Music Review – Paolo Nutini’s “Caustic Love” BUY IT!

causticYou know how once in a while you come across an album by a newer artist that makes you want to listen to it over and over and over again? That is where I’m at right now. On first listen, I liked almost every tune and wanted to hear them again. I decided I love this album so much, that I would write a review of it for my friends in the hope of sharing that great feeling with you all.

The artist is Paolo Nutini and the album is “Caustic Love”. A little bit about Paolo. He’s a native of Scotland and Italian by blood. He landed a contract with Atlantic Records when he was 18 years old based on his incredible voice. The versatility of his voice is like no other. At different moments he sounds like Terrance Trent D’Arby, Bob Marley, Jim Morrison, Phillip Bailey, (Earth, Wind and Fire) and Leonard Cohen (in key). That is not to take anything away from Mr. Nutini, though, because his voice is unique in its own right.

It’s very well produced, and has a different feel than anything I’ve heard in a while, a very mature artist, who is now 28 years old.

The first cut, “Scream (Funk My Life Up)” is one of the best tunes I’ve heard in many years. Soulful, funky, funny, sexy….I can listen to it on repeat. The dude can sing. If you buy any of them on iTunes, get this one, if you like soul/funk with a touch of hip hop.

The second cut, “Let Me Down Easy”, is kind of haunting. It is a duet with a female singer Bettye Lavette, who had a hit with it in 1965.

“Bus Talk (Interlude)” is the third cut on the album and it’s a fun little short tune that will make you smile, I’m sure.

paoloNext up is “One Day”, another love song, there are a few on this album…after all it IS called “Caustic Love”. The soulfulness of his voice really comes out in this one. To me, this has a very retro feel to it. Another one to buy, if you aren’t going to get the whole album. But really, just buy the whole thing, you may skip a few tunes that might not appeal to you, but it is worth every penny.

The fifth cut, “Numpty” is a really catchy song, probably my second favorite after “Scream”. It’s bouncy, makes you want to move and sway. So nice. Ahhhhhh….

Another interlude comes next, “Superfly”. It has a nice groove, but it’s way too short…I want it to go on and on. Come on Paolo, give us the extended mix, man. Great drums on this one.

The seventh cut is another love song of sorts called “Better Man”, very sweet and his voice takes on a whole new presence. It builds as it goes on, with a choir joining him towards the end. Another instant classic, you should probably buy this one too. :) The dude has soul.

“Iron Sky” is the next cut and is pretty deep, delving into some heavy subjects with a monologue built into it that I’m not sure where it is from or if it is original, maybe someone can help me out with that. There are some really sweet horns on this tune. His voice makes me weep at times.

The eighth cut is “Diana” and is another of my faves. Kind of a Motown feel in a way, catchy and sticks with you…I find myself singing it in my head quite a bit. Sometimes out loud, when I’m driving and no one can hear me. J

The ninth cut is another nice funky, upbeat, soulful tune featuring Janelle Monae, which adds a cool touch…a little rap for you. Again, the soul in his voice is just amazing.

The tenth cut is called “Looking for Something”, a slower tune that also showcases his versatility…yet another love tune with a lot of power.

Number eleven is “Cherry Blossom”, that has a Leonard Cohen feel to it, it’s probably my least favorite on the album, but I still don’t skip it. He has a grittiness in his voice and seems like he is channeling Jim Morrison.

The final cut on the album is a beautiful ballad, soft, and his voice is smooth and gentle. It’s called “Someone Like You”.

I hope that at least some of you will give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Just go buy it right now. I think I might listen to it again right now, what the hell.

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Why Does Fox News Hate America? Bundy Edition

bundyJust when you think Fox News has reached a new low, they dig even deeper.

This Bundy Ranch standoff between a deadbeat rancher and the Bureau of Land Management has made Fox News’ Sean Hannity go full anti-American as he pours gasoline on a fire that has been burning since 1993, when Cliven Bundy first decided that he wanted to sponge off American tax payers and unlike the honest, hard working ranchers around him, stop paying grazing fees.

