Archive for March, 2010

Introducing Hamel – jazzy, poppy, upbeat

Hamel’s light and tasty like a French-pressed Bali Blue Moon

Inimitable - Hamel is one of a kind.

Hamel defies categorization. Is it jazz or pop? Or both? Its got some Rat Pack and a bit of George Clooney marinated in. Here’s the surprising news – he’s dutch. Glad to see that there’s more than tulips, techno, and pot that’s getting Holland some word of mouth. This guy went to journalism school and dropped out (thank god!). He went to the one of the famous music conservatories and then worked as a high school music teacher – but you can’t keep a good man down. There is no easy way to describe his music or what it does to me. Its happy and upbeat. Check out the two songs here. “In Between” from “Nobody’s Tune” is immediately lovely and nostalgic and perfect for the spring days that lie ahead of us here in North America. Adieu for now!

To order any of this music, please go to Luna Music! Click this link below.

– Duncan Alney, Passionati

The Antler’s Hospice is for the adventurous listener

Chris Huffman on The Antlers

Chris Huffman spotlights The Antlers

Hospice – [hos-pis] – noun
1. a house of shelter or rest for pilgrims, strangers, etc.
2. a program of care and support for the terminally ill at home.

In a literal sense, the debut album from The Antlers* fits the second definition of the word ‘Hospice’. Fortunately for it’s listeners, the act of listening to the record is figuratively more akin to the first.

Give the track Kettering a listen.

‘Hospice’ is a shelter. Welcoming you in with the opening ‘Prologue’, embracing you in a solemn swirl of dissonance. The jingling march of ‘Two’ and the pop-driven ‘Bear’ are anthemic peaks to the slow, somber valleys of ‘Kettering’ and ‘Wake’.

Like medical hospice provides a dignified release for the sick and dying, The Antlers’ ‘Hospice’ provides a fifty-two minute release for the listener (a stranger). The album rises and falls, rattles and whispers, striking with deep, emotional lyrics that emerge out of the music.

For the adventurous listener, ‘Hospice’ is one of the best albums of last year. Don’t miss it.

Chris Huffman is an interactive designer and art director. He collects maps and swag, loves all things melodic. He’s the principal at

In Rotation March 14th 2010

Cheers to Duncan for letting me be the guest in-rotationist for Passionati this week.  Let’s do this!

bear like mouse a.k.a. Justin Keller brings his bad ass mix to Passionati's In Rotation

Okay, we’re starting off with a little Bombay Bicycle Club, a British indie rock band whose song “Always Like This” teeters between your poppy-er singer/songwriting dudes and a blissful, soaked-in-reverb chorus soaked-in-reverb that smacks of Bloc Party.  The Antlers, whose album, ‘Hospice,’ was #1 on my way-too-long Top Albums of 2009 list.  “Sylvia” is a reference to Sylvia Plath, who- in this case- is a reference overarches across this whole concept album that’s about his relationship with his terminally ill girlfriend.  Total bummer, right?  Up next is Toro Y Moi.  This kid is 23 and, despite his age, draws on a lot of seventies influences and makes them hyper-relevant with some Atlas Sound and Animal Collective stylings.  After him you’ll have some dub-step dropped on you by DJ/Rupture and Matt Shadetek, featuring Elizabeth Alexander, the poetess that spoke at the Obama inauguration.  Another 23-year-old, Florence Welch (AKA Florence and the Machine), put out a really diverse and really, really awesome album called “Lungs” last year.  It’s like, damn, that girl can wail. A prime example of said wailing is the hyperbolic anthem, ‘The Dog Days Are Over’.  Moving on… You know The XX?  Well Phantogram sounds a lot like like them but with the DJ from Public Enemy and a far less wimpy sound.  Time to slow it up with Ida Maria’s, “Keep Me Warm.”  And then please allow The Album Leaf (AKA Jimmy LaValle) to soothe the shit out of you.  Once they’ve done that, how about Cambridge, MA’s, Arms and Sleepers, does it some more with their opium-inflused, Parisian-sounding trip-hop.   On to the final stretch…  Moderat (whose appellation is a smoosh of Modeselektor + Apparat; the two separate artists that comprise Moderat) gets things a whole lot sexier (wait, maybe that’s sadder?) with “Out Of Sight”; which was prossibly (possibly + probably) my favorite track of 09.  And to bring my guestiness here on Passionati to a crashing end, Chicago’s 3-piece instrumental powerhouse/thinktank, Russian Circles with “When the Mountain Comes to Mohammad.” This cut starts with a dirge-like guitar loop and escalates into quaking drums and buzzsaw bass in its massive ending.  I hope you enjoy and thank you for letting me high-five your ear drums!

You can follow Justin on Twitter: @justinkeller


To order any of this music, please go to Luna Music! Click this link below.

