Posts from 2005

Beady Belle

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005 by Paul Irish

nu jazz // norwegian soul

Beady Belle is a result of collaboration between vocalist Beate S. Lech and talented instrumentalist Marius Reksj√ł which began at the University of Oslo. Marius earlier worked with the Bobby Hughes Experience and joined Beate in developing an album for Jazzland Records, requested by nu-jazz godfather Bugge Wesseltoft. From Beady Belle’s newest album, Closer, is “Goldilocks” which gives me everything I want out of a nu-jazz tune in a fine smooth progression. I get vocals similar to Diana Krall, some organic clap and tambourine action popping in, and even a killer blues rhythm guitar break-out solo session.
Hot groove, sweet vocals, and an organ tickled with white gloves.

Beady Belle – Goldilocks
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James Knight & The Butlers

Monday, August 22nd, 2005 by Paul Irish

1960’s miami soul // funk

Just like Sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music” and Archie Bell and The Drells’ “Tighten Up”, this track has an additive instrumentation structure. James calls for the bass player first, followed by the drummer, and then gets some organ action stirring up that pot. Once some horns drop into the groove, you know the hot game is on. This group didn’t make a big record, but they were considered the “number one Miami and Miami Beach band of the funk era. And if you listen closely to Shadow’s “Mongrel…Meets His Maker” off Private Press, you’ll spot a sample from the Butlers’ track “Fantasy World”. (danks t’my main cat, Delassus on this track)
A simmering soul number that gets you moving.

James Knight & The Butlers – Funky Cat.mp3
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DJ Kentaro

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 by Paul Irish

japanese turntablism // traditional remixed

shamisen. n. 1. A Japanese 3-stringed musical instrument with a very long neck, plucked with a bachi (a binding of sticks).
turntable. n. 1. The circular horizontal rotating platform of a phonograph on which the record is placed.
Ready to see these two very different instruments bust out some crazy fusion of old and new?

Imagine a banjo player dueling with a DJ, in Japan…

DJ Kentaro mixing against a shamisen (skip to 0:40)

Laura Veirs

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005 by Paul Irish

singer songwriter //indie folk

My roommate “hates” this song. She had to leave my room because it was worsening her headache. Oddly, I would think the calm nature of this song would have the opposite effect. In fact, I’m rather taken with Miss Veirs’ songwriting ability. She’s on the impressive Nonesuch Records roster and is touring with Sufjan Stevens now. “Fire Snakes” comes off her upcoming release “Year of Meteors” and delivers a deliberate and weighted musical message with minimal, but effective, instrumentation. The first two seconds will capture you. The deep bass at 0:40 will make you want to stay a prisoner of this song. Some subtle bird-like electronic elements mingle into this song, but allow the middle cello line to force this beautiful song onto you.
‘Careful, word-conscious, narrative, neither foggy nor overwritten

Laura Veirs – Fire Snakes
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Ibrahim Ferrer

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005 by Paul Irish

afro-cuban // cuban son

Right before his worldwide debut with the Buena Vista Social Club, Ibrahim was living in a croweded, tiny apartment in Havana and earned a living shining shoes. From the 50s through the 70s, Ferrer was deep into the Cuban music scene, but eventually was forced to give up on it and find more dependable pay. Ibrahim describes Ry Cooder’s arrival as such: “An angel came and picked me up and said, ‘Chico, come and do this record.'” The result was the Afro-Cuban All Stars record A Toda Cuba Le Gusta. Later, his strong sonero voice graced a number of records, from Sierra Maestra’s Rumbero Soy to Gorillaz’s epynomous debut. The bolero “Pensando en Ti” showcases his natural and evocative phrasing later supported by a cuatro solo by Barbarito and El Guajiro‘s trumpet solo.
Like a grandfather living his boyhood dream, making everyone smile and dance.

Afro Cuban All Stars – Amor Verdadero
Barbarito Torres – Pensando en Ti (Thinking of You).mp3

Rest In Peace, Ibrahim.
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Lhasa De Sela

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005 by Andrew Ladd

nomadic latin // world folk

I first heard Lhasa’s name spoken among the crumbling foundations of an old building in Lithuania. That was a year ago. But now, having finally heard her sing, heard those torpid words crawl from her throat, I’m right back there in that blown-out courtyard. And like last year, it’s filled with sunken faces disguised by smiles and with quiet, deferent chatter, as a woman sings atmosphere from a plastic chair on a rickety stage. The album’s called The Living Road, and it evokes just that; a series of beautifully alive places, linked by a single, winding thread.
Beth Gibbons with an accent; intense and breathy.

Lhasa – Con Toda Palabra
Lhasa – Pa’ Llegar A Tu Lado
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Lucas Santtana

Monday, August 1st, 2005 by Paul Irish

brazilian // acoustic guitar

It’s interesting – trying to come up with a time of day this song fits. It could fit early evening, the sky burns orange as you sip from a light pino grigio. It could fit a loving Saturday morning, your hand gently trailing up and down her back while the warm sunlight beams through the window. It could even fit the commute home after a tough day. But the genius of this beautiful song isn’t necessarily its versatility; rather, the song holds the power to elevate you into a new setting. A soothing guitar supported by subtle percussion and enhanced by a most gorgeous vocal melody by Brazilian wunderkind Lucas Santtana creates a new place of mind for you to enjoy.
Warm sun, deep breaths, and beautiful soft sounds.

Lucas Santtana – Mensagem de Amor
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Special: Aurgasm in The Boston Globe

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 by Paul Irish
Biggups to Siddhartha Mitter, who wrote an impressive piece on audioblogging, published today in The Boston Globe. O-Dub at Soul Sides, fellow Bostonian Lee at The Number One Songs In Heaven, and Christopher at The Suburbs are Killing Us are all featured in the article.


“Listen. And Learn.” on

The Klazz Brothers & Cuba Percussion

Sunday, July 31st, 2005 by Paul Irish

cuban // classical

Three talented German jazz musicians were on tour in Cuba with the Dresden Philharmonic, when they fell in love with the Cuban music. A casual meeting with Compay Segundo led them to two talented Cuban percussions. The group then spontaneously ignited up a fiery session of cross-cultural musical intercourse. It was in this sudden compatiblity when the Klazz Brothers realized how perfect Cuban music complemented the classical pieces they knew so well. The result was their debut CD, Classic Meets Cuba, reinterpreting the masterpieces of composers like Mozart, Brahams, and Bizet into boiling Cuban rhythms.
Beethoven by way of Buena Vista.

The Klazz Brothers – Salsa No. V (Beethoven’s Fifth)
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The Cat Empire

Friday, July 22nd, 2005 by Paul Irish

playful aussie rockhiphopreggaedirtycubanjazz

Now if you’re from Australia, you’re fully aware of this power squad of rockers. But if you’re not, don’t start thinking The Cat Empire is in the same aussie vein as Silverchair and Savage Garden. No no, TCE packs a hell of a punch – killer guitar riffs coupled with a nasty brass section. All the while, they feel like some neighborhood kids having a hell of a time, but you can’t not love the entirely fun grooves they produce. ‘Sly’ jumps loudly off their newest album, Two Shoes, while ‘Hello’ is one of the killer singles from their earlier eponymous release. Dig the organ and swing interlude where it duels against a mean turntable scratch.
Extraordinarily fun and enjoyable stuff. Perfect for the hot summer.

The Cat Empire – Sly
The Cat Empire – Hello
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