Wednesday, September 30, 2020

E2TG 9/30/2020 - September's Over - Intensive Care Mix (Dust Remix)

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Today, our recap takes us from song 15-18 of the Playlist.  We will finish up our recap tomorrow with songs 19-21

15. "Malibu '79 Long" by Cayucas
Santa Monica based band Cayucas just released Blue Summer - their fourth album. They call it their Smile Sessions.  And on this fantastic track, you can practically smell the sunscreen and salt air. 
16. "Wildebeest" by The Roogs
Next up, we have a track from the self-titled debut album by Los Angeles based The Roogs.  Courtney Davis and Steve Gerdes represent one half of the seminal goth/tribal/industrial band Fourwaycross who were active from 1984 to 1991 and again from 2015-2018.  I am digging this.  And to Facebook on my phone, no am I not trying to search for The Roots. 
17. "Astronomica" by of1000faces
Next up, we have the title track from the new album (the first in a trilogy) by Chicago based artist of1000faces - which is the project of Matt Walker - best known for his drum work with Morrissey, Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, and Filter. Cool stuff. 
18. "Butterfly" by KnightressM1
And we close out this penultimate section of the playlist with our second listen to this San Francisco based power rock trio - led by violinist, pianist, vocalist and composer Emily Palen - joined by drummer Rob Ahlers (Kristin Hersh, 50Footwave) and bassist Uriah Duffy (Whitesnake). Their new album Dreams and Devastation is out now.
    Featured Friday Playlist

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

E2TG 9/29/2020 - Muddling Through - Isle of Hope Mix (Life is a Movie Remix)

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Muddling through... Interesting phrase... basically to do a somewhat decent job either with little effort or with little planning or without the proper tools. To me these are different concepts. Maybe I expend a great effort, but I don't plan and I don't have the tools I need. Or maybe, I plan but then don't extend the effort.  Or I plan and extend effort but don't have the proper tools... I muddle through and what needs to get done gets done - maybe in a half-assed kind of way. 

I don't think I like the expression, to be honest, especially in the context of 2020. To me it is too judgmental (or maybe that is just what I am reading into it). I think many of us are doing amazing work just staying somewhat sane and not completely falling apart. By pre-COVID standards - maybe we aren't excelling, but I am here to say, that's okay. 

So, I am getting through... but I am not going to say I am muddling through.  Onward!

Today our recap takes us to songs 11-14.... I am loving this week's Playlist:

11. "Talk to Me" by John Lensing
First up today, we have a really cool track from this singer-songwriter currently based in Denver. His music has elements of alt-folk and bedroom pop. It is rich and lovely. I dig it. 
12. "68th in Orbit" by Mt. Doubt
Next up, we have a track from the brand new album, Doubtlands by this Edinburgh-based band. This is their third album - with the sound evolving to this album which makes a powerful statement of band arriving. 
13. "September" by Lydia Loveless; Laura Jane Grace
One that I'm playing just because I want to... we recently featured Lydia Loveless playing with our friend Benchmarks. Now, she has released Daughter - her new album, and it is amazing.  On this track, she is joined by Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace.  The intersection of punk and roots music which has been happening in the Mid-West for many years, is one of the most exciting things happening in music. Bands and artists like Two Cow Garage, Austin Lucas, and Lydia Loveless have an authenticity in both worlds and are creating memorable and important music. 
14. "Dig Deep" by Magnolia Bayou
We close out this segment of music with a track from Strange Place - the new album by Southern Mississippi based rock band Magnolia Bayou.  They are heirs to the long tradition of great music emerging from the swamps and bayous of that part of the Deep South. 
Tomorrow - 15-18...
    Featured Friday Playlist

Monday, September 28, 2020

E2TG 9/28/2020 - Music City Monday - Batman Mix (Red Wagon Remix)

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The weight of everything has hit me pretty hard this weekend, but I (safely) visited with a friend on Saturday and am planning another safe visit this evening.  I feel so much uncertainty and anxiety lately, and at the same time, I feel like my personal situation is much more stable than some, and so I feel guilty for feeling anxious - which doesn't help anybody. 

I am trying to lean into kindness and love whenever I can. I am trying for find the balance between staying informed and getting drowned in the negativity which is so prevalent. I still believe that we - meaning human beings, Americans, and whatever smaller groups are relevant - need to figure out a way to disagree but seek common ground... but lately it seems as if  "us" and "them" are living in two different realities - where we can't even agree upon the problems let alone begin to address the solutions. My solution is to keep drilling down to the microcosm. Even if that means seeking to find common ground within my own heart and mind.  

We head into another week, and the final days of September.  Today, we recap songs 7-10 of this week's Playlist:

7. "Change" by Tomas Doncker and Amp Fiddler
E2TG favorite Tomas Doncker is back with a fantastic new single, and he is joined by the legendary Detroit musician Amp Fiddler (George Clinton's Parliment and Funkedelic). This is a powerful song from two music industry veteran's. For new readers, Doncker is the founder and CEO of True Groove Records credited with created the global soul genre. He was part of the NYC no wave movements - playing with James Chance and the Contortions. 
8. "FM.a.m." by Buildings and Food
Toronto's Building and Food are back in the shuffle. Their album Up Down Strange Charm was released Friday, and this is the lead track - an instrumental. We covered the debut album Quick Beat Save a couple of years ago. Buildings and Food in Jen Wilson. 
9. "The Lake Worth Monster" by the matthew show
Next up, we have the stunning new single (the first in a series) from Texas based the matthew show. This is the long-running solo project of Matthew Broyles - a Texas native who spent some time in New York City before returning to his home state (Dallas/Fort Worth area to be precise).  I absolutely love this song. 
10. "The Last Dive" by Ethan Gold
We close this section of the Playlist with the latest single from L.A. based musician and songwriter Ethan Gold.  It is his tribute to dive bars with tips of the hat to Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop in New York and author Charles Bukowski in Los Angeles. It is a taste from his forthcoming Earth City album. 
    Featured Friday Playlist

Friday, September 25, 2020

E2TG 9/25/2020 - Featured Friday - Give Me Love Mix (Lone Wolves Remix)

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Well this has been quite a week on so many different levels...   I feel the need to unplug a bit this weekend.  We shall see how that goes. 