In Rotation March 7th 2010

Slick Rick's "Street Talkin' Featuring OutKast is on this week's In Rotation

So light is her footfall – Air: The French duo is back in effect with this song from a few months ago. The video features a femme fatale and her metaphorical panther shadow.

Candy – Paulo Nutini (recorded live at Preservation Hall): A happy song that asks for the most basic pleasure – candy.

Starman – Culture Club: Fantastic. Most people can’t cover Bowie credibly but George O’Dowd does it with soul.

Sidi Ifni – Cracker: David Lowery and Johnny Hickman are quintessential American rockers. This song has been recorded in an exclusive live performance for Passionati that will be on the site next week.

All the Young Dudes – Mott the Hoope: Written by David Bowie, this track is not a happy song about young guys hangin’ out. But if that makes you happy, don’t let this stop you.

Go down swingin’ – John Hiatt: What can I say. Solid music from the heartland. Good for you. Better than grits. Possibly as good as hash browns slathered with ketchup.

Flume – Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel covering Bon Iver. Sheer genius. Off an album called Scratch my Back.

Slumdog Millionaire by Toussaint St. Jean, Cyndi Lauper and Wyclef: Guaranteed to get you dancin’.

The Seed – The Roots with Cody Chestnutt: Refered to as “the jammingest rap track ever”, this is really a rock and roll song with Cody Chestnut (who originally recorded it) and a bit of funk and hip hop.

Street Talkin’ – Slick Rick featuring Outkast: “Don’t try to claim things I haven’t earned honest, man, Slick Rick and Outkast is on this jam.”

– Duncan Alney

To order any of this music, please go to Luna Music! Click this link below.

Edouard Salier: Juicy Noir

Edourd Saliers noir video for french duo Air track "So light is her footfall"

How would you like to swing on a black star? Carry darkness home in a jar? Noir never went away for some of us. Whether its watching Maltese Falcon or Blade Runner, or the recent Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Noir is sexy, breathe taking, and visually delightful. Here’s a couple of recent videos from Edouard Salier. One for Air and the other for Massive Attack. Enjoy in the dark.

Massive Attack-Splitting the Atom-directed by Edouard Salier from edouard salier on Vimeo.

Dov Samuel: My Top 5 Films

5 films you can’t miss from Dov Samuel

Top 5 films you can't miss

Not all of my top 5 films are necessarily what you would find on a list of the all time greatest films.  I could teach a film class and list off the greatest films of all time, but you can find that on line and there’s already been plenty written about all those films.  Here’s my list in alphabetical order.

1.  Blue Velvet

2.  Chungking Express

3.  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

4.  North By Northwest

5.  The Wild Bunch

– Dov Samuel

Dov Samuel knows film. Like a fat kid knows cake. He's a sensitive storyteller and believe me, you know his work.

Dov Samuel is an editor. He’s worked on the X-Men series, Super Bad, The Interpreter, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the soon to be released The Hungry Rabbit Jumps. Born in Toronto, he lives in LA with his wife, Belle, and their daughter, Charlotte.

Villager: Becoming a Jackal

Villagers bring “becoming a jackal” heart-wrenchingly home

Two Word Review:  blown away

Becoming a Jackal - the stunning new song from Villagers

Conor J. O’Brien’s latest project – Villagers, and specifically the song “Becoming a Jackal” is stunningly good. It’s a teaser for the album that comes out later this year. But it’s that song that will linger inside your heart and mind, slowly becoming a part of you, and you a part of it. The song is so moving – I had to ask for my heart back – and btw Ferry Gouw directed the music video. Think the earnestness of Peter Gabriel with beautiful melodies.

Connor J. O’Brien has already toured Ireland twice, played festivals at home and abroad, and opened for the likes of Neil Young, Wild Beasts and Cass McCombs.

You saw it here first baby. On Passionati. – Duncan Alney

Jason Mraz: Video Review by Mark Juleen

The Apartment Nerd on Jason Mraz’s live album – Beautiful Mess: Live on Earth

Jason Mraz - accessible, poppy, mainstream, and good for you

Mark Juleen, apartment nerd and music afficianado, is back with the basics. This time it’s a first for Passionati – a video interview. Thanks Mark for the interview and for not killing anyone while you were drivin’ ;). Jason Mraz’s Live album “Beautiful Mess – Live on Earth”. We’re not snob. Louis Armstrong said “Good music is what you like”. We’re not success haters. We live in the mainstream. We like good melodies and catchy music. We love Cat Power, Rufus Wainright, and Jason Mraz. All great song writers that make people happy. Check out Mark’s video review of the album and here’s a couple of bonus videos as well.

Mark Juleen can be found at

To order any of this music, please go to Luna Music! Click this link below.