Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Crazy, Crazy World Mix

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We’ve reached the final day of April.  This month has flown by, but as I mentioned yesterday, it has also been jam packed with great music. We will be reformulating our current month playlist to prepare for May, and soon we’ll be presenting a recap of April and adding some great artists to the Ear to the Ground “Family”. In the meantime, we have some great music to present today.

Pre-Shuffle:  

1.  “The Blood Beyond” by Skeletons in the Piano from Please Don’t Die – one of the albums we featured this month.
2. “Watch Who You’re Calling Space Garbage Meteor Mouth” by Game Theory.  18 seconds of weirdness off the album Lolita Nation.
3. “High on the Skyline” by The New Mendicants from Australia 2013 E.P.  – Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub.  This is an amazingly lovely song.
4. “Free to Fly” by Markus Rill 
5. “In the Rain” by The Danbury Lie from ? (2013) – We love this band and their new record is strong in all the right ways.  Glad to feature another song as April comes to an end.
6. “Dripping With Looks” by Game Theory – a slightly longer song from the Lolita Nation album.  Happy to close out the month with a few more Game Theory songs.

Let’s dive into our final shuffle of April 2013 after the jump:


  • “Fireplace” by R.E.M. from Document (1987) – According to Wikipedia (so probably not true) R.E.M. began recording document with Scott Litt in a Nashville recording studio exactly 26 years ago today.  We’ve been featuring songs from Document all month after I found a CD copy of the album at Goodwill.
 

  • “Arlene” by Taco Land from Pancakes and Pizza (2013) – Another great album we featured this month.  We’ve been digging on the music of Taco Land since 2011.  This is a beautiful and heartfelt love song done as only Taco Land can do it.

  • “Be Your Bro” by Those Darlins from Screws Get Loose (2011) – The awesome Nashville band Those Darlins just released a sampler on Noisetrade which includes this – one of my favorite songs.  Check it out.

  • “Like a Girl Jesus” by Game Theory from Big Shot Chronicles (1986) What a great way to end our final Shuffle of April with  a continuation of our celebration of the musical genius of the late Scott Miller.  If you haven’t be sure to head over to The Loud Family website to download a whole ton of music from Game Theory. HERE is the LINK

Finally, here is the last daily PLAYLIST of April 2013:

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Big, Bad Wolfe Mix

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 “Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good!” Run D.M.C.

 Wow.  April is almost toast.  It’s been a helluva month for music.  We hope to have a recap up soon.  In the meantime, we’re packed with our usual quirky mix of old and new music to enlighten, entertain and excite your senses.

PRE-SHUFFLE

“Did You Lie” by Taco Land
“Being John McEnroe” by The Pistolwhips
“Brick x Brick”by Christopher Paul Stelling
“Soulard” by Taco Land 
“Mary Magdalene” by Game Theory

The two Taco Land tracks are from the band’s latest Pancakes and Pizza.  The Pistolwhips song (great title and a great song) is off The Appetizer Sampler put out by the good folks and Built 4 BBQ.  The song by Christopher Paul Stelling is the first track released from his brand new album False Cities which is tearing it up right now! The pre-shuffle ends with the Game Theory song – as we continue to feature the great music of this 80s era San Francisco band in memory and homage to the late Scott Miller.

SHUFFLE commences after the jump…

We start off with some old school hip-hop in the form of “Peter Piper” by RUN-D.M.C. which was the lead track off their 1986 album Raising Hell.

 

Transitioning smoothly from the hip-hop styling of the boys from Hollis, Queens comes a rare track from the New Jersey born singer-songwriter, Paul Simon.  A later version of the song we feature today appeared on the Simon and Garfunkel album Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme.  Today, we have the original version from Simon’s 1965 UK-only release, The Paul Simon Songbook.  The song, “A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I was Robert McNamara’d into Submission)”, pokes fun at the song writing style of sixties era Bob Dylan. 


 

So, we’ve moved from Nursery Rhyme name dropping hip-hop to sixties pop culture name dropping folk parody… where else is there to go, but some 2010s era Cluckaphony from The Imperial Rooster with a song which perfectly describes me today, “Overunderstimulated”. Hell yeah, I love the Rooster!






I didn’t want today’s rather schizophrenic shuffle to end – especially knowing that work was waiting on the other side, but if it had to end – which unfortunately it did (for now at least – like Nick and Nora my playlist is endless) what better way to go out then with some more awesome music from Game Theory.  I’ve been reading that Scott Miller was working on a full-fledged reunion of Game Theory at the time of his death.  We have “Something to Show” which was on the very first Game Theory album Blaze of Glory which goes all the way back to 1981.  The song later appeared on the 1991 compilation album Tinker to Evers to Chance.

