Ear to the Ground Presents…. 2013 Part I

So, we mentioned at the beginning of yesterday’s Shuffle that we have gone through almost an entire 1/4 of 2013 without naming a Band of the Week, Band of the Month or Featured Artist.  It’s funny because, it was circumstances beyond our control which initially created this situation, but as with much of what we do, it seemed to be the right thing to do.

You may be aware, that once we feature a band/artist, we kind of add them to our family in a way.  We have Twitter Lists and Facebook Lists that we have created and that we follow regularly.

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One of the things I wanted to avoid was naming someone a Featured Artist and then barely featuring them. It has happened, though not intentionally.  So, as March winds down, I thought I would look back at the first part of this year.

Ear to the Ground Presents…. after the jump

Old Friends, New Music:

Thus far in 2013, we’ve had the chance to review three new records from three old friends who we already considered part of the Ear to the Ground Family.

Gypsy West  Back in January, we reviewed the 3rd EP in the Accomplices trilogy which was subtitled No Barcodes.  Check out our review here.


Tim Lee 3  In February, we did what was one of the first reviews/previews of the highly anticipated new record from Knoxville based Tim Lee 3, called Devil’s Rope. Here is our review.  Did you know that Tim Lee was part of the legendary 80s band, The Windbreakers who recorded with Mitch Easter and collaborated with Richard Barone among others?


The End Men  So it’s offical, we have now tagged The End Men more than any other term, band or artist.  So, it’s logical that when we set out to review their incredible new record Play With Your Toys, we did it a four part series of posts.  For your convenience, here is a link that includes all of the record breaking posts that were tagged “The End Men”


Calicocat  Nashville-based Calicocat called it quits, but before they did they released another, final great release.  Mighty Superfluous has been in heavy rotation on our playlist this month, and along with their other releases, leaves behind a great legacy of music.  We wish the band members well as they pursue a number of different projects.


New Friends:

We continue to meet new people, and tonight we are going to add three artists/bands/whatever to the Ear to the Ground musical family.  They came to us in different ways and play vastly different styles of music, but that is exactly how we like it. All three of these artists have appeared thus far in Shuffles, although not as often as we would like.  We have it in our heads to review all three of their newest released which made there way to us, but it’s time to present them formally, and we’ll keep working on those official reviews.  Unofficially, all three of these albums are worth buying and all three of these artists are worth getting to know….

Mark Robinson/Mark Robinson Band  

Although Nashville is better known for commercial Country Music and more recently for our indie-rock transplants like Jack White and The Black Keys, the city has a long history of outstanding blues men and women.  Many of the great players spent/spend their days backing some of  the mainstream Country music being produced in Music Row studios, and then gathered in dark, smoky bars to play the music that they really loved – The Blues.  By now, the Nashville Blues scene is pretty well established and is attracting great players from all over.  Mark Robinson moved to Nashville from Bloomington, Indiana a few years ago, and he just recently released his second solo record, Have Axe, Will Groove which features track after track of great sounding modern blues music.  The album features some local players and singers who are well-known enough for even this non-Blues affectionado to know.   

Marla Mase

As I mentioned, our three new featured artists this time, cover a pretty wide range of musical styles and influence.  New York artist Marla Mase covers a a lot of territory on her own, and in fact, really creates her own particular space on the musical spectrum.  Mase is a performance artist in the truest sense of that term, but rest assured, her album Speak – which was released in 2011 and just recently given the deluxe treatment is great music.  We’ve featured a couple of her songs in our Morning Shuffles, and the album is full of a number of challenging and great sounding music.  The Deluxe edition of her album includes a fantastic Dub mix of the title track by the legendary Bill Laswell.  Back in September Mase was invited to perform in China as part of UN Global Peace Day.  

Susan James 

California Singer-Songwriter Susan James reached out to us on Facebook.  She just recently released her latest album called Driving Toward the Sun which is a stunning gorgeous collection of folksy, rootsy music that has California written all over it.  Working with producer Ryan Ulyate who has worked with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison, the album features ex-Lone Justice drummer Don Heffington and guitarist Neal Casal who has worked with Ryan Adams among others.  We’ve already featured a couple of songs in Shuffles and are really in love with this record.   

