Music For Catfish

4 out of 5 musicians recommend this WordPress.com site

Kurt Vile – Wakin On A Pretty Daze

Wakin On A Pretty Daze is the fifth album recorded by Kurt Vile. This album is about the laughter, hardships, pensiveness, and an array of other feelings we all can go through day-to-day. He is able to capture this in 11 songs in a modest and humble manner. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kurt Vile really pushes the envelope with this album composing lengthier tracks that seem like sagas within themselves. Each song is very accessible to any listener and that is what makes this album so popular. He isn’t searching for a new genre or sound, he is simply just moving with the evolution of rock and making his own in what seems to be an effortless way. The lyrical content is very direct and conveys his honest personality well.

The opening title track “Walkn’ On A Pretty Daze” is a 9 minute 31 second track that makes you feel as if you are walking the streets with Kurt Vile. This song really sets the tone for the rest of the album. A long melodic jam with personal lyrics like “wakin on a pretty day / don’t know why I ever go away / it’s hard to explain / my love, in this pretty daze.”

“Pure Pain” is a song that is a showmanship of Kurt Vile’s music skills. Throughout the song he is able to change tempos while making seamless transitions between these changes. “Too Hard” shows Kurt Vile coming for a very honest and sincere place with lyrics like “Take your time / so the say and that’s probably the best way to be / but what about those who are fathers / and what about their daughters? / I will promise to do my very best / …” This song has a pretty guitar picking style to it with electric riffs brushed throughout the song.

“Girl Called Alex” and “Never Run Away” are also must listen to as well. They are catchy songs that leave you whistling these melodies for the rest of the day.

Listen to the album on spotify below.

Buy the deluxe album here at Kurt Vile’s website.
http://kurtvile.merchtable.com/music/wakin-on-a-pretty-daze-deluxe-daze-post-haze-2xcd

Why Music Makes You Happy

Everyone has their music that they enjoy listening to. And of course, when you listen to it this makes you happy. I know that there are some songs that bring me more of a high than any drug, girl, or roller coaster can. Here is a discovery article that scientifically explains the reasoning and logic behind Why Music Makes you, me, and everyone else happy.

http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/music-dopamine-happiness-brain-110110.htm

Charles Bradley – Victim of Love (2013)

If you were to hear this album on the radio today, you would think it was a classic funk and R&B channel that plays tunes strictly from the 60 & 70’s era. Surprisingly, Charles Bradley is capable of producing an album in the year 2013 that has a groove like no other in this day of age. This album is called Victim of Love. He has a raspy voice that tells the story of agonizing love and his music accompaniment is there with vintage horns, guitar riffs, beats, and organs. Charles bradley was born in the year 1948 and he is the time capsule for soul music that was sent here to the year 2013. Growing up he was able to listen and collect all different genres of music. You can hear in his music the influences of James Brown and Otis Redding that are deeply ingrained into this man’s soul.

Listening to this album now I am still blown away by the absolute talent this man has. Recreating a sound that was long ago lost and now making it present. In songs like “Let Love Stand a Chance” you can hear the pain in his voice as the sweeping rhythm guitar, horns, and organ swing with his voice.

The title track “Victim of Love” is a must listen to. With the delightful background singers supporting Charles Bradley crys for love give this song a real Motown feel. He was even humble enough to allow the band to do an instrumental track called “Dusty Blue.”

“Crying In The Chapel” is a song that really puts you in this man’s thoughts. You can feel the gut wrenching loss that we all go through when we lose a lover. This song captures that desperate hopelessness that comes from this. Victim of Love ends with a smooth lyrical song called “Through The Storm” that reminisces The Meteors rendition of “Stormy Weather.”

All I can say at this point is if you haven’t heard of this album then please give it a listen. You won’t be able to put it down once you pick it up. If you are a bit older it will warm your heart to hear an artist release this kind of music in 2013. If you are young then freshen up your music taste so years from now you can brag to your children about how you remember when Charles Bradley crooned for your times, your generation.

You can listen to the album below on spotify.

