Friday, December 30, 2005

Ubiquity is doing everything right!!!


I hope all of you have had the opportunity to hear any or all of Ubiquity's releases this year. This label can do NO WRONG! They are putting out some of the funkiest, most inspired and solid music out there right now. You cannot listen to any release without saying "damn, this stuff is good". Releases from Breakestra, Ohmega Watts, John Arnold, Quantic Soul Orchestra and Nostaligia 77 have all been ambitious in their music styling and innovative in their content. This music sounds classic already. You could put these artist up against some of the best soul, funk and jazz of the past 30 years and it will go head to head without a doubt. Ubiquity has also released some of the finest compilations of the year, as well. Rewind! 4, Music Is My Art and Searching for Soul showcase talent both old and new and there isn't a miss in the bunch! This is the music you put on and impress your friends. This is the music that reminds you that funk and soul are the root of all things. This is music that I hope Ubiquity continues to release for years to come! I think they say it best themselves "We put out music that we love!".

Has anybody heard of Park Avenue Music?? I hope so. Sherman was turned onto them by a dear friend (thanks jw), and is in love. This husband and wife team produces gorgeous electro-pop music reminiscent of some of the early releases from Lamb and Portishead. Their releases are not always easy to find, but you can find the ep For Your Home or Office on iTunes. Chanteuse Jeannette Faith aka JuJu has a hypnotically beautiful voice that at times sounds angelic while still having an edginess to it. Wes Steed provides electronic magic on their releases that is the perfect bed on which to lay Juju's voice. To Take With You is a perfect album. Just put your headphones on and disappear with this one. It will take you completely out of yourself and propel you into someplace more peaceful and warm. It is not a simple task to produce melodic glitchy music, but Park Avenue Music does it with class and a style all their own. Those of you in the Sacramento area can catch their first show of '06 at Fools Foundation on Jan. 11th. Can't wait for a visit to Seattle! Check out ToneVendor to purchase their music.

Next up, Sherman wants to share a DVD tip with all of you. The British series Creature Comforts is now available on DVD. This series was created by Nick Parks of Aardman Animation fame. If you like Wallace & Gromit, who doesn't really? You will love this series! You can't help but smile and laugh. Something we all need to do more of!! This series is yet another example of Nick Parks' genius!

The final Guilty Pleasure of 2005 is an obvious one, Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne". This song was released in '81 on Fogelberg's Innocent Age album. It is a true story that happened to him while visiting his home of Peoria, IL in '75 or '76. He ran out to the store to purchase whipped cream for Irish coffees and ran into his ex high school girlfriend. The rest, as they say, is history. This has become a New Year's classic and still conjures up a tear or two on each play.


Sherman Jr. wishes all of you a happy and healthy new year full of great music and great times! We look forward to our 2 month anniversary on Jan. 1st and bringing you more music and musings in the coming year!!! Off to California (he's packed his umbrella) and back to all of you on Wednesday!

PEACE!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tina gets the props she deserves!!!

First off, check out Sherman Jr.'s winter duds! How cute is he? Looks like he may need that sweater on his California adventure this weekend. Cool and rainy in Palm Springs? No speedo for him.

Ok, did anyone see the Kennedy Center Honors on Tuesday night? Ok, so maybe it's not the hippest show around, but Tina Turner finally got the recognition she so deserves!!! It was incredible! I could have done without Queen Latifah stumbling through her number, but Melissa Etheridge turned "River Deep, Mountain High" into a firestorm. Wow! She is back for sure. Then came Beyonce. People, she was wearing what looked like a napkin. Her dress was shredded at the bottom and cut up to there, if you know what I'm sayin'. She has legs that go one forever and that's exactly what they did. She did "Proud Mary" and brought Tina and the entire crowd to it's feet. I had chills! She recreated the entire original version complete with back up dancers. That girl knocked it out! Just to add to the craziness, Al Green came out and did "Let's Stay Together". He hasn't sounded that good in years. It was a tear jerker! SO glad that Tina got some love for being a survivor and a trailblazer in the world of rock, pop and soul! Lest we forget that she taught Mick Jagger how to dance!

If you haven't bought it already, head out and grab the new Jazzanova disc! It's another collection of remixes without a miss in the bunch. On Jazzanova The Remixes 2002-2005, the group of producers and dj's do what they have done best for so long, rework some of the finest artists around. Their touch on Masters at Work feat Roy Ayers "Our Time Is Coming" is truly a tribute to the artists involved. I think the real surprise here is the remix of Calexico's "Black Heart". An incredibly dark and moody track that seems to feel even grittier after the remix. Joey Negro's voice seems a bit disembodied on the track. The addition of beats and noise craft this song into a spooky dubby ear bender. I would say this one is a must have for Jazzanova fans. They even include a blank CD-R in the disc so you can burn a copy for a friend! So thoughtful! Look for them to start touring the States in January.

We can't let this year end without saying goodbye to two people who have brought so much joy to me and countless others. December 1st of this year, Dubtribe Sound System played their last live gig at Cielo in New York. After 16 years of creating a sound all their own, these two self-proclaimed lovers of music (Sunshine and Moonbeam) are retiring the Dubtribe sound. A sound that was uniquely crafted and produced with love and respect for everyone. Hopefully you had the chance to witness them live. A spiritual gathering of people brought together for one reason, their pure love of music, house music. Their sound not only filled your ears, but your heart as well. Sunshine has posted their final set live on their website for everyone to enjoy. They will continue to pursue their passion for music, but in other forms. I would like to personally thank them and wish them all of the best. "Do It Now" is a track for now and forever. It is the song I play at midnight every New Year's Eve and will continue that tradition. Make sure that you have a copy of Baggage within arm's reach. This album is pure Dubtribe at their finest. Peace to you both!

