2015 GRAMMY nominees!

The Recording Academy recently announced the 2015 GRAMMY nominees! It’s interesting to see what music rises to the surface when countless recordings are released every year. You can find the full list of nominees on the GRAMMY website, but here’s an overview of some of the most popular album-related categories.

Have you heard any of these albums? Who do you think will win?! Let us know in the comments.

Album of the Year

Beck – Morning Phase
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Ed Sheeran – X
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek to Cheek
Annie Lennox – Nostalgia
Barry Manilow – Night Songs
Johnny Mathis – Sending You a Little Christmas
Barbara Streisand & Various Artists – Partners

Best Pop Vocal Album

Coldplay – Ghost Stories
Miley Cyrus – Bangerz
Ariana Grande – My Everything
Katy Perry – Prism
Ed Sheeran – X
Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Aphex Twin – Syro
Deadmau5 – While (1<2)
Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband
Royksopp & Robyn – Do it Again
Mat Zo – Damage Control

Best Rock Album

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Beck – Morning Phase
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
U2 – Songs of Innocence

Best Alternative Music Album

Alt-J – This is All Yours
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Cage the Elephant – Melophobia
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Jack White – Lazaretto

Best Urban Contemporary Album

Jhené Aiko – Sail Out
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Chris Brown – X
Mali Music – Mali is…
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best Rap Album

Continue reading 2015 GRAMMY nominees!

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!!!


 

Mom-Approved Modern Music for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day can often mean a trip back home to spend the day with a certain woman who raised you. I love a good family tradition (and I love my mom even more), but let’s face it: A day of listening to music released circa your mom’s high school years can get a little, well… old. Here are three suggestions to bring your mom into the 21st century, music-wise, this Mother’s Day. Take them for a spin this Sunday—they’re guaranteed to not contain too many lyrics that will make family listening time uncomfortable. (Author’s Note: All albums have been successfully test-driven by my mom.)

MI0003392585Channel Orange
Frank Ocean

This 2012 record was the beginning of something big: Frank Ocean is one of the most incredibly talented singers and songwriters of our time. This record is packed full of the stuff of legends: One-of-a-kind lyrics, an ambitious sound, and a sizable helping of passion and philosophy. Ocean is a storyteller, and his stories highlight the best and the worst of what it’s like to be alive.

Musically, this album is a mishmash in the best possible way. It fuses influences from decades past (think ’70s funk sounds and ’90s hip-hop) with a new and thoroughly modern groove, including truly awesome use of quiet electronic percussion. There’s also heavy soul influence here–moments on this album suggest flashbacks to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. I rarely listen to R&B, but I sure would if it all sounded like this. The songs have tight verses that hit you with incredible impact. The sheer force of emotion on this album hits you hard, creating a soundtrack for those who have lived, loved–and most of all, lost.

Don’t Miss Tracks: “Bad Religion”, “Pyramids”

MI0003341793Blunderbuss
Jack White

Up until now, Jack White has been part of a group, whether alongside Meg White of The White Stripes or the rest of The Raconteurs. On this album, however, he’s the star: Not only is this a great solo record, it also holds its own among White’s incredible discography as part of a band. White’s reflections on life and love might tear you apart, but you’ll manage to enjoy every moment of the gut-wrenching process.

For White, going solo means that all his crazy musical ideas and influences find a home. This album contains traces of everything from old-school R&B all the way through modern country music. From his cover of Little Willie John‘s 1960 hit “I’m Shakin” to his use of fiddles and mandolins on “Blunderbuss”, a lot of ground is covered here. Jack White isn’t an easy man to figure out-—nor does he want to be: despite track after track lamenting the heartbreak of love, his female backup chorus includes his ex-wife Karen Elson. A few listens of this album, however, leave you with the impression that Jack White does his best work when he’s a little shrouded in mystery.

Don’t Miss Tracks: “Love Interruption”, “Sixteen Saltines”

MI0002921033Brothers
The Black Keys

For a group with such a stellar big-band sound, it’s hard to believe that The Black Keys are a two-man show. This album comes after both members took some time away from their main band, trying their hand at other projects. It was a well-needed break: This album is their best release in years, cementing their own unique sound and their position atop the blues-rock food chain. This is nothing incredibly new or different, but that’s why I love them: Consistency is key with a group that constantly delivers music that just sounds like a good time.

This album very successfully plays around with a variety of styles, incorporating everything from up-tempo beats on “Howlin’ For You” to quiet, haunting harpsichord on “Too Afraid to Love You”. My personal favorite addition, however, is vocalist Dan Auerbach’s incorporation of falsetto, For a band that’s made a name with its bluesy sound, a falsetto was certainly a surprise (and a welcome one at that). He nails the sound on tracks like “Everlasting Light”, bringing a much-needed new edge into the mix. For longtime fans like myself, this album set a new standard for the band, turning classic bluesy sounds into something fresh and creative.

