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!!!


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