Wednesday, April 8, 2009

News, Whimsy, and A Special Guest Playlist


This week brings several excellent concerts to the Salt Lake Scene - here is a quick list:

Airborne Toxic Event - April 9 (KG, Wheels, and many Skog Blog Readers will be there!)

The Ting Tings - April 9 (If P were 14 we'd be attending this show instead)

The Hold Steady - April 11 (KG will be in attendance)

Clem Snide - April 13

Travis - April 14

Lupe Fiasco - April 15


Here is a little something for the Star Wars Fan in your family. Wheels, enjoy your Christmas!


Yesterday I received an email from Brohammas asking if he could impose his musical stylings upon the Skog Blog readers. Seeing that I am not exactly an expert in the Reggae or Hip Hop genres, I turn to the closest thing to an expert we have. I have added the youtube clips so hopefully they are what Brohammas would have wanted. All he asks is you give these songs a listen in their entirety before you make any judgements. Below are his selections with his descriptions as to why you should listen. I do have one beef with his playlist - any Brohammas playlist should include "Cold Beverages" the greatest song Brohammas ever introduced me to.


Barack Obama” by Cocoa Tea- just for all those out in Utah who are regular skogblog readers this serves up two things that may grate on you like steel wool, cheesy reggae and a Democratic President. But no matter your politics this little ditty will work its way into your head and you will find yourself humming it, even on your way to a Sarah Palin rally.

$13,000 is a lot of food” by Skankin’ Pickle- My five year old requests this one by saying “play the one that’s real fast then gets happy. It’s a ska masterpiece.

Sunshowers” by M.I.A.- Understanding that KG is the anti-Mtv, High Fidelity type music snob, I could see one bucking M.I.A.’s performing at 9 months pregnant self, but this song is just good and original. Forget what you may think, pretend you don’t know her and have a listen. Makes me want a mango.

Gotcha” by Lupe Fiasco- For all those who think rap is just non-talented thugs talking about girls and guns, how’s this? The guy has a whole verse about smells. Who does that? Classic rap braggadocio with lighthearted creativity. (Scroll down and click on the song to listen)

Get Up Offa That Thing” by James Brown- If this song doesn’t at least make you move a little, you are dead.

Green Eyes” by Erykah Badu- this may very well be her best song and she is one of THE greatest ever, so this doesn’t come lightly. It is long and should be played while sitting back on a quiet evening, it’s not car music. It has emotion weaving through movements like a symphony. Lean back, dim the lights, maybe even light a candle.

On My Nerve” by Turbulance- Of course its reggae, its even more of that dance hall style that so many despise (or pretend they do), but give this a chance. It has possibly the best line someone in a committed relationship has ever uttered, “woman, I love you but your friends are getting on my nerves.”

What I Am” by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians- It’s a bit pretentious but that guitar lick is a keeper.

Man Woman Boogie” by Q-Tip- His newest album is tops front to back but just since “Getting Up” was on regular video rotation I’ll suggest one not so known, because a little man/woman boogie is always called for.

G.O.D. (Gaining One’s Definition)” by Common featuring Ceelo- This is why Common is called “conscious” and will always be considered great, no matter how many crappy songs he makes. Ceelo, one half of Gnarls Barkley, was single handedly the one who turned my hater ways and converted me to hip-hop. Ignore what you may think of the doctrine, false or otherwise in this song and listen, more people think like these guys than you may realize.

Jailer” by Asah- Nigerian who is making some noise, even though you have never heard of her. I can’t vouch for all her stuff, which I find surprisingly techno, but this acoustic song is worth muddling through her other stuff to find. Luckily I already did that so you don’t have to.

Royal Flush” by Big Boi - “Liberation” by Outkast- Sure you know Outkast but have you heard these songs? Royal Flush has one of the best rap verses I have heard delivered by Andre, mixing a great rhyme scheme and words of wisdom both, “the morals that you think you got, go out the window, when all the other kids are fresh and they got new Nintendo…” Liberation is another long one slapped onto the tail end of an album and hardly has any rapping in it at all, but if you turn it up loud, sit back without doing something else, you will feel it.


Corbie said...

