Download of the Week

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Michael Lavorgna  |  May 11, 2012
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy Hummingbird

Originally released on Spiritual Pajamas as a limited edition 10" Record Store Day EP, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's Hummingbird is slow, sad, and to my way of hearing, lovely. As the title suggests, we open with Leon Russell's "Hummingbird" where Billy is joined by a host of musicians including “Farmer” Dave Scher, Paz Lenchantin and Derek James (Entrance Band) for a hand-clapping, foot stomping funk-infused simmering delight. "Tribulations" covered with minimal pomp with the help of Emmett Kelly (Cairo Gang) gets all old-and-other-worldly, and a cover of Merle Haggard's "Because Of Your Eyes" is essential Billy—immediate, moving and worth the price of admission. The closer "Hummingbird Pt. 2" brings it all back home (is that Vangelis flying away?)...

Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 02, 2012
Masaki Batoh, Brain Pulse Music

Masaki Batoh, musician formerly of the band Ghost and currently also an acupuncturist, conceived of and had the Brain Pulse Music Machine made to translate brain waves into sound waves which the wearer can learn to control to make music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 24, 2012
First a story:

I was home last Saturday evening listening to records. "Sing Songs Of Love" by The Cherry Smash from Side 2 of the excellent compilation Backtracks 3 on Track Records from 1970 was playing and it reminded me of the Winterpills new record all my lovely goners. It also reminded me that Winterpills were playing in NYC that very night at 10PM.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 23, 2012
Grateful Dead, Live at Mosque on 1977-05-25

[reader Slim plays DJ and takes us on a musical trip]

I follow along the trails of Stephen Mejias and deckeda and start with a breach of the rules:

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 17, 2012
Kip Hanrahan, Desire Develops An Edge

Stephen Mejias is all over this one as he not only bought me the original LP as a gift that keeps on giving but he also told me about the HDtracks download! For those who love the unexpected mixed bag of influence, idea and expectation surpassed, get yee to Kip Hanrahan's Desire Develops An Edge.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 16, 2012
Talking Heads, Remain in Light

[Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio hands us a bevy of musical delights with a focus on live!]

The biggest problem with a request like this is taste. Mine silly as it may sound is found in 80's pop, new wave, punk! Yea XTC, Clash, B52's, Talking Heads, Cranberries, Devo, Costello, Joe Jackson and of course Gang of Four. Not much of this is available as even red book downloads so here goes with what I could find that I would like, in order top to bottom. Yes I do have all of these on my server. While some of these obscure titles are available from Pirate Bay and other illegal sites...I really suggest if you cannot download them legally that you purchase and rip the disks.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 08, 2012
Daphne Oram, Private Dreams and Public Nightmares (Interpretations by Andrea Parker and Daz Quayle)

[Reader Edwin Wong gives us a nice eclectic list for the adventurous listener or the young at heart]

Daphne Oram, Daphne Oram, Private Dreams and Public Nightmares (Interpretations by Andrea Parker and Daz Quayle) (Aperture)

A dark re-work of original and unheard material from the archives of Daphne Oram (co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), mixed by Andrea Parker and Daz Quayle. Digital and CD only.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 28, 2012
Tom Waits: Bad As Me available as a 24-bit/96kHz download from HDtracks

I first became aware of Tom Waits in a car in 1976 on the way to a concert at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ. My friend Artie's older brother had a few of his friends bail out at the last minute on a Rick Derringer/Foghat show (at least that's how I remember it but I can't seem to verify the accuracy of my memory or this double bill) and we happened to be in the right place at the right time to be invited. During the car ride over and back, we listened to Tom Waits' newly released Small Change while Artie's brother and his friends sang and we all drank along (Budweiser). I seem to remember them playing "The Piano Has Been Drinking" over and over and thinking—this is more than great music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 26, 2012
Wiley: Evolve or Be Extinct

[This is part of a new series which I introduce here and I'm very happy to have my friend and colleague Stephen Mejias of Stereophile fame write the inaugural entry]

I've spent this entire week writing those little 100-word blurbs that make up Stereophile's semi-annual "Recommended Components" feature. Every day, from around nine in the morning until around eight in the evening: distilling, trimming, summarizing, finding new ways to say "this" lacked "that" but nevertheless excelled at "this."

Michael Lavorgna  |  Dec 05, 2011
Iceland's Ólafur Arnalds is a multi-instrumentalist and composer and in October 2011 he sat down for his second series of 'a-song-a-day' for a week. His first foray in this format was Found Songs from 2009. This time around Arnalds and a group of musicians (piano, strings and electronics) performed a new song-a-day live via streaming video from the living room of his Reykjavík apartment. Arnalds also made each song available as a free MP3 download immediately after each performance.

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