Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Veejay

All right, so I was too lazy to do it yesterday.

But this week, I have a special treat for you. Dead Can Dance is one of my favorite bands. Look past the odd name, it really has nothing to do with the music. In fact, one of the things I like so much about them is that their music sort of defies categorization of any kind. They go from almost acoustic rock to African tribal rhythms to mournful Celtic ballads in a fell swoop. Their music requires you to listen, it doesn't really follow your normal pop song formulas. If you are in the mood for something unique and a little "out there" then these guys are for you.

I have seen them in concert twice, the last one with the Los Angeles Philharmonic backing them up at the Hollywood Bowl. They blew me, and everyone else attending, away. They sound so wonderful, so powerful in concert that you are completely overtaken by the music. The two leaders of the band are Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. Lisa, originally from Australia, is a big "soundtrack" person, you can hear her keening in "The Whale Rider" and "Lord of the Rings." People really go gaga for Lisa, and she plays up the "goddess" theme when she performs. And Brendan, who was born in England, is one of my favorite male vocalists of all time. Well, let's just say I have a complete crush on Brendan Perry's voice, which is gorgeous, and he sounds better live than on a CD.

And because their music is so different and varied, I am going to include two videos. Do yourself a favor and crank up those speakers as loud as they can go. I was limited to what was on YouTube, I probably would have picked a different first song. Both of them are not really much visually, they are taken from a video of them performing I think sometime in the late 80's/early 90's at a venue in Santa Monica, CA.

This song, "Rakim" admittedly starts out a bit slow for about a minute. But then, check the drummer guy, who totally gets an aerobic workout for the entire song. The sound quality is poor, but just close your eyes and listen. Don't ask me which language they are singing in, I have no idea. And sometimes, I don't think they do either.

The next one is probably my favorite song from them. OK, well, it's actually two songs, but when they perform them in concert, they go seamlessly together. There is a bit of Brendan at the beginning first minute, ignore that if you want. Then, on to these two beautiful songs. "I Can See Now" and "American Dreaming." This clip is over eight minutes long, so you are forewarned. And dude, how much do I love drummer guy? He rocks.

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