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On May 15, 2011 - because I didn't have anything better to do - I started a music blog which I called Ear to the Ground. I'm not exactly sure why I did it. In the years prior, I had begun to share music (including my morning playlist) on Facebook and Twitter, and some people encouraged me to do something more with these posts. I started the blog on a site called Posterous - which later got bought out by Twitter and eventually got killed. So that first post is gone into the ether. It wasn't all that substantive anyway. Fast forward 7 years, and much in my life has changed. I didn't have much of a plan when I started E2TG (which I would eventually decide to call Ear to the Ground for short), but I can assure you I never dreamed I would still be doing this in the far off year of 2018 nor that I would have met the amazing people I have met and had the incredible opportunities I have been given.
Next month will be the official celebration of 7 years (every Thursday in June) at The 5 Spot, but I didn't want to let this day pass without acknowledging the anniversary.
Week 1: Clark Paterson, The Big Dumb, Rayvon Pettis
Week 2: The End Men, Ted Drozdowski's Psychedelic Circus, plus guest opener TBA
Week 3: Brian Milligram, Microwave Mountain, The Coal Men
Week 4: Joanna Barbera, Bee Taylor, Eli Cook
Tonight, I am going to see Kris Kristofferson at The Basement East!
The genesis of E2TG was me posting my morning playlist. When I started the blog, I didn't think that was enough for a music blog.... and it may not be, but here I am... and here is my morning shuffle seven years down the road....
"Perfectly Blue" by Middlemist Red
We start things off with the first of two songs in the shuffle from the album Ripple Soul from the psych rock band Middlemist Red from Budapest Hungary. By the way, Middlemist Red is the name of the rarest flowers in the world. The flower only exists currently in a greenhouse in the UK, and a garden in New Zealand. Middlemist Red will be embarking on their first ever UK tour, and that was the impetus for me getting hold of their 2016 album.
"New Jesus" by Ben Arthur
Our final track to feature from American Castles - the latest album by New York songwriter Ben Arthur. American Castles is Ben Arthur's second collection of "answer" songs. The album is mostly responses to the writing of others. Ben Arthur is the consummate songwriter - and I think one of the most brilliant practitioners of the craft. Through SongCraft Presents - Arthur works with some of the best contemporary songwriters - across several genres - to write, record, and perform a song in one day.
"Big City Down" by Mark Huff
Next up, we have another track from the latest album by Nashville/Las Vegas singer-songwriter Mark Huff. The album - Stars for Eyes - finds this veteran songwriter at the top of his game. Huff will be back at The 5 Spot on June 6 - sharing a bill with the amazing Amelia White and The Blue Souvenirs.
"Samo" by Ugggy
"Good Luck, Engine #6207! (sonata form)" by Ugggy
2017 E2TG Artist of the Year - Ugggy from Toronto, Ontario, Canada - comes in with a twofer Tuesday this week! Two songs in a row. The first track is from his March 2017 release The Divided Tape. This was the release that began his twelve month run of releasing new music on the first of every month. The album was co-produced by Ugggy's Valued Customer band mate Pat Power. The second track comes from the September 2017 release The H(ear)T Beet Tape. This five minute track takes the listener on a journey into the beginning of an engine. Engine #6207 to be exact.
"Drifter in the Dark" by Middlemist Red
Next, we have our second track of the day from Middlemist Red. This track really resonated with me. Middlemist Red have been instrumental in developing and supporting the psych rock community in Hungary.
"She Put a Spell on Me" by Timothy Dark (feat. Angie Atkinson)
Next up, we have our first listen to the new EP Dark Day Afternoon from New York artist Timothy Dark. This EP is a follow-up to the album The Last Days of Timothy Dark. The four song release features guests Nellie McKay and on this track Angie Atkinson - a New York by way of Starkville, MS - self-described as an Urban Cowgirl. Dark's music blends hip-hop with dance and other genres to create a truly original creation. I can't wait to feature the rest of this EP.
"Thirsty Boots" by Eric Andersen
Next up, we have another remarkable track from the incredible compilation The Essential Eric Andersen. This song was originally released by Andersen on his 1966 album 'Bout Changes 'n' Things. Andersen has stated that Phil Ochs encouraged him to finish the song - which has been covered by Judy Collins, Anne Murray, John Denver, The Kingston Trio, and Bob Dylan.
"Everything Must Go" by Voices of Addiction
We have been covering Chicago punk band Voices of Addiction and their album The Lost Art of Empathy for several months. The band are the subjects and stars of a new film called Punk Band. Check out the video playlist for this songs and some clips from the film.
"This Wasteland" by Ten Penny Gypsy
And we close things out with another track from the self-titled debut album by Arkansas duo Ten Penny Gypsy. The album was produced by Anthony Crawford (known for his work with Neil Young, Steve Winwood, and Dwight Yoakam). Crawford is also 1/2 of Sugarcane Jane and 1/4 of Willie Sugarcappps. An awesome song to close out today's anniversary shuffle.