Over the years, the duo have honed their sound, and received praise from a plethora of publications. Mia’s song “Across The Water,” even won the John Lennon Songwriting Award in the folk category in 2010!
Over the years, the duo have honed their sound, and received praise from a plethora of publications. Mia’s song “Across The Water,” even won the John Lennon Songwriting Award in the folk category in 2010!
These days, it’s usually pretty easy to hear an artist and put them in a box, often labeled “pop,” “rock,” “hip-hop,” “blues,” etc. Although we hear musicians from all over the world, the styles all seem to correlate to one or the other.
Enter Cordelia & The Buffalo; the group that cannot be put in any box. Drawing inspiration from Mexican Indian tribes and Native American cultures, using percussion instruments, and Mayan flutes to create a tribal sound, the group have managed to curate an ethereal sound with raw power heard in both the instrumentals and the vocals.
Planet Stereo: Thanks so much for doing the interview. How are you?
Cordelia & The Buffalo: Good, Thank you for asking! How are you?
PS: Your self-titled EP has recently been released. How are people responding?
C&TB: Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with lots of love and good feedback. This EP has not only given us great show opportunities, but also the ability to reach out to new crowds and expand our Herd. My favorite part so far has been the reactions from such varied age groups, ranging from enthusiastic teens all the way to the young at heart who write to us with kind words that greatly inspire us. It’s also fun to see the different interpretations each person has of the message within one’s lyrics.
Our music is a dialogue with our listeners; we write for them, and sometimes about them. It’s an opening statement to a conversation with anyone and everyone who wishes to Join The Herd.
PS: Do you have a favorite song from the EP?
C&TB: “Lather & Rinse.”
PS: What is your favorite part about going into the studio?
C&TB: I love focusing on the songwriting, pre-production, and sound design of every record. But there is nothing like the feeling in your stomach when you’re in the control room and you hear your music come alive for the first time. My skin itches with good bumps that very first take.
It still astonishes me to think that something so small like an idea, a melody or a few words that popped into your head can become something almost tangible you can share with the world.
PS: Would you mind walking me through the creative process?
C&TB: Every single song has its own fingerprint, and therefore a different process of creation. I never write two songs the same way, and I strive not to. There are some that I start with the chords on the piano or guitar, others with just a riff, hook, or melody, others with a weird sound design or sample I worked on, but my favorite is when I come up with a lyric phrase tied to a melody that I recognize as the chorus. And that chorus will become the axis around which the song revolves.
I like finding song seeds within the simplest things in life. It is there where you find the truths of which are worth writing about. Something like sound of the pedestrian crosswalk light when it lets me cross the street, for example. I wrote “Take it up a Notch” while I crossed and unconsciously marked every step with the tempo of the sound it makes. That 1 track on the EP represents the courage to take step forward towards what you want to achieve.
Once I get the song seed, I get home, sit on the piano, and write the chords that will determine the tonality. I then open up Logic, Protools, or another DAW I’ve been recently working with, and sound design something interesting over which to continue writing the song. I keep sculpting the piece to produce something concrete enough to show to the band in the next rehearsal.
After letting the ideas marinate, and maybe playing the song live once or twice, we are ready to go into the studio.
PS: Your music is very eclectic. Where do you find your inspiration?
C&TB: Thank you! I have a deep love and admiration for different ethnic tribes and their percussive instruments, colorful wardrobe, and vocal hymns. They have an astounding organic connection to music that inspires me everyday to develop fusions of instruments, rhythms, and lyrics that aim to lift the listeners’ spirit.
Since I was young, I’ve had a love affair with all things Mayan and Aztec from my heritage, but most of all I am quite infatuated with instruments with character from all over the world, like the Flageolets (Aztec Flute), the Ayoyotl (Aztec jingles), the Mayan panpipes, the vertical wooden drum (known as ‘huehuetl’), the African Sansula, marimba, the Caribbean steel drums, and the African Burundi drums being some of my favorites.
PS: “Free” is your latest single. Would you mind explaining the importance of that track?
