Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Latest Listen: The Donkeys

Pitchfork is actually good for something besides trendy fuzzy or electronic non-listenable tunes! As I was reading Pitchfork's Guest List Best of 2008,which is essentially musician's top albums, I noticed that Craig Finn of the Hold Steady had many similar albums as I did in his top albums. He also had The Donkeys Living on the Other Side listed of whom I had never heard. He made a reference to Grateful Dead's American Beauty in the description, which immediately caught my one good eye. Coincidentally, I had been blasting Grateful Dead through my speakers quite frequently. Thus, Living on the Other Side came to my attention at the perfect time. The album is basically indie Grateful Dead. Even if you don't like the Dead, if you like indie folk/rock, you will enjoy this number. Packed with laid back groovers, The Donkeys should be making waves in the indie community, but I guess no one has found them yet. The album came out in September, therefore, they have not had much exposure. In my humble opinion, this blows what Dr. Dog is doing out of the water.

From: San Diego, CA
Available: emusic, iTunes, Amazon
Sounds Like: Grateful Dead, Dr. Dog, The Band
Favorite Tune: "Walk Through a Cloud"
Tour in South: Birmingham, AL Thursday, January 15, 2009 at Bottletree

Amazon Stereogum Weekly Deal

Beach House's Devotion only $3.99 at Amazon Mp3.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Amazon Mp3 Top 50 Best Selling Albums for 5 bucks

Amazon is offering its Top 50 best selling mp3's for $5.00.

Albums include:

Coldplay, Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, Noah and the Whale, TV on the Radio, etc,
etc. Top 50 for $5.00

Friday, December 12, 2008

Closer Look: The Rural Alberta Advantage

Although I mentioned The Rural Alberta Advantage's Hometowns in "Undiscovered Music," I wanted to place my stamp of approval by these guys. The RAA's, somehow still unsigned, debut is quite delightful. It is remniscent of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I seriously would not doubt if this was Jeff Mangum's secret band. I also hear a little Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! and Silversun Pickups, given the lead vocals pitched in a whiny nasal tone. Almost every track is worth a nod. The album begins with one of the finest tracks, "The Ballad of the RAA." The album is pitched in the similar dark-welfare-music-broken-home setting of NMH's Aeroplane. The cd is only available through emusic and the band's website. In sum, someone needs to sign these guys; this is a fantastic album.

Hail from: Take a wild guess....Alberta

Available: Only on emusic and band's website

Sounds Like: Neutral Milk Hotel, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Silversun Pickups

Best Song: "The Deadroads"

See Video below

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Top Ten of 2008

10. Langhorne Slim - S/T
I just discovered LS this year and have been thoroughly impressed. Yet another strange voice I am infatuated with...imagine that. A touch of pop peeks through the album's Appalachian folky core. Think Mountain Goats meets Avett Brothers.

9. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
I am not a huge electronic fan, but this one is a no-brainer. MGMT blew my mind and continues to ring in my ears almost everyday. It is definitely psychedelic, but very poppy as well. The first half of the album (1-5) blows out the latter half.

8. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Bon Iver combines the echoing hallows of Jose Gonzalez but adds a woodsy element that is very unique. Excellent indie folk album.

7. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

The Hold Steady is one of the finest indie acts out there. Stay Positive is almost as solid as Boys and Girls in America. There are only a couple of mediocre tunes, but these are overshadowed by the instant classics. Raise your beer bottle and show your metal fingers for Finn and they boys.

6. Conor Oberst - S/T

Conor continues to prove why he is the Bob Dylan of our time. His songwriting is second to none. I continue to be impressed by his releases, even though this one is without the Bright Eyes moniker. This album is tight from start to finish (minus the kazoo or random horn track). Two of the strongest tracks bookend the album.

5. The Felice Brothers - S/T
The Felice Brothers continue to blow me away with each disc I get my greedy little hands on. I cannot wait for the new album in March. Although this official release contained many of the tracks I already had on another album, the new ones seemed as familiar as the older ones.

