I’ve been paying more time looking at analytics data for this blog (i.e. I’ve been paying attention to how many people have visited the blog and what country they are visiting from). I was shocked to note that no one from Greenland has ever visited the blog. I did a little research and discovered that Greenland has an active music scene so I decided to use this week’s Two’fer Tuesday post to highlight a couple of artists from Greenland. My hope is that the post might attract some visitors from that country (if you know anyone that lives in Greenland encourage them to come and visit.
Today’s post highlights a group named Malik and a second group, picture above, named Nanook. I enjoyed both of their songs and hope that you will as well (I don’t speak Greenlandic so I really don’t know what the songs are about). If someone from Greenland visits the blog maybe they will provide us with translations! Let me know what you think……..
Malik – ilumooruma soqutaanngilaq
Nanook – Kisimiinneq – Seqinitta qinngorpaatit
As a bonus here’s a video from Nanook’s 2012 summer tour of the Faroe Islands. It looks like the boys had some travel challenges getting to the Islands but, once there, everyone seemed to have a great time!
Nanook summer tour 2012, Faroe Islands
I did a little research on the Faroe Islands and have decided that I need to visit them myself. They are absolutely beautiful as you can tell from the picture below!
Seattle has long been a hot bed of great new music and that’s still true today. Today’s Two’fer Tuesday post highlights two new Seattle groups that are making music that you need to hear. First up is a great new female group called La Luz (pictured above).
La Luz started in 2012 and features Shana Cleveland (guitar), Marian Li Pino (drums), Abbey Blackwell (bass), and Alice Sandahl (Keyboards). Sure As Spring, from the girls debut album (It’s Alive), features four part harmonies, surf guitars, and some amazing organ all of which combine to create a sound that transports me right back to the 60’s. Really good stuff!
La Luz – Sure As Spring (great 60’s girl group pop)
Next up is Pillar Point, a solo project of Scott Reiterman who previously started Throw Me The Statue. With Pillar Point, Scott produces a glorious synth pop sound that would have been right at home back in the 80’s. You can hear that sound for yourself by listening to Eyeballs from the group’s self titled debut album. Enjoy!
My first offering for this Two’fer Tuesday post comes to us from Iceland by way of Sindri Már Sigfússon side project Sin Fang. His album Flowers was released last year and featured Look At The Light which is the song I have for you today. I think you will like…..if you give it a listen……
Sin Fang – Look At The Light
The bonus is a live Sin Fang performance on Look At The Light……
My second offering for this Two’fer Tuesday post is from indie rocker Kurt Vile (pictured above) who released his fifth album, Walking on a Pretty Daze, last year. This album features much longer songs that his other releases and I have to say I really like the Neil Young kind of extended jam sound. Here’s the title track from that album so you can see what you think.
Kurt Vile – Walkin on a Pretty Day
The bonus is a live Kurt Vile performance of Walkin on a Pretty Day
The Dum Dum Girls are an American band that was formed in 2008. They just recently popped onto my radar and I have to say that I’m entranced at this point. Their new album, Too True, was released earlier this year and it is a really solid effort. Here are two of my favorite songs from the album. See what you think.
Are You OK
Wondering where the group’s name came from? I’m betting it has something to do with the Iggy Pop song Dum Dum Boys….let’s listen and you can make up your own mind…..
One of the things that I dislike about becoming older is that I find it very hard to find new music that surprises/amazes/entertains me. Back in the late 60s and early 70s (when I was a young man) it seemed like every week I discovered some great new musician, artists, or song that just blew me away. These days that doesn’t happen very often…..but today I’m sharing one of the rare cases where it still occurs.
The group Elbow, out of Manchester England, has been around for over 20 years with exactly the same personnel but somehow they totally escaped my attention until a couple of weeks ago when I happened upon their new album named The Takeoff and Landing of Everything. From the very first note of the very first song of that album I was surprised, amazed, and entertained.
The Guardian recently featured a great interview with Guy Harvey, Elbow’s lead singer, that I encourage you to read (click on the link below to access the article):
In case you don’t read the article here is an excerpt where the author discusses the album and I have to give him credit, he says most of what I feel about the album/band a lot better than I ever could.
The Take Off…, Elbow’s sixth, has many of the band’s hallmarks: moments of majesty, strings provided by Manchester’s Hallé orchestra; choruses that bury themselves deep after only one or two listens; astonishingly deft character portraits – of an ageing, bitter drunk (Charge), or a girl who was always better than where she came from (Colour Fields); funny lines (“she and I were for a burton tailor-made”); and beautiful, strong human sentiment. Garvey is known as a romantic but he has many sweethearts. Over Elbow’s 24-year career, he’s sung of his love for his home city, Manchester, of the joy of other people’s company, of the romance of drinking and smoking, the wonder of teenagers and the bittersweet pleasure of getting older. His tenderness extends to friends, alive and dead; his family, all generations; old loves and old foes, now reconciled to him through song. Garvey’s emotion transforms the quiet trials of everyday life into a magical thing.
The only thing that I would add is that Guy is an amazing singer. There is something about his tone and phrasing that reminds me of Peter Gabriel (with Genesis and early in his solo career) and that is probably the best compliment I could ever give a singer. So….on to the music. I had to make this a bonus edition of Two’Fer Tuesday because I was unable to pick just two songs to share with you! The three songs I have for you are New York Morning, Fly Boy Blue/Lunette, and My Sad Captains (a live version recorded on BBC Radio 2 last week). Enjoy!
