Meera-Devi and The Mad Terran's Music Blog

Monday, January 29, 2007

Randomness for Everyone

In Winamp, I keep a running playlist of songs I want to use in mixes. This week, I felt like I'd run out of inspiration, so I dug into that list. After pulling some songs out, I tossed in a few things that I'd been listening to more or less constantly for the past couple weeks.

So instead of this being a placeholder mix, I think I came up with something rather cool and rather random. . . This one really does bounce around the musical map.

Randomness for Everyone

1. Porno For Pyros - Pets
2. The Shins - The Past and Pending\
3. Lupe Fiasco - Daydreamin' (featuring Jill Scott)
4. Norah Jones - Broken
5. The Platters - Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
6. Classics IV - Spooky
7. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - In This Love
8. Red Sparowes - The Soundless Dawn Came Alive As Cities Began To Mark The Horizon
9. Snow Patrol - One Hundred Things You Should Have Done In Bed
10. DeVotchKa - The Enemy Guns
11. The Solarflares - You Hear Drums
12. Presidents of the United States of America - Lump
13. The Mahones - A Drunken Night in Dublin
14. Melora Creager - Girl Lunar Explorer
15. Quicksilver Messenger Service - Shady Grove

Episode 3: Roundtrip Flight

North Miami Beach, Florida <-> Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

And now for something a little different…

One night, as I was listening to Penobscot Bay and the Voyage of Life, I examined the overall sound of the series and noticed that “alternative rock” was not represented. I wondered how difficult it would be to find tracks that would fit between chilled out ambient electronic music, trip-hop, reggae, and hip-hop. After some searching and serious rearranging of the mixes, I was able to include this mix into the series.

In some ways, this mix represents what I was listening to right out of high school and early college. Until I was blown away by the sound, beats, and grooves from Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky and a few other trip-hop groups, I was still listening to a lot of Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and U2, who are still my favorite bands. Though I find myself listening to various types of electronic music rather than the “alternative/classic rock” that I listened to while growing up, I have not forgotten my “roots”.

Episode 3: Roundtrip Flight

1. Coldplay - White Shadows
2. Built to Spill - Gone
3. Pearl Jam - Smile
4. U2 - Bullet the Blue Sky (live)
5. Pearl Jam - You Are
6. U2 - Silver and Gold (live)
7. Pearl Jam - No Way
8. Built to Spill - You Are
9. Sheryl Crow - My Favorite Mistake
10. The Wallflowers - Closer to You
11. Coldplay - Swallowed in the Sea
12. Sarah McLachlan - Stupid
13. Aimee Mann - You Do
14. Tom Petty - Don't Fade on Me
15. The Doors - A Feast of Friends
16. Lambchop - Low Ambition
17. REM - The Apologist
18. Radiohead - There There
19. The Dandy Warhols - Mohammed

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More fun with You Tube.

There's a lot to chose from here. Lately, my tastes have been all over the map.

Oh yeah, if reading this from googlegroups (see way below), be sure to check the site proper for the imbeds.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Piano Man, My Good friend Fauste.

I've recently been reading Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris, a novel about the beginnings of the villian (and sometimes anti-hero) Hannibal Lecter. It has made me go back and remember a character I became well acquainted with many, many years ago that a friend of the site and of mine, Aubigne Spratling developed over lunch. He blossomed and grew into the Mad Hatter (or did he evolve from him?), and also took on the persona of the very brilliant Piano Man.

Suffice it to say, he always proved good fun to mull over, discuss and read as he grew up in our minds.

Now, in honour of both his birthday and literary un-birthday. Now, whenever I find out what's up with him again and his online presence, I'll post that up too.

I approached this mix first by using the music we kept talking about for a potential soundtrack, yet that didn't seem to work. Then, I eventually just broke down and considered what the character would put on his mp3 player. . .

I hope I've done the author proper justice in making this mix.

For Dr. Fauste

1. Jaco Pastorius - Continuum
2. Vocomotion - Us And Them
3. Flint Blade - Moondance
4. Tim Ries - Wild Horses
5. Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata (classical guitar, unknown performer)
6. Earl Klugh - Alice In Wonderland
7. Zoe Keating - walking man
8. Carl Orff - Gassenhauer nach Hans Neusiedl
9. Jacques Loussier - Nocturne No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2
10. Dr. Lonnie Smith - Someday My Prince Will Come
11. Billy Joel - Piano Man
12. George Benson - White Rabbit

Monday, January 22, 2007

Episode 2: Initiation into the Mysterious

From Riga to Vilnius

This mix has a dark mysterious quality to it. It sounds like it should be played during the midsummer
Christian-Pagan festival of Ligo or Jāņi in Latvia- a celebration of the summer solstice and the feast day of St. John the Baptist.

