Staff picks: Spring Edition!

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Spring began Monday, March 20th this year, but it wasn’t until this week we really began to feel it. The birds are chirping, the clouds are shapely and voluminous, and with all the rain we’ve been experiencing in Madison the grass has finally started to turn green.

The world is alive and we have fresh ideas about how we’ll spend our summers. For us music lovers, you can guarantee a lot of time will be spent listening to our favorite albums,  kicking back, enjoying barbecued meat and craft beer with friends and family.

However you enjoy your time this spring and summer, on the golf course, at the park or in your own backyard, make sure you have the right tunes in your proverbial jukebox. Below is a list of staff picks we thought you might enjoy…

Steven chose Sabotage by Black Sabbath

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“Sabbath truly is one of the bands that started it all. When it comes to modern doom metal/sludge metal/stoner rock, Sabotage is one of my favorites in their discography. It also takes the cake as my second favorite Black Sabbath album cover (the self-titled being the obvious first choice).”

 

Nate chose Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips

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“Released in 2002, this album features electronic-influenced, psychedelic, indie rock compositions. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots tells a story of how Yoshimi battles mechanical monsters, drawing on a wide range of emotions. It is a great album to turn on when in a melancholy mood and take in the beautiful tracks. Fun fact, it was later turned into a musical in 2012!” 

Jason chose Kala by M.I.A.

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“The first time I heard M.I.A.’s song “Paper Planes” off her album ‘Kala’, I was watching Slumdog Millionaire in theaters. It was one of those rare occurrences when I was so captivated by a song in a movie I went out and bought the album.  M.I.A.’s music is pop, but it is soulful, artsy and perfectly imperfect. To this day I see Kala as a shining beacon in a sea of cookie cutter pop albums.”

Maren chose Soundtrack to the End by Communist Daughter

communist daughter

“The debut release from indie rock band, Communist Daughter (St. Paul, MN), will sooth your soul, quiet your mind, and set your feet to dancing. It’s simply aural bliss.” 

 

 

Andrew chose Psychocandy by The Jesus and Mary Chain

psychocandy

“I gotta say I only picked this because “Just Like Honey” came on the radio this morning. The fuzzy guitars and lackadaisical vocals were the perfect backdrop to an otherwise quite drab commute on this rainy spring day.”

 

 

What suggestions do you have for our listeners? Please let us know if there are any albums you think people should know about and we will do our best to spread the word!

We hope you enjoy our picks and as always, check out Murfie.com for other great albums!

Metal Starter Pack

A recent study indicates what Metal fans have known all along: Listening to Metal makes you grow up to be awesome (you can read the details for yourself here: The Metalhead Kids Are All Right).

That being the case, here’s Murfie’s Metal Starter Pack to get you on the road to a happy and successful life (don’t worry if you’re getting started late, most of these musicians are likely older than your parents).

123048-largeBlack SabbathBlack Sabbath

Arguably where it all began, this album is essential classical listening for all headbangers.

AC/DCBack in Black

Black, the staple ingredient of any quality metal band.  AC/DC defined a generation of rock-leaning metal musicians and Back in Black captures their unique ability to be simultaneously condemned by the moral majority and still receive play at wedding receptions.

Iron MaidenNumber of the Beast

Where would the world of metal be without disturbing album art?  Probably on more record store shelves, but that’s not what matters to Eddie and company.

123530-largeMotorheadAce of Spades

Don’t bother reading the lyric sheet, just pound your fist on the dashboard and press the accelerator into the floorboards.

Mercyful FateMelissa/The Beginning (Disc 1 and Disc 2)

Mystical traditions often appear in the the lyrics of metal music.  Mercyful Fate, headed by King Diamond, took this atmosphere to the stage.

MetallicaKill ’em All

What more can you say, “metal” is their first name!  Kill ’em All marks the beginning of a new generation of shredders lifting metal out of its rock roots and elevating it into a new form.

