Get to Know a Murfie Staffer!

Today you can get to know someone who does a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff at Murfie! As you know, many good changes to the site have recently been rolled out, and the people who make those ideas reality are our developers! Meet one of these folks today:

                   TIFFANY GREEN

4a1b33a2-d849-11e2-867c-7a9e1c310b2aWhere are you from? > I’m from Madison, but I grew up in Janesville and lived in Illinois and Louisiana for a while.

How long have you been working at Murfie? What is your role? > I’m a front-end developer, though all the developers cross into a lot of code areas. I’ve been here for about 8 months.

What do you like about working at Murfie? > It’s so challenging and interesting, and I really like all my co-workers. It blows me away when I think about how much I’ve learned since I started here, and all of my co-workers are so creative and interesting.

What kind of music can be found in your collection? > Some jazz, singer/songwriter stuff, a bit of heavy metal, old punk, some swing, a bit of classic rock.

21270-largeWho are your favorite artists/bands of all time? > That’s a hard question. At least right now, I’d say Tom Waits, Gogol Bordello, John Lee Hooker, Regina Spektor, Peter Gabriel, and Morphine.

If you could have coffee with any musician, from any time, who would it be and why? > Janis Joplin – I don’t think I can talk about why in a work-related blog post. :)

What album are you really digging right now? > Babel by Mumford & Sons.

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Do you have any pets? > Yep, 3 chihuahuas and 2 cats. The total weight of cats exceeds the total weight of dogs in our house.

What is your favorite food? > Buttermilk biscuits.

What can people find you doing when you’re not at Murfie? > Working on my house and garden, baking, reading, and playing with my goofy dogs.

Now you know more about Tiffany, someone who does a lot for Murfie! You can follow her on twitter via @squareleaf.

Pat’s Picks

You will probably recognize the brass introduction to Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. This piece was originally composed for Solo Piano in 1874 and brilliantly arranged for Symphony Orchestra by Maurice Ravel in 1922. Full of imagery, Pictures at an Exhibition was inspired by 10 paintings by the artist Viktor Hartmann. Each painting is represented by a movement and there is a Promenade that36077-large comes back with variations.

Le Sacre du Printemps or The Rite of Spring just celebrated the 100th anniversary of its premiere on May 29th, 2013. Heard now as a one of the most influential pieces in recent western music, it initially caused an infamous riot at its first performance because of its avant-garde sound. Igor Stravinsky composed The Rite of Spring in two parts, the first, “The Adoration of the Earth”, and the second, “The Sacrifice”. If any piece of classical music could also be categorized as Metal, it would be this one.

36225-largeThese six movements of Glassworks take the us on an auditory journey like nothing we have experienced before. We start in the familiar realm of the solo piano and travel through a whirlwind of synthesizers, wind instruments, and strings. After experiencing many different colors and shapes, the journey ends in the same place that it started, leaving us unharmed and with a new perception of the sounds around us. Philip Glass released Glassworks in 1982 with the walkman in mind. Composed in a very repetitive style, this recording is all about getting lost in the tones of the instruments and the interaction between them.
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Speaking of musical journeys…this is one of the best albums to get absolutely lost in. Bitches Brew (Disc 1, Disc 2) is full of both musical and studio innovations that are mimicked even today.

Find more:
Classical albums on MurfieJazz albums on Murfie
MussorgskyStravinskyPhilip GlassMiles Davis

Shopkeep of the Week

What were you up to on April 15th, 2011? Micah was joining Murfie on that day! (Woot!)

Shortly after that, he sent a kit of about 500 discs all the way from Mequon, WI…to Madison, WI! And he’s sold a bunch of them so far. We asked this hardcore Murfie guy a few questions about him and his collection.
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Murfie: How did you originally learn about Murfie?
Micah: My first exposure to Murfie was completely random. I was waiting in reception, a bit early for a meeting with a client (I’m in marketing), and was paging through their Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Or perhaps it was their WSJ. Regardless, it was an interview with the founders during the first year of business I believe…pretty early on. It really caught my attention because I am a total tech nerd, always looking for ways to digitize my life. I’ve been into digital (web, mobile, etc.) visual design and interaction design for years, and their concept seemed really intriguing to me. It reminded me of my pre-marketing days when I worked at a music shop in CA, turning people on to rare finds and great deals in the used department. And hey, they were right in my backyard…Madison! I got home, went online, and requested a couple 500 count boxes, filling them up and shipping them out immediately. My shop was up and running in no time.

