Saudade — Thievery Corporation


Thievery Corporation’s Saudade presents an interesting conundrum: in their oeuvre, the collective is so successful in melding eclectic international styles (dj/live/world-focused music), that this album, which delves exclusively into one style—bossa nova—seems limited against previous output.

And yet, maybe that’s the joke: the word “saudade” is untranslatable into English, meaning something like “a longing for something that is lost”. In listening to this album, I miss the collective’s signature mélange of electronic, reggae, Bollywood, and continental James Bond soundtrack-sounding music.

Preferred cuts include Quem Me Leva, Firelight, Sola in Citta, and Para Sempre, all characterized by depth, complex rhythms and a thematic intrigue that invites the listener to explore further. Kudos to the duo for bringing muses including longtime Thievery cohort LouLou Ghelichkhani, Elin Melgarejo, Nouvelle Vague singer Karina Zeviani, Argentine chanteuse Natalia Clavier, former Bitter:Sweet singer/songwriter Shana Halligan and Federico Aubele along for the ride.

Saudade is a light and enjoyable collection. Rhythmically textured, bossa nova’s limitation derives from the A/B style of the melodies and harmonies. Yet the haunting vocal delivery adds a mystery (supplemented by Portuguese and French vocals) that enhances the drama of the songs. There is no question that the production style conjures a deep emotional state of nostalgic melancholic longing for feelings and experiences that once brought excitement, pleasure, contentment, triggering the senses and inviting reincarnation. But the lack of influential variety can get a little old, illustrating why Thievery Corporation’s hallmark mélange of dj/live/world-focused music is so conspicuous in its absence.


New Music


Great new releases coming out soon. I thought I’d document them, and will try to review following their respective releases:

The Hold Steady — Teeth Dreams (Mar 25)

Thievery Corporation — Saudade (Apr 1)

The Afghan Whigs — Do to the Beast (Apr 15)

Chris Robinson Brotherhood — Phosphorescent Harvest (Apr 29)

Rich Robinson — The Ceaseless Night (Jun 23)


Looking forward to these new tunes!

Good albums I’ve bought in 2013

Cool pic

Those of you familiar with my music purchasing history know I am dissatisfied with buying music online. However, for the last 1.5 years, its been the only way I’ve been able to pick up new music. Here are some works that I’ve loved or liked during that time (06/12 – 09/13):

Dawn of Midi – Dysnomia
Chris Robinson Brotherhood – 2012/12/05 Solana Beach, CA (I was there)
Buckingham Nicks – (self-titled)
Truth & Salvage Co. – Pick Me Up
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Thin Lizzy – Dedication
Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin – Live
Japandroids – Celebration Rock

Tell me what you like.



“Don’t Stop Believing'”: A List of Words that Start a lot of Songs

wow taxidermy

I was sitting on the patio listening to the Replacements and thinking about words that start songs. [THIS IS NOT SCIENTIFIC, BUT MAY BE ACCURATE] There are some words that start a lot of songs. My goal is a large contribution by people who read this, so please add to the collective input. Let’s evaluate:

I’ve – I’ve got a Crush on You, I’ve Never Been to Me, I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, I’ve Been Everywhere 

Don’t – Don’t Give Up, Don’t you do it, Don’t Let Me Down, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

Let or Let’s – Let it Rain, Let’s Hear it for the Boy, Let it Be, Let’s Get Together, Let Me Entertain You, Let’s Get it On (you get the idea) 

Saturday – One More Saturday Night, Saturday In The Park, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Saturday Night, On Saturday Afternoons In 1963

You – You Make Me Feel, You Don’t Miss Your Water, You Give Love a Bad Name, You

Radio – Radio Radio, Radio Song, Radio Gaga, Radio

Hey – Hey DJ, Hey Ya, Hey Joe, Hey Jude, Ho Hey

Be- Be Near Me, Be Good Johnny, Be My Number 2,

Star – Star Man, Star Girl, Stardust

Is there a reason why these are popular song titles? Statistical analysis? Probably. But, hey, we’ve got the internet, so let’s blow a lot of smoke and see what conclusions we can arrive (at).

 **I’ve listed a few sample titles to indicate the amount of songs you can think of with this word in the title. It’s often based more on popularity than preference.

Beauty Among Us

Beauty Among Us

This photo was taken outside Sedona, AZ.

Opening the Magic Door!

Congratulations, Chris Robinson Brotherhood for manifesting your integrity and tradition-based skills masterfully on the new album. I’ve now had the opportunity to listen all the way through 3-4 times (like you’re supposed to do with a good new album). Initially, I was skeptical about the song selection, but DOUBTS NO MORE. The pacing, instumentation, harmonies, song writing and overall freakiness make for a real strong showing. Against Big Moon Ritual, I hear less Neal solos, and more freakouts from Adam (love ’em both). Muddy . . . is muddy, keeping it down. Folks, thanks for the ongoing contribution to ‘the song.’ \m/Image

(Artisan packaging, and artwork care of Alan Forbes.).

Oh, and while I’m at it, thanks a million for selling me your live shows shortly after they occur. Great soundboard recordings of high-quality live music? The best souvenir. Check it out at !


2012 Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale

2012 Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale

2012 Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale

Changes . . . ?

Visited the site today and realized it’s been almost two months since my last post. Since I’m trying to keep this reasonably active, I thought I’d mark down some new thoughts along with some very cool visuals:

1. Visited San Diego craft brew mecca over the weekend with Vean Gregg and Will. Made some new friends, had some new life experiences.

2. Got my signed Chris Robinson Brotherhood “Big Moon Ritual” cd from Newbury Comics yesterday. I spent an hour or so loving it. The last 3 songs are choice. Strange to hear songs I’ve heard live a lot, done in a studio setting. Nonetheless, they definitely pull it off. The new one to me is 100 Day of Rain. Sweet! I’m sure it’ll sound great live!

3. Written in a mural in San Diego: “To see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour.” — William Blake

4. Now for some inspired graphics:


Not photo-shopped

An auspicious beginning

The Postwar Era: From the Collection, 1945-1980

Really enjoyed seeing The Postwar Era: From the Collection, 1945-1980 at the Laguna Art Museum yesterday. I was fascinated by the work of the finish fetishists, particularly Peter Alexander’s Untitled work from 1966. I was interested how it was backward-looking (a la Turner) but also forward looking, due to the cast polyester resin construction . Also, Victor Hugo Zayas’ “LAX” was an interesting piece.

Helen Lundeberg's Moonscape

Branding seen through a Danica lens

In branding, people often look to prime brands–Apple, Mini, Starbucks–to illustrate some key branding principles and connect them with common knowledge. Watching Sport Center the otner day, I was impressed by coverage of Danica Patirick. I feel Danica Patrick is a strong brand, in that she has successfully transitioned (at least her paycheck) by being a novelty (female) act in a grounded sport (auto racing). I believe I heard her best finish ever is 12th and yet I bet she commissions more than 90% of NASCAR drivers, and was the most searched athlete in 2011Image. Her transition from Indy Car to NASCAR was a blatant and applauded moneygrab, whcih is a testimonial to her charisma and appeal to American sports fans who want a gender-equal field (see: pro Golf). I have little exposure to and knowledge of driving but I am well saturated on info about this star driver. Very interesting to me.