Friday, June 29, 2012

Mayra Andrade

Tengo el Gran Gusto de Presentaros a la Artista Mayra Andrade

QUE GANAS QUE TENGO DE IR A LA MAMA AFRICA.  Nuca he estado (pero si no me muero corriendo con los toros en San Fermines) llegaré en África el año que viene.   Me parece que es un continente con mucha diversidad y sabiduría.  Sueño en tierra linda y gente bonita con mucho estilo.  Cuando escucho a Mayra Andrade, me hace pensar un estilo de vida africana y tranquila de los quien viven cerca del mar.  Mayra nació en Cuba pero creció en las islas de Cabo Verde cerca de Senegal.   Navega se llama el primer álbum de Mayra y estrenó en 2006.  Ella canta en el Creole de Cabo Verde y me mola mucho.  ¡Que la disfrutéis!   


Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Very Best feat K'NAAN- We Ok

There are only two email lists I enjoy being on: Travelzoo because for the five minutes I read it I naturally daydream away, picturing myself in each location, and The Very Best's infrequent email blasts. Why? Because each time they email you know it's something special. Today's jamandahalf is the email The Very Best sent out yesterday featuring my favorite song of the summer so far, "We Ok" featuring K'Naan. An uplifting, uproarious, four-and-a-half minute celebration of life, "We Ok" let's us all know that despite dreary days worldwide, there is always one thing you can rely on to make ya feel a little brighter and that's a jam like this one. Whether you are or aren't in one of the many African capitals that K'Naan gives shout outs to (Accra stand up!), turn this up and get your best boogie on. We ok.

Pre-oder their new album Mtmtmk here

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Django Django-Default

"Default" sounds like what would happen if an 8-bit game and a tribal dance had a metaphorical baby. Off of the self-titled debut album of the British band Django Django, "Default" has a ferocious energy to it, guided by a funky guitar riff and some intense tambourines. Catchy yet spunky, with just a touch of the psychedelic, this jamandahalf really does sound like nothing else out there. Check out the entire album on Spotify here. 

Download Django Django Default (Album Version)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

To Bite or Not to Bite...

Rappers are always complainin about biters.  Everybody seems to be so worried about folks stealin their style.  It seems as though a culture of egoism and and greed has pervaded the rap scene, and even all modern music to an extent.  To me this is one of the strangest and most counter intuitive products of music's digital age.  At no other time in history can more people hear the music you create, and yet the desire for it to be emulated and influence others has never been less. 

 Especially with regards to the rap genre this presents the ultimate paradox of hypocrisy.  Just about every hip hop song out is made using a sample from a songs that these dudes love.  The sample helps to shape the sound and influence the song, in some cases more so than others, but other music always serves as an inspirational influence for the song.  I feel there is a desperate need to change the guarded nature of modern day rap to a sentiment of sharing creativity for the sake of the sound. As Nas himself said, "Theres nothin new under the sun.  Its never what you do, its how its done."  So lets celebrate what sounds good to us and let it inspire us to create great music.  Here are some of the funkier examples of what other peoples music can do to inspire greatness.  Lots of love to Ronnie Hudson and George Clinton for inspiring the people who make some of my favorite music of all time.  Sound familiar?  :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stephen Marley-Break Us Apart feat. Capleton

There is something pseudo religious about going to a concert-a group of people congregating together to sing and dance for hours and emerging feeling buzzed having shared a fleeting, common experience. The pseudo religiousness is multipled ten fold when you throw in reggae and the blood of Bob Marley. Stephen Marley came to town last week and put on a three hour revival of a show, giving the madrileño crowd everything they came for-irie vibes, groovy tunes, and hours of boogie. Backed up by a great band and the two most energetic backup singers I've ever seen, Stephen commanded the stage in a way that would make his father proud. Playing through the majority of his latest Grammy-winning album Revelation Part 1: The Root Of Life, Stephen also played a couple Bob jams (though always sped up strangely) and being a Marley concert, brought out his son Jo Mersa. I'm not much of a believer in general but I do believe that music has some healing power. Throw in reggae and the blood of Bob Marley and that increases ten fold. 

