Flaming Lips

A few years ago I had the fortunate experience of seeing the Flaming Lips close out a festival.  This, of course, was when festivals were awesome and you could spend two days watching amazing bands play back to back and not be completely broke at the end of the weekend.  One thing that I will always remember is how crazy the Flaming Lips really are.  It’s not an act or a gimmick the way they put on their live show.  When you see them in concert you are seeing them raw and unfettered as they really are.  And they are weird.

mp3 : Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1 (Live Acoustic)

Yoshimi has long been my favorite track by the Lips and I am shocked that there isn’t a single decent cover of the song to be found.  I thought for sure someone would have spun this song in a new direction, but if it’s out there I couldn’t find it.  Although I’m sure a reader will post a link within 24 hours.

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Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons took the world by storm last year with their debut album Sigh No More.  Since the album launched in February the boys have been busy traveling the world, playing various shows, opening for Bob Dylan, dropping a brilliant performance on La Blogotheque, and generally being involved in all manner of music making mischief.  Seems as if throughout this process they’ve also begun penning and performing music for their second album, as of yet untitled, which is set to be made available in the later parts of this year.

mp3 : Mumford & Sons – Home (Possible Title) (Live on KCBO)
mp3 : Mumford & Sons – Lovers Eyes (Possible Title) (Live)

It’s obvious on these two tracks that the band hasn’t strayed far from their modern folk sound (which is undoubtedly a good thing).  Hopefully the remainder of the album will be as solid.

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Jimmy Fallon and Bruce Springsteen cover Willow Smith

First and foremost let me say that I really enjoy Jimmy Fallon.  He was brilliant as the one member of the cast who always broke on SNL.  His rapport with Tina Fey on Weekend Update was the highlight of that segment’s long and storied history.  And although he was the surprise pick to replace Coco on Late Night he has been superb in that time slot.

For those that are not familiar (or for those that live across ponds) Jimmy has taken the late night talk show and turned it into a sort of geeked out variety show where he occaisionally pays homage to the Hubble telescope, parodies/lampoons his favorite television series, and performs skits or songs with guests.  In a recent episode Jimmy decided to don a Neil Young outfit (and quite a convincing vocal impersonation) and join up with Bruce Springsteen to cover the latest break out annoyance that is Willow Smith.

mp3 : Jimmy Fallon (as Neil Young) and Bruce Springsteen – Whip My Hair (Willow Smith Cover)

First of all, and I sincerely apologize for doing this, but here is a link to watch the original music video.  It is quite honestly cringe inducing bad.  As a sidebar, why on earth would Will Smith think it was appropriate to name his daughter Willow?  Jaden got the upper hand in that sibling rivalry from day one.

This cover features Jimmy Fallon impersonating Neil Young as well as playing both harmonica and acoustic guitar.  About half way through the song Bruce Springsteen joins him onstage with an electric guitar and a killer fake beard, mustache, and sunglasses.  You can check the original video for this performance here.

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Wedding Music vol 06 : Reception

With this installment of my reception background music we shall begin moving farther into the territory of “You really played that at your wedding?”  Granted, some of these songs aren’t typical wedding fodder, but they are all amazing songs.  They also all fit the mood of singer songwriter music that is both interesting and captivating while also being of a similar aural aesthetic.

Enjoy the music.  I know I did.  One of the greatest comments I received throughout my wedding and reception was a frequently repeated phrase, “This music is really good.”  It gave an already amazing day an even more special shine.

mp3 : Josh Ritter – The Temptation of Adam
mp3 : Simon and Garfunkel – Bleeker Street
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (Acoustic, Live at KCRW)
mp3 : The Weakerthans – Left and Leaving

If you’d like to see all of the music from our wedding follow this link.

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Wedding Music vol 04 : Reception

And so it continues, the endless supply of awesome songs that I was allowed to play at my wedding.  This section, played as background music during the cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and dinner at our reception, was left entirely up to me to arrange.  To keep the list coherent I gave my self a few limiting factors.  Mostly all of the songs conform to the following criteria; a) songs must be music I would be willing to admit I listen to and enjoy, b) most of the music is to be by singer-songwriters, c) the music needs to span a variety of artists, eras, and genres so that literally everyone at the reception will hear at least one song they recognize, and d) all of the songs must sit well in the background of dinner, drinks, and conversations.

In the end I was thrilled with these songs.  I was ecstatic.  After going back and forth over literally every song we played for our dance section of the reception (an upcoming post series) it was really fun to be given complete freedom to play whatever songs I desired.  Listening through this list today there are still some tracks that jump out and beg the question, “You played that track at your wedding?”  Well of course I did, it’s a great song.

mp3 : Andy Williams – Happy Heart
mp3 : Radiohead – Fog (Again) (Live)
mp3 : Dean Martin – I’ll Always Love You
mp3 : Donovan – Catch The Wind

There are 34 songs, just over 2 hours of music, that make up the entire backdrop to our reception.  Stay tuned for the remainder of these volumes.  If you would like to see all posts about my wedding music  click here.

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Jonsi live in Salt Lake City

Well this is what it feels like to post on The World Forgot.  It’s been so long I was worried I would lose my usual self deprecating panache.  Fret not.  I have been busy.  Busy with a real life that has included random business trips, planning a future, settling in with my wife, and playing video games.  Fortunately, on one of the aforementioned business trips, I found myself with a free evening.  And on that evening it just so happened that Jonsi was playing a concert within walking distance of my hotel.

Seeing Jonsi in concert is akin to watching a one man Broadway production.  The video backdrop to his show is amazing and you often find yourself drawn to the over-sized screen draped behind him.  The imagery ranges from falling raindrops to animations depicting a world ending/cleansing storm.  The concert as a whole is a spectacle, but one song, in particular, caught my attention a little more and has thus rendered it impossible to hear the song without visualizing the video that played in the background.

mp3 : Jonsi – Kolnidur

(I recognize that “Kolnidur” isn’t the actual title of the track – it’s actually Kolniður, but exotic characters wreak havoc on my FTP, your ability to download, etc.)  During this song the backdrop is filled with animal images.  It opens with an owl chasing a mouse and then cuts to a deer.  Eventually, as the song progresses, we see a wolf that begins to hunt the deer.  As the music builds the deer and wolf magically morph into two birds, flying haphazardly through a forest.  Before the music fades they have been transformed back into a deer and a wolf, but this time the deer grows antlers and as they clash together to fight they explode into black and white geometries.  It’s sheer brilliance.  (the best video I could find of this performance is here – if you find a better video please leave it in the comments).

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Friendly Fires live at Radio Radio

Yes, I am just that fortunate.  A few weeks ago, when I was down in Indy to catch a brilliant set played by White Lies, I also was able to enjoy a set by indie dance rock darlings Friendly Fires.  And let me say this; if all you’ve ever done is hear the studio album by these three gents then you have yet to scratch the surface of Friendly Fires’ entertainment value.  Seriously, these kids know how to have a good time in a live venue.  Their energy was contagious.

mp3 : Friendly Fires – Paris
mp3 : Friendly Fires – Skeleton Boy

Both of these songs were played that night in Indy and both of them hail from the album Friendly Fires (amazon) (itunes).  It’s a very fun little dance rock album and it translates, in case you haven’t picked up on this yet, extremely well to a live setting.  If you will you can think of them as a less edgy version of !!! (but just as fun live).

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