Rahim Alhaj and Souhail Kaspar in the studio for When The Soul Is Settled: Music Of Iraq.
Iraquerque oudist and composer Rahim Alhaj is up for a Grammy! Alhaj's nomination was announced toward the end of 2007, but you'll have to tune in to the 50th Grammy Awards (which aren't being picketed by the Writers Guild) to find out if our homeboy wins. It's airing on CBS (or "Channel 13" to you and me) this Sunday, Feb. 10. The album of the hour is When The Soul Is Settled: Music Of Iraq, 73 minutes of music Alhaj recorded with tabla master Souhail Kaspar (the tabla is a hand drum that's sort of shaped like an hourglass—you've seen them before). Look for it on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label. Good luck, Rahim!
Beck Learns a Valuable Lesson about Internet Lyrics Sites
This space is usually reserved for music news of the homegrown variety, but I hope you'll spare me some latitude this week. If you bought Beck's Odelay Deluxe Reissue that was released last Tuesday, hold on to it. The double disc might become a collector's item, but for all the wrong reasons.
It was announced on Thursday that the dubiously "deluxe" reissue was "found to have gone out with unproofed lyrics that were taken from a lyrics website."
So to restate: Rather than consulting Beck, or at minimum simply copying and pasting Odelay's original liner notes into the reissue, Geffen Recordspaid someone to type "Beck Odelay lyrics" into a search engine, and the predictably awful results were sent off for tens of thousands ofnewpressings, unproofed. Brilliant.
Anyone who's hunted down song lyrics or tabulature online knows the Internet is a tar pit of bad transcriptions. And now, hopefully, so does Geffen.
Beck apologizes for the oversight and says he'll make the correct lyrics available on Beck.com. But who cares? In 15 years, the incorrect copies will be worth more. In the meantime, keep your copy sealed in the original cellophane ... and don't use unofficial lyrics sites to settle any bets.
Songwriters’ Final Encore
Just a reminder that the 2008 Songwriter Contest, sponsored by Albuquerque Songwriters Open Mic, is unwinding with its final heat this weekend. Stop by Grandma's Music and Sound (9310 Coors NW) between 1 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, to hear the best songs culled from three weeks of preliminaries. In addition to the official winners selected by a panel of judges, the audience will get to choose its own “People’s Choice” winner. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.