Friday, December 31, 2010

Lissie | One of the Best of UW 2010

"Catching A Tiger" is the debut album for California based singer and songwriter Lissie. It was recorded mostly in Nashville and mostly with Jacquire King (Kings of Leon). Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses also participated as he had on her 2009 EP "Why You Runnin'". Great songwriting, strong vocals and sharp arrangements. Definitely one of the highlights of 2010's listening and one of the most promising.

Lissie is included on this week's playlist, part 3 of the Best of 2010 on mvyradio's new music show, Uncharted Waters. Listen to UW Fridays and repeated on Sundays at 9PM ET on

Best of Uncharted Waters 2010 Part 3

Friday/Sunday December 31, 2010/January 2, 2010

"Cuckoo" Lissie Catching A Tiger Fat Possum
"Only Thing That Was Missing Was You" Michael Franti and Spearhead Sound Of Sunshine Capitol
"The Word" Bettye Lavette Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook Anti-
"Central Two-O-Nine" Robert Plant Band Of Joy Rounder
"Please Speak Well Of Me" The Weepies Be My Thrill Nettwerk
"Color Of Rain" Jason Spooner Sea Monster Jason Spooner
"Blue Beard Band Of Horses Infinite Arms
"In The Years To Come" Kim Richey Wreck Your Wheels Thirty Tigers
"Wade In The Water" Patty Griffin Downtown Church Credential Recordings
"The Universe Is Laughing" Guggenheim Grotto The Universe is Laughing
"Hush" Julia and Angus Stone Down The Way Nettwerk
"God On The Drums, Devil on the Bass" Katie Melua The House Dramatico
"In Magnolia" Kenny White Comfort In The Static
"Don't Forget About Me" John Mellancamp No Better Than This Rounder
"I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down" Janiva Magness Alligator
"Always Got Away" Martin Sexton Sugarcoating Kitchen Table Records

Monday, December 27, 2010

Singer Teena Marie Dies | That voice

I just learned that legendary r&b, soul and funk singer Teena Marie died yesterday of natural causes at age 54 and I join with her many fans in mourning her loss. For me, her voice transcended genres. I loved the musical setting of her music, but that wasn't what got me. It was that voice!

Listening back to some of her songs and checking out some videos of her music led me back to her 1984 album "Starchild" and it felt like the first time I heard her sing. I was so drawn to the emotion and vulnerability in her strong, secure, skilled and passionate sound. I couldn't get her voice out of my head. And now it's back with me as she moves on.

Teena Marie was one of the greatest vocalists of the last thirty-five years and was instrumental in paving the way and making a bridge for the mix of r&b and hip hop that is now a staple of contemporary music. She signed with Motown Records in 1976, switched to Epic in '83 and worked continuously until 1990. She took a fourteen year hiatus, returned in 2004 and released three more albums, including 2009's "Congo Square", which reached the Top 20 on Billboard's Top 200.

As I was reading through and listening to some remembrances, I found an interesting connection. Teena Marie worked with songwriter and music producer Richard Rudolph, husband of another great r&b singer, Minnie Riperton. Rudolph produced "Lady T" for Teena Marie in 1980, a year after Riperton died. One of the album's songs "Too Many Colors" features the voice of 7 year-old Maya Rudolph, the actress and Rudolph's and Riperton's daughter. Maya Rudolph became Teena Marie's god-daughter.

That voice...filling up some other space. Peaceful passage.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ray Lamontagne | One of the Best of UW 2010

Subtlety has great benefits when employed in any form of expression. And when it's combined with a deep and rich inner life, and revealed in song, well, you may find brilliance. Like the light shining through a billion stars in the dark night.

Ray Lamontagne has made a career album in this year's "God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise", his fourth full-length release. It's most likely a career album that will be matched or supplanted by another one of his records down the road. That's how secure he seems to be in the place he came to with his band The Pariah Dogs as they recorded the album over a two-week period in Lamontagne's home studio in Western Massachusetts. Shades of Neil and Joni. Soaring silence of his heart.