Download Stephen Marley Break Us Apart Ft. Capleton

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Presents: Tennis-Petition (Vacationer Remix)

Once a week we'll be featuring a post from, the internet home of our good friend AMitch. Check his site out for his humor and insights, not to mention great music. Thanks Mitch. 

If you’ve been looking for a summer song to get you pumped about sunny Sunday brunches and swimming pools, I think I’ve found a good one. Tennis released “Petition” earlier this year, and Vacationer came along with a little sugar boost to make it dance worthy. Thanks to both parties. I’ll be on the roof with a hula-hoop.

PS. If you haven’t heard my favorite Tennis song, or my favorite Vacationer Song, just click those links.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Russian Red-Fuerteventura

I love almost everything about living in Madrid: the lifestyle, the weather, the people, the never ending list of things to see and do. One thing I dislike with a fiery passion is the music. Don't get me wrong, Madrid has a great music scene and I just went and saw Stephen Marley give an irie performance last Tuesday night (post coming soon), but few Spanish artists on my regular rotation of jams. Though Spain has a great musical heritage, especially flamenco and flamenco guitar, recommendations usually consist of a few generic Spanish rock bands or your typical Top 40 hits. I'm not through yet with my quest, and today's jamandahalf comes from an atypical Spanish artist whose music has me keep up the hope. Russian Red is a madrileña who sings in English and has made a name for herself by combining country-western and folk sounds with a slight touch of Spanish underpinnings . Though her songs sometimes border on poppy, she does have an edge and originality which makes her someone to listen out for. Check out two great songs from her most recent album below. 

Listen to Russian Red on Spotify

Download Russian Red Fuerteventura

Download Russian Red Fuerteventura

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Tallest Man on Earth-Little Brother

The other day I was listening to my ipod on shuffle on the way to work and The Tallest Man on Earth song "1904" came on. I got the same comforting feeling that you get when you grow up with a song; the feeling once you get to "know" a jam.

I quickly realized to myself, man, this song just came out. But The Tallest Man on Earth's music is like that-both timeless and comforting in a way that is refreshingly old school. His newest album There's No Leaving Now continues in the same vein as both Shallow Grave and Wild Hunt, and his new work is immediately familiar. This is a good thing-I wouldn't want Wu Tang to do an acoustic ukulele album and TTMOE does what he does best - stripped down crooning over graceful guitar licks. Though it was tough to pick out a song to showcase-it really works better as an album than individual singles-"Little Brother" is a real standout. It fits perfectly into his discography yet also marks a slight departure; the slight twang of the electric guitar subtly helping move the always stellar storytelling along. Check out the full album and let me know what you think.

Buy There's No Leaving Now/Stream on Spotify

Click here to download

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tiken Jah Fakoly - Africain a Paris

My spring break was radical.

My friend, Anetxus, and I loaded up her car with our surfboards and camping gear and drove from Donostia, Euskal Herria to Ericeira, Portugal.  We left with our hearts set on escaping the torrential Basque rains and scoring some good waves.  The drive was long and beautiful.  We saw the steep, green, Basque mountains give way to the vast Spanish Meseta and then the rolling Portuguese mountains, topped with windmills, fall into the Atlantic sea. 

We entertained ourselves was by sharing music.  One of the CDs that I liked most was l'Africain by Tiken Jah Fakoly, a reggae maestro from the Ivory Coast.  He bumps his roots reggae in French, English, and some different African languages.  Social and political commentary are central themes in his music. He was even banned from Senegal after talking shit about the president.

The dude rocks and we jammed out to him for hours.  The surf in Portugal was out of control!  The camping was great, we skated a bunch, drank about 8,000 Super Bocks, and ate way too much bread and nuts.  All in all, it was a radical trip!  

And for the record, I got nothing against Sting...I actually like his stuff...but I think that Tilken's jam is much funkier.

