Music Quote of the Day

"If you really think about it, everything in this world tries to be music." -- Eugene Hutz

Friday, December 25, 2009

Raise Your Glass - Juana Ghani

It's been a busy whole bunch of days, but we managed to upload another new song just in time for holidays. I hope you enjoy it!

Raise Your Glass by Juana Ghani

<a href="">Raise Your Glass by Juana Ghani</a>

Juana Ghani bandcamp page

Juana Ghani MySpage page

Juana Ghani Facebook fanpage

Juana Ghani on

Friday, December 11, 2009

Not A Crime - Gogol Bordello

Eugene Hutz, Yuri Lemeshev and Sergey Ryabtsev of Gogol Bordello. LOVE them! The way Eugene percussively slaps his guitar in this acoustic performance, the way Sergey tears up the violin, the way Yuri rocks the accordion ... it all gives me goosebumps and has me dancing wherever I happen to be and singing loudly right along with them.

Not A Crime by Gogol Bordello from the 2005 album "Gypsy Punks Underdog World Strike"

Gogol Bordello web page

Gogol Bordello MySpace page

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ленинград-Геленджик - Leningrad

A few weeks ago, we finally got around to watching the 2005 movie, "Everything is Illuminated" with Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello. Amazingly wonderful movie! See it! We loved it and the music so much that we bought the soundtrack as well as the DVD. It's that good. There are 3 songs from this band, Leningrad, on the soundtrack. Of course, this sent us off trying to find more from the band. So far, no luck (know anybody in Russia who can get some for me?), but we - rather, my husband - did find some on youtube. Thank god for youtube. So, here you go! Meet Leningrad.

Do not ask me the name of this song or what they're singing in it. I have no idea. But it's FUN! And the video cracks me up.

Leningrad website (it's in Russian)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Innocent When You Dream - Tom Waits

The sound isn't synced so great with the video on this one, so just ignore that and just listen to the song. It is absolutely one of the most heart wrenchingly beautiful songs I've ever heard.

Innocent When You Dream
by Tom Waits from the 1987 album "Frank's Wild Years"

Tom Waits website

Tom Waits MySpace page

Tom Waits Facebook page

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Did I Know - Juana Ghani

We had a burst of creativity not too long ago. I'm sure there will be more to come. Here's our latest.

What Did I Know by Juana Ghani

<a href="">What Did I Know by Juana Ghani</a>

Juana Ghani Bandcamp page

Juana Ghani MySpace page

Juana Ghani Facebook page

Monday, November 9, 2009

So This Is the Night - Vic Ruggiero

Vic Ruggiero is a musician, songwriter and producer from the Bronx in New York. While he is a prolific artist, having played with several ska bands including The Slackers, The SKAdalous Allstars, The Silencers, the punk band Rancid and a happily successful solo project, I can't find out much about him (yet). He is primarily an organist but also plays piano, guitar, bass, banjo, harmonica and percussion and has his own record label, Special Potatoe Records, based in New York. His production style is very raw, choosing to leave in sounds/noises that other producers generally choose to omit - shutting doors, musicians cuing each other, etc. - giving the songs a raw, driving, live atmospheric energy.

So This Is the Night by Vic Ruggiero, the winning performance at the 2009 Saddest Music in the World contest held in London, England.

Vic Ruggiero website

Vic Ruggiero MySpace page

Vic Ruggiero Facebook page

Monday, November 2, 2009

November - Tom Waits

Yes, another Tom Waits song. You'd think I like him a lot or something. *grins* This one is from his "Black Rider" CD which is actually a collection of songs from a musical play, "The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets," that he wrote (music & lyrics) with William S. Burroughs (book). This musical fable is based on the German folktale, "Der Freischütz." It premiered in 1990 in Hamburg, Germany at the Thalia Theatre with the English debut in 1998 at Canada's Edmonton International Fringe Festival.

November by Tom Waits from the 1993 album "The Black Rider"

Tom Waits website

Tom Waits MySpace page

Tom Waits Facebook page

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pas o Panori - Věra Bílá & Kale

The first snow of the winter fell today. So soft and beautiful and full of childhood dreams. I really love the first snow. I don't know why, but this song came with the snow. This medley is a lot of fun, but really it's just the one song - Pas o Panori - that I just can't get enough of today. Go here --> <-- for that video.

The daughter of Romani musician Karol Giňa, Věra Bílá was born in 1954 in the village of Rokycany, Czechoslovakia where she still lives with her husband, Frantisek, and their son.

Pas o Panori (and some other songs) by Věra Bílá & Kale as performed at the 2009 International Gypsy Fest

Věra Bílá bio

Věra Bílá MySpace page

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quiet and Cold - Juana Ghani

Yeah, no video for this one. I just wanted to share a little of what we do. Hope you enjoy it.

Quiet and Cold by Juana Ghani, released October 21, 2009

<a href="">Quiet and Cold by Juana Ghani</a>

Juana Ghani Bandcamp page

Juana Ghani MySpace page

Juana Ghani Facebook page

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If I Should Fall from Grace with God - The Pogues

Now this is a great way to start a gloomy, rainy autumn morning, indeed! It's got my blood pumpin' and my heart jumpin' for sure.

Shane MacGowan and Spider Stacey met in 1977 in a bathroom at a Ramones concert at The Roundhouse in London, England. Both were in other bands at the time. They started jamming together and other musicians joined them over the years. In 1982, they played their first gig in Kings Cross, London, England as Pogue Mahone, an anglicization of the Irish "póg mo thóin" ("kiss my arse"). They shortened their name to The Pogues in 1984 after some censoring by the BBC due to complaints received from Gaelic speakers in Scotland. MacGowan left the band in 1991 (actually, he was fired because of his instability, unreliability and erratic behavior). Vocal duties were taken over by Joe Strummer, then Spider Stacey. After the dismal failure of the album "Pogue Mahone", the band broke up in 1996. The band reformed for a Christmas concert in 2001 and have been touring off and on since then.

