Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Top 10: $5 downloads

The always-wonderful Amazon mp3 digital downloads store has expanded its usual selection of monthly $5 downloads from 100 to 1,000 (yes... 1,000!) for the month of August only. With so much great music to choose from, where to start?

Here's the official Lost Things Found list of top 10 recommendations:

10. Greatest HitsHuey Lewis and the News, Greatest Hits - This selection should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but for those still skeptical, I have one retort:

9. Everybody Got Their SomethingNikka Costa, Everybody Got Their Something - In 2005, with very little fanfare, Nikka Costa put out this album, one of the best electronic soul albums of the 2000s. The title track found its way into a variety of movies and TV shows, but the whole album is strong. Fun fact: Costa is the god-daughter of Frank Sinatra.

8. Corinne Bailey RaeCorinne Bailey Rae, Self-Titled - The first time I heard "Put Your Records On," I was in Louisville, KY and it came on an independent radio station and literally stopped me in my tracks. There have been a lot of imitators to Corinne Bailey Rae's sultry jazz, neo-soul sound, but this is still the best.

7.Greatest Hits: 1974-1978 Steve Miller Band, Greatest Hits 1974-1978 - Summer is the perfect time for classic rock, yes, but there's something completely timeless about Steve Miller Band as well. This collection gets you all the big hits, plus my favorite, "Dance, Dance, Dance":

6. RevisitedDonavon Frankenreiter, Revisited - Frankenreiter's laid-back surf-folk music gets even more laid-back from ukelele-heavy Hawaiian reinterpretation. There is no better music to unwind to - you can practically hear the waves in the background. Here's the original, un-Hawaii version of "Free":

5. The Wild Hunt [+Digital Booklet]Tallest Man on Earth, The Wild Hunt - I wrote about this awesome debut album from the Swedish folky a few months ago. It's reminiscent of my favorite Dylan song - thoughtful, melodic and lovely from start to finish. Listen to the beauty of "Thousand Ways" live:

4. TracesPeter Bradley Adams, Traces - The former half of the folk duo eastmountainsouth struck out on a solo career a few years ago, and this album captures everything that's wonderful about his music. Beautiful harmonies and layers, good songwriting and a sound that's almost wistful. Here's "I Cannot Settle Down" live:

3. The Miseducation of Lauryn HillLauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Before we knew the term neo-soul, Lauryn Hill was making amazing neo-soul music, mixing in rap and hip-hop and somehow managing to keep everything perfectly balanced. It's 12 years later, and this album still sounds as fresh as it did the day it dropped. Here's "To Zion" from the 41st Grammy Awards (featuring Carlos Santana):

2. Two Way MonologueSondre Lerche, Two Way Monologue - Something about Sondre Lerche's music reminds me of the Beatles circa "Norwegian Wood." It's charming and quirky and melodic and full of interesting layers. It's also damn catchy. Here's the title track:

1. BostonBoston, self-titled debut - Admittedly, I'm on a bit of a Boston kick right now. I feel they are ripe for revival. And is there any purer joy of rock and roll that "Rock and Roll Band"?

And there are so many more! Albums by Stars, Mumford and Sons, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Phoenix, Belle & Sebastian, Spoon, M. Ward, Regina Spektor, Andrew Bird, Paper Tongues, VV Brown, My Morning Jacket, The Bird and the Bee and so, so, so many more! Happy music hunting!

Monday, August 09, 2010

You know that you can't fake it

I have a friend at work who tells me that he thinks he was born in the wrong era - he'd feel more comfortable sporting the classic styles and debonair demeanor of the early 1960s. Good news for him: Eli "Paperboy" Reed provides the perfect soundtrack for this.

Reed has single-handedly revived Motown - you'll hear Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and the Temptations all in one of Reed's inspired wails. Except this music is brand-new and this kid is white, but you'd never know it to listen to him. He's already caught the ear of some heavy hitters, including LTF favorite Daryl Hall, who invited Reed to appear on a recent episode of Live from Daryl's House. Reed performed "It's Uncanny" with Hall from the Hall and Oates repertoire as well as several hits from his debut album:

But the best news of all is that Reed's sophomore album is out today and is streaming free on Spinner. And oh my... get ready to fall in love. There isn't a stumble or a mood-killer on the whole album. It is pure, heart-lifting vintage rock and soul from start to finish. An early contender for favorite would be "Come and Get It", (not least of all for the subtle similarities to Brenton Wood's infectious"The Oogum Boogum Song"):

And when you can't get enough of Reed and his band, the True Loves, head over to Amazon to download Reed's debut album for just $5. Slim suit and martini optional, but definitely encouraged.