30 years to the day, Thriller! (Do I even have to say whose album it is, nope!)

Thirty years ago today:

Of course it is a great album. So, instead of praising it, here are a few tidbits I have learned:

  • It’s best to listen to “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” without knowing most of the lyrics. Proof, you have been warned!
  • Perhaps making the odd lyrics a little understandable, from the Rolling Stone review of Thriller: “the hyperactive “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” wherein Jackson also takes on the press, gossips of all kinds and other grief-givers. Here the emotions are so raw that the song nearly goes out of control.”
  • Eddie Van Halen gave away the guitar solo on “Beat It” for free. Source. I also read someone who commented on him, that he wrote two solos in 15 minutes, one being what you hear today, but I do not have a source on that.

Thriller:

at Wikipedia
at All Music

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Laura Mvula, guest blog post from Katie at Lady Indie (ladyindie.com)

What follows is a guest post from Katie at Lady Indie! Be sure to check her blog out at ladyindie.com. She features plenty of great female artists, many of which being indie, however many great up and coming artists along with well-known ones!

There’s just something about Laura Mvula. I can’t stop listening to this singer from the UK who is being compared to artists like ‘Adele’. Her words are reaching me quite easily because with a voice as soulful as hers, it’s that easy to get lost in the story. The first single off her new EP ‘She’ and the track “Like the Dew” were produced with many overlapping vocals; a little bit ‘Imogen Heap’, yet with a Nina Simone-esque voice ripping through them.

More info:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Mvula/361658633901174
http://www.lauramvula.com
Buy the “She” EP on itunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/she-ep/id573158873

Watch the video for ‘She’ which was filmed in South Africa.

Listen to ‘Like the Dew’

Laura Mvula – Like The Morning Dew by lauramvula

#SoundCloudSunday – Cali

Cali is an artist on the way to the top of the world.

She has an awesome strong versatile voice, with a throwback to a bygone era, think Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics album, but Cali has the voice all the time. Adding to that, she is a trained jazz musician.

No better example than her tune “Outta My Mind”, which was featured on the new FIFA 13 video game!

Then there is “Yours Always”, with its spaghetti western feel, would fit in a Tarantino film, or even a Bond film!

She is presently at work on her debut effort.

I actually discovered her via her discovering my blog. Back then, she only had a few Twitter followers, and is now up to 14 000, and counting!

To get a sense for her vocal range/versatility, “At Last”, Etta James Cover:

And, “Crazy”, a Willie Nelson cover:

Cali:

on SoundCloud (A&RWorldwide)
on Twitter
on YouTube
on Facebook
official site

SoundCloudSunday request? Tweet, or leave a comment!

Emeli Sandé Montreal concert review (November 24, 2012)

And to think, I almost did not attend this show!

Emeli Sandé performing in Montreal November 24, 2012. Photo Bernard Brault, La Presse

This was her first time in our fair city. She was scheduled to play the Montreal International Jazz Festival this past summer, but it was cancelled for an unknown reason. I suspect she had engagements back at home in the United Kingdom, as she was booked to play Montreal in-between scheduled performances, all in the U.K.

Regardless, she made it to Montreal now, and she put on quite the show to a full Metropolis.

She performed, along with her backing musicians, almost every song from her debut Our Version of Events, along with the iTunes bonus track, “Tiger”. Her backing band included an acoustic guitar/bass player, keyboardist and percussionist, they very much deserve credit as well for a great job. She also performed “Wonder”, which is a Naughty Boy song featuring her on vocals. Naught Boy was the main collaborator on her album.

Two covers included Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”, who she supported on select dates of their Mylo Xyloto tour, and Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” (yes, it did the original justice! Nina would have been proud!). Nina Simone is her biggest musical influence.

Emeli’s voice is phenomenal. I was quite blown away! Her album is great, there is no doubt, but to see her live is to realise just how talented a singer she really is.

Her love rendition of “My Kind of Love” had her getting the audience participating, as with the Coldplay cover (humming the guitar riff! As she does not play guitar). And the former brought the house down (figuratively of course), with an extra lengthy applause at the end. I was standing relatively near the front, so I am not sure if it was a standing ovation, but if not, it would have been deserved.

Her main set ended with “Next to Me”, presently one of my favourites from her, and it delivered live as well!

Her encore consisted of “Breaking the Law” and a very emotional “Read all About It (Pt. III)”.

