Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Call me Admiral Byrd Mix

Yes, I chiseled my way out through the thick blanket of ice and crossed the frozen tundra to make it to work today.  I only fell once, and I don’t think anyone saw me, and anyway, I fell with the grace and dignity befitting of someone of my importance and position. (that is a joke by the way….)

I had a lovely collection of fine, fine music to accompany me on my treacherous journey….
 
“Easy Weather” by The Bell Hours

Yes, my shuffle function has a sense of humor – as today’s weather was anything but easy, but I digress. The Bell Hours are from Denver, and I have quite enjoyed listening to their most recent EP of which this is the title track.

“Rudie Can’t Fail” by The Clash

The shuffle function seems to be on a major Clash kick, and who can blame it? From London Calling.

“I Only Want to Be With You” by The Tourists

A slice of pure pop heaven from a band that featured Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart just before they formed Eurhythmics. From the album Reality Effect.

“Sam” by Meat Puppets

Classic Meat Puppets from Forbidden Places.

“Élysées 99,84” by Kansas Bible Company

The first track on the new 4 song EP called Dad’s Day by the Nashville based band that has way too many members to keep up with.

“Nobody’s Child” by Maria McKee

Another great track from Maria McKee’s self-titled solo debut. I am glad to have rediscovered this album recently.  Sooooo good…

“Try Out My Love” by Matt Phillips

A great song from Matt Phillips’ debut album Bones which was released in 2012.  Saw and met him at Music City Roots a couple of weeks ago.

“Southern Ground” by Judah and the Lion

Nashville band Judah and the Lion are on roll with appearances on Letterman and a tour of Scandinavia and an upcoming Nashville show at Ryman Auditorium with Mat Kearney.  This song comes from their EP called Sweet Tennessee. 

“Avalon” by Roxy Music

The title track from one of the best albums of all time.

“Kanga Roo” by Big Star

The shuffle is also on a Big Star kick…. there are reasons I love the shuffle… and this is a big one…

“Skilly Bom Billy Flop” by The Imperial Rooster

#E2TG favorites are on hiatus, but this song (and video from Couch by Couchwest) from their album Cluckaphony offers a good taste of what they do, and I hope to hear some new stuff from them in the future. 

“Pigeons Eating Glass” by Forebear

From the Inbox, comes L.A. Indie band Forebear with a song from their self-titled EP which was produced by Scott Gordon who has worked with Alanis Morissette and Ringo Starr among others.  Looking forward to checking out more of this EP.

“Clampdown” by The Clash

A great way to celebrate the successful completion of my Arctic trek….  More Clash from London Calling.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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#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

MAKAR

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.

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – A Few of Favorite Things 2013 Mix – Part Two

First of all… Tuesday? Really? Just Tuesday?

Second… how about a couple of my favorite Christmas songs…

 
 
 
Third… Rest in Peace to Mr. Ray Price. In seeing some of the news reports, I was most struck at how his voice held up into his late 70s/early 80s. So smooth…  Thanks for the music.
 
 
 
 
Now… to today’s music…

 
Our journey back through some favorites from the year that will soon enough be ending…  Shuffle style…
 
 
“It’s All Wrong” by The End Men
 
“I Should Have Listened” and “Today is Gonna Be a Better Day” by You and Me
 
“Stuck” by The Coal Men
 
“Double Brahma” by Valued Customer
 
“The Flame” by prattle on, rick
 
“Bloodhound” by Jeanette Lynne
 
“Muskegon Harbor” by Taco Land
 
“Sailing Stones” by Monks of Mellonwah
 
“Daddy Fool (Svelt Mix)” by Tipi Valley (from Rock ‘n Roll Lives On)
 
“Love Doesn’t Mind” by Taco Land (from Pancakes and Pizza)
 
“Two Weeks on the Ocean” by James the Giant (from James the Giant)
 
“Broken Heartland” by The Coal Men (from Escalator)
 
“Onward” by The Danbury Lie (from ?)
 