It is Friday and that means that it is time for a brand new Feature Friday Playlist.  Kind of a short list this week, but jam packed with goodness.  We start our recap below.  We will continue in this space over the next week.  

Stay safe, practice kindness when  you can, be angry if you need to, and combat fear with action. 

    Featured Friday Playlist

Thursday, September 24, 2020

E2TG 9/24/2020 - Penultimate - Sleep of Reason Mix (All the Way Remix)

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I continued to be overwhelmed by the constant terrifying news that dominates my social media feeds and headlines. Injustice, rising tide of fascism (this is not hyperbole - they are not even trying to hide it any more), division, anger, fear, death... I am missing the solace of seeing my friends almost every night and hearing live music while seeing said friends. I fear for the future, but I know that fear is not a place to rest. Anger is an energy, but it is up to me to focus my anger.  In the meantime, I have always believed in the power of love to conquer hate and fear and evil. It is a hard belief to cling to when it is so tempting to answer hate with hate - and mind you - anger is not the antithesis of love - hate and fear are the antithesis of love. Anger can be an expression of love if channeled properly. 

At the same time as all of that, I need to acknowledge that despair and hopelessness are reasonable feelings these days. For me, though, I can't afford to stay there. I also do not have the capability to stay serious and focused and angry 24/7 and I do not think I am alone. I can either choose to shame myself or others for needing a break or I can accept it, take the break, and come back stronger. 

Last thing:  I have to find my own voice and my own outlets of action.  What is the right action for someone else may not be right for me - and that can be for numerous reasons. I just need to say that because I have a bad habit to looking at others' actions and judging myself for not measuring up. It is good to take stock of my abilities and resources (time and money) and ask myself if I am doing enough, but to judge my own work by what someone else does - without taking into account differences in time and money etc is unfair. 

TL;DR: I choose to attempt to manifest love in all I do. Love can be expressed by anger. 

Today, we wrap up the Featured Friday Playlist as we prepare the way for a whole new Playlist debuting tomorrow.  As always, we saved some great stuff for the end of the playlist. We finish up with songs 24-28:

24. "Room 33" by Mcclendon
We kick things off with the title track from the debut EP by Nashville based singer-songwriter Mcclendon.  After playing in country/folk bands beginning in his native Oklahoma - with his brother, Mcclendon decided to go his own way and pursue his own music. I am digging this.
25. "Blur" by Dark McGwire; Focus3Dots
Next up, we have another solo debut. Dark McGwire is the alter-ego of Dame Crawford of The Wylde Bunch - a Grammy award producer/artist. The music runs the gamete from funk to folk and many points in between. The name of the album is Wyldebunch Presents Dark McGwire. Check it out. 
26. "A Girl Too Far" by Red Eye
Red Eye is an Anglo-Spanish songwriter. This new single is amazing. When I say I save some good stuff for the end of the Playlist... I mean it. This sounds like a cover - in that it has a familiarity that many great songs have upon first listen. 
27. "Moving Tangle" by Outwave
Italian alternative rock band Outwave just released their debut album, "The Storm". This was the lead single. I'm digging this.
28. "You Don't Know" by ASM
We close out this week's playlist with the latest single - from the forthcoming (Friday) album Blue Cocoon by the European trio ASM (A State of Mind). The cinematic hip-hop, soul, funk band members met in high school - one is Candaian, one German, and one English.  We have previously featured them on an earlier playlist. 
    Featured Friday Playlist

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

E2TG 9/23/2020 - Busy Week - Some Days Mix (Silent Alarm Remix)

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This has been a very busy week so far, and for a variety of reasons, I have felt constantly short on time. Yesterday, I intended to write a bit about being a contrarian, and then time slipped away. 

In short, the last six and half years (or more) have been about coming to accept the parts of me that are fundamental while simultaneously trying to change parts of myself that are acquired. I keep going back to the Serenity Prayer. Grant me the serenity to accept the things, I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.   And that is the challenge of realizing what I can (and should change) vs. what I need to learn to accept and even appreciate and nuture.

One conclusion I have is that I am a contrarian. The best way to get me not to do something is for a large number of people to tell me I should do it. Sometimes, I am proud of this trait - I see it as a mark of my individuality and independence. But, it can be annoying when something really interests me but because I am hearing a constant refrain that I "must do this or watch that or listen to this" I resist and refuse. 

And it isn't just the nameless, faceless masses that elicit this response - even if it is people whose opinions and tastes that I respect - I will still get this reaction. But to clarify, it is different if someone makes a recommendation of an artist - shoot, I am not sure how to explain this... 

I guess television (under which I include streaming services). That buzz worthy show that you call think the best and that you insist that I watch (and by that I don't mean directly insist that I watch it - but you know... "everyone must watch this" - well the chances are I am not going to watch it until the buzz has died down. Even if I really want to watch it. And that is where this is annoying. It is not an intentional action - it just seems to be a part of who I am. 

Another more cogent example... E2TG occasionally leans heavily toward roots/Americana music. I am in Nashville and a lot of my friends play this type of music, I once wrote for No Depression, I like a lot of music that falls under this moniker. I have a lot of friends whose tastes run toward this (admittedly broadly defined style of music) and I have made some great connections through this type of music. However, anytime, I feel that E2TG is starting to go to far toward being an Americana/roots blog - I have an almost automatic reaction and start seeking out metal and punk and darkwave and shoegaze and indie pop. This is not to say that my interest in these other genres and styles is not genuine - it very much is. But, I sometimes, I think I end up unintentionally alienated some people. 