37087-largeMegadethRust in Peace

A counterpoint to Metallica (although the two cross stylistic paths over time, and share an origin story), Rust in Peace shows that metal can be intellectual as well as completely bad-ass.

SlayerSeasons in the Abyss

Taking metal into the darkest recesses of the human experience (at least before 1990), Slayer takes metal to an all new low (which is a good thing).  See “Dead Skin Mask” for a nod to a historical Wisconsinite…

AnthraxSpreading the Disease

Inoculating metal traditions with a stiff shot of Thrash (and the occasional thoughtful reflection), Spreading the Disease keeps it metal while opening doors to future crossover acts and points to the then future (now past) of metal music.

By 1990, metal had fragmented into a wide assortment of hybrid genres which I encourage you to explore once you’ve studied the essentials.  When you’re ready to graduate to the next level, rescue a 1980’s Camaro from it’s cinder-block perch, install a pair of Craig speakers in the rear deck and pick up one of those cassette-deck adapters for your phone…


Jason Gullickson
@jasonatmurfie

Jason makes sure all the electrons flow in the right direction at Murfie. His dream job is to automate himself out of his dream job, then hire his automaton to execute the “master plan.” He enjoys 20% of all musical styles and 35% of metal, punk, electronic and classical.


This Week in Music History (February 5th-11th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

2/5- On this day in 1971, Black Sabbath began recording their third album, Master of Reality, in London. The album’s dark sound would prove incredibly influential on future grunge acts, including Nirvana and Soundgarden.

2/6- On this day in 1943, Frank Sinatra made his debut as a vocalist when he joined the radio show “Your Hit Parade”. He was eventually fired after messing up the song “Don’t Fence Me In” on the air.

2/7- On this day in 1979, The Clash kicked off their first North American tour at the Berkeley Community Theatre outside of San Francisco to promote their album London Calling.

2/8- On this day in 2006, Kelly Clarkson won two Grammy Awards–one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (“Since U Been Gone”) and one for Best Pop Vocal Album (Breakaway). She was the first “American Idol” contestant to win a Grammy.

2/9- On this day in 1964, The Beatles performed the first of three record-breaking appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. 73 million people watched the show, which was the Fab Four’s American TV debut and beginning of their massive success stateside.

2/10- On this day in 1993, Michael Jackson was interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, his first interview in 15 years. In the interview, Jackson claimed that the reason for his drastic change in appearance was a disorder that destroys the pigmentation of the skin.

2/11- On this day in 1965, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr married his longtime girlfriend at Caxton Hall Registrar’s Office in London. Two of his bandmates were in attendance.

Check out these music history gems in our CD marketplace! Every purchase comes with unlimited streaming, and downloads in mp3, aac, FLAC, and Apple Lossless!

This Week in Music History (July 3rd-9th)

What’s music history got for us this week? Learn up and boogie down!

1142-large7/3- On this day in 1971, Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, passed away in his apartment in Paris. Known as the Lizard King, Morrison will be remembered as a wild front man with poetic lyrics.

56207-large7/4- On this day in 1984, Black Sabbath front man Ozzy Osbourne married his manager, Sharon Arden. Reportedly, Ozzy chose to have his wedding on Independence Day so that he wouldn’t forget his anniversary.

80882-large7/5- On this day in 1968, the American swamp rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival released their self-titled debut album—and we are forever grateful!

5901-large7/6- On this day in 1964, The Beatles released their film A Hard Day’s Night. Right at the height of Beatlemania, the film was incredibly influential, and depicted black-and-white scenes following the lives of the four band members over a few days. What’s on the soundtrack? I think you can guess.

12353-large7/7- On this day in 1965, Johnny Cash made his debut at the famous Grand Ole Opry. That night, he met the love of his life, June Carter, backstage.

