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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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Flights of Fancy Mix

Thanks for visiting and reading Ear to the Ground. We know you have a wide choice of music blogs to read, and we are glad you chose to spend some time with us.

There is this moment (at least for me) in blogging when you realize that people other than your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances are reading your posts. This is the moment (at least for me) where everything can come off the rails and an inflated ego can cause me to think I need to say something profound and important. As when people say, that they enjoy my blog or call it “cool” or offer praise of my writing, and I think I better hit a home run with every post or I will lose this admiration.  The truth (at least for me) is that I began writing just what was on my mind – just narrating the stream of thoughts going through my brain. Fortunately, should be ego get out of whack, I have a teen-aged daughter to bring me back to earth.  “Dad, stop talking, my friends are here.”


I try and fail not to get to caught up in the Blog Stats so readily available, but it is interesting to see the search streams which get people to my site.  Of course, I can’t always tell if they stick around.  These search streams range from the insightful to the strange.  More than one recent visitor got here from the search string “Sad Easter”. To my knowledge I did not write about a sad Easter.  Also, there have been (over time) a number of visits via a search for Zombie Apocalypse Music Shuffle (or some variation).  Now, I did have a post which was subtitled Zombie Apocalypse Mix but like many of my posts, the song shuffle associated with that title did not have tangible connection to the subtitle, and so I think maybe those who came here from that search might have been disappointed????


Enough – to today’s song shuffle:


San Francisco’s The Fresh and Onlys are up first with a newish track called, Do What I Came to Do which is right now available on a free Mexican Summer sampler at Amazon.  The picture above links to that sampler.  Did I mention it’s free!



Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks) has a new band called Off! We featured the song Upside Down earlier.  That song is on the first 4 EPs release which you can find above (the album with the Raymond Pettibone cover art.  Today’s track, King Kong Brigade is from the forthcoming self-titled first studio album.  You can grab the MP3 of the song over here. Off! will be touring with the reunited Refused this summer.



The music of Always The Light by Band of the Week alums ELIKA continues to amaze and delight me.  We Had it All is the luscious offering in today’s shuffle.  Always the Light is on Amazon using the picture above (little girl with the balloon).



And finally, continuing yesterday’s cover theme.  We have English Rose a lovely Paul Weller penned ballad originally on the Jam’s seminal release All Mod Cons.  We have the classic Jam compilation Snap! linked above.  The cover is by Hull band Everything but the Girl and if off of Ambition Volumes I & II: The History of Cherry Red Records which is linked above also. 



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The Fresh & Onlys
The Fresh & Onlys


The Best of Flipside Video, Vol. 1: Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, Dickies, Weirdos The Best of Flipside Video, Vol. 1: Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, Dickies, Weirdos
Two of the best-known and longest-running bands on the Southern California punk scene, the Circle Jerks and Bad Religion, skank up a storm in this video, which combines footage from two live concerts. Bad Religion performs 11 songs, including “Damned to B


The Best of Everything But the Girl The Best of Everything But the Girl
The Best of Everything but the Girl is divided between selections from their early records and remixes of ’90s hits such as “Missing.” Consequently, the album draws a slightly misleading portrait of their career, yet it still functions as an excellent introduction to the band, since it features many of their best songs, including “Apron Strings.” ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi


English Rose (Import) English Rose (Import)
For reasons that no one seems to recall in detail — but for which we can be grateful — when it was time to release a second Fleetwood Mac LP in America, producer Mike Vernon and the band didn’t just send the existing Mr. Wonderful album across the Atlan


Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Cement Mixer Mix

“Music hath charms, they say, but in some people’s hands it becomes a savage beast.” – Joe Jackson
Over 30 songs were added to the mix last night which brings our February final tally to over 100.  We shuffled up all those February adds and this is what came out.
We begin our musical journey in Bristol, UK with the Indie, Shoegaze, Noisepop band The Fauns who were once a Band of the Week here at Ear to the Ground.  Today, we have the Mastermind Mix of the song Cool Stuff. The lush original version can be found on the band’s self-titled album:
 <——The Fauns by The Fauns get your #shoegaze on at Amazon.com

Tim Horn Prayer are an Indie/Folk/Punk/Bluegrass band from Denver, Colorado. Crime Scene Cleanup Team is a rollicking, dark little number from the band’s 2010 album Get Busy Dying.

