Staff Picks: Ally’s Picks

As a Murfie newbie in an office populated by seasoned music lovers and audiophiles, I thought there was no better way to make my introduction to Murfie’s blogosphere than to make my own musical statement. Now, it’s worth noting that though I may be young, I don’t tend to be the Murfian digging up the next big thing. I’m a believer in my own tried and true—the bands that have continued to narrate my life by never failing to make music that just sounds right.  I’m the kid you went to elementary school with who just wouldn’t ditch his blankie: when something’s right, I never want to let go.

6334-largeKid A by Radiohead

As a die-hard Radiohead worshipper, it’s rare to find a Radiohead album I don’t like. Kid A, however, occupies its own musical universe. It’s music that gets under your skin, a paradoxical listening experience that’s quiet and cacophonous at the same time. Thom Yorke’s famous alien-esque vocals lend an ethereal feel to the album, giving you 48 minutes of a complicated, slightly unsettling dream. At the end of those 48 minutes and after tracks like “Everything in Its Right Place” and “Idioteque”, you’re left amazed that this album was created in a studio. What makes Radiohead the greatest band on earth is exactly that: every track sounds like the product of some unearthly time and space—and leaves you longing to learn more.

5710-largeWhite Blood Cells by The White Stripes

This album is not only at the top of my most played albums list; it so far exceeds the second place finisher that it feels like a natural, if not inevitable, fit on my staff picks. Without a single dud of a song, White Blood Cells has become as natural a part of my day as breathing (and certainly more natural than waking up in the morning). The White Stripes don’t have much instrumental variety—they love their guitar and drums—but there’s something about the way they handle them that takes this album to another level. It’s rock and it’s blues and it’s gritty and hard, but it also has the variety and sentiment to make you feel each song right along with them. And feel you do—tracks like “The Union Forever” and “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” illustrate Jack and Meg White’s mastery of imparting endless meaning into succinct songs. Their endlessly interesting take on rock keeps me pressing “play” over and over again.

Red Velvet Crush

Not too long ago, Jillian Riscoe from Red Velvet Crush got in touch with us about making the band’s new EP available on Murfie! Since the discs are posted and ready to go, the time is perfect for a little Q & A session with Jillian and Daniel from the band.

303462-largeHow long has RVC been around? > We played our first acoustic show in February 2012. Since then we’ve been building the full band.

Where are you from? > Kansas City, Missouri.

How is the music scene there? > Eclectic.

Who are your hard rock influences? > Guns N’ Roses, Our Lady Peace, Deftones and many more.

Can you tell us a bit about your new EP, Smoke and Mirrors, and what to expect from it? > Pop/rock with hints of dance, electronic, hard rock and punk elements; this is just the first to come from us.

“Girls Rock TOO” is the name of one of your songs—and that’s true! Can you explain what motivated you to express that so directly? > We wanted to express that girls can rock just as hard as guys can, no matter what society says.

Is there another female lead singer that inspired you when you were young (and now)? > Christina Aguilera has always been an inspiration to me.

What new album are you really digging right now? > Blood by In This Moment. Bury Me in Vegas by Eskimo Callboy.

What are your upcoming plans with RVC? > Finish building our stage show, touring in the fall, releasing our first music video and hitting the studio at the end of the year.

Thanks to RVC for the interview! You can learn more about the band at facebook.com/redvelvetcrush. Smoke and Mirrors is available in RVC’s Murfie shop.

Curious CDs

Every week, our Operations team keeps track of the most interesting discs that get sent to Murfie. This week’s Curious CD is especially intriguing…and one-of-a-kind. Just look at the album cover!

             Radio Active Cats

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The Facts:

  • This is a self-titled album by a band that hails from Burbank, California
  • This album cover is arguably one of the best ones ever
  • Radio Active Cats can definitely be described as having a hard rock/glam metal sound

This album sounds like it could have come straight from the 1970s, but it came out in 1991. There’s really not too much info about this lesser-known gem on the internet—so it’s worth checking out on Murfie! Props to the member who sent this one in.