The show as a whole was sensational. Her stage banter was perfect, introducing songs just right. “Clown” being about how no matter success you have, how far you have come, there will always be people unfortunately people finding joy in your pain, but at least you are trying. And before “Wonder”, she mentioned how she feels everyone is wonderful, and if you are feeling wonderful to put your W’s in the air (hands in the form of the letter).

The show was moving, positive and uplifting all at the same time.

I was too far away for decent pictures, so instead here is a couple of videos of her live.

“My Kind Of Love” Live at iTunes Festival 2012 (September 5, 2012):

Someone’s video of “Next to Me” at The Sugar Club in Dublin, Ireland December 13, 2011:

And a VEVO version of Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall:

The music of Grand Theft Auto V

 

It is finally official, Grand Theft Auto 5 will be released early next year (I predict April, like GTA:IV).

Slowly, since Grand Theft Auto III, it has become my favourite video game series. One reason being the music within the game.

Already, the music used in the two trailers impresses.

The first trailer features “Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” by the English rock band Small Faces. It was released in 1968 on the album of the same name!

The second trailer features Stevie Wonder’s “Skeletons” from his 1987 album Characters. Both tracks work perfectly, and continue with the Grand Theft Auto games using lesser known music, be it lesser known by a well-known artist, or lesser known, period. For example, the former, The Who’s “Eminence Front” in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, or several tracks by dub artist Scientist in Grand Theft Auto 3.

Take a look/listen for yourself:

and

Bonus:

The second trailer was released last Wednesday, during that week, I had a GTA theme week on #MVOD (Music Video of the Day) on Twitter. Click to see all seven Tweets/links to the videos.

Continue reading “The music of Grand Theft Auto V”

#SoundCloudSunday – Maïa


 

This week’s SoundCloud Sunday, local songstress Maïa!

Numerous Montreal artists I know were born elsewhere, and are now based in Montreal, well, Maïa was born and raised here in Montreal!

Her new solo album, Héritage, is sung in both French and English, although predominantly French. The spark for this project was lit while touring Quebec with Ladies of the Canyon (yes, named after the Joni Mitchell album, in fact it was Maïa’s record that the name derives from, as they were looking through her record collection and…). Also, the fact that her roots go back to Anticosti Island and the area in Quebec, hence the song “Anticosti”:

As I mentioned briefly in my last blog post, I saw her at M for Montreal. It was a short set, but entertaining. She had a full band and switched from acoustic guitar to electric during the set, despite that, all her material is quite soft and laid-back, but she has a great voice! Take a listen to “The Singer”, one of three English songs:

And as a bonus, check her out in the Ladies of the Canyon video for “Follow Me Down”:

Maïa:

on SoundCloud
on Twitter
on YouTube
on Facebook
iTunes CA
official site

M for Montreal free showcase November 15 pictures and words

M for Montreal (M Pour Montreal in French) is yet another Montreal music festival. Similar to Pop Montreal, as it features plenty of good up and coming acts as well as ones more well-known at many venues over several days.

I managed to catch the free showcase at Cafe Campus/Petit Campus earlier today. Basically a venue with two totally different spaces a floor apart. Petit is French for small, thus the smaller space.

What follows are a few words and pictures of what I saw and heard.

Maïa. Full name, Maïa Davies, one-fourth of the all girl country act Ladies of the Canyon!

Maïa put on a fairly mellow set, I imagine all from her new solo album, Héritage, a mix of English and French lyrics. Her voice alone makes her worth checking out (and Ladies of the Canyon, even if she is not always on vocal duties)!

Whitehorse, from Hamilton. Ontario.

Next up, Whitehorse. From what I recall they were more or less indie rock/rock, but with quite a set-up for a duo. They employed plenty of looping, as well as playing their own percussion (bass drum, floor tom, tambourine and perhaps more hand percussion), and swapping instruments, and both singing. Definitely ones to watch! (Just visited their website, they are made up of husband and wife duo Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet! That is to say, on their own they have successful careers in music already!) Check out a CBC Music performance:

Kandle, from Montreal.

Kandle is very much lo-fi/retro. Even looks wise! She kind of looks like and even sounds a little like Nancy Sinatra as my friend put it. Interesting. I would have to see her again for sure!

Jacquie Neville of The Balconies, Ottawa ex-pats, now based in Toronto.

