If you've ever listened to Eight Forty Eight,
WBEZ's daily magazine of news, arts, and culture, you know that the program covers a wide variety of topics within a single hour. For nearly 6 years (jeez, has it been that long?) it's been my job to find just the right music to take the listener out of a story, continue a particular mood, add that exclamation point, OR put that perverbial frosting on top of the cake. On the show, we call them "Music Buttons", but I like calling them the in-between moments. Because many times in life, the best stuff doesn't happen during the major events, but during the in-between moments.
Each afternoon, I'll post my daily selections on Eight Forty Eight's
web page. I started doing that a few years ago when the amount of calls and emails from listeners started growing"¦"what was that you played at about 9:20?" or, "can you tell me the name of the band that came after you talked to that author?". Those kind calls and emails continue to come, but at least now there's a place where people can go and check"¦or I can go back and check in case I forget!
The reason I got into radio in the first place was to play cool music, and turn as many people on to that music as possible. After all these years, I'm thrilled to still be doing that, albeit in smaller (:30, :45, 1:00) chunks.
Now, thanks to the magic of the blog-scape, I'll bring a selection of new, and new-to-me music that has come across my desk that I dig, and use for those in-between moments, so that you can enjoy these artists more fully.
First selection this month is the Italian combo Calibro 35
. Their new album is called Ritornando Quelli Di"¦, from Nublu Records
. As you know, I seek out a lot of instrumental music for my "in-between moments". Of course, if I come up with a song that fits the mood of a given story musically, AND has lyrics that work, I'll go for it. But most of the time on 848, I'm looking for instrumentals, or pieces that have longer instrumental breaks. Man, was I stoked when Calibro 35 came across my desk. They're billed as the new masters if Italian Cinema music, specifically, from the 60's and 70's. More specifically, thrillers, dramas, crime, and capers. I've used a couple of CD's from Rhino Records
for years, called Crime Jazz,
that are sort of in this category"¦and I loves me some Ennio Morricone. Well, Calibro 35 dishes out the best of both worlds. Some of the cuts on this album (their second) are actual classic tunes from films, some are originals inspired by the classics.
A Fistful of Lead
The second disc I'm hot for this month comes from a guy named El-P
. His actual name is Jaime Meline, and he's been part of New York's Hip Hop underground scene for over a decade. His new album is Weareallgingtoburninhellmegamixxx3
The CD is full of dark grooves, intense beats, and freaky drops, with a touch of 80's electro-synth woven in for good measure. No doubt about it"¦this is not
your feel-good-happytime-Fresh Prince summer hip hop. But it is
Driving Down the Block [El-P Remix Redux]
Finally, I've been a sucker for Thievery Corporation and the music that comes from their Washington DC-based label ESL (Eighteenth Street Lounge)
since someone slipped me a copy of Sounds from the Thievery Hi Fi
back in 1997. Call it club music for people who don't like clubs. Call it electronica for Deadheads. You can even call it boring music that's played in the background of pretentious bars where the furniture is so modern it's not even comfortable. All of those descriptions are apt. But I don't care. I just like the lounge-y, laid-back grooves. Babylon Central
is the soundtrack to a new film by Eric Hilton, one half of the duo that is Thievery. It features a lot of killer dub, some tasty dancehall, and that certain vibe that I've come to rely on from Thievery Corporation. Light a"¦.candle, yeah, that's it"¦.mix up a specialty martini"¦and enjoy.
Amerimacka [TC Remix]
Hope you've enjoyed the inaugural edition of Those In Between Moments. Keep your eye on this blog for more to come next month. And keep your ear to Eight Forty Eight,
weekdays at 9am and 9pm, on WBEZ.