Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Any Day Now Mix

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Good morning from chilly Nashville.  A cold drive and walk into today marvelous sights and sounds, plus a pretty cool random shuffle of the whole sound card….(Update: yeah, yeah, it’s not morning any more… the day just kind of jumped on me… *sigh*

Shuffle after the jump:

Ben Semmens, a talented singer-songwriter from Wales was one of our Bands of the Week last year. He recorded his latest album on an island off the coast of Georgia (not the former Soviet Republic). That record is called Outside the Box, but today’s song comes from his earlier release called Western Lights.  Our first song in the shuffle today is Prepared.

Here’s a link to his latest release

And a video of a song from his latest…
And finally to get Western Lights – go here…

The shuffle monster inside my phone’s music player decided to grace me with another track from the fantastic The Ghost of John Henry album by Sci-Fi Romance.  Today we have Broken Word which contains the awesome line:

“It’s a broken world… But in the cracks there’s beauty”

I don’t make it any secret that the Minutemen were one of my favorite bands of all time, or that Double Nickels on the Dime is one of my favorite albums.  Today we have Theatre is the Life of Me.
Double Nickels is on Amazon MP3 for just $8.99 which represents a savings of over $30 vs. buying all 43 songs separately.
Here’s a video of Mike Watt discussing Double Nickels…

When I moved to Memphis in 1988, I remember seeing posters all over town for shows by a band called Human Radio.  At that time, I had no clue who or what Human Radio was, but by the time I moved to Nashville in 1991, I knew and coincidentally, around that time, Human Radio decided to move to Nashville.  The band release one amazing album (to my knowledge) – the self titled release from which today’s song My First Million is taken.

Here’s a video of Me and Elvis from that same record…


And finally, let’s close out today’s shuffle with a song that was first released as a b-side to David Bowie’s 1975 single Space OddityVelvet Goldmine was recorded during the Ziggy Stardust sessions and appeared on the 1990 Rycodisc release of that classic album – which is where I came upon it. 

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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


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


 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:


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:

Affiliated Links:

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

Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Big Deal Mix

And so, we begin another week. my last full week of work until the second week in January.  Sweeeet…

First up is Band of the Year nominee, Ben Semmens aka BenSem with a track called Apathy from his Western Lights album.
(click on album cover to purchase and download Western Lights at Amazon.com)

Next up is one of my favorite songs from last year. Soft Skin by Mountain Man from their Made the Harbor album. 

(Click on album cover to purchase and download Made the Harbor at Amazon.com)

Next we have another Band of the Year nominee. It’s Joseph Russell aka Taco Land with a track from his brand new album Heart of Texas – the song is C’est La Vie which I’m pretty sure means awesome Texas music… or at least it should be… que sera sera…

(click on album cover to purchase and download Heart of Texas at Amazon.com)

Staying in Texas, we our final song of the day, is the classic Pancho & Lefty by the late, great Townes Van Zandt.

(click on album cover to purchase and download A Far Cry From Dead  at Amazon.com)

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Steve Earle/Townes Van Zandt/G : Together at the Bluebird Cafe Steve Earle/Townes Van Zandt/G : Together at the Bluebird Cafe
Steve Earle/Townes Van Zandt/G : Together at the Bluebird Cafe

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: