Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Songs / 2010

Excellent year for music.  This is the 1st year in a long time I had to leave songs off my year-end disc, so any year I can find more than 35 songs I really enjoy I consider a good one (music-wise anyway).  In no particular order:

  • Bodega - Eric Lindell
  • You Can Dance - Bryan Ferry
  • Heart of Steel - Galactic (feat. Irma Thomas)
  • Moneygrabber - Fitz & The Tantrums
  • Coma and Get It - Eli "Paperboy" Reed
  • The Trip To Pirates Cove - Tome Petty & The Heartbreakers 
  • Susanah - 30db
  • Beggarman - Smoove & Turrell
  • Rock Dust Light Star - Jamiroquai
  • Slow - Rumer
  • The Sweetest Thing - JJ Grey & Mofro
  • I Learned The Hard Way - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
  • Love Lives - Black Dub
  • How To Become Clairvoyant - Robbie Robertson
  • Soldier of Love - Sade
  • All My Bridges Burning - Los Lobos
  • Cold Boy Smile - The Black Crowes
  • Shaky - The Duke & The King
  • As We Enter - Nas, Damian Marley
  • Beautiful Place - Sean Carey
  • Blood Like Lemonade - Morcheeba
  • I Need A Dollar - Aloe Blacc
  • Stylo - Gorillaz
  • The Sound of Sunshine - Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • The High Road - Broken Bells
  • Cotton Was King - Widespread Panic
  • You Are Not Alone - Mavis Staples
  • Chance - James Maddock
  • Beg Steal or Borrow - Ray Lamontagne
  • Do You Love Me - Guster
  • Rocksteady - Big Head Todd & The Monsters
  • Shaky Ground - Jackie Greene
  • I Didn't See It Coming - Belle & Sebastian
  • Window Seat - Erykah Badu
  • F@#k You - Cee-Lo

Duke & The King

New band formed by the drummer (Simone Felice) from the Catskills-based band The Felice Brothers.  Excellent acoustic based folk-rock that actually has some soul.  Their music has influences as diverse as Neil Young and Smokey Robinson, and they are on the mellow side.  They've released 2 discs in the past 2 years ("Nothing Gold Can Stay" and the recently released "Long Live...") and both are very strong.  They were supposed to play Mountain Jam this past June but Simone had heart trouble and had to have emergency surgery.  From their Facebook page:  The Duke & The King are a soul-folk-glam ensemble from the sticks of New York founded, produced, and created by Simone Felice and Robert Bird Burke, featuring the sensational Simi Stone and Nowell" Reverend Loveday" Haskins, and like any traveling theatre troupe there's bound to be a growing cast of bewitching characters. Named for the traveling Shakespeare hustlers in 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'.
An excellent new band, look forward to seeing them live.  Here's their website:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fitz, the Flavor of the Month

Fitz & The Tantrums is a new band from LA.  Inspired by Stax and Motown, the band sounds like a bit like the band ABC sounded to me back in the early 80's.  A caucasian approach to soul music, it relies heavily on organ and horns to provide gravitas to the songs, which are good, but not great.  The band is led by Michael Fitzpatrick who sings vocals (and has a disconcerting shock of white in his hair), and he had the good sense to hire Noelle Scaggs as the female vocalist, who's got a really great voice.  You can't get away from their song "MoneyGrabber" lately, it's even being used in a T-Mobile commercial.  I got into them after seeing them on "Live at Daryl's House", where they did an amazing set.  Their latest disc "Pickin Up The Pieces" is very good, and a nice addition to the blue-eyed soul niche.  But I've got a problem when a band suddenly comes out of nowhere and all of a sudden are everywhere.  The disc is very good, but by no means a classic.  (There are 3 or 4 very good tunes on the disc).  Maybe they could've waited until their 2nd disc to have sold out, but I also understand that there's no guarantees that a 2nd disc would materialize so "take it while you can".   Seeing them at Bowery Ballroom in a few weeks, they're supposed to be very good live.