Monday Morning Music Shuffle – A Few of My Favorite Things 2013 Mix – Pt. One

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It’s here… time to begin our look back at the year which was 2013.  In true E2TG style, for the remainder of 2013 we will shuffling up a special playlist which includes some of our favorite songs from the past year.  I’ll let the song speak for themselves, but we will be highlighting some of our favorite E2TG related albums of the year as we move along.

About Band of the Year.  After two successful Band of the Year polls (by page view numbers, Band of the Year and Band of the Month polls dominate our statistics page for most viewed), so it is only after careful consideration that I’ve decided to forgo the Band of the Year poll for 2013.  Basically, it comes down to the fact that I would rather see independent bands cooperating and collaborating than competing.  We had some memorably good fun with some of our polls – especially the first annual Band of the Year poll and the legendary February 2012 Band of the Month poll that came down to a dogfight between MAKAR and The End Men.  As time went by, and I began featuring more and more bands, the idea no longer seemed to be in the spirit of this site.  

I will be naming the third annual Band of the Year within the next couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, enjoy yourself as we relive this year that almost was.  If you feel so inclined, share some of these posts with your friends near and far.

Before we jump into the first of our Favorites’ shuffles for 2013, I need to rectify something….

#E2TG Hall of Fame (Notable Omissions):

More names will be added to the Hall of Fame in early 2014 – and my progress on the completion of the Hall of Fame page has hit some unexpected delays, but I’ve became increasingly uncomfortable knowing that two of my favorite E2TG artists have not been added to the Hall as of yet. 

1.  Ubiquity Machine/Howard Rabach  – In using the tagging feature to determine our Hall of Fame, one thing I failed to take into account were the many fine bands/artists you came to prominence in the months when E2TG was still housed on the now defunct Posterous site.  Howard Rabach was one of the first readers of the blog to step out of the shadows.  His band, Ubiquity Machine, was one of our early Bands of the Week. The band finished second in our first annual Band of the Year poll, and he has remained a good friend of Ear to the Ground ever since.  UM has been kind of dormant of late, as Howard has been doing some freelance stuff.  Check out his Facebook page here. So it is with great pleasure, that I usher in UM/HR to a spot of honor in our Hall of Fame.

2. The Grimm Generation – Another thing I failed to take into account in my tagging system of Hall of Fame eligibility is the variant tagging which sometimes occurs. Blogger places a 200 character limit on tagging so sometimes I have to shorten band names – like leaving the “The” off.  That is the only explanation I have for The Grimm Generation not being in our top 20 tagged artists. Still this unique and frankly awesome collective from Connecticut (headed up by the amazing Jason Krug and Carmen Champagne), are well deserving of a prime spot in our Hall of Fame.  Hell their latest album, The Big Fame even has “fame” in the title. They have consistently made music which I love and which seems timeless in its wonderfulness.

Now… let the 2013 Shuffles begin

“When I Cry” by Jeanette Lynne (from You’ve Got Me)

“Infatuation” by Dog Without Warning (from Bark)

“Temporary Thought Exchange (AKT A Cappella) by Its Teeth (from Divided)

“Goodbye Summer” by Jonny Fritz (from Dad Country)

“Spittin’ Lies” by Nikki Sue and the Bad News (from Nothing Gold)

Highlights:  Of note, in our first shuffle of the year end playlist, we have a couple of talented female artists from the Northeast who came my way directly or indirectly via the visionary music guru Popatunes.  Jeanette Lynne is from Philly and Nikki Sue is from New Jersey.  They both write great songs that fall into the Americana/Countryish/Folk-like genres (if you are into genres).  The important thing is that make great music and they both had releases which were among my favorites for 2013. 

Dog Without Warning hail from the greater bay area of California.  They came to my attention via CXCW and I featured some music off their indie flavored concept? album Go Girl.  The follow up was released as an EP earlier this year, and it was a revelation. Bark uses acoustic arrangements which serve to highlight the songwriting skills and humor of this band.  Bark quickly moved into my favorites category and has stayed there as the year has progressed.

