An Eye for Music

CD Release Concert

If you don’t know me, then this post may seem to come from left field after my first post.  However, anyone that knows me at all knows that I’m into music.  A lot.  That’s me on the drums up there.  I’ve been playing since I was a kid.

I love listening to music as much as I love playing music.  My CD collection (yes, I’m proud to say I still buy CDs) numbers somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000.

I am highly introverted, and small talk can be painful for me.  If we start talking about music, though, I could talk to you for days on end before I passed out from sheer exhaustion.  And once I woke up again, I’d pick up the conversation right where I left off.

All that to say: I’m going to be writing here about music sometimes when I’m not writing about my internal gazing (and occasionally the music and the gazing will walk through posts hand-in-hand).

Anyway, one thing about music that I’m especially fascinated with is album artwork.  The cover, the interior art, the liner notes, all of it is almost as important to me as the music itself.  And I’ve been fortunate to have an eye for music artwork that compliments my ear for music.

My eye for music has helped me immeasurably over the years.  I’ve discovered some pretty great music by wandering through a music store and seeing what might catch my eye.  Sigur Rós, Lokua KanzaThe Innocence Mission, and Andrew Bird are just a few of the artists that I may never have heard if it weren’t for my eye for music.  (I’m sure I’ll be saying more about them later)

It hadn’t happened to me for a while, but then I stopped at Starbucks on my way home from work yesterday.  A CD at the counter caught my eye and begged me to take it home.

A band from Seattle called The Head and the Heart have a new album out on Sub Pop Records called Let’s Be Still, and it’s some interesting pop-americana with some lush vocal harmonies underneath it all.  They trade off lead vocals among a couple of folks in the band (the liner notes don’t actually list any of the band members’ names, which is interesting), and they’re all solid, though my jury’s still out on the female vocalist when she takes the lead.  All in all, though, my eye seems to have pointed me in the right direction again.

Music has always been a great connecting point for me, and has played an important and ongoing role in my life.  Heck, I was making mixtapes for my friends when I was in elementary school.

So, I want you to be involved in this, as well.  I’m always on the lookout for music recommendations, because I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much music in your life.

So tell me, what good music have you stumbled across lately?

11 thoughts on “An Eye for Music”

  1. 2,000 CDs? Wow, that’s impressive. I’ve gotten into Icelandic music
    lately. Something about the sounds they create that hits the soul,
    especially on road trips.

    1. Sigur Ros is one of my favorite bands, and I like a lot of Bjork’s music, too. Outside of them, though, I don’t know too much from Iceland. Who should I check out?

  2. 2nd comment, sorry, but a discussion point. Several years ago, I quasi-adopted a philosophy that a friend of mine introduced me to; quite simply it’s “Albums, not Bands”. Basically that I call myself a “fan” of certain records/albums (which are fixed in time), rather than a “fan” of a band (whose output and quality thereof can vary wildly over the course of time). There are notable exceptions to this premise in my own music collection, of course, but it’s (sort of unfortunately) proven itself in my estimation over and over as the years have gone by.

    1. I agree with you in principle, Imix, but there are still a decent number of bands that I’ve stuck with for a long time. I would have to say, though, that Over the Rhine is the only band that has somehow steadily gotten better as the years have gone on…

      1. Oh it’s totally rife with exceptions. There are three “bands” that I’d say I’m a real fan of (Radiohead, Nada Surf, Thrice), and a host of others that I enjoy multiple records by (and some that I own all their records but certainly find joy in less than the whole catalog). e.g. I’m a big fan of Pavement’s “Terror Twilight”, but not a fan of “Pavement”, per se “Wowee Zowee” was just not my bag.

  3. Personally, I quit buying CDS (but I have a lot) – just not enough space! I have a couple racks of records though, and am always looking for more Vinyl. Have you heard of/do you listen to any of the following (all of which are extremely euphonic) – Freelance Whales, Trampled by Turtles, Fleet Foxes, Local Natives.

    Finally, I gave Paul and Mangga the Head and the Heart CD a few years back…

    1. Oddly enough, Fleet Foxes’s first album is another one that I picked up because I liked the look of it. I liked it a lot. I need to check out the other ones, though. Trampled by Turtles immediately ranks high on my list of favorite band names… 😀

  4. 2,000 CDs? Wow, that’s impressive. I’ve gotten into Icelandic music lately. Something about the sounds they create that hits the soul, especially on road trips.

What do you think?