“Modern Lives” by Taco Land (from Pancakes and Pizza)
 
“The Hoover Farm Exorcism” by The Imperial Rooster (from Cluckaphony)
 
 
Highlights:
 
The End Men – of course.
 
 
You and Me (glad to receive some music this year from one of the bands we’ve been following for a long time.  Also glad to have two songs in a row from that album in today’s shuffle)
 
I feel like I was late to the party with The Coal Men. If, like me, you are just now discovering this great Nashville band, Escalator is a great place to start.
 
Before 2013, I knew I liked Valued Customer, but I wasn’t completely sure why.  This year with the release of their truly mind-blowing/expanding Kalpa, I have become convinced that this wacky kids from Toronto are nothing short of musical geniuses…maybe just geniuses.
 
prattle on, rick is another Nashville-based “discovery” from 2013. Looks like I caught on just in-time for his fan-only release A Decade Begins and the album from which this track is taken, his extraordinary Some Quiet Majesty.
 
Likely, Taco Land and Tipi Valley have very little in common.  One is from south Texas and the other from coastal Wales. They have both been featured prominently on this blog for some time. And they both had impressive releases in 2013. In listening today, I heard something (subtle) to connect these two great artists/bands.  Always good to have long time blog friends/supporters in the shuffle.


 


Monks of Mellonwah are releasing their debut album as a series of EPs.  The first two parts – Ghost Stories and Afraid to Die were released in 2013.  The final part will be released in 2014.  Some awesome hard rock from down under.

James the Giant released one of the most beautiful/painfully touching records of the year.  The song featured today is dedicated to his brother who was killed in Afghanistan.

The Danbury Lie and The Imperial Rooster have just about nothing in common except that they both released incredible music in 2013 that I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing and sharing.  There will be much more on both of these bands forthcoming.

SHOP


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Tender Mercy Mix

Well, well, well… we managed to stir up some controversy with yesterday’s Hall of Fame inductees due to our blatant omission of the Latin American singing group Menudo.*

*True except for the controversy and the fact that our omission of Menudo was not blatant.

As we prepare to induct the next three E2TG favorites into our HofF, we still do not have Menudo, but we do have a boy band of sorts to head today’s list.  (A Hall of Fame page is still in the works)

 






4.  Valued Customer (Toronto, Canada)
5.  The Dead Exs (New York, NY)
6. The Imperial Rooster (Espanola, NM)

Welcome to the E2TG Hall of Fame!

Shuffle begins in 3….
2….
1….
JUMP

“Obsidian” by Theory of Machines (from EP1.  A heavy rock instrumental from London.)

“Some Say” by Solardrive (featuring TC) (from Solardrive. An interesting new indie-pop band from L.A. which features Balthazar Getty)

“Broken Heartland” by The Coal Men (from Escalator.  More excellent stuff from this Nashville band. The attached video features lead Coal Man – Dave Coleman performing a Daniel Lanois song in the awe-inspiring sanctuary of Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church)

“Mercy” by prattle on, rick. (from Some Quiet Majesty.  Another great track from this Nashville singer/songwriter)

“Blue Moon Howl” by Mark Robinson (from Have Axe -Will Travel. This album has been Nominated by the Nashville Blues Society for the Best Self-Produced CD for the International Blues Challenge.  The winner will be announced in January 2014. Mark is a great ambassador for Nashville Blues music, and Have Axe – Will Travel is one of our favorite albums of this year.)

“Little Time” by Adam Hill (from Little Time. Make it three Nashville artists in a row.  Little Time is the latest album by Singer Songwriter Adam Hill)

“Tenderness” by General Public (from All the Rage.  Digging back to 1984 and this IRS records band headed by Dave Wakeling  and Ranking Roger of The Beat, and their smash hit song.)

