Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fool Of Me

Its begun to rain in Hyderabad and the weather calls for the intense raw sound of Me'Shell Ndegeocello.
It's funny I've had all her music on my ipod and for some odd reason I seemed to have missed the song fool of me. It wasn't until I watched an episode of So You Think You Can Dance that I was left open mouthed and staring at the screen.

This song is raw, beautiful and well kind of apt. Her husky, sensuous sound pulls at your heart strings. The dance composed by Tyce Diorio completes the song. The first time I watched it I wept like a child.
enjoy the rain.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ben Howard

When you find something like the black cab sessions you think that nothing could possibly get better than this and just as you are starting to get the itch you find watchlistentell and your hope in the world is once again restored.

Like the black cab sessions Watchlistentell is a youtube channel that films musicians live. The sound quality is a lot better and though there are a few overlaps this channel has some brilliant performances by bands like Dark Dark Dark, Lissie, Lucy rose, Ok Go and of course their latest addition Ben Howard.

Combine the vocals of Jose Gonzales with the sharp guitar slapping melodies you probably first heard in August Rush and you have Ben Howard. Its subtle, interesting and of course the ideal kind of sound for a rainy day.

After a short stint in journalism, Ben decided to focus on making music full time, making melodic rootsy folk music, with progressively darker lyrics. He began to build up a reputation not just around Devon, but elsewhere in the UK as well. After a month of sold out dates across Europe and the UK Ben was eventually asked to sign to Island Records. With singles Like Old Pine and Wolves released earlier this year he set to release his album sometime in October.

As usual I think the acoustic version is much better than the original so this is from Watchlistentell. The song is called Old Pine. The bit when the cello kicks in is just beautiful! Enjoy

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Esperanza spalding

It's been a while since my father and I sat down and talked music. This time around he introduced me to a singer and bassist called Esperanza Spalding. A beautiful singer/bassist with a voice like honey.
When you a listen to her sing you feel shivers run down your spine. The hot, sultry texture of those raw bass notes make you want to take those candles and silk sheets out. Besides nothing can get sexier than watching this beautiful woman play the double bass.

Emotions aside the technical aspect of her music is a force to be reckoned with. The music goes from the long sultry ballads to the staccato and fast paced, African influenced scat. Singing with just a bass is hard take it from someone who has tried(and failed quite miserably). 

By the time Spalding was five, she had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Spalding stayed with the music society until she was fifteen leaving with the title of concertmaster.  According to Spalding, when she was about 8 her mother briefly studied jazz guitar in college; Spalding says, "Going with her to her class, I would sit under the piano. Then I would come home and I would be playing her stuff that her teacher had been playing."Spalding also played oboe and clarinet before discovering the bass in high school. As if that isn't enough She is also able to sing in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Spalding had intended to play cello, but discovered the bass during a one-year stint at age 14 at the prestigious performing arts high school, The Northwest Academy, to which she had won a scholarship. When asked in 2008 why she plays the bass instead of some other instrument, Spalding said that it wasn't a choice, but the bass "had its own arc" and resonated with her. Spalding says that for her discovering the bass was like "waking up one day and realizing you’re in love with a co-worker".  Her band teacher showed her a blues line for the bass which she later used to secure her first gig. After that, she went in to play the bass daily and gradually fell in love.

Her singing evolved gradually as her a compositional experimenting grew. It was from here that she began singing first for an indie band called noise for pretend. She won the Grammy for the best new artist at the 53rd annual Grammy awards and is now teaching at the Berklee College of Music. 
she is 27.

What I have here is a song called Samba em Preludio from her second album Esperanza(2008). I have always been partial to bossanova. Its lilt and flow make you want to get up and start swaying. This is also one of my favourites. Enjoy!
P.S: Since her music is so heavily based around the double bass my suggestion would be that you listen to this track(and all her other music for that matter) with headphones or some nice speakers. Computer speakers do not do this music justice.