I’m not proud. For the last week or so, I’ve immersed myself in a world of pop. No jazz, no yoga tunes, no hip hop. Just straight up, main stream, radio friendly ear candy. Here are the gems I’ve been singing to – when no one’s looking, of course…
There is nothing like grooving to the sweet tunes of Motown on a sunny afternoon. Raw talent, sweet symphonic spaciousness, funky beats bringing it all together – and so many of those chart topping tracks were partially improvised. If you’re at all interested in some back story action, check out Standing in the Shadows Of Motown, an amazing documentary on the remaining musicians from the golden era.
Pure class . . .
Puttin’ MTV to shame . . .
Motown: The Musical, something I’d like to catch before leaving NYC 🙂
A brief Motown history from TIME:
Above the front windows of Motown Records’ Detroit headquarters was a sign that read “Hitsville U.S.A.” Placed there by Motown founder Berry Gordy soon after his company moved into the modest home at 2648 W. Grand Blvd, the sign demonstrated Gordy’s blazing — and at the time, unearned — arrogance. Then the slogan came true.
Founded on Jan. 12, 1959, Motown quickly became another Detroit factory; where the Big Three produced automobiles, Motown assembled the soul and pop classics that changed America. There’s no hyperbole in that statement. Arriving at the height of the civil rights movement, Motown was a black-owned, black-centered business that gave white America something they just could not get enough of — joyous, sad, romantic, mad, groovin’, movin’ music. (See an audio slideshow of five of Motown’s best tunes.)
A former boxer and automobile worker, Berry Gordy was a nascent songwriter when, at the urging of Smokey Robinson, a songwriter ten years younger than Gordy, he decided to establish Motown Records. The two had become friends years earlier and Robinson, who was the lead singer of a band called The Miracles, produced, wrote, and sang several of Motown’s most memorable hits — including the labels’ first smash song, “Shop Around” in 1960. A year later, “Please Mr. Postman,” by The Marvelettes, was the label’s first No. 1 song. It would not be the last.
Over the next decade, the sheer number of chart-topping artists, musicians, and groups produced by Motown defied comprehension: Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye. All became part of what would come to be known as the Motown Sound. It is rumored that Gordy modeled his hit factory after the Detroit car assembly line that he knew so well: Make a good product, then make something similar, and make it quick. Over here were the songwriters — Robinson and the team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier, Holland, or H-D-H). Over there was the talent — Stevie Wonder, whom the label discovered when he was 11; Marvin Gaye, who wanted so much to be a jazz crooner before he came into his own in the late 60’s; and, above all, Diana Ross, whom the label put its stake in early on, and who was told so many times that she was a star that she drove off one of the Supremes before quitting to launch a solo career. In a neglected corner were the session musicians the Funk Brothers, who played on God knows how many hit songs. Let’s just say a lot.
So what was the Motown Sound? Great melodies, lots of tambourines and hand clapping, blaring horns, interplay between the lead singer and his or her backup vocalists, driving bass lines and foot-slapping drum parts. In his still essential Motown history Where Did Our Love Go? Nelson George writes, “Motown chief engineer Mike McClain built a miniscule, tinny-sounding radio designed to approximate the sound of a car radio. The high-end bias of Motown’s recordings can be partially traced to the company’s reliance on this piece of equipment.” They knew people would be listening on their car stereos and on their transistor sets and they were going to do what it took to make their songs sound good and memorable. Even if you couldn’t put your finger on it, when a Motown song came on, you knew it.
Throughout the Sixties, Motown produced a catalog of songs that cannot be rivaled. “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me,” “Heat Wave,” “Dancing in the Street,” “Tracks of My Tears,” “Where Did Our Love Go,” “My Guy,” “My Girl,” “Baby Love,” “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” “I Can’t Help Myself,” “Get Ready,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” and so on. They were simple love songs that told simple stories, often in joyously happy or heartbreakingly sad ways. And all the while Motown was the pride of Detroit and the pride of black America (though Gordy tried, with his usual bluster, to make it the “Sound of Young America,” a label he began to stamp on all of the company’s vinyl).
