One of the best ways to find lost melodies is by using streaming radio by websites such as xpn and npr. Not only are these stations strong supporters of music from years gone by, but they are also stalwarts of modern singer songwriters, avante-garde musicians, and Indie artists. This type of music is not readily available to the majority of Internet surfers via other means such as traditional airwaves. I am a strong supporter of podcasts and streaming music especially in these so-called fringe genres. However, US Congress is in yet another fight against providers of streaming audio, in essence squelching most streaming stations with an increased pay structure. Please visit This CNN Link for more information.
Vieux Farka Toure inherits the Malian blues-guitar torch from his famed Grammy winning father, Ali Farka Toure on his self-title debut album, which was released on February 13th. The music is really fresh, has influences that range from Malian guitar to reggae and include Ali’s final recordings. You can order a copy of the CD.
In case you are wondering whether Vieux is merely trying to profit off his father’s name or really has talent of his own, I would recommend checking out some of his solo performances (performance 1, performance 2, performance 3, performance 4) and his music video. And I am sure you will agree, Vieux is quite a talent. Welcome to the new superstar of Malian guitar.
Update 2/12/07: 10% of the proceeds from this album will be donated to Bee Sago, a UNICEF-affiliated organization, as part of Modiba’s “Fight Malaria” campaign. They hope to reach their goal of providing every pregnant woman and child in Toure’s home region of Niafunke with a treated mosquito net- the most effective preventative measure in the fight against malaria, Africa’s leading cause of infant mortality. Just another reason (though you really don’t need another) to pick up this album.
Update 2/18/07: New NPR Review of Vieux’s work.
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:
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)
So, the Beatles finally officially allowed a mash-up of their music. This time instead of combining the music of the Beatles mixed with the rapping of Jay-Z (as part of the Grey Album), the music on the newly released “Love” album is Beatles mashed up with Beatles. Do you love “Love” or hate it? Let me know. Here are some tracks:
The Beatles Love audio streams are available FREE here:
“Lady Madonna (Love Version)”
“Octopus’s Garden (Love Version)”
“Strawberry Fields Forever (Love Version)”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Love Version)”