Sunday, December 26, 2010

Remembering Some of the Celebs We Lost In 2010

Along with preparing to say hello to a new year, it's also time to pay tribute to those we lost in the world of entertainment this year. Below is a tribute assembled by TCM of film industry people who we said goodbye to in 2010. The montage is set to the tune "Headlights" by Sophie Hunger.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Top 10 Albums of 2010

For the first time in awhile, I've actually listened to enough new music to make a "best of" list for the year! Many of my colleagues are in agreement with me that 2010 was a very good year for music. Below is my top 10 for the year (in reverse order), along with commentary and a few of my fave tracks from each album.

10. Record Collection by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.

Musician/vocalist/producer Ronson has created an album that is both retro and contemporary. While many of the tunes are pure head-bopping fun (for instance, “The Bike Song” and “Bang Bang Bang”), the album has its serious moments. One such example is the mid-tempo “Somebody to Love Me”, which features co-lead vocals by Boy George (whose now weathered voice fits the tune nicely) and Andrew Wyatt. The eclectic guest roster of Record Collection also includes Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, D’Angelo, Rose Elinor Dougall (formerly of The Pipettes), and ex-A Tribe Called Quest member Q-Tip among others.

Check these out: The Bike Song, Somebody To Love Me, and The Night Last Night

9. Libra Scale by Ne-Yo

This is an album that I enjoyed more than I expected. Part of it plays as a quasi-tribute to Michael Jackson… which isn’t a bad thing. While Ne-Yo thankfully manages not to completely lose himself in sequined glove splendor, some of the tracks on Libra Scale sound like outtakes from the Off the Wall/Thriller era. Hee hee!

Check these out: One In A Million, Cause I Said So, and Genuine Only

8. Broken Bells by Broken Bells

The debut collaboration between musician/producer “Danger Mouse” (who isn’t British and doesn’t sport an eye patch) and The Shins’ guitarist/lead vocalist James Mercer is a melodic feast, featuring airy vocals and experimental musicianship. A former colleague often raved about this album. After listening to it in its entirety earlier this month, I can understand her enthusiasm.

Side note: For fans of Broken Bells, the duo has announced their intention to record a follow-up!

Check these out: The High Road, The Ghost Inside, and Mongrel Heart

7. The Sea by Corinne Bailey Rae

Released in the aftermath of the death of her husband, Rae’s sophomore effort isn’t the gloom and doom affair one might expect. While there are songs like “Are You There” which deal with loss, the record also features such up-tempo numbers as “Paris Nights/New York Mornings” and “Paper Dolls”. The decision to use a live band on The Sea was a smart one, giving the album a “smoky, jazz club” vibe.

Check these out: The Blackest Lily, Closer, and Paris Nights/New York Mornings

6. Travelling Like the Light by V.V. Brown

On her debut album, V.V.’s brand of beehive soul grabs you by the collar and dares you not to get caught up in its infectious groove. If there was any justice, Brown would have received a Grammy nod for Best New Artist. The Grammy voters could have passed over a certain mop-topped upstart from Canada and nominated V.V. Brown instead.

Check these out: Game Over, Crying Blood, and Bottles

5. Congratulations by MGMT

For their 2nd release, MGMT takes us on a journey through the trippy world of psychedelia. The album’s highlight is the 12-minute plus track “Siberian Breaks”. I often don’t like long songs because they tend to drag on and on (dude, get that Chevy through the levee already!), but “Siberian Breaks” is like multiple songs in one!

Check these out: Someone’s Missing, Siberian Breaks, and Brian Eno

4. Plastic Beach by Gorillaz

Exotic, space-age, and soothing, Plastic Beach is like a soundtrack to a Ralph Bakshi film that hasn’t been made. Although a bulk of the vocals are handled by such guests as Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Lou Reed, and Yukimi Nagano, Gorillaz founder Damon Albarn steps out in front on songs such as Broken, Rhinestone Eyes, and the title track.

Check these out: White Flag, Stylo, and Broken

3. The Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti & Spearhead

If you are feeling like “Debbie Downer” or “Gloomy Gus”, the aptly named The Sound of Sunshine is the perfect antidote. When you play this album, you can practically feel the sand beneath your feet and the tropical breeze in the air.

