Friday, April 30, 2010

Men With Talent

Have you ever noticed that all the best commercials are beer commercials.
Of course you have. Sometimes even nasty beers make good commercials.
This is not the case here, this is a good great beer with a great commercial.

Natasha Marsh

Yet another great voice from Wales. What is it in that Welsh water that produces so many fine singers? It seems to have been that way for ever.

Natasha Marsh is an opera soprano from the United Kingdom. She was brought up in an intensely creative household where music was rarely off the agenda; she grew up listening to anything from Steeleye Span to Bach and Mozart via Shirley Bassey and Whitney Houston and, from an early age, decided she’d follow in Julie Andrews’ sainted footsteps into musical theatre.
An early and passionate devotee of music on stage and screen, Natasha sang in dozens of school productions, spent four years with the National Youth Music Theatre and at 17, started taking singing lessons with her (still current) music teacher. At 21 she graduated with a first in music and drama from Birmingham University and won a coveted scholarship to the Royal College of Music opera school.
Natasha made her critically acclaimed debut with Grange Park Opera singing Jacqueline in Fortunio by André Messager; she returned to sing the roles of Governess in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni. She won the ‘M.O.C.S.A. Young Welsh Singer of the Year 1999’, and has since created the title role in Michael Berkeley’s new opera Jane Eyre with great success for Music Theatre Wales. Roles with a number of opera companies include Musetta in Opera Holland Park’s production of La Boheme, Micaela (Carmen) at the Royal Albert Hall and First Lady in The Magic Flute with Glyndebourne Touring Opera.

Morning Has Broken

Cat Stevens could never reach these notes. But just in case you think he wrote it:
"Morning Has Broken" is a popular and well-known Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by Eleanor Farjeon and a traditional Gaelic tune known as "Bunessan" (it shares this tune with the 19th century Christmas Carol "Child in the Manger"[1]). It is often sung in children's services. Pop and folk singer Cat Stevens included a version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat. The song became identified with Stevens when it reached number 6 on the US pop chart and #1 on the US adult contemporary chart in 1972. [Wikipedia]

Here is a montage of sights and sounds from her 2007 tour with Il Divo

A mixture of some of the songs from Amour


Sadly Sissel had not yet been discovered when I lived in Norway. Such a beautiful voice.
Sissel Kyrkjebø (Norwegian pronunciation: [sɪsəl çʏrçəbø]; born 24 June 1969 in Bergen), also simply known as Sissel, is a Norwegian soprano.
Sissel is considered as one of the world's top crossover sopranos. Sissel's musical style runs the gamut from pop recordings and folk songs, to classical vocals and operatic arias. She possesses a "crystalline" voice and wide vocal range, sweeping down from mezzo-soprano notes, in arias such as Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix from Saint-Saëns's opera Samson et Dalila, to the F natural above soprano C. She sings mainly in English and Norwegian, but has also sung songs in Swedish, Danish, Gaelic, Italian, French, Russian, Icelandic, Faeroese, German, Spanish, Māori, Japanese and Latin.
She is well known for singing the Olympic Hymn (Hymne Olympique) at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, for duets with Plácido Domingo, Charles Aznavour, José Carreras, Neil Sedaka, Warren G, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Josh Groban, Diana Krall, Russell Watson and The Chieftains, and her participation on the Titanic film soundtrack.
Sissel received her first U.S. Grammy nominations on Dec 6th, 2007 for a collaboration with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Spirit of the Season, a collection of songs from the choir’s 2006 Christmas concert featuring Norwegian recording artist Sissel and the Orchestra at Temple Square, was nominated for the Best Classical Crossover Album of the Year, as well as Best Engineered Classical Album.
Sissel's combined solo record sales (not including soundtracks and other albums to which she contributed) amount to 10 million albums sold, most of them in Norway—a country with 4.7 million people. Quite a number of albums have been sold in Sweden and Denmark also. Coupled with her contribution to the Titanic soundtrack, Christmas in Vienna, and other collaborations, her record sales approach 35 million albums. Together with Odd Nordstoga, she is the only Norwegian artist that has accomplished to win 11 platinum trophies for the same record. [Wikipedia]


Sissel performing "Weightless" from her 2000 album All Good Things.
Live performance is taken from her Nordisk Vinternatt DVD.
Audio is overdubbed from album source.

O Mio Babbino Caro

The lovely Norwegian soprano Sissel Kyrkjebø sings the aria "O Mio Babbino Caro" from the Giacomo Puccini opera "Gianni Schicchi" in her DVD concert "All Good Things."

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Bo Hansson RIP

I was in a mood to play Bo Hansson's great Lord of The Rings album this morning and when I was checking my scrobbler status in the LastFM program I saw that he had passed away. After further investigation I see it happened last Saturday 24 April. I am saddened by his passing. Being a big fan of both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings I remember when I first heard the album back in 1970, and just had to rush out and buy it for myself. Since that time I have acquired the CD and have of course digital copies on my computers. I have played it multiple time per year ever since that time. And I remember when I heard they were going to make a movie of Lord of The Rings how I hoped they would use this album as the sound track. It is so evocative of the whole middle earth thing.
I also have The Magicians Hat, another of his great albums, also worth a listen.
Here then are a couple of samples from the album "Lord of the Rings", and if you have never heard it i urge you to do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

Here are the first three tracks:
1) Leaving Shire
2) The Old Forrest and Tom Bombadil
3) Fog on the Barrow Downs

This is part of a documentary about Bo and his music (In Swedish but it features some of his music)

Hansson & Karlsson, Bo Hansson and Sagor & Swing in a swedish documentary from Musikbyrån.

Here is Bo playing some of the album live. Not sure why the uploader refers to him as Bosse, I can only guess it is a Swedish nickname.


