About me

My photo
started off as a music blog hence the name. but, it is now my any and everything blog.
Feeds RSS
Feeds RSS

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Music!!!

Janelle Monaé

I've loved Janelle Monaé since I first heard 'Many Moons', many moons ago (LOL!). This album has been a long time coming, I really hope she gets the success she deserves.

Many Moons


Golden Oldies

One of my favourite musician covers another one of my favourite musicians. I like both versions, but I think Nina simone's version adds more meaning to the song. If you are a fan of Nina Simone and don't already own "To be Free", you really should go out and buy it. I can easily say it's one of my favourite albums ever! 


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

African Music Post:Brenda Fassie - Vulindela

 I used to listen to this a lot as a kid. but, I had no idea what it was about. After a bit of googling, I found out that it is about a woman expressing joy that her son is finally getting married. I think I prefer not knowing what it means. 


Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekly Playlist

My playlist for this week. 

I'm feeling a little down and heartbroken . . . usual girlie stuff! And when I'm like this I want to listen to the following musicians. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Fiona Apple - When The Pawn Hits

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Amy Winehouse - Frank

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
David Ford - Songs For The Road

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Counting Crows - Films About Ghosts

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Nina Simone - To Be Free. The song 'Let it be me' makes me teary. 

** all images from google images or else otherwise stated.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Just Listen

No music review this week. In place of that, I'm posting this jem!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Think I fell for the song on TV - Eli Stone


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Eli Stone: image source: google images

Once the season opened with Jon Brion's 'Knock Yourself Out', I knew I was going to love this tv show.  The short lived series is about a lawyer Eli Stone (played by Johnny Lee Miller ) who has a brain aneurysm which gives him visions of the future. Like Scrubs, music plays a big role in this Tv series.  The entire first season was named after songs by George Michael and the episodes occasionally have a musical number. 

They even got George Michael to appear in one of the episodes;

Moments like that when he is caught having one of his singing/dancing hallucinations in public made me cringe. Also like 'Scrubs' the music adds to the story, although it does so to a larger extent on Eli Stone. The song in the music numbers often contain a clue or some advice for Eli. 

Some lovely person on youtube created a montage of the musical numbers;

I guess it was like an adult version of Glee.

After watching the first season I went on a quest to download all the songs featured. And I was glad I did, it led me to discover Mando Diao - an amazing Swedish band. I would like to believe that if the show went on for longer they would have released an official soundtrack, but unfortunately that didn't happen. It was cancelled before the end of the second season. 

My favourite discoveries;

I tend to write these things in no particular order, but this is number one without a shadow of doubt. The rest are in no particular order (LOL).

Sunday Afternoon from Remyyy on Vimeo.

Writing about this series makes me want to watch it all over again, I might have to buy the DVDs.

More on songs from Eli Stone: http://heardontv.com/tvshow/Eli+Stone/Season+1


Thursday, March 25, 2010

That's a Rap

I'm not sure where I heard this song - I think it was Eli Stone. The line, "I know Jesus was a rock star
and it was Elvis who turned water into wine" got me googling and downloading like a music addict in need of a fix. The rest of the album (The Stoop) is pure joy! It is very memorable, the lyrics are witty and easy to relate to. 


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Golden Oldies

This is not really an 'oldie', I just needed an excuse to post it because it is about growing older. I'm turning twenty-five in about five months and I'm struggling to accept it and go with the flow. I guess it's because I'm not where I thought I would be. I want to build a time machine so I can go back at least a year and fit as much stuff into the past 24 years. I don't have a lot of regrets, but I wish I had more time . . .  I'm making turning 25 sound like a death sentence!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

African Music Post: Asa - Bi'Ban'Ke

It took me a long time to get Asa's (pronounced Asha) album, but I'm glad I did. It is a good mix of Yoruba and English songs. Out of eleven tracks on the album, more than half (seven) are entirely in English making this worth your while even if you don't speak Yoruba.

It is very hard for me to pick my favourite song on the album, I torn between 'Fire on the Mountain' - which is a bit political, 'Awé'  -A funny story about naivety and this song I'm posting 'Bi'ban ké' - which is about breaking up. In the chorus, she sings "If I'm crying a flood of tears, leave me a alone. If I'm crying really hard, leave me alone". I'm a bit like that, if I'm crying, I want to be left alone.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekly Playlist

My playlist for the week!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Jimmy Buffett - Down to Earth

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Ben Harper - Burn to Shine

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The Avett Brothers - Four Theives Gone

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Bob Dylan - Modern Times

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Boatman's Call.

all images from google:images.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broken Bells - Review (not really)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
image source: google images

This is going to be a rather short review because I'm really conflicted about this album. I really can't get my thoughts on it together. I don't want to say it's rubbish because it really isn't. That said, there is something about it that doesn't hit the auditory G-spot for me. 