But, it all comes back to what is a behavior that I can (and want to change) and what is a behavior that is just who I am and which I need to learn to accept and appreciate. No answers... just endless questions.  

Onward - we have five more songs to feature from this week's Playlist - songs 19-23

19. "Northern Song" by The Asteroid No. 4
San Francisco based Psych band The Asteroid No. 4 return to the Playlist with the title track of their new album. The band originated in the 1990s in Philadelphia. They have a great sound, that I am happy to have in the Playlist. 
20. "Some Days" by Wayne Graham
Kentucky based rock band Wayne Graham also make a return visit to the Playlist with a track from their forthcoming (Nov. 13) album 1% Juice. The band is led by two brothers: Kenny and Hayden Miles. This is a wonderful song. 
21. "Silent Alarm" by Fabian Jack
Next up, we have the new single from London-based five piece band Fabian Jack. The song is warning about the dire state of the environment. 
22. "Milk" by Wynnm
Next up, we have a really lovely track from an artist who has roots in the American Southwest (born to a harmonica playing father and a 1st generation Korean-American mother. Wynnm currently resides in Amsterdam. The music is rich and diverse and everything I love for my shuffle. 
23. "Myfyrwyr Rhyngwladol" by HMS Morris
The title may have given this away, but HMS Morris is an art rock band from Wales. This is a great way to close out this segment of music. By the way, the title translates to "International Students". 
    Featured Friday Playlist

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

E2TG 9/22/2020 - Contrarianism - Road Scholar Mix (Morpheus Remix)

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We are moving right along with our recap of this week's Playlist. Today, we have songs 14-18...

14. "Keep On Pushing" by The Calvary Nightingales
First up, we have a single off of the newly released collection of sacred soul music - The Last Shall Be First: The JCR Record Story. The album is out on Bruce Watson's Bible and Tire Records. The songs on this album had never been released on CD, digital, or outside of Memphis. 
15. "Start Breathing In" by Dan Friese
We previously featured the single "Streetlight" by this Portland, Oregon based singer-songwriter.  Now, his album Jane Songs is out, and we have the lead track from that album. Great sounding music.
16. "Across the Drama Pond"  by Anton Barbeau
We also previously featured "Manbird" - the title track from the new double album by singer-songwriter Anton Barbeau - who is from Sacramento and currently residing in Berlin.  The double album is out now, and so we have another track from that album. Wonderful psychedelic pop songs. 
17. "One Line at a Time" by D.L. Marble
Next up, we have the title track from the new album by Arizona based songwriter D.L. Marble. The album was produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel. The album has been delayed several times due to the pandemic, but it is out and it is wonderful. Check it out. 
18. "Prn" by The Persian Leaps
And we close out this segment of music with a track from Smiling Lessons - the new album by this Minneapolis based indie rock/power pop band. This one hints at some of my favorite music of my younger years, but it is highly original. A great ending as we move on in our Playlist.

Tomorrow songs 19-23


    Featured Friday Playlist

Monday, September 21, 2020

E2TG 9/21/2020 - Music City Monday - Cluck Old Hen Mix (All My Sins Remix)

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We roll into another week. We are in unbelievably difficult and strange times. Today, rather than vocalize my fears or hopes or shout into the void, I just want to offer the simple advice to seek out opportunities for kindness. It is easy to demonize people based solely upon what they post or which meme they share or which article on which they choose to comment.

Standing up for your beliefs is important, but I truly believe most people in the world are just trying to figure out how to get along from day to day. I may not agree with where they are in that journey or how they choose to express where they are in that journey. In fact, I may find it problematic, based upon flawed logic or incorrect facts... but, I do think I need to be careful not to assign the full weight of the problematic beliefs on one individual. 

I am not sure if I am making sense. Certainly, a large group of people supporting what I believe is evil and dangerous is a big problem. I guess it comes down to treating the large group one way and the individual members of that large group another. People are complex - so if I make generalized assumptions about the members of that large group, I may or may not be statistically accurate, but I do have to acknowledge that that assumption does not hold for 100% of the people in that group. It is possible to be a good person in many important ways and support something that I find to be bad. I may not be able to reconcile the two, but I do have to at least acknowledge that it is okay not to write off a friend or family member over a belief. 

Which is not to say that in the context of social media - it might be prudent to mute them or even "unfriend"  them for my own sanity. 

What was I saying, oh yeah, seek out opportunities to be kind... 

Today, we pick back up on our recap of this week's Featured Friday Playlist with songs 9-13:

9. "Theme from Black Planet" by Adam McIntyre; Dashill Smith
Atlanta based guitarist Adam McIntyre returned from a visit to Prince's famed Paisley Park studio inspired. The result took about six weeks and is called Black Planet. This is the instrumental theme song to the album that explores funk, rock, and glam-rock in an original way. A great addition to the playlist.  
10. "Them" by EG Vines
A powerful and timely new single from Nashville based singer-songwriter EG Vines who has been a Nashville resident since 2009. He spent 10 years working for a Fortune 500 company before quitting to pursue music full-time. He has been writing and releasing singles this year in preparation for a 2021 full-length album which will follow-up his 2019 album Family Business.
11. "Fine" by Bonnie Whitmore
Bonnie Whitmore is a powerhouse Texas singer-songwriter. A lot of my singer-songwriter friends are high on her, and I was fortunate enough to catch her Americana showcase a few years back which blew me away.  When I saw she had a new single from her forthcoming album Last Will and Testament, I had to add it to the playlist. "Fine" was co-written with (fairly) new Nashville resident Jaimee Harris. 
12. "Unkind Lover" by Darwin
Next up, we have the new single from Santa Rose based dark pop artist Darwin. The track features David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets) on harmonica. The track features production and other sounds via Julian Shah-Tayler (aka The Singularity) who we featured a few week's back.  
13. "The Light" by Chrisy Mc Cullagh
We close this segment of music with a track from the recently release album by Irish multi-instrumentalist Chrisy Mc Cullagh. It is from his third album called The Sun That Does Not Set. I am really digging the sound of this album, and I really enjoyed this song. 

