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Friday, April 1, 2011

Suddenly Last Summer: A Playlist to Remember St. Dominic's Preview

 Since I just accidently deleted a post that I've been working on for two months, I'll offer this poor substitute collage of sounds and styles including a British family, Finish jazz, bluegrass, rock covers, and live music from Big Star, The Wailin Jenny’s, and Van Morrison. Plus, new songs from the former trucker Watermelon Slim and Daniel Lanois!  A Found OTR playlist from years ago...I'm SO SAD about deleting my real April post... it's going to make me cry!

1. Ramsey Lewis Trio: "Wade in the Water"_ Chess Northern Soul (Chess)
The definitive 60's northern soul-jazz instrumental and spiritual that defines my whole reason for playing music on-air. Of course, Linda Tillery set me straight on the songs poignant origin.

2. Great Lake Swimmers: "Singer Castle Bells"_Lost Channels (Nettwerk)
The clock strikes 3 bells... stage light North.

3. Bjork: "I’ve Seen it All" feat. Thom Yorke_Selma Songs (Elektra)
4. Bjork: "New World"_Selma Songs (Elektra)
An amazing song pairing from the distinctive and creative Icelandic muse. Selma Songs was released in 2000 on the minor film success of Dancer in the Dark. Quickly we understand that Bjork presents us with the challenge: will it be sight or vision; cynicism or hope; relationship or relativism. Bjork captivates with her lyrical charm on these songs. I'm sensing the trees more than the forest. Vincent Mendoza's orchestral blend certainly adds to the albums cohesiveness. A fine example of how Pro-Tools can be put to effective use. AMG writer Heather Phares discusses the album’s flight.



5. Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate: "Du Du"_World Circuit Presents (Nonesuch)

6. Headlights: "This One" feat. Tristan Wraight_Keep Your Friends and Loves Close, Keep the City You Call Home Closer (Polyvinyl Records)
Successful indie-rock bands build anticipation and sonic momentum on their best songs right? I find this little rock beat to be a prime example. Recorded as part of the Daytrotter Sessions in 2007. Is it any wonder why the Midwest continues to provide inspiration in a sea of mediocrity? I'm still campaigning for all time best title for an EP. Family I

7. The Books: "Cello Song" feat. Jose Gonzalez_Dark Was the Night (4AD)
It can be argued that Nick Drake shuddered at the thought of blending his acoustic guitar with anything other than traditional string and piano (see Bryter Later). The Books recognize that 70's folk-jazz craft, but honor Nick in ways he could never have imagined. Drake-co-phile Jose Gonzalez excels on his vocal muse. Take that.... Byrne and Eno.

8. Nick Drake: "Hazy Jane II"_Bryter Later (Hannibal)
9. Shirati Jazz: "Dr. Binol"_World Circuit Presents (Nonesuch)
Benga music for western followers. Popularized recently President Obama's love for Extra Golden.

10. Dalindeo: "Poseidon"_Open Scenes (Ricky Tick)
Inspired jazz from Finland! A quote from their website, "Before we get too nostalgic and retro here it must be stressed that this is contemporary music and the very sound of now. This is not 'lounge' or your average 'chill out' nonsense, on the contrary. Dalindèo's aim is to bring back the freshness, lightness, beautiful compositions and rhythmic textures of the era and combine it with modern approach. And this is where the producer Tuomas Kallio steps in. Kallio, well known and highly respected man behind The Five Corners Quintet and Nuspirit Helsinki, has been involved with the band ever since their first single release 'Poseidon' and has been a big influence in shaping the sextet's sound. " Harbor Star approved.

11. Maia Sharp: "Angel on my Shoulder"_Echo (Crooked Crown/Blix Street)
A talented female musician whose focus on the song-lyric continues to stir-up the attention of many AAA formats. I simply like her commitment to compositional songwriting. It’s not so much about posing for the attention. Sharp quietly exudes confidence and wins over the heart.  Having released only four albums in twelve years- it's likely Maia spends a lot of time polishing and hemming down her songs…finishing the edges, rounding out the borders. This notes for you. She talks with iprong magazaine about the art of songwriting.

12. Great Lake Swimmers: "Pulling on a Line"_Lost Channels (Nettwerk)
Not of a long of songs today involve the concept of a line. It's impact of implied division or separation, like "drawing a line in the sand." Lead singer Tony Dekker expands on the meaning behind his curious lyric.
The line runs through like a train in a book,
Or metres underwater, ending with a hook
It sways in the air when there's wind enough to lift, The fine ones are boundaries when there is a rift

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, I'm just pulling on a line
I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, & sometimes it pulls on me

The line, it inks across the freshly fallen snow,
Where only those embracing coldness would go
It whistles and it whispers, and sometimes it howls,
It sings to me sweetly from the trees and in vowels

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, I'm just pulling on a line
I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, & sometimes it pulls on me

The line, it writes itself across the dark sky,
In the electric flushes ending with a sigh
It weaves itself into a fabric so true,
and flows just like the river, graceful and blue

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, I'm just pulling on a line
I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, and sometimes it pulls on me


13. Regina Specktor: "Dance Anthem of the 80's"_Far (Sire)
It's not cool anymore to use "quirky" as an adjective to describe odd but creatively inspiring artists. Let's all quit it now. Since the de-frocking of over-baked descriptions, Specktor continues to stretch her muse. For someone associated with an 80's record label, this track is particularly pleasing.

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