#E2TG is not at SXSW (This is a CXCW plug by the way)

If, like me, you are not at the South by Southwest confab (conflag?) (whatever), you probably have some good reasons.  Can’t get off work, lack of funds, the beer is too expensive, too many damn hipsters, it involves putting on shoes — the list goes on.

For the last four years, there has been a great alternative to SXSW.  I hope by now, you are familiar with Couch by Couchwest -where the beer is cheap and the only hipster is you.  CXCW is an on-line music festival featuring a staggering number and variety of talented folks who submitted specially made videos specifically for the festival. Often, the videos feature couches. Often they don’t. They may be filmed in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, on front or back porches, or in wide-open fields.  Jonny Fritz when he still went by Jonny Corndawg recorded one from the inside of a drainage pipe.

The atmosphere !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js around Couch by Couchwest is low-key, laid back, and light-hearted.  Tacos are a popular food, beer is the drink of choice (often), and most importantly, the music is mind-blowing. 

If you are a regular Ear to the Ground reader you probably already know about CXCW and I hope you’ve been keeping up.  The festival is on day four, and if you haven’t tuned it yet, you have some catching up to do.  Go now to Couchbycouchwest.com.

Ear to the Ground favorites like:

The Foresters

Sci-Fi Romance


Tim Lee 3

The Imperial Rooster

Tipi Valley

Todd Farrell, Jr.

Jeanette Lynne

(And probably some I’m forgetting (sorry!))

have already made an CXCW’14 appearance. Plus – we’ve been introduced to some amazingly talented folks who will more than likely grace our pages soon. 

We expect to see The End Men, Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, and much, much more the before the festival wraps up. 

Among the most buzz-worthy moments so far has been Jamie Painter’s cover of Jason Isbell’s Cover Me Up which has earned a recommendation from Mr. Isbell himself.  Oh and Two Mule Blues set shit on fire

So, in conclusion, I get why you’re not at South by Southwest. I’m not there with you, but why the heck aren’t you at Couch by Couchwest?  Shoes are optional and probably not encouraged.

Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Superstar Mix

We’ve reached the end of the week.  To get us into the weekend, I have a long list of additions to the E2TG Hall of Fall, and a pretty sweet little music shuffle.

E2TG Hall of Fame:
13. The Foresters (Bethany, CT) (ed. note: Some may say they are too young for a Hall of Fame, but it’s my Hall of Fame, and by their inspiring dedication to their craft, they have already earned their place – even as I acknowledge their best work is ahead of them – I think that is true for most if not all of our inductees)
14. Those Mockingbirds (Montclair, NJ)
15. You and Me (Montreal, QC)
16. MAKAR (New York, NY)
17. The Gypsy West (Brooklyn, NY)
18. Tipi Valley (Swansea, UK)
19. Jo Wymer (Freehold, NJ)
20. Sci-Fi Romance

The inductees will continue. There are still some major favorites of mine who have not been added  yet.  Rest assured this will be rectified sooner than later.  I want to make more progress on the Hall of Fame Page before I add too many more. 

Here’s the Shuffle-

“Superstar” by Sonic Youth (from If I Were a Carpenter.  Sonic Youth covering Richard and Karen Carpenter’s 70s era hit song.)

“Waitin'” by Caitlin Rose (from Goodbye Summer: 2013 ATO Fall Sampler.  From her latest album The Stand-In.)

“Against the Sky” by Theory of Machines (from EP1.  Another track by this awesomely dark and cinematic band from London – mostly instrumental with some spoken words.)


“Work” by The End Men (a-side to the Work single.  The latest music from our first Hall of Fame inductees. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the incredible video for “Work” which is included in our daily video playlist below.)


“Heat Wave” by The All-About (from Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen: Section 4.  From Fairfield, CT.  “Dance music written and recorded by people who can’t dance for people who can’t dance.” It’s no wonder I dig this.)


“Winter Pockets” by Wild Child (from Pillow Talk. A perfect song for this frosty morning. Austin based Indie Folk.)



Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Can See No Reason Mix

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Before we get to the shuffle, I have to take a moment to send out lots of prayers, good thoughts and love to everyone affected by the tragedy in Connecticut on Friday.  And let’s face it, it affected most of us in some way.  Several bands we follow regularly here at Ear t the Ground live not too far from Newtown. The Velveteens who were featured artists a couple of months back had family members who attend the school. Thankfully, they were okay. For those of us with children, for those of us who have any compassion – this was an unspeakably devastating event.  But talk we must.  So, I sent out the prayers and good thoughts and love to those in Newtown and those in Connecticut and those in the United States of America and those in the world.  We are sick of violence, but we feel powerless in the face of it.  But, if there is power to break the cycles and change the old ways, it will… it must come from within us.  And it won’t all come in these fleeting moments of national and international grief and outrage.  The necessary changes have to come over time, even as the immediacy of the horror begins to fade and blend with all the previous horrors which were once in our immediate path.

Now, we are about seconds away from rolling out our 2nd Annual Band of the Year Readers Poll.  To get into the spirit, today’s shuffle comes from a playlist of the bands who will be in the year end poll.

