1 August 2006
August is New Music Month, at least for me. Over the last few weeks I've amassed what I hope will prove to be a fairly decent collection of new music. Now I just need to listen to it.
First of all, I joined eMusic.com with a 100-song free trial (email me and I'll give you the details - the regular one is only 25 songs). I was very methodical in my picks, making sure to have as close to that 100-song limit chosen before downloading a single track. eMusic gets a bad rap for not having many mainstream artists, but I was more than able to find albums I wanted and some that sounded intriguing*.
Before I mention the new artists I found, I was exceptionally pleased to see new releases from two groups I really like:
- Comments of the inner chorus by Tunng. I was turned onto Tunng by an offhanded Warren Ellis blog mention, and have been hooked ever since, going as far as to track down their album as an English import. I didn't pay very much for it on eBay, but now I see that eMusic has it, as well as this new album I'd not known they'd released. Their music isn't for everybody, but I enjoy it thoroughly.
- Last train to Mashville by A3. Well before gaining widespread popularity (and one-hit-wonderness) for the theme song to The Sopranos, A3 found their way into my collection from a discount bin. On their debut album they called their music "country acid house" and even that isn't broad enough a definition. Over the years they've put out a number of decent albums (including second-most-recent Power in the blood, available on the site though it is somewhat disappointing) but this one is a stripped-down, acoustic version of many of their hits, including a cover of John Prine's "Speed of the sound of loneliness" that sounds like a fair-to-middling country song they way they do it, but the fun's in knowing how they'd done it before. At least, for me.
- Buildings and grounds by Papas fritas. Back in the days when I lived within broadcast distance of WLUW I listened to a lot of what most people would call "college radio" or perhaps "indie" while I drove to work and back. I'd hear something I'd like and write it down, hoping to look it up and hunt it down later. Many songs and groups I was able to find (for example, Belle and Sebastian) but many eluded me, including the song The way you walk by Papas fritas, which they would play at least once a week, seemingly to taunt me. I never saw the album on the shelves at the libraries, or used or new music stores, and I wasn't willing to shell out the cash to buy the rest of the disc, tracks-unheard. But now I have it, and access to their entire discography, thanks to eMusic. Now I only need to figure out if I still like their songs, I suppose.
- Just like the fambly cat by Grandaddy. Grandaddy's another indie radio darling, though one that the libraries seem to buy. Here again is a new release I hadn't know about, and I doubt the library will pick it up anytime soon, my requests notwithstanding.
I didn't just pick up music from groups I recognized, but I'll write about the other tracks I downloaded once I've given them a few more spins.
* Pun intended.