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Stranger Music III

This is it! A few months after adopting 154 cds from the sidewalk, I’ve made it through this stranger’s collection of tunes.

Highly recommend the experience, and also, these artists from it –

The Bee’s

Chill rock tunes, which there’s been a lot of in this collection. They have a nice dash of funk tho that kicks it up a notch. It’s eclectic without being annoying, and there weren’t any tracks I wanted to skip.

With these albums, it’s surprising how well you can predict how interesting the music’s gonna be just from the first few tracks. When it clicks, it clicks. And starting my day off with these Bee’s buzzing in my ears felt great.

Listening to the Verve, for comparison, directly caused the trains to travel at a molasses pace. The fates knew punishment was necessary.

The Cherry Blossoms

I know how to play guitar because of summer camp, where every day started and ended in everyone singing folk songs together. Hokey, but the good kind.

This band (collective?) gives me flashbacks to that time. It’s folk tunes with what seems like anyone who was just *around* chiming in when they feel like it.

You might like this you dig Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”, or just unpolished folk tunes in general.

These guys have little web presence, and aren’t on any digital music services. You can find their tunes on their lovely website that was built in 2001 and has not been touched since. I’ve found myself humming ‘rock and stones’ pretty often since listening to it.

Gruff Rhys

Delightful pop electronic tunes. Somewhere between The Bee’s and Minotaur Shock. He does a lot of nice guitar work that would be ‘ok’ on it’s own, but layers onto it some good good synth, chorus, and other instruments throughout the album.

Apparently if you bought the Candylion album, you would get a cardboard sheet from which you could make your own lil’ Candylion figure. Nice.

This guy’s all over them Spotifys.

The Books

These guys were already on my radar, so this feels like cheating. They’re really good!

While Gruff Rhys seems to use his guitar twanging as the foundation for his tunes, The Books use interesting audio samples. It’s a sound collage, but with someone improvising an occasional bass under it.

The title track to this one, Lemon of Pink feels like the soundtrack to walking down a busy city sidewalk. Voices come in and out, with no particular theme, until finally a tune kicks in with some be-a-utiful strings. Then it all fades back out in random voices.

The only thing that comes to mind to compare them to are The Avalanches, but without the dance beat. And more spontaneous.

, and the rest.

  • Radiodread, a whole compilation album of reggae Radiohead covers. Yah man.

  • Wildflowers New York Loft Jazz Sessions, a compilation recorded in New York, 1976 of a whole lot of great jazz. Almost every song seems to be by a different batch of artists.

  • The Specials. I was a Ska kid in high school, so this was fun throwback.

  • Gorillaz! Hot Chip! Belle & Sebastian!. Less wordly music this round and more albums from folks that made a killing in the 2000’s.

So that’s it eh?

Well, not quite. When it became apparent this was actually a good idea during the first weeks, the thought popped into my head “Man, listening to music curated by a stranger is great! Wish there was a service that did that…

Lo’ & Behold I realized my Millennial birthright by inventing Radio.

Let’s talk radio. Next time.

-D.M., No Stranger

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