String Cheese Incident - Black and White

String Cheese Incident
(no source for the bands name has been disclosed) is a great jam band from Colorado. Their music strongly is influenced by bluegrass sounds, as well as forays into rock, calypso, country, funk, jazz, Latin, reggae, and occasional psychedelia. The band is a great live band and has toured extensively.

In 2003, they sued Ticketmaster to retain control of their own ticket sales and won, siting violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This was a key in future lawsuits against Ticketmaster.

String Cheese Incident broke up in 2007, performing many farewell concerts. The Band Members have gone off on many solo projects like The Kyle Hollingsworth Band, EOTO, Panjea (with Keller Williams) and the Emmitt-Nershi Band. However, the band has reformed on occasion, and will play this year's Rothbury Music Festival in July. They recently played an unannounced sound-check at the Ogden Theater in Denver on June 24.

Black and White is a jam tune off their 2001 release Outside Inside.

Breaks Co-Op - The Otherside

New Zealand band, Breaks Co-Op, released their first album in 1997. After that, band members Zane Lowe and Hamish Clark both left New Zealand to pursue other interested.
In 2004, they reunited, wrote new material and released their second album, The Sound Inside, which produced the song The Otherside, which was a #1 hit and Song of the Year in New Zealand. The band relocated to the UK and released the album on parlophone records.

Nitin Sawhney - Falling

Nitin Sawhney has a very eclectic history. Growing up in Rochester, Kent, England, he studied piano, classical and flamenco guitar, sitar and tabla. He attended Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School (where he was the victim of racial persecution), leaving there and studying law at Liverpool University for a short time.

It was during this period that Sawhney met up with an old school friend, acid-jazz keyboard-player James Taylor. Sawhney then toured as part of The James Taylor Quartet and led him to form his own band, The Jazztones. He also joined forces with tabla master Talvin Singh to form the Tihai Trio.

After dropping out of university, Sawhney became and accountant, but the draw to music was too much of a distraction and he quit and moved to London. He and Sanjeev Bhaskar created a comedy team, The Secret Asians and developed a BBC radio and then and award winning TV show on BBC TV called Goodness Gracious Me. It was after this that he refocusing on music, beginning his solo career in 1993.

Falling is off his 6th album, the 2003 release, Human. It was an album where Sawhney focuses more on a trip-hop sound.

Midlake - Roscoe

Denton, Texas based band, Midlake, was formed in 1999 by a group of jazz students at the University of North Texas. Their music consisted of funk/jazz explorations heavily influenced by Herbie Hancock then moving more toward a more indie-rock sound.

Roscoe is a lo-fi indie-rock turn off the uniquely named release, The Trials of Van Occupanther. Midlake doesn't jump out and make you say Wow, but their music has a quality that make you go back and listen again and build up an appreciation for it.

Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough

Michael. We'll miss you. Nothing else needs to be said.

Joss Stone - Tell Me 'Bout It

Joss Stone burst onto the scene with her 2003 release, The Soul Sessions produced by the legendary Betty Wright and with soul/funk legends Benny Latimore, Timmy Thomas, and Little Beaver. She was only 16 years old at the time and had won the BBC Television talent show Star for a Night. London-based producers Andy Dean and Ben Wolfe saw her at a charity event afterward and were so blown away by her voice they contacted S-Curve Records founder and CEO Steve Greenberg and convinced him to fly her to New York to audition. She sang Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay", Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia" and Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". She was signed on the spot.

Tell Me 'Bout It off her third album, Introducing Joss Stone, is a strong soul funk tune that shows what she can do when she belts out her soulful voice.

Paul Simon - Kodachrome

Today's Hump Day Retro Closet track is brought to you by Kodachrome. Kodak recently announced that they will no longer manufacture the iconic film that, as Paul Simon said "gives the nights bright colors, gives the green to summer, makes you think all the world's a sunny day." Well, Mama took it away.

Paul Simon is as iconic as the film he sung about. Writing, playing and recording music for over 4 decades, first with Art Garfunkel and as a solo artist. Way too much to write about Simon in this simple post.

Kodachrome is off his #1 1973 solo release There Goes Rhymin' Simon. The song was not released in the UK as the BBC did not play it, due to copyright regulations. In the US, Kodak required that Simon note on the album that Kodachrome is a trademark of Kodak.

DeVision - Unputdownable

De/Vision is a synth-pop band from Darmstadt, Germany. Originally formed as a quartet in 1988, they became a trio and and are now a duo of Thomas Adam and Steffen Keth. The majority of the band's lyrics are in English, but they have had some songs in German.

is an excellent track off their 2004 release 6 Feet Underground.

