Treasury of Music #6: Snarky Puppy

With these Treasury of Music playlists every other Monday I limit myself to 80 minutes per list, so that it could be a Greatest Hits CD in theory. Which songs not to include has always been a tough decision, but it never was as hard as with this week’s band Snarky Puppy.
For me they are the best (live) band active at the time. Their studio albums are mind-blowing, even more so for the fact that most of them are basically live albums, recorded (without overdubs!) with a small audience in a studio. But their live shows are really quite something special. You could easily go to several concerts on the same tour and have a totally unique experience every time around. (I only saw them twice so far, which is going to change at the very next opportunity.) Not only are the setlists constantly changing, also the arrangements of individual songs differ from night to night (oftentimes on the fly), and even the band’s lineup can change during one tour – they have a huge pool of awesome musicians to choose from.
I discovered them (and listened to nothing else for two weeks) on YouTube where they have most of their songs of recent albums available, which adds the delight of seeing them play and have a lot of joy at that. Especially bassist and band leader Michael League (who is my musical hero) is great fun to watch – he lives the music he plays with every bit of his face and body.
Now, for the following playlist I had to exclude a number of songs which I still can totally recommend. They just have so many great ones and I wanted to feature every album. Which is impossible, so I only considered their six albums without any collaborations with other musicians (so not the two Family Dinner volumes or Sylva, their Grammy Award-winning collaboration with the Metropole Orkest – these will get a separate list sometime). Also, a new album is already underway (this time a real studio album), so expect this list to get altered and maybe expanded to Double CD length.

  • Shofukan
  • The Good Man Deliver And The Best Is Blessed
  • Bent Nails
  • Outlier
  • Strawman
  • Slow Demon
  • Briar
  • Precipice
  • Quarter Master
  • Lingus

Treasury of Music #5: District 97

I still remember very precisely how I came upon District 97, my favourite Progressive Rock band of this generation. It was almost three years ago – on May 17, 2013 – when they played at Das Rind in Rüsselsheim and I did lights for them, having only briefly heard two or three songs before. It was the most fun I ever had working there (there’s video proof), trying to understand their songs on the fly and following their intricate rhythms with my lights, half of which had spontaneously decided to not be working that night.
Since then, they released a phenomenal third album and have recently undergone a lineup change. They will be on tour in Europe by the end of March and in the US in May, and I urge you to go see one of their shows – they are fantastic on CD (their last two albums were mixed by the great Rich Mouser and sound fantastic), but live they are even better!

To whet your appetite here is my playlist of favourites:

  • Snow Country
  • Death By A Thousand Cuts
  • Open Your Eyes
  • On Paper
  • Termites
  • Who Cares?
  • A Lottery
  • The Perfect Young Man
  • The Thief
  • Takeover
  • Blinding Vision

Treasury of Music #4: Newworldson

Unfortunately, there is not that much good, creative Christian music around nowadays (to my ears anyway). Canadian soul band Newworldson, though, are a notable exception.
They were recommended to me some years ago, but I only ever really listened to their second album Salvation Station, which I loved almost from start to finish. Somehow, I thought their other albums not to be that worthwhile to check out. I must have chosen the wrong tracks when giving it a shot …
For this week’s episode of the Treasury of Music I listened extensively to three of their albums, excluding their self-released debut Roots Revolution (some of its songs were re-recorded for later albums). And Salvation Station’s successor Newworldson is at least equally as good, whereas their newest studio album Rebel Transmission was indeed a bit of a disappointment to me, but it still features a few very good songs.
Finding this wonderful music, that I somehow missed out on for years, is what I enjoy the most about creating the Treasury of Music, and I hope the series is giving the same joy to some of those who read it and listen to the music.
Here are now my favourite Newworldson songs in a handy Spotify playlist with an honorary mention of the studio footage of Sweet Soul Music from their debut album over on YouTube.

  • That’s Exactly (How I Like It)
  • Working Man
  • Babylon Is Gonna Fall
  • Down From The Mountain
  • Commander
  • Rocky Road
  • You Set The Rhythm
  • Borderline
  • Son Of Man
  • Waiting Till The Rapture Come
  • Salvation Station
  • Gimme
  • Empty Heart
  • Listen To The Lord
  • In Your Arms
  • Radio Ghost Town
  • Total Eclipse
  • There Is A Way
  • Shake Holy Spirit