Sunday, October 21, 2007

Xponentially awesome

Searching for a great mix of indie, new wave, classic rock and everything in between? I recommend the Xponential radio stream from WXPN - the University of Pennsylvania's unparalleled NPR music station. Recently played artists include XTC, KT Tunstall, Cake and David Bowie. Where else are you going to see all those names in one place?

While you're there, check out the concert archives for live sets from Rhett Miller, Martin Sexton, Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird, the Guillemots... basically everyone I've been telling you to check out all year.

By the way, this is also where you can hear the "Folk Alley" channel I told you about a few posts ago...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Lost Things Found!!!

One year ago today, I put finger to keyboard, drafted a loose mission statement and started the music blog we have all come to love - Lost Things Found. One hundred and twenty-seven posts later, it's time to celebrate that milestone with a customized LTF playlist! Click the FineTune player to the right to hear a sampling of songs I've blogged about in the first year of this little project. Everything from Cee-Lo to Sara Bareilles to Fountains of Wayne - from Joni Mitchell and Nina Simone to Spoon and Wilco. And everything in between.

I set out with this project to highlight music that I think is exceptional in one way or another, music I think more people should hear and love. And in doing that, I ended up with a pretty great playlist. So cue up the player and enjoy!

And here's to another year of beautiful, inspiring, exceptional music.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

JPP Review: Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit

I was gratified to see that people are digging my latest review over at Just Press Play - literally. (Last I checked, it had two diggs.)

What's the topic this week? The Life Pursuit, by Belle & Sebastian. As usual, the first 'graph:

In a topsy turvy music world where traditional "indie" artists are as likely to have major label record deals as pop royalty, definiting musical genres is quickly becoming useless. That said, Belle and Sebastian are as close to indie music behemoths as it gets, and this reputation has been built (sometimes by the band itself and sometimes by fan-created mythology) on Belle and Sebastian's trailblazing blur of musical styles. This is the true hallmark of modern "indie" music - not how big or small the record label, not how organic or contrived the trajectory of fame, not how earnest or slick the intention, but the sheer volume of musical influences evidenced in the sound.

For the rest, go here.

And, as a bonus, here is the video for my favorite song on the album (well, at least, this week's favorite), "Funny Little Frog":

And, for good measure, a former favorite, "Blues are Still Blue":

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Feel the happy coming back

There are a couple of infectiously wonderful songs being used in happy ads right now - the Icicles "La Ti Da" in this Target commercial:

To hear the full song and check out more from this Michigan band, visit their MySpace page.

And then there's Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am," currently appearing in this Old Navy sweater commercial:

Frankly, I don't think this ad does this charming song justice, so here she is performing the song on Last Call with Carson Daly a few weeks ago:

For more, check out her MySpace page, where she discusses the intricate complications of "selling out."

But I say keep the excellent music coming, Madison Avenue!

Lapping up "Paste"

Well, I finally broke down and bought my first issue of Paste Magazine the other day and I think I'm in love. It says it covers "signs of life in music, film and culture" but it's heavy on the music and WOW - do they have amazing taste in music. Absolutely the best place to hear about the best of the best of new music plus overlooked gems.

But my favorite part is that every issue comes with a CD sampler hand-picked by the people at Paste - so everyone gets to benefit from their amazing musical tastes. I'm currently grooving out to the September CD sampler, which features 20 amazing tracks, including:

"Car Crash" by Matthew Nathanson
"Trouble" by Over the Rhine (Remember that you can listen to Over the Rhine's newest album in its entirety over at their MySpace page)
"The Minute's Gone" by PJ Olsson
"Get To Love" by the Old Ceremony
"Darlin' Do Not Fear" by Brett Dennen
"Through the Trees" by RF and Lili De La Mora

For more information on the CD samplers, visit the Web site. And for even more awesome recommendations, try "Paste Recommends." Or listen to their "Culture Club Podcast."

Seriously, I could spend hours here. Totally in love.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Listen with Flare!

I just discovered that one of my favorite retail web sites, Fred Flare, also has an awesome music podcast called "Fred Flare's Boombox." (Click the link above and then "Click to Rock.") There are about five DJs who create playlists of 10 songs or so - you can listen to each playlist as a whole or put the boombox on shuffle and hear a little bit from everyone. Fred Flare being based in the indie hipster capital of the world (Brooklyn), all of the music is very cool and of-the-moment.

I'm particularly digging on DJ Julie's mix this month - she included some of my faves from Feist, Belle and Sebastian and Wilco.

Check back - like a woman of child-bearing age, the boombox changes monthly.

Friday, October 05, 2007

JPP Review: Bruce Hornsby, Halcyon Days

This week's review is up at Just Press Play. This week, I chose Bruce Hornsby's 2004 release, Halcyon Days.

The first paragraph:

Bruce Hornsby may be a constant staple of the adult alternative charts thanks to his 1986 debut album which featured the smash hit "The Way It is," but don't try to box him too tightly - with each subsequent release, Hornsby has introduced a wider variety of influences on his albums, culminating in a collaboration this year with country legend Ricky Skaggs. On his 2005 solo release, Halcyon Days, there is a noticeable pastiche of styles, revealing the influence of everything from bluegrass to cabaret and musical theater to country, all rooted in the warm likability of the adult alternative Hornsby has always been famous for.

For the rest, go here.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Remember when I blogged about What Made Milwaukee Famous back in July? Well, they're debuting a new album at a couple of pre-release shows in Austin tonight and tomorrow night. If you can't make it to the shows, this excellent in-studio performance for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic should tide you over. They sound awesome - tight and hooky and fun.

Check it out!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Apple Venus on a half-open shell...

"Then She Appeared" is currently the song of the week over at the XTC fan site on MySpace - go there now to listen to it and read an interview with Andy Partridge about how it was originally a joke song that got a stay of execution from a producer with a great ear and become one of XTC's most beloved songs (though Andy will always think of it as a joke, sadly.)