Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Tracks by Iron & Wine

It would have been nice for Iron & Wine to release their next album, Ghost on Ghost, during this long winter (believe it or not, it has been quite chilly and rainy in Los Angeles) to warm us up on some of the cold and snowy nights (depending where you are). There is something so wonderfully comforting and cozy about Sam Beam's vocals that are just perfect for cold January and February nights.  We're going to have to wait until April 16th for the full album, but thankfully, they've been dripping out singles here and there to give us a bit of Sam Beam warmth to see us through these final long nights of winter.

Aside from the recently shared track "Lover's Revolution", our ears are graced with more: the video below of "Caught in the Briars", and another track not from the album (sadly, because it is beautiful), "The Waves of Galveston". Get cozy, and have a listen.  "The Waves of Galveston" is my favorite so far, with a wistful longing backdrop in the guitar playing.  You can listen to that track via:

this page on Pitchfork
download here
or on Spotify here: Iron & Wine – The Waves of Galveston

(Trust me, its worth the extra click).

As an added bonus, while watching Iron & Wine on youtube I stumbled upon this video from an NPR Tiny Desk Concert awhile back, with 17+ minutes of Iron & Wine:

Stock up on earlier stuff here:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Why I'm Not Sleeping - A Playlist

If you want to find out what I was listening to last week, you can find the playlists here.  This edition's full playlists are available below via iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

I'm Getting Ready - Michael Kiwanuka
This week I revisited some music that I fell in love with over the last year or so.  It bugs me that people are so focused on 'new' music. I get it, but I also love to revisit music that no longer has the new car smell, but is just as good as the day I first heard it.  The first of these tracks is from Michael Kiwanuka.  Michael himself is a newcomer, and his debut album, I'm Getting Ready is sooooo good.  It is, quite frankly, one of the best albums I've heard in a very long time.  This and Glen Hansard's album were my two favorites from 2012.

Love Don't Leave Me Waiting - Glen Hansard
...Which is why Glen Hansard also made this edition's playlist.  This song, "Love Don't Leave Me Waiting" is a fantastic example of the musicality on Glen's debut solo album, Rhythm and Repose.  If you aren't familiar with Glen, here's a bit of a starter kit and here is my review of Rhythm and Repose.

Wheat Kings- The Tragically Hip
I was reintroduced to this song recently after perusing this article on songs based on historic events from Spinner.  The Tragically Hip are, tragically, huge in their native Canada but not in the US for some reason.  I discovered them during their Phantom Power days, and have not heard "Wheat Kings" in ages so gladly rediscovered it thanks to this list (where it came in at number 9).

Bobcaygeon - The Tragically Hip
One Hip song leads to another, I suppose, and this track (off Phantom Power) is another great one by these guys.

Untitled (Love Song) - Counting Crows
I would love some new, original music from the Crows but will have to continue waiting. In the meantime, the band released Underwater Sunshine (or What We Did on our Summer Vacation), an album of covers, including this one which I heard on SiriusXM this week.  I saw the Counting Crows at the Wiltern in LA in November, which was amazing, to say the least.  Here's a post with some great video from that night. 

"One Man Wrecking Machine" - Guster
I have a soft spot for these guys, since they are from my hometown of Boston.  I haven't heard a Guster song in ages and this popped up on the only radio station that doesn't suck in LA, 88.5 KCSN (you can listen online here), which never ceases to amaze me. Because the next song I heard after this on KCSN? "Chelsea Morning" by Joni Mitchell. Talk about variety.

Chelsea Morning - Joni Mitchell
See previous. Enough said.

The Only Place - Best Coast
Hailing from Boston, where they are about to get 27 inches of snow, this song came on during a leisurely jog I did the other day. Outside. On the beach. In shorts. The lyrics say it all, why would you live anywhere else?

Love is a Country - The Wallflowers
I heard this song this week on SiriusXM's The Spectrum station during Mark Goodman's shift and I've been listening to it ever since.  Off their most recent album, Glad All Over, this song encapsulates the bittersweet emotion that the Wallflowers did so well on "6th Avenue Heartache", with a faster beat but an equally as touching sound.

Ramona - Night Beds
This was another KCSN discovery heard during Nic Harcourt's show, which is always fantastic.  As is this song. They are a (fairly) new band based in Nashville who's debut full length album, Country Sleep, is out now.

Loving Cup- Rolling Stones (from Shine A Light)
Just because.

Running to Stand Still - U2
I got the book U2 by U2 as a gift and have been reading it lately.  I came across a particular passage recently about the neighborhood Bono grew up in, where there used to be trees until eventually "they tore down the trees and built these things called the seven towers".  Any U2 fan worth their salt would do the same thing I did- immediately listen to this song.

Bad - U2 from Live Aid
Listening to U2 can sometimes be like going down the rabbit hole- one great song makes me think of another I suddenly need to listen to.   Like this one.  This particular performance is best viewed on video, as it is one of the best examples of why live music is so remarkable.

Full playlists are below. Enjoy.
Why I'm Not Sleeping: A Playlist

Friday, February 1, 2013

Cool Music Stuff on the Internet - Iron & Wine, Hem, Ben Gibbard, Lord Huron, Father John Misty

Sam Beam's Iron & Wine is finally back with some new music, the first of which is below.  Iron & Wine's new album, Ghost on Ghost is out on April 16th.  Here's your fix till then:
(via Pitchfork)

Hem is also coming out with a new album, Departure and Farewell, on April 2nd.  Hem is probably best known for their song "Half Acre" that was used in a Farmer's Insurance commercial:

Their new single, "Tourniquet", is equally as simple and quiet.  Check it out here: (via Stereogum)

Last week I was listening to Ben Gibbard & Aimee Mann's single a lot, and this week am further treated to more Ben Gibbard, this time in the form of a performance of "Near Wild Heaven" by R.E.M. along with Peter Buck and Mike Mills from R.E.M.  Ben Gibbard's voice slips in eerily well. (via Stereogum)

Lord Huron's album came out last year, but they seem to be everywhere lately, most recently over at Morning Becomes Eclectic on KCRW.  Here they are performing "Time to Run" (via NPR Music)

World Cafe's David Dye sat down with Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman, from Fleet Foxes) to discuss his persona and his album, Fear Fun.  You can check it out at this link to NPR's World Cafe.