Bo Hansson (April 10, 1943 – April 24, 2010) was a musician best known for his four instrumental albums released in the 1970s.
He spent his early life in a remote village in the pine forests of northern Sweden, but a change in his parents' fortunes forced a move to Stockholm and they were forced to leave the young Hansson behind, in the care of family friends. As a teenager he joined his parents in Stockholm, where he soon became interested in the burgeoning rock 'n' roll scene and taught himself to play the guitar, before joining the band, Rock-Olga.
After the rock 'n' roll craze gave way to jazz and blues in the late fifties, he joined 'Slim' Notini's Blues Gang as a guitarist. Notini had a reputation of nurturing young talent, in the same way that John Mayall was doing in Britain, and from there Hansson was able to move on and form his own blues group The Merrymen, who supported The Rolling Stones on an early Scandinavian tour.
In 1966, Hansson saw American jazz organist Jack McDuff perform at Stockholm's Gyllene Cirkeln Club, and was so captivated by the performance that he decided to leave The Merrymen to expand his musical horizons. Encouraged by fellow Merryman Bill Öhrström, he eventually acquired his own Hammond organ.
By 1969, Janne Karlsson had become a successful comedian and TV host, and Hansson decide to break up the partnership. Entranced by a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's' The Lord of the Rings, which he had purloined from his girlfriend, he moved into a friend's vacant apartment and started writing. When the unfortunate friend returned, he found that he had been evicted from his apartment after numerous complaints about the noise Hansson was creating. Hansson retreated to a remote cottage on an island off Stockholm where he, drummer Rune Carlsson and engineer Anders Lind, who had worked previously with Hansson/Karlsson, spent winter 1969 recording what was to become Hansson's debut solo album on a borrowed 4 track recorder. The resourceful Lind was even able to gain use of the only 8 track recorder in Sweden at that time at the Swedish National Radio station, on the pretext that he was interested in buying one himself and wanted to test it. Once there he persuaded session musicians Gunnar Bergsten and Sten Bergman to flesh out the recordings.
"Sagan Om Ringen" was released on Silence Records (Sweden's first independent record label which was set up by Anders Lind) in autumn 1970 and became a huge hit. Copies of the album began to filter across to Britain where it came to the attention of Tony Stratton-Smith, who was so impressed that he released the record as "Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings" on his own Famous Charisma label in October 1972, where it became Bo's only UK top twenty LP.
....... more

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Heather Nova

Heather Nova, (born Heather Allison Frith, on July 6, 1967 in Bermuda) is a singer-songwriter and poet. She has released seven full-length albums and has found lasting success in Germany where two of her albums South and Storm have made their way into the Top-5 of German official album chart. ..... more

A beautiful plaintive sound that deserves to be heard more in the USA.

London Rain (Nothing Heals Me Like You Do)

Music video by Heather Nova performing London Rain (Nothing Heals Me Like You Do). (C) 1998 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Gloomy Sunday

And finally from Heather today a very nice cover of a Chris Isaac classic. No one can touch the Chris Isaac version, in addition to which the Chris's video is probably the best music video of all time. But this is a very nice version anyway.
Wicked Game

Seven albums into her career, Heather is about to release what is possibly her most compelling work to date.
Recorded at home in Bermuda, all on solar power, "The Jasmine Flower" is an album full of her trademark songwriting - deeply emotive and melodically beautiful, the songs are haunting, dark and uplifting all at once.
The production is minimal - just Heather, with her shimmering, soulful vocals and a guitar, with some strings (the popular UK Raven Quartet) appearing on a few tracks.

Heather says of this album - "I know this is a good one because it makes me uncomfortable to sit in a room and listen to it with other people. I know i must have mined the dark side and told the truth. I haven't felt this intense about an album since Oyster (her breakthrough album which charted worldwide) It was liberating to just do it all by myself without a producer and without a band. It has a rawness, it breathes"

Of the title she says -
"Jasmine is a flower that blooms at night; this incredibly fragrant pure white light that appears in the darkest hour"

Heather made her name in Europe in the early 90's promoting a rocking live album called 'Blow' that ushered in the era of 'Chick-Rock' two years before artists like Alanis Morissette or Sheryl Crow had released albums. At it's most ferocious Heather's style could be described as a combination of Patti Smith and Kate Bush, capable of swooping from great heights into moments of great delicacy. It was a far cry from her idyllic childhood in Bermuda, where she was raised until the family sailed away on a boat her father had built himself. By the time she was 15, Heather had crossed the Atlantic and sailed through the Caribbean, and the memories of those years have served to inspire and guide her music in later years. Age 20, Heather left the boat for London with an acoustic guitar and the idea she wanted to sing for a living. Twenty years later she is still writing and touring with the same passion, outlasting her contemporaries.

Between the releases of her own studio albums, "Glow stars", "Oyster", "Siren", "South", "Storm", "Redbird" , all of which reached chart success in different countries, Heather released 3 live albums and a live dvd; she had hits with Swedish pop band "Escobar" and German electronic artist "ATB"; She contributed to film soundtracks including the cult film "Gloomy Sunday" and the platinum soundtrack "I am Sam"; She toured extensively in Europe and the US, playing the Lilith Fair and almost every major festival in Northern Europe as well as selling out her own 2000 seaters on her many European tours. She has also toured Japan and Australia.

In 2002 Heather published a book of her poems and drawings entitled "The Sorrowjoy"

One German newspaper dubbed her the "queen of indie rock" and more recently the Sunday Times called her "one of pop's most enduring mysteries"

She is currently promoting her new album and is about to embark on another European tour.

VV Brown

Something a little bit different today, some VV Brown.
Gotta love it when you share a birthday, albeit years apart.
She is currently touring the States, partial review below.

