Car Tunes

17 May

Aside from frequent listens to new releases on Mog or Spotify when I’m piddling about the house, the place where I love to treat myself to good tunes is in the car. My car player isn’t the greatest; it’s got good sound but it it just a basic 6-CD changer with no randomizing capability (or, maybe it does, but I’ve never learned it.) Anyway, I like to load up the changer with CDs that work well together. 

Today, I drove to Hanscom AFB on a mission to fill the fridge and the pantry, as well as to stock the liquor cabinet. On the drive, I listened to these:

Trampled By Turtles – Stars and Satellites (HUGE thumbs up. When that CD ends, I just want to hear it again.)

Aunt Martha – Bloodshot – (It’s an EP, and it’s brilliant. Awesome follow after the TbT CD, too.)

The Decemberists The King Is Dead –(Last year’s release still resides in the car player. Yes, it’s that good, IMO.)

The Band – The Band (I needed to hear some and it fits right in with the contemporary CDs in rotation. Still hurts a bit when I hear Levon singing.)

I had two others in, but didn’t hear them today, since there’s hardly any skipping of songs.

The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You

Nickel Creek – This Side

I’m never paying for satellite, as long as I have CDs to love. 


Tomorrow’s New Releases

20 Feb

There’s not a whole lot that interests me in this week’s spankin’ new list. I thought I might dig the Sleigh Bells release, until I saw them on SNL. Meh.

Cheap Girls – Giant Orange – You can preview the entire thing here.

Damien Jurado – Maraqopa – The song Nothing Is the News, starts off sounding like typical Damien Jurado, but then it gets interesting when the Santana-like guitar kicks in. Listen here. Very nice.

Frankie Rose – Interstellar –  The track, Interstellar, takes a minute to get going, but this is very poppy and energetic. Listen here.

Fun. – Some Nights – Preview the entire thing here.  Everyone’s into the cut, We Are Young, but I love the title cut, Some Nights.

Lambchop – Mr. M – First listen on NPR, here. Whoa, it’s their 11th album.

Sinead O’Connor – How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? 

Tindersticks –The Something Rain – Free download of the song, Frozen, at their site. It’s the kind of moody-atmospheric tune I like to unwind to, without putting me to sleep.

Here’s to some great treats for your ears this week.

Tomorrow’s New Releases

13 Feb

After a stunning display of accolades for Adele in last night’s Grammy awards, I’m ready for some new tunes to get into the running for next year’s awards.

Band of Skulls -Sweet Sour

Eisley Deep Space Ep – Stream it here.

Heartless BastardsArrow – Stream it here. I love Erika Wennerstrom‘s vocals.
Howlin Rain Russian Wilds – You can stream it here, on RDIO.

Amos Lee
As The Crow Flies – Stream available here.
Punch BrothersWho’s Feeling Young Now – The Chris Thile-led band delivers another engergetic string-fest.

RumerSeasons Of My Soul– She’s got a very smooth voice, and I know there will be Dusty Springfield comparisons, starting with me. I listened to the album this morning on Spotify. Very nice, but not stand-out-ish.

ShearwaterAnimal Joy – NPR had the stream, but it will disappear soon.

Good stuff. This is the first week in awhile that there’s been more than one release I’ve been diggin’ after the preview stream. Things are looking up.

Buckingham-Nicks and Experimenting with Noise Removal

8 Feb

I dragged out the album boxes and one of the first records I pulled out was one I had almost forgotten: the Buckingham Nicks record from 1973. Lindsey and Stevie (or, Stevi, as spelled in the liner notes) were still 2 years away from super-stardom when “Fleetwood Mac” hit the bigtime in 1975. They recorded this one at Sound City in LA, and it was produced by Keith Olsen (owner of 45 Gold/Platinum Record Awards and 6 Grammies.)

Here is “Crystal” in its original, if overproduced, form. Yes, there are stings and, I think, synth wind instruments, but the beauty of Lindsey’s guitar and the vocal play between the two of them is just plain lovely. In comparison, Olsen’s production on the “Fleetwood Mac” album was quite a bit more polished and lots less cheesy.

I recorded a raw .wav file, then attempted to clean it up with Audacity, and this is my first time working with files like this. It’s just a little shaky, and I didn’t remove the small pops you hear from my needle riding the grooves.

Oh, this record never made it to CD, so, until it does, this is what you get.


Buckingham Nicks – Crystal

Shearwater – You As You Were

8 Feb

Shearwater – You As You Were

From the new release, Animal Joy, which comes out next week.  It’s their first release on the Sub Pop label.

Follow this link to NPR to stream the entire thing. Joy, Joy, Joy!

Adventures in Vinyl Land

7 Feb

Oh, I do love being a music geek when there are so many techno tools. I’ve had my DAK mixer since July, and I hooked it up to an old (really old) desktop machine in what is now my younger son’s room. He didn’t like me in there taking up his space, so when we recently acquired a new laptop, I scarfed the old one to use as my recording machine. The old Technics turntable (vintage 1977 or 78) is still going strong. Now I have to unbox all of those LP’s!

I did buy a reissue of The Ramones, which I do need to record, but I dragged out an old Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers album, along with a mediocre Jeff Beck Group release that, despite its generally “meh” nature, contains a few great songs.

Let’s see if this works.
Jeff Beck Group – Going Down.
I love this song, not only for Beck’s great guitar, but for Clive Chaman’s awesome bass playing, and Max Middleton’s piano.  I just wish Rod Stewart were the lead vocal, although Bob Tench is raspy enough to carry it off.

Now, to get out those boxes and get out and hit the used vinyl shops.

Jonathan Coulton – Artificial Heart

31 Jan

I admit it; I used to think of Jonathan Coulton as a poor-man’s Ben Folds, but I got over that.  Now I think of Jonathan as an indie tour-de-force.It’s great to hear  him with a full band, fulfilling the dreams of geeks everywhere. (I count myself among them.)

Thank you, Jonathan.


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