“Theatre is the Life of You” by the Minutemen (from Double Nickels on the Dime. San Pedro.)

“Baby Blue” by Jay Farrar (a cover of the 1971 BadFinger classic which has come back into prominence due to it’s inclusion in the final episode of a recent popular television series.  Ex-Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt member Farrar turns the song into a beautiful, dusty alt-country gem.)

 
 
WATCH
 


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Friday Morning Music Explosion – Digging Underneath Mix

 
 



So we made it through our holiday shortened workweek, and it’s practically the weekend.  Let’s celebrate with a virtual explosion of music … after the JUMP

Here is our playlist which stretches from yesterday afternoon’s ride home until this morning’s drive to work.

“Make Up With Me” by Let’s Active

“Blue Moon” by Big Star

“Someday Sometime” by Scott Miller and Rayna Gellert (FYI – this is the Scott Miller from Knoxville from the band The V-Roys, and not the late Scott Miller of Game Theory and Loud Family) (FYI #2 – This is a great song!)

“Kings and Thrones” by Outer Minds (Chicago-based Baroque Bubblegum Psych)

“Outside the Rain” by Stevie Nicks (from Bella Donna)

“Breakfast” by Humming House

“Empty We Are” by McNary

“Digging Underneath the House” by Skeletons in the Piano (from Please Don’t Die – one of our favorite records of the year by E2TG’s Band of the Year 2012)

“Double Trouble” by Jack and White (LA duo – Brooke White and Jack Matranga)

“You” by Keaton Henson (a 25 year old London based Folk Rock musician, visual artist, and poet – this song is on a ANTI records sampler via Noisetrade)

“My Funny Boy” by Katey Laurel (A Denver-based Folk-Pop singer/songwriter who we have come to like a whole bunch)

“Skilly Bom Billy Flop” + “The Savior” by The Imperial Rooster (two in a row from Cluckaphony which is one of our favorite’s from this year.  The second song is a cover of a song from the second album by Michigan Punk Rock band The Crucifucks)

“Muskegon Harbor” by Taco Land (another from Pancakes and Pizza – a beautiful instrumental – coincidentally, the second song in a row with a Michigan connection)

“Lost My Way (live)” by Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray (I’m hoping to meet Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray in a couple of weeks)

“Eire” by The Shakers (The Shakers were an amazing southern gothic, alt-folk band that was formed by Oscar Rice and Robert Logue from Royal Court of China who were joined by the amazing Rebecca Stout to create a highly unique and original style.  This particular song comes from a great compilation of 1980s era Nashville Rock music – called Return to Elliston Square – 1979 to 1989)

“General Dome” by Buke and Gase

“Birmingham” by McNary (a second track from this Nashville singer/songwriter’s 2013 album, While We Are Waking)

“Zombie Girl” by Shake Jack (the title track to the EP by the Buenos Aires Surf, Rockabilly band)

“Together” by The Box Tops

“The Stars That Left” by Telepathic Teddy Bear

“Trains (Rose, Mary and Time) by Johnny Flynn (a recent “discovery”.  Johnny Flynn has an incredible vintage sound applied to thoroughly modern music.0

“Just Two Old Friends” by EdTang (another track from Goodbye, Zen5, Sushi Dinner…)

Video Playlist
 
 
 
Amazon Web Store
With many of this weeks featured songs and artists

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Run Boy Mix

As I write this, I hear thunder behind me and the gentle, almost soothing sounds of car tires moving across wet city streets. It’s August 20, 2013, and I am alive, and though not perfect by any means, life is good.

!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.jsSome days I want more out of life, but for me that is just a normal state of being. The key for me is to find peace in the now without thinking this is where I will and must always be. 

As of this date, I have been writing Ear to the Ground for 2 years and about 3 months. The blog has not made me rich or very famous, but I consider it a huge success nonetheless. Because of the blog, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some incredible and talented and just generally good people. I heard tons more music than I would have had I not written the blog. Every so often, I see one of my quotes in the promotional material of a band I’ve written about.

