I almost scrapped this list and started over this evening, but realized at the last minute that I really did still like all the songs on the list- I was just grumpy and easily irritated because I needed food and a nap. So, after a burrito, ice cream and an hour’s nap on the couch with my fat orange cat, here at last is the List for this week. I did swap in a few songs, including a tune from Hipple Street, a band which came up in a tumblr conversation earlier today. Enjoy! (And, yes, there are a few posts coming besides this list, too. Ryan Kelly turns 34 on Tuesday, so there may be a new post on him soon, and I did see a whole Blind Melon tribute concert about a week ago, for which I have pictures.)
1. “Fear An Bhata”- Ross Crean (Blackwater): I really like this song, and keep thinking I already added it to an earlier list, which is why it has not yet been on one of these lists. Ross Crean has a brand new 3-song project(released just a few days ago), well worth checking out, called Jetset Apathy, and all proceeds from sales of this project album go to the Children’s Miracle Network. Blackwater is still my favorite of Mr. Crean’s albums, but the songs off his Jetset Apathy EP will probably work their way into a list or two eventually, too. Maybe one of these days this talented singer will find his way to Fort Collins so I can see him live on stage and add him to my collection of artists I’ve photographed in concert.
2. “Relax My Beloved”- Alex Clare (The Lateness of the Hour): According to the Internet, Alex Clare became well known with this album because one of its songs was featured on a Microsoft Internet Explorer commercial. I have no TV, so I see no such ads unless I look for them on youtube, but Alex Clare has a very catchy, commercially accessible sound without sounding cheap and boring after a few songs. So far my favorite song on this album is “Relax My Beloved”, not the commercial tune “Too Close”, but there are quite a few good songs on this album.
3. “The Wrong Song”- Juana Molina (Segundo): A long long time ago, I actually owned a few electronica albums, a side adventure from my days as a heavy metal fan. This tune, while it has lyrics, also hearkens back to my earlier music tastes just a bit. Juana Molina is from Argentina, and perhaps some of what makes her music sound so cool to my ears is that she is drawing on local sounds that are different from what I am surrounded by in Colorado. Or, maybe she just has a great music aesthetic independent of where she is from.
4. “Drum Opera”- INXS (Original Sin): Once a percussionist, always a percussionist. I will always be drawn in by songs which proclaim themselves to showcase drums, so this song made the cut even though it is not one I could sing along to, or even really whistle along to. This is the first track on a rather new release from 2011, the album, not the collection, called Original Sin. This album features several guest musicians and reflects the fact that INXS is an internationally known band with several decades of experience making music for the world.
5. “I Won’t Give Up”- Jason Mraz (Love is a Four Letter Word): I shy away from artists and songs which turn up on McDonalds’ overhead speakers or Glee, but this is one song I somehow still don’t bristle at when it comes on someplace in public. (I tend to hang out at my local McDonalds almost every day to enjoy refillable soda while working, so I hear whatever is on their music loop every single day, and most current pop songs get old if heard that often.)
6. “Judas”- Kelly Clarkson(My December): A tougher, alternative rock side of Ms. Clarkson. I’m sure this would not have been the sort of music that would have won her any awards from X-Factor, but I almost prefer this album to her other, softer, nicer music. This is the sort of music I listened to ever since middle school, and it’s nice to know that contemporary musicians can still play rock that has a melody and decent lyrics.
7. “All these Cradles’ Blankets Will Never Veil My Whole Substance”- Maximilian Hecker (One Day ): A longer song title than “The Village That They Call the Moy”, and another musician with lots of very creative, interesting and addictive music.
8. “Alice”- Jeremie Kisling (Le Ours): Another French artist I came across when I was looking for tunes to play while studying for last semester’s French class. Jeremie Kisling is actually Swiss, not French, actually, so this is one of the musicians my good friends in Switzerland particularly ought to keep an eye out for.