If I Should Fall from Grace with God
by The Pogues from the 1987 album "If I Should Fall from Grace with God"

The Pogues website

The Pogues MySpace page

Friday, October 16, 2009

The One on the Right is on the Left - Johnny Cash

J.R. Cash was born February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas, USA to Ray and Carrie Cash. He was given the name J.R. because his parents couldn't agree on a name, just initials. It wasn't until he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force (who wouldn't accept just initials) that he legally took the name John R. Cash.

Johnny Cash began his music career in 1954 when he walked in to Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee hoping to sign a record deal. His first songs, "Hey Porter" and "Cry Cry Cry" were released in 1955.

Johnny Cash
died in 2003, just 4 months after his beloved wife, June Carter Cash, passed away.

The One on the Right is on the Left
by Johnny Cash from the 1966 album "Everybody Loves a Nut" (one of my favorite albums)

The Official Johnny Cash Website

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pine Box - Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Wow. It's been awhile since I've posted anything. Sorry. Kids, colds, and life interfering again. Strange music is still spinning 'round my head, 'though, so it's all good.

Playing a style of music that is sometimes labeled "country gothic", Slim Cessna's Auto Club was formed in Denver, Colorado in 1993. They have a released a total of 6 albums so far, signed with Jello Biafra's independent label, Alternative Tentacles.

Thanks, S'bella, for introducing me to this band. Me likey!

Pine Box by Slim Cessna's Auto Club from the 2000 album "Always Say Please and Thank You"

Slim Cessna's Auto Club website

Slim Cessna's Auto Club MySpace page

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In the Room Where You Sleep - Dead Man's Bones

Actors Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields first met in 2005 when Ryan was dating his "The Notebook" co-star Rachel McAdams and Zach was dating her sister Kayleen. They bonded over creepy things and, together with a bunch of kids (yes, kids), they put together Dead Man's Bones.

The self-titled debut album will be released October 6, 2009. You can pre-order it now.

Please, take a moment to read the band's wonderful first interview with Pitchfork. (My favorite quote from the interview: "You know when you're a kid and you get crayons and papers and just draw whatever you want and it's just a bunch of messy lines, but to you it makes sense, and then they put it on the fridge? From that point on, you're always trying to get back on the fridge, you start drawing things that look like something, like, the more it looks like a horse, the more chance you have of getting it on the fridge. We wanted to get back to that place before we were trying to make the fridge. We wanted to work with people who hadn't been affected in that way yet." - Ryan Gosling)

In the Room Where You Sleep by Dead Man's Bones from the 2009 album "Dead Man's Bones"

Dead Man's Bones website

Dead Man's Bones MySpace page

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Morning - Pulp

Formed in Sheffield, England in 1978 as teenagers, Pulp struggled their entire career to find a definitive style. Challenged by personnel changes, label changes, and drug addiction, the band broke up in 2002.

Monday Morning by Pulp from the 1995 album "Different Class"

Pulp fansite

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Red Rain - Peter Gabriel

Maybe it's "bill paying day." Maybe it's the reading I've been doing lately. Maybe it's events in the news these days. Whatever it is, the lyrics from the chorus of this song started dancing around my head today. I haven't even thought about this song in ages, yet here it is, spinning and swirling and looping through my brain. "Red rain is pouring down, Pouring down all over me."

Born February 13, 1950 in Chobham, Surrey, England, Peter Gabriel has had a long and successful career as both a musician and a humanitarian. He was a founding member, singer and flautist for the band Genesis from 1967-1975. He released his first album as a solo artist in 1977.

Red Rain by Peter Gabriel from the 1986 album "So"

Peter Gabriel website

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mabon - Omnia

Mabon. The autumnal equinox. The second harvest. The time of balance between light and dark. The witch's thanksgiving.

I absolutely love this song. In it I can hear the crisp air sing as leaves begin to change colors, showing off their vibrant reds and yellows and oranges before they fall. The energy of the harvest time vibrates with joy and celebration and accomplishment.

Dutch pagan-folk band Omnia is one of my favorites. They sing in English, German, Dutch, Gaelic, Finnish, Hindi and play hurdy-gurdy, harp, bodhrán, guitar, bouzouki, didgeridoo, flutes, bagpipes, and all sorts of drums and percussion instruments.

Mabon by Omnia from the 2004 album "The Crone of War" (also on "Live Religion" released in 2005)

Omnia's official webpage

Omnia's MySpace page

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ah, Sunflower - Unto Ashes

I like that this video has no ... ummm ... video. It gives you a chance to just listen to the music and the beautiful words of William Blake.

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

William Blake (1757-1827)

Formed in 1997, Unto Ashes is a Dark Wave band based in New York City that combines elements of New Age, folk and madrigal music and performs with instruments as varied as dulcimer, cello, piano, guitar, violin and hurdy-gurdy. Current members of the band are Michael Laird, Natalia Lincoln and Mariko.

Ah, Sunflower by Unto Ashes from the 2007 album "Empty into White"

Unto Ashes website

Unto Ashes MySpace page

Friday, September 11, 2009

So Quiet - Heartless Bastards

"Have you heard Heartless Bastards? Pure awesome stuff." This was a tweet (yes, on Twitter) I received bright and early this morning. "Not, yet," I responded, then ran (or whatever you'd call the online equivalent) off to see what I could find. Oh, my! What a great turn on this turned out to be! (If you're on Twitter, I highly recommend you follow @darthbender - he has excellent taste in music.)

The Heartless Bastards, an indie garage band from Cincinnati, Ohio fronted by vocalist Erika Wennerstrom, formed in 2003. Their third album, "The Mountain", was released in February 2009 on Fat Possum Records.

