Friday Music

Yeah, I know….earlier than usual. Had to get up to drive Laura to work, since I need the car for errands today.
Now, on to this week’s selections:

10 years ago, DJ Shadow released his groundbreaking debut album, Endroducing. Absolutely amazing. Shadow is a turntablist–he haunts used-record shops grabbing obscure bits of vinyl (the cover of the album was a simple photo of his fellow crate-divers searching for material). Then, using a sampler, he grabs a bassline from here, a drum loop from there, a horn stab from another source, and spoken-word from yet another, and painstakingly mixes it all into a new whole. Hearing this album for the first time was an epiphany. Here is my favorite track from the album: DJ Shadow – “Building Steam With A Grain of Salt”

I had to share this– Finntroll is a folk-metal band (yes, that’s right) from Finland, whose songs are exclusively about….well, Trolls. Yup– The Norse Troll legends of their homeland. Pretty much what you’d expect from a band that looks like this, right? This stuff is just too geeky-cool for words. Take this track for example, which starts with Finnish folk music (which sounds vaguely Celtic)…but then rrrRRRAUGH! OUT COMES THE METAL!!! Finntroll – “Trollhammaren.” Troll power, baby.

Alias fans might recognize this track from the first season. It’s a nice bit of spy-beat trip-hop, all cool electronic stabs and twangy 007 guitar: Supreme Beings of Leisure – “Under The Gun.” Makes me want to hop into an Aston Martin, sip a vodka martini and go fight some ninjas. Russian COMMIE ninjas.

Robbie Williams did an album full of jazzy standards called Swing When You’re Winning, which I’ve talked about before (when I posted the duet he did with Nicole Kidman). This is another great track from that album, a hilarious duet with Saturday Night Live alumnus Jon Lovitz (“Yeah….That’s the Ticket….”): Robbie Williams (with Jon Lovitz) – “Well Did You Evah!” What a swell party this is….

Dead Can Dance are an odd group who defy categories…I’ve seen them classified as goth, as electronic, as world, and even as rock. This is my favorite track by the group, from the album The Serpent’s Egg: Dead Can Dance – “Ullyses.”

My favorite anime film of all time, Akira, has a brilliant soundtrack, by the Japanese musical collective, Geinoh Yamashirogumi, which combines electronics, traditional gamelan music (wooden xylophones, gongs, etc) and choral arrangements, sounding simultaneously ancient and futuristic. This is the opening track from the film, which played against the images of the neon-shrouded streets of Neo-Tokyo and the chase of the bike gangs. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – “Kaneda.”

There you have it. Only 6 tracks this week (I’ve been busy…sorry). More next week.