In addition, some tracks were original works of or remixed by the
Thievery Corporation, a slick classy DC-based DJ duo. Their sound is chilled electronic grooves with Asian and Latin influences.

Episode 2: Initiation into the Mysterious

1. Thievery Corporation - Revolution Solution (feat. Perry Farrell)
2. Ustad Sultan Khan - Tarana (Thievery Corporation Remix)
3. Masala Soundsystem - Holly-Bolly-Lolly
4. Massive Attack - Future Proof
5. Eighty Miles Beach - There are no Right Angles Found in Nature (Thievery Corporation Remix)
6. DJ Shadow - Hindsight
7. Amon Tobin - Yasawas
8. Smith & Mighty - Try
9. GusGus - Polyesterday
10. RJD2 - The Proxy
11. Wszystkie wsc - Gołebie-w-sky (For Tibet Version)
12. Tosca - Busenfreund
13. Air - Talisman
14. Wax Poetic - Angels (feat. Norah Jones)
15. Thievery Corporation - Transcendence
16. Anoushka Shankar - Beloved
17. The Doors - Strange Days (Thievery Corporation Remix)
18. The Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dellessa's Singalong

Well, one day when talking to Del, she asked for a mix for her birthday. And being too fat away from her on that special day, I was happy to oblige. It's as wild, eclectic, and amusing as she is. It's also a mix she can sing along to in the car while driving about looking for places ideal for photography.

I think I like the mix almost as much as I love her. . . Which is quite a bit.

Dellessa's Singalong

1. Octopus - Girlfriend
2. Norah Jones - Be My Somebody
3. Ben Folds - Songs Of Love
4. Paul Westerberg - Good Day
5. Shoes - If You'd Stay
6. Mason Jennings - Gentlest Hammer
7. Ohio Express - Chewy, Chewy
8. Nick Drake - Things Behind the Sun
9. The Love Letter Band - Ghost Song
10. Gorden Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
11. Tommy James & The Shondells - I Am A Tangerine
12. Blue Man Group Feat. Venus Hum - I Feel Love
13. Johnny Cash - Sam Hall
14. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Reading In Bed
15. Midlake - We Gathered In Spring

And when you get a chance, check out for something visual to feed your head.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Episode 1: Dark Alleys

Berlin, Deutschland

I imagine myself weaving through dark alleys during a drizzly night in Berlin, a city that never seems to sleep, especially in the tourist-free corners of the city. The streets are eerily quiet and free of natives and tourists. Illicit transactions that must take place by moonlight happen in these corners. Only the corner shops are open, many which are owned and/or operated by Turkish immigrants. Empty beer bottles could be found haphazardly discarded next to empty trash receptacles. In some parks and every subway, there is a faint odor of stale cigarettes and marijuana. Döner and Currywürst stands are covered with tarpaulin, only to be opened the next morning ready to serve business men on the go and the eager tourist, who was informed that he should indulge in some German-Turkish delights for a true experience in Berlin. The magnificent umbrellas of the cafes are turned down, leaving tables soaked in rain water.
Street performers walk home with carrying their heavy instruments in their hands and earned money in their pockets, enough to buy some food and a return subway fare for the next day’s performance. Public transport has ceased and a few taxis speedly drive the intoxicated to their respectful homes. Soon the sun will rise over the Gate, and the city will awaken, only to endure another day.

Episode 1: Dark Alleys
1 - K.A.S.T.A. - Intro
2 - Pijani Powietrzem - Fotki
3 - Amon Tobin - Saboteur
4 - Smith & Mighty - 1,2 Mic Check
5 - Dub Pistols - Ghetto
6 - DJ Spooky & Dave Lombardo - B-Side Wins Again (2005)
7 - Dub Pistols - Architect
8 - The Herbaliser - Road of Many Signs
9 - DJ Shadow - Fixed Income
10 - Nicholas James Bullen & Brion Gysin - Gilles Deleuze
11 - Fokus - Po co (feat. MCFalograf & Literat)
12 - Massive Attack - Two Rocks and a Cup of Water
13 - Paktofonika - Gdyby…
14 - Pokahontaz - Sklonuj Mnie
15 - Chief Xcel - Multitude
16 - Gorillaz - New Genius (Brother) [Mix]
17 - Handsome Boy Modeling School - Once Again (Here to Kick One for You) (feat. Sadat X, Grand Puba)
18 - L.U.C. - Stan Haelucynogenny
19 - Eminem - Lose Yourself

The Story of Mixed Triples...

