Monday, April 07, 2008

Great big fat music post

Billy asked me what I think of Matisyahu. I had a listen through some of the tracks I have, and really like "King Without a Crown on Youth (2006). Serious reggae music, that compares with the "real thing" (bearing in mind that there is no such thing as the real thing). But I find most of his tracks are a little lightweight.

I also had a browse through some blog posts about him. I liked this one: Matisyahu destroyed my car. I also liked the way Matisyahu fits so easily into this awesome reggae sound system inspired mix from the ever-reliable Motel de Moka: Gaspar Fiyah Sound System. A few posts from Metal Jew: 1, 2, 3, 4.


From the wonderful Waxidermy, a little dispatch from an earlier, more innocent era of black/Jewish relations:
Soul Messengers - Sweet Land Of Mine (Kingdom 1976)


From what I have been told the Soul Messengers were a group of Americans that immigrated into their chosen holy land of Israel in the 70's. This makes sense as the title track is a blatant Neil Diamond rip off but the writing is credited to "The Soul Messengers". Despite the comical religious reworking of "Sweet Caroline" there are some great moments on here. It is a very diverse LP and ranges from sweet soul, to funk and even spaced out free jazz.

Listen:"Sweet Land", "Holdin' On"


In my last Bob's beats post, I briefly mentioned the wonderful Kirsty MacColl, South London heroine. Completely by coincidence, I just came across a couple of related things. Her half-brother Neill MacColl has a new record out with Kathryn Williams - lovely, as you can hear at To The Dogs. And Cover Laydown, amidst a bunch of other fantastic cowboy songs, posts a gentle Kelly Willis country cover of Kirsty's "Don't Come the Cowboy with Me, Sonny Jim".

Glancing through the To The Dogs blog (which I liked a lot), the words "Covering Bob" alarmed me, until I realised it was Bob Dylan of course. Just recently I submitted "To Ramona" as my favourite song in my Normblog profile, and, lo, here is Sinéad Lohan singing it. There's also a track by Brockley's own Gabrielle.


On of my favourite songs is The Clash's "Guns of Brixton". Berkeley Place posts loads of cover versions. Bedouin Soundclash is good and interesting, Nouvelle Vague is lovely, and the Calexico version is, in my mind, far better than the original. Most of the others are dodgy though. The Nouvelle Vague version also comes up in a cool bunch of Clash covers at Cover Freak, including, shockingly, Dwight Yoakam's country "Train in Vain", as well as the classic Rachid Taha "Rocking the Casbah". When I was a kid, my local corner store was called the Casbah, so I was always a bit confused about what the Clash were on about.


I was pleased to find myself on the blogroll of juanzelada, a blog about "writing songs in London". (See especially this blog digest.)

Finally, Maxim Gorky got jazz wrong, and Buddy Rich proves it. See Shiraz Socialist for details and video.


Vanity-generated bonus link: Undomundo Monday re-blog: a mention from one of my favourite music bloggers!

Keywords: mp3, mp3s, download


billy said...

to be honest i'm not a huge fan of Matisyahu. his studio tracks seem to sound a bit like vanilla reggage/hip hop. not overly exciting. seeing him live, though, was an entirely different experience. in a good way.

Mike S. said...

Hey Bob,

I thought you might be interested in a discussion of cultural authenticity and cultural mixtures that was spawned by a Matisyahu video posted to the Kasama website (a quasi-Maoist site based here in the US, which I check every morning just after checking your blog). Some interesting discusion, I thought:


bob said...

Mike, surely you have better things to do than check this blog every morning?!

(Fer instance, do your 5 word task!)

Anyway, I'll check the Mike Seely link and report back


bob said...

Sorry, I meant Mike Ely. Thanks for that. I was really impressed by the level of debate there, and really liked what Mike E had to say, and also Koba and Sepia Tone. I added my tuppence worth at comment no.42. I might post about this later if I have time.

Mike S. said...

Touche! I'm headed off for a five day writing retreat, so we'll see if I can get my five words done this weekend. (PS. Glad you chimed in over at Kasama; I liked what you had to say.)

bob said...

Mike, I wonder what you think of the current Kasama post about Leonard Cohen, and specifically about the title, "Madonna & Leonard Cohen Perform in Occupied Palestine". Kasama think that the whole of Israel is "occupied Palestine". Do you agree with them?