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Showing posts from June, 2008

Pacifika - Asunción (Six Degrees Records, 2008)

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Checking out some new music recently with Dave from Direct Current , this track by Pacifika caught my ear. Listen to "Sweet (Radio Mix)" Suggesting a mix disc concept of songs that are described by their title, "Sweet" comes from Pacifika's album Asunción, recently released by Six Degrees Records. This Peruvian/Canadian threesome is distinguished by a most interesting mix of musical influences and the very appealing vocals of Silvana Kane; described on their website thusly: Pacifika is the multi-talented Silvana Kane, a Peruvian born singer, re-formed pop sensation (West End Girls), and accomplished actress with a love of flamenco, electronica, and textured percussion; Adam Popowitz a Canadian bred guitarist adept at new wave, classical, and pop, and a skilled producer responsible for a catalogue that includes indie rock and Armenian folk music; and Toby Peter, a dub wise bassist born in Canada and raised in Barbados, explorer of jazz, hip-hop, Latin, metal and

Ledisi - CBS Saturday Early Show, 6/28/08

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The CBS Saturday Early Show presents live music performances every week during the last half hour of the program. Very quietly presenting some of the best new artists and most interesting established artists, the "Second Cup Cafe" has become the most reliable source for quality live music on network television. Just check out the Second Cup Cafe archive at the CBS website where videos of the performances are all available to watch; most of these are so good we can forgive being subjected to a commercial at the start of each video. Ledisi's latest, Lost & Found (Verve, 2007) is her major label debut and her third album overall. Garnering much attention for the two Grammy nominations she earned for Lost & Found, Ledisi is also the worthy recipient of much praise for her contributions to tribute albums such as We All Love Ella and Forever, for Always, for Luther. Live appearances on TV can be a great way to bring new audience to the table, and this morning's per

George Carlin, 1937-2008

One of our most free-thinking, opinionated, accomplished, and funny practitioners of comedy, George Carlin died yesterday at age seventy-one. Carlin perfected the art of comedy as social commentary (and vice versa) and was well into his fifth decade at it, always bringing new and fresh material to the stage. I had two brief brushes with Carlin during his career. As the local radio disc jockey for an FM rock station, I had the honor of introducing Carlin on stage at one of his live concerts in the mid-seventies. Years later, standing on line at the NBC studios one afternoon for a taping of the Conan O'Brien show on which Carlin was a guest that night, I remember Carlin arriving at NBC with no entourage, not even an assistant, just the ultimate everyman in jeans, with ponytail and briefcase. Much has already been said and written about Carlin since the news of his death this morning, but the appreciation that really struck a chord with me is one written by music industry veteran a

Carly Simon & Ben Taylor - Family Therapy on the Howard Stern Show, 6/19/08

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Carly Simon and Ben Taylor visited the Howard Stern show this morning along with David Saw and Carly's band to perform "You're So Vain" and to talk about Carly's new record, This Kind of Love. Here is the segment in its entirety. You have never heard an interview quite like this. Warning for sensitive ears, this is uncensored satellite radio. Audio courtesy Sirius.com, photos courtesy HowardStern.com. Ben Taylor David, Ben, Carly This Kind of Love (Hear Music, 2008) Carly Simon's myspace . Ben Taylor's myspace . Sally Taylor's myspace . David Saw's myspace . James Taylor's website . Livingston Taylor's website . Kate Taylor's website . Howard Stern Show website . Sirius Satellite Radio website . P.S. Here's a nice flashback courtesy of lupine22 on youtube.

Shayna Zaid - Rockwood Music Hall, 6/11/08

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Shayna celebrated her birthday last night at Rockwood with her full band and a packed house of adoring friends, family, and fans. Having only just encountered Shayna for the first time about five weeks ago, getting to know her music in the meantime has made my appreciation for this gifted singer and songwriter grow exponentially. Here's "Take Your Time" from this show. Shayna's excellent band is anchored by her producer Jay Deasel on guitars, Emek Rave on bass, Christopher Heinz on drums, and also features Yan Izquierdo on violin, and Brendan O'Grady on piano; the piano and violin combining to add a most pleasing texture to the sound on the full band arrangements. Listen to "It's You". "I Remember" opened the show, and while the acoustic version of this knocked me out the last time here , the full band version totally killed. There was an amazing amount of love in the room for Shayna, and she reciprocated with an awesome set that included

Sharleen Spiteri to Release Solo Album, Melody, July 14th in U.K.

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After fronting the excellent Scottish band Texas for twenty years (hard to believe, Harry), singer Sharleen Spiteri has finally recorded a solo album, Melody , scheduled for release in the U.K. on July 14th. Hoping not to get lost in the shuffle of current singers working the sixties/pop/soul aesthetic, Melody is described on Sharleen's website thusly: Not only did Sharleen write the whole album, she also produced it, taking complete artistic control of its every sonic nuance. Steeped in the sound and textures of '60s soul, '50s rock'n'roll and doo-wop, it's an album that's vintage in flavour yet utterly contemporary in spirit. Beside the new generation of retro-obsessed UK songbirds such as Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele, it's a timely reminder that Sharleen was already dabbling in similar influences over a decade ago, be it Tamla Motown ('Black Eyed Boy'), Marvin Gaye ('Say What You Want') or Elvis Presley (cross-dressing up as The Kin