Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – You Say You Want Mix

As of this morning, I had 119 songs in my July 2012 Playlist which I have not yet had the chance to present to you.  Today, I will knock that down to 115.  I was reflecting on the added music for this month – an eclectic mix of old and new music – spanning a geographic and musical landscape that can only be called spectra-normous. I just made that word up – by the way.  Interestingly enough, today’s random shuffle of those 119 songs yielded three songs from the same band. More on that later.

First up, we have our good friends and sure bet for a wildcard spot in our Band of the Year poll, The Dead Exs.  They have a new album set to drop soon.  A couple of weeks ago, we introduced a new song they released around the 4th for July. The song recently, reached number 3 on the Hype Machine’s Twitter chart.  It’s called Relovolution and it shows off this hard working band’s dirty blues-rock style in fine fashion.  It was an excellent way to jump start my day.  You can get a free download below:

And while you are waiting for the new record – go buy their last record Resurrection by clicking the image below (Amazon.com). Also, The Dead Exs really want to come to Nashville and play Grimey’s – so if you’re in Nashville – spread the word!

And here’s the band’s classic from Resurrection – “More Stuff”

Now, settle down and let me tell you about the band that shows up three times in a row on today’s shuffle.  The Ratz were, are and ever shall be trailblazers in the Nashville Rock world.  The band formed in 1979, played some legendary gigs and Nashville Rock landmarks Phranks n’ Steins  and Cantrells, recorded a single, played with R.E.M. and The Brains among others and then disbanded in 1981 with it’s members going on to play in such bands as Factual, Raging Fire, The Enemy, Go Jimmy Dub and Royal Court of China. The band, older and wiser but still Ratz, reunited in 2009 and have since recorded some new and old songs. They have a gig coming up on August 11 at The End (which was once the legendary Elliston Square).


So here are the songs by The Ratz in today’s shuffle:


Drop to the Ground (New Song and Recording from 2010)

My Baby Don’t Love Me Cuz I Won’t Cut My Face For Her (Vintage Song, New Recording)
and
She Shaved Her Head and She’s Crazy 

Go grab some music and check out Nashville80srock.net.

You can also check out The Ratz and other great Nashville Rock from back in the day on this must-have compilation:

 Couldn’t find a You Tube clip of The Ratz (so go check them out live on the 11th) so here’s a vintage clip from Raging Fire.

   


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Listen To Punk Rock With Daddy Body Suit



Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Music City Mix

Did you know that the name Music City did not originate with the Grand Ole Opry or with the record companies along Music Row or with the fact that Ear to the Ground is based here in Nashville?  I know right!  It actually came about when Queen Victoria heard the Fisk Jubilee  Singers perform.  I know right!

I have to say, being a music fan in Music City is an interesting endeavor.  Historically, when people hear Nashville, they think first about the slick, country music coming out of the high-end studios on Music Row or maybe the good-natured Hee-Haw folks or else the Grand Ole Opry.  And yes, all of those things are part of Nashville – a big part. Nashville, though, has always had more to offer musically speaking. Lately, the other side of Nashville music has gotten some high-profile faces. With Jack White and the Black Keys relocating to our fine city.  

In years past, artists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan have lived and/or recorded here. 

I grew up musically on Nashville Rock in the 80s.  (There is a site for that!) It was a thriving and diverse scene, and perhaps like many other local scenes of the day, seemed perpetually on the verge of breaking big.  The legacy of that scene lived on with a number of artists from that time making a living as staff songwriters and/or still slugging away – doing their thing.  

Over the last couple of years, we’ve tragically and sadly lost a number of local musicians from my youth/young adult years.  Paul Kirby (Walk the West, Cactus Brothers), Perry Baggs (Jason and the Scorchers), Michael Godsey (Raging Fire), Tim Krekel (The Sluggers) among them. 

So, yeah, Nashville has been, can be, and is a great city for music. It can also be difficult and political and cynical and over-produced and all of that.  Still for all the crap, Nashville is a great place to be a music lover and a music blogger.

I put together a playlist of artists who have (at least at some point) called Nashville home.  I came up with 100 songs (limit one per artist) and probably missed a few, and it’s an amazingly diverse group of amazing bands, artists and songs…. here we go…

First up is one of my all-time favorite songs.  I can’t listen to Jason and the Scorchers classic Broken Whiskey Glass without picturing the acrobatic leap from the drum riser on a later summer night on West End Avenue in 1985. (To be honest, I’ve reenacted that leap myself on a number of occasions when listening to the song when no one else was around). Broken Whiskey Glass was released on the band’s full-length debut, Lost and Found.

Johnny Cash was an original. He began his music career recording at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, had a prime time television series, and in his later years made some landmark recordings (his American series) which included notable covers of Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode among others. 
In 1969, Cash recorded a now legendary show at San Quentin Prison, at that show which was later released as At San Quentin, he performed a version of a song written by Shel Silverstein called A Boy Named Sue. The song became Cash’s biggest crossover hit reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.  

Finally, we have a song by Mikey Wax who was our 10th Band of the Week just about one year ago.  Since then, he was released a new record called Constant Motion which features the song Counting on You which happens to be the third and final song in today’s shuffle. Although he grew up on Long Island and currently lives in New York City, Mikey makes this playlist because he attended Vanderbilt University here in Nashville.  Counting on You was featured just last week on the Fox Television show So You Think You Can Dance. And I’m absolutely sure, his having been Band of the Week on Ear to the Ground played apart in getting the song on the show… (wink, smile)


 

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South of Ramona – Step Inside EP (An Ear to the Ground Review)

08/01/2012

Add the date above to your calendar of choice and set an alarm.  I’ll tell you why…

Step Inside is an invitation fraught with danger and mystery and wonder and unimaginable pleasure.  It also happens to the title of the forthcoming EP from Salt Lake City band South of Ramona, and the title fits this remarkable record.