This past August, I wanted to make a dancy mix that wasn't paced as fast as typical house-progressive mixes, but something you can groove to while hanging out at a friend's house for a BBQ. I like these mixes because they are a lot of fun and do not make you feel like you have to take speed in order to keep up with the music. After a few frustrating weeks, I couldn't mix about 2 hours worth of music. There wasn't any flow and it wasn't making any sense. The beats and hooks were there, but I couldn’t get the tracks to flow properly.

That is until I discovered the addictive auditory guilty pleasures of Polish hip-hop. In the process of making dinner with my friends, my friend Greg played a Polish song that resonated with me. Simply put, there was something about it that had me hooked, whether the instrumentation, the rhymes or just the song as a whole. Soon after this, I discovered that, for me, Polish hip-hop is just as addictive as tea, chocolate or any other drug. A co-worker also gave me a copy of
K.A.S.TA.’s Kastaniety, a CD that lived on my Win-Amp play list for several weeks. It was the perfect background music to listen to while writing a poster for SFN's annual meeting in Atlanta. My coworker also shared with me PFK Company’s website. My curiosity about Polish hip-hop proved to be so addictive that I have acquired about 100 albums worth of Polish hip-hop. Now only if I understood what these guys were rapping about…

To resolve my issue with the dancy music, I incorporated Polish tracks, thereby expanding the 2-hour list to about 3-hours. I also listened to Mixed Doubles, in an attempt to figure out why it was one of my favorite mixes. In my opinion, it is a perfect mix: dark undertones and solid beats with a slight eerie quality to the instrumentation. For me, the arrangement just flowed. I loved listening to it at night. With that in mind, I wanted to do another mix or two that incorporated not 2 tracks from an artist, but 3 tracks. I wanted the mix to be dark and to be listened at night. So 3 hours of music grew to 10 hours. Eventually, after adding tracks of various styles by artists from over 10 countries, the play list grew to 17 mixes totaling 22-hours music.

Through the ambitious undertaking of constant listening and rearranging over the last 5-7 months, I arranged 17 mixes such that each mix could stand alone. However, if you listened to the mixes continuously in the order of release, they will comprise one very long mix. In other words, it is a mix within a mix.

After several months of arranging, I am pleased to release Mixed Triples. Each mix in the series is associated with a pair of cities. Some cities are randomly assigned to the mix, while others have a significant and/or personal meaning. Over the last 8 years, I have visited some of the cities, while I want to visit others in the near future. There is a story for each mix, but one thing is certain: I could imagine myself listening to these mixes while perambulating the city or traveling by train to arrive to the city, preferably at night.


I’ve come out of hibernation. Apparently, so have the bears around the world.

Though it may seem like I have neglected MadTerranMusic, for the past 5-6 months, I have been working very diligently on a series of mixes.

In order to make the new mixes available, I have taken down the old mixes from 2005-2006. Anybody who is interested in the following mixes could contact me via email.

Show titles and dates
1. First Show (7/11/2005)
2. Women Rock (7/28/2005)
3. Now Hear This (8/13/2005)
4. Groove: The Stars Won't Shine (8/25/2005)
5. Slow and Wanting (9/5/2005)
6. Wild and Dirty (9/5/2005)
7. Strut Your Stuff (9/22/2005)
8. Indian Summer (9/25/2005)
9. Evening Stroll (9/30/2005)
10. The Jazz Singer (10/10/2005)
11. Groovalicious Women (11/23/2005)
12. Holiday CD (12/15/2005)
13. The Classics (2/26/2006)
14. English Breakfast Tea (2/26/2006)
15. London Dry Gin (2/26/2006)
16. Meera Rocks (Out) (2/26/2006)
17. Piano and Strings (2/26/2006)
18. Spring Shadows (3/9/2006)
19. Mixed Doubles (3/9/2006)
20. Around the World in 80 Minutes (3/10/2006)
21. Downbeats (3/12/2006)
22. Ghost Trains (4/29/2006)
23. Boston Jerk Chicken (5/21/2006)
24. Sangria and Lemonade: All Dolled Up and Lookin' Good (5/30/2006)
25. The Long Road (7/5/2006)
26. Shooting the Apple (7/16/2006)
27. The Jokkmokk (7/27/2006)
28. Freestyle/Butterfly (7/31/2006)
29. Penobscot Bay and the Voyage of Life (8/6/2006)
30. To Cleveland or Bust (8/11/2006)
31. Midday Tales (8/17/2006)
32. Summer Monsoons (8/25/2006)
33. Elliptical Galaxy (9/1/2006)
34. Lazy Afternoons (9/10/2006)
35. Long Island Iced Tea (10/10/2006)
36. Scotch Neat (11/24/2006)

