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Chali 2Na – “Against the Current” & future PledgeMusic (12/12/12)

5th Dec 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Chali 2Na - Against the Current

Jurassic 5 baritone Chali 2Na has a few solo albums to his name, but this next project, as hinted back last winter, is about to see the light of day.  We finally have a video for “Against the Current“…

And a week from now (on 12/12/12), his PledgeMusic drive will go into effect.

As excited as I am to tell you about it, I admit humbly that it’s going to take me some time (and some help) to get this thing assembled the way I intend it for you. So as a snack before the meal, I came up with a way to reward y’all for getting involved and being a part of it from the jump. Starting 12.12.12 (next Wednesday to be exact) I’m going to begin releasing a series of EPs along the way until the book is ready to ship. The first installment of the series, from this project I labeled, “Against The Current” will be a sample of the four that will follow. The most enjoyable thing about my music career for me personally, has been collaborating with Artists from many different walks of life, and even places of the World. And I’ve been influenced by so many different types of music, that with this project I’m actually going in on a couple of them. The 2nd EP will be heavily influenced by Electronic and Dub-Step music. I’m also finishing up one that’s Caribbean influenced and another one I’m going to record exclusively with my live band. And the last one will be a true vintage Hip Hop record, even-though I know that’s not exactly what Hip Hop sounds like in current day. Hence the name of the Project.

Keep in the loop on his PledgeMusic page:
http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/chali2na

~Dan – np: Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold (Songs For Christmas) Vol. IX: Let It Snow!

Chali 2Na’s new project “Against the Current”

10th Feb 12 (Fri) 1 comment

Chali 2Na, the quick-witted baritone from on-hiatus rap group Jurassic 5, has five “genre-bending” EPs in the hopper to release throughout 2012 as part of his new project called Against the Current.  Check the trailer and press release below:

With his distinctive and widely beloved baritone voice, Chali 2na has established himself not only as one of hip-hop’s preeminent and charismatic personalities, but has also garnered renowned praise as a highly respected artist across a myriad of mediums. Today, he has announced his latest project, Against The Current, a 5 EP installment that will be released throughout 2012. Breathing new life into his musical history, the project’s sound is heavily influenced by his history; from the blues music he was raised on and the hip-hop he produced as a member of Jurassic 5, to the urban-Latin music he created with Ozomatli and his love for performing live. Each EP will be a fusion of these experiences, and also include Chali’s trademark spitfire rhymes. A trailer for Against The Current, featuring snippets from the project’s first single and title-track, has been released today, and can be viewed here.

Fans can catch a preview of Against The Current this winter as Chali will be hitting the road for a nationwide tour (full routing below). Kicking off February 9th in Oakland, CA, the tour will encompass nearly 30 dates before wrapping in Austin, TX for a series of showcases at this years’ SXSW Music and Film Conference.

More details on Against The Current will be revealed in the coming weeks!

Chali 2Na 2012 Winter Tour

  • February 9, 2012 Oakland, CA The New Parish
  • February 10, 2012 Santa Cruz, CA Moe’s Alley
  • February 11, 2012 Reno, NV Cargo
  • February 12, 2012 Boise, ID The Reef
  • February 14, 2012 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom – Lola’s Room
  • February 15, 2012 Victoria, BC Club 9one9
  • February 16, 2012 Tofino, BC Tofino Legion
  • February 17, 2012 Cumberland, BC Waverly Hotel – The Bridge
  • February 18, 2012 Vancouver, BC The Rio Theatre
  • February 20, 2012 Whistler, BC Garibaldi Lift Co.
  • February 22, 2012 Nelson, BC Hume Hotel – Spirit Bar
  • February 23, 2012 Fernie, BC The Northern
  • February 24, 2012 Golden, BC Rockwater Bar & Grill
  • February 25, 2012 Calgary, AB Hifi Club
  • February 27, 2012 Ketchum, ID Whiskey Jacques
  • February 28, 2012 Victor, ID Knotty Pine
  • March 1, 2012 Bozeman, MT Zebra Cocktail Lounge
  • March 2, 2012 Missoula, MT Top Hat
  • March 4, 2012 Avon, CO The Snowball Festival
  • March 6, 2012 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
  • March 7, 2012 St. Louis, MO 2720
  • March 8, 2012 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue
  • March 9, 2012 Kallamazoo, MI Bell’s Brewery
  • March 10, 2012 Chicago, IL Bottom Lounge
  • March 12, 2012 Asheville, NC Asheville Music Hall
  • March 13, 2012 Nashville, TN Exit In
  • March 14, 2012 Knoxville, TN Cider House
  • March 16 & 17, 2012 Austin, TX SXSW *Shows to be announced soon!
    Be sure to visit www.Chali2na.com/shows for the latest additions!

New music from a rap master.  Sign me up.  I won’t be hitting his tour this time, but I caught him at WOW Hall in Eugene last fall (where the photo at the top of this post was from)… knock out great show!

~Dan – np: John ZornFilm Works XVIII: The Treatment

2011 mix

24th Dec 11 (Sat) 6 comments

Time for this year’s mix CD, except I decided to go CD-free this year.  It’s still formatted to stay contained on one CD (20 tracks ~77 mins); so if you want to download the whole shebang and burn to a CD – go for it!

Check out 2009’s mix over here and 2010’s mix over here.  No major theme this time like some of my prior mixes (4 Elements & A-to-Z mixes)… the only rule I placed before myself was that everything is current (i.e.- released in 2011).  This year’s mix ended up mellower than most mixes from me.  There are a few rock songs, but whilst re-listening, it’s definitely less rocky.  I hope you enjoy.

The following songs were put on the mix from mostly lossless sources where possible and for promotional purposes only (read: free direct market advertising to people who decidedly love music). Most of the artists on this compilation are independent (put out the music themselves) or signed to smaller, independent labels. If you like what you hear, check out their music / support them with your wallet if you are able. The artists’ Webpage, Facebook, and Amazon links are available for each song below. I’ve also included concert review links if I’ve seen the artist recently.

Download the ZIP File (136M) available *HERE*, extract then drag & drop the mp3 files to your iTunes (or other playback software).

All Songs Streaming Playlist (click arrows to skip back & forth… for individual songs find them below. Note: Track 20 has explicit content.)

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01 PusciferThe Green Valley” from Conditions of My Parole

Tool / A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan makes wine and makes other music in his time off from Tool and APC.  I loved Puscifer’s debut and the subsequent EP, but this album tops it all.  It’s a brilliant record, recorded in one of his wine cellars with his friends – featuring backing vocals from Carina Round.  It’s self-released by Puscifer music with a small distribution partner (available in indie shops, primarily).  While there are some rockers (maybe 1/3 of the album), this song is fairly representative of the feel of the album.  It’s my #1 album in 2011.

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02 My Brightest DiamondBe Brave” from All Things Will Unwind

Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) took some time off since her last album – 2008’s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth.  She put out some stunning collaborations in the past three years (including her first kiddo); so the lapse in studio work was a-OK.  On this album, Shara teams up with NYC-based ensemble yMusic to create a lush backdrop for her gorgeous voice.  It’s my #2 album in 2011.  I can’t praise it enough!

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03 Ric HordinskiMy Pretty Bagatelle” from Arthur’s Garden

Guitarist extraordinaire Ric Hordinski (formerly of Over the Rhine – in their rockier days) has been a favorite of mine for a LONG TIME. He’s the kind of guitarist who is subtle and unassuming in his approach, but you end up wracking your brain how he gets such lush and complex sounds out of the frets.  This album was part of a Kickstarter campaign, and while the physical manifestation hasn’t hit my mailbox yet, I was happy he sent it out to Kickstarter funders early.  It’s such a great record… you can get it now on bandcamp!

