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previously featured music

Fear of Fours & Lamb by Lamb

I discovered Lamb when I was in Amsterdam. I think it was the video for b line that did it. As soon as I saw the singer, Lou Rhodes, morph into a giant scary alien head, I knew I loved this band. The music is not my usual fare: it's essentially drumb and bass, but it's far more organic and evocative than the usual electronica bleeps and blorts. And Lou's blue note vocals changes it into somthing entirely new. I also got a chance to see them perform here in San Francisco recently, and was completely blown away. We left the show sweaty and smiling.

Three Ep's by the Beta Band

betaband You know what the best song in the world is? "Fearless" by Pink Floyd. Okay, so maybe it's a bit much to say it's the best song in the world, but it's way up there for me. It's one of those songs that transcends its creators and its era. It elevates. It soars. And, until now, its blend of acoustic guitars and psychedelia was utterly unique. Not anymore.
Say hello to the Beta Band. On their first cd, Three Ep's (so named because it's a compilation of three previously released records), they come skitteringly close to the magic that Floyd created with songs like "Fearless," but without sounding retro at all. In fact, it's safe to say that these Brits have more groove than Floyd had on their funkiest day.
Give it a listen. Soar.

Deep Blue & Rapture by Peter Mulvey


Ten bucks says you've never heard of Peter Mulvey. But if you're into folk music, you should. And don't let the f-word scare you away, either. One of the things I like about Mulvey is that he's one of the few folkies I can think of that hasn't forgotten what his ass is for. Mulvey is one of those subway songwriters from Boston, and you can tell he's learned a thing or two down there. I recommend that you start off with Deep Blue, just because it contains "Out Here," a song that touched me on a level I don't usually let music get to. Then proceed directly to Rapture, an album every bit as strong. Oh, and he has a website, too (of course).

Behind The Front by the Black Eyed Peas
Remember when hip hop could be kinda fun? We had Tribe Called Quest leaving a wallet in El Sagundo, De La Soul talking about getting high, and the Digable Planets pretending they were insects. Fun.
So now here comes the Black Eyed Peas and I kinda feel bad for them. I mean, I have yet to read a review of their debut, Behind The Front, without mentioning all the artists I just mentioned. But that's for good reason – the Peas are drawing heavily on that old material for inspiration.
And in this age of slick, meaningless, soul-less rap, I'll take a brilliant, happy, fun flashback like this anytime.


Psyence Fiction by Unkle
Unkle is really DJ Shadow and the MoWax founder James LaVelle - Shadow does the beats, LaVelle signs up the talent (like Mike D from the The Beastie Boys). This disk is just amazing. Mad props to Ben for turning me on to it. Thanks, man!

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