Reversing the Numbness

Monday, April 30, 2007

Free Joy

If you're a fan of new music and haven't yet discovered the live archives at, run -- don't walk! -- on over to that little treasure chest. You'll find hundreds of performances going back to 2001 by many bands you know and many you've never heard of. They used to have it so you could only listen to a song at a time, but newer sets have a full-performance link that's pretty handy. And because these sets were originally aired on KEXP in Seattle, the studio sound quality is really good.

I usually ask for music suggestions from you guys, but here are a couple of artists I'm really into doing songs I really like. I'd love to hear what you think, as there are few things in this world that give me more joy than sharing, talking about, and of course listening to music. And if you post a link to a set or a song, I'll check it out as well.

These are all Windows Media links, but you can use Real Player too if you go to the site.

Joseph Arthur
I talk a lot about this guy, but he's not exactly a household name, so if you don't know him, check him out. He's been playing with a backup band lately and it's cool stuff, but I very much prefer his solo stuff. It's pretty mellow, usually, and it's cool to watch him build songs by looping beats, rhythms, backing vocals, harmonica and more over top of each other. Sometimes, once he gets a song built up, he puts the instruments down and sings over the song he's looped together as he paints a set-long mural in the background that's so good it rivals the music. Talented dude.

"She Paints Me Gold" - 2005
"Mercedes" - 2004

I love this band, but they're definitely not for everyone. They use dozens of instruments to achieve a sort of Eastern European festival sound, but there's nary a guitar to be found. If you like Neutral Milk Hotel, you'll like Beirut. It's very possible that this band would make Rob Zero's head explode.

"Elephant Gun" - 2006
"Ederlezi" - 2006


The Dalai Mama said...

Well, I tried to listen to "She Paints Me Gold", but Julian instantly recognized Joseph Arthur's voice. Then he started chanting, "I want watch "Black Lexus". Maybe I'll give it a try again in a little while.

Zee said...

I've been a huge Aimee Mann fan for years. I always mean to suggest her on Fridays, but for some reason, I always go with something else.

josh williams said...

This guy will hook you up with music.Funny and hip to the scene.

purplesimon said...

Thanks for popping by and for pointing me to these live Beirut recordings. The band has replaced The Magnetic Fields as my must-have iPod album.

Can't wait to see them live.

Thanks again, hope to see you over at my blog again. I'll add a sidebar link, as everyone should be able to enjoy your excellent blog.

purplesimon out...

SleekPelt said...

dm: He's got a one-track mind sometimes, that's for sure.

zee: I'll consider this an early suggestion for this Friday.

josh: I've since been there numerous times.

purplesimon: Welcome! I'll link right back atcha.