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By Request: Bud Powell, ‘How High The Moon’

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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Here’s another request from Allston:

Hi, Chris – per the request of another user, I have decided that my musical requests will also include some background on the artist.  I hope that will generate some discussions, as well as an appreciation of the music.

From Wikipedia -

Jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe, whose music was influenced by Bud Powell, said in an interview with All About Jazz:

“Bud Powell is the most important pianist in jazz and one of the most underrated because he spent over a third of his life in mental and medical hospitals. He was beaten by the police when he was twenty and he never fully recovered from that beating and as a result, he suffered pain and had to take drugs to alleviate the pain. So he never fully recovered from that and in spite of that, he created a whole lot of wonderful music.

He was really the first guy, before Bud Powell, pianists were playing boom, chuck in the left hand and a lot of melodic figures in the right hand that tended to be arpeggios. But with Bud Powell,

Bud Powell was imitating Charlie Parker. So Bud was the first pianist to take Charlie Parker’s language and adapt it successfully to the piano. That’s why he is the most important pianist in music today because everybody plays like that now.”

Enjoy “How High The Moon.”

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Van Morrison Unplugged: ‘I Shall Sing’

Monday, August 18th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

The original, ska-influenced track is the best, but this unplugged live take on “I Shall Sing” by the great Van Morrison is wonderful. I hope you like is as much as I do.

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Maria McKee, ‘The Way Young Lovers Do’

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

I suppose I’m on a Maria McKee kick lately. Here’s one more – her cover of Van Morrison‘s “The Way Young Lovers Do.” Enjoy!

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5 Terrific Tracks from Horace Silver, Jazzman Extraordinare

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Allston

Horace Silver was born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva on September 2, 1928, in Norwalk Connecticut.  Shortly afterwards, his father changed the family last name to Silver.

As a child, his father taught him the folk music of his native Cape Verde and his mother sang in a local church choir. In his recordings these can be heard, along with Gospel, African and Latin-American rhythms.  Originally, he played Tenor Saxophone (influenced by Lester Young), but then switched to piano (influenced by Bud Powell).

Silver’s big break came in 1950, while performing at the Sunset Club in Hartford Connecticut, backing up saxophonist Stan Getz, who liked the sound of Silver’s band so much that he took them on the road with him.  It was with Getz that Silver made his recording debut, on the album The Stan Getz Quartet.

1. “Penny” (1951)

Later in 1951, Silver moved to New York City. On Monday nights, he would perform at the famous Birdland jazz club, where various musicians would arrive and informally jam together.  During that year, while working as a sideman there, he met several executives from the Blue Note label and eventually signed with them, an association that lasted for nearly thirty years.

Shortly afterwards, Silver co-founded Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he remained for four years.

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11 Lessons About Religion I’ve Learned from Pop Culture Polytheism

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

11. A conscious awareness of God is intrinsic to human nature.

Tara Brach recently told the story of a four year old who was excited to have alone time with his new baby sister. When he finally got to the side of her crib, he asked her, “Tell me what heaven is like. I’m starting to forget.” If we didn’t have a conscious awareness of God, we wouldn’t be striving so hard to find Him in everything from houses of worship to fictional characters on the big screen. Don’t let atheists fool you; they might not believe in a God in the sky, but they’re worshiping something, nevertheless, whether its money, power, or simply themselves.

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Maria McKee, ‘Sweetest Child’

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Musician Maria McKee

Here’s another one from Maria McKee. Enjoy “Sweetest Child.”

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Maria McKee, ‘Show Me Heaven’

Friday, August 15th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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I much prefer the mix on her Greatest Hits collection, but here’s Maria McKee‘s “Show Me Heaven.”

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Animotion, ‘Let Him Go’

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Here’s a semi-obscure 80′s tune that recently got stuck in my head. Check out “Let Him Go” by Animotion.

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The Producers, ‘She Sheila’

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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My friend Chris Thomas reminded me of this shamefully obscure New Wave band from Atlanta. I hadn’t heard this song in years! Check out “She Sheila” by The Producers.

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By Request: Bachman-Turner Overdrive, ‘Looking Out For Number One’

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Allston’s back with another great request – here’s BTO‘s “Looking Out For Number One.”

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Great Music Video: Ari Lesser’s ‘Boycott Israel’

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music

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People Who Choose To Be Unhappy

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Comment of the Day

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As noted in a song by the brilliant musical humorist Anna Russell several decades ago, some people prefer a full-time career in victimhood to happiness:

(Set at 6 minutes 18 seconds; if it doesn’t go there automatically as instructed in the link, that’s where her song “Miserable” is.)

The Mamas & The Papas noted something similar in “Glad to be Unhappy” which is one of their less well-known but rather witty songs:

As many of these full-time professional victims (with their gobs of ill-gotten cash, obscenely expensive New Age therapists on call, and multiple stormy love affairs and messy divorces and devastated offspring left in their wake) know, constant complaining about certain kinds of problems (sometimes known as “diseases of the rich”) makes you popular with a certain illegitimately powerful political crowd, and pays a pretty good salary too.