4. Fleet Foxes - S/T and if you add the Sun Giant EP
FF perfect the art of harmonizing in a way that left Jim James thinking "why didn't I go that route" as opposed to the falsetto disco. I honestly thought MMJ would have sounded something like this by now. Anyway, enough about MMJ, FF stands on its own two (discs). I combined the full length release and EP in order to ratchet it up to number four. While the album is wonderful, I feel the EP needed to be one of the best releases of the year. I am looking forward to seeing them live.

3. Vampire Weekend - S/T
This album was the breath of fresh air of the year. Unique, unique, unique. Afro-pop or whatever its called, VW delivers. Not a bad song on the disc. Great sunroof album.

2. Deer Tick - War Elephant

This is the surprise of the year. Deer Tick is tough to describe, which proves their originality. The whole album is fantastic. They master the alt-country sound while keeping it interesting with stellar songwriting and catchy tap-your-boot melodies. I probably have listened to "Ashamed" and "Dirty Dishes" at least fifty times since I purchased this ditty. As the Felice Brothers almost did last year, Deer Tick almost debuted their way into the number 1 spot.

1. Frightened Rabbit - Midnight Organ Fight

Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit gets the nod this year. This is a classic album slam packed with a juggernaut of great tunes that remind us what indie rock really is. My top three tracks are "Old, Old Fashioned," "Twist," and "Backwards Walk." The only track I do not love is "Keep Yourself Warm." I personally am not fond of such profane lyrics; call me a softy. Every other track blows me away. Lead singer Scott Hutchinson's rickety vocal chords wrench the emotion out of his brutally honest lyrics. Lines like "whisper the wrong name, I don't care, nor do my ears, twist yourself around me, I need human heat" prove why Hutchinson and his clever songwriting deserve this top spot. His heart was obviously ripped out and sledgehammered, but selfishly, we reaped and continue to reap the benefits from it.


Top Albums of 2008: 35-11

35. Annuals - Such Fun I love parts of the album while at times I hear Nickelback.

34. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer Not a bad release but all in all this one didn't have a thing on Apologies of the Queen Mary

33. Spiritualized - Songs in A&E Interesting release that evokes remnants of Ween and Flaming Lips.

32. Death Cab for Cutie - Narrow Stairs This is probably the last Death Cab album you will see in a list of mine. I'm just over DCFC.

31. Cat Power - Jukebox Another covers album which has an array of sweet ballads.

30. Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts These guys are weird, but most of the tracks are solid. I hear Flaming Lips with a dash of Annuals.

29. The Black Kids - Partie Traumatic I have said enough about "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You." A handful of others are great too.

28. The Whigs - Mission Control Enjoyed this release. Full of edgy guitar riffs and gruffy vocals.

27. The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride I almost dug this album as much as Sunset Tree. Dude's got a way with words.

26. Colour Revolt - Plunder, Beg, and Curse These Oxonians know how to wail. Need I say more. As I said previously, Coldplay meets Korn.

25. The War on Drugs - Wagonwheel Blues Sorry for another comparison, but this one is Arcarde Fire meets Dylan.

24. Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down in the Light This is probably one of my favorite BPB releases. This is more folky than most of his releases. I am still cracking up from the movie Old Joy in which BPB kind of tries to make a move on his co-star. Hilarious.

23. Fredrik - Na Na Ni Fredrik are the new Stars.

22. Joe Pug - Nation of Heat EP This singer-songwriter can do both impressively. I can't wait for a full album release.

21. Coldplay - Viva La Vida Mainstream or not, this is a great album. Coldplay delivered.

20. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns I swear Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk is secretly the singer of this band. It's happy at times and very dark at times, but never too slow. Great find of the year.

19. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins Pretty impressive release by spotlighted Will Sheff. These guys are here to stay. Can't get enough of "Singer-songwiter" and "Lost Coastlines."

