Posts Tagged ‘bands’

Song of the Week – Hit By A Cement Mixer, Ninjaspy

July 6th, 2009
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I decided I am going to start a “Song of the Week” on this blog. Every week I will post a blog about a new song that I have found that I think is really great. There will be links to where you can listen to the song online and also purchase it.



The first Song of the Week (SOTW) is a track by a band based in Vancouver BC Canada called Ninjaspy (band web site, myspace).

Ninjaspy is innovative in that they combine and blend genres in their music. They are a Hardcore Punk Rock band mixed with Funk and Ska/Reggae. Fusion is something I really enjoy, whether it is with food, music, or even other kinds of art.

While this blog is primarily about jazz and jazz piano, my friends have said that I have eclectic tastes in music, and I intend to write about any sort of music that I think is good. I was listening to the tracks on the Ninjaspy myspace page in the background and was working on something else, and suddenly I thought, hey, that’s a really cool song.

The song is called Hit by a Cement Mixer (iTunes link, imeem link). It’s a hugely dynamic song, going from a gentle whisper of a city soundscape to full on Hardcore screaming, to a catchy ska groove.

The best part of it is at 1:22 in the track (and several other times where the section is repeated), where there is a relaxing lull moment (just before 1:22) followed by a burst of guitar and excited screaming that ends in a harmonically beautiful guitar cadence.

The lyrics are quite graphic and dark, but poetic. I didn’t catch all of them when I was listening to the song, but when I read them on a lyrics site I was a bit shocked. But a fairly depressing theme goes along with the band’s Hardcore and edgy roots – it’s crying out and it says something.


Song: Hit by a Cement Mixer
Album: Nature
Official Web Site
Album page at CDBaby
Listen on : iTunes, imeem

Hit By a Cement Mixer – ninjaspy


Chassidic Jazz Project – combining Jewish music and jazz

January 3rd, 2005
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Drummer Reuben Hoch leads a group called the Chassidic Jazz Project, which combines traditional Jewish music with jazz and classical influences.

On their web site, Hoch describes two different audiences which can appreciate this music:

Those completely at home in the world of Jewish music appreciate the group’s new perspective of classic Jewish music.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jazz lovers recognize the authenticity of the seamless integration of Jazz and Jewish culture.

Warning! This is not “Hava Nagila” or the Klezmer music your “Bubbe” [Jewish Grandmother] grew up on. This is an entirely new genre joining multiple musical influences in an innovative way.

You may find it very interesting to listen to clips of this new style of music (click here to listen). When I listened, at first it sounded like many different types of music were layered on top of each other in a haphazard way, but then after a few moments I began to hear how everything fits together in a cohesive whole.

Reuben Hoch is performing in New York this week, January 8 and 9 at Kavehaz, January 10 at Smith’s bar. He will be with his other group, a trio called “Time”. See this press release for more details (such as the address of the clubs).


The Smokes – Rock band from Vancouver

December 16th, 2004
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The Smokes, an indie country/rock band from Vancouver BC, have just posted three full length MP3 tracks on their web site. I saw these guys perform at the Pic pub last Friday night and they are great!

(I should mention that I am now their webmaster so I may be a bit biased. But do check their web site out anyways!).

Update: May 2009: The Smokes are now called Minto and their myspace is here.


Concert Review: Radiohead in Vancouver

August 31st, 2003
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Saw the Radiohead concert at Thunderbird Stadium.

Nice lighting effects, although I am not a big fan of Radiohead I thought some of their electronic sounds were interesting. At times they would build up a wall of dense sound that is hard to penetrate and hear anything worthwhile. And it was my first experience at a General Admission rock concert – I was standing pretty close to the front in a huge crowd, and got a bit worried when people started pushing. I’ve posted some more photos of this concert.

After that I dropped by some friends at Rossini’s in Kits, and saw a jazz quartet perform. This was an inspiring performance because it made me think, “I can do that too!!”. If only I had more time I would love to play more gigs like this.