Tomorrow - our recap continues with 14-18...
    Featured Friday Playlist

Friday, September 18, 2020

E2TG 9/18/2020 - Featured Friday - Kids These Days Mix (Double L Remix)

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Another Friday means all-new Featured Friday Playlist.  Interesting selections this week - you can listen and follow the playlist from now until next Thursday - just before midnight. 

We will recap the song selections all week starting with the first eight songs below the jump. 


    Featured Friday Playlist

Thursday, September 17, 2020

E2TG 9/17/2020 - Something, Something -Am I A Fool Mix (Good Company Remix)

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I have been thinking a lot about perception vs. reality lately. I thinking I am coming to some very interesting conclusions, but I am still struggling with some aspects. As soon as I get my thoughts organized enough, I will share that here. It kind of goes back to my post about cilantro the other day, but I have taken in a few steps further. I think it is clear that two people can experience the same thing (sight, sound, feeling, smell, taste) and their experience be totally different. But, then how do you define what the "true" experience really is? Any those the directions my mind is going... more to come. 

We've reached the end of another Featured Friday Playlist - as always we saved some great music to take us out.  Tomorrow, we will be back with a brand new Playlist - it is shaping up to be a big one - stay tuned.  Now, here are songs 22-27:

22. "Killing the Dead" by Brian Cullman
We start of this segment of music with a track from Winter Clothes, the new album, by veteran NY musician and Paris Review correspondent Brian Cullman. The album was a cooperative effort with the late Jimi Zhivago - a long-time friend and collaborator. Zhivago sadly passed away during production. It took Cullman a year to get back to completing the album. This is wonderful stuff. 
23. "Shade" by Atta Boy
Atta Boy are a Los Angeles based indie/Alt-Americana band that released their first album in 2012 on summer break from their first year of college. The members have continued making music on both coasts, and now they have come back together to released their second album - eight years later. 
24. "Every Day Is A Black Day From Today - Radio Edit" by Blink
This is the first release of "new" material from the vaults of the Irish band Blink. This song was recorded during sessions for the band's 1998 album The End is High and was meant to be included on the soundtrack to the film The Butcher Boy. The song didn't make either the album or the film, but it is out now, and it seems perfect for 2020. Look for a full album of archived material in the winter.
25. "For the Wretched of the Earth" by Once Upon a Flatline
Theatrical, post-hardcore - New York band Once Upon a Flatline are up next with a powerful new single. It is always good to have some really hard stuff to spice up the Playlist - when it is also fun - it is a bonus.
26. "Lost" by SLD
In the penultimate position of this week's Playlist - we have some nifty power pop music from the Brooklyn band SLD (Sounds Like Digging).  The band builds their songs as a response to songs by some of their favorite artists - the result is original music that feels familiar on an emotional level. Great stuff. 
27. "Hate Speech" by HMO 
We close things out this week with some heavy-hitting hip-hop music from the South Coast of New South Wales.  HMO is an MC, musician, and producer - whose music is inspired by funk, soul, reggae, and blues music.  A great ending to a great week of music. 
    Featured Friday Playlist

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

E2TG 9/15/2020 - Mid-Week Mayhem - Dash My Dreams Mix (Shine and Shine On Remix)

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This week has been going fast or slow or something, I don't know. I'm kind of disjointed and feel like the ground is a bit shaky.  This is another reminder that we are in highly unusual times filled with a lot of uncertainty and upheaval and change. It is okay to feel shaky and unsure and disjointed and confused. It is not okay to give up.  Step back, unplug from wherever you are plugged-in, pamper yourself, get rest or stay up all-night, get busy, be productive, be lazy. 

Whatever you need to do - but do it safely. Be kind to others. .Register to vote. Then make a plan on how you are going to vote. Mail, early voting - however you can do it. 

Don't take anything for granted but don't spend too much time worrying about things that haven't happened. 

All of the above is meant for me, and whoever else needs to hear it... on we go!

I miscalculated, I have been featuring four songs a day this week, but I should have been featuring five - so we will feature six songs today and tomorrow - to wrap up this week's playlist.  Today songs 16-21

16. "Good News" by Petter Carlsen
Petter Carlsen hails from the far northern part of Norway - above the Arctic circle.  This is the fourth single from his forthcoming new album The Sum of Every Shade.  I believe we have featured at least two of the previous three singles - I tried to go back and look, but anyway...  I have really been enjoying his music, and I look forward to the album release. 
17. "I Saw a U.F.O." by Victims of The New Math
Next up, we have a track from the Phoenix, Arizona based Victims of New Math which is a recording project of Thomas Young. The music is influenced by Guided by Voices and Big Star and the song was inspired by an episode of the new Unsolved Mysteries. I dig this a lot. 
18. "The Weeping Souls - Alain Johannes Remix" by Jonny Polonsky
Jonny Polonsky returns to the playlist with this remix from Alain Johannes who has collaborated with Chris Cornell, PJ Harvey, and more. Polonsky has a rich history which includes some incredible collaborations of his own. 
19. "Downstairs Sunday" by A Shoreline Dream
A Shoreline Dream (from Barnum, Colorado) return to E2TG with their latest single taken from their recently released Warming album.  They are becoming regulars here on E2TG - and their fantastic sounding shoegaze/post-punk sound is a big reason why. 
20. "Endicott" by Leron Thomas
There is a lot to unpack in this incredible new release. Leron Thomas was a major contributor to Iggy Pop's Free album from last year. He is a trumpeter, composer, and vocalist. This song was inspired by the Kid Creole and the Coconut's song of the same name.  It is absolutely wonderful, and I am really glad I got clued into this release. 
21. "Record Collector" by Brophy's Law
Brophy's Law are based in Copenhagen but the band hails from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Denmark.  Here - this lead single from their forthcoming True Stories album is about a young man in a cult record shop. A truly great way to close out this segment of music. 
Tomorrow -we finish up our recap with the last six songs on the playlist.  As usual, we saved some good ones for last. 
    Featured Friday Playlist

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

E2TG 9/15/2020 - In Other News - Desperate Mix (Downpour Remix)

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Fun Fact: I write the Featured Friday recaps the night before and at that time, I usually add the post subtitle (i.e. "In Other News"). Sometimes I know what it means - sometimes it just pops into my head and I either write about it, ignore it, or change it in the morning. 

I guess I was thinking about the big things dominating the news cycles - elections, pandemic, wildfires... and I was thinking about on the news when the anchor says in other news... I don't watch television news so I don't know if they still say that or if they do - what other news they are covering. Besides pop culture and celebrity gossip... local stories... is there anything going on that isn't partially connected to the election or the pandemic or the wildfires - and even those have overlap. 

Question: Is good news an oxymoron?  I remember the feel good stories at the end of news broadcasts... in the midst of tragedy and violence and suffering, those stories made you feel good, but where they "news" in the strictest sense of the word.  I mean, I guess a war ending or a pandemic being stopped would be good news- but those are really just conclusions to bad news. I'm not being negative or pessimistic, but I legitimately wonder if there is anything such thing as "good news".  Probably so, and I probably am being negative and pessimistic.  

Today, we featured the next four songs from this week's Playlist.  Songs 12-15:

12. "Feel That I'm Falling" by Tom Galloway
We start off today's recap with the latest single by Nashville-based songwriter Tom Galloway.  I really dig this song. Check it out. 
13. "Apple Tree" by Conrad Deadly
We cross the pond for the single from UK based singer-songwriter (and model) Conrad Deadly. He brings an interesting musical background with diverse influences to create something unique. 
14. "Before the World Broke" by Andrew Weiss and Friends
NYC based singer-songwriter Andrew Weiss and his friends have two new standalone singles out with an EP called Lookout Mountain due in October. A timely and really wonderful song. 
15. "Never Die!!!" by Salem Wolves
Massachusetts based psychotronic rock band Salem Wolves pull out three exclamation marks!!! on the title track from their new EP.  A great sound - I just "discovering" this band, but they have apparently been tearing up around New England for some time. A great way to close out this segment of music.
Tomorrow - we pick up with our recap with songs 16-19...
    Featured Friday Playlist

Monday, September 14, 2020

E2TG 9/14/2020 - Music City Monday and More - Today Mix (Circus Girl Remix)

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We pick up on our recap of this week's Featured Friday Playlist with songs number 8-11 (which somewhat falls outside of the normal scope of our Playlist- but that is the part of making the rules)...

8. "Letter to You" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
We start this segment of music with a single from the forthcoming twentieth studio album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  The album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs and features three tracks which were written prior to Springsteen's debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. 
9. "Personality Crisis - Live Geneva" by Johnny Thunders 
In conjunction with a newly released "Resurrected" version of Thunders third and final solo album comes this live version of the album culled from three different live recordings. Nashville fun fact: "Personality Crisis" is one of the very few cover songs I have ever heard Tim Carroll perform. 
10. "Then Again" by Psychic Temple; The Dream Syndicate 
Psychic Temple mastermind, Chris Schlarb teamed up with the recently resurrected Los Angeles band led by Steve Wynn to record the album Houses of the Holy.   For reference - the previous four Psychic Temple albums were named I-IV.  Those who know will understand. 
11. "Bang Bang Boogie" by Bobby Royale 
Based in Stockholm, Sweden - Bobby Royale - return with a single that is dripping with New Orleans with some modern flow on top. A great way to close out this segment of music. 
Tomorrow - 4 more songs... 12-15
    Featured Friday Playlist

Friday, September 11, 2020

E2TG 9/11/2020 - 19 Years - Clarity Mix (Solitude Remix)

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Today is the 19th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I think this event affected everyone, but definitely not equally.  In the subsequent years, I have met people who were very deeply, profoundly, and directly affected by the attacks. 

For me, I was at work - and I got a news alert by e-mail that a plane had collided with the World Trade Center. I may be wrong, but I think the first report I saw said it was a small plane (or may I that was just what I read into it - like why would a big jet be flying so low over the City... I turned on the radio and I think tried to pull up something on-line. What I do remember is hearing about the second plane and immediately knowing that this was not an accident. I wasn't able to watch tv until after work. I remember walking outside at lunch time and looking up and wondering if there would be more attacks.  And I remember what a beautiful day it was. 

What I remember in the days after was a sense of unity. Not just the country but allies all over the world. Of course this didn't last, and in some sense it was an illusion... but it seemed genuine and real (and in some ways it was). 

I had recently signed up for an acting workshop put on by the Parks department. I think we had maybe met once before 9/11.  The goal of the workshop was to create and put on a production - the attacks dominated the production we created. We used parts of several different works - The Good Person of Szechwan, Waiing for Godot, the poem, "The Creation" by James Weldon Johnson, as well as bits we wrote ourselves. The participants were a diverse group and it was an amazing experience to hear different perspectives about what was happening. I considered myself well read and aware, but I learned so much about how other people experience the world. 