18. Wild Sweet Orange - We Have Cause to Be Uneasy Birmingham's finest WSO presents us with standard indie rock.

17. Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue This album came out of nowhere and had me bobbing my head at the first note... and second note. "I wanna dance, I wanna dance." Love it.

16. Drive By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark Still not Dirty South, Still not Dirty South, but a great followup to what could have been a disaster after A Blessing and a Curse and Isbell's Departure.

15. Throw Me the Statue - Moonbeams Fine, fine indie pop. I still think their name should be Throw Me the Statute, but oh well. "About to Walk" rules.

14. The National - Virginia EP They touch it and it turns to gold. This EP is chock full of jewels.

13. My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges I am still disappointed considering the pedestal I put these guys on, but it is a good album. I vote to get rid of falsetto. Who's with me?

12. Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust I have come to love these Icelanders. I must see them live! This release, while I do not dig it as much as Takk, still rocks.

11. The Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Grave I love a weird voice and great lyrics. Great, Great new artist.

Top Ten coming soon.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Amazon MP3 Deal

Amazon is allowing RC fave Stereogum to pick one indie album per week to offer for a very cheap price.

Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam for $2.99.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amazon MP3 Daily Deal

New Coldplay Prospekt's March EP is only 99 cents. HERE

Monday, November 24, 2008

Amazon MP3 Daily Deal

The Killers new album Day & Age is $3.99 for MP3 download at amazon.com.

The Shins Oh Inverted World is also $3.99 for MP3 download HERE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Undiscovered Music: An Arsenal

I have stumbled across a few acts from friends, etc. that seem quite interesting. I am trying to ration my emusic downloads to decide which albums to download. All of these have caught my attention. Thus, if you are in the mood for new music, here is an arsenal of albums that I have sampled and sound delightful. Click on each band name to go directly to myspace page, or check out the sample playing on this site.

The War on Drugs - Wagonwheel Blues (Arcade Fire-esque)

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns (Neutral Milk-ish)

Little Joy - S/T (Strokes-esque)

O'Death - Broken Hymns, Limbs, and Skin (Langhorne Slim/Tom Waits/Avett Brothers/Felice Brothers - ish)

Say Hi to Your Mom - The Wishes and The Glitch (Okkervil River/Wolf Parade - esque)

Coconut Records - Nighttiming (throw back Weezer-ish)

Joe Pug - Nation of Heat EP (John Prine-esque)

Lambchop - OH (Nashville band with a cult following, Neil Diamond/Cat Stevens/Tom Waits-esque)

Ten Kens - S/T (Clap Your Hands-esque)

All of the above titles are available on emusic.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Latest Listen: Deer Tick

Finally I received a breath of fresh air with the drought of tunes as of late. Deer Tick's War Elephant was an immediate trigger pull for when I saw them live. The album lives up to the sound live. I have had to ration my listening so I will not completely burn it out. The album contains the dirt road goodness of alt-country fused with the melodies of indie pop. Trust me on this one.

I chose to post the old album cover because the new one is funny but just ridiculous.

Websites: Artist, Myspace, NOW AVAILABLE ON EMUSIC!!!!
Hail From: Rhode Island
Strongest Tracks: "Ashamed," "Dirty Dishes"

Robert Earl Keen show canceled

Robert Earl Keen show at the Lyric in Oxford is canceled and supposedly will be rescheduled in 2009. Rumor has it he is sick. See link below.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Check the right column under upcoming live shows for an updated index for Oxford, MS; Memphis, TN, and Birmingham, AL.

REMINDER: Robert Earl Keen in Oxford, MS on Friday Night at the Lyric

Reminder: Robert Earl Keen is playing at the Lyric in Oxford, MS on Friday night. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Get tickets here.


Just updated -
Yonder Mountain String Band at the Lyric in Oxford on Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Girl Talk at the Lyric in Oxford on Friday, February 13, 2009

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Anathallo - Canopy Glow Sufjan-esque multi-instrumental band releases its sophomore album. Speaking of, where in the world is Sufjan Stevens. So, must for all fifty states.