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04 Goddamn Electric BillSin” from Jazz

GdEB is the one-man brainchild of Jason Torbert.  He hits the spot for organic electronic meets post-rock for me.  Ambient at times, melodic other times.  His latest work has featured some vocals, but he’s primarily a groove-induced soundscape kind of guy.  Chirps and glitches, too.  Excellent stuff!

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05 RadioheadCodex” from The King of Limbs

I could probably put the “indie” icon next to Radiohead, too… I think technically they put TKOL out by themselves.  But they’re a huge superpower of a band.  I like this record, but I’ll admit that it’s still sinking in… I need to give it some more spins.  This album spawned a seven 7″ vinyl remix set.  The video for “Lotus Flower” also spawned a silly “Thom Yorke dancing” meme… one of my favorites being the tennis/fish and the “Single Ladies” editions.

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06 Garage A TroisAssault on Precinct 13” from Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil

Skerik, Stanton Moore, Marco Benevento (who replaced Charlie Hunter) and Mike Dillon make their way through Oregon quite a bit.  They are a sight to see – you don’t know exactly what kind of show you’ll get, but it’s definitely a fun time.  Fun, groove-oriented “new jazz.”

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07 dredgThe Tent” from Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy

I love this band.  I hate the album title, but I love the band.  Modern progressive rock, tons of talent, thoughtful lyrics, none of that “prog wankery” that is generally detestable.  While it’s hard for them to follow-up the stunning The Pariah The Parrot The Delusion, this new album does a hearty job of maintaining their quality rock standards.

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08 Tres Mts.Makes Me Feel” from Three Mountains

Supergroup made up of dUg Pinnick of King’s X, Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, and Richard Stuverud of the Fastbacks.  They jangle through about an hour of solid rock tunes… more closely resembling a soulful King’s X trajectory vs. Pearl Jam – mainly due to dUg’s vocal duties.  This is a great trio that I hope isn’t a one-off.  With King’s X on tour in 2012, I doubt we’ll hear more from Tres Mts for a while, though.

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09 Chamberlain/Krauss/PhelpsEverest” from Modular: Sonic Explorations

Gorgeous soundscapes from Matt Chamberlain, Viktor Krauss, and Dan Phelps.  The Modular Project is the collaboration of the aforementioned musicians working together to “discover what the spontaneous and organic manipulation of sound can yield. Inspired by the world around them, they set out to discover what it might sound like when continents shift, clouds form, and roots push through soil.”  This track, “Everest,” features one of my favorite cellists – Eyvind Kang (who has worked with Secret Chiefs 3, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Mike Patton).  It’s a great mix of cello, vibes and soaring atmosphere.  It’s only available digitally or on vinyl (it’s a luscious triple-gatefold!)…

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10 Jeffrey FoucaultPasserines” from Horse Latitudes

Jeffrey Foucault is a favorite Americana artist that I got turned on to by singer-songwriter/storyteller Peter Mulvey.  Jeffrey and Peter work together in the band Redbird (with David Goodrich and Jeffrey’s wife Kris Delmhorst).  I didn’t pick up Jeffrey’s albums until the past year and a half.  He’s definitely more on the cusp of country than I tend to traverse, but I dig his authenticity, poetic wit and charm.  He’s a delight on stage and a fantastic Prine-esque songwriter for the new generation.

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11 Peter Mulvey & David GoodrichDrumlin Trail” from Nine Days Wonder

Peter Mulvey has toured all over the US and the world for about 2 decades.  Some of the first times I saw him in concert, he had “Goody” with him on backing guitar.  They don’t get a chance to tour together much lately, but they did find some time to hole-up inside a studio to write and record some instrumental guitar duets.  While I love Peter’s vocal storytelling, it’s nice to hear his and Goody’s instrumental interplay tell a different story.