(click on pick to download Tinker to Evers to Chance)

So that’s it for today, we hope you enjoyed our journey through almost 50 years of great music.

Here’s the You Tube playlist for today:

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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Goodbye Possum Mix

Sad to hear about the passing of the one and only George Jones.  It’s been amazing to see the posts coming up on Facebook from all around the world and from creators and fans of so many different genres of music. He lived the life of his songs and he traveled many roads (sometimes on a Riding Lawnmower). He leaves behind an amazing legacy of song and lore.

We move on… and time is very short.
The Pre-Shuffle:  
“The Shit Song” by The Imperial Rooster
“The Only Lesson Learned” + “What the Whole World Wants” + “White Blues” by Game Theory
“Salvation” by Langhorne Slim and the Law 
“Hard Love” by The Mohawk Lodge
Shuffle after the JUMP…. JUMP

  • “Selfish Again” by Game Theory from Distortion of Glory (1993) – orginally on Pointed Accounts of People You Know (1983)

What a tough couple of weeks for the world of music.  I’m glad to have had the chance to feature so many great songs from the late Scott Miller’s band Game Theory.

  • “Open You Up” by Only Living Boy from Hide Nothing (2011)
 

I’ve been hearing the name “Only Living Boy” come up recently from my many New York/New Jersey friends, so I finally decided to see what all the talk was about.  I get it now!

  • “Low (Reprise)” by Ghost and Goblin from SUPERHORRORCASTLELAND (2013)

An instrumental reprise from the scary good New York band.  Super pumped to see a Nashville slot on their July concert schedule.

  • “White Night” by Charmboy from Let It Feed (2011)/The Appetizer Built4BBQ Sampler (2013) 

Another great track off the superbly awesome The Appetizer music sampler. This Albany, NY band rocks out!

Before we get to the Daily Playlist:  Ear to the Ground sends out Anniversary to one of cutest and rockingist couples I know – Matthew and Livia from The End Men.

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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Firehouse Mix

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Time is short and we have some great music to cover in today’s pre-shuffle and shuffle.  Let’s get to it.

Pre-Shuffle:

“Odd Fellows Local 151” by R.E.M.
“A Good Man Knows” by Black Jake and the Carnies (the song from their new EP we didn’t get to yesterday!) 
“Digging Underneath the House” by Skeletons in the Piano
 “Machine Gun” by Taco Land

Shuffle awaits you after the JUMP


Today’s shuffle could be subtitled “pure pop heaven” and I mean “pop” in the best possible way.

  • “24” by Game Theory from Real Nighttime (1985) compiled on Tinkers to Evers to Chance (1990)

“And for whatever reason I wish that I had two minds
Opposite signs, parallel lines, wide point and fine”

from Scott Miller’s liner notes to Tinkers to Evers to Chance: 24: The first record (Real Nighttime) produced by the godlike genius of Mitch Easter, and our first record to reach national obscurity, as opposed to regional obscurity.” 


  • “Whiskey Song” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade from Pretty Well Damned (2012)

As I was listening to this song this morning the words that kept coming to my mind were exquisite and gorgeous and amazing. I felt like I was listening some really old music modernized in the most wonderful way. Have I made it clear yet, I really dig this band and this album!

  • “The Ghost Pal Song” by The Harmonica Lewinskies from Salad Days EP (2013)
More funky fresh goodness from the New York band – the title references another NY band that I will now have to check out….

  • “Pancakes and Pizza” by Taco Land from Pancakes and Pizza (2013)

“Hand me some patience cause I wanna plant some seeds, share some love cause that’s all that I need.
But I’m hating on you and you’ve been hating on me. Red and Blue no longer stands for Free!”

The title track to the new Taco Land album is an amazing song with an important message wrapped in a catchy tune and all done up Taco Land style. And yes, Pancakes, Pizza and Tacos make me hungry, but I just ate so I’m doing okay – thanks for asking.