I’m not sure why I’m writing all this right now, but it seemed like as good a time as any to remind myself why I do this.

This morning brought an interesting mix of music.  Let’s get to it – after the jump…

Pre-Shuffle…

“Lift Up” by prattle on, rick (I’ve become a big prattle on, rick fan. This one comes from his Communion Bread record which features a building on the cover that I used to drive by almost every day)

“Stained Glass Window” by Courrier (from Cathedrals of Color – This band has had songs placed in several television series. They play huge, expansive music reminiscent of Coldplay and some U2. These other bands are listed for comparison purposes only.  I do think it is possible to not dig Coldplay or U2, and to love Courrier)

“Rusted Rain” by The Blind Owl Band  (This New York state band released their latest album within the past month or so. This Train I Ride is Made of Wood and Steel is chock full of great music.)

“The Ballad of Billy Polk” by The End Men (from Play with Your Toys… if you listen to just one The End Men song, listen to “The Ballad of Billy Polk” and then listen to all their other songs because they are awesome.

Shuffle…

“Good Country Girl” By Alexander Hudjohn Feat Katherine Hudjohn from Good Country Girl (single – 2013)



Just a flat out cool song. Couldn’t find a video for this song, so we added a CXCW video from 2012.

“Soldier Boy Johnny” by The Imperial Rooster from Cluckaphony (2013)



Yet another song from the fabulous song from the incredible 2013 release from Espanola’s own The Imperial Rooster.

“Moon Gate” by Peace of the South

We’ve played some Peace of the South before. This band has decided to release their music in bits and pieces as they work on it and as it develops. So this song isn’t so much a song as an extended riff, but I’m digging it.

“Gone, Gone, Gone” by Carl Perkins

 

We close out the shuffle with Rockabilly legend Carl Perkins.

PLAYLIST
 
 

 


Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Nearly Perfect Mix

Convergence of everything good…. a perfect storm of wonderment…

 
 
Year of October at Douglas Corner 6/27/2013



Today is like a near perfect early October morning and here it is mid August!  The mix of songs that shuffled out of my MP3 player was almost as perfect as the weather.  I can’t wait to bring it to you, and so I won’t.

Be prepared – after the jump…


So when I say it is a near perfect mix, what do I mean and why is it not a perfect mix?  First of all, I’m not sure a perfect mix is even a thing. To me, it’s kind of like those “definitive” lists you see all the time on Facebook or wherever – “Top 10 Guitarist of All Time” – “Beatles Albums from Worst to Best” or whatever. Whenever I read these lists, it is almost guaranteed that there will be at least a couple of items that are questionable if not downright objectionable. So for my near perfect list, how can I call it perfect if it doesn’t have The Minutemen or Townes or The End Men or Valued Customer or Don Ryan or whomever? 

Why this mix is near perfect: It was a perfect storm of an almost unbelievingly gorgeous day and a succession of songs that seemed to flow perfectly. Plus, it includes some of my favorite people that I’ve met through this blog.

Such a near perfect mix deserves more than the usual list format – so indulge me a bit.

The Near Perfect Mix:

I first heard about the new album by Those Darlins back in the spring. I was excited because I love Those Darlins who always bring the right combination of sass and twang.  A few weeks back, I was driving home from work, and as I passed Grimey’s New and Preloved Music as I do almost every day, I saw this huge poster on the side of the building. Turns out this was the cover image of the new Those Darlins album – a very revealing image at that.  So, I finally got my hands on the first song from the record “Oh God” which happens to be the first song in this morning’s mix. Despite my high expectations (did I mention I love Those Darlins?) this song does not disappoint. To me, it’s one of those great songs that sounds like it has always existed.  We shall have to wait until October for Blue the Lines to be released.  BTW, the very revealing cover image is featured in the PLAYLIST posted at the end of this post. So, we warned or notified. 

