Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – A Few of My Favorite Things 2013 Mix – Part Three

We continue our 2013 Year in Review via shuffle with another great mix of music.  Today, I thought I would focus on the various ways that new music comes to my attention.  Why? Because inquiring minds want to know even if they do not know that they want to know.

Shuffle ho!

Today 3 of the artists featured came to me from a particular music promoter who has a great track record in terms of the music he sends my way.

6 artists came to me directly or indirectly from the awesome Popatunes.  Of those, at least 1 was from a Popatunes compilation, at least 2 were from Couch by Couchwest, 2 were found via artists who were directly recommended by Popa, and 1 was a direct recommendation from the man himself.

2 artists approached me directly at some point.

1 was long ago a Twitter follow.

and I met one at an unofficial Americana Fest event this past September.

Can you match the artist to the categories above?

“Scream” by Marla Mase

“Sinners, You Better Get Ready” by Black Jake and the Carnies

“Chili” by Dog Without Warning

“Pine Box Hell” by The Imperial Rooster

“Driving Toward the Sun” by Susan James

“Better Than” by The Coal Men

“Vices” by The Quick and the Dead

“Languishing in Lower Chakras” by The Gabriel Construct

“R U Thinking What I’m Thinking” by The Great American Novel

“Silence” by Beijing

“Long Pig” by Skeletons in the Piano (from Please Don’t Die)

“The Sun Will Set” by Beijing (from Night)

“Mental Trapeze” by The End Men (from Play With Your Toys)

“Exit Me” by The Imperial Rooster (from Cluckaphony)

“Out of Time” (Blur cover) by Mr. Kind and Tektite (from Mr. Kind and…*)

*the title of the Mr. Kind album actually has the ampersand, but that symbol messes with the formatting on Blogger so…)

Notes:

Marla Mase is freaking awesome.  Her album Speak was released in 2012, but a Deluxe version was reissued in 2013 making eligible for inclusion in this Shuffle. Plus it’s my shuffle so whatever I say is eligible is eligible. (I’ll try not to let that power go to my head) (Oh who am I kidding… it’s gone)

Reason number 724 why I love using the “shuffle” function: Black Jake and the Carnies, “Chili” by Dog Without Warning, and The Imperial Rooster back to back to back. 

Susan James had X drummer D.J. Bonebrake emcee the album release party for her previous album. This gives here a million cool points in my book.  Driving Toward the Sun is a great album of amazing California-style mellow folk – think Joni Mitchell and Kate Wolf if it’s helpful to have a reference point.

The Coal Men: It’s still inconceivable to me that it took 4 albums for me to catch hold of this band.  Thanks to the blogger Too Much Country for the introduction.

The Quick and the Dead is the new band from ex- Cosmonauts – Joe Mansman.  I was pleasantly surprised and heartened by the sound of this band.

The Gabriel Construct is a project I was so happy to have the opportunity to feature. It is a complex, progressive, and evocative interior journey. At times sparse, at times discordant it is an amazing musical achievement. It is music unlike most you are likely to hear (on this blog or anywhere else).

I’ve written quite a bit recently about 😦  the latest album from The Great American Novel. The album was recorded at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen – a definite hot bed of amazing music.  Side note: for some reason Amazon was okay with 😦 as an album title, but seemed to not like The Danbury Lies title ‘?’.

Representing Connecticut in today’s mix is a great hard rock band called beijing  whose strong and consistent album Night is one of my faves from the year.

Skeletons in the Piano were the 2012 Ear to the Ground Band of the Year.  They sealed the deal with their truly amazing Please Don’t Die album which was released by Magnetic Eye Records. Recommended for fans of awesome music.   They are from Saratoga Springs, New York. I’m just a guy from Nashville so I don’t know much about Saratoga Springs except there must be a ton of great musicians there and at least half of them are in SITP. Seriously, how many people are in this band? 🙂

The End Men. Boom!  Brownies on the house!

Mr. Kind is the newish band from Brian Bergeron.  This year they teamed up with other indie artists to record a series of covers of classic indie tracks.  Here they team with Extraterrestrial Hip-Hop artist Tektite to cover a song made famous by 90s British band Blur.

 
SHOP

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2288291027/size=medium/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2203717135/size=medium/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=998121910/size=medium/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=4145160940/size=medium/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Open the Door Mix

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An out-of-sorts kind of day, and a mixed bag of songs to make it just awkwardly perfect….
 
