Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hello All,

I have something different for you. While I continue to groove on the Yallopin' Hounds these days, my mp3 player is also full of an unlikely partner, some rockabilly, and some rockabilly that sounds similar on the outside but is actually grown from entirely different roots.

I'm really enjoying Kim Lenz these days. Her country based rockabilly is fun and well-played, with her voice being a completely unexpected instrument. The album is full of great melodies and quirky songs (I'm a zombie for your love is probably my favorite on the album). The music itself would also be very danceable for the swing dancers out there. Check her out.

I'm also diggin' Imelda May. Her sound is similar, but her music is based in British Soul and R&B, much more "The Commitments" than George Jones. I love the Brits, they had terrible taste in food the last time I was in England (1990), but have great taste in beer, have wicked senses of humor, and are delightfully dirty in their overall sensibilities. Also well worth a listen.

Other than that, cheers everyone! Dan

Sunday, February 28, 2010

bad blogger

Yes, I am a bad, bad blogger, being out of touch for so long, but I'm back now and I think I have something interesting for all of you.

I've been in a retro mood recently, and watched two wonderful movies I think you should add to your netflix list. In no particular order, they are:

Some Like It Hot: This stars a very young Jack Lemmon, and a very beautiful Marilyn Monroe. Despite it's age (it was filmed in 1959), the story is fun and well told and the filming is inspired when you consider that in 2010, with all our superior technology we can't tell stories as well. It's well worth a view.

Breakfast At Tiffany's: I have a weakness for Audrey Hepburn, and she is stunning and engaging in this movie. It also stars George Peppard (pre A-Team of course). The music (Henry Mancini) is evocative and accents the story beautifully. As much as I relate to the story, it reminds of my parents (this was story of their generation), and I am reminded of how we have more in common than we don't. Another reminder that much of my teenage rebellion was misguided at times.

I don't think you'll be disappointed, take a view of both.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Luau at the Lake

I'm getting into this tiki vibe - last weekend I attended the Luau at the Lake, the best excuse I've come across yet to wear Hawaiian shirts and throw a two day long party. While there, I saw several bands and listened to music I don't normally hear. Exotica and surf guitar, vibraphones and ukuleles, you-name-it-I-heard-it. Frankly, it was great. Check out a few of these bands, maybe your hula girl (or fire dancer) will pay you a visit.

The Cocktail Preachers

The 9th Wave


Waitiki 7

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The dogs are barking......

The Yalloppin' Hounds were one of my favorite swing bands when I first discovered them. They do blends of classic swing jazz with some occasional hip-hop and rap built in, and catered to swing dancers in New York city (note a previous album, Lindy Hop Deluxe. In addition, here is a grainy you-tube video of them playing at the now destroyed Windows on the World that was at the top of the World Trade Center- link). Just as I was discovering them and looking for concerts to attend, they disappeared........No shows, no albums, and nothing new on the website. I was greatly disappointed and feared the band had dissolved. Unknown to me, the band spent several years working on their newest album, The Great Recession, which seemed to appear out of nowhere a few months ago and the music is tearing up the jazz scene. Both classic and new, traditional and fresh, the music is bold and engrossing and I am listening to this constantly now. Along with the aforementioned Miss Smith to You, I consider this a must-purchase for any bachelor pad, jazz aficionado or dancer.

Band Website album link

Friday, September 4, 2009

PCU Soundtrack

As the movie Animal House was to colleges of the 50's and early 60's, PCU is to colleges of the 90's. I graduated from college in 1991, and I recognized, all to clearly, all to foibles and fun of my college experience in this movie. The story itself is quite thin, a prospective students visits PCU, a college in the throes of political correctness run amok, and he ends up hanging out with the comic slacker who is hated by the administration for failing to follow along. Of course, this is a great excuse to have a monster party. Who needs anything more in a movie?

The album has some great tunes, but I bought it almost exclusively for the two George Clinton songs that are unavailable anywhere else (that's George Clinton of the Parliament Funkadelic), entitled Stomp and Erotic City. Stomp is the classic party tune, with a great beat and lots of references to hazardous booty. Erotic City is a cover of the Prince song, and it's just as fun and dirty as the original. See the movie, buy the soundtrack, turn it up loud.......

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No more waiting, Lavay Smith and her boyfriend, Chris Siebert have finally released their new album, Miss Smith to you! They have been talking about this for the last several years, and it's finally done. The album is a bit of a divergence from their past albums, and is a bit more bluesy. I'm still listening to it so I don't have a review yet, but check it out! They don't do bad music, and you won't be disappointed.

Update 9/12/09 - I now have the album, and I must say it's wonderful. Lavay's voice is distinctive and strong, but she purrs like a kitten when she wants and it's hard not to be entranced. My wife and I saw Lavay and the band play a few weeks ago at Enrico's in San Francisco (they play there almost every Monday night), and it happened to be the birthday of one of their trumpet players, Allen Smith. Allen has played with Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and many of the heavy hitters, and is a true icon. In addition to the normal trio and Lavay (drums, upright bass, piano), they added a saxophone, a trombone, and bongos player as the night went on, and we spent the night watching several swing dancers in their 20's beautifully and skillfully tear up the floor with some 8-count dancing. Buy the album, it deserves a place on your hi-fi.

Lavay Smith Link album link

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm a big fan of film director Robert Rodriguez, who did the El Mariachi movie series, Planet Terror, and the Spy Kids Trilogy. His movies are straightforward and fun (if a bit gory at times), and I like that he handles his career mostly on his own terms. I especially like that he does both adult thriller and kid-focused movies, and I watch both with equal enthusiasm. He has a new movie coming out soon called SHORTS, which I hope to see, I encourage you to also.

SHORT link

For some real fun, rent his DVDs and watch some of the special features. Different movies have different features, but he includes things like a 10-minute film school and 10-minute cooking school.

In terms of music, I recently downloaded the soundtrack to the movie Oceans 11. My favorite song, 160$ million Chinese Man.

Cheers everyone,