Pharrell Williams – Happy

When I first heard this song of the week (or more like song of the month) I thought it was plan B releasing a new song as the vocalist has a similar sound (high pitch).  It was not Plan B but Pharrell Williams and the song is Happy.  I picked this song this particular week as it has the overtones of a summer song.  In Ontario we still seem to be in the grips of winter with no end it sight as it continues to snow.  This song is the type of song that you should listen to with sand between your toes on a hot summer day with a cold beverage in your hand.  Given it is the second day of spring we could use a little reminder that summer is on its way.  Enjoy.

In case you do not know who Plan B are check out these songs:

She Said

Stay Too Long

Prayin”

 

 

 

 

Angélique Kidjo – Agolo

Normally I am not drawn to songs sung in other languages but this week’s pick is an exception.  Angélique Kidjo is one of the most famous female musicians in Africa.  She comes from Benin and can speak four languages and she also sings in the languages (Fon, French, Yorùbá and English).  Angélique is known as “Africa Greatest Living Diva” even though she now resides in the US.  The song of the week called Agolo is the first song that achieved international success and was released in 1994 and is sung in Fon.  Here are a few others as well that might also interest you:

Afika

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Move On (featuring Bono and John Legend)

She has many different sounds so check her out.

Sorry for not posting the last couple of weeks –  between sneaking in a ski vacation, work and the Olympics I did not have any time.

 

Pete Townshend – Best Of

I am having a hard time finding a good enough song this week for the song of the week.  There are lot’s of new releases, just nothing that really caught my ear.  So it is time to break open the archives and bring you some old songs that you may have missed.  When I was growing up people used to say there are two types of people, either you were a Beatles fan or a Rolling Stones fan.  While I like both bands I always preferred The Who.  After the Who disbanded Pete wrote three albums all of which I do not think got the critical acclaim and sales that they should have received.  Below I have listed the three albums and the songs on each that are worth a listen or download.  Some of the songs required more than one listen and will grow on you.  On another note I have seen news stories lately that indicate that Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will be joining forces to write a new “Who” album, apparently Townshend has written hundreds of songs…I am sure there will be a few gems in that pile of songs.

Empty Glass

All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes

White City: A Novel

I read the biography of Pete Townshend “Who I Am” this summer and it was an enjoyable read…it is amazing that he is still alive!

Twin Forks – Back to You

 

Twin Forks hail from Boca Raton, Florida.  There are four members to this group and last year released an EP called Twin Forks which had five songs and one called Back to You, which is the song of the week.  The tentative release date for the full album is February 25, 2014 and hopefully there will be a few more songs as good as this one on the album.

 

Shakey Graves – Roll the Bones

I was struggling this weekend trying to find a song of the week as we are in the post holiday drought.  I gave up and was going to post something from the archives when I received this gem from Trisha.  Alejandro Rose-Garcia got the nickname Shakey Graves around a campfire one night when he and his friends starting giving each other cool campfire names.  Not only is the song a good song but watch the video as he is playing the tambourine with the heal of one foot and a base drum with the other, all while playing the guitar and signing…now that is co-ordination.  The song is called Roll the Bones.  You will want to watch it a few times as it boggles the mind.

Love to see this guy live.  He is currently living in Austin Texas, which has a great music scene that I must get to one of these days.

Watsky – Sloppy Seconds

This week’s pick comes from Jordan a good friend of my son.  In the email Jordan sent to me about the artist he indicated that this was a Hip-Hop artist that used real instruments in the song as opposed to computer generated sounds.  I think that statement sums up why I like some Hip-Hop and not others – it is the ones with real instruments that appeal to me more.  George Watsky comes from San Francisco and has a twin brother that is a helicopter pilot, which is about as far away from Hip-Hop as a career as you can get.  The song of the week is called Sloppy Seconds…enjoy.

Happy New Year!

Ásgeir – Torrent

Recently we purchased and electronic piano for my daughter for her birthday to play while she is away at university.  When I heard the introduction to this song I thought of her trying to learn it.  In 2012, I  posted my first ever artist/group from Iceland called “Of Monsters and Men” and I remember thinking that I had never heard of any artist(s) from Iceland before them.  Well something is happening in Iceland as this is the second artist to make the list in the country of only 320,000 people.

Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson (Ásgeir) is this week’s artist of the week with the song of the week called Torrent.   If you wish to see Asgeir singing in his native tongue (Icelandic) check out Sumargestur.

Merry Christmas !

The pronunciation of Ásgeir using the Roman Alphabet is Osgears.

 

U2 – Ordinary Love

As you are already aware the world lost a great man this week – Nelson Mandela.  Coincidently Mandela passed away on the same day that the biographic movie Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom premiered.  If you are my age you will remember Artists Against Apartheid who helped raise our knowledge of the struggles in South Africa.  Written and organized by Stevie Van Zandt the song Sun City was a protest song against Apartheid.  When released the song was banned in South Africa.  Bono of U2 sang in the song and also wrote the song Silver and Gold for the Sun City album.

U2 wrote a new song for the movie (Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom).  The song is called “Ordinary Love” and it is the song of the week.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela.

 

Reuben and the Dark – Rolling Stone

This week’s band is from Calgary called Reuben and the Dark and consists of four multi-instrumentalists with Reuben Bullock on lead vocals.  Reuben’s brother, Distance Bullock is the percussionist in the band.  I am surprised they did not called the band Bullock’s and the Dark…maybe it is because of the British slang meaning of the term Bullocks.  It seems that this group has only published a couple of songs but are working on an album to be released in 2014.  I hope the rest of the album is as good as the first release, which is the song of the week called Rolling Stone.

This song was brought to my attention a couple of weeks back by my good friend Mike.  I know it is terrible that I still do not find time to post even when the song is handed to me.  I know I have been tardy lately so I will try to catch up over the holidays giving you more than one pick each week.

Cheers!

Hozier – Take Me To Church

Andrew Hozier has released an EP but is not yet available on iTunes in Canada nor is this song of the week.  I cannot figure out why iTunes will not let you purchase songs off other countries sites.  Hozier hails from County Wicklow, Ireland and has a powerful voice with lots of range.  This song is becoming popular on the other side of the pond.  I always feel  good when I find a song with less than 1 million listens.  The song is called Take Me To Church and it is the song of the week.

Hozier was born on St. Patrick’s Day – how lucky is that to be Irish and born on St. Pat’s Day.

Also check out the song The Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene and a live version of Take Me To Church.

 
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