which was written along with Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth) and M. Ward. The album was recorded last spring in approximately a two week period of time. Quick by anyones standards. If this single is any indication of the tone of the album, it will be yet another success. Her songwriting never ceases to amaze me. One of the lines in the first single really struck me "i didn't ask to be conceived in a loveless embrace, still we learn to be a warm sun, round a very cold galaxy." February can't come soon enough!

Picked up a CD on Wednesday that I had been thinking of getting because I loved the cover, but then I read a bit about it and it really intrigued me. Anytime people use the words warm and soulful alongside minimal techno, I need to hear the results. SO glad I picked this one up. It's the first compilation from German House label Freude-am-Tanzen. There are quite of few recognizable names on this one from Gamat 3000 to DJ Koze. It had me from track one. This is a nice combination of vocals and tech sounds that result in serious dancefloor urges. I would love to hear some of this in the clubs. This disc may start out minimally, but it really builds. It takes a bit of a journey through some of the finest electronic beats coming out of Germany today. We can thank Kompakt for this one, as they are the distributor. I highly recommend this one for gettin' your dance on folks. It's a rump shaker for sure. Just wait for the last track from DJ Koze. Let's just say it's called "Smornin". Really niiiiceeee. On that note, head on over to Pitchfork's site for their Year end Techno series that started this week! Just another reason to make their site a daily stop.

Now for today's Guilty Pleasure. This is actually a current release. In fact, it just hit the shelves last week. It comes from one Ms. Britney Spears. Yes, mama Britney. I am not writing her off yet. Yes, I do wish she would lose the loser of a husband she has, but I know my Britney will make a comeback. She may have a ways to go, but I believe she can do it! In the meantime, we have been given B In The Mix, The Remixes. All of Brit-Brit's finest remixes to date done by the likes of Junkie XL, Dave Aude', Peter Rauhofer and Jacques Lu Cont. If "I'm A Slave 4 You" doesn't do it for you, I'm afraid there might be something wrong with you. This is an entire DISC of guilty pleasures. Just one after another pumped up for your dancing and listening pleasure. Come on you know you love it!!!!

On that note, I'm going to put on a little Britney and await her comeback! Have a great one! Enjoy your holiday weekend! Be Safe! Steer clear of Wal Mart!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Thanks for the times that you've given me....."

Hey everybody! On this Thanksgiving Eve take a moment to give thanks for all you've got. This year has seen it's share of insanity and just be grateful for all you have. Sherman Jr. will be taking a Thanksgiving Hiatus until this Friday to spend some time with loved ones and listen to all the great new music that's coming out! It's the "most wonderful time of the year" for new releases and he's got lots to catch up on! Happy Thanksgiving! Be safe! Eat lots and lots! Do Sherman Jr. a favor and listen to one of your favorite guilty pleasures in the next couple days. He promises it will make you feel good!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Find your Roots!!!!




I love The Roots. I feel a bit cool because I love The Roots. Listening to The Roots makes me feel like I've got my finger on the pulse and people dig me. NO really. Sherman Jr. feels that same way. Not sure what that's all about, but it is what it is. The Roots are the real deal. Intelligent, talented, and cute as all get out. Well, they have just released two discs that are must haves! Home Grown! The Beginner's Guide to The Roots, Vol. 1 & 2. This is the perfect way for someone who may not be familiar with the Philadelphia group to learn why they are such a force in hip hop. Or, if you love them, it is the perfect 29 song two cd set to add to your collection. ?uestlove chose the tracks and writes some stellar liner notes talking about the origins of the songs. It's cool to hear what goes into the group's creative process and behind the scenes shenanigans. This would make a great holiday gift for anyone who likes a little hip hop!!! Or someone who should be schooled a bit in hip hop. I know I am still in need of some lessons. Sherman Jr. and I are wavin' our hands in the air as I speak! Oh, hey Seattle, ?uestlove is spinning this coming Monday night!!!!

