Friday, August 31, 2012

Blue Moon


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle - Lucky Guy Mix

Before 1993 I only thought I knew what words like heady and transcendent and halcyon meant. In 1993, I experienced all of those feelings and many more.  It was a wild ride of a year which promised and delivered thrills beyond my wildest expectations.  August 28 of that year - 19 years ago today... well how can I explain that day?  Honestly, what I remember most is the laser sharp sense of purpose and direction, and the unwavering sense of doing what I was supposed to be doing.  It started with errands (vitally important errands), a beautifully simple ceremony, drinks, an awkward announcement, party planning, phone calls, the arrival of friends (who were not as surprised as we thought they should have been) and a blow-out of a party. Our Wedding Day... 19 years ago today...

Our song:

The shuffle:

The Grimm Generation are friends with The Danbury Lie. The band got into contact with me after I named The Danbury Lie featured artists.  The first thing that struck me was the fact that they were heaping praise on the other band.  So, I checked them out.  And, I listened some more.  I don't want to say too much because I have a feeling I will be writing much more about this band. Suffice it to say, if you are familiar with The Grimm Generation, now is the time to rectify that situation.  The band's description as Post-Apocalyptic Pop gives a bit of hint to the passionate, juicy sound of this band. Oh hell, just take a look and listen:
 Our song today is Sometimes I'm Subtle (Sometimes I'm Drunk) from their album The Last Record Party.  Honestly, I'm in serious love with this band right now!


Here is The Grimm Generations' cover of Great Balls of Fire.

Next, we have a song about April 1, 1984.  I was in my senior year of high school, and Marvin Gaye was just one day shy of his 45th birthday when he was shot and killed during an argument with his father.  Day That Marvin Gaye Died is by the Avett Brothers from their 2004 release Mignonette

Man on Earth is a capital R Rock band from New York.  They've been around for a number of years and have played with a number of well-known artists. They released a new video for a song called Venus at the beginning of this month, and are about to embark on a tour which will bring them to Nashville.   The song we have today is an older one called The Great Discontent which we came across on a compilation called vol. 1. from 2005.

Here is the band's newest video Venus.

The Alabama Shakes released Boys and Girls back in April, and it had proven to be a break-out moment for the boys and girls from Athens, Alabama.  We have  the joyful Hang Loose today. Sounds like good advice.


And finally, we have a song by a jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader Steve Mohacey.  In a small world moment, it turns out that my next door neighbor, who like Mr. Mohacey is a Army band guy, knows Steve Mohacey. Anyway, although we most feature a wide-variety of alternative, Americana indie rock music, we are always on the look-out for all kinds of cool tunes.  Da Boyz is a blisteringly cool jazz number.

Here is Steve Mohacey from his Army Band Days


Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Morning Music Shuffle - Bright Idea Mix

Good morning... we are not ready to jump into another week, but alas, the time is upon us. This week, we wrap up another Band of the Month poll.  There is still time to vote.

Let's get into our shuffle for the day:

We are shuffling up our archival playlist - which features some all time favorite songs.

First up we have Everyday People the first single (Novemeber 1968) from the classic 4th album  by Sly and the Family Stone, Stand! which was released in May 1969.  It's hard not to groove to this one.


Next up we have True Faith, a 1987 single by the British Band New Order.  The song was one of two new songs recorded for the Substance 1987 Singles collection. Different mixes of this song are featured on various rereleases by the band, but the original track was never released on a regular album, but remains one of the band's best known songs.


And finally, we have the title track from Mary Gauthier's 4th studio album.  Mercy Now is a powerful song.  Gauthier was born in New Orleans, lived for a time in the Northeast and now makes her home in Nashville.  She is playing the Americana Music Festival in September.


