Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hola from Cuba!

Cuban flag waving

So what's up with the updates here?

Well, Siggy is not much for blogging. He's busy updating the playlist. I am entering the second and final week in Habana, Cuba, where I spend my days staying alive in the heat and humidity and trying to learn the basics of the Spanis language as spoken in Cuba.

Not enough time to write here, but I have a couple of minutes to spare and will do my best.

You can get online in hotels for a decent sum of money. Roughly 6 dollars an hour. Cuba and Habana is as close to visiting another planet as you get. At least if you're from Sweden/Europe. So much different and so many strange things all around you. I'll probably fill you in a bit more later, but living in a "casa particular" - i.e. private home - is one step closer to at least get a whiff of the real Cuba/Habana.

The thing that will scare the tourists away are the "jineteros" = hustlers on the streets. You can rarely walk more than 10 minutes before somebodey asks you where you're from and when you answer "Sweden" they say "Aha! Estocholma!" and then start to ramble the same keywords that must be working as everybody seem to use the same scam; Hemingway, Mojito, cigars, Buena Vista Social Club and help me buy some milk to my kid/my sisters kid.

You can end up spendning a whole lot of money in a bar paying a lot more than you should for drinks. Find yourself with below average cigars you've just bought. All because these hustlers are so friendly and suck you in just like that.

Musically Cuba has a lot to offer. I couldn't tell a trova from a son or a rhumba, but promise to bring back at least a couple of tracks fit to get played on RadioDupree eventually.

Enjoy what's spinning on the station right now and I'll (try to) steer clear of the jineteros and wing my way back home in a week or two.


Sunday, July 10, 2005

More "Dirty Work"!

Covers of the two albums
Two more Steely Dan-related records!

As mentioned on the recently updated RadioDupree homepage, Swedish pop artist Timo Räisänen has recorded a version of Steely Dan's "Dirty Work" appearing as a bonus track on his new single "Pussycat".
I went looking for it as a legal download and ended up finding two other cover versions of the same song!

Susan Marshall gives it a go on her "Firefly" (2005) and Jenna Mammina sings her version on "Meant To Be" (2005).

Susan Marshall, born and raised and still living in Memphis, did opera before going rock in the early 90s with a group called The Mother Station. But she sounds like she can do it all; with over 100 recording projects as a vocalist, she's released two albums under her own name. Both are available through cdbaby.com.

Over at cdbaby.com is also where you find Jenna Mammina's recordings.
Born in Michigan with mom and dad as well as her sister and brothers all musicians, it's no wonder Jenna became a singer. She moved to the San Fransisco Bay area in the mid 80s and has been performing on stage as well as doing session work.

Jenna leans towards jazz and her version of "Dirty Work" has a laidback groove to it. Susan keep it more singer/songwriter and slows it down with just a piano accompanying her.

"Dirty Work" is a classic Becker/Fagen composition, and at the same time very straight and "normal", so it's really no wonder it's become one of their most covered.

These discoveries will also give me the chance to say that it would've been great to hear a hi-fi version of the song as performed by the back-up singers during the last tour. A free soundfile over at steelydan.com would be a nice gesture while we wait for the live album/DVD ;-)

P.S. You can of course hear all the Dirty Work versions mentioned here - including the original - on RadioDupree. Just click on over and listen!

Monday, July 04, 2005

I've got EMG on vinyl!

The vinyl version of Everything Must Go by Steely Dan
The real deal: Vinyl!

Gotta get this on here as well. Just to prove that I do still buy the occasional vinyl album.
Got it a couple of weeks ago. Just took a couple of months after I ordered it online, and I was surprised to see it finally arrive. I expected to get a "sorry. sold out"- message.

It is - of course - the official European 33 RPM vinyl release of Steely Dan's 2003 opus Everything Must Go.
Haven't listened to it yet. But I expect it to be a nostalgic feel to sit down with the album, read the liner notes and listen as the vinyl pops and hisses...

For a closer look at the record; cover, insert and all, please look at the RadioDupree homepage in a day or two. I'll have it updated Wednesday at the latest.
And do come back to this blog tomorrow for a couple more Steely Dan related finds!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

That "Live8"-thingy...

Live8 logo

Saw parts of the big show Saturday.

Should I review some of the performances? Make a major effort in assessing the possible end result of Live8?

Or maybe just link to an article that show some of the complexities involved. It is against the way Africa is treated, but at the same time not necessarily pro-Live8:

John Pilger isn't celebrating victory

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Weekend music

Possible Steely Dan connection here. Walter Becker is said to play on Rebecca Pigeon's new CD "Tough On Crime", but I couldn't confirm it looking at her site. No mention of him, but a picture of one Billy Preston.

The record is produced by Larry Klein who's worked with Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt as well Freddie Hubbard and Carmen McRae. The list goes on and on.

Rebecca herself is an actress and married to writer/director David Mamet.

"Tough On Crime" is her fifth album and has a nice acoustic groove. Hear for yourself over at http://rebeccapidgeon.com

Update July 4: Did look a bit closer at Rebecca's bio, and sure enough Walter is mentioned as one of the musicians on the album!