I planned on updating everyone on the whole Sony-BMG fiasco, but frankly it all confuses me and gets me so angry that I ask you to google it on your own. As soon as I heard something about me having to show my original receipt for my purchase, they lost me. I heard the state of Texas plans on suing them! California has already filed a class action lawsuit. My concern in all of this is that the artists will suffer. I'm sure they did not know what this technology was capable of doing. All I can say is Neil Diamond's record entered at #4 on the Billboard Chart so I don't think it's hurt him, yet. I just still can't believe this happened. Who is driving the crazy bus at that company???

Now it's time for the old Guilty Pleasure!!! It is brought to you by Maxine Nightingale. The song is "Right Back Where We Started From".
Something I learned today is that she was born in England. Never knew that little fact. This song went to #2 on the US pop chart in 1976. This is a great one to pull out and play randomly for friends. If they are of a certain age group, it will crack them up. Just the opening of the song is worth it!!!! She's also the gifted artist who brought us the tender song, "Lead Me On". I won't even go into that one. You know there's a good story for that one!! I think this album cover should win some sort of award. Don't you?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Portland, oh Portland

Well, Sherman Jr. is back from his Portland roadtrip! We'll get to that in a minute. First off, the Stars and Death Cab show. Unfortunately, it was only the Death Cab show for me. Missed Stars. Had no idea the show would start on time and my date was late coming home from work. Luckily, we made it for Death Cab. It was a real treat to see them in their hometown! I think they were super happy to be home! They did about an hour and a half show that was dominated by music from the new disc. My personal favorite moment of the night was when Ben sang "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" with just his guitar and the entire crowd harmonizing with him. Gave me chills. I have to say that I thought the sound was a bit off. Ben's vocals needed more volume for sure. Overall, a great night. Great to see the mix of young and old all singing along to each song. This photo was posted on the Death Cab For Cutie message boards. It's a photo of my favorite moments of the show. The crowd singing along with Ben!!!! Photo credit goes to William Anthony at BraveElements. Check out his site. Some amazing stuff! Overall, it was a great night for Death Cab and for Seattle! Always great to see local boys succeed! Oh, and reports state that Stars were awesome as usual. I'll catch 'em next time for sure.

Now onto Portland. Headed down on Saturday and stayed at the new Jupiter Hotel. It's an old motel that's been renovated and made into a hipster's lodge of sorts. In fact, the restaurant and lounge is called the Doug Firand looks like a log cabin gone mod! Incredibly cool space! Under the restaurant and lounge is a live music venue that was hopping with the sounds of Tom Vek while we were there. I think Sherman Jr.'s favorite part was the speakers they had built into the nightstands so you could plug in your iPod. Clever move! That should be in every hotel room! The other fun thing was that the doors were covered in chalkboard paint so you could write on the inside and outside of your door. That certainly makes for some fun. Super cute place. Just another example of how Portland keeps getting hipper and Seattle keeps struggling to find their identity. Each time I visit Portland, there is more to ohh and ahh about. They are really doing something right down there. Take notice Seattle! What are we waiting for????? Oops, I digressed.

Back to the music. Here are a few things that Sherman Jr. has been diggin' on for the last couple days and more. First thing is Clue to Kalo, One Way, It's Every Way. This record was a bit of a surprise for me. I had no idea how I would take to it. Mark Mitchell is Clue To Kalo. A combination of electronica and indie pop results in a gorgeous release. Check out the website too. He's got a great blog going. This is another release that should be listened to in it's entirety to get it's full impact. I think that by the time you are done listening, you will feel a bit likes it's cover. Take some time with this one. You'll be glad you did. Now we move onto The American Analog Set, Set Free is the latest release by this Texas group. They formed in 1995, but I did not learn of them until this release. This is a very sweet record. I think it would appeal to all. Their current line up formed in 2003 and they have been on the road ever since. Lately, they find themselves dispelling break up rumors as often as Jessica and Nick. Let's hope they are just that, rumors. I want the chance to see them live and to hear more from these guys!

