Quips and summaries from experiencing and appreciating music in a city that is as foreign and familiar as they come - New York. So here is to music anywhere and everywhere. Starting from concert one on week one after the move in 2009.

Monday, November 23, 2009

There are some dynamic and smart m*&^%r f@#$%rs out there

During a recent trip home my family did something unusual, we cleared the clutter off the dining room table and ate like The Civilized. My brother was quick enough to switch out my ipod (I am as controlling as Madonna when it comes to the soundtrack for any occasion) and put in his new discovery of his - Gnawlede, Granada Doaba.
Gnawledge is comprised of two dynamic and smart members of this planet:
Canyon Cody - Research
Gnotes - Production
I am going to start by giving you the background on Gnawledge straight from their web site (http://gnawledge.com and http://canyoncody.blogspot.com/) and the biggest thing to note is:
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS ALBUM FOR FREE!!! You can even remix it yourself.
"Granada Doaba is a flamenco hip-hop collaboration album recorded in Spain, produced by Gnawledge and funded by a Fulbright Scholar research grant."

"Granada Doaba explores the broad roots and divergent branches of flamenco hip-hop. Inspired by the religious convivencia of Al-Andalus, the album features 16 musicians from around the world who all currently live in Granada, Spain.

Spain’s history of multicultural confluence dates back to the early morning of mankind. Andalusia, the birthplace of flamenco and southernmost region of Spain, sits at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the New World. Until the Christian reconquista of Granada in 1492, southern Spain was known as Al-Andalus, a Muslim Empire that controlled Andalusia for 800 years.

Flamenco is Andalusian Gypsy music and dance with a diverse history of Arab, Jewish, Indian and Afro-Latin influences. As a result of convergent paths of immigration, rhythms from around the world have come together in Andalusia, where they evolved into an indigenous musical culture: flamenco."

"Hello! My name is Canyon Cody. In 2008, I was awarded a Fulbright Scholar research grant to study multicultural fusion and collaboration in Andalusian music. In concert with the Fulbright program’s mission statement, my project engaged the local Granada community by organizing a series of collaborative recording sessions in our home studio.

Gnotes is my partner in grime. He’s a multi-instrumentalist rapper who produced the 14 songs on Granada Doaba, which correspond with the 14 chapters of my accompanying academic text about the global roots of local music. Though the historical theory of convivencia initially motivated the recordings, the resulting songs eventually took up a life their own, which forced me to re-orient my thesis. In the end, we made an album in the dark and then I studied the result in order to shine some light on the process.

This a work in progress, both the music and my writing. Please send us a postcard with any criticism, questions or suggestions. Thank you for listening."

Contact Canyon Cody, he is responsive! - info@gnawledge.com

Granada Doaba took 4 years to produce, 4!!!! Take that all of you seeking instant gratification. Reading his blog about the experience is really cool and introspective; it presents the personal journey of someone that is so dedicated to a daunting task but doesn't want it any other way. I really admire this stranger because he is living exactly like I decided to starting with this year and will be ending...never!

Read the blog if you like details and want to learn how songs are built and mixed. There is also a really interesting theory on plagiarism, copying, biting, etc. and how it affects music vs. academia.

My point overall: Download the album and pass it around. Support this project because music is academic, it transcends history and borders, your music collection should be as diverse and dynamic as possible and because this is fucking good music.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

She Goes...

I can't believe I have not shared this playlist yet (at the top of the page or if I have moved it, just write a comment asking to get the link sent to you). I have been building and listening to it this entire year. Now that the year is almost over, somebody call me if you find 2009 btw, I think I should be a nice little girl and share. I end up listening to this playlist most nights as I bump around my room getting ready for bed, whether drunk or just exhausted. It clearly displays my love for both Ryan Adams and his Whiskeytown days but you will find some newcomers, especially as you get down the playlist.
If you want to buy a few albums that are chill, good for hanging around the house, an afternoon party, or while trying to drown out the crying baby and flight attendants when flying to wherever you need to go to really feel home during the holiday season, try these:
(Artist, Album Name)
- Swell Season, Strict Joy
- Paolo Nutini, Sunny Side Up
- Mark Knopler & Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning
- Bon Iver, either album
- Iron & Wine, any album
- Atlas Sound, Logos (solo album of the frontman of Deerhunter)
- Ane Brun, Changing of the Seasons

