Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Godard Mix

Why Godard? Why not Godard? !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”);Plus today’s mix includes a song which was on the soundtrack of an movie that was a remake of a Godard film…

https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.jsThis year has been incredibly busy and has left little time for reflection. It’s been a great year for music – both in terms of great new music from “old” friends and great music from new friends.  I’ve done a massive overhaul of the Playlist from which the daily mixes are drawn.  As always  I will be adding new music as it comes to me, but I’ve stocked up the playlist with some of our favorites from 2013 so far…

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–> Today’s mix begins after the jump:

Pre-Shuffle:

* “Play With Your Toys Pt. 1” by The End Men

*”Ornamental” and “Grey Scale” by Let’s Active (for Faye Hunter)

*”Breathless” by X (Jerry Lee Lewis (Otis Blackwell) cover – featured in the 1983 film Breathless which was a remake of a 1960 Jean-Luc Godard film)

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Shuffle:

“Double Brahma” by Valued Customer from Kalpa (2013)

More sheer brilliance from these Toronto kids. “live for the present like a kid at christmas speaking in tongues my flow french kisses “

“By My Side” by Aaron and the Spell 

 
 
 
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Some kick ass Philly Soul – check out these guys!

“Stained Glass Window” by Courier from Cathedrals of Color (2013)

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A recent discovery.  A “big music” alternative band from Austin. 

 

 “Play With Your Toys Pt. II” by The End Men from Play With Your Toys (2013)

We close out today’s set of music with Pt. II – we began with Pt. I. How appropriate*

The End Men have both their EP and this album up for Sale on their Bandcamp Page – at Name Your Price.  As always, I encourage you to 1. get this album and 2. as you are able, give generously.  The End Men have pre-announced a big announcement for September 1 and could use your support.   You can go back and read everything I’ve written about this band and this album.  The remain the number one most frequent tag on Ear to the Ground.

They also have a spiffy new website – check it out

PLAYLIST
 
 


 

 

 

 
 

 

 



 

 

Friday Morning Music Non-Shuffle & Shuffle – Toys Mix Pt. 4 of ?

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If you haven’t done so, remember, Play With Your Toys – the new album by The End Men is now available for immediate download.  Get it NOW!

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=998121910/size=venti/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/
 

Now, we left you hanging on a Wrong Way Street… so, let’s bring this sucker home:

First off if you’re late to the party, here’s what you need to know:

tracks: Cleaning Your Mind, Run Away and Long Way to the Ground

tracks: Into the Mines, Play with Your Toys Pt. I and The Ballad of Billy Polk
tracks: It’s All Wrong, Mental Trapeze, Play With Your Toys Pt. II and Wrong Way Street
Toys Mix Pt. 4 of ? begins after the jump:

Track 11: Stack Chips. After taking us to the dizzyingest of heights and then dropping us into the mines, after swinging us on a mental trapeze and leading us down a wrong way street. After setting the blues rock (and rock/rock) bar about as high as it can go, after pulling out all the stops and all the toys… after all that and more… The End Men up and leave us with one of the most brutally lovely songs on the album. The song is a not so gentle reminder of the temporary nature of things like wealth and privilege and indeed life itself.  

So… the question is, is this the end of  this multi-part review? And if it is the end, why did I leave that ‘?’ at the end of the post title?  Well, we’ve written about all 11 tracks on the album, and when we get back to our morning walk on Tuesday, we will be going back to the usual shuffle.  So maybe this is the end.  Maybe we should’ve named this Toys Mix Pt. 4 of 4. Maybe? or…. (to be continued?  You bet)

*Bloggers note:  Among the many great things about writing is a blog (besides the free stuff which is cool) are the amazing people I have met along the way. At or near the top of that list are Matthew Hendershot and Livia Ranalli.  I alluded to this in a previous post, but I’ll just flat out say, that what I see in them is a true generosity of spirit which I find very refreshing.  Nevermind that they are crazy talented (mind you they are), but they are really awesome people who go out of their way to support their fellow musicians and even us lowly bloggers.  They even included me with a “Thanks” in the liner notes of Play With Your Toys (which is totally awesome and which I didn’t know before I started on this multi-part review).  I’ll stop with the sentimental (but honestly true) crap…  bottom line. Play With Your Toys is a truly great album.  I know there are tons of people who will fall in love with this band and this music they way I did, and I know that way too many will not take the time to listen.  So, I will keep shouting from the rooftops.

