Monday Morning Music Shuffle – A Mean Idea Mix

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  It’s Monday, it’s also Tax Day here in the USA.  Our goal of late, seems to be to cover as much musical ground as possible in the span of 7-10 songs or so.  I hope today’s Pre-Shuffle and Shuffle Shuffle do not disappoint.

Let’s get to it….

Pre-shuffle:  April Verch is a Berklee trained Bluegrass/Traditional music fiddle player and step-dancer.  She has a new sampler out of Noisetrade, so there is no excuse not to check her music out.  We listened to two selections from the release this morning.

We also heard more music from Taco Land’s Pancakes and Pizza album – (see our review). Plus another song from the awesome new record from Sad Baby Wolf.  This morning’s Gershwin song is performed by the late, great Rosemary Clooney, and we closed out the Pre-shuffle with John Wesley Harding with the opening track from his 2011 album,The Sound of His Own Voice.

Let’s head into the shuffle – now….

  • “Stoned and Starving” by Parquet Courts from Light Up Gold (2013)

Parquet Courts are a punk band from Brooklyn. They are currently being featured on Amazon Free Music From Rising Artist April .  

  • “My Old Man” by Joni Mitchell from Blue (1971)

‘Cause you gotta play some Blue on when Tax Day falls on a Monday – it’s the law.

  • “Gates of Brooklyn” by David Lott from Gates of Brooklyn (2011)

One of our Couch by Couchwest “discoveries” we have the title track from the singer-songwriter and native New Yorker who now lives in Colorado.

  • “King of Birds” by R.E.M. from Document (1987)

Did you know that Document was recorded in Nashville?  “I am king of all I see, my kingdom for a voice
Old man don’t lay so still, you’re not yet young
There’s time to teach, point to point
Point observation, children carry reservations
Standing on the shoulders of giants, leaves me cold, leaves me cold”


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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Heavy Metal Drummer Mix

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Good morning – er afternoon.  After two days of Non-Shuffles, I turned the Shuffle mode back on and came up with some songs to get us through the last day of the work week…

Pre-Shuffle:  We started things off with another track from the fantastic self-titled EP by The Foresters – a track called “Alone”.  Next, we had a fun little triad of songs which featured two more songs from The Lucky Jukebox Brigade’s album Pretty Well Damned.  In between, “Taffy” and “Carnivultures”, we had Sinatra’s version of Gershwin’s classic Someone to Watch Over Me.  It was really cool how well those three songs worked together.  We closed out the pre-shuffle with a track from Odd Man Out, the Killing Kuddles’ album we reviewed on Wednesday

Coming up after the JUMP, we have a shuffle which includes two cover songs and an Arrested Development reference…

  • “There’s Always Money in the Banana Stand” by Bridge Under Fire from Why Wait? (2012)/The Appetizer Built4BBQ sampler (2013)

We have a second song from the Syracuse punk band Bridge Under Fire from The Appetizer sampler put out by the good folks at Built4BBQ. The song named after a memorable quote from the cult (and soon to be revived) television series Arrested Development, is the last song on the band’s 2012 album, Why Wait?

  • “Unwed Fathers” by Deer Tick feat. Liz Isenberg from Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine (2010)


A great cover by some cool folks from Rhode Island off of an absolute “must-have” tribute album which came out a few years ago.  In our playlist below, we have a live version of Deer Tick perfoming the song plus as a bonus, we have Prine himself with the awesome Carrie Rodriquez performing the song. 

  • “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by You and Me from You and Me (CD 2013)
We close out with our friends Val and James of You and Me with a soulful take on the classic Dylan tune. 




Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Reasonable Man Mix

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You know, I’m not one to dwell in the past… well at least as it relates to this blog, but I was thinking about yesterday’s Shuffle, and how proud I was to be able to present three great new pieces of music from artists and musical styles which could hardly be more diverse, and which (at least in my mind) were united by a love of what they do and an authenticity of spirit which can be a rare quality in music these days (or any days).

As they say, now for something completely different.  We shuffled up the same playlist of songs and here is what emerged for today….

Pre-Shuffle Shuffle:  A cool Punk Rock band from New York State called Bridge Under Fire which we pulled off of The Appetizer Sampler from Built4BBQ.  A couple more tuneful tracks from the outstanding Pretty Well Damned album by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade.  We close out the Pre-shuffle with a pretty cool Rock band from Brooklyn called Brothers (not be to mistaken for any other band called Brothers, this band is referred to as Brother NYC).

