In the course of the 8 months I’ve been writing this here blog-thing, I’ve had the good fortune to meet some truly amazing and interesting people from all over the world. I gone down some rabbit holes and found gold (is that a mixed metaphor or just a goofy statement). One rabbit hole has lead me to an incredibly rich and vibrant music scene in the New York/New Jersey area. In fact, I’m officially declaring myself the preeminent New York/New Jersey music blogger who lives in Nashville. Anyone care to challenge me for that title? Hmm? No. Okay then, the ayes have it.
One of the first bands that started me on this journey is a hard rocking band Montclair, New Jersey called Those Mockingbirds. On their EP, Fa Sol La (out in a few days on vinyl), they stretch there musical muscles and bring it. “I’m quite drunk on your intimate cocktail” from today’s track, The Bloodiest Gums, speaks to an all too familiar pain and is nice counter-part to some of the more straight-ahead rockers on the EP. Not that Bloodiest Gums doesn’t rock. In fact, it rocks me all the way to center of my heart.
Take a listen to The Bloodiest Gums
and check out their earlier release No Symmetry over at Amazon – you can grab it for under 4 bucks.
Of course not all of the great music I’ve discovered since I began writing this blog comes from New York and New Jersey. One of the first contacts I made on Twitter – even before I began writing Ear to the Ground was a group made up of three brothers who currently live right in my backyard (not literally, but if they are willing to fight it out with my three dogs, they are welcome, too.). The Redding Brothers are a pretty impressive lot. They release a song-a-week for an entire year. They delve in to some pretty deep lyrical territory. I was just reading about the acapella group Days of Youth which includes some younger Reddings. Last year, Gabriel, the youngest of the Redding Brothers (band), released an impressive solo album called Untethered. I was pleasantly surprised at the experimental sound of the record which contains a variety of styles. I can’t say for sure why I was surprised… The song today is Waterfall.
You can grab Untethered by Gabirel here:
Ben Semmens, who also goes by the moniker BenSem, is a helluva good singer-songwriter from South Wales. He is wrapping up a new album which he recorded on Cumberland Island in Georgia (USA). The album is currently expect out in March, and I can’t wait to hear it. In the meantime, I’ve got his album Western Lights to keep me happy, and I’m pleased today to have heard two great tracks from that album. Science Project and the song that first turned me onto Mr. Semmens – the luscious Carol Ann.
Western Lights can be yours for a song (under $9 bucks actually) by clicking the album cover below:
Stomacher are an awesome band from the Bay Area. They are also wrapping up work on a new album. They used to the wonderful resource kickstarter to um.. kickstart this one. I am waiting with bated breath for this one as well. Their 2009 release Sentimental Education has been burning up my MP3 player since I discovered these guys last year. Amazon will also hook you up with this album and their previous self-titled album. Check it out:
||Gold Nuggets Discovering Math in the California Gold Rush
The first in a series of workbooks integrating social studies with core subjects, Gold Nuggets combines accurate historical information about the California Gold Rush with 4th grade math curriculum. Figure out how many steps miners traveled on the road to California. Calculate the area of an actual mining claim on the Yuba River. Graph the changes in gold prices since the Gold Rush. Students love doing math problems that are REAL-and correspond to events in history that really happened. Each lesson is designed with the student in mind: easy to read directions, with enough space for students to write responses. These activity books have been extensively tested in classroom and homeschool settings–and have received rave reviews from students, parents, and teachers.
||Treasures Left Behind: Remembering Kate Wolf
Kate Wolf, who died of leukemia in 1986 at age 44, would surely have been pleased by this tribute album, which was put together by her guitarist and No. 1 fan, Nina Gerber. Featuring 14 of Wolf’s best songs, it includes strong performances by Lucinda Will