Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Music to My Ears

Since starting a job that involves 8+ hours a day spent at a computer, I can now be counted amongst those with headphones permanently attached to my ears. Like many, I find music to break up some of the monotony of every day life. My iPod provides me with an opportunity to revisit songs I obviously enjoyed at one point or another, and others that require an instant skip (let's not revist that Dave Matthews Band phase I went through). The battery life, however, leaves something to be desired. Thus, in addition to my personal catalogue, I've turned to other sources for my listening needs.

Here's a breakdown of what's been getting me through the days of late, please feel free to add suggestions.

  • NPR's music site. This site is great, especially for those that enjoy live music. They of course have the long-standing "All Songs Considered" feature, which includes a podcast that I regularly enjoy. My favorite part, however, has to be the concerts on demand. They upload it daily with performances from various artists from indie to major label. Highlights include performances by Radiohead and recently, The Decembrists in Philadelphia. Lastly, the Jazz section provides a great introduction for anyone looking to explore the medium. Studio sessions fill this section as well, but the lists of "must listens" are my favorite. Here's a Miles Davis broadcast.

  • Morning Becomes Eclectic. I'll admit, I'm obsessed. This show commands way too much of my time. KCRW is a college-run station in Santa Monica, and (for me, at least) this is their flagship show. It's immensely popular, and widely regarded to have broken many a notable artist. Case in point, a show from 2000, which marks the very first radio appearance from a little band called Coldplay. Say what you will about Coldplay, but this showcases the band at their most earnest, pre-U2-ish, stage. Also a podcast, though not updated frequently, this is another that's great for the live music lover in all of us.

On to the artists most guilty of dominating my iPod (before it dies, of course):

  • Bon Iver. A singer songwriter backed by a small accompanyment, this has to be some of the most heartfelt music I've heard in awhile. The singer relocated to small town Wisconsin after a breakup, and wrote these songs in a cabin by himself in the dead of winter. Think Damien Rice meets Wilco.

  • Fleet Foxes. Very Beach boys influenced, I finally started listening to this band after seeing their self-titled album on just about every music blog I read. I wasn't disappointed.

  • Miles Davis. Not new, I realize, but I haven't been able to stop listening to Kind of Blue lately. So amazing, and so simple at the same time. See NPR link above.

  • Maria Taylor. Ok, so I won't deny, I heard her music on an episode of "Grey's Anatomy", but honestly, she's really good. I've never been a HUGE fan of girl singer-songwriters, with the exception of Fiona Apple, and while this girl is not nearly as angry, her music is fun and catchy.
Well, that's all for now. I'm very open to the suggestions of others! Feel free to comment and recommend!