Wishy Wednesday at Murfie

Let me start by saying, Murfie is the place where dreams come true. ;-)

We want to fulfill some of your wishes. Add albums to your Murfie Wishlist on a Wednesday (i.e. today), and you might just find those albums in your collection the next day. It’s as simple as that!

No tweeting or posting needed, no sharing URLs, no hassle at all. We’re trying something new this time, because we can. :-)

Now get wishin’!

Last Call: Your Murfie Week in Review


Sunday 5/25: In the Marketplace – We refreshed our Staff Picks Cool Collection.

Monday 5:26: Memorial Day! Our staff spent the day relaxin’. :-)

Tuesday 5/27: In the Press – The Isthmus wrote an article and Madison Startups wrote an article about the launch of the Yahara Music Library, an awesome local music streaming project that Murfie is part of.

Wednesday 5/28: On the Blog – Ally gave us our weekly dose of music history for May 28th-June 3rd.

Thursday 5/29: In the Marketplace – A ton of albums were added to our Summerfest Cool Collection, showcasing the greta range of talent coming to Milwaukee this summer.

Friday 5/30: On the Blog – We reviewed  the classic compilation “Legend” by Bob Marley & the Wailers. Share the article or retweet one of our #FreeFriday tweets for a chance to win your own copy! In the Press – Madison Magazine wrote a story covering the Yahara Music Library.


 

#FreeFriday: Legend

Time for our fourth edition of #FreeFriday! Each week we’ll review an album, and give it away to one lucky winner. For a chance to win the album, all you have to do is read this post, then share on social media at least one of these ways:

  • Share this blog post on Twitter—use the hashtag #FreeFriday and tag @murfiemusic
  • Retweet one of the #FreeFriday tweets we send via @murfiemusic
  • Share our #FreeFriday Facebook post (in a public post)

Now, on to this week’s featured album…

Bob Marley & the Wailers - LegendLegend (Bob Marley & the Wailers, 1984)

Legend is an incredible album that can easily be the catalyst for a lifetime love of reggae music. One of the most widely distributed reggae albums in the world, Legend showcases a variety of songs by the foundational roots reggae band Bob Marley & the Wailers.

This “Best Of” collection came about after the band had established themselves as international roots reggae rockers. It was released after the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer from the band (Bob, Peter, and Bunny were the forefront of the group) and after Bob’s untimely death due to cancer. By the time this tracklist was put together, the I-Threes had been added to the band as backup vocalists (Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths, each successful solo artists in their own right), and for that reason you get a wide variety of recordings. For this album, the curator chose the band’s later recordings which have a popular appeal to people who generally enjoy rock n’ roll, soul, and R&B. (This can be contrasted to the earlier, more Rocksteady years, when the band worked with the incredibly genius, and slightly mad producer, Lee “Scratch” Perry).

Legend contains everything from uplifting, radiantly positive roots reggae songs like “Is This Love” and “One Love” to the more disco and dance-oriented “Could You Be Loved.” It contains the lighthearted acoustic ballad “Redemption Song” and the heavy, protest-themed “Get Up Stand Up” featuring Peter Tosh’s militant-sounding vocals. This album made me fall in love with the vast, deep diverse ocean of reggae music, and I know you will love it too.

Share this post in one of the ways listed above for a chance to win a copy of Legend, and we’ll let you know if you’re the winner next week! Good luck!


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.


#FreeFriday: The Rhumb Line

Time for our third edition of #FreeFriday! Each week we’ll review an album, and give it away to one lucky winner. For a chance to win the album, all you have to do is read this post, then share on social media at least one of these ways:

  • Share this blog post on Twitter—use the hashtag #FreeFriday and tag @murfiemusic
  • Retweet one of the #FreeFriday tweets we send via @murfiemusic
  • Share our #FreeFriday Facebook post (in a public post)

Now, on to this week’s featured album…

Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

The Rhumb Line (Ra Ra Riot, 2008)

Different doesn’t necessarily mean good. I once tried to convince my friends that my root vegetable pancakes would taste awesome, but found that significant twists on traditional methods should be handled with great care (and much less allspice). When Ra Ra Riot decided to mix up the standard pop/rock recipe and layer cello and violin over a standard four-piece, they too faced the challenge of overcoming the ground-in tastes of tradition, but their results were much more tasteful than my heavy-handed attempt at making a meal of cupboard scraps when I should have just gone to the grocery store.

The Rhumb Line, Ra Ra Riot’s first full-length release, is a beautiful mélange of seemingly contradictory flavors. Frontman Wes Miles’ voice is equally well suited for dramatically stretching notes (like on “Oh, La”) as it is for playfully harmonizing with the bands’ several backup singers as it does on “Ghost Under Rocks”. He also has just the voice for covering Kate Bush‘s single “Suspended in Gaffa.” One would expect the 80’s basslines of “Run My Mouth” and synth riffs of “Too Too Too Fast” to clash with the classical elements of the band, but instead their rhythm creates a wonderful background for the sweeping strings that drive most of their songs. It’s a wonder that there’s any room left for different accents with all these tastes on the listener’s palate, but Ra Ra dares to blend in some rock and roll undertones with an electric guitar and a well-handled drum kit. The overall result is a delectable chamber pop dish infused with contemporary indie rock.

Connoisseurs of the genre may already know the group for their involvement with independent superstars Vampire Weekend. Wes Miles joined with VW’s keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij in 2005 to form Discovery, an excellent electronic group that unfortunately only has one LP to their name. He was also childhood friends with lead singer Ezra Koenig and even starred in a short film Koenig made in college.

