Musical Explorations - A Personal Journey

  • More new entries (19 Oct 2005)
  • K.T. Tunstall - On the surface she sounds like a solid singer with a slightly folksy sound, amid a sea of other such singers. However, I saw her on some UK music awards show, and she changed my mind. Out comes this singer, guitar in hand, gadgets at her feet. She plays a little bit, uses the pedals to put it on a loop, then plays a bit more. She puts that bit on a loop, then plays a bit more and puts that on a loop. She records her own backing vocals and plays them whenever required, all while we're watching. Some 20 seconds later, she begins her tune, and by God, it's what I've heard on the radio! So not a pretty face and a decent voice, packaged up, cleaned up in the studio and fed songs that are mass-marketable. She's a musician! A real, honest-to-god performer with talent! Needless to say, I now own the CD.
  • New entries (06 May 2005)
  • Devotchka - Gypsy music, I think. The singer is plaintive, the instrumentals both joyful and a touch melancholy. It's bouncy, but when mixed with the plaintive singing, has a longing quality that's quite compelling. I first heard Devotchka live at Burlesquefest.
  • Edith Piaf - I've known of her for ages, and heard her singing in many a montage of Parisian life. I figured it was high time to check out her music properly. I love her voice - fragile and fluttery (like the bird she's named for), but with a hard edge that hints at her rough beginnings. Lovely.
  • The 5-6-7-8's - Okay, I don't actually have any CD's yet, but I mean to. I was aware of the funky surf-rock music that appeared in Kill Bill Vol.1, but didn't take too much notice. That is, until my boyfriend heard they were playing at a tiny venue here in Manchester. And boy, are they fun! Bouncy and rock at the same time, it really appeals to me. I'm not too fond of overly pop-ie tunes (BNL excepted), nor really heavy metal.
  • Edan - I saw him at the same small venue in Manchester, this Boston hip-hopper blew my socks off. Intelligently lyrical, loaded with attitude, and sporting an uber-nerdy look with huge fluffy hair, he stole my heart. Being a music student, I can get quite snobby about popular music. Much of the hiphop I hear on the radio is catchy, but far from musically interesting. Edan managed to maintin his catchiness while playing with rhythm, lyrics and sound effects to great interest. Respect to this proper artist.
  • Old entries
  • A3 - After hearing the theme song to The Sopranos, I had to hear more of their work. That particular song makes mention of Ella Fitzgerald so I figured it couldn't possibly be that bad. So far as I can tell, they have a distinct style from which they don't seem to stray much. I've enjoyed all the songs I've heard so far and appreciate them most in the car on the way to boxing because they put me in a moody, bad-ass kind of mood.
  • Goldfinger - I first heard Superman on the Tony Hawk Pro Skater game for PS2. I love the hard but oddly joyful and fun quality of this skater music. As yet I've only heard a few songs but the style greatly appeals to me.
  • Paula Cole - Suggested to me in my Sexy Songs list, I started exploring her stuff. Fantastic voice.
  • Cassandra Wilson - I heard about her in my Jazz history class where I heard one of her songs (I don't remember which one). I fell in love with her voice right away.
  • Rufus Wainwright - I received this CD free in a promo pack from Virgin Records at last summer's Pride Parade here in Vancouver. Tucked the bag and its contents away in my bedroom and promptly forgot about it. Found it earlier this week, cracked this CD and love his sound and the fact that he uses an Erhu (sp?) in one of his songs. I just love his "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk", as I find my cravings too, are "just a little bit sweeter, a little bit more harmful for me".
Author Comments: 

I haven't been much into great musical exploration since graduation, since for six years I focussed on nothing but. Once I graduated, I just wanted to listen to some good old Doors, Nazareth, Barenaked Ladies and Housemartins. Lately, though, I've been putting together mixes and realized I need a broader musical base to put together anything really good. I still have my "to buy" list I compiled after reading LBangs' rock & roll lists. I have every intention of exploring these further. But for now I'm taking baby steps. I'm very tired (emotionally, intellectually and physically) these days.