Now for today's Guilty Pleasure. This one comes from 70's hitmakers 10 CC. "The Things We Do For Love" was an AM radio favorite. Released in 1976 by the second incarnation of the group (several memebers left in '76), this song rose to #5 on the US charts. Check out the rumor of how the band's name came about on Wikipedia. Sherman is too shy to talk about it. And just remember:

Too many broken hearts have fallen in the river
Too many lonely souls have drifted out to sea,
You lay your bets and then you pay the price
The things we do for love, the things we do for love

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

If pandas spun records...

Sherman Jr. is thrilled that King Britt has given us his choices for top albums of 2005. Big respect for King and the music he makes. His love of music and the art of making it comes through in every track he releases! He's one of the best! I love the diversity in his list! You really can't go wrong with any release that he's picked. It's great to see Imogen Heap at the top of his list. She deserves any light people can shine her way! Thanks King! Looking forward to more from you in '06!

1.- Speak for Yourself- Imogen Heap (RCA)
My Favorite album of 2005. I love my underground music, but im a child of pop and this one is one of the most cutting edge albums in pop music today. Thank you for releasing this one !

2.- Runbox Weathers- Dimlite (Sonar Kollektiv)
Definitely the future of hip hop production. Amazingly visual and textured beyond belief. An album that you will listen to over and over and each time think it was new !

3.- King Britt presents Sister Gertrude Morgan (Rope A Dope)
A shameless but true plug. One of my favorite projects that has turned into a multimedia blitz. Taking the vocals and message from the original 70s recording and bringing new life for a new generation. Cant beat that !

4.- Wikked Little Girls- Esthero (Reprise)
A very lush and vocally enticing work of art. Many may disagree, but the layers of this record with Estheros sexiness, take me to other worlds.

5.- The Minstrel Show- Little Brother (Atlantic/ABB)
Classic. This is up there with Low End Theory and all the old school records that we love. 9th Wonder killed it !

6.- Extraordinary Machine (demos)- Fiona Apple (mp3s)
The original version of the album is the oneraw and sincere.seek and find.

7.- Demon Days- Gorillaz (Virgin)
Dangermousethe only word that needs to be said about this albumand De La Soul.lol !

8.- Silouhette Brown- Silouhette Brown (Ether)
Dego(4hero) and Kaidi Tatum take the voice of debra Jordan to new heights !A very soulful and sensual album. A definite winner!

9.- The Campfire Headphase- Boards of Canada (Warp)
Not their best but a definite favorite for me this year. A very mellow dreamscape. Fall into it!

10.- Connecting the Dots- Rich Medina (Kindred Spirits)
A musical journey into the soul of a man who IS music. Connecting all the different forms of soul music, rich produces his debut like a cat who has been doing it for years. A beautifully done record !.check the sy smith track !.

Honorable mentions:
3 Piece Puzzle- Jnero Jherel (Kindred Spirits)- Damn!...watch him in 2006
Corduroy Boogie- Ivana Santilli (Brown)- Pure soul business...
Sound Directions- Yesterdays New Quintet- 70s porn music !
Cherry- Lisa Shaw (Naked)- pure unadulterated sex

Have you all heard the Sun Kil Moon cover of "Ocean Breathes Salty"? It trumps the original version from Modest Mouse! This is gorgeous. Makes me think of Nick Drake. The entire album is beautiful. Tiny Cities is an entire album of Modest Mouse covers. I can't imagine where Mark Kozelek came up with the idea to do this. It's a daunting task by anyone's measure. The music of Modest Mouse is so very them, if that makes sense. They possess a very distinctive sound. Avid Mouse fans may shriek and run from this release. I think this album does an incredible job of restyling the songs to fit Kozelek's folky, melancholy and at times tortured voice. I am a sucker for a cover song and this album does not disappoint in it's ambitious quest to take alternative rock and slow down and smooth out the edges. Upon hearing this album, I pulled out the 1996 cover Kozelek and the Red House Painters did of Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs". This 10 minute opus is just one reminder of Kozelek's strength of reinterpreting other artists work with a stunning result. Tiny Cities is 11 more such reminders.

Just read that Verizon Wireless is going to start a Digital Music service??? Following in the footsteps of Sprint, Verizon will launch their "store" in January. I am all getting music any way that is possible, but Sprint's service charges $2.50 per download and Verizon will most likely follow suit. That's a pretty hefty charge considering you can still get music for .99 on iTunes. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Today Sherman has decided that we should visit an old friend. Pull out a record, blow the dust of off it and give it a listen. This is one that really should never leave your immediate listening area, Aretha Franklin's 30 Greatest Hits. How they could narrow it down to 30 is beyond me. There is no doubt when you listen to this record that she is not only the Queen of Soul, but a national treasure. Just take a listen to "Daydreaming" and you will hear it in her first note. No one even comes close to this woman! If you can find any of her releases on vinyl, BUY THEM! They hold a sound that does not come across on CD. A warmer sound that really highlights every aspect of her voice. The photo attached here was taken by Linda McCartney and truly conveys Ms. Franklin's sass and spirit. I can only imagine what she was saying when this photo was taken. Something about "Dr. Feelgood" maybe??

