Ok, this is simply awesome and a must listen. Props to ESPN for gathering up eight musicians/bands to remix the long standing NBA theme song that goes along with the broadcast on the sports mothership. Click HERE to access the link and view remixes which includes The Mowgli’s, Ozomatli (always fun to hear them do sports remixes, search “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”) and The Heavy. You vote and the winner gets their version played during the NBA All Star Game this year.
For the third straight week, New Music Tuesday is absolutely amazing with a handful of BIG TIME releases. We’re talking Mumford & Sons – Babel, Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1, No Doubt – Push and Shove, Ozomatli – OzoKidz, Talib Kweli – Prisoner of Conscious, Preservation Hall Jazz Band – St. Peter and 57th, Dragonette – Bodyparts, Green Day – Uno!, Anita Baker – Only Forever, The Soft Pack – Strapped, deadmau5 – >album goes here< and a whole bunch more.
As for my two top picks of the week, tough call yet really simple:
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Mumford & Sons fresh off their performance on Saturday Night Live drop one of the most anticipated albums of the year and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Unlike their incredible debut Sigh No More, Babel is more upbeat from the start and really captures more of the live M&S experience. Give a few spins through the record and you’ll be hooked. If you’ve seen the fellas live, chances are you’ve heard what early on I have to say my favorite tracks on the disc are “Hopeless Wanderer” and “Below Your Feet” – oddly enough track 11 on both discs are my favorite (“Dust Bowl Dance” on Sigh No More). Enjoy!
Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1
If you know me, you know I’m a gigantic Lupe Fiasco fan so it’s no surprise to see his new disc here as one of my top picks. I’m really looking forward to listening to the “follow-up” to his debut album six years and two albums later, as I’ve only heard a few tracks including “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)” which samples Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth’s “TROY” and from what I’ve read, it’s very politically and culturally charged. He speaks load and clear enough that his message is heard and people respond.
Oh yes, you read that headline correctly, Slightly Stoopid have dropped ”Just Thinking” featuring the one and only Chali 2na of Jurassic5 and Ozomatli fame. The hip-hop baritone guests on the track which will appear on the album Top of the World dropping August 14.
Last week was a whirlwind of a music one for me. It started last Wednesday with the opportunity to see Carlos Santana’s new residency at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Not only is Santana a living legend that I encourage everyone to see, his band is truly amazing. The show was about two hours and spanned his whole career of hits. With a brand new sound system in place, HoB was rocking and the perfect venue to capture the iconic guitar work of Santana.
On Friday it was off to a semi-private show with the mighty talented, Kelley James. If you are not familiar with Kelley’s sound/style, you’re sorely missing out. In addition to a bunch of his own songs, he busted out some Sublime and Neil Diamond. Plus he is one of the most gifted freestyle artists which added to the fun and entertaining evening.
For Cinco de Mayo it was time for Ozomatli. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve seen these guys live and the shows are always a blast. This time the venue was Body English inside the Hard Rock Hotel and not only do I love and miss the former nightclub but it served as practically a private concert venue. Intimate and in close quarters with the fiesta faithful, it was one wild dance party that I wish everyone could have experienced. Check the video below of a little Latin cover of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough.”
Santana images courtesy of Erik Kabik.
Happy Friday! Not only are we heading into a holiday weekend but tonight, Ozomatli returns to Las Vegas and plays the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel. Hands down one of the best promotions in any city, SpyOn Vegas hosts Friday Night Live throughout the summer and brings in some great concerts which are FREE. I can never get enough of Ozomatli live and having seen them at Mile High Music Festival a few weeks back , I’m amped up for their performance this evening. Plus if the show is anything like last year’s at the Hard Rock pool, we are in for a treat. The energy and good vibes Ozomatli spread are going to make this evening a great way to kick off Labor Day Weekend.
With a successful first day at Mile High Music Festival I was definitely looking forward to Day 2 and the great line-up.
