Paste Magazine’s list of 10 Soulful Artists Bringing Back the Motown Sound.  Pretty surprised they didn’t include Alice Russell.

Best recent blog/mix tape: “I Should Not Be Allowed to Live Alone”

Admiteddly, I follow Elijah Wood on Twitter, and this is the best thing I’ve learned from his fairly pithy, unproductive tweets: Broadcast and the Focus Group

If you’re over Pandora and want to pick from a pretty wonderful round-up of grooves, check out this playlist from the Washington Post

Since Papoose, the NY rapper who was selling his beats on the street a few years ago, made it “big,” Von Pea (from BK) has been my go-to mix tape guy.  Check out his new mix tape “So Motivational: The Most Skullduggery of Mixtapes” and his new album “Pea’s Gotta Have It.”

A friend’s compilation, “Jacked Son.” MJ covers, mashes, and mixes.


**North Carolina Lovin’ (via Mike Alston)**

Ryan Gustafson — sounds like Ryan Adams 2.0. He’s unbelievable, and his songs are SO good. (pronounced with a short ‘u’ and the accent on the first syllable — it’s okay though, NONE of the WKNC DJs can pronounce it, either…)

The Light Pines — they are one of two local bands rumored to be on the brink of getting a record deal very soon. Ryan Gustafson is in this band, as are members of Max Indian and former members of The Love Language.

Mount Moriah — This is the other band everyone is pretty sure will break loose. We’ll see…..beautiful stuff.

Nola — This band actually doesn’t exist anymore (its members are all in other bands now) but this album is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. It seriously almost makes me cry every time I listen to it, and I’m a guy! You can download the whole thing here: — They are the ones who put it up there, so it’s not stealing!

And if you’re into hip hop (more free music ahead…):

Inflowential — this is hip hop with two emcees, a guitarist, a bassist, a DJ, and a guy who does beatboxing as the percussion. Click their name above and you can go to their website, where you can download a free EP.

Kooley High — same guys as Inflowential, minus the band plus a guy who makes beats and an additional female emcee. They’re pretty awesome, in my opinion.


The Love Language’s Daytrotter session


**I went to Portland, and all I got was a free concert and great music recs (via my childhood best friend, Aliza Kuperstock)**

Tallest Man on Earth – Watch him perform refreshingly poetic and meaningful stories and melodies at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert:

Avett Brothers – Each one is better looking than the next.  Oh, and they’re from North Carolina.

Bonobo – Revisiting these guys after taking a hiatus for a few years.  Happened to see them in Portland


**The Rest (via Me)**

Brother Ali – Albino rapper from Minneapolis (side note: excited to check out the music scene in Minneapolis/St. Paul this summer when I’m there…) who enlightens on the topics of race (who defines it? what is it?), politics (he got dropped by one of his sponsors for his heated lyrics), and family (2 little kiddies!).

Jamie Lidell – Totally schizophrenic style.  Get your blues kicks, your electro thrills, and your acoustic fill here.

Surfer Blood – Not one of them actually knows how to surf.

Akron/Family – They say they’re very mysterious and that they play music for people who like boats.  Their beards make the outlines of their faces somewhat elusive, and, listening to their tunes, I can envision myself sitting on a rowboat at dusk somewhere in between a New Hampshire pond and an unnamed jungle/Turkish river.  I guess they’re right!

Peephole – Met the lead singer of this band at a wine shop in Brooklyn.  His hipster, nerdy, plastic frames and hi-top Nikes made me think he was just a wannabe (even I totally bought into the coolness of the look and wanted his sneaks for myself), but I was very impressed by the quality of Peephole’s show this past weekend, and I danced super hard throughout the entire thing.  Support local wine clerks and go see Peephole! (Thanks, Becca Green, for the intro!)


March 2010

MPHO – British dance party:

Robyn Hitchcock – 60s-ish psychadelic pop:

Shout Out Louds – Clash-ish:

Lissie – Joni Mitchell’s long-lost daughter:

Band of Horses – perfect to listen to while watching snow fall:

Can’t get enough of this kid:

The cutest, coolest, kiddo divas doing Phoenix:

Israeli in Paris at SXSW:


Recs from a friend traveling in the Southern Hemisphere

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs:

Los Tres:

Soda Stereo:

Chambao (Spain):

Los Bunkers:

De Saloon:

Chico Trujillo:



In honor of the resilient people of Haiti:

Haiti is astonishingly rich in music, with musicians who are more successful and famous than Beken, including the Port-au-Prince hip-hop group Barikad Crew and the protest singer Manno Charlemagne, who now lives in the United States. But few composers occupy a space quite like Beken’s, whose songs of despair and redemption strongly resonate with Haitians during times of tragedy. (NYTimes)


From a work friend:

Thought you may be interested in getting 11 free songs on itunes from artists performing at South by Southwest, courtesy of NPR.  The sampler features songs from Spoon and The Walkmen among others.  Check it out here: .  Also, if you’re an MGMT fan, you can listen to their new album that won’t be released til mid-April here:



One half of The Blow:

No recollection of how I found this guy, but I think his music is stunning – it totally fills you up:

Thanks to PChernick:
“Have you heard of Pernice Brothers?  They’re pretty popular in New England – long shout, though.  Joe Pernice is, in my opinion, the most underrated singer out there.  Totally reminds of Colin Blunstone from The Zombies.”:

James Vogl says, “Amazing.  Norwegian.  How can you beat that?”:

A couple of the NC State TFA interns (past and present) have shows on the awesome campus/local radio station (, so we’ve been trading music recs.  Here’s the insane amount of music wisdom they shared with me:

Local NC bands (courtesy of Mike Alston, past intern and current corps member!):

Lonnie Walker: just put out an album this year, it’s amazing)
Max Indian: these guys listen to / sound like The Band, later Beatles stuff, Elvis Costello — VERY VERY awesome and very low fi) The Love Language: starting to get some national attention and just signed to Merge Records, very dreamy sounding jangle pop
Lost in the Trees: like an 11-piece band whose songwriter is classically trained from the Berklee School of Music — I’ve NEVER played them for someone who didn’t love it.
Megafaun – “freakfolk” – guitar, banjo, drums, a bunch of weird folky stuff but really good.
Bombadil – my current favorite band; no describing them you just have to check ’em out.
and two of the biggest bands in the area, that you may very well have heard of:
Annuals – They have two drummers! Very ‘lush,’ I believe, is the word.
The Rosebuds – duo with catchy sing-along wordless choruses.
Benji Hughes – A Love Extreme
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below (listen to “Home” if nothing else!!!)

A selection of another intern”s (Joe Wright) prolific recs – lots of ambient, instrumental stuff in here:

First off, my favorite band: Explosions In The Sky.  I followed these guys on a tour once and it was incredible.  So loud live that I could yell and not hear myself…I love this because I own the same amp as one of their guitarists, Munaf Rayani.  I would recommend checking out the song entitled “A Song For Our Fathers”  A lot of people find that to be an easy first song to sort of connect with.  For my favorite stand out track, check out “The Only Moment We Were Alone”:<blocked::>  If you watch the live version on youtube, check out the drummer during the heavier parts.  His skills really impress me.

Another band to check out is The Album Leaf.  They are born from Jimmy LaVelle, the guitarist from tristeza.  Check out their album “In A Safe Place’ or “Into The Blue.”  Sometimes the words might be Icelandic…but they’re mostly ethereal ambiance type vocals anyway.

If you like what you’re hearing, check out:
This Will Destroy You
Do Make Say Think
Red Sparrowes
Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Check out Sleep on Lift Your Skinny Fists to Heaven)
Thee Silver Mt. Zion