Shuffle forward after the Jump

  • “Using Your Love” by The Mohawk Lodge from Damaged Goods (2013)
The Mohawk Lodge are a band from Canada. They have been compare to Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen with a dash of Nick Cave.  I’ve been digging on the songs I’ve heard so far. Check them out.

  •  “Just a Bum” by Greg Brown which was orginally released on his 1985 album In the Dark With You and which we grabbed off of the 1995 benefit compilation The Silverlake Homeless Project

The legendary folk artist, Greg Brown delivers one of his many beloved songs from this benefit compilation.

  • “The Fly That Rode From Buffalo” by Southern Culture on the Skids from Ditch Diggin’ (1994)

SCOTS have always entertained me.  In attitude and approach, consider them step children of the B-52s with the Southern Kitschiness and outrageous good humor. Musically, they borrow liberally from Rockabilly, Surf and Country to create a unique sound.  This is a great track which is almost 20 years old. Wow!

  • “It’s a Pity (Pardon my English)” composed by George Gershwin performed by Mel Torme from The Essential George Gershwin.

My primo Goodwill find continues to deliver musical gold.  This time it’s the Golden Fog, Mel Torme.  A nice way to close out today’s eclectic and delightfully weird music shuffle.





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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Let’s Make History Mix

Well, it seems like I actually made progress last week – presenting more tracks on the blog than I added to the Playlist.  Then, this weekend came along…  There is a seemingly endless amount of really good to great music out there, and the list keeps growing.

Meanwhile, my album review to do list keep growing, while the free time seems to dwindle. So, I’ll keep at it… 

 The Pre-Shuffle included another track from the minuteflag EP.  “Candy Rush” is a wild jazzy, punk rock jam of an instrumental.  We followed that with some more great bluesy folk pop from our friends Val and James who record as You and Me – this time we heard “Today is Gonna Be a Better Day”.  NOSE! demonstrating the timeless art of “Hamboning”.  We heard a classic.  Harry James and His Orchestra doing “Blues” from An American in Paris composed by – you guessed it – George Gershwin. We closed out the Pre-Shuffle with all 10 minutes of “Go Girls (Complete)” from the Go Girl album by Dog Without Warning.

 Shuffle comes up right after the jump…. JUMP!

  •  “A New Love (Can Be Found)” by Daniel Romano from Come Cry With Me (2013)

There is a cool monthly mixtape put out every month by a group of bloggers including our friend David “Popatunes” Horton.  It’s Called Feel Bad.  The April Edition just came out and heading the as always stellar (and diverse) selection of tunes is this one.  Check out Feel Bad for April HERE. If you listen to most Country radio and wonder what ever happened to good old COUNTRY MUSIC, then look no further  than Canadian Troubadour Daniel Romano.

  • “Little Man” by Christian Robins (Prod Blended Babies) from KidGrownUp (2013)

We had two tracks from this new mixtape in Friday’s Pre-Shuffle.  Today, young rapper Christian Robins makes the jump into the Shuffle with this outstanding track.  Words and Beats. Lyrical content that matters and that says something.  Seriously, you have to give this a listen. “Hands Up, Hands Up for the Little Man”  Download the Mixtape HERE.

  • “Oh, Rose” by Skeletons in the Piano from Please Don’t Die (2013)

Please Don’t Die is the highly anticipated 3rd Album from Saratoga Springs band Skeletons in the Piano.  Pre-Orders start April 20. The record is being put out by Magnetic Eye Records. Skeletons in the Piano, as you may know, were voted Band of the Year in 2012 by you, our loyal readers. Expect my full review of this album soon.  Today, we heard the final song from the album. Prepare yourself, this album is going to totally blow you out of the water.  Some of the earliest reviews have thrown out descriptions like Wagner meets Iron Maiden. This is BIG music and great music.  Stay tuned for much more about this.  As indicated on the poster reproduced above, The CD release party is happening May 11 and The End Men are joining the party.  Man, I wish I could be in Saratoga Springs on that night.

Let’s Make History Mix Playlist

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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – D Day Mix

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Don’t bother to double-check your calendar, it’s not June 6.  No, the D here is a reference to the Roman Numeral D which equals 500.  What you are reading is the 500th  Blogger Post here at Ear to the Ground.  (Note: We began as an upstart blog on the now (or soon) to be defunct Posterous site).  In transferred to Blogger sometime around the beginning of 2012. Full disclosure, we did transfer a handful of our Posterous posts over, and those are included in the 500, but we still think this is a remarkable achievement.