Check these out: The Sound of Sunshine, Hey Hey Hey, and The Thing That Helps Me Get Through

2. LOUD by Rihanna

Ms. Fenty offers up a potent mix of club jams and dancehall grooves on her 5th studio album. Lending solid support are Drake, Eminem, and the “Savoir-Faire Mouse of hip-hop” Nicki Minaj.

Check these out: What’s My Name, Cheers (Drink to That), and Man Down
1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West

Like a hip-hop Van Gogh, Kanye uses his musical palette to create the audio masterpiece of 2010. Clever, in-your-face, and daring are just a few of the adjectives to describe MBDTF. Because there is so much to digest, I find myself still discovering bits and pieces with each listen. Hate Kanye West if you want, but it’s hard to deny that he is one of the supreme talents in music.

Check these out: Dark Fantasy, Monster, and So Appalled

What are your favorite albums of 2010?

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Retro Mix Playlist For 12/17/10

6 pm hour

Good Times- Chic
Christmas In Hollis- Run DMC
Around the Way Girl- LL Cool J
Love Changes Everything- Climie Fisher
The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth- Bing Crosby & David Bowie
Oh Very Young- Cat Stevens
The Wizard- Uriah Heep
Life In A Northern Town- Dream Academy

With or Without You segment:
Respectable- The Rolling Stones
Lonely At the Top- Mick Jagger

Up On the House Top- The Jackson Five
Want Ads- Honey Cone
Serve the Servants- Nirvana
Come Out and Play- The Offspring
Father Christmas- The Kinks
Jimmy Loves Mary Anne- Looking Glass

7 pm hour

Big Time- Peter Gabriel
Jealousy- Mary Jane Girls
Do They Know It’s Christmas- Band Aid
If You Want Me To Stay- Sly & the Family Stone
Genius of Love- The Tom Tom Club
Another Rock & Roll Christmas- Gary Glitter
Time For Me To Fly- REO Speedwagon
Little Willy- Sweet

Now & Then/Guestbook segment:
Magic- B.o.B. (feat. Rivers Cuomo)
In the Garage- Weezer (lead singer is Rivers Cuomo)

This Christmas- Donny Hathaway
Sumthin’ Sumthin’- Maxwell
No More Mr. Nice Guy- Alice Cooper
Hot Child In the City- Nick Gilder
2000 Miles- The Pretenders

8 pm hour

Now That We Found Love- Heavy D. & the Boyz
I Feel Sanctified- The Commodores
Christmas Wrapping- The Waitresses
Hang Fire- The Rolling Stones
Lights- Journey
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus- John Mellencamp
Wannabe- The Spice Girls
The Fat Boys Are Back- The Fat Boys
Happy Xmas (War Is Over)- John Lennon
Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)- Paul McCartney
Suburbia- Pet Shop Boys
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- The Temptations
Rockin’ Chair- Gwen McCrae
City Song- Luscious Jackson
Peace of Mind- Boston

Programming note: This will be the last show of the year. I'll be back on the air Friday, January 14th.  On that show, I'll pay tribute to some of the artists we lost in 2010.  The Retro Mix airs from 6-9 pm EST on WKUF-LP 94.3 FM. If you live outside the Flint area, you can hear the show by visiting the following URL and clicking on the "Listen" link at the top of the page:

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth by Bing Crosby & David Bowie

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Retro Mix Playlist For 12/10/10

Show Theme- "Real Oldies" and holiday tunes from the 50s and 60s

6 pm hour

Nowhere To Run- Martha & the Vandellas
Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)- Elvis Presley
Speedo- The Cadillacs
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher- Jackie Wilson
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow- Dean Martin
Do I Love You- The Ronettes
Splish Splash- Bobby Darin
Merry Christmas- Otis Redding
I Can’t Stop Dancing- Archie Bell & the Drells
Lady Willpower- Gary Puckett & the Union Gap
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town- The Miracles

On the Flip Side segment:

ABC Boogie- Bill Haley & his Comets (B-side to Shake, Rattle, & Roll)

Break It To Me Gently- Brenda Lee
A Holly Jolly Christmas- Burl Ives
Crosstown Traffic- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
She Said Yeah- The Animals
Sock It To Me Santa- Bob Seger & the Last Heard
Tutti Frutti- Little Richard
Short Fat Fannie- Larry Williams
Ain’t That A Shame- Fats Domino
Run Rudolph Run- Chuck Berry
Open My Eyes- Nazz
Greasy Heart- Jefferson Airplane

