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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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Power of Equality Mix

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 Time is short, and we have some nifty tunes to bring you…

Pre-Shuffle: 

We started with an early morning wake up call from our new friend The Gabriel Construct. Yesterday, we featured the first track on his brand new Interior City album.  Today, we heard “Curing Somatization” the last track on the album.  A blistering, challenging 10 plus minute powerhouse filled with some glorious and amazing noise.  

Next, “I Wanna Live” by the Ramones

“Leave it All Behind” by Nikki Sue and the Bad News

“Don’t Wanna Die Anymore” by Ivan and Alyosha

“Are You Hung Up?” by Wheelchair Sports Camp

and “Little Mascara” by The Replacements

SHUFFLE NEXT:


“Bless You (For the Good That’s In You) by Delta Rae from Gangster Squad: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture (2013)

The Peggy Lee original is also on this soundtrack.

“Travelin’ Light” by Peter Case from The Man with the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar (1989)

Just one of my all-time favorite songs, and a huge influence on my great unpublished American Novel, The Drift.  Puts a gleeful bounce in my step every time!

“Do You Feel the Same” by Royal Court of China from Royal Court of China (1987)

(Top) Royal Court of China Album Cover
(Bottom) Cover model Yumi with Joe Blanton in 2013

Ears are still ringing from Royal Court of China’s Saturday night set at Foobar. Nashville.  Another track from the self-titled album.

“Tell Me About the Sea” by James the Giant from James the Giant (2013)

We just received a sneak peak of this EP yesterday.  Here’s The Story

The Story


Born after the death of his younger brother in Afghanistan, the dissolution of his band, and the end of a long-term romantic relationship, James the Giant is a resurrection – a recommitment to life, to music, and to love. These songs embody the spirit that James himself carries into his everyday life: a commitment to honesty and an unwillingness to shrink from pain or fear.

The EP was recorded and John Vanderslice’s studio and is due out in mid July.  We will have much more later.

“The Ocean Stole My Love Away” by Christopher Paul Stelling from Songs of Praise and Scorn (2012)

Okay so we’ve been featuring songs from Stelling’s last album, but please check out his latest False Cities and check the Tour Dates below for a show near you…

Christopher Paul Stelling on tour.

UPCOMING SHOWS:
6/27/13: Dennis, MA
- Harvest Gallery Wine Bar
7/06/13: Washington, DC – The Sunshine District

7/09/13: Charlotte, NC – The Evening Muse
7/10/13: Atlanta, GA
- Eddies Attic – TICKET
7/11/13: Nashville, TN
- Bluebird Cafe
7/13/13: Cincinnati, OH – Bunbury Festival
7/16/13: Rock Island, IL – Rozz Tox

7/17/13: Spring Green, WI
- Shitty Barn
7/18/13: Rochester, MN – Thursdays on First and Third
7/19/13: Minneapolis, MN – Live Letters
7/20/13: Chicago, IL
- Wise Fool’s Pub
7/21/13: Milwaukee, WI
- Milwaukee Opry

7/23/13: Columbus, OH – Rumba
Cafe TICKET
7/25/13: Newport, RI – Newport Blues Cafe – TICKET
7/26/13: Floyd, VA
- Floyd Fest – INFO
7/27/13: Floyd, VA – Floyd Fest – INFO
8/16/12: Kingston, NY – BSP Lounge

PLAYLIST

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Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Plough Deep Mix

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 I can’t think of a better way to start my day than listening to “Shine” by Great Divide – what a joyful song. Oh wait, I know.. how about starting the day with two Great Divide songs in a row. “Fast Train” is awesome because I am a total sucker for “train” songs.

The Joy of Painting, in addition to being a classic PBS series hosted by the late Bob Ross, is a Nashville band who we’ve been digging on for a year or so. They have a brand new album called Tender Age, and today we have the catchy and generally just awesome “Back to Romance”.

Back in the day, I completely fell head over heels for “Walk in the Woods” and subsequently all of Peter Case’s self-titled solo debut. There was something clear and authentic and true about that album.  When the follow up to that album was released, needless to say I had some pretty high expectation which Mr. Case met and exceeded many times over.  The Man with Blue Post Modern Fragmented Neo-Tradionalist Guitar contains so many enduring songs (Traveling Light, Entella Hotel, Two Angels and This Town’s a Riot to name just a few). “Poor Old Tom” is for me a stand out on an album of stand outs. A heart-breaking song, it is loaded with some amazing lines. “He fought for freedom, never took a free breath”. “The night wind’s free to blow wherever it pleases, Tom’s free to walk until the cold daybreak.”  “The worse disease in the world is to be unwanted, to be used up and cast away”.  In just under four minutes, the listener is drawn into this broken, tragic life… it’s nothing short of brilliant.  The other night, I decided to add some older songs into the current mix – just to shake things up a bit. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this song in the 24 years since it’s release, but I never grow tired of it.