<——-Get Busy Dying by Tim Horn Prayer at Amazon.com

Justin and the Salty Dogs come from Chicago and their Yodel heavy song Postman Blues is next up on today’s shuffle:

  http://cache.reverbnation.com/widgets/swf/40/pro_widget.swf?id=artist_1375028&posted_by=&skin_id=PWAS1005&background_color=EEEEEE&border_color=000000&auto_play=false&shuffle=false&song_ids=7569830<——Use the ReverbNation widget to check out Postman Blues

Finally, we have Long Beach via San Diego band Delta Spirit singing about the French Quarter of New Orleans in a song from the band’s 2006 EP, I Think I Found It.

ComScore <—Pre-order the Self-Titled Album by Delta Spirit at Amazon.com due March 12.

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Cloudragon Electro Shoegaze 1 Cloudragon Electro Shoegaze 1
Cloudragon Electro Shoegaze 1


French Quarter Walking Tour of New Orleans French Quarter Walking Tour of New Orleans
Stroll along the Mississippi, through the French Market, Jackson Square and down the sidewalks of quaint streets. Let a ‘local expert’ unravel the mysteries of America’s oldest and most unique living neighborhood!


Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Casey Jones is Ready Mix

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

http://cache.reverbnation.com/widgets/swf/40/pro_widget.swf?id=artist_444731&posted_by=&skin_id=PWAS1005&background_color=EEEEEE&border_color=000000&auto_play=false&shuffle=false&song_ids=10207836   

and check out their earlier release No Symmetry over at Amazon – you can grab it for under 4 bucks.

ComScore

 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:

http://noisetrade.com/service/sharewidget/?id=71740d32-e13b-4a02-a9f1-e9f8605d8dc0

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:


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Gold Nuggets Discovering Math in the California Gold Rush 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 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


Fare Thee Well 2011

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and give a final shout and thanks for everyone who helped make 2011 such a great year. In case you missed, here is a random sampling of what Ear to the Ground is all about. I know I’ve left people out sorry…. I hope 2012 brings much joy and happiness to everyone and well let’s blow this thing out!


  https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F20447329 01 A Beautiful Girl by Ubiquity Machine
https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F25633806 As You Choke by The Hunting Accident
https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F27521467 Is It Right? by Taco Land
https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F19257465 Running Like Hell by You and Me
https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F13523078 Sealight – White Walk by sealight
https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F25670892 If This Is Redemption, Where Is The Redeemer? [NEW SONG] by From The Outside

Bands of the Week 2011 – A Recap – Part 3 – Weeks 18-27

 This is it.  The final recap after reading this entry and the previous 2 recaps you will be a well informed voter, which means you will need to vote for your favorite band at the Reader’s Poll.

Weel 18: The Hunting Accident – are a Los Angeles based indie rock band made up of former members of the bands Arlo and Piebald. Here’s a video for a song we love called Hot Drum:

Week 19: Ben Semmens – is a Welsh singer-songwriter – He writes deeply, beautiful songs.  Recently, his fans help fund the recording of a new album.  Ben spent several weeks recording in the US (on a island off the coast of Georgia) where at same point he may or may not have swam naked in the Atlantic. Here he is performing Wake Me Up:

Week 20: The Fauns – are an indie, pop, shoegaze band from Bristol UK. I’ll be honest, if pressed, I couldn’t tell you what shoegaze means. I just know I like The Fauns. I guess introspective yet powerful would be my best attempt.  Here’s a video for a song called Lovestruck:

Week 21: Two Seasons – are a Toronto based Americana, Pop, Folk band. They made an EP called Made in Basements.  They play catchy and rich songs. I couldn’t find a video so here’s a Soundcloud track we love called I Wouldn’t Ask (For Anything to Change):

https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F23016102 I Wouldn’t Ask (For Anything To Change) by Two Seasons Music

