Archive for January, 2010

Duncan’s “In Rotation” Playlist

In Rotation 1/31

So the emphasis, for this inaugural “in rotation” playlist, is on music that I’ve been checkin’ out. Even though this week’s list has some pretty well established acts on it (there’s some even newer stuff that I’m pretty excited about, but I want to listen a little longer before I put it on the list). This week’s list has some killer stuff on it. We’ll start with a classic old track from Leonard Cohen, “Dance Me To The End Of Love”, that I can’t seem to get enough of. You’ll want to check out Shilpa Ray’s “Beating St. Louis” and “The Devil In You” from The Watson Twins (both of who, of course, I had the pleasure of interviewing recently, not to mention that The Watson Twins are droppin’ a new album in a couple of weeks). Ringo Starr’s “Walk With You”, with the amazing impromptu chorus back up vocals by Paul McCartney, “Always On My Mind” by Elvis Presley from Elvis 75, and Freedy Johston’s “Don’t Fall In Love With A Lonely Girl” are all solid tracks. And to round it out, “Don’t Make ‘Em Like U No More” from Ruben Studdard, “Another Likely Story” from Au Revoir Simone, “Run” from Vampire Weekend (which is deeply reminiscent of Paul Simon’s Graceland), and “I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe” from OK Go (which I effin’ love for all kinds of reasons). Check it out baby!

– Duncan

To order any of this music please visit our official record store – Luna Records – who will ship anywhere in the world.

The Watson Twins: groovy, soulful & evolved

The uber-talented Watson Twins doing what they do

I recently found The Watson Twins and can I say – I’m in love with their older stuff – layered, melodic, intricate harmonies. But the new work. Wow. Its a soulful new sound, an evolution, its fuller and less intricate – yet beautiful.

Here’s a very candid, yet quick interview with Chandra and Leigh Watson on the new record, their favorite cocktails and a very interesting Mona Lisa costume.

What is the new record about?

It’s about The Watson twins exploring their voices and pushing it to the next level. We definitely wanted to create a record that has more of a vibe. Our roots are in gospel and country, teetering into blues. But we’ve tapped into the soul portion of our sound, and the record is centered around the drums and bass, and creating a warm soulful sound for 42 minutes.

Who are you classic soul inspirations?

We keep learning about more and more soul singer. We stumbled across Sammi Smith’s – never been to spain, Very soulful voice and totally inspiring. Shirley Brown, Etta James, LaBelle Sisters, and the list goes on.

Where was the album written?

Chandra: Leigh and I write separately. We spent the year compiling these songs, and then 4 days in the High Sierra with our producers – flushing out the songs, working on arrangements with the peace of the mountains, no cells phones, no TVs – and recorded at Fairfax Studios and we did all analog. It’s been a pure rustic experience. But there were lots of bats.

Leigh: No tvs, no cell phones, lots of bats. We had the tennis racket and the bee keeper hat trying to get the bats out.

What do you now have in common with Pink Floyd?

The same mixing board for this new album was also used for The Wall – this is the same board EMI’s Abbey Road. It has its own life. The tape machine was used for the Beatles’ White Album.

What’s Modern Man about?

We have the same emotions as people did 500 years ago. We got inspired by films, and things in our imagination but we all connect through the same emotions. It’s a love song with a bit of fantasy.

Who dressed up as Mona Lisa at Harlaxton?

*thanks to our common friend Nikki Westfall who travelled with The Watson Twins in Europe in the 90’s.

Chandra: That was Leigh and an amazing costume. Its hard to do that out of suitcase when you’re travelling.

Leigh: About 20 minutes into the party, I realized that my arms and the frame were melded together so I couldnt really drink without the help of many friends and straws.

What’s each of your favorite drinks?

Chandra: Extra Dirty Kettle one in a rocks glass.

Leigh: Makers on the rocks

What are you listening to these days?

Listening to the new Corrine Bailey Rae, new Tegan and Sara, bossa nova kick lately as well so all the Gilbertos.

Duncan’s note: the first two have been featured on Passionati lately. Also here are two tracks from the album. Enjoy. To order the album click the green Luna box below – they are Passionati’s official record store partner. More to come on this soon!