E2TG Daily Playlist

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Waiting for Cluckaphony Mix

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Let’s face it, there is no shortage of bands dancing around the “Americana”, “Roots Rock”, “Alt-Folk-Bluegrass-Country-Blues” sound. Hell, these days it’s not too unusual to hear a banjo (or  more likely a banjitar) even on the “Hit” radio stations.  If you liked Mumford and Sons then you’ll probably like the other half a dozen or so bands who sound just like them.  Right? So, here is the question: If there is this glut of Rootsy sounding bands being blasted out of radios and computers and MP3 players, does not mean any band falling however loosely into that area of music is redundant or superfluous? Well, keep in mind, this is coming from someone who writes a music blog for goodness sakes!  But, I think the answer is… wait what was the question?  Bottom line, the world can never get enough of creative and talented people following their passion down whatever path that leads them. So if a creative or talented group of musicians happen to play rootsy music (or punkish indie, or blues based rock or whatever) so be it and more power to them.

All that long windedness to say, I have had the good fortune to become acquainted with tons of amazingly talented people over the last couple of years, and it seems like at least half of them are releasing new music this year.  Today, I’m going to delve into two bands who are similar in a different way from each other (or maybe they are different in a similar way)… Join us after the Jump for a very special episode of Ear to the Ground’s Morning Shuffle:

 At some point last year, I suggested via Twitter that The Imperial Rooster and Black Jake and the Carnies should do a show together sometime.  I later displayed my cleverly loose idea of geography to suggest that Nashville, Tennessee might be geographically equidistant between Espanola, New Mexico and Ypsilanti, Michigan – where the two bands or receptively based. I am not going to back off on the suggestion that a show featuring these two bands would be epically awesome, but the new releases have forced me to think deeper about the way these two bands intersect and diverge.

I’m going to avoid making this a compare and contrast exercise.  Mainly because I hated doing those in school, but as way of an introduction (he says several lines into the post), I will say, the two bands play raucous roots-based music with similar instrumentation, and the newest releases by the two bands even touch on similar themes of religion, death, sin and vice.  That their approaches to the subjects and the music is informed by the divergent beliefs, philosophies and geographic influences just makes the experience for this listener all the more interesting.

The Imperial Rooster from Espanola, New Mexico recently released Cluckaphony which is there album length follow-up to 2011’s Decent People.  

Black Jake and the Carnies from Ypsilanti, Michigan literally just dropped their new EP called Watching, Waiting which is their follow-up to 2011’s Sundry Mayhems.
For the fun of it, I shuffled these two albums together and listened to eleven of the 17 total tracks on my walk up the hill today.  I do have to say, I’ve listened to both records all the way through, I a highly recommend that experience.
Here are the tracks we heard today:
“Last Stop” – BJ and the C
“Ain’t No Grave” – BJ and the C
“The Hoover Farm Exorcism” – TIR
“Soldier Boy Johnny” – TIR
“Polka De Nalgas” – TIR
“Pine Box Hell” – TIR
“Exit Me” – TIR
“Cigareets and Whusky and Wild Wild Women” – BJ and the C (a Red Ingle cover)
“The Savior” – TIR (a Crucifucks cover)
“Sinners, You Better Get Ready” – BJ and the C
“Santa Cruz” – TIR

It was a pretty incredible mix of songs. I especially enjoyed the contrst between the Carnies’ “Ain’t No Grave” and the Rooster’s “Pine Box Hell” which took very different approaches to the subject of death.   The choice of covers was also illuminating.  Coincidently, The Crucifucks were a punk band from Michigan. Just saying.

Here’s the deal, I have no idea if these two bands would even like each other personally, and to be honest, it doesn’t matter to me.  They are two great bands who have released some amazing new music out into the world, and you should check them both out. Don’t read too much into my dual review – it was fun and expedient and time has been in short supply lately.  Consider this a preview of both albums with a strong recommendation to grab this while you can.  
The Imperial Rooster are: Cootie LeRoux, Nat King Kong, Tennessee Skilly McGee, Khorn Syrup, Lulu Lotus Cornblossom, Dusty Vinyl
Black Jake and the Carnies are:  
Black Jake — banjo, vocals
Joe Cooter — bass
Gus — fiddle
Andy Benes — mandolin
Billy “The Kingpin” LaLonde — drums/washboard, vocals
JC Miller — accordion
Watch for both bands in your area some time soon (assuming you are somewhere where they are going to be).  

Ironically (fortuitously?) The Imperial Rooster are playing tonight (April 24, 2013) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Black Jake and the Carnies will be playing Music City Roots here in Nashville June 5.  
Do the “Like” thing on Facebook at:  The Imperial Rooster and Black Jake and the Carnies

 One last thing, please do not ask me how to pronounce Ypsilanti. 

