Thursday, December 4, 2008

Casual Listening - Cadillac Records, Vicente Fernandez, Neil Young

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

December 5, 2008

! Cadillac Records – Original Cast (soundtrack)

The doesn’t come out until after the Casual Listening deadline, so I can’t yet say it’s a must-see. I can definitely say that the soundtrack is a must-hear. Some of today’s most important stars recreate the golden age of Chicago Blues in the 1950’s. Beyonce pulls off Etta James surprisingly well, and Mos Def nails Chuck Berry. Expect an essay from me next week on why Chess Records matters. Meanwhile, take some time and discover, or rediscover, what Muddy Waters was all about.

Listen to Cadillac Records – Jeffrey Wright “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man

* Vicente Fernandez – Primera Fila (Latin)

Primera Fila translates as “front row” which is where you’ll be experiencing this concert by one of the most important singers Mexico ever produced. The material is primarily super-romantic Ranchera ballads, and with a full orchestra behind him, he’s able to add in a couple of killer Mariachi numbers. The live sound

Listen to Vicente Fernandez “Guadalajara

* A Filial ­– $1.99 (rap)

If you ever doubted the global reach of hip hop, A Filial will set you straight. Inventive beats use Brazilian instruments – drums, cowbell, flute – for a Samba-esque sound. Lyrics flip between English and Portuguese, but with A Filial, the music itself is the message.

Check out A Filial’s MySpace page here

* Neil Young – Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968 (folk)

The side of Neil Young that I first fell for was the wide-eyed young folksinger. This album documents a pure distillation of that persona. He runs through solo acoustic versions of some Buffalo Springfield material as well as several of his own tunes. The moment that this captures is one of unapologetic innocence, just a kid and a guitar at a coffeehouse in Ann Arbor. Neil Young in 1968 was America’s Nick Drake.

Listen to Neil Young “Expecting to Fly

Teslim – Teslim (World)

Gorgeous string duets with violin and an array of Middle Eastern lutes. Soothing, profound, quietly joyous music.

Listen to Teslim “Camila’s Song

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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