Around the time of the ’67 Detroit riots, however, things changed, as they eventually had to. Gordy looked west, towards Los Angeles (how could such a large entertainment company as his not be involved in movies and television?). Dissatisfied with the increasing disconnect between the success of their work and the level of their pay, Holland-Dozier-Holland broke off from Motown. And while the Jackson 5 was on the rise, most of the rock-steady Motown acts of the early ’60s were on the wane. In 1971, though, the label released what is arguably its grandest artistic statement, something not at all of a piece with its previous, poppy output. Marvin Gaye put out What’s Going On, a thoughtful, socially conscious album whose title track Gordy famously called the worst song he had ever heard. A year later, Motown deserted Detroit for L.A. and Stevie Wonder turned 21, thereby taking creative control of his music. Within four years he had released Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life.
It was arguably the last great burst of Motown creativity. Gordy, distracted by Hollywood, released two films starring Diana Ross — Mahogany and the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues. The 80s brought Rick James and Lionel Richie and The Big Chill — a white, yuppie film with an amazing Motown soundtrack (“Aint Too Proud To Beg” was reduced to dishwashing music). By 1988, Gordy had had enough; he sold the company to MCA, which in turn sold it to Polygram, which in turn was bought by Universal. Really, though, who cares who owns it now? Just pop on one of those numerous greatest hits albums in your collection (or, ok, fine, The Big Chill soundtrack) and recall the glory of Motown. The music doesn’t sound fifty years old at all.
Ahhhhh… going through all my boxes at my Gramma’s house a few weeks ago, I happened across a bunch of old mix tapes. Some from old boyfriends, some from my high school girl gang, some from DJ friends around the globe.
I feel mad lucky to have these remnants of pre-MP3 days – and even more lucky to have this feeling in my heart right now, listening to a few of the tracks. Man, I’m a softie!
Get ready to slow dance!
It’s like I’m 15 years old and I was just given a bottle full of rain water someone collected for me ….
The first song played on 93.9 (?) The Rock You Live On – which really did turn my world upside down.
Or cruisin’ round Honolulu, lookin’ for some Goodwill threads . . .
(listening to this album on repeat…)
High school social armor!
Ridiculously bubbly, the perfect medicine for the hormonal angsty teenie days.
Hurricane popcorn and awesome movies!
Ah Tribe … they just don’t make ’em like you anymore! I suddenly feel like watching Kung Fu movies for some reason…
And the darkness sets in (despite the glow sticks ;o))
Cruising through Longs today with my good friend, “You Are” … the sun, you are the rain! … started blasting through the speakers. The flashback happiness that followed was something to behold. We finished up our little pharmacy pitstop in full on high school girl giggles.
When I look back on all the songs Lionel Richie came out with in the eighties, he’s really responsible for a significant portion of my childhood soundtrack! And his album covers have certainly provided their share of comedy moments …
If you feel like jamming out to some Lionel, this playlist has about 91 of his top hits. You may be surprised by how many you know!
From the Wikimonster:
Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. (born June 20, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actor. From 1968, he was a member of the musical group Commodores signed to Motown Records. Richie made his solo debut in 1982 with the album Lionel Richie and number-one hit “Truly“.
Richie was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, the son of Alberta R. (Foster) and Lionel Brockman Richie. Richie grew up on the campus of Tuskegee Institute. His grandfather’s house was across the street from the home of the president of the college. His family moved to Joliet, Illinois, where he graduated from Joliet Township High School, East Campus. A star tennis player in Joliet, he accepted a tennis scholarship to attend Tuskegee Institute, and graduated with a major in economics. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Tuskegee, Richie briefly attended graduate school at Auburn University. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
As a student in Tuskegee, Richie formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid-1960s. In 1968 he became a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores. They signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1968 for one record before moving on to Motown Records initially as a support act to The Jackson 5. The Commodores then became established as a popular soul group. Their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as “Machine Gun” and “Brick House.” Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as “Easy,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Still,” and the tragic breakup ballad “Sail On.”