Vanessa Brown (born 24 October 1983), known as VV Brown (sometimes styled as vv brown), is an English recording artist, songwriter and producer signed to Universal's Island Records in the United Kingdom and to EMI's Capitol Records in the United States. The Los Angeles Times and UK newspaper The Independent have both named Brown an artist to watch in 2009.

Under the moniker "VV Brown", she released her debut album, Travelling Like the Light, in July 2009 by Universal Records. The album was preceded by a limited non-chart eligible release of "Crying Blood" on 7" vinyl and digital download. Brown wrote the music and plays instruments on the album. The album is inspired by 1950s and electronic music as well as sounds emitted from Game Boy and Nintendo. Most of the lyrics on the album are about a failed affair Brown endured. Brown performed Crying Blood and a new song, "Bottles", on the first episode of the 33rd series of the BBC's Later With Jools Holland. She was the musical guest on The Sunday Night Project on 11 January 2009 and performed Crying Blood, as well as short extracts from other of her own songs throughout the show. On 5 December 2008, she was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2009 award, alongside acts including Little Boots and Lady GaGa. [Wikipedia]

Game Over

Video 'Game Over' from VV Brown from the album Travelling Like The Light
Note to The Suits Embedding disabled by request does not help get your artists featured.

Crying Blood

Later with Jools Holland

There's a lot to know about V.V. Brown besides the fact that the London singer-songwriter released her debut album, Traveling Like the Light, in the states earlier this month. Her real name is Vanessa, she's a part-time model, she has her own vintage clothing store, and she's writing a graphic novel. V.V. also famously wrote some of the songs off Traveling -- including hit single "Crying Blood" -- on a one-string guitar. Oh, and she's stunningly beautiful.

And yet most Americans probably know very little about her. Which is a shame. While the sudden rise of V.V.'s profile in the U.K. may mimic the ecstatic trajectory of current and one-time "it girls" Kate Nash and Lily Allen, her music is far more eccentric. V.V.'s tunes draw on elements of funk, soul, reggae, hip-hop -- even punk and rockabilly -- and nearly everything in between.

Her show last night at the Bowery Ballroom in Lower Manhattan -- her first headlining gig in the U.S. -- was a winning testament to an artist with tastes as eclectic as her resume. It was also, for the most part, a rollicking good time.
John S.W. MacDonald - - to read more

Filippa Giordano

With her quite extraordinary voice, Filippa Giordano weaves a myriad of notes that derive from opera and traditional Italian music. Her sound also transpires into a sophisticated American pop sound. Another of the new breed of "crossover" artists.

Filippa Giordano was born February 14, 1974 in Palermo, Italy.
She started her musical studies at the age of 5.
At the age of 9 she studied Ballet at the National Academy of Rome, where she moved with her family.
She started her singing studies with her mother as teacher.
In September 1998 she released her first album Passioni, with the Italian producers Celso Valli and Marco Sabiu.
During her career she performed with prestigious orchestras such as The Super World Orchestra and the BBC Orchestra. Hear more at Last.FM.

Habanera from Carmen

Concierto de Filippa en Durango cantando habanera

Heaven Knows

Beautiful video, English version of 'Amarti Sì' from the album Il Rosso Amore. Video directed by Tim Rice

The Winner Takes It All

Her take on the Abba classic.

Giorgia Fumanti

Give a listen to the beautiful voice of Giorgia Fumanti. Such purity of sound.

Giorgia Fumanti (born 1975) is an Italian-Canadian soprano and singer of operatic pop. Her music is compared to that of Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and Enya.
She has performed at the Special Olympics, NHL, PBS, with Chinese Pop Icon Wei Wei, Italian star Zucchero, and toured around the world with José Carreras. She is also a spokesperson for AMEIPH, an organization which works to integrate immigrants with disabilities into society.
Giorgia Fumanti was born in the Tuscan village of Fivizzano and grew up in the nearby town of Aulla, which remains her family home. As a teenager she sang in the Città di Aulla Choir. She nearly completed a law degree, but left law school 2 exams from finishing. She became a yoga teacher then. At the age of 23 she decided to sing professionally. Giorgia enrolled in the Conservatorio di Musica "Arrigo Boito" in Parma, where she studied for three years.
In 2002, Fumanti relocated to Montreal, Canada to work with manager, Maurice Velenosi of MCM Entertainment Management, and in 2004, her first album, entitled Like a Dream was released on Canadian independent label Isba Music Entertainment. The album featured her take on the music of Vangelis. [Wikipedia]


Your Love

Nadia Kazmi

Nadia is a singer/songwriter born and raised in Calgary, Canada who now lives in Brooklyn, NY. She combines her varied influences of Rock (Jimmy, Led Zep, Pink Floyd . . . and yes: Queen!) and Soul (Janis Joplin, Stevie Wonder, Prince) with poetic lyrics (Leonard Cohen). Nadia is helping to diversify the current musical landscape by creating pop/rock music with conscious lyrics and interesting melodies while still retaining catchy hooks and popular appeal.

Nadia has recently finished recording her debut album with grammy nominated producer Alex Elena and Josh Valleau (Alice Smith) in New York and Los Angeles. She is currently playing in New York and Canada and will be playing shows and festivals throughout North America over the fall to promote her first independent full-length album: ARRIVAL.

I became aware of Nadia via my Google alerts for "Leonard Cohen".  I read an interview of Nadia by Donald Gibson where one of the questions was:
You also have a great appreciation for Leonard Cohen and his songwriting.

He’s my favorite artist of all time…Actually, for my next album I’m doing Leonard Cohen songs. I know it’s been done before many times, but I’m trying to do something a little more interesting because I’m going to infuse it with that rock/soul element that I have for the rest of my stuff. So I’m really going to change the songs quite a lot.

