Friday, April 25, 2008

New (To Me) Music! ...

New John worships at the altar of Led Zeppelin. To me, the interesting aspect of his devotion is that he's slightly younger than me.

Not that Zeppelin isn't timeless. If this planet is still around in 100 years and if radio hasn't devolved into one giant amorphous audio blob of overproduced dreck, I fully expect that some of the kids will still be cruising, windows down, blaring "Kashmir."

But John didn't grow up with Zeppelin in real time, as some of my older friends did. He came to the music on his own and has grown to appreciate it – though "appreciate" doesn't effectively convey his ardor – as the art form that it is.

I know all of Zep's hits, but when it comes to the complete discography, I have a lot to learn. Luckily, John has a Ph.Z.

Beyond Zeppelin, though, he has very cool taste in music. We've been trading tunes – I've decided that music sharing is OK if it's just a track or two, if it introduces you to a new artist and prompts you to buy their album, kind of like samples at the grocery store: It's cool to try a bite. It's not cool to snarf down enough to call it lunch – and he's turned me on to some very cool sounds.

First up: Van Hunt. How have I not known about this guy? He's kind of Lenny Kravitz-y, but with a more serious musical bent. "Dust" is a great song, and it's available on iTunes. Really, stop what you're doing right now and go plunk down the .99 cents. You can thank me later. And I'll pass your gratitude on to John. (I can also recommend "Out of the Sky": "I've reached the end of my story, and I still don't understand the plot." Those are some good lyrics. And I totally dig the keyboards in these tunes!)

Next up: Built to Spill. While you're at iTunes, check out "Liar" from "You in Reverse." Whenever I hear it, I can't shake the image of a high-school gym decked out for a dance with primly attired guys standing somewhat stiffly on the stage playing an early gig. Which doesn't sound like praise, but it is. They sound like an actual band. With instruments that sound distinct from each other and everything. Remember when music sounded that way? Like when The Beatles played it?

Last up for this installment: "Black Postcards" by Luna. This is the first tune that John chose to share and it set the tone, so to speak. I really dig it (and I really dig the album art). It's quite the crap shoot, sharing music with someone new. If you don't really know someone, it's hard to gauge what they might like. But John hit a triple on his first swing. (Then again, my Yahoo! IM window does display what I'm listening to at any given moment, so he does have insight into my tastes. Yes, I also like Richard Marx. Leave me alone.) This tune arrived just in time for summer. Now I just have to wait for summer. Unfortunately, this song is not available on iTunes, but you can buy the album on Amazon so you can sample it there.

2 Comments:

Blogger Marc said...

Yes, I also like Richard Marx. Leave me alone.
Just please never admit to James Blunt, John Mayer, or that Michael Bubbly guy. All are screwdriver-through-the-ear-worthy.

And I wouldn't have included either Panic in the Disco or Deathcab for Cutie until hearing their newest released tunes "9 in the Afternoon" and "I Will Possess Your Heart", respectively. Talk about amorphous, repetitive dreck.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

Richard Marx. *shakes head* Beth, I am so disappointed.

Of course, I am sure if my brother visited this blog, he would eagerly point out I still listen to some Partridge Family songs...

2:06 PM  

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