Margot & The Nuclear So and So's
Margot & The Nuclear So and So's is an indie-folk rock octette from Indianapolis, Indiana, founded in 2004 by Richard Edwards (vocals/guitar). Members include Andy Fry (guitar), Chris Fry (drums), Hubert Glover (brass), Erik Kang (violin/lap steel), Casey Tennis ("percrushin"), Emily Watkins (keys/vocals), and Tyler Watkins (bass). Margot & The Nuclear So and So's sound runneth over with hipster sophistication -- a very creative crew. The title "Broadripple Is Burning," from the 2008 EP The Daytrotter Sessions, has deliciousness all over it. Currently touring; go catch 'em.
Film composer Thomas Newman was born in Los Angeles in 1955 into a musical family of Hollywood lore -- son of legendary Alfred Newman, brother of David Newman, and cousin of Randy Newman. Thomas Newman has scored over 75 films including The Shawshank Redemption, Erin Brockovich, The Good German, The Road to Perdition, and American Buffalo. His accolades include a Grammy Award for American Beauty, eight Academy Award nominations, and an Emmy Award for Six Feet Under. The title "Raining Oil," from the Jarhead soundtrack (2005), is provocatively graceful and spooky.
Artist: Thomas Newman
Song: Raining Oil
Neu! is the super-influential, ahead-of-its-time art-rock band founded in the early '70s in Dusseldorf, Germany, by former Kraftwerk members Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger and producer Konrad Plank. While Neu! had little commercial success, the band, to this day, is deeply respected by rock greats Brian Eno, David Bowie, and Thom Yorke, among others. "Seeland," from the album Neu! 75, released in 1975, is a respite for your auditory system.
Album: Neu! 75
Satomi Saeki and Alcvin Takegawa Ramos
Satomi Saeki, koto traditionalist, music professor, and multi-instrumentalist (lute, juushichigen, and shamisen), was born in Miyazaki, Japan. Her musician father, who played the shakuhachi, or bamboo flute, was her musical muse. Alcvin Takegawa Ramos, Zen master, martial artist, and shakuhachi player, is from Kanagawa-ken, Japan. His interest in the bamboo flute was inspired by his eastern religion/meditation studies. The playing of the shakuhachi is said to inspire a Zen state of self-awareness and spiritual enlightenment. Saeki and Ramos, both residents of British Columbia, Canada, have collaborated on a truly authentic and respectful homage to Japanese traditional music. The title "Fuyu Momiji," from the 2006 album Japanese Traditional Koto and Shakuhachi Music, is humble and glorious.
Artist: Satomi Saeki and Alcvin Takegawa Ramos
Song: Fuyu Momiji
Album: Japanese Traditional Koto and Shakuhachi Music
The Atmosphere Collection
The Atmosphere Collection: Thunderstorm, released on Rykodisc in 1995, is a squally yet relaxing and luxurious soundscape, produced by Brian Wright as part of an ambient weather series. The title "Thunderstorm" is one hour and eight seconds of engagingly meditative musings on Mother Nature.
Genre: New Age
Artist: The Atmosphere Collection
Album: The Atmosphere Collection: Thunderstorm
Mythical composer, sitarist, producer, and musical diplomat Ravi Shankar was born in Benares, India, in 1920. Shankar is well known for his sui generis sound, introducing Indian music to the Western Hemisphere. He has written countless compositions including concertos and film scores. An honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as member of the UN International Rostrum of Composers. Collaborations include George Harrison, Philip Glass, Yehudi Menuhin, and Andre Previn. Accolades include 14 doctorates, three Grammys, the Japanese Fukuoka Grand Prize, and the Crystal Award from Davos. The title "Offering," performed by Madras, Partha Sarathy, Ravi Shankar, and T. Srinivasan, from the album The Essential Ravi Shankar, is modern classical immortality.
Artist: Ravi Shankar
Album: The Essential Ravi Shankar