******

image illustration via shutterstock /  Mr. Aesthetics

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It’s Tough Being The Girl in a Country Song

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 - by Leslie Loftis

Women’s frustration at being used as pretty props in music videos isn’t new and isn’t limited to country music. One of Lily Allen’s recent offerings, “Hard Out Here”, makes the same point as Maddie and Tae do in their debut, “Girl in a Country Song”—women aren’t just ornamental—but Maddie and Tae do it better. By using role reversal and putting the boys in the painted-on cutoff jeans, they successfully achieve the absurd to skewer the use of women as props. Lily Allen’s raunchy choreography and slow-motion closeups didn’t provide enough contrast to typical music videos to achieve the skewering. Plus, Allen’s song was about female physical exploitation in general yet all of her backup dancers doing the crotch slapping choreography were women of color. On the whole, her video leaned more to the hypocritical than the satirical.

Here are both videos for comparison. Allen’s “Hard Out Here” is after the jump as it is NSFW.

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By Request: Flash And The Pan, ‘Walking In The Rain’

Monday, July 28th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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Here’s another request from Allston. Check out Flash And The Pan with “Walking In The Rain.”

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Tony Terry, ‘Forever Yours’

Sunday, July 27th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Here’s another random musical memory. Enjoy “Forever Yours” by Tony Terry.

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The Top 10 Gods of the Pop Culture Pantheon

Sunday, July 27th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Whether you’re seeking salvation or inner peace, a god to worship or add to your home-made altar, the pop culture pantheon is at your disposal so that you may pick and choose the gods and tools of worship to service your every emotional, spiritual, and even material need.

10. Harry Potter

When they aren’t re-reading their holy texts, Potterheads commune at MuggleNet to chat about their god, study their faith and perform the usual acts of tithing. According to the Facebook page “Being a POTTERHEAD” (which is classified as a non-profit organization),

Harry Potter has reached out to 200 countries, spoke out in 69 languages, and has touched the lives of 400 million people. It is the phenomenon that ignores race, age, gender and religion and has brought us all together despite our differences.

Also known as Potterholics, Potterites and Pottermaniacs, Potterheads should never be confused with potheads as their allegiance is strictly Wizard, not weed.

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By Request: Talk Talk, ‘Life’s What You Make It’

Saturday, July 26th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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Allston is back with another request. Here’s “Life’s What You Make It” by Talk Talk.

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Edie Brickell, ‘Another Woman’s Dream’

Friday, July 25th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Edie Brickell’s wonderful Picture Perfect Morning album came out. Here’s “Another Woman’s Dream” from that record.

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By Request: Curtis Mayfield, ‘Move On Up’

Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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Here’s another great request from Allson: Curtis Mayfield‘s “Move On Up.”

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Band Of Horses, ‘Laredo’

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

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Enjoy an upbeat tune from one of my favorite bands, Band of Horses. Here’s “Laredo.”

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Billy Joel’s Best Musical Period

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 - by Stephen Green

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Big honor for Billy Joel, set to become only the sixth recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Details:

“Billy Joel is a storyteller of the highest order,” Librarian of Congress James H. Billlington said in a statement.

“There is an intimacy to his song writing that bridges the gap between the listener and the worlds he shares through music.”

Joel, whose career has spanned 50 years, is one of the most popular recording artists and has had 33 top-40 hits. His multiple Grammy wins include song and album of the year in 1978 for “Just the Way You Are.”

I’m an unabashed fan of Joel’s, the overplayed (and overwritten) “Piano Man” aside. The five slick studio albums — and one intriguing concert album — he put out between 1977 and 1983 showed that video had not yet killed the radio star.

After ’83 things were… not so good.

An Innocent Man was an instant classic. But we had to wait two long years until ’85 for the inevitable Greatest Hits collection, and its pair of underwhelming new singles tacked on at the end like an embarrassing afterthought. He still generated a couple hits from 1986′s The Bridge, which was so godawful he fired longtime producer Phil Ramone, then teamed up with Foreigner’s Mick Jones for Storm Front in 1989 with mixed results. His last album of new popular music, River of Dreams, was released 21 years ago. I gave it a full listen for the first time in years, and while it’s far from his best material, it’s aged better than the previous two albums. Sadly, it’s been a long time since I even gave up waiting for a new album.

His pre-Stranger albums were all fine, but definitely the work of a talented singer-songwriter who was still finding his voice.

But the middle period from 1977 to 1983… wow.

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By Request: Sigur Ros, ‘Samskeyti’

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Here’s a request from our very own David Swindle with a hat tip to PJ’s managing editor Aaron Hanscom. Check out “Samskeyti” by Sigur Ros.

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By Request: Pat Metheny, ‘Last Train Home’

Monday, July 21st, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Michael Wudtke sent in this request: “I’ve listened to Pat Metheny since the late 70s and seen the band live a couple of times. Here they are with ‘Last Train Home.’ Enjoy.”

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By Request: Little Feat, ‘Red Streamliner’

Sunday, July 20th, 2014 - by PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight

Here’s another request from Allston. Enjoy “Red Streamliner” by Little Feat.

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