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PRE-SHUFFLE —–
 
“You Think Your Tough” by Hunx and His Punx  (from the new album Street Punk – a harder edge sound this time out.)
 
“Gazzete Pitch” by Alvin Band (from Lady Protrait)
 
“Noble Heart” by PHOX (They are from Wisconsin)
 
“Open the Door” by Tim Lee 3 (from Devil’s Rope – one of our favorite albums of 2013.  Cover of a song by Atlanta band Magnapop. Great song)
 
“Marry Me” by The Family Crest (San Francisco Chamber Pop band from a recent Noisetrade collection)
 
 
SHUFFLE ——
 

“I Woke Up With This Song in My Head This Morning” by Bright Eyes from Lua single (2004)

 A track taken from the first single from the album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. Bleek and somber and oh so right.

“The City at Night” by Courrier from Cathedrals of Color (2013)

 

Anthemic Alternative Rock from Austin, Texas.

“Seasons” by Beijing from Night (2013)

 

 I believe we’ve completed our tour of this album by Connecticut band Beijing.  A very cool record – and the band’s name written in lower case letters has three dotted letters in a row.

“Don’t Give Up On Me” by  The Dirty Guv’nahs from Somewhere Beneath These Southern Skies (2012)

 
 

To me The Dirty Guv’Nahs are what 70s Southern Rock would sound like if it had naturally progressed to today.  There is something laid back about this Knoxville band, but it’s also good to see that they can Rock out when they need to.  Grab this one at Noisetrade and don’t forget to Tip.

PLAYLIST
 
 
                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Opening Day Mix

Well, it’s back to school time, which means my morning commute reverts back, and the Morning Mix of Music goes back to a more manageable length – or something…

Let’s get to it – after the jump…

Pre-Shuffle:

Today 3/5 of our Pre-Shuffle comes from the Texas Alt-Country legends, Centro-Matic:

“The Massacre Went Well”   from their 1999 sophomore effort, Navigational
“Ninety Secretaries Down” from the 2000 South San Gabriel Songs/Music – original credited to Centro-matic – it is considered the first album by South San Gabriel (an off-shoot – sort of – of Centro-matic)
“D.Boon-Free (A Ninth Grade Crime) from Centro-Matic’s third album (also 1999) called The Static Vs. The Strings Vol. 1

Other, non-Centro-Matic, songs in the Pre-Shuffle were:

 “Jazzy Mcgee” by The Blind Owl Band from their latest album. (2013)

and 

“Triggers” by Beijing from their album Night. (2013)

Shuffle:

“Insane in the Brain” (Cypress Hill cover) by The Connells from When Pigs Fly (2002)


We earlier featured Devo’s rendition of the CSNandY song, “Ohio”.  From the same compilation (thought of and produced by Cevin Soling of The Neanderthal Spongecake) comes this version of the 1993 hip-hop crossover hit. The Connells – the North Carolina Alt-Rock, Power Pop legends fit the bill as being unlikely artists to record this song. It’s a ton of fun, though.

“Dancing Song” by Little Comets from In Search of Elusive Little Comets (2011)


  

A fun song from the Debut album by this Indie band from Tyne and Ware county in  England. 

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“The Sarge” by Casey Black from It Shapes Me As It Goes (2011)

I’ll just flat-out say it. This is what a great modern folk song sounds like and is. At once witty and poignant, with a great hook and a great story.  — There was a recently completed research study that showed the significant economic impact the music industry has on Nashville. The great music writer Peter Cooper wrote a response in which he expounded on the significant cultural impact music has on “Music City USA”.  Fact is, for better or worse, Nashville has an embarrassing abundance of musical talent packed into our medium-sized city. It takes something indefinable to stand out – Casey Black stands out.

 “More to Rust” by Sci-Fi Romance from The Ghost of John Henry (2012)

It is so good to have our friend Vance and his band Sci-Fi Romance back into the Shuffle, and to be reminded of just how damn good they are. The Ghost of John Henry  – a album-length take on the John Henry legend – is an amazing album – which we were proud to offer up in a pre-release stream back in May of last year. “More to Rust” is a stand-out on a album full of stand-out tracks.

