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As we move forward into the 2017 Earie Awards, a few words to those who are new here or otherwise unclear:
1. While my categories are sometimes tongue-in-cheek, my admiration for the music and artists is genuine and true.
2. I don't do lists (Top Ten or otherwise).
3. Any rules or criteria are coincidental and subject to change at my whim.
4. I live in constant dread that I will leave someone out unintentionally, and I probably will. It's okay though - as far as I know no one has gotten a gig or recording contract based upon having won an "Earie".
5. It's really all in fun and just another opportunity for me to express appreciation for the awesome music and people who have come into my life thanks for E2TG.
Finally (not specifically Earier related), spread love as often as you can in any way that you can. The world can use all the love we can muster.
Onward to the shuffle (and more Earies):
"Gettin' to You" by MJ Bishop
EARIE ALERT: "The Chance Encounter" award goes to Nashville singer-songwriter MJ Bishop. This is a track from her latest album, Give it Away Again. As I have shared before, I was at the Wild Ponies Happy Hour during Americana Fest, when I joined music superfan Van Delisle (Black Dog House Concerts) at his table that had a rotating cast of characters as people moved in and out to and from other events. At one point, we were joined by John Hadley (and incredible songwriter) and his party that included MJ Bishop. We got to talking and she gave me her CD. I liked it the first time I listened, and I have liked it even more with subsequent listens. The history of E2TG is rife with chance encounters and unexpected connections - it's one of my favorite aspects of this journey.
"Petty Schemes" by Voice of Addiction
EARIE ALERT: "The Much Needed Voice" Award. When, I first received a submission from Voice of Addiction, and their album The Lost Art of Empathy, I was just happy to have some real, deal punk rock music to add to my mix. The high energy aggressive music brings back memories of moshing. The more I listened and read about the band, I begin to recognize and understand the importance of their music. Punk rock music thrives in trouble and oppressive times, and those are the times it is most needed.
"III (2017)" by Pat Power
EARIE ALERT: "And I have Frank Ocean to thank for this" award goes to Pat Power. Pat won a Golden Earie last year as part of the Band of the Year, Valued Customer. Although I don't remember the exact circumstances, I first came across Valued Customer via a song they did called "Frank Ocean". That was almost six years ago, I think. I have already written a lot of words about Valued Customer, but Pat Power is simply one of the most (if not the most) talented musicians I have ever come across. E2TG has featured his music in several different incarnations and combinations - covering alternative hip-hop, experimental Eastern spirituality, and Ukrainian folk songs (just to name a few).
"I Just Want to Tell You" by Robert Finley
EARIE ALERT: The "Ageless" Award goes to Robert Finley. One of those unexpected connections lead me to have the opportunity to feature the album Age Don't Mean A Thing by Louisiana soul man Robert Finley. This connection comes indirectly through Ted Drozdowski, Kevin Gordon, Music Makers Relief Foundation via Nick Loss-Eaton (of the band Leland Sundries). Anyway, I love this album. Finley's next album Goin' Platinum is out this Friday!
"Hairy Jerry the Egghead" by Discount Ravioli
ICYMI, Discount Ravioli won an Earie yesterday. Here they are at their best talking about hairy eggs. In the video playlist, this time - is one of band member Luke Slomba's other projects, Flavored Cardboard with their cover of a They Might Be Giants' song.
"Sounds of the Underground" (RP Mix 1) by Sleep Science
Next up, our first listen to the newest single from Vancouver band Sleep Science. "Sounds of the Underground" was released on October 20, and I like this very much. Can't wait to hear more!
"Too Young to Marry" by Ben Arthur
EARIE ALERT: "Answer Man" award goes to Ben Arthur. His previous album Call and Response consisted of "Answer songs" - written in response to other songs, stories, poems etc. His latest, American Castles, contains songs written in response to various poems, essays etc. The thing is Ben Arthur is an accomplished songwriter, and these songs are stellar even if you are not familiar with the source material. For me, they make me want to read which is a pretty fine thing. This song is based on a Joyce Carol Oates poem (Arthur has worked with Oates quite a bit in recent years).
"Corporate Pariah" by Voice of Addiction
You may recall, Voice of Addiction won an Earie award earlier in this post. The new tax bill was on my mind listening to this song - which also deals with the pariah that is corporate music.
"Shit and Shame" by Lazarus
EARIE ALERT: The "I'm Not Going to Make an Obvious Lazarus Joke" award goes to Lazarus and his outstanding album Rock n Roll Heart. This is one of my favorite songs on that album - even if I can't play it on the radio.
More Earies to Come! Stay tuned!