Murfie: When did you purchase your first CD? What was it?
Micah: My first CD ever, or Murfie? Can’t remember on Murfie, but I actually bought two CD’s as my first purchase. Jellyfish‘s Bellybutton album and Presto by Rush.

Murfie: How many CDs do you own (or did you own at peak)?
Micah: Probably over 1200 for a while.

Murfie: How tall are you?
Micah: 6 feet tall.

Murfie: Tell us about your musical tastes.
Micah: My tastes are pretty varied as I have musical loves from jazz to musicals, from classical to some classic rock gems, but what I mainly listen to falls into indie rock, 80’s wave, smart pop, and intelligent heavy rock.

Murfie: What can folks expect to find in your store (if different than the above)?
Micah:

Murfie: If you could meet any musician or band in person, who would it be and why?
Micah: It would have to be Robert Smith of The Cure. He and the band have meant so much to me over the years. I’d love to hear stories from the 34 years of history, find out what he’s listening to nowadays…heck, if I’m dreamin’ here I’d throw in a jam session and see if I can get in the band.

Murfie: What is your favorite album at the moment?
Micah: A few, actually. The Joy Formidable‘s Wolf’s Law, No One Loves You Like I Do by The Life and Times, The Goldberg Sisters (eponymous), and The National‘s Boxer, Alligator, and High Violet.

Murfie: What do you plan to do with the millions of dollars you’re making from your Murfie shop?
Micah: Fill out my music collection, buy music gear, record my next album, sell it on Murfie!

Murfie: Which Beatle was your favorite?
Micah: Gotta go with John. He came up with the amazing “bits” and Paul would make them cohesive and string them together, but man…John had the goods.

Check out Micah’s shop on Murfie!

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.

Staff Picks: Noah’s Pick

While watching the trailer for Joss Whedon’s new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, I found myself really enjoying the song playing in the background. A quick search on Google told me it was “Rose Rouge” by St. Germain. St Germain was a new name to me, but I was really pleased to have another great song on my favorites playlist.

A few weeks later, I was strolling through the legendary Amoeba Music in San Francisco on vacation when I spotted Tourist (the album containing “Rose Rouge”) on their “Favorites” wall. I didn’t buy it that day, but I remembered it when I got back home and decided to give it a listen.

MI0002424707I’ve seriously had this album on repeat for just about all of May. Tourist is one of those magical albums that suits any number of moods. It’s chill enough that I can work while listening to it and not get distracted. It’s energetic enough to wake me up in the morning. It’s rhythmic enough that I can dance around my apartment with it on.

Tourist covers a lot of ground in its nine tracks. While it’s a combination of electronica and jazz, it manages to avoid the pitfalls of many of the albums that have attempted similar couplings.

Part of this has to do with Ludovic Navarre (the man behind St. Germain)’s skill at creating new, cohesive sound from a variety of sources; part of it has to do with a careful balance Navarre strikes between the cocktail party-ready jams and the slow burners that simmer when the party’s boiled down to you and that special someone.

Marlena Shaw’s “Woman of the Ghetto” vocal sample and infectious horn solos make “Rose Rouge” a gorgeous and emphatic opener. “So Flute” is seven minutes of pure ecstasy in the form of a flute solo that should be bowed down to and worshiped. The rest of the album is filled with gems for just about every taste.

My favorite track right now, though, is “Sure Thing,” which samples a deep cut from John Lee Hooker and Miles Davis. The pained, bluesy vocals singing “that ain’t right” over a throbbing beat create a lush atmosphere.  It’s a modern version of the classic, sensual songs that have long provided the soundtracks to our love stories.

It goes without saying that you should give this album a listen. Luckily for you, you can get it on Murfie for (last I checked) a sinful $3!

This Week in Music History (April 24th-30th)

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

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4/24- After hearing Ray Charles perform the classic tune “Georgia on My Mind”, the Georgia State Senate and House of Representatives decided to make it their official State Song  on this date in 1979. Ray Charles was born in Georgia, of course.

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4/25- Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the hit band TLC was tragically killed from injuries that resulted from a car accident in Honduras on this day in 2002. Several albums featuring Lopes would be released posthumously, including Eye Legacy.

