Thursday, May 31, 2012

Time to Vote - Band of the Month May 2012

Time to get your vote on... man that sounds soooo wrong coming from me.  Okay, time to vote for Ear to the Ground's Band of the Month for May 2012.  As stated before this will not the last Band of the Month poll, but it will be the last featuring Bands of the Week.  Tune in tomorrow to see what we have in store for June and forward.  In the meantime, here's a recap of the three bands up for the honor.

As usual, the poll is located on the left side bar.  You can vote once per computer.  Voting will end at 8:00p.m. (Central Time - I think) on Tuesday June 5th.  Good luck to all the bands. 

WEEK 1:  The Joy of Painting (Nashville, TN) - Website, BOTW Feature

WEEK 2:  Sci-Fi Romance (Los Angeles, CA) - Website, BOTW Feature

WEEK 3: South of Ramona (Salt Lake City, UT) - Website, BOTW Feature

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Colloid Suspension Mix

Hey ho! It's the final day of May.  Remember tomorrow we will introduce a new feature on Ear to the Ground which will take the place of the ever popular Band of the Week, and hopefully move us forward in our mission to introduce you to the many talented artists putting out music around the world.  In the meantime, stay tuned today, I'm going to be posting our Band of the Month poll for May, and I also have a free MP3 of a brand new song.

Back to a real live music shuffle - the air felt good this morning, but there was definitely quite a bit of humidity in the air.  Storms are forecast for this afternoon, and as per usual, I am sans umbrella (did I ever mention that I hate umbrellas?) so I'm looking forward to the possibility of walking through a downpour this afternoon!

On to our shuffle:

First up:

I presented this song a couple of weeks ago in my post about The Bluefields.  Bluefield, Joe Blanton, before he was in Royal Court of China, was part of a local Nashville Thrash band called, The Enemy.  Today's song is by The Enemy and according to the tag information on the download I got from Nashville 80s Rock - dot - net  , it is from a Cassette release called Tijuana Go! which was also the title of a song on Royal Court of China's second album, Geared and Primed. Anyway, the song is Jesus Rides a UFO and I must say hearing this song always brings me back to the mid-80s.

Get the MP3 for Jesus Rides a UFO 

Bonus: Here's the video for Take Me Down from Royal Court of China

Next you we offer you another track from the fabulous Jo Wymer, a bluesy, rockin' lady from New Jersey.  That Kiss is on Jo's 2011 album Living with Scars.


Bonus Video: Here is Jo Wymer doing Dirty Secrets another track from the album

Finally, we present the title track to the latest album by an amazing singer/songwriter who happens to share a first name with one of my daughters.  Young Man in America- the song - is sprawling, captivating and memorable.  Young Man in America  - the album - is a remarkable achievement.

Affiliated Links:

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle - Synthetic Mix

Took car for service = Got ride to work = no morning walk = no morning shuffle = a theoretical shuffle = sweet mix for you

First up is a Detroit band from the early part of this century. Ko and the Knockouts were signed to the Sympathy Record label and our track today, Black and Blue, actually comes from the compilation The Sympathetic Sounds Of Detroit which also featured a band called The White Stripes.  Ko Melina is now a member of The Dirtbombs and she is also a DJ on Little Steven's Sirius XM Channel, Underground Garage.  Black and Blue rocks pretty damn hard...  Below you can hit up Amazon for the self-titled album  by Ko and the Knockouts.


Here is another Ko and the Knockouts song from the album.

Next up with a Brooklyn band called EndAnd.  The album is called Adventures of Fi in Space, and the song is Far in Between.


Next we have an acoustic version of We Can Make it Here by James McMurtry which was on his 2005 album Childish Things. A new version with Joan Baez and Steve Earle is out on a new 5 CD release called Occupy This Album which we have linked below. 


And finally, we have Peter Case covering Charlie Poole's 1926 classic Leavin Home which comes from his landmark 2001 album Thank You St. Jude.
Charlie Poole's original

Affiliated Links:

Best Of Detroit Black T-Shirt Music Dark T-Shirt by CafePress Best Of Detroit Black T-Shirt Music Dark T-Shirt by CafePress
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High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project
High Wide & Handsome - The Charlie Poole Project

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Angel Snow - Live at Eddie's Attic - Free Download from Noisetrade

We recommended Angel Snow back last year sometime.  She is an amazingly talented singer/songwriter who my wife knows. Now is an excellent chance to catch up or catch on to her music. The folks at have a free* download from a performance at the legendary Eddie's Attic (near Atlanta, GA).  Use the widget below and for the price of an e-mail address* the 6 song download will be yours.