Before we move onto today's Guilty Pleasure, I would like to pay respects to an artist we lost in early October. It was announced today that Link Wray passed away on November 5th in his home of Copenhagen. He was 76. His guitar stylings became favored for movie soundtracks. You can hear him in Pink Flamingos, Pulp Fiction, Breathless and many more. A great loss in music.

Today's Guilty Pleasure comes from that favorite genre of mine...70's singer-songwriter tunes. Dr. Hook's, "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman". This is a classic. You have to go to their link to read all of the scandal that has followed them. Something about the real lead singer NOT being the real lead singer. I don't know who sang lead on this treasure, but I love it and am grateful they did!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Seeing Stars....


Very, very excited today! Going to see Stars and Death Cab For Cutie tonight! What a double bill! On the way to work today, Sherman Jr. decided we should prep for the show and we listened to Set Yourself On Fire, the latest release from Stars. If you don't own this one yet, go get it. They are clearly one of Canada's finest exports. Can't wait to hear Torq and Amy! I always feel energized after seeing them. Their lyrics always get me going. Like I can take on the world or something. Really need a show like this one! Rumor has it that Amy is working on a solo disc for release early next year! Torq is working on his side project Memphis and will possibly put a tour together with Broken Social Scene next summer. Also, Arts & Crafts Records is going to release a Stars Remix record. Lots to look forward to in 2006!!!

Ok, so on top of Stars, we get Death Cab For Cutie...Seattle's own indie explosion. You know you've made it when you are on the OC!!! No really, all teasing aside, I heart Death Cab. I believe that their latest release, Plans, is near perfection. Their isn't a song on that record that doesn't strike a chord with me. "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" just shreds me to teeny tiny pieces. Ben's voice is exceptional and this record really reflects that. I hope they start making the gobs of money they deserve and get the recognition to match. It's going to be a great night!

Attention magazine heads! Ok, maybe just me, but I love a good magazine. I love the way they look, the way they feel, the way they smell...love 'em love 'em love 'em! I love that you can read just one magazine and learn a plethora of information. Little bits and pieces that make for great conversation. You feel like you have your finger on the pulse after reading a good magazine. I am always saddened when a good one goes away. I still have not recovered from the loss of Mixer magazine. That was one of the all time favorites and I am still in mourning over Nest. Now comes the news that Grooves, one of the only good electronic music magazines, is losing it's physical format and going online only! It just won't be the same. Yes, the reviews that I adore so will be there, but it's not the same to read a magazine online. It's like reading the New York Times on the net. It just doesn't do it justice. I will give it my all to try and embrace this, but not sure how I feel. Issue 18 is on the stands now and will be the last one. More info here...Grooves. Another one bites the dust.

Sherman Jr. decided today's Guilty Pleasure should come from a British Group. That group being Jigsaw! Who are Jigsaw you may ask? Well, they are the fine artists who brought us the 1975 hit "Sky High". Clive Scott and Des Dyer fronted this group who officially disbanded in the mid-80's. I guess they have reunited for several revival tours. I can only imagine those performances.

Sherman Jr. is headed on a roadtrip tomorrow and will return on Monday! Have a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Have we spoke of Antony?


Antony and the Johnsons. Really that should be enough said, but I know not everyone is aware of this amazing talent. Most of us heard about him when he captured this year's Mercury Prize in the UK. I had been hearing and reading so much about him for so long, but really didn't experiment until someone I truly respect mentioned his music. After that, I took a listen and could not believe what I was hearing. Was I listening to Nina Simone? No, it was Antony. Pure genius. This man really is a one-of-a-kind talent. His lyrics are heartbreaking, piercing and at times painful, his voice is other worldly and his presence is stirring. I had the tremendous pleasure of seeing him perform live a short time ago, and was moved to tears. Pure beauty. Pure talent. Pure soul. Immense intensity. I have made a vow to myself that I will see him live whenever given the opportunity. You must go to this link "animations" and watch the videos for two of his songs. So moving. It is not only Antony who is so captivating. He has surrounded himself with some of the finest musicians I have heard. Rob Moose on guitar is the ideal accompaniment to Antony's lush vocals. He uses his instrument as if it were another voice and it brings chills. Please pick up I Am A Bird Now. It is haunting, stunning and something you will never forget. This is like nothing you have ever heard before. Please pay special attention to "You Are My Sister" with guest vocals by Boy George. It defies explanation. Gorgeous.

