Thursday, August 21, 2008

Excellent New Music: Presenting BOMBADIL!

Guess what? I have found yet ANOTHER North Carolina band that I love,love,love. The endearingly nerdily named Bombadil (the good kind of nerds--Tolkien nerds)are from Durham/Chapel Hill and met during a Duke semester abroad in Bolivia (I think!). Their music is hard to describe--which in my books, is a very good thing. Eclectic, fun, full of energy and creativity. I can hear some influences: Bolivian traditional music, the Beatles (and the rest of the Britpop 60's for that matter), Irish music, postpunk antifolks avantegarde yada yada yada. You really just have to listen, and you have to realize that each song is quite different from the other. I have seen these guys live twice now, and what a treat it has been! It is rare to go see a band whose music you do not know and not get bored. The first time I saw these guys (having not owned any of their music) I was super sad when they left the stage. They have amazing stage energy, love playing music, and don't take themselves too seriously (you can get a sense of this from watching the video posted below). Although they are amazingly talented (which is obvious as you watch them scurry from instrument to instrument on stage) yet really, really nice, humble guys. These are the kind of musicians that I not only enjoy listening to, but want to support by buying their stuff, going to their shows, and encouraging others to do so.
Enough of my rambling--check out two of their tunes and let me know what you think:
"Julian of Norwich" Mp3"Smile When You Kiss" Mp3
My absolute favorite tune is "Jellybean Wine" but I can't find a (legal) mp3 online, so please check it out on their Myspace Page.

If you like what you hear, then be sure to go to Ramseur Records (Avett Brothers, etc.) and buy their album!! **After investigating, it seems easier to go to their site directly and buy their awesome album, "A Buzz, A Buzz".
I actually JUST found out that Bombadil were Paste Magazine's ARTIST OF THE WEEK a while back. Yay!
And if that is not enough to convince you (good grief--what's wrong with you!), then here is a photo of a band member brushing his teeth with a cat:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Goodbye to a Memphis Legend: No More Hot Buttered Soul

Today is a sad day in my hometown, Memphis, and for many folks all over the world. My mom called me this afternoon just to tell me that the legendary Isaac Hayes passed away today--he was just 65 years old. I just wanted to post a few things in his memory; his music and persona capture so many of the things I love about Memphis soul.

I actually had the privlilege of meeting Mr. Hayes once at the Memphis airport. My mom spotted him and began to make conversation with him (she is NOT shy). He was very friendly, open, and, surprisingly, humble. His rich, deep voice was one of a kind--it was lovely to speak with him. He apparently used to have a girlfriend in Newcastle, which is where I was flying. And we also learned about the lady in Queens who made some of his funky clothing (my mom was full of questions and he was happy to give answers). I had my photo taken with him but don't know where it is--I will post it if found.
Next time I am in Memphis, I need to make my way over to Stax Records to check out all things Isaac related. Sadly, I missed seeing his Superfly Cadillac. Here is a photo of it--along with a blurb from Stax about it:

"This 1972 Peacock Blue, gold trimmed, two door, Eldorado Cadillac was The symbol of the style and cutting edge fashion that answered the question "What's Soul" in a way that only Stax and Isaac Hayes' could. The Stax Record Company gave Isaac Hayes this car as a gift for his unparalleled success in 1971 and 1972."
Here are two videos that I hope you will watch--check out Mr. Hayes' awesome outfit in the first one. Interesting that Jesse Jackson is on stage with him for so long.
The second video is a hilarious tribute to one of the kings of Soul. I love it.