We recently featured the Its Teeth track which features Gabriel from The Gabriel Construct as well as the Jonny Fritz track from the fantastic Dad Country album.




Ear to the Ground _ 2+

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May 15, 2011

This is my very first post, and I don’t know exactly how this is going to work.  A more informative post will follow, but I want to see how this works.

If you are reading this, it worked just fine.  If not, well – it didn’t.  Or something….

– Work-in-Progress

Somehow, I missed that this past Wednesday marked the two year anniversary of Ear to the Ground.

I just want to give a huge shout out and thanks to ALL the awesome people I’ve met as a result of writing this. Blogging can at times feel like shouting into a void, but what has kept me going besides all of the great music I’ve “discovered and uncovered” are the new friends I’ve met along the way.  

As I’ve often said, I’m all about looking ahead while carrying forward the legacy of the past. Okay, I don’t know that I’ve ever said that, but I’m saying it now.

So… no big to-do.  How about some music…


Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Stumble Mix

Mid-week and it all goes by too slow and too fast at times and here we go….
SONG #1: Okkervil River – Wake and Be Fine from I Am Very Far
The Austin, Texas based band with a song from last spring’s album. 
Someone said to me, “I’ll come into your dream and speak it to you.” I already knew. I found her in the attic where, dramatically, she leaned into me, and she whispered these lines: “Wake and be fine. You’ve still got time to wake and be fine.”
(I Am Very Far by Okkervil River – Amazon)

(Wake and Be Fine via Youtube)
SONG #2:  Ubiquity Machine  –  A Beautiful Girl 

Our good friends Ubiquity Machine with their stellar track, A Beautiful Girl

“God gave me knowledge to open up my mind, but the devil gave me loneliness so I’d leave it all behind.”

(A Beautiful Girl via Soundcloud)
SONG #3: Joe Jackson – Look Sharp! (Title track to album of the same name)*
*redundancy intended… 😛
A legendary performer, a classic album, a great song!  
Okay, what you say
Tell me what they’re wearing this year
Go on and laugh at me cause you don’t see
That I got something going right here
Say I’m just a dreamer
Say I’m just a kid
Well ace, shut your face
Maybe you will see or hear 
(Look Sharp! by Joe Jackson – Amazon – Dig those shoes!)
(Look Sharp! live via Youtube)
I’m in love with the girl who works at the store
where I’m nothing but a …

(Customer live via Youtube)

Affiliated Links:
Okkervil River - Wake And Be Fine b/w Weave Room Blues - MP3 Download Okkervil River – Wake And Be Fine b/w Weave Room Blues – MP3 Download
This Okkervil River download is available in DRM-free, MP3 256kbps format. Okkervil River MP3’s will play on iPod? and all MP3 players. Individual tracks and samples of the songs from this album are available by clicking on the product image on the left. Need help? Click here and search for “downloads” to learn more.

Joe Jackson: Steppin' Out - The Videos - The Very Best of Joe Jackson Joe Jackson: Steppin’ Out – The Videos – The Very Best of Joe Jackson
Pop star Joe Jackson has perfected a polished sound that alternates between ska, swing, cabaret, and straightforward pop. STEPPIN’ OUT is a compilation of Jackson’s music videos and concert performances. All digitally remastered, the videos for Jackson hits including Is She Really Going Out With Him?, Steppin’ Out, and I’m the Man. The two live performances included were filmed in 1986 at a New York venue.

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! ♪♫ #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

♪ ♫ #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

♪♫ #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.

Ear to the Ground Presents – Band of the Year – Runner-Up

Ubiquity Machine (website) has been a long-time supporter of Ear to the Ground, and the feeling is mutual. If you have been a fan of alternative music over the past couple of decades, you can’t help but fall in love with Ubiquity Machine. Here is a track called A Week Away For Slim… Week Away (For Slim) by Ubiquity Machine

UM are hard at work on a new EP which should see the light of day early in 2012??? I hope.