- Day 2 started out at the Wolf Stage to check out Los Angeles based Oh My Stars and they delivered way more than I was anticipating. Rocking out with tons of energy definitely help set the tone for the day of music ahead. Their set included fun renditions of Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” and Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” and a wicked performance of their single “Bloody November”
- Next up was a southern rock performance by Drive-By Truckers. It was good old rock and roll jam session perfect for the mid-afternoon
- One of the big highlights of Day 2 came mid-afternoon when Ozomatli performed. Always an upbeat, festive time, the boys did not disappoint and really had the crowd in unison singing and dancing the entire hour of their set. In traditional Ozo fashion it was straight into the crowd to end the performance and I can’t wait for them to hit Vegas again on September 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel
- Jimmy Cliff may be getting up there in age but he can still put on a show and I was thrilled to see the legend live. Hearing him sing “I Can See Clearly Now” and “The Harder They Come” made my day
- Knowing that Dave Matthews Band was going to draw the biggest crowd of MHMF, we decided to home base it from the Kyocera Main Stage which turned into the best idea for multiple reasons but one being that we got to check out Trevor Hall’s set at the adjacent Cougar Stage. While I have one of his LPs I really was wowed by how good he was live and his performance was definitely one of the top surprises for me at MHFM. He also did a fun cover of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes”
- My Morning Jacket performed next on the main stage and while I didn’t get to hear my favorite song by them, “Dancefloors,” it was still an entertaining set with a fun sing-along of “Off The Record”
- Another pleasant surprise for me and a band that has been around for some time was Railroad Earth jamming on the Cougar Stage. In addition to myself becoming a fan I think they gained a whole heap as folks trickled in grab their spot for DMB and grooved to their whole set
- DMB as expected came out and rocked MHMF. In what typically is always an amazing show, the fellas brought a festive energy and a mix of old and new songs. Looking back the set list was an amazing one. Starting out with “Shake Me Like A Monkey” set the tone and hearing “What Would You Say” followed up by “#41” was definitely a highlight as was “Lie In Our Graves” with a little cover of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Last three songs before the encore were “Two Step” “You & Me” and “Ants Marching.” The whole set list can be found here
Overall Day 2 was a rousing success. I would have loved to have taken in the performances by Weezer, Z-Trip, Boombox and Atmosphere but just like Day 1, too much music and too many decisions to make.
Also pretty saddened of the Denver Post’s coverage of the festival since it was in their backyard and only sending one reporter to cover and not even given a fair shake to many of the 40 plus acts over the two days. I mean on Day 1 the reporter didn’t even arrive until after 4 p.m. surely missing some great performances. You can read the recaps here and here.
If you’ve heard of Ozomatli you have to love them and if you have no idea who they are, just know this; they have won Latin Grammys in 2002 and 2005 for “Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.” While you may think, “Latin Grammy” with a big question mark, this is a band that transcends all races and genders for the love of music. They are primarily a Latin, hip-hop and rock music band that dabs into salsa, jazz, funk, reggae and rap, essentially providing the soundtrack for the country and world we live in and committed to bringing the beats and sounds to people of all kinds.
Something else interesting about Los Angeles based Ozomatli that people may not know, Chali 2na and DJ Cut Chemist of the now debunked Jurassic 5 were members of Ozomatli (2na has come back from time-to-time). From inception, the band has ranged anywhere from as high as 10 members down to seven with a core of six original members.
To see Ozomatli live know that it is one gigantic party and that the band not only feeds off of the crowd but joins the crowd and makes it a musical moment to remember. One of my favorite Ozomatli memories to date was seeing them live on Halloween in Hawai’i for Halloween High Steppin’ at some hole in the wall Mexican restaurant with 200 people. The energy was through the roof that evening and add in everyone dressed in costumes it was sure a night to remember. I imagine that seeing them perform at Mile High Music Festival will remind me of that live show and what an exciting band they are.
The toughest part over the two days will be agonizing over which performances are a must see and which I’ll sadly have to take a pass on. I do know that Saturday will get started with Donavon Frankenreiter’s performance and I’m definitely in to see ALO, Nas & Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Slightly Stoopid and Jack Johnson. The rest of Saturday is a toss-up. As for Sunday, Drive-By Truckers and Ozomatli are shoe-ins for the early side with Jimmy Cliff, Z-Trip, Weezer, My Morning Jacket following and Dave Matthews Band wrapping up the festival.
So much good music in one place over two days and add in what a city Denver is and you can’t ask for much more. DoyouHearTheMusic.com will mostly be devoted to my preview of Mile High Music Festival artists the rest of the week aka a way for me to talk about some of my favorites. If you’re reading this my hope is that you find some new music to listen to along the way and if you want to throw in your two cents, please do!
Peace + Love + Music