7 pm hour

She’s About A Mover- The Sir Douglas Quintet
Feliz Navidad- Jose Feliciano
The House That Jack Built- Aretha Franklin
Close Your Eyes- The Five Keys
The Christmas Song- Nat “King” Cole
Lovers Who Wander- Dion
Baby Please Don’t Go- The Amboy Dukes
Him or Me (What’s It Gonna Be)- Paul Revere & the Raiders
Little Saint Nick- The Beach Boys
It Hurts Me To My Heart- Faye Adams
Come Go With Me- The Del Vikings
Jingle Bell Rock- Chubby Checker & Bobby Rydell
Peggy Sue- Buddy Holly
Lover Please- Clyde McPhatter
Christmas Time All Over the World- Sammy Davis Jr.
Love’s Made A Fool of You- The Bobby Fuller Four
Silver Bells- The Supremes
Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind- The Lovin’ Spoonful
Magic Carpet Ride- Steppenwolf
I Feel Good- Shirley & Lee

8 pm hour

Subterranean Homesick Blues- Bob Dylan
At the River’s Edge- The New Colony Six
I’m A Man- The Spencer Davis Group
Mistletoe & Holly- Frank Sinatra
A Change Is Gonna Come- Sam Cooke
Milkcow Blues Boogie- Elvis Presley
The Peppermint Twist- Joey Dee & the Starlighters
The Chipmunk Song- Alvin & the Chipmunks
The Mountain’s High- Dick & Dee Dee
Foot Stompin’- The Flares
(I Know) I’m Losing You- The Temptations
People Got To Be Free- The Rascals
Someday At Christmas- Stevie Wonder
Teen Angel- Mark Dinning
How About That- Dee Clark
Happy Together- The Turtles
I Met Her In Church- The Box Tops
Johnny B. Goode- Chuck Berry
Chantilly Lace- The Big Bopper
New Orleans- Gary “U.S.” Bonds
Peaches ‘N’ Cream- The Ikettes
I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night- The Electric Prunes

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: She's About A Mover by The Sir Douglas Quintet (clip from an episode of Shindig!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Retro Mix Playlist For 12/03/10

6 pm hour

Venus- Shocking Blue
Ghetto Life- Rick James
Every Time I Turn Around (Back In Love Again)- L.T.D.
Secret Separation- The Fixx
Alcohol- Barenaked Ladies
Cut Your Hair- Pavement
The Hustle- Van McCoy
Lettin’ It Loose- Heatwave

Now & Then segment’s featured artist: Heart
There You Go (from their 2010 album Red Velvet Car)
Stranded (1990)

I Melt with You- Modern English
Johnny Come Home- Fine Young Cannibals
Without You- Nilsson
Holding Back the Years- Simply Red
Take A Girl Like You- The Foundations

7 pm hour

Father of Mine- Everclear
Time’s Up- Living Colour
Pain- The Ohio Players
Don’t You Want Me- Human League
Sugar Walls- Sheena Easton
Slam- Onyx
M.P.E.- Public Enemy

On the Flip Side segment:
Just Another Nervous Wreck- Supertramp (B-side to The Logical Song)

Time For Me To Fly- REO Speedwagon
I’m Alright- Kenny Loggins
You Gotta Be- Des’ree
Ordinary World- Duran Duran
Sad Songs Say So Much- Elton John
Ain’t Good Enough For You- Bruce Springsteen

8 pm hour

Word Up- Cameo
If Anybody Gets Funked Up- George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars
Got To Give It Up- Marvin Gaye
Kinda I Want To- Nine Inch Nails
Rockit- Herbie Hancock
Hip Hop Hooray- Naughty By Nature

With or Without You segment:
Landslide- Fleetwood Mac
Talk To Me- Stevie Nicks

Souvenir- Rubber Rodeo
Some Guys Have All the Luck- Rod Stewart
More Than A Woman- Tavares
Memory Lane- Minnie Riperton
Fool In Love with You- Jim Photoglo
Naughty Naughty- John Parr

Side note: The Kettering University students who are running WKUF this term have been working diligently to get the webstream up again.  I spoke to one of them and he said the webstream should be up in a couple of days.  Once I hear anything new, I will provide an update ASAP.

The Retro Mix Video of the Week: Slam by Onyx

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