Other Music that I'm listening to....

Lyrics from McArthur's Park by Richard Harris:

MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

What in the world does this mean :?:

Anyways, I like Donna Summer's version.
I was into some of the trashiest Euro Disco (think "Boys" by Sabrina :oops: ) before my salsa days. I went into great length to collect hard-to-get vinyls from Europe (still got them.....maybe I should e-bay them off).

Apart from salsa, and Afro/Latin/Middle East related rhythms, I love Swing music (that big band brassy stuff). Some Jazz are cool.

I also love some R&B/Hip Hop/Rap/Ragaetton, and will happily dance along these at clubs.

In the last few years my SO & I are loving the fusion sounds of Cat Empire (a great local band, who is now very well known nationally) & Los Amigoes Invisible (a Venezuelan band we saw at Bacardi Festival Sydney). Ther are a few others which I can't recall names right now...
Okay, I know I haven't been posting here much, and that's mostly because I haven't been dancing much (allergies/sinuses--I think I'm going to have to move to a different location, etc.), but here are my favorite albums from the past year. (Actually I have a couple more on the way that I think would have ended up on this list, but for now. . .) Approximately rank ordered, although I get more ambivalent about the order as the list goes down:

Tokyo Jihen: Adult. I had no idea I wanted to hear something that sounded like this, but maybe that’s because I couldn’t imagine it. Lots of smooth jazzy funky rock here, and that doesn’t sound like my type of thing, at least not on paper. But this is something special. [This is a horribly inadequate description, but I just gave up after trying again and again to describe what I liked about the album, without cataloging the different other artists this band reminds me of.]

Michael Suart: Back to da Barrio. I may be going overboard, but this is my favorite salsa album to have come out since I started listening to the genre in late 1997. It’s poppy in some ways, but the singing is often more hard-edged than what’s become the norm in the poppy end of the salsa spectrum. One of my favorite things about it is the way different songs imply different ways of moving. That’s thanks partly to a conscious effort to include a variety of rhythms in pure or sometimes mixed form: plena, bomba, jala jala, and guaguanco all make an appearance.

Rahim Al Haj: When the Soul Is Settled - Music of Iraq. While this album consists either of solo oud or oud accompanied by a percussionist, it’s an extremely rich recording that I don’t feel I have begun to really unpack as a listener.

Sunny Jain Collective: Avaaz. An adventurous blend of jazz with a variety of Indian forms, from a new bhangra-jazz composition to a cover of a familiar Bollywood classic. The vocals, as far as I can tell, straddle a line between Indian classical music and jazz. There are also some more straight ahead jazz tracks, though with unusual timbral touches. Even at it’s more intense moments, the album maintains a contemplative tone, one of the things which keeps it feeling unified, despite its variety.

Ayelet Rose Gottlieb: Mayim Rabim. The lyrics, in Hebrew, are all taken from the poetic dialogues of the Biblical “Song of Songs.” This might be the source of the highly theatrical feel of these compositions. Stylistically, the music is a mix of jazz and modern classical, as well as Jewish traditions. The work is strong melodically, though melodies can come and go quickly. Songs sometimes arrive at pleasantly unexpected places harmonically. Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s singing is strong and highly flexible.

Final Fantasy: He Poos Clouds. Another album which, however different, makes me think of a some sort of very unconventional music theater piece. I guess this gets filed under “indie rock,” not a genre that generally holds much interest for me. Whatever it is, it draws on classical music and there are violins and a harpsichord (I think) but no guitars. There are also some very odd choral sections, which generally provide some sort of counterpoint to what’s being sung by Owen Pallet (the main vocalist, and primary artist behind the whole recording). I have listened to this a lot less than many albums on this list, but that’s primarily because the lyrical content makes this a potentially depressing album. It’s a very good one, nonetheless.

Rachid Taha: Diwan 2. Rachid Taha returns to the music of his parents’ generation. Even listeners who aren’t fans of North African or Arabic music might find this a pleasantly varied set, thanks to diverse rhythms and instrumentation. Some of these songs can transport you to another world, not just because they are foreign and perhaps exotic, but because even in their original setting, they were often meant to transport listeners to another world. Meanwhile, if you read the translated lyrics, you’ll find that a couple of them offer social commentary on issues of race or otherness.

Uri Caine: Book of Angels, Vol. 6: Moloch. This came out late in the year, which hasn’t given me much time to spend with it. My favorite passages of this occur in the first half of the album when it sometimes reminds me of a jazzier, updated version of Satie’s “Gnossienne,” maybe primarily because of the “eastern” harmonies that both works share. Uri Caine moves fluidly between a traditional jazz feel and a very classical, sometimes modern classical, sort of sound. There are painfully beautiful moments throughout. This is the sixth volume of recordings of works in a very promising new series of works that are part of John Zorn’s larger Masada songbook. If Zorn’s Masada works have found him a larger audience (and I’ve never been a huge Zorn fan myself), this new Book of Angels series may widen his audience even further. I’ve also heard the Koby Israelite installment in the series, and it’s worth checking out, though not as satisfying as this Uri Caine recording. I will likely backtrack and check out some of the other volumes.