Amazon Deal of the Day - Chronicle by CCR for $3.99

Friday, August 24, 2012

Meta + Shamelessness = Self-absorbness

Hey y'all.  I don't ask for much do I? Just show up, read what I have to say, check out the music I write about and if you like the music and are able, support the music.  In the past, I've suggested ways to help out Ear to the Ground so that we can continue to bring you great music.  Simple stuff really, like if you shop at Amazon - connect to them through one of our many links and shoot some commissions our way, spread the word to increase site visits etc. And, yeah, I'd still appreciate any of those things.  But, I do have a kind of big favor.  

We are big on Band of the Month/Year polls, and whenever one of our favorite bands in entered in some contest that involves fan voting, we try to steer you there to support the bands. 

Well, Nashville's long-standing Alternative press newspaper - The Nashville Scene is holding their annual Best of Nashville voting.  I would love it, if you would head over to the Poll and vote for Ear to the Ground as Best Music Blog.  The voting is all write-in. I don't really expect to win (it would be cool but...) - there are some really popular local music blogs - but I think if I could get some significant votes, it could help raise my profile on a local level. This would, of course, benefit all of the bands I support. See, it's not all Selfish.... :-)
NOW: Here's the catch, you have to vote in 20 categories for your vote to count.  I know right.  So, for those of you not from Nashville, I've put together a handy voting guide with some suggestions in other categories. You don't have to use these suggestions, but you can - I have reasons for supporting each of these.

Music Blog: Ear to the Ground (

Radio Station - Lightning 100

Food Truck - Moovers and Shakers

Local Band - Dogs of Oz or Vinyl Thief or Calicocat or Joy of Painting

Korean Restaurant - Seoul Garden

Dentist - Timothy McNutt

Place to Worship - 2nd Presbyterian Church

Local Twitter Account - @thecroftonshow

Music Writer - Joe Wolfe-Mazeres

Political Blog - Southern Beale

TV News Personality - Neil Orne

Place to buy vinyl - Grimeys

Best Instrumentalist - Victor Wooten

Beer Selection - Flying Saucer

Pediatrician - Tara Huss

Hospital - Vanderbilt Children’s

Elementary School - Crieve Hall

Playground - Lily’s Garden

Veterinarian - Grassmere Animal Hospital

Theatre Group - Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project

 Thanks for whatever you can do to help out...  HERE IS THE LINK TO THE POLL AGAIN

Featured Friday Music Shuffle - Triplight Mix

So and yeah... it is Friday!  That means, it is time for Featured Friday. Over the past three weeks, we've highlighted tracks from each of our 10 Featured Artists.  So, we reloaded our playlist with 1 track from each band and shuffled them up.

But, before we get to the shuffle - an update/revision- you can vote for Band of the Month now - HERE!  I had previously stated that the voting would end around midnight on the 31st. However, I am going to revise that until midnight on the 30th.  I may be out of pocket on the 31st, and I have to manually shut down the poll.

Here are the results so far with just under 1 week to go:

1.  Loners Society
2.  Rooftop Runnders -49
3. The Imperial Rooster -58
4. Cupla  -66
5. Cosmonauts -68
6. Pony Boy -70
7-10. SIRS, Traverse the Skies, The Holograms -73

It's really still anyone's contest to win.  Remember, you can vote more than once and  be sure to check out all of the Featured Artists (here).

Today we had a couple of longer songs, so just two made it into the shuffle:

Our friend, Galen Wade and his newish band, The Holograms from their Crowbar set are up with a track called Tumble Weed.

Next up, we have the L.A. band Pony Boy with their song Saints and Liars.

 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Greatest Hits is $3.99 over at Amazon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle - Losing Grounds Mix

Well... some bummer news yesterday.  It appears that one of our Featured Artists from July - The Raindoggs are going on indefinite hiatus due to some personnel issues. We will keep you informed, but let's hope they come back soon with some more amazing music like this:

Well, let's get to the shuffle:

First up, we have a song from the latest album by Damien Jurado.  We recently featured Arkansas from his next to latest release, St. Bartlett.  This time we have Working Titles off of his fabulous Maraqopa.