What struck me, as I was listening to these songs today was how much great music we’ve heard this year, and also, how many great new friends we have made. In my estimation, this makes 2012 a great year for music.  What do you think?

And the Giraffe are a band that formed in Florida and currently is split between Florida and Nashville.  They have some new music which we hope to be bringing you soon. In the meantime, we have Magic 8 from their previous release called Something for Someone.  They tied for Band of the Month back in September.

MAKAR are a NYC band who captured our hearts and captured the crown to narrowly defeat The End Men in the epic January Band of the Month voting.  We have the title track from their album Funeral Genius up next in the shuffle.

Walking for Pennies write really great songs.  Their album Forget About Wonderland in one you should definitely check out.  They were one of the two Bands of the Month for November/December 2012.  Check out Nashville. Which I love and not just because it is about my city….

As previously mentioned, The End Men were narrowly defeated by MAKAR in the Band of the Month voting for January.  The End Men were not happy.  In the Band of the Year voting – expect them to try to avenge their loss.  By luck of the Shuffle, we had two great songs from The End Men in today’s shuffle.  First, the cautionary tale, They’re All Gonna Cost Ya and then the title track from the Build it Up EP.

Atlanta’s own Killing Kuddles was “this” close to being Band of the Month back in June. He made it into the Band of the Year poll and will employ a take no prisoners approach this time around.  Here’s Too Crazy off of Waking Up Older.

Another epic battle for Band of the Month was back in May.  When South of Ramona just edged out Sci-Fi Romance.  This is another rematch which be played out in the year end reader’s poll.  South of Ramona had two songs in today’s shuffle.  First Purple Sky from the Step Inside EP which came out this year, and then Westward Souls from the band’s Demo.

South of Ramona tends to release Cover videos rather than videos of their own songs.  Here are two great covers from South of Ramona.

We will close out the shuffle which has taken me all day to complete with a great song from our March 2012 Band of the Month.  The kids from Northbrook Garage have accomplished quite a bit in their short lives (winning a contest to record at Ardent Studios, playing with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and of course being named Band of the Month at Ear to the Ground).  Before they set their sights of the Band of the Year crown, check out their awesome single So What.

Here’s those Chicago kids covering Grace Potter and Nocturnals with a special guest!


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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – No Newts Mix

It’s Monday here in Downtown Nashville, and Newt is going to be here today.  Right across the street from me. Sooooo excited…. *yawn*
In other news, as we wrap up the month of February (I will be adding the last batch of songs for the month tonight), I thought we would hit the Way Back machine and head back to January 2012. Remember when…ah nostalgia..
Shuffle of songs added in January 2012…
The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel from the Bridge Over Troubled Water album. “I get the news I need on the weather report.”
<—–Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel via Amazon.com
Three Times A Midnight   by MAKAR from the Funeral Genius album.  “I’ll take you on a suicide drive.”
<—- Funeral Genius – MAKAR (with the scary west coast aggressive panhandling bird) via Amazon.com
Have You Ever Seen the Rain? by Joan Jett covering The Minutemen Creedence Clearwater Revival from Joan’s The Hit List cover album.  “Someone told me long ago, there’s a calm before the storm.”
<—-3 different versions of Have You Ever Seen the Rain? via Amazon.com
And finally, a song about the guy who walked on the moon and blew his lines at the very moment Burris Weems the protagonist of Greg Matthews’ novel Little Red Rooster was born.  Neil Armstrong by The Dexateens from their 2007 album Hardwire Healing.  “Well it’s cold in July when you’re up in the sky…”
  <—–Hardwire Healing by The Dexateens via Amazon.com
Affiliated Links:
Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong

Creedence Clearwater Revival Have You Ever Seen the Rain Creedence Clearwater Revival Have You Ever Seen the Rain
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Friday Morming Music Shuffle – ♂ ♀ Mix

Yesterday was a good day for driving with the windows down and blasting tunes just up to the point where the sound begins to distort. 
We’ve reached the end of another week. I know this is a symptom of old age, but man, time sure is flying.  It’s almost March.  Later today or tomorrow, I will be unveiling our 4th and final Band of the Week for February, and next week sometime, we will begin the task of naming our Band of the Month.
Before we get to today’s shuffle, I had a treat in my Inbox this morning – a freshly minted track from Band of the Year Runner-Up Ubiquity Machine – the first from a forthcoming EP.  I can’t wait for all of you to hear it.
To the Shuffle——–>

♫♪ #1 – It ain’t no big thing… Do flip out… sweet, sweet beats – It’s Just Stuph from Hayden Coleman Music – check it out!

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=3908295771/size=grande3/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/ ♪♫ #2 – It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had The End Men show up in a morning shuffle, whatever, it’s been too long.  Build It Up is the title track from the band’s excellent EP, and it is the song, I first heard, and I was reminded how, when I heard the first few bars, I KNEW that I had just discovered a new fave!

