Sunday, June 21, 2009

As uncomfortable as I am totally gushing over a song (far easier to be subtly (or unsubtly) mocking), I just have to do one of those Mary Murphy-ish screams over this one. Moussa Doumbia is a saxophonist from Mali who spent much of his career in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The influence of James Brown and other sources of deep funk is thrillingly apparent.


Buy Moussa Doumbia at Amazon

Monday, June 15, 2009

Breathing New
If you only know Swedish-Norwegian-British-New Yorker Leona Naess from her cranky, dyspeptic debut album Comatised, you may be caught off guard by her bouncy and fun new album Thirteen. Her voice has grown, with suddenly more of the vibrant urgency of Leslie Fiest without dissappearing under the same weight of hiccupping affectation and her songwriting has gotten looser and looks out as well as in. Plus also, it is now almost unconscionably catchy. She's playing July 1st at Le Poisson Rouge.

Leave Your Boyfriends Behind

Ballerina (Live)

Her MySpace
and website

Buy Leona Naess at Amazon

Friday, June 12, 2009

Two men with remarkably black hair
To be a little topical, I thought I would touch on current events--it is my friend Meg's birthday!!! And, although I am not sure she likes being reminded, I do associate her with a certain iconic New Jerseyan. So to circle the metaphorical square I am setting up (topical, New Jersey, Meg, and ummm.... something else), Mohammed Hassan is one of the most popular musicians in Libya (which is apparently rare because their pop scene tends to be dominated by their neighbor Egypt) and Elisa was discovered by one of Whitney Houston's producers after singing the Italian National Anthem at the Olympics. Here she sings a duet with Luciano Ligabue (which if you haven't made the connection already makes him essentially the equivalent of Bruce Springsteen).

Gawali Ainy

Gli Stacoli Del Cuore

Ysallem Alek (Live)

Elisa (Live at the Vatican)

Buy Elisa at Amazon

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sparkly Happy Danes
Aren't they all? Well not so much actually unless biker gangs make you happy. There are clearly some though, like Efterklang. They bang on old tin toys like Psapp, yet also at times drift small and introspective (or as small and introspective as you can be when you make records with 28 instruments and 3 choirs). They grew up on a tiny island near Germany where they avoided all musical influences besides sea shanties and of course the Raveonettes.


EFTERKLANG - CHAPTER 6 (Live @ Knitting Factory)

Their MySpace
and website

Buy Efterklang at Amazon

Sunday, June 07, 2009

In honor of my friend Liz/Whose birthday it is/I have decided to rhyme. Just kidding...
But anyway I know she loves Melissa Ferrick. Or to be more precise, I think she's said she has a love/hate relationship with Melissa Ferrick--which may or may not be the same thing. For those of you who don't know, Melissa Ferrick is outrageously prolific, as well as busy, playing around 150 shows a year. She has one of those nicely linear -- she writes, she plays, she sings -- processes.

Everything I Need (Live in Dayton Ohio)

Melissa Ferrick and Ani DiFranco Live

Her MySpace

Buy Melissa Ferrick at Amazon

Friday, June 05, 2009

Named after the legendary Beverly Hills shake shop, Passion Pit make twinkly soft electropop. After winning the British equivalent of "American Idol" last year and having a song featured on the new TheWB online series " Rockville," the band just released their first record on May 19th--timed of course to coincide with the birthdays of Joey Ramone, Malcom X, Ho Chi Minh, and other revolutionary figures born on that propitious day.

Smile Upon Me

I've Got Your Number (Live)

Their MySpace
and website

Buy Passion Pit at Amazon

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

East of Eden
Nica Brooke is impossibly smooth. A Lithuanian DJ, she apparently learned to sing along to an old half broken cassette player left over from the war. She's been touring lately across Georgia and Eurasia. Sonically she brings to mind the Dutch Producer/DJ Solex as well as having the aching vocal edge of Alice Russell or Morcheeba.

Get Back

Her MySpace
and website

Buy Nica Brooke at Amazon