Read more:

This intrigues me enough to see if there was any video around. And I found this amazing video of a great track from her new album Arrival.  Having heard this I eagerly await her "Leonard Cohen" album, she sounds like a worthy performer who would interpret his songs in a meaningful way.


The video for the first single off the album Arrival is now up! This was filmed in Paris in a friend's apartment
Directed and shot by Michael Ingledew.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Michael Heath aka Fledderjohn has released this really cool album. 
Monsters, Whores and More.
He explains how he came to be recording and album of sea faring songs with nary a sea shanty among them.

In late 2009 I received a cd from a friend in the UK. It was a copy of an old 78 that was part of a collection of 78s he had picked up in a car boot sale. These records were ancient home recordings - circa 1930's. The rest of the records were a bizarre collection of experimental/just plain weird sounds. A couple of them were very disturbing and basically consisted of a woman's moaning, sobbing, and laboured breathing.

The one I was sent though was of a man - who I can only assume is the person responsible for the other records - singing the American trad tune, "Deep Blue Sea". My friend sent me the cd because the man singing sounded uncannily like me. This set my imagination running, caused a number of very unpleasant dreams, and eventually produced a collection of songs that followed a broad sea faring and watery theme. Monsters, Whores and More is that collection of songs.

Michael Heath
Adelaide, South Australia, April 2010

You can give them a listen here, and after you have sampled a few I just know you will be heading over to his bandcamp page to download the album for yourself.

<a href="">Tiny boat by Fledderjohn</a>

Kristin Andreassen

Kristin Andreassen is an American musician and dancer. She grew up in Portland, Oregon as Kristin Andrews. In 2002 she started using her great-grandfather's name Andreassen.
Kristin sings, plays harmonica, piano, guitar, banjo-uke and fiddle and she is also a songwriter. From 1999 onwards she has been working as a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, teaching and performing various related forms of percussive dance: clogging, tap, Irish and Canadian step dance. In December 2003 she joined the old-time music group Uncle Earl. She is a member of Sometymes Why and The Jolly Bankers.

With the song Crayola, that she wrote together with Megan Downes, Kristin has won the 2006 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the "Children's" category. The song was included on her 2007 solo record and she recorded a video for the song directed by Ballard C. Boyd.

On November 22, 2008 she appeared on A Prairie Home Companion as a solo artist

So here is that song in two different versions for juxtaposition comparison.

Crayola Doesn't Make A Color For Your Eyes

Official music video for "Crayola Doesn't Make A Color For Your Eyes" by Kristin Andreassen, from her album "Kiss Me Hello". Written by Kristin Andreassen and Megan Downes / Yellowcar Music / ASCAP. (c) 2009 Kristin Andreassen
Winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Award for Best Children's Song (2007), and featured on A Prairie Home Companion.
Directed by Ballard C. Boyd
Director of Photography Will Beckley
Animation by Weston Malgren

And here is the same song again but this time with grown up patty cake.

Crayola Doesn't Make A Color - Uncle Earl featuring Kristin Andreassen. 5 woman musicians. 4 girls pattycake in rhythm the whole song.

Daisy Dares You

Daisy Dares You is a 16-year-old future pop sensation from a sleepy little village in rural Essex. "I might be young, but I'm really not some blonde little dolly girl," she says. "And I'm not gonna be a helpless artist. I know what I want, and the only way it'll come out that way is if I do it.
That much is true and may go some way to explaining how someone born in 1993 (1993!) has already managed to craft a clutch of surefire pop hits. "Well, you do definitely have good space to write out here," she admits. "And I spend a lot of my time sitting about reading poetry, which might've helped. But, really, I'm just from a musical family, so I've played guitar and piano since I was about six. And if you play, you eventually start to write. It's just one of those things."
And 'one of those things' happened on boxing day 2007 when Daisy was talking music with a family friend. She mentioned that her Dad had taught her to play piano and guitar, so the friend offered Daisy some time in his home studio to see where it went, a chance that Daisy jumped at. "That was pretty amazing," she remembers. "I went from strumming in my bedroom to recording in a proper vocal booth." Encouraged by friends and family who were enormously impressed with the finished result, Daisy started going into the studio at weekends and during school holidays. "It was just something to do for fun, really. I didn't expect anything to come from it."
......... more

Number One Enemy

The debut single from Daisy Dares You featuring Chipmunk.
Available to download right now!
Check out Daisy at and download a free track now!

Who Will Buy

Check out behind the scenes as the band rehearse Who Will Buy.

Daisy Dares You is the stage name used by Daisy Coburn (born 1993), a British pop artist from Essex, United Kingdom. The stage name is a direct reference to the character of the same name from the 1990s British television show ZZZap!.
She picked up widespread promotional coverage in the media before she formally released any music. She has been profiled by The Times, the BBC, and The Guardian as a young artist to watch for in 2010.
She is managed by Empire, and signed to Jive, a subsidiary of Sony Records. She mainly uses social networking websites to broadcast her music, such as MySpace where she posts mostly demos, and her YouTube channel where the video for her song "Daisy Dares You" can be found. [Wikipedia]


As though from the middle of nowhere, there appears this beautifully melancholic album bursting with power and passion.
From a distance, terms such as Indie, Alternative or Rock could be cited. But who is this Tibursky, who has, give or take a few exceptions, recorded and sung on the entire album single handed?
No-one knows for sure.
The only thing that’s certain is that radio BBC expressed their interest to air the album even before its release in 2009.
Big stages and media hype would seem to follow from that; Tibursky however, say Kitchen Records, remains modest and relaxed, merely planning, if at all, a small tour at the end of the year. No band, just the audience, a piano and that voice, rich and dark as molasses.
So go and find out for yourselves. [Kitchen Records]


Musicvideo of the song "Travel" by Tibursky (
Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II in spring 2009.
Concept & Realisation by Thorsten Eichhorst & Tim Meier.
Production by KITCHEN TV


My Bubba & Mi

Here is something a bit more folksy, but what a combination a band based out of Denmark who recorded their debut record in Italy and sing in English. My Bubba & Mi is an acoustic folk trio consisting of three beautiful women from Denmark, Sweden and Iceland who play all the instruments (banjo, dulcimer, guitar, stand up bass, etc) and wrote the bulk of the songs on the record. Their new record is called How It’s Done In Italy. And you can sneak a peek here.

