Shopping Picks in Music
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My dad has a ton of awesome albums that are collecting dust in the basement. After thumbing through them the other day, I had the idea of giving him a turntable for Father's Day so that he can listen to his favorite music again. After all, it sounds better on vinyl anyway. This selection of turntables features very basic ones for the no-fuss dad, and it features turntables with more bells and whistles, including... more
If you're hosting a holiday party, it's important to find the right music to set the mood. Personally, we like to stick to the classics. Our holiday parties would not be complete without a little Frank Sinatra. Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra is a great collection of Christmas classics sung by Ol' Blue Eyes himself. It includes such songs as Silent Night, White Christmas, and Jingle Bells. It also makes a great host/hostess gift.... more
If you haven't had the chance to hear Arcade Fire, we recommend that you do so and soon. The large ensemble is based out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is fronted by the husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. The Suburbs, their latest album, was just released and does not disappoint. We purchased a vinyl copy of the album and it's already been on constant rotation on our turntable.
We're usually not big fans of the so-called soft jazz that is so popular today, but there's just something about Melody Gardot that we just cant get enough of lately. Her latest album, My One and Only Thrill, has been on constant rotation in our house. It's the perfect all-occasion album; we love to play it while we're working in the office, cleaning our house, or having guests over the dinner.
Unfortunately, we won't be in Paris for Bastille Day on June 14th, but we do plan on celebrating at home by listening to one of France's most famous singer-songwriters, Serge Gainsbourg. Histoire de Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg was recorded in 1971, but its sound was way ahead of its time. Listen to current bands, such as Air and Portishead, and you're bound to hear Gainsbourg's influence.
Jakob Dylan will always be known as Bob Dylans son, but hes come into his own musically. Though he still performs with The Wallflowers, hes stepped out on his own with Women and Country. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, the album features background vocals by Kelly Hogan, and one of our favorite artists, Neko Case. The album blends country, blues, and folk into a lush-sounding collection of songs that are sure to make your playlists... more
We've been kind of bored by the whiny, hipster music that has dominated playlists and were looking for a solid rock album when we discovered Horehound by The Dead Weather. Fronted by Alison Mosshart (from The Kills) and Jack White (from The White Stripes), the album has a bluesy, heavy rock sound that makes no apologies. And now that we've listened to it about five hundred times, we're looking forward to their second album,... more
We like to have a little background music while we're working, but it can't be too distracting. There Is Love In You by Four Tet (a.k.a. Kieran Hebden) blends organic and programmed sounds pulled from both electronica and hip-hop. The result is an album that provides steady beats and atmospheric grooves that are soothing and hypnotic without putting you to sleep. For us, it's the perfect album for keeping our mind on our work.... more
Johnny Cash passed away in 2003, but his legacy lives on in American VI: Ain't No Grave. The sixth entry in the American series, the album features Cash's own musical interpretations of songs by such artists as Kris Kristofferson, Bob Nolan, and Sheryl Crow. Recorded right before his death, each song on the album explores themes of salvation, peace, faith, and survival. The whole album provides a personal and emotional insight into a music... more
It's only February, but we're already convinced that Gil Scott-Heron's I'm New Here is the best album of 2010. Heron's been around for nearly forty years, and yet, he's found a way to re-invent himself after a 13-year hiatus that saw him in and out of both prison and rehab. His spoken word tracks are intense and the music haunting (Me And The Devil is a particular favorite of ours), but there's no doubt... more
Vampire Weekend is back with a follow-up to their self-titled album. And like their first album, we can't help but smile whenever we listen to Contra. The peppy rhythms and unique instrumentation bring familiarity to the album, which is good if you liked their first album. But there are also new textures to Contra that make it stand on its own, and remind us of Paul Simon's Graceland, which is a good thing.
This is the ultimate box-set for any fan of Yo-Yo Ma and classical music in general. Yo-Yo Ma: 30 Years Outside the Box includes-get this-90 CDs. It includes every CD that he ever recorded plus two bonus discs of unreleased and rare recordings. The limited edition, numbered box-set also includes a hard-bound book, archival photos, essays, full track lists, and liner notes all in a velvet-lined collectors box.
Okay, we'll admit that we never really cared for Elton John in our younger days because our parents listened to him all the time. But now that we've gotten older, we find ourselves humming along to songs like Crocodile Rock and Bennie And The Jets because they remind us of our youth. Surprise the music lover or Elton John fan in your life with this Elton John - Greatest Hits 1970-2002 box set.
Months after his death, Michael Jackson is still one of the top grossing entertainers of all time. If you're a fan, you've probably already seen This Is It, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of what was to be his final concert tour. You can hear the music behind the movie with Michael Jackson's: This Is It soundtrack. The first disc features original masters of his most famous songs, and the second... more
Okay, we'll admit that Guitar Hero is fun to play, but the real talent is in learning how to play a real instrument. This Gibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Electric Guitar is a great way to get started. It features maple top wood, and mahogany neck and body wood. The neck has been analyzed using Gibson's Plek machine to precisely file frets and cut slots to reduce string buzzing. It's a great gift for... more
When we first heard "Don't Stay" from Laura Izibor's Let the Truth Be Told we were waiting in line at our local coffee shop. At a time earlier than we'd prefer, and without caffeine, it was actually disappointing to get to the register. A helpful clerk let us in on the artist's name and we were just as impressed by the rest of the album. The Dublin-born R&B singer is only 22 years old,... more
There are certain albums that we can turn to time and time again without tiring. Astrud Gilberto's Finest Hour is such an album. Sure, "The Girl From Ipanema" is popular for a reason, but lesser-known songs like "Berimbau" and "Corcovado" really highlight Gilberto's silky voice. Her songs run the gamut, from samba, jazz, and pop. This is the perfect collection for a quiet evening at home, or a cocktail party with friends.
August 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the last album recorded by the Beatles, Abbey Road. Even those who weren't born at the time of the original release probably recognize the album cover that shows the Fab Four crossing the famous road in London. Fans gathered, singing Maxwell's Silver Hammer and other songs, to celebrate the anniversary and tie up traffic. You can sing along too with your very own copy of this world-famous... more
It isn't the lyrics that make "You've Got a Friend" such a memorable song. It's the sweet sound of Carole King singing it. Catch this song on what has to be our favorite Carole King album -- Tapestry. For the nearly 40 years since its '70s release, it has been an album you can listen to all the way through.
It probably amazed most people that so much time had passed when Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace of Music was released on the 25th anniversary of the famous festival. Now the 40th anniversary of the August 1969 event is coming up, but this collection of music still stands strong. Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearance Revival, Canned Heat and more. Even if you weren't there, you can relive the event that is still hailed as one... more