Favorited ex.fm Songs

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Here's a short Halloween mix to celebrate the day. Just like my last post, you can listen through 8tracks.com or Spotify. I tried to pick songs that for the most part fit in name and at least to some extent in sound. Without further ado...

Spotify playlist

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Lookback at July - September New Music

I'm a little late on this post, but I figured better late than never. You can check our my recaps from the first and second quarters of the year if you missed them.

Top Albums July - September 2011

1) Wilco - The Whole Love (Art of Almost)
2) Mates of State - Mountaintops (Palomino)
3) William Elliott Whitmore - Field Songs (Everything Gets Gone)
4) Blind Pilot - We Are The Tide (Keep You Right from band website)
5) Carlos Forster - Family Trees (I Walk I Talk)

I've really enjoyed the new Wilco album a lot, and it will definitely be near the top of my year end list. The Mates of State album caught me a little bit by surprise. They used to be one of my favorite artists, but I really haven't listened to them much in the last few years. That being said, I've enjoyed their new album quite a bit too. William Elliott Whitmore's album hasn't grabbed me as much as his last album, the absolutely phenomenal Animals in the Dark, but that was a pretty high bar, and it is still really good. I don't know much about Blind Pilot, but they come from Portland, home of many of my other favorite artists, and their album has grown on me. Carlos Forster is an old friend of M. Ward. His album was produced by M. Ward, and I am beyond excited to see the two of them perform in the beginning of December in Rock Island, Illinois.

The Best of the Rest

The Horrible Crowes - Elsie
***This album is by the lead singer of The Gaslight Anthem
Eleanor Friedberger - Last Summer
***This album is by the lead singer of The Fiery Furnaces
Beirut - The Rip Tide
Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost
A.A. Bondy - Believers

Albums I Am Looking Forward to in the next 3 Months (as of October 1)

10/4 - Feist - Metals
10/11 - I Build Collapsible Mountains
10/11 - Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire
10/25 - Deer Tick - Divine Providence
10/25 - Tom Waits - Bad As Me (post coming soon)
10/25 - She & Him - A Very She & Him Christmas
10/25 - JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound - Want More
11/1 - The Decemberists - Long Live The King (EP)
11/8 - Florence + The Machine - Ceremonials
11/15 - Los Campesinos! - Hello Sadness
12/6 - The Black Keys - El Camino

A Mix of My Favorite Songs From the Past Quarter of the Year

Just like in the last two quarter-year round-up posts, I'll provide a way to stream a mix of some of my favorite songs on 8tracks.com. However, I've also been spending a lot of time using Spotify lately. For those of you that also use it, I'll also provide a link to a mix there. The mixes will be slightly different due to different rules about what you can and can't play on the sites, but they should be relatively similar. As always, enjoy!

Spotify Version (hopefully this link works, but I haven't done this before, so let me know if it doesn't)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas Came Early This Year

I mentioned it on Facebook when I first downloaded the She & Him Christmas album, but usually I'm opposed to Christmas music before December. This has nothing to do with me being anti-Christmas or anything like that. It's actually pretty similar to why I don't listen to the radio much. Stores and restaurants start pumping Christmas music in around Halloween, which means everywhere you go you end up hearing the same songs over and over again for 2+ months. If they did this with any other type of music, I'd probably be annoyed by it too.

With that out of the way though, I can make an exception to this usual rule when it involves listening to new music by She & Him. The album, A Very She & Him Christmas, consists of 12 covers of Christmas songs ranging from the classics you'd expect (like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, The Christmas Song, and Sleigh Ride) to a couple others that are less familiar (or at least were to me, like The Christmas Waltz and Christmas Wish). Most of the songs feature Zooey Deschanel singing, but M. Ward gets into the mix on a few tracks too (which you may have guessed are my early favorites). If you enjoy She & Him, or just have a soft-spot for Christmas music, the album should be a welcome addition to your listening rotation.

Below you can listen to (and I believe download), The Christmas Waltz, the lead track on the album.

She & Him - The Christmas Waltz by MergeRecords

If you want to hold off on listening to the album until closer to Christmas, I won't hold it against you. However, you can currently download it for only $5 at Amazon, so I'd recommend at least buying it now if you'll want it for Christmas time. If you're more interested in the physical album and some other goodies, you can get that along with She & Him wrapping paper or a hat and mittens in the Merge Records store. And in keeping with the Christmas spirit, a portion of the proceeds go to 826 National, a non-profit organization that runs writing and tutoring centers in cities across the US that also help encourage creativity among the nation's youth. So basically, you can't go wrong buying the album.

I've already wracked up 3 listens in as many days. I obviously won't listen to it every day between now and Christmas, but the album is sure to get regular listens and become a Christmas favorite of mine for years to come. So whether you listen now or later, hopefully it'll bring you a little Christmas cheer!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Carolina by M. Ward

I can't do a real post because I'm working on homework that will still take me a while more. However, I've been listening to a bunch of M. Ward while I work, and when Carolina came on it made me stop to listen. It has always been one of my favorites, and it sounded extra good tonight, so I thought I'd post it quick.

Carolina is from M. Ward's "End of Amnesia" album, which I used to not care for too much (even though I was obsessed with everything else he had done), but the album has really grown on me over the last year or so. Anyhow, I'm back to work. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm not dead! (even though I'm blogging like I am)

It turns out that being in a Phd program and writing a music blog don't go very well together. I have kind of a log jam of posts I want to write (including my July-September 2011 wrap up post), so we'll see if I can get a few of them out in the next several days.

One artist I've wanted to mention is the Scottish artist I Build Collapsible Mountains. The name is a moniker for folk singer/songwriter Luke G Joyce, who apparently has his roots in post rock.

I think I was first introduced to his music a couple months ago by one of the music blogs I read. I liked the song I heard, and he was offering a 5-song EP on his Bandcamp page for only $1, which seemed like a no brainer. Just recently, he also released a full-length on his Bandcamp page for only $5 (and $2.50 if you previously bought the EP). The albums are nothing too flashy, but I've found them really growing on me with repeated listens. Then again, I'm a sucker for indie folk singer/songwriter stuff. Regardless, it's cool to see artists putting their stuff out there at affordable prices for people to hear. Check it out if you get a chance, and support him if you enjoy it!