Bubba moved in when My was doing the dishes in the kitchen. While emptying her boxes she heard singing from out there. The next day, she grabbed My by the arm and wished for a harmony on a lullaby she was writing - Apple spell. They sang for some months in each others’ bedrooms in the tiny Copenhagen apartment, and then Mia moved in, with her organs. That summer they had each other as pillows and pancakes, musically. Practice now took place in the kitchen, before breakfast or after midnight. None of them knew where they were going, but they ended up being invited to Italy, and just now, came back from their second visit, with a record of themselves in the backpack.  Mybubba&mi

Apple Spell

How its done in italy

Fuck the pain away

Video from the concert given at the record release March 25th  at Cafe Bartof, Copenhagen by the girls My, Bubba (Guðbjörg) and Mia.
In their own words;
FINALLY, the doggone record is here, darn it!
Come and get yours and hear the songs in person at the Release Pow Wow,
and bring a friend who needs a treat!
We are thrilled to await you!
A record release that was memorable as the records hadn´t arrived in time from Italy. So the setup was to buy the cover and get the vinyl later.

Gogol Bordello

After all the Gypsy Punk I featured yesterday I remembered that Gogol Bordello had a new album released yesterday. Trans-Continental Hustle, check it out it is really great. But what else to expect from Gogol Bordello.
So I figured there had to be some video of the new songs, and of course out old buddy Jools Holland had them on his show 15 days ago. So courtesy the BBC and Jools Holland check out a couple of tracks from the new album.


GB perform Immigraniada from new album Trans-Continental Hustle. Filmed for BBC2 show 'Later... with Jools Holland'. Recorded in London on 13th April 2010.

Pala Tute

GB perform Pala Tute, the opening track from Trans-Continental Hustle, on BBC2 show 'Later Live with Jools Holland'. Recorded in London on 13th April 2010.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


OK, along the lines of Gypsy Punk Rock how does this band fit in, they are described as Transylvanian Surf Rock. And with that I think Skeletonbreath fits in the grouping very well.


amazing band from NY/Philla rocking shirtless in a basement. Aug 1, 2008.
Thanks to seanshackelton for sharing.

Fever Dream Waltz

Vinyl Release Show at Cafe Nine New Haven, Connecticut 6/4/2009.

Unnamed tune

Live at the Oasis 9/17/09, New London Ct.

Skeletonbreath is a Brooklyn, New York based Instrumental rock trio signed to Ernest Jenning Records. Their music has been self-described as "Transylvanian Surf Rock" and "Halloween party music." They are: Andrew Platt on electric bass, Bob Pycior on electric violin, and Tris Palazzolo on drums. Their debut album, "Louise" was independently released in 2005 and has been described by as "A perfect CD." [1] They were recently featured in Progression Magazine after having opened at the two-day long Progday festival. They have also received acclaim in the Orlando City Beat, and are featured on the DIY website Despite having acquired much notoriety within the New York music scene, Skeletonbreath has retained a strong DIY ethic, playing in basements and living rooms as often as at festivals.

Kultur Shock

Now Seattle is a place I would expect to find a Gypsy Punk Rock band.  The music scene in Seattle being so diverse.
And what a find, Kultur Shock have been doing this longer than Gogol Bordello and DeVotchKa.
They are truly a wild bunch.

Horse Thief

Music Video for Horse Thief by KULTUR SHOCK filmed and cut by MOTZO

Country Mohammed

First internationally produced music video for Kultur Shock! Produced by VIA MEDIA in Sarajevo. Directed by Berin Tuzlic. Prepared for YouTube by Nimble Productions in Seattle.


Kultur Shock perform live at Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco (FALL 2006). Shot by Vince Tocce.


Live Performance of Kultur Shock at the Chop Suey
belly dancers, smoke effects, rakija, gypsy folk hip hop punk rock extravaganza,
edited & filmed by Motzo

According to Wikipedia ...... Kultur Shock is a Seattle-based gypsy punk band which specializes in mixing modern music like rock, metal and punk with traditional Balkan music.
Weird combination of punk, Balkan’s ethno music, gypsy folk and dirty rock’n’roll named KULTUR SHOCK are solid institution of Seattle’s underground scene for years now. The band’s members hail from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Japan, and the United States, but the complexity only begins there. Their hometown of Seattle seems to be one of the only things each of them holds in common with one another, yet somehow they continue to inspire as a unit. Defined, by American music journalists, as balkan punk rock gypsy metal wedding-meets-riot music, after many tours and sharing the stage with Gogol Bordello, Iggy Pop, Yerba Buena, The Wailers, Joan Baez, Gutbucket, Sky Cries Mary and many others, they are coming for yet another European tour.

Kaizers Orchestra

I'm not saying the last place I expected to find a Gypsy Punk/Rock band would be Norway, but that is close. Sometimes they stray away from the genre, but whatever they are playing they are worth a listen.

