Friday Music

Another weekly entry:

Now that Amy Winehouse has finally hit here in the US, I wonder if her first album, Frank will get any play. It doesn’t have the same retro-soul sound as her current stuff. Still great, though. Here is one of the more well-known singles from it (well, actually a nifty remix of it by Mylo). Snarky indictment of a certain type of club-going woman…Amy Winehouse – “Fuck Me Pumps (Mylo Remix)” (And don’t worry….despite the title, she actually says “F-me pumps” in this particular version…so you can listen at work.)

Very nifty electronica group, doing an entire composition based around a sample of a classic bit of music. Not what you’d expect, either. They didn’t go for the obvious sample, which makes this particular composition a lot more interesting. Mint Royale – “Singin’ In The Rain.”

I had the honor of seeing guitarist Michael Hedges live at Liberty Hall in 1987, at the hieght of the “New Age” music movement (which he really never quite fit, despite recording for Windham Hill). The most amazing guitarist I’ve ever heard. He ended up dying in a car accident in the late 90s. Take a listen to this track — recorded at the concert I attended, in fact. He said that it sprung from a time when he rented a flat in San Francisco, above a health food store and nextdoor to a gay disco. He described the song as “starting out rocking, before settling into a nice groovy funk…and then finally burning out in a blaze of disco glory.” All of this done on an accoustic guitar, and simulataneously amazing and amusing. Michael Hedges – “The Funky Avocado.”

I’m pleased to note that there are still groups performing gothy, ethereal music, without the proliferation of bin-bag PVC outfits and fetish straps. Bat For Lashes is one such group (well, really, the work of UK singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Natasha Khan), leaning more towards the Kate Bush side of the spectrum, with absolutely enrapturing instrumentation. I’ll give you two tracks:

First, a track founded on harpsichord and theremin, backed with a militaristic drum tattoo as the song progresses: Bat For Lashes – “Horse and I.”

Second, a drifting, gothic take on the style of early-60s girl-group break-up songs: Bat for Lashes – “What’s a Girl To Do?”

While I’m in a “evolved goth” mood (as opposed to “emo kid goth”), here is one of my favorite tracks from Peter Murphy’s solo work: Peter Murphy – “Cuts You Up.”

Lastly, jazz-influenced hip-hop. Not only is the backing music and beat syncopated, but so is the rhyme structure. I love to listen to the twists and turns of his delivery. Play this for any friends you have who think hip-hop is all posturing: K-Os – “Superstarr Part Zero.”

There you have it. Enjoy.

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