*as with all Noisetrade offerings, the download is free, but if you like what you hear, and are able, please leave a tip to support the artist.

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle - Too Shy to Two Shy Mix

Good morning, we are back after a three day holiday weekend. We've reloaded the May playlist with about 30 songs, and we have four songs today.

Before we get to the shuffle - some reminders, we announced last week that with our Band of the Week post about South of Ramona, we are discontinuing the Band of the Week feature which has been a staple on this site almost since we began.  Stay tuned because on Friday, we will unveil what comes next - hint: I think it will be a good thing both for the blog and for the bands we spotlight. 

To the shuffle:

  First up we dig deeper into the Resurrection record by our good friends The Dead Exs. Come Down Easy is another rough and ready bluesy rock number by this outstanding band.

 Here's The Dead Exs doing All Over You & Nolita Stomp

Next, we go deeper into the Asterisk EP by recent Band of the Week, The Joy of Painting with a track called The Bird.

 Here's The Joy of Painting doing The Bird live:

Next we have Rhode Island band, Brown Bird with a track off of 2011s The Sound of Ghosts called Ragged Old Town.

 Here is a performance of Ragged Old Town from the classroom

And, we close things out with a track off of Sondre Lerche's 2002 album Faces Down. The song is called, You Know So Well. It is early 21st Century European Alt-Rock at it's finest.


Affiliated Links:

Sondre Lerche - Sondre Lerche - MP3 Download Sondre Lerche - Sondre Lerche - MP3 Download
This Sondre Lerche download is available in DRM-free, MP3 192kbps format. Sondre Lerche MP3's will play on iPod? and all MP3 players. Individual tracks and samples of the songs from this album are available by clicking on the product image on the left. Need help? Click here and search for "downloads" to learn more.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Band of the Week (Final Edition)- Year 2: Month 6: Week 3 - South of Ramona

Well this is it folks.  Band of the Week has been a huge success for Ear to the Ground, and has really helped up to connect with some really amazing people. You've probably noticed over the last couple of months that the weekly aspect of this feature has been lacking. Rest assured it is not from lack of suitable bands, in fact, it has been the opposite problem - the best kind of problem to have. The number of bands who have approached me to hear their music has increased, and trying to narrow down all the great music to one band of the week has been difficult. And so, it is mixed feeling, but a great sense of hope that I announce that this will be the final Band of the Week feature on Ear to the Ground (at least until I decide to revive it ;-) )  But don't worry, as always, Ear to the Ground is dedicated to featuring bands on the rise, on the verge and on the edge. Next week, we will introducing a brand new feature which I think you will enjoy.  Meanwhile, Band of the Month polling will continue (details to be announced soon as to how this will work) and around the first of December we will be unavailing our Second Annual Band of the Year Poll to see who will follow in the footsteps of The Mobbs.  All 12 Bands of the Month (so far that is In Cages, MAKAR, The Gypsy West, Northbrook Garage and The Disappointment) will be up for Band of the Year, plus I will select up to 8 "Wildcards".

But enough, we have one more Band of the Week to introduce.  South of Ramona are young band from Salt Lake City, Utah.  The band features: Keith Araneo on banjo, Michael "Thom" Brown on drums, Richard Dean on vocals and bass, and Eric Lo on guitar. 

South of Ramona - Demo

The opening notes of The Curse of Queen Laveau (which is the first song on the band's Demo which they are offering for free on Bandcamp) are a haunting foreshadowing of the music to come.  The use of the banjo as lead on thee five song demo sets a plaintive - sometimes melancholy and sometimes wistful - tone.  Richard Dean's vocals - especially when it stretches into a high register - sends a shiver down my spinal column).  

The second track is called Westward Souls. For some reason, I imagine the ghosts of the early settlers who died on the passage to California moving silently but surely through desert canyons and across vast mountain ranges toward their destination.  I'm not sure if that image is really what the song is about, but it's the emotional response I receive from the music.

The next track Misery actually brings the tempo up in a cathartic dance of release. Despite the slight up-tick in tempo, Misery lives up to it's title as the despair is clearly evident even in the midst of the lively folk dance around a smoldering campfire.

Robber's Roost is a classic folk music story song. It keeps the tempo of the previous song, but the dance has ended, and the dancers have sat at the feet of the band to listen to the tale being woven through the bands unique layers of sound. 