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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Fingernails and Cigarettes Mix

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We’re back.  Sorry for the lack of Shuffle action yesterday – it could not be helped…

Yesterday, the music world lost two greats… Chrissy Amphlett of Divinyls and the legendary Richie Havens.

 

Last week, we learned of the passing of Scott Miller (Game Theory and The Loud Family).  If you are not familiar with the music of these two great, but underknown bands, now would be a great time to rectify that situation.
The family has released all of the Game Theory albums for free download at The Loud Family Website.   We have added the entire Game Theory collection into our current batch of songs from which we shuffle.  We will keep the songs up for the rest of the month in tribute to Scott Miller, and then will likely keep some of them up just because they are awesome.  We’ll be getting some Loud Family added to the mix soon, too.
Let’s get right to the Pre-Shuffle which includes two Game Theory songs:
“Ray Wilkins, 1996” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade
“Little Ivory” by Game Theory
“Finest Worksong” by R.E.M.
“Together Now, Very Minor” by Game Theory
“Eleanor Rigby” by Skeletons in the Piano (covering some lads from Liverpool)
Shuffle – after we JUMP!

  •  “These White Walls” by Swear and Shake from Maple Ridge (2012)
 

 Swear and Shake are a New York band that just came into my consciousness. The released Maple Ridge last summer, and I just saw on their Facebook page that they are playing a show in Nashville next week.  I kind of dig this song and I’m interested in hearing more. Check it out.

  •  “The Real Sheila” by Game Theory from Lolita Nation (1987)

Lolita Nation was and is a remarkable achievement that all too few people have heard.  I’m very glad to be able to do whatever small part I can in changing that. In the mid to late 80s, there was a very definite movement afoot (oblique Let’s Active reference semi-unintended) as bands from Athens, GA, Nashville, TN, Winston-Salem, NC, San Francisco, CA and elsewhere took off from a musical diet of Beatles and Big Star among others and cut a path of at time jangly pure pop music across college radio dials that eventually reached the ears of impressionable kids like me. Game Theory was extremely literary, intelligent and man could they turn a phrase in a catchy way.

  • “Voodoo” by The Mohawk Lodge from Damaged Goods (2012/2013)

Another track from the current release by Canadian band, The Mohawk Lodge.  I’m hanging with this album.  Definitely worth checking out.

  • “The Red Baron” by Game Theory from Distortion (1984) also on Tinker to Ever to Chance (1990)

Game Theory released the compilation album Tinker to Evers to Chance in 1990. Distortion was produced by fellow California musician and Paisley Underground pioneer Michael Quercio who would later join the band.

  • “Who’s There?” by Ghost and Goblin from SUPERHORRORCASTLELAND (2013)
SUPERHORRORCASTLELAND was released on April 20, the same day that the new Skeletons in the Piano album, Please Don’t Die was released.  We just heard about this band and this album from a Facebook post by The End Men which also referenced in SITP album.  We already had Please Don’t Die, but we immediately went out and download this album.  We knew in advance, we would not be disappointed, and we were not.  More to come!
DAILY PLAYLIST

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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Time it Was Mix

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Time is short – so let’s get to it….

Pre-Shuffle:

“The Way We Move” by Langhorne Slim and the Law
“Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac
“Long Harbour” by April Verch
“Buried in the Murder” by Lonely Wild
Muskegon Harbor” by Taco Land (I love this song!)
“Blue” by Joni Mitchell

After the Jump – we expose our Shuffle of the day and post our daily You Tube playlist


SHUFFLE









 

  •  Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Fred Astaire from The Essential George Gershwin

I think we’re winding down our Gershwin songs in the daily Shuffle. But, fear not, I’ll be hitting Goodwill soon enough and who knows what gems I’ll find.

  •  “Out of My Mind” by Eric Burdon and The Greenhornes from Eric Burdon and The Greenhornes (2012)

What an awesome song.  Rock legend, Eric Burdon (of the Animals and War) teaming up with Cincinnati band The Greenhornes.   From the good folks at Readymade Records.

  • “Empty Aisles” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade from Pretty Well Damned (2012)

I’ve been listening to this album a ton, and I have to say every listen makes me love it more. Musically, every song seems to explore a particular nuance of timeless music done in a distinctly modern sounds. “Empty Aisle” has a slight vaudeville feel to it while on other tracks we’ve heard 60s girl group and some sweet soul music. But, the real story here is not the diversity of the influences,but rather it is the way the band pulls this all together in such an awesome way.

Playlist

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