Sunday, August 07, 2005


Say you were reading someone's blog. Now say they were looking to use up an offer for 10 free cd's before cancelling the BMG music club membership they somehow acquired, even though they swore they would never sign up for one again. If they were looking to expand their musical horizons, which ten cds would you recommend? Any genre is okay. The hypothetical individual in this hypothetical situation has diverse hypothetical tastes, so anything you think is worth listening to is a welcome suggestion.


Jen said...

Right on! This is my favorite kind of question (although I do wonder how "someone" ended up with a new membership after all the cursing "someone" did about BMG before). That being said - I went down and got my latest flyer so I could help you, excuse me, "someone" out. I don't know how I did it, but somehow I am on the plan where unless I buy something, they don't try to send me anything. It is pretty sweet, although kind of a waste of paper. Here's some thoughts for the 10 CDs

Beck: Mutations - this is possibly my favorite Beck CD. It is sort of tropicalia influenced, acoustic, and wonderful. It's poetic in a "these words don't seem to go together, but oh, yeah they totally do" way. It has great songs on it like "nobody's fault but my own", "cold brains", and of course "tropicalia"

The Darkness: Permission To Land - "I believe in a thing called love" is all you REALLY need to know to own this album, but some of the others are brilliant as well. This is excellent cleaning the house music, or driving to do some boring chore music. There is a song that mentions badminton AND needlework.

Gorillaz - (eponymous) - I don't have the new one yet, but I love this one! They are possibly the best cartoon band EVAH! (in your face, Josie and the Pussycats!)

Train- the one BMG lists (in my booklet) is My Private Nation and a live one, and I've only heard one song off of MPN. Train is the group that I come closest to having The Shame about liking. They seem sort of hopelessly Middle of the Road, but when it comes right down to it, I like the way they sound. they have that breezy low-rocking nor-cal sound that I guess I just dig.

The Killers - Hot Fuss - first of all - the title! What's not to love? Bec has this one and I think it's good - it is sort of a cross between Morrissey (he is an obvious influence) and something more dancey.

Radiohead - The Bends - everyone goes on and on about OK Computer, but I think I may like this one more. Maybe because I have heard it more often, or possibly (as TRAIN is on my list) because I am a philistine. But it has great songs like "my iron lung" on it. Very anthemic and good to sing along with when the world just doesn't understand your goddamned pain, etc.

Keane - I don't have this one, but they are featured on the OC soundtrack. They are non-guitar earnest British boys with high drama. I like it, and would like to hear more. Plus I feel for the lead singer - he has a giant round head, and no matter how much he weighs he will always be referred to as "the fat one."

The Cure: Greatest Hits - this is a good collection. I have been feeling the Cure a lot lately. I'm not sure what that means.

Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - lots of good songs on this one. I know you know how the title song sounds, so I don't have to tell you about her unique song-stylings. I think she's a really solid writer, and I like her style.

Anything Ella - although I have been digging the Songbook Collections. Both Cole Porter ones are aces. Or they do like "The Best of the Songbooks: The Ballads" or "the Love Songs". It is hard to go wrong with Ella.

I've also heard the Kelly Clarkson album is good. I see that they have Dino: The Esential Dean Martin, and that Michael Buble guy (he some of the songs in Down With Love,as well as appearing in some sort of coke commercial). I will think on this some more tonight as I sleep! But I thought I could at least put some suggestions to start with.

Jen said...

This is what occurred to me upon waking:

Old 97's - love, love LOVE them! BMG has both "Satellite Rides" and "Fight Songs". both are good, but Fight Songs has that Indefinitely song I am obsessed with and also the one about the cat Murder (or a Heart Attack) that Bec put on the J-Mart mix.

The Dresden Dolls - I've only heard 2 songs of theirs, but both of them are high-drama, striped-stocking fun. Here's what the BMG blurb says: - "Duo draws on Brechtian cabaret & goth influences for artful piano-based pop w/arch female vocals. Check out their website. They call themselves "Brechtian Punk Cabaret"

Belle and Sebastian: very, very twee. Sort of the top of the twee tree. Floaty light sounding music with often biting or perverse (or both) lyrics. BMG has "Dear Catastrophe Waitress", which I have not heard, but would probably order if I were "someone."

I will keep thinking on it and try not to spam your comments. I also apologize for thinking you'd signed up AGAIN. Reading your entry at 9AM instead of 1AM cleared a lot of things up :-)

monquee said...

OK - I started posting a post and then I quit my browser, so now I am back to posting.

ONLY SOUNDTRACKS (I love soundtracks!)
Shall We Dance (nice!)
Garden State Soundtrack
Saturday Night Fever (Remastered) - MOST EXCELLENT
Ok this next one was a TOTAL surprise to Me...
Forest Gump: 32 American Classics
Mostly a Joke
Pop Music - The Modern Era: 1976-1999
Billboar #1s - The '80s

Ok - that is all for now.

Martina said...

Hey mans!

Thanks for the suggestions! You can totally spam my comments, if you think of more stuff. So far I know for sure that I need both Old 97's cds, a cast recording from Cabaret. I just ordered those, but I still have more free shit left.

I'm leaning toward a possibe Ute Lemper cd, but I'm not sure yet. I like her voice a LOT and I like the idea of the cabaret stuff she sings and I even like a fair number of her songs (like her versions of "Mein Lieber Herr" and also "La Vie En Rose"), but there are just as many times when the songs don't pan out for me in practice. Maybe I just need to listen to more. What I really need is Selected Recordings of Ute Lemper - The Powellhurst Mix, so I can pick and choose from each of her CDs.

I checked out The Dresden Dolls, which is what reminded me of Lemper and also Cabaret (and also this book I have on Berlin Cabaret and the rise of Nazism, which I now want to (re-)read, but that's a different topic). The first little clip I heard made me think of P.J. Harvey, whom I really liked when I lived in California. Then I read the part of about the guy's influences, and it all made sense. Also, the woman sounds a little like her. I think I may like them, but I need some more exposure to be sure. The other thing that makes me feel an affinity was the "If you like us..." link was The Ditty Bops! While I don't think the similarity ends with "our influences are old-timey", I am all for anything mentioning the Ditty Bops, because they're fun! Anyway, Dresden Dolls are a definite possiblity.

The Darkness is looking pretty fun as well. I suspect Citizen R would like the drums on them too, I even have her kinda liking the Violent Femmes now, and she totally mocked them at first. (Speaking of them, do you guys want to go on Friday? It is Friday isn't it?)

Funny you mention Belle & Sebastian. I was just checking out "Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Belle and Sebastian) the other night. I am also thinking Radiohead is a good suggestion, because I don't know how many people have insisted over the years that I would really like them. From the little I could hear on the website, I think I just may.

We just saw DeLovely the other night. Even before seeing it, I had been thinking about getting the soundtrack. I've heard that the Garden State one is really good, and Shall We Dance looks like it has some interesting versions of classic stuff. Also, speaking of classic stuff, I heard one of Michael Bublé's cds on my raod trip with Hyacinth Bouquet and Carlton, and it was pretty good.

So, this is it for now. If you think of more, let me know!

Jen said...

Well, lucky for you I was just cleaning off my desk and found the March 2005 BMG A-Z guide. So, pretty recent with lots of stuff, but who knows if it is still available. Here are the things that I would get, or think about getting, or maybe already have. I will mark the ones that I already have with a * (wink wink). (I should also note that some of the above I already have,(*wink wink))

