OK, let’s see what I’ve got in the grab-bag for you this week:
For fans of Al Swearingen and the assorted hoopleheads and cocksuckers in everyone’s favorite mining camp, I give you The Theme from “Deadwood”. They’ve just released a soundtrack album, which is a mix of incidental music, quotes, and various closing credits tracks, which vary from a traditional Creek lullaby, to turn-of-the-century bluegrass.
Earlier this week, I heard the news report that Kylie Minogue has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I’m a big fan (gee, attractive woman with a good voice singing electronica-based dance music? That’s a no-brainer for me), and, given the amount of charity work she’s done for Breast Cancer research in the past, I hope that the wheel of karma gives her a happy ending. As a bit of a tribute (and to plant an infectious audio-virus in your head), here’s Kylie Minogue – “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”. Get well soon, Ms. Minogue.
Speaking of electronica-based: I’m sure some of you are already familiar with this, but I absolutely adore it: The Postal Service – “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”. The Postal Service is a side project — Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie and Jimmy Tamborello from Dntel. They were just noodling around for the fun of it, mailing tracks back and forth, collaborating via (you guessed it) the United States Post Office. The album was released, and has turned out to be bigger than anything from the contributor’s “day job” bands. Folks have called this the new New Order. I’m not sure about that…but the music is haunting, crisp and very pretty.
Back in High School, one of my favorite albums was the soundtrack to Repo Man, which I’ve heard described as “K-Tel Presents: West Coast Punk of the mid-80s!”, which isn’t far from the truth. It was a good intro to that scene, especially for someone like me who was more into UK Punk, Ska and New Wave. One of the best tracks: Suicidal Tendencies – “Institutionalized”. All I wanted was a Pepsi….
Here’s a tune from the mid-90s that my kids always referred to as “the fast-singing song”, due to lead singer Kay Hanley’s verbal dexterity on the refrain: Letters to Cleo – “Here & Now.” For the record, the refrain is: The comfort of the knowledge of a rise above the sky above will never parallel the challenge of an acquisition in the here and now.” There will be a test later.
It often amazes me how well something considered “dated” holds up to later listening. Take for example this bit of 1970s lounge-y groove from Brazil: Deodato – “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” Brazilian jazz/funk composer Eumir Deodato Almeida’s version of this famous piece became a major international hit in the early 70s, and damned if it isn’t still cool as hell.
I caught Velvet Goldmine on TV the other night. I still need to track down a DVD copy of that movie (I’ve got it on VHS). Best soundtrack in the world, too: a mix of genuine 70s glam classics with brand new songs by fictional glam artists that sound like they walked right out of 1974 on glittery platform boots. From the soundtrack, one of the classics: Brian Eno – “Needle In The Camel’s Eye.”
Lastly, here’s some bhangra for you. Bhangra is the traditional folk dance music of Punjab, which is thought to have originated in the 1400s, or perhaps earlier. Recently, bhangra has enjoyed a surge in popularity worldwide in a new form that fuses it with genres such as hip-hop, house, and reggae. Here’s a track from one of the more successful bhangra acts: Panjabi MC – “Yaaran Kollon Sikh Kuriye.” I love this stuff.
That’s all for this week, kids. More later.