C&TB: Not at all. It took a while for me to fully immerse myself in the pursuit of a music career. I had to shed my skin and let go of a lot of things holding me back like a long-distance relationship, the home I grew up in, and, most importantly, my fears. But in that cathartic route I found an incredible freedom to draw the life I wanted to lead, personally and professionally. I think we all go through that as we grow into the person we want to become, or that we are meant to become — if you believe in that sort of thing. I wanted each song from this EP to symbolize the moment you find a different piece of one’s own puzzle.
My music is like my cheap psychologist sometimes. As cliché as it may sound, this EP is really what kept me going for the past 3 years, and it came to represent the blueprint of what is now Cordelia & The Buffalo.
PS: What would you like people to come away with when they hear your music?
C&TB: That, they too, can be listened to. [As said,] our music is a dialogue with our listeners; we write for them, and about them. Our purpose is to give voice to those who aren’t listened to. An example of this is the 4track of the EP Hand Like Guns. It speaks of an imaginary conversation I have with Venezuela’s military police that currently suppresses and takes the lives of many who are fighting to survive in spite of the receding vital supplies in their country. What inspired me to write about their story were our Venezuelan fans and the two Venezuelan members in our band. The song paints the anxiety that they live with, and the constant fear that the next call they get could dictate the life, death, or liberty of a loved one that has fallen into the hands of the authority. The government has blocked all social networks, controls all newscasts, and the ability of this country to express their agony through the media. Fortunately, music is the purest form of communication that man has created, and the only one that can’t be muffled. So, what better instrument than The Universal Language to say what muted lips can’t?
PS: Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
C&TB: “Free.” No doubt. We always play it last in our sets because it is just so powerful, and the perfect ending to the built up of energy.
PS: How did you get involved in music? How did you come to be as a group?
C&TB: Since I could talk, I knew I wanted to make music. It just took me a bit to say it out loud and admit it to myself. I’ve been singing since I was 3, and ten years later I wrote my first song on my grandfather’s demi-grand piano. A piece of evidence of my early musicianship he loves to remind me I will inherit someday.
I came to Berklee in 2011, determined to find a group of people who I could play my music live with. After 5 years of soul-searching, I found the perfect combination from across the globe; I met Diego, the Venezuelan drummer, in one of my early recording sessions. He later brought Rodrigo, from Venezuela as well, in as one of the guitar players. Yusuke, the Japanese guitar player, who was an old friend of mine, who had a band with Dan, the Alaskan bass player. We always had gigs together while I had other members in my own band, but one day Yusuke came in to jam with us when I was teaching them “Take It Up a Notch” and the rest is history. Dag, the Norwegian percussion/sound trigger/drummer, came into play because I felt we needed to sound exactly like the record does when we play like. He was the last piece of the puzzle.
PS: If you could work with any artist, past or present who would it be and why?
C&TB: Bjork. She is such a fearless genius, or John Lennon he is got such great charisma and wit. I would like to see his thought process up close.
PS: What advice do you wish you’d been given before you became a musician?
C&TB: “Get ready for the DIY world.” As a kid I had no idea what starting a company or a brand entailed. You have to do so much by yourself. To help your dream break through your subconscious into the real world you must learn to do a little bit about everything. Starting this project has made me learn and take care of the managing, booking, the legal aspects, graphic design, marketing, copyright, publishing, engineering, arraigning, production, and more. It is incredibly fun to take on the role of different people that maybe someday will be part of your team. That way you’ll know how to stir the ship once it is fully boarded.
Before I became a musician, few people in my life knew that I wanted to be one. Therefore, I got no advice. But I like to think that because of that, I found my way and came into my own little crazy head.
I felt like I was blind at first, but now at least I’m in the “still need glasses” stage.
PS: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
C&TB: Making music for a bit more ears than the ones listening to us now; have a record label and produce music for fresh new artists with raw talent and a vision. Give them a chance in this rocky industry. But making music all the same.
PS: Any last words?
C&TB: Join the Herd 🙂
Cordelia & The Buffalo’s self-titled EP is out now. To purchase a CD or for more on the band, click HERE.
