Favorited ex.fm Songs

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Tom Waits album announced

I was all set to continue with my music video theme this week, but when Tom Waits announces a new album, everything else gets pushed aside. Today, after hinting at it last week, Tom Waits announced that he has a new album coming out on October 25th, in a way that only Tom Waits can pull off. He released a video on his website of a "private listening party" to debut the album. I don't want to spoil it before you watch, but watch all the way to the end to find out his solution to the internet not being private enough.

After finishing this video, I had to go back and watch his announcement of the PEHDTSCKJMBA tour back in 2008. If only everyone could announce tours and albums like this.

And to get some actual music on here... coincidentally enough his album "Mule Variations" came on my iPod on shuffle earlier today. Here's a video for one of my favorite tracks from that album, the album closer "Come On Up To The House." (Although slight seizure alert as the concept of the video is cool, but man does that camera jump around...):

You can download the first single from his new album from Amazon, iTunes, or probably any other music retailer. Now about having to wait til October for the rest...

Monday, August 22, 2011

I've got more music videos than MTV

Another day, another music video to post. Today's is a brand new video of "Calamity Song" by The Decemberists and directed by Parks and Recreation co-creator, defender of rational thinking in sports writing for FireJoeMorgan.com, Mose Schrute actor, and all around awesome individual Michael Schur.

The video is based on a fictional game in the book "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace in which children heave tennis balls acting as nuclear warheads at other countries while a boy at a computer calculates the damage. According to a New York Times article, Michael Schur cites "Infinite Jest" as his favorite book and The Decemberists as his favorite band, so the combination is a match made in heaven. Anyhow, here's the video for your viewing pleasure (although given the subject matter, maybe pleasure is the wrong word even if it is a pretty cool video):

The King Is Dead is still one of my favorite albums of 2011, so I highly recommend picking it up. Also, since I'm all about pointing people to free music on this blog, you can get the song "16 Military Wives" from The Decemberists' 2005 album Picaresque along with 19 songs by other bands on the Kill Rock Stars label via Amazon by going here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Really Cool Music Video

With classes starting up tomorrow, I figured I'd try to get another post in before I actually start to get busy and neglect this blog for legitimate reasons.

I've been using the new(ish) site Turntable.fm a lot lately. For those unfamiliar, the idea is that you go into a room with 5 open DJ spots. Anyone can claim the spots (and the rest of the people just hang out and listen to the tunes and chat if they'd like) and then play music that fits the room's theme. Each person will play one song at a time rotating through the spots. I usually choose to hang out in the Indie Folk room.

It's nice getting to hear some new music, but it's also cool being able to talk to people about the artists if you feel so inclined. Last night, someone played the song "Holocene" by Bon Iver, and I commented that it had a really cool music video (which I'll likely post on here at a later date). They watched it, agreed, and then played a song called Her Morning Elegance by an Israeli artist, Oren Lavie, I had never heard of and suggested that I check out the music video for that one.

It is one of the cooler music videos I have seen. The video is "stop motion" meaning that its created by still photographs that are then put together to look like a moving picture. Apparently over 2000 photos and around 48 hours of picture taking (as well as HUGE amounts of prep time) went into it, but it's a really cool finished product. Check it out below:

The video has over 20,000,000 plays, so clearly other people have seen it, I was just late getting to the party, but I wanted to pass it on for anyone else in my shoes. Any suggestions of other great music videos?

If you're interested in more Orin Lavie music, you can hear a couple songs he performed for NPR here, and his album with "Her Morning Elegance" on it is only $5.99 from Amazon here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pre-Decemberists Colin Meloy

This post falls under the "you learn something new every day" category. A couple of weeks ago I started occasionally using Pandora again, which I hadn't used in a long time. I turned it to an M. Ward station and let it go. A few minutes in, I heard a song sung by someone that sounded an awful lot like Decemberists front-man Colin Meloy. That wouldn't have surprised me that much if a) Colin Meloy didn't have such a distinct sound, and b) I didn't feel pretty familiar with his work, including The Decemberists and his solo stuff. Well when I looked into the band, I learned that he actually recorded music with a group called Tarkio in his home state of Montana before going on to form The Decemberists. The song I heard was called "Keeping Me Awake." It's a bit more alt-country/folkish than The Decemberists stuff, which is right up my alley, so I'm looking forward to digging into their work. Below is the song that came up on Pandora:

You can download one of their songs for free from the Kill Rock Stars label website by right clicking this link and saving the mp3: Tristan and Iseult

I actually had a similar experience with another artist on Pandora that will be a post for another day.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kaki King and How I Got Lost

Several months ago, I added a movie called "How I Got Lost" to my Netflix instant queue after reading somewhere that the soundtrack was done by guitar extraordinaire Kaki King. However, the movie just sat there since I knew very little else about it. Friday night I wanted to watch something but didn't want to stay up too late, so by virtue of it being only 87 minutes long, I decided to give it a try.

The movie is the story of two men in their probably late 20s in New York after 9/11. Without giving much away, both of them are disappointed with where their lives are and end up taking a road trip. I read a couple reviews of the film that called it aimless and flat, but considering that it was called "How I Got Lost," I'm not too sure what the viewer was expecting. I thought the film did a good job at showing a slice of life of two very different friends trying to figure out their lives.

None of that is really the point though. I watched the film because Kaki King did the music, and it was one of the better parts of the film as well. For anyone unfamiliar with her works, she's a guitar player who originally played drums and has incorporated a lot of percussive techniques into her playing. The video below shows just how different her style is, but she is really just a wonderfully talented musician.

Her first couple records were just solo guitar playing, which may seem boring to some, but with just how varied her sounds are, they can really keep your attention. On her two most recent efforts especially, she started singing on some of the songs, and its amazing that she didn't do it sooner because she has a really good voice and is a pretty wonderful songwriter as well.

Here's an amazing performance of her song "Bone Chaos in the Castle" that really showcases her skills and her unique talent. I have a hard time believing all of that noise is coming from one person with just a guitar:

I was hoping to find some downloadable music of hers to share, and once again Daytrotter has come through for me. Here's a link to a session she did that contains the above song, "Life Being What It Is" (another favorite of mine off her 2008 release Dreaming of Revenge, and two more tracks all for FREE.

Kaki King Daytrotter Session

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

James Vincent McMorrow on Daytrotter

I ended up taking a lot more time off from this blog than intended, but I'm back with another great free release from Daytrotter. If you like free and legal music, Daytrotter.com should be a regular stop. I've linked to some of their stuff for previous posts, but they have a huge library of tracks that artists have recorded at the Daytrotter studio when they are passing through on tour. Usually artists will record 4 or 5 songs with most of them from previous releases but occasionally with a previously unreleased track or two mixed in.

One of the most recent sessions is by James Vincent McMorrow, an Irish folk singer/songwriter. Some of his music is reminiscent of Bon Iver if that's up your alley. Last year he released his first full-length album, Early in the Morning. He will be doing some touring around the U.S. and Canada in September if you're interested in catching him live. He is stopping at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis on Saturday, September 17, and tickets are only $12.

His Daytrotter session is here and features two tracks from his full length album along with two unreleased songs.

My two favorite songs from the album are We Don't Eat, which you can stream below, and If I Had a Boat, which you can download courtesy of Seattle radio station KEXP by clicking here.

05 We Don't Eat by jamesvmcmorrow

As always, enjoy!