By the late 1970s he had begun to accept songwriting commissions from other artists. He composed “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, which hit #1 in 1980, and produced Rogers’s album Share Your Love the following year. Richie and Rogers maintained a strong friendship in later years. Latin jazz composer and salsa romantica pioneer La Palabra enjoyed international success with his cover of “Lady,” which was played at Latin dance clubs. Also in 1981 Richie sang the theme song for the film Endless Love, a duet with Diana Ross. Issued as a single, the song topped the UK, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, New Zeland and US pop music charts, and became one of Motown’s biggest hits (in the US it sold 2 millions copies and became a platinum single record). Its success encouraged Richie to branch out into a full-fledged solo career in 1982. He was replaced as lead singer for The Commodores by Skyler Jett in 1983. His debut album, Lionel Richie, produced another chart-topping single, “Truly,” which continued the style of his ballads with the Commodores.
Richie’s 1982 self-titled debut contained three hit singles: the U.S. #1 song “Truly“, which launched his career as one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s, and the Top Five hits “You Are” and “My Love.” The album hit #3 on the music charts and sold over 4 million copies. His 1983 follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies and won two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. The album contained the #1 hit “All Night Long” a Caribbean-flavored dance number that was promoted by a colorful music video produced by former Monkee Michael Nesmith. In 1984, Richie performed “All Night Long” at the closing ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Several more Top 10 hits followed, the most successful of which was the ballad “Hello” (1984), a sentimental love song that showed how far Richie had moved from his R&B roots. Richie had three more Top Ten hits in 1984, “Stuck on You” (#3), “Running with the Night” (#7) and “Penny Lover” (#8). Now described by one critic as “the black Barry Manilow,” in 1985 Richie wrote and performed a suitably soothing theme song, “Say You, Say Me,” for the film White Nights, winning an Oscar for his efforts as well as reaching #1 on the U.S. charts and staying there for four weeks, making it the #1 song of 1985 according to Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart. He also collaborated with Michael Jackson on the charity single “We Are the World” by USA for Africa, another #1 hit.
In 1986, Richie released Dancing on the Ceiling, his last widely popular album, which produced a run of US and UK hits including “Say You, Say Me” (U.S. #1), “Dancing on the Ceiling” (U.S. #2), “Ballerina Girl” (U.S. #7), and “Se La” (U.S. #20), Richie’s most recent U.S. Pop Top 20 hit. The title selection was accompanied by a video directed by Stanley Donen, which drew inspiration from Royal Wedding, a 1951 Fred Astaire film Donen had directed. The critical consensus was that this album represented nothing more than a consolidation of his previous work, though Richie’s collaboration with the country group Alabama on “Deep River Woman” did break new ground. By 1987, Richie was exhausted from his work schedule and after a controversial year laid low, taking care of his father in Alabama. His father, Lionel Sr., died in 1990. Richie made his return to recording and performing following the release of his first greatest-hits collection, Back to Front, in 1992.
Since then, his ever-more-relaxed schedule has kept his recording and live work to a minimum. He broke the silence in 1996 with Louder Than Words, on which he resisted any change of style or the musical fashion-hopping of the past decade, sticking instead with his chosen path of well-crafted soul music, which in the intervening years has become known as Contemporary R&B.
Richie’s albums in the 1990s such as Louder Than Words and Time failed to match the commercial success of his earlier work. Some of his recent albums, such as Renaissance, have returned to his older style and achieved success in Europe but only modest notice in the United States. Since 2004, he has produced a total of six Top 40 singles in the UK. On March 2011, Richie is to tour Australia next year and is scheduled to perform at several winery events in March 2011.
Long-lasting popularity and later career
In 2002, Richie’s song “Running with the Night” was featured on the Rockstar North video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City though the song was removed from later versions of the game. In 2004, he appeared on Canadian Idol as his songs were featured during a Canadian Idol week.
Later in 2004, he also appeared on the British motoring television series Top Gear in the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment where he was interviewed by host Jeremy Clarkson. During his lap, the Suzuki Liana he was driving lost a wheel due to hard cornering.