To start with, I really had trouble listening to the album. The last Dangermouse collaboration I listened to was 'Dark Night of the Soul', his album with Mark Linkous. I don't know why Mark's death got to me as much as it did, I think it made it difficult for me to listen to 'Broken Bells' when I first got it. I added it to my weekly playlist so I could listen to it on the way to work and in the hopes that the journey would prevent me from focusing too much on Mark's death. It worked! I listened to the album and started to get a feel for the songs.  However, I still don't feel like I can give a good account of my opinion of the album. There are certain elements in it that remind me of stuff by Jon Brion and I feel like it should be the soundtrack to a quirky indie movie.

I'm just going to list my favourite songs and stop rambling.


Because of the lines - A simple plan we'd be different from the rest and never resign to a typical life. Common fears start to multiply, we realize we're paralyzed. Where'd it go, all that precious time?

Sounds like a modern day beegees song. 

I'll probably find myself editing and tweaking this, but for now this is what I think.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Stuck on Repeat

Can't get this song out of my head, probably because I won't stop listening to it (LOL).

After work today, I poured myself a sloe gin fizz. My friend insist it's gross, but I love it! I totally see why Loretta Lynn wants a pitcher. I heard that Jack White is going to be collaborating with Jay-Z on a song and I'm apprehensive about it. Jack White has a crappy history when it comes to music collaborations (WTF was that mess with Alicia Keys?), on the other hand Jay-Z has done some good stuff (Collision Course is good stuff) so this could go either way . . .


Friday, March 19, 2010

I Think I fell for the song on Tv

This is the start of a short series about television and music. It is an amalgamation of two of my passions: television and music. I’m writing this based on television shows I watch and recommendations from friends/family (my sister is very keen on ‘House’ being on the list!).


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
image source: google images

It’s a little known fact that Christa Miller (played Dr. Cox's wife Jordan, but she is married to the show's creator Bill Lawrence) picks most of the music for Scrubs – most people credit Zach Braff. The song that is generally associated with Scrubs is the theme song ‘I’m no superman’ by Lazlo Bane, but the piece of music that made me start associating Scrubs with good music Joshua Radin’s Winter.

Discussing the music from Scrubs, Bill Lawrence said;
"A lot of times when we're outlining a show, we'll do it with a song in mind, because we really try to make the lyrics land with the visuals images that we're showing," he explained. "We're especially careful about this nowadays, because so many shows are doing end-of-show musical montages now. If they don’t stand out and they don’t seem special and well done, then you seem like you're just one of the crowd."

There is no way this list would exist without Scrubs. Christa Miller and the music + edit department changed the way viewers relate with music on television. On most television shows you have a theme song and occasionally a trendy song in the end of an emotional episode. On Scrubs the music is part of the episode, it tells the story, along with the dialogue and the images. For instance, the use of Joshua Radin’s Winter in the episode where Brendan Fraiser’s character (Ben) dies is apt because without being cheesey, the opening line (I should know who I am by now) captured how displaced the characters - particularly Dr. Cox, felt after his (Ben’s) death.

Shows like Grey’s Anatomy and House have gone to replicate Scrub’s use of music to a decent level of success. ‘Scrubs’ is (partly) responsible for my foray into music that is off the beaten path. I discovered Joshua Radin and looking into his influences led me to rediscover Paul Simon, Bob Marley and Cat Steven/Yusuf Islam as an adult. I had listened to their music as a kid, but it’s very different listening to their music consciously as an adult, stripping away the nostalgia and listening to the lyrics.

My favourite discoveries from the show:

I haven’t listened to most of those songs in a while, but I still love them very much and think of them fondly.

For more scrubs music season 1 – 7 check out: http://scrubs.mopnt.com/music/
Quote Source: http://blogcritics.org/video/article/cultivating-a-cult-audience-an-interview/page-3/

Thursday, March 18, 2010

That's a Rap

So, I've been re-reading my old posts and noticed some typos/lack of clarity. I try my best to make my blogs typo free, but sometimes even after reading things again and again I still miss something. If you are one of the few people who've read a blog post with typos and thought "WTF did I just read?", I'm truly sorry and I'm trying to pay closer attention to the little details.