Don't forget to pick up the new issue of WIRE magazine to check out their picks for 2005! That magazine has become a bible for electronic and experimental music lovers and has personally exposed me to some of the most beautiful music around!


Had to share this photo! If pandas could spin records, the world would be a better place FOR SURE.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

'05 is almost outta here....

Hi everyone!!!! Great to be back in the swing of things. Well, at least until this coming New Year's weekend. Sherman will be on the road once again. Headed for some California sunshine to ring in the New Year. Sherman is still looking for a speedo so he can hang by the pool!

While I was away, a new episode of "Valley of the Cnuties" was released!!!! Wait until you hear this episode's music choice. A real winner!

Ok, back to some music. Spent some time with the latest release from Alice Russell. Some of you are asking "who is Alice Russell"? Well, get to know her!!! She is THE hottest soul and funk singer in the UK. Her work as the front woman for The Quantic Soul Orchestra is where I was first introduced to her amazing voice. This woman has more soul than I could ever imagine to possess. She cites Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jill Scott, Aretha and Minnie Ripperton as her inspirations and it is obvious! On her solo debut release Under The Munka Moon, all of that inspiration culminates in a perfect blend of some of the finest funk, soul, jazz and hint of gospel you will ever hear. That July 2004 release solidified her place as the most sought after soul singer in the UK. The record runs the gamut from 70's soul to a more contemporary trip hop sound. All the while her voice being the centerpiece. This release gained much critical acclaim in the UK, and introduced her to US fans. She deserves much more attention than she is receiving in the states. My hopes are that her second solo release, My Favourite Letters will aid in getting her the kudos so deserved! My suggestion is to pick up her first disc and sit with that one for awhile. I feel it really exemplifies what she is all about and is a bit more accessible. Grab the second disc when you think you are ready for your next dose of funk and soul. I look forward to seeing her perform live here in the US at some point. I'm sure it would be a night not soon forgotten. If she doesn't head this way soon, might need to make a trip to the UK (any excuse to go to London I always say). Do yourself a big favor and get to know this artist! Make it a New Year's resolution. You will be thanking me. While you are discovering Alice Russell, spend some time on Tru Thoughts site checking out their other releases! This is a label to watch.

While we are talking funk, NPR is offering a stream of James Brown LIVE from D.C.'s 9:30 Club tomorrow night starting at 9:00 PM EST. The Godfather of Soul is back after surgery for prostate cancer and plans on releasing a new album in '06. This is the latest in a series of live webcasts presented by NPR. The hardest working man in showbiz is back! Chuck Brown is opening the show so be sure to tune in to catch him, as well. The Godfather of Go-Go and Soul all in one show? OUCH! I love that Chuck Brown's website is www.windmeupchuck.com! That really says it all!

Matador Records is sharing some of their Top Tens of the year. Here's a list from Britt Daniel of Spoon.

The Clientele "Strange Geometry"
White Stripes "Get Behind Me Satan"
Crooked Fingers "Dignity and Shame"
The Doves "Some Cities"
Depeche Mode "Playing the Angel"
Cass McCombs "PREfection"
New Pornographers "Twin Cinema"
Stephen Malkmus "Face the Truth"
Low "The Great Destroyer"
John Vanderslice "Pixel Revolt"
Bright Eyes "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning"
American Music Club "Love Songs for Patriots"
Sleater Kinney "The Woods"
Sufjan Stevens "Illinois"


Matmos also share some of their fave music related stuff of '05! How much do I love them for picking Antony & the Johnsons live as one of the year's best?!?! I couldn't agree more. I have spoken to several people who say that Antony live was the show this year! GO SEE HIM!

Yacht Rock episodes 1-5
Neung Phak: "F*cking USA" 7 inch
getting an ARP 2600 synthesizer
COH: "0397Post-Pop" double CD
reading Dennis Cooper's "God Jr."
quesadillas at El Metate
Vashti Bunyan: "Lookaftering" CD
Nate Boyce's art installation "Scepter Quest"
Endless Boogie at the Slint ATP
Nico Muhly: "Keep in Touch" (song)
finishing Burton's "The Anatomy of Melancholy"
Antony & The Johnsons live in San Francisco


Matador also informs us that Cat Power will be touring early '06 to coincide with the release of The Greatest on January 24th! The tour will launch in New York City on Valentine's Day. The single is available for stream on Cat Power's site. I love what I am hearing so far. I have always loved a good tortured soul and Chan Marshall is all that and more. Really looking forward to this release.

Ok, so Sherman and I decided to have a little fun at O'Hare Airport and on our plane ride home yesterday. What else is there to do at O'Hare during the holidays?? Ok, besides drink. We put together a playlist of all of our favorite Guilty Pleasures and played them as the soundtrack for our trip home. From the moment of check in until the moment we touched down, guilty pleasures accompanied our every move. The best part of it was the fact that so many of them fit the situations and people that were around us. Here is just a sample list of titles and artists that randomly played through our travels.

