Here’s the “Meaning of Life.” ~9,000,000 people have watched this video in the past 2 weeks and seem to agree. I’m one of them. I was moved by this short film. (Be sure to check out Ana’s wonderful blog. She’s from Portugal. Her blog’s name is “Sol de Dezembro” (“December Sun”).
Ben Sollee, 30, is an American cellist, singer-songwriter, and composer known for his innovative playing style, genre-bending songwriting, electrifying performances, political activism, and wide appeal. His music incorporates banjo, guitar, and mandolin along with percussion and unusual cello techniques to create a unique sound. His songs exhibit a mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz, and R&B elements. Sollee has also composed longer instrumental pieces for dance ensembles. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Sollee began playing the cello in elementary school. Besides classical music, his early musical influences included recordings his parents played of Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday and Otis Redding, and later he discovered folk music. (Source: Wiki)
Find this tune on Sollee’s album here.
Jonathan Julian “Jon” Hopkins, 35, is a London-based producer and musician who writes and performs his own melodic electronica and dance music. After starting his career performing keyboard for Imogen Heap, he has produced or contributed to albums by Brian Eno, Coldplay, David Holmes, and others. Hopkins composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Monsters, which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Score. In 2011 Diamond Mine was nominated for a Mercury Prize, which is annually awarded for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Immunity was also nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize.
Find this song on Hopkins’ Album Immunity on iTunes here.
Here’s my morning meditation. 20,000 to 40,000 big-eye trevally shoal as part of a mating ritual. MUSIC UP.
“Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben’s songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it’s the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion. Striding in pace with gypsy-inspired strings amid the sultry tones of clarinet and saxophone, Caplan has marked his place in the Canadian music landscape with a growling spirit similar to that of Tom Waits. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it’s the blues in his soul, and the heart in your chest pounding as one that makes Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers an act not to be missed.” (Source: Audioblood)
Liked this? Check out Ben Caplan’s Under Control.
Find Caplan’s Album on iTunes here.
Valerie June, 32, is an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Memphis, Tennessee. Her sound encompasses a mixture of folk, blues, gospel, soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass. After self-releasing three albums, her debut album as a signed artist, Pushin’ Against a Stone, was released in August, 2013. The album was so titled to commemorate the story of her life. June said “I feel I’ve spent my life pushing against a stone. And the jobs I’ve had have been fitting for getting a true feel for how the traditional artists I loved came home after a hard day to sit on the porch and play tunes until bedtime.”
Find her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone” on iTunes here.
Ben Taylor, 37, is the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon. Here’s a mash-up of his Father’s Fire in Rain and Mother’s You’re So Vain.
And if you missed the original, here’s “20 Strangers Kiss for the First Time“
And don’t miss today’s NY Times Article offering fascinating background on the original video: A Kiss Is Just a Kiss, Unless It’s an Ad for a Clothing Company (43.5 million views on YouTube and Vimeo and counting…”)
Thank you Lori for sharing.
Kishi Bashi is the pseudonym of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Kaoru Ishibashi. Ishibashi, 38, was born in Seattle, Washington. He grew up in Norfolk, Virginia where both of his parents were professors at Old Dominion University. He went on to study classical music becoming a renowned violinist. Ishibashi has recorded with and toured internationally as a violinist with diverse artists such as Regina Spektor, Sondre, Of Montreal and Alexi Murdoch. (Source: Wiki)
“NPR’s Stephen Thompson called the Virginia native’s “one-man orchestra” of violin, beatboxing and English and Japanese vocals one of a few standouts from South By Southwest. The Washington Post reported at least one woman openly weeping at a Kishi Bashi concert, and Andrew Bird comparisons are already piling on like so many violin loops.” Read more @ Huffington Post.
Find his album on iTunes here.
Gregory Porter, 42, is a Grammy Award winning American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actor. Gregory Porter won the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album, Liquid Spirit.
Find his album on iTunes here.