We are happy to feature these artists, and to add them to the bands and artists we follow.   In the last couple of weeks and in the weeks to come, more great music is making it’s way to our ears and we will continue to bring you as much of it as we can.  Look for new music from our old friends Killing Kuddles and Taco Land plus the highly anticipated new album from 2012 Band of the Year Skeletons in the Piano which is due out soon on Magnetic Eye records.  

In the meantime, please check out this special Playlist featuring all of the bands featured in this post….

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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Terrorist Mop Sink Mix

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Well, we stand here at the tail-end of the first quarter or 2013.  One thing that regular readers of this blog may have noticed is that we have yet to have Featured Artist or Band of the Month or anything like that.  As this year got underway, and due to a variety of circumstances, we decided to step back and decide how we wanted to proceed. I think we’ve worked it out, and stay tuned.  In the next couple of days, we will be rolling out a brand new feature….

In the meantime, we moved around some songs and added a pretty cool sampler to our current playlist.  Pre-shuffle we had a couple more songs from the You and Me album by You and Me (Val and James). Plus we had a classic from Mr. Nick Lowe (which is included in the Playlist at the bottom of this post), The Harmonica Lewinskies (also represented in the Playlist) and Southern Culture on the Skids.  

The Shuffle Shuffle is ready for you after the Jump

  •  “Run Away” by The End Men from Built4BBQ sampler called The Appetizer (2013)
Well now, this is embarrassing. The End Men came up again.  I swear, as much as I love them, I think my Shuffle function loves them more.  Anyway, “Run Away” is also on the new The End Men album Play With Your Toys.  The Appetizer is a really cool 18 song sampler from Build4BBQ a music collective started by The Slaughterhouse Chorus from Albany who rocked the house Sunday night as well. It features (besides the aforementioned): Henry’s Rifle, New Red Scare and a bunch of other cool bands who I am looking forward to discovering. There is a lot on tap from the Built4BBQ folks, so be sure to check them out.  In the playlist, we included Couch by Couchwest performances of “Run Away” from both 2012 and 2013.

  • “Sobriety and the Woman” by Ben de la Cour from Ghost Light (2012)

So there is both a Brooklyn and CXCW them going.  Ben de la Cour is currently based out of New Orleans, but he grew up in Brooklyn.  We are really digging this record which we picked up after seeing one of Ben’s Couch by Couchwest videos a couple of weeks back. Check it out.

  • “There are Times” by David Lot from The Gates of Brooklyn (2011)

Yes, the theme does continue. Like, Ben de la Cour, we saw and heard David Lott at CXCW 2013.  A native New Yorker (and Brooklynite), Lott, who fronted the band The Whitewalls, brings us a song from his debut, solo EP which you can grab using the widget above.

  • “Salty Dog Blues” by Mac Wiseman from American Music: The Best of Bluegrass (2008)

To my knowledge, Mac Wiseman has no discernible connection Brooklyn nor has he, to my knowledge, ever submitted a video to Couch by Couchwest. He is, though, a Bluegrass legend and we have him performing the American standard Salty Dog Blues which has been done in a variety of styles by a variety of artists. You may have heard a blues version of this by Mississippi John Hurt or perhaps another Bluegrass rendition by Flatt and Scruggs or by The Dillards (performing as The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show. 

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Auteur Couture Manure Mix

Time marches on… btw, as is often the case, the subtitle of the post has nothing to do with the music.  This time, it is just a random phrase that jumped into my brain. 

This morning, we had a pre-shuffle that included the likes of:

Dog Without Warning – a bay area band we discovered at Couch by Couchwest this year.  Check out their CXCW set in the Playlist at the bottom of the post.

Son House – the song we heard is included in the playlist below.

Tim Lee 3 who have been featured either pre-shuffle or shuffle every day this week – as they should be! The heartbreakingly beautiful Halo Days is in the Playlist below.

Calicocat – The more we hear from this Nashville band’s final album, the more we mourn the demise of the band, but we do wish the members well in their future musical pursuits.  The Video included in the playlist below is about the only one we could find on YouTube. (Although we found lots of videos of actual calico cats).

Next, we segued into our Official Shuffle (patent pending) with a song from…. (after the pic and the jump)

  • “Into the Mines” by The End Men from Play With Your Toys (2013)

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That’s right suckas, it’s time for your daily The End Men mention at Ear to the Ground.  Now that I’ve had the chance to meet them in person, I’m even more in love this band.  Into the Mine is a disturbing fable of possible abduction far below the surface of the earth.  Yeah!