Three Degrees - "When Will I See You Again"
Looking Glass - "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)"
Peter, Paul & Mary - "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (no joke)
ELO - "Sweet Talkin' Woman"
Vanity Fair - "Hitchin' A Ride"
Neil Diamond - "Hello Again"
Firefall - "Just Remember I Love You"

Hope you all have some great New Year's Eve plans! So much is happening in so many cities! Don't forget LA's sixth annual Giant Village! Another crazy line up....Death Cab For Cutie, Flaming Lips, The Black Eyed Peas, Christopher Lawrence, Miguel Migs, Marques Wyatt, The Crystal Method, Junkie XL, John Digweed and more. Have fun kids. This one is a bit too much for Sherman Jr.

Ubiquity Records is really turning it out for NYE. They have parties scheduled all over the place. DJ Greyboy in San Diego, Quantic in SF, Breakestra in LA, Peanut Butter Wolf & Waajeed in NYC, John Arnold & Jeremy Ellis in Seattle, Lifesavas & Lightheaded feat. Ohmega Watts in Portland and Roy Davis Jr. blowin' it up in Toronto! This label has really made it's mark this year and looks like they don't want us to forget that! Thanks Ubiquity! You guys are the real deal!!!

Here's a link to some of the best live mixes around. Samurai FM. Consider a New Year's gift if you aren't aware of it. Keep this link handy if you are partying at home on NYE. There is something for everyone's taste. Put on your dancin' shoes and TURN IT UP!!!

Hello out there

Stay tuned today for a fresh post from Sherman Jr. Back from his holiday in the midwest!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Vacation time

Well, looks like due to my remote location, the internet connection out here is causing some havoc with my blog. Sherman Jr. was planning on taking the weekend off for Christmas, so it goes. Happy Holidays to all! Safe travels! Holly Jolly and such.

On a quick Guilty Pleasure note, Sherman asks all of you to "Don't Give Up On Us" in the words of David Soul. We'll be back up and running upon return to Seattle after the holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Blog trouble

Sorry no real post today. Trouble with my blog. More tomorrow.
Not sure what's up. Sherman's on the case though.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Elton, the suburbs and more....


Sherman congratulates Elton John and David Furnish on their wedding in the UK (more photos when you click on Elton). He also congratulates the UK for legalizing same sex marriages. Kudos to the Brits. Just another reason to want to live there. Not if only the USA would follow in their footsteps. Actually, if only the USA would have taken the first step.....

Sherman sends greetings from the Suburbs of Chicago. Snow on the ground and 14 degrees! Feels like Christmas. Supposed to warm up though and maybe rain on Christmas. BOOOO. We want snow. Hoping for sledding this weekend! Sherman has never really seen the burbs before. We are way out there too. Horses, open fields and teeny local pubs. That's about it. Please note the photo of the town "joke" that was the doing of two local lawyers some years ago. Each holiday this statue sees adornments that only add to it's glory. Please note the upside down Grinch doll in it's hand. Well, a long flight resulted in lots o' time for music on the plane. If it weren't for Sherman, I would have probably had to endure one too many conversation with strangers complaining about visiting relatives, having to make flight connections or just plain venting. iPods are quite the perfect flying companion.

Took some serious time to listen to the self-titled release from The Dolls. The Dolls are comprised of three of the busiest and most talented artists making music today, Vladislav Delay, Craig Armstrong and Antye Greie. Being an avid fan of both Delay and Armstrong, I knew I had to hear this release. I admit to not being familiar with Greie, but curious. This is a very fresh piece of work. I use the word fresh because it really washed over me like nothing I have heard before. It sounded like a great shower would feel. Refreshing, warm and a bit stimulating. Beats and electronics collide with warm piano and sultry somewhat spoken somewhat sung vocals provided by Greie. This release leans more towards Delay's work than Armstrong so be prepared for the glitches and not much of the lush piano work that Armstrong often provides. I hope this is the start of something for these artists or perhaps, the start of some work by other artists resulting in a fresh sound like The Dolls.

Hopefully, you are still enjoying yesterday's Guilty Pleasure. If not, maybe grab another Olivia Newton-John album and throw that on. If you need a suggestion, I say Totally Hot. This one dropped in 1979. I think the idea was to break her good girl image after doing the film Grease. the songs on this were all pretty risque for madame Olivia. Suggestive song titles like "A Little More Love", "Never Enough", "Please Don't Keep Me Waiting" and the title track, were not her typical repretoire nor a critical success, but set the groundwork for her Physical release in the 80's. The album that launched a new wave of workout clothing and gave Olivia a sexy, sassy image that made headbands as hot as legwarmers. Does anyone remember the shear brilliance of that video???? Honestly!!

Time for some cocoa and songs by the fire.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Brrrrrrr......

Well, Sherman Jr. is off to Chicago today for Christmas. There will be posts throughout the week from the chilly city. At least we aren't headed to poor NYC. A transit strike? That is beyond comprehension to me. Hang in there guys!

Rumor has it that the iPod Nano could be the next Apple product to run out prior to Christmas. The 4GB version's supplies are dwindling and the company is warning of a 2 week wait in the UK (Digital Music News)

Received an email from King Britt stating that we will be seeing a top 10 list for the year. Can't wait for that one! He's one of the greatest DJ's around. Some of my favorite nights of music were crafted by that man! His latest release, King Britt Presents Sister Gertrude Morgan, is the ideal example of his talents. Taking gospel singer Morgan's 1960's release and giving it a modern twist, Britt turns gospel into dance music. His infusion of instrumentation and beats adds additional spirit to an already spiritual piece of work. I often say that a good night of music is like going to church. In this case, it truly is. If gospel isn't your thing, just pick up the latest in the Late Night series which Sherman reviewed back in November. Looking forward to seeing him in the Northwest sometime soon!

