Staff picks: Spring Edition!

2013_0326_staff_picks1

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

sabotage

“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

flaming lips

“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.

kala

“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!

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.

Audiophile Forums

Do you love talking about music? There are some online discussion boards for music collectors and audiophiles that may be of interest to you.

Forums aren’t for trolls—they’re actually quite fun and engaging! As a growing company, we thrive on your recommendations. Please don’t forget to spread the word about Murfie as a source for FLAC music, CD ripping, low album prices, lossless streaming, and more, next time you consider sharing insights on your favorite music websites.

Here are some forums we recommend:

► Head-Fi

A meeting place for headphone hi-fi enthusiasts.

► Hydrogenaud.io

A place to discuss audio technology.

► SteveHoffman.tv

A popular spot for everything from music to hardware to visual arts.

► ComputerAudiophile

A source for computer audio and music server Information and reviews.

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

Don’t you just love discovering old music? It’s great finding an album that’s been around a while, and seeing how it can resonate with you in life right now.

That happens a lot on Murfie, since there are so many used albums in the $1 – $5 range that are easy to gobble up! Check out some of our favorites…

ErasureBrandon found Erasure by Erasure

“I’d heard of Erasure many times but never actually listened to any of their music (outside of ‘Always’, the theme music from the video game Robot Unicorn Attack). This album had me hooked after track two! There are dance-y tracks and down-tempo grooves, featuring rich vocals and fascinating electronic elements and harmonies.”

The Melody at Night with You Keith JarrettAndrew found The Melody at Night, with You by Keith Jarrett

“I hadn’t heard of Keith Jarrett until I ripped some of his albums for a vinyl kit. I didn’t think much of it until I recognized some of the melodies as samples on a mixtape I’ve really been digging lately. After checking out some of his other albums, I realized that he’s an extraordinary pianist and an even more remarkable composer.”

Mescalito Ryan BinghamJeff found Mescalito by Ryan Bingham

“I heard this guy like, yesterday and was really floored. I don’t listen to a ton of Western-ish stuff and it may have my bleary state of mind. Apparently he sang the theme song from the film Crazy Heart, starring ‘The Dude’ Jeff Bridges.”

The Miseducation of Lauryn HillKayla found The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill

“I’m late to get on the Lauryn Hill bus. After coming across this album on many ‘Best Of’ lists, I decided to give it a try, and I ended up really liking it. I’m impressed by Lauryn’s rhymes and the topics she focuses on, some of which are aimed at women from a woman’s perspective, which is great to hear in R&B. This album contains the catchy song ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’.”

Have you found something that’s not all-that-new? Let us know in the comments!

How to ship CDs you buy directly to Murfie

Our goal is to help you grow your music collection. If an album is out of stock, click the “Find it for me!” button and we’ll try to locate a copy for you.

If an album isn’t showing in your search results at all, email us at info@murfie.com and we’ll try to find you a copy.

If you can’t acquire an album those ways, we still have you covered! You can buy CDs elsewhere online and ship them directly to your Murfie collection.

When you buy a CD through another retailer, simply put Murfie’s warehouse address, your name, and your User ID in the shipping address. You can find that info in the proper format on your Profile Page (Look under “Direct Shipments To Your Murfie Collection”).

This service is meant for the occasional shipments of CDs you can’t find in our member shops. If you are shipping CDs you acquire in bulk (more than 3 CDs at once, or more than 10 per month), we add them to your collection at our standard kit rate.

After we receive your CDs, we’ll post the files online and email you when they’re ready to stream and download!

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.”

Favorite New Releases of the Week!

Oh man, such great new music we’ve been listening to! Here’s what some of our staffers recommend for you…


Flying Lotus You're DeadFlying Lotus
You’re Dead!

(John’s Pick)

You’re Dead is the long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Until the Quiet Comes by Flying Lotus. While the tracks often feel too short, FlyLo’s signature production style is in full force throughout the album’s 38-minute run time. Perhaps it’s best to view You’re Dead as one large piece, since many of the tracks bleed from one to another. In that case, it was maybe a mistake to separate them. The biggest departure for Flying Lotus on this album is the inclusion of several featured verses, including FlyLo’s alter ego, Captain Murphy. But it works out well. Overall, a great addition to the Flying Lotus discography.

Going Back Home Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey
Going Back Home

(Marc’s Pick)

Roger Daltrey sang with The Who that he hoped he’d die before he got old. At the age of 65, Wilko Johnson demonstrated he’d do just that. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012 Johnson, the original guitarist for British R&B/pub rock band Dr. Feelgood, but better known on this side of the pond as the mute executioner on Game of Thrones, opted to go down with his axe in hand. As part of his continual touring he cut this album in late 2013, planned with Daltrey a couple years prior. The pair roll through classic cuts from throughout Johnson’s career, with a Dylan number thrown in for good measure. For what may be Johnson’s final run, this is an excellent introduction and encapsulation of his career and influence. For bonus points, check out this video from his early days with Dr. Feelgood and see him float jaggedly around stage with the gaze that got him on Game of Thrones. And also check out the 4 disc set encapsulating his time with that band, which was released a couple years back. Finally, he announced just a few days back that after undergoing extension surgery to remove 3 kilograms of tumor he appears to be cancer free. Now if I can just convince him to make a victory lap through Madison, perhaps with Richard Hawley in tow…

77 Jefferson Let Me Know EP77 Jefferson
Let Me Know EP

(Kayla’s Pick)

Midwest reggae! These guys are from Missouri. I’d closely compare them to the rootsy lovers-rock-reggae singer Josh Heinrichs, who is also from the same state, and runs the record label they’re affiliated with. This EP came out in July of 2014, and it fits well on a summer playlist since their mood is super positive. I especially love the first song, “Rocksteady.”

More new releases are on the way! Go to murfie.com/preorder to see what’s coming, and pre-order your favorites.

Which albums are you excited to see? Tell us in the comments!