Forgotten Memories' rollicking sound gets the dancers toes a tapping, and I found it hard not to move to the music. I really love the way the guitar and banjo interact and react to each other on this tune. The song and the demo end with an instrumental break which comes to an abrupt close which left me wanting more, which I suspect is just what the band had in mind.

South of Ramona are on Facebook and Twitter so go check them out. Like and Follow.  This is a band with a unique sound and bright future. They are in the studio working an album, and we will definitely fill you in on the details when they become available. South of Ramona will be playing a show in SLC at The Dawg Pound.  If you happen to be in Salt Lake tomorrow night be sure to check them out live and tell them hello from Ear to the Ground.

Will close with a video of the band covering the classic House of the Rising Sun, followed by the Bandcamp widget to grab the band's Demo for free.

Later Days!

Friday Morning Music Shuffle - Wind Blown Mix

By the way, it's not windy here today - just a random bit of words floating through my brain.

It looks like our friends, Those Mockingbirds ended the contest in 1st place!  As I  understand it, the final decision is now in the hands of the movie's producers. I still don't understand completely what happens now, but when I know you will know.

Let's go... it's Friday before a long holiday weekend here in the States, and I am expecting readership to drop significantly today because everyone is getting a jump start on their holiday plans. In any event, I've been focusing exclusively on the May 2012 playlist this week, but to wrap up the week, I thought I would go to one of our randomly selected playlists.


We begin with a track off legendary British band, The Psychedelic Furs' self-titled debut album. Susan's Strange is classic Furs music, but did you know this song was not on the original UK release of  the album?



Next up with a cover song.  Long-lived California band, Social Distortion have recently done some arena dates opening for The Avett Brothers, which at first glance seemed like an odd combination, but Mike Ness and company have a long-held affinity for classic county music.  They covered June Carter Cash's Ring of Fire on their self-titled Epic records debut, and here we have a song off their second Epic release, Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, this one is a cover of a song which topped the Country charts in 1955 for Ms. Kitty Wells. Making Believe was written by Jimmy Work.



Finally, we have a track from one of our 2011 Band's of the Week.  The Hunting Accident are an Indie Rock band  based in Los Angeles.  The band is made up of former members of the bands Piebald and Arlo.  The song Aubergine is available now via Soundcloud using the widget below, and will be included on  Trees and Parks, a 10" which will be released in July.

Here is an Amazon link to an earlier EP by the band


Affiliated Links:

Country Music Hall Of Fame Series: Kitty Wells Country Music Hall Of Fame Series: Kitty Wells
For everything you do, there's a song that hits the spot. MOG brings them all to you: a world of music on demand, unlimited mobile downloads and ways to discover music free from the limitations of Pandora. The music you love, with you everywhere you go.

Here Came The Psychedelic Furs: B-Sides & Lost Grooves Here Came The Psychedelic Furs: B-Sides & Lost Grooves
Here Came The Psychedelic Furs: B-Sides & Lost Grooves