I hope you are all familiar with Flavorpill. If not, check this link and take a look at their choices for the top music releases of the year. While you are on their site, sign up for their weekly newsletters telling you all the best things to see and do in LA, London, NYC, Chicago and SF. These newsletters are addictive and make you want to travel so be warned!

Sherman has picked a not just one Guilty Pleasure song today, but an entire album. His choice, Xanadu. The soundtrack to the 1980 film starring Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck (who?). The film was billed as "A Fantasy, A Musical, A Place Where Dreams Come True". This soundtrack brought us such hits as "Suddenly", the love theme sung by Olivia and Cliff Richard, "Magic" by Olivia and a handful of ELO songs that won't soon be forgotten. My question for all of you to ponder is why was Gene Kelly in this film? Just because you can sing and dance, does not mean you should be in a rollerskating musical. If you don't have access to this soundtrack, perhaps a rental of the film is in order. I guarantee you that it will bring a smile to your face and make you long for a day at the roller rink.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The radio WHAT?!?!?!

What the heck are the Radio Music Awards and why are Mark McGrath and Jamie Pressly hosting? Better yet, who the heck is Jamie Pressly? Besides being a playmate, does she have any relation to music at all? Honestly, don't we have enough award shows? Mary J. Blige just performed and if that's her new single...boring. She's got an incredible voice, but the song goes nowhere. Why are people listening to the Pussycat Dolls when there is such good music in this world? It's really sad. People are making really great music and this is what is being played on the radio? Makes me so grateful for Sherman! People wonder why iPods are the number gift this holiday season. I think Sherman just fell asleep.....


Time to put on Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas album and behold the Space Needle tree.

Lots o' Monday goodies!!!

Happy Christmas week to all! Am I allowed to say that, or should I say Happy Holiday week?!?! Who knows! I am hoping that you all saw Saturday Night Live this week. Not because it was particularly good, but because of this sketch Chronic of Narnia Rap, if the link doesn't take you right to the clip, look for the SNL link. The site has been bombarded all day. It's brilliant! Classic! Enjoy!


Bad news for anyone looking to get a 1GB iPod Shuffle as a holiday gift. Sherman's little cousin is SOLD out until mid-January. Word is that a newer version will be made available next month. Funny...that's when the Macworld Expo is held in San Francisco. Coincidence? I think not. Rumors are out there that the newer version could be even smaller and offer some color choices.



Today sees a unique Top 10 list from one of Sherman's readers (thanks gp). I bet all of you are curious what has happened in the world of Hawaiian music this year! Sherman Jr. is dusting of his grass skirt to enjoy these choice releases. This list comes from one of the most knowledgeable music men I know. He may be born and raised on the mainland, but is a Hawaiian at heart! Maholo nui loa!

Gregg Porter – co-host of "Hawai`i Radio Connection" (Sat. @ Noon - 2 pm PST, KBCS 91.3FM)

10) Troy Fernandez, "Hawaiian Style `Ukulele"
9) Bryan Tolentino, "Ka `Ukulele Lele"
8) Keali`i Reichel, "Kamahiwa"
7) Ledward Ka`apana, "Ki Ho`alu Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar"
6) Natalie Ai Kamauu, "`E"
5) Hapa, "Maui"
4) Bill Tapia, "Duke Of Uke"
3) Brittni Paiva, "Hear..."
2) Various artists, "Pure Hawaiian `Elua"
1) Herb Ohta, Jr. & Daniel Ho, "`Ukuleles In Paradise"

NPR is offering up their picks for 2005, as well! Music critics John Brady, Sarah Bardeen and Derek Rath share their favorites! NPR's All Things Considered , known for aiding many artists in their quest for fame, provides us with their Top 10 along with sound clips and some interesting narrative, as well.

Don't forget to check your local newsstands for all kinds of best of lists in all of the best music publications. I don't know about you, but I can't get enough of them. Sherman Jr. just can't decide on what to pick so he relies on the aid of others!

Review TIME! I have been eagerly awaiting Beck's Guerolito since the first remixes hit the net. I was a big fan of Guero and thought it had some standout music from our little Beck. Not many folks agreed with me on this one. In fact it was not a critical success. I think "Black Tambourine", "Girl" and "Go It Alone" are some of the best tracks he's done. This album made me think of Odelay and how forward-thinking Beck's work has and always will be. Guerolito doesn't exactly break any new ground, but it does take a great record and shake it up. Boards of Canada, Air, Diplo and more provide their take on things. He's even changed the titles of the songs to differentiate it from it's original form. It's a must for Beck fans, but maybe not for everybody. I say thanks Beck! Scientology and all, I still have a huge place in my heart for you.

Now in a follow up to yesterday's post. I spent some serious time with the new release from Greg Davis & Sebastian Roux, Paquet Surprise. I have been reading countless reviews of this release and my curiousity was piqued to an all time high. This was one I would have bought anyways because the cover is an eye catcher. I was somewhat familiar with Greg Davis due to my newly honed love of folk-tronica. Admittedly, Sebastian Roux rang no bells with me. These two not only did their contributions in separate studios, but in separate countries, as well (Chicago and Paris). I found this album beautiful. I definitely suggest listening to it as a whole. The 13 min. plus track "Tidal Pool" that falls midway through the disc is breathtaking. Many of the tracks include lyrics from Roux, but this one is instrumental bliss. As sparse as it is, it filled the room and took me away. The exploratory ambience of this release is what really grabbed me. This does not sound like anything else out there and it truly takes some risks that pay off in subtle ways that pull you in and hold you just so.