When Cliven Bundy declared “But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing”, I knew it would feed the racist, drooling morons with exactly what they needed to get their hate fired back up. It seems just a little strange to me that the Second Amendment fetishists would embrace someone who doesn’t even accept the federal Constitution, from which they pluck the 2nd Amendment – to the exclusion of all other amendments as well as the original language.

Chez Pazienza at The Daily Banter has an excellent piece up which poses several excellent questions about Fox News’ role in this mess. Go Chez…

What do you do when a media outlet refuses to behave responsibly? When it peddles outright lies? When it preaches a kind of cultural armageddon? When it, directly or indirectly, stokes the fires of armed insurrection without any regard whatsoever for what could be the disastrous impact?

I personally think the Fox News machine has ruined our country. They have succeeded in brainwashing millions of people into believing in an alternate reality. Several studies have been done that revealed this phenomenon. From a Fairleigh Dickinson University study…

The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. (emphasis mine)

They feed on these uninformed people. And beyond that, they also convince them not to believe any other media…you know, that whole “liberal media” bullshit that all of us liberals laugh uncontrollably at whenever someone says it.

Back to Chez’s piece, where he cites another example of Fox News catering to militia-types who like to overcompensate with large guns…

Four years ago, Glenn Beck regaled his Fox News viewers day after day, week after week with paranoid fever dreams about the coming collapse of America and the need for some kind of resistance to the encroaching progressive threat. He picked specific targets for his outrage, people and institutions he claimed were surreptitiously trying to destroy the country; one of them was the Tides foundation, a relatively obscure organization based in San Francisco that Beck had singled out as being part of the secret liberal cabal.

In July of 2010, a guy named Byron Williams, wearing body armor and armed heavily, got into a shootout with the California Highway Patrol, injuring two officers. Under questioning he said that he was driving to San Francisco with the goal of “starting a revolution” by killing members of the Tides foundation and the ACLU. Why? Because he watched a lot Glenn Beck and heeded the host’s warnings that his beloved country was about to be taken away from him if somebody didn’t do something. So Byron Williams did.

And he wasn’t the only one.

I want to know where the responsible media is on this? Do journalists even attempt to police their own profession anymore or have they just given up and joined in the propaganda/money-making scheme that seems to be working for Fox News. Something has to change soon, the crazy just keeps getting crazier.

Hemp Gets A Bad Rap!

Go check out this very informative article about the history and many uses of hemp. Here is a little piece of the article…

hemp$_GRN_thmFor centuries, industrial hemp (plant species Cannabis sativa) has been a source of fiber and oilseed manufactured worldwide for a variety of industrial and consumer products. Currently, more than 30 countries cultivate industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, sold on the market all around the world. However, in the United States, hemp remains strictly regulated under existing drug enforcement laws with no known commercial domestic production, causing the U.S. to depend solely on imports.

Chris Conrad — a court-qualified expert on Cannabis hemp who has been cited in numerous Appellate Decisions and California Supreme Court rulings — exposes the truth behind the myths and lies of hemp. As an internationally recognized guru on all aspects of hemp and the founder of the Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp, Conrad’s provocative research confronts the political dynamics working for and against legal reform through the uncovering of enlightened hemp facts.

Rita Baldini: Hemp was so important to the colonies of Jamestown that in 1619 the first hemp law was created, making it illegal NOT to grow hemp. Why did our country stray so far away from hemp production?

Chris Conrad: This nation has strayed from many of the original founding principles. Despite their shortcomings, when America was founded much of the philosophy was based upon the idea that a small family farm or homestead could be self-sufficient and live in freedom and independence. In the years leading to the Civil War, industrial capital was just beginning to take hold. After the Civil War, the logging and petrochemical barons rose to power. Around the turn of the 20th century, banks and corporations began to have a disproportionate level of control over the federal government. At the same time, the racism that was inherent in slavery had moved to the front through anti-Mexican bigotry and Jim Crow laws. It was this combination of corporate greed for control and money and social racism that led to the shift away from protecting family farms toward subsidizing corporate wealth. Prohibition was then seen as a two-edged sword cutting into economic freedom and social freedom at the same time. It bloated into an entrenched bureaucratic mechanism, and as a government has mutated into being essentially corporate-run with less and less personal freedom and privacy allowed. Prohibition is growing like a tumorous cancer that is killing society.