Don’t Miss Tracks: “Everlasting Light”, “Howlin’ For You”

#FreeFriday: The Mouse and the Mask

Time for our second 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 awesome featured album…
mouse

The Mouse and the Mask (DANGERDOOM, 2005)

DANGERDOOM’s 2005 album The Mouse and the Mask begins with a very interesting question. The first voice on the album isn’t either of the group’s two members but rather the voice of Brak (the catlike alien you may remember from Space Ghost) asking the listener “Why did you buy this album? …I don’t know why you did, you’re stupid.” Aside from bringing up deep questions about the appeal of physical music in a digital age (which we at Murfie know all too well) this opening perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album. The Cartoon Network samples may make it difficult to take the album seriously, but the combined talents of Daniel Dumile and Brian Burton make it an album that, despite Brak’s protests, is definitely worth buying (or winning from #FreeFriday).

Dumile and Burton, better known by their stage names MF DOOM and Danger Mouse, are two of the most innovative and prolific hip hop artists of the last decade, and both were at the top of their game on this album. At the time of The Mouse and the Mask’s release, Dumile had released a plethora of material both lyrical and instrumental under several different names including Viktor Vaughn, King Geedorah, and Madvillain. Burton’s history isn’t anything to sneeze at either. By 2005 Danger Mouse had already gained national attention from his mixtape The Grey Album, a mashup of Jay-Z’s The Black Album with The Beatleseponymous white album. He went on to start Gnarls Barkley with Cee-Lo Green and Broken Bells with The Shins’ James Mercer. Burton was also credited with production on GorillazDemon Days, The Black KeysAttack & Release, and Beck’s Modern Guilt. It really is quite the resumé.

DOOM’s intricate rhyme schemes, Danger Mouse’s sampling skills, and the duo’s extensive experience make this album a great listen, but they’re not the only big names on the record. Burton’s pal Cee-Lo croons the silky smooth hook on “Benzie Box” while Doom spits alongside fellow New Yorkers Talib Kweli (on “Old School”) and Wu Tang’s Ghostface Killah (on “The Mask”). The album also features dialog from various characters from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, including the casts of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Sealab 2021.

The Mouse and the Mask follows a storyline in which Aqua Teen’s Master Shake keeps trying to convince Danger Mouse to help him produce a new rap album, but the goofy dialogue is just a frilly garnish atop a rich and complex musical feast. No matter where Danger Mouse goes with his samples, DOOM is right behind him with a mind-blowing string of carefully veiled puns and tongue-twisting alliteration. I’d love to tell you more about it, but in a single line Dumile gives a summary better than I could ever hope to provide with a thousand words. At the end of “Mince Meat,” he boasts: “Off a DAT tape of rap, country or deep house / I’ll make mincemeat out of that beat, Mouse.”

Share this post in one of the ways listed above, and we’ll let you know if you’re the winner on Monday! 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.



New Cool Collection: Coachella Headliners!

A new Cool Collection has hit the Murfie marketplace—Coachella Headliners!

This weekend’s festival in California has inspired us to bring some of the music to everyone, whether you are attending in person or not.

In the new collection, you’ll find albums by the artists who have performed at Coachella since way back in 1999:

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Beastie Boys  
Performed in ’03

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Massive Attack
Performed on ’04

54913-largeManu Chao 
Performed in ’07

 

 

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DJ Tiesto
Performed in ’10

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The Black Keys
Performed in ’11

145282-largeTupac 
Performed in ’12
via hologram

 

 

You’ll also find Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Tegan and Sara, Bjork, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jane’s Addiction, Blur, Of Monsters and Men, Rage Against the Machine…and many, many more!

Stay tuned—we’ll give you an update this weekend with info about who is performing in real-time, and link you to the right albums to buy.

Check out the Coachella Headliners Cool Collection, and get groovin’!

5 Reasons I Love The Black Keys

(and why I know they will be rock legends forever)

1. The Look (Or Lack Thereof)
Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney don’t mess around. They aren’t caught up in projecting an image to the masses, and in doing that, they’ve created their own unique look. I give them props for rocking the beard and glasses.

2. Timelessness
Just like their look, their sound is not fake, or trying to sell anything. They sound timeless. When I first heard their bluesy riffs, I couldn’t believe they came from that year (2007). Since 2002, they’ve been putting out original blues rock music with deep roots.

3. Blakroc
Me? Listen to hip-hop? Never. Not before Blakroc, at least! Blakroc is the supreme fusion of rock and hip-hop, delivered by The Black Keys and celebrated hip-hop artists like Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Pharoahe Monch. Blakroc retains great melodies that can only come from The Black Keys, but steps them up to being more badass. I was so shocked when I heard “What You Do to Me,” with stunning vocals featuring Nicole Wray – I know you will be too if you haven’t heard it yet!

4. Consistency
The Big Come Up, Thickfreakness, Rubber Factory, Magic Potion, Attack & Release, Blakroc, Brothers, El Camino…all released in the past decade without losing their originality and momentum, and all met with positive reviews.

5. Less Is More
I’m finding this to be true for a lot of things. This guitar and drum-driven duo are strong and uncluttered à la The White Stripes. Need I say more?

With El Camino available now, I have yet another reason to gush about this awesome band!