Saturday, January 2, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! The Big Star box set is showing up on quite a few year-end Best Of lists – as well it should. But if you still have some friends or associates who still haven't heard a note, amazon is offering the #1 / Radio City two-fer for mp3 download for only $5 for the entire month of January. (There are also many other great albums with the same deal. Amazon is superior to iTunes for mp3 downloads in my opinion both in terms of selection and price. If it isn't your first stop when you're looking to download something, you're probably throwing away money.) I ended up shifting out of ELP mode after Christmas (although I really grew to dig ELP's bombast and vintage synth sounds – drove through a snow storm the other night and cued up Peter Gunn Theme > Hoedown. Who has the nerve today to tackle Mancini and Copeland head on without that big wink of irony that's become so prevalent and annoying amongst the musical hipsters of today? The hip-hop guys who sampled Kraftwerk did so in the same straight-up fashion). Latest favorite has been Manfred Mann. Knew their hits but not their background (Manfred Lubowitz's tale is pretty interesting - a jazz pianist originally from South Africa) hadn't really explored their catalog. Right beyond their big US hits is a song that I can't believe wasn't huge: I'm You're Kingpin. If you're not familiar with it, go download it immediately and dig the way Manfred worked the jazz vibe - and actual vibes - into a pop r&b tune. We're talking MJQ! This has to have been in a movie soundtrack...can't believe it if it hasn't .

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