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Tag Archives: songs

Bohren & der Club of Gore

Today we feature an excellent band making modern noir music, Bohren & der Clud of Gore.

It’s ambient jazz technically, but it sounds like what youo would think heavily chilled, dark modern noior music would sound like. Sparse, slow, moody as hell, with something ominous waiting patiently in the shadows.

Listen:

It’s beautiful, right?

Bohren & der Cluc of Gore are a German band. The line up is:

THORSTEN BENNING Drums

CHRISTOPH CLÖSER Saxophones, Fender Rhodes, Piano, Vibraphone

MORTEN GASS  Organ, Vocoder, 8-String Bass, Synthesizer, Mellotron

ROBIN RODENBERG Bass

“Driven by  the idea of a more unique style of music, they  formed BOHREN (german word for drilling) in 1992 to play, as they called it, „ doom ridden jazz music“.”

Let’s listen to another track. I just adore this.

The band’s website is here.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fairy Tales For The Lost And Wandering

Collected all together here in one post is a 5 song experiment in storytelling: telling 5 original, melancholy fairy tales using only piano and voice.

How well it’s pulled off is up to you to decide. But not only can you listen to them here at your leisure, if you particularly like any of them, you may HAVE THEM. All can be downloaded at a name you own price rate. You want them for free, take them. If you feel they’re worth anything and you believe that artists should also eat, you may name your own price.

Otherwise, please enjoy these stories and for our regular readers, we return to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Listen To A Dark Fairy Tale: Dear Departed Diedre

For the next few days we’re going to do a track a day of a different dark tinted fairy tale.

It’s a… it’s a series of tracks of a work in progress. I honestly have no idea what i’m actually doing with it. I have long wanted to do some sort of album/EP which was simply piano and voice, utterly stripped away of all the lavish orchestrations i normally use.

I also like to make up stories. So…. it’s a series of grim fairy tales, told through piano and voice.

There are two questions i have regarding these:

1. Do they work?

2. Am i limiting their potential by insisting on keeping the tracks stripped down to just piano? Note that this question is NOT: COULD i add more instrumentation, trust me, you can ALways add more instrumentation. The question is: is it indeed necessary?

In any case, if you enjoy short, little melancholy stories then i hope you enjoy this series. We begin with Dear Departed Diedre.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The 10 Best Falsetto Songs

Let’s have some fun with this. Yes, lists. Based of course on my personal preferences, although the last 3 at the end are not only my favorites but also illustrate exactly what i’m going for with the new track. However, instead of just a list of 3, which i could and should have done, let’s do an entire top 10.

We’ll start with a song that is actually one of the best of the list. It’s number 10 not because it’s the 10th least best, but because it is SO good it deserves to open the mix:

10. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Who gives a crap about the original? Some do, i don’t. At all. But when Mr. Kamakawiwo’ole does it…. O. M G. Who can actually sit through and not just…. melt. Cry, stare wistfully out the window… this is one of the greatest falsetto recordings ever. It takes a song i feel nothing for and makes me ACHE… ache.

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9. Curtis Mayfield: ANYTHING, but we’ll pick Pusherman

A group of friends and i used to have an ongoing drinking conversation. You sit at a bar and someone throws out a name, usually musician but it grew to include other mediums. Everyone at the table then shouts out “soul” or “no soul”. occasionally a good drunken debate will occur.

Curtis Mayfield IS soul.  He doesn’t HAVE soul… he bloody well IS soul.

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8. Beck: Debra

I LOVE this song. LOVE it. It is SO much fun. And it’s quite funny and wonderfully silly. Beck rules.

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7. The Lion Sleeps Tonight

You HAVE to include this song. You just have to. It’s hands down the most famous falsetto songs in popular music and it deserves it. Who doesn’t love this tune? What kind of shmuck you gotta be to not love this?

Although made famous in 1961 by the Tokens it was first written and recorded in 1939 by Solomon Linda and The Evening Birds, a south african group. (for an interesting comparison, their original can be heard here.

We’re going to play The Nylon’s live performance of it. This song is best when done as acapella doo wop as possible.