Also, I'm working on a series of blog postings about music in television shows and I'm really excited because this is a real passion of mine. Trying to keep things a bit more interesting around here, so I'm not just posting videos and reviews.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weekly Playlist

Since my Zen MP3 player is broken, on my phone this week:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose and The Definitive Collection

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Asa - Asa

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
James Mercer + Danger Mouse - Broken Bells. That's not the album cover, I just love the picture.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

African Music Post: Crookers feat. The Very Best, Two Fingers and Marina Gasolina - Birthday Bash

Crookers feat. The Very Best, Two Fingers and Marina Gasolina - Birthday Bash

It's not entirely African, but it's such an amazing collaboration featuring:Marina Gasolina (Brazilian),The Very Best (Malawi),Two Fingers (Brazilian),;Crookers (Italian).

Doesn't it make you want to get up and dance?!

I think my next review is going to be James Mercier + Danger Mouse - 'Broken Bells', but I'm not sure. I'm finding it hard to listen to at the moment.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Golden Oldies 3

Does this count as an 'Oldie'?!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sade - Soldier Of Love

I've been listening to Sade on and off since I was little. Growing up in Nigeria, she was a part of my childhood. I was told about her Nigerian heritage, we even had a hairstyle named after her. The hair was parted from ear to ear, the front part was plaited into really tiny cornrows and the back was braided in single plaits. So, you end up with that smooth scraped back ponytail look that Sade often wears.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image source: google

Smooth Operator was on heavy rotation, I was in my pre-teens back then and the only words to the song I really knew was; "No need to ask he is a smooth operator". Sade remained a part of my life for years to come. I never actively sought out her songs or albums, but she is one of those people I look at nostalgically. Her music takes me back to my childhood in Nigeria, lazy days when I just lay back and watch her videos or listen to her mellow sound come from the radio and wash over me.

In order to write this review, I looked back at previous works by Sade. One of the things many people (including me) seem to have discovered recently is the Sade is the name of the band. I always thought Sade was the person. I had no idea she occasionally sang about otherness and race like in the case of 'Tar Baby' (Album - Promise) and 'Immigrant' (Album - Lovers Rock). I had always known her for her love songs.

Despite listening to Sade for years, 'Soldier of Love' is the first album of theirs I've ever owned. I have a 'Best of...' album because it contains all the songs I knew growing up, but I've never made the effort to buy a complete album.

My first impression of 'Soldier Of Love' is that it's full of heartbreak. The first track 'The Moon and The Sky' sounds like a person living a relationship with as much dignity as she/he can muster. ‘The Moon and The Sky' is followed by 'Soldier of Love' which carries on that heartbreak theme, but it is about carrying on rather than being beaten, broken and depressed by the end of the previous relationship. So far so good, till you get to 'Babyfather' and it gets a bit dicey for me. It’s not a totally awful song; it just doesn't fit in with the rest of the album. And there is a Caribbean/Reggae twist to it that one doesn't readily associate with Sade. I can't deny that the line 'your daddy love come with a lifetime guarantee' is catchy and memorable, but other than that this song could have been shelved and put on a different album.

I first listened to this album walking to the bus stop after work. It was 12:30 am, I was tired and hating my job and wishing things had turned out the way I planned. 'Long Hard Road' came on and made me even more depressed, despite all that it's my favourite song on the album.

It is a short song, but it goes straight to the heart of the matter and packs a mean punch. There are two parts that stuck with me the most, 'When in this life, in this life, when I can only turn my chin, I know it's going to be alright', and 'When this big old town is closing in and I've lost again. Here I could stay, but I keep moving on'. I live London and my walk home takes me through Trafalgar square and Piccadilly Circus, so the line about the 'big old town' could not be any more perfect or apt.

I think Soldier of Love is a very sophisticated and classy album, but it takes a couple of listens to really get it. I listened to it all week, but it wasn't till this morning that it all made sense to me. It is different from the baby making albums that the band is known for. I know there are people that find their music too boring or mellow, but I tend to think of music in terms of time, mood and place. When I'm getting ready for a night out I would rather have some Gym Class heroes or even Lady Gaga. Sade's music (and specifically this album) is reserved for a lazy weekend or after a break up. You listen to it in a quiet house, with a cup of tea in hand and reflect on the past, love lost and hope regained.

mypspace: www.myspace.com/sade


Saturday, March 13, 2010

K'naan - Wavin' Flag/Canadian Song for Haiti

I hesitate to post this because it too soon to have two posts about one musician, but I love this song and it is for a good cause.