36021-large7/8- On this day in 1954, Dewey Phillips of WHBQ in Memphis played the first commercial single released by Elvis Presley, titled “That’s All Right”. The record struck so much interest in listeners that Dewey played it 14 times before hunting down Elvis, who he convinced to come to the studio for a live interview later that evening.

b3c8d860-a053-11e1-b5a8-12313d1612b17/9- On this day in 1955, “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets became the first rock n’ roll song to hit #1 on Billboard’s Pop Charts.

Oh, so you wanna own any of these albums, or download them in lossless formats? Well, we just so happen to have them for sale! Find them for as little as $1 in the marketplace.

Enabler takes Milwaukee Hardcore to Australia

Catching up with Jeff Lohrber

Way back in May 2012, Murfie was lucky enough to record a podcast with the band Enabler, a harcore/metal/punk crossover band from Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood that is making quite a national stir. [Click here to listen to the podcast!]

With a few more tours under their belt, as well as an upcoming trip to Australia, the time is right to catch up a bit with the band’s frontman, Jeff Lohrber.

How’s everyone in the band doing?
Everyone’s good! We’ve had some personnel changes since the last time we talked. Greg and Andy both had to leave due to their commitments to Misery Signals and Fall Out Boy, so we have a guitarist by the name of Eric Dunn and a drummer by the name of Chris Zugschwert. Most of us have been busy with home life and jobs.

What’ve you all been up to since last time we talked? (May 2012!)MI0003369104
Well we put out our second LP All Hail the Void in July of last year as well as a new EP titled Shift of Redemption this past April. We’ve done 4 US tours and a European tour. This band is constantly in motion.

I hear you’re going to Australia soon—tell us about that!
We are touring Australia in July with the band Urns. We’re doing about 11 shows on the Southeastern coast. I’m really looking forward to it. I feel like I’ve done more interviews in the past month regarding the Australian tour than ever before. People seem very excited to see us in Australia.

What’s the music scene like there? Is it similar to the U.S.?
>
 I’m not really 100% sure to be honest with you. I think it’s similar to the US, but on a smaller scale. There are less cities in Australia, it’s just not as big of a country, and most of the country is jungle or desert. I’m assuming it’s similar to touring Canada, where there are some amazing cities and amazing bands, but it’s just a lot more spread out than the States are.

Is there anywhere else that you’d really like to tour someday?
>
 We’re looking at hitting Southeast Asia next. We’ve had offers to play in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. and we were actually trying to make it coincide with the Australian tour, but one thing at a time. I would really love to be able to play Japan as well as South America at some point.

Last time, you mentioned that a few of you in the band are vegan. How’s that going?
>
 Well the newer members are not vegan, to each their own. Amanda is very into being vegan and will always be, I eat 99.9% vegan but I’ve found myself giving in to the veggie patties at Subway once in a while with the excessive amount of touring that we’ve been doing.

I tried quitting cheese, but I can’t! Any advice?
>
 I never really had this problem except with pizza, which Whole Foods and Ian’s have actually made this pretty easy (the vegan mac n’ cheese pizza at Ian’s is choice). Cheese is a hard thing to replace, so I just found other things that I would eat instead, which was actually good for me. When I decided to go vegan, I was at a point where almost every meal was a frozen cheese pizza, so I definitely needed a change of diet, and luckily I found other foods that were just as cheap and easy to make and I didn’t have any problems. I can relate with cigarettes though, I would love to quit, I’ve tried time and time again, and I just fail miserably every time.

creativedestructiveBesides the Australia shows, what are Enabler’s upcoming plans?
We are playing This is Hardcore Fest in Philly in August and doing a short tour around that, and then this fall we are going to be tracking a new record!

It’s starting to get nicer out…are there any summer activities you’re looking forward to doing?
>
 I really miss going running in the winter, I like biking up to the park and reading from time to time, and of course I love a good barbecue, etc. Winter seemed to last exceptionally long this year, so it’s nice to just get out of the house and have it not be miserable outside!

