Sunday, December 27, 2009

Manu Chao-Desaparecido & Rumba De Barcelona

First off want to thank everyone for being such loyal readers this year...This blog is just a little way for Moose and I to talk about the music we love and have a little fun, and we appreciate all the love that we've gotten...Merry Xmas to all

For long time readers of this blog (all of the past couple months hehe), this next artist will be very familiar. Manu Chao comes back around one mo gin, bringing you the funky sound of when cultures intertwine, borders drop, and people come together; I mean, we all like to get a little groovy every now and then, right? And how can you not get groovy to a band that has a dedicated sound effect man? (brrrrrrrrrr, whoooo, weeeee, ayyyyyy, shhhshhhshhh, heyyyy, siiii)

For this jamandahalf, I'm taking a little something off of Manu's newest live album, Bainoarena. Recorded in France at the very tail end of his epic 2008 world tour, Manu and his crew provide nothing but pure energy over the course of the two and a half hour concert. With tens of thousands of young French singing along with each word, and making sure that Manu never stops, the songs sizzle with soul and beat with an infectious pounding. Two of his livliest songs, Desaparecido and Rumba de Barceona, are that much better live. It definitely helps that this guitarrist absolutely shreds, beating out Jimi and the kid on the uke to take the annual "realest shredder this side of teenage mutant ninja turtles" award on congrats chief.  Over 33 of his best songs from his varied past, Manu shows us why he really is one of the world's greatest musicians. Enjoy


Friday, December 25, 2009

Outkast - Player's Ball

Ahhh I would like to welcome all of you fine folk to a special christmas edition of JamandaHalf, and in the spirit of the holiday season I wanted to grant you all some musical knowledge that some may already know.  Not all christmas music blows!! I know for some this is a shocking development, and in the past I didnt think it was possible, but music comes in more shapes and styles than you can dream up and thus I was introduced to my first christmas song JamandaHalf.

Now many of you Im sure have come to appreciate Player's Ball for the fire that it truly is.  The 1994 release of the single marked Outkast's maiden voyage into the hip hop mainstream and the rest is history.  However, while it is common knowledge that the easy rolling flows and infectious chorus can get any party movin, it is not as widely known that the track was originally recorded for the LaFace Records Christmas album.  At first glance the song is a jam in any season, but as you look deeper the references are clear.  Jingling bells, snow boots, egg nog, and the rest of a chritmas feast (minus the ham hocks of course).  Check the lyrics as you listen for a more spherical perspective.

And thus one of my all time favorite tracks was really a christmas jam in disguise making my hipocritical hatred of christmas music both ignorant and unintelligent.  So now that Ive learned my lesson teach it back to me a few times over, post up any of your favorite holiday songs, or anything else for that matter...

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Steel Pulse - Man No Sober

Yooooooooooooooo its been too long since I reached out to all you good people through the blogosphere, but this is the beginning of a new season and a fresh start. One of the things that I believe JamandaHalf stands for is diversity. The more types of music you listen to the bigger your world becomes and that is why I am so upset. There is not a single reggae song on these pages...and it makes me sick. Which is the reason I turn to an all time classic roots group and SD favorite: Steel Pulse.

The legendary band out of Birmingham, England has been an inspirational force in the reggae world since they formed in 1975 known best for their politically intelligent subject matter and super irie-funky flavor.  Powered by lead singer David Hinds the Pulse simply puts on one of he greatest shows music has to offer, as a large portion of San Diego and I know from experience many times over. While not one of their most famous jams, 
Man No Sober is a track that embodies the spirit of Steel Pulse. To construct a critical piece of social commentary while laying down some of the thickest licks around is an everyday thang to a group that has been doin it for decades. The band paints a window of connection to the world in which they live and let the rest of us get up and dance to it. This is what it takes to truly harness the power of music allowing people a glimpse into faraway lands. So crank it up and enjoy!!

That being said diversity is all the more reason to get involved, send us your favorite tunes and expand all of our minds no matter who you are.  Send us something that makes a difference in your life and we will get to see your world too 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes-Home

Sometimes a song is so unexpected, so original, that it locks you in its grip; an iron claw that wont let you go until its play count is ridiculously high. My man Moose and I are always on the lookout for new music, always on the search for jams, and friends have shown us the light throughout college, with our Colombian buddy passing on Rodrigo y Gabriela to us, and this jam and a half here was also passed along by a friend. And what a Jam and a Half it is. “Home” mixes traditional call and response and country western, but spices it up with a high cheese factor and bounces along with infectious energy. 

