Sunday, January 23, 2011

Radio Myanmar (Burma)

A collection of radio snippets that includes music, news segments, and advertisements. The brevity of the snippets and eclectic selection give the impression of someone impatiently flipping through stations. There's better information about the release here.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Song Book (1964)

Ella only made one record in tribute to a single lyricist, and what an honor she does to Johnny Mercer. Mercer, an extraordinarily prolific songwriter and co-founder of Capitol Records, was the writer behind popular classics like "Moon River" and "Hooray for Hollywood", but also has a profound sense for light verse and cultural vernacular. The casual wordplay and familiarity of of lines like "Yes you're much too much, and just too very very/ To ever be in Webster's Dictionary" mark Mercer as one of the keenest pop geniuses of our time. Ella and the Nelson Riddle big band bring fast-paced tunes like "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Something's Gotta Give" to life with musical acrobatics and impressive diction, but the First Lady of Song gives me the shivers the most on her ballads, especially the classic "Skylark" and one of my very favorite songs ever, "Early Autumn".



1. Too Marvelous For Words
2. Early Autumn
3. Day In, Day Out
4. Luara
5. This Time, The Dream's On Me
6. Skylark
7. Single-O
8. Something's Gotta Give
9. Trav'lin' Light
10. Midnight Sun
11. Dream (When You're Feeling Blue"
12. I Remember You
13. When a Woman Loves a Man


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cambodian Cassette Archives: Khmer Folk And Pop Music Vol. 1

God bless the Brothers Unconnected - Alan and Richard Bishop. Here's a release from Alan's fantastic record label, Sublime Frequencies: a compilation of Cambodian pop songs put together from tape archives in a public library in Oakland. I'm omitting the tracklist here because most of the song titles are unknown. Most of the performers also remain anonymous - I read that the Khmer Rouge executed about 9/10 of Cambodia's musicians in an attempt to repress dissent. What remains from the time is a trove of funky gems: both influenced by American pop and rock music and simultaneously rooted in Cambodian culture. More SF to come...