– Duncan Alney

To order The Watson Twin’s music please click this link:

DJ Rekka’s special mix

Rekka mixed this killer mix up for Passionati

“The mix is a compilation of a lot of my favorite songs remixed into an energetic, fun way with some current beats. I can honestly say these are all global classic tracks that will forever bring back great memories regardless of demographic. Old school to teach the new school.”

DJ Rekka is quietly confident, contemplative and analytical. Perhaps not words that you’d expect to be used to describe one of the hottest DJ’s in the country. I met Rekka at a massive dance party fundraiser – he mixed in classic tracks with edgy dance tracks, always listening, watching the audience, clearly focused on keeping the party moving – while he held court in the massive ballroom of a downtown luxury hotel. Frankly, he wasn’t there to party but to be the catalyst that every great party needs – that persona that brings a combination of demographic sensitivity, rhythm, and pop instincts mixed within a sly relishing of the power that holding court over the dance floor inherently brings. To be fair, Rekka is more than a catalyst. He is a part of the reaction – his cocktails infuse old and new school – in a deeply tasty mix. Turn this on and see for yourself.

Thanks Rekka for putting this together for us!

The Special Mix 2010 by DJ Rekka

– Duncan Alney

Is Shilpa Ray the horny Frank Sinatra*

Shilpa Ray & the happy hookers

** Watch the interview to find out the story behind her potential new moniker! It’s certainly catchier than the vulgar Ella Fitgerald.

I wasn’t prepared for Shilpa Ray. She’s funny, real, friendly, and incredibly smart. As an Indian, should I expect any less of a Bengali woman whose parents lived less than a mile from where my parents live? My friend Justin Keller, a certified bad ass, insisted I check her out. And so I went. With an open mind. Shilpa and I chatted. We bonded. She’s been called the vulgar Ella Fitzgerald and I’ve got to say that maybe the horny Frank Sinatra fits better. Or maybe just old brown eyes, after all they’re both from Jersey. Just goes to show that you can spend your life learning harmonium, and realize that you were made for raw, permanently visceral vocals backed by a sleazy jazz band mixed with power punk meets just right music. The little club was filled with the power that is Shilpa Ray. I’ve met powerful Indian women – doctors, teachers, politicians, engineers, entrepreneurs – but none can match the shamanesque entrancement that Shilpa oozes. She is not here to please you. She isn’t trying to be nice. Instead, she’s here in full force, in a way that would make Janis Joplin (and Kris Kristofferson) proud. She channels both in some ways, yet you’ve got to mix in a little Nick Cave, some P.J. Harvey and some classical Indian music in the textural background behind the pounding bass line and drums. Shilpa Ray is pure woman. She’s a force to reckon with. And she’s bringing her cultural rock and roll to America – one club at a time. And yet she still loves fish, like every Bengali does, as do I.

– Duncan Alney

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim: Free Download

Wha wha wha what! Thats right. David Byrne and Fatboy Slim Baby! Songs about Imelda Marcos. Its a project that is focused on what makes famous people tick, what inspires them to re-invent themselves again and again. Anyone thinking Madonna? And here’s the first track from none other than Santigold. More tracks on the album from St. Vincent, Martha Wainwright, Sharon Jones and more. Check it check it. And a little slide show made by David himself!

– Duncan Alney @firebelly

On the Corner: Paris

Miles Davis - On The Corner

My friend Robin is a New Orleans cellist, music ethnography scholar and community arts activist. Nine times out of 10 her music recommendations change my life. (I met my husband backstage at a Dirty Dozen Brass Band concert she organized.) Last week she shared this link from a concert she’d been invited to attend in Paris.

This skillfully produced live footage from Cite de la Musique is a gem. Legendary jazz musicians commune with the spirit of 1970s-era Miles Davis in this gem of live concert footage.

Tabla player Badal Roy mesmerizes with melodic percussion. Saxophonist Dave Liebman portrays uninhibited genius—arrogant, subtly awkward, human and vulnerable. His performance makes listeners believe a similar creative energy rushes just beneath the surface—ready to spring forth—in every one of us.

Don’t sleep: the footage will only be available through February 20, 2010.The entire show is 1 hour, 44 minutes and worth every second.