Just heard that TOSCA will be performing in the US for the first time in December. Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber will be in Chicago, D.C., New York, LA and San Francisco the first week of December. They will be bringing vocalists along for each city. This is not to be missed. Wish there was a Seattle date, but what are ya gonna do? Maybe Sherman and I should roadtrip! If you live in the New York area, head over to Giant Step's site for the chance to win some tix! Plus, get acquainted with that great site. A must for music lovers! If you don't own any Tosca, Suzuki is my favorite, but the new one is worth your time, as well.

Now for Sherman Jr. to pick today's Guilty Pleasure. Today is strictly a random pick. No reason. Nothing to do with anything we wrote about today. Just a pleasure of the guiltiest kind. "Reminiscing" by Little River Band. This one holds way too many memories for me (none of which I will share). You can't help but love it right from the start. "Friday night it was late I was walkin' you home, we got down to the gate and I was dreamin' of the night". I don't think I need to say anymore. This is slow dance music at it's best! Take a look at them today! I wonder how "The Lonesome Loser" is doing??

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From Milwaukee?


Sherman Jr. and I just learned that Signaldrift aka Franz Bucholtz lives in Milwaukee, WI. Right on! His latest release Set Design on the Consumers Research & Development label is a beauty. I listened to it on the way to work today and it was THE perfect soundtrack to the city this morning. The sun was coming up through some broken clouds and people were moving rather slowly. As my bus (yup took some public transport today) got closer to downtown, the city came alive and the music tempo matched. It was perfect as I looked out the front window and saw everyone crossing streets and making their way to work. I could have shot a video right then and there. I love the way this disc builds and falls again. It is ideal for that late night disc you want when you get home and want to set a mood. Whatever that mood may be. I love people who create electronic music that reflects warmth and depth. Not an easy task. So much of it can sound cold and too techy, not Signaldrift. I look forward to my trip home today to perhaps "shoot" another video for this fine release. I love how introspective he looks in the above photo too!



I would like to give some props to Madonna for her Confessions on a Dance Floor release. Madonna's 10th album of her career. I have to say at 47, she's in incredible shape. The only age seems to creeping up on her face at times. But, hey she's 47! Personally, I am itching for the remixes this CD will provoke. As a whole, it's fun, but Ray of Light still stands as this material girls favorite. The CD is fun and chock full of danceable numbers, but it slowly turns into a soap box that I really think is better left for someone other than Madonna. I appreciate that she wants to make a difference, change the world and look fabulous while doing it, but there's a point where it should just be about entertainment folks. I guess she showed up at Koko's in London last night to do a few numbers. That was the first club she ever played in the UK. She hadn't performed there in 22 years. She did 5 songs and the crowd included the Pet Shop Boys and Bernard Sumner from New Order. That's pretty cool. Actually, anything in London is cool, but I digress. So have you been to iTunes to hear the confessions yet? If not, hit the iTunes music store through your Mac or PC and head to the 1.888.2-Confess podcasts! Warning*** they are explicit and rather creepy sometimes.

Now for today's Guilty Pleasure! Sherman Jr. is sticking with Madonna's telephone confession theme and choosing "Hot Line" by the Sylvers. You can find all of their pertinent info on the Disco Museum website. This gem was #5 on the charts in January of '77. How hot are they in this photo? They could be doin' back up for Madonna on her next tour!!!! I am so there!!!! Could you imagine????

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Very Happy Ears!