Week 22: Themselves – are a rock band from Leicester UK. I promised myself I would not make an Adrian Mole reference as I’m sure that is getting irritating.  Damn…. Themselves are a rhythmic intensity and they know how to rock.  Here’s a live video for your perusal:

Week 23: The Nearly Deads – are a Nashville based Alternative Rock band. They play high energy rock and have a powerful female lead singer. They are doing a free show this Friday at a new club in Nashville called The National Underground – so if you’re around Nashville check them out. Meanwhile check out this:

Week 24: Taco Land – is a Texas based band – the brain child of Joseph Russell. Taco Land is everything you would expect of a Texas-based band called Taco Land and nothing at all you would expect from a Texas-based band called Taco Land.  They have a new album called Heart of Texas.  I couldn’t find a video – so here is a Soundcloud track – it’s the title track from Heart of Texas:
https://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F24050919 Heart of Texas by Taco Land

Week 25: Brother Howe – is a country punk band from Michigan.  They know their country and they know their punk.  Brother Howe speak truth and cover Johnny Cash.  Check out this video for the standout track Heaven is my Retirement Plan:


Week 26: Those Mockingbirds – are a New Jersey based Alternative Rock/Grunge band.  The band features some unique sounds for a grunge band, and they write really great songs. Here a video for a track we love called Coast to Coast:

Week 27: Don Ryan -is a New York/New Jersey based singer-songwriter.  Think Tom Waits meets something else really cool.  I think I’ve raved enough about Don Ryan – naw! He’s really good.  Check out this video for the amazing song, This Town:

Bands of the Week 2011 – Part II – Weeks 9-17

We continue our recap of the 2011 Bands of the Week.  Reminder: Please be sure to vote in the First Annual Reader’s Poll for Band of the Year.

Week 9:  The Mobbs – an honest to goodness – British band with a punk attitude.  They play it fast and nasty and it makes me want to walk around saying “bloody hell” all the time.  Well here check out this video:

Week 10: Mikey Wax – is a singer and songwriter – Long Island born.  He recently released a new album Constant Motion which hit #6 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart. Here’s a video for his song In Case I Go Again which has been viewed over a half a million times on You Tube:

Week 11: Elika – are an indie band from Brooklyn.  Their sound features astonishing vocals set atop a complex yet lovely combination of guitar, synth, bass and drum machine. Check out Elika’s video for their song Summer here:

Week 12: Clepto – is a punk band with a definite Middle Eastern influence.  The band formed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2000 and has since relocated to Canada. The play it hard and nasty and the music is not for the faint of heart. For the unfaint of heart it’s a jolly good time….  Check out this video:  NOTE:  I screwed up on the reader’s poll and mispelled the band’s name. I know the band’s name. It was a typo.  So if you like Clepto please vote for Cleto.


Week 13: Simon Fagan – is an Irish singer/songwriter.  He has a unique voice and a great sound.  Look for a new EP coming soon.  Meanwhile check out this video of one of our favorite songs, Something I Don’t Know

Week 14: The Walla Recovery – a cello-folk rock quartet from Texas.  They write moving and beautiful songs.  Here is a video of The Walla Recovery performing a cover of Coldplay’s Til Kingdom Come:


Week 15: Lost Romance – are a New Jersey based rock band.  They play expansive music which lives up to the vast history of New Jersey music.  Here’s a favorite of ours, Top of the World, performed live at The Saint in Asbury Park:

Week 16: Sealight – is a French/Australian band.  Their sound combines acoustic and electronic elements to make a beautiful soundscape.  They recently released their debut EP – Dead Letters which was reviewed here at Ear to the Ground.  Here is the title track from the EP:

Week 17: The Jinxes – are a melodic folk-pop band from Monterey, California. They have a rich creative spirit and a ear for sweet melodies.  Here is a video of a song, we love called Migration:


That’s it for now…. Stay tuned… Part III is coming soon. And be sure to vote.