31 posts tagged with Music by MiguelCardoso.
Displaying 1 through 31 of 31.
As God Is My Cleaning Lady: Crypto-Fado For Bohemian Pagan Popsters. They can't play their classical Fado guitars very well; they have a punky drummer and the Fado singer not only smiles pouts and shakes her hips, but actually seems to enjoy herself! What's become of this country? Are they mad? Reckless, certainly. They call themselves A Naifa and what they've done is taken a massive, ice-crunching Waring Pro blender to all the sacred potions, fruits and flavours of Portuguese traditional music and poured out a vulgar, shameless, disrespectful and utterly delicious shambles of a Pop cocktail. Heresy in old Lisbon? I nearly choked on my 30-year-old aguardente velha, but then realized I was dancing merrily and had already spilt most of it anyway. [Probably not fun for those unfamiliar with the Fado. QuickTime required.]
A Bigger Splash: What Sunny California Did To Miserable Manchester Man Morrissey. His new album, "You Are The Quarry", is released on May 17th in the U.K. and the next day in the U.S. But the problem is: does anyone still care? I do! [More inside.]
Are You Ready To Be Heart-Broken? Sounding like the sprightly spawn of Radiohead, Coldplay and (yes) Queen, Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" is, imho, an enchantingly romantic song, lovely and over-ambitious in the tradition of, say, very early Aztec Camera, Ash or Travis. Thing is: their first album, "Fears and Hopes" (so appropriately named for those inured to pre-first-album-jitters) will be released in May and already I dread the disappointment I just know awaits me. Early promises in Pop music have so often been cruelly broken by follow-ups, "sloppy seconds", maturity, whatever, that I put to you that musical competence, technique and general "production savvy" are inimicable to good, dirty teenage songs such as Keane's. [Be sure to listen to the other three songs on the web site, although only the gist of the wonderful "Somewhere Only We Know" is offered. They're quite good!]
Is Alex Ross Trying Too Hard To Be Eclectic? It's a great article but, imho, a few false notes are struck here and there. Can you love classical and popular music at the same time? Classical types always like the same popular stuff (Dylan and Pink Floyd, of course) and popular types always like the same classical stuff (Wagner, Puccini, Mahler) but somehow the suspicion remains that one's heart can't be in two places at once. There's something ingratiating and icky about attempts to pretend "it's all music". It isn't, is it? Also, God forgive me, 20 is way too late to start listening to Pop.
Don't Miss Bobby Gillespie's Fantasy Festival On Saturday And Sunday! It's on BBC's rather good Radio 6. Just a heads-up to admirers of Primal Scream's constantly astonishing vocalist and producer - and, yes, the Rolling Stones are in. Strangely out are other Great Scots like Ivor Cutler and Roddy Frame, to mention only other undisputed geniuses. As a bonus, here's The Scotsman's very intelligent list of the 100 Best Scottish Albums. And don't mention Postcard Records! Ah, the "Sound of Young Scotland"... some dead; some turning 40. What and who are the new Scottish talents? *sigh*
Why Isn't Judee Sill's Beautiful Music More Well Known? Everyone has a favourite musician who, for some reason, remains unknown and unfairly overlooked. My choice for a much-deserved and long overdue revival is the silky-voiced, eccentric, tragic, ethereal and ultimately mysterious Judee Sill, one of the great Seventies singer-songwriters. Who would you nominate? (Here are a few mp3s of demos and unreleased recordings which will give you an idea of her beautiful voice and highly-strung delivery and, hopefully, lead you to explore her two main albums.)
Spot The Essential, Seminal, How-Could-These-Imbeciles-Have-Forgotten? Popular Song: A well-made list, specially if it's authoritative and includes no less than 500 songs, is just asking to be cruelly inspected for omissions, ridiculed for certain inclusions and generally derided. This one is, admittedly, a toughy. But perhaps way too US-centric and too Rockist. I mean, honestly, sometimes you Yanks act as if you'd invented Pop music! ;) (Via the newly-discovered Rivurcated Bifets.)
So You Think You Know All About Rock Music, Do You? Well, try Rough Music's Rock Challenge quiz. (Click on the top left-hand corner, where it says "Test Your Rock Knowledge", include nom-de-plume and imaginary e-mail addy - with spaces even - and prepare to ransack that befuddled memory of yours.). There's additional fun to be had by betting on each question. I loved it! Be warned, though: if you're any good, it's a great time-waster! P.S. The site itself isn't half-bad either. (Via LinkFilter.)
Go Ahead And Leave Me, See If I Care! Was not what the late, great Jacques Brel sung. Oh no. (Scott Walker, imo, did the best cover.) And last Tuesday a 16-CD collection was launched, with all his songs - and then some, including 5 he specifically stated he never wanted released. I've heard two of the songs - they're wonderful. But the question remains, with echoes of Kafka telling his friend Max Brod to burn all his manuscripts: should the wishes of dead artists be respected? Does time - in this case 25 years since his death - make it any less problematic? Or the fact that the publication was approved by the Jacques Brel Estate, i.e., his widow? (My favourite Brel song, btw, is his wistful, sardonic tribute to his country: flat, boring Belgium: Le plat pays. It never fails to exercise the tear ducts, nope, never...)