You can also purchase it below at Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Victim-Love-Charles-Bradley/dp/B00B23Z2IE

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II (1969)

Led Zeppelin was an english band from London whom transformed music in a number of ways. They had the capability of melting your face with heavy rock and roll riffs that are still echoing through our time and will be  long after us. They also had the courage to play distinct imaginative folk melodies. Today, I will be reviewing my personal favorite Led Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin II.

This album is by no means a secret. In 1999 it went certified 12x platinum selling an excess of 12 million albums. For me, this album is the epitome of rock albums. Produced by Jimmy Page, you can still hear the blues based sound, but the explosiveness of their sound in songs like “Whole Lotta Love” and “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Maid)” show this album is more than just 12 bar blues. This album has it all from a fiery of guitar solos by Jimmy Page, impeccable drum fills and solos by John Bonham, Robert Plant’s shrill vocals, and John Paul Jones giving a punch on the bass.
led-zeppelin

“Whole Lotta Love” starts out with a guitar and bass line that make you want to hit the road running. The song moves into a free jazz state where guitars are weaving in a out and Robert Plant’s vocals echo.  A John Bonham and Jimmy Page solo ensues and the rest is history.

“What Is And What Should Never Be” shows the variety Led Zeppelin had all in one song. It is said that the lyrics for this song is a reflection of Robert Plant’s romance with his wife’s younger sister. From 0 to 60 back to 10 then to 90 is the way this song goes. There are parts that rock and roll its way through and other parts with beautiful slow melodic harmonies.

“Ramble On” was co-written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant that was heavily influenced by ‘The Lord Of The Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. This song has a tight groove between John Bonham (drums) and John Paul Jones (bass) with a nice jingle sound on the guitar from Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s superb vocals.

The far-out blues and heavy rock n’ roll incorporated on Led Zeppelin II stands out as a man amongst boys in the music world. So if you have listened to this album 814 times on vinyl or haven’t heard this album because you are a 19 year old kid too busy listening to Miley Cyrus, this is all for you so Bring It On Home.

Listen to the album on spotify below.

You can also purchase this CD on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin-II/dp/B000002J03

Lord Echo – Curiosities

Lord Echo is a unique band who are New Zealand based artist looking to make some noise. Curiosities is their second album released in November of 2013. Lord Echo managed to devise a  distinct sound using some funk, boogie, and disco in the process. Through the intricate layers of his music is a work of genius that will keep you grooving in the meantime. Every song on the album Curiosities has something to offer that will invigorate and rejuvenate the human conscious.

“Bohemian Idol” (Feat. Toby Liang) is a real groovy tune. You can tell the influence that 70’s funk (Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, James Brown) has had on Lord Echo. There is a smooth bass line that really glues this composition together and some intriguing keyboard effects that ice over the song nicely.

Another funky tune and one of my favorites would be “Digital Haircut.” The chops on the guitar are ridiculous in this song. It definitely  reminds me of The Meters and the way their funk would roll.

“Molten Lava” starts out almost as a beautiful ballad, but then quickly moves on to a dance beat that will empower your lonely walks. Leila Adu does a stunning job with her vocals. “”Put It In My Head” starts out with a beat that echoes around you, then a keyboard riff that seamlessly blends in with Mara Tk’s vocals. Before you know it, a horn section moving the song right along and everything feels alright.

I recommend this album to any music enthusiasts. Lord Echo managed to revolutionize a sound that is his very own. Authentic to himself while bringing others along for the ride. I’m excited for what else is in store for Lord Echo.

Listen to the full album on spotify.

You can also purchase their album on bandcamp.
https://bastardjazz.bandcamp.com/album/curiosities

Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours

We all know about Frank Sinatra. His soothing  voice that leads you to dreamy places about love, big cities, dreams, solitude, excitement, and just about every thing you can think of Sinatra has a voice for it. This album in particular is a classic and a staple album in all of music. The atmosphere and mood ‘In The Wee Small Hours’ gives is everything you can ask for during any night of solitude. The reason I say that is because this is considered a concept album dealing with loneliness, heartbreak, and solitude. Frank Sinatra goes through a series of standards that deal with loneliness and desolate. The album cover does a beautiful job at illustrating this.
In The Wee Small Hours Album Cover

This was Sinatra’s 9th studio album release in April of 1955. During the recording of this album Sinatra was going through a chain of disheveled relationships. Critics have claimed that these relationships were the motive behind this melancholy album. There is definitely a theme of eternal loneliness in this album that anyone can relate to. We’ve all experienced those wee hours of unappealing loneliness that craves the attention of requited love. This is definitely an album that should be listened to all the way through, but I will try and give insight to a few specific tracks.

