Friday, March 03, 2006

My Quest for New Music (New Years Resolution Part 2)

Well buying music online does not always work. I started off this year saying I was going to try some new stuff out and get back with you on any good finds. I promptly went to and ordered 2 CDs from one off the market place sellers called Raiders Music. After 6 weeks of not getting them I had to get a refund but never fear I've checked out some new stuff from various other outlets. Ebay still seems to be a good way of getting CDs but you just can't beat ITUNES for impulse buys. So here are some new finds:

1. Grizzly Man (Soundtrack) by Richard Thompson - While the movie/documentary was pretty wierd the soundtrack is killer. Richard Thompson plays some beautiful compositions which combine electric guitar sounds reminiscent of Mark Knopfler, with haunting cello parts and a handful of apalachian instruments for a very cinematic soundscape. Very good music to study to, or smoke a pipe to, or to just have playing in the background.

2. Plans by Death Cab For Cutie - I will admit that I resisted this band initially because of thier name. I automatically assumed they must be a punk band or some kind of hardcore industrial outfit. I bought this album after reading about the making of it in Mix magazine. I also like the philosophy of the band on making music. This band is a fine ilustration of what I wrote about in my November 13th blog on the importance of the band in music
These guys have been together for years as friends who enjoy creating music together. And what they create is real nice. Plans has some very emotive music that a;most has the same effect on me as Coldplay but in a different way. More on them later.

3. Lonelyland by Bob Schneider - Hailing from Austin Texas, Bob Schneider is a really good find. I first came across his song "The World Exploded Into Love" on the soundtrack to Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood produced by T-Bone Burnett. It was a very cool song and made me want to hear more but somehow I just forgot to get anymore of his stuff. So I bought his Lonelyland CD off of ebay and I really dig it. His music is somewhat in the vein of Jack Johnson but a little more soulful, edgier, and musical. Very well written songs that are performed and produced nicely. This dude has got a good thing going as a singer/songwriter. That said I wich T-Bone Burnett would produce a whole CD for Schneider because the version of "Exploded Into Love" that he produced was much cooler than the version on Lonelyland.

4. Summerteeth by Wilco - It's kind of funny the way that I've gotten into Wilco. A friend of mine turned me on to their last album - A Ghost Is Born last year about 2 weeks before I saw them live as the first date of their tour to support the album. Their live show was one of the best concerts I've been to. So I have been buying their stuff in bits and pieces ever since. I picked up this CD not realizing that I had already heard many of the songs when i used to live in Hammond. This CD came out about 4 years ago I believs and they played it alot on the college radio station. This is probably the most accessible of Wilco CDs I've come across. It's not nearly as expiramental as their most recent outings which makes it easier to listen to in an everyday sense. I haven't met a Wilco CD I haven't liked yet and this is no exception though it is vastly different from their other CDs. It's great to hear bands that are constantly evolving and constantly turning out good music.

5. The Pearl - Brian Eno, Harold Budd, And Daniel Lanois

I seem to quite often want something very chilled and unobtrusive playing in the background when I'm studying or reading. However I never remember to try and buy anything like this when I'm in a music store. Well thanks to Itunes I came across this Album which is a pleasant surprise. I've been a big fan of Lanois and Eno for quite some time but I'm new to Harold Budd, the pianist that teams up with them. The trio make great music together. Eno, by himself can get a little too out there for me so having the likes of Harold Budd in the forground with his minimalist piano playing works well on grounding the compositions a bit. The songs are beautiful and work great as the backdrop to a good book.

Well that's music news for now. More updates to come.

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