There's just too much good music out there, too many artists and bands with whole catalogues of music that you will never get the chance to root through... I'm hoping condensing some artists work down into a bitesize chunk of ten songs will make you want to listen to the rest. Please enjoy and give feedback.
Saturday, 30 January 2010
Ryan Adams Spotify Playlist
2.My Love For You Is Real
4.How Do You Keep Love Alive
5.The Hardest Part
6.Hotel Chelsea Nights
8.If I Am A Stranger
9.Touch, Feel & Lose
Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically as he follows his increasingly prolific muse. Adams was born in Jacksonville, NC, in 1974. While country music was a major part of his family's musical diet when he was young (he's cited Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash as particular favorites), in his early teens Adams developed a taste for punk rock and he began playing electric guitar.
At 15, Adams started writing songs, and a year later he formed a band called the Patty Duke Syndrome; Adams once described PDS as "an arty noise punk band," with Hüsker Dü frequently cited as a key influence and reference point. The Patty Duke Syndrome developed a following in Jacksonville, and when Adams was 19 the band relocated to the larger town of Raleigh, NC, in hopes of expanding its following. However, Adams became eager to do something more melodic that would give him a platform for his country and pop influences. In 1994, Adams left the Patty Duke Syndrome and formed Whiskeytown with guitarist Phil Wandscher and violinist Caitlin Cary. With bassist Steve Grothman and drummer Eric "Skillet" Gilmore completing the lineup, Whiskeytown (the name came from regional slang for getting drunk) released their first album, Faithless Street, on the local Mood Food label.
The album won reams of critical praise in the music press, and more than one writer suggested that Whiskeytown could do for the alt-country or No Depression scene what Nirvana had done for grunge. But by the time the band signed to a major label -- the Geffen-distributed imprint Outpost Records -- the band had undergone the first in a series of major personal shakeups, and in the summer of 1997, when Whiskeytown's Outpost debut, Stranger's Almanac, was ready for release, Adams and Wandscher were the only official members of the band left. Cary soon returned, but Wandscher left shortly afterward, and Whiskeytown had a revolving-door lineup for much of the next two years, with the band's live shows become increasingly erratic, as solid performances were often followed by noisy, audience-baiting disasters. Consequently, as strong as Stranger's Almanac was, Whiskeytown never fulfilled the commercial expectations created for them by others. In 1999, the band -- which was down to Adams, Cary, and a handful of session musicians -- recorded its third and final album, Pneumonia, but when Geffen was absorbed in a merger between PolyGram and Universal, Outpost was phased out, and the album was shelved; shortly afterward, Whiskeytown quietly called it quits.
Following Whiskeytown's collapse, Adams wasted no time launching a career apart from the band, and after a few solo acoustic tours, Adams went into a Nashville studio with songwriters Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and cut his first album under his own name, Heartbreaker, which was released by pioneering "insurgent country" label Bloodshot Records in 2000. The album received critical raves, respectable sales, and a high-profile endorsement from Elton John, and Adams was signed by Universal's new Americana imprint, Lost Highway Records. Lost Highway gave Whiskeytown's Pneumonia a belated release in early 2001, and later that same year, they released his second solo set, Gold, which displayed less of a country influence in favor of classic pop and rock styles of the 1970s. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the album's opening track, "New York, New York," was embraced by radio as an anthem of resilience (though it actually concerned a busted romance), and Adams once again found himself touted as the "next big thing."
Always a prolific songwriter, in a bit more than a year following Gold's release, Adams had written and recorded enough material for four albums. Adams opted to whittle the 60 tunes down to a 13-song collection called Demolition, which was released in 2002 as he went into the studio to record his official follow-up to Gold. A year later, Adams' concept album Rock N Roll was released alongside the double-EP collection Love Is Hell. Tours around the globe kept Adams busy into the next year as he maintained momentum writing songs and keeping his ever-changing presence in the music press. In May 2005, Adams released his first of three albums for Lost Highway, the melancholic double-disc Cold Roses. Jacksonville City Nights, a more classic-sounding honky tonk effort, followed in September, and 29 appeared in late December. Always prolific, in the interim period before his next album was released, Adams posted a large selection of tracks -- including several hip-hop tunes -- on his website, but fans were greeted with more straightforward material on 2007's Easy Tiger and 2008's Cardinology with the Cardinals.
