Music

Music Pick of the Day – Sacred Spirit

 
Sacred Spirit – Vol. 8: Jazzy Chill Out

Music Pick of the Day - Sacred Spirit

You’re Gonna Love
Bad Luck
A New Dawn
Da Cool
Love Comes My Way
Some Like It Easy

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EPIC ALERT!! The album title isn’t too creative, but I will go on record and say this is one of the most creative constructions of music ever forged by man. I am floored by this album, and I can’t stop listening to it. Gorgeous, just fucking gorgeous. As the album title suggests, yes it is jazzy chillout music, but that’s an understatement. This is jazz in an electronica framework, with some elements of classical music. There is so much detail, complexity, emotion, all with a simple easy attitude, making the album feel beautiful, deep, serious, and a lot of fun at the same time. Pay attention to the details; the piano is like it’s own emotional character running throughout the album; the soundscapes are atmospheric; the sampled singers are dripping with soul and attitude; the violin brings dramatic flair; the beats are alive with groove and energy. I had a hard time picking which songs to share, because they are all outstanding. My favorites are the opening “You’re Gonna Love” and “New Dawn” which features Nina Simone in a whole new light.

I don’t know how he blended this all together and left it sounding so tasteful and classy, but my hat comes off for Claus Zundel who has not only created some phenomenal music as B-Tribe (reviews to come later), but most amazingly, he has never put out a jazz release before this. I know, what the fuck, how the hell…? But maybe that’s why this turned out so well, because he approached jazz from a different angle, and so he brought a new fresh spin on it. Besides, the guy is a proven musical genius in many different genres, constantly challenging himself to absorb some new style and master it.

Music Pick of the Day – Josh Rouse

 
Josh Rouse – 1972

Music Pick of the Day - Josh Rouse

Come Back (Light Therapy)
Love Vibrations
James
1972
Rise

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Josh Rouse used to make indie alt-country rock. Now he’s on a spanish music kick. Everything he does is quite good. But his album “1972” is a unique gem. That’s the year he was born and he made an album that sounds like it actually came from 1972. He nailed the sound and spirit of the era, while bringing a modern element to it. The album is just so clever. Intelligent and fun and epic.

Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel, Part 2

To follow up on my last Music Pick of the Day, I definitely think Adam and Eve is their greatest album but Catherine Wheel does have a large wealth of other great material. I want to share some of it with you.

Catherine Wheel – Happy DaysMusic Pick of the Day - Catherine Wheel, Part 2

God Inside My Head
Waydown
Little Muscle
Receive
Hole

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“Happy Days” was one of my favorite albums when I was 15. With this album Catherine Wheel shifted away from their shoegazer/dream pop sound and fully embraced grunge and brutally heavy metal, creating a cool contrast with a softer non-metal singer. I don’t listen to grunge metal so much anymore, but holy shit, the song “God Inside My Head” kicks ass! Play it load. Just play it real loud from the beginning. “Waydown” was a huge radio hit in ’95. “Little Muscle” is a fun song about your tongue.
Compare and contrast this with their next album Adam and Eve

[A LOT more music and videos after the break]
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Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel

 
Catherine Wheel – Adam and Eve

Music Pick of the Day - Catherine Wheel

Future Boy
Phantom of the American Mother
Thunderbird
Here Comes The Fat Controller
Delicious

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This album changed me. It changed my taste in music.
I loved loved Catherine Wheel’s 1995 grunge heavy metal album “Happy Days” when I was 15. I listened to it all the time, turned it up loud, and fed off its pounding energy. I was so excited when I heard in early 1997 that Catherine Wheel has a new album coming. I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t wait. Then “Adam and Eve” came out and… I was disappointed. So disappointed. Just so surprised to hear them so stripped down and bare. What is this sissy shit? You know, I thought I was about to bite into a sloppy chili cheeseburger with bacon and onion rings only to discover that I just bit into a warm goat cheese sandwich on wheat toast with beansprouts and eggplant. WTF?? Very startling and upsetting for an aggressive 16 year old. I listened to it just once, put it on my shelf and didn’t touch the cd for 3 years. I wasn’t alone with that opinion, many of the newer fans weren’t into it, and the label was upset, ultimately dropping the band and letting the album go out of print quickly.

3 years later, I picked it up again for some reason at the much more mature age of 19 and discovered maybe the most beautiful thing I ever heard. My god. This album is stripped away and about pulling back the layers and getting somewhere authentic. I can now tell that Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” were big inspirations. I heard the song “Future Boy” and I was stopped cold. You understand the meaning of the song just from the production mixing, when the rising swirl of insanity and noise disappears into a singer alone with his acoustic guitar. I wanted to learn how to play this song on guitar. I’d been playing guitar for 3 years at this point, but it was this song that got me to turn off the distortion and learn chords beyond metal power chords. This started my journey through acoustic rock. And I was suddenly sad to realize that creating one of the most beautiful works of all time earned this band the reward of being dropped from their label and having their album go out of print to fade into obscurity.
Although they did add one radio friendly song at the last minute; “Delicious” is a cool song, just out of place here.
If this album didn’t exist there never would have been any Coldplay. Listen to Coldplay’s first record “Parachutes”. It’s a watered down attempt at “Adam and Eve”. But props to Coldplay, they were so much better when they tried to pull off Catherine Wheel than when they tried to pull off U2.

