Oh, my. Dakota Staton can't believe how bee-yooooo-tiful she is. And really, who but Dakota, a masterful "song stylist" from the 50's and 60's, could have released "Dynamic," a Ka-pow Cheerful Exclusive! Just listen as she rips into each song, like "Anything Goes," for one.
And dear God in Heaven, hold tight for the opening number, "Let Me Off Uptown," which is likely to raise your heart rate with its blaring trumpets - and Dakota, a human trumpet who epitomizes "brass" and "sass."
Dakota's career started out with a hit LP, but it was to be her last. Though she was adored by musicians (especially) and critics, she never quite caught on with the public. Did she arrive too late on the scene, as some have claimed, just prior to the birth of rock? Maybe, but whatever the reason, she's ripe for re-discovery; after all, her discography is fairly large and her range, from jazz to bop to blues and gospel, rivals the likes of Della Reese. Yes, she's that good. She'll even raise your spirits if you're dealing with this (I promise).
Do the French have sass? They certainly want you to believe they have class (even if you can't understand what they're saying). Americans are loud, the British are cheeky and the French, well, I don't know if they have a lock on class, but they do have Bertrand Burgalat, the epitome of abstract indie-cool, as all the reviewers say. So let's give the French that.
His 2007 album "Cheri BB" (a Oui-Oui Cheerful Exclusif!) gorgeously blends rock, electro (with a little early-60's ennui thrown in) along with crisp, breathy vocals, especially in "I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy" and "Anoyme Amour." I'm not sure why Burgalat is routinely classified as "abstract" or "indie." If anything, he's his own blissful category. He frequently performs live, so if you live across the pond, by all means go. I wish I could.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the Colours series a few posts back (they were the most downloaded in the past three months) (I know, right?), but only one loyal reader asked for more. How can I refuse? In these three volumes, gorge on wonderfully trippy work from Trevor Loveys, more from Shur-I-Kan, Milton Jackson, and gobs and gobs more. You're welcome (really).
The first time I heard Jo Ann Greer sing, I was stumped. A blur of faces passed before me; I knew I'd heard the voice before in old Hollywood movies, but I couldn't get a fix on the name. As it turned out, that blur of faces told me more than I thought. As I later learned, Hollywood singer Jo Ann Greer was the voice for numerous leading ladies, much like Marnie Nixon was, only Greer isn't nearly as celebrated these days.
She really ought to be. Despite her sprightly good-girl look on the upper-right, she was a smooth-as-silk jazz singer, which meant her voice could be paired with any number of Hollywood's sexiest stars - like Rita Hayworth on the upper-left. In fact, Greer and Hayworth became such good friends that after their first collaboration, Hayworth did Greer the great favor of miming her own singing and dancing for Greer in the recording booth - allowing Greer to figure out where Hayworth naturally took a breath while shimmying and "singing."
The 2001 "Jo Ann Greer: Hollywood Legend Sings" - a Lip-Sync For Your Life Cheerful Exclusive! - brings you not just Greer's best work, but additional tracks for songs she didn't originate (but performs deliciously), along with several of her own Billboard hits, like "Wild Horses." After listening to just a few songs, you probably won't be surprised to learn that, prior to Hollywood, she toured with renowned jazz and big band leader Les Brown (just like Doris Day and Anita O'Day had) and later reunited with him on a post-Hollywood tour for almost forty years, or well in the 1990's.
That Jo Ann, such perseverance. This is something the Secret Song File understands well. Who else can pose on a desk with such effortless savoir-faire (and perfectly coiffed hair)? Really, it takes no effort for her to look like this - even after she's returned from the disco (*cough*cough*major-hint*).
It's been four long years since this American alterna-band's released a new CD, but they're still dangerous, yo, like a mouse (*cough*cough*another*hint*). And, yes, I'd love to give you more clues, but the Secret Song File has warned me about being too obvious, so I must stop. In fact, I won't even break any pencil lead as I complete this sentence...much less bells!
And dang, if that ain't clear as a bell, I don't know what is.
Make any noise you like in the comments!