A New Orleans Mardi Gras, Vol. 1

Want to feel like you are in New Orleans without leaving your home? Then A New Orleans Mardi Gras, Vol. 1 is for you.  The album has an eclectic mix of artists that span styles and generations, all of which can effortlessly transport you from your street to Bourbon Street.

The opening track, “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” by Professor Longhair is complete with a whistle intro and upbeat tempo that makes you want to take a stroll down a riverside boardwalk. Bunk Johnson recreates the standard, “Tiger Rag,” a classic ragtime song and favorite among many jazz lovers.

After an impromptu session of playing around on drumsticks, ashtrays, and coke bottles, The Dixie Cups created “Iko Iko,” which quickly became a hit.  It speaks about a parade collision between two “tribes” of Mardi Gras Indians and is one of the catchiest songs on the album. New Orleans Mardi Gras ends beautifully with Louis Armstrong’s “When the Saints,” with his uniquely raspy, deep voice gliding over the track.

Why go to Mardi Gras when you can have it come to you?!

Full tracklist after the jump.


La Strada Debut Classy 99 Dollar Music Video

The new sensation out of (you guessed it!) Brooklyn, La Strada just debuted their brand spankin’ new music video for “The Sun Song.” The fuzz-folkies collaborated with 99 Dollar Music Videos to produce the star studded, multi-million dollar Spike Jonze directed music video! But seriously, the site has a noble cause; they help the best and brightest indie bands create quality music videos for just 99 dollars (even CNN and peers are stoked). Other artists getting in on the action include Lowry (Engine Room Recordings) and Project Jenny, Project Jan (Might Records). The video combines the septet’s penchant for the European-style accordion music you might expect to hear on la strada with the picturesque New York City backdrop they call home. If you are like us here at the Rind and wonder how it could have been made for just 99 bones, direct your attention to the included behind-the-scenes clip. Both tasty videos are available for you, oh faithful reader, after the jump.


Golem! Rocket The Old World Into The New Century With Citizen Boris

Citizen Boris / JDub Records / BUY

NYC based folk-punks Golem! come at us with unmatched enthusiasm, flaunting their old world influences through a whirlwind of sound less listened to than it is experienced. With the release of their new LP Citizen Boris on JDub Records (the follow up to 2006’s appropriately titled Fresh Off Boat), the rag-tag gang manage to capture the energy of packed bar show sing-a-long, filled with sweaty dancing and roars heard down the block.

Culture comes first and foremost for this 6 piece, considered a Klezmer band (a musical tradition that combines Hasidic and Ashkenazic Judaism). Next in the new tradition of new world alternatives, Golem! manage to successfully cultivate a ridiculous good time while staying true to the sound of their homeland. Along with gypsy punks Gogol Bordello, they’ve created a hybrid sound that bridges both generations and continents, a tribute to their culture and an irresistible invitation to anyone in need of a good time. In addition to English, vocals on Citizen Boris are belted out in Yiddish, Ladino, or Slavic tongues. Lyrics are often silly in content, such as on their tribute to fine cabooses, “Tucheses & Nenes,” but often have serious undertones, lamenting over hardship and cultural struggle. On “Mirror Mirror,” female vocals shine on fun verses “no meat to cook with, no mascara/no toilet paper, no diamond rings” and croon on the choruses, “oh god/why did you have to make me so beautiful?”


Nina Simone Doc Featuring Rare Live Performances and Interviews Out Next Week!

This incredibly rare, never before released documentary spotlights the woman, the force, the legend Nina Simone at her finest.  Featuring nine classic songs by the Grammy-nominated “High Priestess of Soul,” Great Performances – Live College Concerts & Interviews was recorded in 1968, with the majority of live footage being taken during performances at both The University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and at the alma mater of the great Dr. King, Morehouse College in Atlanta.  With highlights like “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” “Black Is The Color,” and Nina’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s hauntingly beautiful “Suzanne,” this documentary is both a treat for the avid fan and an excellent introduction to one of the most incredible artists of our time.

Along with the plethora of amazing music that she created (over 40 live and studio recordings that span the genres of jazz, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music, to be exact), Nina Simone is also highly regarded as one of the most important voices of black America.  Always one to speak out about her feelings towards injustice, she offers strong viewpoints and political statements throughout the intimate interviews that are featured in the film.  Nina Simone: Great Performances – Live College Concerts & Interviews [Artwork Media] will be available exclusively on iTunes February 24th.

Watch the trailer right here.

Beasts of Seasons: A Growling Good Time!

Steeped in the fingerpicked-guitar rudiments of folk music, inspired by the expressionism of classic jazz vocalists, and finding common ground in the minimalism and ear-taunting of the avant garde, with Beasts of Seasons (February 24th, HUSH Records), Laura Gibson offers up an intimate affirmation of mortality; both vulnerable and courageous, ordinary and extraordinary.

Beasts of Seasons is nothing short of a masterpiece, both for its flawless and often haunting execution and for its inspired statements on the human experience. Broken into two parts, “Communion Songs” and “Funeral Songs,” the album opens with a foreboding burst of feedback and static. If it’s the sonic equivalent of darkness and what may be lurking there, then Gibson’s fragile voice and plaintively strummed guitar soon emerge as a flicker of light. It’s a mesmerizing contrast, as the curtain rises for Gibson’s beautifully gloomy and arresting meditations on life and death.” – NPR

NPR loves this record so much, in fact, that as of this week it’s available as an on-demand stream at NPR Music.