Monday, August 27, 2007

New listening experiences

iDad

I love this pic of my dad playing with my iPod.

Anyway, been listening to some new tunes and have a few music-related links to share.



First off is a sampler for Luaka Bop :: David Byrne's world music label. The majority of this CD is fantastic Brazilian or Cuban music... old and newer sounds... compiled together to make a fab soundtrack. This sampler is like an exclusive playlist from the iPod of David Byrne... and I am digging it. Tracks from Tom Ze, Oz Mutantes, Shuggie Otis, and Zap Mama for example demonstrate a wealth and diversity in what is lazily referred to as world music. Check it out... I picked it up in Borders for £1.



You will all know by now that I am a huge IONA fan... a real evangelist for their form of progressive-celtic-spiritual-ambient-rock sound. Their music is timeless and distinctive... something I never tire of. I honestly believe Journey into the morn is an album that brings me closer to God.

Anyway... picked up their latest album :: the circling hour :: and am loving it. More rock than their previous work... but that's not a bad thing. They are trying new things... experimenting... and I like that.

To kick the album off with lyrics from a hymn called "How wonderful this world" is just so awesome...
How wonderful this world
A fragment of a fiery sun
How lovely and how small
The smallest seed in secret grows
Thrusting upward and so seen
The bidding of the light
the song then continues with new words...
How wonderful this life
No random path this great design
Haw fragile and how bold
The mystery of creative thought
The wonder of the human frame
Of spirit and of soul.
Truly wonderful!

Joanne Hogg's voice is just amazing... ethereal and enchanting! I also love the pairing of Troy Donockley's Uileann pipes and Dave Bainbridge's electric guitar. It stirs something deep inside me... something in my celtic blood. I am also digging Frank van Essen's violin playing - a real contrast from percussion. Gentle... Delicate... Beautiful...

I can't single any tracks out for special praise... because the whole album is amazing. Well worth checking out.



Lastly, I picked up Derek Webb : How to kill and be killed on DVD and am enjoying it. Its concert footage that, at times, seems almost amateurish and raw. I'm not too familiar with the material... I need to watch it a few times to get into it... but from what I have experienced so far... I have to say I'd love to see him in concert. He is a brave man who is talking... singing, even... the truth of the Gospel to the poor and exploring his faith in depth. His is deep music... for people who are tired of the froth of CCM. Nice.



I have briefly mentioned AURGASM before and have to say its become a goto resource for finding new music. The blog specialises in the kind of obscurity that I just lap up. Recent posts have included the ambient folktronica of Marsen Jules and the electro pop of former Gus Gus singer Hafdis Huld. Well worth banging into your RSS reader.



Another fab website for trying before you buy is Sub Pop Records - been a huge fan of their output since the heady days of the Seattle scene in the late 80's / early 90's. Their output has become more diversified and I like what I hear. The Album Leaf, Iron and Wine, DNTEL and The Shins to name a few of the acts that you can download tracks for free. Well worth checking out. If you do, make a playlist and let me know what's on it.



Lastly, senuti is a wee piece of software for Mac and Windoze that allows you to take tracks from your iPod back into your iTunes. The idea is to use senuti when you lose your iTunes but have the mirror on your iPod. Works well and does what it claims on the tin. Check it out.

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