<——-Built It Up (EP) by The End Men – on Amazon.com

♪ ♫ #3 – I heard a couple of reports on NPR this morning about difficulties in other countries over elections.  Here is the US – voting tends to divide us.  But, here at Ear to the Ground we march to the beat of our own drummer(s).  Less than a month ago, The End Men and this next band were engaged in a bitter, hard fought vote to be named Band of the Month, but at the end of the day, once all the votes had been counted and all the challenges and protests had been heard, the two bands were able to put aside their differences and come together….(I’m tearing up now which you can’t see so it loses it’s effect).

Belong Here  comes from the Funeral Genius album by February Band of the Month MAKAR.

<————Funeral Genius by MAKAR – on Amazon.com

♪♫ #4 – Finally – we go to the first EP  of the Accomplices series by recent Band of the Week, The Gypsy West.  Accomplices I and II are available from Bandcamp and volume III is coming soon. The  concept series tells a story and amazing enough the first volume contains two covers which contribute to the overall tale being told.   Today we have one of those covers – Richard Cory was originally on the Simon and Garfunkel album Sound of Silence – based upon the Edwin Arlington Robinson 1897 poem. Here the band makes it their own.

ComScore —————————————————————————– Support your favorite music blog – visit our affiliates:

Richard Cory and Selected Songs Richard Cory and Selected Songs
“By Frederic Prokosch E.A. Robinson. For Piano, Voice. Masters Collection. Piano reduction/vocal score. Standard notation. 144 pages. Published by Carl Fischer”

Collected Poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson Collected Poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson
This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. In the interest of creating a more extensive selection of rare historical book reprints, we have chosen to reproduce this title even though it may possibly have occasional imperfections such as missing and blurred pages, missing text, poor pictures, markings, dark backgrounds and other reproduction issues beyond our control. Because this work is culturally important, we have made it available as a part of our commitment to protecting, preserving and promoting the world’s literature.

And it’s official* The Band of the Month is….

Congratulations!  It was a hard fought battle, and a fair amount of time was misspent (which is always a goal of mine.)  

Of course it’s all about the music and all of the bands nominated are great.

Great things are ahead for all of these bands.  And we move forward.  The Gypsy West are the first Band of the Week for February and they will soon be joined by another great band.

I have a very special morning music shuffle scheduled for tomorrow so tune in.

*The End Men are challenging the voting, and have even threatened to bring in the Pauls (Ron and Rand and possible Ru – not sure about the last one).

We’ll leave you with MAKAR’s classic song, I Hate My Job performed live at Bar East just a few weeks ago, actually – it was a special show just for my birthday (kidding). 

I Hate My Job (Bar East – January 2012) from MAKAR on Vimeo.

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – To and Fro Mix

I added some new music last night – I’m having some technical difficulties, but whatever…
 A very cool mix this morning so sit right down and let me tell you all about it…
First up is a track from the latest twitter discovery… It’s Big Mosey who hail from Brooklyn, New York. Head over to their site for a free download of today’s featured song, Harold Called in the Morning, and keep your ear to the ground for more from these guys.
Check out the band’s EP – Homeward at Daybreak which you can get for a song* at Amazon by clicking on the album cover below:

*a song in this case equals just under $4.00

 Next up is another fine track from the amazing Bang Bang Boogaloo: Beyond Beyond is Beyond compilation. This comes to us from a band called Conspiracy of Owls  a Detroit band – the song we have is one the band’s 2010 self-titled album, and is called The Lesson.

Click on the kinda scary picture below to go to Amazon and get your own copy of Conspiracy of Owls for under $9.00.

Next the first of two tracks without vocals… from our current Band of the Week – From the Outside comes this propulsive number called Don’t Look Back which is off of the brand new The Sound of Motion album which you can get for name your own price using the widget below (via Bandcamp)

 http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=1597362578/size=tall2/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/ Next comes a track by Jonti who comes from Sydney, Australia and is on the Stones Throw label in the U.S. – he’s just come out with a collection called Sine & Moon (The Album) which includes today’s track, Nagoya Train Station 3AM. Click on the album title to grab a free download of  the album.

If you like what you hear, click on the album cover below to get Jonti’s October release Twirligig for just under $9.00.

 And finally, we’ve let too many days go by without a track from MAKAR 😉  So, here goes one we’ve featured before, but it’s a good one… called In the Know from Funeral Genius.

 Affiliated Links:

Sydney Culture, Including: Sydney Opera House, Opera Australia, Culture of Sydney, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney Push, Sydney Culture, Including: Sydney Opera House, Opera Australia, Culture of Sydney, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Sydney Push,
Hephaestus Books represents a new publishing paradigm, allowing disparate content sources to be curated into cohesive, relevant, and informative books. To date, this content has been curated from Wikipedia articles and images under Creative Commons licensing, although as Hephaestus Books continues to increase in scope and dimension, more licensed and public domain content is being added. We believe books such as this represent a new and exciting lexicon in the sharing of human knowledge. This particular book is a collaboration focused on Sydney culture.

Orquestra Sinfonica e Coro do Estado de São Paulo: São Paulo Samba Orquestra Sinfonica e Coro do Estado de São Paulo: São Paulo Samba
Orquestra Sinfonica e Coro do Estado de São Paulo: São Paulo Samba