Friday, March 21, 2008

William Fitzsimmons - Music Video

Check out the first video from William Fitzsimmons - the gorgeous song "It's Not True" from the Goodnight album.

If you haven't checked out his music yet, you are denying yourself indescribable aural pleasure.

I'm out-

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The All Day Shuffle Experiment

Inspired by a recent post by fellow Spunkybean writer on her blog, The Queen of Useless Knowledge, I decided to see what kind of a playlist an entire workday of iPod shuffle would generate. How triumphant (or embarassing) would it be?

This is risky business. I work for the government in a rather sterile work environment, and frankly, some of my music isn't appropriate in that setting. Ludacris on long road trip = good. Ludacris in your cubicle = bad. Lady Luck frowned on me, and I was sent scrambling to the volume knob with the 3rd song of the day.

I also have 5 or 6 Yanni albums. And 2 John Tesh albums. This alone constitutes a valid reason for a beat down. And since Yanni popped up at #33, I fully deserve to get my ass kicked.

So, out of 15,843 songs, below are the 88 songs my Ipod deemed worthy between 8 and 5 today. I would love to comment on them all, but I really don't have that kind of ambition. Maybe later I'll add some statistical analysis or something, but for now, res ipsa loquitur - the list speaks for itself.

1. Rise Up With Fists – Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins
2. Here Comes – INXS
3. HWC – Liz Phair
4. Broadway – Alison Krauss & Union Station
5. River – Holly Cole
6. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole
7. I’ll Go Crazy – Bruce Willis
8. Lily Dreams On – Cotton Mather
9. I Am You – Depeche Mode
10. And So It Goes – Billy Joel
11. Innocent World – Joseph Arthur
12. Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode
13. World Full of Nothing – Depeche Mode
14. Love In Itself – Depeche Mode
15. Indian Summer – The Rippingtons
16. Steam Trains to the Milky Way – Danny Wilson
17. Sunshine – Keane
18. Theme from New York, New York – Frank Sinatra
19. The Science Fair – Meet the Robinsons Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
20. Twisted – Annie Lennox
21. Welcome to Rome – Hudson Hawk Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
22. Miss Gradenko – The Police
23. You’re the Buddha – Howard Jones
24. Chief – Patty Griffin
25. Dream On – Depeche Mode
26. Afterall – William Fitzsimmons
27. Weapons of Mass Distortion – Crystal Method
28. Hidden #3: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes – They Might Be Giants
29. Manhattan Project – Rush
30. Disappearing World – David Gray
31. Firewalker – Liz Phair
32. Belief – Gavin DeGraw
33. You Only Live Once – Yanni
34. All the Way to Reno – REM
35. Selfless, Cold and Composed – Ben Folds Five
36. The Portrait – Back to Titanic: Titanic Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
37. Fools Game – Bonnie Raitt
38. My Time – Earshot
39. Goodnight, California – Kathleen Edwards
40. Switch 625 – Def Leppard
41. Wichita Skyline – Shawn Colvin
42. Tenderness on the Block – Shawn Colvin
43. Not the Red Baron – Tori Amos
44. Circulate – Swing Out Sister
45. Big River – Johnny Cash
46. Like It or Not – Madonna
47. Yesterday Once More – The Carpenters
48. Perfect Romance – Lynn Miles
49. Survivalism (Tardusted Remix) – Nine Inch Nails
50. Black Crow – Diana Krall
51. All Night Long (All Night) – Lionel Richie
52. Hypnotist of Ladies – They Might Be Giants
53. Rhymin’ & Stealin’ – Beastie Boys
54. The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
55. The Night – Catie Curtis
56. Get Here – Oleta Adams
57. Love Love Love – Tristan Prettyman
58. Low Down Dirty Business – Swing Out Sister
59. You Can’t Hurry Love – Phil Collins
60. You Happy Puppet – 10,000 Maniacs
61. Chicago Song – David Sanborn
62. Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin
63. Path of Thorns – Sarah McLachlan
64. I Like To – Men at Work
65. Matter of Minutes – Shawn Colvin
66. One in Ten – UB40
67. People Just Love To Play With Words – Men at Work
68. Crystal Ball – Keane
69. Master & Servant – Depeche Mode
70. The End – The Doors
71. We’re Not Deep – The Housemartins
72. A Question of Time – Depeche Mode
73. Call Me Mellow – Tears for Fears
74. Take This Waltz – Leonard Cohen
75. Love Oh Love – Lionel Richie
76. Top of the World – Patty Griffin
77. Streets of Laredo – Johnny Cash
78. Fantastic Dream – Alphaville
79. Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie
80. Nothing Is Good Enough – Aimee Mann
81. Sister of Night – Depeche Mode
82. Our Song – Yes
83. Oranges on Appletrees – a-ha
84. Love Sick – Bob Dylan
85. Scars – Rush
86. Red Light – Catie Curtis
87. Go Back Home – Stephen Stills
88. Sound of Your Voice – Barenaked Ladies

Worship my iPod before it destroys you.

