Wednesday, October 20, 2004

it takes two, baby

glistening by the numbers: TWO

Blossom Dearie - "Tea for Two"

David: And after Funkadelic, this is a pretty jarring mood change. I can't say I like this track, to be honest, and being sandwiched between two pieces of brilliance hardly helps its cause. And now it keeps getting skipped...

41: beautiful voice. intriguing. smooth. I like bouncier versions. Still, sweet.

Avi: I've never heard Blossom Dearie before, but she's got a great delivery. I bet she could really belt it out if she wanted, but she keeps it smooth and restrained, in just the right ways. Very nice.

Lee: Bit of a weird transistion here. Fine rendition, and this arrangement is great. It works so much better slower than the typical skip-and-shuffling-along tempo I often hear. Although Blossom's 'little girl' voice gets under my skin a bit.

Rosecrans: Blossom's new to me. The song's very sweet. The slow-down when the band comes in is kind of perfect.

You can hear more than a bit of Nellie McKay's spiritual grandmammy going on here.

I had never exactly thought of "Tea for 2" as a curl-up-by-the-fire torch song, but Dearie is strangely wistful and sad about what's in her cuppa. What makes this worth the download is Blossom's navigating the razor's edge between kitten purr and soft sobbing. Laugh 'til you cry.

Buy "Once Upon a Summertime", the Polygram rerelease of the 1958 album, from Amazon.
See Blossom Dearie live every Saturday and Sunday at seven. Strangely enough, this is a five minute walk from my apartment. I can't imagine that her voice hasn't changed a bit since this was recorded in 1958 but I'm still curious.
Anybody want to go to a cabaret with me?
Visit Blossom Dearie's official site.
Tea for Totoro?


Underworld - "Two Months Off"

Quite a study in opposites; 'Two Months Off' couldn't be LESS like 'Tea for Two'.

This anthem has everything I want out of an Underworld track: a minute and a half of warm-up to get the heartbeat maxed-out, meaningless babblelyrics rendered heavenly by vocoder, a glistening curtain of synth arpeggios, at least three false crescendos and four concurrently running drum machine beats... and one false ending with plenty o' cowbell!

Robin calls this stuff "elation disco". I can't think of a better name for it. It is music that lets you see the Earth from the eyes of the hawk.

Or maybe that's just the drugs talking.

Buy "A Hundred Days Off", Underworld's last album, from Amazon.
Not a good place to get started but perfect for fans (read: get the x and the glowsticks out and let's call it a week).
Visit Underworld's "Dirty" hub.
Explore Underworld, L.A. artist Kaz's comic strip.


Currently being amused by: gossiping bitche$.