“In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning” is the opening track. It immediately sets the tone and mood for the rest of the album. With lyrics like “in the wee small hours of the morning / while the whole world is fast asleep / you lie awake and think about the girl / and never ever think of counting sheep” -simplicity and depth of lyrics like this helps everyone relate to this song.

“Mood Indigo” and “Glad To Be Unhappy” are songs that has been covered countless times and in this case these jazz compositions will keep your blues certain.

“Deep In A Dream” does an excellent job of painting a picture for the listener. I can’t think of a better example where the music is almost as lyrical as the lyrics themselves and that combined with Frank Sinatra’s voice makes this a must listen to track.

“Last Night When We Were Young” has a moving melody that puts you in a trance as to thinking about that lover who slipped away and all you can do is recollect the moment shared. “I’ll Be Around” and “This Love Of Mine” are songs that give the feeling of an unsettling acceptance to the loneliness that encloses after a heartbreak.

As impressive as Frank Sinatra’s deep heartfelt voice is on this the music accompaniment is just as impressive. Most of these songs are not originals and many of the pieces were restructured to fit that melancholy mood. This was done by Bill Miller’s piano, rhythm section featuring a rhythm guitar, celesta, strings, and of course Frank Sinatra.

Below is the full album on youtube.

You can also purchase this album and others by Frank Sinatra at the store page below.
http://www.sinatra.com/store/music/in-wee-small-hours-vinyl

John Coltrane – John Coltrane Plays For Lovers

I know I’m a day late,  but in the spirit of valentines day I would like to seduce you with this phenomenal album  by John Coltrane that is a compilation of 9 tantalizing tracks. John Coltrane Plays For Lovers takes tracks recorded from the 1950’s that are all consistent slow groove love songs.  I believe this underrated John Coltrane album is a statement to how elegant Coltrane was and the skills he had to construct such heartfelt ballads. I would recommend this album to any new comers to jazz, because as tenacious as Coltrane could be with “free jazz” this is a turn the lights down low, sit back, and relax while the world keeps on turning album.

Throughout this whole album there is a sense of romanticism and sensitivity that Coltrane encompassed. With  slowed down pieces Coltrane was able to unleash longer and more comprehensive solos. These tracks showed that he was able to achieve a much earthier and sweeter tone. He was able to create an album that makes you feel like you could have a wonderful dinner with the one you love and afterwards wind down next to a fire.

The opening track “I want to talk about you” begins with Coltrane playing a sweet and powerful, yet gentle and harmonious saxophone part. Throughout this song he is able to maintain a melodic tune while the piano interjects when needed, as if the instruments are having a conversation.

Another track to tune into would be “Star Dust.” This song was originally composed by Hoagy Carmichael in 1927 and is considered one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century with over 1,500 total recordings. This one is a beautiful laid back rendition that brings more love from love. Accompanied with Coltrane’s sax is a piano, drums, and trumpet.

“While My Lady Sleeps” starts out with the piano and tenor sax playing the same parts repeatedly. Then, as the piano continues Coltrane trails off into his own realm. This illustrates the thought of being with the one he loves and yet contemplating the temptation of the night life.

Every piece from this album, front to back is accessible to listen to. For anyone who is looking to spice up an already romantic night, this album will do everything in its power to give you that extra serendipitous love. The consistency of this album will keep you and your loved one warm throughout the night.

Below is the full album on spotify.

