#FreeFriday: Odelay

How about a giveaway to round out the week? Alas…it’s #FreeFriday!

For a chance to win today’s featured album, all you gotta do is read this post, then share it on social media at least one of these ways:

  • Share the link on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FreeFriday
  • Retweet one of the #FreeFriday tweets we send via @murfiemusic
  • Share today’s #FreeFriday Facebook post

Be sure your social settings are on public so we can see your post! Enough details. Now on to the album we’re featuring!

Beck Odelay

Odelay (Beck, 1996)

Beck may have recently won a GRAMMY for his 2014 album Morning Phase, but his old accomplishments are still fresh in the minds of those who remember the most innovative 90s alternative rock.

Odelay, Beck’s 2nd studio album, is considered one of the best albums of all time. After it was released, it won Rolling Stone‘s Album of the Year, ranked number 306 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and number 9 on their 100 best albums of the nineties list. It won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and was also nominated for Album of the Year.

There is something in Odelay for everyone. There are genre-bending compositions that tap into such sounds as grunge rock, old-school rap, folk, and electronic. The album is mostly upbeat, with a few mellow moments to keep you grounded. Some tracks that stand out to me are the upbeat hits “Devil’s Haircut” and “The New Pollution”, the southern hip-hoppy “Hotwax”, the epic “Novacane”, and the amazing groovy “Where It’s At”. When you listen to this album, there is never a dull moment.

Beck’s lyrical skills are outstanding. He uses flawless rhymes that are full of imagery and irony, delivered primarily with his rapping vocal style. He uses samples and distorted sound effects that in the end sound harmonious.

I’m going to go ahead and say Beck is pure musical genius. Odelay is a must-have album in your collection.

Share this post in one of the ways listed above, and we’ll let you know if you won the album on Monday! There can be more than one winner! Best of luck. :)

VOTE: 2015 Murfie Listener’s Choice Awards

If you’re like us at the office… then maybe you enjoy the excitement of the GRAMMYs, but you think the nominees aren’t really THE best out of all the music out there. Obviously a lot of it has to do with what’s mainstream, what’s played on commercial radio, and things like that.

The Murfie staffers discussed this a bit, and we came up with our own list of nominees and categories. We have a broad range of musical taste here and totally pride ourselves on exploring what’s not popular, without denying the popular stuff that’s rightfully good.

Now, you, the people, can choose the winners in our 2015 Murfie Listener’s Choice Awards! Voting ends on Thursday, February 5th at noon—one vote per person, please! We’ll let you know who the winners are before the GRAMMYs air on Sunday February 8th!

Click the “Vote” button after each category to save your vote.

[Click “Continue reading” to view all categories]

Continue reading VOTE: 2015 Murfie Listener’s Choice Awards

You Just Might Like: Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is a man who needs no introduction: throughout his five-decade long career, he’s released 18 studio albums, won 20 Grammys—and has sold nearly 65 million records in the US alone.Born to Run

Even though the Boss’s discography is an enormous, shape-shifting beast, sometimes its not enough; sometimes you greedily crave more than the Boss can given you. Perhaps you’re looking for a darker take on Darkness on the Edge of Town, or perhaps you’re aching for a modernized Born to Run. Either way, you’re in luck: a lot of kids kicking around in bands today were raised on Bruce’s best stuff.

Here are a few you just might like.

The Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem:

The Gaslight Anthem is four dudes from Jersey who not only idolize Bruce, but have actually opened for him. Their ties to Springsteen mostly lie in band leader Brian Fallon’s lyrics, which claw for lost youth and faded lovers—even though they’re probably too young to have earned that right. Musically they’re a tad heavier than Bruce’s biggest anthems, but the two artists’ spirits ride on the same highway. Their 2010 album American Slang is a great place to start.

The Hold Steady:

The Hold StBoys and Girls in Americaeady is a Brooklyn group that hails from the Minneapolis bar band scene. They’re well versed in catchy riffs, epic piano solos and lyrics that hail a unified scene. Lead singer Craig Finn shouts and speaks more than he sings, but his enthusiasm for his words, for his band—and for music in general—allow him to pull his style off with, well, style. The Hold Steady’s 2006 album Boys and Girls in America riffs off of Kerouac’s On the Road and Springsteen’s Born to Run at an equal rate, and is a fantastic jumping off point.

