Sunday, November 28, 2010
I'll be going to England, South Africa, Namibia, Scotland and France (in that order, as London as my hub.) I've built this trip around visit my friend Brad in Namibia in the Peace Corps. I figure why not make a whole adventure out of it.
This is a mix I made in 2007 when I worked at the Hatbox, a hat store in Austin on 6th Street, during South by Southwest. It was super fun putting hats on music industry folks from all over the world. David Boreanaz (from Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Badly Drawn Boy came in to browse around.
I added a couple things that have come out since then like the Maneja Beto tune. All of these songs are upbeat, suitable to be played loudly in a retail shop.
Click to download
1. Something Good - LZ Love
2. Toot Your Whistle - White Ghost Shivers
3. You're Gonna Miss Me - The Thirteenth Floor Elevators
4. Big Fat Mama - Pinetop Perkins
5. Darlin' I'll Do Anything You Say - Junior Brown
6. Don't Wanna - The Asylum Street Spankers
7. Ritmo del Tambo - Grupo Fantasma
8. Stuck in a Crowd - Alpha Rev feat. Casey McPherson
9. City Song - Kathy McCarty
10. Mr. Atom - Liz Pappademas
11. Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
12. Solo Quisierea - Maneja Beto
13. Truck Driver - Scott H. Biram
14. Call Of My Heart - Toni Price
15. Bloodless Revolution - Carolyn Wonderland
16. Let's Talk About Jesus - Bells of Joy
17. Take The Fifth- Spoon
18. When She Walks Away - Alejandro Escovedo
19. The Lost City Of Refuge - …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
20. Cariño (First Date Mix) - Ocote Soul Sounds
Yoga Mix - Music obviously makes a big difference to me in yoga classes. I get bored easily, and if the music is boring, I'll tune it out and just get more bored. But there have classes where the teacher picks interesting music, and I'll come back just for that.
This mix is full of luscious and calming music that I would love to hear during a class. But it's also just a calming, mellow mix. I know some of you are yoga teachers, so I figure you might want to add some of these tunes to your ipod.
Click to download
1. Ave Regina Caelorum – Dufay (Seattle Pro Musica)
2. All is Full of Love remix - Bjork
3. Scarborough Fair/Canticle - Simon & Garfunkel
4. Sodade - Cesaria Evora
5. Strange & Beautiful (I'll Put a Spell on You) - Aqualung
6. Hypnotist - Built For The Sea
7. Many Seasons - Kacey Johansing
8. Mouneïssa - Rokia Traoré
9. Singing Softly to Me - The Kings of Convenience
10. Heartbeats - José Gonzalez
11. All You Ask - Magnet
12. From The Depths / Mi'ma'amakim - The Idan Raichel Project
13. Almost Everything - Raya Yarbrough
14. Take My Hand, Precious Lord - Mahalia Jackson
15. Angels - Wax Poetic feat. Norah Jones
16. Ice - Sarah McLachlan
17. Fields of Gold - Eva Cassidy
18. Sirata - Habib Koite
19. Love Is Blindness - U2
20. The Song Of The Sybil - Dead Can Dance
21. Kol Galgal - Shotei HaNevu'a
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I met Amber Gregory when her posts started popping up on Examiner.com. In the last year I've watched her photography get better and better. I've also noticed that we were ending up at a bunch of the same concerts over and over again like OONA and My First Earthquake. So it's good to know she appreciates the best! I also like to see what awesome and fun outfits she shows up in! :)
Amber is completely self-taught and she's only been doing this for two years. TWO YEARS! (picks up jaw off of floor) She gets those "money" shots: the dynamic images of musicians in the moment of their element. I like the ones that are fierce. She really knows how you use the light to enhance the shot and her processing is amazing.
She says in one of her Examiner.com stories:
Live music is fleeting, and there is a great challenge to being able to capture the mood (emotion, physical dimensions, sense of space, the thickness of the air) of a live performance in a series of still images. I want to capture tangible proof of the unique qualities of these fleeting moments.As it goes with digital cameras, you can get hundreds of photos from a show. If the performer is dynamic, it's fun to click through these quickly in a facebook or flickr album and watch the performer move, usually in a much crisper image than most video.
PR folks are starting to offer me photo passes, and since I know very little about taking a good photo, I asked Amber to come along to the Greg Laswell show.
Below is a slide show of some of my favorites of hers from the Treasure Island Fest, Coachella and other shows around town, including a gorgeous shot she took of Greg, with a broken camera.
Oh, she does weddings too! :)
See more of Amber's work on her site here.
(Picasa was being really frustrating and deleting my captions, so in the slideshow you will see in order: Greg Laswell, My First Earthquake, Scissors for Lefty, Groove Armada, OONA, Florence + the Machine, The Specials, The Gossip, Devo, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Fitz and the Tantrums, Rykarda Parasol, The Thrashers, Tartufi (and little guy), Belle and Sebastian, The National, a bra, Wallpaper, !!! (Chk Chk Chk) and the Ferocious Few)
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wainwright’s vocal timbre is a specific taste. You either like it or you don’t. He is one of the few vocalists that can pull off nasaled, and I was curious to see if it would work in a concert setting. It would be interesting to hear a classically trained vocalist attempt to perform these pieces as there were moments of strained higher notes. In popular music, this can commonplace and even artistic, but on the Davies Hall stage, it seemed a little strange. I'm still on the fence if I personally liked it or not.