Marshall Crenshaw begins his EP, Move Now, with the rhythmic title track. Filled with classic style, deep musical tones, and a catchy chorus to boot, there is a quality to the song that will entice listeners to want more. Setting the EP off to a strong, memorable start, Crenshaw mixes 60’s instrumentality with a 90’s rock vibe that has a wealth in attitude. “Going Going Gone” has a similar strength in attitude, with the only difference most likely being the influence to the overall track. This sounds almost as though it could be an early Elvis track, with a rustic, live quality to the recording. It’s a short tune, acting almost as an interlude for the five-track EP, and a perfect segway to a different tone entirely. Of course, that’s not to say Crenshaw doesn’t maintain that rockabilly attitude; he does, with,”Mary Anne (Live),” another ridiculously catchy track. If this doesn’t kind of make you want to see a live show, I honestly don’t know what will.
“Didn’t Want To Have To Do It” is most likely my favorite song on Move Now, if not just for the soulful, bluesy guitar, then for Crenshaw’s smooth vocals that match the instrumentals perfectly, and are reminiscent to Take That’s Reach Out days. Songs with a soul, a passion, and a raw sense of emotion are always the ones that play the loudest, and this is blaring. Everything about it has as much character as a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel.
Surprisingly, despite its title, “L.W.O. Karaoke” is a pure instrumental, which I guess is a great lesson not to make assumptions about a song based on its title…again. It finishes off the EP nicely, showcasing the live sound with the recorded quality all in one go. If anything, I found Move On to be an EP that allows us to hear a snippet of the artist that has long since found his sound. Crenshaw has played everyone from John Lennon to Buddy Holly (and done so flawlessly), but has an originality that seems to know no bounds, and in just five tracks, he proves that.
Move Now will be out this week, and Marshall Crenshaw will play his first UK show in 19 years this Thursday, November 20th, at the Jazz Cafe. For more information on Marshall Crenshaw, his touring schedule, and music, please click HERE.
ATLAST EETS CHRISTMAS was previously released in a very limited physical quantity on CD only under the pseudonym Imagene Peise (with a sticker that read “Love Is The Answer – Merry Christmas From The Flaming Lips 2007”). This Black Friday release will mark the first time the album is available both widely and on vinyl. The pseudonym Imagene Peise is a John Lennon-esque spelling of “Imagine Peace,” ala Lennon’s wonsaponatime, and likewise the album title sounds-out “At last, it’s Christmas.” The alias credits are similarly punning: Imagene Peise – Piano Ominog Bangh – Laughing/Crying Glider Synthesizer, Shineyu Bhupal – Drones, Sitar, and Baritone Tambura.
The album’s credits tell the story:
“In a world full of mysterious and timely entities, no one could be more exotic or more relevant. Imagene Peise is believed to have lived for a short time in Tikrit, Iraq. Her exact birthday is unknown. She is rumored to be just 18 at the time of this recording. Her extraordinary talent as a master jazz pianist at such a young age should, alone, put her in the realm of the stellar. Available here for the first time Ms. Peise’s Atlas Eets Christmas is a strange and beautiful experience. Little is known of her musical and recording life. Most of what is known is shrouded in clouds of legend and smoke of myth. But what is clear is her expressive playing and her unique arrangements.
The Atlas Eets Christmas collection is said to be a rehearsal for a doomed or poorly recorded session. But what an inspired “doomed” session it turned out to be. The forgotten facts of the trio that accompanies her will perhaps be invisible to us forever. But, as we hear, Imagene is not the only musical star shining through. Ominog Bangh the synthesizer virtuoso (playing the outmoted The Laughing/Crying Glider Synthesizer) and Indian classical musician Shineyu Bhupal are obvious, added other-worldly treats. Atlas Eets Christmas stands as a missed opportunity. Its uncanny coincidence of a Middle Eastern talent embracing such American themes (jazz piano, Silver Bells and Winter Wonderland) as we know now, are glimpses of a future that was never to be. With her powerful message of kindness and peace we can only imagine if Ms. Peise had become an international star her influence could have, in some other space and time, prevented the current apocalyptic environment. We cannot know if her story is truly triumphant or sad. She is rumored to have committed suicide in 1978. But if she really is gone from this world in the physical sense then she is gloriously hovering above us in the metaphysical dimension as a source of sublime pleasure and reassurance anytime we need her. By playing this CD she is reanimated and we are once again comforted by her loving vision.”