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6. Scissor Sisters: Don’t Feel Like Dancing

I could have gone with several Scissor Sister’s tracks. They are super fun, super awesome, super catchy, and their retro feel means that we can give a nod to the disco groups from the 70s who used heaps of falsetto (the Bee Gees are the most well known). But the fact is i’d rather listen to Scissor Sisters than old 70s disco (although give me a bunch of alcohol and what not in a club and i’ll dance to old 70s disco just fine) so here they are:

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5. Prince: Kiss

Kiss is one of the most iconic falsetto songs out there. Finding a Prince video to use is near impossible as Prince is obsessed with not having anything of his on YouTube. However, a TV appearance of this song is already out in the public domain, so here it is:

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4. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Walk Like A Man

With the Big 3 approaching this last slot would have gone to a number of singers and bands (like Miko or Sparks), except it is simply a crime against humanity to have a conversation about great falsetto songs and not mention the group that defined the entire concept for decades: The Four Seasons. Frankie Valli’s falsetto is unparalleled, truly. They reigned over 50s doo-wop and with all the other falsettos trying to compete for his title, Frankie leaves them all in the dust.

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The Big 3.

Now we get serious. This is what i’ve been talking about. Falsetto used to achieve an otherworldly-ness. Beyond gender, beyond the base, beyond animal and material…. transcendent:

3. Sigur Ros. EVERYTHING. But we’ll go with Svefn-G-Englar.

Sigur Ros is one of the my all time favorite bands. The beauty of their music is beyond words.

This award winning video by the band and film maker Agust Jacobsson features a troupe of people with Down’s Syndrome performing to the song.

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2. Bon Iver: Stacks.

I don’t know if i can listen to this song without crying. i don’t know if i’ve ever attempted to. I’m not about to start now. It’s that beautiful. It stops me dead in my tracks and brings me to my knees.

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1. Jeff Buckley: Corpus Christi Carol

I mean… Jeff Buckley. Do i need to say anything more?

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Little Mermaid: Waiting For The Sunrise

Today we are going to feature a story telling track from a very early album of mine, the 2nd one done under Mocha Lab. I wrote an album which tells the story of the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson because the girl i was pining away for madly… it was her favorite story. So i wrote her an album.

Love song? Sure, if you wanna get laid write a girl a love song. Totally works. But if you’re in LOVE… and oh i was, you write an entire album.

No reason why you shouldn’t hear some early examples of me working out my storytelling and music tricks, so here’s a track from very late in the album, the climax of the story.

Oh, and the chick? She’s currently in the bedroom putting our 3 year old to sleep, so, you know, album must not have sucked too hard.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Sondheim’s Cinderella

This is how to do it.

In my discussing this whole “beef up Priscilla thing” i thought i’d show a video that exemplifies how to do what i wish to do…. perfectly.

In a video which combines all 3 ‘Cinderella After The Ball’ bits from the 1st Act of Into The Woods, we see Stephen Sondheim, the composer and lyricist create a perfect template of character which the actress Kim Crosby then just slams out of the park.

In 6 minutes, 3 short scenes, we get a full character complete with foibles, personality, hang ups, quirks, endearingness… and in this example it’s particularly divine, because both the composer who created her and the actress who brings her to life are insanely talented, so that it’s hard to tell at first glance whose hand of brilliance is making the character be so rich. And the truth is, in any great collaboration where 2 real talents are involved, the whole is more than the sum of their parts. The lyrics and music are of a caliber i basically worship, but Kim Crosby’s delivery is what makes me stop being impressed and actually beLIEVE in and utterly care for the person i’m witnessing

So i present this video. As i’ve said, i have very little time Act -wise to work with Priscilla. Much of what i already have needs to be there for other purposes. I have only a little bit of room to work with, but here we see what you can do with 6 minutes of character if you’re good enough.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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The Devil And The Angel

On a periphery from evil clowns, we’re going to feature the closest thing to an evil clown character i’ve made.

Today’s track is from another show i wrote and toured in the States (It’s actually slowly gearing up for another run, but i doubt before 2013). It’s a multimedia theater piece called The Fallen, choreographed by the amazing Shaun Rolly. The track is obviously, very theatrical.

The show is about a fallen angel. She kisses a lonely demon, gives up her wings to experience the world, there’s parties and an orgy and strung out on drugs, yadda yadda yadda. She eventually finds herself maneuvered by the show’s MC/Narrator, who is called Raven, into his Carnival world. He has been subtly drawing her there.

He’s kind of a Devil archetype and this track is where he finally greets the Angel as she enters his realm.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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