I'm out-

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cubicle Tunes - Week of March 18, 2008

Great new stuff this week, and some great new stuff on the horizon as well. Let's cut to the chase . . .

1. Ghosts I-IV - Nine Inch Nails (2008)

The latest from Trent Reznor is the first internet-only release since his emancipation from the record labels, and it's a bold and successful offering. It consists of 36 untitled instrumental tracks, identified only by number and placement in the series (i.e. 13 Ghosts II) and layered with hope, despair, droning, grinding, simplicity, beauty, scraping, and weight. This will be my bedtime iPod music for the foreseeable future.

2. Supernatural Superserious (Single) - R.E.M. (2008)

The first song available from the upcoming release Accelerate, due out April 1. If this song is any indication, it harkens a welcome return to the days of Out of Time and Automatic for the People (and a welcome departure from experiments like Reveal and Up).

3. How The Day Sounds (EP) - Greg Laswell (2008)

Laswell is definitely a new direction for the singer-songwriter/contemporary folk genre. Many music writers label him as the genre's answer to Coldplay, but I hardly think that Coldplay could take a song like Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and turn it on its ear like Laswell did. The comparisons are correct but reversed - Coldplay wishes they were Laswell. Highlights include the title track and the new version of "What A Day".

4. On A Clear Night - Missy Higgins (2007)

I missed this one last fall, and it was my loss. This Australian singer-songwriter is a stripped down amalgamation of pop artists Anna Nalick and Sara Bareilles. Favorites include "Warm Whispers", "Steer", and "Forgive Me".

5. Music For The Masses - Depeche Mode (1987)

"Pimpf" and "Agent Orange" are 2 of the all time great dark room and headphones songs. This album is loaded with classics like "Never Let Me Down" (always a concert highlight when they extend the song with the Aggro Mix, like the version in the playlist below), "Behind the Wheel", and "Strangelove". It's also one my all time favorite albums covers. Dig it:

I'm out-

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cubicle Tunes - Week of March 4, 2008

Oh, Canada! Oh, women! Oh, Canadian women!

This week, as I celebrate the release of Asking for Flowers by Kathleen Edwards, I dedicate this week's feature to some of my favorite songstresses from north of the border.

Be sure to crack a Blue or a Molson as you listen. So let's get to it, eh?

1. Asking for Flowers - Kathleen Edwards (2008)

Wow. Not much more to say than I already said here, other than I was up at 4 AM to pull it down from iTunes.

2. Slightly Haunted - Lynn Miles (1996)

Lynn Miles sings sad and beautiful songs - just the way I like them. "The Ghost of Deadlock" was one of the first songs I heard as I was being drawn into the contemporary folk/singer-songwriter genre, and it remains one of my favorites. Her show at One Trick Pony in Grand Rapids, Michigan is also one of my favorite concert experiences.

3. Colour, Moving & Still - Chantal Kreviazuk (2000)

Although I am a fan of all 4 of her albums, this one is my favorite. "Souls" is the highlight, with a gorgeous extended intro and the great lyric "Covenant, we will always grow, our skin will fade, transcend beyond all we've been told". Another favorite is "Little Things", where Kreviazuk's voice soars above string arrangements with lines like "Misery's turning my luck around" and "The past holds the truth like a lost and found".

4. All of Our Names - Sarah Harmer (2004)

Harmer's gentle voice can detract you from some very biting lyrics. See my earlier post dedicated to the song "Greeting Card Aisle". "Tether" is a pretty ballad of lament with lines like "Living this close to the road, you question your vulnerability" and "another melody is aching for a few pretty words to let it be". "Go to Sleep" is a perfect album closer.

5. Bound by the Beauty - Jane Siberry (1989)

Siberry can be eclectic (i.e. "Everything Reminds Me of My Dog") but she can certainly write some beautiful songs. "Life is the Red Wagon" is one of my all-time favorite ballads ("maybe it won't work this time, but that's the risk you take, and you want to take it). Other soothing numbers include "Hockey" and the title track.

I'm out-

Bowl O' Beans: Kathleen Edwards

Click here to check out my review of the outstanding new album Asking for Flowers by Kathleen Edwards over at Spunkybean.

I'm out-