Thankful for Music!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we at Murfie wanted to share some music that we’re most thankful for. Music is what we’re all about—we listen to it all the time at work, at home, and everywhere. Here are the bands and genres that we couldn’t possibly live without.

Matt is thankful for Latin Jazz.

“I’m quite thankful for latin jazz. I’ve always been fascinated with the intricate rhythms and thick chord structures present in the genre. Plus, the music is downright fun. I had the privilege of taking in one Tito Puente‘s final concerts, and have been hooked for life. As a piano player, most of my favorite latin jazz picks involve strong keyboard parts. Just about everything by Eddie Palmieri is amazing. Learning latin jazz piano is on my bucket list.”

13600-large 6188-large 5577-large 374-large 141459-large

Brandon is thankful for music recommended by his friend Cole.

“These are some of my good friend Cole’s favorite albums. I am thankful for them because even though Cole passed away in 2012, I still feel close to him when I play these tunes. It’s amazing how music can do that!”

5664-large 5948-large 366684-large 6394-large

Kayla is thankful for Reggae.

“I am most thankful for reggae music. Ever since I started listening to it, my life has become so much more positive. This music has connected me to the most amazing people, and being able to play it for people on the radio gives me a sense of purpose and meaning. Older artists like King Tubby, Burning Spear, The Gladiators, Augustus Pablo and Barrington Levy drew me in deep. Later on I fell in love with new bands like Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, 10 Ft. Ganja Plant and John Brown’s Body, and I’ll travel far and wide to see them play, whenever I can!”

51595-large 379528-large 13697-large 289070-large 395691-large

Jeff is thankful for Noise Rock.

“What is that ungodly sound? Noise rock is an inverted umbrella of bands using standard rock instruments to deconstruct, mangle, and reassemble popular music into new challenging styles, often pushing as many buttons as boundaries. Bands like Big BlackUnwound, The Jesus Lizard and US Maple use weird tunings, nonsensical rhythms, and a healthy dose of nails on a chalkboard singing. More diaspora than unified camp, noise rock emerged from post punk, no wave and art school experimental scenes (Sonic Youth, Swans) but it’s knotty tendrils stretch into metal (Helmet, Melvins, UnsaneToday is the Day), mathcore (Dillinger Escape Plan, The Locust) and electronic music (Space Streakings).”

80176-large 85801-large 400698-large 10691-large

Andrew is thankful for Hip-Hop.

“I’m thankful for hip-hop. I’d like to thank great producers like Madlib, Prince Paul, and Cut Chemist for perfecting the art of recycling music. Digging through crates of vinyl and old tapes to find and reshape long-forgotten music is a true art form, and it’s an added bonus when DJs use samples that introduce you to new styles or artists. I’d also like to thank longtime MCs like MF DOOM, Aesop Rock, and Del The Funky Homosapien and newcomers like Joey Bada$$, Chance The Rapper, and Chuck Inglish. To all hip-hop artists out there, your creative use of drum machines and the English language is marvelous and fascinating, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life geeking out over new beats. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of great hip-hop, and I strongly suggest that anyone who shares my feelings of gratitude ought to check out some Zion I (Amp Live is another great DJ) or some Busdriver.”

383615-large 132862-large 118734-large 34411-large 34487-large

We are also very thankful for you, our Murfie members! Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! :)
—The crew at Murfie

MI0003796336

Ownership Matters: Swift vs. free Spotify

In a move that shocked fans and media outlets, Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalog from Spotify on November 3rd without any advance notice. Swift was silent for a few days about the issue, and in the meantime Spotify asked her to bring back her music to the millions of fans who were already streaming it.

But when Swift responded on the issue a few days later, her reasoning became clear. It’s not that Swift doesn’t want people to stream her music—clearly people want to stream, and there’s no denying that. She just doesn’t believe Spotify’s model fairly compensates her for her work.

Some songwriters and big-name artists also question whether streaming payouts represent fair compensation. Album sales, unlike streaming, pull a large chunk of revenue forward for artists and songwriters.

If millions of fans are streaming Taylor Swift’s album on Spotify for free, it’s a near certainty that she’s selling fewer albums, and making less than she possibly could if everyone who listened to her album paid for it first. She also wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about the value of music.

Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek recently explained to artists that “The more we grow, the more we’ll pay you.” He’s asking people to trust him, to believe the numbers will add up in the future if everything goes as planned. But all this, in Swift’s opinion, still seems like a “grand experiment.”

Swift believes the definition of fair compensation is that everyone who listens should pay, and that playing without paying devalues music. “And I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free,” says Swift.

Another artist, Amanda Palmer, has a different view. Palmer believes that not everyone who listens should have to pay, because the fans who truly want to support you will support you if they can. And for her, that is enough.

Something to think about is: you don’t have to pick between a streaming service and an album sale. You can buy the album, and stream it also. That’s the service we built at Murfie—streaming for your CD and vinyl collection from the web, your phone, tablet, and more. In great quality too.

Do you think everyone who listens to music should have to pay up front, or do you have a view like Amanda Palmer’s? Let us know in the comments!

34905_rqvmaeroko

Murfie and The River Food Pantry

Murfie is running a charity event for The River Food Pantry in Madison!

