Rhythm and News Blog
Faithless was a successful and much-acclaimed UK dance group active in the 1990s and 2000s. Fronted by Maxi Jazz, one of the smoothest rappers you're likely to hear, Faithless produced electronic music highlighted by intelligent lyrics which took on contemporary political and social issues, at times stirring up some controversy. In 2006 MTV refused to play the video for "Bombs," a single released by the band which was pointedly critical of US and UK military involvement in Iraq. A trilogy of animated videos Faithless released in support of their last album, The Dance, also generated some internet buzz with its erotic and psychedelic imagery.
During their 15 year career, Faithless frequently used noteworthy vocalists as a counterpoint to Maxi Jazz's rapping, among them Boy George, Cat Power, Dido and Robert Smith. The instrumentation in Faithless's music was created largely by Rollo Armstrong (Dido's older brother) along with a female DJ (a rare thing in the male-dominated world of the disk jockey) named Sister Bliss. Since they recorded all but their final album on Sony (or one of its affiliates), Freegal offers us a nearly complete collection of their music. Read on for a quick tour of highlights from the band's releases on our download service.
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As I wrote in a previous blog post, I am a huge fan of Sia. The Australian singer's big break came by providing HBO with the epic closing number,"Breathe Me," for their hit show Six Feet Under. In recent years, producers and DJs have tapped the power of Sia's raw, incredible vocals to create smash hits including David Guetta's She Wolf and Titanium and Flo Rida's Wild Ones. This is in addition to Sia's writing credits for megastars Beyonce, Shakira, and Kyla Minogue among others...
As a musical lightning rod, I am pleased to say that Sia's new album, 1000 Forms of Fear, is a stellar pop album that differentiates itself from the pack with something few pop stars have: Sia. The "1000 Forms of Fear" in the title refer to the troubles Sia has experienced in recent years: alcohol and pill addiction, suicidal thoughts, diagnoses with Graves' disease, crippling depression...this album has Sia coming face-to-face with these challenges (with the listener a VIP seat in her therapy sessions). Sia's voice is a weapon as she combats issues of self-harm, empty love, and searching for hidden strength deep inside herself. Her voice will send chills down your spine as it dips to the lowest point of human darkness and soars to the loftiest heights. Read on to discover more about this fabulous CD.
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It's July 22 as I write this and I see some of you probably caught Chris Isaak at the Desert Diamond Casino on the 18th, because there are now waiting lists on all of his albums here at the Pima County Public Library. I was also at the show and wanted to share my review. This was my third time seeing Chris Isaak and his band, the first time being in 1991 at the county fairgrounds on a chilly night and the second time in 2011 at AVA on a very hot July night.
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