PLAYLIST

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Your Own Chosen Speed Mix

Well we have a lot of ground to cover today, so let’s not tarry.. or whatever…
Music begins after the JUMP

Pre-Shuffle 
1. We begin with one of the best examples of pure British Pop (with a capital ‘P’) that I’ve heard in a long time.  We’ve featured the band Human Face – who came to our attention via a Twitter Followseveral times, but it’s been a little while.  “After Lunch” is just a flat out great song. As I mentioned before, I really do put this band in the long line of great British Pop bands that includes Squeeze among others.  Check out the video (in the playlist)
2. As a poor lowly music blogger, I spend a lot of time trolling the internet for legal free music to present to you.  Noisetrade has become a favorite site of mine.  They recently teamed up with the folks at Paste to offer up a Radiohead show from June 1995.  We’ve been periodically featuring tracks from that album. Today, we have “Anyone Can Play Guitar” which was released as a single just before the release of the album Pablo Honey which includes the song.  
3. The Great Mistake are Buffalo New York band that we’ve featured a couple of times. They are just in the process of releasing some new music which sounds great.  “Haphazard” goes back to their 2010 album, Wave to the Astronaut.  Below is a widget with a newer song called Your Philosophy which may be on their next album.
4. I have this strange obsession with cover songs.  I mean, yeah there are the occasional tragic mistakes, but for the most part, I think, cover songs are pretty interesting.  They can be defining like Hendrix’s version of “All Along the Watch Tower”, redeeming like Aztec Camera’s deconstruction of Van Halen’s “Jump”, or they can just be spot on but still cool versions like today’s first cover – Matthew Sweet doing a cover of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers classic, “American Girl”. This comes from a cover album featuring covers of songs from the 80s which were featured in iconic films of that era.  The album is a few years old, but it just came into my consciousness and there are some interesting songs on here.


5. We’ve been hyping  Kalpa, the new album from Toronto-based lovable misfits, Valued Customer.  We got our first taste a couple of weeks ago with the song “Second Moon”. Now, we go deeper with the longest track on the album.  “New Jerusalem” clocks in at 14 minutes and has several movements running through it. Historically, I’m not a big fan over long songs.  “Sister Ray” and “Telegraph Road” are two notable exceptions. And, I have to add “New Jerusalem” to that list.  In some ways, this surprisingly reminds me of the The Gabriel Construct album I’ve been featuring of late.  Like that work, this is experimental, challenging, complex, and extremely, extremely good.  Patrick and Ugggy of Valued Customer are hilarious to follow on the Twitter and the Facebook. They are sometimes silly, obscure, and irreverent.  This album is revelatory. They obviously put tons of work into this album, and it has paid off. 

Some lyrics from “New Jerusalem”

civilizations like chocolate donuts
if one isn’t good enough a hundred won’t be good enough”

running to new jerusalem
the towers are in the exosphere
goodbye you whores of babylon
trumpets are playing burning spear”

“(hide your daughter hide your wife
lock up all your beets and chives
they’ll kill you for your salt and spice
the end of twitter and being nice)”


http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=50545387/size=medium/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/transparent=true/

6.  In the weeks since we first introduced you to James the Giant, he has gone on to have his first single introduced by USA Today and the video for that song featured on Huffington Post.   As much as I want to say that being featured on Ear to the Ground lead to these impressive credentials, the fact is this accolades are well-deserved.  The single “Two Weeks on the Ocean” is one of the emotionally powerful songs I’ve heard in a while. Today, we feature “Leave it Buried”.  The eponymously titled EP had it’s official released yesterday.

Shuffle

1. Night, which is the newish album from Beijing (the band not the city). The band comes from Connecticut.  Today’s track is “Into the Rain”. The album is a great achievement. On it, the band walks a precarious balance which could have easily sent them plummeting into one of several miasmas. The band and this album successfully navigates these treacherous paths.


 

2.  In 1986, I started hearing this awesome song on the college radio station. It was rollicking and dark and hinted at something just outside of my vision. I eventually bought the album which quickly came and has remained a favorite of mine.  The artist and album are called Peter Case. The song is “Walk in the Woods“.


3.  Another cover.  A year after Bob Dylan released his fourth album (1964). Johnny Cash (who admired and was admired by Dylan) recorded a cover version of “It Ain’t Me Babe” with June Carter for his 1965 album Orange Blossom Special which was Cash’s 21st album.