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Pet Project: A Good Christmas Gift

Here friends, meet a good gift.
With the giving/gifting season approaching along with a bigger pant size, I thought I would share one of the better gifts I have received this year. A very good friend gave me this Ticket Stub Diary when I moved to New York and it fit me and my interests perfectly, obviously. Over the years I have not kept as many ticket stubs of great concerts as I have wanted to so this gift was an opportunity to start cataloguing my ventures regularly and it has done a wonderful job. I put all kinds of tickets in here - Top of the Rock and museum entrance receipts, sports games, print out tickets, etc. I also put in any remaining stubs I had floating around my childhood home. Looking through the book says A LOT about me and my tastes.
So as you start thinking and then ultimately panicking and scrounging up last minute gifts for the people on your list, be a little creative and think of the simple charmers, the gifts that reflect that person - how you know them and what you like about them most. (Maybe pick up a few of these diaries for the inevitable people that get you a gift when you had them nowhere near your gift list - you chump).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

FLO - That Girl Can Sing

My biggest band crush and band du jour for awhile now has been - Florence and The Machine. Last Tuesday, October 27, it came to fruition by seeing Flo play to a sold out crowd in New York's famed Bowery Ballroom. I felt privileged not only because the Bowery is one of my favorite music venues ever but also because Florence only played this show and David Letterman. In early 2010 she is headed to Australia; she has no scheduled dates in the U.S. right now. Ya hear that, the crowd was selective and I was there! THIS is why I live in New York to all you hating on the Big Apple and it's rain, crazy prices and the smell of hot trash in the summer. The added perk was that the crowd was mostly crazed POMs (property of the monarchy) that had been fans for awhile since she is massive in Europe. One of my favorite attendees was a Scottish girl was a dead ringer for Jennifer Saunders' Edina Monsoon from Absolutely Fabulous. I sought her out at the after party and made friends, which was conveniently at BEAST, the late night bar around the corner from my Lower East Side abode.
My early favorite song on the album was Dog Days Are Over. It just makes you want to sprint in escape and I discovered it at the perfect time when summer was coming to a close and you could feel the leaves growing restless and preparing to make an exit and sweaters making their way into the popular clique in my closet again.
It was at the concert, however, that I discovered how awesome her song Cosmic Love is; a tour de force that was the perfect encore song. The song as a noun yelled at us in perfect pitch ' You had a good time tonight, go get drunker than you should for a Tuesday and moving forward remember to live with more conviction.' Pretty intense right, well I told you I really REALLY liked her.
I made a lala playlist of Flo's album and stuck it to the right of the page - just be sure to click the grey play/arrow button on the top and you can listen to it for free on my site without visiting lala.com. However, for the last bloody time, go visit lala and get a world of music that falls right smack between Pandora and iTunes, blending the best of both worlds. Then start following me - Katie M. - and you will be privy to all of the playlists I make and what songs I listen to and when - enter my weird little world amigos. (Disclaimer: Yesterday was a weird day, I think I channeled a 15 year old with braces from Omaha, so please disregard me listening to the entire new Carrie Underwood album and then switching it up by listening to the New Moon Soundtrack. I listened to the new Fanfarlo album all today to get back on track, which is sooo good).
Finally, I HAVE to love Flo and her Machine because I made the ginger oath long ago: To defend and champion your fellow red haired beauties. Make eye contact across whatever room, let them be the first person you try to meet at a party, share stories, discuss the genius of Ann Margaret and abhor the connection to Lindsay Lohan, and when applicable compare freckles.
Here is a short little interview and Florence playing a stripped down version of the song Boy Builds Coffins. Her drummer 'plays' the park railings.