Hooray For Leonard Feather's Scrapbook: Here's something wonderful to go with proud owners of his epochal Biographical Encylopedia of Jazz . Seminal articles and delicious jazz clips (Quicktime req.) are part of the pleasure.
The Song Is You: If ever there was a perfect singer - and I do mean perfect - it was Ella Fitzgerald. Her Songbooks (please scroll down for the listings and samples) are still - and will always be - the best collection there is of the great American standards. That is, if you don't mind crying and having the little hairs on the nape of your neck stand up and revolt. And swing. They'd be the last
records objects I'd be willing to part with: they're the mother's milk of American Western popular culture. So imagine my surprise when I found their perfect counterpart on the Web: the best-ever collection of lyrics to the songs of the greatest American composers: Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Richard Rodgers. Admirably, the compiler has gone way beyond his duty and included wonderful standards (quite a few unknown to me) that even Ella never got around to singing. Thank you, Todd. And God bless you, Sir!
When Bad Singers Happen To Good Songs: The Songicides! In today's Spectator Markus Berkmann amusingly raises the deadly spectre of the worst covers ever recorded. We're talking assassins here. I nominate Phil Collins's massacre of Holland/Dozier/Holland's "You Can't Hurry Love", as originally sung by Diana Ross and the Supremes; U2's goring of Cole Porter's "Night and Day", best sung by Sinatra or Ella and, worst of all, though he's my favourite artist, Leonard Cohen's mangling of Irving Berlin's classic "Always". What's the worst cover version you'd like to report to Musical Homicide?
Go On, Give Us A Song, One From The 21st Century! Mine is Comforting Sounds from the Danish quartet Mew, whose wonderful website I thoroughly recommend. [Windows Media involved.]
There's Always Something There To Remind You of a Burt Bacharach or a Stephen Sondheim song. [Do check out this MeFi thread where our own MarkB mentions his work on the Sondheim website.] Burt turned 74 this month, Steve was 73 in March. Must we wait until they die before celebrating the genius of American popular music's two greatest living composers? [ And isn't it appropriate that Elvis Costello is the most recent composer to receive the ASCAP Founders' Award which previously honoured Bacharach and Sondheim?]
Radiohead TV: Welcome To The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth Of All Time! Yes, fans and detractors - it's that time of the year again. But look before you hear, mind!
My favourite band The world's most lyrically evolved band Radiohead is about to unleash, after the wonder that is There, There [Full videoclip here] a new long-playing record and with it, on May 26th, a new television channel [Please scroll down a bit for details]. They're going: "I haven't had this much fun in years". Well, indeed! I wonder how many fans get the dark, gallows humour of Radiohead. And what beautiful songs! I put it to you Thom Yorke is the new Leonard Cohen, another much-funnier-than-he-sounds songwriter and performer.[Windows Media req. Quicktime version of TV channel here; Real version of "There, There" video here. Please go to the website for other details and lower res alternatives..]
Feeling Wistful, Lovelorn And Sort Of Somewhere Else Where You Shouldn't Be? Be Damned And Listen To A Few Fados
You Are Cordially Invited To A Night Of Fados. It's Saturday night; you're hidden deep down in one of Lisbon's fado houses; so pour yourself another glass of thick, blood-red wine; cast your mind back to loves lost and the memory of joys that will never return; take out your most tear-absorbent handkerchief and prepare to indulge in the most melancholy, poetical and maudlin of all urban songs: Lisbon's Fado... [More inside.]
So Farewell Then, Cool And Strange Music... Thanks for the weirdness on the way out. I guess. What's the most unsettling, pseudo-cheery music you've ever heard? What is it about music, that it can be so sinister and funny at the same time? [ Via Portage.]
There Is Only One Carnival... but a lot of sambas to go with it. Get Rio de Janeiro's 2003 songs here and, at least spiritually, join the escola (school) of your choice. It's the real stuff, guaranteed to put a spring in your step. If you get the French Fashion TV channel, you can watch the desfiles (parades) live! Oba! Oba![Some Real, WM or something required - forgive the indefinition, I'm just back from the first Carnival party and a bit drubk. Last year's songs were featured in this post.]
Are Jazz And Gay Culture Antithetical? When an American friend of mine told me recently that gay men hate jazz, although that's not my experience in my part of the world, it got me thinking. But the article I found, by Francis Davis, only added to the mystery. Is the audience for Jazz overwhelmingly and creepily white, bourgeois, straight, macho and middle-aged (which, embarrassingly, just about describes this Jazz fan...)? If it is, why the hell is it? Why are there so few outed gay Afro-American musicians, for instance? Is there still a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" mentality? Or, more interestingly, does it have something to do with Jazz itself? Or even being gay? And what about the other musical stereotypes (Garland, Streisand et al.) used in caricatures of gay men? Is there anything in them? [NYT reg. required for main link; atrocious text garbling in the second.]
