Tom Waits inducted to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

On March 14th, Tom Waits was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at a ceremony in New York, apparently. He was introduced by Neil Young who proclaimed Waits: "a great performer, singer, actor, songwriter, magician, changeling and spiritual guide." Here’s Tom Waits and Neil Young playing Get Behind the Mule:

You must also watch the full speech by Neil Young here, followed by Make it Rain and Rain Dogs in-between Tom’s thank-you speech:

Tom makes a great thank-you speech, methinks, two good quotes are: «Songs are just really interesting things to be doing with the air» and «We really want music to love us». A very heartfelt thank you to his wife Kathleen Brennan too, who writes a lot of music together with Tom, and makes a rare appearance at around 9:05 in the video. Quite extraordinary. Congratulations, Tom! It’s like giving feathers to a crow, but gratitude alone goes a long way too. See you around the hall of fame!

Faithless: To All New Arrivals & The Dance

Last night I listened through the last 2 Faithless albums that had completely escaped me: To All New Arrivals (2006) and The Dance (2010)

To All New Arrivals  The Dance

If you were ever into this electronica/jazz/dance/house mix of voices from an equally diverse and interesting cast of musicians, you will know that they "already had" their great heyday with Reverence (1996) and Sunday 8pm (1999), though they’ve put out steady one-hit wonders every few years (remember Muhammed Ali) since then. To my mind Outrospective (2001) was their last great album, with No Roots (2004) being very indecisive and of the groups’ main members it was nobody’s child. It could have to do with the seemingly intimate though in actuality remote and alien War on Terror, in any case, I listened to the words but I couldn’t feel them anywhere in the songs.

And that, to me, is the Faithless hallmark: That their lyrics are real, somehow, grounded by ambient samples and mixing, and not superficial songs or the choice of words of a teenage wet dream. It’s regular people describing events and subjects important to them by way of invitation rather than imposing. Speaking to my heart, and not by way of my mind.

Anyway, read more about old stuff in my 2001 blog post: reviewing the faithless new album ‘outrospective’. Of course, they can always come back to the spotlight if they so choose.

To All New Arrivals is my favourite of the two "new" albums, sporting the warm sounds and great-heartedness that is so special to Faithless, with funny recordings of Rollo’s toddler playing in the studio. The Dance features a lot of guest artists, and sounds like a retro-dance album (kind of explains the album title), but fails to provide a coherent sound picture. Instead it’s like the disorganized album of small pictures from all over the place that is put together; but not without reminiscing about Faithless’ origins in the Reverence album. Both are good quality albums and well worth a listen.

I can’t wait to hear more of them and I always look forward to new adventures as well as quiet conversations with these guys. Keep up the great work!

Pre-order Radiohead's latest: The King of Limbs

Radiohead‘s new album King of Limbs is just around the corner! Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? OMGICAN’TWAIT!

You can pre-order MP3s, WAVs or the special "newspaper foldout release" from www.thekingoflimbs.com. The digital download will be available on Saturday while the general release in record stores is set to March 28th.

I only bought the MP3s, since I will have the CD eventually anyway. It’s only €7.0, or $9 USD. And this is right after I spent a lot on these 7 CDs while waiting for my last two Faithless albums to arrive.. Now, how about that new stereo?

Last 7 CDs I bought..

It was a winter sale and I got each of them for 49NOK..

  • Leonard Cohen – Death Of A Ladies’ Man 
  • Leonard Cohen – New Skin For The Old Ceremony 
  • Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On 
  • Oasis – Familiar To Millions 
  • Elvis Presley – The Essential (2CD) 
  • Shakira – MTV Unplugged 
  • Cornelis Vreeswijk – En Fattig Trubadur 

… but really, I can’t afford these shopping sprees. But then, most of these are classics. Except for the Shakira one. You know I like Shakira’s butt and everything, but her music? Actually, you should check out her MTV unplugged. I don’t have many Spanish singing records. Then everything’s good on MTV Unplugged. I can’t wait to hear Kraftwerk on MTV unplugged. Can I fit in MTV unplugged in any more sentences? I guess I can’t. The Elvis Presley – The Essential CDs are not MTV unplugged. They are plugged. And not by MTV. But I digress.