"WHEN IT'S ALL SAID AND DONE, REMEMBER THE FEARLESS, REMEMBER THE DREAMERS, REMEMBER THOSE WHO REPRESENT THE GHETTO...THE FAIRY TALE OF NOTHING TO SOMETHING. I'M BRIEFLY SADDENED BY NEGATIVE COMMENTS, BUT I HAVE TO REMEMBER THOSE PEOPLE ARE SCARED, INCAPABLE OR JUST PLAIN IDIOTS. WE ARE THE FUCKING ROCK STARS BABY. NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE MY NIGGAS!! NO COCAINE, JUST LIFE! IT'S FUNNY TO ME WHEN FASHION BLOGGERS DOWN OUR OUFITS AND THEN SUPER JOCK OUTLANDISH SHIT ON THE RUNWAY BUT THEN THEY DRESS MAD PRUDE AND DON'T LIVE FASHION. WE LIVE IT MAN. FUCK THAT, WE LIVE IT!!! WE LIVE IT SO HARD PEOPLE LIVE THROUGH US! WE REPRESENT YOUR INNER SPIRIT!! THE CHILD IN US ALL, THE BRUTAL HONESTY, THE NAIVETY, THE BRAVE WARRIOR, THE ADRENALINE THAT ALLOWS A MOTHER TO LIFT A CAR IF HER CHILD WAS TRAPPED UNDER IT! REMEMBER, THERE WAS A TIME WHEN EVERYBODY DISSED MICHAEL JACKSON EVERY CHANCE THEY COULD. IMAGINE THE PRESSURE OF BEING A TRUE ICON. VERY FEW HUMAN BEINGS ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO TAKE CONSTANT HATE!!! IF WE DON'T DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE SHIT, YOU BEAT US UP VERBALLY AND MENTALLY, LIKE A CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHER BEATING A CREATIVE STUDENT INTO SUBMISSION. I CAN HEAR YOU SCREAMING 'COLOR INSIDE THE LINES!!!' WELL FUCK YOUR COLORING BOOK, COLOR BY NUMBERS APPROACH TO LIFE. AT THE END OF THE DAY WHO ARE WE HURTING??? OH "THE NEW BLACK???" SINCE BARACK IS PRESIDENT BLACKS DON'T LIKE FUR COATS, RED LEATHER, AND FRIED CHICKEN ANY MORE?! WHEN YOU TRULY UNDERSTAND CULTURAL SETTINGS, BOUNDARIES, AND OUR MODERN DAY CASTE SYSTEMS, THEN YOU CAN FEEL THE GLORY AND PAIN FROM THE DAYS OF KINGS IN AFRICA TO THE NEW KINGS OF THE MEDIA. LET THE BALL PLAYERS DANCE AFTER THEY SCORE! IT'S LIFE MY NIGGAS, IT'S LIFE! REMEMBER CLOTHING IS A CHOICE. WE WERE BORN NAKED!!! FRESH IS AN OPINION, LOVE IS OBJECTIVE, TASTE IS SELECTIVE, AND EXPRESSION IS MY FAVORITE ELECTIVE. NO MORE POLITICS OR APOLOGIES!!!"