The song 'What I Am' rocks and I have always liked it - good pick.

And if I ever go back to school to get my PhD, I'm doing my rearch project on how in the hell peoples' musical taste can be so vastly different - it truly fascinates me.

That said, I liked the commentary - you almost had me sold on each song until I actually listened to them.

brohammas said...

Corbie you are gifted in the backhanded compliment.
I on the other hand am gifted in musical taste as well as prophetic predictions...
the following is a cut-and-paste of my original email to KG.

OK Cap,
You once mentioned you were open to others imposing their own musical views on your blog. Enclosed is a playlist of songs that I'm sure are not on most of your reader's playlists, but should be. I skipped stuff that you have already, or may recommend, and just to throw people off I included NO Bob Marley. go figure.
I will not say that one must love all these songs but they must listen to them in their entirety before making a declaration. If they do, and then say they suck, than they are crazy, or just Corbie trying to push my buttons.

Kinda called my own shot on that one.

kg said...

I can vouch that the email from Brohammas below was the exact one that I received without edit. However, I am not sure Corbie is trying to push any buttons, I think she really just doesn't like the stuff. Just like I'm not trying to push her buttons when I say that 99% of all Country sucks. It is funny how much the musical tastes of people can differ, I too find it fascinating. I am sure that 90% of my musical offerings are not that well accepted but it is worth it for that one time when a song you love connects with someone else. I get a smile whenever I head out to mow my lawn and I can hear 'Vampire Weekend' or 'Bishop Allen' blasting from Herms' garage or when Corbie finally says 'that one knocked it out of the park' after she has mocked the last 20 songs I have posted. Because of this, I will keep sharing and hope that everyone else does as well. Again, I'm just disappointed you didn't have any G. Love. You were on that train before him and his boys even appeared on the Jenny Jones Show. In fact part of me thinks that the only reason you moved to Philly in the first place was to be closer to him.

brohammas said...

I could do an all Philly review but I already knew you dug the Special Sauce. I wasn't going to pander. his greatest line "she smacked me in the face with a frying pan and said, yo, this is love."

I won't hate on Country (out loud), but the idea that you can't sit back and enjoy Erykah boggles my mind.
I was sure that you accoustic guitar laden folk who like Tracy chapan would like Asah. Did you listen to it?

kg said...

When I cut and pasted your email 'Jailer' got mixed in with Common. My apologies. I just listened and it is a shame that I messed up the link because it's my favorite new track from your playlist.

There should be a link now to give it a listen.

As far as Ms. Badu, I agree with you. There should be a place on anyone's playlist for some mellow tunes sung by a pleasant voice.

Corbie said...

Wow! I again forgot to click the little box and just now thought to come back and check in on you guys. Here's the truth...I was not pushing your buttons, Brohammas. I am truly fascinated by musical taste (and taste in general - movies, food, etc.). When I was finishing up my psychology degree and entertaining graduate school, I literally entertained ways to incorporate peoples' preferences into some sort of research project - it astounds me how different and firmly rooted they can be.

I know it's nuts but I cannot fathom how someone doesn't instantly fall in love the minute they hear Ronnie Milsap or Don Williams or The Bellamy Brothers (who are coming to the Sandy Amphitheater and I'm so excited that I can't see straight - Robert told me last night he's never heard of them and when I played him one of their songs, he laughed out loud).

I truly listened to every single track (I'm always open to new music - I just rarely like it) and found that I liked the one song that I mentioned (which is a bit more top 40ish than the others and probably was an easy one for me). That said, KG is correct that the original link was not there for Jailer and I have since listened to it and I don't mind it. It is the best one after 'What I Am'. The best part is that I'm looking at my 'captcha' right now and it is green and says 'likey' - as in, me no likey most of that music.

That said, I truly liked your commentary and passion for the music - I tried to convey that in my comment. And Kirk is right - when someone is as stubborn as me and turns down roughly 95% of the music offered, it has to be exciting when you 'knock it out of the park'. So, thank you both for trying to expose people to new music and for being willing to put your tastes out there to be judged by the likes of me (someone with no room to judge).

