Just a Little Flea-Bee…

Yep. That just happened.  That crazy, little, genius nut of a man just announced via Twitter that he will be releasing some solo work sometime in the near future. According to consequenceofsound.net, he had first mentioned the creation of the solo album, Helen Burns, in a Los Angeles Times interview back in 2008, around the conclusion of their Stadium Arcadium tour.  Whelp!… this is news to me, anyway.  I’ll be sure to supply more information once more information is known. Stay tuned, Flea-Heads!

More than Music

I found this video, which was created by a Portuguese student as a project for her English class, on YouTube today, and I thought it would be a perfect introduction to this post…

To Maria Carolina,

Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing this.

For the first time is a very long time, I’m finding that I’m at a loss for words about something I’ve listened to.  As you all know, I am a huge John Frusciante fan. I always have been and I always will be.  He has taken a lot of risks in his life, including leaving one of the greatest bands of our time. But the creation of Letur Lefr might exceed them all.  It is unlike anything I’ve ever heard.  I’ve just started listening to the album in it’s entirety, so I’m going to have to get back to you all about my thoughts on it, but I wanted to post this one song, “In My Light”, on Bask in the Music as soon as possible.  Take a listen.

This is truly more than music.  I’m not sure what it is, but it’s beautiful.

Settle Down, Jack White.

No Doubt. The epitome of 90s ska punk alternative pop rock. I was so in love with this band, in 4th grade I literally wanted to be Gwen Stefani.  I wanted her retro, bleach blonde hair-do, all of her baggy pant/crop top ensembles, and even her braces.  In fact, their album Tragic Kingdom was one of the very first CDs I owned.  With my Walkman constantly in hand, long car rides were filled with the likes of  “Spiderwebs”, “Just a Girl”, and, “Don’t Speak”.  This band freakin’ rocked, as I’m sure all young women of my generation would concur.

Now, after their long-awaited, reunited return, the band has released their first single in over a decade – the song, “Settle Down”.  Sadly for me, it fell incredibly short.  I understand that they’re trying to maintain their roots and stay true to their original sound, but this is just plain boring.  Okay, maybe “boring” is a little harsh.  Let’s try “easy”.  Check it out the new single below and see what you think for yourself.

If you know anything about me and my taste in music, I have no doubt that certain genres and sounds have the ability to exceeded these invisible obstacles we call “time” and “generation”.  I love plenty of music from the 1960s, 70s, 80s (well, with the 80s I’m a little bit more selective), and 90s.  I still love their old music, and plenty of similar bands of that time and sound (Garbage, 311, Sublime, in addition to 50% of the music featured on the Clueless soundtrack.) So what is it about this song that just sort of irks me?  It’s like, they’re trying too hard… or not hard enough.  In which case, I find the title of the song kind of ironic… or obvious.  Whatever. I’m choosing to stay optimistic, and hope the rest of the upcoming album will pleasantly surprise me.

In other news today, Jack White just debuted his video for the song “Freedom at 21”, from his first solo album Blunderbuss, which was released this past April.  I really liked the album, and despite his general creepiness, I actually find him incredibly talented.  It was nice revisiting this song today, but the video… my goodness. With it’s borderline pornographic and misogynistic undertones, it is a true testament to the fact that male musicians, especially guitar players, really can get any girl, and have all of their sexual fantasies met… even when they permanently resemble a less attractive Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie.  So fellas, listen up. Learn to play the guitar, and learn it good. Just ask Jack.

“Brendan’s Death Song”

So I guess this is the week of epic music video releases…

RedHotChiliPeppers.com and RollingStone.com have debuted the official video for the Chili Pepper’s “Brendan’s Death Song” from their 2011 I’m With You album. This song was written for their long-time friend, Brendan Mullen, who passed away on the first day of production on the recent album.  Mullen, a well-known and respected Hollywood nightclub owner, met Anthony and Flea in the early 80’s, giving them one of their very first gigs at his Club Lingerie. He was immediately supportive of the band, and they remained good friends until his death in 2009.  He had also been co-authoring a biography on the Chili Peppers when he died. In the interview below, Anthony describes Brendan as, “[having] a love for music and art and life and freaks.”

