Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Music: Caravan Palace - Jolie Coquine

Jolie Coquine by Caravan Palace  
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04 Jolie Coquine.mp3 (5637 KB)

What better way to ring in the new year than with a talented band of dancing gypsies? Caravan Palace hail from Paris, France and quite literally mix roaring 20's Swing with classic filter happy French House. It's an unlikely yet perfect mix. There have been a handful of songs over the past two decades that have used swing samples to similar effect (Mambo No 5 I'm looking at you!) but Caravan Palace do it live with Horns, Violin, Clarinet, Double Bass and Acoustic Guitars. Let your hair down, loosen up that collar, grab that champagne and have a Happy New Year!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

St. Vincent - Marrow

Marrow by St. Vincent  
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07 Marrow.mp3 (5221 KB)

I was reading a Bob Lefsetz review of Jamie Cullum's "All at sea" and listening to the song via Youtube, bored out of my mind by the songs performance I start to wander over to the related videos and see that Jaime also does many a cover including "Sky Cries Mary" and "High and Dry" all of which sound lifeless to me. He's emoting alright but the performances all lack a rawness that would make a song stick with you for life. If those same arrangements were sung by Sting or even Norah Jones they would have a much better chance of sticking with me, these performance just leave me flat.

Growing tired of Bob's selections, I searched for a palette cleanser and found this phenomenal performance of St. Vincent's "Marrow" on Letterman.


St. Vincent is another one of those artists, like Jamie Cullum, who's name I had heard but for what ever reason had paid no attention to (and in the case of Jamie Cullum I'm glad I had.) Ms. Annie Clark finally caught my attention not with the Letterman clip but with a performance on Austin City Limits a few months ago. I was half passed out on the bed drifting away when I was lulled into curiosity by the angelic flutes and oboe's that suddenly jarred me to attention with a full on marching band stomp.

Kristen and I were unwinding for the night and I stumbled upon PBS and Austin City Limits.  I'll admit I wasn't immediately taken in by St. Vincent.  Like a good music snob I was half interested and half bored because I was unfamiliar with the music and exhausted, so much so I started to drift off... then it hit me, those horns and the guitar solo, the dynamics of soft and quiet to loud and explosive, the sophistication of the arrangements... it had all pulled me in, I was now fully awake and enjoying every minute of it.

The next day Kristen had downloaded the album Actor and knew everything there was to know about her. I then headed to e-music for her 1st album Mary Me and began diving head first in to the world of Annie Clark.  

Annie Clark's music as St. Vincent is almost exactly what you would expect from a multi-instrumentalist who grew up in Texas, attended Berklee School of Music, joined the Polyphonic Spree just a couple years after high school and played in Sufjan Steven's touring band. She writes Pop songs, full of life, colorful arrangements and orchestration that are rough around the edges. A juxtaposition of violent guitars and sugary sweet "Birds on your shoulder" orchestral swoons.  Not every song is a gem, and many come off better live than on record, but the potential here is undeniable, and Annie know's this...

It's interesting how the internet is this revolutionary thing that allows us to connect and share so much information with one another yet it took a TV appearance on public television to get me to finally pay attention.  Crazy world we're living in.


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Posted via email from Joe Shockley's Data & Sound

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dusting off the ol' Drum & Bass shelf

While going through some files on an old hard drive this morning I found a hand full of tunes I had worked on back in my D&B days. None of them were ever released and they were played in clubs less than a hand full of times. The original session files have long been lost on a failed hard drive somewhere and I figure why let all those hours of hard work go to waste. Those that new me back in the early part of this decade might get a kick out of these tunes. Enjoy!

Joe Shockley & New Republic - Why you gotta do me like that?

The 1st tune goes back to 2002 and is one of the last I worked on with New Republic, mainly it was Wade and my self on this tune and truly it was me obsessively trying to come up with something as catchy as Zinc's "Ska" and "138 Trek" and was heavily influenced by the sound DJ's Marky and Patife were pushing at the time... all in one song. As a group New Republic had already released a 12" with Break Beat Science and were working on a Latin/Brazilian influenced Single/EP for another label before the group started to implode and eventually fell apart.  Listening back to it now the song feels rushed in some parts and long in others, the drums don't punch through enough and you can barely hear the bass on my MacBook speakers, but overall it's a fun song. Good Times.

Joe Shockley - What You Want

"What You Want" written in 2003, is the 1st tune I worked on after leaving New Republic and you can tell I was a bit angry at the time. Prior to working on this tune most of the songs I worked on were mostly liquid funk inspired and upbeat.  This was a total 180 from that vibe and was a very literal response to the feedback I was getting from the crowd.

Joe Shockley - Other Life

"Other Life" also written in 2003, represents the most fun I ever had making a D&B tune. I just threw my self into it for a week and had a lot of fun programming drums, finding all the samples and coming up with an obnoxious bass line/lead synth. It was also the shortest and most concise D&B tune I had done at the time and I loved how it didn't have an atmospheric "drop" and then repeat section.  "Other Life" is also the last D&B tune I did as I stepped away from Drum & Bass all together, got back behind the drum kit and eventually started playing with Marqui Adora.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Levi's Mean Machine: 1970 Mercury Cougar

Levi picked up a sweet new ride this Xmas. It's beautiful and in excellent condition.

Posted via web from Joe Shockley's Data & Sound

Jackson the wonder dog!

The sweetest British bulldog catching a wagon ride.

