If you’re looking for a good summary of the musical landscape over the last year, at least from an indie-centric but pop-loving point of view, you could do a lot worse than Matthew Perpetua’s Fluxblog 2011 Survey mix: 183 songs, almost 13 hours, and it hits just about every high point you can think of. Some of the choices are questionable, of course, and like most indie-centric mixes it’s a little weak on rap and even weaker on country, picking the most obvious names from each, but for the most part it’s a solid, worthwhile overview. Just listening to the first CD I’ve discovered a gem that I’d somehow missed: Britney Spears’s “How I Roll”, a perfect piece of modernized girl group fluff.
Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category
Like most people, I imagine, my knowledge of western swing is limited to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and Asleep At the Wheel. Loopy, corny, and relaxed in equal measure, it can be a difficult style to appreciate, too country for jazz and blues fans, too jazzy and bluesy for most country fans, too lacking in intensity, grit, and speed for most modern pop fans, never serious enough for the intellectual crowd. But as a bridge between the various genres that merged to become rock and roll its importance is underestimated, and like most older genres that have come to be represented by only one or two artists, it sports far more musical variety than most give it credit for.
All of which is just a way of saying that you should check out Western Swing on 78, a blog offering carefully curated mixtapes of otherwise uncollected 78s from the prime years of western swing. I’m currently listening to a wonderful compilation of cajun swing records, and I can’t wait to get to the mix that ends with “When the Curtains of Night are Pinned Back by the Stars” by Zora & the Hometowners. The title alone holds enough poetry for a hundred records. Check it out.
(HT: Roger Ebert)