The following songs are currently in my top ten and were all provided or influenced by KG:

- Come Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams)
- Sometime Around Midnight (Airborne Toxic Event)
- What's Been Going On (Amos Lee)
- Cannonball (Damien Rice)
- As I'm Leaving (David Gray)
- Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop (Landon Pigg)

That's 6 songs currently in my top ten (the first one would likely even replace something from my permanent favorites list). It may have taken like 5,000 songs to find these gems but I will be forever grateful that the Skog Blog and KG kept trying.

Robyn said...

OK sorry, I have to just chime in here and say that this is oh so good.
I don't even pretend to know music like you three, but I LOVE good songs that make you remember the exact moment you heard them. I just want to say that I hope to forget all of those moments when I just listened to the guest list. I was hoping that 'Gotcha' would be a winner because the movie sure was. It wasn't.
The song 'What I Am' is still as crummy as the first time I heard it. I laugh every time I hear it. It seems like a joke. (sorry friend)
Come on KG 99%...don't you think that's a little high?? I'd like to know what's on the 1% list!
Brohammas - ok maybe James Brown was ok.
Keep talking it's fun to watch you three go.

kg said...

Robyn - your comments are always welcome here my friend and since you asked here is the 1% of Country that doesn't suck.

Kenny Rogers
'Elvira' by the Oak Ridge Boys

That's it. That's the list.

Corbie said...

Robyn: You just summed up in one paragraph why I love you so very much.

KG: You were just sucking up to me with the Oak Ridge Boys reference, weren't you?

Robyn said...

I like.
I thought for sure you would say Johnny Cash. You're not a fan? What about Folsom Prison Blues?

kg said...

Robyn - I do like the Man in Black but I prefer to claim him as Rock, Blues, Rockabilly or even Folk just so I don't have to call him Country. It's my blog and I'll follow my rules thank you very much... ha.

Corbie - "Elvira" makes me giddy up and was in no way an attempt at buttkissery. One of my favorite childhood memories was singing that song with my cousin Dave.

Corbie said...

Robyn: If a guy doesn't sing in a falsetto or a gal doesn't have a british accent, KG isn't on board.

Robyn said...

KG - it IS your blog, do as you wish. I know the truth in my heart. By the way you do a good job on the blog.

Corb- Got it. Should I just give up at trying to convince him of anything good?

Corbie said...

Robyn: No - you can keep trying just like I do. One time I sent him a random George Strait song and renamed it 'REM' to get him to listen to it. He's quick though - he figured it out before he heard the first beautiful note.

kg said...

Ladies, gents, and Skog Blog Readers - next week's guest columnist - Robyn!

PS - I swear to the Good Universe that my captcha is 'cougapel' but since it is my blog I will say it says 'Coug Able' which means you are a BYU fan able of writing a guest column. It's meant to be.

Corbie said...

Oh and Robyn - I'm glad to have you in on the action over here...until I can entice Wheels to chime in more often, there is a decidedly low level of estrogen (and thus, smarts).

Seriously today is too captcha is 'vagible' which seems slightly related to the last sentence in the above paragraph.

Robyn said...

It is meant to be!

Oh I'm so nervous.

Are there rules?

Corbie - Thanks, I didn't know chiming in would get me a guest column! I don't know if I'm ready. Where is Wheel's anyway? Maybe she should go first.:)

Corbie said...

Robyn: If all else fails, just write about Neil Diamond. That will win over KG, Wheels, and yours truly without much effort.

You'll do great - can't wait!

kg said...

Robyn - Pick either an album or a playlist and let us know why you like them. If you decide to do an album pick 3 songs from it and I'll find mp3's so people can hear them. No rules. I'll post it either next Wed or Thurs.

Also, don't be nervous, as you can see it's amatuer hour over here.

Corbie said...

Why does everyone else get so much choice in what they review and I had to go with the Oldies But Goodies theme? IHYKG

brohammas said...

Here I am trying to have a life and this thing runs away while I'm gone. Speaking of being gone, where is Spam when you need him?

"Boy Named Sue" is Cash's best song.

Robyn, Niel Diamond is pure pandering, will probably work, but you are better than that. Then again you categorically dissed my whole list with no specifics as to why.