On the Corner: Paris

– Emily Peláez

Emily writes about Belgian beer, gardening, mood music and vegetarian culinary experimentation.

happy birthday Martin Luther King

Happy Birthday Dr. King. I wish I’d seen you speak in person. I’m grateful for your life. Thank you for everything you did. Thank your for your vision. For your passion. All it takes is one man’s vision. Think Martin Luther King. Think Gandhi. In the name of love. I’m not afraid to name my heroes. I believe in love. I’m not afraid to imagine. Are you with me? Because I believe.

– Duncan Alney

Freedy Johnston: Free MP3 Download of Don’t Fall in Love With a Lonely Girl

Freedy Johnston

I haven’t listened to Freedy Johnston in a while. The album is good but this song jumped out at me. “Don’t fall in love with a lonely girl” isn’t about a lonely girl in the traditional sense, but more about the affects of this girl has. You want to think that she’s a lonely girl but she as girl that causes loneliness. The song has a happy sound, yet its sad, almost to the point of devastation. Almost, if only it didn’t sound so good. “I should say good bye, believe me, I’ve tried and tried and tried and tried and tried.” Good advice huh?

Freedy on tour
January 19, 2010  New York,  NY City Winery record release party
January 21, 2010  Minneapolis,  MN Bryant Lake Bowl 10p
January 22, 2010  Chicago,  IL Schubas
January 23, 2010  Rock Island,  IL Ribco February 12, 2010  St. Louis,  MO Wood House Concert
February 18, 2010  Philadephia,  PA World Cafe Live 7:30p, downstairs

Order the cd here – Luna Music

Corinne Bailey Rae: I’d do it all again

“I’d Do It All Again” is the lead single from Corinne Bailey Rae’s sophomore album “The Sea”. We’ve all been here and we all come through. And if you’re lucky you find what you’re looking for with someone looking for the same thing!

– Duncan Alney

Ooh, youre searching for something I know, wont make you happy
Ooh, youre thirsting for something I know, wont make you happy

Ooh, you did it all again, you broke under the skin
Its hard to believe this time, hard to believe
That my heart, my hearts an open door…
You got all you came for, baby

So weary, someone to love
is bigger than your prides worth
Is bigger than the pain you got for all it hurts

And out runs all of the sadness
this terrifying, life, to the darkness

And I’d do it all again, Id do it all again
I’d do it all again, Id do it all again

You try sometimes but it wont stop
You got my heart and my head lost, ooh yeah
Ive been burning down these candles for awful long

So weary, someone to love is bigger than your pride

Ooh, someone to love, mm, someone to love
Someone to love

it’s bigger than all the pain you cause for all it hurts

Ooh, youre searching for something I know, wont make you happy

What would you do with $10 million?

I decided to do a story with real input via Facebook. So I posted the question and here’s the reactions. Clearly people are still focused on bigger things than themselves. Bravo!!

Passionati Question of the day: If you had $10 million dollars what would you do? Answers to be featured in a story!

Jenni Edwards 1. Pay off my debt/student loans. 2. Give away money to AIDS research. 3. Set up an annuity for living expenses. 4. Travel for a year or two. 5. Provide for my family/friends.

Bandana Singh I would help the ones I need to and then save some and spend some. Watch out now!

Lisa Mowry Trosien Right now, I’d definitely be giving a lot of it to Haiti.

Lisa Mowry Trosien As you eat your food, drink your clean water and rest your head on your pillow in your home tonight, think of the people of Haiti and say a prayer for their safety.

Tracy Shannon I’ve always had a soft spot for kids and there are so many worldwide who are in desperate need of help. I would probably start in China where girls are thrown out at birth – and i mean thrown out- like garbage! Too many places to start. How sad is that!

Justin Keller $1m – Buy a lighthouse. $1m – Travel around Europe and write a book. $2m – Assorted shenanigans. $1m – IRA. $5m – set up a fund to encourage rock and roll in the schools.

Andrea Webster Johnson $4M off the top goes to the tax man. Let’s be realistic. $4M invest to by food, wine, golf club memberships, annual cruise around the world and other basic living expenses (10% of investment income goes to help those who can’t afford it get an education). $1M house in the mountains. $1M house in the desert. Done.

R.J. Anthony Wall Truthfully I would first spend 2 years covering the globe and exploring as many cultures as I could. I would return to start an organic farm the sustained 2-3 bistro styled cafes that offered up cultural dishes from all over the world. I would try to employ ex-convicts and homeless individuals who are trying to make a positive change in their lives as that I have had success with this in the past. I would also purchase a Land Rover and a vintage Triumph.

