“Avatar” by Dead Can Dance

Feb 26
Posted by Kala Filed in 80's, Indie, UK, World Pop

Some of my favorite memories and best times were the years I spent as a bike messenger in Seattle and then Honolulu. I rode my bike around downtown all day, drank and smoked all night and got up to do it again the next day, it was awesome. My brother however was much more responsible, he went to college got a real job, and today is much better off for it.

My best friend (15) and I worked for the same messenger company and when one of us switched companies the other would follow. He always said that on his last day as a messenger he was gonna ride down 2nd Avenue, (a heavily traveled, 4 lane, one way that runs all the way through downtown Seattle and out the other side) “butt naked”. He never got to make that ride. Life got too heavy for him and he took himself out. We worked for a company that had 6 riders and we were a very close group, so 23 took it upon himself to make that ride for him. Word spread pretty quickly and by the time the BVD’s dropped it was like a parade. Not only did the messenger community turn out but many of our clients, aka suits, also showed their support (or maybe they just wanted to see a spectacle).

15 also introduced me to a lot of new music. Dead Can Dance has 2 primary voices. The male, Brendan Perry, has been compared to a combination of Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra, the female, Lisa Gerrard, sings in made up words and sounds. Here’s one from Lisa.

RIP Sean “15” Clarke.

“Tunak Tunak Tun” – Daler Mehndi (1998)

Oct 19
Posted by admin Filed in World Pop

I went to a very American wedding two weeks ago. With rapturous joy and energy, the gregarious couple congregated with their family and friends from India, New Hampshire, Oregon, and many points in between. The Hindu groom joined his Jewish wife under a chuppah with their female rabbi there to unite them. After basil lemon drops, a great feast of Mediterranean and Indian fare, it was on.

Somewhat chaotic, but always joyous dancing and carrying on ensued. Beyonce, The Heavy, James Brown, and other western acts got spun, but what really turned the room upside down was the Indian, Bhaṅgṛā pop music. Today’s song made people sweat. This tune put a little dew on the most wilted of the wall flowers. It’s fun, it’s celebratory, and it’s global.


“Heartbeats” – José González – “Veneer” (2003)

Oct 15
Posted by admin Filed in World Pop

There’s cover art, and then there’s the art of the cover. If you’ve never heard the original by The Knife, YouTube it, right after you listen to González’s version off of his debut album. I don’t want to get to verbose in describing this song preferring to let it speak for itself. It’s pure, simple, and rich. It sounds like Mr. González’s guitar strings are coated in Louis XIII. Enjoy. Indulge.

One night of magic rush
The start – a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief
Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love


“Radio Retaliation” – Thievery Corporation – “Radio Retaliation” (2008)

Sep 21
Posted by admin Filed in World Pop

I cued up this album tonight as I’m trying to come up with a few musical selections for some friends’ wedding, the weekend after next. Thievery Corporation, and Pink Martini are a couple of choices that my friends have made for the cocktail hour, lounge part of the evening. My suggestions for the early portion of the evening, and the ensuing collar loosening portion of the festivities will have a dash or two of Ting Tings, a splash of Harry Belafontaie or Engelbert Humperdinck, the party ain’t complete until Cool James shows up, and James Brown, and then we’ll listen contently to Al Green.

There seems to be that unwritten rule that the third track of albums is the best track or focal point. I think that fits with this Thievery Corporation album.

By the way, the DJ for the wedding is a “green” DJ. Now, that’s very Seattle, isn’t it?