I have been reading and reading about the new release from Parov Stelar for months. I keep hearing that his new disc is a must have. Only thing is, I can't seem to find it locally. Well, leave it to trusty iTunes to have it available! I downloaded it last night and Sherman Jr. and I cannot stop listening to it. It is super yummy! Jazzy beats, sexy vocals and smoked out bliss. It is the new favorite around here fo' sure. It is one of those discs that gets into your head right away and then worms it's way into your heart. It just feels good. Another Austrian export, Stelar's first release Rough Cuts, was critically acclaimed, but Second and Storm solidifies his place as a premier electronic producer. I really needed a disc like this. Something fresh, something that stirs and something that makes you remember why you love music!! If there is anyone out there who can tell me about Phoebe Hall (she does the vocals on track 2), please school me about her. Her voice is gorgeous! Now it's time for me to find anything and everything that Parov has ever done! I know I have some of his work on some compilations, but I need more. There is something in the water in Austria, I just know it. Looks like I'll be hitting iTunes for his first release today.

I want to give credit for this Parov Stelar discovery to my favorite electronic music site, Soul Seduction out of Austria. It's a phenomenal site. You can listen to just about everything before buying. It's easy to use and carries both vinyl and cd. You should sign up for their newsletter too. It's a weekly list of all the new releases that you should look out for. They have turned me on to some great new artists! Danke fur die Musik!

Now for a bit of an apology. I know I told everyone to go out and buy the new Neil Diamond disc. Little did I know that it would contain the horrible Sony-BMG anti piracy software that is causing a major ruckus in the music world. People come on, like CD sales aren't bad enough? I cannot believe they thought they could get away with something like this. It boggles the mind. Talk about a recall. At this time Sony says roughly 20 titles were made with the rootlike technology. Another blog states it's closer to 47. People have been copying CD's for years. It used to be on tape, now it's on CD. It's the advent of Digital Music that is resulting in low sales. Coming up with technology to prevent piracy isn't the answer. Remember guys, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em". For more information on this debacle visit SONY-BMG's content protection site.

Today's Guilty Pleasure will, of course, correlate with today's anti-piracy theme. "Steal Away" by Robbie Dupree. I love that he is referred to as a soft rock singer. His real name is Robert Dupuis. I can see why he changed it so dramatically. Born in Brooklyn, he started as a doo wop singer hangoing out on street corners. In 1978, he moved to LA to pursue his dream and that's where the magic happened. His self-titled debut dropped in 1980 and contained the top ten hit "Steal Away". If you check out his website, note that it is in English and Japanese. He must be quite a star there!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Feisty, but so not Broken!


So, I went to see Feist and Broken Social Scene on Saturday night. I have seen them both already and had high expectations. Sherman Jr. is often playing Feist's debut disc Let It Die. I think he's secretly in love with her, or at least in love with her cover of the Bee Gee's, Inside and Out (which is understandable). Walked in about half way into her set. It was obvious she was having some serious technical issues. She has an amazing voice and can play guitar like a you know what, but it just wasn't happening. There was feedback and speakers down and all around chaos. It definitely broke her spirit on the stage. It was sad to me because last time I saw her, she was here with Kings of Convenience at a venue where no one would be quiet during her set and the entire place smelled like french fries. Man, I really felt for her. It was the last night she was on tour with Broken Social Scene and this was happening. Feist we still love you!!! It broke my heart a little tiny bit because I am a fan, and it was tough to watch her endure trouble that wasn't hers.

Now onto the headliners. Broken Social Scene!!!! People-I was so NOT ready for what they threw down! It was unbelievable. They actually had a full horn section and blew it out on the first track! Unreal! This show never let up. They gave it all they had. It was the last night of the tour with Feist (who is also a singer for them) and they pulled out all the stops! "Cause = Time", "Lover's Spit", "Anthems for a 17 year old Girl", and the tracks from their new self-titled release sounded amazing! They were on fire last night. 2 hours of music that at times was hard to describe. At one time, there were 15 people on the stage! That's when they decided to do Feist a favor and the entire group sang "Inside and Out" with just a guitar. This is one I will remember for some time to come. I once saw Sonic Youth at this venue, and this show ranks right up there with them! Thank you Broken Social Scene! Can't wait for your next trip down from Canada!!! You are the real deal! If you ever have a chance to see them live...go for pete's sake!

