Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wide World of Music

So much music, so little time. As usual the new Paste Magazine sampler CD (#37) has some cool stuff I would never have heard otherwise. One of these is a song called "I Love You, You Imbecile" by Swedish indie/pop artist Pelle Carlberg. I liked the song so I found the video on YouTube and wondered who the girl was singing with him on the song. It turns out she's a Norwegian rocker named Ida Maria, with a voice that reminds me of Björk (from Iceland), except that unlike most of Björk, I really like Ida Maria's songs. She doesn't have anything released yet, but you can hear four of her free-spirited and punky/poppy songs streaming on her MySpace page.

Not all the cool music is really new or from Europe. I bought the new James Taylor CD/DVD "One Man Band" which is yet another greatest hits-type collection, but performed live in a small theater in Pittsfield, Mass. with just JT's guitar and a piano player - essentially solo acoustic performances, and with a lot of spoken background "show and tell" about the songs on the two hour DVD. JT was one of my biggest influences (along with Paul Simon and the Beatles) when I started writing and singing songs in 1970, so hearing his songs in this simple setting is really great. It reminds me of when I was learning to play "Fire & Rain" and trying to write something as simple and good as that myself.

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