Let Me See Your Beauty Broken Down: Here's an illuminating song-by-song commentary of the work of Leonard Cohen, along with a slide-show of his "Closing Time" notebook; some dodgy drawings; a lot of grainy photos of the great man, and Pico Iyer's liner notes for the recently released Essential Songs. Yeah, right. As if anything he ever wrote or sang or said wasn't. [Cohen fans will forgive the shabby web design. Thank you woods lot for the heads-up.]
MAME Rock: Thankfully, Grand Master Peter is back to his old tricks! [Requires Shockwave and speakers, not to mention a good memory and a high Rawk tolerance threshold.]
Legato and Avant La Nuit are two exquisite interactive pieces by Nicolas Clauss, a "painter who stopped 'traditional painting' to use multimedia and the internet as a canvas", working from his Flying Puppet studio in Paris. [ Requires Shockwave. Use your mouse.]
Is This Finally The Best Of The Rolling Stones? Their website was redesigned earlier this month in preparation for Forty Licks, the upcoming anthology which is being touted as the definitive compilation of their best songs. Is it though? There have been, er, more than a few of them in the past - even (most shockingly!) a couple of very good ones. Nor do the four new songs exactly transmit over-confidence. More pertinently: does it (do they) still matter? [Or, are we better off sticking to the current Primal Scream reincarnation?]
Is The King Finally Dead, After 25 Years? Elvis Presley died on 16 August 1977 and, silly season or not, The Observer, kicking off with Nik Cohn's above-linked essay, has assembled a cracking collection of articles, interviews and humorous pieces about the controversial crooner, mainly directed (I'd say) at non-fans. To my mind, the most enjoyable are Nigel Slater's brave attempt to make the famous Presley sandwich; the weird interview with Larry Geller, his hairdresser and spiritual advisor; the account of Elvis's only (secret) visit to Britain; Michael Odell's funny set of instructions on how not to behave at an Elvis party; an interview with George Nichopoulos, the doctor who wrote out more than 10,000 prescriptions for him; a round-up of ludicrous ex-girlfriends' memories and, as an after-thought, a collector's report on locating that legendary first "Uh-huh" of his. It's all good stuff but one has to ask whether, in this day and age, it isn't, er, overkill. Is Elvis Presley still that relevant or is he slowly becoming a figure of fun? Whether or not he's actually dead, of course, is entirely another matter...
Start Me Up Or Shut Me Down: Is Music Compromised And Cheapened By Its Use In Commercials? The Doors' John Densmore, writing in The Nation about why he refuses to accept Apple's and other companies' generous offers to use his band's songs, certainly thinks so. Is this an admirable example of integrity; precious vanity or just downright jejune?[More inside]
One Defining Jazz Track Per Year, From 1945 To 2001? An Impossible Task! Well, not for Gary Giddins, arguably our greatest contemporary jazz critic. He's just spent five months going through his record collection to come up with a terrific and deliciously debatable list for The Village Voice. Yeah, how could he leave out...*insert your particular obsession here*...?[Here's a 74-page 1996 interview with him(in pdf format) that's practically a mini-history of jazz.]
Those Malignant Musical Tumours Lodging, Growing In Your Brain! I came across this bulletin board while seeking to update two of my favourite 2001 posts: the May 10 and the October 10 threads about earworms - those annoying, infectious songs that get stuck in your brain and slowly destroy it. Here's a working link to the relevant article, since the one on this last post is broken. [My AAARGH! list inside.]
Was Richard Rodgers The Greatest American Popular Composer So Far? 2002 is his Centennial. He may be less cool and more bourgeois than the other greats like Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Frank Loesser, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim. But even the most cursory look at the long list of the wonderful songs he wrote(try the excellent song search feature), with Hart, then Hammerstein(and some other lyricists, including himself)makes it very difficult to deny there never was - and probably never will be - a more talented and versatile tunesmith. Miles Davis was right. He was a genius. And yet...[Flash required for the (interesting) intro]
Very Rude, Very Unsafe For Work, But Charming And Just About OK For Friday Night...Perhaps! Whatever: There's still no excuse for this kind of thing. It's number one E-mail forwardista in Portugal and 9 out of 10 female Iberian bloggers recommend it. So please don't click if you're a prude or dislike pseudo-country music. Is all I'm saying...[Shockwave required]
Is This The Best Bob Dylan Site Or What? Every single song of his reminds us how deeply in debt we are.
Not Flying Down To Rio For The Carnival? Never mind! Beat the crowds but catch the beat by listening to this year's terrific sambas before the rest of the world can. This is the real shanty-town stuff, not the watered-down touristy rubbish[WindowsMedia required]that passes for Samba. This year my favourite for first prize is Mangueira. What's yours? The Brazilian Carnival[learn all about it here] starts Saturday and goes on straight through to Tuesday. For the latest inside information - including the Bin Laden Mask controversy - O Globo's special web site[In Portuguese]is unbeatable. Enjoy!