[B-sides and Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Pole Folder

 
Pole Folder – Zero Gold

Music Pick of the Day - Pole Folder

Waterfalls of Love
Inner Turmoil
London
Morning Crow
Faith in Me

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Ooh, I’m in love with this album. An instant classic. Elegant, sophisticated, dark, sultry, atmospheric, progressive house. The whole album blends together to take you on a journey and is consistently high quality. One of the most creative works to come out of this genre.

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Music Pick of the Day – Marconi Union

 
Marconi Union – Distance

Music Pick of the Day – Marconi Union

Sleepless
Through Glass
Inter
A Temporary Life

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Amazing. This is my favorite ambient album. Gorgeous detailed electronic soundscapes with subtle pulsing energy and a post rock flare. Even has elements of deep bass dub. Great to fall asleep to, read to, relax to. I could listen to this album on constant repeat in headphones everyday as I go about life.

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Music Pick of the Day – Silversun Pickups

 
Silversun Pickups – Swoon

Music Pick of the Day – Silversun Pickups

Panic Switch
There’s No Secrets This Year
The Royal We
Growing Old is Getting Old
Sort Of

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My generation had so much awesome rock music offered in the early-mid 90s, until the embarrassing wave of angst hip hop nu-metal swept in and destroyed the scene in the late 90s/early 2000s courtesy of limp bizkit and linkin park. Thank god that’s over thanks to the help of Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes and The Killers. Sure this new crop of alternative rock bands these days are very derivative from decades past, but many of them are exceptional, they have a fresh modern take on things, and whatever, at least rap metal is gone.

I’m enjoying this trend of revitalizing the styles of music from generations before mine. But it feels strange to hear new music derivative of the rock I grew up on in the 90s. Wait, that’s not an older style now is it?
Feels weird, but I can’t help it, I’m mesmerized by the new Silversun Pickups album “Swoon”. If this exact album was labeled Smashing Pumpkins, everyone would be screaming about what a fucking genius Billy Corgan still is. Unfortunately Billy’s now passed his prime, out of touch, putting out worthless music, severely harming the Pumpkins phenomenal legacy. Sad to watch a genius get old and lose it. Time to admit the students are now surpassing their teachers.

We’ve all heard the big single “Panic Switch” everywhere, and yeah that is their best song, but the rest of the album is great.

[Video after the break]
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Music Pick of the Day – Erykah Badu

 
Erykah Badu – Mama’s Gun

Music Pick of the Day - Erykah Badu

Penitentiary Philosophy
Didn’t Cha Know
A.D. 2000
Orange Moon
Green Eyes

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I think Erykah Badu has gone batshit crazy and I don’t get what she’s going for lately. But Mama’s Gun is a Masterpiece. Not her most commercially successful album, but clearly her best work. This album is diverse, explores many paths soul music can go, expressing each different genre with more creativity and expertise than most musicians focused only on each genre. The journey starts off with dirty funk rock soul, moves into mellow funky tribal R&B soul, get’s progressively more hip hop with a 70s edge, before abandoning that sound and getting stripped down to finish the second half on a gorgeous acoustic jazz soul sound. I like the 2nd half better. Notice the intro to the 10 minute final song “Green Eyes” and how it transitions into a different song. This album is genius, unfortunately geniuses tend to go crazy sooner or later.

[Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Govinda

 
Govinda – Erotic Rhythms from EarthMusic Pick of the Day - Govinda

Tu M’Aimes
City of Pleasures
Le Zephyr
Two Become One

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And we start off the music pick of the day with a classic. As the album title suggests, this album screams sex. The 2001 album “Erotic Rhythms from Earth” by Govinda is some sort of cyber ethnic worldbeat album. Infusing electronica with elements of India, the Middle East and subtle bits of Jazz. This is sophisticated and elegant. Very chill but with just a little too much energy to be professional massage music. It’s hard to believe all these gorgeous soundscapes were created by a guy from Texas, Shane O’Madden. There is singing on every track, but not really any lyrics, the singing is ethereal and more of an instrument with the music. Even in the songs with lyrics, the singing blends subtly in with the music and doesn’t stand out. That’s the problem I have with his recent stuff like “Sound Sutras“. The music is still quite good there, but he’s using vocalists singing pop songs (or even worse, he’s singing himself) and while theoretically this could work, it doesn’t. “Erotic Rhythms from Earth” is clearly his best in my book, and one of the best chillout cds I ever heard.

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