Music recommendations

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Music recommendations

Postby Saturn » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:17 am

I don't know about you guys [well I know Credo's penchant for Irish folk music and dks's singing :wink:] but music is a very big part of my life and I thought we could use this thread to recommend an album, a song or piece of music that others may like.

Here's one you Credo; after your Scottish sojourn a few years ago, and maybe the rest of you might enjoy if you can get hold of it, I can strongly recommend it.

Image

Sounds like a terrible idea but it really works - prominent Scottish authors and poets hook up with Scottish musicians to make an album. The authors wrote the lyrics and the musicians put music to them. It was funded by the Scottish Arts council.

Some really nice songs on this, a really interesting experiment.
Not all of it is folky but they are all really good songs with great lyrics by some very good authors. Some really beautiful songs on there, listen especially to The Good Years and The Leaving.

Here's a mini-site with details of the album where you can listen to the tracks yourself:

http://www.chemikal.co.uk/ballads/

More information from amazon:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ballads-Book-Va ... 983&sr=1-2
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Postby Malia » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:49 pm

Great thread idea, Saturn :)
I have to admit that I am probably not as "hep" on music as the rest of you--I have a tendency to stick with what I know and have been listening to for years. But I do have a few recommendations.

First, if you are a Beatles fan, I'd suggest the Beatles Love album--the new Beatles compilation/re-mix that was put together for a Cirq du Soliel show a few years ago. It really brings the Beatles to life again and the choice of mixes is pleasantly surprising. Everything is done very much in the Beatles "spirit"--it sounds like something they themselves would have put together had they all been around today.

Second, for those times during the day or evening when you just want to "chill", I highly recommend Ballads by the John Coltrane Quartet. Now, if you don't know who Coltrane is, he's a famous American jazz saxaphonist from the 50's-60's. This particular collection of jazz ballads was recorded in the early 60's and it is fabulous. The sound is mellow and easy and yet complex and jazzy so it has something for everyone. You don't have to be a die-hard jazz fan to really love the work, either.
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Postby Saturn » Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:26 pm

I have a major gap in my collection with a Jazz shaped hole in it :oops:

I'm not that adventurous musically either Malia, I do tend to stick with artists I know and love but every so often you hear something that gets you interested in something completely out-of-the-blue that you never even thought of listening to before.

Anyway, The Beatles Love album I would definitely recommend to anyone as well 8)
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Re: Music recommendations

Postby Credo Buffa » Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:47 am

Saturn wrote:ISounds like a terrible idea but it really works - prominent Scottish authors and poets hook up with Scottish musicians to make an album. The authors wrote the lyrics and the musicians put music to them. It was funded by the Scottish Arts council.

On the contrary, I think it sounds like a brilliant idea. Thanks for the rec, Saturn. I'll definitely check it out.

But oh, I could go on for days talking about music recommendations, and could spend hundreds actually taking the recommendations posted by the lot of you. This thread could be dangerous for me. :shock:

To keep things in moderation, though, I'll recommend the last album I bought: "Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs." Andrew Bird is a very eclectic musician with quirky lyrics, great orchestrations, and a wide variety of influences. His sound has a tendency to be pretty mellow on the whole and sometimes almost folky, but the interesting melding of acoustic with electronically-sampled sound prevents the music from allowing you to lull to easily into that hazy folk-inspired daydream that often accompanies "mellow" albums.

If I weren't so tired right now and anxious to go to bed, I'd post a picture of the album cover for you, because I personally find it kind of amusing. You can check it out here on Amazon, though:

http://www.amazon.com/Andrew-Bird-Mysterious-Production-Eggs/dp/B00070Q7VY/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/102-0342328-1268955?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1174088298&sr=8-2
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Postby Malia » Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:48 am

Just thought of another recommendation (considering I'm listening to it now as I write my paper for class :) ). I recommend Nickel Creek's first CD which is entitled "Nickel Creek". This is a bluegrass-inspired trio of young adults (a brother and sister and a friend of theirs). Their first CD is pretty traditional and the songs are very folky in nature and *reaally* good! Their songs really tell stories. There's one that's sung from the perspective of a lighthouse who has to stand helplessly by and watch his keeper participate in a tragic romance (it's actually quite poetic) and they set one of Robert Burns' poems to music--his poem that begins "Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes" (Keats would be all over it! :lol:)

Anyway, I highly recommend it. Their subsequent offerings aren't as good in my opinion--they do a lot of experimental stuff that isn't nearly as strong as the traditional music, but their first CD is exceptionally good.

