With today’s lauch of Vista, I find myself thinking about the ALO post I wrote in October. What does ALO have to do with Vista? It’s the song Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song),of course! So, one might wonder, is updating to Vista a waste of time? Frankly, I have no idea. You can let the other technophile bloggers duke it out over that one. For now, I’m going to drink a Margarita and listen to the Isla Vista Song. Cheers!
Ladysmith Black Mambazo is possibly the finest acapella group in the world. With one foot steeped in tradition and the other in modernity, Ladysmith’s contribution to international music is undeniable. However, it took Paul Simon to introduce this group to the world (on the classic album Graceland). To find out more about this collaboration, check out this video documentary chronicling the meeting of the white Paul Simon and the black Ladysmith Black Mambazo in South Africa during Apartheid. Additionally, be sure to watch their performance of Hello My Baby and Homeless (with Paul Simon) and Township Jive (solo). Even if you already own Graceland, it is definitely worth your while to check out some of Ladysmith’s CDs: The Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo Vol. 2, or The Warner Brothers Collection. (best listened to in full stereo). And if you are able to see them live, they continue to tour internationally. Your ears will thank you.
I wanted to let you know some easy ways to stay up to date with this site. I added a new page dedicated to subscription options. There should be something for everyone including RSS subscriptions, email subscriptions, and the newest addition would be add this page to your Google homepage. Other options that you would like featured, just let me know.
As always, recommendations and submissions are always appreciated.
At the suggestion of a Lost Melodies reader, I checked out the music of Ali Farka Toure. He has a unique sound that combines American blues with African music (though The Blues is a direct decendent from West African music).
Toure was a musician from Mali who was often compared to John Lee Hooker (Hooker has a new box set out, by the way). This comparison is due to his guitar licks and the similarity of his music to the blues sound. Unfortunately, Ali Farka Toure passed away last March from bone cancer. Here are an impressive number of mp3s by Toure as well as a fantastic video of the man in action (the song on the video is entitled “Goye Kur” is the opening track on The Source). To hear more Toure, pick up Toure’s self titled debut and Talking Timbuktu (with Ry Cooder). Thanks, Adam!
Here is one for all you retro lovers. This new video by No More Kings entitled “Sweep The Leg” features Karate Kid Movie footage as well as original cast members Ralph Macchio (Daniel LaRusso), Billy Zabka (Johnny), and Martin Kove (Sensei). Noticably missing from the video is Pat Morita (Mr. Miyagi ) who passed away in November 2005. Additionally, the video is directed by Billy Zabka (Johnny). This should be amusing after you watch the video (links below). Pre-order your No More Kings album today. It comes out March 6.
No More Kings – “Sweep the Leg” video streams:
No More Kings – “Sweep the Leg” audio streams:
Windows Media High:
Windows Media Low:
Michael Brecker, saxophone legend, died after a battle with leukemia at the age of 57. NPR provides a remembrance. Additionally, the wife of John Coltrane- Alice Coltrane, also a jazz musician in her own right passed away. She is best known for her album Ptah the El Daoud (review) [via link]. Both musicians were greatly influenced by John Coltrane.
This site has a new feature called Snap Live. When you mouse over a link, including the blogroll links, it will give you a preview of the link. One of the core elements of this blog is to send you to other areas on the web to find out more information about musicians and links to great music. Snap should make this site much quicker and easier to navigate. Keep emailing me suggestions for songs to feature. Thanks.
Along with Professor Longhair, James Booker helped define the New Orleans sound (with Dr. John and Marcia Ball currently carrying the torch). My friends at Aquarium Drunkard provide many live James Booker mp3s for your enjoyment (including a Beatles Medley [Penny Lane/I Saw Her Standing There] for all you Beatles fans). If you like this music, pick up one his CDs- such as Junco Partner or Classified. Have a nice weekend.
Paul Simon is one of the finest song writers of the last hundred years. I recently had a bit of a friendly argument on whether Simon’s work is as great as that of the other Paul- Paul McCartney. I say it is. What do you say?
Anyway, I was surfing around Youtube and came across this old performance of Simon and Garfunkel playing their adaptation of the Edwin Arlington Robinson poem “Richard Cory.” (Update: 3/16/07: Unfortunately, this video clip has been removed from YouTube. If anyone is familiar with the original source of the clip, please let me know. Update 05/23/08 it has been reposted, listen while you can!). Though this song is on the second Simon and Garfunkel Album- Sounds of Silence, it as not permeated through the American consciousness as other songs on the album have (such as I am a Rock). Regardless, this is a fine song and arguably the video (now removed) of Simon and Garfunkel surpasses the album version (at least in terms of energy). There is also a Wings version of the song, which I think is inferior. What do you say to that, Sir Paul? 😉
Lyrics to the original poem are below:
by Edwin Arlington Robinson
Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean favored and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
And he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich, yes richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish we were in his place.
So on we worked, and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread;
And Richard Cory one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head (via link)