Moving on… Ghost and Goblin are a New York band who first came to our attention in a shout of from The End Men.  They released an album called SUPERHORRORCASTLELAND back in April or so, and we’ve featured several songs from that record.  “Look at the Clouds” is perhaps one of my favorites. A uncharacteristically breezy melody kicks into a more characteristic menacing hook. The album is out there on Bandcamp – check it out.

The Michigan band Decades are three kids who grew up on punk, ska and metal and then discovered the smooth pop songwriting of the 70s and 80s and the alternative radio rock of the 90s.  The result is something surprising.  Their music rocks and the punk/ska spirit still sits at the bottom of what they do, but layered on top is a focus on great pop songwriting and a genuine love of the music. “Popping Veins” from their album Deep Deep Pink Sessions is a good place to start.

Earlier this week, June 10 to be precise, was the 103 anniversary of the birth of Chester Arthur Burnett. You may know Mr. Burnett better as Howlin’ Wolf and stone-cold authentic Mississippi Blues Man. “Smokestack Lightning” is one of his earlier songs and draws upon several earlier blues songs. 

We’ve been covering a lot of music by the Vegas band Coastwest Unrest. Today we have the song “Empty Handed Painter” from the most recent release High Times on Lowly Streets which came out back in April. I sure hope you’ve checked out this band by now. If not, do it!

SHUFFLE BEGINS NOW… JUMP!

  • “Dream Up” by Wheelchair Sports Camp from their Where We All Live EP (2012).

  •  

Of the many ways I come to the music featured on Ear to the Ground, the more random ways are my favorite.  I get alerts on my phone the Bandsintown app. A few weeks ago, I got this alert that Flobots had a announced a show in town, and as I began clicking links and searching around, I saw where Wheelchair Sports Camp was opening up some shows this summer for Flobots and the name intrigued me.  I’ve written at length in earlier posts about the band, so I’ll just say, I’m continuing to love this music.

  • “Embers” by Joshua Worden from Always This (2013)

We’ve featured Joshua Worden quite a bit, too. This silky smooth Atlanta RnB Pop artist came to us via a publicist – which is another way we find out of about music. 

  • “Sailing Stones” by Monks of Mellonwah from Ghost Stories (2013)

The Sydney band Monks of Mellonwah are another band that came to us (a year or so ago) from a publicist. They are getting ready to release a new EP called Ghost Stories, and we got an early listen.  So far, I’m impressed by the melodic power of this record. You can check out their earlier releases where you usually get music. The songs featured here will appear on the band’s full-length album Turn the People which will be released later this year. Regardless of how I come to find out about a band, one of my stated goals of Ear to the Ground is to keep my mind and my ears open. The press release touts many of the band’s music industry achievements.  If you want to know that stuff just ask, and I will send you what I received. For me, though, it’s about the music, and this music is very good.

  • “Told You So” by Human Face from The Waiting Game (Part One) (2012)

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3666200720/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/notracklist=true/transparent=true/ 

 Human Face came to us the “old-fashioned” way – i.e. the way we first had to discover new music when the blog was too new for publicists to even know about us.  They followed me on Twitter and I checked them out.  What impresses me about Human Face is the incredible melodies, the modern take on some music of an earlier era.  For reasons unclear to me, I am reminded of 70s-80s UK band Squeeze.  Human Face does not sound like Squeeze, but like that incredible band, they combine strong songwriting, a contemporary sensibility and healthy does of Motown soul.

PLAYLIST

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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Anarchistic Arachnids Mix

Good Monday to you!  You know it’s Monday whether we like or not, so we best make the most out of it.  Today, we have a nifty little shuffle from the back room of the Ear to the Ground archives.  Hope you dig it!

In a not so rare sign of my age, I find it extremely hard to believe that this song is over 30 years old. Almost 34 years old to be precise.  Sting wrote this song for a prostitute he saw outside of the band’s hotel room in Paris. He named her for the character in Cyrano de Bergerac. It was released as a single in 1978 and then rereleased in 1979.  The b-side was a cool song called Peanuts. Roxanne appeared on Outlandos D’Amour.

 
The next song in our shuffle is over 40 years old, and man does it hold up well. It’s the opening track on one of the best albums in the history of rock.  Down on the Street from Fun House by The Stooges. The song throbs and squawks and burns. It is a stunning achievement in sonic power and predicts and paves the way for decades worth of punk and post-punk rock bands.
 
And finally, have an instrumental track from one of the best bands of the 80s. The Plimsouls were part of a power-pop movement, and they recorded one of the best rock songs of the decade, A Million Miles AwayHobo references the surf instrumentals of the 60s with a bit of the jangle that highlighted the Plimsouls’ sound. It is a Bonus Track on the CD release of Everywhere at Once, and you can catch a live version on the recently released Beach Town Confidential: Live at the Golden Bear 1983
 
 
Like, here’s A Million Miles Away from the movie, like, Valley Girl-I’m sure…
 
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Affiliated Links:
Roxanne (Digital Sheet Music) Roxanne (Digital Sheet Music)
“By The Police and Sting. For piano, voice, and guitar (chords only). Pop; Rock. 5 pages. Published by Hal Leonard – Digital Sheet Music”


