Friday, 29 June 2012

The Four Seasons - Sherry

Phil writes: I see that Frankie Valli (at 78) is touring the UK. A good excuse to post this masterpiece:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sugar Man by Sixto Rodriguez from the film Searching for Sugar Man

Joe writes: I know this sounds very Nathan Barley-esque but I first heard Sixto Rodriguez when the DJ at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch played Sugar Man and I Shazamed it. It's a magical record and it turns out it has a magical story behind it which is the theme of the new documentary Sugar Man. Read this for more.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Edwina Hayes, whose cover of Feels Like Home features on the soundtrack to the Cameron Diaz film My Sister's Keeper

Joe writes: I have been an Edwina Hayes fan ever since the demo of The Road appeared on a National Band Register CD in the late nineties. There's an all-too unusual purity to her voice and her songwriting. If she had more ambition and nous perhaps she would be huge, or then again, perhaps that would be incompatible with purity.

She made an album called Out On My Own for Warner which featured most of her best songs, but it was  overproduced (not enough focus on the purity).

Her cover of Randy Newman's Feels Like Home featured on the soundtrack to the Cameron Diaz film My Sister's Keeper and I guess the film was just shown on UK TV because Edwina appeared in the lower reaches of the chart.

Here's the original demo version of The Road, a little rough around the edges and very long but who cares when the voice and song are this good:

And here's Bonnie Raitt singing Feels Like Home (Edwina's version is here):

Daine Angel feat. Theo Altieri - Txt Me Back

Joe writes: This is so good. Theo Altieri is a singer songwriter in his early teens. Daine Angel is a rapper with hearthrob good looks whose father is the techno DJ and producer Dave Angel. Both Theo and Daine are from Swindon and on Txt Me Back they get together and perform alchemy. Emotion, hooks, songcraft, it's all there. Who does it sound like? Maybe G Love & Special Sauce. Whoever it is, it's a sound no-one else has done recently and it feels like the right time.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Julio Bashmore

Joe writes: Julio Bashmore is the producer behind one of my favourite tracks of the year so far, 110% by Jessie Ware. Superficially what he's doing isn't that different to the last two decades of house music, but he has somehow succeeded where so many others have failed - he makes accessible tracks that also sound modern. He has also started DJing on Radio 1 and he's pretty good at that too. Here's his solo track Troglodytes, in the fine tradition of dance tracks featuring spoken word samples.

Talking of which, here's Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb, featuring a sample of an interview with Rickie Lee Jones (and various other samples according to the Wikipedia page):

The theme from Prometheus: Chopin Prelude in D Flat Major

Joe writes: I went to see Ridley Scott's film Prometheus tonight which was better than I'd feared, and features my favourite piano piece as its theme, Chopin's Prelude in D Flat Major, also known as the Raindrops prelude.

The same prelude also inspired the theme to the '80s soap opera Howard's Way (sorry, couldn't resist):

Here's a scan of an autographed page from the Paderewski edition of the sheet music:


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Wind and Walls by The Tallest Man On Earth

Joe writes: My favourite track from the new Tallest Man On Earth album. Also my favourite track of the moment. It's an orgy of melody.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

more Rumer originals: Richie Havens and Stephen Bishop

Joe writes: Here are my other two favourite discoveries of songs covered by Rumer on her Boys Don't Cry album.

It Could Be The First Day by Richie Havens is simple, concise and beautiful. Rumer has said she was introduced to the song by the producer Steve Brown.

The Same Old Tears On A New Background by Stephen Bishop can't be found on YouTube so here it is on a long-forgotten corner of the internet called MySpace: The Same Old Tears On A New Background

Art Garfunkel actually released the first version of Same Old Tears... on his album Breakaway, but Stephen wrote the song and released his own version on his album Careless.

Here's Stephen's greatest hit On And On:

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Otto Knows - Million Voices

Joe writes: Big dance tune from a protege of Avicii.

Vaguely reminds me of the classic Da Da Da by Trio, being based around a vocal riff that's not really a lyric.

original versions of the songs from Boys Don't Cry by Rumer

Joe writes: I get excited when artists with great taste make covers albums - it means I can download all the original versions and reasonably expect to discover some great tracks in doing so. Rumer was already planning the release of Boys Don't Cry before she'd signed a record deal. It features lesser known songs of heartbreak by well respected but not necessarily well known male singer songwriters of the early '70s. In other words, music to my ears. A lot of the song suggestions came from Steve Brown who produced Rumer's first album but didn't produce this one after falling out with Rumer.

I have three favourite discoveries from the album. Two of them aren't on YouTube yet which I may remedy shortly. The one that is is Be Nice To Me by Todd Rundgren. I liked the YouTube comment "Ben Folds should give Todd 30 cents of every dollar he makes".

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Script - The Man Who Can't Be Moved

Phil writes: Not really being very clued-up about the music of today, apart from things that Joe tells me about/posts here, I must confess that 'The Voice' has been a bit of an ear-opener  -  Tom Jones was the only judge whose music I was at all familiar with.

Just happened to catch the video of this on a music channel. Pretty impressive even on first hearing: