Friday, June 28, 2019

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Before the Dawn Mix

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It is Friday!  It is also the final Shuffle of June - thus the end of the first half of 2019. In my opinion, it was been a great year for music. I am sad for people (often people my age or so) who say there isn't any good music these days - especially when they are friends of mine on Facebook, and I literally post playlists of great music every single day.  Makes me feel like Don Quixote sometimes - but I can't seem to stop tilting at windmills.

Anyway, I have another great list to counter the "no good new music" crowd!  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Trending Thursday Morning Shuffle - Daddy Issues Mix

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No philosophical rant today  - the shuffle is just to good, and I want to get right to it.  I added a bunch of new music to my playlist last night. I think only one of those new songs came up today, but expect much more in the days and weeks to come.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - No Mystery Mix

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So - in reference to my long pre-shuffle post yesterday, music is what sustains me when the world gets me down. Music has saved my life. Music is not just important to me, it is vital to my existence.

On top of all of the other worldly problems, I am troubled by the devaluing of music by our culture. Technological advancements which should be (and in many cases are) a boon to the goal of getting music out to the people - has - like many parts of society - fallen into the hands of a few "power" players - who exploit the true creators to line their own pocket.

The people I know who make music - mostly do so because they have to - not in absence of other skills but it is a drive. A model has to be developed that adequately rewards the creators. The so-called music business is a microcosm for the rest of society. The gap between the haves and the have-nots.

I do not have a solution, but I think there is one out there. The question is - what will motivate those who are benefiting from the current system?

So, for most of us - who love music- the call is to act on whatever scale we are able. Go to shows, buy merch, buy music in a physical format - even if you mostly listen to electronic formats, if there is a tip jar for the band - use it. Share music!  Social media companies intentionally limit the reach of artists and others - to encourage "boosted" posts. It even happens to E2TG - once my Facebook page like count reached a certain level - fewer people saw my posts. I don't make a dime from E2TG, so it doesn't make sense for me to pay to boost my posts. The only way to combat this is from everyone to share posts. _ I don't just mean E2TG (although that would be nice), but also posts by your favorite bands.

It has been a rough week in many ways - my spirit is low and my temper has been short. I'm combating all that with music and creativity.

It is Wednesday, and that is the day, we do what I call the "Wild Wednesday" shuffle.  A shuffle derived from all the songs saved to my phone.  Let's see what happens!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Animal Bribery Mix

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I know for a while, I posted occasional rants/comments on the state of things - always with the caveat that I never intended or wanted E2TG to have a political agenda.  As events unfolded beginning on or before January 2017, I felt compelled to say something. None of that has changed, but I have more or less stopped posting things on here. To be honest, I have been feeling completely disheartened.  I am not someone who thinks everyone should believe as I do, and I recognize that when it comes to political opinions and social issues - many of them have shades of gray which somehow get distilled down to black or white positions.

That being said, when it comes to neo-nazis, white supremacists, mocking disabled people, science, housing children in deplorable conditions, calls to execute LGBT+ people, working hostile foreign governments to influence elections, freedom of the press - I believed that the majority of people regardless of political persuasion could be counted on to close ranks and stand united.  This has proven not to be true. The callousness, the bald-face lies, the lack of compassion or even basic human decency is horrifying, and I feel helpless.

I am equally frustrated by the reticence of the House Democrats to take decisive action.

In the face of all this, when I see Democrats infighting and people saying they won't support this candidate or the other, I am doubly frustrated. I understand wanting to support the candidate or candidates who most closely match your values and beliefs. but can we not agree that any candidate put forth would be an improvement over what we have. Ideally, the primary is the time to support your best candidate and to convince others of your party to support that candidate. That can be done without demonizing the other candidates. Withing running them down and providing fodder for the general election if your least favorite candidate wins.  I say, get a democrat elected and then fight like hell to convince them to always do the right thing.

Anyway, this has all taken a toll on my mental health, and to be honest, it should - the United States has children being held under deplorable conditions and some of those children are dying  - meanwhile representatives of our government are arguing in court against having to provide basic care to these children. And, frankly if this doesn't have an effect on you, please look into why that is.

I don't have any solutions, but I felt I needed to get this out in writing.  None of this is okay.

Enough - for now - on with the Trending Tuesday Shuffle!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - In the Pink Mix

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A good weekend hanging with friends, listening to friends make music, celebrating the music of my friends, and then having a day to get things done and be creative.

Now, let's dive into the last week of June.  The year is almost half over! 

It is time for another Music City Monday.  Let's shuffle!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Dry Clean Mix

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Friday is here!

Last night, I hung out at Dee's in Madison. Saw Chuck Mead - as part of his Honky Tonk tour of Nashville in support of his new album.  His special guest was Carlene Carter.  Interesting to me, Chuck did a version of "Houston" - as song written by Lee Hazelwood and popularized by Dean Martin.  Wednesday night, I saw Rickie Lee Jones do the same song (it is on her latest album).  Interesting because one might not expect crossover between a Rickie Lee Jones show and a Chuck Mead show.  After that, I hung around for Lady Couch - who were fantastic as always.  Saw lots of friends and had a good quality hang with Ryan Sobb - all in all not a bad night.

Now, we have one last shuffle for the week!  Let's get to it!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Trending Thursday Morning Shuffle - Acadian Driftwood Mix

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Moving on!

I had the opportunity to see Rickey Lee Jones last night at City Winery.  She sounded great, was funny, and the show was a blast. Her latest album Kicks was recorded in New Orleans and an eclectic mix of covers from the 70s and earlier. 

On to the shuffle!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Stinkin' Feet Mix

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Added a bunch of new music to the playlist last night.  Look for some of those to pop up soon. I try to get through as many e-mails as I can, but I get a lot. Patience and perseverance are always helpful. I know that a bunch of really cool stuff is passing me by, but sometimes, I just have to let it go. It is (I am aware) an amazing problem to have.  When I started E2TG eight years ago, I had to go out searching for music to feature.

Anyway, today is Wednesday and it is time for another of what we call "Wild Wednesday" on E2TG.  New stuff, old stuff, all-time favorites, hidden gems from the depths of memory card, previous featured artists, missed/late postings, you name it.. let's go!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Too Much Rain Mix

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ICYMI: We premiered a new song from Bill Bloomer this morning.  You can check out "Doing Things Different" - HERE

I have a bunch of new music to  add to my playlist, but I also have a bunch of music in my playlists - so let's get to some of it.  It is time for the Trending Tuesday shuffle!

E2TG Song Premiere: Bill Bloomer - "Doing Things Different"

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I am thrilled to bring you a song premiere from one of the more colorful characters that I have encountered writing E2TG. Bill Bloomer is an American expatriate living in France. We featured his most recent album Jubilee - which was my introduction to his music. Since that time, I have gotten to know him (as one can) through social media. I hope and intend to meet him sometime on one of his barnstorming tours across his native country.

Bloomer is getting set to release a brand new album called Bounty - which is due out August 2.

Today, we take a listen to "Doing Things Different".  A song which surely describes Bill Bloomer.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Help Us Now Mix

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And so, another week begins....

Music City Monday is always a favorite day of the week for me.  It is a great combination of new and older music that is all (somehow) connected to Music City USA (aka Nashville, Tennessee)

Let's just jump right in!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - A Beautiful Light Mix

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ICYMI - My live review of Matt Costa, J.D. and the Straight Shot, and Matt Hartke was posted this morning.  Check it out HERE.

Hey, guess what! It is Friday.  We wrap up a busy but interesting week with a Featured Friday shuffle.  A couple of first listens and some cool tunes from some favorites.  Let's go!

E2TG Live Review - JD & Straight Shot with Matt Costa and Matt Hartke at City Winery

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It has been a bit since I have written a live review, and I am grateful to have been given this opportunity.

As way of a disclaimer, I was not very familiar with any of the artists performing at City Winery on Wednesday June 12, 2019. I say this simply to indicate the perspective from which I writing this review.  As I was asked to write a review of J.D. and the Straight Shot - so that part of my review is longer.

Background: This was the final stop on the first leg of the tour which was sponsored by the SiriusXM station The Coffee House - featuring Matt Hartke, J.D. and the Straight Shot, and Matt Costa.  The Coffee House is a station that plays singer-songwriters and acoustic versions of popular songs.

I think that is enough with disclaimers and background.  My review begins after the jump.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Trending Thursday Morning Shuffle - Second Chance Confessions Mix

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People often ask me (not really) why I do random shuffles for E2TG. I mean, it is my blog, I could painstakingly "curate" a list of 8-10 songs and then post them every day. Why leave it up to the shuffle function to pick which songs pop up?

Never mind that if I picked the list every day, I would spend hours second guessing and obsessing over which new album I was neglecting etc. The main reason for my using the random shuffle is that I believe in the "magic" of randomness.  Over the last eight years, I have seen so many weird coincidences and cool connections pop up in a shuffle.  There's even one today - watch for it.

It has been a busy week, and it's not over. Last night, I stopped off on the way home to catch Nick Loss-Eaton of Leland Sundries doing a solo set at Tennessee Brew Works. You may recall, I had a Leland Sundries song in the shuffle yesterday (I had completely forgotten about Nick playing - until the event popped up on my phone) - see what I mean about randomness?  Anyway, it was a good time. Hung out with Collins de la Cour (who does the music booking there) and Ted Drozdowski (who sat in on a song with Nick).

A quick trip home and then it was off to City Winery to catch a show for a review I am writing.  Look for that review very soon.

Now, let's get to the shuffle.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - I Know Better Mix

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I had the chance to catch Martin Scorsese's new film Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story last night at the Belcourt - Nashville being one of 10 or 11 cities hosting this one-night only big screen showing.  The film debuts on Netflix today. I highly recommend it even if you are casual Bob Dylan fan. It is a remarkable bit of film making and some magical moments captured from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour.  I won't say any more, and I recommend against reading too much about the film before you see it.

I will say that members of the theater audience applauded several times following live performances and also laughed out loud on more than one occasion.

Today, I have an opportunity to cover a show at City Winery and to write a review. It has been a minute since I have done a formal live review - so look for that soon.

On to another "Wild Wednesday" shuffle. I think this one lives up to the name...

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - All Out War Mix

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Moving on, we return to our "New Music" playlist for another "Trending Tuesday" shuffle at E2TG. 

A whole lot going on in my life, in Nashville, and in the world.  Although I have been known to use this pulpit to talk about things that are important to me (and I may do so again - probably will), I mostly want E2TG to be about the music. From day one, I knew that there were a lot of things that E2TG could never be - so I never tried. I have gone off on some tangents over the last eight years, but I keep returning to the simple truth of what E2TG is all about:  "I heard some cool music this morning that you might or might not know - let me tell you about it."

Let's shuffle!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Lot of Love Mix

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I'm back. I was a little under the weather Friday - so no shuffle. 

Now it is Monday and time for another Music City Monday - highlighting the best Nashville has to offer musically speaking from then to now.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Trending Thursday Morning Shuffle - Apathy Baby Mix

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Time is short today - so let's just jump right in!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Dixie Boo Mix

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In a bit of a reflective mood.  Which I say just to indicate that in the words that follow, I am addressing my self and my tendencies - not anyone else.  One thing that E2TG has helped me with is a sense of insecurity about forming original and even unique opinions about music. I remember when I was young and first getting into music - in a major way - I would hear a band I had never heard before and really like what I heard, but then I would feel a need to get reassurance from someone else that it was really "good" music. I don't think I am totally unique in this and I don't think writing E2TG has 100% "cured" me of this tendency (it is still nice to have an opinion validated by someone whose opinion I trust), but I think it has improved things.  The bottom line, as far as I am concerned, is that my opinion (and yours for that matter) is not contingent on what anyone else thinks. I guess that is why I am not a fan of trashing a band or artist just because I don't like them.

An extreme example:  When Jon Landau famously declared, "I saw rock and roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen," (ignoring for a moment the influence the statement had on Springsteen's early popularity) he was stating an opinion. And certainly, some people have a keener ability to spot talent and potential, but it was an opinion nonetheless. What if Springsteen's first album had flopped and he had given up music and disappeared into obscurity. If that had happened, Landau's quote would have been forgotten and perhaps rightfully be seen as a mistake. BUT - it would not change the feeling that spurred the statement in the first place. I have seen bands that struck a chord with me  (maybe not the future of rock n roll - but a great show) whose careers by some measure would sooner or later fizzle.  That does not mean that the feeling I initially experienced was wrong.

In terms of E2TG, I always write about music that I like or love. Always. Over the years, I some of the people whose music I love - have thrived in music (as much as any artist  can thrive these days) while others have (seemingly) mostly given up music to pursue other opportunities (and everywhere in between those two extremes).  One reason, I don't really look back but rather keep moving forward is that knowing the outcome shouldn't and for me doesn't  affect the veracity of my initial impression. I have written about bands or singer-songwriters whose music moved me deeply and who I believed should be known by a wider audience. I trust that initial feeling to be true - regardless of where that band/artist ended up.   (This is not say that my opinions may not change over time - there is music I loved in college that I don't really want to listen to now, however, that change is not in any way a reflection or result of the relative success or lack therein of the band).   (I will leave the moral/ethical questions about what to do or not do when an artist ends up being a serial killer or whatever - for another discussion).

I have to move on.  After catching Jon Byrd and Paul Niehaus at their weekly show at Dee's, I made the decision to go to $2 - where other than Derek Hoke - the line-up was mostly artists I didn't know (or at least configurations I didn't know).  Surrounding an extended set from Derek Hoke (with Paul Niehaus again and his usual band of Mark Robertson and Steve Latanation)  I saw two singer-songwriters named Mike. Mike Frazier from Virginia did a solo set and Mike Lynch - relatively new to town did a set backed by Mark Robertson (again) and I drummer whose name I missed). Great sets by both Mikes.  The late night slot was MASS - a relatively new project (drum and keyboards) featuring Jimmy Matt Rowland (who I most recently saw playing with Brian Wright) and Jon Radford - who it seems I keep running into - playing in many great combos. MASS was incredible - loungey instrumentals (but that description is lacking). 

On to the shuffle!  Wild Wednesday gets wilder!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - 20th Century Bitch Mix

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Today - June 4 marks the 3rd Anniversary of Nashville's independent, community-oriented, listener supported radio station, WXNA, officially hitting the airwaves. It has been a heady three years, and I need to point out that the stations founders worked for five years to make it happen.

Happy Birthday WXNA!

It is Tuesday, and time to dive right into our Trending Tuesday playlist!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Jesus and Jim Morrison Mix

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Greetings from Nashville!  It is Monday and time for Music City Monday.  Exploring all things Nashville - Past and Present!

Let's get right to it!