First and foremost, a happy new year to everyone. Hope everyone stays safe this holiday season and we are super excited about all the things to come in Birchland in 2013.
With all the amazing albums that came out this year, our choice is going to have to be Kaki King’s Glow. The purely instrumental album was both uplifting and inspiring and we have to agree with Kaki when she says it’s some of her best work.
Congrats Kaki! All the best in 2013.
Alicia Keys – Songs in A Minor
Released in 2001, this is Alicia Keys’s first album. It has aged quite well and I definitely appreciate it much more than when it was released. Alicia’s sound has changed a lot throughout her career but this record is a really great example of a what a very talented young woman might go through in day to day life outside of playing really beautiful piano. Her voice is calm, honest, and insightful, and her lyrics are clear. How Come You Don’t Call Me was a huge hit, and listening to it still makes me start grooving. The cool part about this album is how it has a variety of paces and attitudes so if you listen to it you can get up and dance (Girlfriend) and then when you’re tired you can sit down and chill (Troubles). Then when you gather up some more energy you can belt it all out again (A Woman’s Worth). Her record label repacked the album recently as a “10th Anniversary Edition” and added some remixes and unreleased tracks. Of those, Juiciest is hot. She brags, “I’m the juiciest girl around, and I got 999 men knockin’ down my door”, while Biggie’s beats play in the background.
Junior Kimbrough – God Knows I Tried
This blues album is calm and crazy at once. I like to listen to this while getting dressed and ready for the evening. I feel empowered and apathetic, which I guess is equally as much of a contradiction as how I characterize the album and probably what makes it a compelling listen. Junior Kimbrough’s guitar is smooth in the way that his voice is smooth. In other words it’s raspy—and completely cool. There’s a background beat in much of his songs that really drones on and on, and makes the album one of those special records that you can put on repeat and not notice it has played 4 times repeatedly. If he sounds vaguely familiar, maybe you saw the recent presentation for Saint Laurent SS2013 or you have listened to anything by The Black Keys.
Franz Schubert – Impromptus, D. 899 and D. 935
Sometimes I like to read or do things that are better with instrumental music. I also like to act like my apartment is just the left wing of a larger mansion and down the central corridor is my personal pianist, who specializes in Schubert. I admire anyone that can play Schubert because in my experience his works are some of the toughest. The Impromptus evoke a range of emotions; there are powerful chords, freaky staccatos, and just the most beautiful, undulating harmonies. My favorite is Opus 90, No. 3. It’s sumptuous, soothing, velvety and somehow a piece I would play at both a wedding and a funeral. Or in my case while eating breakfast, or reading. If you want more, go search for his Trios.
What I’m Looking forward to:
Amy Winehouse – Amy Winehouse at the BBC
It’s 4 discs and it’s a collection of her live recordings. I think one of the discs is a DVD. The thing about Amy is she’s statistically my favorite musician so…
Lana Del Rey – Paradise
I get what her management is doing and it’s a smart decision. She’s rereleasing her first album Born To Die with like 8ish more tracks and labeling those songs as a new album. Exactly the same as Lady Gaga did with The Fame Monster. So far, two of the songs from it have been playing repeatedly chez moi. Blue Velvet is obviously a cover but it has the window-vibrating bass and underwater murkiness that characterizes most of her music. Ride has a lot less Hip-Hop and is the kind of epic song you would somehow find in both the soundtracks for “Crossroads” (starring Britney Spears) and “No Country for Old Men.” And maybe if you add those two films together you get “Kill Bill”?
We know it’s been a while since our last Music Monday. Sorry about that! Well, it’s back and with a bit of a vengeance! Today we’re going to dedicate our post to one of our favorite artists. Kaki King has been making music for quite a while and has six albums under her belt. Word on the street is that this is the best one to date. We will let you be the judge of that. You can get a sneak preview of the album Glow to comes out tomorrow by clicking here. You can also get a copy of Glow which will be released on October 9th.
Kaki will be on tour for the month of October and November and she’ll be in NY on the 11th and 13th of November. The Birch Coffee Crew will be in full attendance at the Nov. 13th show!! Hope to see you there.
Oh, and a hearty congratulations to Kaki on her recent nuptials to Jessica Templin! You Go Girls.
It’s Monday – which means a great roundup of good new music to help get you through your Monday Blues!
First, have a listen to the beautiful new Cat Powers album, Sun. It’s very different from her previous “rainy day” sadder albums – but it is definitely just as remarkable. Have a listen on NPR before it’s out September 4th…
…feast your eyes on this wacky new video from Grimes. “Genesis” is off her album, Visions, which was released earlier this year…
…lastly, here’s ‘Sunset’ the latest from the much anticipated new album from The xx Coexist out on September 11th. Check it out below.
The food and drink lovers over at New Fork City decided to drop by Birch for a visit. They had some great things to say about our coffee, delivery service, and overall atmosphere. Read the full review at New Fork City!
Welcome back to another week of Birch’s Music Monday – bringing you our favorite new music!
Today, we want to start with Bob Dylan’s first single from his upcoming album Temptest. What do you think of “Early Roman Kings”?
Then have a listen to some insanely seductive music from WOJCIK – this is music you’ll want to have on loud and won’t be able to turn off! Her latest album, Wise Blood, is out tomorrow but get a first listen on Spinner now!
For your viewing pleasure, check out Scottish folk band, Frightened Rabbits’ somber new video “State Hospital.” This is the title track to their upcoming album out September 25th.
Lastly, but certainly not worst, have your first listen of The Heavy’s new album. You’ll be hooked from the first bass line in the opening track “Can’t Play Dead” until the heart wrenching, soulful “Blood Dirt Love Soup” streaming on Billboard now!
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably know it’s Shark Week! Television channels and different media outlets are abuzz with shark facts and information. These are beautiful creatures and though they might be scary their numbers are dwindling. This is why the Huffington Post has you covered with 5 Ways to Save our Finned Friends.
One foundation, Shark Savers, has dedicated itself to raising awareness about the diminishing numbers of sharks and educating divers and people alike about the true nature of these majestic creatures of the deep. In this video they interviewed many divers who have seen first hand the ever changing aquatic landscape and they are on a mission to bring back the sharks. Learn more about what you can do in your area to save this endangered species here.
And don’t forget the wise words of 30 Rock‘s Tracy Jordan and “live every week like it’s shark week.”
Read Chelsea Clinton’s latest interview with Vogue here!