Stretching Your Ears And Your Musical Landscapes – Marc’s Muse Fall 2013 Playlist

Ah, Fall is almost upon us… the cool, crisp air… the reds and oranges and deep yellows of the leaves…

Wait a second, I live in Southern California.  It’s over 100 and Fall foliage is a job for a set designer with cans of spray paint.


Since I cannot jump into a nice, plush pile of leaves, allow me to help you all dive into a lovely, Fall music playlist.  And don’t be afraid to move away from your Classic Rock roots… just for a little bit.

My musical discoveries seem to come from three main sources… Radio… friends and word of mouth… and email lists… or a combo of the three…

1)  Special kudos to DJ Julie Slater and her great show on KCSN called Out On A Limb…
The nice thing is, she and I have a good musical exchange… We like to share, like kids on a playground with bag lunch.
Here are a few of her recent suggestions… Think of it as getting a bonus pack of Oreos!

Lake – The World Is Real
This album is simply divine and delicious and… okay… I’ll let AllMusic say it…

“Olympia, Washington’s crew of indie pop super geniuses, Lake, have grown more sophisticated with every release… Lake’s evolution toward pop deity status continues with The World Is Real. That the tunes here are some of their most memorable to date means something coming from a band who already had more than their share of finely crafted hooks.”

London Grammar – If You Wait is their brand new record and it is also a listening joy… Cannot stop listening.  Mmmm!
AllMusic says:  “English trio London Grammar combined sparse electronic pop in the model of the xx with dramatic, big-voiced lead singer Hannah Reid, whose vocals evoke contemporaries Florence Welch and Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes.”

G-d Is An Astronaut – Origins
Most definitely in the school of Mogwai and This Will Destroy You… they are considered to be in the Post-Rock genre, which often means no vocals, textural soundscapes and some killer instrumentation.  Great stuff.

2)  KCRW… in general, but especially during their pledge drive.  It’s not just digging through the CD bin, but chatting with people while we are waiting for calls.  Here are a few that came just out of being there the other day…

Lianne La HavasIs Your Love Big Enough?
Man, I fall in love a lot.  Am I that easy or just a big, open-hearted, lover of music?  Who cares… If you do not love Lianne I just don’t want to know you.  This is one sexy record… so sultry… and yes, my love is big enough!!!
Still not sure how I missed this iTunes Album of the Year in 2012!

She is compared to Corinne Bailey Rae, who I think my friend Andre introduced me to!!!  Wasn’t she on the stereo on our trip to Vegas?  And also Laura Marling… another new love for me… and ironically playing on KCSN right now… I know because I went to get the link for the blog!!!

And yes… I know, I’m a whore… I love so many musical women…

Lorde – This 16-year-old singer from New Zealand is musically wise beyond her years… I have only heard one track, but I definitely want to hear more.  Her first full length Pure Heroine comes out Sept. 30.  Strangely I just went into my Spotify and discovered I added her into one of my queues in August.  Oops.  Sometimes I do suffer from an embarrassment of musical riches!

Those first two came from discussions with a dude on the phone calling in and some new friends around me…

Bear in Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool… Bears again… Hmmm.  This CD was in the bin and grabbed my attention with the Pitchfork review on the front…
“Bear in Heaven’s greatest trick is creating music that evokes the sort of physicality and scope that could soundtrack a Hollywood film, but also works equally well at stirring up intimate bodily passion.”

Can we say Music To Make Love To???  Go back and search out those posts… and let’s add this to the list!

Quantic And Alice Russell – Look Around The Corner
Vintage… retro… utterly delicious!  The iTunes review questions the pianos and drums and mixing on some tracks, but okay… maybe my musical brain is not that advanced… I dig it and would love to have this ‘60s sounding record playing on the stereo for an evening of… you know…

3)  Which leads me to friends and word of mouth…
At the Jim James show at the Grammy Museum, he told us about a band he was particularly high on… even produced and remixed some of their stuff… and you know what?  Dude has good taste.

Check out Floating Action.  Like MMJ, this essentially, one-man band in Seth Kauffman is hard to peg genre wise… psychedelic, folk-rock and pop all enter the picture…

Was hanging out with a young Canadian musician named Adam and his girlfriend at the Peter Frampton Guitar Circus show… His band is called Tear Away Tusa and you can check out their new EP.

The music is really sophisticated, with some jazzy, gorgeous and soulful vocals from Erin Tusa!  Their sound is a great mash-up of Jazz, Blues, Soul, Swing and pop… If Big Voodoo Daddy was playing with Pat Benatar singing lead (from her True Love record), this is what you would have.  Good health care and damn good music from our friends up north!

He gave me a ton of Canadian bands to listen to like Half Moon Run, KC Roberts and The SoulJazz Orchestra, but my initial stand out is…

Pickwick – Can’t Talk Medicine
Compare a group to Spoon and The Black Keys (So says AllMusic)… and you’ll have me at hello.  iTunes describes them as a dirty, retro sounding band.  I think they give you a great mix of sounds and this is one I’ll be listening to for a while!

4)  I am also on a bunch of great email lists, like NoiseTrade, which gave me two, recent, fantastic finds…

Green River Ordinance – Chasing Down The Wind EP
So folk sounds and old-fashioned Americana is hot right now, somewhat ironically thanks to the British band Mumford & Sons… But one must remember Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver were there even a little before that… and the notion of locking yourself in a cabin and making music is a highly desired thing.

This is not that… alone in a cabin, I mean… and is definitely more country, which as far as the new stuff goes, usually turns me off, but I dig their stuff a lot.

Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium
Definitely more in my wheelhouse, with influences like R.E.M., Elliot Smith and The Band in full display… this Texas band has a phenomenal sound that will keep your ears perked up for sure.  Lots of great things going on here!  Put them in your Spotify, stat!

Thanks to the Grammy events I have been listening to the whole

Cheap Trick catalog…

And while I am never without My Morning Jacket for more than a week or so, I have been playing a lot of Jim James’ other projects like Monsters of Folk and New Multitudes.

And finally, Cat Stevens has been providing me meditation and comfort.

And so I don’t forget to explore for the next list…
Georgia Ann Muldrow

Nathan East

Ted Greene


Kari Kimmel


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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