  • “The Highway” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade from Pretty Well Damned (2012)
After yesterday’s post, I heard from all four bands in the shuffle either by Like, Comment, Retweet or Favorite.  Which is pretty cool.  Deanna from The Lucky Jukebox Brigade wrote and pointed out that their album is available for free download on Bandcamp so I’ve included that link above. Another great track from that album. 

  • “Kanye Spaghetti Western” by NOSE! from 12in12x12 (2013)
NOSE! are also back for a second straight day.  This song is a brief, instrumental that somehow transitioned so well between The Lucky Jukebox Brigade and the next song in our shuffle that I had to go back and give it another listen.  The playlist down below includes the now infamous 2012 Couch by Couchwest footage that ultimately culminated in a massive police action which sadly was not shown in the available footage. Did I mention that they are from my hometown? I  don’t get to say that very often…

  • “State Hospital” by Frightened Rabbit from Pedestrian Verse (2013)

Glasgow alternative-rockers released their latest album in February.  State Hospital which was also the title track from the EP that preceded the release of the album.

  • “4th Floor” by JENNY from Heavy (2010)
JENNY is a Canadian band which includes Spencer Kathrens who was a member of the now defunct Inner City Elegance who were one of our earliest Featured bands. See the Bandcamp widget above to grab Heavy which I’m digging so far.

Check out the YouTube playlist below and we’ll catch you later….


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Sofa Logic (or Couch Potato Wedge) Mix

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I support Marriage Equality.

 Need to be quick, so check out the YouTube playlist below for representative songs from all of our pre-shuffle shuffle artists.


By pure chance or divine intervention, all of the artists in our Morning Shuffle appeared in videos featured at CXCW 2013.

  • “Smells Like” by NOSE! from 12in12x12 Volume 1 (2013)
I somehow missed this band’s video for CXCW 2012 wherein the police were called-in for a noise complaint. For 2013, the band won the Least Dressed award for their video for “Truck Nuts” which was filmed in a bathroom with the band members dressed ever so modestly in towels. We have that video in our Playlist below.  The song today is from their Bandcamp release which can be widgeted above.  Did I mention they are from my hometown, Cookeville, Tennessee? Ah, now it ALLLLLL makes sense.

  • “Devil’s Rope” by Tim Lee 3 from Devil’s Rope (2013)
Next up is another CXCW band from Tennessee. Knoxville’s own, Tim Lee 3. We have the title track from an album you already own (you know you bought it after reading my review).  In case you missed it, the Amazon Link is just above this paragraph.

  • “Bites” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade from Pretty Well Damned (2012)
There is all sorts of awesomeness going on in this song. Doo-Wop, a 60s Girl Group vibe, brass?…, and it all works out in a great song. We have the band’s CXCW 2013 video below and a link to the Amazon version of the current album above.
  • “Take it Back” by Tumbleweed Wanderer from So Long (2012)

San Franciso “Hair Folk” band Tumbleweed Wanderers complete our improbable, illogical and irrefutable CXCW-themed set of music with a song that it on both their 2011 self titled album and the above referenced 2012 release. We have a Living Room Sessions version of the song “Take It Back” in the playlist below.  Enjoy!

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Island Life Mix

Whew! It’s been awhile hasn’t it?  Been around the world and back… or at least around Georgia and back.  Got back into Nashville in time to catch The End Men and The Slaughterhouse Chorus at fooBar last night. Word to the wise, if you get the chance to see either or both of these bands live, take it.  It was so amazingly awesome to finally meet Matthew and Liv from The End Men in person. They definitely rocked the house.  And yes this means I will have to tag The End Men… again… they are currently the second most tagged term on Ear to the Ground.

But, let’s get back to what we do best… or most… or something… Pre-shuffle featured: Secret County (which I couldn’t find represented on YouTube, NY Dolls, Jill Sobule and John Doe, Chad VanGaalen, Japandroids, The Grisly Hand, Phil Norman, Little and Ashley and Tim Lee 3.

Shuffle after jump:

  • “Howlin’ Down the Dark” by Ben de la Cour from Ghost Light (2012)

Louisiana based Ben de la Cour is one of our CXCW13 “discoveries”.  We have his performance of “Tank Full of Gas” from CXCW in the YouTube Playlist down below.

