Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Occidental Brothers Dance Band International

I just want to preface this first entry by saying that this has been one of the most difficult blog entries to write. I guess I didn't realize how difficult it is to really write about music. Maybe because music is intangible in the first place. But maybe also because the more I try, the less qualified I feel to be trying to specify the things in music I like. I was tempted to just insert "I like sounds" and then just link to the mp3s. Instead, I came up with a little something like this...

Music is great. Rumba-type rhythm and bass are great. Afro-pop is apparently great (it and I are only recently acquainted). Superbly skilled guitarists are great. What more do you need to know?

I guess I could mention that bands who can captivate an audience live are great.

My first encounter with the Occidental Brothers was last November at the Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, when they opened for Andrew Bird. I usually try not to expect much from opening bands whose names I don't know. Just because taking the "aim low and never be disappointed" slogan has helped to cushion life's hard knocks, or whatever. But then I went to this show. And had to try my hardest not to a) dance and b) kidnap the guitarist, which are both valid indications that I really like something.

Then Andrew Bird played and I bought an Andrew Bird t-shirt but nothing else involving the Occidental Brothers. Shame on me. And then I left the show and basically forgot about this crazy afro-pop band. Until last week, that is, during what I am going to call the mid-winter blues, when I was really in need of a pick-me-up. I can't even remember what possessed me to Google the Occidental Brothers. I think I was just perusing a playlist when it hit me that I needed to hear them again. And then I was listening to the sound files and realizing that an active beat, some diatonic harmonic motions and some jazzy sounds were what I needed.

Here are some sounds of the Occidental Brothers.

mp3: Bomboko Awuti Na New York

mp3: Eso Pele
(according to iTunes, I have listened to this song 23 times in the last three days)

mp3: Makozi Ya Mboko

mp3: Masanga

More can be found at the Occidental Brothers' sound page.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Blog

The purpose of this blog is so that the author may obsess in an enclosed internet space dedicated entirely to music, and maybe spread some aurally crazy to others out there. It is difficult to say what will and will not end up being posted. Featured songs and mp3s will be frequent. Discussion of artists, artist connections and the like will show up as well. For now, it's mostly a mystery. As the author is in fact classically trained, there may be an occasional reference to various musical factors of the harmonic and rhythmic sorts. Nothing too profound.

The title of the blog is a play off a Mystery Science Theater 3000 skit called "Music From Some Guys In Space" in which Joel, Crow and Servo mock Yanni. I can dig it.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Girl

I am some girl in space, studying (and practicing) to be a classically trained musician. In fact, I am from a family of classically trained musicians. But somewhere along the way (around age 8 or 9), somebody screwed up and gave me every Beatles album ever be released, followed by letting slip a tape containing R.E.M.'s Life's Rich Pageant and Luscious Jackson's Natural Ingredients. The rest is freakish and obsessive history.

I am a huge waster of time, and can frequently be seen wasting time by cooking things, reading and watching other things, but mostly listening to musical things. It's hard to categorize my tastes in music, as they are simply too wide and weird. There you have it.