Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The balm of new music

I’ve just finished filing our taxes, whew.

It was unusually difficult this year, as I discovered yesterday that DH had somehow lost, shredded or otherwise disposed of all the 1099s I’d been saving since January. Sigh.

Then this morning a virus somehow got past McAfee and crashed his computer’s hard drive. Karma, you think?

Definitely a challenging day.

So now I’m rewarding myself by not working, instead just piddling around listening to music, auditioning new aural input.

First up, I fell in love with this music video, a compilation of artists all around the world playing “Stand By Me”. It truly brought tears to my eyes, not only triggered by tax stress.

The video is a project from the Playing for Change Foundation, BTW, “building and connecting music & art schools around the world”; worth a look-see.

Then I stopped by Pandora Radio to update my artist list. (I’m listening to it now; you can listen in too on my MaggieBelize “radio station”.)

JardinInterior I heard a good cut from Jardin Interior by Las Malas Amistades - “the bad friends” – a Colombian “psych folk D-I-Y punk” band made up of non-musicians who spontaneously record without first writing or rehearsing.

Psych folk”?? I might not buy it, but I had fun hearing it.

While I was at it, I added my longtime favorites Julieta Venegas, David Byrne, Juana Molina and Leo Kottke to Radio MaggieBelize.

Then I moved on to David Dye’s World Cafe NPR show.


I love the World Cafe show. I listened faithfully when I lived in Houston, and through it discovered all sorts of wonderful then-new music: Raul Malo’s Every Little Thing About You and Billy Bragg’s Accident Waiting to Happen, for example, just off the top of my head. When I lived in Belize, well out of radio range, I bought World Cafe’s annual compilation CDs to tide me over.

So one of my biggest disappointments in moving back to the States was to discover the show isn’t aired in New Mexico! But now I can subscribe to the show podcast, which gives me the featured artists at least, if not the whole show playlist.

bajofondo Anyway, I was on the site looking for Bajofondo Tango Club, an Argentinian-Uruguayan tango band featured on World Cafe last August.

(I found my months-old note-to-self about Bajofondo when I cleaned off my desk, looking for those darned 1099s.)

I realize how unlikely “electro-tango” sounds as a music genre, but their sound is so inventive and unusual: “a sensual soundscape of tango, trip-hop, drum & bass and pop elements that redefine the essence of tango for the 21st century.”bajofondo_mardulce 

The band’s producer / guitarist / vocalist is Gustavo Santaolalla, two-time Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning composer of Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

Their latest studio CD, Mar Dulce, was recorded in real time in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and Madrid … and includes vocals from Elvis Costello, Nellie Furtado, and Julieta Venegas.

Based on the cuts I heard on World Cafe, this one’s a definite must-buy. And I’ve just treated myself to it! What with our tax refunds coming, and all.

Ahh, new music …  I feel better already.

Designer, kNotes for kNitters
Sandia Park, NM

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