In November 2005, Lionel Richie performed with Kenny Rogers on a CMT Crossroads special. The show gave an informative insight into their friendship both in and out of the music world. Richie was also the headliner at a 2000 Fourth of July tribute concert with Fantasia Barrino at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. On May 7, 2006, Richie performed on the main stage (Acura Stage) at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, replacing Antoine “Fats” Domino, who had fallen ill. Richie released his eighth studio album entitled “Coming Home” on September 12, 2006. The first single of the album was “I Call It Love” and was premiered in July 2006, becoming his biggest hit in the U.S. in ten years. The album was an incredible success for Richie in the United States, peaking at #6. His adopted daughter Nicole Richie stars in the music video for this track.
On November 25, 2007, he made a surprise appearance on the Australian Idol grand finale performing “All Night Long (All Night)” at the Sydney Opera House. Richie donated to Barack Obama‘s 2008 Presidential campaign.
On May 2, 2008, Lionel Richie was the 21st recipient of the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award at UCLA‘s annual Spring Sing. In accepting the award, Richie said: “Forget about surviving 30 some odd years in the music business, Lionel Richie survived 27 years of Nicole Richie.”
Recently, he has announced that he would like to get The Commodores back together soon, “or in the next 10 years no one will care.”
A new album, Just Go was released in spring 2009 – around the time Lionel confirmed there is to be a Commodores reunion in the near future.
On July 7, 2009, Richie performed “Jesus is Love” at Michael Jackson’s memorial service.
On May 30, 2010, Richie performed at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington D.C., singing “Stuck on You” and “America the Beautiful.” Richie himself is from a military family.
Richie returned to Australia in 2011 where he and guest artist Guy Sebastian toured Australia and New Zealand with concert tour dates spread throughout the months of March and April 2011. Richie and Guy Sebastian have recorded Richie’s 1983 #1 single “All Night Long” together, to raise money for Australian floods and New Zealand earthquake relief. Richie handpicked Sebastian to support him in Australia and the pair will perform the song together at each concert.
On March 26, 2012, Richie released Tuskegee, featuring 13 of his hit songs performed as duets with country stars. His duet partners on Tuskegee include Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Little Big Town, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. In an interview with American Songwriter Magazine, Lionel Richie explained the new duets of his hit songs with, “I’m just gonna stand next to them again with great country artists and hug them.”
On June 10, 2012, Richie appeared onstage with Kenny Rogers at the Bonnaroo Music Festival to accompany him on the song, Lady. Then the duo also performed All Night Long.
On June 17, 2012, Richie made a special guest appearance on The Voice Australia performing Easy with son-in-law Joel Madden. This was the very first time the pair had ever sung together.
Popularity in the Arab world
In recent years, Richie has become a phenomenon in various Arab states, and has performed in Morocco, Dubai, Qatar and Libya. ABC News said, “Grown Iraqi men get misty-eyed by the mere mention of his name. ‘I love Lionel Richie,’ they say”. They can sing an entire Lionel Richie song. According to Richie, he was told that Iraqi civilians were playing “All Night Long” the night U.S. tanks invaded Baghdad. Richie was against the war, but says he could see a day when he would come and perform in Baghdad. “I would love to be here for that.”
On October 18, 1975, Richie married his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey. In 1986, while still married to Harvey, Lionel began a relationship with Diane Alexander. He would later separate from Brenda and in 1988, she allegedly discovered Richie and Alexander together in a Beverly Hills hotel room by saying she was “room service” and breaking in the door. A confrontation ensued and Brenda attacked both Richie and Diane brutally. Brenda was arrested for spousal abuse, trespassing, assault towards Alexander, and vandalism. Richie and Brenda divorced on August 9, 1993, after being married nearly 18 years.
In 1983 Lionel Richie and his wife, Brenda, informally adopted Nicole Camille Escovedo, the two-year-old daughter of one of the members of Lionel’s band. They raised her as their daughter, Nicole Richie, and adopted her legally when she was nine years old. Lionel Richie became a grandfather on January 11, 2008, when Nicole Richie gave birth to a baby girl, Harlow Winter Kate Richie Madden, with the lead singer of Good Charlotte, Joel Madden; and again when she gave birth to Sparrow James Midnight Madden on September 9, 2009.
Richie married Diane Alexander on December 21, 1995. They have a son, Miles Brockman (born May 27, 1994), and a daughter, Sofia (born August 24, 1998). Richie and Alexander divorced in January 2004.
