Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tunes to Confuse Your Friends

Ahem, I think I should share the next most important thing a chronic procrastinator needs when using their time in the best-worst way possible:

flipping good jams, my man! You need to max your relax, or cooliosis with these hip-kids who break it down faster than ten tons of lard all over your face...wait what?

1. James Booker

If you're looking for some good old New Orleans piano, stride, rag-time, jazz, blues, and most of all - badass - then you need to rip this guy off your iTunes, Kazaa, Napster, or local pirate radio because without the one-eyed Bayou Maharaja genius you just ain't listening to good music. You've heard Ray Charles, Professor Longhair, and even the immutable Thelonious Monk - now hear their crazy uncle after a few shots.

2. The Mar-Keys

Remember Booker T., Motown, Otis Redding? Well then come hear the guys who played in the band. And as every real musician knows: the good music comes on when the vocalist shuts the fuck up and lets the groove just sink in like fine wine...or a hard shot. These guys grooved back in the early days for Stax Records (originators of the Memphis Motown sound) with funky jams so cool, you couldn't help but listen to them, even without any singing - excuse me, especially without any singing. Saxophone lines with bass riffs up and down that fret board; these guys got what you need.

3. Grand Ole Party

C'mon Indie kids! Get on up and start dancing, like you never moved it before. This San Diego based band got its start playing at The Casbah, and now there's no telling who they'll run into next, whether its Rilo Kiley or maybe Karen O. ? The lead vocalist has power that totally belies her outer-skin, making the transformation from the quiet-shy girl you know who sits in the back to a diva power-house with drum-sticks to match.

4. The Seatbelts

I love the name on these guys, and you'll love their music after listening to it. Eclectic to the core and filled with more genres than you can shake a stick at, Yoko Kanno's band is more than just a soundtrack. Ranging from blues, to funk, jazz, to heavy metal, you better start off slow and take the music one song at a time - but don't remove that seatbelt, because each song is still an instrumental above and beyond all comers. Though they're hard to find outside of Japan, you can easily catch a clip at, or order a CD from Amazon.

5. New Orleans Klezmer Allstars

And you thought klezmer wasn't cool! You have to shake a foot (or maybe a yarmulke?) when these guys hit the bandstand. Hard chops with fast beats and some of the zaniest harmonies you'll hear outside of the synagogue. Definitely hit up their second album, "Fresh Out The Past". When you hear that bass drum boom and the clarinet fall out like cheap manischewitz, you know you've found the right music. If nothing else, weird out your friends and make your babushka happy her little bubullah isn't gonna grow up to be a goy after all.

That's all I got on the music front for now, but you can be sure there's plenty good tunes coming your way...just as soon as I find the time to waste! Dance on your bed a little and hit me up later, kids.

1 footnotes:

Alexandra said...

Thanks for the suggestions.