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Nujabes (Jun Seba) was a Japanese DJ and hip-hop producer who has produced many albums and compilations filled with soulful and heartfelt beats also influenced by his extensive love of jazz. He’s all I’ve been listening to for the past few days and it makes me sad to think of his passing just a year ago. So thankful for the music and love he’s given me and I hope you can feel it too. Turn it up.
I’ve already been exposed to such great music this year and it’s not even been a full two months! And now that I am home for two weeks I’ve caught up on a lot of music as well as posts I’ve been falsely promising for months. Oops! Anyways, by far the best LP I’ve heard this year is without a doubt by the wonderful Four Tet a.k.a. Keiran Hebdan, the Londonite who perfected his album while having residency at Plastic People. His first single “Love Cry” remains one of my favorite songs released last year and on his recently released LP, There Is Love In You. So, this mixtape is named after the awesomeness that is Four Tet but is not fully composed of Four Tet themed music. This mixtape is full of everything, the Balearic, in a sense. The lo-Fi hip-hop goodness of Gonjasufi all the way to the classic tunes of Billy Idol. As with all my mixtapes, it’s gonna make you groove =)
Download: ATM’s Mixtape – Love Cry
Playlist after the jump!
This list is definitely the smallest and less encompassing than the others simply because I’ve been revisiting a lot of old school hip-hop, rap, etc albums from the 90′s. Also, since this is my last part of of the Decade’s list, and it’s already the middle of February…going through my music library was definitely more of a skim…so sorry if you’re screaming at the computer wondering where certain artists are…jajaja
I also decided to go over my Top Shows as well. Back in Edmonton, I averaged maybe 4/5 shows per month depending on the season…and now in Montréal I average that every 1/2 weeks! So a lot of names on this list will be moreso the last 3 years…shows that are much more recent and those beyond that were obviously unforgettable. I wish I had the time do to Top Shows according to genre because they really don’t compare to each other…but I did my best!
***Finally I am posting these decade end lists. Gaaah I love and hate lists. They enlighten me towards new music yet at the same time they’re ridiculously subjective. From one point to the next an album can be the best and not depending on the season, the weather, my emotions, whether I’m under the influence, yada yada yada. Because of all this, the numbers on my list aren’t a ranking system of worst to best—because I think they’re all equally fantastic—they’re simply a form of organization. But, a few times on the lists I will put a clear marker on the artist/album that I feel truly outranks the rest. It’s only here where I exercise a bit of hypocrisy.
I know I’ve left hundreds and hundreds of artists out. Making a “Top 10″ list per sub-genre for the decade is trifling, I know. It really should be “Top 100″ per sub genre. Every day I keep remembering ones I should add but I have too much music and too little time. I did my best with what I had and what I remember and the time I had! You’ll notice that a lot of the artists are from the last 5 years and that’s because my mecca of music is back home. Home home. Like where I was born jaja. So…sorry for the lack of early 2000 albums. =)
I also dislike one shot lists! You simply can’t compare down-tempo artists to dubstep artists, etc. So, I tried to organize artists into the genres I felt fit them best as opposed to putting them all in the same pool. But obviously some artists mix into the other genres or were put there even though they have a very specific genre of their own (avant-garde, balearic, etc etc). Gaaah and genre is so subjective as well. Bear with me and keep all this in mind! A lot of these artists are featured in my NYE and NYD mixtapes or have been blogged about! So check the mixtapes out or do a quick search on ATM if you feel like more sampling.
10. Norah Jones – Feels Like Home (2004)
09. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)
08. John Legend – Get Lifted (2004)
07. [re:jazz] – nipponized (2008)
06. Parov Stelar – Daylight (2008)
05. Manu Chao – Proxima Estacion…Esperanza (2001)
04. Rodrigo y Gabriela – Rodrigo y Gabriela (2006) ♥
03. David Rotundo – Blues Ignited (2003) ♥♥
02. Asa – Asha (2008) ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
01. Tribalistas – Tribalistas (2003) ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
Mentionables that couldn’t fit:
Juana Molina – Segundo (2003)
Floetry – Flo’ology (2005)
Juanes – Mi Sangre (2006)
Forro in the Dark – Bonfies of Sao Joao (2006)
Deweare – High Class Trauma (2007)
Ebrahim – Goldrush (2007)
Orgone – The Killion Floor (2007)
Funki Porcini – PLOD (2009)
Sola Rosa – Get It Together (2009)
Soulive – Up Here (2009)
Soulive is this funky jazz soul trio consisting of two brothers, Alan and Neal Evans, and Eric Krasno. All hail from the great state of NY. I had no idea who they were but my friend guaranteed I’d love them. And so off we went in search of the Bowery Ballroom. Inside lies black leather couches, candle lit tables, and an almost 20′s esque ambiance to it. I felt as if everyone should have been wearing beaded dresses and pearls…but alas, we presumed the pretense of the place and fitted in accordingly with all the hipster attire. Drinks were quite expensive but at least the sound is amazing at this venue. Upstairs we went! Towards the sounds of saxophones, soul, and funk!
Live in Show: Soulive
@ the Bowery Ballroom (NYC; 15 10 09)
If I could make a comparison to other genres—for I don’t listen to too much of soul, funk, or jazz on record, rather, I go see the live shows ’cause they’re a million times better—I would say they are the innovation behind Dan Deacon and the life force behind Architecture in Helsinki of funk, the improvisation and reversed electronica of Jedi Electro…of souuuuuuuuuuuul music! The songs they played were at least 7 minutes each time. Building, layering, skipping and playing in between beats, creating an amazing composition causing us to cheer, awe and dance. When they brought on their guest singer (does anyone know his name…I wish I remembered), I felt like I was listening to some D’Angelo infused music. It touched our hearts and we all felt warmer through just the way he’d caress us with his voice, and then at times, preach to us with high pitched intonations.
