(JANUARY PODCAST 12mb 128 kbps mp3)
JANUARY 2007 ISSUE #91
Brown The Godfather Passes On
I would like to take this space to pay homage to
the musical legacy of James Brown, as an enduring force in popular
music, possibly only second to Elvis or the Beatles in influence
and impact. As a resident of Brown's hometown, I've had many opportunities
to see him in person (both onstage and off), and I can honestly
say that he was larger than life until the end --- with a personality
that filled up the room when he walked in the door.
It's hard to assess the actual impact he had on
music in general. When you really stop to think about it, would
the soul music, rap, and hip hop of the past four decades even
exist if it weren't for the ground he broke? I honestly doubt
it. While most of his direct influence came more than 30 years
ago, it still rings through to this day. Whether it's the sample
of one of his drum breaks in a popular song, or the latest dance
step in the clubs, chances are you can trace at least a portion
of it back to him.
I can remember as a teenager when I first got into
JB's classic tunes. The crazy funky beats, the pre-song patter
and chatter, the screams, the breaks, the horns, the absolute
passion present in every track. It seemed to come from outer space,
and it sure didn't sound like anything else I'd ever heard. And
when I listen now, it still sounds as fresh and fun as it did
And that's his legacy. Not the personal issues which
kept him in the news, not the stint in jail, not the eccentric
way he lived in day-to-day life. Years from now, only the music
MISH MASH Mandate: Ain't It Funky
They'll Never Tell You
The Music Business
Revised & Updated Edition
by Peter M. Thall
Hardcover, 340 pages, $24.95 USA
So you want to be a rock and roll star, eh? Well,
maybe not, after you read this book. Peter M. Thall uncovers and
categorizes all the pitfalls of the music industry, showing you
all the down and dirty secrets that the major labels don't want
you to know about.
Thall unravels a multitude of tangled webs, covering
everything from copyrights, music publishing, picking a personal
manager and attorney, managing a band's business, promotional
issues, and everything you were afraid to ask about royalties.
As a matter of fact, Thall devotes a large section of the book
just on how the major labels will do their best to screw you (the
artist) out of your royalties.
If you ever wondered how an artist goes from top
of the charts to flat broke on a VH1 special in a matter of a
few short years, this book will probably answer that question
for you. It's a great roadmap for a young band to follow, showing
you how to be on the lookout for all the dangers of working in
the music business. If your future is in music, then this book
should be read from cover to cover.
MISH MASH Mandate: Royal Pain
Billboard/Watson-Guptill Publishing Website
- The Unknown
- aka Tom Jobim "Inedito"
- DRG Records
- 24 song CD
Perhaps you are not readily familiar with the
name Antonio Carlos Jobim, but chances are you are familiar
with his songs. With tunes like Girl From Ipanema and Desafinado,
Jobim jump-started the bossa nova craze in the early 60s with
help from the hit making team of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto.
A legend in his native Brazil, Jobim never quite reached superstardom
in the US, where his lasting fame lies mainly with fans of
This particular recording was made in Rio de
Janeiro in 1987, was released in Brazil under the title Inedito
in 1995 after his death in 1994, and has never been released
in North America until now. On it, Jobim revisits some of
his classic songs with new arrangements, creating a completely
different look at his life's work.
The result is stunning, a beautiful album that
re-introduces Jobim in a new way, while maintaining the genius
that made these songs so memorable to begin with. While some
of the songs are presented in the classic bossa nova style,
others come across as classical orchestrations, complex in
their beauty and scope. The true artistry of Jobim comes through
on these 24 tracks, showing a depth that the casual listener
who only knows of Ipanema may not be aware of.
Fans of Jobim will certainly want this in their
collection, as the original release was so hard to obtain.
And, just as assuredly, his music will find new fans in this
treasure that was lost until now.
MISH MASH Mandate: Getting To Know You
DRG Records Website
HEY BANDS! OPEN YOUR ONLINE T-SHIRT
SHOP FOR FREE!
Create The Night Pt. 1
7 song CD
TRACK = SHEDEVIL
There's a folksy sensibility wrapped up in the music of Oblio,
one that embraces the lonely and introspective side of life. It's
one part country, one part roots rock, and another part that's
located somewhere in the vicinity of the heartfelt indie jangle
of the mid 80s.