The Balconies are very much about rocking out! Lead singer and guitarist Jacquie Neville reminds me of Juliette Lewis performing! Genre-wise I would say alt-rock. Again, I would have to see them again. My friend did not care for them, but I do think their first single, “Kill Count” is interesting, they performed it last. Judge for yourself:

Ain’t no Love performed next (I did not get a good picture), they are a hip hop trio consisting of two main male rappers and a female rapper/singer. I was not too into them, as their beats were too bass thump heavy. I like bass heavy beats, but in this case I did not think they worked too well. And the rapping did not appeal to me. The female songstress has a good voice though, she could easily be doing her thing solo. It seems they are based out of Montreal and Toronto from their website bio.

Honheehonhee donning some animal themed hats!

Lastly, Honheehonhee, out of Montreal are an up-tempo indie-rock party style as one can guess from the picture! They have a lot going on, and some interesting elements here and there, like the synth in one song I liked, but for the most part not really my style.

As I mentioned on Twitter,

another free showcase happens later today, Friday early afternoon. Check out the acts performing here, and the rest of the M for Montreal schedule. The festival finishes up on Saturday. I would recommend seeing Montreal post-punk/rocknrollers Young Lungs Saturday if you have the chance. I caught them at Pop Montreal, and they put on a pretty intense set!

(Too lazy to proofread, hopefully error free!)

#SoundCloudSunday – Marina and the Diamonds

Another album in high rotation for me, Marina and the Diamonds‘ second release, Electra Heart!

Without a doubt one of my favourite British female singers of recent years!

When I reviewed her first album, The Family Jewels, I did not rave about it, yet I did very much like it (even in my preview of the album I liked it!). Subsequent listens after the review, I have come to really, really like it! It is a very entertaining, fun, up-tempo album!

Her new album has a bit more of a serious tone, so it is not entirely a ‘fun’ listen, but it is equally entertaining.

The debut track “Bubblegum Bitch” illustrates this, starting the album with a bang!

“Lies” is one of the serious tracks I mentioned. Yet, the dubstep elements in the chorus add to the intrigue.

Along with a few other tracks from the album, there is a couple of remix sets of “Power & Control” and “Primadonna”

Like this Brackles Drum & Square Mix of “Power & Control”

And Check out the music video for “Primadonna”:

Marina and the Diamonds:

on SoundCloud
on Twitter
on YouTube
on Facebook
on Songkick
official site

Again, have a SoundCloudSunday request, tweet me, or leave a comment!

#SoundCloudSunday – Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware‘s debut, Devotion, is an album I am presently listening to on high rotation (as the column on the right shows under the ‘Heavy Rotation’ heading).

She is yet another cool female singer out of the United Kingdom, South London to be specific. She is a singer-songwriter, but genre wise she is more pop-soul, R&B, and electronic elements as well. Fairly laid-back, yet still makes for a compelling listen.

I had checked out her video for “110%”, and a friend recommended the entire album as being very good. “Strangest Feeling” was the first single, although it can be only found on the iTunes version, or in this case streamed on SoundCloud!

“Running” was the next single. And it can be found on the actual CD or other digital versions.

Also on her SoundCloud, many remixes can be found, and another iTunes bonus track, “What You Won’t Do For Love”. I have not listened to the album enough to get into remixes yet. However one of my favourite tracks from the album is the third single, “Wildest Moment”. It is not on her SoundCloud, so instead check out the music video via YouTube:

Jessie Ware:

on SoundCloud
on Twitter
on YouTube
on Facebook
on Songkick
official site

Have a SoundCloudSunday request, tweet me, or leave a comment!

20 years to the day, Rage Against the Machine’s self titled debut

Twenty years ago today:

The cover features a photo of Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, burning himself to death in Saigon in 1963. The monk was protesting President Ngô Đình Diệm’s administration for oppressing the Buddhist religion. The photograph drew international attention and persuaded U.S. President John F. Kennedy to withdraw support for Ngô Đình Diệm’s government.

Safe to say this album was (and is) very influential in numerous genres and crossover genres, namely rap-metal. Rolling Stone had it ranked at 368 in their first 500 greatest albums of all time list. In their recently revised list, it managed to jump up three spots to 365.

In Rolling Stone’s words:

Singer Zack de la Rocha’s radical politics found sympathetic muscle in Tom Morello’s howling one-guitar army, making a furor unheard since the MC5 and the Clash.

The album spawned a few singles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of going on, I will just say this: Get out and vote, whatever your country. Contact members of your government with ALL your concerns and issues. Make your voice heard!