South of Ramona was our Band of the Month for May.  They were also our last ever Band of the Week before we moved to the current Featured Artist format.  They did all this on the basis of a 5 song Demo they they released through the fine folks at Noisetrade. 


You have to understand that I loved the Demo.  I mean, I named them Band of the Week off of that set. Having said that, Step Inside is a gigantic step forward.  The band expands on their signature use of folk instrumentation playing rock leads with a confidence and a delicious taste of a sinister circus on the edge of the dusty plain they crossed on their Demo. 


More than once, I was reminded of Ear to the Ground favorite Don Ryan. 

Step Inside opens with a carny’s enticing come-on.  Ladies and Gentleman is a :25 second pitch which sets the tone for this tight, cohesive set. 

Carnival Court (Step Inside) is a dark, sideshow tent filled with those enticing hints while delivering with the band’s trademark attention to song and melody.  

Night descends on Purple Sky which starts with a chill-inducing intro before kicking into a creepy groove.  


The Lonesome Soul has a gypsy-like lilt, a persistent melody and a haunting vocal.


I, Narcissus starts with a nifty rock riff and breaks into a foot-stomping rave up with dark undertones.  Love this song!


The EP closes with Shangri-la which opens with plaintive whistling followed by a surf-guitar ready riff and more gypsyesque melodies which will have you dancing ’round the dying embers of the campfire as the last sparks float up into the air above the tents and wagons.

So yeah, back to the date at the beginning of this post.  Step Inside drops on August 1 which is just a few days off… so start saving your pennies and be the first on your block to own this record.  And spread the word.  Right now you can get a taste by downloading The Lonesome Soul using the widget below.  And then, when that alarm you set goes off next Wednesday you can go get the whole album.



http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=395020673/size=grande3/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/



The band will celebrate the release of the EP with an international tour (note the Vancouver date) – if you are in one of these cities go see them do there thing live.


8.3  Las Vegas @ Yayo Taco
8.4  Santa Monica @ TRiP
8.6  Fresno @ Babylon Club
8.7  San Francisco @ Grant & Green Saloon
8.8  Portland @ Mississippi Pizza Pub
8.9  Seattle @ El Corazon
8.10 Seattle @ The Triple Door
8.11 Seattle @ 2bit Saloon
8.12 Seattle @ Blue Moon Tavern
8.13 Vancouver @ The Cobalt
8.14 Spokane @ The Baby Bar
8.16 Boise @ The Crux
8.17 Salt Lake City @ The Woodshed




I will leave you now with South of Ramona’s take on the Jefferson Airplane classic Somebody to Love.  Enjoy!


  

Featured Friday Music Shuffle – Dog Days Mix

Here we are at the last Featured Friday Music Shuffle for July.  Next Friday, we will be shuffling up a whole new crop of Featured Artists. 

Another opportunity to remind you to vote for your favorite Featured Artist to be Band of the Month for July.  The poll is on the left sidebar near the top.  One vote per computer or something like that.  Vote now!  Polls will close next Tuesday around midnight.


First up this morning is actually one of our Featured Artists for June. Toward the end of the polling period for Band of the Month, I realized that I had inadvertently left Dean Fields off of the poll. So, I have added him to the poll for July.  This morning I decided to add one of his songs to the final featured Friday shuffle.  Forever Never Knowing  is an infectious indie pop song from his outstanding Under a Searchlight Moon EP.



Next up we have FallsStart with their catchy, hard rocking song, Happy Song. The song is featured on the band’s forthcoming EP Our Summer. Which is due out August 10.




Next up we have a band from Burlington, VT doing a cover of a piece written by the guy who used a slingshot to defeat a mighty giant.  From their whimsical set, Lawrence Welks Does God: Psalms we have 11. In the hands of LW&OB2X, David’s Psalm is set to a disco beat caustic, pleading vocals. HALLELUJAH!






And finally, we have a track from Wolf and Cub with the a song from their double A-side Shut Me Out/Got Nothing Coming 7″ with Got Nothing Coming.

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Historic Print (L): Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee, 1897 / The Henderson Litho. Co., , 20 x 24in Historic Print (L): Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee, 1897 / The Henderson Litho. Co., , 20 x 24in

Historic Print (L): Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, Tennessee, 1897 / The Henderson Litho. Co., This is a museum quality, reproduction print on premium paper with archival/UV resistant inks. Date: c1896. Subject:  Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition (1897 : Nashville, Tenn.) Exhibitions–Tennessee–Nashville–1890-1900. Centennial celebrations–Tennessee–Nashville–1890-1900. SOURCE: Library of Congress


Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Triumphant Return Mix

And I’m back… did you miss me?  I managed to time travel in some posts while I was out, but now I am truly back with a brand new music shuffle as we count down to the end of July.

Remember, polls are open for our July Band of the Month.  Voting has been light, and so any of our eleven nominees could win this thing.  Remember the poll is located on the side bar to the left and you may have to scroll over – sorry about that.  Please vote!

Today, we spin out on some cool tracks from some cool artists…

First up, we have a relatively new song by New Jersey rockers, The Gaslight Anthem. “45” is out now.

 
The new album, Handwritten came out while I was away.
Next up, we have a track from the latest (self-titled) EP from Buffalo, New York born/Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Marc Scibilia.  The song is called Bright Day Coming. Check it out.
  

And finally, we have a track from Pony Boy. Saints and Liars is a cool track from this L.A. based band.

 
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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Girls and Boys Mix

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Let’s Rock Mix

Ready, Set, Go Cat Go

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