So Quiet by the Heartless Bastards from the 2009 album "The Mountain"

Heartless Bastards website

Heartless Bastards MySpace page

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wooden Pints - Korpiklaani

This song makes me laugh (as do most of the songs I've heard from this band). Lyrics aside, I love a metal band with fiddle and accordion. (Take that, Dad! If you play the accordian, you can so be in a rock-n-roll band no matter what that song in Ishtar says.)

Formerly known as Shaman, Korpiklaani is a folk metal band from Finland whose name means "Wilderness Clan" in Finnish. It began as a Sami folk music restaurant house band in 1993. Over the years, with changes in personnel, they added the heavy metal element to their already established folk sensibilities and frat boy drunken senses of humor (most of their songs are about drinking and partying). The result is a good, loud, raucous time.

Wooden Pints by Korpiklaani from the 2003 album "Spirit of the Forest"

Korpiklaani website

Korpiklaani MySpace page

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One Tin Soldier - The Original Caste

This song (actually, it was more likely the 1971 - re-recorded in 1973 - Coven cover of this song) can probably be at least partly to blame for my pacifistic attitudes. I don't remember the first time I heard it - I was, after all, very young when it came out - but I do remember singing it at the top of my lungs and sometimes even crying at its message. Sometimes I still do.

One Tin Soldier by The Original Caste from the self-titled 1969 album "The Original Caste"

The Original Caste website

Coven MySpace page

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bottle of Lie - Akphaezya

This one is strangely intriguing. The way this French band combines jazz with heavy metal (think Sergio Mendez Goes to Hell) is ... well ... interesting. I'm still not quite sure what I think about it, but I absolutely recommend checking out vocalist Nehl Aëlin's solo work. I'll be looking into more of her stuff, that's for sure.

Bottle of Lie
by Akphaezya from the 2008 album "Anthology II: Links from the Dead Trinity"

Akphaezya website

Akphaezya MySpace page

Nehl Aëlin MySpace page

Nehl Aëlin website

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kalifenzorn - Schelmish

My, what a big drum you have!

Yes, this is the mood I am in today. I absolutely love this. Nothing polite about these bagpipes. No, sirree. Makes me want to spit a wild boar over a bonfire and leave it to cook while I'm off pillaging a neighboring village.

Schelmish is from Bonn, Germany and was originally formed to perform mediaeval music for founding member DesDemonia's mother's birthday celebration in 1999. While the band still embraces it's roots in Celtic music, it leans more towards Mittelalter (Mediaeval Metal) Rock in style these days, blending mediaeval folk music with hard rock or heavy metal.

Kalifenzorn by Schelmish

Schelmish website

Schelmish MySpace page

Schelmish Facebook page

Monday, August 10, 2009

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out - Amanda Palmer

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out was written and recorded by Cat Stevens for the 1971 movie, "Harold and Maude" but was never released as a single nor included on any album at the time. It wasn't until 1984 that it was released on his album, "Footsteps in the Dark: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2."

Last month Amanda Palmer learned this song and performed it as a sort of gift for her fans at a "flash gig" on an LA beach. You can read about how that all came to be by clicking HERE. (It's a great story!)

If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out performed live by Amanda Palmer on beach just a few weeks ago.

Amanda Palmer on Twitter

Amanda Palmer website

Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) website

P.S. I am coming to the conclusion that in an alternate reality - one in which different choices were made and different results realized - that Amanda Palmer is my "alternate me." I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Big Fish - Jesca Hoop

From growing up in Northern California in a strict Mormon family to homesteading in the Wyoming wilderness to working with a rehab center for kids in the Arizona mountains to being nanny for Tom Waits' and Kathleen Brennan's three children, American singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop is nothing short of eclectic. And it shows in her music which wraps itself around headiness of jazz, Celtic, gypsy, cabaret and sweetens things with just a taste of pop.

Her new album, "Hunting My Dress", is due out this fall.

Big Fish by Jesca Hoop from the 2004 EP "Silverscreen Demos" (no longer in print, but available for mp3 download on Amazon)

Jesca Hoop website

Jesca Hoop MySpace page

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Danny Says - Joey Ramone and Tom Waits (but not together)

Joey Ramone wrote Danny Says (Danny being the band's manager at the time) while staying at the Tropicana Hotel in Los Angeles, California where The Ramones were staying while they recorded their 5th studio album, "End of the Century." It is believed that Joey wrote this song for his then girlfriend, Linda Danielle, who later married his bandmate, Johnny Ramone. Although Joey and Johnny both remained in the band until 1996, they didn't exactly speak to each other much after that.

Danny Says by The Ramones from the 1980 album "End of the Century"

And, well, Tom Waits' cover just makes me cry. Such a beautiful interpretation!

Danny Says by Tom Waits from the 2006 triple album "Orphans"

The Ramones website

Tom Waits website

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gone with the Sin - HIM

I know this song is a decade old, but I just cannot get enough of it lately. I absolutely love Ville Valo's vocal tone (it makes my toes curl in a very good way).

Finnish band HIM was formed in 1991 by Ville Valo (vocals), Mikko Paananen (bass) and Mikko Lindström (guitar). When asked in an interview about the name, vocalist and frontman Ville Valo said, "In almost every interview someone asks what does HIM stand for. I can't even remember our latest lie about that. When Hanson was hot, we said it means Hanson Is Murder. The name doesn't have a particular history. His Infernal Majesty was a totally different band. I think HIM derives from some death metal joke. And it was our protest to Haile Selassie's rastafarian religion, he used to be called His Imperial Majesty. But nowadays because of Linde's hair, we actually might be supporting him."

"Razorblade Romance" was released in Europe in 1999 and re-released in 2002 in the USA where the band had to change their name to HER because an American dub band, HiM, already held rights to the name. They were eventually able to buy the rights to the name and all subsequent pressings have been released under the desired name.

HIM announced last month that they will be going into the studio to record a new album in August. The working title is "Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice" and is scheduled to be released Valentine's Day 2010.