04- Africain à Paris.mp3  Download Here!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Feature-Collaboration with Cardboard

As you can see, JamandaHalf has had a little summer cleaning and is now rocking a new color scheme. Just in time for the start of another new feature. Hope you enjoy both. 

Speaking of playlists... Today marks the first step in a long symbiotic relationship between our little blog and Cardboard Smile, the internet home of our good buddy Amitch. Once a week we will be featuring a post from Cardboard Smile and they will do the same for us. With our powers combined, you all will get a taste of Mitch's humor and insights and his readers will get a taste of our ramblings. Both sides win. For this week's post I present you all the May playlist, Mitch's once a month selection of the greatest jams of the month. It's the perfect introduction to his great taste of music and I'm sure you'll be bumping these just as much as I have.

Download the playlist here

Here's a little message from Mitch

"Oh heyy,

Happy Summer! I hope this finds you at a pool party. Or sleeping, whatever you do on Sunday nights.

I want y'all to know I’m not completely happy with the arrangement of this playlist. Sometimes it’s hard to transition seamlessly from deep moody beats to pop-party summer jams. But these are the songs that made me push replay this month, so I think maybe they will for you too.

Cardboard Smile is slowly growing in popularity. Our traffic is up. Nick Bickle joined the team, which is technically just me so we have now become a team. We'll be doing some collaborative projects with Jam and a Half (Big Leks) in the near future. If you have been enjoying these playlists, please, for the love of Jodie Foster in Siesta, LIKE US on Facebook"

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Feature: JamandaHalf Playlists

The playlist has always been a crucial element in hiphop. I remember when I was a kid I would listen to my local hiphop station Magic 101.3 (or 102 Jams all the way from Orlando if I was feeling adventurous) for hours to hear that new DMX or Cash Money jam, eagerly waiting for the those first few bars to come on to push record. I would listen to those tapes over and over and over and my lyrical knowledge from that era is exceedingly high. I regret none of it.

Music of course has changed, and I now have the discographies of DMX and Cash Money at my fingertips. The playlist is something that has survived though and in some ways is more important now than ever. With so much music out there, playlists are one of the only ways to really sort through the muck. There is something deeply personal as well about a playlist. Listening to a playlist someone made is a little like being part of their world; sharing the jams that help them get through the day.

In this light, a new feature of JamandaHalf is going to be regular playlists, also incorporating one of the greatest changes to the music industry in the last decade: Spotify. I could go on and on about how great Spotify is, but I'll let David Pogue do that instead.

This first playlist is of Southern Crunk. While not the most sophisticated face of Southern Rap (that playlist's still to come) this list showcases some of the rowdiest music that ever came out of the South. I'm using the term "crunk" liberally but my definition is better heard than read. Check out the playlist below and let me know what you guys think! As well, a surprisingly stellar playlist I've come across is this poker hip hop playlist that has a ton of gems on it. Listen to both and let me know what playlist should come next.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Creedence Clearwater.......Revisited?

I am one of the luckiest cats you will ever come across, but rarely has destiny smiled so radiantly upon my young shoulders.  Free backstage passes to see C...C...R?  While there was no Fogerty out in front of the Revisited crew, I was thoroughly stoked to see some of the most recognizable and beloved songs from American music history rocked out appropriately.  And thats not to mention, the chance to kick it with legends Stu Cook and Doug Clifford (the other two dudes that are still alive from the original band) backstage.

And so Tom and Amy (I love you forever for inviting me, not that I didnt already) and I descended from our alpine paradise down to the agricultural wasteland of the Sacramento Valley, a subtle plain thats been manipulated into vast enterprise of massive cattle productions and dotted with casinos.  It was there, at the Thunder Valley Casino, that I was introduced to the cultural phenomena that is the CCR crowd.  A potent blend of heartland cowboys, forgotten hippies, and gold diggin cougars all gathered together to enjoy the indelible sounds of a band that is nearly synonymous with the counterculture of 1960s America.