Next up, we have another artist we ran across over at ReverbNation.  This time it is Buffalo, New York native and current Nashville resident Chris Nathan with some sweet Southern Soul music.  The song came across on my MP3 player as Never Needed Nothing, but when I went back to find it again today, the closest I could find was a song called Nothing 'Til I Needed You and I wasn't able to listen to see if it was the same song.  Either way, check out Chris Nathan and see what think.

Here is the latest from Chris Nathan.  This EP does not contain either of the possibly two songs.

And here's a video for a different song

Next up we have Lookout by Orgone from their album Cali Fever.  Orgone are a Los Angeles based Funk/R&B combo who came to our attention when they played a show with Northbrook Garage around the time they were Band of the Week and then Band of the Month.

And finally, we have Run from the British  band Spiritualized's debut album, Lazer Guided Melodies which was released in 1992.  


Grab the latest from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros from Amazon for just $5.00 bucks.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle - So... yeah... Mix

I hope you enjoyed the premiere of the brand new song from Cosmonauts and our interview with the band... in case you missed it - go here. I heard yesterday and Mike Watt is bring his Missingmen to Nashville in October. The Americana Music Fest is just a few weeks off, Live on the Green is starting soon, and Musician's Corner should be kicking off their Fall series very soon.  Plus news yesterday that Grimey's is going to open an extension (Grimey's Too) which include a cafe, bookstore, more music and possibly an expanded area for events like Record Store Day???  

Okay - let's dive headlong into this morning's shuffle.  I bit of a rough morning so I needed some sweet tunes to get me settled into my day, and the shuffle beast did it's job.

First up we have Band of the Month for May (and our last ever Band of the Week) South of Ramona with The Lonesome Soul off their new Step Inside EP which we reviewed. I am still massively digging the band's haunting folksy rock sound. 


South of Ramona so far have only released videos of covers - here is their version of the Jefferson Airplane song, Somebody to Love

Next up we have Bonnie "Prince" Billy (William Oldham)  - a Louisville, Kentucky native who makes some incredible music which contains elements of punk, folk, Americana and Indie Rock. Today, we have the title track to his 2011 EP, The Mindeater which was a collaboration with the Louisville-based The Phantom Family Halo.

And finally, we continue to reap the fruits of our surfing of the ReverbNation site. Friday Night Music Club are "a handful of song writers who came together on a project and never left."  Today we have Why?  a tasty bit of laid back folksy flavored goodness which definitely eased my transition into work mode.


Grab the newest Brandi Carlile album from just $5 at Amazon

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cosmonauts - "Cold Harbor" (New Song +The Ear to the Ground Interview )

Go visit the Cosmonauts' Facebook Page NOW!  I mean it!  If you haven't done so, "Like" the page. As of right this moment they are streaming their brand spanking new song, Cold Harbor.  I got a sneak peek, and it's damn good stuff, and you know I wouldn't lie to you. 

 We recently chatted with band member, Bill Hunsinger, to find out more about the band, this song and more.
Ear to the Ground:  What can you share about the new song "Cold Harbor"?
Cosmonauts: The song is about a guy who gets a girl pregnant after a night out at a bar, and the consequences of that night for her. It is based on a true story. 

EttG:  (Cosmonauts first two records tell the story of Emily Malone and Daniel Raincourt) Is this part of the Daniel Raincourt story cycle?  If not, what was it like writing outside of that story?  Was it difficult or freeing?
C: It is not part of the Daniel Raincourt saga. It was difficult at first to write outside of the story, especially since we had been writing within the story for almost two years, but it ended up being very freeing. There were many things that I wanted to write about that wouldn't fit into that story, and this happened to be one of them. 

EttG:  What can you tell you about making the video?
C: That it was a lot of hard work! We filmed all of it, by ourselves, over the course of twenty hours, with multiple locations, tons of extras, and two fantastic actors (including our own guitarist James White). There's a particularly gruesome scene at the end, and I think it makes for a powerful ending. 

