Moriarty Naps

← back

Stranger Music II

Turns out nowadays people’s faces light up when they see cds.

Sometimes it’s an audible “hah”, other times it’s a “wait, what?”

On the F train I dropped a disc on the crowded floor while swapping two out. No one seemed to notice, and I considered leaving it to wherever things lost on the subway go.

But! I couldn’t remember the artist or album name for that wayward cd… so I waited until the crowd had petered out and bent down to retrieve the little guy.

I grabbed it just as I exited the train car, looking up to catch a couple with bewildered smiles who asked “wait, you still use those?”. Gave them an affirmative thumbsup and carried on.

It’s been fun seeing reactions to an outdated technology that isn’t even that old. Too old to have a place in this world, too young to be ironically loved by hipsters.

Anyhoo, like last time, here’s my favorite tunes from the next 46 cds from this stranger’s burned music collection.

Tin Hat Trio

These folks are the spirit of Autumn captured in short haunting melodies. I knew of em’ before, but was delighted to see three cd’s of their stuff. This music just jives really well with me.

They drift seamlessly through folky sounds to blues to aggressive central American diddies. An accordion and violin are mainstays in the trio, and it floors me how well the two meld together in harmony. Heck, they even get guest vocals on a few tracks, including Tom Waits & Willie Nelson.

Love love love this band. Maybe you will too. Their album ‘Book of Silk’ is up on bandcamp, and a few are on Spotify.


The Viking of 6th Avenue

Moondog the person was incredible. He spent some thirty years in New York, where he dressed up in a viking garb selling his music, poetry, and philosophies in downtown Manhattan. Blinded at a young age, he trained in music and became a pretty well known jazz musician.

Doodle based off one of many great photos taken of Moondog.

His story is pretty incredible, and his music lives up to it. You hear he was a viking and expect some kinda Nordic chanting. Instead, you get some soft-spoken and atmospheric chamber music. A lot of it builds up slowly, but there’s a great sense of tension in it too.

If you listen to Moondog you’re going to hear something you recognize. Full albums of his are on Youtube and Spotify.

Clara Moreno

I’ve never sought out Samba, and as a genre it has a very “background music in a coffee shop” flavor… but this is good stuff.

This album is really calming. If Tin Hat Trio is has the spirit of Fall, Clara is the epitome of a calm sunny Summer day. Album has a lot of jangly guitars and laid back vocals that’ll ease ya into a good mood.

This one’s up on Bandcamp and Spotify.

Gary Bartz NTU Troop

Chaotic, soulful, and jazzy.

I don’t know enough about jazz to talk intelligently about it, but it reminds me a lot of the band backing Bowie on Blackstar. It’s from the 70’s, so there’s a lot of spoken words of revolution over the melodies, cut in and out for freeform saxophones before coming back for resolution.

My favorite song on this album Drinking Song can be found on Youtube and hardly anywhere else. The rest of Gary Bartz stuff is much easier to find at the usual places.

, and the rest.

  • Joe Medgewick. Joe was a Blues/Soul songwriter from the 50s & 60s who sold most of his work to other artists to record. This means the album I have is mostly demo’s, but it’s a good window into the songwriting world. Quite a few tracks will remind you of more famous work ‘When a Boy Becomes a Man’ starts out with a note that makes you think he’s about to launch into ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’. While his song ‘I Feel Good’ sounds like Jame’s Brown ‘I Feel Good’ from an alternate dimension, to name a few. , but ya have to wonder if that was him keeping up with trends, or just being ahead of the game.

  • Lots of Reggae. Yah man. Jhonny Greenwood’s a standout here.

  • XTC – Skylarking, by track two or so I was on board for this. I thought the singer sounded stereotypically 80’s seriously why do all 80s male singers sing in bored forced baritone tones , but I really thought this was from the 2000’s. Figured it was one of those psychedelic rock bands out of California.

  • Iron & Wine & Other Folk. Good amount of that good good folk.

  • More Worldly Tunes. This time from Iran to Portugal, from Spain to Brazil! When I’ve finished the collection I’ll put a list of what they are folks interested in these.

Thanks for joining me, and thanks, of course, to whoever burned these. Hope this is what they expected to happen when they left them out on the sidewalk.

-D.M., No Stranger

← Home