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May 23 / boomitude

Back to the Future

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, you’ve caught some of the buzz surrounding the long awaited release from Daft Punk. If you’ve missed the free stream on iTunes, Random Access Memories is officially available and you can also listen on Spotify. The French electronic dance pop duo fondly known as the robots have once again broken the mold. What makes this record most notable is the interesting choice of A-list musician producer types they tapped to transport them back in time to the 60’s and 70’s to help carry out their mission. The arrival of this record has generated a lot of excitement and we’re right in step. They had us at the very first synth and it completely lives up to the hype.

But what’s also newsworthy are these choice nuggets we’ve unearthed on their site: the Collaborator Series video interviews. They play like mini behind the muse documentaries with each collaborator sharing their connection to the men of mystery as well as the little touches of magic that unfolded throughout the creative process. We’ll take any opportunity to explore how music inspires…and this is solid gold.

You’ve got Paul Williams taking us back to the crazy days of Phantom of the Paradise and Nile (Chic Le Freak) Rodgers talking about his work with everyone from Bowie to Madonna and once again landing at Electric Lady Studios. The first single to hit the airwaves that plays throughout is “Get Lucky” from rap mogul Pharrell Williams who also shares his own time travel story. Producer and sampler Todd Edwards was so moved by the whole experience that it caused him to actually move….all the way cross country.

The overriding sentiment throughout is that these guys wanted to deliver something modern so they looked to the past for inspiration (which is very much in keeping with our own sort of like then but so right now theme). Or as Nile Rodgers beautifully points out it in his segment below, they went back to go forward and in doing so brought something to music that has been lacking for awhile. Ironically, it took a couple of androids to create something organic and bring some soul back to music….and people are feeling it. So even if you’re like Daft who? Punk what?, this is as good a time as any to get on board and into the groove. Helmet sold separately.

Related boomitude blogs:
Paul Williams – A Living Legend
Donna Summer’s Stamp

May 2 / boomitude

New Music Alert: Laura Mvula

The latest to emerge from the pack of young and talented beyond their years British soul singers, Laura Mvula is a standout. Her sound is not so easy to label…at least for the mainstream…but her star is definitely on the rise. You may hear traces of Amy Winehouse or her influences Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill but in more of an old school Nina Simone forge her own path kind of way. Her take notice debut album Sing to the Moon was just released and the title track is absolutely luminous. Which is pretty well summed up in the live performance below and if you hurry you can download the track today over at KCRW.
Laura Mvula. Remember that name!

Apr 30 / boomitude

80 and Still Smokin’ Hot

Wowza! Willie Nelson turns 80 today and he’s still going crazy strong. We always knew he was a powerhouse but a black belt too!? That’s just one of his secrets to staying young that he shared in an interview with AARP. But don’t count on him joining the ranks of the retirees any time soon. He’s releasing Let’s Face the Music and Dance, a new record of his favorite classics and it even looks like there may be a movie role in his future. Forever young and always up for some fun, take a look at his audition tape for the upcoming Hobbit (courtesy of Team Coco). Happy Birthday and cheers to Willie Nelson.

Related boomitude blogs:
Like Father, Like Son
Grammy Coverage

Apr 22 / boomitude

Let Freedom Sing

We are saddened by the loss of the great Richie Havens but feel so fortunate to have spent this time with him and have this special podcast to share. A genuine artist with a generous spirit that will forever live on in our hearts through his music. Peace, love and gratitude, Richie. You will be missed.

Richie Havens has been telling timeless stories through song for over 40 years. Ever since he captivated the crowd at Woodstock, he‘s been writing, recording and moving audiences throughout the world with his distinctive voice. We recently sat down with the shaman to chat about his unique approach to life and music. Warm, funny and endlessly engaging, Richie Havens is keeping it real in this boomitude original podcast.