The Original

The Cover/Version for Haiti

I actually prefer this to 'We Are The World', I think it's more hopeful.

Mypace: www.myspace.com/knaanmusic


Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young

I’ve got a cold – aaaaargh!
I thought I had conquered my colds. I tend to get them a lot, but haven’t had one in a year! I didn’t even get swine flu when it was all over the place. So imagine my shock when I work up this morning sneezing with one eye (yes, one eye) running, puffy and red. It’s like the cold virus was waiting for me to finally have a good night’s sleep. Luckily I have 4 days off so I can sleep it off and get high on Benylin.

Before I get into the review, I have a confession to make . . . I started listening to The Strokes because of a guy I had a crush on. He was a big fan and my naive little heart thought he would like me back and see me as a potential girlfriend if he sees that I like the same stuff that he likes. Years later, there have been messy rejections (which included him hitting on my friend in front of me) and awkward reunions. I look back at that moment and wonder ‘What the f**k was I thinking?’ I don’t see him anymore, but I still love The Strokes. I love them so much, I bought Albert Hammond jr.’s Solo albums (The second one wasn’t so good) and I’ve got Julian Casablancas’ latest offering.

I had no real expectation of the album. I listen to so much music that following my favourite musicians and bands would be a full time job (dream come true!). Unless they are regularly in the tabloids or there are posts about them on ONTD, I really won’t know what is happening with them and I tend to miss album release dates.

If I had paid more attention to fan sites, myspace and wherever else people find information about musicians and albums, I would have found out that Phrazes for the Young is heavily influenced by Synthpop . . . I hate Synthpop! It reminds me of the awful things about the 80s, garish sweaters, big hair and terrible pop music. Somehow, Julian has made me like Synthpop, but I’m not sure how he managed it. Maybe because he dishes it out in small doses?! Or I like him so much I’m willing to endure the Synth?!

Either way, I think Julian has produced a well put together album. His ability to weave meaningful lyrics into ‘11th Dimension’ is proof positive of this. It makes the song and the album more than the average Synth pop party album.

My favourite song on the album is '4 Chords of the Apocalypse', there is something so grand about it. Every time it comes on my MP3 player, I have to listen twice. The wave of pain, sadness and eventual acceptance in it is so beautiful and there is a something about the order and chaos in the backing track that just works.

'Ludlow Street' carries on where '4 Chords' leaves off. While not as grand as '4 Chords', it still has the Julian touch and his ability to almost physically transport you to the situation he is describing. Julian shows that it is possible to write and perform an emotionally charged song without Whitney Houston/Mary J Blige's vocal ability or vocal acrobatics. And it doesn't have to be mellow, folksy or R'n'B.

On the other side of all that is 'River of Brakelights' which makes me think of nights when I've had too much to drink and I'm on the dance floor with no inhibitions. Hilariously (to me anyway), the chorus of this song features the line 'Timing is everything, Timing is everything’, when I listen to this song timing is the last thing on my mind. I just want to dance like I did when I was kid with no concept of timing or rhythm.

I think Phrazes for the Young is a must have because it is such a fun album. And it is different from the albums by The Strokes so those that don't consider themselves fans can give it chance.

Myspace: www.myspace.com/juliancasablancas


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

African Music Post:Freshlyground - Potbelly

Between life and work, I never get to complete my music reviews as quickly as I would like. But, I really want to keep this blog going (I know I keep saying this), so I'm just going to keep posting mini updates like this.

I need to complete my view of Julian Casabalanca's album and the new Sade album. I'm also hoping to get time of work to go and see 'Phantom Limb' and 'Steve Carlson', hopefully my boss would take all my overtime into consideration and give me the evening off.

Till I get the time to complete my review (most likely this weekend), I'm going to post this little gem. I know many people aren't exposed to African music and it hurts me when people reference Vampire Weekend as African music. If you've never heard actually African music, I hope this song is a great intro and piques your interest in African music, be it modern like Freshlyground and K'naan or tradtional like Miriam Makeba or Fela. I might go on to make this a regular thing.

This isn't representative of all African Music, this is more of a modern take. Freshlyground is a very jazz, popy and occasionally traditional south African band. I saw this video, fell in love and had to get the entire album (Ma'Cheri) which is mostly in English. I think not understanding a language should not prevent you from& enjoying a song. I listen to a lot of Carlos Santana and I don't speak a word of Spanish.

