Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What I'm Listening To

Diverse listening habits this week for me, as is usually the norm.

I learned long ago to make soundtracks for what ever project I'm working on. I put the mix on in the background while I work and it seems to really help me exude the desired vibe I want for the show. Example, with "The Monkster" I like to listen to Ska and modern Punk. With "Really Bad Movie!" it was all classic lounge and swing tunes.

Latin lounge music helps in all the "Ace Fernando" work I've been doing. Guess it gets me in the mood to work on this character. Ace is suave, but quite cheesy. Just like the musical selections I've made on his behalf.

I downloaded this pretty cool Xavier Cugat album from iTunes the other night. Not having been too familiar with his music, but having heard plenty about the man from my grandmother Delores while I was growing up; I figured I'd finally dive into his catalog for Ace's sake.

About half the tracks made it onto my Ace playlist. Each song on the album is named after a drink. At some point I plan on drinking those drinks while listening to their corresponding songs. Not really because I have to, but I feel like I should. After all, if you plan to listen to music from this period, one must learn to drink like your grandparents did. With some class, sophistication and with the knowledge of what kind of glass goes with what kind of drink. Do your homework, listen to this album, and get back to me for a quiz.

The album cover of this album on iTunes is different from the one to the left, but the title of the album remains the same. From legendary arranger/composer Juan Garcia Esquivel, aka Esquivel, comes this amazing auditory oddity. This is the man who invented "Space Age Bachelor Music", for without him I fear most of our grandparents would never have gotten laid, presenting the problem of our lack of existence. One ponders the amounts of martini drank to the sound that this man provided and promptly goes cross-eyed. Esquivel provides an amazing escape to the early 1960's for me that no other composer has even come close to providing. Though I was not there in person, I believe my soul was. You will find his rendition of "Harlem Nocturne" as the theme for "Really Bad Movie" and if I get my way about it, his music will also provide the theme for our friend Ace.

Downloaded this album from iTunes as well. An Irish group called Bell X1. Though the album is a couple years old, it's one that slipped by me at it's time of release. A solid album all the way through. If you like "Franz Fernanand" and "Keane", you will probably adore this band. Their sound can be similar at times but I found Bell X1 to have a more rich and deep sound. The track "Eve, the Apple Of My Eye" will sound familiar to you, as it does to me. I just can't place what movie and/or film I remember it from. They use so many random tracks of music in promotion of forthcoming television seasons these days, it's hard to keep tabs on which sappy promo had which sappy song in it. See promos from season 2 of "Gray's Anatomy" with The Fray's "How to Save a Life" for an example. The promo prompts almost all men into believing they've had their ovaries removed, yet you still want to watch.

More great music from the UK, and a blaring reminder of how SHITTY the music scene here in the states has become. "Fractured Life" from UK's Air Traffic has been playing musical chairs on my iPod since it's purchase at the end of last month. When I'm not working, I'm listening to this album or, Bell X1.

This is by far my favorite album of the new year, and with the way things are shaping up, it may be my favorite album of the year.
At this point the only album on the horizon that could dethrone this one is the new one from The Raconteurs.

This is the album I recommend you pick up asap. You will not be disappointed.

So there you have what I'm listening to right now. More Ace related artwork to come tomorrow. I have cleared most of the evening to work on some of the sketches I recently completed. Check back soon.

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