Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Awesome Wave of New Music

Music is my addiction. Fortunately it's not especially expensive or harmful. I enjoy "growing my own," but mostly I buy it, most frequently these days as Amazon MP3's, and quite often on sale. On my Amazon Cloud I have 27,333 songs, 10,022 of them purchased (from Amazon). A goodly number of those are classical collections of 99 or more pieces, many bought for a dollar or two. So the average is probably much less than the typical $0.99 or $1.29 per song, but even if it's 25 cents a song,   that's around $2,500 spent on musical bits. Most of the rest of the 27,000 songs were ripped from my own CD's (and some vinyl rips). A few hundred were probably bought on iTunes before I started to buy MP3's almost exclusively from Amazon.

So what have I bought recently? I'm glad I asked. Looking at the Amazon Cloud "Recently Added" folder for the last few items added, we find (oldest to newest):
  1. Big Mozart Box - A Bach Guild collection of 131 Mozart pieces, this was probably unnecessary since I have a zillion Mozart recordings already, but for 99 cents? I just leave these giant collections on the Amazon Cloud and stream them when I feel like some classical immersion. This one is still 99 cents.
  2. Local Natives, "Hummingbird" - Second album by an indie band I really like. Good, but I still prefer the first one.
  3. Blue Sky Riders, "Finally Home" - If this occasionally sounds like a fresh burst of 1970's, it could be the presence of Kenny Loggins. Three great writers, wonderful harmonies, somewhere between country and old-school acoustic pop.
  4. Girl Named T, "Hey Liebe" and "Wait by the Rabbit Hole" - I wrote about T briefly in my recent California trip post. I really love her writing, singing, and background vocals. Fresh alternative pop-rock. I actually bought these CD's at her concert in Berkeley (for $5 each, great deal).
  5. Muse, "The 2nd Law" - This was well-reviewed and cheap ($2.99), and I liked the samples, but now I'm not so sure. It has its moments but it's a bit over-dramatic or something. 
  6. Buffalo Springfield, "Retrospective (Best of)" - I watched a documentary that talked about these guys and others from the late-60's Hollywood/Laurel Canyon scene. I realized that I only had this on vinyl (now gone) and only had a couple of songs as MP3. A remedial classic.
  7. Alt-J, "An Awesome Wave" - I freaking LOVE this album. It is so weird. It's almost hypnotic. Strange vocals. Synthy instruments. It is so different and so good. Some of the lyrics and singing make me smile or even laugh out loud, even on the sixth listening. Another $2.99 special. Such a deal. 
  8. Corin Ashley, "New Lion Terraces" - I just bought this new release today when Roger Lavallee (friend, producer, musical mentor) praised it on Facebook. While Corin doesn't imitate the Beatles, there is something very Beatlish (and McCartneyish) about some of these songs, and I really like the album. Some of the chord progressions and key changes are strange, but they manage to work well with the vocals and harmonies. 

That's what I've bought on Amazon since January 29. Lots of music for three weeks - not that I buy this much every three weeks. It varies a lot.

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