Take Five

Finds of the Week

A co-worker gave me a card good for 50 free MP3s from eMusic. The last time I had wandered through eMusic’s virtual aisles, They Might Be Giants were still their marquee act and the shelves were otherwise fairly sparse. While I have heard many friends — like the DP — talk highly of eMusic in recent years, I had yet to see for myself. And sure enough, they’ve got a ton of stuff. I’m trying to be a bit thrifty as of late, so I did an eMusic dine-and-dash — grabbing albums by Shearwater, Sea Wolf, BellX1, Chris Bell and Dire Straits, as well as a couple of random tracks, then unsubscribing. I felt bad, but when I have some more cash to throw around, I am definitely considering becoming a subscriber. I see them as a more timely, digital version of YourMusic, which I also love.

Here’s one of the random tracks I grabbed — and one of my favorite videos from the ’80s:

And speaking of YourMusic, this week they sent me Steve Winwood‘s “Chronicles” — and it is awesome. That is all.


This week, I came across some solid recommendations for Kingsley Flood, a local Americana/roots band. Of course, these came too late to catch their sold out CD release show at the Middle East (catch some of Brad’s pics), but I did download a couple tracks and was immediately captivated. Luckily for me, they’re playing the Rosebud Diner in Somerville on May 15. I don’t really care for the Rosebud as a venue, but it is really easy for me to get to, so…  (Relatedly, Freedy Johnston – !!! – is playing there in June. Go figure.)

In The News

The New Orleans Times-Picayune had a great article about Alex Chilton‘s quiet, laid-back life in New Orleans, where he loved restoring his rambling old house, rode out Hurricane Katrina and modestly helped or played with local musicians. An enlightening, detailed piece. A sad fact the article reveals, however: Chilton had experienced symptoms in the week leading up to his fatal heart attack, but he didn’t pursue medical care — because he had no health insurance.

Looking Ahead

Today, I am planning to go to Newbury Comics for a free performance by Freelance Whales. I am absolutely in love with their album “Weathervanes” — if it counts as a 2010 release, it would likely go in my top 10 — and going with the theme of thriftiness, a free show can’t be beat.

While there, I’m looking forward to picking up the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim collaboration “Here Lies Love,” a two-disc examination of the life of Imelda Marcos. With guest vocalists such as Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright and Cyndi Lauper, it promises to be an intriguing collection. I’ll report back next week. (Another report to give: I was generously hooked up with the Bird and the Bee‘s new Hall and Oates‘ cover album, “Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1.” Oh, oh, here she comes!)

Somewhat related to the world of music, if you like the ’80s, stop by Middlesex Lounge next Wednesday night for the monthly residency by Rogue Burlesque (disclaimer: my friend is in the troupe, and I built their website). The theme? ROGUE THE CASBAH!

Second Thoughts

While hanging out with some friends last weekend, I realized that for all my love of Eels, I had severely underlistened to the “Shootennany!” album. I remedied that this week. What a great, great disc. Classic Eels.

Also, I had the idea of renaming this column (since really, that’s what it’s become — a weekly music column) from “Take Five” to “Bargain Bin.” Thoughts?


5 responses to “Take Five

  1. Thanks for the shout out!

    Also, Take Five is classy and brings Dave Brubeck to mind. Bargain Bin is cheap and bring dust and clutter to mind. Stick with Take Five!

  2. Thanks for the A. Chilton link. I’m moving to New Orleans shortly and how he seemed to view the city has valuable lessons.

  3. Argh! I really need to pick up that David Byrne/Fatboy Slim work. Byrne has become such a collaborator, and not just with Brian Eno anymore.

    I still subscribe to eMusic — have for a few years now — and have made wonderful discoveries, even before they made their deal with Satan (i.e., Sony) and expanded their catalog. But they’ve made some changes that are starting to tick me off. Plus there are rumors they may go to a streaming service only. If that happens, that’s the end of my relationship w/ eMusic.

    • Yeah, I’ve seen some scattered complaints about the credits system and how it sometimes does not seem like a fair shake (as with MGMT, apparently).

      I have to say, for my immediate purposes, the dine-and-dash worked scarily well 🙂

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