Steve Earle and Del McCoury Band - The Mountain (REISSUE)

Belle and Sebastian
- BBC Sessions This is a live disc with tracklisting:

Disc: 1
1. The State I Am in
2. Like Dylan In The Movies
3. Judy And The Dream Of Horses
4. The Stars Of Track And Field
5. I Could Be Dreaming
6. Seymour Stein
7. Lazy Jane
8. Sleep The Clock Around
9. Slow Graffiti
10. Wrong Love
Disc: 2
1. Here Comes The Sun
2. There's Too Much Love
3. There Magic Of A Kind Word
4. Me And The Major
5. Wandering Alone
6. The Model
7. I'm Waiting For The Man
8. The Boy With The Arab Strap
9. The Wrong Girl
10. Dirty Dream #2

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Latest Listen: Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - S/T

Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes self titled album is yet another fine release from the indie boy wonder. I love the direction Conor is continuing to steer. This album is more folky but upbeat than some Bright Eyes and was a joy to see live. Conor continues to be one of the finest songwriters of our time. Songs like "Cape Canaveral," and "Milk Thistle" are slower beautiful numbers while upbeat highlights like "Sausalito," "Get-Well Cards," and "Moab" ratchet up the album's diversity.

Hails From: Omaha, NE
Available: eMusic, iTunes, Amazon
Websites: Artist, Myspace
Strongest Tracks: "Cape Canaveral," "Moab"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Amazon MP3 Daily Deal

11/9 Daily Deal: Elliott Smith's self-titled album. Everyday price: $8.99, today's price: $2.99. Download Here

11/7 Daily Deal: Talking Heads' Remain in Light. Everyday price: $6.97, today's price: $1.99.

Download Here

Latest Listen

Although it is not a very new release, The Black Kids' Partie Traumatic is new to me. I purchased this album about a month ago and really enjoy it. I am not going to say it is the most original or best thing I have every heard, but it is worth a listen. Certainly, "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You" is undoubtedly worth the $.99 download. The album has a touch of cheesiness, but once you get past that, it is quite entertaining. I dig a few other tracks such as "Hit the Heartbrakes," "Love Me Already," and "Listen to Your Body Tonight." Check out their Daytrotter session for free downloadable tracks.

Websites: Artist; Myspace
For Fans of: Bloc Party, The Go! Team, The Killers
Best Song: "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You"
Available: iTunes, Amazon

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Latest Listen

I finally got The Tallest Man on Earth's Shallow Grave which has blown me away. I somehow am a sucker for strange voices and banjo's. TTMOE draws comparisons vocally to Devendra Banhart, Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Mountain Goats, and Langhorne Slim. I dare say he could be better than all of the aforementioned. Upon first listen, you will be tempted to shove him into the Dylan wannabe's category, however, similar to the Felice Brothers and Dan Bern, TTMOE lives up to the hype. This folk singer/songwriter lyrically reminds me of Bon Iver and the Appalachian backwoods of Langhorne. Its almost what the banjo boy on Deliverance should sound like if he were to have sung on the film. Throw another log on the fire and enjoy the ole five-stringer as it accompanies TTMOE's unique bend-but-not-break vocal chords.

Strongest Track:
"I Won't Be Found"
Hails From: Sweden
Available on: iTunes, eMusic, Amazon
Websites: Artist; Myspace

Backyard Tire Fire new video

Check out Backyard Tire Fire's new video "How the Hell Did You Get Back Here" from their new album The Places We LivedLink

Amazon MP3 Daily Deal

11/5 Daily Deal: Queen's News of the World feat. "We Are the Champions". everyday price: $7.99, today's price: $1.99 Go HERE to Download.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wilco and Fleet Foxes Free Download

Go Here to download for free Wilco & Fleet Foxes covering Dylan's "I Shall Be Released."

I couldn't figure out how to get it other than to click on "If you live outside the U.S. or are unable to vote for some reason, click here." So, I suggest trying that.