EttG: Okay, I’d like to ask a few questions to give our readers some context: What is the first music you are consciously aware of hearing?
C: I remember being about four, listening to Nanci Griffith's "Flyer" album on the way to my grandparents house. It was my family's soundtrack for car trips, and  something about it was magical to me. I was raised listening to a lot of folk singers and alternative bands (REM, Suzanne Vega), and it really influenced me to want to be a musician and play songs out of sheer enjoyment of the craft. 

EttG:  What kinds of music did you listen to as a teenager?  Was there a musical moment during that time that really stood out to you?
C: Well, the whole "emo-hardcore" scene was starting to come out when I was thirteen or so. I loved Coheed and Cambria, Brand New, etc. That was, I think, the time in my life, as well as a few of my band mates, that made us want to be in a band and write songs and play shows. The scene was very inclusive and friendly and, as somewhat social outcasts, we felt like we belonged somewhere. 

EttG:  When did you start playing?  At what point did you figure out that just maybe this music thing was for you?
C: I started playing guitar and writing music about twelve years ago now. I don't think there was ever a defining point where I said "this is for me". I just started playing music with my friends and after a while we started playing basement shows and birthday parties. It wasn't until I started playing real shows on real stages that I thought that I could actually artistically create music. 

EttG: How did the band form?
C: Joe and I had the idea for the story that became our first two albums when our old band broke up. When we started writing the songs, we realized there was no way we'd be able to pull off the ideas we had unless we had more members. Joe and I are mediocre musicians at best, and we just couldn't do what we thought the story needed. Luckily for us, we happened to know a band of three extremely talented musicians that were looking for a new musical direction, and they were kind enough to go along with our crazy ideas. 

EttG:  Why Cosmonauts?
C: Honestly, we just needed a name. We had all the songs written for the first album, but no band name. I had been listening to "relationship of command" by At the Drive-In a lot at the time, so we took our band name from one of their songs. 

EttG:  How did the concept of the Emily and Daniel story develop?
C: Joe wanted to write a story about a man who deals with the emotional drama of losing a loved one, an I wanted to write, basically, a horror story. A lot of the horror aspects of the story are personal experiences I had. "lovers of kerosene lane" is about a couple I met. The man was covered in bandages after being attacked with a knife, and the women was a morbidly obese women, covered in vomit. They were making out in the middle of a gas station parking lot at two am. It was a nauseating thing to see. 

And some of the story elements are just metaphors for how joe and I felt at the time. It was a labor of love to piece the story together, but I think, in the end, we managed to get a fairly coherent story out. 

EttG:  (Joe Mansman created some striking art for the Emily and Daniel stories) When did Joe start drawing? Did he have any formal training? Are there any particular artists that influenced his visual art?
C: Joe started in elementary school, but had no formal training. He was influenced by the early work of Frank Miller, Todd McFarlane, and Mark Silvestri

Ettg:  What's next for Cosmonauts?

C: We're continuing to write for a next album, and playing some shows in the Northeast. We really want to focus this time on lyrics, rather than the musical aspect of the songs. So you'll be seeing (hopefully) more emotionally powerful songs as opposed to guitar heavy songs. 

EttG:  Is there any band or artist you'd like to work with or tour with?
C: There are so many bands we play with now that we absolutely love playing with. Skeletons in the Piano (Note: Skeletons in the Piano were our Band of  the Month for July) and Wild Adriatic, for example. I'd rather keep working with them to keep creating a sustainable music scene is our area than to work with a national act. Bands can only survive with local support, and we'll do what we can to help create that scene. 

EttG:  What music have you been playing most often?

C: Everything! Personally, I've been playing more Appalachian folk than anything else lately, but we all have a diverse preference when it comes to playing music on our own. As a band, we play whatever feels right for the song, whether it be a Latin-based rhythm or light waltzes, or even screaming (or all of them at once). 