The Chillout Song

If you don’t have anything better to do today, or are feeling a little down in the office, check out this song that made, based on an e-mail from lonely Laura and some hundred voice samples:

I heard it through Ze Frank’s inspiring TED talk here: Ze Frank’s Playroom, which was running in the background, when The Chillout song came on and I almost broke into tears. Hey, a lumberjack knows to stay in touch with his emotions.

You should check out his other inspirational work, including The Whip Ass song and Scared, not least the process that made them. That’s art.

The long wait is over! The Ultimate Destruction of the Pop Pollution Can Begin!

Binärpilot's NORDLAND album cover

The entire album is released under the Creative Commons by-nc-nd license. You are encouraged to burn copies of this CD for all your friends, play it at your house party, slip it into grandma’s iFad and Drown Out the Pop Pollution!

Apparently the release was put on hold (remember the fundraiser back in September 2008?) because the intended cover art designer could not deliver. Instead, took the plunge and designed what I think is an awesome cover for the Nordland album.

Most of the 10 songs are familiar to the 8-bit fandom, such as aXXo, Tjaere min venn, title track Nordland and Forte Da Funk; but there are some new beats as well unless you’ve been logging in to the backstage VIP area lately.
If you check out the Album credits you’ll see sigg3.net representin’, and if you couldn’t spare the cash back in 2008, please consider funding the war effort by pre-ordering the album by following the links above ($15 USD for USA, $20 USD Planet Earth and $500 Planet Mars).

Whatever you do, download the damn tracks and spread the propaganda! I’ve already pre-ordered my copy, and it will make a welcome addition to my growing collection of Binärpilot dance tracks!

Emmerson Amidu Bockarie: Yesterday Betteh Pass Today?

A couple of weeks back my workplace did a seminar on agent navigation in conflict zones, and among the presented case stories was Emmerson Amidu Bockarie (links to Wikipedia).

I’ve always liked grass roots rebel music, and this anti-corruption musician from Sierra Leone immediately caught my interest. The lyric is essentially a cry at the elected and corrupt officials of Sierra Leone, posing the proposition that with you leading us maybe yesterday was better than today? which is a powerful statement, with regards to Sierra Leone’s past wars.

Download the song from Awareness Times in wma: Yesterday Betteh Pass Today?

Who knows if na Bogus dem bin dae make nar Focus? […WHO KNOWS?]
Say the first things first nar we belleh
Business dem dae close; Tax dae go high
Teachers salary nar the same
Infact money nor dae flow

(…)

Sometem we go bellefull tumara
But no one knows tomorrow
Ar nor know for you
Me yesterday betteh pass tiday

His lyrics are in Krio, a language which vocabulary is derived primarily from English, while its sound system, grammar and sentence structure are heavily influenced by at least 12 African languages. If you want to read the text yourself, stop by the Awareness Times’ article. Happy listening!

Two more Radiohead songs

I got an e-mail this morning from the radiohead mailinglist. It was about ‘s independent album Familial. You can download a free mp3 of the first track on his website. I am not convinced yet, but I know he’s a great drummer. Good luck!

I was reading up on Radiohead history and news when I noticed a couple of 2009 releases that I had missed entirely, namely Harry Patch (In memory of) and These are my twisted words. The first one is a tribute to "the Last Fighting Tommy", namely the last British soldier surviving WWI. He had strong anti-war views from his dreadful experiences, and a BBC Radio 4 interview inspired Tom Yorke to write a song based on the interview.

Harry Patchi am the only one that got through
the others died where ever they fell
it was an ambush
they came up from all sides
give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
i’ve seen devils coming up from the ground
i’ve seen hell upon this earth
the next will be chemical but they will never learn

The song is a download-only that costs £1 BGP, proceeds going to the British Legion.

The second track called These Are my Twisted Words is a single released as direct download and a torrent on mininova (original link dead) at no cost. You can download the mp3 from Radiohead’s dead air space website.