Gone with the Sin by HIM from the 1999 (2002 USA) album "Razorblade Romance"

HIM website

HIM MySpace page

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Treat Me Like Your Mother - The Dead Weather

Jack White's latest project. I adore Jack White. ADORE. Have since I first discovered The White Stripes a gazillion years ago on This newest project of his rocks so hard I can easily forgive him for the James Bond song he did with Alicia Keys(I expected so much more from that). Listening to The Dead Weather ... well ... I want to be Alison Mossheart (also of The Kills).

Treat Me Like Your Mother by The Dead Weather from the 2009 album "Horehound"

The Dead Weather website

Third Man Records website

Monday, July 20, 2009

Always Out - The Urban Voodoo Machine

I am so excited to get this CD. I ordered it as an anniversary gift for my husband (sssshhhh) but it's, obviously, a bit late. That's ok. It wasn't released until a week after our anniversary. And it is being shipped from halfway around the world (it's a UK release). I can be patient. Sort of. I expect to find it in the mailbox any day now. Maybe today. Cross your fingers for me.

The Urban Voodoo Machine began in 2003 when singer/frontman Paul-Ronney Angel was asked by a promoter to fill a spot in a triple bill gig. He made some calls, pulled in some favors, and 48 hours later he had a band pulled together.

Always Out by The Urban Voodoo Machine from the 2009 debut album "Bourbon Soaked Gypsy Blues Bop'N'Stroll"

The Urban Voodoo Machine website

The Urban Voodoo Machine MySpage page

The Urban Voodoo Machine Facebook page

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

No Blood to Spare at Utah Arts Festival 2009

I was lucky enough to sing with No Blood to Spare again at this year's Utah Arts Festival. They are an amazing band and I always have such a great time with them.

Savage Celebration by No Blood to Spare, danced by Sekmani

Graceful Vagabond by No Blood to Spare, danced by Las Gitanas

Switchcraft by No Blood to Spare, danced by Dragenthe

No Blood to Spare website

No Blood to Spare MySpace page

Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Wine - Ville Valo & Natalia Avelon

I've been on a bit of a H.I.M. thing lately. I love Ville Valo's voice. It's very rich - like dark, melted chocolate.

Summer Wine was written by Lee Hazelwood and originally recorded in 1966 by him and Suzi Jane Hokom. The song became famous a year later when he rerecorded it with Nancy Sinatra and released it as the B-side for the single "Sugar Town."

Summer Wine by Ville Valo and Natalia Avelon from the soundtrack of the 2007 German movie "Das Wilde Leben" (released in USA as "Eight Miles High") based on the life of German groupie/model/actress, Uschi Obermaier.

WARNING: There is nudity in this video. Do not watch if you are offended by nudity.

H.I.M. website

Natalia Avelon iMDB page

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Plainsong - The Cure

Plainsong is the opening song on The Cure's 8th studio released album, "Disintegration", released in 1989 and sets the mood for the band's return to the darker, moodier hallucinogenic goth rock that set them apart in the early 1980s. The record label, Fiction Records, feared it would be commercial suicide but this album remains the band's best selling record to date. But more importantly ...

Fifteen years ago today this song was played at my wedding - as my wedding march - to the most wonderful man ever to walk this earth. Even after all this time he still manages to surprise me and find little ways each day to make me fall in love with him all over again. He truly is my life, my love, my heart and my soul.

Plainsong by The Cure from the 1989 album "Disintegration"

The Cure official website

The Cure MySpace page

The Cure Facebook page

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tiger Rag - Chet Atkins

Born in Luttrell, Tennessee in 1924, Chet Atkins was the baby of his family. He suffered from severe asthma and had to sleep sitting up in a hardback chair in order to breathe. His first instrument was a ukulele, followed by fiddle, and finally, at the age of 9, he worked a trade with his older brother Lowell - an old pistol and some chores - for a guitar.
Chet Atkins, himself inspired by guitar greats Django Reinhardt (whom he named the most influential guitarist of the 20th century), Merle Travis, and Les Paul, developed a style of playing that used his first three fingers for picking and his thumb for bass, creating a very defined and unique sound all his own.
Chet Atkins began producing for RCA in the mid-1950s, being put in charge of RCA's Nashville division. Here he was instrumental in creating RCA Studio B, the first studio built exclusively for recording on what became the now famous "Music Row." He became vice-president of RCA's country division and brought several artists to the label, including Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Jerry Reed. He retired from producing in the 1970s after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
Besides being an amazing musician and producer, Chet Atkins also worked as a design consultant with guitar manufacturer Gretsch who created a line of electric guitars that bore his name from 1955-1980, when he began designing guitars with Gibson.
Chet Atkins inspired many guitarists including Mark Knopfler, Jerry Reed, Tommy Emmanuel and Eric Johnson. He won 14 Grammys, 9 CMA awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and Billboard's Century Award. He died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee in 2001.

Tiger Rag by Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins website

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Case of You - Diana Krall

We saw this concert when Diana Krall came through Salt Lake City in 2001. She was amazing. Hands down, one of the best concerts I've ever had the pleasure to attend. And this song ... Oh, this song was breathtaking. She held the audience spellbound with her soft confessional delivery. It was as if everybody was holding their breath so as not to be detected accidentally eavesdropping on a lover's whisper.

A Case of You was written and originally recorded by Joni Mitchell in 1971 and included on her album "Blue" released that same year. Some say the song is about her love affair with Leonard Cohen while others believe it is a goodbye song to her partner, Graham Nash.

A Case of You
by Diana Krall from her Grammy winning 2002 live CD and concert DVD "Diana Krall - Live in Paris"

Diana Krall website

Diana Krall Myspace page

Diana Krall Facebook page

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dizzy - Tommy Roe

It seems that my vertigo is making a comeback. Oh, boy! Remember way back when you were little and you'd put your head down and spin and spin and spin until you were so dizzy you couldn't walk straight? It's like that. And of course, this song starts playing in my head. "I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning!"