Below is a link where you can purchase the album at Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/John-Coltrane-Plays-Lovers/dp/B0000AB136

Jimi Hendrix – First Rays Of The New Rising Sun

It is hard to believe that this was Jimi Hendrix’s fourth album when his tragic and untimely death came in late August of 1970 that brought a halt to  some of the greatest music ever composed. To put that in perspective, most of Jimi’s music we listen to and love is from a 4 year span of “good quality” recordings. The man who dominates all charts and demographics of music only had 27 years of life to do this. If that doesn’t give you hope in what you can do, I don’t know what will.

On to the album review, First Rays Of The New Rising Sun was a posthumous album released in 1997. The reason it was released so late was because it was an attempt to recreate what Jimi would have wanted for his fourth album.  Jimi was a perfectionist when it came to being in the studio which means the album was never finalized by the time of his death. He had a long and mesmerizing discography in his pocket. He often wanted to release 30 tracks or a triple LP  for records, but the record company often urged him not to because of the decrease that would bring in commercial value.

This album is truly an insight into Jimi’s thoughts. The most poetic song to portray his thoughts is “Room Full of Mirrors” with lyrics like “I used to live in a room full of mirrors / all I could see was me / well I take my spirit and I smash my mirrors / I said the whole world is here for me to see”- through these lyrics is the electrifying and reverberated guitars bouncing and echoing off one another. The ingenuity that Jimi had in the studio was unparalleled. A rock ballad that keeps the meantime a groovy time.

Jimi always had a way with finding a voice for the people and this was done on his opening track “Freedom.” By the end of the song you will be pumping your fist in the air and chanting your own freedom along with Jimi. The underscore of the piano truly gives this track a thunderous grind.

If you have tears to shed, “Angel” and “Drifting” would be the songs to put on. “Angel” begins with a swirling guitar and Jimi singing about an angel who visited and whispered to him “the sweet love between the moon and the sea” – one of the more tranquil images told in music. “Drifting” is said to be an affinity to Curtis Mayfield. I’d concur with that statement simply because of how pure the guitars sound in this track.  Close your eyes and it truly gives you the feeling of sailing home towards true love.

“Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” once again references that angelic  female who brings him optimism and an invitation to find peace. At the beginning of the track you can hear Jimi ask, “Is the microphone on?” an indication that shows this was a primitive track. With that said, this track is still a must listen, encapsulating Jimi’s frame of mind.

I strongly recommend  for anyone to listen to this album. Through the optimism of Hendrix and the downfall of hards times, he is able to express the complete spectrum of emotion through this album. The stories behind Jimi are told through his songs, give it a close listen and you will understand the innovation behind this guitar flying, sci-fiing, heartfelt, genius man.

With the help of spotify, you can listen to the full album below…

Below is the Jimi Hendrix website. Take a look at all the albums and merchandise available at…
http://www.jimihendrix.com/us/music-jimi

Bonobo – Dial ‘M’ For Monkey

Bonobo’s album Dial ‘M’ For Monkey is a cutting edge musical piece not only in the electronic world, but in all of music. It brings you into a world of samples and beats iced over with smooth bass lines  that seamlessly seep into your very being. It is great for moments of meditation and relaxation. You could listen to it on headphones while laying on the couch or on your dad’s surround sound speakers kicking it with some friends. Every time I pick up this album for a listen I find a new piece of music that I am able to dissect and interpret.

“Flutter” is a track that I find myself revisiting over and over. As I listen to this song I can close my eyes and feel the Arabian streets vibrating, breathing, and moving through me. It has a  middle eastern guitar rift that repeats throughout the song with a nice touch of horns.

“D Song” has a hip hop beat accompanied by horns, strings, and a fluid synth part. If any contemplation needs to be done this is the song to put on.

If I can add 2 more tracks to accompany on your listen to this album it would be “pick up” and “nothing owed.” Once again Bonobo does an excellent job at incorporating world beats and different sounds that easily seem to be in the right place at all times.

Down below I posted a link to a youtube playlist of Bonobo’s album Dial ‘M’ For monkey.



If you enjoyed that album, below is a link to bonobo’s website shop. Feel free to check out more of Bonobo’s music. I promise, you won’t regret it.

http://bonobomusic.com/shop