The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story The Stooges: The Authorized and Illustrated Story
Formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1967, the Stooges are icons of modern rock, influencing the fledgling sounds of punk, heavy metal, and hard core. From the beginning, lead singer and provocateur Iggy Pop (b. James Osterberg) astounded audiences with his outrageous stage performances, accompanied by guitarist Ron Asheton, his drummer brother Scott Asheton, and bassist Dave Alexander with their raw and bracing sound. The group disbanded in 1974, but reunited in 2003 to play before a vastly expanded fan base of over 10 million devotees worldwide, and they continue to tour today. In this book, rock photographer Robert Matheu compiles the first ever authorized book about the band, including iconic photographs, classic interviews, and vintage articles and ephemera dating from the band’s breakout performances in Detroit in the late 1960s through their most recent shows in 2009. With new interviews from every significant member of the Stooges, past and present, previously unpublished photography, and a Stooges discography, “The Stooges “is the definitive book about this trailblazing band. “”


Valley Girl (45rpm Single) Frank Zappa Valley Girl (45rpm Single) Frank Zappa
A rarity. “Valley Girl” on both sides.


Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Synthetic Mix

Took car for service = Got ride to work = no morning walk = no morning shuffle = a theoretical shuffle = sweet mix for you

First up is a Detroit band from the early part of this century. Ko and the Knockouts were signed to the Sympathy Record label and our track today, Black and Blue, actually comes from the compilation The Sympathetic Sounds Of Detroit which also featured a band called The White Stripes.  Ko Melina is now a member of The Dirtbombs and she is also a DJ on Little Steven’s Sirius XM Channel, Underground Garage.  Black and Blue rocks pretty damn hard…  Below you can hit up Amazon for the self-titled album  by Ko and the Knockouts.

 
Here is another Ko and the Knockouts song from the album.
Next up with a Brooklyn band called EndAnd.  The album is called Adventures of Fi in Space, and the song is Far in Between.

 
Next we have an acoustic version of We Can Make it Here by James McMurtry which was on his 2005 album Childish Things. A new version with Joan Baez and Steve Earle is out on a new 5 CD release called Occupy This Album which we have linked below. 
 
And finally, we have Peter Case covering Charlie Poole’s 1926 classic Leavin Home which comes from his landmark 2001 album Thank You St. Jude.
 
Charlie Poole’s original
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Affiliated Links:
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High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project High Wide & Handsome – The Charlie Poole Project
High Wide & Handsome – The Charlie Poole Project


Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Give It an 8 Mix

It seems like there is so much sadness (loss, transitions, illness) in the world and among my closer circle of friends. Sending out warm thoughts and love to the world, and I hope some rains on you if you need it.

Just found out last night that early Band of the Week and good friends of the blog, Inner City Elegance are calling it quits.  I don’t have any details, but we wish them well in whatever future endeavors those three guys take on.  Here’s a video of an acoustic version of one my favorite ICE songs, Never Let You Down.

RIP to Dick Clark, Levon Helm and Greg Ham (Men at Work)…

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The Shuffle- 
We begin with a cover song.  It’s Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Baseball Project) doing a lovely slow version of A Million Miles Away  The Plimsouls’ song and one of my all-time favcs… Wynn’s version is on the must-have Peter Case tribute (A Case for Case)

(Albums containing the original and the cover)
(second video is Steve Wynn paying with Peter Case)
Our second song comes from San Francisco punk legends Flipper.  It’s Life is Cheap from their Generic Album.

And Finally, we close things out with I Wanna Be the One – some indie pop goodness from fun. – yeah the same band that does that We Are Young song….  This one’s from their Aim and Ignite album.

 

Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Smoke Dried Face Mix

Ah – the Friday before the Super Bowl.  Shouldn’t this be a national holiday, so that we can all get prepared for the annual religious event?  Just a thought…

Reminder – Please take a second to vote in our Band of the Month contest which runs through February 9. It’s located on the side bar to the left. 

Baby, why’m I worried now,
did someone make a fool of me
‘fore I could show ’em how it’s done?
Can’t give up actin’ tough,
it’s all that I’m made of.
Can’t scrape together quite enough
to ride the bus to the outskirts
of the fact that I need love. – Middle Cyclone – Neko Case

Drying up in conversation,
You will be the one who cannot talk
All your insides fall to pieces,
You just sit there wishing you could still make love
They’re the ones who’ll hate you
When you think you’ve got the world all sussed out
They’re the ones who’ll spit at you,
You will be the one screaming out – High and Dry – Radiohead

Hey pretty baby don’t you know it ain’t my fault
I love to hear the steel belts hummin’ on the asphalt
Wake up in the middle of the night in a truck stop
Stumble in the restaurant wonderin’ why I don’t stop – Guitar Town – Steve Earle

Well that was fifteen years ago, I guess I come a long long way
I never heard the end of it, you know I couldn’t stay... 
When Im not stuck for time or money, 
I still wonder bout that day - Walk in the Woods - Peter Case

These people round here
Wear beaten down eyes sunk in a smoke dried face
So resigned what their fate is,
But not us (no never),
no, not us (no never),
we are far too young and clever.  – Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

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