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Feb 6 / boomitude

New Music Alert: Jim James

Maybe you know him as the frontman of My Morning Jacket or as a free spirit that floats around the indie music world or maybe you know him as that Yim Yames guy that released the cool George Harrison tribute a few years back. If none of that rings a bell, just know he is Jim James, his solo debut Regions of Light and Sound of God comes out today and all eyes and ears are on him.

We caught his performance the other night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and it was riveting. Not only was he fantastical but The Roots on backup made you want to stand up and cheer for “A New Life.” So much so, that band leader and drummer Questlove tweeted it was the most beautiful song he’s ever played on the show (and he’s played with everyone) and called it the new “In Your Eyes” (think back to Say Anything with John Cusack and his boom box).

Above all, the record itself is top rate from beginning to end. It’s lovely and deep and dark and cool and moving in all the right directions. There’s not many that can riff on A,E,I,O,U and still sound all heartfelt and hip (check the opening track).

Since watching the performance below, now countless times, we can still only echo Jimmy Fallon’s reaction: JIM JAMES! JIM JAMES! JIM JAMES! See and hear for yourself:

Recommended links:
Jim James Official Site

Jan 28 / boomitude

The Sugar Man Can

Once upon a time in a faraway land a man by the name of Rodriquez captured the hearts of the people with his songs. His music spoke to them in a way like never before and they embraced him like one of their own. They would be singing his songs for years to come.

That all sounds great until you learn the heartbreaking tale of Detroit’s own Rodriquez being completely unaware of his rock star status in South Africa, where his records were a staple of every household. Unable to make it as a musician in the U.S., he disappeared into oblivion and supported himself as a manual laborer.

But then through an unexpected twist of fate, the story has come full circle. Mostly due to the interest and perseverance of young Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul who took it upon himself to track down this unsung hero. He was armed, not with a magic wand, but instead an iPhone which he used to shoot the documentary Searching for Sugar Man….and people took notice. 60 Minutes did a piece on the story (that you can see here), Rodriquez is out touring again to sell out crowds and the film has become a festival and awards darling. It’s now out on dvd and it’s an amazing story in every possible way. It may have taken decades to unfold but it’s like overnight, Rodriquez went from faded 60’s pop star to newly famous pop star in his 60’s. The perfect ending has yet to be written but with any luck, in true Hollywood fashion, they will all live happily ever Oscar! Take a look at the trailer:

Sep 28 / boomitude

Being DeNiro

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Robert DeNiro get down and dirty for his craft and though it’s no Taxi Driver or Raging Bull, his performance in the recent Being Flynn makes it well worth the price of the rental.

DeNiro plays a delusional wannabe who counts himself among America’s three classic writers along with Mark Twain and J. D. Salinger. He comes face to face with his artistic demons as well as homelessness when he reconnects with his long lost and equally conflicted son played by Paul Dano….a role that suits him well as we’ve seen with Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood.

It’s directed by Paul Weitz who seems to have a thing for stories that explore the trials of father/son like relationships with films About a Boy, In Good Company and Little Fockers to his credit. Though at times gloomy, it’s a smart little movie with nice tracks from Badly Drawn Boy interspersed (video below) and it is certainly deserving of a wider audience. If seeing DeNiro in the trailer below isn’t enough to get your attention, then maybe knowing it’s based on the Nick Flynn memoir Another Bullshit Day in Suck City will do it for you.

Aug 19 / boomitude

The Doctor Is So IN

Dr. John has been stirring up his own musical blend for well over 40 years but even an old pro like him could use a little help from the next generation to shake things up. And who better to tap for the job than Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys?! He’s on fire these days and the creative heat he brought to the recent Locked Down as producer and guitarist is spot on and lets the doctor work his magic. It’s a great collaboration all the way through and it shows exactly what happens when you cross a Dr. John with a Dan Auerbach. You get just the right dose of voodoo and awesomeness…as you’ll witness with “Revolution.” Let’s all just pray on it right now.

Dr. John
The Black Keys

Jul 13 / boomitude

New Music Alert: Two Birds…

There’s a couple of records that have been calling out to us lately. The first is from the young Jasmine van den Bogaerde who’s better known as Birdy. She was the winner of UK’s popular music competition, Open Mic in 2008…and that’s when she was only 12. Now firmly planted in her teens, Birdy is really taking off. To allow herself more time to hone her songwriting skills…and still finish her homework, she chose to release a collection of cover tunes for her self titled debut. It was her version of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Girl” that first started turning heads and made her a bit of a YouTube sensation. Covers like the toned down Phoenix tune “1901” (see the video below) show off her high taste level as well as remarkable vocal talent. You may also recognize her striking voice from the age appropriate soundtracks from The Hunger Games and Brave. If this is what’s she’s capable of now, just imagine what she’ll accomplish by the time she’s 21.

The other has been at this a little longer with several albums under his belt. He’s Andrew Bird, the one man band that makes whistling and violin picking look like second nature. His latest Break it Yourself is the answer to those who think all new music sounds the same. He’s highly regarded in indie music circles and his work is often described as magical. Anyone who can whistle and fiddle like this…and even be known to rock a glockenspiel…is an artist of the highest order. His 8 minute “Hole in the Ocean Floor” is one of those songs that if you heard it late at night back when FM radio ruled, you’d be forever altered, to the point you’d still be talking about it 30 years later. These days, you’ll just have to settle for catching the YouTube video.

Jun 17 / boomitude

Like Father, Like Son

We’ve all known of Willie Nelson’s rock star status for some time but seeing his son Lukas following so closely in his footsteps came as a bit of a surprise. He’s a key player throughout Willie’s new record Heroes which features a number of interesting duets including “Roll Me Up” with no other than Snoop Dog. As expected from Willie and friends like Kris Kristofferson and Sheryl Crow, it’s all good stuff but this smokin’ hot version of Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” with Lukas riding shotgun with his dad is through the roof. The song choice, all Lukas’ idea, is brilliant and the family resemblance is startling. If at all possible, looks like Lukas may have taken his old man’s already high scoring game and lifted it up a notch or two. Now put that in your Father’s Day pipe and smoke it! From the record Heroes, here’s Willie and Lukas Nelson with “Just Breathe:”

Willie Nelson: Grammy Coverage
Sheryl Crow: Sideways Covers