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12 Steven WilsonHome in Negative” from Grace for Drowning

Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson is a hard worker.  Whether he’s producing albums for others or making albums & touring with PT, Blackfield, No-Man, Storm Corrosion, or solo – he’s always busy each and every year.  This year brought his second solo album and a small tour.  The album is a bit more stripped down from his other projects.  It is reminiscent of Pink Floyd in spots – specifically this song “Home in Negative.”  He also rocks out a bit in the almost two hour double album… check out the video for “Track One” here (it’s a bit bleak then startling).  Gorgeous work.

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13 WussyPulverized” from Strawberry

Well, I was super happy when I found out that Wussy was putting out their fourth full-length studio album this year. They’re a fantastic rock quartet made up of Chuck Cleaver, Lisa Walker, Mark Messerly, and Joe Klug. They write catchy, poppy choruses and meld it perfectly with Midwest Americana-meets-indie-rock grit (or “Midwestern drone” as their press says).   Vocal duties are traded off with Chuck (of Ass Ponys) and Lisa (of Magic Words).

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14 PomplamooseTelephone” from The Album You Bought At Our Show…

This is the song that got me into Pomplamoose.  It’s a cover of the collaboration between Lady Gaga and Beyoncé (whose ridiculous but still kind awesome original video has 129 million hits as of Dec 2011).  Pomplamoose does “video songs,” and this was the hook to lure me in.  Click the image at the left to see their video of the song.  The CD came out this year as part of their first tour ever… which I caught in Portland.  Excellent, fun band!

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15 David BazanWolves at the Door” from Strange Negotiations

Continuing in his solo expressions after the official ceasing of Pedro the Lion, David Bazan manifests wit, a sharp tongue, and a questioning mind into his DIY-indie rock.  This year, he toured quite a bit, solo and with a band.  An album last year (Curse Your Branches), an album this year, and another on the way.  He’s slogging away, trekking all over the country, and making some great music on the way.

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16 John ZornSong of Experience” from At the Gates of Paradise

“Channeling the work of Romantic visionary William Blake and ancient Gnostic writings from the Nag Hammadi archives, At the Gates of Paradise is the newest installment in Zorn’s ever growing catalog of mystical works. The music is filled with bright light and a childlike innocence, and ranges from long form compositions with constantly shifting time signatures that unfold with a compelling inner logic to mysterious ballads and hypnotic moods.”  The album features a quartet that I know and love from many jazz/avant outfits: drummer Joey Baron (Masada and many more), bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle, Fantômas, Nels Cline Singers), keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood) and vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen (Sex Mob, Electric Masada, etc).

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17 Over the RhineDays Like This” from The Long Surrender

For those that don’t know Over the Rhine, they started out as a four piece in Cincinnati in 1989 and put out their “post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop” indie debut ‘Til We Have Faces in 1991. After about a decade as a four-piece, Ric Hordinski (guitars) & Brian Kelley (drums) left.  Karin Bergquist (vocals) & Linford Detweiler (keys) carried on the Over the Rhine flame throughout the years… moving away from a rockier feel to a more folky-pop-Americana thing. What I like about Over the Rhine is they continually change and evolve into a different band with each album and each outing. I’ve seen them rock out, I’ve seen them jazz it up, I’ve seen them happy, I’ve seen them somber, I’ve seen them celebratory, and I’ve seen them tell stories that will make you laugh and cry.  This tune was written by fellow Cincinnati singer-songwriter Kim Taylor (it originally appeared on her 2008 EP The Greatest Story).  I’d highly recommend checking her out as well.

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18 Elysian FieldsSleepover” from Last Night On Earth

Brooklyn-based sultry art rockers Elysian Fields don’t really tour outside of NYC often.  Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow find their way to Europe on occasion, but most U.S. fans only really have their studio albums to sate their musical desires.  This is their sixth full-length album in their near 16-year career.  Well crafted, well produced, lush vocals and folk meets dusky jazz.