The band lead for several days in the middle of polling and up until Tuesday, I thought they were going to pull it out. Nevertheless, I am happy for their strong showing and I urge you to check them out:



Bands of the Week 2011 – A Recap – Part 1 – Weeks 1-8

Here is more information about the Bands of the Week for 2011:

Week 1:  Maxim Ludwig & the Santa Fe Seven – California based Rock band  – Appeared at this year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco and has earned a spot at this years SXSW Festival in Austin. Check out the video of a song we like, Stacy C’mon:

Week 2: Stomacher – is a San Francisco based Rock band. They play atmospheric, sometimes dark yet melodic music. They recently had a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund their next album which is currently in production.  Check out the video for Untitled/Dark Divider from their Sentimental Education album:

Week 3: Redding Brothers – is a Nashville based indie band. Unlike the Doobie Brothers or Cary Brothers, The Redding Brothers are actually brothers named Redding. The band once wrote, recorded and released a song a week for one whole year.  Check out a live video of their song  Solid :

Week 4: World Service Project – is a London based – Jazz/Experimental/Punk Band. Here is a recent video of their performace at the London Jazz Festival:

Week 5: You and Me – are Val and James from Montreal Canada.  They have been making music for 10 years.  They play Folksy, Pop, Bluesy, Rock music.  Here is a widget with their self-titled album:
Week 6: The Alternates -are a Los Angeles based indie rock band.  They are an exciting band that I expect to hear much more from.  Front man, Spencer Livingston recently released a song called Occupy Wall Street.  Here’s a track we like called The Modern Way.

Week 7: Ubiquity Machine – hail from Arlington, Virginia.  Back when I named them band of the week, I didn’t know anything about them except that I really liked some of the music I was hearing.  They list their genre on Facebook as: AltIndiePopRockSkronkDeathPolkaDancercize which I love.  Here is their sublimely lovely international smash hit, A Beautiful Girl: 01 A Beautiful Girl by Ubiquity Machine

Week 8: Inner City Elegance – are Canadian with a connection to Brazil.  They are a honest to f**k ROCK band.  Don’t believe me? Check out their latest video – just released November 13.  It’s called Swearing Like a Sailor:



Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Bowl of Cherries Mix

So, I tuned into the AMA’s last night, and I have to say, I was confused… until I realized that  it was not the Americana Music Awards. But, I pressed on because I heard that KMFDM was doing to close the show, and that seemed such a weird left field kind of thing that I had to watch.  Needless to say, I need to pay more attention to what I hear….
Rainy Monday here in Nashville. I overslept, came home after dropping my daughter off and decided to nap because I had a dentist appointment at 8:00.  Set my phone alarm for 7:26p.m. and my wife woke me up at 7:55. Got to my 8:00 appointment at 8:15.

Got to the work parking lot around 9:40 – had to park in the far lot – which I expected and by this time, I was in serious need of good music.  I shuffled a quick and dirty and random playlist I had created last week and once again randomness paid off…

First off was Something I Don’t Know by Band of the Week alumnus Simon Fagan.

(Click on album cover to purchase and download the song)
Next up, the shuffle spit out the lovely A Beautiful Girl by the ubiquitious Band of the Week alumni Ubiquity Machine. Check out and download the song below. 01 A Beautiful Girl by Ubiquity Machine

Song #3 comes from the our neighbors to the North. Bruce Cockburn has been making music for a long time, and Wondering Where the Lions Are is one of this best.
(Click on album cover to purchase and download the song)

The final song comes from Nashville, TN based super-couple Buddy and Julie Miller. God’s Wing’ed Horse is a heavenly bit of music.
(click on album cover to purchase and download the song)


Slice O Life: Bruce Cockburn Live Solo Slice O Life: Bruce Cockburn Live Solo
Bruce Cockburn has issued numerous live recordings, and thus far all of them have been band offerings during the various periods of his 40-plus-year career. While the acoustic element has always been a primary part of his stage persona, fans — and the me

Buddy & Julie Miller Buddy & Julie Miller
Earthy husband and wife singer/songwriters Buddy & Julie Miller offer more rootsy, countrified folk music on their self-titled 2001 release, this time with a full, more rock-influenced sound. While the two have made involved appearances on each others’ al