A stark departure from most music out there, Ed Sharpe and his merry band created a jam that begs to be listened to over and over again. Born in LA, the band was founded by Alex Ebert, who created Edward Sharpe as a character who "was sent down to Earth to kinda heal and save mankind...but he kept getting distracted by girls and falling in love." Jade and Alexander, through their story about falling out of windows and last cigarettes, remind us of what’s important, and what home really is. Home is not a fancy hotel, home is about being around the people you love, the one you love, and not having a care in the world. Hopefully we all get to go home soon. 

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jam Behind the Jam #3-Shark Bite Luv Frog

And we're back! After a brutal couple weeks, we have made our triumphant return to keep the jams coming. We got some great ones on the way, and a design change or two, so keep checking back for only the best of jams. Love, Moose and Leks

This first decade of the 21st century was one of turmoil and excess: excessive profits on Wall Street, excessive body counts in aimless wars, and most relevant to this blog, excessive music. What we saw this decade was an emphasis on mega-producers, altered vocals, and beats which either wanted to dazzle you with their intricacies, or purposefully lose you in their muck. This is changing. With the recession hopefully reining in Wall Street and all the CMC grads making crazy bank to a more realistic and legitimate level, we also have seen a backlash against some of recent trends in music. Jay Z announced that autotune was dead, and there seems to be a reawakening of music with an importance on the music itself.

Bon Iver is a perfect example of this new sound. Over a simple but haunting acoustic riff, he sings about the loss of losing his love, his pain and sadness; but nothing in the song is overdone. All the excess has been cut away, and we are left with a stirring moment of time. Bon Iver’s debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, is a staggering album, and has jams for days. It’s statement lies in its understatement, its beauty in its simplicity, and re: stacks is a ideal introduction to his music.

Bon Iver made a classic jam and half, and this song provides the perfect backdrop for our good buddy AMitch’s video project for a class of his. Composed of over 2,000 pictures in stop motion, Shark Bite Luv Frog tells a story that we will never forget. While I will let the video speak for itself, it is clear that Amitch’s creativity has no bounds, and this guy is going places. I am proud to call him one of my closest friends, and although cancer might have taken away some of his hair and slowed his first step down a little, nothing can take away the strength and soul of this guy. While we miss seeing him balling on the court, we're looking forward to seeing even bigger things that will, and have, come off of it. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nothing else has worked so far...

DEA Recruits Lil Wayne To Use Up All Drugs In Mexico

Saturday, December 12, 2009


To our faithful readers:

Have no fear. Jamandahalf is not in the least bit done, we're simply resting our brains, formulating our thoughts, and experiencing what is known as "finals weeks." Yea, "weeks," because unlike in the past, finals (and final projects, and final papers, and final ____) now seem to have creeped from one week to at first a week and a half, to now completely dominating the last two weeks of school. Once we emerge victorious, we will have jams for days for you guys, guarantee. Big news around here, I bought a ukulele and am starting to figure it out, so who knows, maybe one day the jamandahalf will be me strumming away hahahaha...So to hold you guys through, I thought you would like this video of a kid who has far more talent and cuteness than I will ever have. Keep checking back, new jams to come...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Devin The Dude - Write and Wrong

Honesty is something that resides in all good music, and I think that this is especially true about hip hop. Nothing can kill a rapper quicker than being fake or unbelievable or phony or wack or a poser or whatever you call it, but when you hear it you know.  Im not tryin to say that everything you hear has to come straight from reality, one of the beauties of music is that it allows you to escape and create, but what I am sayin is that its always the best when it comes from the heart.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Miles Davis-It Never Entered My Mind

Music is used to convey emotions, tell stories, brag, lie, proclaim one’s love, express anger, and on and on. Lyrics express how a person is feeling at a specific time or what message they want the world to know. That message might be as simple as T-Pain letting you know that he wants to buy you a drink (oooweeee), or it could be as deep as our old friend Sam Cooke letting the world know that a change is coming. 

The universality of music, and the emotions that can be conveyed through music, transcends languages and cultures. The hope and joy that is found in Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” is identical to the version song by the big Hawaiian, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, despite the very different histories and backgrounds of the two men. But sometimes words aren’t enough; sometimes the truest of feelings can only be rightly expressed with only instruments.

Miles Davis, one of the preeminent jazz musicians of all time, sings his soul in this jam and a half without saying a single world. Conveying power, confusion. strength, and passion, all at the same time, “It Never Entered My Mind” combines an easy piano backing up a powerful trumpet. The interplay is at the heart of what makes “It Never Entered My Mind” so amazing. The coolness of the piano melds perfectly with the strength of the trumpet, both making up for the weaknesses of the other, creating a jam and a half that is as close to perfect as any out there. Lacking words, but speaking a language that all of us can understand, this jam is a cover of an old show tune. You would never know. Miles and his quintet make this song their own, and give it something that can never be truly replicated again.