In "Like Rock & Roll & Radio", he oh so gently asks "Are you still in love with me?" and likens the estrangement that he feels with the soulless nature of modern radio. Radio has broken his heart, it seems, with the way it's changed. Will his lover do (has his lover done) the same?

Are you still in love with me
Like the way it used to be or is it changing?
Is it deeper over time
Like the river that is winding through the canyon?

Are we strangers now
Like the Ziegfeld Gal and the Vaudeville Show?
Are we strangers now
Like rock and roll and the radio
Like rock and roll and radio?

Ray Lamontagne's song is part of this this week's Best of Uncharted Waters 2010. Here's the playlist:

Friday/Sunday December 17/19/2010 9 p.m. ET

Best of UW 2010 Part 2

"Corpus Christi Carol/Hammerhead" Jeff Beck Emotion and Commotion Atco
"Terrible Love" The National High Violet 4 AD
"Open Arms" Patty Larkin 25 Vanguard
"Like Rock & Roll and Radio" Ray Lamontagne God Willin' and The Creek Don't Rise RCA
"Lingering Still" She and Him Volume 2 Merge
"Creep Along Moses" Mavis Staples You Are Not Alone Anti-
"Boe Money" Galactic with Rebirth Brass Band Ya-Ka-May Anti-
"Your Night Is Wide Open" Tracy Bonham Masts of Manhatta Engine Room
"Only The Wine" David Gray Foundling Mercer Street
"Carry" Ryan Montbleau Heavy on the Vine Blue's Mountain
"Rockin' Chair" Eric Clapton Clapton Reprise
"That Phone" Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Hollywood
"The Curse" Josh Ritter So Runs The World Away Josh Ritter

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Frightened Rabbit | one of the Best of UW 2010

Uncharted Waters is the new releases show that I host on mvyradio (Friday 9 PM; replay Sunday at 9 PM). I have started a 3 part series, looking back over the songs, albums and artists that made their way into this weekly musical container.

There's something about the concentration of approximately 50 hours of music (4 shows x 12 months) into 3 short hours that makes me dizzy and full wonder at the power of song. See part one's playlist below.

One of the songs from this week's show is from Glasglow's Frightened Rabbit, who released their third album "Winter of Mixed Drinks" this year. The record's "Swim Until You Can't See Land" seems to be about transcending the trappings of life:

Dip the toe in the ocean.
Oh how it hardens and it numbs.
And the rest of me is a burgeoned man
built to collapse into crumbs
And if I hadn’t come down
To the coast to disappear
I may have died in a land-slide
Of the rocks, the hopes and fears.

As I was listening to the refrain, "swim until you can't see land" I thought, mmm good theme song for Uncharted Waters!

Here's the playlist for this week's (12/10/11) show:

Best of UW 2010-Part 1

"Run" Vampire Weekend Contra
"I've Got Dreams To Remember" Angelique Kidjo Oyo
"Five Small Words" Elvis Costello National Ransom
"Burden Of Tomorrow" The Tallest Man On Earth The Wild Hunt
"Hurricane Season" Trombone Shorty Backatown
"Hitchhiker" Neil Young Le Noise
"I Didn't See it Coming" Belle and Sebastian Write About Love
"Unfortunate Sea" Everest On Approach
"Let Yourself Go" Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Mojo
"Troubled Waters" Catherine Russell Inside This Heart Of Mine
"Swim Until You Can't See Land" Frightened Rabbit Winter Of Mixed Drinks
"Hotel Lights" Amy Cook Let The Light In
"Dry Bones" Robert Randolph and The Family Band We Walk This Road
"Unsophisticated Heart" Joe Pug Messenger

Friday, December 3, 2010

Feist | Look At What The Light Did Now

In the new documentary about Feist, "Look At What The Light Did Now", the Canadian artist/musician likens herself to a peacock, a "scrawny little bird" amid dazzling plumage. The beauty that surrounds her is born in the artistic collaboration with what she calls her "amplifiers"- her band, photographer, shadow puppeteers, video director and all who work with her to bring her work to light. The film itself is a reflection of an amazingly creative mind and reveals the profound benefits of trust.

"If you trust people and their art, it grows", says Feist.