Meanwhile, there is a whole slew of cool music being made.  So, we will get back to the regular shuffle.  I also have accumulated a pile of music news which I will be disseminating soon: New Albums, Tours, Bands breaking up and changing names, awards and honors and all sorts of stuff you may have missed.

So… Stack Chips took up a little over half of my walk in this morning, and so I fired up the shuffle mode and skipped around a bit until I came across two songs worthy of closing out this chapter of Ear to the Ground.  Here is the limited (semi-random) shuffle from this morning:

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How about Brenda Lee’s 1959 single Sweet Nothin’s which was included on her second (self-titled album) in 1960?  The album also produced Lee’s best known song, I’m Sorry.

 
And then, well, what can I say? We have The Reverend Horton Heat with Drinkin’ and Smokin’ Cigarettes, the lead track from their tenth studio album 2009’s Laughin’ & Cryin’ with The Reverend Horton Heat

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Thursday Morning Music Non-Shuffle – Toys Mix Pt. 3 of ?

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Guess what?  It’s Valentine’s Day which means it is February 14 which means Play With Your Toys has officially been released.  Now is the time to go grab it.  Actually, we will have the widget at the end of this part of our multi-post review. 

ICYMI
Let’s get right to Part 3…  When we left off, we had heard the tale of Billy Polk…  Wait for the Jump then continue reading…

Track 7: It’s All Wrong is a bone-rattling hard rocking song. It’s prototypical The End Men. “What makes the difference between a dream and a premonition?” Insanely wicked rhythms, loud guitars and Matthew Hendershot’s gloriously gravelly vocals.  Yep, the song may be called It’s All Wrong, but everything about this song is just right.  Yes, I did that!
Track 8: Mental Trapeze could possibly be everything that makes this such a great album distilled into one heavy blues inspired track. Matthew and Livia do not hold back on this one. All toys are employed to great effect, and although I’m sure it’s not the first track she sings on, it’s the first track where I noticed the way their vocals work so perfectly together. As the title suggests this is a wild ride not for the faint of heart.  Word to the wise, before you toss those brownies in the trash, that may not be a fungus which seems to have sprung from the chocolate glaze. There are some amazing blues riffs on this track, but it soars through the stratosphere with the greatest of ease and reaches some dizzying heights. 
Track 9: Play With Your Toys Pt. II brings more toys into the mix and creates an eerily beautiful tableau in just 1:30.
Track 10: Wrong Way Street in the words of my friend Joe Calloway, a world-renown speaker and a guy who has forgotten more musical history than I’ve ever known,“”Wrong Way Street” is stupid good!! This completely rocks.” But, you already knew that didn’t you? In retrospect, this was a great choice as the first release from the album.  It rocks and it’s filled with some amazing hooks.   
Well, well, well… we have just one Track left to preview/review… Stacked Chips is 7:18 and should take up much of my morning walk tomorrow. But…
Now is the time.  Grab hold of your mouse or poise your fingers on your touch pad and prepare to experience first hand the awesomeness that my words have inadequately tried to convey…  The End Men – Play With Your Toys!

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Wednesday Morning Music Non-Shuffle – Toys Mix Pt. 2 of ?