Shivaree - Goodnight Moon

Shivaree took their name from a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds. Originating in the San Fernando valley, Shivaree is made up of Ambrosia Parsley (vocals), Danny McGough (keyboard), and Duke McVinnie (guitar). While McGough and McVinnie had a prior musical background touring and playing with many artists, Ambrosia, left home at age 13 to travel the county and pursue her love of music before meeting up with McGough and McVinnie.

They gain their inspiration from primarily Southern ideas and memes, and cite William Faulkner as an influence. Goodnight Moon, off their I Oughtta Give You a Shot in the Head for Making Me Live in This Dump debut release, is also included as the ending credits in Kill Bill 2 and a few Dawson Creek episodes.

Chuck Prophet - Summertime Thing

Chuck Prophet was originally a member of the rock group Green on Red, with whom he toured and recorded in the 1980s. During this time he developed into a great songwriter. Alejandro Escovedo, Solomon Burke, Heart, Kim Carnes, Peter Wolf, Kim Richey, Carter's Chord and Kelly Willis have covered his compositions.

Prophet has released many solo albums, switching record companies several times. He even parted with New West Records in 2005 after a restaurant tab argument involving an extra order of garlic bread.

Summertime Thing is off his excellent 2002 release, No Other Love.

AJ Croce - Maybe I'm Amazed

A.J. Croce lost his father (music legend Jim Croce) to a tragic plane crash and his eyesight to a brain tumor. From the ages of four to ten, he gradually regained sight in his left eye, learned to play the piano, fell in love with the music of Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, and came into possession of his multi-platinum recording artist father’s weathered songbook and guitar. Raised by his mom Ingrid near the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, California, A.J. began writing songs and performing locally. During the recording of his album, Fit To Server, he blew out his powerful voice and had to learn to sing all over again.

Maybe I'm Amazed is a great cover of the McCartney/Wings song. The song is off his 2006 release, Cantos which is a phenomenal album where Croce strips down his songs and focuses more on the piano and his voice. The retro aspect of this album goes so far as to list each instrument utilized by make, model, and year.

Chris Botti - When I Fall In Love

Chris Botti
is one of the current premier jazz trumpeters. Drawing from the worlds of pop, jazz, classical and other genres, Botti has created his own signature sound. Botti combines a soulful ambiance with naturally flowing improvisation. He has earned both critical acclaim and mainstream appreciation for a succession of best-selling albums.

When I Fall In Love off the album of he same name is a beautiful song and really showcases his abilities.

Sonya Kitchell - Can't Get You Out Of My Mind

Sonya Kitchell released her first album when she was only 16. Raised in a musical family, she has been writing songs from an early age and has developed a very mature songwriting ability well above her age.

Can't Get You Out Of My Mind is off her debut Words Came Back To Me release. It's amazing to think this song was written and performed by a 16 year old. She has a great future ahead.

The Stone Roses - I Am The Resurrection

Today's Hump Day Retro Closet post is one of my favorite groups: The Stone Roses. It's been 20 years since The Stone Roses released their self-titled album. One of the pioneer Madchester bands, The Stones Roses were crippled by a legal dispute with Silvertone, their original label and waited five years before releasing their second album, Second Coming. The legal disputes and disputes within the band led to it's break with repeated claims by both Ian Brown and John Squire that they would never reform. Very sad, since they were a phenomenal group.

I Am The Resurrection
is off their debut album.

New streaming via Grooveshark

You may have noticed that the media player app has changed. I've switched to Grooveshark for the embedded media player. It appears that I'm not going to run into the issue with only a 0:30 preview of the song, so you get to listen to the entire track without having to navigate and register with another site.

As a bonus, the embedded player is smaller, without the extra iTunes, Amazon, ringtones clutter on the player. Let me know what you think and thanks again for listening.

Amanda Marshall - Sunday Morning After

Amanda Marshall first came on the scene with her 1995 self-titled release. Her bluesy, R&B sound brought strong popularity in her native Canada and some success in the US. After success with 2 more albums and a song on the soundtracks to Tin Cup, The Replacements and My Best Friend's Wedding, Amanda pretty much dropped off the map. She has done no concerts or albums since 2002. But it appears she may be back doing a concert in Cornwall, Ontario in July.

Sunday Morning After off her Everybody's Got A Story release is really fun song with catchy lyrics and a seriously danceable beat.