Knekker Deg Til Sist

Break You To Last (rough translation)

Die Polizei

Kaizers Orchestra performing "Die Polizei". This song has, since it was first performed in 2001, occasionally been played at extraordinary concerts. In 2009, the song was recorded for the band's album, "Våre demoner".
The performance took place in Cafeteateret, Oslo, Norway on February 11, 2009.

Sju bøtter tårer er nok, Beatrice

Kaizers Orchestra performing their new, yet unreleased song, "Sju bøtter tårer er nok, Beatrice" (Seven buckets of tears is enough, Beatrice) live at the Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, Holland on the 15th of January 2010. This recording is made and uploaded by the band itself to give the fans a heads up to what's coming from the Kaizer camp next, the full album is expected early 2011. This is a simple one-camera, one-mic recording so excuse the low budget diy quality, but we reckon it's better than the mobile phone one's that are already out there and interesting for those of you who are into the Kaizer thing :) Alright, enjoy! [GeezaProductions]

Kaizers Orchestra is a Norwegian alternative rock group formed on January 1, 2000[1]. The two leading members, vocalist Janove Ottesen and guitarist Geir Zahl, had known each other for years, and first played together in a band called Blod, Snått & Juling in 1989.
Kaizers Orchestra are notable for being among the first non-black metal Norwegian bands or artists singing in their native language to become popular in non-Scandinavian Europe. To other Norwegians, the band is instantly recognizable both because of their unique, unpredictable style, and because of vocalist Ottesen's marked Bryne dialect, shared by four of the other band members.

Musically, Kaizers Orchestra have explored many different genres of music, the most prominent being fast-paced gypsy rock and "Balkan brass". They are regarded as one of Europe's best live acts, with their 2002 Performance at Roskilde earning them several "Concert of the Year" awards, as well as "Concert of Roskilde 2002".

For the most part, lyrics and music is written by Janove Ottesen, although Geir Zahl has also contributed many compositions. Geir also performs vocals on his compositions at live shows (exceptions being "Papa har lov" from Maestro and "Våre demoner" from Våre demoner, both of which are sung by Janove). The lyrics often contain dark themes like mental illness, war and the Mafia. Many of the songs' storylines are intertwined, with recurring characters being explored during the course of several songs. [Wikipedia]

Sunset Park Riders

I dunno if you saw my Spaghetti Western Orchestra post yesterday, but it evoked a comment from Dave of the Sunset Park Riders. Inviting me to check out their album "Showdown at the BK Corral". I just love the internet family and how we all link together. So I checked it out, I'm listening to it as I type. And I'm liking it.
Now as you may have noticed I don't feature too much Rap music, not normally my style. In fact I never really understood it until I saw 8 Mile.
Anywho, I have to say although they labeled it Rap I think it is a bit more than that.
All in all a pretty interesting album.
Give a listen to the tracks below, and then go check out the album at their site.     It's all cool.

<a href="">Watch Out (Renegade Intro) by Sunset Park Riders</a>

High Noon, Jonah Hex, and Kid Vengeance: three renegade outlaws with a taste for gold and blood are about to take on the battle of their lives in Showdown at the BK Corral - the revolutionary album where the Old West meets Old School.

In this Spaghetti Western in 9 tracks, the Sunset Park Riders make their way through the Wild West of Brooklyn - riding hard beats, wielding razor sharp rhymes, and robbing and pillaging at every turn. But when they are called upon to defend a town in dire need, will these b-boy saddletramps defy the enormous odds against them - or end up as just another pile in the bone orchard? Find out in the World's First Western Concept Rap Album - Showdown at the BK Corral!   [Sunset Park Riders]

Anna Phoebe

Tracking down more Gypsy beat I ran across Anna Phoebe.
Now she fits into two of my favorite classifications, violin player extraordinaire and gypsy beat.
Amazing, give her a listen.


Anna Phoebe performing her tune, Gypsy, at the Rock n Roll Kabaret, Soho Revue Bar, London on July 30th 2007. Introduced in his normal over-the-top manner, by Cherry, host of the event held on the last Monday of every month. Apologies for the ill-advised hand-held bit (an attempt to see round the guy standing at the front).

Bombay to Beirut

The brand new Anna Phoebe Band performing Bombay to Beirut at their debut live gig, The Regal Room, Hammersmith, London on 9th April 2010
Thanks again to [jonessg3]
I love the middle eastern vibe on this tune.

Locomotive Breath

The legendary Jethro Tull with their guest Violinist, Anna Phoebe, with Locomotive Breath, rapturously received, at Wickham Festival on 2nd August 2007

Anna Phoebe (born Anna Phoebe McElligott, February 18, 1981 in Germany), is a London-based violinist, who is known for her proficiency in many musical genres, including rock, folk, jazz, Celtic, and Middle Eastern music.
Born in Germany to a German mother, she has a Greek-Irish father. The family moved to the United Kingdom when she was four, and she was raised in Scotland where she started learning the violin aged seven. She moved to London to study at the London School of Economics, studying Social Policy & Government.
Having played through university, on graduation she devoted herself to music, doing anything and everything as a session musician, working for producers, bands, singers in all genres.
Phoebe has been hired by many musicians, including Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Robin Gibb, Ronan Keating, Liberty X, George Michael, LeAnn Rimes and Nitin Sawhney. Resultantly, she has appeared on various television shows, including Top of the Pops, The Michael Parkinson Show, MTV and GMTV; as well as music festivals, including Glastonbury and The Big Chill. Phoebe also features in the theme tune for the Turner Prize 2005 exhibition, and played Oi Va Voi.
Phoebe was a guest star in 2007's "Jethro Tull World Tour," after an approach by Ian Anderson.
Since 2006, Phoebe has also been the String Director and Solo Violinist for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Phoebe first joined the TSO West Coast Band in 2004. She was invited back for 2006, making her the first String Director and Soloist to return for a third year running, and returned in 2007 as part of the (east) band. As part of the TSO, Phoebe tours for three months every Christmas through 26 states around West and Central USA. She performs nearly 70 dates in arenas to audiences of up to 15,000 people. Venues have included the Phoenix Arena, American Airline Center in Dallas, the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Save Mart Center in Fresno and the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. She toured with the TSO East Coast band in 2008 and 2009. [Wikipedia]

Tiger Lillies

Wow!! A big thanks to Michael for introducing me to The Tiger Lillies.
Think two of my favorite bands gone cabaret in a dark nightmare. [DeVotchKa and Gogol Bordello].
The Tiger Lillies are a cult three-piece band, based in London.
Their surreal style has been described as darkly humorous, Brechtian, gypsy cabaret.