Nobody Left To Crown
20th Century Masters-The Best of Richie Havens
Woodstock Soundtrack

Richie Havens
Verve Music Group

Mar 17 / boomitude

Honorable Cover

Speaking of the Pope…remember when Sinead O’Connor was all the rage before all her rage short circuited an otherwise promising career? She had the 90’s in the palm of her hand until she ripped on the pontiff on SNL and then the decade slipped right through her fingers. Her crowning glory came courtesy of a songwriting Prince in the form of the hit single (and video) “Nothing Compares 2U.”

It’s still a memorable song and it’s now enjoying a nice makeover from Los Angeles pop group Capital Cities. We have KCRW to thank for answering our cover tune prayers…it’s in heavy rotation on their Eclectic 24 and it’s definitely worthy of our cover honors. It’s hardly the drama of its predecessor, but maybe this snappier version is better suited for this millennium.

More cover tune blogs:
Various Artists: I Got Your Cover Right Here
Sting & Christian McBride: A Stingin’ Cover
The Heavy: Covered in Blood
Bon Iver/Justin Vernon: Cover Lover
Buddy Holly: That’ll Be The Cover
Sheryl Crow: Sideways Cover
Theo Bleckmann: This Man’s Work – The Sequel
Pat Metheny: Cherish
Kurt Elling: Steppin’ Out

Mar 2 / boomitude

Get Enlightened

People sometimes have a hard time wrapping their brain around the fact that I blog about music and I’m also a yoga instructor. And if I’m a music blogger, why am I always talking about film, TV or yoga? It actually makes perfect sense to me…or rather non-sense. As a person who tends to over think things, I’m drawn to experiences that help silence the never ending game of telephone that goes on in my own head. What appeals to me about yoga and the cultivation of inner stillness, is the same refuge that I seek through great art and storytelling. It’s through the expanding of my heart that I am able to quiet the mind which ultimately enables me to better express my own voice. Some days are easier than others, but like anything, it’s a work in progress with hopefully no end-all in sight.

Take for example, the HBO show “Enlightened.” Last year immediately upon seeing the first episode, I posted a blog applauding the series and the use of the poignant Regina Spektor song “Human of the Year” at the close of the premiere. It perfectly expressed the sentiment of the show, in which Laura Dern’s character so convincingly explores the struggles we all face in trying to get to the heart of our inner truth without blowing it along the way.

The subject of personal growth is one I connect to, but it surprises me the series hasn’t appealed to a larger audience and the future is uncertain. It’s ironic that the show about trying to pull it all together after some unraveling is now hanging by a thread…awaiting HBO’s decision to renew for another season. I don’t claim to be overly enlightened but I find it to be one of the most insightful and thoughtfully written shows on television. Each week I’m amazed at how brilliantly creator, writer and actor Mike White weaves together these soul searching characters and scenarios. (The “Following” episode alone, exploring our insatiable need for social media connection, should earn him the award for human of the year.)

Though the show is teamed next to “Girls” it hasn’t enjoyed the same popularity. Maybe it’s because no one knows about it and it’s not getting the same publicity. Or maybe it’s because floundering just isn’t as funny when you’re well past your twenties. We point and gawk at it when it’s on reality TV but maybe the raw and authentic emotion of it all bubbles a little too close to the fictitious surface. But that’s exactly what makes it compelling. The teetering between heartwrenching and heartwarming or profound and pathetic is stuff we all grapple with on a daily basis. Regardless of how life plays out, aren’t we all in our own way, trying to make some sense of it?

It’s almost as if Mike White is wrestling with his own inner dialogue and expressing it through the words of his characters and unknowingly questioning the fate of his show’s future. On one hand, slacker boss Dougie responds to corporate layoff with, “Life’s a sneaky bitch…Just when you build your castle, here comes the fucking tidal wave.” But then, his own character Tyler, finally hoping to get a little piece of the of the pie asks in earnest, “Can’t this have a happy ending for everyone?” With the season and possible series finale this weekend, let’s hope it’s the latter and HBO sees the light and doesn’t blow it.