Posts filed under “Digital Media”

Friday Night Jazz: Amy Winehouse

We mentioned how much we liked Amy Winehouse back in April of this year.

Back then, her new album was Back to Black, which we wrote "freshens up the classic soul albums with original songs done in the style of the 1950/60′s girl groups . . . falling between Billie Holiday and Ronnie Spector."

Well, it turns out that we are not the only ones who are enamored with her: Winehouse was just nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Song and Album of the Year, and the prestigious Record of the Year (not that I can explain the difference between album and record of the year).

Since then, Back to Black has sold over one million copies in the US alone.

However, since it is Friday Night Jazz, I wanted to bring her prior UK album to your attention: Frank. On the strength of Back to Black, and a few recs from friends in the UK, I picked up the import version shortly after I got Back to Black in the Spring.

Frank is new-to-America — but its not new at all. Frank was actually her UK debut album; The US release was on November 20, 2007, and was likely done to capitalize on the sales of Back to Black.

If you liked Back to Black, I would expect you will find Frank worthy of your attention. Where Back to Black was based on ’60s girl groups and ’70s soul, Frank is a much jazzier R&B album. And like her other album, its strong all the way through.

Back_to_blackWinehouse brings her refreshingly sly sense of humor with a take no-prisoners, put up with no bullshit persona. She gets away with this all the while, because she has the vocal chops to back it up. This combination is epitomized in the boozy song "Fuck Me Pumps."


Both albums stand out for their simple but powerful approach: Very strong instrumentalists fronted by an extremely talented lyricist/songwriter/vocalist.



Amy Winehouse has reason to celebrate with six Grammy nominations
Adam Sherwin
The Times, December 7, 2007

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

JJ Grey & Mofro

I was starting to put together this year’s Different Kind of Top 10 Music List (prior versions here: 2006, 2005  and 2004), when I realized I hadn’t written up one of my favorite discs this year: Country Ghetto by JJ Grey & Mofro.

I was driving home one night.,. when I hear this sound come oozing out of my car speakers: A funky, steamy, swamp rock blues number, with a long intro that finally came to a great groove: (slide over here and click Turpentine)

On the strength of that song, I ordered the disc, and I was not disappointed. The music is a great cross-breeding experiment across genres: Start with swamp rock, add some smoldering blues, slip in  vintage soul, and finally, some gospel-fried funk.

Songwriting influences are apparent: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker,
Jerry Reed, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Dr. John, Sly
& The Family Stone, Van Morrison, Howlin’ Wolf, George Jones, and James Brown.


"a down-and-dirty delight, and a fine addition to the swamp rock canon"

"intriguing and fortuitous… Grey’s a songwriter with a sharp wit and a knack for skewering the hypocrites, jive politicians and carpetbaggers who litter the landscape. The MOFRO vibe travels freely among swamp funk, blues, rock and soul, and does so with a certain down-and-dirty swagger that’s as real as it is appealing."    -Billboard

"A Southern-fried Sly and the Family Stone."    -Don McLees

Other links: 

Home page
My Space (5 streaming songs)


Videos after the jump.

(Um, might someone from Madison House Management consider releasing some higher quality videos to YouTube?   Most of these are pretty medicore sound quality . . . )


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Category: Digital Media, Music

Wall Street Reporter Interview

Category: Digital Media, Financial Press

The WSJ Book Index

Category: Books, Digital Media, Financial Press

Friday Night Jazz: Favorite Holiday CDs

Category: Digital Media, Music

iPod, Sansa, Zune

Category: Digital Media, Technology, Web/Tech

Hollywood Studio Exec Explains The Writers’ Strike

Category: Digital Media, Film, Television

Internet Radio Slowly Closing Down

Category: Digital Media, Music

Unusual eBay Warning

Category: Digital Media

7 Suggestions for Scott Adams:

Scott Adams, who I have long adored as both a writer and a cartoonist (see this post), has decided to dramatically cut back his blogging (as per this blog post: Going Forward) No, no, no, no, no! I believe this is a mistake. If he wants to cut back blogging for its own sake, that’s…Read More

Category: Books, Digital Media, Psychology, Weblogs