If you haven’t heard it already, you should definitely give The Rhumb Line a listen. It’s a nice treat for springtime, and who can argue with free music?

Share this post in one of the ways listed above for a chance to win a copy of The Rhumb Line, and we’ll let you know if you’re the winner next week! Good luck!


Andrew Hinkens

Andrew works in Operations at Murfie, taking great care to make sure all your albums are ripped quickly and accurately. He enjoys collecting vinyl, going to concerts, longboarding, and playing with just about any dog he can get close to.



Last Call: Your Murfie Week in Review

 


Sunday 5/11

– On Twitter: We shared some Mom-Approved music for Mother’s Day.

Monday 5/12

– On Twitter: We got a cool tweet from a new member overseas!

– On Facebook: A huge rainstorm hit Madison! We posted a photo to try to capture the intense storm.

– On Facebook: Daniel Edgerton won our #FreeFriday: The Mouse and the Mask giveaway!

Tuesday 5/13

– In the Press: HarborLAB posted an article showing how they are using Murfie’s recycled CD cases to restore wetlands and create a fun educational opportunity!

– In the Marketplace: A bunch o’ new album releases were added to our shop, including Dolly Parton’s Blue Smoke, Little Dragon’s Nabuma Rubberband, and The Black Keys’ Turn Blue.

Wednesday 5/14

– On Twitter: We thought it was pretty cool that Morrissey sent our his first tweet!

Thursday 5/15

– On the Blog: Ally gave us our weekly dose of music history, featuring facts about The Stones, The Beach Boys, Elton John, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, The Who and Adele.

Friday 5/16

– On the Blog: Our current #FreeFriday: Back to Black review was posted, featuring the late great Amy Winehouse. You still have a chance to win if you retweet our tweet or share our Facebook post!

– On Facebook: We challenged you to buy a Beach Boys album!

– On Twitter: James got a tat!!!


 

Bargain Hunt Giveaway: Tom Waits, Björk & Charles Mingus

The Murfie marketplace is full of ridiculous bargains. Working here at Murfie HQ, I see more great deals on the site than I could possibly justify snagging myself. That’s why I’ve decided to start the “Bargain Hunt Giveaway.”

Here’s how it works: When I see an awesome deal on an interesting album, I take note of it. I’ll spend $5 (total) on some great albums, talk about them a bit, then give them away to you!

For a chance to win, either comment below or tweet @murfiemusic with the hashtag #BargainHuntGiveaway, and include the name of the album you’d like to win. Next week, I’ll pick three random winners and gift them the album on Murfie.

Read on for my recent finds, and remember that I only paid $5 for all three of these albums!

First Find: Tom Waits – Bone Machine
Tom Waits has been one of my favorite artists since the day I purchased a copy of Real Gone on vinyl. It was the first of many vinyl purchases made on a whim, and I never regretted it. While Real Gone may have been my gateway album, Bone Machine has some absolute classics. “Earth Died Screaming”, “Dirt in the Ground” and “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” are the kind of songs you will find on just about every Tom Waits cover album, and Bone Machine was in general a taste of the sort of material he’d release for the next two decades.

This album even includes the quintessential manthem* “Goin’ Out West“.

Well I know karate, voodoo too
I’m gonna make myself available to you
I don’t need no make up
I got real scars
I got hair on my chest
I look good without a shirt

Second Find: Björk – Vespertine
Vespertine is an album I always forget about.  And for no good reason! Perhaps it’s because I really hopped on the Björk train full-bore with Volta in 2007. The rest of her catalog came to me in an attempt to find more of what I loved about Volta. Make no mistake, though – Vespertine is its own beautiful beast. “Hidden Place” is an incredibly subdued starting point for the album, and she somehow brings it down another notch immediately after with “Cocoon”. The glitchy beats spread throughout the album really compliment the ever present harp work and her typically ethereal vocals, and in general, Vespertine is all about the atmosphere.

My favorite track on the album is hands down “Sun in My Mouth”, which draws lyrics directly from the e.e. cummings poem “Wade.” Melodically, the song also reminds me of the more delicate moments in some of Sondheim‘s work.  It’s one of e.e. cummings’ more visually evocative pieces, and the brevity of Björk’s interpretation makes sure it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Final Find: Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um
The year 1959 was a huge one for jazz to say the least. Time Out (specifically the song “Take Five”) made Brubeck a household name, while Miles Davis released the masterpiece that is Kind of Blue. We also got three albums by John Coltrane (including the unforgettable Giant Steps) and Ornette Coleman‘s The Shape of Jazz to Come.

While I love all of those albums, Mingus Ah Um will always have a special place reserved in my heart as one of the first jazz albums I really got to know inside and out. I became a fan of jazz in early high school, and Mingus Ah Um is full of tunes I’ve been listening since then. What I love most about the album is how down to earth it is. It sounds like Mingus and his crew are playing in the room with you. I love the realness of the group clapping and distant preaching in album opener “Better Git It in Your Soul”.

Mingus Ah Um is an album completely filled with these intimate moments, including tributes and homages to the likes of Lester Young, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton. It even caused a bit of a stir in its own right when Columbia famously refused to let Mingus record the politically charged lyrics for Fables of Faubus (though the validity of this claim is still debated). If you come across it, I highly recommend the 50th anniversary 2-disc Legacy Edition, which includes three alternate takes, as well as the sister album Mingus Dynasty.


If any of these albums sound interesting to you, comment below or tweet @murfiemusic with the hashtag #BargainHuntGiveaway, and include the name of the album you’d like to win. Three random winners will be gifted these albums next week!

*manthem = man + anthem