Arcade Fire:Neon Bible

Arcade Fire have recently shifted into dance-friendly territory with Reflektor, but just a few years back they proudly wore Springsteen’s influence on their sleeve. This is especially apparent on anthems like “Keep the Car Running” and “(Antichrist Television Blues),” two standouts from Neon Bible. The Boss himself even joined Arcade Fire onstage for “Keep the Car Running” at a gig in Ottawa in 2007, a performance which you can (and should) catch below.


Andrew Brandt
@andrewtbrandt

Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.



Radiohead: A Career Defying Expectations


Pablo Honey
Radiohead, an English rock band from Oxfordshire, has made a career out of defying expectations. Over eight studio albums, the band—which consists of Thom Yorke, Johnny and Colin Greenwood, Phil Selway and Ed O’Brien—has constantly re-invented their sound, and managed to rack up 18 Grammy nominations and over 30 million in record sales along the way.

The five men met as boys in 1985, and quickly formed a band called “On A Friday.” Yet they didn’t hit their first break until 1991, when they happened upon a representative from EMI. After requesting that the five-piece change their name, the band signed a six-record deal as the newly named “Radiohead.”

RadioheThe Bendsad released their first record, Pablo Honey, in 1993. Largely influenced by the recent grunge and alternative rock movements, Pablo Honey sold relatively well and spawned the hit “Creep”; it also spawned the band’s first nickname, “Nirvana Lite.” Yorke and company quickly grew tired of being lazily lumped in with their peers, so for their next record, The Bends, they worked with producer Nigel Godrich in an attempt to shift their focus. What resulted was critical success and a cemented status as one of the top Brit-rock bands around.

OK ComputerYet again, Radiohead quickly grew tired of being set side by side with the other Britpop bands of the ‘90s. They responded in 1997 with the illustrious OK Computer, an album chock full of guitars and Thom Yorke’s now-legendary falsetto. Lyrically, OK Computer harks on the pitfalls of consumerism and the isolation experienced in the modern age; instrumentally, it’s all over the map: there are ballads (“Karma Police”), rockers (“Electioneering”), and songs that hit every mark in between (“Paranoid Android”). OK Computer was both a critical and commercial blockbuster, instantly landing the number one spot on the U.K. charts and eventually winding up at the 162nd spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

ExpectationKid As to deliver a hit record vastly increased after OK Computer, and again, Radiohead responded by shifting into new sonic territory. In 2000, they unleashed Kid A onto the world. Or should I say, the Internet did; Kid A was one of the first albums to ever leak on file sharing programs, and, with its heavy reliance on electronic samples and digital effects, it was an eerie fit. Even though Radiohead’s trademark guitar-driven sound is nearly absent on Kid A, it’s arguably their best. Heck, forget Radiohead: Kid A—which went on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and was subsequently ranked the number one album of the 2000s by both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media—is arguably one of the greatest albums of all time.

AmnesiacRumor had it that the Kid A sessions had fostered enough music to span two discs, and, lo and behold, Radiohead released Amnesiac the following year. Amnesiac explores the same digital world as Kid A, (they both feature “Morning Bell”) but their respective perspectives are quite distinct. Amnesiac marked the fifth time the band had worked with Nigel Godrich, and it was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2001.

Hail to the Thief Radiohead returned to their rock roots in 2003 with the release of Hail to the Thief, their most overtly political statement to date. Hail to the Thief is also the band’s most musically sporadic work, due to the way it was quickly recorded and loosely assembled. It was their fifth straight album to be nominated for the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.

In RainbowsAfter Hail to the Thief, Radiohead was no longer under contract with EMI. So for their next album, In Rainbows, the band opted out of signing any new contracts. Instead, they released it themselves in a pay-what-you-want format that many independent bands have adopted for use today. At the time, I thought they broke music. Now, I see that the marketing strategy was tremendously successful, though it doesn’t hurt that In Rainbows is a blend of nearly every version of Radiohead imaginable. In Rainbows is also arguably the band’s most accessible album besides OK Computer, which was, perhaps coincidentally, released exactly ten years earlier.

In 2011The King of Limbs, Radiohead released their most recent album, King of Limbs. Again working with Nigel Godrich, King of Limbs found the band focusing less on typical song structures and more on looping techniques. On one hand, the album is clearly distinct from the rest of their catalogue; on the other, its differences are what makes it wholly a Radiohead record.