EttG:  What's the best part of being in a band and making music?  The worst?
C: The best part of being in a band is being able to do what you love to do with your closest friends, and being able to express yourself musically and having other people relate. There's nothing better than that. 

On the other hand, the worst thing about being in a band is when you play a show and people are apathetic to your performance. It's discouraging, but you just shake it off and go play another show. 

EttG:  And finally, this is a question, I try to ask whenever I can:  If you could see any band perform live at the peak of their career, who would you see and at what point in their career?

C: I would have loved to see Robert Johnson play back in the 1930's. He influenced countless of legendary guitar players, and his songs were very personal and intimate.  

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle - Daredevil Guy Mix

Good morning! Remember, keep voting in our current Band of the Month Poll. Voting is going strong.  In the past twenty-four hours, Loners Society has increased their lead, but as we have seen in the past, it can all change in no time flat.  

Be sure to come back here around 5:00pm Central Time (6:00 Eastern) (Tuesday August 21, 2012) - The rest of you are on your own - as we will present an interview with Cosmonauts and a chance to preview their brand new song, Cold Harbor.

Let's get into the music shuffle for the day:

First up, we have a New York band who came to our attention via The Dead Exs.  The Great American Novel will be playing a show with The Dead Exs and others next Monday at the Mercury Lounge.  If you're in that area, be sure to check it out.

The Great American Novel are a fun band, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from them.  Today, we have American Weekend  (which seems a bit like a taunt since it only Tuesday) from their recent release, Kissing.

(Couldn't find a video for American Weekend, so here is another track from Kissing)

Keeping it in New York area, we have a band called The Dukes of Brooklyn with a track called White Lightnin' which you can check out here.  It's some awesome Blues-based stuff which I really dig.  

Next, we have a second track from Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah album - I Can't Decide.  We recently picked up this CD at our local Goodwill, and it's a great record.  Danceable music that doesn't suck.  By the way, not that we're keeping track, but Scissor Sisters are a NY-based band as well.

And finally, we leave off from New York and drive south to Charleston, SC for a fantastic singer-songwriter named Joal Rush.  Another Lover Song was released in 2010 on his Wares album.

Today's Deal from Amazon MP3s - You can get Rocket Man - Number Ones - featuring 17 hits from Elton John for just $3.99:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Morning Music Shuffle - The Box Principle Mix

 So here we go it's Monday, and we have some good stuff going down this week.  Tomorrow, Cosmonauts are unveiling a brand new song, and we have an interview with the band to help kick that off.  Meanwhile, voting for Band of the Month is going hot and heavy. Right now, Loners Society hold a lead over Rooftop Runners followed by The Imperial Rooster.  But, we are still in the early stages of voting which will run until right at Midnight on the 31st of August. 

This morning, our shuffle takes us into our Revolving Random playlist and offers up some tasty tunes.  So, let's get to it.

First up, we have an alternate take of a classic song from the late, great Warren Zevon.  Desperados Under the Eaves   has the dual distinction of being one of the coolest songs of all time, and utilizing two words which I wished showed up in my daily life more often (Desperados and Eaves). The version today is from the Preludes collection of rare and unreleased songs.


Next, we have a sweet dose of Southern mysticism backed by now legendary jangly guitars.  We have the sounds of a band hitting their stride.  We have Maps and Legends by R.E.M. from the Fables of the Reconstruction album (1985).


Up next, we have Seattle-based singer-songwriter Damien Jurado with a track from his 2010 album, St. Bartlett. Arkansas contains the characteristic murky goodness we've come to expect from Mr. Jurado.


 And finally, we have a track from one of our Bands of the Week from last year. The track is on the album Dead Letters by Sealight which was the first album we reviewed here at ear to the ground.  La Nieve Del Tiempo literally translates as Snow Time, and it is chill-inducing, beautiful music.


Amazon Daily Deal - Get the 25th Anniversary Remaster of Paul Simon's Graceland for $3.99.