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Thursday, August 28, 2008



"St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)," by The White Stripes, by Icky Thump. Punk meets an Irish jig with decidedly mixed results."

I love the White Stripes. This song is SO strange. Honestly, listening to it was a scary experience so I had to take it off the MP3 player. Sorry Stripes!

Paul H

2. Mozart

Seven years old and already appreciating classical music -- that's pretty cool.

Carl, nothing from your list really jumped out at me this time, which is unusual. You do have some good jazz on there, but I'm not familiar with most of the other music that you listed. I am constantly amazed though at just how much music you have, and how many different styles your collection covers. And this is coming from a guy who loves jazz, progressive rock, blues, bluegrass, jam bands, classic rock, some metal, and a bit of classical, and who owns over 700 CDs. But I'm pretty sure that my collection is dwarfed by yours. :-)

Carl E. Olson

Paul: I was raised in a musical wasteland, for the most part (with the exception of some sturdy Protestant hymns), but was fortunate to spend time with a family that listened to a lot of classical music. So one of my goals, as a parent, is to expose my kids to many types of good music, ranging from classical to jazz to folk to pop and so forth. My daughter also really likes jazz, but doesn't have a favorite jazz artist; she also really enjoys Sinatra. At this point our "music appreciation" is devoted to mostly listening, with a few comments about the composer or singer, what the song is about, what sort of instruments are used, etc.

This was a strange list, wasn't it? Lots of classical in the first since I've recently uploaded about 300 CDs of classical music. I have just country, folk, "New Age," soundtracks, and some other stuff, and then I'm done. Speaking of progressive rock (as you and I have in the past), have you heard anything by Carptree or Riverside?

Paul H

And now for my list. I'll do something a bit different this time. I'm in the process of putting together a mix CD (or probably more than one CD) for an old friend of mine, who I have been talking about music with lately. So here are ten tracks taken randomly from the ones that I'm planning to send to him:

1. Spock's Beard - At the End of the Day, from V
2. Pat Metheny Group - Opening, from The Way Up
3. Kurt Elling - Night Dreamer, from Live in Chicago
4. Izz - Believe, from I Move
5. U.K. - In the Dead of Night Suite, from U.K.
6. Robert Cray - Right Next Door (Because of Me), from Strong Persuader
7. Finneus Gauge - State of the Art, from One Inch of the Fall
8. Dredg - Whoa Is Me, from El Cielo
9. King Crimson - Eyes Wide Open, from The Power to Believe
10. Robert Cray - Phone Booth, from Blues Masters Volume 9 - Postmodern Blues

Also, Carl, I recently discovered a band called Beardfish. I just got their CD "Sleeping in Traffic: Part One", and I think you would probably like it. It's sort of a mix of progressive rock and modern/alternative rock, with some other styles thrown in as well (e.g., I hear a bit of Steely Dan influence in a couple of places). Some songs on the album are stronger than others, and unfortunately one song's lyrics are rather anti-Christian (at least the way I interpret them). But it's still a good album (even if you skip that particular song), with a very original sound. You may want to give them a listen if you have a chance.

And if you haven't heard "My River Flows" by Izz, it's worth checking out. It's basically progressive rock with some pop influence, with some really good songs.

Paul H

Speaking of progressive rock (as you and I have in the past), have you heard anything by Carptree or Riverside?

I have not heard of Carptree at all. But I have heard two songs by Riverside, and I am very, very impressed with what I have heard so far. I will be buying one of their CDs very soon.

Lately I have been listening to quite a bit. If you haven't checked it out, it may be worth taking a look at. It's basically customized internet radio, where you enter one or more artists, and then it creates a customized internet radio station just for you, which plays music by those artists and by other similar artists. The downside is that sometimes the music selection is a bit less focused than I would like, especially on the progressive rock station that I created. I find that their selections work a lot better for jazz and blues than for progressive rock. But still, I have discovered the music of a few new prog bands through Pandora, most notably Beardfish and Riverside.

Paul H

Carl, I did find this on Carptree:

All Music Guide - Carptree - Man Made Machine

The description of their music sounds very interesting -- late 70s prog mixed with a bit of 80s new wave and 90s Swedish prog. Have you heard them, and if so, what do you think?

Nick Milne

How wicked a thing it is that this should consistently prove to be one of my favourite features at II. Alas.