 
 PLAYLIST
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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Ring True Mix

clouds on the road by JWM 7/20/2013  
It’s been busy here.  An extended drive means more music.  So, let’s get to it…
JUMP to MUSIC

 

Pre-Pre-Shuffle
“Dark Divider (Untitled)” by Stomacher (one of our first “discoveries” from the early days of Ear to the Ground and this is still a favorite.  Stomacher come from the Bay area of California. This is moody, atmospheric music but surprisingly uplifting.)
 “Straight Shooter” by He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (This is a cover of a Mama’s and Papa’s song)
“Wax Wings” by Beijing (Glad to have another Beijing song show up in our mix.  I’m really digging this band and their recent album Night.)
“Roll on Buddy” by théan (South African born, Ottawa based musician – also performs as Veledrones. Roll on Buddy – the title track from the 2012 EP contains some awesome bits of ambient, folk, electronica. This is incredible music)
Pre-Shuffle
After the remainder of the théan track, the Pre-Shuffle continues on…

“Well Whiskey” by Bright Eyes (from the Lua album)

“Let it Live Free” (live at Audiotree) by He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (our second of the day from this band)

“Elysian Fields” by Heath McNease (Another from his Thrift Store Jesus album)

“The Execution of Some Sixty-Odd Drummers” by Centro-Matic (I honestly don’t know why it’s taken me so long to catch up with this great Texas band.  Thanks to a tweet by Amanda Shires (Jason Isbell’s lovely bride), I can count myself a Centro-Matic fan.)

“Common Ones” by American Graveyard (Two Texas bands in a row. Digging this song)

“Mensdom” by théan (The other song from the Roll On Buddy EP)

Shuffle


“Spitfire” by Little Radar from Up in Arms

http://noisetrade.com/service/widgetv2/1e538bf6-4f6a-4288-a027-146a2ea252b7

This Austin, Texas band jump starts our Shuffle with a track from their 2012 album Up in Arms. Check out the Noisetrade sampler above which includes a track from the forthcoming Souvenirs album.

“I Won’t Go Hollywood” by Bleu from Redhead (2003)



Another from this older album by Bleu which I picked up earlier this month on half priced Saturday at Goodwill.  A great find!

“All of Nothing” by The Black Clouds from Better Days (2012)

More grungy goodness from New Jersey.

“Let Down” by Beijing from Night (2013)

Connecticut rocks! It seems like it’s been a few days since we featured a song from this brilliant album by Beijing. This is the second song from this album today. Enjoy!

“This Land is Your Land” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings from Naturally (2005)

We close out the day with this incredible cover of the Woody Guthrie standard made even more awesome by the fabulous Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.  This version of the song was featured in the motion picture Up in the Air

PLAYLIST

 

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Ugly Moon Mix

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Greetings.  After an extended Holiday weekend, Ear to the Ground is back with another slam, bang mix of music. During the recess, I’ve been busy adding songs to our rotating playlist from which the Morning Pre-Shuffle and Shuffle are drawn.
Today, we have a pretty decent mixture of old and new music which covers a variety of musical styles and genres.  Hope you enjoy it.  The Pre-shuffle kicks off right after the JUMP

Pre-Shuffle

“I’m Wide Awake” by Jeffrey James (Nashville based soulful singer – was on Season 3 of The Voice)

“Vulture in My Sky” by The Jake Levinson Band (from Austin – music video directed by our good friend Raindogg!)

“Lonesome Street” by The Blind Owl Band (Our second peak into the forthcoming album from this awesome New York band. The Train I Ride is Made of Wood and Steel is due out in two days. If you live anywhere in NY and NJ, be sure to catch The Blind Owl Band on their album release tour.  Saturday’s show in Saratoga Springs features our friends The Lucky Jukebox Brigade!)

“Raymond Carver” by The Great American Novel (We continue to mentally prepare ourselves for the highly anticipated new album by this New York band)

“My Iron Lung” (live) by Radiohead (more 1995 goodness via Paste Magazine and Noisetrade)

“Turn Me On Dead Man” by Bill Lloyd (Lloyd has been a fixture on the Nashville music scene for a long, long time.  I first became familiar with him when he was rocking out with his band The December Boys.  Since then, he has released a string of albums which are as close to pure pop heaven and one can hope to reach, he was 1/2 of the Country music duo Foster and Lloyd, and more recently he curates a rotating band called The Long Players who recreate classic albums.  His Facebook posts provide an excellent history of great music. This song is from his 1999 album Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.  His latest album is Boy King of Tokyo)

Shuffle

“Silence” by Beijing from Night (2013)

 Our new friend’s from Connecticut Beijing jump back into the Shuffle with another track from their rocking new album Night.  