It's a smart sound that flirts with pop from across the room,
not really wanting to fully acknowledge their infatuation with
it. Instead, they mix in pleading horns and sharp guitar lines,
adding in an element of angst that draws you right into their
MISH MASH Mandate: Pretty Persuasion
Rivers Of Stars
14 song CD
TRACK = FLY
Andrea Perry sings her songs in a soft, little-girl voice that
rarely rises above a half-whisper. She quietly wanders wistfully
through a selection of acoustic guitar-based tunes, weaving pure
pop magic every step of the way.
I would imagine that Perry has done her studies under the tutelage
of mid-era Beatles, and perhaps a lesson or two from Brian Wilson.
She knows how to put together a tight little pop song without letting
its simple approach get in the way of its overall impact. In other
words, the songs are larger than the sum of their parts, and they
shine with brilliance.
MISH MASH Mandate: Everybody Is A Star
Andrea Perry Website
Sing You Sinners
13 song CD
TRACK = COUCOU
Erin McKeown takes an old-fashioned approach with a number of old-fashioned
tunes (and one original) in this remarkable new solo effort. The
songs are classic pop songs, mostly from the 1930s and 40s --- she
calls them "standards" even though they aren't necessarily
the most well-known from that era.
McKeown recorded the songs live in the studio over a matter of
days, going for the most authentic sound possible. She also isn't
afraid to add her own stamp to the tunes by changing up the arrangements,
such as on her take of Cole Porter's Just One Of Those Things, which
starts off with a psychedelic-tinged intro.
McKeown's original track, Melody, is a barn-burning hot jazz number
which jumps and jives with abandon. It fits right into the mix,
and you wouldn't realize it wasn't 70 years old if you didn't read
the liner notes.
MISH MASH Mandate: Sinners Swing!
Nettwerk Productions Website
3 Is The Magic Number
Hope Division Records
11 song CD
ActionReaction is heading down the highway with one eye on the
road ahead and one eye in the rear-view mirror. While the band presses
on with a decidedly modern rock sound, they give a nod to their
indie rock predecessors with a classic power pop foundation that
stretches back through the decades.
Lead singer Jason Gleason (formerly of Further Seems Forever) leads
the trio with a rough-hewn voice that is at times reminiscent of
a young Bono leading his band into battle. In turn, the songs avoid
the dreaded pigeonholes by eschewing the standard pop rock cliches
and structures. The result is an album with timeless passion and
beauty that grows better upon each and every listen.
MISH MASH Mandate: Reaction To Action
Hope Division Records Website
Spinning Gold Records
11 song CD
Joseph Abernethy's music is wrapped in a whirlwind of influences
that range from Brian Wilson to Morrissey to The Alan Parsons
Project to The Moody Blues. His stylized and melancholy pop is
complex in execution and realization, a complex wall of sound
that is built up around his haunting vocals.
And Abernethy's voice is certainly the centerpiece, a half-spoken
mid-range that is soothing even in its heartbreaking nature. At
times it comes across almost as a chant, words flowing through
in almost poetic fashion, religiously toned in spite of itself.
MISH MASH Mandate: Perpetual Poet
Spinning Gold Records Website
The Warehouse Sessions
Columbus, Ohio-based Red Wanting Blue has released an amazing live
CD/DVD set, recorded in their warehouse studio with over 100 fans
present. It's a wonderfully produced document of the show, with
the option to "Listen" and/or "Watch" in the
The band has a solid roots rock sound, with songwriting that has
a rambling, story-telling feel to it. Their no-nonsense approach
keeps the focus on the songs, with little fanfare or frills. Obviously,
this is a labor of love, made with and for their loyal fans.
MISH MASH Mandate: True Blue
Red Wanting Blue Website
Smoke Machines In Lazervision
Bodies Of Water Arts And Crafts Records
9 song CD
TRACK = WHY DID YOU REJECT MY STEVE PERRY FAN FICTION
Now this is just a glorious mess. Picture a wannabe Beastie Boys
duo who sing and rap over cheesy 80s synth samples, and you might
have a good idea of Big Digits. Needless to say, they don't take
themselves very seriously, and that's all the fun. These guys are
having a blast, and it comes through loud and clear.
While at first glance it comes across as a mere novelty record,
you begin to see the method behind the goofiness. There is an art
at the very heart of Big Digits, even though you have to cut through
a thick layer of cheese to find it. I can only imagine the live
show these guys put on.
MISH MASH Mandate: You Be Illin'
Big Digits Website
© 2006 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved