Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Panning for Music

I've written before on digging through my music collection. I recently broke an informal rule I have (don't add new music until I've ranked what I have) after ranking the music on some soundtracks in my library. There were a couple songs that demanded I listen to more of the artist. Yes, demanded.

I have a few artists that are jumbled up in my head over this issue. First is The Beta Band. Their song "Dry the Rain" was pretty prominently featured in the movie High Fidelity, and is one of the many excellent tracks on that movie's soundtrack. I've plowed through The Three EPs, but haven't really found anything that approaches the level of "Dry the Rain." I didn't exactly add this stuff, but it hadn't yet appeared on my "100 songs to rank" smart playlist.

I discovered Eva Cassidy through the song "Songbird" on the "Love Actually" soundtrack. I now have the "Songbird" and "Time After Time" albums and have listened to some amazingly soulful vocals. Terrific covers, with Sting's "Fields of Gold," coming to mind as an innovative example. I just love her. I wonder how come she don't put out no more new records. I'm going to hell for that one.

Joss Stone was a weird discovery. I came across her when looking through an Eva Cassidy listmana (Amazon). Or a two-deep link. Or three deep. At any rate, wow. Joss Stone might still be under 20 today, and is under 18 on at least one if not both of "Mind, Body, and Soul" and "The Soul Sessions," but what an amazing voice. Smoky, silky, sexy. Wow. Bonus: Still alive.

The Shins had an amazing song, "New Slang" on the "Garden State" soundtrack. "Those to Come," "So Says I," and "Young Pilgrims" were my favorite tracks on "Chutes Too Narrow," while "Caring is Creepy" and "Weird Divide" stood out for me on "Oh, Inverted World."

Again from "Love Actually," is the the Joni Mitchell track "Both Sides Now." I've so far resisted adding the collected works of Ms. Mitchell to my library for browsing. But that might be the first thing I do after ranking 1200 more songs.

Anyone feel like tormenting me with their recent musical discoveries?


  1. I recently got a Stina Nordenstam album for Christmas that I LOVE - I found her either off of someone's blog (probably someone that reads john-with-an-h, so take credit if it's you) or Grey's Anatomy (which, although I do like the show, the music is really the most incredible part of the hour it's on).

    Also, I can't claim this as a recent discovery, but I LOVE Sarah McLaughlin. Anytime I'm feeling melancholy or low or lethargic or any other negative feeling, I pop in one of her CDs.

  2. journeygal: Are you talking about Stina Nordenstam's The World Is Saved? Or her earlier stuff?

    Ooh, are you suggesting that a Grey's Anatomy soundtrack would be a good listen?

    And as to Sarah McLaughlin (with an H squared!!!), I'm a fan too. Oh darn, my copies of her music aren't in my iTunes library. Another thing to add in...

  3. Yeah, The World is Saved is the only one I've heard. And Grey's Anatomy would be a GREAT listen. :-)

  4. Thanks for the pointer. I have "The World Is Saved," but haven't listened to it yet. Soon...