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19 Kevin MooreHypnogogic” from Shine

This is a little palette cleanser for the mix CD – right before the end.  Kevin Moore’s main projects are the trippy/sample-heavy Chroma Key & heavier prog collaboration band O.S.I. (with Jim Matheos).  Shine is the soundtrack to the 2006 Turkish film Küçük Kiyamet (“Little Apocalypse“).  It came out in early 2011 after a successful Kickstarter in 2010.  The next album from O.S.I. comes out in February 2012 on Metal Blade.  I can almost guarantee it will be my Top album of 2012, and I haven’t heard a shred of it yet.

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20 Childish GambinoHeartbeat” from Camp (warning: explicit content)

I first heard of Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) like many people – via television.  Donald plays Troy Barnes on NBC’s Community.  I’ve heard a few of his albums, but this was his first full-length with a wide release.  This song almost didn’t make the cut, but the melody in the chorus and the grinding keyboards just made it to difficult to ultimately cut from the mix.  Brilliant song about the messiness of dating.  If you’d like the “clean” version of the song, there is a “clean” version of the whole album on Amazon.

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Near misses from the mix: something from Earth’s Angels of Darkness Demons of Light 1 & Opeth’s Heritage (songs are too long) and Azealia Bank’s “212” (infectious as hell)… plus songs from several other albums that’ll still be on my Best of 2011 lists (coming soon).

Let me know what you think… If you enjoyed what you heard, please support the music.  Definitely feel free to pass the link the mix along:

http://tinyurl.com/MixyD2011

~Dan – np: Florence + the MachineCeremonials

there are no torrents, free mp3 or other downloads available

REVIEW: Chali 2na @ WOW Hall (Eugene, OR – 11/16/11)

17th Nov 11 (Thu) 1 comment

Chali 2Na is a rapper that commands an album.  His deep baritone and unrivaled flow were a staple on Jurassic 5’s albums.  His height and booming voice also command a room.  I’ve seen Chali many times with J5, but for various reasons, I’ve always missed him when he’s brought his solo tour through town.

This show was going to fall into that same trap… until the Michael Jackson-tribute Cirque du Soleil show set for Wednesday, November 16th got canceled and moved to only being on Tuesday the 15th (my review of the Eugene MJ Cirque show here).  “Yay!  I could hit Chali’2 solo show!”  In fact, had the Cirque tickets not been so much, I would have bailed and gone to see Chali anyhow…

What makes Chali so good?  Well, check out the video for “Step Yo Game Up”…

There was a DJ I didn’t catch the name of as an opener, and then tour opener MTHDS went on late (10pm or so).  They were good and got the smallish WOW Hall crowd warmed up.  I was worried that the crowd for Chali 2Na would stay low, but I guess a lot of people were downstairs during the earlier sets as the floor got a little more packed during Chali’s show…

more photos below

Chali hit the stage around 11:15pm with his live band the House of Vibe.  They were a three-piece rock format with “Brew” on keys and vocals… there was also a drummer and bassist (didn’t get their names).  It was a fresh take to see a live band with a rapper… most times I’ve seen rap in a live setting, it’s been to DAT or a DJ.

Setlist: the first hour…

  • Unknown
  • “Mister DJ”
  • Comin’ Thru
  • Don’t Stop
  • F.O.W. (Fish Outta Water)
  • International
  • Guns Up
  • Welcome to the Fish Market
  • Freedom [Jurassic 5]
  • Quality Control [J5] w/ MJ “I Want You Back” & “I’ll Be There” (snippets)
  • What’s Golden [J5]
  • Step Yo’ Game Up
  • Righteous Way

I bailed around 12:20am… caught about an hour of Chali’2 set.  Great show, wish it would have started earlier – especially for a Wednesday night.  I loved that he threw in a few Jurassic 5 tunes.  Keyboardist “Brew” sang a few Michael Jackson ditties in the middle of J5’s “Quality Control”… the crowd ate it up!

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates on Chali’s site HERE.

Next show for me… Over the Rhine @ the Aladdin Theater in Portland tonight (11/17).

