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 V.19 No.42 | October 21 - 27, 2010 

Song Roulette

Le Chat Lunatique vocalist and violinist Muni Kulasing has never heard most of these songs

Muni in his younger days
Muni in his younger days

Muni Kulasinghe is the talented vocalist and violinist for Le Chat Lunatique. He’s also a friendly, multilingual gentleman who’s always armed with a smile, a wink and maybe a dirty joke. This weekend his gypsy jazz band plays local host to the New Mexico Django Festival. In honor of the event, Kulasinghe was asked to provide shuffled tracks from his music library. “I don’t have an MP3 player, nor an iPod; only my computer, which means the music I happened upon is not necessarily music I have listened to much, if ever,” he explains. “As it turned out, I was wholly unprepared for what spouted forth.”

1) “Fawn” • Tom Waits • Alice

“I’m not sure I’d ever heard this song before. It was slow and haunting with a very high, surprisingly beautiful violin playing melody. The Tom Waits songs I am familiar with usually have rousing, drunkenly sentimental lyrics (sung by my friends in college—they were great singers and were often drunk). Despite the fact that I know what he sounds like, Tom Waits never fails to take me unawares.”

2) “Laura Va” • Luis Alberto Spinetta • Estrelicia: MTV Unplugged

“There is a man named Luis Alberto Spinetta. There are many who love his music. I am not one of them. Who knew this was in the library? Operatic rock, Latin American style.”

3) “Encore” • Danger Mouse • The Grey Album

“I don’t know where or when exactly I got this, but The Grey Album [a mashup of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and The Beatles’ The White Album] is pretty phenomenal. My iTunes says this is track three. It’s awesome—a thick, sweet beat with some fine rhyming and beautiful stories told by Jay-Z’s mom? Anyway, happy to have it.”

4) “Just Friends” • Charlie Parker • Confirmation: Best of the Verve Years

“I prefer my Charlie Parker straight, but it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the orchestrations can be, and how well Mr. Parker’s ideas pouring out so effortlessly sound like magic. I think I see snowflakes in this recording, or maybe I’m just anticipating a lovely winter season.”

5) “All Mine” • Portishead • Portishead

“I don’t love Portishead, but this song is sexy. It moves slowly and deviously and has such a strange bass line and melody. It discomfits me in a nice, dirty way. I’m glad it’s on my computer. Doubtless, this is a familiar song to many, but not so much to me. It’s on here by the grace of someone else. Thank you to whoever left it.”

 
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