Maneja Beto's new album Escante Calling (A Rare Calling) should not just be noticed by Spanish speakers, but recognized by music industry at large. Not just because it’s great record, but because of the direction it’s pointing. Maneja Beto will probably never become a household name (although if I ruled the world it would be) but the concept of the band’s music will become as commonplace as reggae or hip-hop: “Indie en Español” is a genre we’re going to be hearing more.
I met singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Alex Chavez in a Cultural Anthropology seminar at the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 when we had both just started our Master’s degrees (he completed PhD just this year). Once I heard his band's music, the genre “Indie en Español” made perfect sense. Maneja’s music lies in that nebulous “Indie” zone, a term that has lost it’s original meaning identifying a band’s separation from major record companies. These days it’s more of a category describing the fusion of styles, sounds and instruments. “Indie” is where experimental popular music lies.
If you like Radiohead, Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend and the Arcade Fire, you’ll probably like Maneja Beto. And if you’re a non-Spanish speaker, I guarantee the music is interesting enough that you might not mind so much that you can’t understand the words. Who can understand what Thom Yorke sings anyway?
Maneja Beto's fun video of the last track of the album "Ofrendas"
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Photo by preamble
Anyone who takes their cues from Bjork is okay in my book.
READ MY REVIEW HERE
Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over VMA
Uploaded by samiam2546. - Explore more music videos.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Verrett was a black woman in the world of opera when there were few. She was a black woman in the era of civil rights. She was a woman in an industry that didn't (and still doesn't?) really believe that a woman could have a successful personal and professional life.
Professor Verrett's office was covered in photographs reaching as far back into the 1950s showing herself onstage and posing with presidents, other famous opera singers and celebrities. She was fearless. And I learned as much from her vocally as I did from her about life.
She taught me that you can be as successful in your personal life as you can be in your career. You CAN BE a famous opera singer and be a wife and a mother at the same time. And if others tell you differently, it doesn't matter.
She also taught me that you should not allow yourself to be pegged in a corner if you do not want to be. Being labeled as a mezzo-soprano, a dramatic soprano and more, Verrett kept critics on their toes by tackling operatic roles that were unexpected for her vocal type. She appeared in music theater productions (she was in a production of Carousel with Taye Diggs and seemed more excited about that than anything else she ever did!) and encouraged her students to sing music theater.
Professor Verrett also valued beautiful and natural things. Her vocal technique was based on supporting the natural positions of the body. I know this is pretty common, but at the time I had been learning from a voice teacher in high school who got me to make funny faces when I sang. It's been an uphill battle to unlearn those habits ever since.
Verrett also loved clothes. She LOVED clothes. Her father was in the fashion industry and she had the opportunity to travel all over the world. So she managed to pick up some interesting garments along the way. It was fun to see what she wore to campus each week.
Shirley Verrett died yesterday November 4th in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She will be missed.
Here she sings Tosca at the Met in 1978 with Pavarotti and MacNeil.
You can download this list from iTunes!
If you'd like to enter to win this book, leave a comment. And make sure you identify yourself!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Greg Laswell finally gets to rock out with a 5-piece band, and the catalyst to starting this blog in the first place
It was a lonely September evening when I went to see Greg Laswell by myself at Cafe du Nord in 2008. But it was there that I decided to go home and actually start writing. I had been thinking about it for awhile, but there was something about discovering this musician and seeing him play live that actually convinced me to do it.
So thanks, Greg.
I'm super excited to see him play with a 5-piece band on a bigger stage. The energy of his music calls for more sound, and somehow the two and three piece groups I've seen him with always left me a tad disappointed.
READ THE PREVIEW OF THE THIS SHOW at the Independent next Wednesday HERE
Please click through, even if you don't read it, I get a penny every time you go to my Examiner articles! MAKE ME RICH!! lol. I don't have a day job anymore!!
And for those of you not in the Bay Area check out his tour dates here, he'll be heading through the Midwest, East Coast and Canada in the next month or so.
And stay tuned for photos and review from a fellow Examiner Amber Gregory.
Watch Greg try to sing backwards (to make it look like he's singing forwards) while people destroy the set in the background.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Never have I heard words that were any truer (at least for me personally).
Alice Herz-Sommer will be 107 years old this November. She is the oldest living Holocaust surviver. She has her friends, she has her health and she plays piano everyday.
Alice lived in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II. Theresienstadt was used as a Nazi front to show the public the daily lives of prisoners. It was the only Nazi camp where children were kept with their parents and where artists were permitted and encouraged to create.
Read my post about a concert featuring some of the music composed in Theresienstadt
Even though many of these prisoners were starving, they kept on creating. Alice was one of these people.
Alice Dancing Under the Gallows is a film due to be finished next year. To follow its progress see its twitter and facebook pages.
I want to be like Alice when I grow up. Her love, hope and optimism are truly an inspiration.