Are there any new bands that you’re really digging right now?
>
 Agrimonia, Nails, Darkthrone, Ghost, Integrity, and Portal have all put out records this year that are awesome. The new Black Sabbath record is actually really good as well.

What are some of the best summer albums of all time?
>
 I don’t know if I would describe these as summer albums, but I love driving around with my windows down blaring these records full blast! Led Zeppelin – IV, Deep Purple – Machine Head, Judas Priest – Painkiller, Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit, and Cannibal Corpse – Bloodthirst.

Describing your music, your band has stated that “The world is f***** and this is the soundtrack to its demise.” Any advice for us folks regarding that? :-)
>
 Well I’ve always looked at this band as an outlet for my frustrations. There are just so many wrongs in this world that we have so little power to make right, and I have to be able to vent these frustrations or else it’s just going to build up inside of me and I would turn to violence. There are so many just wrong things happening at all times, and my advice to any angry or frustrated person out there would be to find some sort of creative outlet and let it flow into whatever you choose to create. Essentially then you are creating something positive with your negativity, because if you just try to ignore all of the negative things in life, they will catch up to you and the aftermath will be ugly for yourself and the people that surround you. As a fan of heavy music, when I was a kid and discovered hardcore/punk music and heavy metal, I related to it, and I knew that I wasn’t the only person that felt this way. It’s important to know that you aren’t alone, and it’s important to be creative in times where so many people are so destructive.

Thanks again to Jeff Lohrber for catching up with us here at Murfie, and for sharing words of wisdom! You can learn more about Enabler at facebook.com/enablermke.


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.


Shopkeep of the Week

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We know him as “One Dollar Albums“, but it’s time to meet the man behind the username: Jordan!

Back in 2011, Jordan signed up for Murfie, and since then he’s sent over 1200 discs from good ol’ Montana to Madison. He successfully markets his shop via facebook and twitter.

Murfie: How did you originally learn about Murfie?
Jordan: I heard the piece about Murfie on NPR’s “Weekend Edition”.

M: When did you purchase your first CD? What was it?
J: It was Another Level by Blackstreet. No diggity.

M: How many CDs do you own (or did you own at your peak)?
J: I’ve sold a few hundred, and I invested the funds in additional inventory for my store. The most I’ve had at once is about 850.

M: How tall are you?
J: 5’11”

M: Tell us about your musical tastes.
J: Post-punk/Manchester bands like The Smiths and Joy Division are my favorites, but I also love Riot Grrl bands of the 90’s, hip hop, and I have a lifelong obsession with David Bowie. I also love anything that’s fun. I love to flip on the radio and hear a jam by Rihanna or Ke$ha.

M: What can folks expect to find in your store (if different than the above)?
J: My goal with the store is to have good albums by artists you’ve heard of all priced at $1. It has a little bit of everything, from Ricky Martin to The Doors to Black Sabbath to Garth Brooks.

M: If you could meet any musician or band in person, who would it be and why?
J: I would meet Morrissey to see if he’s really like that in person. He can’t be, can he?

M: What is your favorite album at the moment?
J: So by Peter Gabriel.

M: What do you plan to do with the millions of dollars you’re making from your Murfie shop?
J: Ha! I’m not making millions, but I am coming out ahead. I got involved because I thought it was a neat project, and I liked the recycling element. I haven’t put a lot of thought into what I will do with the money. Maybe I will get a Sonos player.

M: Which Beatle was your favorite?
J: Billy Shears.

Check out Jordan’s shop on Murfie!
“One Dollar Albums” on Facebook: www.facebook.com/onedollaralbums
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/1dollaralbums

Shopkeep of the Week is a weekly feature that focuses on our most interesting Murfie shopkeepers. These are music lovers like you who have sold hundreds of pre-loved CDs on Murfie and have hundreds more at the ready to please your ears! If you’d like your Murfie Shop to be featured, or if you’d like to nominate a shop to be featured, please e-mail us at info@murfie.com and let us know.