9. “Midnight Tramp/ Missing Floor”- Bodega (Under the Counter): This song sounds much more like what I would expect from a Scottish folk band, with heavy use of bagpipes and a nice folksy dance rhythm. It would be fun to live in a town with musicians like these around, because I’d bet there are a few local venues that these lovely people grace with their music still, even if they no longer play together as Bodega. Maybe after I figure out how to get myself to Derry for a year or so, I’ll move on east to Scotland and soak in bands like this one for a while.
10. “1000 Bees”- Kate Walsh (Light & Dark) :
11. “Yma O Hyd”- Rhydian (Welsh Songs- Caneuon Cymraeg): I really love this song, and have been enjoying Rhydian’s youtube videos of his performances of it for quite a while. I love British Isles languages, and folk songs, and would have been interested in an all-Welsh album from Rhydian (the sexiest Welsh singer ever) anyway, but I’d also have bought this album for this one song. The chorus is basically “we’re still here”, over and over again, a sort of taunt at all those English folks in the past who tried to eradicate Welsh language and culture.
12. “Racing With The Sun”- The Wailin’ Jennys (Live at the Mauch Chunk Opera House):
13. “The Green Fields of France”- Celtic Thunder (Take Me Home): A cover of a contemporary folk tune that seemed to work really well with Celtic Thunder’s style, but that has not made it into this group’s live set-lists, unless they are singing it on tour this year at all. This song did make it into the Acoustic by Candlelight tour, though, this spring, and may turn up again in this guise when Ryan and Neil continue their ABC tour this December.
14. “The Jolly Roger”- After Midnight (Opus 1/2) : Great classic jazz tune, played by a very talented set of Colorado jazz musicians.
15. “What About Everything?”- Carbon Leaf (Indian Summer) : This folk band draws on a nice array of rhythms and styles from Celtic music, bluegrass and elsewhere, and would fit in well with the local bands here in Fort Collins, Though Carbon Leaf is from Virginia.
16. “Inspector Rita”- Hipple Street (Hipple Street The EP): Long ago, the legendary Neil Byrne was not a Celtic Thunder lead singer, or even a Celtic Thunder backup singer, guitarist or drummer. Before all of these things, Neil Byrne was in a band called Hipple Street, singing and playing guitar and helping to create a sound which at times reminds me very much of Genesis. Sadly, my favorite song of theirs from youtube, “Naturally in Harmony”, is not on the one EP this band released. But, while not my absolute favorite, “Inspector Rita” is also a fun song. (Someone asked about Neil’s Sensitive Souls EP, on tumblr, and the helpful fan who responded to this query mentioned Hipple Street, which is how this band is back on fans’ radar this week. And, to my amusement, Hipple Street is in fact on spotify.)
17. “Teg Wawriodd”- Brigyn, Gareth Bonello (Plygain):
18. “February Song”- Josh Groban (Awake): Josh has been teasing his fans for quite a while now with pictures of the studio, equipment, musicians, his dog and anything else loosely associated with the development of his next album. Soon there will be new Josh Groban music. In the meantime, this is one of the hits from his album Awake, for which there is a nice video on youtube as well.
19. “My My My”- Darrell Coyle (My My My): This song was already on my playlist, as was Ross Crean’s song, for that matter, but these two guys got extra brownie points this week for being nice and friendly. It’s hard for any even minutely famous person to acknowledge every fan and blogger personally, but it is also always nicer as a blogger to actually interact with singers I write about, at least enough to not feel totally invisible. Damian and Oran picked a very talented musician for their label’s first artist, but they also managed to find one who is great at interacting with his supporters. Hopefully Darrell can remain as accessible once his fame and his fan-base grows. And, if I don’t manage to move to Derry in the near future, perhaps Darrell can find himself on a US tour which includes Denver or Fort Collins so I can have an album on facebook for one of Darrell’s live shows.
20. “At Last”- Eva Cassidy ( Classic Pop Orchestra and All-Star Singers):