Thursday, July 23, 2009

My friend CL recently turned me onto some really cool music (i.e. tUnE-YaRdS). So now I'm going to try to write about some music that I think people should check out, sorted (kind of) by genre. I still haven't found a good way to share streamed music, so I'll use youtube instead.

Electronic wallpaper:

Tim Hecker is a cool Montreal artist that constructs intricate and intimate sonic landscapes. I like to listen to this while I'm studying. It's not too distracting, so I can focus on work, but then when I need a break, it's so full of interesting sounds and textures that it can easily hold my attention for a bit while my brain recharges. If you like this, you might also like Fennesz (Fennesz uses guitars more prominently, even though it doesn't really sound like guitar music).

Arovane is on a whole different vibe. Much closer to a "music for yoga moms" thing.

Tim Hecker - 100 Years Ago

Arovane - Goodbye Forever

Indie cred:

Ok... on to the music that you'll actually like.

Malcolm Middleton used to be in the downer-rock group Arab Strap. Now he makes depressing music as a solo artist.

Beirut is a young New Mexico artist. His latest release saw him combining his Old-World melodramatic crooning with rural Mexican music.

Malcolm Middleton - We're All Gonna Die

"You've got to laugh into the dark"...
This one's a couple of years old now. A life affirming existentialist ode to the cold hard truth.
I particularly like this Christmas-y children's choir version (the original is here).

Beirut - La Llorona

"Pop" rock:

I discovered Marshall Crenshaw thanks to Amazon: I bought a Love greatest hits album, and amazon suggested that I might like to buy Crenshaw's hits album... turns out they were right.

Puffy AmiYumi (or in Japanese: パフィ) make the kind of fun punkish music that Avril Lavigne should be making (think Hanson, when they were fun). They had their own TV show on the cartoon network, which was hilarious.

Marshall Crenshaw - Cynical Girl

Puffy AmiYumi - That's The Way It Is

It was really hard to find videos for these guys, and most of the videos I found were just awful. This is a great song, but they've got better songs - I just couldn't find videos for them.

Emitt Rhodes sounds like Paul McCartney in need of a better producer. He made some great music though.

The Honeys were a Beach Boys affiliated girl group. (Brian Wilson's ex-wife was one of the members) Don't make the mistake of buying their hits album - the only good stuff they put out was the stuff Brian Wilson produced, and you can find that on the "Pet Projects" compilation along with other interesting stuff like a weird teen-pop single from soon-to-be pop-country legend Glen Campbell.

Emitt Rhodes - Really Wanted You

Honeys - Tonight You Belong To Me

After the Honeys split 2 of the 3 girls formed the group American Spring, which Brian Wilson also was involved with. A whole bunch of the Wilson produced songs for both groups are great(especially American Spring's "Falling in Love," written by Dennis Wilson). This particular song is a cover of an early 20th century song. (Other great versions are here, and here)


I discovered The Hacienda Brothers thanks to Knoxville's non-NPR public radio station WDVX. Member Chris Gaffney recently died of cancer, and a tribute album was released earlier this year which features a great read on their song "Midnight Dream" by none other than Boz Scaggs. I couldn't find a video of it though, so here's the Hacienda Brothers version.

The Hacienda Brothers - Midnight Dream

That seems like plenty for now. Hopefully there's something in there that you like and that you hadn't heard before.

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