Sherman Jr. has picked today's Guilty Pleasure in honor of the mother country to the above musicians, CANADA! He has chosen an Anne Murray gem. It's from 1979, a year which brought us Every Which Way But Loose, Rocky II, the birth of Jennifer Love Hewitt and the unforgettable Anne Murray treasure "Shadows in the Moonlight". I can now share the fact that I thought it was "boogie shadows in the moonlight" , not "we'll be shadows in the moonlight". Oh the 70's. Is it just me, or is she terrifying on this album cover?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Hiatus

Sherman Jr. is on break this weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Idle Moment


Well, it's finally Friday! Yesterday's post was so darn lengthy, sorry for all that reading you had to do. Today will be short and sweet. I was listening to KCRW the other day and I heard an interview with Carmen Rizzo, producer, mixer and remixer (Alanis Morrisette, Coldplay, Paul Oakenfold, etc). I really knew nothing about him. Then they started playing some tracks from his latest release, The Lost Art of the Idle Moment. What a great sound. Chill, textural, vocal and at times breathtaking. This is a beautiful CD. Better yet is the fact that several of the artists that he collaborated with are some of my favorites. Guest vocals by the likes of Jem, Esthero, Ladybug Mecca and Kate Havnevik (new singer in Royksopp) make this a must have for any fan of gorgeous atmospheric electronic music. I hope this is the first of many releases from this LA-based producer.

Just a quick note on KCRW that I mentioned in the first paragraph. Do yourself a favor and go to their site. It is heaven for music lovers. They archive all shows, playlists and live studio appearances. There are times I wonder what I would do without them. They are podcastingnow and that makes Sherman Jr. ecstatic!

Now for our daily Guilty Pleasure. It is brought to you by none other than Dionne Warwick. The track is "Walk On By". Written by the amazing song writing team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, this was one of several chart toppers Dionne had during her hey day. I'm sure there will be more guilty pleasures coming our way from Ms. Warwick. You might want to have some tissues ready while you listen to this one. Foolish pride is not pretty!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shakin' it with Sherman Jr.


Well, it's good to know that Sherman Jr. can dance! Sherman Sr. used to like to strut his stuff from time to time and his son is no exception. Today we are going to talk about some of the latest releases that have the neighbors bangin' on the ceiling and Sherman Jr. up all night. First off, the new release by Miguel Migs, Get Salted Vol. 1. This is the first release on Miguel's new Salted Music label. This CD is fantastic! Keeps the groove going from start to finish. It opens with Chuck Love's "Back In My Life", which I love and keeps rolling right through for 16 tracks. You will find a track from the Li'sha Project aka Lisa Shaw of house vocal fame. This track was a bit of a tease as we all eagerly awaited her solo debut. Wait no more, Cherry just hit the stores. What an absolute treat to have an entire CD of Lisa Shaw's amazing voice. Naked Music has released her first collection of her own music. It even includes the stripped down "Always". This CD is perfect for a different form of dancing (wink wink). One that Sherman Jr. shouldn't really talk about. I am anxiously awaiting all of the remixes that will stem from this record. "Cherry" has already had the Migs touch and is superb! I would like to congratulate and thank Lisa for this amazing accomplishment and wish her all success she deserves!!! It is constantly playing on Sherman Jr. and has filled a musical void out there.

Now onto a few more releases of note. The new Late Night Series is great. The first was Late Night With Andy Caldwell. Deep house at it's finest. Great track selections including two of his own. This is a must for house fans! The second in the series gives King Britt the chance to put together some of his favorites. King assembles a great selection of midtempo grooves that is the perfect accompaniment to an evening at home with some wine, etc, etc. He pulls out one of my all time fave tracks, "Naturally" with Kimblee on vocals. No matter what I am doing when I hear that song, I stop, smile and shake my head. It's a classic! Glad to see it's on the King's mix.

My next tip is quite simple really. Buy any music that the Rurals put out. The Rurals are the real deal, guys. They make deep house music that is as soulful as they are. They have been making house music for over 10 years. Andy and Marie are the Rurals and live in England. I guarantee that if you put on a Rurals disc while you have some folks over, everyone will ask what you are playing. It is so, so good! Whenever you see their music, buy it. It's not always easy to find. (How cute are they?)