Sherman Jr. and I are off to Chicago for the holiday tomorrow, but will continue to post as the week goes on. Still trying to find the perfect hat to keep Sherman warm!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday Post again?

Wow! Two posts on a Sunday!?!?! Well, Sherman Jr. loves the Sunday New York Times and had to share this little holiday tidbit with everyone. These are the things that make the Sunday paper so extra special! Enjoy! Holiday Tidbit! This is one of those days that makes Sherman wish he was a video iPod.

Experiencing the new Greg Davis and Sebastian Roux release, Paquet Surprise at the moment. Review will appear shortly. The cover art alone is gorgeous. Curious about this record after reading so many reviews.

Ok, no more blogging today.

A Sunday Post

I know Sherman Jr. typically takes the weekend off, but he received his first Top Ten list from a reader in New York, and very dear friend (thanks eb)! I can only say that this person knows more about music than many of us can ever dream of and has shared some great artists with me. Here are his choices! Thanks Brooklyn!

Top 10 | 2005


Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band
Horses In The Sky
(Constellation)

Deerhoof
The Runners Four
(Kill Rock Stars)

Sigur Rós
Takk...
(Geffen)

Fiona Apple
Extraordinary Machine
(Sony)

Edan
Beauty And The Beat
(Lewis)

Sanso-Xtro
Sentimentalist
(Type)

Various Artists
Choubi Choubi! (Folk & Pop Sounds From Iraq)
(Sublime Frequencies)

Animal Collective
Feels
(FatCat)

Antony and The Johnsons
I Am a Bird Now
(Secretly Canadian)

Marc Ribot
Spiritual Unity
(Pi Recordings)

Thanks! More tomorrow! Happy Sunday!!!!!! Had to share this photo taken while shopping in downtown Seattle. The dog dogs belong to a violinist who plays outside of a department store! Need I say more??

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Makin' a list...


If you so inclined, please submit your best of lists to Sherman's Corner. Just use the comments section of the blog or email shermanscorner@comcast.net. We will post anonymously if you desire

Friday, December 16, 2005

Advent Calendar

One more thing before the weekend! Craig Robinson at Flip Flop Flyin' has brought us an advent calendar this year! It is comprised of photos taken in his home of Berlin. Check it out!

More Best (and worst) of 2005

iTunes has released their "best of's" for the year. Just log on and check out the Best Selllers and the Staff Favorite categories. Not only that, but check out the some of the latest releases added to their music store. Their electronic releases are growing and growing! Good to see them expand that genre a bit. Also, head back over to Pitchfork and read their "worst" picks of the year. That's good for a laugh or two, but shame on them for putting Neil Diamond's "Hell Yeah" track on there. That was obviously done in error.

Head over to Buzzin' Fly's site and check out the top 5 tunes picked by some of the best DJ's around. Charles Webster, AME and Ben Watt himself list off their top tunes of 2005. Tracey Thorn even picks her favorite tracks of the year! Now if we could just get her to record a bit more. Life would be oh so good. We miss you Tracey, but thanks for the select tracks you did do this year! "Damage" was AWESOME!

You can also take your turn and head over to Paste Magazine and vote for your Top 10 of the year. They will publish all the results in the Feb/Mar issue. While you are there, check out the site. This is a top notch music publication that you need to read. Always good from cover to cover. They have turned me on to some great music in the past. Each issue contains a sampler disc of some of the newest and most innovative music around. Great magazine!!!! That's the current issue pictured here.

Back when this blog first started I mentioned the release Cherry from Lisa Shaw. Lisa is THE premiere dance music vocalist for me. She released her first solo disc at the end of October, and I am still lovin' it. Now come the remixes. The first set of remixes is for the title track. "Cherry" gets worked by the likes of Scott Hardkiss, Jay "Blue Six" Denes, Eric Stamile and Miguel Migs. I have to vote Miguel and Jay's mixes as my personal favorites. Both of those mixes generate a real sexy house vibe that is perfect for that track. It's already a hot song, but their mixes put turn it all up a notch or two. This is one for the clubs for sure! Looking forward to more singles from this release and more from Lisa!

I know you are all familiar with Om Records, but did you know that they are distributing some great independent stuff online ONLY? They have putting out some music from unsigned artists on the Om:Discovery digital "label". The first release was Om: Discovery Vol. 1 Downtempo. Nice track selection and overall great vibe. Vol. 2 will be a house release. Really looking forward to hearing the next names in house music. They have also released an artist album. Charlie Tate's Alta Plana. All of the sounds (dialog, background noise, etc.) on this release were recorded live and combined to create this ambient work. Looking forward to hearing more from this artist. Nice departure for Om. The first two releases are available for download now on iTunes and several other digi sites. Check 'em out. This is the start of something good.


Today Sherman Jr. asks that you revisit an old musical friend. His suggestion is to pull out any older Om Records release and throw it on for old time's sake. There are so many to choose from. That's the beauty of Sherman's request. Maybe one from the Om Lounge series, Mushroom Jazz, Om 100, or even an artist album like Naked Music NYC (my all time favorite) or something from Kaskade. This will be the perfect way to start your weekend!

