Friday, January 21, 2005

Produced By Norman Whitfield

Norman is A Rolling Stone AP: LOS ANGELES - Norman Whitfield, who co-wrote R&B classics such as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and "Papa Was a Rolling Stone," pleaded guilty to failing to report more than $2 million in royalty income, authorities said. [More] This playlist contains some of the great Motown classics produced and/or written by Mr. Whitfield. Good luck to him. I always root against the IRS. (Via: The Rhapsody Radish)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Song of the day: Inara George/"Trouble"

Yet another reason why Rhapsody is so great. I saw that someone named Inara George is playing the NoisePop Festival next month in San Francisco. Not recognizing her name, I found her (and this song) tonight on Rhapsody. Turns out that she's the daughter of Little Feat guitarist/singer Lowell George, and according to her web site she's got an album coming out this month. Personally, I think her voice is just gorgeous. The song "Trouble" is a cover of a song her father performed with Little Feat; the original is on their 1972 album Sailin' Shoes. Enjoy.

I spoke too soon: NoisePop 2005 update

No sooner do I post about there being no update on bands playing the NoisePop Festival next month in San Francisco do the folks at Noise Pop HQ send me an email with an update. And what a lineup it is. In addition to all of the bands already announced (including Ted Leo + Pharmacists, Bettie Serveert, Mates of State, and the Polyphonic Spree), Mission of Burma, The Walkmen, Communique, Smoosh, Aqueduct and other bands are also slated to play, with more updates on the way. Should make for a great time this February.

This playlist includes music from 32 artists currently scheduled to perform between February 22nd and 27th.

Native Tongues Posse: Hip-Hop History

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the New York City-based hip-hop collective the Native Tongues posse kicked out some of the most ill, groundbreaking music of the day. The Native Tongues posse, whose members included Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Black Sheep, and Leaders of the New School (featuring a then 17-year old Busta Rhymes), made hip-hop that focused on Afroncentrism, positivity and social consciousness, an approach that stood in stark contrast to the work of other gangsta style hip-hop artists of the day.

Native Tongues members performed together and promoted & collaboated on each other's work (on songs like ATQ's "Scenario," De La Soul's "Buddy," and Jungle Brothers' "Doin' Our Own Dang") as a way of collectively breaking through to the mainstream. In the process, the groups created some of the genre's most memorable music. This playlist includes music from members of the Native Tongues posse. Sadly, De La Soul's album 3 Feet High and Rising, perhaps the most well-known album by a Native Tongues member, isn't available through Rhapsody.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Song of the day: Ambulance Ltd./"Heavy Lifting"

Why didn't I listen to this album more when it came out? For the past few days, I've been listening, repeatedly and obsessively, to the album LP by NY-based dream pop band Ambulance Ltd. My friend Ted (who runs the JamBase Rhapsody blog) got me started last week with the song "Stay Where You Are" and after listening to it a bunch of times on Rhapsody, I went and bought the album at Amoeba Records and continued playing it all weekend. The song "Heavy Lifting" is my favorite of the day. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Tour of the year....?

Wow. I found out this weekend that three of my favorite up-and-coming bands --Autolux, Moving Units, and Secret Machines-- are touring together for the next few months, stopping in my hometown of Boston later this month, my adopted hometown of San Francisco in mid-February and in NYC in early March. The show is sure to be packed with an interesting mix of discopunk, shoegaze, and indie rock fans, and more than a little of the devil's weed. This playlist includes songs by these bands that are in high rotation on my stereo these days. Enjoy!

New & notable in Rhapsody -- 1/18/05

I've been poring over the "Just Added" lists for the past few weeks to put together this playlist of the latest & greatest additions to the Rhapsody library. The list includes songs by Boyracer, The Delgados, Le Tigre, Mission of Burma, Versus and Jay-Z, among others. Enjoy the music!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Big Country: The Crossing

This weekend I was listening to the album The Crossing by 1980s Scottish band Big Country, and realized I'd sold the band short. *Really* short. I'd always liked the song "In a Big Country" but never did any exploring beyond that, and like many people, I considered them one-hit wonders. One listen to The Crossing proved me wrong; the album is chock full of should-have-been-hit singles beyond the one that actually did hit. Songs like "Angle Park" and "Inwards" wouldn't sound out of place nestled between indie rock and post-punk anthems on a mixtape.

This playlist includes my favorites from The Crossing, along with a single culled from Big Country's greatest hits compilation. This is highly recommended listening. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

R.I.P: Doors biographer, manager Danny Sugerman

I guess I'm a week late on this one, but I read in today's NYTimes that Doors biographer and manager Danny Sugerman, who co-wrote famed Jim Morrison biography No One Here Gets Out Alive, died last week of lung cancer.

In a turn right out of "News of the Weird," the final line of Sugerman's Times obituary said "Mr. Sugerman is survived by his wife, the former Fawn Hall, who was secretary to the Iran-Contra figure Lt. Col. Oliver L. North of the Marines." Hmm. You may remember Fawn Hall as the comely young secretary who stuffed sensitive documents about the Iran-contra scandal into her undies and subsequently shredded them on North's behalf.

Anyway, the news got me on a Doors kick this afternoon. While Rhapsody is missing many of The Doors' early releases, we've got enough of my favorites for a playlist. Enjoy.