Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who needs the whole album...

Because how often, really, is the whole album a keeper? So seldom is it a complete work, without at best throwaway, and at worst, really frackin' annoying tunes, right? So this week in a "Best of" sort of deal, I'm going to pull out songs or suites of songs that really did it for me this year. Maybe I'll save the lp's until next week.

In a nod to the algorithm-ers we've been discussing lately, I pulled a bit of an at home version. Kinda dorky but interesting, too. I sorted my entire music collection by number of plays, then looked through the high end to see what had a 2009 date. Try it to see what you really listen to...and what makes it into all those play lists.

[Wait. Pomander break. (my family's version of Rum Ball - with brandy and orange) A gal has to keep her energy up.]

As I was saying...

Amadou and Miriam's Welcome to Mali hit me last spring. Those last two tracks...I believe I referred to the Edgar Winter-esque organ lines in a post when it came out. Can't argue with that. Here's "Batoma."

Later that spring Imam Baildi made me almost faint. Inspired me to new heights of mixtape-making ecstasy. Pulled stuff out of the vaults that HAD TO rub up against songs like "O Pasatebos" and "De Thelo Pia Na Xanarthis." Those vocal samples!! Well. Charlie Gillett felt exactly the same way I did here. Get me some of that rebetika... plus the Blue Monday-esque album closer "Sousta" is a great retro-techno dance tune. Oh my. Is it good, bad or maybe a little embarrassing when one Googles a band name and gets one's own blog post as the second hit? Well, actually I had to Google the band name plus the word "music' otherwise all you get are recipes for the eggplant dish that made the Imam faint. Sorry, no LaLa of the Greek boys.

I grabbed Speed Caravan off the Cedar's server because I wondered about the name. Yes, then I was "Galvanize"-d, to learn more about Mehdi Haddab and his massively rockin' oud playing, in this band as well as DuOud, and from that to the sultry vocals of Malouma. She SO does it to "Sable émouvant." That tune is going to be on every year end mix I make.

The Angel of Rock laid a great mix on me right during intense delivery season in May as I was spending many hours in a large truck. Among others, she turned me on to Nomo and Mexican Institute of Sound. Nomo's Ghost Rock sure rocked my summer and I don't know how many times I just needed a big ol' hit of "Rings". Yes, that was me jumping up and down while bartending during their Cedar show last month. Now, get after some of this "Para No Vivir Desesparado" from MIS, another one that will be featured heavily on year end mixes.

Kasbah Rockers merits the whole album nod; it sure can work as a complete piece. The mood is established, and although some grinding and head nodding is required, as a whole it's a massive slower groove. Until next week's column, here's "Shta." The 30 second sample really does not do this justice; where are my full length samples, Lala? Ahh, just go to their Myspace, linked above.

Also next week: a multi disc award goes to out to...well, the guy who turned me on to Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, for one thing. Not too hard to guess.

Maybe I'll also throw in some musing about what all the "big" global roots music websites put on their top o' '09 lists.
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So that's why Lala is suddenly EVERYWHERE! OK, thanks for the scoop Main Fig. I like getting to hear the entire song, don't like that the entire album is often not represented and that you have to tell it to play the next song. Maybe there is a control I am missing but it's annoying. The drop down players are handy when they work. The amount of information on the artist varies WILDLY. With some of them you get the middle name of their firstborn child, with others you're happy to get the track listing. Work in progress? And when did they buy the top hit when searching for so many artists? Wasn't it just last month? Two weeks ago? About the time Apple bought them? Read the links at the Main Fig's post on the issue.

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