Rid yourself of those winter blues with Ursula 1000's Winter (Mega)Mixes, which are not focused on winter music, but rather an upbeat mix of deep, funky, sleazy, acid tinged delights, as Alex Gimeno, the Brooklyn-based retro-futuristic producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist labeled his latest mix. Read on for more sampladelic easy listening breakbeat tracks in a style similar to continental popsters from Pizzicato Five to Dimitri from Paris, plus some fuzzy garage rock-influenced tunes! [more inside]
Somewhere in-between the space-age bachelor pad sounds of Esquivel and the gimmicky novelty of Spike Jonze sits Mel Henke, one of the most overlooked originators of the mid-century lounge sound. While most famous for versions of All That Meat, 77 Sunset Strip, and Pennies From Heaven, his largely instrumental wink-wink-nudge-nudge album La Dolce Henke is considered his masterpiece - The Lively Ones - The Twisters - You're Driving Me Crazy - Woman In Space - Farmer John - Old McDonald Had A Girl - See The USA In Your Chevrolet - Last Night On The Back Porch (Warning, historical sexism, erotic car metaphors)
It was music to be heard, not listened to. It was the soundtrack to the relaxed, sophisticated, mature vision of the good life. It was music for lovers. It was upbeat, elaborately arranged, chart-toppingly popular, and yet has been almost written out of the popular music history books, dismissed as “elevator music”; soulless, toned-down, pre-chewed, limp cover-versions of popular songs for old people. So sit back, put aside the politics and angst, slip into something comfortable (preferably with someone of similar description), and allow yourself to experience The Joy of Easy Listening [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Ubiquitous yet mysterious, timeless yet tied to a golden age, mainstream yet frequently experimental: the BBC steps Into The Music Library. While music libraries like DeWolfe and KPM are best known as the source of many classic TV themes and film soundtracks, they're also responsible for incidental compilations are now both influential and appreciated in their own right, such as Basil Kirchin's Abstractions of the Industrial North and Barbara Moore's Vocal Shades and Tones.
Are you man enough? Man enough for D'URBAN, Japanese men's wear commercials from the seventies, and eighties, 2::3::4::5::6::7::8... 11::12:: with easy listening soundtracks to die for. Think Paul Mauriat and Francis Lai. And while we are on the subject of things awesome, and things Japanese, please do look at 00000piopio's criminally good youtube channel of a-ma-zing Japanese first pressings of such songs as -- Do You Know The Way To San Jose by Bossa Rio::Sugar Sugar from The Archies::Que Sera Sera by Mary Hopkin::Another Day／Paul McCartney::Sealed With A Kiss／Lettermen::Love Me Tonight ／Tom Jones::In the Ghetto／Elvis Presley::An Old Fashioned Love Song／Three Dog Night::In The Year 2525／Zager & Evans::Knock Three Times／Dawn::and I've barely scratched the surface.
The Now Sound of the Sixties is what's groovy, baby! Even Big Bands and Canadians are getting warm, wild, wonderful with the crazy sounds of that love generation. Check out Ella Fitzgerald singing Sunshine of Your Love and Lord Sitar's I Can See for Miles. Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 do Wichita Lineman and Day Tripper, while lounge act Jackie & Roy do a rare cover version of the Beatles' The Word. The Alan Copeland Singers can't stop Goin' Out of My Head, but the Back Porch Majority looks like an outtake from A Mighty Wind with the hippie anthem, Get Together. But the hippest hep daddy of them all is Bing Crosby, who has both a Beatles medley and another medley of hit '60s tunes.
Happy birthday, Herb Alpert! The man who managed to make bullfighting look sexy (and the only solo artist to ever hit #1 on the Billboard charts for both vocal and instrumental pieces) turns 72 today. Celebrate by watching a classic video, listen to a 2001 appearance on Morning Edition, or spend some quality time with Dolores Erikson, the "Whipped Cream Lady."