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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.

Feb 18 / boomitude

Sol Sister

While all eyes are on Beyoncé, it’s baby sister Solange that deserves a closer look. Out there making a name for herself and her own brand of snazzy dance music, she shares many similarities with her more visible sibling. She sings, she dances (and DJs) and she’s a talented voice with a strong sense of style. They even sort of look and sound the same…but in the way Bewitched’s Samantha resembles her cousin Serena. You’d almost think they were the same person if not for their decidedly different personalities. If Beyoncé is the blockbuster, then Solange is the little indie sleeper that could quietly come along and steal the whole show.

Click on the picture below to watch the video for her recent single “Losing You”:

Feb 13 / boomitude

Legend-ary Love Song

If you’re looking for that special song to add to your Valentine’s Day playlist, we’re recommending this B-side from John Legend’s 2008 Evolver album. “I Love, You Love” has enough heart to satisfy the most hopeless of romantics but it’s not just some silly love song. It is more bittersweet than it is sappy and for those who like things a little edgier, the sample of Dire Straits’ “Tunnel of Love” guitar riff looping throughout makes it a definite keeper. I love, you love, we all love a good tune and this one’s pretty irresistible.

Feb 12 / boomitude

Downton Jimmy

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve sounded the horn for Jimmy Fallon and his Late Night escapades. (Even as recent as last week we touted the extraordinary performance from fellow Jim, Jim James.) It’s like he has become our very own musical valet. While he has introduced us to many a new band, he also demonstrates the proper reverence by dedicating entire weeks to masters Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. He’s a man well beyond his years as reflected in his breadth of musicality with his spot-on impression of Neil Young serving as the pinnacle. Admittedly, we were initially drawn to the program for the music, delighted by the prospect of The Roots as house band, but then found ourselves sucked in by the hijinks. The indulging of his guests with classic parlor games like Password and Charades harkens back to our own youthful days and we have thoroughly reveled in that familiarity.

But it is their work on Downton Sixbey that Fallon and his devoted staff have indeed outdone themselves. Just like the original PBS series of a similar name, the attention to detail is exquisite. With Brooke Shields cast as the lovely wife and SNL’s Fred Armisen as the homely daughter, they have made an absolutely perfect mockery of the esteemed drama, complete with plot twists and cliffhangers worthy of Dynasty. (SPOILER ALERT: Anything that culminates in a surprise appearance by Lady Whoopi, her son Sir Questlove and a barrage of #2 jokes is truly must-see TV.) Based on the quality of the production and the performances, as well as his heralded tenure in the enviable time slot, one thing is clear. Despite his impishness and unbridled youth, Sir Jimmy has rightfully earned his place at the head of the late night table and the more befitting moniker of Lord James. We now present Episode 1 sure to leave you chomping at the bit for Episodes 2 & 3. Whether or not you are down with the real Downton, it is of course our wish you love this so much you hope to DIE HEREAAHHH!

Related links:
Downton Sixbey Episode 2
Downton Sixbey Episode 3