On March 4, 2011, Richie appeared on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?. The program did research into Lionel Richie’s genealogy and found out that his great-grandfather (the father of his mother’s mother) was the national leader of an early African-American fraternal organization.
Lionel’s great-grandfather was John Louis Brown (October 25, 1839 – September 8, 1931), the bi-racial possible son of the widowed 81-year-old American-Revolutionary-War-fighter Dr. Morgan Brown or his son, Judge Morgan Welles Brown. (January 13, 1758 – March 23, 1840). His mother was one of Dr. Morgan Brown’s slaves Mariah, who in his father’s final years on his farm in Tennessee was his live-in housekeeper and nurse. Born a slave just like his mother, the baby John Louis Brown’s ownership passed to his father/much-older half-brother Judge Morgan W(elles) Brown (January 1, 1800 – March 7, 1853) after his father’s death in 1840, as did the ownership of his mother. Despite attempts by his father Dr. Morgan Brown to free both John Louis and his mother Mariah in his will that had been written before John Louis’s birth in 1839, John Louis was never freed. John Louis was, however, educated as per his father Dr. Morgan Brown’s wishes in his will, and against the mores and the laws of the time. The educated John Louis became known as “Doc” and he took the Brown surname. After the death of his father/half-brother in 1853 John Louis’s ownership had stayed within the family and he remained known as the slave of Morgan W. Brown even though Judge Morgan Welles Brown was deceased. John Louis then served as the slave, non-combatant, personal-body-servant to his older nephew John Claiborne Thompson (April 3, 1828 – February 2, 1872), the son of his deceased half-sister Elizabeth Little Brown (February 2, 1792 – December 10, 1854), during John Claiborne Thompson’s 12 months of service from May 1861 to May 1862 in the American Civil War, as evidenced by John Louis’s application for a pension late in life. It has been recorded that John Louis was wounded during the war, and that “He bore dispatches to Felix Zollicoffer and performed many other duties of service and responsibility.”
As an emancipated slave, in the 1880s and early 1890s John Louis Brown became a Supreme Grand Archon (national leader) of the Knights of the Wise Men, a fraternal organization that gave support and insurance to the African-American community. He is also credited with writing the rules, laws, and regulations for the group. The Knights of the Wise Men was a precursor to the later civil rights movement.
In a declaration to the court in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1832 John Louis Brown’s father, Dr. Morgan Brown, claimed to have “a large family bible now in my possession, with the names of my ancestors from their first landing in America in the month of 1638.” This suggests that John Louis Brown’s ancestors were among the early European settlers of what became the United States of America. This family bible may have belonged to the family of his ancestor Edward Browne who in 1668 in Maryland, Virginia married Sarah Williams, the daughter of Morgan Williams (there were at least five people called Morgan Williams who immigrated to Virginia between 1639 and 1650). This Edward Browne is possibly the son of an Edward Browne Snr. and his wife Ellinor. Edward Browne Snr. appears to have arrived in Virginia in 1637 (after being sponsored by a John Brodwell).
Lionel Richie’s maternal grandmother, Adelaide Mary Brown (January 19, 1893 – November 30, 1996), was John Louis Brown’s only known child. She was fathered from his marriage on April 6, 1890 at the age of 50 to the bi-racial teenage Volenderver Towson. The marriage floundered in the early 1890s during the period that the Knights of the Wise Men folded after suffering financially from the payment of many death benefits after a smallpox epidemic in 1891, and the treasurer soon after apparently disappearing with the remaining funds. A divorce was granted on July 28, 1897. The only other marriage that is known about was a marriage before 1924 to “a middle aged coloured woman who is trying to run him off from home”. He was a proud man, who despite falling upon hard times was refusing to go to the poor house. In his last years John Louis worked as a caretaker at Pleasant Gardens Cemetery, in the city of Chattanooga where the Knights of the Wise Men had been based. After dying of pneumonia at the age of 93, and he was buried there in the paupers’ section.
Breast cancer activist
Richie helped to raise over $3.1 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. He was the featured performer at the Foundation’s Soirée Bouquet, the annual spring gala.
Richie told the crowd that his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 80s, but survived and lived until she was 103 years old. He stated that she was his enduring symbol of hope and his reason for becoming a breast cancer activist.
