Saturday, June 18, 2005

iTunes music revolution

One of the best things about my new Mac is the bundled iTunes software, which has been instrumental in facilitating a personal rediscovery of my long-neglected CD collection. Whether it's coming across the computer speakers or through the stereo via my AirPort Express ... sweet, sweet music is playing in the dingobear world again - and I'm lovin' it. So in honor of this momentous occasion, what I'm going to start doing here at felix's daily starfish and waffles is reviewing, from time-to-time, some of the current album selections on my hot iTunes playlist. Enjoy.



Endtroducing ...
DJ Shadow
(1996)

Quite possibly the finest electronica album of the 1990's ... this is the record that made sampling an artform. In fact, this record is 100% samples - all pulled from obscure, forgotten vinyl. As described by allmusic: "the end effect is that of a hazy, half-familiar dream - parts of the record sound familiar, yet it's clear that it only suggests music you've heard before, and that the multi-layered samples and genres create something new." My take: Endtroducing is a rich and multi-dimensional listening experience. Yeah. So there.

dingobear track selections:

6. (untitled). Short, funny segment. I probably just have a weird sense of humor, but I laugh every time.

7. Stem / Long Stem. Over nine minutes of dreamy, cinematic, epic bliss. Comparmentalized into several movements, this is the cornerstone track of the album.

8. Mutual Slump. Shades of everbody's favourite Icelander, Bjork.

13. Midnight in a Perfect World. Groovin' beat, addictive melody, haunting vocals and brilliantly mixed. Quintessential Shadow.



Diamonds on the Inside
Ben Harper
(2003)

Cool. Funky. Smooth. Smart. Socially-conscious. Musically-gifted. Why isn't Ben Harper a much bigger star than he already is? The worldbeat-inspired Diamonds is Harper's best album, and that's really saying something. Pop this CD in and just press play - there isn't a single weak track here.

dingobear track selections:

3. Diamonds on the Inside. A bit of a country-western twang, which I wouldn't normally like. But here, I like.

4. Touch from Your Lust. Sexy guitar riffs make this an instant Southern rock classic.

9. Amen Omen. Great song.

11. So High So Low. Yes!

12. Blessed to Be a Witness. Gorgeous Caribbean steel drums + smooth, silky vocals = testify, St. Ben, testify!



Asianblue
Emm Gryner
(2002)

The most criminally-underrated female pop vocalist in Canada. This talented singer-songwriter has been releasing fine work on her own indie label, Dead Daisy Records, for several years now and has numerous musical gems littered among her seven full-length albums. Asianblue - a collection of sweet, summery selections - is arguably Emm's best. Will somebody please give this young lady a Juno (Canadian Grammy)?

dingobear track selections:

1. Symphonic. Piano-driven melodies are an Emm Gryner trademark, and no song exemplifies this better than Symphonic.

2. Beautiful Things. Single. Received limited play on radio airwaves in Canada.

7. Lonestar. Yes, I know this song is sappy and sentimental. I don't care. Quit judging me! Fuck you. I love this song.

10. East Coast Angel. See comments above for Lonestar.

11. Green Goodnight. Slow, sultry sadness. Just a beautiful song.

4 comments:

  1. Weird...I've just been rediscovering Ben Harper and was thinking of picking up this album. I'm reading blogs at random and read your post. Thanks for the review. I'll be sure to check it out now.

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  2. You're welcome. I think you'll really enjoy Diamonds. Of course, if you pick up the album and find that you don't like it, then it serves you right for listening to a guy who calls himself "dingobear" on some anonymous blog! Cheers.

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  3. A really good friend of mine got me hooked on Jack Johnson... he has good taste in music, this friend. I respect his musical opinions.

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  4. Wow, what a great friend. I'll bet he's smart, good-looking with a Greek god-like body, and funny, too. You are very lucky, h. :)

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