Nineteen years... seems a long time ago and yet it seems like it just happened recently. 

Before we get into this week's Featured Friday Playlist, we have a couple of non-Spotify songs to feature.  The first is the lead single from the first Stuffy Shmitt album in eight years. Stuff Happens will be out December 4 (and look for a few more singles between now and then).  It is so great to hear new Stuffy Shmitt music, and he has worked with some of our favorite people on this album.  The song premiered last week - and you can check it out HERE.   

Meanwhile, a group of Nashville musicians who used to perform once a month on Sunday afternoons at Dee's Country Cocktail Lounge got together - virtually - during quarantine to record this gorgeous cover of the George Harrison song "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace)".  They named their new venture Sunday Someday - on the hope that we will all gather again on a Sunday... someday.  Below is a link to the song and the video. Sunday Someday features Annie McCue, Megan Palmer, Bob Lewis, Jason Quicksall, Jonathan Beam, and Erin Nelson. 

It is Friday and that does mean and whole new Featured Friday Playlist. As always, I am proud of this list, I invite you to listen and follow the Playlist and to support the artists you like. 

The first seven songs are listed below.  We will feature the rest of the Playlist in this space next week. 

    Featured Friday Playlist

Thursday, September 10, 2020

E2TG 9/10/2020 - Ready or Not or Really Not - Women and Men Mix (Have Not Remix)

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Today, we wrap up our recap of this week's Playlist and make way for a new list coming up around midnight Central Time.  (songs 23-26):

23. "The Fever" by Thrillsville 
We previously featured L.A. based darkwave/goth pop band Thrillsville and their quarantine inspired song "Lockdown". This new single is inspired by the Twilight Zone episode of the same name. Both song and show deal with addition and obsession and the elusive satisfaction that the object of the obsession promises but never delivers. 
24. "Mandriliando" by Mandril!
I recently started getting e-mails from the Bogota, Columbia based label Discos Infante. The text of the e-mail is in Spanish and is contained in an image so it is possible to cut and paste into a translation tool. But, that is okay, because the labels social media posts - when translated are beautifully poetic but give little information about the bands. The two bands I featured so far seem to have little or no social media presence themselves. Regardless, the music is wonderful.  Check it out. 
25. "Going Up" by Jabbawoki 
Next up, the lead track from Something's Cooking - the debut EP by the Leeds band Jabbawoki. The band's sound mixes indie, hip-hop, and funk in most interesting ways. The lead track is a short, vibey piece featuring murmured voices. The track "Unkle Funkle" was the first single and probably a better representation of the band - so check them out. 
26. "Ffoi" by Ghostlawns
 We close out this week's Playlist with the second single by the Cardiff, Wales based Ghostlawns - The track is pronounced ph-o-ee.  The atmospheric song is from the band's forthcoming debut album Motorik - due out October 30. A nice way to close out the week's Featured Friday Playlist. 


    Featured Friday Playlist

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

E2TG 9/9/2020 - Cilantro - These Rocks Mix (Tiny Spark Remix)

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So, I was thinking about being objective when it comes to music. It is not always impossible, but also, I do not think it is often preferable.  Here is what I mean. In my opinion music can be and should be a very personal thing. It is why I try not to criticize types of music that aren't my thing - except to say that I don't like it and perhaps to explain why. But, I try not to aim that criticism at people who do like that particular style of music - nor do I try to take on an air of superiority for what I like or don't like. I am, admittedly human (not always easy to admit), so I do fall short - so don't dig back and use my own words against me. 

I guess it comes down to personal taste and all the factors (nature vs. nuture) which influence what we like and what we don't like. Take cilantro, some people like it and some people hate it, and at least in some instances, there appears to be a genetic reason. I tend to think all matters of personal "taste" may be similarly derived. Maybe not all genetic, but perhaps other factors. 

There is a prevalent idea that the music we first heard at a particular age - like 14 or so - has a lasting impact on us. I know that music I that meant something to be at an early age, still holds an appeal to me even if my overall tastes may have changed. I cannot objectively explain why I like that music - maybe when others seem to hate it - I may even understand where the other people are coming from (and I may feel embarrassed about my affinity) - but that affinity is there (and for the record, there is  no reason for me to feel ashamed). 

So, I can't (nor do I want to) objectively analyze the songs that are foundational for me. I would rather described how they make me feel or what memories they evoke or where my head was when I first heard them. To me - that - and not some technical analysis on the weakness of the lyrics or the derivatve nature of the music - is what is important.  Yes, band B may have ripped off band A's sound - but the fact is, I heard band B when I was fourteen years old and not band A - and so I am linked to band B. I may grow to appreciated band A and maybe even acknowledge what band B did - but my link to band B remains intact. 

So, if I cut myself some slack for "ctinge-worthy" music from my youth that I still like, then I have to also cut other people slack for their tastes - even if I don't understand it. A song or a band may be linked into their subconscious. Then again, it maybe a case of cilantro.   

Today - we feature songs 19-22 from this week's Playlist:

19. "Everything is Alright" by Dirk Powell
First up today, we have a good one - the lead track from the new album, When I Wait For You" by producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and sideman Dirk Powell. The album features a stellar array of guests including Rhiannon Giddens, Sara and Sean Watkins, and more. Dirk Powell is based in Louisiana where he is involved in the Cajun and Creole music scenes. He owns his own studio on the banks of Bayou Teche. His earliest musical influences are from his native Kentucky, and he combines all of those influences with his original vision to make some compelling music. 
20. "By You Now" by Leila 
Next up, we have the new single from this Pennsylvania based singer-songwriter who blends soul, jazz, and indie pop into a wonderful sound. 
21. "You Are" by COY Swede; Matthew Titmouse
We switch things up, with our next track - the latest single from Stockholm based EDM producer, songwriter, and musician COY Swede (aka Thom Maximus) joined here by ocalist Matthew Titmouse. The song deals with loss. It is a great addition to the playlist. 

22. "Just Another Dance Song" by YEWO
This segment of music wraps up with a track from this eclectic band from Hungary.  I was sent three tracks - all very different, and I went with this dance/disco flavored song. It is a lot a fun, and I really dig the sound. I love getting new music from all over the world. 

Tomorrow - we wrap up this week's Playlist (yes - already!) 

    Featured Friday Playlist

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

E2TG 9/8/2020 - The Return - Plea Insanity Mix (Two Slugs Remix)

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Well, I am back after the long holiday weekend (Labor Day for those out of the US).  Below, we continue our Featured Friday review - with a double dose - since there was no post yesterday and we still have to finish by Thursday. Plus a shuffle below the jump. 

COVID-19-wise I am struggling. Numbers are looking better locally, but I am concerned about a long-feared second wave - especially if people slack off on precautions - which seems to be happening. Meanwhile, I am coming to terms with the fact that "normal" as I knew it before the pandemic may not exist whenever this thing does end.  Some venues have closed and some friends are moving away (back home). Meanwhile, a lot of people are "getting back to normal"... but I am not able to visit my mother in her independent living facility, but as long as everyone can party and hold mass gatherings on Broadway, I guess every thing is okay... *sarcasm*.  

I am struggling to find peace and direction and meaning, and for that I am relying - as I tend to do on music. 

With the holiday, we need to get back on schedule - so we will cover songs 9-18 today! There are some fantastic songs in this segment of the playlist. Check it out!

9. "I Love You (Don't Laugh)" by Andre Salvador and the Von Kings
Next up, we have a track from the self-titled album by the Brooklyn based indie rock combo led by Tim Cheplick. Really digging this album so far. Check it out. 
10. "Me and These Jeans" by Becky Warren
New music from Nashville singer-songwriter Becky Warren is a reason to celebrate. The military veteran's breakout 2016 debut War Surplus lead to a stint opening for The Indigo Girls. She followed up with Undesirable in 2018.  This is the first taste from her new album The Sick Season which is available for pre-order now. 
11. "Heavy Load" by Great Peacock
Next up, we have another single from the forthcoming Forever Worse Better (October 9) by one of Nashville finest bands. 
12. "Shine Like a Friend" by John Calvin Abney
Tulsa singer-songwriter John Calvin Abney may be known to some for backing John Moreland, but don't sleep on his incredible songwriting. This is the first taste from his forthcoming Familiar Ground album which is due out November 20. 
13. "Nyack" by Annie Dressner
Next up, we have a track from the brand new album by UK-based, NYC raised singer-songwriter Annie Dressner. The album, Coffee at the Corner Bar, is excellent. She has a large following in the UK, and I am happy to have this song in my weekly playlist. Check her out. 
14. "Stitch in Time Saves Nine" by Parker Lee
We previously featured the track "Drunk" by this band from North Yorkshire.  Now their EP Scrundle is out, and we another track from that release. Great stuff.  
15. "Big Big Bad Bad John" by Rob Clarke and the Wooltones
Next up, we have a track from this band from Liverpool. The album is called Putting the L Back in Wooltones. It is out on the Kool Kat label. I am hearing some wonderful Brit-pop sounds here -with a little psych. Really enjoying this. 
16. "Love After Midnight" by Jonathan Plevyak
Next up, we have the new single from Nashville based pop-rock singer-songwriter Jonathan Plevyak. The Baltimore native evokes nostalgic memories of summers past in this cool song. 
17. "Frantic Mind" by The Star Prairie Project
Next up, we have a new single from the mind of Nolen R. Chew Jr. - who hails from Star Prairie, Wisconsin and who works with producers and musicians from LA to London.  Really digging this track. 
18. "Happening Now" by Social Gravy
We close out this long segment of music with a track from this Los Angeles based alt-rock duo. The duo features Belarusian musician Vee Borduokov and British producer and songwriter Brad Kohn.  A nice way to close out this segment of music. 
Tomorrow songs 19-22

    Featured Friday Playlist

Friday, September 4, 2020

E2TG 9/4/2020 - Featured Friday - Vagabond Shoes Mix (Shallow Graves Remix)

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Excited to start of this week's Featured Friday Playlist with a brand new song from E2TG favorite Andrew Adkins. The Nashville singer-songwriter will be releasing his new album The Echoist on November 13, and this is our first taste of that album. Check out the powerful video for "Vagabond Shoes".

The next 7 songs from this week's playlist will be featured below the jump.  The whole playlist is also below for you to enjoy.  Be sure to give the Featured Friday a Follow and if you dig the music - share it with your friends.  A big thanks to everyone who had followed the playlist so far - it means a lot 


    Featured Friday Playlist

Thursday, September 3, 2020

E2TG 9/2/2020 - Hangin' On - Shuttle Dance Mix (Underwear Remix)

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Late post and I'm short on time... whew!

Today, we wrap up our recap of this week's Featured Friday Playlist.  Please be sure to check out this week's playlist today - before a new playlist arrives around midnight Friday!  Today, we finish up with songs 25-30:

25. "REDRUM" by 3eon Vibe; DESIRE
Leading the way for this segment of music, we have the only single and title track from the upcoming EP by this Melbourne duo who have something interesting and original going on.  I dig it. 
26. "Up Arrow (CSJ edit)" by Gold Hick
Gold Hick is 1/2 of the Norwich band Broads - who we have featured in the past. This is his solo debut - written and recorded in quarantine. James Ferguson named his project after the Guided By Voices song.  
27. "Badminton" by Michael Landin
Next, we have some cool Nordic jazz via the debut solo album by guitarist Michael Landin from Denmark.  He has recruited some great players, and this is a lovely record. 
28. "Let's Slip Away" by Jessy Yasmeen
Next up, we have some dreamy indie folk-pop from this singer-songwriter with Dutch and South American roots. Cool stuff. 
29. "Unconditional" by From Venus
From Venus is the new solo venture of UK based singer-songwriter Crista D'Arcy. Mixing lo-fi beats, synth-tinged folk and trip-hop. Really wonderful sound. A great addition to this week's Playlist. 
30. "Boatman's Weather" by Pace 
And we close out this week's playlist with a dark yet uplifting song from this London based alt-rock band. The song hearkens to a simpler time. A great way to set us adrift from another week's playlist.. or some other boating reference. 

