Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – The Icestorm Cometh (or Not) Mix

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Here we go… I’ll plug the Sandy Hook single again.  Really, check this out and buy it.  $1.29 – just don’t super-size your fast food meal for one day. 😉  


Our shuffle is all over this this a.m. – check it out – after the… wait for it… jump:

1.  Song: Ugly  Artist: Garrison Starr Album: Eighteen Over Me (1997) – We listened to a live version off a Noisetrade release – Awesome singer-songwriter originally from Mississippi)

2.  Song: Birmingham  Artist: Mikey Wax  Album: The Traveler EP (2010) – (Long Island based singer-songwriter – attended college in Nashville, one our early “Bands” of the Week, one of his songs – Counting on You – was an elimination song on Season 9 of So You Think You can Dance, spread his music through a series of house concerts during the summer of 2010 and 2011)

3. Song: PT Cruiser Artist: O Children  Album: Apnea (2012) – (London based Alternative band – my first time hearing this actually – I like it – what do you think?)

4.  Song: Alright  Artist: Adam Carroll Album: Far Away Blues (2005) – (Texas singer-songwriter – Adam Carroll is up there with some of the great country/folk/whateveryouwanttocallit singer-songwriters.  It does not seem like hyperbole to through around names like Townes and Prine and Dylan)
Couldn’t find a video for Alright – here’s Screen Door 

5.  Song: Nobody Does it Better (Carly Simon cover)  Artist: Radiohead Album: Covers by Radiohead (???) – (aka The Spy Who Loved Me – Simon’s version is on the Amazon widget above – pretty straight ahead cover by Radiohead – Thom Yorke is not Carly Simon, but this is a pretty sweet cover nonetheless)

6.  Song: From the News  Artist: The Joy of Painting  Album: Asterisk (2012) – (Another past Band of the Week, TJOP promise new music for 2013)
7.  Song: Kick It In (Studio Demo) Artist: The Replacements Album: Pleased to Meet Me (Expanded Edition) (2008 reissue, 1987 original album) – (oh the joys of the expanded reissues, The ‘mats Kick It In – in fine form)
A different Replacements song with Kick in the title – live from ’81

8. Song: It Happened Today  Artist: R.E.M. Album: Collapse Into Now (2011) – (from what ended up being the Athens-based swan-song)

9.  Song: Big Blue Train  Artist: Whiteboy James and the Blues Express Album: Extreme Makeover (2011) – (California Blues – my first time hearing this – first thought was hell yeah, then The Blasters came to mind. Turns out James played some with Dave and Phil Alvin at some point.  I’m a fan now)


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)



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.