Happy New Year! — A 2010 “Retropackle.”

Hey, everyone!  Happy New Year!  I hope that you have a good one, and that you’re surrounded by good food, friends, and music.  It’s been a long year over here (the epic dissertation struggle continues), and I haven’t always been the most attentive (you’re top of the list of New Year’s Resolutions!)… but I wanted to thank everyone for all their love and support.  I’ve been positively blown away by the amount of excellent music that has been sent my way, and the… well, legitimacy, I seem to have stumbled into.

So, in 2011, I’ll be stepping up to keep things rolling around here.  And I hope that you’ll be there, too!  And since it’s customary, follow me for some things I’ve loved this year, as well as some things I’m looking forward to in the New Year!

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Things I Should’ve Mentioned…

Hey, everyone!  Lots of stuff for you, this week.  As you might have noticed, I’m steadily working my way through the mailbag.  There’s lots more great stuff in there, which I hope you’ll see in the next few days.  The really good, slightly-longer-term news is that my dissertation now has a planned submission date.  So, one day – in the not-too-distant future – I’ll be able to spend lots more time developing some of these tidbits into articles.  But until that day comes, I leave you with the best of this week’s bookmarks…

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News: Billy Bragg Covers Joanna Newsom for The Voice Project

We’ve mentioned The Voice Project before, and I’d really suggest you check out our previous post or visit their site.  That said, we’ve shown you videos from Peter Gabriel, Joseph Arthur, and Mike Mills.  In that Mike Mills video, we were treated to a cover of Billy Bragg’s “Sing Their Souls Back Home.”

And now, it’s Bragg’s turn to give us a cover of Joanna Newsom’s “On a Good Day.”  It’s a lovely, intimate version, and I won’t waste any more time by trying to render it in prose.  So, follow me, check it out, and then go visit the fine folks of The Voice Project:

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Other Stuff You Might Like: NPR Music

Chances are, you’ve already met NPR Music on your travels.  From their excellent programs like All Songs Considered to their wonderful First Listen series, NPR Music is an amazing repository of live, archived, and upcoming music. You can find weeks’ worth of live concerts, in-studio recordings, music previews, and more.   And best of all, it’s free.  At least, to listen.  You all know the deal: Public Radio is funded by listeners like you, and, in today’s corporate-dominated environment, independent music is an even more precious commodity than it used to be.

Of course, I’m not here to tell you what to spend your money on… oh, wait, that’s exactly what I’m here for.  But I’ll tell you what: I think that NPR Music is quite possibly the most important music program in the industry.  Yeah, there, I said it.  Without it, I would have never met Joanna Newsom, The Mountain Goats, or even Vic Chesnutt.  So, for me, it’s special.  I’d like to show you around some of my favorite bits of the site, and invite you to head on over and become a part of all the wonderful things they do.  Follow me!

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Now Playing: March 18th, 2010

Sometimes, it’s important to refuel.  I have some albums that I slip on every day, and they fit like my favorite pair of jeans.  I will never, ever get tired of hearing R.E.M.’s Life’s Rich Pageant, or Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins.  That’s just how it is.  I don’t necessarily look for them every day, but they always find their way back to me.  Of course, which albums stick around the house for a while is really up to the season.  Sun Kil Moon works better in Fall and Winter, and The B-52’s are a Summer band.  That’s life.

But for all of this, it’s important to keep bringing in the new.  Music affords us one of the few, endless adventures in life.  There are so many bands – doing so very many things – that there will never be time for it all.  You like Indie Rock, do you?  Well, there are thousands of bands you have never heard of.  No matter how hip.  There’s someone, at this moment, doing something in a garage that’s going to be your next favorite song.  Shouldn’t everything be like that?  It’s awesome, and it’s the reason I’m here on this here website.

So, in this quasi-weekly installment, I’m going to share with you some of the amazing things that have come to me… well, since the last time I wrote this thing.  As this is the first time, let’s stick with March.  Some of this will be new, and some old, but hopefully it will all be awesome.  Let’s get started… if you’ll just follow me:

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