The Magnetic Fields Spotify Playlist
1.I Don't Believe You
3.Falling in love with the wolfboy
4.When You Were My Baby
7.Too Drunk to Dream
8.I Don't Want To Get Over You
9.The Book of Love
10.A Chicken with it's head cut off
The Magnetic Fields may be a bona fide band, but in most essential respects they are the project of studio wunderkind Stephin Merritt, who writes, produces, and (generally) sings all of the material. Merritt also plays many of the instruments, concocting a sort of indie pop synth rock. While the Magnetic Fields' albums draw upon the electronic textures of vintage acts like ABBA, Kraftwerk, Roxy Music with Eno, Joy Division, and Gary Numan, Merritt's vision is far more pointed toward the alternative rock underground. His songs are also far warmer and more purely pop-oriented than the above references indicate, sounding at times like late-20th century equivalents to the catalogs of Phil Spector or Brian Wilson.
Merritt began recording music on his own four-track at a young age, but he didn't issue the first Magnetic Fields album until 1990, when he was well into his twenties. The first pair of discs featured the choirgirl vocals of Susan Amway, but Merritt handled the vocals himself on most subsequent releases, singing in a deep croon not far removed from his European influences. The synth pop quotient also became heavier on those albums, although Merritt always took care to mix in quite a few natural instruments with the electronic ones, often with the help of Claudia Gonson (percussion) and Sam Davol (cello, flute). Throughout it all, an emphasis remained on the band's pop hooks and eccentric, romantically reflective lyrics rather than the bedrock synthetic rhythms and textures.
In addition to his work with Magnetic Fields, Merritt involved himself in several side projects over the years, the most notable being the 6ths' Wasps' Nests album in 1995. Merritt sang only one track himself on this disc, for which he acted as composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist, employing well-known alternative rock singers like Barbara Manning, Dean Wareham (Luna), Lou Barlow, Georgia Hubley (Yo La Tengo), Chris Knox, and Robert Scott (the Bats) to handle the lead vocals. After releasing 1997's New Despair as the Gothic Archies, Merritt finally returned to the Magnetic Fields aegis for 1999's 69 Love Songs, released as both a trio of separate discs as well as a limited edition three-CD box set. Merritt spent the next few years releasing more side projects, including records from the Gothic Archies, Future Bible Heroes, the 6ths, as well as numerous soundtracks. It wasn't until May 2004 that Merritt and his Magnetic Fields finally got around to making i, a collection of songs that begin with the aforementioned vowel. Distortion followed in early 2008; shortly thereafter, Merritt set to work on an acoustic folk-influenced album, Realism, which was released in January 2010.
Paul Westerberg and The Replacements Spotify Playlist
1.I Will Dare
3.It's A Wonderful Lie
5.I Don't Know
8.As Far As I Know
9.Love You In The Fall
The Replacements initially formed in 1979, when Paul Westerberg joined a garage punk band formed by brothers Bob (guitar) and Tommy Stinson (bass) and drummer Chris Mars. Originally called the Impediments, the Minnesota residents changed their name to the Replacements after being banned from a local club for disorderly behavior. In their early days, they sounded quite similar to Hüsker Dü, the leaders of the Minneapolis punk scene. However, the Replacements were wilder and looser than the Hüskers and quickly became notorious for their drunken, chaotic gigs.
Spoon Spotify Playlist
1.The Beast And Dragon, Adored
4.I Turn My Camera On
7.Don't You Evah
8.Sister Jack(Piano Demo)
9.Rhythm & Soul
10.I Summon You
Hailing from Austin, TX, Spoon originated in 1994 as a collaboration between Britt Daniel (vocals/guitar) and Jim Eno (drums) and a rotating cast of supporting players. Their hybrid of indie and punk resulted in a number of Sonic Youth and Pixies comparisons after the release of their 1996 debut album, Telephono. Spoon toured with the likes of Pavement, Guided by Voices, Silkworm, and Archers of Loaf before their Soft Effects EP was released in 1997. Following an ill-fated move to Elektra Records, which found them being dropped from the label following the issue of their third album, A Series of Sneaks, in 1998, Spoon went the indie route with a handful of 7" singles and the Agony of Laffitte EP in 1999. In fall 2000, the Love Ways EP was released on Merge, paving the way for spring 2001's full-length Girls Can Tell. The album was a critical success, ending up at or near the top of many best-of-2001 lists. Spoon released the more musically adventurous follow-up Kill the Moonlight in August 2002. The band opted for a bigger, darker sound on 2005's Gimme Fiction. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga -- which was named after the melody of one of the album's songs, "The Ghost of You Lingers" -- mixed unusual instrumentation and nods to Motown and soul, and was released in summer 2007. The 2009 single "Got Nuffin" hinted at the rawer, brasher approach of Spoon's next album, Transference, which arrived in early 2010.