I actually really love the music video. It’s simple, it’s respectful – while still clinging, somewhat, to the band’s bad ass roots- and, according to what information I know about Mullen, a traditional New Orleans funeral seems fitting.  When announcing the video release yesterday on Twitter, Flea even proclaimed it to be his favorite video thus far from the I’m With You era. I concur.

To get an exclusive first watch of the video now, visit the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Official Website, or Rolling Stone’s Website.

“National Anthem”

And just in time for the 4th of July!

Lana Del Rey debuted her brand new video for her song “National Anthem” this morning, and already the interwebs are ablaze, buzzing with both nods and criticisms of the somewhat historical/slightly “remixed” story of John F. Kennedy’s various loves, and assassination.  Reminiscent of her “Born to Die” video, which is jam-packed with romance and sex appeal, followed by a tragic and morbid conclusion, the “National Anthem” video follows a similar recipe.  I have to say, however, that although the lyrics to this song are limited – at least to me – I can’t help but love the video, as I love all of her videos. They are all so beautifully shot, their retro vibe probably being their initial appeal to me.  But I also just really love her ideas on portraying her realities.  She explains in the below interview: “I’ve been making videos since I was seventeen, collecting vintage footage from different archives, and setting moving pictures to classical music – clips that meant a lot to me… I had a vision of making my life a work of art.”

Below is the official “National Anthem” video, featuring rapper A$AP Rocky as a modern-day JFK.

Thoughts?

Rain Rain, Stay and Chill

Here’s a playlist I created for epically cozy, rainy days – when all you want to do is snuggle up and day dream. Enjoy!

Rainy Mix

Little Wing

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix wrote a song called “Little Wing”. Now, there are several different ideas on and interpretations of the song’s meaning.  When originally interviewed about it after the album Axis: Bold as Love was released, Jimi claimed the lyrics to “Little Wing” were a metaphor for the Monterey Pop Music Festival, summer of 1967 – which was The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first major show after returning to the states following two years, and a slew of success in the U.K. This show, and Jimi’s performance in particular, gained a ton of recognition (both positive and negative) among music journalists all over the country – spreading the word like wild fire (pun intended) about Jimi, his band, and his “pyrotechnics”.

“I got the idea like, when we was in Monterey, and I just happened to…just looking at everything around. So I figured that I take everything I see around and put it maybe in the form of a girl maybe, something like that, you know, and call it ‘Little Wing’, in other words, just fly away. Everybody really flying and they’s really in a nice mood, like the police and everybody was really great out there. So I just took all these things an put them in one very, very small little matchbox, you know, into a girl and then do it. It was very simple, you know. That’s one of the very few ones I like.”

To the contrary, however, Charles R. Cross’ biography “Room Full of Mirrors”, states that Jimi later told his brother Leon that the song was about their mother, Lucille, who had passed away when he was a teenager. Other songs about his mom include “Castles Made of Sand” and “Angel” (which, of course, are both amazing.) Some claim that Little Wing was Jimi’s guardian angel, while others claim Little Wing was Jimi’s personification of LSD.  Regardless of whatever the truth may be, the song is perfection.

I wish I could remember the first time I heard “Little Wing”.  I don’t. But what I do know is that it is, by far, one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever created.  And aside from the instrumentals (specifically Jimi’s guitar work – which is particularly extraordinary and other worldly, even for him), I love the fact that the lyrics leave so much room for interpretation.  Each individual listener can decide for themselves not only what Jimi meant, but what it means to them on a personal level… Because isn’t that what music is all about?

“When I’m sad, she comes to me

With a thousand smiles, she gives to me free.

It’s alright, she says, it’s alright

Take anything you want from me.

Anything.”

To me, she is music.

To me, music is one of, if not the most important thing in the world.  It changes everything, it affects everyone – whether they know it or not.  Jimi Hendrix is a legend because he influenced everything we now know about rock’n’roll and the blues.  He took an instrument, which was already technically mastered by many, but he made it talk. Literally. The guitar was Jimi’s voice in a very complex world.