Armed with only a thick whiskey buzz and the bonds of friendship we dissented against the culture of assigned seating and a slow starting older crowd to rally one of the funkier concert gangs I've ever been a part of.  And we sang, and we danced, and Tom and I played a lot of air guitar.  And soon enough we were rockin out with bald dudes and fending off fake tittied 50 year old women the way LT throws stiff arms at safeties.  Needless to say some of us were fending them off harder than others.  And soon we realized that it didn't matter with or without Fogerty.  Those songs are forever to be recognized as part of the intrinsic soul of American music and good times. And so I ask you all to enjoy these timeless folk songs that will continued to be played and sung for as long as I am alive, and certainly long after.

Click here to download "Have You Ever Seen the Rain"

Download Creedence Clearwater Revival Have You Ever Seen The Rain

Yea thats me and Stu drinkin a beer.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Big K.R.I.T.-Praying Man (Feat. B.B. King)

"Praying Man" is the perfect barometer for Big K.R.I.T.'s career right now. On an album titled Live From The Underground, K.R.I.T.  performs with none other than Blues legend B.B. King, a juxtaposition that highlights the meteoric rise of  K.R.I.T. (all of these .s are starting to get a little out of hand). After years of releasing superb quality mixtapes,  K.R.I.T. attempts to balance burgeoning name recognition with the holy grail of every rapper-not going mainstream-on his brand new debut and largely succeeds. While other artists might just use a soulful sample, K.R.I.T. gets King to come and croon while laying some mean guitar licks. The combination of the two along with  K.R.I.T. 's storytelling create a unique, introspective allegory that in some ways is the modern heir to Nina Simone's classic "Strange Fruit." Not afraid to show off his new found status with cameos from legends,  K.R.I.T. also doesn't turn his back on what got him here in the first place and the result shows on this jamandahalf and the album in general (one of the best of the year).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Noir Desir and Manu Chao-Le Vent Nous Portera

It's a team effort this time around and Griffdawg begins a regular feature bringing in some of the funkiest cuts that he's picked up during his travels. 

One of the things I love doing most when I meet people is talking to them about music. I even judge people based on what music they enjoy. However, I have discovered that musical preference is not the best identifier of personal character and that many people who like Lady Gaga are actually good people. However, when they tell me that they enjoy listening to her or to Pitbull I can’t help but feel like a need to vomit…on them.

I live right by the French and Spanish border in the Basque Country. Consequently, I am exposed to many things that are French. Lots of which are cool, like the cheese and music. Some things are less cool, like old ladies who go out in matching pink outfits with little rat dogs clothed in sweaters.

One cool French dude named Pedro (I think his name is Piere but we were in Spain …) told me to listen to the band Noir Desir. I decided to take his advice despite the fact that he was riding a unicycle. The band played French punk music from the 1980s-2010 and "Le Vent Nous Portera" (The Wind Will Carry Us) is an uncommonly mellow tune from Noir Desir and was a European hit. This jamandahalf features Manu Chao on guitar and a radical saxophone. Enjoy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Albums We're Stoked For-June

As promised, we're starting off a new feature today called "Albums We're Stoked For" with a little sneak peek about what's to come in the following month. June looks like a pretty hit or miss month, with albums that could either be the sexiest funky chocolate you've ever heard (see: new R. Kelly album) or big flops (see: new R. Kelly album). Especially excited for the new Tallest Man on Earth (who has been especially quiet lately for such a big fella), the long awaited debut of Big KRIT, as well as the new Xavier Rudd, which if anything like it's first single, is going to be a classic. At the end of the month I'll post the albums along with their Spotify links. Enjoy.

June 5th
Japandroids, ‘Celebration Rock

Xavier Rudd, ‘Spirit Bird

Big K.R.I.T. 'Live From The Underground'

June 12th
The Tallest Man on Earth, ‘There's No Leaving Now

Wintersleep, ‘Hello Hum

Hot Chip 'In Our Heads'

Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Oceania

June 26th
R. Kelly 'Write Me Back (Deluxe Edition)'