Anita O’Day – Tea for Two

June 3rd, 2010 by Erik

Here’s a little follow up post from Jazz On A Summer’s Day with some choice footage from Sweden (thanks Dennis). I’m realizing that her posture during the performances is what really gets me, check out the way she moves, stands, directs the band, etc. Gotta love the slightly unresponsive crowd. Yes? Yes.

The Mellotron Demo

May 19th, 2010 by Erik

Found this video a few years ago and keep going back to watch it, so I thought I would share it with you guys. For those of you that don’t know, the Mellotron could be considered one of the world’s first samplers, aside from the Chamberlin. In a nutshell, each key triggers a strip of tape with prerecorded material, when you press the key, the strip of tape plays. When you let go, it stops playing and cues back to it’s starting position. It’s a rather chaotic instrument and quite a hassle to maintain one…but the sound is so, so sweet. We’ve all heard them, from the opening notes on Strawberry Fields to the Moody Blues, from King Crimson to Pink Floyd. Only if I had an extra $6,000+ to buy one. There are tons of modern emulators out there, but you can’t quite beat the real deal. Enjoy the demo.

Anita O’Day – 1958 Newport Jazz Festival

April 26th, 2010 by Erik

A good friend of mine just turned me on to this awesome footage of Anita O’Day at the 1958 Newport Jazz festival, filmed by the amazing photographer Bert Stern. She was the epitome of a woman: beautiful, classy and cool. I love the way Bert Stern was able to capture the audience “in the moment” so to speak, this is cinematography at it’s best. You can tell that some of them just don’t get it, others are like “Aaaaawww Yeaaaah”. Awesome footage indeed. The clip features two songs:

Sweet Georgia Brown: I have never heard a version quite like this, her rhythm and movements just floor me.

Tea For Two: Sweet bop stuff. Again…pay attention to the timing. I love the way some folks in the audience are moving their heads around, just diggin’ it, while others have nothing but a blank stare. You have to love the mix of the Beat Generation with average middle class folks…with a pastor? Good stuff, hope you enjoy it.

A Tribute to The Police

April 1st, 2010 by Erik

I grew up listening to The Police, we all did. Well, anyone born before 1980 did as The Police were pretty much everywhere. However, it took the influence of my good friend Bissy to get me to really “listen to” and appreciate the musicians. With that said, Stewart Copeland has to be one of the most original drummers in existence (gotta pay respect to the traditional grip as well), his accents are so subtle, yet so solid. Andy Summers, sweet, sweet chords, yet so dissonant during the rare solo…and Sting has a bass/vocal sound like no other. I’ll admit that I haven’t listened to The Police for some time, but I just came across some live footage and it was beyond refreshing, rejuvenating even. They were original, period. Being able to mix pop music with quality musicianship is a feat on it’s own, I can name only a few other bands that have done the same. It really makes one wonder what has happened to “pop” music these days.

Spirits in the Material World

Roxanne – 1979 (check the end, how often do you get to see Exit Stage Left?)

Message In A Bottle – First Live Performance of the song

Sweet Live Footage – Quality is lame, footage is fantastic

Driven To Tears

Leo Kottke – Vaseline Machine Gun

March 3rd, 2010 by Erik

Just found some sweet old footage of Leo Kottke. The audio quality is a bit rough but the video is fantastic, you have to love the 4 screens. The guy has so much power and force in his hands, it’s almost surreal. For those of you that do know of him, enough said. For those that don’t, Leo Kottke developed a picking style that’s…well beyond anything really. Lightning speed, dead solid rhythm and perhaps one of the funniest musicians you would ever see live. His stage banter is up there with some of the best, the guy almost talks as much as he plays.

I have to thank my friend Will for turning me on to Kottke during the late ’90’s, I’ve been a huge fan ever since. When I bought his first album (6 and 12 String Guitar), it didn’t leave the cd player for a month.

Casino Versus Japan – Metrobolt

January 26th, 2010 by Erik

Well geez, I’ve been a bit behind on the blog lately…things have been beyond busy. Sorry folks, I’m trying to keep up.

Long story short, I was given a $25 iTunes gift card for Christmas and finally cashed her in. I ended up Sax Pax For A Sax by Moondog (can’t go wrong there) as well as Go Hawaii, an early Casino Versus Japan release. I was recently introduced to this album (released early 2000) and found myself asking “Where have I been for the past 10 years?” His style is completely original, encompassing an organic/nostalgic vibe packaged with an electronic wrapping. The bass line just grabs me. It’s hard to describe in any other way, so take a listen and see for yourself. In my humble opinion, this is timeless material. Hope you enjoy it!

Sigur Rós – Heysátan

December 1st, 2009 by Erik

To bring in December, I thought this song would fit nicely. This is an incredible piece of music, almost too difficult describe. The visuals complement it perfectly. Sigur Ros is one of the few modern bands that can actually bring a tear to my eye, they need to start putting warning labels on their albums. Heysátan translates to “haystack”, from what I gather the song is about a dying farmer who is looking across his land, reflecting on his life accomplishments. Enough said, hope you enjoy!

The Avett Brothers – Colorshow

November 24th, 2009 by Erik

A friend of mine recently turned me onto The Avett Brothers, with that, these guys are just onto something. I can’t quite put my finger on it. It could be the pure energy they put out (you have to love the way they’re bouncing around during the beginning, they’re into it), maybe it’s the rawness of the instruments and vocals, or perhaps the fact that it reminds me of early Ween material crossing an intersection with punk rock. Regardless, this is original stuff and they deserve some recognition. Hope you enjoy!