Piebald: Nobody's Robots - A Farewell to Piebald - Piebald: Nobody's Robots - A Farewell to Piebald -
This documentary caters to fans of the emocore ensemble Piebold (Travis Shettel, Andrew Bonner, Lucian Garro, Jon Sullivan, Aaron Stuart and Alex Garcia Rivera) by chronicling the group's colorful history, from their inauspicious beginnings in the Northern Massachusetts community of Andover circa 1994, through their final concert in the late 2000s. The mix includes interviews, glimpses of the musicians in high school, performance footage shot over the years, and much more. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Gibson Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 Acoustic Guitar with Case Gibson Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 Acoustic Guitar with Case
Gibson Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 Acoustic Guitar; A Guthrie Family Gibson The luthiers at Gibson Acoustic were approached in 2002 by Arlo Guthrie and asked to embark on a very arduous task, reconstructing an acoustic given to him by his legendary father, Woody Guthrie. This acoustic was no ordinary guitar, it was an old Gibson LG2 3/4 sized acoustic that was literally in pieces. Gibson undertook the delicate task of restoring this instrument passed on to him from his father and after completing the restoration and presenting the rebuilt guitar to Arlo, Gibson decided to reissue the Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 as part of its Signature Series line of acoustics. It is a painstaking reproduction of a classic Gibson guitar, yet remaining true to Arlo’s original in every way including an aged-like vintage replica finish. Gibson Arlo Guthrie LG2 Features AA-grade Sitka spruce Top Honduran mahogany back and sides Hand-scalloped, radiused top Bracing Rosewood fingerboard with rolled edges and dot inlays Nickel Gotoh White Button Tuners Tapered Dovetail Neck Joint Handcrafted Rosette Nitrocellulose Finish Gibson Logo Includes Case Nickel Gotoh White Button Tuners Gibson’s Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 features Gotoh’s SD91 white button tuners. With a gear ratio of 15:1, the Gotoh’s deliver precision tuning in a durable housing that provides maximum protection for the gear and string post. All moving parts are cut for exact meshing, eliminating the possibility of slippage, and a special lubricant inside the gear box provides smooth and accurate tuning stability. Pickguard The tortoise pickguard on the Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 is a small teardrop shape designed especially for the 3/4-size acoustic guitar. As with all Gibson’s pickguards, the coloring, inlay, binding, and engraving are all done by hand. Rosette A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most ornamental elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking decorations on any acoustic guitar. The rosette on the Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 is a single-ring rosette consisting of three-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to the Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4. Rosewood Fingerboard with Rolled Edges and Dot Inlays, the fingerboard of Gibson’s Arlo Guthrie LG2 3/4 is constructed from the highest grade rosewood on earth, which is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled experts before it enters the Gibson factories. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The LG2’s dot inlays are made of genuine mother of pearl, and are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers. The fingerboard also sports a rolled edge, instead of the usual right angle where the fingerboard surface meets the neck. Gibson Acoustic’s rolled edges are slightly

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Get Ready Mix

Ahhhh..... Well, well, well... here we are again.  I will SPAM you one more time to ask you to please go to the Red Bull Soundstage site to vote for our friends Those Mockingbirds.  The contest ends at 11:59:59 tonight (Eastern Time I think), and you can vote once a day, so even if you voted yesterday, you can still vote again.  Those Mockingbirds are hanging on in first place, but they need all the support they can get to hold off a late surge from that other so called band.   Here is the link.

 To the list...

Robin Gibb past away last week, and most of the posts I've seen referenced the band's Saturday Night Fever era music. Many people, however, didn't know that the brothers began performing together way back in 1958.  In their early days, they were primary a pop/folk act, and Robin's vibrato voice was featured on many of their songs including our first track - I Don't Think It's Funny was on the band's debut album, The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs which was released only in Australia.  


Next  - no really, the next song is called Next it is another track from The End is Now by L.A. Symphony.  Check it out...


Finally, we continue to dig into The Ghost of John Henry by recent Sci-Fi Romance.  Steam Drill Blues  is about as gritty as it gets.  As the story moves forward, we find our hero, who represents mankind, facing the challenge of competing with machine in order to maintain his livelihood. We feel the pain and determination through the lyrics and the musical tapestry which weaves the simple with the complex, the quiet with the noisy. And we pull for John Henry even knowing how it all ends...

 Here is another track from the album...

Affiliated Links:
Bee Gees Anthology Bee Gees Anthology
43 of their biggest hits, including: Bodyguard * How Deep Is Your Love * Lonely Days * Love You Inside Out * Night Fever * One * Stayin' Alive * and more. Also includes discography and notes about the songs written by the band members.

Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of to Kill a Mockingbird Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of to Kill a Mockingbird
"To Kill a Mockingbird" may well be our national novel. It is the first adult novel that many of us remember reading, one book that millions of us have in common. It sells nearly a million copies a year, more than any other twentieth-century American classic. Harper Lee's first and only novel, published in July 1960, is a beloved classic and touchstone in American literary and social history. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of "To Kill a Mockingbird," Mary McDonagh Murphy reviews its history and examines how the novel has left its mark on a broad range of novelists, historians, journalists, and artists. In compelling interviews, Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, James Patterson, James McBride, Scott Turow, Wally Lamb, Andrew Young, Richard Russo, Adriana Trigiani, Rick Bragg, Jon Meacham, Allan Gurganus, Diane McWhorter, Lee Smith, Rosanne Cash, and others reflect on when they first read the novel, what it means to them--then and now--and how it has affected their lives and careers. "Scout, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of "To Kill a Mockingbird"" is a lively appreciation of the many ways in which the novel has made--and continues to make--a difference to generations of readers. Harper Lee has not given an interview since 1964, but Murphy's reporting, research, and rare interviews with the author's sister and friends stitch together a brief history of how the novel, as well as the acclaimed 1962 movie, came to be.