The Dead Weather held every breath of the audience last Friday. The band that was born thanks to a jam session between Alison Mosshart (The Kills), guitar player Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age), bassist Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes) and vocalist, guitarist and drummer, Jack White (The White Stripes y The Raconteurs), performed at it's best. Aside from their exquisite music, their energy was tight and strong, not to say aggressive. Their perfect domain of climax and their movements and strenght on stage reminded me of the way hyenas hunt. They moved as a pack, playing every note at it's best, which made their blues-punk high energy rock sound tight and ensembeled where no one is more important than the other, creating a pack that turned the audience into their defenseless prey.
That said here are some pictures and videos. Enjoy
Today's out Moby's new album under his new label "little idiot," which is also the name of Moby's "quasi self-portrait,"as he describes it; a cartoon that he created when he was 19 years old and had to draw cartoons in the bags of "Johnnys,"the record store he worked for at the time. I don't own "Wait for me" yet, but I watched the animated videos that Moby calls Blips, "a 30 second animated music video". Off course Little idiot is always present in the 16 music videos that correspond to each track of the record. As I said before I don't own the music yet, but from what I heard, I can tell this is the first explicit political record Moby has completed. I'll buy it and let you know what I think, but for now here are my three favorite videos. You can watch all of them @ http://vimeo.com/channels/waitforme#5058546 and you can buy the music in whichever format you like here: http://www.townsend-records.co.uk/sites/moby
Every once in a while I mention music and politics. Well, here comes again. I don't know if you're aware of what's going on in Palestine, but Israel has taken over almost all their territory. If you take a look to a picture of Palestine and the Israeli occupation, this is what you'll see Anyway, the relation with music comes here...very abstract, or maybe not? Last Thursday (May14) a new hospital for Palestinian refugees was inaugurated in Beirut (Lebanon), and as a coincidence, I just got a great concert of the band Beirut. They performed in February @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg and I missed them because it was sold out, but things come to me when they're supposed to, and I'll share them with you, so here's a part of Beirut's beautiful concert, but before you click, think about all the interesting things they do with fusion (to give you an idea, here's a quote from their myspace: "a trumpet from Paris, farfisa organ, accordion, piano, ukelele, mandolin, glockenspiel, violin, cello, tambourine, The air powered organ I bought on twelth street, Congo drum donated from the neighbors....A broken microphone stolen from the university of new mexico...."), in this concert they even covered "Brazil". I wish the same would happen in real life
So here's the deal. I'm obsessed with New York's loudness. It really affects me, and I think it's probably affecting my hearing. The train, the sirens (ambulances and firetrucks), trucks, motorcicles, people, jackhammers, etc... Everything's loud, and although it's almost unbeliaveble that we can still hear the birds singing, I've got a tip for you; hum when it's loud. "Humans have a small muscle in the middle ear that contracts upon hearing loud sounds. Pulling that chain of bones makes ears less efficient sound conductors. humming causes this contraction inside the ear, so sounds from the enviroment aren't as potent, providing a natural defense. If you are walking past a loud construction site or find yourself under a low-flying airplane, hum until the noise is over." This is a quote from an article featured this month in "Making Music" magazine.
Some of my favorite Colombian bands are attending SXSW 2009 (South by Sidewest music festival. Texas) and I can't help to want to brag about it becuase the truth is that I'm very happy that this music is finally hitting world venues, specially after I've seen them grow. These bands are the result of hard work by profesional Colombian musicians that have invested all their energy in making something worth listening to. My "editor pics" for the Colombian bands will be Bomba Estereo, Monareta,Verde3, Cho Quib Town and Diva Gash. There will also be other bands that don't match my taste but I'll name them anyway: Doctor Krapula, Ratón Perez, and Poper. You can check out some of their videos and if you want to go to the SXSW website, click on the title of this post. Enjoy good Colombian Music! they'll be performing @ Speakeasy (412 Congress Av)
On a recent "Discover" magazine, they published on the last page "20 things you don't know about time". I've always had a hard time thinking that music is an event that occurs in time, because, what if time as we know it didn't exist?. Anyway, I'm pretty sure music EXISTS, but what if you read this?:
"time is an illusion, Lunchtime doubly so," joked Douglas Adams in The Hitchhicker's guide to the galaxy. Scientist aren't laughing, though. Some speculative new physiscs theories suggest that time emerges from a more fundamental-and timeless-reality."