I can tell you why I hate most Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey ballads, without having to simply rest on the statement that they suck (which they do).

While thier voices and skill are (were) unparalleled, belted notes over tinkling faux orchestral arrangements makes my eyes rll back in my head in the "oh brother" fashion as opposed to the ecstasy type. Same goes for those less talented, meaning Celine Dion, MAry J. (sorry Mary J.) Christina Aguilara, and anyone else from American idol. I don't find that genre moving, yet I respect most of those with the vocals to peform those songs... I just don't want to hear it.

So if you don't like "Liberation", explain why.

Corbie said...

Brohammas, Boy Named Sue definitely makes Cash's top 5 but calling it the best is a stretch. As for Robyn needing to explain 'why' she doesn't like a song, I categorically disagree. Music is not math - it is art. And like any artform, you either like it or you don't. You don't need an explanation as to why you are drawn to a particular painting - with any art (but particularly music), I always use the old 'I don't know what it is that I'm looking for but I'll know it when I see it'. Science is for objectivity and explanations - music is freedom from exactly that. And I hate Celine Dion's music more than anyone on the planet (truly - I have scientifically documented this fact) but to categorize her as having little talent makes my eyes roll back in my head (and not in the good way).

brohammas said...

Having "less talent" Than Mariah and Whitney does not equal little talent.
You made that jump, not me. Celine has lots of talent, and once again, I simply dont want to hear hers.
As far as explaining dislike, I say one should be able to. "Liking" on the other hand does not need explaining.
it can be a simple, I don't like the sound, or I dont like the words, its cheesy, or its too loud...whatever. but ya gotta have something

brohammas said...

... and another thing (as if I ever run out of "one moree" thing to say).

Art is very scientific.
There is a method to making even that crappy modern look good as opposed to crap. That is why people go to school for painting or music. The way you craft something, methodical or whimsical, where you place images on a plane or notes on a clef has a direct impact on the response.

Many people may not understand the science behind it, you don't really need to (some have an innate understanding or ability to pull this stuff off sans understanding, but they almost always still follow the rules even though they don't know the rules)but anyone can react to a product... even if they don't know why.

a dislike can be simple even without knowing the rules, or despite them, aka I almost never like landscape paintings no matter how well executed. I simply don't find the subject matter interesting (usually).

I generally don't like country as a genre, same reason. But were I in Wyoming on the trail or in a dusty bar, Hip-Hop or Ne-Soul just wouldn't work. In that situation I want some Marty Robbins.

Robyn said...

Brohammas - Love Boy Named Sue.

I wasn't planning to go the Neil Diamond route, KG already knows I'm a fan.

I would just like to know why would you even bring up Whitney, Mariah, Christina and Celine? Did you think I would choose them on a playlist? I wouldn't pick anything from ANY of them! OK maybe 'Fighter' from Christina because it's a good running song if I was doing a running playlist. But that's it! They are not even close. But thanks for trying.

You told me I would "feel" Liberation, and I just didn't. You lied.

Corbie said...

Sure, a professional (or even a student of) the craft would know the intricacies of their craft - I suck at all the visual arts but I 'get' the small details that make a ballet look amazing versus average. But your comment expected Robyn, a self-descrbed non-professional in the music realm, to give the 'why' as to her musical likes and dislikes. I do not feel that the observer of art - the non-professional and non-student - should have to give more than a yay or nay. I think their gut opinion is sufficient. There is enough art in the world to please a wide variety of people and trying to force yourself (or anyone else) to spend time on something they don't like is, in my opinion, a waste of time that could be spent finding amazing art that appeals to them. It is why I, an avid reader, allow myself the leniency to leave books unfinished if they aren't grabbing me - there are too many good ones to waste time on the ones I don't like.

My captcha right now is 'ilevit'...which is why I am doing just that with this debate...I'm leaving it.

But Marty Robbins does indeed deserve all of our love and respect :)

brohammas said...

I simply chose them as an example of an entire genre who's skill I recognize but would never press "play" in a million years. I meant no insinuation as to your taste.

As to not feeling Liberation, I suggest rather than questioning my integrity you visit a doctor to find out why you have lost sensory reactions... a heart issue possibly?