  • “Just Say No (Sometimes)” by Young Hines from Give Me My Change (2012)

Nashville based singer-songwriter came to our attention recently, and we are digging his music.  We grabbed this song and tons more on Readymade Records Sampler 2013.  Readymade is Nashville-based indie label that have our attention.

  • “My Special One” and “Woman You’re Doing Right” by You and Me from You and Me (2013)

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Good and long-time friends of Ear to the Ground, Val and James (aka You and Me) recently released some of their great music on CD.  You can order or download all of it using the Bandcamp gadget above.  We close out our shuffle with a welcomed double shot of cool, folksy, bluesy Pop.

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E2TG – Drive South Mini-Tour 2013

Hey ho! I’m gonna be hitting the road soon for a few days of much needed… whatever.  So, no Morning Shuffles until I get back, but I put together a playlist of some of the music which might have come up on Shuffles.  28 songs (and I may add more if I get the chance).  Enjoy!

Please.  And go hang out at Couch by Couchwest

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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Cooper’s Pi Mix

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 Happy Pi Day. 


Yes, I’m gonna hit you up about Couch by Couchwest.  Yes, it is still going on, and yes it just keeps getting awesomer… er… more awesome.  Since we last spoke, we’ve seen videos from our friends The Dead Exs, MAKAR, Don Ryan and Skeletons in the Piano. We also heard some great music from Wess Floyd and the Daisycocks (which is or includes The Great Peacock), The Lonely Hands, Dog Without Warning, Blaine Duncan and the Lookers, American Aquarium, and David Lott.   Go to the CXCW site and search on those or just scroll through and check out all the great music.

Our pre-shuffle, shuffle included: Sad Baby Wolf (SPOILER ALERT: They also appear in our Shuffle Shuffle), Peter Case, The Fresh and Onlys, Beethoven (the composer not the St. Bernard), Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and Broken Social Scene.  

Now to the shuffle:

  • “Friends” by Minuteflag from Minuteflag (1986) 

I am so glad this EP is available for your immediate download.  As the band name implies, this EP is the result of a 1985 collaboration between Minutemen and Black Flag.  The result was some experimental jazzy jams that is pretty cool.

  • “Waking Up” by Sad Baby Wolf from Electric Sounds (2013)
Sad Baby Wolf includes former members of The Shins.  We made them a Featured Artist back in 2012.  Electric Sounds is due out in April and you can pre-order using the widget above.  I got an early peek and this is sounding really good.  The Sad Baby Wolf song in the Pre-Shuffle and a cover of a Neutral Milk Hotel song which we previously posted are in the Youtube playlist below.

  •  “Wrong Way Street” by The End Men from Play With Your Toys (2013)
Fortuitously, we close out today’s shuffle with The End Men who are about to embark on their No Tour For Old Men with The Slaughterhouse Chorus.  We are supremely excited that they will be making a stop in Nashville on March 24.  Nashville readers – you seriously do not want to miss this show.  We added the official tour video plus a Slaughterhouse Chorus video to the Youtube playlist which is just below. New York rock ‘n’ roots bands The End Men and The Slaughterhouse Chorus join forces in NO TOUR FOR OLD MEN, binging on booze, blues and barbecue from Bushwick to Bucktown. Spiking classic Americana influences with liberal shots of punk, garage and rock and roll, the two bands present a raucous, unpredictable and, dare we say, intoxicating double-bill.

No Tour For Old Men Tour Schedule:

3/20: Brooklyn, NY @ Muchmore’s w/Sons of An Illustrious Father

3/21: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie

3/22: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project w/Meridian

3/23: Columbus, OH @ Scarlet & Gray w/Black Eyed Betty

3/24: Nashville, TN @ FooBar Too w/Stuck Lucky

3/25: Carbondale, IL @ PK’s w/Blast Radius

3/26: Lawrence, KS @ Frank’s North Star w/Latenight Callers

3/27: Chicago, IL @ Quencher’s w/ The Soundwalls

3/28: Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Magazine HQ w/Misery Jackals

3/29: Rochester, NY @ Sticky Lips BBQ

3/30: Albany, NY @ Valentine’s Music Hall

Follow the shenanigans on Twitter @NoTourForOldMen.

Now today’s video playlist- “Cooper’s Pi”


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