Last night I went to Webster music hall to see Devotchka, a Denver based indie quartet that merges rock with Russian and Mexican music. Although the format they use is not common, it serves perfect the repetitive music they perform specially when Jeanie Schroder plays the sousaphone. I was impressed by the versatile musicians in the band because they play multiple instruments and that gives the band a very specific and original sound. A very interesting show, specially when the dancer came out. The sound was pretty bad;poorly equalized but the energy of the band was enough to make the audience jump and toast with Nick (the singer that sings like Bono). Clare & the reassons (Pic by Andres Villaveces) Although I went to see Devotchka I loved the opening act, Clare and the reasons who will perform @ the Abrons art centre on Jan. 31st. Besides the music, Clare & the reasons have a great visual stage performance, not only because they all appear dressed in red but because they also use simple twinkle lights that combined with their amazing format (string quartet, voice,guitar, bass, xilophone, baroque flute, keys, and tambourine) create an intimate atmosphere. They performed a baroque-like cover of "everybody wants to rule the world" and I taped it for you, but before you take a look to the video I'll just quote some of their Myspace description, something I find very sureal. "About Clare and The Reasons First, Clare writes songs. Then she brings them to the Reasons' test lab. There, the songs are submitted to a series of intense treatments and tests until they become what some people call: "lush and sinfully beautiful". This process named in the scientific community "Reasonitis Polymorpheus Synthesis" or RPS, lead to the making of "The Movie" (Frogstand Records) their debut album. (no known side effects. FDA approval pending).
But who is this Clare anyway?
She was born on the island of Martha's Vineyard, in a vegetable garden amongst the most incredible tomatoes grown by her mother Sheila. Her father, music innovator Geoff Muldaur, introduced her to artists such as Mildred Bailey, Bessie Smith and Sam Cooke. Clare rode hundreds and hundreds of horses and listened to these inspiring musicians on her walkman while working in the barn.
One day, she rode her horse all the way to Berklee College of Music. With a handsome scholarship she was able to study jazz arranging and composition. There, she met now long time collaborator Olivier Manchon. On their first encounter, he made her cry and then they got married."
Well we finally got Obama! and that's the reason I've been thinking about politics and have a question for you...a little old but the related artists have a lot for 2009 plus the answer applies for today so here's my question. What was the name of the politically charged package tour featuring Pearl Jam, REM and Bruce Springsteen that crossed North America in the run-up to the 2004 election? funny huh? VOTE FOR CHANGE
Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda and American drummer Mark Guiliana performed together as a duet for the first time last December @ Rose bar in Williamsburg. I've seen each musician perform before but I've never seen them together. As Castañeda said: "we met in Israel and we both where amazed by each other's playing so we decided to get together." This duet is a very interesting musical and cultural combination because Edmar plays Arpa llanera (plains' harp), which is a typical Colombian and Venezuelan instrument used to play música llanera(and it's not a diatonic instrument), while Mark is a jazz drummer who happens to love rock and reggae music but who demonstrated to be able to master the 6/8 rhythm in a unique, almost South American way, and that's the base for this duet. Although Edmar started playing música llanera, he has developed a special technique for the harp and has brought his skill to jazz and world music without leaving his roots behind. The chemistry of Castañeda and Guiliana is so special and virtuous that evokes a typical cliché: the traditional pact with the Devil. This interesting batter of cultures and experimentation (Castañeda uses guitar pedals for the harp) brings me to "Florentino y el Diablo," a traditional canción llanera where the mithycal power of this South American musical genre is embodied by the counterpoint which is not treated as in the classical repertory but as a duel, just like in the hottest jam session, bringing this music to a universal understanding, in this case the encounter with this unbelievable duet. Here are some videos for you to enjoy I found this video on youtube. It's Edmar Castañeda performing with Now V.S Now
I don't like religious music or proselytizm, but when music's good it stands above everything, even words. Last Sunday (Dec 28) I went to see Matisyahu @ the Music hall of Williamsburg; Great sound, great venue, good musicians, and great energy once the opening act was over because that was BAD, really bad. I've come to the conclusion that in music, once the technical aspects are exceeded, it is all about the energy, and relegious or not, the energy that night was special. Jewish reggae might sound like a contradiction, but these days everything merges and Matisyahu knows exactly how to do it, no wonder he said it was his "funny business" when he tried to anounce a ringtone code. It was very exciting to see souch a diverse crowd attending the same concert, just imagine the dough of people that wanted to listen to Reggae, drum n' bass, hip hop, Jew chants, middle Eastern instruments, free music (including a bike handlebar with different bells and horns), and beatbox in the same show, and not happy with that, Matisyahu brought 5 guests and performed for 3 hours. Here are some pics and videos I'd like to share with you