The track listing for ATLAS EETS CHRISTMAS is as follows:
1 Winter Wonderland
2 Silver Bells
3 Christmas Laughing Waltz (including Jingle Bells)
4 Silent Night
5 Altas Eets Christmas
[Outro performed by Bombay Flights Of Fancy Philharmonic Orchestra]
1 Do You Hear What I Hear?
2 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
3 White Christmas (Binson Echorec Sleigh Ride)
5 Christmas Kindness Song
6 Merry Christmas To You
In other LIPS news, the band has confirmed a pair of extra special TV appearances scheduled beginning with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, taping on Oct 27th, to air on Halloween. The following day, THE LIPS will tape an episode of CONAN / TBS scheduled to air November 6th. The band will perform songs from their new album, With A Little Help From My Fwends, which will be releasedOctober 28th.
With A Little Help From My Fwends, is now available for pre-order at all participating retailers. Those who pre-order will receive a pair of instant downloads including “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” featuring Miley Cyrus and Moby and “Fixing A Hole” featuring Electric Wurms.
Click here to pre-order With A Little Help From My Fwends.
All artist’s royalties from With A Little Help From My Fwends, will be donated to The Bella Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City that assists low-income, elderly, or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care.
The track-listing for With A Little Help From My Fwends is as follows:
01. SGT. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
MY MORNING JACKET & FEVER THE GHOST & J. MASCIS
02. With A Little Help From My Friends
THE FLAMING LIPS & BLACK PUS & THE AUTUMN DEFENSE
03. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
THE FLAMING LIPS & MILEY CYRUS & MOBY
04. Getting Better
DR. DOG & CHUCK INGLISH & MORGAN DELT
05. Fixing A Hole
06. She’s Leaving Home
PHANTOGRAM & JULIANNA BARWICK & SPACEFACE
07. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
THE FLAMING LIPS & MJ KEENAN & PUSCIFER & SUNBEARS!
08. Within You Without You
BIRDFLOWER & THE FLAMING LIPS & MORGAN DELT
09. When I’m Sixty-Four
DEF RAIN & THE FLAMING LIPS & PITCHWAFUZZ
10. Lovely Rita
TEGAN AND SARA & STARDEATH AND WHITE DWARFS
11. Good Morning Good Morning
ZORCH & GRACE POTTER & TREASURE MAMMAL
12. SGT. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
FOXYGEN & BEN GOLDWASSER
13. A Day In The Life
THE FLAMING LIPS & MILEY CYRUS & NEW FUMES
THE FLAMING LIPS have Upcoming Tour dates:
Oct. 25 Las Vegas, NV Life Is Beautiful Fest
Nov. 9 Reykjavik, Iceland Iceland Airwaves Festival
Nov. 30 Hong Kong, China Clockenflap Festival
Dec. 1 Singapore, Singapore The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel
Dec. 30 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Dec. 31 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
Day Thirty-three was a doozy. Thursday normally is for me. It’s always the busiest, longest day, behind Monday. Listening to these songs was a project I had to squeeze in, and, looking at the tracks, I found myself feeling uncertain.
1. Bang a Gong (Get It On) – T. Rex
Recognizing this from sound, I can remember not being sure of it as a kid. Now, I quite like it. It’s got a pure, rock and roll charm to it. It’s simple and easy sound paired with its impressive lyrics make this song as iconic as it is.
2. Blackwater Side – Anne Briggs
Despite having a very folksy sound, the spirit in this song screams “punk.” I love Briggs’s vocals. On this track, she really shines. Her powerful vocals are accompanied by a quiet, soft instrumental on guitar, making her voice the main event.
