Saturday, January 9, 2010

Last FM Favorites

I do not have much to write about these days - busy with work and trying to stay warm during this cold snap. However, I have been enjoying the website, LASTFM.com for the last few days. If you are not familiar with the site, it features thousands of artists in all styles. There is a radio station for each artist and a feature that links to similar artists. A few of the bands I have found are:

Flunk - from Norway. I heard one of their songs, Play, in the PBS series, Carrier. Excellent band if you like female vocalists in the style of Bjork. I like the guitar work - simple and effective.

Hope Sandoval - one of the most low-key, shy singers around. I enjoyed Mazzy Star back in the day - still do - and found that she has a new band, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. She has one of the mose angelic voices around. Most of the new music is acoustic.

Steve Roach - Always a favorite ambient artist. Close your eyes, put on headphones and transport yourself to another place. Long time fan, although some of his music leaves me cold.

Utopia - a went back in time to visit one of my favorite bands of the late 1970s. This band was the brainchild of Todd Rundgren. It was great to hear "The Last of the New Way Riders'" again. I absolutley have to rebuy these releases. It makes me feel 15 years old again, when I did not wake up every morning with a sore back.

Purr Machine - longtime Betsy Martin fan going back to her first band, Caterwaul. Purr Machine is more electronica. Betsy has a very unusual voice that may annoy some, but I love it for that very reason. Caterwaul rocked in the day, but were not successful.

Shawn Lane - one of the most gifted, influential and unknown guitarists ever. Shawn died years ago, but his music lives on here, with much of his catalog on the website to enjoy. Shawn was a legend, who played in Black Oak Arkansas when he was all of 14. He was a music prodigy, who also played piano and drums. Shawn played ALL of the instruments on his Powers of Ten CD. Late in his life he was heavily into Indian music and was very popular in India. He died too soon.

Bjork - I love Bjork. Her listing on LastFM features recordings of her as a young girl and as a singer in 1982, before the SugarCubes. What a voice. I did not care for the Sugarcubes only because of the annoying guy who insisted on talking instead of singing on many of the songs. I was glad to see her go solo. She does things her own way, experiments in different styles of music and singing. Her song Birthday is fantastic. The video for All is Full of Love is very good, as well.

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