From November 15th to December 15th, donate used or new CDs or DVDs to Murfie. For each CD and DVD, Murfie will purchase one pound of fresh produce for the River Food Pantry on your behalf. Drop off your donations at Murfie HQ (7 N. Pinckney Street, Suite 300, Madison) or at The River Food Pantry at 2201 Darwin Rd in Madison.

Not in the Madison area? Ship your donations to Murfie, or make a direct donation on The River Food Pantry’s website!

Open since 2006, The River Food Pantry has been working to provide hot meals, clothing, groceries, and household items to low-income families in Dane County. In 2012, The River provided items to about 28,811 Dane County families, or about 81,386 individuals. That includes 30,163 children.

Help us make a difference! Drop off your donations through December 15th, and contact us if we can help you figure out the best way to contribute.

MI0003429360

Ownership Matters: Pay it forward, buy the album

Amanda Palmer recently wrote an interesting article that used personal experience to show how fans truly want to pay artists they love.

Amanda spent years as a street performer—an eight foot bride on a box who gave out flowers to anyone who tipped her. Of the millions of passers-by, Amanda said some people watched her performance and gave nothing. Some watched and tipped upwards of $20. Some watched, enjoyed the performance, and left personal notes or gifts since they didn’t have money.

When Amanda was in The Dresden Dolls, fans would approach her after concerts with $10 bills, admitting they burned copies of her CDs since they couldn’t find them in stores. They wanted to make up for it.

The big message Amanda learned from her experiences: “People actually like supporting the artists whose work they like. It makes them feel happy.”

In a time where free streaming services seem to dominate the music listening experience, it’s harder for fans to invest in the musicians they really appreciate. The money artists make early on from streaming services is a tiny fraction of what they could have made if those fans also bought the album when it came out.

It’s important that streaming fans buy albums and patronize their favorite artists. Media ownership enables fans to reward artists in a much different way from streaming. Physical album purchases pull all the money up front where it should be: it’s not resting on the uncertain future mathematics of streaming payouts from services like Spotify.

At Murfie, we’re all about providing modern, digital ownership in the cloud. Your ownership of physical CDs is boosted with the streaming and download service we provide for your collection. We have new CDs listed for sale, and you can buy any CD from any artist or store, or from sites like Amazon, and have it shipped directly to your Murfie collection. Murfie lets fans buy albums and support artists without sacrificing the convenience of streaming.

When you love an artist, no matter how you listen to their music, it feels great to invest in them and own a piece of it. Give it a try. “When people feel and know that you are keeping the channels open, doors open, airwaves unblocked, locks unlocked….they come,” says Palmer. “And they will pay their hard-earned to keep the content existing and the cycle continuing.”

New to Me: Newly-found music gems (Vol II)

Many times while shopping for music, it’s certain you’ll discover something completely new to you, only to find out it’s been around a while! It’s happened to us a lot, which is why we wanted to share our stories with you on the blog. Here’s some gems we found that we think you’ll enjoy, too.

Mitch Hedberg Strategic Grill LocationsKayla found Strategic Grill Locations by Mitch Hedberg

I’ve never been big on comedians, since I think a lot of their humor comes from two things: ignorance towards others and bodily functions. I’ve heard a little bit of Mitch’s stuff before and thought it was lighthearted and funny, so when I saw this album for sale I scooped it up. His humor isn’t rooted in anything offensive—it’s genuine observations of the world, silly suggestions about what could be, and a unique delivery with one-liners and plays on words. It’s too bad that Mitch’s heavy drug use caused his early death in 2007, but the jokes he left us with, especially the ones on this album, are absolute gold.

My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said “No, but I want a regular banana later, so … yeah”.

Matmos The Civil WarJohn found The Civil War by Matmos...

I’ve known Matmos for a long time to make electronic instrumental music with an experimental slant. They do everything from dancey Four Tet-reminiscent tunes to organic hip-hop beats. They’ve even done production work on the excellent Björk albums Vespertine and Medúlla. When I first put on The Civil War, I didn’t know what to expect. I must admit I thought I had the wrong band at first. While thoroughly experimental, The Civil War explores Medieval folk instruments, Americana and even hurdy-gurdy samples. It’s really all over the place, and though it won’t likely be in my regular rotation, The Civil War is certainly worth a listen.

R.A.P. music by Killer MikeMarc found R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike

I’m totally late to getting a clue on this one, but damn. This album is hot. I’ve been digging El-P since his Company Flow days, and he’s on the production here, but this is the first time I’ve heard Killer Mike. I’d read somewhat recently that this album is basically the best punk album to have come out in the last decade, and I’ll agree (it’s an attitude, not a style, dude; just ask Mike Watt). Everything about this album burns.

Life Starts Here Airport 5Jeff found Life Starts Here by Airport 5

I knew Airport 5 was somehow related to Guided By Voices, like a zillion other weirdly named one-off side projects. However, I had no idea Airport 5 was a reunion of Dayton, Ohio’s own Lennon/McCartney style star-crossed bromance of Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout. That essentially makes this a return to golden age GBV not heard since 1997’s Mag Earwig! Tobin’s relaxed production and chorus-heavy guitars on “We’re in the Business” harken back to the lesser known weird-out earworms of 1996’s Tonics and Twisted Chasers like “The Top Chick’s Silver Chord” and “158 Years of Beautiful Sex”. Sign me the hell up!

Can you admit to recently finding something you really like that’s not all-that-new? Let us know in the comments!