Are you hung over? Are you ambulatory yet? Not really? I understand. But c'mon, you have to get up sometime, don't you? When you're ready, nothing will get you moving for the New Year like Tino Contreras, the vanguard Mexican jazz drummer and composer. Ay!
Even if you haven't heard of him, you've heard him (try track 4, titled "Santo;" a memory or two may come flooding back). Though he's long been cherished South of the Border, as they say, it's taken quite a bit longer for us gringos to catch on. Just wait.
His jazz is propulsive, danceable and a mash-up, of sorts, with everything from bongos, bass swings, trumpets, psychedelic jazz riffs and ritual chants tossed into the mix. "El Jazz Mexicano" brings together his best tracks from five decades of composing and performing in Mexico, Spain, France, Argentina, Asia, South America...the list goes on. Trust me, this belongs on your iPod now.
Here's a gal who knows how to knock one back on New Years' (or any occasion, really). Actually, she looks like she's three sheets to it now. Open those eyes a little wider, guuuuurl!
Yes, it's Loleatta! Here's another artist that you may not have heard of, but you've definitely heard. "Love Sensation," the title track of this 1980 collection, was heavily sampled by this trick in this song and video. I know, I know, she totally made his career. Anywayheissuchaboringactornow, Loleatta was more than a caterwauling diva (though no one did it better). She could also bring it down, like in "I've Been Loving You Too Long," a heartbreaking R&B classic. In other words, she could do anything.
Meanwhile, Ruth Etting didn't like wearing clothes.
But really, why should she have? A pioneering jazz baby who started out singing in speakeasies for mobsters - she married the notorious "Moe The Gimp" - Ruth later hit the mainstream with records, radio stints and movies. She was everywhere.
And get this. By that time, she'd successfully transformed herself into "America's Sweetheart" (I'm so not kidding) (they couldn't find her nudies on the Internet back then). Unfortunately, her career ended once she divorced Moe and romanced her pianist, which promptly led Moe to gun down the pianist (he was later convicted of attempted murder).
The scandal all but ended Ruth's career. But what a career. She was the very first to sing songs like "Ten Cents A Dance" and "Love Me Or Leave Me," among many others. In this Flapper Gal Cheerful Exclusive!, all of Ruth's big hits are here. Why? Because in some parallel universe, it's not 2014, it's 1914, and little Ruthie has just arrived in Chicago to study art, having no idea what's really in store for her.
The Secret Song File does not, as a rule, like cartoons (except for ones featuring these two) Why? Because they're generally sappy and dumb - especially the new ones - and really, there are only so many hours in the day. Yet surprisingly, a certain frigid-sounding feature cartoon elicited a chuckle or two, mostly because the animators kept finding new and eye-popping ways to animate ice and snow.
A treat for the eyes is nothing to sneeze at, and a treat for the ears? Surprise again, because the songs and the soundtrack are fun. No, the Secret Song File is not going soft - and you're in big trouble if you suggest otherwise - but, hey, trippy animation and a bouncy score are always welcome, especially in the dark days of winter.
Hope your New Year is bee-yond awesome in every way!
If you're still hungover, try scribbling in the comments; you won't make sense, but we'll all be amused.