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in 1942, Tommy Roe started singing and writing songs at 14 years of age. His song Dizzy, co-written by Freddie Weller, reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 1969 (1 week in the UK, 1 week in Canada, and 4 weeks in the USA).

by Tommy Roe, released in 1969 as a 7" single

Tommy Roe website

Friday, June 12, 2009

Last Dream I Remember - Wayside Drive

Here's a new song from one of my favorite new bands. I asked Jeremy Osborn, lead singer and guitarist for the band, if he'd like to share a bit about the creation of the song and video. He did! Here it is, in his own words:

"The 2 spoken word parts of the song are from an actual dream I had quite a few years ago. I don't usually write down my dreams but I did with this one. I was never a believer in "out of body" experiences before, but in the dream I was flying around having a grand time, checking out the sites, then in my dream I had the very distinctive thought "I need to get back into my body". Just like that. So I flew to my house, then into my bedroom, and saw my body lying there in the bed. So I laid down onto "myself" and I felt this upward-pulling sensation. Then I woke up! The spoken word parts are pretty much my exact dream.

"The first sung part of the song is a conversation with God about him being God and being much better at that job and me. I'm kind of a cart-before-the-horse kind of guy so sometimes I need to remind myself that I'm very limited in my view (and abilities).

"The second sung part is about inward reflection. Taking an honest look at myself and my limitations and coming to terms with it, and trying to do better, be better.

"The song itself is actually a few years old. I was messing around with some online collaborations with my good friend John Amelang and this was one of the songs we came up with. At the time it didn't have any singing, just the dream part. I sent John the drones with this crazy drum loop I came up with and the vocals and he recorded the bass and fuzz guitar parts.

"When we decided to do our 'reinvention' of Wayside I thought this song would be the best example or statement of intention regarding our new direction. It's probably the strangest of our new material, so that's exactly why we're sort of leading everything off with it. I cut the drum loops and Kevin recorded his drums parts, Natalie recorded the cello, and my friend Spinmeister from Canada recorded the synths.

"For the video I was thinking it would be good to do a very dream-like atmospheric type thing. Bits and pieces of "memories" that are more like dreams themselves instead of some silly dream sequence out of a movie. My dreams are typically random, and vivid, and amalgamated. So I found some family footage on the web from the 60's that was just perfect for the imagery that I was looking for. I messed around with different ways to layer different scenes on top of each other so that you can see multiple things going on at the same time. For the chorus parts I used a bunch of old Thomas Edison footage that really fit with the more silly/random aspect dreams can have.

"Ultimately for the video I wanted to have something that was a visual art piece that you could freeze just about any frame of it and it would look cool in and of itself."

Last Dream I Remember by Wayside Drive

Last Dream I Remember from Jeremy Osborn on Vimeo.

Wayside Drive website

Wayside Drive MySpace page

Wayside Drive Facebook page

Wayside Drive on Twitter

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Want You - Fiona Apple and Elvis Costello

Some performances are so packed with raw emotion that they leave you completely breathless and feeling not just a little violated (in a good way). This is one of those performances.

I Want You was written by Elvis Costello (credited under his real name, Declan MacManus) and included on his 1986 album "Blood and Chocolate" (Elvis Costello and the Attractions) and has since become one of Costello's signature concert songs. In 2006, Fiona Apple joined Elvis Costello onstage for VH1's "Decades Rock Live" for this stunning performance. Her version of this song was subsequently released as an iTunes single, also in 2006.

I Want You performed by Fiona Apple with Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello website

Fiona Apple website

Friday, June 5, 2009

I Think It's Going to Rain Today - Randy Newman

It's been overcast here all week. Severe thunderstorms happening all around me. I could watch them from my house. But nothing here. I enjoy blue skies as much as the next person, but I really love a good thunderstorm. Needless to say, I've felt a little left out while the rest of the valley was enjoying (and some not enjoying) the late spring cloudbursts. But today - FINALLY - we had a downpour complete with rolling thunder that was so loud and lasted for so long it sounded like a freight train traveling through the yard. Perfect day for this song.

American singer-songwriter, Randy Newman, wrote I Think It's Going to Rain Today and recorded it on his debut album "Randy Newman" in 1968. Since then it has been covered by myriad artists, including Better Midler, Nina Simone, Judy Collins, Joe Cocker, UB40 and many others.

I Think It's Going to Rain Today by Randy Newman

Randy Newman website

Randy Newman Facebook page

Monday, June 1, 2009

Goodnight, Irene - Lead Belly

The chorus for this song has been playing over and over in my head since I awoke this morning. Goodnight, Irene is a 20th century American folk song first recorded by Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter in 1932 and speaks of a lover's frustration and sadness (and suicidal musings) over a love gone wrong. This song became Lead Belly's theme song and he'd close each performance with it.

Lead Belly website

Wikipedia article on Lead Belly

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wind River - Andrew Vasquez

Yes, this is actually a slide show of photos my husband and I took on a trip to Yellowstone a couple years ago. It was a peaceful and calming weekend. We listened to this album almost exclusively during our time in the park. It was the perfect soundtrack. Today's migraine begs me to return to that time of peace of calm.

Andrew Vasquez
is an award winning Native American (Apache) flute player living in Fort Washakie, Wyoming. He was first introduced to the flute while a dancer with the New York based American Indian Dance Theater.

Wind River
by Andrew Vasquez from the 1997 album "Wind River"

Andrew Vasquez Makoche artist page

Andrew Vasquez MySpace page

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buffalo Jump - Lonely London Lad

Love at first listen? Yes, I believe it can happen. It happened to me. Again. This morning. All it took was one little listen to the first few seconds of Buffalo Jump for me to realize that this band is going to become a personal favorite. The more I listened, the more I found, the more I experienced, the more I fell in love. If David Byrne, Sparks & Public Image, Ltd. were to have an orgy, Lonely London Boy would be the love child spawned of that collective creativity and artistry.