As we approached 500, we considered a self-indulgent retrospective post looking back on our finest moments with perhaps some blooper reels thrown in for good measure, but none of that stuff seemed to fit what we try to be all about. 

So without further ado (but with a huge tip of the hat and thanks to everyone who has joined us and assisted us on this continuing journey), we are simply going to do what we do best… we offer up an inexplicable mix of new and old and well known and obscure music which by all rights (maybe) should not be in the same mix, and we offer it with our simple and overriding (usually unstated) message: “Hey, I heard some cool music today.  Let me tell you about it.”

Today’s list of songs comes up after the jump:

Our pre-shuffle today includes a song from the forthcoming album Electric Sounds by Sad Baby Wolf.


We also had another great track from the incredible new album, Pancakes and Pizza by Taco Land.


We dug deeper into the 12in 12x 12 Volume album by NOSE!

And our Pre-Shuffle was rounded out by two tracks from a mix-tape we downloaded yesterday based upon the recommendation of a old friend on Facebook.  Christian Robins is a hip-hop artist originally from the suburbs of Chicago and currently living and going to school in Madison, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I don’t could not find a video to accompany these tracks, but you can check out the mix-tape which is downloadable HERE.  You won’t regret it. We heard the first two tracks of the mix-tape. Sweater Weather and the title track KidGrownUp, and we are intrigued and hooked.

Now, for the Shuffle Shuffle:

  • “This Time” by The Foresters from The Foresters (2012)

The Nork brothers (ages: 13, 11 and 10) from Connecticut, who decided to form a band after seeing a Green Day concert with their father, and subsequently purchased and learned to play their instruments are back with another great song from their self-titled 7 song release.  We love these songs, and we are digging even more the new music they have put out since this record was released.

  • ” ‘S Wonderful” composed by George Gershwin/performed by Buddy Clark and Dinah Short from The Essential George Gershwin.

It seems rather fitting with the spirit of Ear to the Ground that we should follow up a Punk-Pop song from a band of Pre-teen/Teen brothers with a jazz standard recorded by two singing stars from the 1940s.  Buddy Clark died in a plane crash in 1949.  Dinah Shore went onto a long career in television.

  • “You Make Loving Fun” by Fleetwood Mac from Rumours (1977 )

I think I always thought this song was called, I Never Did Believe in Miracles.  I don’t think I ever realized just how ubiquitous the songs on this album were during my formative years.  Christine McVie sings lead on this song which is just gorgeous.

  • “Back Around” by Dan Coyle from The Undertow EP (2013)

New York singer-songwriter Dan Coyle is set to release an new six-song EP in May. The Undertow actually includes three song done two times each (an acoustic version and an Electric version). The Acoustic tracks are currently available via Soundcloud. Today, we have a beautiful song called Back Around, and we are looking forward to hearing more from this great artist. 

So, we have 500 posts in the books.  Hears to 500 more.  See you next time.  We’ll close out with today’s featured You Tube Playlist



Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – April 4 Memphis Mix

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Thinking about MLK and the price of Freedom and Justice and the power of Love and Mercy.  For the record, the shot didn’t ring out in the early morning of April 4 (despite U2’s poetic license, it was the late evening). But I digress. 

The awesome music continues to roll in faster than we can distribute it out to you.  Stay tuned!

First up, we had a whopping eight songs in our Pre-Shuffle Shuffle this morning.  Just to explain, I listen to music on my ride into work and then on my walk from the parking lot. It was taking to long to write a complete post about all of the music, but I wanted to take the opportunity to give some quick shout outs.  So I invented the Pre-Shuffle Shuffle which contains fewer details but 100% of the love.

Pre-Shuffle Shuffle includes: Colorado by way of Brooklyn Singer-Songwriter and CXCW Alum David Lott, Birthday boy Luke Anderson and his band The Danbury Lie with another great song from their ‘?’ album out now via Bandcamp. Built4BBQ band and friends of The End Men (obligatory The End Men mention) New Red Scare are a Rock and Roll band from Albany – Unlucky One is from The Appetizer Sampler.  More Gershwin. Connecticut prodigies, The Foresters with Mugshot from their self-titled EP. A track from the forth-coming album, Damaged Goods from veteran Canadian band The Mohawk Lodge. A classic track and one of my favorite songs by Nashville by way of Mobile, Alabama singer, songwriter and guitar god, Will Kimbrough going back to his This album.  And the Pre-Shuffle closes out with yet another great track from Taco Land’s awesome new album Pancakes and Pizza which is out now.