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Postby dks » Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:01 am

Great thread, Stephen. How did I miss it? Music...ahhh...it's on in my house 24/7.

I'll have to think about all the vast and various artists I listen to...
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Postby Saturn » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:19 am

Look forward to your recommendations Denise.

Anything goes on this thread - chamber music to death metal and all points in between, whatever floats your proverbial boat.
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Postby dks » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:20 pm

Thanks for the avatar, by the way...little doe-eyed, elf girl...isn't she funny?

Anyway, I love Motown and the sixties...all that stuff...and 70's gold...all the one hit wonders that can put you right at a specific place and time...I love Ray Charles. I also love the 80's cheese...I love Beethoven, Wagner, and Shubert and Chopin...I love Level 42, Boston, Journey, The Doors, Eric Clapton, so on and so forth...great album rock...I love Enya, Jellyfish...and some other alt. artists...there's so many more bands and artists...too many to mention!

I also have recently gotten into some soundtracks..."Pride and Prejudice" and "Walk the Line."

I like some country artists, too.

My taste is hideously varied! :oops: :lol:
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Postby Malia » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:56 pm

Good variety of interests there, dks. I've set it as a personal goal to diversify my tastes as well. Although I'm considered by my friends and family to be a "random" person (that is, I can get equally enthusiastic about dead poets and dead football heros, for example ;) ) I don't consider myself to be well-rounded in the world of music. My brother Dan says that his taste in music has expanded exponentially since he got an iPod (and many gift certifictes to iTunes) for Christmas, so maybe that's what it takes. He likes a little bit of everything--from Beyonce to the Bee Gees. I admit, I don't think I'm ever *really* going to get "into" hip hop or rap, but I would like to expand my horizons beyond what I'm familiar with.

My CD collection really reflects the phases I've gone through. I'm the kind of person who goes on "sprees" in certain areas. That is to say, I'll really be "into" Andrew Lloyd Webber at one point and buy CD after CD of his stuff and then get totally off that and into Hawaiian music which was a passion of mine for several years (and I've got a pretty extensive collection of that genre). Right now, I'm interested in expanding my jazz collection--really into the "mellow" ballad-type jazz and am looking for some good female jazz vocalists. (If anyone can suggest anything let me know.)
Last edited by Malia on Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Malia » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:05 pm

Here's a random recommendation. Anyone out there old enough to remember Todd Rundgren? :lol: Anyway, he was a little before *my* time (was big back in the '70's) but he has some wonderful tunes. Can't really describe his music very well, but his greatest hits album is very easy on the ears. Good beat, interesting lyrics--a little different, but not off the wall. My favorite tune on the CD is "A Dream Goes on Forever" and you can listen to a snippit of it at amazon.com. I've read that later in his career he went "into outer space" which probably translates to "too weird to enjoy". You might not want to listen to him before you go to bed at night--his lyrics can be kind of "catchy". (I send out the same warning when listening to Hall & Oats, too! :lol: ) Huh, just found out that Todd Rundgren did a lot of production work for Hall and Oats and has even toured with them recently. . .hmm. . .must be more than coincidence!

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Postby dks » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:54 pm

I love Todd Rundgren--my favorite song by him is "I Saw the Light."

I, too, love Beyonce...and Gwen Stefani...

I "get into" certain music, too, Miss Malia, and then I drown myself in it for a time before I move on from that mini-obsession.