Check them out.

Bully Boys

Just amazing!

The Dreadful Story of Harriet and the Matches

Awesome performance from New York.


"The Culture Show" 2008.

The Tiger Lillies are a three-piece band, formed in 1989 and based in London. They have toured worldwide and won acclaim with their opera Shockheaded Peter.
Their surreal style has been described as dark, darkly humorous, strangely humorous, Brechtian, and gypsy cabaret. They are also notorious for singing controversial songs involving bestiality, prostitution and blasphemy. In 1999 their work was featured in the film Plunkett and Macleane.
The Tiger Lillies were nominated for a Grammy award for their 2003 album The Gorey End, which was a collaboration of sorts with the writer and illustrator Edward Gorey and the Kronos Quartet.
Their newest show, 7 Deadly Sins, started on 7 April 2008 at the New Players Theatre in London. The show is based on the traditional seven deadly sins in Catholic theology, and an album was due to be released at the same time.
They will appear at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, to perform their 20th anniversary show, "Dark and Deviant," which will feature songs from their classic catalog. It was recently announced that the band have been chosen by Matt Groening to perform at the edition of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival he is curating in May 2010 in Minehead, England. [Wikipedia]

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spaghetti Western Orchestra

Yet again I am able to say "And now for something completely different".

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra, formerly the Ennio Morricone Experience, are a quintet of musicians who perform music from spaghetti westerns, especially the music of Ennio Morricone.
As the Ennio Morricone Experience, they performed at venues such as The Studio in Sydney. John Shand, reviewing their act in 2004, praised its inventive humour, saying that their "versatility is a constant surprise and regular source of laughs."
They premiered their current act at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2007, were successful at the Edinburgh Festival, and have toured the world with this show in which they re-enact the music and incidents of famous spaghetti westerns, such as For A Few Dollars More and Once Upon a Time in the West, using a variety of unusual musical instruments such as the theremin and sound effects such as a duck call.
John Lewis of The Guardian reviewed their performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in October, 2009, saying that, while the storyline and comedy didn't work perfectly, their musicianship and the strong theme made this "an endearing, impressive show". [Wikipedia]

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra performing at "Later... with Jools Holland" (10/06/09)

Fistful of Dollars Medley

Same date also on "Later... with Jools Holland"

Chi Mai

Spaghetti Western Orchestra perform the Ennio Morricone classic Chi Mai

Trad Jazz Early 60's

Trad (traditional) Jazz was a pretty big thing back in the early sixties. Sometimes even the Teds got it. I remember there was a few bands who had quite a lot of hits. And coincidentally three of them appeared on the Morecombe and Wise show in 1962. The fourth video is from the even older TV show The 6.5 Special.
08.18.2012 for all the usual reasons the first three videos have to be replaced.
Kenny Ball and His Jazzband The good news I managed to find another clip from Morecombe and Wise.
Kenny Ball (born Kenneth Daniel Ball, 22 May 1930, Ilford, Essex, England) is an English jazz musician, best known as the lead trumpet player in Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen.
In March 1962, Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen reached both #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and the UK Singles Chart, with "Midnight in Moscow". The record sold over one million copies, earning gold disc status. In the U.S. Ball's releases appeared on the Kapp Records label, although they remain one-hit wonders in that country. However, such was their popularity in their homeland, that Ball was featured, alongside Cliff Richard, Brenda Lee, Joe Brown, Craig Douglas and Frank Ifield, on the cover of the pop music magazine, NME, in July 1962. His "March of the Siamese Children" had topped the NME chart in March that year.

Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band
Found another from the right era, but not from Morecombe and Wise show. This was from a festival in Prague in 1964.
In A Persian Market
Bernard Stanley "Acker" Bilk MBE (born 28 January 1929, Pensford, Somerset, England) is an English clarinetist. He is known for his trademark goatee, bowler hat, striped waistcoat and his breathy, vibrato-rich, lower-register clarinet style.
Bilk was part of the boom in traditional jazz that swept the United Kingdom in the late 1950s. He first joined Ken Colyer's band in 1954, and then formed his own ensemble, The Paramount Jazz Band, in 1956. Four years later, his single "Summer Set" (a pun on his home county) hit the British charts and it began a run of eleven top 50 hit singles.

Tavern in the town - Terry Lightfoot and His New Orleans Jazzmen
Terry Lightfoot (born 21 May 1935, Potters Bar, Middlesex - now Hertfordshire - England) is a British clarinettist and bandleader, and together with Chris Barber, Mr. Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball was one of the leading members of the trad generation of British jazzmen.
Lightfoot started his musical career as a vocalist during school-life, singing popular songs with a small amateur variety group. In 1949, he came to jazz while at Enfield Grammar School in Enfield (Outer London). He changed from playing the trumpet to clarinet to meet the needs of the traditional Dixieland jazz band of his friends. After leaving school, he formed his first jazz band, the 'Wood Green Stompers'.
In 1955, he formed his band, the 'Terry Lightfoot's New Orleans Jazzmen'. They had three minor hit records in the UK Singles Chart in 1961 and 1962 with "True Love", "King Kong" and "Tavern in the Town".

