Watching stuff being made is cool.

I’m not exactly sure where I got it from or when it started, but I have always liked something more if I see how it was made.

About 3 years ago, I was flipping channels and I happened across a PBS special on Herbie Hancock – Possibilities. It’s a documentary that shows the making of the album: Possibilities. Now, to this point, I had one Herbie Hancock disk in my collection and as far as being able to identify a song besides “Rockit“, I would fall short with anything past Cantaloupe Island. This album featured duos with Sting, Paul Simon, John Mayer & Christina Aguilera, to name a few. I think what I will remember most about watching it was that Truce came and sat next to me when he heard Christina Aguilera singing and watched then entire show with me. This was 3+ years ago and Truce didn’t stay put for more than 2 minutes if Elmo wasn’t involved. So, for him to sit and watch a non-Sesame Street documentary for about 2 hours, floored me. I think that may be the night that he started to like jazz. I can put on the jazz station in the car and he will listen away. He likes the horns best. But, I fell in love with the creative process that was shown. Songs from that album make the iPod top 25 list a couple years back, that is for sure.

About the same story is true for the song “In Repair” off of Continuum, by John Mayer. I didn’t really like the song that much, but included in the disk was the video of the making of that song. I was amazed to find out that the keyboard/organ sound at the beginning of the song is actually a guitar. The video shows John having no song at the beginning of the day to putting the finishing touches on it at 1 a.m. Being able to create a song in one day and being able to watch that was cool. In Repair remains one of my favorite songs on that album.

After seeing David Gray’s “making of” video for Life in Slow Motion, I bought his entire catalogue. So, if you want me to get hooked on a group or album, just include a video that shows them in the studio and I will plop my money down.

Media Music

Top 25 Songs for 2008

Every December for the past few years, I have looked over the old iTunes song count and reflected on my top 25. Since it’s near the end of the year, I thought I would take a moment and give you my Top 25 for 2008.

Snow ((Hey Oh)) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Turn It Again – Red Hot Chili Peppers
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Geek In The Pink – Jason Mraz
Plane – Jason Mraz
I’ll Do Anything – Jason Mraz
Next Year – Foo Fighters
Bella Luna – Jason Mraz
O. Lover – Jason Mraz
Did You Get My Message? – Jason Mraz
Lucky (feat. Colbie Caillat) – Jason Mraz
Wordplay – Jason Mraz
You And I Both – Jason Mraz
21st Century – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song For A Friend – Jason Mraz
The Remedy (I Won’t Worry) – Jason Mraz
London Calling – The Clash
Falling Down – Duran Duran
Please Don’t Tell Her – Jason Mraz
Pork and Beans – Weezer
Life Is Wonderful – Jason Mraz
I’m Yours (From the Casa Nova Sessions) – Jason Mraz
Hard To Concentrate – Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Beauty In Ugly (Ugly Betty Version) – Jason Mraz

To say this was the year of Jason Mraz, would be an understatement. I got his latest release (We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things) and fell in love with it. I quickly went back and bought the back catalog. I have always liked talented songwriters and Jason fits that bill. He’s got a great voice and some really good lyrics. Besides that he’s got a great attitude on the music business. He allows his shows to be taped and freely distributed. The key is: freely. Don’t try to sell a concern or they will hunt you down. Jennifer, Kevin Reese and I went to see him in concert for my birthday in July. He was great and about a week later, I was able to download that concert and enjoy it all over again.

So 16 of the top 25 are Mraz songs, so that tells you what I was listening to this year. Throw in the 5 Chili Peppers songs and I had a pretty limited scope of music in 2008. Stadium Arcadium is a great disk and I think is the RHCP best album.

Throw in touches of the Clash, Duran Duran, and Weezer and you have your top 25. I have always prided myself on my diversity when it comes to music, I must say that I was a little disappointed at the lack of it here. O well, numbers don’t lie.


Two Bits of Music to Check Out.

Every now and then, I find some new music that I really like and feel that I need to share. In the past week, I have found two of these such artists. Check them out.

#1 – James Morrison – Undiscovered 51SAKEc0HEL._SS500_.jpg

I first downloaded the single for “You give me something” when it was a free download from iTunes last year. I listened to it and liked it, but it really caught hold of me when it was featured in a promotional ad (for HBO or FX, not sure which one). I saw the ad and thought, “Wait a minute, I have that song.” I dug it out of my iTunes library (currently 9200 songs strong) and learned that he had an album that was released. Needless to say, I downloaded it and it’s become my regular listen at work and in the car. I liken it to Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer or David Gray. Great songwriters and good music to listen to. I mean really listen to, great lyrics and talented musicians. My personal favorites are; One Last Chance and Better Man. Give it a listen, I think you will enjoy it.

#2 – Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords 61Moyxd4CoL._SS500_.jpg

I watched the first season of Flight last year on HBO. It’s truly one of the most unique shows ever on television (hence why it’s on HBO, not the major networks). This album contains the music featured in the show. If you have never seen the show, do yourself a favor a watch one. I watched the first episode and when Jen asked me if it was any good, I said, “I don’t know”. The more that I watched, the more I enjoyed it. Can you get the album and enjoy it without having seen the show, yes. But will you understand where the songs come from better? By far. I think the best tracks are; Business Time, The Most Beautiful Girl(In the Room) and Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros.