Saturday, March 31, 2012

Townes Van Zandt - Live at the Old Quarter, Houston

Townes Van Zandt. Where do I start with this guy? As far as the traditional singer-songwriters go, there is no other American songwriter on his level. He's my Bob Dylan. Poet and troubadour extraordinaire, he was ravaged by alcoholism and manic depression that lent his songs a very rare quality - you feel like this is a guy who has lived each and every song he has written. He passed away due to heart failure on new year's day, 1997.  This is his famous live album from 1977, which has the benefit of having a more intimate sound with just Townes and his guitar (as opposed to his albums, which are all great but have the effect of extensive overdub work which drowns out Townes' from time to time).

A top tier sampler of Townes' work:

now i'm out of prison
i got me a friend at last
and he don't cheat or steal or drink or lie 
his name's codeine
and he's the nicest thing i've seen 
together we're gonna wait 'round and die

waitin' around to die

Jorge Ben - Africa Brasil

Jorge Ben is a famous popular musician - quite prolific and one of the big players of the vibrant MPB, Samba scene of the late 60's onward. His characteristic style infuses samba, funk and popular music traditions of South America to fantastic effect. This is my favourite record of his, the lovely Africa Brasil.

I just feel like a badass wearing shades and hanging around in 70's Brazil when I listen to this samba rock masterpiece.

Africa Brasil

Friday, March 16, 2012

A.R. Rahman - Dil Se

One of the 'greatest' producers of our time, single-handedly responsible for reviving bollywood and putting their music on the world map. Though he was recognised for the lameness that was 'Slumdog Millionaire', this, imo, is his best work by a longshot, a soundtrack to a mostly forgotten movie that is more or less an utter classic. This combines many forms of popular music tradition in India (north Indian folk music, south indian pop) and merges it with disparate foreign influences to create something really colourful, melodramatic (in a good way) and just lots of fun. Every track is a stunner. Hope you dig it.

satrangi re