Monday, January 16, 2006

Music recommendations from Laurel

Music! Always glad to recommend, and I think it's funny that you got the impression I am into rave/trance! Those CDs were my friend Trevor's, and while I certainly like to go out dancing every now and then, what I listen to at home is very different. I tend to like Jazz (especially bebop / 50s) and Brazillian / bossa nova, but am really enraptured by percussion of all kinds.

If you haven't heard Thievery Corporation, you should try them out! They are a DJ duo from Washington, DC who take all kinds of world music (African, Indian, Middle Eastern, South American, Reggae) and break it down into bits: drum lines, melodies, vocals, and then reconstruct original songs using the pieces. It's "dancy" in a sense, but extremely downtempo / ambient. Their latest album is called "Cosmic Game" but all of their CDs are great... I think it would be good to work to... upbeat but not overpowering.

Another similar group called The Outernationalists put out a great disc last year, Ethnomixicology.

Two movie soundtracks that I think you would like: "Donnie Darko" (also the movie is amazing... ), which has a haunting score surrounded by some great New Wave tracks from the 80s (Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Church). And "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" which has a ton of David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust era covers done in Portuguese by a Brazillian musician named Seu Jorge, along with a great score by Mark Mothersbaugh (who does all of Wed Anderson's movie soundtracks... "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums")

And three ladies you should check out: Jolie Holland (Escondida), Joanna Newsom (The Milk-Eyed Mender), and M.I.A. (Arular). Holland's voice is that of an older soul, sounding like a cross between Billie Holiday and... Loretta Lynn? And Newsom sounds like an American Bjork, traipsing through the woods with her harp. M.I.A. is a Sri Lanka refugee who moved to London 12 years ago or so. Her album may be a bit too jarring for your tastes, but it is an eclectic mix of Dancehall Reggae, Garage, and nonsense, and is the Latest Thing for people who are looking for new sounds. The album was released last year in England, but was just put out recently in the US. You may want to give it a listen (try downloading her first hit, "Galang") just because you are living close to the part of the world where she's from.

And finally, you should definitely check out a radio show on the web called Traveler, done by Six Degrees records founder Bob Duskis. You can listen to it streaming at:
http://www.live365.com/stations/sixdegrees

The Six Degrees label is always looking for funky, new, genre-defying music and has a new 2-hour program weekly, which they run continuously at that website (or on iTunes if you have that... look under the Radio in the categories "Electronica" or "Eclectic").

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