Saturday, July 31, 2010

iTunes purchases and music discoveries

By Nick
This time, I am combining the iTunes purchases post with exciting stories from the field of music hunting, which is almost as thrilling as bear hunting.

"Walk Away Renee" by The Left Banke
A string-laden gem by a 60s one-hit wonder group. It was a staple of the oldies radio station in my area before the station changed format. Reminds me of the days when pop did not mean club music. Actually, I didn't live in those days, but you get the point.

"1977" by Ana Tijoux
A free Mexican hip-hop song from iTunes. Nothing bad, but nothing to shout about.

"A Little Opera Goes A Long Way" by Sky Sailing.
Sky Sailing is a side project of Adam Young, who is better known as Owl City. This song sounds like Young took his Owl City hit "Fireflies", re-did it with acoustic instruments, and passed it off as a different song. Young's awful, effeminate enunciation ruins all of his music. Not worth the $0 paid for it.

"Maquinado" by Miguelito.
Another iTunes freebie. It sounds like some little Mexican kid chewing out his mom in Spanish. Lesson learned: Child singers are always bad, kiddie hip-hop songs are bad, free songs are almost always bad, and the combination of all three is so bad it's almost classic.

"Come With Me" by ceo.
Another free song. If you haven't guessed by now, I download lots of free stuff. It doesn't cost money. This is a decent nasally-vocaled electronica/dance track. Pro: the vintage sounding harp and string section. Con: The annoying samples which keep playing over and over again.

"Firecracker" by Frazey Ford.
The only free song I've downloaded that actually makes an attempt at greatness, as opposed to merely not being awful. The singer has a weird, vibrato voice, and the song is powered by a banjo. Which is to say, it's awesome.

"Tempo para Enamorarnos" by Isklander.
The thing about these free songs is that most of them are forgettable. Especially if they're in Spanish.

"Wishlist" by Pearl Jam.
A more obscure Pearl Jam song that my guitar teacher told me about. Combines lighter music than most Pearl Jam songs with good lyrics.

"Old Enough (Featuring Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe)" by The Raconteurs.
The best song I've downloaded from iTunes, and possibly the best song I've heard all year. The Raconteurs take a rock song and turn it into an amazing bluegrass song. Ricky Skagg's mandolin picking is red-hot, Ashley Monroe's vocals are beautiful, and Ricky Skagg's and Jack White's voices blend perfectly. The song is absolutely flawless. Kudos to Jack White for going beyond rock music and supporting traditional bluegrass.

An interesting pair.
Music Discoveries

A recent trip to the Friends of the Library sale revealed a secret gem:
Tales From The Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True by Texas group Fair to Midland. The album sports some surrealistic Alice In Wonderland-esque album art, and the group has a sort of Falling Up sound with wierd lyrics.

And at Starvation Army, I found a copy of Remy Zero's Villa Elaine. I enjoyed Remy Zero's song "Fair" on the soundtrack to Garden State, so hopefully this will be good too. Reviews of both Cds are coming soon.

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