Jean Claude Garay First I would get a tax lawyer so I didn’t get screwed on taxes. Then I would pay off all my debt. Then I would pay off the debt for my brothers and sisters but just to bring them up to zero. After that, they are on their own and my debt to them is done. I would set my daughter and grand daugher up with a trust fund. I would then donate a substantial amount to the chemistry Department at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne. Then I would go back to work and be the biggest asshole at work. I would pay my coworkers to do shit for me and pay them to take time off with me to go hang out. I would declare that I would pay anyone’s salary for the rest of the year if they quit with me, to threaten the boss for minor things like flavored cream in the break room. I would have so much fun at work!

Angela Alney 10 milion! I would first and foremost take care of my loved ones to include giving my Mother her Dream house and Cadillac. Next I would put money into my business Air-Tan as it is my passion. Also contributing to preventing skin cancer (as this is the most deadliest form of cancer). I would save some money for the future. I would have to travel the globe, can’t really think of a place that I would not want to see. This would allow me to discover new yummy foods, music, art and culture.  Given my personality I would get bored after awhile if I was not contributing in some fashion so I would be trying to make a difference some where with (if there is any) the rest of the dough.

Serge Bhachu Take half and invest it in a few start-up companies, keep the other half in more conservative investments, and see how long it takes for me to grow it to 100M.

Tami L Siewruk 3/4 to Smith Barney and the remaining 1/4 I would give to my team

Jennifer Wallace Chapman I’d give a lot of it to charities involving children. Compassion is one we support now by sponsoring a child. I’d also like to start some sort of house for women who are trying to get back on thier feet after tragedies/abuse or just life in general…especially women with children. I would also give a big portion of it to fund books in schools where they have a big need. As an elementary teacher in a high poverty area, I see soooo many needs I would like to help with. I’d also do something selfish and pay off my student loans from grad school. I don’t want to live a wealthy life so I wouldn’t spend much on buying lots of things. I’d prefer to do something to make a difference.

Floyd Marie as much good as possible…then disappear…

Andrea Cranfill Kick start the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s endowment campaign

Lee Rodgers Pay off my mom and I’s bills. I’d then invest most of the remaining in Urban Revitalization Projects here in Indy.

Carissa Newton Take 1/4 and help a ton of kids, 1/4 secure school/money for my own kids, and finally take last 2/4 and sit on a beach.

– Duncan Alney

KidDelicious will save your life 2night

Another eclectic, dance-craving satisfying, organic, in-yo-face mix from Passionati’s official DJ baby. With throw backs to Wilson Picket, the Beegees, Blondie, Matt Biondi to club currency like LadyHawke, Drake, MGMT, Calvin Harris and Basement Jaxx, KidDelicious is like a healthy “taste” filled etoufee guaranteed to save your self from the Sunday/Monday Blues. Where else can you hear Wrecks -n- Effect “Rumpshaka” w/ The TIng TIngs “Shut Up and Let Me Go”. Listen, the work grind ain’t goin’ away, but maybe tonight KidDelicious can save your life. Turn on this mix (and you can skip forward or back to indulge your discursive, flippant mind, or you can listen straight through. You ready?

Thirst Friday’s Volume 2 by kiddelicious

1.Franz Ferdinand- ” No You Girls”