Soulive - Cannonball

Listen on <-- What's this?

Soulive is a 3 piece jazz/funk band founded by brothers Alan and Neal Evans and guitarist Eric Krasno. During their career they have used several horn sections (Fred Wesley from James Brown's band the JB's has even done arranging on their 2000 release Doin' Something).

They band has worked with an wide variety of artists like Dave Matthews, Chaka Khan, Ivan Neville, Robert Randolph and Talib Kweli.

They are all about danceable, organ-driven instrumental groove-jazz. They fuse the soul-jazz of the past with a modern hip-hop feel. Krasno's guitar work is reminiscent of Grant Green and their rhythms have the influence of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Sly Stone.

Cannonball is from their Blue Note release Doin' Something.

Camille - Ta Douleur

Listen on <-- What's this?

French singer, songwriter, Camille, has a unique musical background. As a teenager she studied ballet and developed an interest in bossa nova music and American stage musicals. In 2002, she released her first album, Le Sac des Filles ("Bag of Girls"). In 2004, she began working with Marc Collin and his band Nouvelle Vague (prior Hoi Polloi Post).

In 2005 she released the album Le Fil, which was produced in collaboration with English producer MaJiKer. This album incorporated an avant-garde concept - a string, or thread ("le fil"), which was a drone that persisted throughout the entire course of the album. All of the songs in this album are based on the exploration of the voice, with only a double bass or double bass and keyboard as accompanying instruments. Le fil quickly became a gold album.

Ta Douleur
("Your Pain") is a great song that really shows her talents.

Lily Allen - The Fear

Listen on <-- What's this?

Lily Allen is a cheeky London-based pop singer/songwriter. She is the daughter of comedian Keith Allen, and spent most of her childhood bouncing from one school to another -- in fact, she attended 13 different schools between the ages of five and 15. This constant moving meant she didn't have much of a chance to make lasting friendships, so Allen entertained herself with books and music.

She realized music was the only career for her and began writing songs that have been described as "equally sweet and bratty". The Fear, off her 2009 album, It's Not You, It's Me, is a great song written to explore paralyzing fame in clever way.

Emiliana Torrini - Big Jumps

Listen on <-- What's this?

Emiliana Torrini is a wonderful Icelandic singer who gained international recognition in 1999 when she released her album Love in the Time of Science which was produced by Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears

Torrini was also chosen to sing "Gollum's Song", the end theme of Peter Jackson's film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers when fellow Icelander Björk backed out due to pregnancy.

Big Jumps is off her latest release Me and Armini which mixes fingerplucked folk with elements of jazz, dancehall, electronica, and summery pop.

The Little Willies - It's Not You, It's Me

Listen on <-- What's this?

The Little Willies formed in 2003 when members Norah Jones (piano and vocals), Richard Julian (vocals), Jim Campilongo (guitar), Lee Alexander (bass), and Dan Rieser (drums) played regular gigs together, first playing at New York City’s Living Room.

Their love of country classics brought them together and they did a series of events, including a benefit concert for public radio station WFUV which produced a growing following. Based on this popularity, The Little Willies’ released a self-titled debut album in 2006.

It's Not You, It's Me is a fun song, co-written by Richard Julian.

Squeeze - Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)

Listen on <-- What's this?

This Hump Day Retro Closet track comes from Squeeze. They came to prominence during the New Wave period of the late 1970s and has built up a dedicated following. The group formed in London in 1974, and first broke up in 1982, then reformed in 1985, broke up again in 1999 and finally reunited for tours through the United States and United Kingdom in 2007 and 2008.

All of Squeeze's hits were written by band members Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford who plan to write a new record of material in 2009, during and after another tour of the United States.

Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) is off their excellent 1980 release Argybargy.

Luce - Good Day

Listen on <-- What's this?

Luce was founded in 2000 by lead singer Tom Luce and keyboardist/producer Adam Rossi in San Francisco. A permanent fixture in the Bay Area, they built up a loyal following and garnered heavy air play on bay area radio stations. They have a good pop sound and tour extensively.

Good Day is off their first album, Luce and is featured in several movies, including 13 Going on 30, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and the TV shows The O.C. and Alias.

Brian Culbertson - Funkin' Like My Father

Listen on <-- What's this?

Brian Culbertson has mainly released Smooth jazz albums with a touch of funk. But, in 2008, he decided to dive into his funk passion and record, as he puts it, "a historic and completely unprecedented revisiting to the land of the sho' nuff uncut `70s-style funk of ages."