For Jimi, for my Grandma (and guardian angel) Rosalind, for me, for letting go of the past, for looking fear in the eye, for going with the flow, and for rock ‘n’roll.

 fly on, little wing.

Bask in the Summer Music

Close your eyes. Imagine you’re laying on a beach. Think about the warmth of the sun on your skin; the smell of suntan lotion and ocean air. What do you hear? The waves. Maybe a few aquatic birds.  However, if you’re a music fanatic like myself, there isn’t a better occasion in the world to plug in those ear buds and drift away to a beautiful, magical, warm place in the back of your mind, and let all of your daily problems and concerns just drift away into the abyss.

You probably think I’m stoned out of my mind right now.  Well, I’m not.  I’m actually sitting under florescent lighting in my cubical on my lunch break, but preparing myself for a fabulous beach day tomorrow, and setting up a sweet soundtrack to go with it.  I like to think I’m pretty good at this kind of thing, and so I’d like to share with you, faithful readers, my very favorite summer jams.  Some are newish, while some are definite throwbacks, but all are extremely chill nonetheless.

Please feel free to list any of your favorite summer songs in the comments section, or by emailing or tweeting me.

Back to the newsic next week.

Click the link below. Enjoy!

My Summer Jams

Saturday Night Jagger, My Guitar Hero & A Little E. Sharpe

There is a very long list of reasons why I love summer – the days are longer, my skin is less pasty, day drinking is less scrutinized, and everyone tends to be in a better mood.  The only real bummer is taking a break from some of our favorite T.V. shows. One of these shows for me is Saturday Night Live. Although some might argue that it hasn’t been any good since Will Ferrell peaced out in 2002, I have continued to be a relatively avid viewer of the show.  Despite popular belief, sometimes it is actually still funny, and you are almost always guaranteed a great live musical performance.  Mick Jagger hosted the last episode of this season, and performed some of his classics with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, and Jeff Beck.


Check out the amazing performances by clicking the links below:

“The Last Time”

“19th Nervous Breakdown”

There was also the so so sad farewell to one of my all time favorite cast members, Kristen Wiig, to two of my favorite Rolling Stones songs, “She’s a Rainbow” and “Ruby Tuesday”.

On a different note, more exciting updates surfaced yesterday regarding John Frusciante’s 2012 album release from the man himself!  A letter on his NEW WEBSITE, www.johnfrusciante.com, explains that there are actually two new records coming out.  The first is an EP entitled Letur-Lefr, and the second is an LP entitled PBX Funicular Intaglio ZoneLetur-Lefr will be released in Japan on July 4th, in North America on July 17th, and in the rest of the world on July 16th. PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone will be released in Japan on September 12th, in North America on September 25th and in the rest of the world on September 24th. Here is a sampling of the cover art, which John created himself. Love.

Today the first single from Letur-Lefr was released on the web.  The 1 minute 30 second instrumental jam Glowe is very chill, purely John, and yet only slightly telling of what we should expect from the rest of the album.  His continuous unpredictability is, after all, one of the reasons we love him. Check it out:

Speaking of new releases, today was also the release of the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ second album Here.  In typical E. Sharpe fashion, the songs have generally cheery, upbeat and folky tendencies.  Although soulful to the brink of churchy, it’s still definitely a good listen for sunny days spent skipping through an open field (or days stuck in a cubical when you wish you were skipping through an open field…)  Either way, if you were into their first album, it’s definitely worth a listen.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on a sweet ass summer playlist for you guys. I’ll let you know via twitter once it’s ready.

Follow me @baskinthemusic for updates!

July 9, 2012 – A.K.A. The Best Day Ever

Holy shit, it’s happening.

It was announced on Friday that John Frusciante, despite years of anticipation and worry from his fans, IS, in fact, releasing an album this year.  July 9 is Letur Lefr’s official scheduled release date.  With the exception of a few collaborative projects throughout the past couple years (including work with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and the Mars Volta, and his wife 😦 Nicole Turley’s band, Swahili Blonde), this will be the first solo release of his since the brilliant 2009’s The Empyrean ::swoon::

48 days and counting, my friends.  It will be worth the wait.

(A big shout out to Invisible Movement for being the first to share this exciting news.)