2. MGMT- “Electric Feel” Justice Remix

3. Belle Epoque- “Miss Broadway”

4. Wrecks -n- Effect “Rumpshaka” w/ The TIng TIngs “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

5. Stetsasonic “Talkin’ All That Jazz”

6. Blondie ” Rapture” w/ The Doors “Riders On The Storm”

7. Unique 2 “Break My Stride” w/ Mase “Can’t Hold Us Down”

8. Black Grape “The Reverand Black Grape”

9. The Cataracs “Club Love”

10. InDeep ” Last Night A DJ Saved My Life”

11. Tigerstyle “Nachna Onda Nei

12. Wilson Pickett “Mustang Sally”

13. The Roots “The Seed”

14. Stevie Nicks ” A Simple Edge”

15. Dizzee Rascal Feat.Calvin Harris and Chromeo “Dance Wiv Me”

16. Hercules and Love Affair ” Raise Me Up”

17. Gwen Stefani “Hollaback” w/ Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls”

18. Dj Sven “Holiday Rap”

19. Madonna “Holiday” w/ Stardust ” Music Sounds Better With You”

20. Loose Joints “All Over My Face” Larry Levan Edit

21. Das Glow ” I Want To Wake Up With You”

22. Ladyhawke “Paris Is Burning” Cut Copy Remix

23. Sebastian Tellier “Kilometer” A Trak Remix

24. The Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing” w/ The Police Roxanne

25. The Juan Mclean “Happy House” Original

26. Fred Falke “Chicago”

27. Chicago “Street Player”

28. The Bucketheads “The Bomb”

29. Spiller “Groovejet” w/ Everything But The Girl “Missing”

30. Lego “The Musical Revolution” The Boom Boom Room Mix

31. Basement Jaxx “Raindrops”

32. Drake “Best I Ever Had” Dirty Mix

Check out Kid Delicious every Friday night at Blu Lounge, downtown Indianapolis – that is when he’s not flyin’ all over the world!

– Duncan Alney

Philadelphia knows how to party!

Magical Musical Marvelous Mummers

Philadelphia knows how to party. And on no day is that clearer than each January 1st, when scores of burly brutes (the same ones who normally pound cheese steaks and brews screaming E-A-G-L-E-S: EAGLES!!!) don themselves in bedazzled costume and clown face playing fantastic music while strutting down Broad Street in the Mummer’s Parade.

It’s quite a sight, and afterwards, everyone skips down to “Two Street” (the local term for the stretch of 2nd street between Washington and Oregon Avenues where many of the Mummer’s Clubhouses are located) to imbibe in the revelry and magic of a Philadelphia tradition started in the 17th century – and exclusive to our fair city.

Check out the pics below, and, next year, come experience the magical musical mayhem yourself!

"It's heavy," this Mummer said to me as I took his picture, "and the wind really sucks."

This beplumed Mummer stopped strutting to pose with fans along the parade route (at Spruce and Broad streets)

The Captain of each Mummer's Club is always out in front, the first one to strut!

Music and Marching

C6:Face mask for added effect

Feathers, sequins, saxophones, oh my!

Willing to Work

Slappin' the bass while struttin' the strut

Post-performance revelry on 15th and Locust streets

Mummers perform at the Judges Stand in front of City Hall as the wind whips up confetti

Three Mummers whoopin' it up after performing. They assured me that their solo cups "just had water in them."


Costumes often cost thousands of dollars...

Daddy Mummer, ready to party.

In front of the Mummers Museum on "Two Street" - party on, Philly!

Down on "Two Street" after the Parade, the real party begins.

– Kate Dalbey (Click Kate’s name to follow her adventures via twitter)

Viggo Mortensen: 10 questions

Just saw The Road. While we work on the reaction to the film, here’s some Viggo Mortensen to get pique your appetite. An interview with Time Magazine to get a bit deeper into the man himself.

Viggo Mortensen - Passionati

– Duncan Alney

The xx: Crystalized

Are you ready for The xx’s quiet revolution: the time it will be webized

the xx passionati

The xx has kicked my ass. It’s been a long time since I heard something that stopped me from doing anything else.  They’re getting buzz for doing something so strange in the music world these days – making frickin’ beautiful gimmick-free music. They’re not relying on slick production values, overly styled fashion, in-your-face Kardashian antics, or sultry dance moves. They’re a failure on all those fronts yet their music is quietly invasive, non-chalantly seductive, and appealing (with their arrangements, melodies, and thematic choices). You’re going to hear a lot more from me about The xx. The guitar is heavily reminiscent of The Cure and the ambient elemental sound of Jesus & Mary Chain, yet they’re soulful and list R&B as a significant influence (including a killer cover of Aaliyah’s “Hot like fire”).

Nuff now check out the videos of the track “Crystalized”.

– Duncan Alney

John Mayer talks about “Battle Studies”

Since so many of you are consuming John Mayer on here, here’s some more on the new album from the lips of none other than John Mayer himself.

John Mayer - passionati

People under the stairs: My City, Are You With Me?

people under the stairs

This funky hip hop cut from L.A.’s People Under the Stairs is a must for the first dance mix of 2010.

– Emily Peláez

Emily writes about Belgian beer, gardening, mood music and vegetarian culinary experimentation.