3. I Don’t Want To Talk About It – Crazy Horse
A melancholy tune with a country/folk rock tone to it, I found that I was entranced by this track and all its glory. It truly is gorgeous. It’s a ballad with a pleading, desperate sound. It’s so sad in many ways, but t’s the emotion that makes it so powerful and memorable.
4. A Case of You – Joni Mitchell
You want raw, gut wrenching emotion, Joni Mitchell is your woman. This song is stunning, but so sad…and filled with so much angst. It’s rich with raw emotional power, so much so, it could bring even the toughest person to tears.
5. Crayon Angels – Judee Sill
I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to like this song, but I loved it. There’s something so easy and stunning about in the melody and in the careful enunciation of each word. Sill is brilliant on this track.
6. Famous Blue Raincoat – Leonard Cohen
This is a very sad little song, with each line sounding like a spoken word poem with a bit more melody than is the norm. It’s a narrative about a love triangle that leads to the end of a relationship. In the same way that Dolly Parton sings to the predator of her man in “Jolene,” Cohen seems to be singing this melancholy tune to the man who has caused him so much hurt.
7. Chalte Chalte – Lata Mangeshkar
I don’t really know how to explain how I felt about this song, if I’m honest. It starts off very slow, and then the drums kick in and so does Lata’s stunning, high-pitched vocals. I may not understand what she’s saying, but that doesn’t mean I find myself any less fascinated by the music. It truly is a cultural gem.
8. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
I’m not a big Rod Stewart fan, although I do like this song. The track is tells a very cliche` “Mrs. Robinson” story, and the rhymes might be a bit simplistic, but I find it to be a surprisingly happy song. Despite the relationship described, the song is very optimistic, with the acoustic guitar really rounding it out.
9. Imagine – John Lennon
A legendary song. I dare say I don’t know one person who doesn’t know this song. It’s iconic. The only thing I can honestly say is that the melody of the verses seem to have no umph, and make me feel a little “blah.” I know, I know, I sound so articulate right now.
10. Laughing – David Crosbee
I love how melodic this song is, and how much character each verse seems to have. Despite being called “Laughing,” it’s not a fast-paced, funny song. With its slow, bass-heavy melodies, it’s easy to still be enchanted by it, especially when you throw in the great vocal melodies.
There it goes. Day Thirty-three flying by and the challenge slowly progressing. I was exhausted and not looking forward to today’s playlist, but I found myself really enjoying it. There are some great tracks on this list.
INTENDED FOR POSTING ON May 21st, 2014. DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, IT WAS NOT.
Wednesday. Hump day. No matter what name you give it, the middle of the week can be a pain to get through. But hopefully, there will be some songs on this playlist to amp me back up for the weekend.
1. Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
As previously stated, I love Van Morrison. That man could play guitar and sing the phonebook, and I’d be pretty happy. “Into The Mystic” is such a charming little song, and the music has this gorgeous, slow, summertime feel to it. I find myself swaying and daydreaming about driving along the coast. It’s the perfect song. Can we have more of this for the rest of the challenge please?
2. Get Up (I Like Being a) Sex Machine – James Brown
This is such a bold, in-your-face song, with a definite style. James Brown is outgoing, and his unique ability to get the crowd involved makes this song fun to listen to. I feel like this should be a song people should listen to before they go out or when they wake up in the morning, just for an energetic jolt.
3. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
Instrumentally, I found this track pretty enjoyable. The harmonies are also really impressive, although it does feel a bit much occasionally throughout the song’s timing. It’s still an interesting listen, but after James Browns’s fantastic jolt, it falls a bit flat.
4. The Only Living Boy In New York – Simon and Garfunkel
Simon and Garfunkel were seriously talented, and here’s a song that showcases that talent beautifully. I love the acoustic vibe, and the storytelling aspect of the lyrics. Seriously, give it a listen, and tell me you don’t fall in love.