We hit the Shuffle, Shuffle after the Jump

  • “Lightnin’ Hopkins” by R.E.M. from Document (1987)

Time is funny and relative. By the time, R.E.M. released Document their fifth album and final studio release on IRS Records, they were just six years out from the release of their first single (Radio Free Europe), five years out from the release of Chronic Town and just four years out from the release of Murmur – their first album.  But, R.E.M. were already building an audience thanks to constant touring and the support of then powerful College Radio, and Document marked what seemed at the time to be a huge sonic departure from their previous releases.  It even had a hit single, The One I Love reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Us young punk hipsters kind of saw it as bit of a sell-out (I remember a friend of mine singing “It’s the End of R.E.M. as we know it…” on a road trip to Nashville around the time of the album’s release.  But, as I said, time is funny and listening to Document now, it just sounds like classic R.E.M. and has some truly great R.E.M. moments including Lightnin’ Hopkins our track today.

  • “Screwdriver” by Prince – 2013 Single release

As I said, Time is funny.  Who’d have thought way back in 2012 that some of the most exciting new music of 2013 would be put out by the (allegedly) retired David Bowie and none other than the Purple One himself Prince Rogers Nelson.  But, here you have it. Bowie’s music has re-energized his fan-base and Screwdriver is just a damn fine funky Rock and Roll song. 

  • “The Middle” by Jenny from Heavy (2010) 

We have another track from the Heavy album by countryish rock band Jenny from Calgary.  Did I mention that this band features drummer Spencer Kathrens who used to be in Inner City Elegance, which was one of the early band’s we featured on Ear to the Ground (way back in the Posterous days)

  • “Coffee Cups” by Langhorne Slim and The Law from The Way We Move (2012)

More great music from Langhorne Slim and the Law. The Way We Move is a really strong album, so check it out if you haven’t


Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Avant Guard Dogs Mix

It’s festival announcement time. We’d love to hear from our Readers about which festival lineup you are most excited to see. I’ll be honest for most of the major festivals, probably 90% of the lineup seems almost obligatory.  By that, I don’t necessarily mean it’s bad music, just that there seems to be a core group of bands who you know are going to be at every major festival.  So, we’re most interested in any artists who you were surprised to see on a festival line-up.  

Let’s get to it:  This morning, we had four songs in our pre-shuffle shuffle and four song in our Shuffle shuffle.

Pre-shuffle:  we continue to dig on the Dog Without Warning album Go Girl.  Today, we heard Pacific Time Zone which more of an alt-country feel to it then some of the other songs we’ve heard from the album.  We also had another great song from the self-titled You and Me album. We heard a newish track from our good friend Galen Wade via Soundcloud, and the pre-shuffle closed out with another great track from The Lucky Jukebox Brigade – he heard Flip which the band performed for this year’s CXCW.

Now, let’s get to the Shuffle – it’s after the Jump

  • “Gone With the Wind” by The Plastic Pals from Good Karma Cafe (2008)

The Plastic Pals are a really cool Twin-Guitar pop band from Stockholm.  Their newest album was produced by Chris Cavacas (ex-Green on Red). Today, we have a track from the band’s 2008 album Good Karma Cafe.  They found us on Twitter and we are extremely glad they did.

  • “You Make Me Rock and Roll” by Tom Tom Club from Downtown Rockers (2012)


Chris, Tina and company released the awesome Downtown Rockers back in September.  Today, we have the third track on the album.  You can own your own digital copy of Downtown Rockers for just $5.00 on Amazon by clicking the album cover above.  Tom Tom Club will be touring later this year including an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in June.

  • “Even if It All Falls Through” by Ben de la Cour from Ghost Light (2012)


This may be our favorite so far from the Ghost Light album.  We’ve already featured a number of songs from this album (another CXCW “discovery”).  “Even if…” has the sound of a brand new classic song.

  • “Fascinating Rhythm/Someone to Watch Over Me” composed by George Gershwin and performed by Morton Gould and His Orchestra from The Essential George Gershwin

Would it be inaccurate to call Gershwin the original Downtown Rocker? Probably, but in terms of 20th Century American Popular and Classical Music, he is one of the best. We’re kind of digging this additional to our morning mixes.