Friday, May 29, 2009

Rusted Root is back!

Ok, I'm of a quite lazy spell and have actually been hearing the guff, nagging, and groaning about the need for new music updates from many of you via email. Thanks.

More importantly, one of my favorites from back in the hay day, Rusted Rood is back. (or is it "hey day"? Me thinketh it's "hay" as in a farmer reference).

Yes, Rusted Root is back after a 7 year studio hiatus. The Pittsburgh group have sold over 3 million records world wide mostly due to "Send Me On My Way," the hit you've heard in movies and on radio waves over the last decade. Although you haven't heard much else from them, be weary that they've been anything but stagnant. Over 6 albums and multiple movie scores (Twister, Mathilda, Party of Five, Charmed, Ice Age, etc.) have kept them in the lime light...and I just learned that "Send Me On My Way" was also chosen by NASA to wake up the crew on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.

Although Rusted Root's new album, Stereo Rodeo, has been available online since March, the big release is now, during the pre-lull of the summer season...and thank God, we need some good music. Original members, Michael Glabicki, Patrick Norman and Liz Berlin, are joined by a small slew of backing band members on this album. As Glabicki says, "Labeling is dangerous and limiting...We are a band made up of individual musicians who come together collectively to create music, call it what you want but we are simply creating music that has a message.” In Stereo Rodeo, you'll not only hear the pulsating rhythms and chant-like howls they are known for, but deeper political and historically-influenced themes and lyrics.

Rusted Root - Dance In The Middle

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alexi Murdoch - Away We Go

Alexi Murdoch finally scored a film. The first time I heard Alexi's "Blue Mind," I knew it was going to be my masterpiece when I placed it in an epic scene in a film I worked with. The moment I heard his "Orange Sky" appear in an underground action-adventure climbing film (Pilgrimage) and then in the background of Braff's dramedy of Garden State, it was so clear to see how a melodic tune from a quiet singer-songwriter can enhance both scenes that you'd never imagine in juxtaposition. That's one reason why I love Alexi Murdoch and why my heart skipped a beat the very moment I heard the first song notes of this trailer.

Comedians John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Ruldolph (SNL) appear in Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes' (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) new film from Focus Features, Away We Go. The trailer, full of a packed cast and strong emotional and comedy pulls, seems fully heightened due to the melodic and sombersome sounds and driving perfection that Alexi adds with the song "All My Days" (see below). I can't wait to see this flick.

Murdoch is offering a free download of the song heard in the trailer, here. The soundtrack will be available digitally on June 2nd while the physical CD will become available on June 23rd. The track listing for the original soundtrack is as follows:
2. Blue Mind
3. What Is Life (George Harrison)
4. Song For You
5. Golden Brown (The Stranglers)
6. Towards The Sun
7. Meet Me In The Morning (Bob Dylan)
8. Breathe
9. Wait
10. The Ragged Sea
11. Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ (The Velvet Underground)
12. Orange Sky
13. Crinan Wood (bonus track)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Herzig. Dawes. day, two great artists.

Katie Herzig
Katie Herzig - Wish You Well
The one artist I get giddy around! One of the very few artists that I can say I've seen develop from performing bar gigs into headlining the last scene on Grey's Anatomy that made you ball your eyes out. Herzig's absolutely gorgeous song, "Wish You Well" was featured today on NPR's Song of The Day. Read more about her and the song here. For the Tempo's previous post on Herzig, click here

The marvelous blog crew over at Daytrotter just posted some fresh content on the enigma of a band that is Dawes. Head over there and get your fill of the band, free song downloads from their session at Daytrotter, and info about each song. The Tempo's previous post on Dawes can be found here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Scrubs and Me.

I'm not really sure how I got into the music business or furthermore, how I ended up starting a music supervision (soundtracks) company. It could've been the countless times my mom played Paul Simon and Manfred Mann while doing yardwork. It could've been that I had nothing better to do. It may have been the high school spanish films we made for classes and how excited I got when I edited in my favorite songs to back-up any dialog and action. Or...maybe even Dawson's Creek, Scrubs, Top Gun and various other movies that so perfectly enhanced their theatrics with the perfect soundtrack.

I've been on a Scrubs kick lately, as I usually am during such times - re-watching the best they offered during Seasons 1-3, which also happens to be a great example of tv using songs to further their impact.

Did it start with 90210 or did Juno and Grey's Anatomy make you think about music with film? Most my age probably relate to how amazing the Garden State soundtrack turned out because it ditched norms of using headlining acts like Shawn Colvin or U2 and focused on the indie/emerging scene. No offense to the soundtrack, but making that mix is SIMPLE. Saying that, I do applaud Braff for using his role/power in the industry to share his love of emerging and blanketed artists like Imogen Heap, Alexi Murdoch, Schuyler Fisk, Iron & Wine and even re-introducing deep Simon and Garfunkel gems to my generation. let's be honest, Braff knows his shit (music) and moreso, how to use it (music, of course) effectively.

But to me, Scrubs was where it was at. It surpassed Dawson's Creek and 90210 in the depth at how it used music. It was the prequel to what Grey's Anatomy, The OC, Chuck, and maybe what The Hills are emerging into. Sure it's a comedy, but you'd be surprised at the transition into the serious roles it develops into and how the music expedites this. The depth of artists and frequency of incorporating them into the theme was not seen, in my opinion, until Braff and Co. at Scrubs took the plunge. Who is responsible for the music at Scrubs? I know Braff did help quite a bit in convincing the director and music supervisor on the use of certain songs. Braff himself also ended up directing numerous episodes through the seasons. And...Braff specifically helped launch the career of his college friend, Joshua Radin, and re-launch the career of ex-Men At Work singer, Colin Hay. Through Scrubs, Braff either continually exposed or introduced me to some of my now-favorite artists/songs and moments in television. He even included several artists performing their songs on camera, such as Colin Hay and The Polyphonic Spree. Here's a slight recap of moments and some songs that have been doing their number on me lately:

Nil Lara - Fighting For My Love

Erasure - A Little Respect

Finger Eleven - One Thing

Joshua Radin - Closer
(2:15 in)

Eels - Fresh Feeling

Appreaing: Polyphonic Spree - Light and Day/Reach For the Sun

Colin Hay - Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
Appearing: Colin Hay - Overkill