June albums: 20th anniversary

It’s hard to believe it’s 2015 and the majority of us have been buying CDs for over 20 years. This month marks the 20th anniversary of a few famous albums that were released in 1995. Remember these?

Take That Nobody ElseTake That
Nobody Else
June 8th, 1995

The third album by British boy band Take That, this was the last recording before original band members like Robbie Williams disbanded. It contains their most successful song “Back For Good”.

 

Bjork PostBjörk
Post

June 13th, 1995

This is the third album by Icelandic singer- songwriter Björk, in which she brought an electronic-pop sound with teasers of trip-hop and other styles. The album was met with critical success and was certified platinum in the US, UK, Canada, Europe and Australia.

 

Alanis Morissette Jagged Little PillAlanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill
June 13th, 1995

One of the most memorable albums of the 90s, Jagged Little Pill put Alanis on the map as an alternative rock goddess. The album was written after a breakup, with singles like “Ironic” and “You Oughta Know”.

 

Selena Dreaming of YouSelena
Dreaming of You
June 18th, 1995

This album made Selena the first Hispanic singer to have an album debut at No.1 on the US Billboard charts. The release was a historic event in terms of album sales from a female singer as well.

 

Michael Jackson HIStoryMichael Jackson
HIStory: Past, Present and Future
June 20th, 1995

This was the first album released on Michael Jackson’s own label, MJJ Productions. Disc 1 is a compilation of greatest hits, and Disc 2 was completely new material at the time.

sun-293615_640

Summer music festivals and shows on our radar

Kayla: California Roots Festival (May 22nd-24th)

Cali Roots(3)Three days of amazing reggae music vibrations and people. This festival is located at the Monterey County fairgrounds, where the famous Monterey Pop Festival happened in the sixties. This year I am most excited to see Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, John Brown’s Body and Slightly Stoopid!

Thievery Corporation at Red Rocks (July 19th)

Thievery CorpThis is going to be mind-blowing. Thievery Corp is the ultimate fusion of lounge, dub, world, reggae, and electronic, with amazing vocalists on rotation. The fact that this is happening at Red Rocks in Colorado, a natural theater carved out of the side of a mountain, is outta this world. I don’t think I’ll return. ;)

Matt: Live on King Street (Summer Series)

Live on King StreetMy favorite summer music series takes place right here in Madison. It’s the Live on King Street. The concerts are all free, feature excellent bands, and take place outside with the gorgeous Wisconsin State Capitol building as a backdrop.

Jeff: Ex Hex (July 21st)

Ex HexMy personal guitar rock heroine Mary Timony (ex-Helium) returns with her new rawk trio Ex Hex. Their 2014 album Rips is thoroughly great and super summery!

Marc: Summerfest (Summer Series)

Neil YoungSarah’s lifelong dream to see Neil Young will be realized at Summerfest this year. We acquired tickets as soon as we learned he’d be there. A few days later we’ll see Morrissey in Chicago, assuming he actually makes it there this time.

Beyond those fancy shows, I’ll likely attend:

Built To Spill (May 22nd)

I’m really enjoying the new album; several years ago I broke my collarbone and got a severe concussion on the way to see them, but like a champ I still went before heading to the hospital, and stayed conscious almost the whole show.

The English BeatThe English Beat (July 18th)

The show I’m currently most bummed to be missing is Refused, headlining Riot Fest at the end of the month. I assume it sold out immediately, since Refused was an amazing Swedish anarchist hardcore band with experimental flair from the 90s who broke up because they got too big, eg were betraying their principles (they were the biggest band in Sweden at the time). Apparently ‘principles’ means something different as we age. “Rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in”?… :)

DisclosurreLiz: Movement (May 23rd-25th)

Electronic music festival in downtown Detroit. I’m excited to see Disclosure.

Gao: Summer Camp Music Festival (May 22nd-24th)

Steve MillerI’ll SCamp for the first time this year. This festival will be much different than my typical festival experiences incorporating more rock, bluegrass and funk. It’ll be my 5th time seeing Umphrey’s McGee and they’re playing 5 sets! I’m dying to see John Butler Trio, The Floozies and Griz. Finally, I’ll “Fly Like An Eagle” with Steve Miller Band.

Electric Forest Festival (June 25th-28th)

Formerly known as Rothbury Festival, Electric Forest is my great escape. The festival features The String Cheese Incident and electronic heavyweights, BASSNECTOR and Skrillex. While I must see Russ Liquid again, I don’t have a set schedule. I’m most excited to discover new music and secret sets, find good company, and admire the festival sprites, art displays and light shows as I weave in and out of the forest.

Nate: The Jamaican Queens (July 13th)

The Jamaican QueensJuly 13th The Jamaican Queens will be at the Frequency.  They are an experimental electronic pop/rock band and I expect they will put on a good show. Also Summerfest has some good shows this year. I am going to try to see Kendrick Lamar and The Flaming Lips there for sure!

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

Ah yes—the joys of diving into the Murfie shop and finding something surprising! Not everything we find is brand new. In fact, it’s especially fun when we discover music for the first time, only to find it’s been around a while! Here are some examples.