Marit Larsen: Under the Surface. Pop music, but on that 70’s model I tend to prefer. This might be entirely too sweet for a lot of people, and the extreme youthfulness of Marit Larsen’s voice might turn some listeners off, but I am pretty sold on this, particularly on the obvious singles here. She’s no vocal virtuoso, but she has a great pop delivery with a distinctive personality. There’s a certain twisty-turny quality to her lines that I particularly like.

Guayacan Orquesta: Xtremo. Most of these songs start off sounding almost rinky-dink (although I’m not sure anyone else is going to know what I mean by that), but then they move on into these wonderful grooves and warm vocal harmonies. It helps if you already like Colombian salsa (even if there are some Puerto Ricans involved with this project), but this is a pretty good example of it. It was a gold record in Colombia

Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere. Maybe it’s here mostly on the basis of “Crazy,” but I think the album overall is better than it’s often given credit for being. I have a weak spot for the very slight little track “Feng Shui,” which reminds me of the spirit of very early 90’s hip-hop.

Tego Calderon: El Subestimado. File under reggaeton, but it’s as much Latin hip-hop as reggaeton. In fact, it’s also a pretty ambitious mix of salsa, salsaton (salsa/reggaeton fusion), bomba, reggae, blues, and one track I think of as nu-soul, whatever Tego Calderon considered it. Still, I wish Tego were a little less laid back in general. Maybe he could cut back on the herb just a bit?

Andy Montanez: Salsa con Reggaeton. This is a really spotty album with two really good, pioneering, salsaton tracks (one with Daddy Yankee and one with Voltio), and one particularly good salsa song. Then there is another layer of songs that are just okay. Then there are some I’d rather not hear again.

Ghada Shbeir: Al Muwashahat. This is an excellent recording of very refined Arab-Andalusian classical music from Lebanon. I feel a little guilty about placing it so near the bottom of the list, but as well-done as it is, I find this material a little too samey after a while. At the same time, it’s quite possible I’ll be listening to this album after I’ve stopped listening to half the titles on this list.

El Gran Combo: Arroz con Habichuela. I’m still making up my mind about this late 2006 salsa release. I love a couple of the songs (the title track and “No Te Detengas a Pensar”). The album sticks to EGC’s familiar sound, and yet merely saying that doesn’t do it justice. Lead vocals are handled differently here than they have been on recent EGC releases, from what I can remember. Rather than having more than one lead vocalist per song, the responsibilities are divided up from song to song. The soneos (vocal improvisatory sections) are particularly strong on a number of these tracks. And yet the horn parts seem too defiantly traditional. It feels as though the band is going through some sort of change, but it hasn’t entirely gelled yet. But no complaints for a band that’s been around since 1962 and yet can still come out with a song as insidiously catchy as “Arroz con Habichuela.”

Rafaelito Cortijo & Ismaelito Rivera: La Nueva Generacion. Hardly anyone seems to like this as much as I do, which might have pushed me into placing it so low. Okay, so Ismaelito has some intonation problems and is a bit hoarse. I like still like his energy, and I like the band’s energy. Most of these songs pass the dance-floor test, which is good enough for me.
Tokyo Jihen - Shuraba (live)


(Weird I just had the impulse to revive this thread almost a year after the last post, which was also by me. Although that last part isn't so odd, since I seem to be the one to post on this thread the most.)
lolita said:

Interesting! I hear you on that. Was searching to see if anyone said they liked house music but didn't expect (Edit: make that pleasantly surprised...) that person to be you. There used to be a club night called Peach (not sure if it's still running). You would have loved that! The sound system and the music were just so ... :shock: :D :applause: .

I was a bit of a House head too for a while but am more on the soulful jazzy side of things in spirit, like Deep House. I like anything with a nice groove mostly but am open to most types of music...especially cultural music.

HothouseSalsero said:
Here's a little taste of one of my other musical loves, Oum Kalthoum, widely considered the greatest Arabic singer of the 20th century (and certainly the most popular):

Very nice.
I LOVE GISSELLE. That music always makes me happy!

Besides that: I agree with a lot of others before me..
One thing I didn't see: country.
I am a country fan. Not just some country, but pretty much all country. Garth, George, Alan, Alison, Miranda, Montgomery, Gretchen, Reba, Martina, Trisha, Womack, Rimes, Dierks, Brad, Billy, Diamond....

Just imagine me in my cowgirl boots and hat, singing along to "God bless Texas", and tapping my feet to a two-step
tripleteeta said:
how about The Beatles???

have to love them!
If we're talking 60's, I like: The Who, Buffalo Springfield, Zombies, Turtles, Lovin' Spoonful, even (I hate to admit) the Monkeys.

More recently, I like the Kooks.
"But at night it's a different world, go out and find a girl
Come-on, come-on, and dance all night
despite the heat it'll be alright "

8) I love this song, along with Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino), Johnny B Goode(Chuck Berry), In The Summertime (Mungo Jerry), .... I only know the songs from when I was younger, don't have full albums.
Terence2 said:
Flujo said:
lolita said:
Interesting! I hear you on that. Was searching to see if anyone said they liked house music but didn't expect (Edit: make that pleasantly surprised...) that person to be you.

]Very nice.
Heres another surprise (?)-------- me
Eh? What do you mean Terrence? You like house music or you are surprised that Lolita does?

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