Staff Picks: Noah’s Pick

While watching the trailer for Joss Whedon’s new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, I found myself really enjoying the song playing in the background. A quick search on Google told me it was “Rose Rouge” by St. Germain. St Germain was a new name to me, but I was really pleased to have another great song on my favorites playlist.

A few weeks later, I was strolling through the legendary Amoeba Music in San Francisco on vacation when I spotted Tourist (the album containing “Rose Rouge”) on their “Favorites” wall. I didn’t buy it that day, but I remembered it when I got back home and decided to give it a listen.

MI0002424707I’ve seriously had this album on repeat for just about all of May. Tourist is one of those magical albums that suits any number of moods. It’s chill enough that I can work while listening to it and not get distracted. It’s energetic enough to wake me up in the morning. It’s rhythmic enough that I can dance around my apartment with it on.

Tourist covers a lot of ground in its nine tracks. While it’s a combination of electronica and jazz, it manages to avoid the pitfalls of many of the albums that have attempted similar couplings.

Part of this has to do with Ludovic Navarre (the man behind St. Germain)’s skill at creating new, cohesive sound from a variety of sources; part of it has to do with a careful balance Navarre strikes between the cocktail party-ready jams and the slow burners that simmer when the party’s boiled down to you and that special someone.

Marlena Shaw’s “Woman of the Ghetto” vocal sample and infectious horn solos make “Rose Rouge” a gorgeous and emphatic opener. “So Flute” is seven minutes of pure ecstasy in the form of a flute solo that should be bowed down to and worshiped. The rest of the album is filled with gems for just about every taste.

My favorite track right now, though, is “Sure Thing,” which samples a deep cut from John Lee Hooker and Miles Davis. The pained, bluesy vocals singing “that ain’t right” over a throbbing beat create a lush atmosphere.  It’s a modern version of the classic, sensual songs that have long provided the soundtracks to our love stories.

It goes without saying that you should give this album a listen. Luckily for you, you can get it on Murfie for (last I checked) a sinful $3!

The First Disc Added to Murfie

This has been a question posed by many: What was the first disc ever to be added to our warehouse? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t Crash ;-)

Upon discovering the answer, it seems like this album would actually be a good Curious CD candidate!

Pushing the Salmanilla Envelope

(Jimmie’s Chicken Shack)

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This disc was added to Murfie on November 30th, 2010, and over time there were 10 other Murfie members who sent in copies of the same album! The album review states that Jimmie’s Chicken Shack is composed of “hard-driving alternative rockers whose music is as intense as it is melodic.”

You know what they say—don’t judge a book by its cover. Right now this album is for sale for just $1!

Staff Picks: Emma’s Picks

Let’s start with my favorite album, the bread and butter of my daily listening experience:

ImageClassics by Ratatat

Looking for some smooth jams to chill out to? How about mildly energetic beats to motivate you through a long work session? What if you don’t want to deal with lyrics? This album is the answer. I listen through it at least twice a week over the past two years. Never gets old.

The track “Wildcat” has an awesome cat rawr that’s used musically throughout the song. Another favorite track is “Lex”, it has a great build, add more layers, more building, then an epic climax. This album is perfect for a variety of moods and situations, as well as a great introduction to a less heard style of electronic music.

Now a more recent addition to my collection:

Good Morning to the Night by Elton John vs. Pnau Image

I first stumbled on this album through a friend who mixes and creates his own electro songs. Watching someone who knows what they’re doing in the music mixer program is like watching a surgeon. Precision is everything. The time cuts, layers, sounds levels, texture, everything is delicately labored over. Knowing that, I was able to appreciate even more the magic Pnau used to create this album. Elton John choose Pnau to hack apart, mix up, jumble and rumble his less famous tracks from 1970-1976.

Boy oh boy did they do a magnificent job. Listening through it sounds completely Elton-esque, but with a definite influence from Pnau. The title track is definitely the most catchy and is created from 8 different Elton John songs. This is the future of music collaboration!

Crash: Our Most Popular Disc (319 copies!)

On this day in 1996, the Dave Matthews Band released their 2nd studio album, Crash.

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Crash is a special album in particular because it’s our most populous disc on Murfie! At the moment, it is owned by 319 Murfie members—can you believe that?

In a Rolling Stone album review, the Dave Matthews Band has been said to be “among those groups vying to continue the ideals of the live Dead, exploring diverse sounds from a rock perspective in a commitment to free-flowing improvisation.” It’s safe to say that being compared to the Grateful Dead is an honor that any modern band can be very proud of.

Do you have Crash in your collection yet? Good news, there’s plenty of these babies to go around, and they’re only a buck right now!

The Most Popular Disc on Murfie

UPDATE (Jan 13, 2012): The correct answer is…The Soft Parade by The Doors. Gotcha! – no one even voted for it. The second most popular disc in 2011 was 21 by Adele (so you guys were close on that one). Thanks for casting your votes! Polls are very niicce. :)

The answer may surprise you. Which album on Murfie has the distinction of being purchased the most times in 2011? Cast your vote!