And, Wilco performed a new tune "The Wilco Song" on the Colbert Report below:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals - Cardinology


Bloc Party - Intimacy

Vic Chestnutt, Elf Power, and the Amorphous Strums - Dark Developments

The Cure - Dream 4.13

Deerhunter - Microcastle

Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Frightened Rabbit Live Album Out Now

Frightened Rabbit's new live acoustic album Liver Lung FR is out now!! The track listing is the same as Midnight Organ Fight. FYI: It is available on emusic. There is a great version of "Twist!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Felice Brothers Live in Oxford, MS

The brothers tore it up yet again. They sound much more cohesive lately as Farley is really contributing perfectly with his washboard, fiddle, and pots and pans. Simon's passion, Ian and Jimmy's husky vocals, and Christmas's social anxiety made for quite a show. Videos of "Saved" and "X-Mas song (Mercy)" are below.

I talked to Dan, the manager of The Felice Brothers, and he expects a new album to be released by March!!


1929 (new)
Murder by Mistletoe
Whiskey in my Whiskey
Christmas Song (Mercy)
Helen Fry
Ruby Mae
Where'd You Get Your Liquor
Ambulance Man (Coney Island) (new)
Chicken Wire (new)
GD You, Jim
Love Me Tenderly
Saved (new)
Run, Chicken, Run (new)
Don't Wake the Scarecrow
Frankie's Gun
Penn Station (new)
Two Hands (with members of Deer Tick)(Townes Van Zandt cover)

Deer Tick blew me away also. I purchased their disc "War Elephant" at the show and have been blasting it since. I would highly recommend purchasing it if you like alt-country/folky tunes like The Felice Brothers and Langhorne Slim.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This Week

Releases are pretty sparse this week. The only half-way interesting releases are:

Lucinda Williams - Little Honey
The Decemberists - Always the Bridesmaid - A Single Series Vol. 1.
Secret Machines - S/T
I'm From Barcelona - Who Killed Harry Houdini

More importantly,
The Felice Brothers are making their debut in Oxford, Mississippi at Proud Larry's this Wednesday, October 15th. The brothers always put on an astounding live show.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Amazon MP3

Amazon Mp3 everyday has cd's (in mp3 format) for under 5 bucks. I will try my hardest to keep you updated so you can get a great deal. Right Now:

Broken Social Scene - You Forget it in the People is $ 1.99 no gimmicks. Download HERE. I got Led Zep IV the other day for the same price. Check this website for daily updates. Like I said I will try to update you.

Also, Echo & the Bunnymen is $4.99 HERE.

Fleet Foxes is only 7.99.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New Music Tuesday

Annuals - Such Fun (FULL ALBUM STREAM)

The Department of Eagles - In Ear Park (available on eMusic)

Lambchop - OH (available on eMusic)

Margo and the Nuclear So & Sos - Not Animal

Oasis - Dig Out Your Soul

The Streets - Everything is Borrowed

Deerhoof - Offend Maggie (available on eMusic)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Drive By Truckers: Live in Oxford, MS at the Lyric

Another great DBT show. An obvious highlight was "Rockin In the Free World." The crowd was large and very into the show. You gotta love Trucker fans. DBT played a good bit of obscure songs, which I enjoyed, but I could have used a couple more Dirty South tunes. I really wanted to hear "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife," from Brighter but oh well. Video of "Rockin in the Free World" in Oxford below, and also download "Rockin' In the Free World" played on 9/14/08 HERE.