Just got word that Marie from The Rurals
is working on a solo lp, Tweek, due next year. Can't wait!

Make it a great weekend! Just a short ride until Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Breaking list news....

My favorite year end list is out!!! Other Music in New York!!!! (thanks eb)

Tori! Tori! Tori!


Well, I have finally made it through the entire Tori Amos Bootleg Collection (thanks gp)! 6 double CD sets containing music from her "Original Sinsuality" and "Summer of Sin" tours. I was lucky enough to catch her in Seattle and remember thinking how much I wish I could get a copy of the cover songs she performed here. Well, Tori decided to assemble these "bootlegs" herself. A must for any Tori fan! Each double CD set was recorded live during the tour. The best part, and reason to own all of them, are the cover songs she performs. There are two covers per set. These were songs suggested by fans in each city she toured in. The following are the covers that just about knocked me off my feet: "Operator", "Like A Prayer", "Father Figure", "Angie", "Livin' on a Prayer" and the one that did me in is "Total Eclipse of the Heart"! Her take on these tracks makes you forget they had ever been recorded before. Each sigh, breath, word interpretation and stroke of the piano keys makes every song hers. I thought owning that much Tori might be excessive, no such thing people! Even the songs that appear on all of the releases feel a bit different on each listen. As far as I'm concerned, there could just be a disc that contains every version of "Cool on Your Island" she has ever performed! This is THE holiday gift for Tori fans!

Sherman wants to bring up a little something he heard yesterday. How's everyone feel about the Microsoft/MTV online music service, URGE? Sherman's not worried because iTunes is the leader and his lack of compatability with the new service is fine with him. At least Apple is compatible with PC's. Competition is always healthy, but not sure about this one. Better wait and see how things play out.

I also have to mention that Bjork is currently taking a 10 week course of instruction so she can learn to captain a 30 ton boat! She, Matthew Barney and their daughter want to sail the world. I love Bjork. I can only imagine what her captain's uniform will look like. From her site: "It has always been my ambition. I have homes all over the place at the moment - Iceland, England and France - but I'd love for my home to be a boat so that I can take it wherever I go. The course I'm taking tests whether I have the balls to do this. So I'm having to work hard and behave myself. My life's always changing - I'm constantly looking for new things. I'm never still. My theory is that life on a boat could be great."

Sherman's next review is of a release sent as a gift (thanks eb). It is Recording a Tape The Coulour of Light by Bell Orchestre. Who may you ask are Bell Orchestre? Well, two members of Arcade Fire are among the group's members, as well as, someone from To Roccoco Rot. The group formed in Canada in 1999 and spent the early days scoring dance productions. Finally getting signed by Rough Trade, they were able to release their first CD here in November. Pitchfork is calling their release "orchestral post-rock". One listen and you will agree. This brings to mind The Books, Red Snapper, Matmos and Godspeed You Black Emperor. My standout track would have to be "Recording a Tape (the typewriter duet)". Releases like this are not only thought provoking, but are rather inspiring, as well.

I have to share this photo someone just sent from the AP. It was taken in Iowa! I love a good shark!(thanks jw)



Today's Guilty Pleasure comes from former ABBA member, Anni-Frid Lyngstad. After the demise of ABBA, she went solo as Frida. Her only US chart hit came in 1983 with "There's Something Going On". A track produced by Phil Collins with Phil providing the dramatic drum work on it. The song is about a woman who is convinced that her man is cheating on her. The video was a real winner. If you are lucky, you can catch it on VH-1's oldies channel once in a blue moon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A gift from Detroit & My Space

Sherman Jr. is branching out and hoping to make new friends in that crazy land of My Space. Click here to see his profile. Better yet, if you are a member, become his friend!!!!



I just finished listening to the latest release in Fabric's DJ series (thanks dp via jj). This one from Carl Craig, Detroit's techno pioneer. Craig followed in the footsteps of Derrick May and Juan Atkins to create the second wave of Detroit techno. He has also dabbled in breakbeat, ambient and future jazz by performing under such aliases as Innerzone Orchestra. I can't say that the Fabric series has been a steady favorite of mine. There have been about a handful that I would call worthy. Those being Swayzak, DJ Heather, Doc Martin, Akufen and Bent. Carl Craig Fabric 25 is insane! Now this is a mix! This is house/tech-house the way it should be. This is a well crafted mix that suits the dancefloor, as well as, shakin' it at home. This release really shows off what this man has been doing for the past couple decades. Creating and finding great music to get you movin'. Just One's "Love2Love" is perfection in this mix! He even drops a Blaze track to give the listener a taste of some classic house. This is a must have in this series! Could be one of the finest mixes out this year! Drop this one on New Year's Eve! Your party will thank you!

The next disc that really has me worked up is the latest release from Scott Herren, better known as Prefuse 73. His latest guise is Piano Overlord. The Singles Collection is a piece of pure hip hop experimental/IDM magic! I love this disc. Herren incorporates live intstrumentation (all played by himself) into this incredible collection of music. The sounds of Rhodes, Wurlitzers and other keyboards coupled with Herren's electronic perfection result in a top notch release. I hate to simplify it like this, but the word "cool" just keeps popping into my head. Click on Piano Overlord above to get Herren's own story of this record. It is worth reading FOR SURE!