Now for a few other releases that I won't go into detail on, you'll just have to trust my and Sherman Jr.'s judgement. They're not all house, but they are made for dancin'!

Richard Davis - Details, Nordic Lounge Vol. 3/VA, anything by Harley & Muscle, the entire Southport Weekender Series, Sci Fi Hi Fi mixed by Ewan Pearson, Bargrooves Influences - Jay Hannan, Later by Bent, Kompakt Total 6, Groove Junkie's House of OM and anything by Mr. Kevin Yost.

All of this dancin' has me thinkin' about today's Guilty Pleasure. It comes from the one and only Cheryl Lynn singing "Got To Be Real". Born in LA in 1957, Cheryl was raised in the church where her mother was minister of music. In 1978, Cheryl released her first album which included "Got To Be Real". This song hit number one in all the clubs. Cheryl's last release was in 1996 and no one is quite sure what she has been up to since. I think she's singing somewhere. Holiday Inn? Branson? Atlantic City?

Phew...long post today. Time to recharge Sherman Jr. and call it a night.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Suffering a Neil Hangover!

Sherman jr. and I spent most of last night with 12 Songs. Just love it. For all that it is and mostly for what is isn't. I love the stripped down, intimate feeling of Neil hanging out and singing just for me. I've always been a fan, but this just seals the deal. Please tour with this record Neil. Some small venues, intimate settings and just your guitar. A dream come true! Only cure for a Neil hangover is more Neil.

Sherman jr. is not ignoring the other music released yesterday. In fact, we spent some serious time with the long awaited return of Kate Bush Aerials is her first studio release since 1993's Red Shoes. The result of her hiatus will thrill fans and make some new ones, as well. How do you market someone who has been off the scene for a generation? I think you play to the Tori and Fiona crowd and count on word of mouth to push this record. The first single "King of the Mountain" entered the UK charts at number 4. Not a bad start! The b side on that single is Kate's own version of the Marvin Gaye classic, "Sexual Healing". Interesting choice for Kate, but works nonetheless. The release is a two cd set. Beautiful packaging consisting of great images and gorgeous art deliver the two discs. In the time Kate has been away, she has suffered the death of her mother and has experienced motherhood. This record reflects those personal journeys. It is beautiful. Don't expect a tour or any appearances with this disc. That is not her style. She has agreed to some print interviews and a BBC and NPR interview, but that will be all. Really take a listen to "How To Be Invisible".

Sherman Jr. also spent some time with the latest Leaf release. Sutekh: Born Again: Collected Remixes 1999-2005 is a collection of Sutekh's remix work for Leaf. He could be called the king of minimal house in some circles. His mixes of some tracks by Ammoncontact, Swayzak and Murcof are some of the most innovative around. There are 23 tracks on this double cd set and each one is worth a listen. Glitchy, techy, warm and funky. Great packing on the disc, as well. I am thrilled with this release, but it's Leaf's 10th Anniversary collection that I am itchin' for. Check the Water This sounds like a must have for all of us Leaf fans. That label has been one to watch for a long time and has yet to disappoint. Leaf has a list of artists that are tough to beat in the electronic music world, Colleen, Murcof, Efterklang, Psapp, Hanne Hukkelberg, and Clue to Kalo just to name a few.

This brings me to my Guilty Pleasure track of the day. "Magnet and Steel" by Walter Egan. This 1978 classic has been dropped in several soundtracks and has had a rebirth of sorts. Remember when it turned up in Boogie Nights? He worked with all the best in the 70's. Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Don Henley. Here he is during those wild days of the 70's flanked by rock royalty. Yes, Stevie Nicks is rock royalty. Don't argue. There is no other white winged dove. Personally, the ohhhhs and ahhhhs at the start of the song are the real hooks for me! I think I may have kissed a boy at a boy-girl party while this song was playing. Seems like a nice spin the bottle tune!