Friday, May 25, 2012

1000 Recordings Sampler Episode 2

Here's the second installment of my 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die sampler, where I get to mix in a few of my favorite songs from Tom Moon's list. In the first episode I did a tribute to the recent deaths in the music industry, which meant the playlist was heavy on the pop music. This sample is a bit more scattered: although I grew up on rock and pop, I have been introduced to so much great music through the book that I think it's important to help folks find a place to start (especially if, like me, you are not well-versed in jazz, classical, and world). Here's the playlist for this week, you may know a few of these, but hopefully some will be new:

Play here on Spotify

1. Paul Simon - "I Know What I Know" (classic rock/South African)
2. Tom T. Hall - "Who's Gonna Feed Them Hogs" (country)
3. Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin - "The Inner Mounting Flame" (jazz)
4. Curtis Mayfield - "Billy Jack" (R & B, soul)
5. Philip Glass - "Knee 1" (opera/weird)
6. John Fahey - "Orinda-Moraga" (folk)
7. King Sunny Ade - "Sunny Ti De" (Nigerian/juju)

If you like the music, buy the tracks on Amazon: Simon, Hall, Mahavishnu, Mayfield, Glass, Fahey, Ade

Related posts:

Monday, May 21, 2012

1000 Recordings Sampler Episode 1

1000 albums (give or take a few) is a lot of music to get through. I've been working my way through the book for 3 years and I'm just past halfway - if you're a casual listener, it could be overwhelming. So today I am doing the first of a new installment: the Recording the Recordings Sampler. This is a way for me to feature some entries I enjoy without everyone having to sit through a whole album. If you don't like a track, you can skip to the next one; if you do enjoy it, you can pull up the full album on Spotify.

In the past month we've lost an astonishing amount of world-class musicians, many who are household names. This week's playlist is a tribute to those we lost. Stream the playlist here.

1. Isaac Hayes - "Theme from Shaft"
Charles Pitts, 65, guitarist for Hayes. The intro with the "wah" is played by Pitts on this track

2. Chuck Brown - "Midnight Sun"
Chuck Brown, 75, the "Godfather of Go-Go." If you want to hear more about Brown, the 1000 Recordings Podcast guys just reviewed his work last week

3. The Beastie Boys - "The Sounds of Science"
Adam Yauch, 47, aka MCA of the Beastie Boys. This is one of my favorite Beasties songs and I never noticed before that MCA says "Yeah, that's right, my name's Yauch."

4. Booker T. & the M.G.'s - "Melting Pot"
Donald "Duck" Dunn, 70, bassist for Booker T, and a member of the Blues Brothers.

5. The Band - "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"
Levon Helm, 71, drummer/singer for the Band, who also put out two great comeback albums after temporarily losing the ability to sing due to throat cancer.

6. Gram Parsons - "She"
Chris Ethridge, 65, bassist, co-wrote the above track with Gram Parsons

7. Donna Summer - "I Feel Love"
Donna Summer, 63, known for her disco-era hits, this is the only track that made it into the 1000 Recordings.

8. Bee Gees - "You Should be Dancing"
After I wrote this last night Robin Gibb, founder of the Bee Gees, died of cancer at age 62. It's been a rough month for music.

If you like the music, buy the tracks on Amazon: Shaft, Brown, Beastie Boys, Booker T, the Band, GP, Summer, Bee Gees

Related Posts

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

COVER: Sonos Do A Capella Version of Jackson 5's "I Want You Back"

Caffeinated. Boppy. Groovy. Uplifting. All words to describe what has to be the best song ever to feature an 11-year old lead singer (no offense to Willow Smith), "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5. Tom Moon saw fit to include this gem on his 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die as a standalone song, praising the pop genius of it.

Then along comes LA-based a capella sextet Sonos. Gone is the caffeine, bop, uplift, and all that's left is the groove. Chris Harrison's booming bass (electrically produced via an effects pedal) holds down the wicked bassline, and Ben McLain's beatboxing keeps the whole thing moving. I heard this back in '09 because my brother was a childhood friend of Paul Peglar's (who has since left the band to pursue his acting career) Due to the appearance of this song on NPR back in the winter of '09 the group's debut album ended up on iTunes top album sales for a while. The band also appeared on NBC's "The Sing Off" (where they performed this song and actually got some flak from judges Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men and Ben Folds for changing the original too much).

While I think it rocks, check out their version below and decide for yourself. Refresh yourself on the sound of the original here, and then go buy Sonos' album (featuring covers of 1000 Recordings entries by Bjork ("Joga") and Rufus Wainwright ("Oh What a World")). They are working on a new one featuring their original material.

Friday, May 4, 2012

NEWS: Beastie Boys' MCA aka Adam Yauch Dead at 47

Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, one of the trio of rappers from the recently Rock Hall-inducted Beastie Boys died today. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. He was 47, and as far as I'm concerned they were still at the top of their game. 2011's Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 (stream it here) made my top ten list last year, and their seminal Paul's Boutique, included on the 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die (as well as Rolling Stones' 500 Greatest Albums of All Time) is still an amazing listen. A sad day for music fans. (Thanks to Stu for the head's up)

Stream Paul's Boutique here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

COVER: The Beatles' "If I Fell" Covered All Trippy by Greta Link

Anyone who knows all about the Beatles seems to think that everyone else knows all about the Beatles. By that I mean that if you are "into music" then folks assume you know every Beatles song ever done. I mentioned before that I hadn't heard the White Album until I started reading the 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, and although I had heard a lot of the songs off A Hard Day's Night, watching the movie was something of a revelation for me. Most of the songs off that album have that old, happy sounding Beatles sound you're familiar with if you listened to the "oldies" station as a kid, but then some have this heaviness to them that are surprising. "If I Fell" is one that I remember specifically being amazed by, thinking "I can't believe I've never heard this."

So when I saw a Cover Me lede for Greta Link's version of the song I jumped at it. I think the song (and Link's video) speak for themselves, so check it out below and then click through to my Cover Me post to download the link (or go buy it for what you think it's worth at Link's Bandcamp page).

Check out more from Greta at her website.
Read Moon's entry here.