Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bonus: Download This

Just some amazing music you should try out, if you haven't heard it already:

Albums

Josh Rouse, 1972. I've been on an alt-country kick for awhile now, and this is probably the best, except for the actual best...
Download: "James"

The Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music. J'adore this album. If you don't like this album, you're dead. Gorgeous melodies.
Download: "Stumbling through the Dark"

Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine. This album didn't get nearly enough press. It wasn't some sort of comeback. It's a great album.
Download: "Better Version of Me"

Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days. I'm a little reluctant to recommend this album. It is very, very quiet. It has moments of bliss.
Download: "Naked As We Came"

Susan Tedeschi, The Best of Susan Tedeschi. I had sort of heard of her before, but not really. Then I heard her cover of "Tired of My Tears," and I was really impressed.
Download: "Rock Me Right"

Death Cab for Cutie, The Photo Album. Yeah, that band from the O.C. They are really good; this is my favorite of many good albums.
Download: "Styrofoam Plates"

The Killers, Hot Fuss. I know, they sound like something your niece listens to. They should -- it's great rock & roll music. Listen to the lyrics -- this isn't just your standard teenage band.
Download: "Somebody Told Me"

Singles:

"Crazy," Gnarls Barkley. This has made it to the U.S. by now, right? So cool.

"Heartbeats," Jose Gonzalez. Saw the YouTube video, loved the song, album's dull as dirt.

"I Love You 'Cause I Have To," Dogs Die in Hot Cars. Just because you need a reminder of that bitter mix tape you made in the early 90s.

"Landed," Ben Folds. Didn't like the album, obsessed with the single.

"Feel Good Inc.," Gorillaz. Even if you don't like hip-hop.

"Chicago," Sufjan Stevens. His albums are so... meandery. I can't fall for them. But this is a great one.

"July, July!" The Decemberists. Their album is why I have a ban on Irish movies -- dour, dark, dull. This was the bright light.

and of course....

"Amsterdam," Guster. I promise I liked this song before I came here. But it's great. So is "Careful." Can't quite get into the albums.


Please post your own recommendation in the comments... I love discovering new music.

11 Comments:

At 4:08 PM, Blogger amy said...

if you are into alt-country right now, I have to recommend Neko Case. I just became obsessed within the past two weeks and am now absolutely in love with the albums I bought (Blacklisted and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood). Try: Margaret vs. Pauline, Things That Scare Me, and Hold On, Hold On.

PS. That mix CD I brought you Mem Day that my sister made? With Bees (song #2) is by Neko Case, if you ripped that.

 
At 10:52 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"Landed" is a great tune.

It sounds like everything that came out of radio speakers in the 70s. (That's a good thing.)

I also agree that "Songs for Silverman" is not Ben Folds' strongest effort. Perhaps he needs to call the other four ... er, two ... and get back together?

 
At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would recommend that Magic Numbers if you're into alt-country right now. It's the kind of music I would feel comfortable buying for my family back in Ohio.

But my favorite band right now is Irving. They just put out their second album and it's starting to get a little airtime on indie music stations. Kinda has a 60's pop vibe.

I'm terrible at describing music. I just know what I like.

 
At 3:51 PM, Anonymous Katie said...

Oh! The entire Gnarls Barkley album is excellent--you should get the whole thing, if you haven't already. To hear one more song, and for a bizarre and compelling web experence, check out the website: www.gnarlsbarkley.com

Love this blog, by the way--I was directed here via "Frolic and Detour" (on whose author I have a girl-crush), and as usual, she is right.

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Mike said...

OK... Irving & Magic Numbers have been added to my wish list! Your wish is my command.

Sorry Katie -- I haven't liked the other Gnarls Barkley songs. I'm not a huge hip-hop fan, to be honest, although some songs are very catchy.

 
At 11:33 PM, Blogger Linda said...

There are shocking similarities between your list and the things that have been provided for me in the last year and a half by the Music Stylist. (He's given me Neko Case, Guster, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie, Iron & Wine, the Jayhawks, and Josh Rouse.)

Based on this list, I recommend Clem Snide most highly. Eef Barzelay is a fucking genius of a songwriter. Start with "Your Favorite Music."

 
At 2:50 PM, Blogger Mike said...

My latest mis CD has, in fact, "Ballad of Bitter Honey" and "Fontenelle."

I really must meet this MS person.

 
At 8:38 PM, Blogger Linda said...

You really must. Amy can tell you all about how he constantly threatens to clout me with a chair.

 
At 10:36 PM, Blogger Mike said...

PS. Amazon informs me that "Your Favorite Music" is ALREADY on my wish list.

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger Linda said...

"Your Favorite Music" is... I'm not even sure what to say about it. It was one of the first two CDs the MS ever sent me (the other was Dolorean's "Violence In The Snowy Fields," which also rules). It's so affecting that I hardly know how to describe it. I find it to be a record that... just vibrates on some kind of bizarre, elemental, chimp-response frequency, like it plugs directly into my head. It has something to do with the exquisite use of strings, something to do with the heavy influence of stripped-down country beats (try "Messiah Complex Blues"), and something to do with the unexpected combination of heart-tearing sweetness and songs that can only be called "rollicking." Based on what else I know you like, I basically promise this record will kill you dead in the best way.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Those are mighty big promises! I look forward to it.

 

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