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4/26- On this day in 1964, The Beatles headlined at The New Musical Express Annual Poll Winner’s Concert. They performed many hits, including “She Loves You” and “Twist and Shout”. Groovy!

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4/27- The Eagles began playing shows for their Hell Freezes Over tour on this day in 1994. Recordings from this series of shows would later be used to create their second live album, Hell Freezes Over, which stayed at #1 on the Billboard album charts for two weeks.

138-large4/28- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers received their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on this day in 1999. Talk about runnin’ down a dream!124469-large

4/29- Duke Ellington was born on this day in 1899. Duke majorly contributed to the big band music scene for over 50 years, and continues to be a key influence in jazz to this day.

205-large4/30- On this day in 2005, The Dave Matthews Band agreed to pay $200,000 in a lawsuit settlement. The band & their bus driver were being charged for dumping human waste from their tour bus onto a boatload of tourists while the bus was crossing a bridge over the Chicago River. Splash!!!

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

Staff Picks: Pat’s Picks

Everybody loves to listen to music at work, especially here at Murfie. Our office is equipped with the Sonos System, so we can stream music right from out own Murfie accounts while we plug away. Often times when the tracks are coming from me, people will wonder what the noises are that are coming out of the speakers. Some things are new, some are older, but most is a little bit different. 

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Four Organs – Phase Patterns – Steve Reich
Steve Reich’s piece Four Organs starts with very short notes on a single chord. Over the course of the piece these notes grow in length by anticipating the chord and trailing after it, causing a general deconstruction of the chord and changing the way it sounds and feels. It is performed by (as you may have guessed) four organs, accompanied by a Maraca. If minimal and repetitive music are your bag, check out more of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Riley. 

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Ascension – John Coltrane
John Coltrane is a household name. What is not as well known is some of the music he made in his final few years. The early and mid-60’s was a time that many musicians, including Coltrane, started to take jazz in a new direction. Ascension is a transition from more conventional jazz into the world of free jazz. This album does not have tunes so much as it has an alternating pattern of collective improvisations and solo improvisations. Without being constrained to chords or a form, the musicians are able to express themselves in new and unconventional ways. The world of free jazz is huge, and musicians continue to add to the tradition. Check out names like Ken Vandermark and Ornette Coleman.

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Tago Mago – Can
Can is one of those bands I wish I would have discovered long before I did. Tago Mago mixes groove and weird as good as any band before or after it, but sounds nothing like anything before or after. This album is from 1971 and has been described as highly influential by many artists even today. This is a good album to play loud.

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Black Angels – Kronos Quartet
Here the Kronos Quartet plays two of my all time favorite quartets. George Crumb’s Black Angels and Dmitri Shostakovich‘s String Quartet No. 8. Being the Kronos Quartet, they deliver these pieces with a mastery not known by many other groups. Black Angels is an interesting string quartet in that is calls for amplified string instruments and glasses and tam-tams to be played by the members of the group. Crumb uses the numerical values of 7 and 13 throughout the piece.

Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 is one of the most emotional pieces on the earth. Dedicated to “the victims of fascism and war,” this twenty or so minute piece projects extreme sadness, anger, and eventually acceptance.

48501-largeTrout Mask Replica – Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band 
One of Captain Beefheart’s Commandments for guitar playing included practicing in front of a bush. He instructed guitarists to “Wait until the moon is out, then go outside, eat a multi-grain piece of bread and play your guitar to a bush. If the bush doesn’t shake, eat another piece of bread.” This album is incredibly challenging for the first few listens, but over time it begins to make sense. It is regarded as one of the best rock albums of all time, and it was added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in 2010. “A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?”

Curious CDs

Our Operations team is always on the lookout for interesting discs that are sent in from all over the US. This week’s Curious CD has some real flavor!

Crawfish FiestaProfessor Longhair

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The Facts:

  • Stating the obvious here—but where is Professor Longhair’s long hair?
  • These bluesy, jazzy, New Orleans-style grooves have been proven to be enjoyable for both humans and crawfish (as seen on the album cover).
  • Longhair’s 1996 compilation album, Fess’ Gumbo, may or may not have been made with these very crawfish. Oy!

The whole “longhair” thing is a bit funny, but this album is seriously great! Just look at those lil’ guys dance!