Staff Picks: That’s What She Said #2

It’s been too long. Far too long. And so, the conditions are perfect for a new Staff Picks. Even better, it’s a That’s What She Said. Who doesn’t like one of those? And who doesn’t like the music taste of a Murfie staffer?

Ms. Alyssa, you’re up to bat!

Little Bit ~ Wounded Rhymes – Lykke Li
Have you ever heard this lady? Yes? *High five* No? Get on it. There are two albums here. I tried really hard to just pick one. Too difficult. It’s a tie! Get ’em both. Wounded Rhymes is the newer of the two, and has plenty of strong suites. I’ll say though, that Little Bit, with only four tracks, really packs a punch. Depending on the track, Li’s voice goes from forceful to sleepy, and it always seems to float in just the right way over everything else. Throughout both of these albums, she’s direct and thoughtful and most everything in-between.

Treats – Sleigh Bells
Sleigh Bells is comprised of one man – Derek E. Miller, former guitarist for hardcore band Poison the Well – and one woman – Alexis Krauss, once part of a short-lived teen pop group. While the combination of their musical backgrounds might seem like a train wreck, upon hearing the album, you’ll understand the beauty of this pairing. Krauss’s sweet-voiced vocals over the top of Miller’s power chords and gritty guitar: it works. The album moves effortlessly through myriad genres, from metal to punk to electronic to pop. The sound is big without being too big. “Rill Rill” is hands down my favorite track off the album. So much so that it took me awhile to get around to the rest of the songs, where I discovered that “Tell ‘Em” is a close second.

w h o k i l l – tUnE-yArDs
At first I was like, whoa. There’s a lot going on here. And then I settled into it. Eventually I got over the stylization of their name as well. (Come on – I can’t help it. My BA and MA in English make me real snotty like that.) Lo-fi is the name of the game with this music project put forth by Merrill Garbus. The album is lovely and easily listened to all the way through. Though I almost always forget to address the actual song content, I’ll say that the lyrics are worth noting as well. Plenty of food for thought within the layers of sound.

Music tastes change…

So don’t forget about the ace up your sleeve

Remember when Kings of Leon had indie cred? [This was before they blew up in the U.S., their singles Sex on Fire and Use Somebody pervaded the airwaves, and their egos perhaps got the best of them when they started to cut short shows – and axed a summer tour – for suspect reasons.] No? Fine then: I have no choice but to dislodge the memory from your brain by way of force, er story.

Once upon a time…in a land far, far away…KOL was perceived as gritty, bluesy Southern rock. Their music was popular with the hipster crowd. The band still sported weird haircuts. Etc. Need more proof? Just listen to their debut studio album, Youth and Young Manhood: it’s raw and unvarnished, nothing like their arena rock sound as of late.

Now, let’s say you’re one of those KOL fans who bought out their discography due to your affinity for their early stuff, but ultimately lost interest as they quote, unquote became sellouts. What are you to do with the latest, traitorous albums? Well, one of the many pluses of buying music compact discs is that you can sell them at a later date. Say what?! Here’s what’s up: you’re protected by the first-sale doctrine, which allows the purchaser of a copyrighted work to transfer their lawfully made CD of the copyrighted work to someone else.

This solid guarantee of legal rights to sell and trade your used CDs, my fickle music-loving friends, is your pocket aces hand…so don’t forget to play it! It’s your ticket out of being saddled with albums you no longer care for. Read more about selling your CDs, legally, here.

Trading on Murfie

One woman’s journey

So, IMHO, a kick-butt aspect of Murfie is trading – which allows members to swap CDs in the blink of an eye (read: click of a button). What more could you ask for?! Erhm, clarification. Ok, you got me: I do realize there’s some confusion when it comes to trading CDs on Murfie. My solution? Have Alyssa, staffer extraordinaire, walk you through the process. Here’s a tale of her epic journey:

I’ll admit, I didn’t get trading at first. I got an email telling me that someone had offered me a trade. I read the message closely, looked at my options and thought – hold on now, I offer what, and then accept who? BUT let me tell you: once you complete your first trade, I can almost promise that you’ll be hooked.

So let me break it down real nice and easy – no fuss, no muss! First, hop on over to Murfie and start a-lookin’ at albums. See a disc you like? [Maybe something classic, like this.] Hit the blue “Offer Trade” button that’s on the album page.

Once you hit that magic button, you’ll be prompted to select some of your own discs for trade. (Eye for an eye, people!) Feel free to offer everything in your Murfie collection by hitting the “Select All” button OR just a couple discs by checking the box next to whichever album. You can also copy your last offer by hitting the – what da ya know? – “Copy Last Offer” button.

Once you submit the trade offer (hit the button!), your proposed CD swap will be posted to the recipient’s account, where they get to weigh the options and decide which of your discs they want. If they dig one of the albums you offered – boom, trade completed! You get the disc you wanted (and that other person gets the disc they wanted)…and you will both be notified via email.

The first time I completed a trade, I wanted to give someone a high five (sadly, I was alone). I also wanted more. I offered five or six more trades within the next day. It kind of felt like I was getting away with something whenever I completed a trade. But of course, I wasn’t. It’s just part of the awesomeness of the Murfie universe. And folks, that’s no crime!

So, don’t be bashful. Get out there and offer up a trade. And then, not to be pushy, but do it again!

Cool is the new hot

What’s in a name?

In light of the blazing inferno otherwise known as the Dog Days of summer, I want to pay my respects to artists cool enough to be cool. Because what’s cooler than bein’ cool? (ICE COLD!) Having a name that has ice, cold, or cool in it. Duh. So today we salute you Artist That Has A Fresh Name, Yo. In these times of Excessive Heat Warnings and sweaty people, you deserve recognition. You keep us cool, no matter the heat index. What’s more, your music is also (generally!) cool.

I want to warn you, though, that more than half of these guys are rappers. So if hip hop’s not your music genre of choice, tough luck! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you can still appreciate the freshness of the name calling. Oh, and let me know who I left out – without question there are other artists out there that’d make the cut.

Cold War Kids – indie rock
Coldcut – dance music
Coldplay – alternative rock
The Cool Kids – hip hop
Coolio – hip hop
LL Cool J – hip hop
Ice Cube – hip hop
Ice-T – hip hop
Vanilla Ice – hip hop