Hidden Tracks: Shwa Losben Is Good on Paper

It’s Oscar night and that makes it a little difficult to write when I have to make sure I know who won for best cinematography. Because I admit I like the Oscars. Even though the show can seem long and boring at times.

And I get to wonder what the hell Phillip Seymour Hoffman is wearing on his head. I know you were thinking the same thing. And although I haven’t seen “Slumdog Millionaire” I still think “The Dark Knight” was 2008’s Best Picture.  Thankfully they did get the Best Supporting Actor correct.

But I usually think the movie that wins the Best Picture Oscar shouldn’t. “Gone Baby Gone” was the best movie of 2007 to me. I couldn’t tell you which film actually won, but that doesn’t mean the picture that did win wasn’t deserving of the award. Like so many things in the world of art, it’s a matter of taste.

And that subjectivity is what makes art so great. Whether it be a film, painting, sculpture or song it’s all about what grabs us. And as I’ve stated previously sometimes it takes a couple of plays to get into a new album.

That was the case with this week’s artist, Shwa Losben. His latest release, “Chop Chop” is full of very cleverly written songs with just enough pop sensibility to handle repeated listening.

But as I said, it took me a couple of play throughs to get hooked on the singer/songwriter with the very melodic voice from NYC. And it is well worth it. Because you will get treated to enjoyably eccentric tunes like “Cause You’re New” and “Myriah“, two songs about unrequited love.

“Not a Warm Place Anymore” and “Out of Ashes” are laments about feelings of loss and trying to deal with personal failings. “Good On Paper” is about a woman trying to find the right guy, with a good beat. The title track is about the making it through life without suffering to much self abuse.

All told “Chop Chop” is not only good on paper but on the ear as well. And to give you the chance to listen to what I am talking about I’ve included the title track for you to download and give a listen.

On another matter, I mentioned Better Than Ezra in last week’s blog and they asked me to pass on information about an upcoming charity event they are hosting. So if you are in New Orleans on Saturday March 28th you should check out their “2009 Bowling Open”.  It’s to raise money for The Better Than Ezra Foundation; to help rebuild New Orleans.

You can check it all out at: www.btefoundation.org.

Not only do they play some great music and their shows are a lot of fun; they also are very community oriented. So it should be a good time.

Hidden Tracks is a feature written by NBC photojournalist Rich Notaro. Click here to read other reviews.

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