This may seem to be boasting and over the top. But when you have the legendary Maurice White (founder of Earth, Wind and Fire) producing the album and have and all-start funk line up of William "Bootsy" Collins and Phelps "Catfish" Collins, members of the Rubber Band and the Horny Horns (all out of Parliament-Funkadelic), Larry Graham (of Sly & The Family Stone and his own Graham Central Station), Larry Dunn and Sheldon Reynolds (of Earth Wind & Fire), Greg Adams (from Tower of Power), Tony Maiden and Bobby Watson (of Rufus), Michael Bland, Cora Dunham and Rhonda Smith (from Prince's bands), solo stars Ray Parker Jr., David T. Walker, Ronnie Laws, Gerald Albright, Tom Scott, Paul Jackson Jr., Perri, Maceo Parker & Fred Wesley (from James Brown's JB’s band) you can be given leeway to boast.

Funkin' Like My Father is the first track off the album, a tribute to his own father, sets the tone for rest of the excellent release Bringing Back The Funk.

Azure Ray - If You Fall

Listen on <-- What's this?

Azure Ray was formed in 2001 by the duo Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink when they left the band Bright Eyes. Azure Ray disbanded in 2004, leaving Fink and Taylor to work on solo and other collaborative projects.

They got back together in 2007 to do a one-off show in Los Angeles. Maria Taylor announced on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic show that the band would reform on a more semi-permanent basis in July 2009 for a handful of shows before working on a new Azure Ray album.

If You Fall is off their last released album in 2004 on Saddle Creek Records, Hold on Love.

Stephen Marley - Iron Bars

Listen on <-- What's this?

Stephen Marley is Bob Marley's 2nd son. Stephen played in the Melody Makers with his brother Ziggy.

In 1996, he began working behind the board as a producer and in 2001 he produced the album, Halfway Tree, for his younger brother, Damian. The album won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album that year. In 2007, he released his own album, Mind Control, which included the track Iron Bars.

Cary Brothers - Ride

Listen on <-- What's this?

Cary Brothers has used quite a unique method to reach his listeners. In 2004, he hit upon an idea for connecting with potential listeners by providing a free, downloadable "song of the week," that would allow fans to send him feedback on what they liked and what, for them, could use some retooling.

His college friendship with actor Zach Braff gave him the opportunity to air his music on the TV show Scrubs and the Braff written and produced movie Garden State.

Ride is off his 2005 EP Waiting for Your Letter.

Copeland - Coffee

Listen on <-- What's this?

Hailing from Florida, Copeland is a soft and introspective indie rock band. Initially, they didn't jump out at me, but after hearing them a few times I have come to appreciate their relaxed and unassuming style.

Coffee is off their debut independent album, Beneath Medicine Tree.

The Velvet Underground - Rock and Roll

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I am starting a new Hoi Polloi feature: The Hump Day Retro Closet. On Wednesdays, I will spotlight a track from more than 10 years ago. Today's track is from The Velvet Underground, a band that was far ahead of their time. In their brief history, they were not a commercial success, but their influence for future musicians was immense.

Founded by Lou Reed and John Cale in the early 60's, The Velvet Underground's history was as turbulent as the times they played. Rock and Roll is off their great album Loaded. To read their interesting history, check out the un-official Velvet Underground fan site.

Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - Sugarfoot

Listen on <-- What's this?

Austin, TX based Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears know how to groove. Joe Lewis first picked up a guitar in 2002, when he was 20 years old and working at a pawn shop. “I just ended up buying one one day, and then I just kind of learned on my own, and then would try to hang out with people that are playing,” he recalls. “I did some really bad shows and I surprised people when I’d keep coming back.”

It was a gig at the University of Texas’s Forty Acres Fest, that Lewis first connected with the musicians that now form The Honeybears. Together, the seven members developed the garage soul sound that has struck a sympathetic note across the Austin musical landscape: a stew of old funk, dirty delta-soaked blues and brassy soul, topped with stream-of-consciousness lyrics that teem with humor and profanity.

That sound can be heard in the track Sugarfoot, off of their first full length album Tell 'Em What Your Name Is!

Chester French - She Loves Everybody

Full Track on imeem. <-- What's this?

Chester French took their name from the Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French. Why, I have no idea.

Vocalist/songwriter D.A. Wallach and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Maxwell Drummey met while freshmen at Harvard. She Loves Everybody is off their album Love The Future, which they completed and released in the spring of 2007 at the same time they graduated from Harvard.

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