1. Virtual DJ - Electroswamp: A mash-up of the Talking Heads' "Swamp" and Goldfrapp's "Ooh la la." The result is incredible. No, more than that; it's perfect. Words can't express how well the two complement each other. Find it and listen to it today.

2. Neko Case - Pretty Girls: An intriguing and mournful track from the queen of the "southern gothic."

3. Highwaymen - Give Me Back My Job: Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Bono, Carl Perkins and Tom Petty rock out. They're all good, but I could listen to Carl Perkins all day. He even - just barely - edges out Johnny Cash. Perkins' parts on the San Quentin album are consistently the best thing about it, in fact, which is saying something given how great the album is.

4. Basia Bulat - Birds of Paradise: A beautiful little song by a girl I know who has apparently hit it big.

5. The Tea Party - Sister Awake (Remix): Not my favourite track off of Alhambra, but it's alright.

6. Eric Clapton - Let it Rock: Good solid fun.

7. Michael Giacchino - Shambala: A mellow orchestral setting of the Three Dog Night classic.

8. Mascagni's Easter Hymn: Beautiful stuff.

9. Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: I don't know why such stupidly repetitive music appeals to me, but it occasionally does.

10. The "Requiem Aeternam" and "Kyrie Eleison" from Franz von Suppé's Requiem.

And again, for the perdition of it:

1. Jonny Greenwood - Open Spaces: First track off of his soundtrack to There Will Be Blood. Ominous.

2. Scarlett Johansson - I Don't Want to Grow Up: A cover of the Tom Waits song of the same name, which is hardly surprising given that, with the exception of a strangely compelling performance of the classic "Summertime," covers of Tom Waits songs are the only things she's released. I count myself astonished that it turned out as well as it did, and I can only say how glad I am to see the usual starlet-turned-terrible-pop-singer trend bucked in such a peculiar fashion.

3. The theme from the title credits of HBO's John Adams miniseries. A stirring little production.

4. Tom Pascale playing Debussy's "Clair De Lune."

5. The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow: I could not now actually say why I even have this. It's a mystery. Not a bad song, though.

6. The Pogues - Sea Shanty: Not the most comprehensible words ever put to music, but a spirited piece nevertheless.

7. Ofra Haza - Fatamorgana (Mirage): It remains a source of irritation to me that she used that marvelous voice, for the short time she was alive, for so very much in the way of worldbeat dance music rather than something more moving. This is not to say that none of her output satisfies the spirit, for a good deal of it does, but it's a shame that there's so comparatively little of it.

8. Real McKenzies - Flower of Scotland: A strange Canadian celt/punk band cover the ancient classic.

9. The Ronettes - Be My Baby: Moving on...

10. Radiohead - Creep: Sort of an anthem, I guess, though not for me personally.

Deacon Harold

I can't resist any longer! My first foray into "Random iTunes Playlist." Here goes:

1. Perfect Strangers - Dream Theater, from A Change of Seasons. Great cover of the Deep Purple classic.

2. Polar Bear - Queen, from In Nuce. This is actually Smile, the Queen precursor. Freddie uses the faux name Larry Lurex on this EP, originally released as a bootleg. The song also appears on a collection of Freddie Mercury singles (The Solo Collection).

3. You Really Got Me - Van Halen, from the premier album. A fun song that makes you want to run and pick up your air guitar!

4. In Only Seven Days - Queen, from Jazz. I love Queen, this CD, and this song. The album is at the tail end of my favorite Queen era starting with Sheer Heart Attack and ending with Live Killers.

5. Seasons Change - Corrine Bailey Rae, from her debut album. I love this CD. I admire her songwriting and her retro, Jazzy style; a welcome breath of fresh air in a world where pop musicianship and songs are often lackluster.

6. Where Boys Fear to Tread - Smashing Pumpkins from the double CD Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. I got to see this tour and hung out backstage after the show thanks to a hook-up via a good friend of mine in Chicago who is friends with drummer Matt Walker, who was touring with the Pumpkins at the time.

7. Let Me Drown - Soundgarden, from Superunknown. Carl has been hooking me up with Soundgarden and Chris Cornell albums lately, and I've become a fan! Great album!

8. Sad But True - Metallica, from their 5th album. Straight-up bang your head music. I usually listen to this as part of my examination of conscience before Confession ... just kidding! ;-)

9. Humani Generis - Pope Pius XII. Hey, how'd that get in there! I downloaded it from here: (you'll have to find the exact link yourself).