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Beatles Afternoon

The Beatles have long been a part of my life. When talking about the Beatles or Elvis or even the Stones, I often say, "I was raised in a Beatles family" much the way some people describe their religion. And really, I was.

Part of my education came from the Beatles Brunch, and one long, summer afternoon in high school that I finally sat down and listened to Sgt. Pepper for myself. (This was also the same summer I discovered The Dark Side of the Moon). You could almost say that my appreciation for the Beatles was almost like for some, going back to the Church, though I do claim Floydianism as my one, true path.

So here's one for the Beatles, and if you're local Miami: listen into the Beatles Brunch on Sunday mornings on 102.7. Of course, do that after downloading whatever is new here.

I tried to make this mix a bit different from listening to the One album, or what you hear all the time one the radio. My parents like it, and I think you all will too.

A Beatles Afternoon<

1. And I Love Her
2. I Need You
3. Rocky Raccoon
4. I Am The Walrus
5. Fixing A Hole
6. In my Life
7. Blackbird
8. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
9. The Fool on the Hill
10. She's Leaving Home
11. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
12. Something
13. I'm Looking Through You
14. I Saw Her Standing There
15. I Should Have Known Better
16. Yellow Submarine

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another 90's Mix

Yesterday at work, we proved we were all creatures of the 90's by listening to Paula Abdul. Well, everyone else was listening to the lackluster pop the American Idol judge released back in the early 90's, after she was Janet Jackson's choreographer and backup dancer. (I had to dig her up in AMG to remember that much.) My honest opinion was that it wasn't bad for what it was, but I still scowled and joked all the same.

This weeks mix, however, is not that.

This week's mix comes from the 90's music we all know, love and angst to. This has been one of my personal playlists on my mp3 player for a few months, but I finally got around to making it into miz got you all. I was able to hook up my player to the store's sound system a while back and one of the rep's was in there, and he got a chance to rock out to. Meanwhile, Meera and I say it reminds us of people way back when these songs were still new.

So to all that, I bring you:

Another's 90's Mix

1. Mother Love Bone - Capricorn Sister
2. Flaming Lips - Waitin' For A Superman
3. The Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
4. Pearl Jam - Do The Evolution
5. Placebo - Without You I'm Nothing
6. Radiohead - My Iron Lung
7. Nirvana - Lake of Fire
8. Silverchair - Tomorrow
9. Pearl Jam - Animal
10. Soundgarden - Pretty Noose
11. Temple Of The Dog - Wooden Jesus
12. Blind Melon - Soup
13. Alice in Chains - Rooster
14. Nirvana - Lithium

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Mad Terran's top 21

My top 21 of 2006 broken down into categories for easier reference. I've listened to a lot this year, and I can't help feeling like I've missed a few titled. I also do, and wind up having to release a second list a couple weeks later. As of now, these are my favourites of this past year.

I've had the list for a while, so most of it's been in the past few mixes. If you're curious, dig around the site for the past few months. All but a couple are salt and peppered through.

Tim Ries - The Rolling Stones Project: Released in 2005, but I suspect it didn't hit stores until 2006 or so. Stones songs done in various jazz styles. Plus, Norah's on it, so I can't not like it.

Easy Star All Stars - Radiodread: A Reggae/Dancehall cover album of Radiohead's OK Computer. I just find the thing remarkable, especially how they make something so familiar sound quite different and amazing all at the same time.

Side projects:
Sounds of Animals Fighting - Lover, The Lord Has Left Us: It's a side project featuring members from Mars Volta and a bunch of other bands. It will blow you away.

