This is film music. Anime, to be more specific. Ghost in the Shell. Kenji Kawai is an inspiring composer. The music is beyond words.
This is a video I was introduced to via Facebook and director Hans Fjellestad (Moog documentary) who featured it on his page. It’s a little gem, this video, because it shows how arts and music in Los Angeles evolved in educational institutes. Mind you, this Disney-movie was made in the early 60s, almost fifty years ago now. Enjoy!
He’s a man of few words who prefers a simple approach. His debut EP, My Heart Beats On The Moon (REMusic Records, 2008), a collection of five songs, is now followed by yet another mini-album of only seven compositions. Once again, Dutch singer-songwriter Skinnie makes sure he is in the best of company, this time relying on two outstanding and seasoned musicians—guitarist Martijn van Agt (Anouk, Ilse DeLange, Sarah Bettens), and multi-instrumentalist/producer Michel van Schie (Candy Dulfer, Anouk, Soulvation)—who definitely elevate Skinnie’s songs onto a higher plane.
Skinnie’s reflective lyrics about love, loss, generosity, resignation, truth, dreams, desire and playful contemplation are woven into a setting of lush musical moods leaning towards pop, country, blues and jazz in an intelligent design. The subtle tones of van Agt’s pedal steel and slide guitar characterize a sense for detail and finesse that all three musicians have in common. The disc starts and ends with “Sailing,” in a single edit and album version. It’s a catchy tune, with a likewise attractive and perhaps recognizable imagery provided by lyrics about escaping reality for a while, until a neighbor at the door complains about the trash in the garden. Skinnie delivers his songs in a warm and genuine manner with his deep and sometimes husky voice.
The title track has a few surprises, and showcases van Agt’s skills on guitar with distinctive flavors and hints reminiscent of the sound that makes the music of Steely Dan appreciated in wider musical circles. It’s an approach and arrangement that also returns in “No Little Girl, No More.” “Can’t Cut You Loose” stands out; a beautiful sensitive ballad about accepting life and relationships the way they are, after questioning their values and virtues.
It’s a very pleasant album that, like its predecessor, asks for more. If there has to be critique, then it would serve to point out some flaws in the English lyrics. A few mistakes that can easily be forgiven, as these sailing and flying Dutchmen do understand the craft of musicianship to the max. Music, after all, is a universal language; a language that Skinnie and company know how to speak very well.
source: All About Jazz
On the way home yesterday, i could see the storm bursting out in a promising ouverture.
Trees were tested by the wind, old branches and leaves floated freely in the sky or covered the road.
The force of nature, as a fascinating presence.
Realizing we may count our blessings, for it is not as destructive here as it can be elsewhere on the planet…
| Music: Satellites (demo) by Rickie Lee Jones | The Duchess of Coolsville Anthology 2005 | http://www.rickieleejones.com |
(used with permission of RLJ)
Or better yet, I nicked some time off a good night’s sleep last night. Had to go out for work (a book about the Haspengouw region in Belgium) in the evening and thought I was drinking decaf at this wonderful location, a medieval farmstead that has been beautifully restored by its owners. Or maybe I was just inspired by the peace and quiet, good entrepreneurship and genuine Flemish hospitality. On my way home I decided to let the cellphone camera roll and film the journey back and after having arrived at my destination, I switched on the computer and spent hours watching clips in YouTube and listening to music. The wee hours, as they say. I could hear the real early birds sharpen their toncils and exercise their vocal chords. If they have any.
There’s a lot to be thankful for. Honest to Jove. Cherries in the garden. One single tree feeding six households in the hood. Neighbours exchanging homegrown salad for a bowl of fresh handpicked cherries. The simple stuff can be so magnificent. It’s what draws one back to the essence of life, perhaps. Despite the whole lot of ugly that surrounds us. And music. Music is magic. Always. It was a trip down the 80s lane yesterday, most of the time. It started at a friend’s Facebook page with Robert Palmer. Every Kind Of People. And soon it drifted on to Thomas Dolby and an incredible version of The Flat Earth. From there, it went haywire. Medium Medium, C Cat Trance. Shriekback, Scritti Politti, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Big Country, Wet Wet Wet. And loads more.
I also found an interesting cover of Rickie Lee Jones’ Night Train. A couple of years ago, she said she would love for others to cover her songs. She realized that the general perception of her music is that she has such a distinctive voice, her compositions and lyrics might not be covered easily because each song is extremely authentic, breathing RLJ’s persona, spirit and imagery. Well, here’s a pretty cool version of Night Train, done by a duo, Joe and Ellen. And to end this in a Steely vibe, kinda keeping it close to its old Mizar5 roots, this same singer/bassist Ellen also has a clip up singing Josie…
It’s been more than a while! Bud was supposed to share his favorite albums on a monthly basis, but somehow his intention got lost in a cybermaze. There really is no valid excuse but the fact that he was on a journey, barefoot. And whilst traveling, he discovered so much in the world he didn’t know about yet, he needed all his spare time to think all of those discoveries through and give them in place in his mind and heart.