Posted via web from Joe Shockley's Data & Sound

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sufjan Stevens - Star of Wonder

Star Of Wonder by Sufjan Stevens  
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5-09 Star of Wonder.mp3 (10427 KB)

What Holiday Season is complete with out the sounds of Sufjan Steven's Songs for Christmas. Most attempts at holiday music, especially Christmas music, fall flat with me, but Sufjan captures the hope and joy that the winter solstice seams to bring while still leaving in a touch of sadness and reflection that also comes with the season. Then again all of my favorite songs from Sufjan do this for me. He has the ability to capture tender moments in life that make you want to both cry and sing out. 

This is an appropriate theme for me this holiday season as I celebrate my 1st Christmas with my beautiful wife and her family while I also mourn the sudden loss of my Aunt and witness the heavy sadness that weighs down on my family.  

This year my holidays will truly be filled with laughter, tears, reflection and renewal. Fortunately I have Sufjan Steven's "Star of Wonder" to get me through it. 


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Friday, December 11, 2009

John Stossel Talks Atlas Shrugged



ABC Fired Stossel?

Opinion Editorial by John Stossel - Dec 10, 2009
85 ratings from readers
While clearing up some of the misinformation surrounding his recent career change, this veteran reporter also aims to clear up the misinformation about capitalism in his new career - with a nod to Rand.

People keep forwarding me emails and blog posts saying ABC fired me. Internet forums claim I was fired because I aired a story about the downside of government-controlled health care. This is silly. It's not even logical. No one can broadcast anything on "20/20" without ABC's approval.

The truth is that my departure from ABC was by mutual consent.

I left to go to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network because I want more time to report on free markets and economic liberty, the kind of reporting I do in this column. With two 24-hour news channels, Fox has more room for that.

Today, finally, my new Fox Business show begins! It will air every Thursday at 8 p.m. (and will repeat Fridays at 10 p.m. — opposite "20/20" — heh, heh, heh).

My first show will be on the "climate crisis." Or it might be on Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged." I've prepared both shows because I can't decide which I should do.

What do you think?

I'm partial to an "Atlas" show because I reread the novel recently and was stunned. It was as if Rand had seen the future. Writing half a century ago, she predicted today's explosion of big government in shockingly accurate detail.

The "Preservation of Livelihood Law." The "Equalization of Opportunity Law." The "Steel Unification Plan."

Don't these sound like laws passed by the current Congress?

All were creations of Rand's villain, Wesley Mouch, the evil bureaucrat who regulates business and eventually drives the productive people out of business. Who is today's Wesley Mouch? Barney Frank? Chris Dodd. Tim Geithner? I'll ask my TV audience to vote.

"Atlas" is still a big bestseller today. This year, it reached as high as NO. 15 on Amazon's bestseller list. Pretty amazing.

Clearly there's some magic in "Atlas Shrugged." The Library of Congress once asked readers which books made the biggest difference in their lives. "Atlas" came in second, after the Bible.

Yet elites and the MSM hate Ayn Rand. When "Atlas" first came out, The New York Times wrote that "the book is written out of hate."

Maybe that's why no "Atlas" movie has been made. Angelina Jolie once wanted to play heroine Dagny Taggart, but it never happened. Rand's books still sell millions of copies, yet college "women's studies" courses rarely mention her. One professor says her department head asked, "Why would you study that fascist?"

Why such antipathy?

Rand celebrates business and free markets. The elites don't like business. In every newsroom where I've worked, and at my college,Princeton, capitalism was derided as selfishness.

And lately, as a failure. On one website, someone wrote: "You'd think it was a joke, when the global economy was collapsing because of greed, that anyone might turn seriously to the purple prose of crypto-fascist (!) Ayn Rand and think it was the answer to anything."

Well, I, for one, think her prose answers much.

The embrace of freer markets has lifted more people out of the misery of poverty than any other system -- ever. The World Bank says that in just the last 30 years, half a billion people who once lived on less than $1.25 a day have moved out of poverty.

But now, Wesley Mouch — I mean, Congress and the bureaucrats — tell us they are going to "fix" capitalism, as if their previous "fixes" didn't hamstring the free market and create the problems they propose to solve.

Who are they kidding? Rand had it right. She learned it the hard way in Soviet Russia. What makes a country work is leaving people free — free to take risks, to invent things — and to keep the rewards of their work.

Critics say Ayn Rand promotes selfishness. I call it "enlightened self interest." When free people act in their own self-interest, society prospers.

So there's my first show, maybe.

On second thought, with Barack Obama heading to Copenhagen promising America will cut its greenhouse gasses by 83 percent (not 82, not 84 — exactly 83), I may do my first show on global warming.

I'll decide soon — when I begin my new career.

John Stossel hosts the TV show "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He is the author of Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media (January 2005) as well as Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel — Why Everything You Know Is Wrong (May 2007), which is now available in paperback.



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I'm not sure about the move to Fox, but I often enjoy hearing John Stossel's perspective. Hopefully he'll add a little more balance to their "Fair & Balanced" reporting. I too have mentioned to friends that Ayn Rand predicted the future when it comes to the current state of economic affairs in the world. But I was saying that before Obama was elected, when it was the Republicans handing out money like candy on halloween and pushing agendas that did make sense in a "Free" market. It's easy to put the blame on the Democrats, but lets not forget all those Republicans who played their part. They're all hoping for the same thing... that they'll be dead before it all falls apart.


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Sunday, December 06, 2009

A lovely home cooked meal...

Spaghetti Squash with cranberries, Celebration Ale and the sounds of Bon Iver. Some much needed comfort food before yet another crazy busy week.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Freshjive Calls Out Obama

So I guess it's taken just a little over a year for the backlash to set in. Let's see where this goes.

Posted via web from Joe Shockley's Data & Sound