Here’s the critic’s leading selection for the 2014 Oscar Foreign film of the year. And what a film it is. Introspective. Astonishing cinematography (EYE CANDY). Overwhelming. And, Toni Servillo, oh what a performance. (The movie is long…strap in.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- NY Times Review (5/5 stars): “thrilling ode to sensibility and to some of its linguistic cousins, like sensation, sensitivity and sentiment.“
- RogerEbert.com (4/4 stars): “Servillo, a theatrically-trained actor, makes Jep arresting. He’s like an Italian Tom Wolfe. You hang on his every word, even when you’re about to hear something gossipy and mean-spirited, because you know it’ll probably be true, or at least well-said…You are overwhelmed with information, but each scene is constructed with such care and attention that it’s easy to miss that each new scene elaborates on Jep’s latest theory or dilemma. His character arc is engrossing because it’s not just full of complex ideas, thanks to the screenplay, but visual beauty as well, courtesy of Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography”
“Damien Jurado is an American indie rock singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington. He quietly built up one of the strongest catalogs on the indie scene, earning high critical praise yet somehow never quite getting his proper due. Nick Drake had a definite impact on much of his work, but Jurado modeled his career on more idiosyncratic, unpredictable figures like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, or Randy Newman – songwriters who followed their own muse wherever it took them, whether fans and critics agreed or not. Many of Jurado’s best songs spun concise, literate tales of quiet everyday despair, which often earned him comparisons to short story writer Raymond Carver.”
His website can be found here: damienjurado.com
Liked this? Check out Jurado singing Sheets.
Band of Horses, originally known for a brief period as Horses, is an American rock band formed in 2004 in Seattle by Ben Bridwell. The band has released four studio albums, the most successful of which is 2010′s Grammy-nominated Infinite Arms. Band of Horses’ fourth studio album, Mirage Rock, was released in September 2012. (Source: Wiki)
If you liked this tune, check out: Slow, Cruel Hands of Time
Olympics? Sportsmanship? Right here.
Mindi Abair, 44, was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is an smooth jazz saxophonist. Mindi started playing the piano at age five, and started playing alto saxophone at the age of eight, when her elementary school band instructor laid out instruments on the first day of band class and instructed each student to pick the instrument they most wanted to play. Mindi has toured and/or recorded with the Backstreet Boys, Duran Duran, Mandy Moore, Josh Groban, Adam Sandler, Keb’ Mo’, Lalah Hathaway, Lee Ritenour, Teena Marie, John Tesh, Bobby Lyle, Jonathan Butler, Peter White and Rick Braun. She toured with Aerosmith in 2012. In 2003, Abair moved from pop to jazz. (Source: Wiki)
Last Wednesday, this Man is walking down a Brooklyn street as two snow plows pass by. The action is recorded on an auto dealer’s security camera. “Pedro, who was looking at his feet as he walked along the snow-covered sidewalk, says he had no idea the wave of slush was headed his way.” The force of the snow also broke the window of the dealer.
Following the brutal knockdown seen half a million times on the Internet, Pedro says, “I wake up and just go home.”
Pedro said he hadn’t heard from the city — and may file suit after the smack down. The unleashing of an avalanche of snow on an unsuspecting pedestrian is “not safe,” Pedro said. “It’s a problem.”
Source: NY Daily News
I bet you didn’t know…that Caleb is ticklish!
LOVED THIS! Don’t pull up early on this video. Take it to the finish line. (Un Cygene La Nuit = A Swan At Night).
Yes. Yes. Yes. I agree. She stopped me in my tracks:
Every now and then a singer comes along with such an unusual approach to her voice that the Canadian folk scene stops in its tracks to make space for something they didn’t know they were missing. Darkly theatrical and deep-voiced, Toronto-raised, Montreal- and Paris-based trilingual (English, French and Spanish) singer Alejandra Ribera is such a performer. (Source: nowtoronto.com)
A bit of Edit Piaf. A bit of Tom Waits. A bit of Joan Armatrading:
Ribera was born to an Argentine waiter and a Scottish actress and raised in Toronto. Her wildly bizarre vocal range and eclectic writing style have led to comparisons stretching from Edith Piaf to Tom Waits to Joan Armatrading. Growing up, Alejandra studied violin, viola and classical choral music. As a teenager her habit of sneaking into cabaret bars and her obsession with greats such as Mercedes Sosa, Odetta and Jimmy Scott began to shape the distinctly unique vocal style she would later apply to her own compositions. After abandoning York University’s Vocal Jazz program after only four days, she headed off to Europe to study energy healing. “Yeah, I dropped out of school to study with a witch doctor in the mountains of Slovakia … it seemed like a good idea at the time… ” she chuckles, “but this is where it lead me, so I think it was an important detour.” Unable to deny the call of music she returned to Canada, this time to build her career as a gifted singer/songwriter. (Source: alejandraribera.com)
An encore for Wim Martens…
See prior Wim Martens’ post and bio @ Wim Mertens
Let’s say that you are driving this semi-trailer truck.
