#3 Neneh Cherry
Swedish singer-songwriter Neneh Cherry has been making music long enough that I was getting requests for her in my days in college radio back in the the late 80's/early 90's. Born in Stockholm, Sweden she was part of a musical family including her step-father, jazz musician, Don Cherry. Her family moved to the United States in the early 1970's, but by the time she was 14, Neneh left school and moved to London. Over the next few years she was part of a number of punk rock bands before finally venturing out on her own.
Cherry's 1989 solo debut, "Raw Like Sushi" spawned the hit-single, "Buffalo Stance" which went to #3 on the American charts.
"Broken Politics" is the 5th album from Neneh Cherry. Released in October, the record is brooding and contemplative at times and is unafraid of tackling some of the topics that pervade these troubled times we live-in. There's also a strong undercurrent of trip-hop, which isn't surprising as it's produced by electronic musician Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) and features musical contributions from Cherry's husband, Cameron "Booga Bear" McVey, who produced Massive Attack's iconic "Blue Lines" album. As a matter of fact, the song I have chosen features contributions from Massive Attack's 3D (Robert Del Naja.) From the moment I heard this tune I knew it would be in my Top-5 of the year. It's called "Kong" and it's #3 on the Lights-Camera-30 countdown!
Camera: Photo #3
One thing I've spent some more time doing this year, is changing focal-points and dabbling in macro-photography. One afternoon while I was out for a walk on the Minuteman Bike Path in Lexington, Massachusetts, I stopped to try a few macro-focused shots of this tree blossom, when a bumblebee crawled out of it and took to the air. I wasn't sure whether she was going to fly-away or sting-me, but she sat their hovering (like a helicopter) long enough for me to get this shot.
#3 Violent Femmes
Back in December 8th's blog-entry I had mentioned the mix-tape my cousin Paul had made me back in 1984 sharing all of the new music he had just discovered in college. The cassette opened a new world to me and at age-14, I was a newly minted fan of Violent Femmes. Formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin the band was first noticed by late Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott as they played on the street corner outside a Pretenders show in 1981. They got invited-in to play a set, but their real break didn't happen until a year later when they opened for Richard Hell at CBGB in New York and ended-up getting a better write-up in the New York Times than the headliner.
The self-titled debut album from Violent Femmes was released in 1983 and would eventually go platinum. Let's celebrate its 35th anniversary with my favorite Femmes song. It's called "Kiss Off" and it's just been added to the Anniversary-30 playlist. Happy listening! -Kristen