Office of Strategic Influence - Free: A second album from this grouping. This time, minus Steve Wilson. It might be missing Steve on production, but they did add in some brilliant, funky basslines that I love. The lyrics also seem to be a bit more personal this time around.

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Furcoat: Lead singer from Rilo Kiley teamed up with a pair of twin gospel singers. They do some heavy, atheist influenced Blue Eyed Soul. I was so floored, I got the record too.

Cobra Starship - While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets: Emo goes disco. Members of a bunch of So Cal bands did a song for Snakes on a Plane and then throw together a cool album. Nothing Emo about this one, frankly. It's also leading me to listen to Gym Class Heroes and MC Lars.

Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere: Probably my favourite soul, funk album this year. It's also a real stretch for Cee-Lo Green who normally is a rapper who has a major experiemental side. The beats are by DJ Dangermouse, who was last year's list with the Dangerdoom album with MF Doom.

Thom Yorke - The Eraser: It kind of takes off where Kid A left off, but in a much more minimalist sense. It's a lot of fun though.

David Gilmour - On An Island: You all knew it had to be somewhere, I put it here because I just can't give up the hope of a reunion. I still love this album

George Benson and Al Jarreau - Givin' It Up
: Cool album all around. Two greats doin' their thing. They also do a cover of one of my favourite songs "Summer Breeze."

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint - River in Reverse: I think this is the first album to come out from the Post-Katrina New Orleans that really manages to capture the soul of what happened, and the current state of the city. I don't usually like Elvis Costello as a singer, but I don't mind it here.

Paul Simon and Brian Eno - Surprise: As many reviewers have said, this album fits the title. So far, it is the only solo effort by Paul Simon I've really liked. (Though, I still should listen to Graceland one of these days.)

In Store Play:
Lupe Fiasco - Food and Liquor
: We played this album for a good month before it came out, and still kept playing it. This album is Hip Hop redefined into something intelligent again. This is what's been missing all these years.

Robin Thicke - The Evolution of Robin Thicke: This keeps selling and selling and selling. We labled it a hit as soon as we first heard it, and it won't stop. THis isn't Blue Eyed Soul. . . It's the son of an 80's sitcom star doing funk and soul in a trippy kind of way. This is the chill, party record of the year.

Jack Johnson - Sing-A-Longs and lullabies for the film Curious George: It'a soundtrack of a kid's film that went nowhere. But that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's own, amusing feel to it. Each song has a nice, lefty, subversive feel to it.

Tool - 10,000 Days
: Even though it's sounds like more of the same from Tool and Maynard, it still find it's way onto my mp3 player. In fact, a musician who used to frequent our store joked about their ever present bassline. What I love about them is what they do around that bassline, and I find that extrapolative playing a real signifier of great progressive rock. And Maynard's vocals still sound like they're coming from a dream.

Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics: Merry, sonic frivolity and social commentary from Wayne and the Lips. It never fails to blow my head off and make me want to clap.

Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam: I've said iot before, I will say it again: THIS IS THEIR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT! Ten has some weak spots, and songs you can skip. This album does not. End of Story.

Muse - Black Holes and Revelations: This album will stick with you. They're really come into their own sound, and exploded properly. I won't say they've surpassed Radiohead, but they sure as hell found equal footing.

The Vines - Vision Valley: Have ever mentioned how much I hate reviewers. Personally, I think they keep miscategorizing this band. They move closer and closer to great, garage tinged psychedelia with each release.

Mars Volta - Amputechture: Another Mars Volta album, really. It's not Francis the Mute, but it's still amazing. they've changed things up, and have a jazzier feel to the band over all. The horn work is wicked.

My Absolute Favourite:
Pure Reason Revolution - The Dark Third:
This album is refreshing in that it's the real deal. There's everything here, and with Progressive Rock, it is practically a transcendental experience. You feel better for having listened to this release. It's like Porcupine Tree or even Floyd in that sense, but there's something all their own here.

Chloe's Honey and Murder by Death

CD Baby: CHLOE'S HONEY: frequency front

During previous incarnations of my mp3 collection, I had some of their demos I used to listen to every now and then that I downloaded after they were passed along to me.

Now that I've proudly got their album, I am pleased to say that they really do kick some ass as an old fashioned, alt-rock band. Every now and then, I really do miss the old days when grunge was king, and they fit the bill without sounding too derivative or like a complete rehash of what was started with Mother Love Bone and Soundgarden.