The way the day begins
Decides the shade of everything
But the way it ends depends on if you’re home
For every soul a pillow and a window, please
In the modern Rome where folk are nice to Yoko
So I’ve had a nice Holiday break…..I hope you have as well. My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to Follow My Arrow. Confused? Listen to the following song by newest musical obsessions, Kacey Musgraves, and it will make a lot more sense…..
Kacey is one a great set of talented country songwriters that that emerged in 2013 and I absolutely love her song Follow Your Arrow. You could do a lot worse than adopting the following lyrics from the song as your own resolution for this year.
Say what you think
Love who you love
‘Cause you just get
So many trips ’round the sun
Yeah, you only
Only live once
So make lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that’s what you’re into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don’t
And follow your arrow
Wherever it points, yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points
Here’s an acoustic live performance of the song that I though you might like as well…..
I’m a little behind in my “Forty Years Ago Today” posts so later today I plan to do a final post to catch you up on the album releases in the later part of 1973. Later this week you should be looking for my Best of 2013 (End Of The Year Music Review) post.
Today’s post features, Star Carol, a song that was written by Alfred Burt. He finished the song on February 4, 1954 and died less than 24 hours later from lung cancer. (Mr. Burt’s history is quite interesting….you might want to check it out on Wikipedia.)
Star Carol is a beautiful song but not one that you are likely to have heard so today I’m offering you two different versions in today’s post. The first version was recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford for his 1958 Christmas album. I think this was the first non-choir recording of the song. The second version was recorded by Simon and Garfunkel in 1967 but this version wasn’t included on any Simon and Garfunkel release until the 1997 Old Friends compilation. I think this version might become one of your favorite Holiday songs in the future. Enjoy!
I prefer the simpler Simon and Garfunkel version. Let me know what you think….
Today’s post continues our Holiday Music Countdown in Two’Fer Tuesday style. I have two great versions of Joni Mitchell’s song River. First up is a performance by James Taylor which is followed by a performance by Sarah McLachlan. I would be hard pressed to say which is my favorite….they are both great and I think you will enjoy them.
Thanks to Joel Bernstein for the great picture of Joni skating on a river.
Iska Dhaaf is a band out of Seattle that I recently discovered via the KEXP Music That Matters podcast. Here is what the KEXP site has to say about the band….
Local duo Iska Dhaaf take their name from Somali words meaning “let it go” and say that they’re inspired by Sufi poetry and the ideas of limitations and patience. “It’s very rare that we finish a song in a couple days or weeks,” says singer Nathan Quiroga, who also goes by Buffalo Madonna when he’s part of the Mad Rad crew. “Mostly it takes months, and in some cases, years or more. We’re not interested in rushing the process.” Despite this, Quiroga and his bandmate Ben Verdoes, who you also know from Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, have been busy lately, releasing the new single, working on a music video, playing live.
Here is the band’s video for their song Happiness……
Happiness is the title song on the band’s second release which you can purchase from their website (http://iskadhaaf.com) The second song I have for you today isn’t included on their Happiness release but if it is any indication of things to come from the band I will be first in line to buy their next release. The song is called All The Kids and it is a stunner. Let’s listen…….
If you liked All The Kids, I have good news for you. You can download the All The Kids mp3 for free at the following link (enjoy)!
Got an email from Bruce yesterday about a new album that he’s releasing early next year. Here’s what he had to say about it…..
I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add “High Hopes” to our live set. I had cut “High Hopes,” a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the 90′s. We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it. We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with “Just Like Fire Would,” a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out “I’m Stranded”). Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level. Thanks for the inspiration Tom.
Some of these songs, “American Skin” and “Ghost of Tom Joad,” you’ll be familiar with from our live versions. I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording. ”The Wall” is something I’d played on stage a few times and remains very close to my heart. The title and idea were Joe Grushecky’s, then the song appeared after Patti and I made a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It was inspired by my memories of Walter Cichon. Walter was one of the great early Jersey Shore rockers, who along with his brother Ray (one of my early guitar mentors) led the ”Motifs”. The Motifs were a local rock band who were always a head above everybody else. Raw, sexy and rebellious, they were the heroes you aspired to be. But these were heroes you could touch, speak to, and go to with your musical inquiries. Cool, but always accessible, they were an inspiration to me, and many young working musicians in 1960′s central New Jersey. Though my character in “The Wall” is a Marine, Walter was actually in the Army, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry. He was the first person I ever stood in the presence of who was filled with the mystique of the true rock star. Walter went missing in action in Vietnam in March 1968. He still performs somewhat regularly in my mind, the way he stood, dressed, held the tambourine, the casual cool, the freeness. The man who by his attitude, his walk said “you can defy all this, all of what’s here, all of what you’ve been taught, taught to fear, to love and you’ll still be alright.” His was a terrible loss to us, his loved ones and the local music scene. I still miss him.
This is music I always felt needed to be released. From the gangsters of “Harry’s Place,” the ill-prepared roomies on “Frankie Fell In Love” (shades of Steve and I bumming together in our Asbury Park apartment) the travelers in the wasteland of “Hunter Of Invisible Game,” to the soldier and his visiting friend in “The Wall”, I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing.
Hope you enjoy it,
Let’s listen to the album’s title track……
It’s a little bit of a different sound…can’t wait to check out the rest of the album next year. I’m really looking forward to hearing his studio version of The Wall. Here is a rare live performance of the song from back in 2005….
While we’re waiting for the new album, here’s a bonus performance of Secret Garden from Bruce’s stop in Leeds this year. It’s one of my favorite songs and it really sounds great here….