But we have good news for you! As one of his traveling companions, he brought this very fine album by Chicago pianoman John Erickson, ‘Contemplation,’ released in 2000. Listening to this music guided Bud through many difficult moments and especially blister hell, so to celebrate the album’s 10th anniversary, Bud would like to offer you a humble review of this must own CD. There are still a few copies left via CD Baby, so don’t linger and order this rare gem! And before Bud’s gonna spill some of his own magic beans, here’s an excerpt from a M5 Interview with John Erickson:
M5: Your first CD, Contemplation was released by Astarte Records, an independent label founded by acclaimed singer-songwriter Joy Eden Harrison. The CD has four piano/bass duets with Steve Rodby, known as being the bassist/producer for the Pat Metheny Group. How did the two of you meet and what was it like to work with him on your debut album?
JE: I was working at a record store soon after I got to Chicago and Steve wandered in one night with his wife. I said “hello”, told him how The Pat Metheny Group is one of my favorite bands, but more importantly that one of my all-time favorite albums is a duo record that he (Steve) did with guitarist Ross Traut. “Which one?” he asked. I said “You mean there’s more than one???!!!” I was speaking of “The Duo Life”, but apparently they also did one called “The Great Lawn”. It was out of print by then, but a few days later I went in to work and found that Steve had dropped off a copy for me that he had laying around in his garage–still in it’s longbox! ( remember those? ) Anyway, when it came time to record, I e- mailed him to see if he’d be willing to play on a few tracks. I figured he’d be too busy, but I guess my timing was good. He’s a super nice guy, great to work with. My only regret is that it was over too quickly. He showed up, read my charts and played beautifully. It was so very inspiring and I just really love his sound. One of the songs “The Universe and Dave”, I wrote with Steve in mind. It’s built around a simple 2 bar vamp that I thought might be fun for him to play on bass. He improvised an intro that felt so good and was so much fun to listen to I had to work really hard to keep from laughing out loud while tape was rolling.
The mind can play tricks when you least expect it. The universe can do the same, for those so inclined to read between the stardust (vulcano dust?) and moonlight. A friend once brought up the concept of the inner jukebox, music you hear in your mind, a fascinating phenomenon in its own right, how we’re able to “hear” and “see” in our mind.
The inner jukebox had me play Married, Broke or Gay, a song from the Fabulous Breithaupt Brothers songbook this morning, sung by Shelley McPherson who is also married to Jeff Breithaupt. It’s a very humorful tune with humorful lyrics. Shelley sings “He’s married, broke and gay. He scored a hattrick when he married Patrick”.
It’s the hattrick idea that kept lingering. Everything Must Go.
A few weeks ago I received an email from Chris Bell, a writer in New Zealand. We once found one of his short stories, The Boom On Mizar-5, that matched perfectly with our own modest circulation on the internet back then. Chris wrote to let me know he was going to stop writing stories and that his latest story would be available for free and if I would want to notify anyone among friends and foes who’d be interested in reading his work. You can click HERE to send him an email to obtain a free copy of his last story Iniquity!
CHRIS BELL was born in North Wales in 1960. He studied going-slowly-all-the-way-around-the-outside in the playground of Old Park Primary School, Holyhead, which was later demolished to make room for an Unemployment Benefit Office. One of his secondary school reports read: “This boy shows no interest in music.” He has since worked as a musician, record company runner and a song lyricist, and since 1997 has been living and working in Auckland, New Zealand. His hobbies include baby-wrangling; tinkering with a bass guitar plugged into a Korg ToneWorks Pandora PX4D; drinking single malt whisky; and irregular blogging. He gave up ironing but nobody noticed.
The Bumper Book of Lies is his only collection of short stories and this is a very old photograph.
There has been a lot of quality music lately, we’d like to mention some of it in here as well, namely a few reviews for All About Jazz: get the blues with Memphis guitarist Billy Lavender and explore your “Boiling Point” with young saxophone sensation Brandon Wright.
Since writing about others seems to be a primal nature, it can’t harm to give into a little self-reflection sometimes by sharing the fun that can be experienced when using GarageBand, iMovie HD and various musical loops. It beats having to play the guitar again after too many years of absence in that area and it is interesting to discover and learn how to put together sounds as harmonically as possible. Should you be curious like our young cat Souris is when watching a burning candle… click the image above and see & hear for yourself