03/21/2008 11:47 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dog Ears Music: Volume Fourteen


Paul Simon
You need to know about Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon, three unique engagaements taking place in April at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). They're all part of a series celebrating and exploring the music and lyrics of Paul Simon. We took this directly from Paul Simon's web site. Read on for details: Inspired by locales ranging from the Mississippi Delta to the townships of Johannesburg, the extraordinary music of Paul Simon will be part of BAM's Spring 2008 Season in April. The three programs include Songs from The Capeman, Under African Skies and American Tunes and will include performers such as Oscar Hernandez and The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Claudette Sierra, Obie Bermudez, Ray de la Paz, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Hugh Masekela, Milton Nascimento, Kaissa, David Byrne, Luciana Souza, Cyro Baptista, Olu Dara, Grizzly Bear, The Roches, and others including Paul Simon. Phil Ramone is the musical advisor for Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon.

Paul Simon-supported charities include The Children's Health Fund (which he co-founded with Dr. Irwin Redlener), AMFAR, The Nature Conservancy, The Fund for Imprisoned Children In South Africa, Autism Speaks and The United Negro College Fund.

Buy: iTunes
Genre: Rock
Artist: Paul Simon
Song: Still Crazy After All These Years
Album: The Essential Paul Simon
Concert Info: Visit

Caught Wilco on Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago and their performance was exceptional!! The song "Hate It Here," from the 2007 release Sky Blue Sky, is still in the atmosphere. Wilco, founded in Chicago nearly 15 years ago, took home a Grammy in 2004 for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Recording Package for A Ghost Is Born. Would love to be a fly on their songwriting wall. Download "Hate It Here" from Sky Blue Sky and play it loud.

Buy: iTunes
Genre: Rock
Artist: Wilco
Song: Hate It Here
Album: Sky Blue Sky
Tour: Visit
Wico Supported Charities: Visit

Iron and Wine
Iron and Wine is fronted and founded by singer/songwriter Sam Beam. His melodies have an undercurrent of sweet sadnesss and romantic longing. The most recent 2007 release, The Shepherd's Dog, contains the track "Carousel," a hypnotic piece with layers of luscious vocals and harmonies recorded with a phaser effect giving it that haunting feel. Download "Carousel" from The Shepherd's Dog.

Buy: iTunes
Genre: Alternative
Artist: Iron and Wine
Song: Carousel
Album: The Shepherd's Dog
Tour: Visit

Nina Simone
Singer, pianist, arranger, composer and activist, Dr. Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in February 1933 in Tyron, North Carolina. Simone, often referred to as the High Priestess of Soul, grew up poor. She was one of eight children raised in a strict Methodist home. A child prodigy, she started playing the piano at age four, eventually going on to study at The Juilliard School of Music. Simone held two honorary doctorate degrees in music and humanities and preferred to be called Dr. Nina Simone. The song "It Might As Well Be Spring" from the 1945 film "State Fair" on the album The Amazing Nina Simone beholds that golden voice.

Genre: Classic Jazz
Artist: Nina Simone
Song: It Might As Well Be Spring
Album: The Amazing Nina Simone
Nina Simone Foundation: Visit
YouTube: Watch

Wilson Pickett
Born in 1941 in Prattville, Alabama, Wilson Pickett grew up singing gospel in the Baptist church. Famous for his uninhibited singing and delivery, Pickett lived a turbulent and dramatic life. His work with the legendary producer Jerry Wexler for Stax Records in Memphis produced so many classics like "Midnight Hour" and "Mustang Sally." In 1991, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Often referred to as Wicked Pickett, his cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" is so heavy and the drumming is insanely delicious. There are nearly 60 tracks in this collection and all are worth owning. Download "Hey Joe."

Buy: iTunes
Genre: Soul/R&B
Artist: Wilson Pickett
Song: Hey Joe
Album: Pick It Wilson: Wilson Pickett

Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever is a Los Angeles-based creation of brothers Zac (guitars/vocals) and Ethan Holtzman (Farfisa organ). With Senon Williams on bass, David Ralicke on brass, Paul Smith on drums fronted by Cambodian native, Chhom Nimol on vocals, their sound is alternative pop and it feels like you're swimming in a movie from the 70s. The album Venus On Earth moves between Cambodian and English. Download "Seeing Hands."

Buy: Artist Direct
Genre: Alternative pop
Artist: Dengue Fever
Song: Seeing Hands
Album: Venus on Earth
MySpace: Visit