Archive | November, 2010

A New Look to the Classic Court Links

30 Nov

I like revamping old-school blog entries just for the sake of wanting change. Today, I sat a row closer to the front of my English classroom just for a change and most of those who usually sit around me, followed me and adjusted to my change. Those who generally sit next to me in the fourth row sat with me in the third row. And, those who sit a row in front of me in row three sat in row two. Seriously, people are creature’s of habit and are susceptible to being tricked. So, hopefully this slight change to court links won’t freak you out so much. Don’t worry, I am not going to trick you. Court Links will be split into three sections tonight (Random Video, What Did You Say and Awesome Link)

We start with:

What Did You Say?:

Headline: Abba star loses bankruptcy dispute with Buddhist Monk

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/8162864/Abba-star-loses-bankruptcy-dispute-with-Buddhist-monk.html

Well, I guess I won’t be taking a chance on her. Here is what I have been able to gather from this odd story. Former Abba-er Anni-Frid Reuss brought a bankruptcy order, which is an order issued by the court as a result of a petition for bankruptcy by either a creditor or a debtor in order to declare an individual bankrupt, against her former Buddhist teacher. Alright, so we are clear. No. Well, trust me I shook my head also. Well her, and her boyfriend Henry Smith, lost the dispute. But, have no fear, the lifestyle of this particular member of the rich and famous is not changing anytime soon. The 4.5 million euros she lost is mere pocket change. She is worth somewhere around 100 million euros. Moral of the story. Don’t sue monks. They have super powers. (Disclaimer…In no way does the Music Court support the claim that monks actually have super powers).

Random Video

We are going to stick with Abba, because, why not? Here is a really nice acoustic instrumental of “Dancing Queen.” Just because you know enough words to sing along does not make you a loser!

Awesome Link

Rolling Stone Magazine has been running this amazing playlist special where they ask famous musicians to pick their personal top 10. May I present to you Art Garfunkel‘s Top 10

http://rollingstoneextras.com/playlists/view/art-garfunkel

“Killer Joe” by the Rocky Fellers. Wow, that is an obscure early 60s rock band made up of children. Yes, they were all kids. This was one of those bands that will never be remembered because they were overtaken by the British invasion. They were talented. “Killer Joe,” by Bert Russell and Bob Elgin, reached #16 on the charts in 1963. This band of Filipino brothers also possess a very interesting fun fact.

Did you know that in 1963, the Fellers recorded “Santa, Santa,” a Christmas song written by a 22-year-old, unknown Neil Diamond.

Here is “Killer Joe”

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Heading Back Up To Binghamton – Going Up The Country

28 Nov

Oh do I love the 4-hour drive to Binghamton…and the 2-hour round-trip to Cornell and back to Binghamton. No, seriously, I really do not mind it. While some would scoff at the long drive and complain, I welcome it. It is not hard to put my foot on the gas for an extended period of time, especially when I have good company and an iPod jam-packed with music on shuffle. Now, it is not my favorite thing in the world. But, it’s not too bad.

In what has become a semi-tradition here at the Music Court, I always preface my trip up north with Canned Heat‘s “Going Up the Country,” which unofficially became the anthem of Woodstock and has now become good luck for my ride up to school.

Did you know that multi-instrumentalist Jim Horn played a large flute part in the song? Horn played flute and saxophone on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and solo albums by three members of the Beatles.

Enjoy!

What to Expect During Macy’ Thanksgiving Day Parade (in 9 hours)

25 Nov

There is nothing quite like kicking off a day of joyous gluttony by watching oversized balloons and elaborate floats carefully navigate their way through the streets of New York City. Yes, you clumsily fall out of bed at around 10 a.m. and turn on the television to see that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, practically unchanged since when you were younger, is well into its broadcast. It is still basically the same concept. That is some of the joy of Thanksgiving. While family does change, every year you get together with them to share…well…food. But, we are a culture of eating. It’s natural. The meaning of Thanksgiving is far simpler than the deep message of unity. It is a good excuse to eat a lot of food with people you love and celebrate eating a lot of food with the people you love. Ah, what a great holiday.

Oh, yeah. There is also the pilgrims and natives. But, there is no need to delve into puritanism. Let’s just eat.

Before the feast, families often eat some breakfast while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade provides a proper background of performances and musical acts. So, what music can you expect tomorrow while you watch the parade (9 a.m.-12 p.m.).

There will be performances by Kanye West, Jessica Simpson. You know what? Forget about the long list of names. Here are some musicians that you will see that are worth turning up the volume to listen to.

Gladys Knight should be fun. Arlo Guthrie will be performing and Thanksgiving would really be empty without 17 minutes of the broadcast devoted to him singing about Alice’s Restaurant. Okay, while that is not going to happen, Alice’s Restaurant is Thanksgiving. Eric Hutchinson will play. His “Rock n’ Roll” and “Okay, It’s Alright With Me” are great. Yeah, that’s about it. There are a lot of other performers, but, out of the stock of musicians these three are my highlights.

Since I am sure you will be bored tomorrow waiting for the feast to commence, here is Arlo Guthrie. Enjoy this masterpiece of story telling and humor. It all started on Thanksgiving.

Beatles’ Selling, Axl Suing, Fleet Foxes Personalizing

24 Nov

Who said that the agreement that finally put Beatles‘ songs up for sale on iTunes was no big deal? After a week on iTunes, The Beatles’ have sold 450,000 albums and two million individual songs worldwide.

Link: http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/11/24/beatles-week-1-2-million-singles-sold-but-which-classics-endure/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Am I surprised? No. The Beatles once again prove why they are the biggest band in the world. Ever. It does not matter that they broke up 40 years ago. Hey, Usher, remember when you said Justin Beiber was a pop craze like the Beatles. Lets see if 40 years from now he is still selling like the Beatles.