The National Spotify Playlist
7.So Far Around The Bend
8.You've Done It Again, Virginia.
9.The Geese of Beverly Road
Setting up their tunes on a creative territory amid American electric rock and indie rock's mellowest tunes, the National ultimately present melodious and inspiring compositions also enlightened by a set of influences, including country-rock and even British pop/rock. Originally coming from Ohio, the band eventually formed in New York in the late '90s, with a five-piece lineup, embodied by brothers Scott (guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums), Aaron (bass) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and by vocalist Matt Berninger. Following a series of live presentations, the group eventually managed to enter the studio to record their first record. The National, their debut and self-titled album, hit the record stores in 2001, achieving considerable acclaim. The Ohio natural crew then continued to play on several live shows, eventually securing a growing fan base. In 2003 the group released Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, a deft blending of alternative country and chamber pop, followed by the EP Cherry Tree in 2004. The following year the band signed with Beggars Banquet and released Alligator. The National returned in 2007 with Boxer, an ambitious effort that featured orchestration by the Clogs' Padma Newsome and Sufjan Stevens on piano.
Sufjan Stevens Spotify Playlist
1.To Be Alone With You
2.For The Widows in Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti
3.John Wayne Gacy. Jr.
4.Dear Mr Supercomputer
5.Decatur, or round of applause for your Step-Mother!
7.Once in Royal David's City
8.Casimir Pulaski Day
10.The Dress Looks Nice on You
A singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Detroit-born Sufjan Stevens started venturing into the music world while attending Hope College as a member of Marzuki, a folk-rock band based in Holland, MI. Following the release of two full-length albums with the group, Stevens decided to go solo in late 1999, investing fully in a career that was waiting to shine by itself. Sun Came, his debut album, appeared in 2000, confirming his superior musical command, complex instrumentation, and sparkling melodies. The promotion of the disc included playing on the road with the Danielson Famile, with whom he began regularly working. The heavily electronic Enjoy Your Rabbit, a song cycle concerning the animals of the Chinese zodiac, hit record stores in 2001, followed in 2003 by Greetings from Michigan: The Great Lake State, a 15-track conceptual piece produced and performed by Stevens -- he played over 20 instruments -- that placed his home state under the writer's microscope. Despite the record's narrowed focus, it was among the best reviewed that year and made many critics' year-end lists. In 2004, Stevens released his follow-up, Seven Swans, a thoughtful, spiritual, and quasi-mystical collection of stand-alone songs produced by Danielson Famile mastermind Daniel Smith.
Stevens returned to his ambitious "states" project in 2005 with the epic Illinoise (extended title: Sufjan Stevens Invites You To: Come on Feel the Illinoise), which became one of the best-reviewed album of 2005, spawning accolades both regional and international -- it was also smacked with a lawsuit concerning the depiction of DC Comics icon Superman on the cover, who was eventually covered by a balloon sticker and subsequently removed from further pressings. The 21-track Avalanche: Outtakes & Extras from the Illinois Album and the five-disc Christmas box set Songs for Christmas arrived in 2006, followed in 2007 by the instrumental BQE, a self-described "symphonic and cinematic exploration of New York City's infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway" that was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music and performed on three consecutive nights (November 1-3, 2007) in front of a film shot by Stevens, who had officially relocated to New York in 2000. Run Rabbit Run, a version of 2001's Enjoy Your Rabbit performed by the Osso String Quartet, and a recorded version, BQE, arrived in October 2009.