Let’s say you are hauling 25,000 pounds – a full load.
Let’s say it’s a snow covered road in Ontario, Canada.
Let’s say you are rounding the corner on a two-lane highway.
And let’s say that you see two sets of headlights coming at you
- – One from a Snow Plow
- – The other a fully loaded semi passing the Snow Plow on a double, solid yellow line…
No one. I mean no one, beats high-stepping Caleb in a foot race.
Don’t miss Caleb’s color commentary at end of the race.
Matt Andersen is a Canadian blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, from Perth-Andover, New Brunswick. In addition to headlining major festivals, clubs and theatres throughout North America and the UK, he has shared the stage and toured with Randy Bachman, Bo Diddley, Little Feat, April Wine, America and Loverboy. On January 25, 2010, Andersen won the top prize for a duo/individual in the Memphis, Tennessee, International Blues Challenge, beating artists from 11 other countries and five continents – the first Canadian to prevail over the event’s 26 year history.
His new album “Weightless” will be released on February 4th, 2014. Find it here on iTunes.
This is a beautiful rendition of George Winston’s “January Stars.” Love this tune. It captures the feel of January. If do not have Winston’s album “Winter Into Spring“, you need to check it out here.
Here’s a Wiki passage:
Winston dresses unassumingly for his shows, playing in stocking feet, stating that it quiets his “hard beat pounding” left foot. For years, the balding, bearded Winston would walk out on stage in a flannel shirt and jeans, and the audience would think he was a technician, coming to tune the 9-foot Steinways that are his piano of choice. As The Boston Globe reported in 1986, “Much of his playing is introspective, mood-setting and, frequently, tranquilizing. Casting my gaze about the auditorium, I observed members of the audience with their attention fixed upon the pianist and others absorbing the music with eyes closed. Winston is not a self-indulgent performer who protracts his renditions to the point where he dangerously tiptoes between a yawn and a snore. Instead, he keeps his presentations pithy and free of excess and his audience awake.”
at the speed
this video took me back.
Saturday mornings in January.
Crisp, cold mountain air.
A sparkling layer of frost on the snow.
Running in Sorel boots to the outdoor rink,
Snow crunching under each foot fall.
Rushing to lace up our skates.
And we go.
And we go.
And we go.
If you close your eyes and listen
You can hear
The steel blades cutting the ice.
The chop, chop, chop of cross-overs to accelerate.
The spray of fine ice crystals from a hard stop.
Take me back.
To our Golden Pond.
This Canadian’s Heaven.
- SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
- Credits: Video – Thank you Rob @ The Hammock Papers
Lily Kershaw, 22, was born and grew up in the Los Angeles, California. Her breakthrough came when one of her songs, “As It Seems,” was featured in the season seven finale of the popular CBS television series Criminal Minds in 2012. A second song, “Ashes Like Snow,” was again featured prominently in the eighth season finale of the show a year later.
- Liked this? Check out her other hit single, “Ashes Like Snow“, at this link.
- Her debut album, Midnight in the Garden (2013), can be found on iTunes here.
- Interview with Lily Kershaw: Watch Lily Kershaw Bloom
Flying snowmobile called “parasledding.”
Whatever happened to tobogganing?
Or even snowmobiling on snow?
Yet, even for Man with Acrophobia, this is cool.
Chatter Creek, B.C. Canada is a 5 hour drive NW of my hometown.
What amazing country. (I have no bias of course)
And what incredible camera work.
We rollin’ with Mozart for the 2nd consecutive night. Tonight…Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro—”Canozonetta Sull’aria.” This favorite scene from one of my favorite movies narrated by my favorite Voice (Morgan Freeman). Hang on until the end of the clip and be sure to watch the movie. Found on Amazon here.