I was having immense amounts of fun when Zoidis came on. HOT DAMN I love anything saxophone and this man sure knows how to use it. At some points I stopped moving because I couldn’t believe the solo shit he was pulling. Two and half hours and pints of sweat on the stage later, the band ended the show. And like I tend to say after shows like these, I am officially a fan for life and vow to see every live show possible in MTL…as long as it doesn’t empty my wallet too much
PLEASE buy their new album Up Here. If you like their live stuff (which IMO is much better), buy their live albums and also go see their shows!
MP3: Soulive – Cannonball
Ok so was super excited today for one reason and one reason only.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this in the program list. Best part, was that according to the schedule, she was playing twice on the same day. HUUUURRRRAAH!
So I rush to be on time at the Rio Tinto Alcan stage. For the first time, I was going to be on time for something. I wasn’t going to miss one beat, one lyric, or a second less of a glimpse at one of my favorite artists. As I hastily march closer and closer to the stage, the music sounded less and less like Asa…it sounded jazzy…I look onto the stage and there is some chick, Barbara Secours.
WHO IS BARBARA SECOURS?!?!?!?!!?!
Went to the information booth, turns out there was a mistake with the schedule. Asa is playing tonight. BUT she is opening for Lila Downs. AND the tickets cost more than $40.
If anything, Asa should have her OWN show, not be an opener. But tsk tsk, I know that you have to start small somewhere. IMO, in a few years, she’ll have her own spot here at the Jazz fest.
Anyways, I did catch two amazing shows! Chin Chin from Brooklyn (go hard) and Curumin from Brésil! AIAAIAIAI! Recap after the jump!
Alright today was jam packed. The performances that stole the day…That 1 Guy and Montréal’s own, Random Recipe! Recap after the jump!
Alright, so this post is going to be quite short since I didn’t go to very many shows today…and instead…went to Le Distillerie—which is uber expensive and am never going there again unless there is some deal for under $5!—and spent a while in there, drying my soaked body from the hard rain outside, and warming myself up with a niiiice litre of mojitos….mmmmm mojitos. The effect of them definitely lasted me throughout both shows that I did end up seeing that night…but whether or not I enjoyed them because the music was good or because the mojitos were telling me they were good…the answer, after the jump!
This is what it’s been like lately in MTL. Most people hide from the rain. But I welcome it. I loooove the rain! I say, bring it on! Rain makes everything better. Rain at the end of “Paranoid Android” in Vancouver. Rain at the end of “Man in the Mirror” for Wonder’s set. And today, rain during Alice Russell and David Rotundo Band and Enrico Crivellaro was wonderful. Today was a good day! Great music all day long! Recap after the jump!
Alright folks, this is gonna be a super quick recap for this day since not much happened…but I can tell you that something HUGE happened.
KOOL AND THE GANG!!!
My recap after the jump!
In the words of Bob Marley, one good thing about music is when it hits you, you feel no pain. Bonnaroo, one of the largest eastern festivals in North America hosted more than 70 000+ people this year with headliners such as Bruce Springsteen, Beastie Boys and Phish. But really, these were just headliners and in my opinion, not the real headliners of the festival. With performers ranging from Of Montreal, the Decemberists, Animal Collective, and Grizzly Bear to Femi Kuti, PUBLIC ENEMY, Erykah Badu,and Murs, you could easily be a neutral fan of the Boss and Phish–or in my case, not a fan at all–and still have a fuckin’ awesome time. It was overwhelming as to how many people there were in comparison to festival sizes I’m used to like Coachella or Bumbershoot. The tent grounds were absolutely ridiculous, with over 10 massive camping sites–mine took over 20 minutes to walk to Centeroo.
Throughout the four days, I kept making comparisons with Coachella, I couldn’t help it. Coachella is a big festival with a small festival feel. The campgrounds are tinier, less people and less crowded. Free showers (Bonnaroo showers cost $7) and sinks and sanitizer outside of porta-potties. But Coachella is anal as hell. At Bonnaroo, you can bring in anything you want, as long as it’s not glass. And that includes drinks! Food! You could bring a skillet or a BBQ and cook your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and late-night snacks if you wish. In terms of music, I still think that all other North American festivals just simply cannot beat Coachella’s great headliners and great diversity. Best of all, Coachella has an amazing electronic representation with the Sahara tent and I think now, the other festivals are starting to catch on and are beginning to add their versions of the Sahara tent. Bonnaroo mainly has bluegrassy, rock, folk, indie, and some hip hop but barely any reputable electronic or experimental acts. The same goes for Lolla and ACL as well.
But you know what? It’s not ALL about the music. It’s about the experience. And I think I know that’s where Bonnaroo beats all the other festivals and why 70 000 people come back every year. The people at Bonnaroo from the staff to the fans are so effin’ nice. Everywhere I went people were starting conversations with me not out of some unforseen or awkward obligation but out of genuine graciousness and curiosity. Random strangers offered me a drag and everyone had an awesome time together. Sure, lots of people go to festivals alone and festival connoisseurs push these people to go reasoning that they’d be with XX, 999 other friends. It’s generally not true with most fests but with Bonnaroo it really is. I met so many people that totally made my festival weekend, shout outs to Nathan, Nick, and Sean from Texas for good laughs about taking prunes, shits in the BBQ, fweee fweee fweee beeep booop and of course, sharing the weed. It was sweet. It’s the people at Bonnaroo that make the experience and the music comes somewhere along the way. That’s why I’ll come back. That’s why I’ll drive another 20 hours down from Montréal to Manchester—in one shot—for four days of mayhem, memories, and of course, music.
I recap my four days along with pics, MP3s, live footage, and awards for Bests after the jump!