1. *Fiona Apple - Tidal - she's not to everyone's taste, but I really like her, and this album. Sure, some of it is a little self-absorbed, but who isn't from time to time?
2. Blondie - Greatest Hits - My Blondie greatest hits is different from this one.
3. Blur - Greatest Hits - I have a lot of their CDs but not this one! But I am kind of an unreasonable fangirl...
4. Cowboy Junkies - Platinum and Gold Collection - looks like a greatest hits. I haven't listened to them in a long time, but your recent mix reminds me that I *do* like them.
5. The Essential Donovan - My favorite hippie.
6. Damien Rice - Live From The Union Chapel (BMG exclusive). Speaking of hippies from the British Isles... I have O, which I like a lot. I think these are probably mostly the same songs, but live. I have heard he is fanfreakingtastic live.
7. The French Kicks - One Time Bells - I know and really like one of their songs. They are sort of a more melodic Franz Ferdinand. They are drawing from the same 'kind of new/kind of new wave' well.
8. Cyndi Lauper - At Last - it looks like Cyndi covering some standards. I heard her version of Ma Vie en Rose, and it was really good.
9. Tift Merritt - Tambourine - She was one of the 3 we saw for free that one time. I think I liked her better than you or MQ, though.
10. 'NSYNC - either their eponymous debut or No Strings Attached. I would lean to the latter on the strength of how much l like singing along to "Bye Bye Bye"
11. Elvis Presley - 30 #1 Hits - this is that one I have* I could (wink wink) it for you, but it is too long and I have to cut one song! (why I didn't think to cut the hideous "Teddy Bear" I don't know)
12. The Essential Frank Sinatra - seems like it would have all the ones that a person might want to hear. He's no Dino, but you never know.
13. Justin Timberlake - Justified - there is probably only one or two more songs than what I have already that would be any good (it seems like if it was remotely catchy, it was released as a single). But still.
14. Travis - 12 memories. I had thought that Travis went down the un-redeemable road to hopeless hippie jam-band, but I have heard two songs from this one that I REALLY like (FTR: Love Will Come Through, and Flowers in the Window)
15. k.d lang - Shadowland. This is the one with Western Stars on it
16. Woody Guthrie - Dust Bowl Ballads - it says this is a reissue. He's so influential, I would probably get it if I had room on my list.
17. Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething - Sounds from their description that he is sort of a British Harry Connick. I heard him on Austin City limits and thought he was pretty good - but it was late so maybe I'm wrong.
18. Cocktails with Cole Porter - here's the BMG Blurb "Loungy, ultra-cool readings of Cole Porter Classics, from Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, others"
19. Let the Good Times Roll, vol. 2 - looks like a collection with Little Richard, Fats Domino, etc. Guaranteed to be fun, Guaranteed that my mom would majorly dig it.
20. Ryan Adams - Gold* - this is really good!

PS: I think you should get the Ute Lemper. Take the chance - it's free-ish, right? The Dresden Dolls I would probably get too, if it were me, although I suspect that I like their aesthetic more than their music. (although I do totally LOVE two of their songs - Girl Anachronism, and Coin-Operated Boy).
PPS: Yes to the Femmes! They are going to be here Friday, and Bec and I are totally going. I'm not sure what time and all that jazz yet, but there is time to figure it out.

Jen said...

Hey - is the book you have on Berlin Cabaret and the rise of Nazism that Voluptuous Panic one that you had on your wishlist for a while?

monquee said...

Jamie Cullum - twentysomething is not too bad! A coworker had it and reccommended I listen and while I am not 1000% on it, it was mostly the break in period of "i don't know these songs" and "I can't hear this, why do I listen to anything at work?"

monquee said...

Re: Jamie Cullum (wink wink)

Martina said...

Yay to December Femmes! I'll write to your e-mail about that, but let me just say that we are slow at work, so I was able to switch my hours from 8:30-5. We'll probably end up just meeting up with you there, but I'll write or call from work to iron out the details.
There may also be some wink wink nudge nudging too.

Re: the book on Berlin Cabaret - No, it's not Voluptuous Panic, it's just called "Cabaret", I think (or maybe "Berlin Cabaret". VP was something different, but it still looks interesting.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm slowly getting my list together. I'm trying hard to not just take things cause they're free. Of course, I'm picking a few iffy things that I might normally wait on, but I'm trying to get mostly stuff I'd be willing to pay actual money for, so these lists are giving me a lot of valid possiblities!