Inspired by Schonwieder
Tara Rose Davison, performs Mozart’s “Vedrai, Carino” (“You shall see my dear“) which is from Act II, Scene I of the Italian opera Don Giovanni which premiered in 1787, 226 years ago. (Mozart was 31 years old at the time. Man was Genius.)
Davison is a soprano and classical guitarist. She began her career as an opera singer. By the age of 21, she was the youngest finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. During graduate school, Tara’s passion for the classical guitar sparked a shift in her musical career. She realized that her true passion lay in the under-recognized genre of art songs with classical guitar accompaniment. Tara has since made it her mission to un-earth, perform and record the hundreds of “lost songs” in the repertoire. She dedicated her master’s thesis to compiling a complete bibliography of works for voice and classical guitar and ended up accompanying herself for both of her graduate voice recitals. Tara currently performs music for classical guitar and voice around Southern California; teaches voice, classical guitar and piano; and studies classical guitar. Most recently, Tara was selected to perform at the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America National Convention. (See full bio here.)
Find her album on ITunes: Love Songs & Lullabies.
Video Source: Thank you Mme Scherzo
~ 26,000,000 views on Youtube in < 60 days, and somehow I’ve missed this. A cave dweller – where have I been?
The singer/songwriting duo “A Great Big World” features the talents of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino. Formed in 2010 while they were music business students at New York University, the duo toured in 2011 playing their own songs, as well as covers by such artists as Ingrid Michaelson and Five for Fighting. The duo hit the big time after their song “This is New” was covered on Glee and when they released the single “Say Something,” a duet with Christina Aguilera. A Great Big World’s First Album titled: Is There Anybody Out There will be released on January 21, 2014. Link on iTunes here. Band’s website: agreatbigworld.com
Source: Mme Scherzo
Nathaniel Rateliff grew up in rural Missouri, learning to play the drums at age seven. As a young teenager, he taught himself guitar and began writing his own songs. At eighteen, Rateliff relocated to Denver for missionary work. Rateliff developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community. New York Times dubbed Nathaniel Rateliff a Denver local folk-pop hero. Spin (magazine) praised his “massive, alluring” voice. Billboard (magazine) dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a “must hear.” He released In Memory of Loss in May 2010 which captured the attention of Amazon.com, which listed his album as the number-one album you might have missed in 2010. In September, 2013, he set out on a tour with The Lumineers and Dr. Dog, in support of his new album. Rateliff has also shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Mason Jennings, Iron & Wine, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons, and Roseanne Cash. (Source: Wiki)
Find his new album “Faster Than You Can Run” at this link.
Train roll on, on down the line, (On a high-speed train going South)
Won’t you please take me far away? (To the tropics, far far down South)
Now I feel the wind blow outside my door, (Friggin’ Cold wind still blowin’)
Tuesday’s gone with the wind. (Give me gentle warm breezes)
Tuesday’s gone with the wind. (I’ll take hot and humid with no wind)
Train roll on many miles from my home, (To Miami, Hawaii or Costa Rica)
See, I’m riding my blues away. (And my blues are sure to drift away)
“He was named “Big Bird” at the shelter and renamed “Theo”. He was the shyest of them all to meet us, though he bounded instantly into [my son] Beau’s lap as soon as he entered their pen. The look on his little furry face was enough to seal the deal for me, we had met our newest family member. Every day now, when 23-month-old Beau is put down for his nap, Theo follows and they sleep for a minimum of 2 hours together. I think that Theo, having been abandoned by [his] mother early, feels like Beau is like a litter mate to him. He’s only 8 weeks old now, so he’s still very young…”
And, don’t miss the rest of the story and incredible photos at this link: Theo and Beau in a Nap Time Love Story.
Thank you Rachel.
Would she, Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, 55 years old, former Ailey superstar and current artificial-hip owner — come out of retirement to dance at a special performance on New Year’s Eve? “Are you kidding me?” she responded. No, he was not kidding, and eventually the answer was yes, she would do it.
But knowing how to do something doesn’t mean being able to do it the same way you did it before. The dancers spoke of thinking one thing in their heads but having something else, perhaps, happen in their limbs. “Does the body do what it did when it was 20?” “Maybe not.”