    Featured Friday Playlist

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

E2TG 9/2/2020 - Middlin' - Get Lucky Mix (Swallow Remix)

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So, I grew up entirely in Middle Tennessee - which is I guess the mid-south?  It is not the deep south but it is the south.  However, my hometown had a university which brought professors from all over and also some industry which brought managers and such from "up North".  So, the kids I went to school with were a combination of people "from" my hometown and "from" other places. All that to say, I don't know if my upbringing was typical of anything... 

I do know that as I got older, I started to question things I had previously believed. I applied critical thinking and experience (my experiences and those that other people shared with me), and I tested - on a subconscious level - where my believes made sense in the light of new evidence. Some held up - at least in some way, and others were rejected. And yes, maybe some were too difficult to give up even if the evidence did not support them. This has been my way. I don't know if the willingness/ability to do this was inherent in me or something I was taught... I do know my early education was probably atypical for a medium/small town in the mid-south. From kindergarten until fourth grade, I attended an elementary school that was part of the county system but also connected to the university. Looking back, it was a pretty progressive education. 

A recurring theme in posts from friends who grew up in the south and who are now progressives is that ones background is not an excuse for racism or homophobia or bigotry of any kind. Bad beliefs can be cast aside in favor of better beliefs. So, holding onto to racists ideas is a choice. Racism is definitely not a genetic predisposition (I believe) and if it is a learned behavior - then it can be unlearned and we can be retrained. 

All this came to my mind when the phrase "fair to middlin'" came to my mind and my wondered in my head - if this was an expression most people know - or if it is a regional colloquialism.  In case, you don't know - if someone asks how are are doing - if you are just "okay" not good and not bad - you can say you are fair to middlin' - which basically carries the same meaning is "just okay". 

Anyway, I guess this week, I am 'fair to middlin'...  

Today, we featured songs 20-24 from this week's playlist:

20. "Our Summer" by Special Moves
We kick off this segment of music with a track from the new album by the Olympia, Washington based indiepop/DIY project of singer-songwriter Joshua Hoey. A great track to start of this segment of music. 
21. "Desire is a Mess" by I LIKE TRAINS
We have been featuring the recent singles from this Leeds based band - their new album KOMPROMAT is out now, and it sounds fantastic. The band formed in 2004.
22. "Defender" by The Agency
Next up, we have a new track from the collective from Newcastle upon Tyne. They have been called an English Velvet Underground for the 21st Century. 
23. "Fight the Flames" by Caterpillars
Next up, we have a track from the recently released third album by the Dallas, Texas based indie-rock band.  I dig their sound.
24. "Truth" by Certain Animals
We close out this segment of music with the latest single from this Dutch band that mixes strong 60s and 70s influence with more modern influences like Tame Impala. A great way to close out this segment of music. 

Tomorrow - we wrap up this week's Featured Friday Playlist - time is going way too fast.  

    Featured Friday Playlist

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

E2TG 9/1/2020 - There is No Try - Seis Ausente Mix (Crammed & Jammed Remix)

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There is so much heaviness in the world today, and so much rancor. People are angry - I think some is justified and some is maybe not, but that is all perspective maybe... But, the discord from comment sections of news articles and social media posts is spilling out into the streets - often with tragic results. I abhor violence - no matter what or who perpetrated the violence - which is not to say that all violence is equal or that sometimes violence may be justified - but I still abhor it. 

But, none of that was my point, my point is that there is so much heaviness - so much at stake in elections and swaying public opinion and trying to contain COVID-19 in the face of mass indifference.. but I digress again....

My point is that there is so much heaviness and any attempt at levity or of reprieve seems at best lazy or at worst - disrespectful of those suffering.  I like joking around at a funeral... but then again, I know that after my father died, we had to have some moments of laughter as part of the healing. So, finding a brief reprieve is not lazy or disrespectful - especially if it helps prepare you for the battle to come. 

Laughter and music are part of my finding a reprieve from the heaviness...

Today, we cover songs 15-19 of this week's Playlist:

15. "Streetlight" by Dan FrieseFirst up today, we have a track from Jane Songs - the first album by this singer-songwriter from Eugene, Oregon. Sounds great. 

16. "Have the Sun Lick Your Mind" by Marble Mammoth
Next up, we have the new single from this Swedish indie/psych band. Digging it,

17. "We Wither, We Bloom" by The Northern Belle
From Sweden, we head to Norway, and the title track to the new album by The Northern Belle. A definite 70s influence here, and I am a big fan already. 

18. "That Wave" by Calm and Concise
Next up we have track by this fascinating multi-genre duo of Brian Montoya (singer-songwriter and producer) and Pragmatic (producer/poet). They vibe here is positive, and I am happy to have this song in this week's playlist. 
19. "That Place, That Face, That Moon" by Q&A (Tony Quarrington & Zoey Adams)We close this segment of music with some wonderful jazz/big band. influenced music via the Canadian label Sonic Peach Music - from the duo - backed by top Canadian musicians in a very classy and elegant arrangement. A fine ending to this part of the playlist.

    Featured Friday Playlist