Brandon found Momentum by Joshua Redman Elastic Band

Momentum“I’ve been a Joshua Redman fan since 5-ever (because that’s more than 4-ever), but just recently found this album. It includes awesome covers of Led Zeppelin and Ornette Coleman tunes, and collaborations with Flea and Questlove. The album is all over the place; bizarre yet totally cool, and I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys funky jams!”

 

Andrew found Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin

“I had heard of Aphex Twin before this spring, but I had no idea what his music was like. I recently gave it a listen and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not generally a huge fan of electronic music, but I was intrigued by the wide variety of styles he incorporates into his ambient works. Though his album covers can be distracting (apparently Richard D. James has a penchant for faceswapping) some of his tunes make great background music for hunkering down and focusing on work.”

Steve found Awake by Tycho

Tycho“I stumbled across this the other day while seeking out new ambient music for programming. Turns out they were playing in Madison that night! The show was sold out :( But the album is still awesome. The title track puts me in a great mood and helps me focus hard on whatever I am doing.”

 

Kayla found Whokill by tUnE-yArDs

140488-large

“I’m late to the tUnE-yArDs bandwagon, but so glad to be on it! I found this album after hearing the song ‘Powa’ recently (total credit goes to Andrew!). I enjoy Merrill Garbus’ dynamic voice. She goes everywhere from a breathy lower register to way high-in-the-sky notes. Her music is quirky, catchy, and fun. Just what I needed.”

Have you discovered something that’s not all-that-new? Take a look and let us know what you find in the comments!

gs11

Ownership Matters: Grooveshark has shut down

Grooveshark is the latest of controversial music services to shut down. They were amidst legal battles over licensing deals with rights holders at the time.

This shutdown was a long time coming. Grooveshark posted on their website, saying, “We started out nearly ten years ago with the goal of helping fans share and discover music. But despite the best of intentions, we made very serious mistakes. We failed to secure licenses from rights holders for the vast amount of music on the service. That was wrong. We apologize. Without reservation.”

The people at Grooveshark also encouraged music fans to use a licensed service. Fans have voiced opinions online, including Reddit, expressing disappointment at the loss of their carefully curated playlists.

“Welp, there goes 5 years worth of playlists,” said one user.

It’s important to know you’re gambling with time, energy, and often money when you use a service that’s not tied to ownership. Streaming services in particular can and regularly do shut down and disappear, leaving you with nothing but fond memories.

The alternative is to invest time, energy, and money into collecting music that you truly own, where you won’t need to worry about it going away in an instant. It will forever be yours.

You also don’t need to decide between owning physical music (CDs and vinyl) and streaming music—what we’ve been doing at Murfie for years has proved that’s a false choice. The streams and downloads you receive from us are tied to CDs and vinyl that belong to you, and you alone—remaining unaffected by any terms of our service.

80s music gems, Vol. 1

I wasn’t alive for very long in the 80s. But thanks to the radio stations I listened to while growing up, I know plenty of 80s tunes that still rock today. The genres from that decade reach all over the place, and there’s plenty to love. Here are some 80s music gems that I recommend for those who are feeling a bit nostalgic…

Whitney HoustonWhitney (1987)

Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was sensational! R&B truly shaped itself in the 80s, and Whitney’s vocal skills were powerful and internationally acclaimed. The album Whitney debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making history, as it was the first album by a female artist to do so. The song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” is absolute fire on here—catchy in the best way with tons of synthesizer. Plus the video is adorable.

 

Queen The Game (1980)

Queen the game

Queen! A favorite of many, Queen had already established themselves in the seventies as an energetic arena rock band. However, their 1980 release The Game marked the first time the band used synthesizer on their recordings. It was their only album to reach #1 in the US, and it went on to become their best-selling studio album, containing the memorable tracks “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.

 

Violent Femmes Violent Femmes (1983)

Violent Femmes

The Violent Femmes are based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (woooo!). Apparently the band was discovered while playing in front of the Oriental Theatre the night of a Pretenders show, when Chrissie Hynde asked them to do a set on stage. Most of the songs on this debut album were written while the singer Gordon Gano was still in high school. It’s hard to describe their sound, but words that come to mind are: raw, gritty, angsty, and sarcastic. Great tracks on here include “Blister In The Sun”, “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone”.

Beastie BoysLicensed To Ill (1986)

3679-large

It’s hard to believe these guys started in the 80s! Songs like “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)”, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”, and “Brass Monkey” are still played all over the place. The Beastie Boys brought an interesting twist to hip hop at the time—they were white, and they incorporated a punk rock sound to their music. Licensed To Ill was the first rap album to top the Billboard chart. Their lyrics offend just about everyone if you pick them apart, but there’s something distinct about the band’s energy and voice that makes them unique and lovable.

What are your favorite 80s music gems? Let us know in the comments!


Kayla Liederbach
@djkaylakush

Kayla manages social media and customer support at Murfie. You can hear her on the radio hosting U DUB, the reggae show, Wednesdays on WSUM. She enjoys hosting the Murfie podcast, cooking, traveling, going to concerts, and snuggling with kittycats.