So check out Chloe's Honey over at CD Baby.

I was also pleasantly surprised by this band, Murder by Death and their album In Bocca al Lupo when I was walking through my local Hot Topic, killing time and vainly looking for interesting vinyl. (I picked up this album in my store, actually).

They sound a bit like a rockier version of Voltaire with a little Johnny Cash and Rasputina thrown in for good measure. Dark, but quite beautiful.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Light My Soul

It's now 2007, and everything should feel like a celebration. That wasn't how this mix evolved, but I think it expresses that nice sentiment. It actually started when I discovered on my computer a cover of "Light My Fire" by Shirley Bassey, and I thought it kicked a lot of ass. From there, after a few fits and starts and lots of new discovery, this little mix came out. It's a little of this, a little of that that spews out a strange groove that I think expresses the general state of a new year. We're hopeful it'll come out wildly perfect, and we're fearful that it won't. All the while, looking back, trying to make for damn sure we don't make the same mistakes again. . .

It also includes one of my new, music lady loves: Alice Smith. Now this woman really can sing any style she wants. She's been described as a combination of Norah Jones and Alicia Keys, and I can see that. But there's still something there that comes out wildly different.

Light My Soul

1. Shirley Bassey - Light my Fire
2. Sam Cooke - Summertime
3. Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint - Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?
4. Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 - Chove Chuva
5. Alice Smith - Fake Is The New Real
6. Bee Gees - love me
7. Spanky Wilson & The Quantic Soul Orchestra - A Woman Like Me
8. Roy Orbison - I Drove All Night
9. Small Faces - Shake
10. Strangecloud - Mantra
11. Lou Rawls - Lady Love
12. Herbie Mann - Yardbird Suite
13. Pink Martini - Hang On Little - Let's Never Stop Falling In Love
14. Sly & Family Stone - Sing A Simple Song
15. George Benson & Al Jarreau - Summer Breeze
16. Buckshot Lefonque - Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
17. Isaac Hayes - Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dellessanna's Picks for 2006

The City's Finest, A Physical Adiction.
A strange mix of punk, opera and caberet...but I like it.
Songs of note:
~Operetta VII

Melora Creager - Perplexions
A bit of a shift from her earlier work with Rasputina. It doesn't have the same strange victorian flare to it. But it is still a fun romp.
Songs of note:
~American Girl
~Girl Lunar Explorer

The Handsome Family, Last Days of Wonder
Country meets gothic. It's strange...but somehow works out very well.
Songs of note:
~Tesla's Hotel Room

The Ditty Bops, Moon Over the Freeway
Think a country home companion and you won't be far off. They excel at catchy melodies and even catchier lyrics.
Songs of note:
~In The Meantime
~Bye Bye Love

Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
She has an amazing voice. And that is all I have to say about that!
Songs of note:
~Margaret vs. Pauline
~Star Witness
~Dirty Knife

Hungry Lucy, Before We Stand ... We Crawl
In truth there isn't much I don't like about this EP. The lyrics are clever and posh, and the vocals are just as rich.
Songs of note:
~Alfred (haunted)
~Fearful (live & unplugged)

Various Artists, Where's Neil When You Need Him?
A very interesting collaberation between Neil Gaiman and seventeen bands/singers. Probably my favorite Album that came out this year.
Songs of Note:
~Thea Gilmore - Even Gods Do
~Lunascape - Raven Star
~Rasputina - Coraline
~The Cruxshadows - Wake the White Queen
~Hungry Lucy - We Won't Go

She Wants Revenge- She Wants Revenge
Dark and irreverent to the point that it is humurous...
Songs of note:
~These Things
~I Don't Want To Fall In Love

Hem-Funnel Cloud
"It might sound like a backhanded compliment to say Hem makes lite-rock with a country twist. But before you conjure up images of Phil Collins with a cowboy hat, let's clarify by saying the New York band essentially picks up where the Cowboy Junkies left off--crafting intimate southern songs that unfold with quiet dignity over a bed of strings, pedal-steel guitars and restrained piano flourishes."--Aidin Vaziri
I honestly couldn't describe them better.
Songs of note:
~He Came To Meet Me
~Funnel Cloud

Songs of note:
~In The Cold Light Of Morning
~Broken Promise

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