The massive quantity of songs and albums sold reflect a symbolic jailbreak of music. It is nice to see that people did not acquire the mp3 versions of the songs for their portable music devices illegally. Well, some, some waited to acquire the music legally.

So, I guess we can look at the ratings and see what is officially the most popular Beatles’ song and album – according to iTunes sales.

Best Selling Album: Abbey Road

Best Selling Song: Here Comes the Sun“…

Which is off of Abbey Road, my favorite Beatles’ album. iTunes fans have spoken. Now, while the best Beatles’ song is arguably “A Day in the Life” and best album probably is the one with peppers in its name, this is certainly telling. Heck, Abbey Road was the last album released before the Beatles dissolved. Imagine if they kept releasing music. Do you see what I did there?

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In other news, Axl Rose is suing Activision, makers of the Guitar Hero games, for $20 million. Yawn. Store this in the I don’t really care news bin. Rose, who is already rich, is looking for more money because…well read the article if you are interested.

Link: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/axl-rose-sues-activision-over-guns-n-roses-guitar-hero-feature/story-e6frfku0-1225960010189

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Performing on Letterman (Credit: Blush Photo)

Fleet Foxes, the awesome indie/folk band from Seattle that took the country by storm with their eponymous first album in 2008, is planning on releasing their new album in the Spring of next year.

According to lead singer Robin Pecknold, the album is going to travel inwards.

“It’s a lot more personal to me and direct in terms of the lyrics, less shrouded in metaphor or visuals. Musically I’d say it’s still in the same family but hopefully just more refined,” said Pecknold in an interview with clashmusic.com

I am excited. Fleet Foxes is an excellent modern band that have the attention of true music lovers. Their brand of folk/rock calls back to the 60’s musical tradition and I am eager to hear what is coming next.

Link: http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/fleet-foxes-finish-more-personal-album_1185915

Spooner’s Sea Monster

23 Nov

Like many others, a youthful Jason Spooner came across his father’s collection of oldies and was hooked. How can you pass up excellent musicians and song writers that are important threads in the voluminous blanket of excellent music. But, while others simply feel the beat, Spooner decided he was going to create it; a new beat that takes a taste of old and combines it with an emerging modern acoustic/blues trend. Music that never forgets about the important art of lyric. Spooner has grown up and come a long way. He has just released his third album, an absolute gem. As songwriter Christine Lavin wrote about Spooner, “This is someone important.”

A review of Spooner by MaineToday.com summed up his music the best. “Jason’s songs are keys to the locked trunks that hold the artifacts of our lives. You can enjoy the music as top-shelf entertainment, but I guarantee that you’re going to want to come back and dig
for the treasure.”

People are coming back for more.

Spooner released his first album Lost Houses in October of 2002. The album featured a young musician demonstrating tremendous musical maturity. The highlight of the album is his voice. It’s controlled beauty perfectly overlaps a fun acoustic guitar that sings sweetly in “Cry Me To Sleep” and refreshingly twangy in “Pickup Truck.” The album lifted the Maine-based songwriter to the status of musician and soon after he added a rhythm section composing Adam Frederick and Reed Chambers.

The Flame You Follow followed five years later. The acoustic guitar was joined by an organ and horns. The album explored several different genres and portrayed an even stronger grip over instrumental and vocal poise. Like a composed quarterback, Spooner leads his band down field while remaining in the pocket, strong and incredibly talented.

No wonder why he has been recognized as both a musician and lyricist.

Taken from his biography,

“Jason won “Best Singer/Songwriter” in the Portland Phoenix’s annual “Best Music Poll 2008.” Jason also won the International finals of the Mountain Stage NewSong contest held in New York City. He was honored as a national finalist in the Starbucks Music Makers competition in Boston. Jason took part in a tour of the East Coast as a selected member of the Falcon Ridge “Most Wanted” Preview Tour. He was also recently named as a New Folk Finalist in the renowned Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX. Jason and his band returned to both festivals as a main stage act in 2007. Previously, he won the Ossipee Valley Bluegrass Festival songwriting contest in NH and was a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition.”

That is a lot of recognition for a young musician. Well, listen to one reason why. Here is the title track off The Flame You Follow:

Sea Monster, his most recent release, hit the stores in October of this year and is perhaps his best combination of songs thus far in his young career. It was recorded in Maine with his mates and unearthed some new musical territory.

“In the past, I had been so focused on making acoustic music that the electric was relegated to more of a supporting role,” said Spooner in an interview. “One of the smaller brushes in the batch. This time around, I just focused on the right guitar for the right song. There’s no question that the electrics ended up front and center on this record and I’m very happy with the progression.”

This is natural. A musician has to keep experimenting. Like any good professional, you never stop learning and Spooner is still learning. Off of the new album, here is “Half a Mind.”

This is an excellent blues piece that features Spooner’s powerful voice and some awesome instrumentation. I love the raw emotion in the live recording. And then we have this:

A complete change of gears. His voice remains the same, but, the lyric becomes even more personal and somber and the song transforms from blues to a melancholic mixture. But, this expresses a rare skill. He effortlessly switches genre on the same album. Perhaps this is why the album cover features a scuba diver. Spooner dives into the mysterious realm of the mostly unexplored ocean. He is not sure what he will find, but, with his musical talent, it is going to be melodious.

 

Check Spooner out further:

Website: http://www.jasonspooner.com/default.asp

http://www.myspace.com/jasonspooner

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=jason+spooner&aq=f

 

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