That's a good thread to start...what is anyone's favorite song? Or a song you just never ever tire of and can listen to turned up to a savage volume...? I have quite a few songs like that...
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Postby Malia » Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:34 pm

I have a lot of favorite songs that each evoke a special mood or conjure up a memory. Here are a few:

Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver
This is one of the first songs I remember hearing--my family used to take trips to the mountains in our motorhome and always had John Denver in the 8-track :)

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face sung by Roberta Flack
I heard an interview with Ms. Flack once and she said that when she recorded this song she was thinking about her beloved cat who had just died and she was singing it for her--everytime I listen to it I think of my pet cats and I get a little misty! :lol:

Suddenly by Olivia Newton John
Just one of those songs that brings back memories of my childhood. She was really popular in the early 80's when I was young and that song reminds me of being a kid--even though the song itself has nothing to do with childhood, per se.

How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees
Yes, I am an admitted Bee Gees fan--and so is my brother Dan, to the chagrin of his wife! We both grew up on the Bee Gees--this is anther one of those "reminds me of childhood" songs/groups.

Kathy's Song (or pretty much anything) by Simon and Garfunkel
I discovered poetry and Simon and Garfunkel at just about the same time and I associate their music with a wonderful awakening to the power of the written word.

OK, that's just too much "easy listening". . .something Hard Rocking. . .

Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Very big when I was in High School. I wasn't a big party girl but that song really spoke to those "rough edges" inside--the rebel within! :)
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Postby Saturn » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:54 pm

Malia wrote:
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Very big when I was in High School. I wasn't a big party girl but that song really spoke to those "rough edges" inside--the rebel within! :)


:shock:

Malia that really surprises me :shock:

I am actually or was a huge Nirvana fan.

I only got into them when I was 14 in '94 then Kurt went and died :(

I find their music hard to listen to now for many reasons.
Last edited by Saturn on Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:12 pm

Malia wrote:I recommend Nickel Creek's first CD which is entitled "Nickel Creek". This is a bluegrass-inspired trio of young adults (a brother and sister and a friend of theirs). Their first CD is pretty traditional and the songs are very folky in nature and *reaally* good! Their songs really tell stories. There's one that's sung from the perspective of a lighthouse who has to stand helplessly by and watch his keeper participate in a tragic romance (it's actually quite poetic) and they set one of Robert Burns' poems to music--his poem that begins "Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes" (Keats would be all over it! :lol:)

Anyway, I highly recommend it. Their subsequent offerings aren't as good in my opinion--they do a lot of experimental stuff that isn't nearly as strong as the traditional music, but their first CD is exceptionally good.

I'm a fan of Nickel Creek as well, though I still think their later albums are good. I've been listening to Why Should the Fire Die? quite a lot. In particular, the single "When In Rome" off of it is fabulous, and I also love "Doubting Thomas". . . beautiful song. But you're right about the lyrics. It's nice to have songs that evoke images so well.

Another artist who is brilliant in that department is Ben Folds. Nary does he write a song that doesn't have very well-developed characters, settings. . . even plot lines! You can actually see events happening while you listen, or feel like you know the people he is singing about. As far as recs are concerned, Ben's got a lot of stuff out there and it's hard to go wrong (his solo albums and his work in Ben Folds Five are very similar), but I'd recommend Rockin' the Suburbs as a good starting point. The title track is probably his most well-known song, but it's actually one of the weaker ones (not to say that it is weak at all in and of itself) on the album. One song in particular, "Fred Jones, Part 2", is probably one of the saddest songs I've ever heard. It's not about someone dying, or broken-up love, or any of the things about which you would normally write sad songs, but it's about a man who is past his prime, being replaced at his job by someone younger, going home and being forgotten.

But that's just one of a whole album full of great songs.
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Postby Saturn » Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:16 pm

Ben Folds is excellent.

'The luckiest' and 'Brick' [especially the latter] are two of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

A girl I knew once made me a mixtape with Brick on it so I'll always remember that song in connection with her and the time I knew her.

It's strange how music, more than anything else, can evoke certain memories of a time, place and a person.

Certain songs I can remember exactly the first time I heard them, who I was with and where I was.
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