Steamboat Bill - Chris Barber with his Jazzband and Otilie Patterson

Donald Christopher 'Chris' Barber (born 17 April 1930, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England) is best known as a jazz trombonist.
Barber played trombone with Humphrey Lyttleton in 1949 and began leading his own bands in which he played trombone and double bass in 1950. Barber helped to create the careers of many diverse musicians, most notably the superb blues singer Ottilie Patterson - who was at one time, Mrs Barber. Others include vocalist and banjo player Lonnie Donegan who rose to his own fame during the skiffle music craze of the mid 1950s. He had his first transatlantic hit during his time in Chris Barber's band with the release of "Rock Island Line".


Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus is an English neofolk and neoclassical group fronted by Tony Wakeford. Beginning with electronic experimentation combined with folk-influenced guitar work, the sound of Sol Invictus has become considerably more neoclassical over the years and has had a large amount of influence on the development of neofolk music. Wakeford has been the sole constant member of the group since its inception, although numerous musicians have contributed and collaborated with Wakeford under the Sol Invictus moniker over the years. The most recent line up has seen a return to a more percussive folk sound and with the new addition of laptop-generated loops. Wakeford is married to his American violinist Renee Rosen.

Old London Weeps

In the Rain

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Indelicates

I love the cover art on their new album, I think it is the best of the "swinging" covers. Their sound is also very cool.

The Indelicates are a Sussex-based British band. Formed in late-2005, six months after Julia Indelicate left her former band, The Pipettes. The Indelicates initially consisted solely of Julia and Simon Indelicate. Soon Ed van Beinum, Kate Newberry and Al Clayton were recruited to add to the band's live sound.
Their début single. We Hate the Kids, was released on Sad Gnome Records in July 2006 receiving reviews in NME, Rolling Stone and New Statesman. Their follow-up single, Julia, We Don't Live in the 60s, was released in July 2007 - their first to be widely distributed around the UK. The last single to precede the album release was Sixteen, released in October 2007.
Their début album, American Demo, was released to the UK on Weekender Records on April 14, 2008.
There have been three official music videos made for The Indelicates' three single releases on Weekender Records. They were produced by Stuart Laws of WindowSlaws Productions and were all directed by band member Al Clayton.

Sympathy for the Devil

Official Music Video for The Indelicates' "Sympathy for the Devil" taken from the album "Songs for Swinging Lovers" released April 12th 2010

We Love You, Tania

Sick Promotions present The Indelicates Live at Liverpool Zanzibar Club 02/26/2010 playing a new song about Patty Hearst called 'We Love You, Tania' from their new album 'Songs For Swinging Lovers' - Coming soon


Sick Promotions present The Indelicates Live at Liverpool Zanzibar Club 26/02/2010 playing a new song 'Europe' from their new album 'Songs For Swinging Lovers' - Coming soon

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dinner for one

Dinner for One, also known as The 90th Birthday, or by its corresponding German title, Der 90. Geburtstag, is a comedy sketch written by British author Lauri Wylie for the theatre in the 1920s. German television station Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) recorded a performance of the piece in 1963, in its original English language. This short comical play subsequently went on to become the most frequently repeated TV programme ever (according to the Guinness Book of Records, 1988-1995 eds.; later editions no longer have the category).

The 18 minute single take black-and-white 1963 TV recording featuring British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden has become an integral component of the New Year's Eve schedule of several German television stations, Danish national television and Swedish national television. It has also been a cult television classic in Germany, Norway, Finland, Faroe Islands and Austria: On New Year's Eve 2003 alone, the sketch was broadcast 19 times (on various channels). As of 2005, the sketch has been repeated more than 230 times. It is famous in other countries as well — including German-speaking Switzerland and South Africa. It is a New Year's Eve staple in Australia on the SBS network.[1]

In 2003 the Danish TV producer Paul Anthony Sørensen produced and directed an international documentary about the sketch. In the documentary we meet the relatives of Freddie Frinton (the manservant James) and May Warden (Miss Sophie) and get to know the story behind the sketch. The documentary was nominated for the Rose d'Or 2004.

I saw this one year in Norway and never did find out why it was never shown in England. This is one of the funniest sketches around.
Thanks Jaqueline for the reminder.

We Are The World

They have one of the best live shows in LA, and now they've finally released their first official music video - We Are The World's "Clay Stones" was directed by the band and Alma Har'el, director of Beirut, Jack Penate, Fanfarlo, etc.
Very dark vibes, with a hard dance edge. Seven-inch vinyl single out January 25/26 in UK and US through IAMSOUND Records with Pure Groove

This is very dark and very listenable.  I think I need to see them in concert.

So first up the official video.
Clay Stones

Shot on May 1st in a fire-ravaged section of Lake Arrowhead, "Clay Stones" was co-directed and co-edited by We Are The World and Alma Har'el (Beirut, Jack Peñate).
The single "Clay Stones" will be out digitally on Feb 16th and will feature remixes by Planning To Rock and Turbotito. The single will be also be put out as a limited-edition 7" and backed with WATW's cover of Linda Perhacs' "Moons And Cattails" as the b-side and will be released as a collaboration between IAMSOUND Records and Pure Groove Record Store in London.
WATW's debut album "Clay Stones" will be released on Manimal Records on April 6th in North America and May 10th in Europe.

Clay Stones - live version

SXSW March 17, 2010 - IAMSOUND Party at Malverde. One of the best things I saw all week. [hairmetal84]

Fight Song

"We are the World" performing live at Malverde in Austin, TX during SXSW 2010. Video captured by AustinBloggy