What you're about to read is a collection of pointers to some of the music I've discovered on the iTunes Music Store, music I like enough that I want to share it. If you're an iPod owner and an iTunes fan (and if you aren't, what are you doing here?), maybe you'll find something new. Click on any of the CD covers to bounce over to the store and sample a few tracks. And then maybe stop by my other blog for a few well chosen words (and maybe a random snark or two).RSS feed
All the music (502)
  Alternative (67)
   Audiobook (10)
    Blues (3)
     Children's Music (5)
      Classical (28)
       Comedy (10)
        Country (21)

  Dance (4)
   Easy Listening (2)
    Electronic (13)
     Folk (27)
      French Pop (1)
       German Folk (1)
        German Pop (1)

  Hip-Hop/Rap (2)
   Holiday (5)
    Jazz (35)
     Latin (4)
      New Age (8)
       Podcast (5)
        Pop (72)

  R&B/Soul (4)
   Reggae (4)
    Rock (105)
     Soundtrack (32)
      Spoken Word (1)
       Vocal (15)
        World (15)

Have some music to recommend? I can always use a few pointers. Use the comments link at the bottom of the page.
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Fri, 30 Mar 2007

Kosher for Passover / Rocky the Rabbi
Kosher for Passover Oy.

What? You need more? Okay, it's like this. I really used to like Dayenu; it was a small part of my favorite holiday. But not like this; it's like somebody heard Popcorn, and decided to suck all the air out of it.

But all is not lost. Maybe if I listen to a surf version I'll feel better. Swing might be nice. Reggae; that kinda works. Heck, I can even accept hip-hop. See, that's how you do it.

[ Category: Electronic | 1 comment | Link ]

Fri, 05 Jan 2007

MIDIval PunditZ / Midival Punditz
MIDIval PunditZ Electronic Indian music. Or should that be Indian Electronic? Whichever, it's one heck of an intriguing hybrid. And unlike a lot of the covers I like, where the appeal is as much the novelty of the combination as its execution, this one is as natural as it is appealing. Or is it just that my almost perfect ignorance of Indian music makes it feel so fresh and new?
[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Mon, 13 Nov 2006

All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated / Mandelbrot Set
I can't resist a good mathematical joke, which may be because it's so rare that I encounter one. In case you didn't know, the Mandelbrot set is a simple mathematical formula that somehow produces pictures of startling complexity and beauty, the creation of mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot. Whose name translates as almond bread, which I know is irrelevant but which I still think is pretty amusing.

I've spend more than my share of time and energy writing programs to generate Mandelbrot images, as well as enjoying those produced by others. It's the repeating but never quite identical nature of the Mandelbrot set that makes it so addictive. And so it is with this Mandelbrot Set, which, if not quite so endlessly fascinating as their namesake, do manage to produce mathematically intriguing textures. Benoit might enjoy the comparison.

All Our Actions Are Constantly Repeated
[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Mon, 06 Nov 2006

Emblem (Selected Pieces) / Amethystium
Emblem (Selected Pieces) Emblem is a retrospective of Norwegian performer Oystein Ramfjord's first three albums, a collection of ethereal fairy fantasy pieces that are more compelling than most New Agey stuff but don't fit any other classification I have. Maybe movie soundtrack, although I doubt I'd like the movie half as much as the soundtrack, if you know what I mean. Listening to music inspired by Tolkien or his descendents is generally more entertaining than reading their efforts.
[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Fri, 21 Jul 2006

Nyte Ryders / Bass Lo-Ryders
Nyte Ryders Journey with me now, back into the mists of time to a simpler, more analogue age. I was a couple of years out of college and replacing my first Radio Shack stereo with something... something less... well, let's just say something less Radio Shack. The friend who helped me pick out my gear was a true audio nut, one who introduced me to the ultimate torture test for a turntable: Telarc's digital recording of Tchaikovsky's "1812" Overture, recorded with real cannons and church bells. I suspect Bass Lo-Ryders serve a similar purpose for those mobile sound systems that make my teeth rattle at traffic lights. Their music proves that all the money spent on woofers wasn't for naught. Although I'm more inclined to forgive the intrusion, vibrating fillings and all, now that I've heard their track called All Your Bass Are Belong To Us. If you don't get why that's funny, ask a nerd. Betcha he'll know. (Or she; it could be she. But more likely he. Some things change very slowly.)
[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Wed, 10 May 2006

Speak For Yourself / Imogen Heap
I was going to write something incredibly clever and insightful, probably about the contradiction between the soaring and very human vocals on this album and the cold category of Electronic to which it belongs. And it would have been good.

But then I went off to Amazon to do a little research on Ms. Heap. And discovered that the CD version of this... uh... CD... well, you might remember the furor over Sony's Copy Prevention software debacle, where they put stuff on some of their CDs that broke people's PCs. And installed even if you refused to accept their license. And refused to uninstall. And was defended by some suit at Sony with the dubious argument that most people don't know what a rootkit is, so why should they care? (Presumably he'd make the same argument about cancer. Or high blood pressure. Or the AMT.) Anyway, turns out this was one of those destructodiscs. Which is one more reason to like the iTMS. Because no matter how you feel about DRM, at least Apple isn't trying to turn your computer into a pile of slag.

Speak For Yourself
[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Wed, 19 Apr 2006

The Very First Thing You Must Learn About Flying Is Gravity / Everybody Loves Irene
The Very First Thing You Must Learn About Flying Is Gravity I was gonna start this post by abusing this albums title, thusly: The very first thing ELI must learn about titles is brevity. Then I decided that was beneath me. Then I said to myself, "self", I said, "who are you kidding?"

But to the band. Everybody Loves Irene is from Indonesia. They describe themselves as Trip-Hop, which I can't dispute since I don't know what that is. What I do know is that they have a nice and somewhat melancholy sound. And they have a blog on MySpace, where you can go do the research I'm too lazy to bother with. Oh, and they also seem to have this idea that people listen to me when it comes to music. We both know better though, don't we?

[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Fri, 29 Apr 2005

Not a Second Time / Ophelia's Dream
Not a Second Time Everything old is new again if you wait long enough. From what I've been able to gather from minutes of research, Opelia's Dream is composer Dietmar Greulich's recreation of medieval and other music from periods before rock. Heck, before Big Band; this stuff probably predates my parents, and they're ancient!

Although the iTMS classifies Not a Second Time as Electronic, I'd have called it New Age. Most of the tracks are gentle, pastoral. It's like Manheim Steamroller without the modern sensibility or the enthusiastic percussion. Speaking of which, when the heck are they gonna get some Fresh Aire around here?

[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Wed, 27 Apr 2005

S.H.A.D.O / Higher Intelligence Agency & Pete Namlook
Okay, this one's just plain weird.

When I first saw this album, I jumped to an immediate conclusion. S.H.A.D.O stands of course for Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation, which is the fictional government body responsible for preventing alien abductions on Gerry Anderson's much loved series UFO. And the titles of the tracks on S.H.A.D.O. make it clear that its creators were thinking the same thing: Intruder Detector, Secret Location, Space Interceptors, Skydiver and Maintaining Scan for UFO's. But this isn't incidental music from the series, although it might have been; it's all atmospheric stuff, what electronic musician Namlook refers to as "ambient" music. (The quotes are Namlook's, as is the attitude on display on his label's website.)

As for the "music" (hey, if he can use quotes, why can't I?), it's hard to evaluate in 30 second snippets. But give it a try. It's certainly more interesting, and far more subtle, than Barry Gray's version of S.H.A.D.O, itself sadly missing from the iTMS.

[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Mon, 25 Apr 2005

Passive Aggressive / Nicola Hitchcock
Passive Aggressive If you've spent any time wandering the iTMS, you'll agree with me that it's hard to evaluate an album from 30 second snippets of its tracks. But how hard must it be to decide which clip will best represent a song. Not everything has an immediately recognizable theme. And of course the situation becomes even more problematic as an album's tracks get longer.

Passive Aggressive is a case in point. The barely readable label on the cover announces Nicola Hitchcock as the voice of Mandalay. (Which would be useful information, assuming I had any idea who Mandalay is. Or was, in this case.) But listen to the clip of the first track, called You Will Feel Like This; it's all instrumental. Nice instrumental, but still. Ms. Hitchcock's voice shows up with three seconds to go on Moving Into a New Space and Feel.

Are they trying to torture us? Is this some "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" deal? Because from what little I've heard, it's certainly a nice voice. I guess if I want to hear more of it, I'm gonna have to buy the album.

Hey, maybe that was the idea all along...

[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Wed, 23 Mar 2005

Doyle's Brunch / O'2L
Doyle's Brunch I hope I can be forgiven for assuming that Doyle's Brunch was the product of some Irish band. Given the title of the album and the band (pronounced O'Toole, as in Peter), it seems a natural mistake. In fact, O'2L is the product of Jane Mangini on keyboards and Al Pitrelli on guitar. And neither one sounds a bit Irish.

Mangini and Pitrelli are two members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, although I'm guessing they're about as Siberian as they are O'Tooles. But enough about what they aren't. What they are is jazzy and energetic and fun to listen to. Quite a change from TSO's angsy Christmas fare. Not that I'm complaining about that. To my mind, angst is a lot more true to life than the usual holly and manger stuff we get in December.

[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

Fri, 28 Jan 2005

The Lighthouse / Ana Da Silva
Not too much to say about this one. From what I was able to learn via Google, Ana Da Silva is/was the vocalist of a band called The Raincoats; this is her first solo effort. It's minimalist; a synthesizer and her voice. And despite being issued on the Chicks On Speed Records label, there's nothing manic going on here. I'd call it sexy in a low key and controlled sort of way. Maybe even mellow.

Do people still use that word? Or is it the kiss of death, the contemporary term for elevator music? I'd hate to show how au courant I'm not through the misuse of popular vernacular. Yeah, I know; I just did.

The Lighthouse
[ Category: Electronic | 1 comment | Link ]

Thu, 21 Oct 2004

Finally Woken / Jem
As a singer, Jem seems to be compared most often to Dido. Which is hardly a bad thing; I've enjoyed listening to Dido since I first heard the theme to Roswell. But Jem is more than a clone of another, better known artist. On They she combines her Electronic sound with what I think is Hip-Hop. (I'm way too old to be sure.) And the other tracks on this album are all very listenable, if not quite as interestingly quirky. Heck, I wouldn't mind hearing a few more not-quite-Dido-clones like this one. Finally Woken
[ Category: Electronic | Add a comment | Link ]

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Comments to: Hank Shiffman, Mountain View, California