She was suffused by doubt. Her hip-replacement surgery had taken place at the end of 2012. “I also don’t have any A.C.L. in both of my knees,”
So she got to work. She enlisted the help of a physical therapist, a massage therapist and an acupuncturist; she tweaked her diet; she stepped up her Pilates; and she started going to class again. She began to see the dance from a new perspective, not just as a showcase for technique but as an expression of “all the things that life has put into you.”
And no, she said, she cannot do it exactly the same way she did when she was young: when she arches her back toward the floor while balancing on one leg and extending the other high into the air in one especially hard movement, for instance, she cannot bend back as far as she once did. “Alvin always said, ‘Ponytail to the floor,’ ” she said. “That’s not going to happen.” [Read more...]
This is not about how to change the world.
Or saying that we should stop fighting
against crime, corruption, poverty, oppression or racism.
This is simply about you.
Yesterday I drove an hour outside of Cape Town
with my family to be with the snow.
A rare occurrence us Cape Townians hardly get to experience.
It was then when it hit me, we need to celebrate more.
But not in a traditional sense.
But in a way to celebrate life and our time on earth,
which we all seem to be rushing through.
Let’s celebrate being young.
Let’s celebrate love.
Let’s celebrate family.
Let’s celebrate the offering for no reason.
Let’s celebrate the city you live in.
Having the ability to be able to watch this video is a privilege.
Having access to internet, celebrate that.
Every day I see these negative things on Facebook
like F*&* my life and stupid rants about pointless sh*t.
Let’s change that to positive appreciations.
Today, I decided to go outside with the purpose of finding positivity and happiness.
This is what I found.
Stop listening to the answer
and just listen to understand that your time here is worth celebrating.
Looking at your life as an outsider,
it’s more beautiful than you can ever imagine.
~ Dan Mace [Read more...]
Rhye is an R&B musical duo based in Los Angeles, California. Its members are Canadian singer Milosh and Danish instrumentalist Robin Hannibal. Milosh’s voice and the band’s instrumentation are likened to those of British-Nigerian singer Sade and to those of Michael Franks. Mike Milosh was born in Toronto, Canada and is an electronic musician and vocalist. He was a classically-trained cellist from age 3 and had become a jazz aficionado. He later moved to Berlin, Germany to pursue music as a vocalist and a producer. Robin Hannibal was a member of the Danish duo Quadron an indie pop, electronica, soul, jazz and rap formation.
Rhye’s debut album titled “Woman” was released in 2013 and can be found on iTunes here.
One minute of Nature inspirited meditation to start your day.
The Mourning Dove is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. It is also the leading game bird. Its ability to sustain its population under such pressure stems from its prolific breeding: in warm areas, one pair may raise up to six broods a year. Its plaintive woo-OO-oo-oo-oo call gives the bird its name. The wings can make an unusual whistling sound upon take-off and landing. The bird is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph). Males and females are similar in appearance. The species is generally monogamous, with two squabs (young) per brood. Both parents incubate and care for the young. Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, but the young are fed crop milk by their parents.
Source: Thank you korraled
Thank you Geoff Clow @ Gorgeous Company for introducing me to Ryuichi Sakamoto and this tune which can be found on his album titled 1996 at this link. Sakamato achieved his artistic and commercial breakthrough with his acclaimed score to the film of the same name: Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. The film was entered into the 1983 Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d’Or. Sakamoto’s score also won the film a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.
Half Moon Run are a Canadian indie rock band based in Montreal. The band members previously lived in British Columbia (Comox) and in Ottawa. They have have opened for such artists as Monsters & Men, Patrick Watson, Mumford & Sons and City and Color. Critical acclaim has included praise for their three-part harmonies. Like this? Check out the group’s other major hits Full Circle and Call Me In the Afternoon which have had over 2.5 million views on Youtube. Their album titled Dark Eyes was released in July 2013 and can be found on iTunes here. The band’s official website can be found here.
“I’m going to be cheeky here and pick one band […] Half Moon Run – potentially one of the most important bands debuting an album this year. It’s progressive without being pretentious.”
~ Ben Lovett, Mumford & Sons
This is an unedited version of The Elephant Story from The Carol Burnett Show. The original air date was November 5, 1977. Tim Conway refuses to let the scene continue until he can finish a story about a circus elephant. Not sure what is funnier, Conway’s jokes or the inability of the cast to keep a straight face…
Thank you SoulProprietor