Friday, February 27, 2009

BBVD, Cab Calloway tribute - pre-order contest

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is one of my favorite bands. They were a major force in the neo-swing movement, and in my opinion have the most staying power of any band of that genre or period. They tour relentlessly, and I've attended and danced (swing/lindy hop) at two of their shows, as they often make sure there is a dance floor available.

They have a new album coming out called "How Big Can You Get? A Tribute to Cab Calloway". My wife and I saw them practicing and performing many of the songs when they were on tour last year, and FINALLY the album is completed and being released. Pre-order the album to receive a CD signed by the band, and a chance to win 4 concert tickets! I can't tell exactly how long this promotion is going on, but the contest for the concert tickets ends 3/25/09 and the album will officially be in stores on 4/21/09. I'm placing my order right after this blog entry.

Go see them when they come to your area, and they probably will eventually as they are CONSTANTLY in motion. Their shows are high energy and fun. They tend to hang around after the show to sign autographs and besides being great musicians, seem to be fun and friendly guys -

check out their main site here: lots of video and other cool stuff!: BBVD homepage

Pre-order here: How Big Can You Get?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

If you aren't already, you MUST start watching the show "Spectacle", which airs on the Sundance Channel. The show is hosted by Elvis Costello, and on each episode he features one or more artists and discusses their music. Recent artists have included Elton John, Diana Krall, Jakob Dylan, Herbie Hancock, Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright, and James Taylor. There are many more. Besides getting the opportunity to listen to best musicians and singers in the world perform the best songs ever written in ways you can't imagine, you get an amazing look into the "lens" of an artist, and the kind of history of music that you can only get by talking to the people who made the history. I think it is absolutely phenomenal.

Check out the main page here: Spectacle

If you don't get the Sundance Channel itself but your cable company offers "HD on Demand", check there. I view the show on-demand from my cable company, anytime I want.

Cheers - Dan

Stardust and Swing

Today's post highlights a new artist you all should know about named Todd Murray. Todd's music is a fabulous combination of swing seasoned with a Broadway style sensibility, and Todd himself has the presence and showmanship of any singer in either genre. Some of his musical selections are standards, some songs he has written himself, but all are well-arranged and produced. Everything I've heard would easily fit in the background of a cocktail party, or hold its own as dance music for the lindy hoppers out there.

My aunt is neighbors with his mother, or some such story, so through a long and winding path I ended up listening to his newest album last week. I am especially enamored of "The Girl from Waco" and "Dream a Little Dream", and Todd conveniently has provided clips of these songs to listen to on his website.

Click on the link to visit Todd's website: Todd Murray Online

mp3 download here:

Cheers - Dan

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No man is an island

There are a lot of blogs out there, so many that I've been thinking hard about a metaphor for how to comprehend it. I like thinking of the blogosphere as a big city, like New York. New York City has a little over 20 million people in the greater metropolitan area. But everyone in New York City lives in a neighborhood, a place where people know your name and say hello. A neighborhood is where we go from being anonymous to living in a community.

There are many folks on the internet who make up my my neighborhood, and to whom I owe a debt of thanks. I haven't met a one of them in person, but we communicate off and on by email, and I am grateful for the support and suggestions they have given to a stranger. I owe them all, and will be including them all in posts in the future. Please check out their sites and support their work.

In no particular order, the first I would like to first recognize is Java. Java creates a free podcast called the Bachelor Pad Radio show. On it, he showcases some great music, including vintage lounge, spy jazz, tiki, exotica, and retro-swing. Some of his musical selections are by modern groups, some by folks who bit the dust a long, long time ago. His most current show includes selections by Henry Mancini, the Moon Rays, Don Tiki, and Lenny Dee. I listen to his shows weekly, and Java does not disappoint. His shows last well over an hour and are full of good stuff.

Java's Bachelor Pad Radio show is at this link,

Check out the rest of his empire here, an article of mine will be in the next issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine. Thanks for giving me a shot.

Cheers everyone - more coming soon.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

I've thought long and hard about what to showcase in my first post. I'm listening to some great stuff right now, too much to cover all at once, but finally came to the best possible conclusion. The first batch of music I will cover is the soundtrack to the Pixar/Disney movie, The Incredibles. It's a fabulous movie and contains some stunning music that would be easy to overlook.

The music was written by Michael Giacchino and is evocative of spy movies of the 60's, with jazzy melodies, strong horns, and a full orchestra. The liner notes describe it as, "big, funny, sexy, dangerous, exotic, (and) romantic". Personally, I find it evocative of Henry Mancini and early James Bond flicks.

Also very interesting is how it was recorded. Instead of being recorded digitally, it was recorded on analog equipment, in order to retain the 60's feel of the music and to allow for the full range of the massive brass sound. All the performers were in the same room together, which makes the sound fill the recording and allows the performers to play against and with one another. I watched the DVD extra about the music and score the other day, and it reminded me that it was more than the style that I loved, it was the extra seasoning that comes from a good grouping of excellent musicians (rather than simply tracks that are recorded essentially as solos and are later put together in post-production).

The soundtrack is well worth a listen.

Beyond the music, this is a movie I watch over and over again. I love the way it is character driven, and I love the counterpoint of the superheroes and their family life. This is what I think elevates it from a simple cartoon to something, much, much better. Pull it out of your DVD collection and watch it again. Better yet, watch while listening to the commentaries. Hearing how Brad Bird put it all together is it's own masterclass and it's own reward.

Support Lou Romano's blog, who did much of the concept and design work. (He graciously allowed the image of Mr. Incredible to be used in this blog).

Cheers - Dan

Friday, February 6, 2009

First Post

Welcome friend,

I hope you enjoy my blog. I was a serious band nerd in high school. I listened to Rush, Tower of Power, Sousa, and Holst. In college, I listened to Pearl Jam, the Grateful Dead, and Phish. Today, I love jazz and funk. I think 80's music should all be tossed into a hole and incinerated (with the possible exception of the aforementioned Rush) and I don't find most country or early rap very interesting, but I listen to just about everything else. In this blog, I will be sharing with you what I am listening to at the moment. You'll like some of it, you'll hate some of it. Just LISTEN to it and form your own opinion.

Cheers - Dan