December 31, 2005

Favorite music of 2005

Like a lot of people, I keep a list of Favorite songs on my iPod. At the moment it totals 97 songs. It's not literally every favorite in my collection. I've mainly added to the list when I've heard something I really like, so it's by no means definitive. And it is focused on more recent music, rather then everything in my collection.

I thought I'd finish the year with at least ONE "best of 2005" list based on this list. You have to do at least one Best Of at the end of the year, don't you? This one is less about songs that were literally released in 2005, but more about songs that I still really like at the end of 2005, or discovered in 2005.

So here are the 10 from that list that I like the most. If you're interested in the whole list it's here.

1. Love Me Like You by the Magic Numbers from the album Magic Numbers. I've seen the Magic Numbers live two times in the last year and a bit. They carry so much energy. Great pop.

2. Let Go by Frou Frou from the album Details. I think I found this one through last.FM before buying the whole album..

3. Naked As We Came by Iron & Wine from the album Our Endless Numbered Days. Really excellent band. This one was found through the Sub Pop podcast before I started buying complete albums.

4. Mr Brightside by the Killers from the album Hot Fuss. Awesome, awesome song. And band. Great performance at Live 8. The only one I actually saw.

5. Glenn Tipton by Sun Kil Moon from the album Ghosts of the Great Highway. Don't know where I found this album. This first track is haunting.

6. The Pioneers by Bloc Party from the album Silent Alarm. I think I had Bloc Party recommended to my by Ario at about the same time I found it on WebJay. Awesome band.

7. Feel Good inc. by Gorillaz from the album Demon Days. I'm late to the Gorillaz game, having never listened to the first album. I have now, but think this second album is quite a bit better.

8. Forever Never by Maerz from the album Wir Sind Hier (thanks to Ario for this one from one of his mixes. Full album is great, too. I'm confused whether they are called Marz or Maerz. I had more luck looking for their songs using Maerz.

9. Up All Night by Razorlight from the album Up All Night. Another Brit Rock track. I can't separate this band from the Killers, really. Same kind of sound (to me). The Killers just have the edge.

10. He’s Just Like Me by The Proclaimers from the album Born Innocent. I have a soft spot for the Proclaimers. I remember listening to them during art class at school in about '87. I love how Scottish they sound, how harmonic they are and how great their stories are.

Ah, who am I kidding? In compiling this top 10 I realised I haven't even got songs from some of my other favorite albums of the year into my Favorite songs list, let alone then on to this list. So, it's all highly unscientific and in a state of evolutions. Bands like the Editors, Wire Daisies, Syd Matters and so on should probably at least be competing, but they're not. Still, it's a list. And I got it in before the end of the year.
If you're interested, there's yet another list of albums I've bought recently on my wiki...

December 23, 2005

Podcast that works for me

I've been messing around with listening to Podcasts now for about 6 months. They appeal to me because they are so fresh, but most of them don't really meet the "bite size" criteria that I think you need for media on the go. Most of the time I use my iPod to fill a short space in my day (the exception being when I go on longer "commutes" to Seattle). I think, from my limited exposure, that podcasts are best in small chunks that you can commit to listening through fully in one sitting. This isn't something I can do with a 30+ minute broadcast.

The podcast I've enjoyed the most so far is one that just focuses on releasing single tracks on a regular basis. It's been a great way to just "try out" new bands. It's from Sub Pop Records. Through their feed I've discovered some great bands, like Iron & Wine and Rogue Wave.

Next year a project called Creative Commons Three Sixty Five will be releasing one free track a day through their feed. I hope it will be as good.

May 12, 2005

A big list of blogs that have MP3s


April 26, 2005

Amazon free MP3s

I'm not sure if there's a catch, but Amazon's Free Music Downloads page seems pretty cool. Tracks from Moby, Bloc Party, Yo La Tengo etc...

April 04, 2005


More to try from Ario...

February 28, 2005

More Magic Numbers

Another video from The Magic Numbers' gig I attended at the Borderline in London. This time the song is Mule.
Windows Media Player: Hi| Lo

February 25, 2005

Past playlists from radio stations provides listings of songs played on radio stations, with times when they were broadcast. This page, for example, gives the list of songs played on KEXP in Seattle, this morning from 6:32am. I looked this up at about 11:30am Seattle time, so I guess there's a litsings lag of about 5 hours.

February 23, 2005

My sister-in-laws album

Stephanie, my sister in law, has got her CD, "Home", available online. She writes beautiful, personal folk songs performed simply with vocals and a guitar.
Oh, and to add to that, I did the CD art, the cover of which is a sunset shot from my old house in Kirkland.

February 22, 2005

Ario's mixes

Ario is always pointing the way to new music. Here's a list of the mixes he's put together over the last few years. Doesn't cover all the stuff he's posted about on his blog, but there's some awesome stuff in here.

February 16, 2005

An iMix

I tried creating a playlist in Apple's iTunes music software and sharing it through the iMix feature, which posts it online so other people can sample it. I was a little dissappointed with the results though, since iTunes just drops off the songs that it doesn't have available for purchase. What began as a playlist of about 20 songs has dwindled to one of about 12 songs, and of course it's all the more obscure stuff that disappeared.
Here's a link to my iMix (which opens in iTunes itself, so you have to have that installed to see it).

February 02, 2005

Bloc Party

Quite liked Bloc Party. Have a listen to Tulips, particularly, in their downloads section.
Thanks to Josh Rubin

January 28, 2005

MOJO's top 100 soundtracks

It's a long list, but I'm sure there are probably some albums I'd love in here.

January 21, 2005

HeadspaceJ's 2004 Recommendations

These are "Headspacej's Best of 2004" on WebJay. WebJay is basically a service that allows you to make playlists that point to online MP3s, so I expect the artists in this list are not well known, since they don't care about their content being available online. Should make interesting listening.

These come from a guy who commented on my goal on "Listen to new music" goal on 43 things.

Music to work to

Here's a list of artists that are apparently good background music to work to, generated on a social e-mail group at work. I'm pretty sure there are quite a few here I wouldn't listen to, but I thought it was a pretty diverse list:

Tangerine Dream (although maybe not the early stuff)
The Classical Chillout collections (this one got several mentions)
Jean Michel Jarre
Kenny G (not sure if this was tongue in cheek or not)
Aphex Twin
Mozart (several mentions – and apparently clinically proven to raise your IQ – bargain!)
Café del Mar
Brian Eno
Dead Can Dance
David Holmes
Beastie Boys (“The In Sound From Way Out” – which is apparently an all-instrumental album)
The Orb
The Concretes
J.S. Bach
Lemon Jelly
Binaural Beats
Royksopp Melody AM
Kruder & Dorfmeister (“K&D Sessions” got a particular mention)
Deep Forest
Hotel Costes
LTJ BUKEM Earth Series
Buddha Bar series
St Germain Pres de Café vol 1-3
Sigur Ros
Tomita’s Snowflakes are Dancing
Craig Armstrong
William Orbit

January 05, 2005

Another Ario recommendation
Pan American - Quiet City.
From here.
Music from ArioJ
Some stuff to listen to from Ario's 2004 Top Ten Albums.

Mono - Walking cloud and deep red sky, flag fluttered and the sun shined
Arovane - Lilies
DJ Krush - Jaku
The Dead Texan - The Dead Texan
Loscil - First Narrows
Erlend Oye - DJ Kicks
William Basinksi - Disintegration Loops
Xela - Tangled Wool
Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks
Trespassers William - Different Stars