10. Larghetto movement, Mozart Piano Quartets by Emmanuel Ax, Isaac Stern, Jaime Laredo, and Yo Yo Ma. Ahhh, who can resist Mozart especially when played so beautifully by these gifted virtuosos. Food for the soul.


In the past two months I've loaded an additional 8,725 songs as I attempt to put all of my music into digitized form.

A gut feeling, but I think that centuries from now this growing collection will be the summa theomusica of cyberspace! Of course, this is contingent barring the Rapture! :-)


1. Supertramp-Give a Little Bit (Love the 80's)
2. Smashmouth-I'm a Believer (My daughter loves Shreck)
3. Patty Smyth-The Warrior (She rocks on this one)
4. Stroke 9-Little Black Backpack
5. Gin Blossoms-Follow You Down
6. Caedmon's Call-God of Wonders
7. Van Morrison-Into the Mystic
8. Blondie-Call Me
9. Survivor-Burning Heart (from Rocky IV-love these movies!)
10. Rascal Flatts-Feels Like Today (Never thought I would like country music much, but it's growing on me.)

Paul H

And now here is my real list, since the last one was a bit of a cheat (being that it wasn't culled from all my mp3 tracks):

1. Rush - War Paint
2. Alice in Chains - We Die Young (sad to listen to in retrospect, knowing that vocalist Layne Staley in fact did die young)
3. Metallica - The Frayed Ends of Sanity
4. Pain of Salvation - Be, Part 1: Prologue / Animae Partus
5. Echolyn - 21
6. Steely Dan - Your Gold Teeth II
7. John Coltrane - My Favorite Things (live)
8. Professor Longhair - Red Beans
9. Jimmy Johnson - You Don't Know What Love Is
10. John Coltrane - Resolution

So the set started off pretty heavy, but then ended up very jazzy and bluesy. I hadn't listened to that Alice in Chains song or that Metallica song in quite a while, so those were nice blasts from the past.

Paul H

Deacon Harold, a couple of things stood out from your list:

Perfect Strangers - Dream Theater

Another Dream Theater fan? Cool. I figured that Carl and I were probably the only ones here. :-)

Sad But True - Metallica
Humani Generis - Pope Pius XII

Metallica followed by Pope Pius XII, huh? Your listening tastes may be even more diverse than mine! :-)

Deacon Harold

Paul H

Very observant! I appreciate excellent musicianship and Dream Theater most definitely fits the bill! Truth be told, although I'm a "hard rocker" at heart I appreciate all musical styles, except for country--I just don't get it (no offense to the country-western fans out there! :-)

You have some of my favorites on your list: Rush, Alice in Chains, John Coltrane. I'm not familiar with Echolyn; I'll have to give them a listen.

Ted Joy

I'm getting ready to go spend a month in the woods and this is part of what I'm taking along, though on my laptop and not my mp3 player.

.38 Special -- Money Honey
Modern Jazz Quartet -- Connie's Blues
Marcia Ball -- Honey Pie
The Newberry Consort -- Locke's Suite In G Minor
Etta James -- If I Can't Have You
Doc Watson & Merle Watson -- Banks Of The Ohio
Oscar Peterson -- C Jam Blues
Jerry Jeff Walker -- Don't It Make You Wanna Dance
Mel Torme -- Cow Cow Boogie
Bryn Terfel -- Der Vogel from Mozart's Magic Flute

Kristoffer M

1. I shall be released -- Dylan, Live '75
2. Lamentate, !: Minacciando -- Arvo Pärt
3. Dream -- Doug Martsch
4. Glad you're here with me -- Papa M
5. Papperspåse ("paperbag") -- bob hund (swedish)
6. Marquee Moon -- Television
7. Ballerina -- Van Morrisson
8. Foolish King -- Pajo
9. 4th time around -- Dylan
10. Abraham -- Sufjan Stevens

Keep on rocking... K

Carl E. Olson

I really enjoy reading these lists; I always end up discovering a new artist or three when I do the occasional music post.

Also, Carl, I recently discovered a band called Beardfish. Paul, I've listened to clips in the past, and I went back and listened to some more. The clips don't really grab me, but I may download some cuts from emusic and give the full songs a try. I do have some Izz, and really like their work.

Have you heard [Carptree], and if so, what do you think? I really like the music, but am not too keen yet on the vocals. Definitely inventive and interesting.

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