5. In a Broken Dream – Python Lee Jackson
Rod Stewart is a guest vocalist on this track, the band’s most famous song. There is a definite power to his voice, especially when paired with the moody instrumental, with its raging guitar solo. I must admit, I found myself in awe, wanting to listen again and again.
6. Oh Lonesome Me – Neil Young
Just as the title would suggest, this is a definite sad song for the ages. If you’re looking to throw yourself a bit of a pity party, this is the anthem for you, my friend. While I love it for the emotion that is brilliantly conveyed, it’s a bit of a downer, even with its great beats.
7. 54-46 Was My Number – Toots and The Maytals
A prison/protest anthem for the ages, there is something so soulful and rebellious in this song’s spirit. It’s the awakening of the punk era slowly coming into life. I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this, but I found myself enamored with it.
8. Working Class Hero – John Lennon
The third Beatle whose solo work is featured over the last two days. Half-spoken, half-sung, the vocals on this track aren’t incredible by any means, but I think it’s more of the lyrical narrative that people fall in love with when hearing this song. There is a power to his commentary on how the world will beat you down and then tell you to get up and make a decision, no matter its effect. It’s a fantastic social commentary that wakes people up by shattering the illusion they have been spoon fed since birth.
9. Box of Rain – The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead always reminds me of high school journalism class. My love for this band was something my teacher and I initially bonded over, as she had a Grateful Dead poster by the board. If you don’t listen to this track and fall in love, there is something terribly the matter. The vocals aren’t perfect, but they’re wonderful because they’re flawed.
10. Life On Mars? – David Bowie
Once again, who doesn’t love David Bowie? There is a dream-like quality to this song that is entrancing. It seems so ambiguous, in a sense that almost anyone could find something to latch onto in regards to meaning.
Today’s playlist was interesting, to say the least. There was an eclectic mix of tunes to enjoy, which kept me intrigued from track one onwards. At least I survived the middle of the week, that sneaky bump in the road.
Relativity Music Group is set to release the music from the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, on March 4th. The soundtrack features an original score from acclaimed composer Danny Elfman, the mastermind behind close to 50 film scores for acclaimed films such as Batman, Spiderman, Men in Black, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Good Will Hunting, and Big Fish, as well as television theme songs that have become pop culture staples for shows including The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives. The soundtrack also includes John Lennon classic Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), as well as a new original song, Way Back When from electro-tinged folk-rock buzz band, Grizfolk, who will be heading out on an international tour with Bastille on March 8th, a day after the film hits theatres.
On March 7th, the film will hit theaters nationwide. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a DreamWorks Animation production directed by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King, Stuart Little), produced by Alex Schwartz and Denise Nolan Cascino. Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell, Emmy Award® Winner – Modern Family), the most accomplished dog in the world, and his mischievous boy Sherman (Max Charles –The Amazing Spiderman), use their time machine–the WABAC–to go on the most outrageous adventures known to man or dog. However, when Sherman takes The WABAC out for a joyride in order to impress his friend Penny (voiced by Ariel Winter–four-time SAG Award winner for Modern Family), they accidentally rip a hole in the universe, unraveling the most important events in world history. Before they forever alter the past, present and future, Mr. Peabody must come to their rescue, ultimately facing the most daunting challenge of any era: figuring out how to be a parent. Together, the time-traveling trio will make their mark on history. Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann, Mel Brooks, Allison Janney, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton, Lake Bell, and Dennis Haysbert round out the film’s all-star cast.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman Music from the Motion Picture Track Listing:
1. Mr. Peabody’s Prologue
2. Reign Of Terror!
3. The Drop Off
4. The Dog Whistle
5. The Cherry Tree
6. A Deep Regard
7. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon
8. Dinner Party
9. The Petersons / The Wabac Machine
10. Aquarela Do Brasil
11. Off To Egypt
12. The Wedding Exodus
14. The Flying Machine
15. Trojan Horse
16. War / Disaster
17. History Mash-Up
18. I’m A Dog Too
19. Fixing The Rip
20. Back To School
21. Aquarela Do Brasil
22. The Amazing Mr. Peabody
23. Way Back When – Grizfolk