Songs My Daughter Likes

I’ve noticed lately that my daughter is picking up on stuff that I listen to and starting to sing along. She’s 6–almost 7. This makes me happy because a few weeks ago she announced her intentions to *marry* Justin Bieber. She has some book of his that she had been admiring for weeks. She and her little 1st grade school friends talk non-stop about him. It drives me up a wall, but she is her own person, and I don’t want to quell her musical interest by laying down the “no Bieber” rule (which I really would like to implement …).  However, it seems that her musical interests are shifting somewhat. As points of interest:

We were visiting the in-laws today. My wife mentioned to my mother in law that she would probably like Pomplamoose, so we all gathered around the desktop and pulled up YouTube. Started off with “Centrifuge,” moved on to their cover of “Beat It,” went back to original Pomplamoose stuff with “Little Things” and “Expiration Date.” My daughter came in and saw what we were doing, and she started singing along and dancing. THEN she did it again when we were in the car driving home. “Achin’ Heart” came on, and she started singing along to THAT! Blew me away.

She also knows half the words to Muse’s “Uprising,” “Undisclosed Desires,” and “Hysteria.” If this were a Twitter feed, I’d hashtag this with #raisingthemright.

It’s just fun to watch her little personality start to break through.

Review: Nataly Dawn – (Her Earlier Stuff)

I imagine this is how it must have been for a music addict in the 30s, 40s, and 50s –discovering that one voice on the radio that you immediately recognize as being that unique and that perfect. Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday … and now we can add Nataly Dawn to the list of classic crooners.

I fell down the Pomplamoose well after catching some vids of theirs on YouTube–specifically “Centrifuge.” Just an amazing video by an incredible band. Of course, the inevitable web-searching began to find out where they frequent online. I quickly found their Facebook page and their Twitter account. Well, ha ha. Guess what. Nataly AND Jack each not only have their own Twitter accounts, but they each also have their own incredible solo material. Nataly has a less extensive discography than does Jack, but that’s fine–give her time!

This CD was released in 2009, so I’m sure there probably a bunch of other reviews out there, but whatever. I like it, so I’m reviewing it.

If there’s one thing to be said about her voice, it’s that it is as intoxicating as the most potent wine. Like caviar for your tastebuds or a Renoir for your eyes, Nataly’s voice is pure exquisiteness. Gentle, mild, and addicting.

For the most part, Nataly sticks with her guitar, though there are some songs where the music branches out into other instruments. “Waking Up” finds her playing a piano (or at least a keyboard). “Hope,” with Ben Burdick, uses bass and harmonicas. “Save Me” uses a menagerie of instruments and is utterly haunting … I think mostly in part to the bass, which has this semi-eerie quality to it. You can hear the classical guitars dueling as well. At least they sound like nylon strings. I could be wrong. The deep, rumbings of Mr. Burdick also had a meloncholiness to the song.

“My Hands Burn” is an acapella tune that employs multiple tracks for Nataly to harmonize with herself. The effect is beautiful. To be fair, she does this on a lot of her tracks (and in Pomplamoose as well). I like it, though I imagine it’d be hard to reproduce the harmonics in a concert setting. 🙂

Stand-out tracks.

“A Happy Song” – Love that it sound like it was recorded on a tape recorder. This recording method is employed on a lot of the tracks, but this is the first one on the CD where you notice it. And she used the word “endoscopies”!! You HAVE to love that. “you can be whatever you want to be. i will be on your side. and when we’re having endoscopies and gumming our jello, we’ll survive. there;s not much to this fixation. feels like vacation. if only real life could be this fun.” 

“Save Me” is A haunting tune that shows the span of how much we rely on others to comfort us. Some slightly religious overtones … maybe I’m reaching here, but it sounds like it. There are other religious nods throughout the CD, but this one is more … covert? for wont of a better term?

“Baise M’encore” is a musical interpretation of French poet Louise Labe’s 16th century sonnet “Baise m’encor, rebaise-moi et baise.” I don’t know if it’s a cover or not, but her execution of the language would have you believe that she is a Parisian native (and of course there’s a good reason for this, ha ha).

The Right Decision – I like it because I’ve struggled with a lot of these similar “escapes.” I’ve found some work better than others–definitely not the drugs. I don’t mean that as a “wink wink, nudge nudge.” I really mean it. I don’t see drug use as a viable escape, but I will never judge anyone for not wanting TO escape and turning to drugs to do so. Sometimes, life can be just that insanely difficult; who am I to criticize someone for wanting to feel better and “escape”?

Well, listen … (ha ha! Get it? See what I did there?!) this is definitely one for the CD shelf–digital or otherwise. I don’t know if you can actually order a physical CD, but I would sure love this sitting on my shelf. As it is, I’ve purchased it from iTunes, and I’m happy with that. Whatever you do, just GET THIS CD!!

And Now for Something Completely Pomplamoose

So … yah. This is the specifc reason I live for finding new music. I’m fairly confident I’m late to the scene with these guys, but better late than never. Right?

I’ve been kind of tweeting/facebooking/blog-commenting back and forth with a certain writer out in San Francisco. Every so often, this “Pomplamoose” band name would pop up, and I’d think, “Hmm. Wonder what they’re like.” This volley string has been going on for several weeks. Finally, tonight, I asked about them. She pointed me to a couple of websites, I grabbed the music, and checked out a few videos on YouTube.

I’ve had one other band hit me with the force that these guys have: Muse. Not that they’re at all like Muse; the styles are radically different. Muse is Muse. Pomplamoose … wow. The voice. The beauty of the music. Ignore the fact that the music is pure, organic, and just flat-out amazing. Check the YouTube channel, fer cryin’ out loud. Remember when MTV didn’t suck? Remember how they used to play videos? These are the kinds of videos they should be playing. They’re FUN! And you can tell that they had a lot of fun making them. I’d love to see if their live show is similar to one of these videos. Incredible work.

So who exactly is Pomplamoose?

They are Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. Their Facebook page says “Northern California” for the location, but I’m guessing that they’re at least close to San Francisco. I could be wrong. I have my reasons for thinking this, but it’s just speculation on my part. Where they are isn’t necessarily important, for that matter. What does matter is their incredible music. Jack’s over-exuberant drum playing, shot from different angles, is a blast to watch. His enthusiasm for everything is infectious and inspiring. Nataly’s voice is pure platinum. I would try to compare her to Feist, but it’s not a fair comparison. Feist doesn’t do her own harmonies. Nataly does. Granted, it’s done over various takes, but ya know what? It sounds awesome.

Three of my favorite tracks so far “Expiration Date,” “Little Things,” and “Centrifuge.” “Little Things” discusses what it really is that makes love great. “Saying that my cooking’s great while you try to hide a stomache ache, you really didn’t have to … Loves the little things that changes everything.” That line is just great. And all their songs are filled with cool lyrics.

To provide you with an example of what their videos are like, check out “Centrifuge.” I love the different angles of everyone who’s contributing. I love that they use an upgraded version of a kid’s xylophone. Around 2:16 they start all these awesome little dances. FUN! Also … watch for the sax solo. Even more fun.

Their music is happy. It’s bright. It’s shiny. They remind me of the Weepies; it’s almost impossible not to smile while listening to either of them. Above all, they’re fun. They’re fun to listen to, they’re fun to watch … I can only imagine what a live show would be like.

So there it is. Pomplamoose–a great find! File this under “shake” cuz you’re gonna want to get up and move!




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