- Lionel Richie (1982)
- Can’t Slow Down (1983)
- Dancing on the Ceiling (1986)
- Back To The Front (1992)
- Louder Than Words (1996)
- Time (1998)
- Renaissance (2000)
- Just for You (2004)
- Coming Home (2006)
- Just Go (2009)
- Tuskegee (2012)
- 1977: Scott Joplin (w/ The Commodores)
- 1978: Thank God It’s Friday (w/ The Commodores)
- 1990: Running with the Night
- 1991: Truth or Dare (documentary)
- 1996: The Preacher’s Wife
- 1998: Pariah
- 2007: The Simpsons (episode He Loves to Fly and He D’ohs)
- 2011: Who Do You Think You Are?
- 2011: Lionel Richie: Dancing On the Ceiling (Part of the BBC Four documentary series, Black Music Legends of the 1980s)
Gilles Peterson is hands down my favorite DJ. I used to just go straight to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/gillespeterson, and any day of the week, anywhere in the world, I could just slap on some of the best in downtempo, latin, funk, soul, hip hop, electronica, world, jazz, and whatever other beats were fresh on the menu.
Sadly, that is no longer the case. No more new shows on BBC1, and his old gems are on lockdown. Shame on you, BBC.
But, I’m grateful for Gilles’ exemplary taste in music, a John Peel of our day, in a more niche kind of way, perhaps. The man has introduced me to many a fabulous artist to appreciate.
I’m also grateful for this show that’s available right now on BBC6 – two hours of tasty tunage, check the selection out!
New York’s one of those cities with a music history so profound, a life’s study of the subject would barely touch the edges. So uber props to all those artists out there, trying to make it. Some more modern creators I’ve been enjoying are Onehotrix Point Never, TV on the Radio, Animal Collective and the Dirty Projectors.
But to bring things a little closer to home, a few friends have put out albums/eps (somewhat) recently and I wanted to share them with the community following TWJ. Feel free to leave any feedback for the artists, and let me know if you’d like more contact info for bookings etc. 🙂
Melodious poptasticness from Stranger Islands (the lead singer is also a teacher at the private language school where I instruct ESL)
And a funny hipster critique of the one song that’s playing in every store, in every cab, on every speaker in the bloody city (and I also can’t help but like it!) …
Here I be, in the infamous NYC, my first two days filled with mobile phone research and set up, apartment viewings, job interviews, catching up with friends, the city’s white noise harmony in the background, collage of logistics in the foreground, visions of Custom Yoga International in the distant future, how on earth to Be Here Now?
But as a one wise man put it, “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.” Well, wise may be putting it mildly, Buddha was considered enlightened and all, but the point is … get off your booty and rock it! In that unique way only you can …
Whenever I’m gettin’ it done, on the train, on the intrawebs, or otherwise, I always appreciate an accompaniment of the musical sort … here are a few tunes to inspire … and a few more to set the tone after a long challenging day 😉
Unexpected electronic layering on this tasty little treat from soul legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bobby Womack … it’s off a new album released on XL, produced by Blur frontman (aka the white guy in the Gorillaz) Damon Albarn. I love it when two worlds collide!
Not only is he signed to Warp, perhaps my favorite London music label (an undeniable industry game-changer), but he also happens to be from St. Alban’s, my favorite London suburb. Checkout this atmospheric number from a dude named Clark …
Most excellent riding on the subways of NYC (and it doesn’t hurt it reminds me of my brief beachy rendezvous in Goa)! Put on your dancin’ shoes and boogaloo . . .
In the midst of readjusting to city life, music provides a comfortable connection to my now distant memories of sweet tropical ashram life. Behold and be mesmerized, the King of Tabla himself, Zakir Hussain! <and the crowd goes wild!> Here at a very young age, with one of India’s greatest flute maestros, Hariprasad Chaurasia … divine in auditory form …
Seeing as I was just staying in the area of Dublin called The Liberties, I thought it only appropriate to pay homage to some local talent. Imelda May is a rockabilly songstress straight outta the heart of D8, now winning the hearts of greaser boys across the nation (warning: contents may be disturbing ;o)