Monday, March 28, 2005

The Best Music ... You're Not Listening To

This is where I earn my street cred. (stop laughing)

Take a little bit of Portishead, a touch of Juliee Cruise and a lot of personal invention, and you've got Juana Molina [music starts automatically]. The Argentine singer was formerly a celebrated television comedian (!) in South America, but soon found her niche making moody, electronically popped, music to unwind by.

I saw her live in New York; you have to imagine one beautiful, slight woman with four keyboards, multiple sampling petals and a mixing board, alone; making the music you want in order to drift off into bliss. It's all her, and it's all exquisite.

"Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brazilian marching street band and Japanese film noir is the 12-piece Pink Martini."

Immense popularity in France, songs sung in French, English, Spanish and Czech and from ... Oregon?! Appreciate Pink Martini [click on "Pink Martini Radio" to hear all songs from both recordings.] This unique blend of multiple talented musicians is as close to classic lounge (with many twists) as you will get.

I know what you are thinking, and you're right. Lounge Music is *so* 1998. It says volumes about Pink Martini that they embraced what we call "lounge" and yet have overcome it. Their new recording, Hang on Little Tomato, promises that they, unlike lounge, are not a flash in the pan.

Watch one video from OK Go and try and tell me they're not the garage band you've always prayed to be a part of. 1/3 biting lyrics, 1/3 resonant music and 1/3 pure pop hooks; OK Go is 110% throw your head back, sing along fun. (How quotable is that? Spin, I'm waiting for a job offer.)

Don't want to wait for video to download? Listen to clips from their most recent recording here. Don't blame me if you pick up your dusty stratocaster and fall to your knees as a result.


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