Buffalo Jump by Lonely London Lad from the soon-to-be-released double CD "Lonely London Lad"

Lonely London Lad website

Lonely London Lad MySpace page

Lonely London Lad Facebook page

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lon-dubh - Julie Fowlis

Here's another of my favorite covers. This time it's a cover of The Beatles' 1968 classic "Blackbird" sung in Scots Gaelic by the beautiful Julie Fowlis.

Lon-dubh by Julie Fowlis from the 2009 boxed set release of "Cuilidh" just released last month.

Julie Fowlis' official website

Julie Fowlis' MySpace page

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good Day - LUCE

Today is a happy day. It's not a special day or anything. Just one of those days that tingle with happy. Perfect day for a little pop ditty to be bopping around in the head.

San Francisco based LUCE began as a one-man band in Tom Luce's apartment bedroom in 2000. The self-titled first album was co-written and produced by Tom's friend Adam Rossi, who now plays keyboards for the band. San Francisco radio station KFOG was the first to play LUCE regularly on air and played a good part in bringing the band to the attention of certain people in Hollywood. It wasn't long before Good Day was appearing in movies (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and 13 Going on 30) and television (The O.C. and Alias).

Good Day by LUCE from the 2002 album "LUCE"

LUCE website

LUCE MySpage Page

LUCE Facebook Page

LUCE Twitter

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bizarre Love Triangle - Frente!

This is one of my absolute favorite covers. Frente! takes an energetic dance classic (originally released in 1986 by the UK band New Order) and softens it up, giving it an almost confessional feel.

The Australian band Frente! was formed in 1991 and only released two albums, "Marvin the Album" in 1992 (international release in 1994) and "Shape" in 1996, after which they disbanded. They reformed for a short bit in 2005 for a short tour of the Australian coast.

Bizarre Love Triangle by Frente! from the 1994 international release of "Marvin the Album"

Frente! MySpace page

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tine Bealtaine - Omnia

It's May Day! Beltane. Time to celebrate the fertility of our earth and plant the seeds that will grow in our gardens - and lives - with hopes for a rich and abundant harvest later on.

(That's me in the white gown with the red leis.)

When I was a little girl, this was one of my favorite days. When I was in kindergarten, I was crowned "May Queen" in the class May Day program. When I was in 4th grade in LaMaddalena, Sardegna, we celebrated with a May Pole dance and Cat Stevens songs. I even sort of remember making May Day baskets full of flowers to leave on neighbors' doorsteps somewhere we lived, but I don't remember where right now. Maybe Florida? Wherever, whenever it was, I enjoyed doing it. Perhaps this is a tradition I should start up with my own kids. Hmmm.

From the Netherlands, Pagan folk band Omnia's music is all accoustic and many of the instruments as well as their costumes are handmade by the band themselves.

Omnia official webpage

Omnia MySpace page

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hold Me Now - The Polyphonic Spree

I woke up in such a good mood this morning. One of those moods that are so big and so full of happy that you just know you're going to explode with it. I have no idea what brought it on, but I'm enjoying it just the same. It's like the perfect day realized ... and it hasn't even started, yet. So what could accompany a mood like this better than a band that sounds like sunshine?

I've blogged about them before, back in January with their song "Light and Day" and suggest you revisit that one, too. You can't help but be full of happy when you listen to it.

Hold Me Now by The Polyphonic Spree from the 2004 album "Together We're Heavy"

The Polyphonic Spree website

The Polyphonic Spree MySpace page

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hard Lovin' Woman - Juliette and the New Romantiques

It's no secret that I love me some dirty, nasty blues. And this bit o' blues is dirty and nasty and quite a departure for Juliette Lewis. Her previous band, The Licks, was a hardcore rockin' time somewhat reminiscent of Iggy Pop or Hedwig. Her new band, The New Romantiques, leans more towards the indie-pop sound of PJ Harvey or The Start. I have no idea if this song will appear on her upcoming album, slated for release later this year, or not. Either way, I like it.

Hard Lovin' Woman by Juliette and the New Romantiques

Juliette and the New Romantiques website (Not online, yet, but claims "Coming Soon")

Juliette and the New Romantiques MySpace page

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Her Hair is on Fire - Semi Precious Weapons

My husband just found this band and shared them with me this past weekend. Instant love. The street-glam-rock heat from this four-piece out of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NYC is intense. Tighten your stilettos and let your naughty side out for a little fun!

Her Hair is on Fire by Semi Precious Weapons from the 2008 album "We Love You"

Semi Precious Weapons website

Semi Precious Weapons MySpace page

Semi Precious Weapons Twitter

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hamlet: The Musical! - Gilligan's Island

When I was very young, I'd watch the Gilligan's Island episodes in syndication (not the original runs - I'm not that old) after school. I always wanted to be Ginger - Tina Louise was so glamorous and beautiful - but was always more of a MaryAnn. Still am. And I'd still rather be Ginger. Lucky for me, my husband prefers MaryAnn. But I digress. I don't remember seeing this episode very many times, but this show the castaways put on - this musical - has stayed in the foreground of my mind since the very first time I saw it all those years ago. It's not uncommon for me to burst into, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" or "For to be, or not to be? That is the question that I ask of thee" or "From Ophelia, no one can steal ya" or ... well you get the idea.

Originally aired October 3, 1966, "The Producer" (Gilligan's Island season 3, episode 4) was brilliantly written by Dee Caruso and Gerald Gardner and directed by Ida Lupino.