~Dan – np: Causing A TigerHow We Held Our Post

CHALI 2NA PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Cut Chemist – West Coast Tour

2nd Aug 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

Former Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist is hitting the road for a few dates on the West Coast with Mr. Lif, Edan and filmmaker Tom Fitzgerald

8/16 – HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM (all ages)
8/17 – HOUSE OF BLUES HOLLYWOOD (18+)
8/18 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA Mezzanine
8/19 – SEATTLE, WA Showbox
8/20 – SAN DIEGO, CA House Of Blues
http://www.cutchemist.com

~Dan – np: StavesacreAbsolutes

Derek Webb – Democracy Vol 2 #1

29th Mar 11 (Tue) 3 comments

One a month, from March to December 2011…

Derek Webb’s Democracy Vol 2… This month, it is “F**k You” by Cee-Lo Green (from Gnarls Barkley).  I’m at work; so I haven’t had a chance to listen yet… but I’m looking forward to it! Part of me thinks Derek is solely doing this for the “Christian singer-songwriter singing ‘Fuck You’” aspect of it, but whatever… that aspect has no bearing on my views.  I like Cee-Lo’s unconventional pop song, and I like Derek Webb.  The combo should prove interesting – even if he recently tweeted that he muted the F-word, since he couldn’t sing an asterisk.

If Derek covers the song live on his current tour with Jars of Clay… well, that would be excellent…  but unlikely.

Update: listening to it now… personal preference would be for it to not be self-censored.  Vocals also sound kinda muddy, weirdly buried in the mix.  Keyboards don’t seem synched up with the guitars & drums. I applaud his moxy, just perhaps not the execution.  Still enjoyable, though – all things considered.

For those not in the know, Democracy Vol 2 is a continuation of the covers project Derek started last year.  The fans get to nominate songs and then vote once the nominations are tallied.  Here’s what he did back in 2010 (you can still go back and buy this volume):

  • January 2010: The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • February: Coldplay – Fix You
  • March: Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • April: Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
  • May: Sufjan Stevens – Chicago *a personal fave*
  • June: U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
  • July: Huey Lewis & the News – Power of Love
  • August: The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby *a personal fave*
  • September: Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence
  • October: Radiohead – Karma Police *a personal fave*
  • November: Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
  • December: Robert Robinson – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Fans of Derek may also want to check out his contribution (amongst other great covers) of Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans.  The tribute album put out by On Joyful Wings is called Seven Swans Reimagined.  Derek does In Devil’s Territory.  Other musicians include some Asthmatic Kitty favorites, and some newbies to the fold – including the Gregory Brothers (autotune the news) and Inlets.

~Dan – np: On Joyful Wings (various artists) – Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans Reimagined

Democracy Vol. 2 is a series of subscription based albums of cover songs that Derek will be recording annually, starting January 2010. Those who participate will not only receive the exclusive album, but will democratically decide what songs Derek will record.

Ever wished you could hear Derek cover your favorite Beatles song? Or Backstreet Boys song? Or even re-record your favorite old Caedmon’s Call song? Here’s your chance. Songs will be nominated and voted down to 10. Derek will record them (demo quality) and deliver them digitally (320kbps MP3s), one song per month for 10 months (March to December). Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unique collaborative project with Derek Webb!

R.I.P. Nate Dogg (1969-2011)

16th Mar 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Huffington Post reports:

Nate Dogg is dead, according to a report in his hometown Long Beach Press Telegram, which cited a family announcement.

Friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg appeared to confirm the news by tweeting, “RIP NATE DOGG” and later “We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met.”

TMZ says they have confirmed the report but did not indicate how.

Read the full report and check back for updates.

I dig Nate Dogg.  He was the most (unintentionally) funny background star in gangsta rap.  His juicy, and completely  horribly offensive-yet-gently sung backing lyrics to Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg songs almost always have me in stitches.  He will be missed.

~Dan – Liz JanesTime & Space (with My Brightest Diamond & Fol Chen)

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