Anyway, here is it;

Freshlyground - Potbelly


Sunday, March 07, 2010

R.I.P Mark Linkous

Just woke up from a nap to learn that Mark Linkous from Sparklehorse has died. I also learnt that this isn't his first attempt at killing himself.

image credit: imageshack

I keep seeing the words "takes his own life" and it makes me so sad, depressed and moved to tears. I'm not a big of fan of Sparklehorse, I discovered their music through a mix tape. I'm not sure what the name of the mixtape or song is, but something about it stuck with me. So when I heard about the album 'Dark Night of the Soul', I had to have it.

'Dark Night of the Soul' went on to become one of my favourite albums of last year. Initially the album was shelved, never to be released until last week (4th of March) when EMI and Danger Mouse got over their legal dispute. The full album is still being streamed on NPR, for those that haven't heard it.

I can't imagine what Mark was going through, but reading about his first suicide attempt and the fall out from that is heartbreaking. I know many people around the world are going through a similar situation, some have even taken comfort in Mark/Sparklehorse's music and lyrics.It is now more important than ever to not lose hope, think about the friends, family and strangers who wish you well and try to seek help. You can do so anonymously. You are never too old to need or get help.

U.K:do not lose hope
U.S:Talk to someone


Golden Oldies 3

Pearl Bailey is so underrated.


Black Female Rock Singers

I hesitate to call this the top or best anything. This is just a couple of black female rock stars that I think deserve some recognition. While this isn't strictly a race blog, I'll occasionally address the issue of race in the hipster, alternative, rock and even folk scene because not doing so would be tantamount to ignoring the elephant in the room. I've gone to enough concerts and been to a couple of hipster/rock bars and I know what the scene is like racially. I enjoy observing the few minorities (if there are any) in this situation because it makes me examine myself, and my friend and I often play "spot the black person" , I discovered the American equivalent is "spot the negro".

A while ago I watched "Medicine for Melancholy", a black indie film and it left me with a bit of a mind fuck that stuck with me months after I watched it. It got me thinking about how exclusively white the alternative scene is and how the scene and the people in it consciously or& subconsciously ;"other"/separate the minorities. An example of this would be calling black hipsters "blipsters".

Basic stuff like dating and how you wear your hair becomes twice as hard because we live in a world where people need visual cues to know where we fit in and how to relate with us. If you wear a afro, you have to wear it in the messiest/rockest way possible, else you get mistaken for a 'soul sista' and if you are wearing a weave you don't want something from the Beyonce collection, you are thinking more along the lines of Zooey Deschanel.

It worries me that people are so eager to be stereotypical and they want to tick all the boxes of what it means to be part of the 'alternative culture'. And I find myself wondering, what's the 'Alternative' when the alternative itself has become extremely mainstream?! Maybe it goes back the the visual cues and it might be easier to be welcomed into the fold if you look like part of it. Whatever the case maybe, I would love to see the hipsters, blipsters, scenters and all the other "sters" a few years from now, I would love to see if they've drifted to the next trendy style or if they've found their own way. Hopefully they will find their way, but I won't hold my breath.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Back to the topic at hand -  Black Female Rock Singers. Hopefully, when I start to do this more often there'll be less diversions. This is by no means an exhaustive list, there are many more out there that I didn't mention.

In no particular order:

Meshell Ndegeocello

She is such an awesome bassist.

Tina Turner

^Previously unreleased, he went with the Michelle Branch version for the album. Nothing against Michelle Branch, but I think Tina's voice compliments Carlos Santana's guitar style more.

Grace Jones

Anytime someone talks about Gaga's originality, I point out good old Ms. Jones.

Shingai Shoniwa

The current album is a bit of a let down. So, I'm going with an oldie.

FeFe Dobson

I know many, many people don't rate Fefe as a rock artist, but my teenage self  *hearts* this song. Someone has to be there for the teenagers and prepare them for the likes of Shingai and Grace.

Skin (Skunk Anansie)

I'm not a big fan of Skin/Skunk Anansie, but I can't deny the awesomeness of this song. She conveys the angst and the sexiness so well.

Angelique Kidjo

I really wanted to post her version of Malvina Reynolds' Little boxes because it goes with the rant accompanying this post. But embedding is disabled on the video, so I'm posting the next best thing.


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

That's a Rap

Working on a review and trying to scout for new bands, but I really want to keep this blog going so I had to post some stuff I'm loving at the moment.

Childish Gambino a.k.a Don Glover - rapper, actor (on community), writer (for 30 rock) and stand up comic . . . is there anything he can't do?! god! I hate him.

The lyrics are so perfect, there too many great parts to quote . . . .