Hamlet: The Musical from the 1966 episode "The Producer" of Gilligan's Island

Gilligan's Island Fanclub

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Superstar - Sonic Youth

Written in 1969 by Bonnie Bramlett, Delaney Bramlett and Leon Russell, this song was originally recorded by Delaney, Bonnie and Friends under the title "Groupie (Superstar)". It tells the story of a groupie who falls in love with a rock star after having a sexual fling with him, believing him when he tells her that he loves her and that he'll back for her when, of course, he's moved on to the next town and the next groupie. It is rumored that this song is about Eric Clapton who, coincidentally enough, played guitar on the original Delaney, Bonnie & Friends recording.

The Carpenters version may be the best known and most recognized cover of this song, but I really like this Sonic Youth cover. It really captures, for me, that nightmarish stalker mentality.

Superstar by Sonic Youth from the 1994 Carpenters tribute album "If I Were a Carpenter" and the 2007 soundtrack album from the movie "Juno"

Sonic Youth website

Sonic Youth MySpace page

If you'd like to hear the original Delaney, Bonnie & Friends with Eric Clapton on guitar, Leon Russell on keys and Rita Coolidge on backing vocals, here it is:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dringo Bell - The Mediaeval Baebes

Formed in 1996 by former Miranda Sex Garden member Katharine Blake, the London-based Mediaeval Baebes have released 7 studio albums, 3 of which have found themselves on the top of the UK classical charts. They have created a unique sound by pulling their lyrics from Mediaeval texts and setting them to original compositions and arrangements, and combining the sounds of classical and Mediaeval instruments with modern instruments.

This is not necessarily my favorite song of theirs (it's so hard to pick a favorite), but I think this was the song that made me fall in love with The Mediaeval Baebes.

Dringo Bell by The Mediaeval Baebes from the 2002 album "The Rose"

The Mediaeval Baebes website

The Mediaeval Baebes MySpace page

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday - Asobi Seksu

Based in New York City, indie/shoegazer band Asobi Seksu released their first album in 2004 as a duo with Yuki Chikudate on vocals and keyboards and James Hanna on guitar and vocals. They later added a rhythm section, William Pavone on bass and Larry Gorman on drums, and released their second album, "Citrus," in 2006. Their third and newest album, "Hush", was released in February of this year. The name Asobi Seksu is a Japanese colloquialism for "casual sex" or "fun sex." Hmmm.

Thursday by Asobi Seksu from the 2006 album "Citrus"

Asobi Seksu website

Asobi Seksu MySpace page

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jingo - Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton

I'm not even going to try tell you anything about either one of these two guitar gods because, quite frankly, words do not do either of them the justice they deserve. Just listen and enjoy the goosebumps.

Jingo by Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton from the 2006 Crossroads Concert

Eric Clapton webpage

Carlos Santana webpage

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Imitosis - Andrew Bird

Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Andrew Bird began playing violin at the age 4 (Suzuki trained). He was surrounded by classical music as a child but has also been influenced by bluegrass, folk, jazz, calypso and gyspy. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in violin performance in 1996, releasing his first album, "Music of Hair," that same year. His newest album, "Noble Beast," was released in January of this year. He also appeared last month at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Imitosis by Andrew Bird from the 2007 album "Armchair Apocrypha"

Andrew Bird website

Andrew Bird MySpace page

Andrew Bird Twitter

Monday, March 30, 2009

Papa was a Rodeo - The Magnetic Fields

Apparently, I really have a thing for bands that enjoy branching out into the wide and wonderful world of the non-traditional. The Magnetic Fields are another of those bands whose instruments include ukulele, banjo, accordian, xylophone and Marxophone (a fretless zither). Fronted by singer-songwriter, Stephin Merrit, The Magnetic Fields formed in 1989 in Boston, Massachusetts and released their first album in 1991. Merrit, who also created the bands The 6ths, The Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes, suffers from a condition called hyperacusis which causes a sort of "feedback" in his left ear when sounds exceed those in the normal hearing range. Because of this condition, he wears earplugs during performances and will often cover his left ear when the audience applauds.

Papa was a Rodeo by The Magnetic Fields from the 1999 album "69 Love Songs"

The Magnetic Fields website

The Magnetic Fields MySpace page

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ultimate - Gogol Bordello

From a Russian wedding in Vermont in 1998 to a world-wide tour with a Pied Piper-like following, gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello do more than simply play music. They create energetically frenzied phenomena.

This is one of my favorite songs and contains within it the reminder that the past is behind us and NOW is what matters. After all, "There were never any 'Good Old Days' - They are today, They are tomorrow - It's just a stupid thing we say - Cursing tomorrow with sorrow."

Ultimate by Gogol Bordello from the 2007 album "Super Taranta"

Gogol Bordello website

Gogol Bordello MySpace page

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wind of Change - The Scorpions

The Scorpions were formed in Hanover, Germany in 1965 by Rudolf Schenker, the band's rhythm guitar player. After one break-up and many personnel changes, the band hit their stride in the late 1970s, cementing their signature style of hard rock balanced with melodic power ballads. In 1980, lead singer Klaus Meine began having throat problems and required surgery on his vocal cords. It was doubtful if he would ever sing again (a fear I know all too well). In 1981, Don Dokken was brought it to provide guide and tracking vocals for the recording of the album "Blackout." Luckily, Meine's vocal cords healed completely and he was able to finish recording that album so that it could be released in 1982. The Scorpions have released 22 albums since 1972 and are still at it.

Wind of Change was written in 1990 by Klaus Meine in celebration of the political changes taking place in Eastern Europe at the time - the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the U.S.S.R, the Polish Round Table Agreement, and the end of the Cold War.

Wind of Change by The Scorpions from the 1990 album "Crazy World"

The Scorpions website

The Scorpions MySpace page

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Baby Just Cares for Me - Julie London

My Baby Just Cares for Me was written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn for the 1928 movie "Whoopee" starting Eddie Cantor and Ruth Etting. While it is best known as the signature song for jazz diva Nina Simone (whom I adore!), it is this version that has been in my head since last night (and it's really none of your business why).