Calexico is another band I dig. For some unknown reason, they’ve always flown a little under my radar, but every single time one of their songs comes up, I think “Why don’t I listen to these guys more often” which is exactly what I was thinking as I listened to “Splitter” which I got from a Noisetrade ANTI Records Summer Sampler and which is taken from the band’s most recent album Algiers which was released almost a year ago.  The song flowed beautifully from “Oh, God”.

When the familiar blues riff of Year of October‘s song “Black Hearted Man” came up, I began to suspect that this mix was going to be special. Nashville-based, Year of October, which is fronted by husband and wife – Josh and Phlecia Sullivan, are working on their next album. This song comes from the album Stories. Very quickly, Year of October have become one of my favorite bands.

At this point, it is almost like a perfect game, and I hate that I’ve noticed the near perfection because the wrong song could throw the whole thing off. Keep in mind, that I add the songs that make up the Playlist, and I don’t put bad songs on the playlist, but this mix was so perfect that the wrong song (even if it was a great song) could really mess things up.

Which makes it ever so sweet when “Monkey Dance” from Tim Lee 3‘s Devil’s Rope comes up. By now, I hope I’ve made it clear how much I love Tim Lee 3.  Besides the great music they make, they are really awesome human beings.  “Monkey Dance” is just a flat out great song which addresses some realities of the music business and does so in a way that is so much fun and makes me want to dance around.

One thing I didn’t know until recently is that Tim Lee was a onetime de-facto member of the iconic 80s band, Let’s Active. So, it is fitting that we follow up Tim Lee 3 with  “Edge of the World” which was on the 1983 Afoot EP. As you probably know, founding member Faye Hunter recently and tragically took her own life recently. Therefore, this makes it good time to direct you to the second volume of Country Fried Rock’s benefit for Nuci’s Space – an Athens, GA based organization which specifically addresses Suicide Prevention for Musicians.  I posted about the first volume when it was released last year.  If you pre-order Vol. 2 right now, you can get a free download of the first Volume.

So as “Edge of the World” finished up, I arrived at the parking lot, and I breathed a little sigh or relief, no matter what came next, I had a near perfect Pre-Shuffle.

But, the near perfect mix wasn’t done yet. Taco Land has been on my radar since the first year of this blog. When they dropped their latest album, Pancakes and Pizza, I knew I was in for a treat. The album featured some more hard hitting music than I had come to expect from Taco Land, but it is very much as good as I have come to expect. “Machine Gun”, our track today,  is great representation of the album.

Recently, I began adding some of my all-time favorite music into the Playlist – it’s always fun when a classic song comes up in the mix, and it is interesting how the “old” stuff sounds along side all the great new music (and vice-versa).  Besides, Let’s Active, the most recent “classic” album added was More Fun in the New World by X. “Painting the Town Blue” came up today and it sounded great in the middle of this awesome mix of music.

When someone named Elwood Kuddles – who performs under the moniker Killing Kuddles – asks you to listen to his music, you don’t hesitate. Well, I honestly don’t know what you would do, but I didn’t hesitate, and I can recommend you do the same.  Killing Kuddles has become another of our favorite artists. Punkish Troubadour Alternative Folk Music for the rapidly aging millennium. He released an EP called Odd Man Out back in the spring, and we actually did a dual non-shuffle review of that album along with the latest Taco Land. “Not Coming Back” is an energetic fireball of a song – I  love it!

The Killing Kuddles song almost got me all the way to the office, and given the near perfect streak, I almost cut off the Shuffle after that song, but I’m glad I didn’t.  And so, on this near perfect morning, my near perfect mix came to a near perfect end with a near perfect song from a near perfect album by a near perfect band – another of our favorite artists from one of our top albums of the year so far. “Santa Cruz” by The Imperial Rooster from Cluckaphony.  Ah… sweet near perfection….

Our Near Perfect Playlist
 


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