Good gravy, November was bountiful with some stellar songs! This decorative gourd season found us indulging in comfort food music - the kind of songs that make you want to loosen your belt and put your feet up. But also, some songs that make you want to put your feet down and groove like a new year is just around the corner. You can listen to our Pandora Picks for the month right here.
Old time country and honky-tonk is alive, well and swingin’ in the San Francisco Bay Area! Meet singer-songwriter Aaron Burnham and his band the Brushfires who’ve been a fixture and favorite in the local music scene over past few years, perfectly fusing their original tunes alongside Hank Williams, Buck Owens, and Gram Parsons covers. They recently released a fiery album of original music called Barnburner that includes their regular lineup of vocals, rhythm and lead guitars, upright bass, and drums along with special guest harmony vocals, fiddle and pedal steel players. If you ever have the opportunity, check out a Brushfires show and join the two-steppin’ Western Swingin’ party!
My pick for this month's Pandora picks is New Blue Sun, the controversial new record from André 3000 from Outkast. I was never the biggest Outkast fan. So, the controversy kind of escaped me. And in fact, I was totally blown away by this new record. I already expected to love it based on all the insane song titles and the fact that it was all flutes, which is my favorite instrument. It was produced by a guy called Carlos Niño who has made some of the most thrilling modern jazz around. And in fact, this almost sounds more like a Carlos Niño record than an Andre 3000 record. Regardless, it's a beautiful, spaced-out droning, hypnotic, peaceful, dreamlike collection of drifting ambience and I love it. Plus, the song titles are crazy. For instance, the song I picked is titled, “That Night In Hawaii When I Turned Into A Panther And Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control ... Sh¥t Was Wild.”
Holy smokes, we’ve got a new Beatles song! And it’s the last Beatles song. Well actually, it’s an old John Lennon song. The other three Beatles added music to it years and years after it was first recorded. Does that make it a Beatles song? Some angry old guys on the internet will say no, it does not. But Ringo, Yoko, and Paulo say yes, it does. So, I’m going to side with them and agree that this is a Beatles song. And it’s a beautiful Beatles song. My favorite Beatles songs were always melancholy and bittersweet. And since we’re living in melancholy and bittersweet times, this new Beatles song is just perfect for the world we live in right now and I just wish they’d go back and give “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” the same treatment because this mix boasts more clarity and depth and I love it.
Right now, I'm all about Natalie Layne, singer, songwriter, producer, indie artist, signed this year to Centricity music. I’m not really into comparisons, but if I had to compare her to an artist that most people would know, I'd say she's got that Alicia Keys, Sarah Bareilles, piano-driven magic that we see so rarely these days - but with perhaps with a bit more joy, which I love. She's played Bonnaroo. She's opened for some heavy hitters in the Christian music space like Chris Tomlin and We The Kingdom and she's kicking **ahem** in the social media space with over 3,000,000 likes on TikTok. So, check out her live shows there because she's really fun to watch live. Anyhoo, we're gonna be seeing big things from this one.
This month I’m sharing the haunting new track “Blue To Blue” by Marta De Pascalis. The Berlin-based Italian composer’s latest work, Sky Flesh, is a deeply expressive science fiction hymn to the cosmos composed entirely on a classic Yamaha synth, the CS-60. At turns agonized and joyful, I find the entire album profoundly moving.
When I saw that Trevor Horn from The Buggles released “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” [by Yes] with Rick Astley, I just got really excited. And this is such a cool combo of folks coming together and making a great track. I hope you enjoy it.
You're not going to hear anything like the new album The Bored Identity by Dynasty Handbag. It's like a studio comedy, parody, character, performance art explosion happening right now. The album just came out and the track I picked for November is called “Vitamix Baby.”