“American Music” by Violent Femmes from Why Do Birds Sing? (1991)

From the Fifth Studio album. American Music may be the band’s second best known song.  Violent Femmes have reunited in 2013 and played Coachella and Milwaukee’s Summerfest. 

“Long Days of Longing” by James the Giant from James the Giant (2013)

This powerful debut by the San Francisco singer/songwriter who goes by the moniker James the Giant is still about two weeks from its official release.  The first single, Two Weeks on the Ocean (which we featured within the last week or so) is out and had a premier at USA Today!

“Creep” (live) by Radiohead from PASTE.COM Presents: Radiohead Live at Tramps June 1, 1995 (2013)

“Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special”

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Brain is Hanging Upside Down Mix

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Another month here at Ear to the Ground, and suddenly, we find 2013 is half over… oh, how can it be? 

Oh, it be….

We start 2013 Act II with yet another scintillating mix of music.  Sometimes, especially when time prevents me from adding very much in the way of commentary, exactly what my role is.  But, in an attempt to up my pretentiousness factor, I have decided to call what I do Curating.  So, for you listening pleasure, here is the latest E2TG mix curated by yours truly…

PRE-SHUFFLE: (Not in order)

We feature two songs from the new album by the awesome band, Beijing.  The album Night is rapidly turning into one of our favorites of a year jam-packed with great music. Today, we heard: “Violent” and “The Sun Will Set.”  This band (from Connecticut not China) packs a powerful and melodious punch.

The pre-shuffle also includes two songs from Arkansas/Tennessee band Canopy Climbers. “Garden” is a bonus track from their recent Noisetrade sampler, and Always” is the opening track on their brand new album Miles.

Let’s continue the twofers with a pair of songs from New York punk legends, The Ramones.  “We’re a Happy Family” is from their third studio album, Rocket to Russia (1977); and “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” sometimes subtitled “My Brain is Hanging Upside Down” was released first as a single in 1985 and then subsequently included on the band’s ninth studio album, Animal Boy (1986).

Next up, we have the late, great Bobby Bland with “Second Hand Heart”. Bland, who died on June 23 at the age of 83, left behind a legacy of great music. This song is on his 1986 album, After All.

“Mourning Train from Memphis” by Christopher Paul Stelling from Songs of Praise and Scorn (2012)  A favorite of mine. Beautiful, and as I’ve said over and over again, I am a sucker for a train song.

“Beach Day” by Beach Day – just discovered this great band from Hollywood, Florida.  Great mix of surf rock, girl group and punk.  From their brand new TripTrap Attack album.

And finally, we just grabbed a live recording of Radiohead from June 1995 which just released on Noisetrade (in conjunction with Paste magazine). Coincidentally, I actually saw Radiohead live a couple of months after the show recorded here (opening for R.E.M. in Nashville), and between the time this recording was made and the show I saw, my amazing daughters were born.  We have “The Bends” – the title track from what was then the latest Radiohead album (released March 1995).

We have an amazing shuffle after the jump…


“Ash’s Lament (Pokemon Theme)” by Valued Customer off of their cover album, Fun Covers which was released in 2012

  • As we begin to turn blue (from holding our breath) and eagerly await to find out what Valued Customer have in store for us next, we have added this awesome collection of cover songs to our Playlist to help us in our inpatient wait.
  •  

    “Umbrella” by Canopy Climbers from Miles (2013)
  • Our third song of the day from Canopy Climbers is a good one. Umbrella is a nifty song that pulls in tightrope walker imagery into a song which seems to be about risk and trust and faith.

“Inner Sanctum” by The Gabriel Construct from Interior City (2013)

      • We close out our first music mix of July with another stunner from the challenging but chaotically beautiful album by The Gabriel Construct. Finally got the change to listen to this album straight through, and it is a remarkable journey. Certainly, it is an ambitious effort.  I’m all about bold ambitious efforts, and for me this one is a success because of the way the varied genres, cacophonous music and evocative lyrics are brought together to tell a very powerful story.

      PLAYLIST

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