This is part 2 of my multi-part (how many parts? I just can’t say) review of Play With Your Toys the new album from Brookyln-based The End Men.  Before you proceed, you may want to catch up… Here’s the link to Part I. When we left off, The End Men had taken us to dizzying heights of what two people recording in a flat in Brooklyn can accomplish musically – all the while warning us that it’s a Long Way to the Ground.  As we rejoin the adventure, we find ourselves on the ground, and while it’s true that “You have to hit rock bottom before you can build yourself up”; sometimes when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, there is no where to go but down… 

Track 4: Into the Mines begins with a lilting melody and a tale of… what? Prisoners, trapped miners? We aren’t sure, but the sweet melody and Matthew Hendershot’s gruffly pleasing voice lures of to following him down in spite of ourselves.  By the time we realize that our tour guide may be a bit deranged, it’s much too late to turn back… and truth be told, we have no desire to turn back. 

Track 5: Play With You Toys Pt. I is a lovely instrumental with an old world flavor. One begins to see that Matthew and Livia’s toys are whatever they can find that makes noise, and what glorious noise they make.  I have no idea what all Livia uses for her “drum kit” – I’d guess it is everything but the kitchen sink, and I wouldn’t rule out that either.

Track 6: The Ballad of Billy Polk in the classic sense of the ballad tells the tale of young Billy Polk and a fateful decision.  It is perhaps a cautionary tale – I’ll let you decide. Musically, it is a heavy rock/blues song. 

So, we are just over halfway through our the album. Tomorrow, is when the album drops. Head over to The End Men’s Bandcamp site tomorrow and purchase your copy.  

Join us tomorrow for Part 3 of our review…. The next track is called It’s All Wrong (spoiler alert: It is all right!.

btw, I missed posting this yesterday, but here is a version of the album’s second song Run Away which was recorded for last year’s Couch by Couchwest festival.


And if you haven’t be sure to pick up Wrong Way Street, the first taste from the new album now….

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Tuesday Morning Music Non-Shuffle – Toys Mix Pt. 1 of ?

The first time I wrote about The End Men – a little over a year ago – I said something like, The End Men demand our full attention. And what was true then, is even more true now as they prepare to release their brand new album Play With Your Toys on Valentine’s Day, February 14.  The album was recorded over the last year in a Brooklyn flat.

This Brooklyn duo: Kansas born Matthew Hendershot and Italian born Livia Ranalli make some of the most unique and interesting music you’ve ever heard.   Their EP Build it Up is an exercise in Blues-based Indie Rock done about as well as it can be done, and I’ll be honest, if this album was just more of the same, I would be satisfied, but… well, you shall see… you shall see…

So, yes, The End Men demand our full attention and to that end, I have decided to devote a few days to this incredible new album.  Shall we begin – after the JUMP?



Track 1: Cleaning Your Mind serves as an introduction to the album.  It is an invitation, it is an instruction, it is a summons.  The chant – cleaning your mind, and the carny barker spoken word foreshadow and let you know that you need to leave your expectations at the door.  “It is important that you know, what you are about to see is only a show.”  This introduction promises adventure. And, echoing Hendershot’s word, this is something you do not want to miss.  So clean your mind, open your mind and let’s get this adventure started.

Track 2: Run Away kicks things off with Livia’s amazing drumming (she is known for using anything and everything to make amazing and glorious noises).  Hendershot’s guitar playing is extraordinary and the song is propulsive rock. His vocals are often compared favorable to Tom Waits – they are like an impossible blend of sandpaper and silk. This song rocks hard and seems to tear the listener away from their world into this new alien landscape. 

Track 3: Long Way To The Ground returns to a more familiar blues-rock paradigm while the lyrics are elevated to new heights (appropriately enough). “You have to hit rock bottom before you can build yourself up.” is straight up the harsh truth of life. Musically, the blues riffs are augmented… as I’ve said before, I’m not a musician so I won’t even pretend to know exactly what they are doing here – just that it works amazingly well…

When we come back, prepare for a descent Into the Mines.  The adventure is just getting started, you don’t want to be left behind.

If you are intrigued, you can download the first taste – a song called Wrong Way Street using the widget below:

 

Play With Your Toys drops in two days (2/14/2013).  Bookmark their Bandcamp site: HEREIn fact go ahead and go there and pick up Build It Up now.

 

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