Today's Guilty Pleasure is one from 1971. It is the track that got Kenny Loggins a record contract! The ever-bizzare "House at Pooh Corner" done as a duet on the first release from Loggins & Messina Sittin' In. Not really sure what that song is all about. Anyone out there know the story? I mean it WAS the 70's and Winnie the Pooh was popular, but an entire pop song written about him??? Help me out here. I do know that it was written prior to Kenny's "I-need-to-get- married-and-be-naked-all-the-time" phase. For all involved, I hope that phase has ended. Last I heard, he and Messina had a reunion tour of sorts. Man, I wish I could have been in a band just to have a reunion tour. That must be a kick in the pants! Telling old road stories, looking fatter, forgetting the words to your own songs. Good times!


Special holiday treat for those of you old enough to remember. Hardrock, Coco & Joe.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Checkin' it twice

It's that time of year again when people start assembling their BEST OF THE YEAR lists! I love a good list. Always have and always will. Can't say you'll see a list from Sherman Jr. this year, but we will share some of our favorite lists. That's it. We'll make a list of lists! Here's just a few that have made their way to the internet.

The Milk Factory

Metacritic

Pitchfork click on "2005 Comments and Lists"

Giant Step Giant Step is sharing their 2005 Best of Jukebox

Many, many more lists to come! Stay tuned.

Today they announced that Coachella 2006 will be held the weekend of April 29-30, 2006! Now comes my favorite part, speculation on who will perform! I have already heard the likes of Depeche Mode, the White Stripes, Bowie and Prince. mentioned. I am a big fan of this event. Great location, great vibe and great music!

Look! Sherman Jr. got his first big Christmas present! Doesn't he look great? Someone must love him. He got the brand new iGroove from Klipsch. Now he can hang out anywhere he wants. Great for taking him on trips, bringing over to a friend's house or just simply moving him about the house! His excitement is uncontrollable!


While Sherman opened his present, he flipped on the perfect Guilty Pleasure, Carpenter's Christmas Portrait! What a classic! This one does more than just tug at the ol' heartstrings, it darn near braids them! "Merry Christmas Darling" brings a rush of tears on every play. That song is a Carpenter's original and has since become a classic! There are 20 more holiday songs on this release that are sure to please everyone. Originally released in the 70's, take this one out, dust it off and pour yourself an egg nog...instant Christmas! Oh and don't forget your kleenex!

Monday, December 12, 2005

The FEMALE James Brown????


ok everyone. I saw Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings for the first time this past weekend! I can't even believe what I saw! I can try to explain how amazing she is, how she IS the female James Brown, how unbelievably tight her band is, how she aboslutely OWNS the stage, but really, you should just go out and see this woman LIVE! She shares the same hometown as Mr. Brown and that is not where the comparisons stop. Real, true, thick and chunky funk is what comes out of this woman and her band! A stick of dynamite ignites the minute she hits the stage! There was not a face in the crowd that wasn't grinning from ear to ear. I've never seen Seattle exhibit that much soul. If she's not coming through your town anytime soon, at least pick up her current album. The current disc is Naturally on Daptone Records. Sharon describes this album best when she says “If you can’t feel the music on this album, then you must be a dead ass!”

Those of you residing in New York could spend New Year's Eve with her at Sunfactory. Just check this link link for details. Also, if you're in Portland, she'll be at the Doug Fir Lounge tomorrow. I also have to add that it's an atrocity that Sharon was not nominated for a Grammy! She and her band deserve as much regonition as anyone. Guess we are too busy loving Mariah? (WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?) I have never been a fan of the Grammy's and this just seals the deal. Ok, and one more time, SEE SHARON JONES LIVE! NOW!

I also want to mention Chokolate. Local artist Chokolate did an outstanding job warming up the crowd and sharing her "incredible" vibe with everyone. What a great talent. My first time seeing her, but not my last for sure. I also want to say that her mother was in the crowd and what could be cuter than that!!!!!??? Such a treat to see someone watch their "baby" perform! Thanks to all for an exceptional night of really fine funk and soul rarely seen done this well in this town. Thank you, thank you! I'm still smiling thinking of Sharon and Chokolate going dance for dance as an encore! I've never seen the mashed potato look so good!

Also had a chance to spend some time with the new release from Canadian DJ Fred Everything. He's the first DJ from Montreal to make it big outside of Canada. He's also the latest to take a whack at the House of Om series from Om Records. I have to say, this is my least favorite in the series. Kaskade and Groove Junkies are still my two tops on the House of Om releases, followed by DJ Sneak. I am a fan of Fred Everything, but this one doesn't even start to grab me until around track 8. Funny, that happens to be one of his own tracks. Maybe that's the deal, I like his original material. I really enjoyed his artist album of last year, Light of Day. That release was strong and along the lines of what I enjoy out of house music. His House of Om mix is a bit too gritty and rough for me. I like my house a bit moore smooth, I guess. It's not that it's a bad disc, just not my vibe. Might work as a good pre-funk soundtrack before you hit the town! If you have it, put on 2002'2 From the Deep a collection of Everything's remixes. This one never fails. His mix of Random Factor's "Without You" still gets me.

Do Sherman and I a favor and pull out an old funk album and choose your own Guilty Pleasure today. I promise it'll make you smile and awaken some really good things inside you!!!! I think we all need a bit more of this right now! When I google imaged the word "funk", this came up....