1. Ghost to Most
2. Demonic Possession
3. Righteous Path
4. Carl Perkins' Cadillac
5. Sinkhole
6. Love Like This
7. Road Cases (full story)
8. Three Dimes Down
9. Steve McQueen
10. Sounds Better in a Song
11. The Living Bubba
12. Women Without Whiskey
13. Home Field Advantage
14. Hell No I Ain't Happy
15. Gravity's Gone
16. Lookout Mountain


17. World of Hurt
18. Zip City
19. Rockin' in the Free World (with Don Chambers )
20. People Who Died (with Craig on guitar and Don Chambers)

"Rockin in the Free World" Live in Oxford, MS

Don Chambers and Goat opened for the Truckers and was very impressive. They reminded me of Tom Waits with a little alt-country dashed in. The ladder drum was undoubtedly the highlight, as was the random gorilla that appeared on stage with Patterson Hood.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mixtape/Playlist of the Month

1. The Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You
2. Conor Oberst - Cape Canaveral
3. Wild Sweet Orange - An Atlas to Follow
4. Frightened Rabbit - Old, Old Fashioned
5. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
6. Backyard Tire Fire - Everybody's Down
7. Tom Waits - I Don't Wanna Grow Up
8. MGMT - Kids
9. The Walkmen - In the New Year
10. Blue Mountain - By Your Side
11. Okkervil River - Singer Songwriter
12. Eric Bachmann - Man O War
13. The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
14. Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time
15. The Avett Brothers - The Greatest Sum (electric)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Conor Oberst Live in Oxford, MS

Before the show, I met Conor at the City Grocery in Oxford and was pleased at how friendly and social he was.
The show was fantastic. The band sounded perfect, and the new songs (some sung by other members of the band) were a delight. I wish I knew the name of the song sung by Nik Freitas. (anyone?) Highlight of the night was probably "I Don't Wanna Die (in a hospital)." Below are videos of "Cape Canaveral" and "Sausalito." Some meathead bouncer made me stop recording at the end of "cape," bummer.

Jenny Lewis' new material sounded much more pleasing than her Rilo Kiley material (of which I am not a fan). Crowd was wonderful, and the new lyric theater had excellent acoustics.


Get Well Cards
Danny Callahan
Cape Canaveral
Eagle on a Pole
Felt the Same Way Too?
NYC - Gone, Gone
Souled Out
Milk Thistle
Corrina, Corrina (traditional/Bob Dylan)
Kodachrome (Paul Simon cover)
I Don't Wanna Die (in the Hospital)

The question marks above are likely the below tunes:
Gentleman's Pact (Smoke Signals)
I Gotta Reason 2
Synathstete (Let Them In)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reminder: Conor Oberst Live Tonight in Oxford

As Oxford, MS prepares for the presidential debate, Conor Oberst rolls into town to play at the new Lyric Theater. You better believe Conor will be political, so if you are a republican or hate politics, don't wear your heart on your sleeve. I personally go to shows to hear music not what some indie rocker thinks, but, whatever, I will be there awaiting Conor's "meat out." Should be a good show nonetheless.

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Music Tuesday

TV on the Radio - Dear Science.

Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty

Kings of Leon - Only by the Night

Blitzen Trapper - Furr

Brightblack Morning Light - Motion to Rejoin

Golden Smog - Stay Golden, Smog, The Best of Golden Smog

Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile - S/T

Old Crow Medicine Show - Tennessee Pusher

Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation

Friday, September 19, 2008

Music Books

Amanda Petrusich's new book, It Still Moves: Lost Songs Lost Highways, and the Search for the Next American Music, is sure to be a favorite for fans of good tunes. Amanda describes the book:

It Still Moves is a travelogue about “Americana” music, tracing the sound (and the notion) from its earliest incarnations (Delta blues, Appalachian folk) through its newer, more contemporary forms (everything from Cracker Barrel to Garth Brooks to Animal Collective). It seemed obvious to me from the start that this story was very much about the road – about movement and discovery and escape and what we think of when we think about America. Luckily for me, that allowed me to combine two of the world’s most freeing pastimes: driving and listening to records. I hope you’ll think of this mix as a road story, too – it’s got some of my all-time favorite tracks, as well as a few examples of the incredible ways in which Americana music has reinvented itself and endured.