As of 2014, Radiohead is on a well-deserved break. In the mean time, us fans are anxiously awaiting their next pitch. I hope it’s another curveball.


Andrew Brandt
@andrewtbrandt

Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.



Grammy Recap: Top 10 Moments

Didn’t get a chance to watch all of the Grammys? No problem! In case you feel like recapping the highs and lows, I’ve compiled the 10 don’t-miss moments. Check ‘em out!

1. 34 Couples Getting Married—By Queen Latifah!

As Rap Album of the Year winners Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their song “Same Love”, Queen Latifah officiated the marriages of 34 couples.

2. Kendrick Lamar Duet with Imagine Dragons

Rap Album of the Year nominee Kendrick Lamar came together with rock group Imagine Dragons for a performance that created a truly epic fusion of electronic rock and hip-hop.

3. Beyonce and Jay-Z Leave the Audience “Drunk in Love”

The ultimate power couple put on the duet of the night—Hov and B’s version of “Drunk In Love” heated up the room and cemented their status as music’s golden duo.

4. Taylor Swift’s Surprise Letdown

Taylor Swift wore an overjoyed expression when she thought she had won Album of the Year—until she realized Daft Punk was actually being announced as the winner.

5. Yoko Ono Dancing

The late John Lennon’s former wife proved she could bust a move, dancing through Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” and Paul McCartney’s “Queenie Eye”.

6. Pink the Acrobat

Singer Pink showed off her Cirque de Soleil-esque acrobatic ability while her song “Try” played.

7. Pharrell Williams Communicates with Robots

Williams gave an acceptance speech on behalf of Daft Punk, who hid inside their famous helmets after winning the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy.

8. Taylor Swift’s Awkward Dance Moves

During rapper Kendrick’s Lamar’s performance of “M.A.A.A.d City”, Swift jammed out hard. The quality of her dance moves, however? You decide.

9. Macklemore’s Humblebrag

After winning Rap Album of the Year, Macklemore texted fellow nominee Kendrick Lamar to apologize for “robbing” him of the award. He then posted a screenshot of the conversation on Instagram.

10. Led Zeppelin Wins its First Grammy

Although Led Zeppelin has already been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the band was yet to win a statue. This year, however, it earned its first Grammy Award for Best Rock Album with “Celebration Day”.

Do you have any other top Grammy moments to add to this list? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to check out our collection of albums by 2014 Grammy nominees on Murfie.

This Week in Music History (May 15th-21st)

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

137377-large5/15- The 5th annual Grammy Awards happened on this day in 1963, celebrating the work of the musicians from 1962. The award for record of the year went to Tony BennettI Left My Heart in San Francisco6498-large

5/16- On this day in 1966, The Beach Boys released their influential album, Pet Sounds. The album has been ranked #2 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

27599-large5/17- This day in 1967 marked the beginning of the three-day long Monterey Pop Festival. Some notable appearances were Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Ravi Shankar.

2670-large5/18- The Backstreet Boys released their hit album Millennium on this day in 1999. America was arguably more in love with Nick, Brian, AJ, Howie, and Kevin than ever before.50990-large

5/19- Chaka Khan received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on this day in 2011. A nice honor for the one they call the “Queen of Funk-Soul”.

41998-large-15/20- On this day in 1946, a star was born: Cherilyn Sarkisian. (We know her as Cher.)

MI00000161185/21- Marvin Gaye‘s album, Dream of a Lifetime, was released posthumously on this day in 1895. The album contained the hit song “Sanctified Lady”.

Oh, you wanna own any of these albums, or hear ‘em in lossless format? Well we just so happen to have them for sale. Right now these titles start at just $1!

Who’s Your Grammy Winner?

My deep-seated love for polls is second only to my love for deep V-necks. (For some laughs: extreme V-necksfailed V-neck intervention.) And right now, the conditions are perfect for a lil poll action. Tomorrow night, 8/7 central, on CBS, is the GRAMMY Awards, and I’d really like to know which album you’re betting your bottom dollar on to win Album Of The Year.

The Nominees:
21 – Adele
Wasting Light – Foo Fighters
Born This Way – Lady Gaga
Doo-Wops & Hooligans – Bruno Mars
Loud – Rihanna