Born in 1926 to vaudeville performers, Julie London (born Gayle Peck) was discovered as a teenager while working as an elevator operator. She was married to her first husband, Jack Webb, from 1947 to 1953. She met her second husband, jazz composer and musician Bobby Troup, at a club. They married on New Years' Eve 1959 and remained married 40 years, until his death in 1999. Julie London had a fabulously successful career as both an actress and a singer, appearing in over 20 films and several television shows and recording 32 albums. She was named "most popular female vocalist" by Billboard for three years in a row, 1955-1957. She suffered a stroke in 1995 and was in poor health due to her long-time cigarette habit until her death in 2000. She is buried in the Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery next to her husband, Bobby Troup.

My Baby Just Cares for Me by Julie London from the 1964 album "In Person at the Americana"

Julie London IMDb page

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taal - Sheila Chandra

Although she has been recording since the 1980s, I didn't really discover Sheila Chandra for myself until last year when I was researching Middle Eastern and Indian influenced vocal styles in preparation for an opportunity I had to sing with a band for a belly dancing performance. I was immediately drawn, not only to her ethereal voice, but to her amazing vocal dynamic. She has a real gift for transporting the listener to that Happy Place.

Taal is a style of Indian music where the voice imitates the sounds of the Tabla drums.

Taal by Sheila Chandra

Sheila Chandra website

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tailpipe Jam - Street Drum Corps

Coming off another 3 day migraine and directly back into the thrice weekly torture we call "physical therapy", today is less about lyric and melody and all about groove and sensation. And nobody catches that primal, instinctual, percussive groove better than Street Drum Corps.

Formed in 2004 by Frank Zummo, Adam Alt and Bobby Alt, Street Drum Corps is a Los Angeles-based punk rock percussion band, playing everything from more traditional drums and kits to garbage cans and power tools ... and everything in between. They've been joined in performance by members of Stomp, Bad Religion, No Doubt, Atreyu and many others, always creating an electrifyingly energetic experience for performers and audiences alike. Their first album, "Street Drum Corps," was released in 2006, followed in 2008 by "We Are Machines."

Tailpipe Jam by Street Drum Corps with Adrian Young of No Doubt, Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion, Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, Byron McMackin of Pennywise and John Sawicki of Stomp!

Street Drum Corps website

Street Drum Corps MySpace page

Street Drum Corps on Twitter

Friday, March 20, 2009

You Can Never Hold Back Spring - Tom Waits

This is quite possibly one of my very favorite days of the year. The vernal equinox - the first day of spring - Nature's reminder that, after a winter of looking within, the time is right for starting things new. New opportunities present themselves. New ways of thinking and seeing start to draw your attention. I love spring!

And I love Tom Waits, so this is perfect!

You Can Never Hold Back Spring by Tom Waits from the 2006 album "Orphans"

Tom Waits website

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You Can Do Magic - America

I know my husband will wince when he sees this song up here today. I'm not exactly sure, myself, why I'm going with this one other than the fact that the lyrics, "You can do magic. You can have anything that you desire" (and "doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-dit, doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-dit") are firmly planted in my head this afternoon.

The three founding members of America - Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley, and Dan Peek - met while attending London Central High School, at High Wycombe in the mid-1960s. They are all sons of American fathers and English mothers whose families were stationed at the Air Force base in West Ruislip, London.

America released their debut album, "America", in 1971 and while it was a huge success in Holland, it didn't fair too well elsewhere. While in Holland, they worked on recording some other songs, including one written by Dewey Bunnell that he called, "Desert Song." The song had its formal debut at The Harrogate Festival where it received a very enthusiastic response from the audience. After several more performances, both live and televised, the song was re-titled "A Horse with No Name" and was added to the debut album which was re-released in 1972 and quickly went platinum. That was the album (actually it was an 8-track tape) that I used to make my mother play over and over again whenever she drove us anywhere. I loved that song!

In 1977 Dan Peek left the band. Beckley and Bunnell continued on as a duo, supplemented on the road by other musicians as needed. They struggled for several years before finally reaching commercial success once again in 1982 with the release of their 12th album, "View from the Ground", and the single You Can Do Magic which reached #8 on the Billboard pop singles charts.

You Can Do Magic by America from the 1982 album "View from the Ground"

America website

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Danny Boy - Eric Clapton

I love this song. It always makes me cry. But then, most songs from this era have that affect on me.

The lyrics were written in 1910 by English attorney Frederick Weatherly. The lyrics were modified in 1913 to fit the tune of "Londonderry Air." The song was first recorded in 1915 by Ernestine Schumann-Heink. Nobody knows for sure who the narrator of the song is or where Danny Boy is going or why, although there are many suppositions. You can read the lyrics and decide for yourself.

The lyrics:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

Since I love these lyrics so much, why did I decide to include an instrumental version of the song? It's simple. The simplicity of it. There are so many versions out there and most of them are so over-orchestrated and over-sung and over-emoted that it hurts. Simple, honest, almost confessional - that's the way I love this song. That, and I love Eric Clapton.

Danny Boy by Eric Clapton

BBC article on "The Legend and History of Danny Boy" (This is an excellent and very informative history of the music as well as the lyrics and I highly recommend reading it for more insight into this song.)

Eric Clapton website

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gettin' High for Jesus - Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs

Yes, I'm giggling. Some days the irreverent part of me just takes over. Like today.

Indie singer/songwriter Holly Golightly first came on the music scene is 1991 as part of the all girl garage band Thee Headcoatees, a splinter group of the band Thee Headcoats. She released her first solo album, "The Good Things" in 1995. Since then, she has released 14 albums. Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs is the side project she has with her U.S. bandmate, Lawyer Dave. Their debut album, "You Can't Buy A Gun When You're Crying" was release in 2007.

Gettin' High for Jesus by Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs from the 2008 album "Dirt Don't Hurt"

Holly Golightly website

Holly Golightly MySpace page

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs website

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs MySpace page

The Brokeoffs website