The Musician's Guide to the Road: A Survival Handbook & All-Access Backstage Pass to Touring by Susan Voelz

From Amazon:
Product Description
What’s a tour bus like? What are the band members saying to each other on stage? Exactly how much sex, how many drugs, how much rock ‘n’ roll are we talking here? The Musician’s Guide to the Road answers all these questions and many, many, many more. Both a valuable primer designed to prepare young musicians for life on the road and an entertaining memoir of the touring life written by a seasoned musician, this is the book that reveals the scene behind the scenes. Chapters focus on preparing to tour, touring by van and bus, the day of the show, the afternoon before the show, the night of the show and the morning after, life on the road, and the end of the road.

1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die by Tom Moon

From the Publisher:
The musical adventure of a lifetime. The most exciting book on music in years. A book of treasure, a book of discovery, a book to open your ears to new worlds of pleasure. Doing for music what Patricia Schultz—author of the phenomenal 1,000 Places to See Before You Die—does for travel, Tom Moon recommends 1,000 recordings guaranteed to give listeners the joy, the mystery, the revelation, the sheer fun of great music.

This is a book both broad and deep, drawing from the diverse worlds of classical, jazz, rock, pop, blues, country, folk, musicals, hip-hop, world, opera, soundtracks, and more. It's arranged alphabetically by artist to create the kind of unexpected juxtapositions that break down genre bias and broaden listeners’ horizons— it makes every listener a seeker, actively pursuing new artists and new sounds, and reconfirming the greatness of the classics. Flanking J. S. Bach and his six entries, for example, are the little-known R&B singer Baby Huey and the '80s Rastafarian hard-core punk band Bad Brains. Farther down the list: The Band, Samuel Barber, Cecelia Bartoli, Count Basie, and Afropop star Waldemer Bastos.

Each entry is passionately written, with expert listening notes, fascinating anecdotes, and the occasional perfect quote—"Your collection could be filled with nothing but music from Ray Charles," said Tom Waits, "and you'd have a completely balanced diet." Every entry identifies key tracks, additional works by the artist, and where to go next. And in the back, indexes and playlists for different moods and occasions.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

eMusic Becoming More and More of a No Brainer

I am not sure what I would do if I did not have eMusic. Fifteen dollars a month for 50 songs is just unbeatable. If you join, you get a slough of free songs AND if you get one of your friends to help you join, he/she will get 50 songs. I compiled a list of recent additions I found buzzworthy:

Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
Fredrik - Na Na Ni
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Backyard Tire Fire - The Places We Lived
The Broken West - Now or Heaven
Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees
The Walkmen - You and Me
Girl Talk - Night Ripper
Avett Brothers - Mignonette
Blue Mountain - Midnight in Mississippi

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Release Tuesday

Okkervil River - The Stand Ins

Sounds great so far, a little banjo in the second tune! The critics have loved it.


The Broken West - Now or Heaven
Damien Jurado - Caught in the Trees
Horse Feathers - House with No Home
Calexico - Carried to Dust
Chad VanGaalen - Soft Airplane

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tom Waits: Overrated or America's Best Kept Secret?

At first blush, I shoved Tom Waits into my unpublished "overrated artists" list. I guess I figured out why this list remains unpublished. My opinion of Tom Waits has turned a complete 180. I now see why so many have a love for the man's music. While some of his tunes remain inaccessible to me, I have found many jewels in the rough and have become infatuated with Waits' dusty whiskey gruffs. This will be mostly his slower tunes. Consider this a Tom Waits starter kit.

1. Hold On
2. Long Way Home
3. Falling Down
4. Bottom of the World
5. Downtown Train
6. Come on Up to the House
7. Never Let Go
8. Widow's Grove
9. Rains on Me
11.Take It With Me
12.House Where Nobody Lives
13. You Can Never Hold Back Spring

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Stereogum Hits the Nail on Head with Fredrik

Stereogum recently posted Bands to Watch and included the band Fredrik out of Sweden. I am truly impressed. The new album Na Na Ni is out on October 28th. The album is available NOW on emusic!!!! Fredrik's crispy eclectic sound is sure to please lovers of Sufjan, Stars, and the music of Sigur Ros. Head over to Stereogum for two free and legal mp3's from the upcoming album.