You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2008.

Here it is – the highly-anticipated second summer mix CD at The Blah Blah: Baby, You Can Drive My Car.  Pop this bad boy into your CD player and drive until your butt cramps up and your bladder’s about to explode.

Man, I love road trips.  Nothing clears my head like driving for 10 or 12 hours straight, getting away from everything you’re used to.  Road trips are therapeutic for me.  I don’t even need to be going anywhere amazing.  Just the fact that I’m leaving wherever I am and doing nothing but driving is enough sometimes.

Given the choice between flying and driving, I’d always rather choose driving, as long as the cost is the same and I can get enough time off to do the drive.  Flying always leaves me a little discombobulated feeling, like I just went through some intense time travel or warped to a different planet.  I get off the plan and feel disoriented for a while, like I shouldn’t have gotten to California from Wisconsin in under 5 hours.  Driving leaves me time to clear my head, see the country, and adjust to the fact that I’m going somewhere.  By the time I get there, I’m ready for it.

One time, I found out my friend Greg had never been west of Minnesota (we live in Wisconsin), so I convinced him to drive with me to Wyoming and back in under a day and a half.  We cranked high speed and got there in about 13 hours.  It was about 3 am so I pulled off the highway and napped for a couple hours before we drove to Devil’s Tower, snapped some photos, then headed home.  We stopped at Mount Rushmore for maybe an hour, cruised into the Badlands, shopped at Wall Drug, and got home in time for a late dinner the next day.  I was short on funds for the trip, and Greg couldn’t get more than a day off of work, which made it a challenge, but a memorable one.  My lack of funds meant we ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the whole time.  At the end of the trip, exhausted and delirious, we stopped for the best McDonald’s meal I’ve ever had.

I made this CD with road-tripping in mind.  Some songs are actually about road trips.  Others just have an “I’m driving a car for a really long time” feel to them.  Hope you enjoy it.

1. Robbie Seay Band – Better Days (Download or Stream)
2. The Listening – The Factory (Download or Stream)
3. Justin Fox – When You Drive (Download or Stream)
4. Destroy Nate Allen – Arizona (Download or Stream)
5. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago (Download or Stream)
6. Havalina Railroad Company – Tundra (Download or Stream)
7. Jason Harwell – California (Download or Stream)
8. Rosie Thomas – Much Farther to Go (Download or Stream)
9. Jeremy Enigk – River to Sea (Download or Stream)
10. Jeff Caylor – The Egypt Vibe (Download or Stream)
11. The Innocence Mission – Lakes of Canada (Download or Stream)
12. The Cold Comfort Band – A Heart Unseen (Download or Stream)
13. Don Chaffer – Motel Rooms (Download or Stream)
14. Daniel Smith and Sufjan Stevens – Worried Shoes (Download or Stream)
15. Starflyer 59 – No New Kinda Story (Download or Stream)
16. mewithoutYou – A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains (Download or Stream)
17. Brave Saint Saturn – Gloria (Download or Stream)

Enjoy the CD!  To download the album art, just save the image above.

Note: all MP3s will be removed after one week.

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Man, this blog takes way too much time.  Especially when it’s nice outside.

I get way too many e-mails from people wanting me to check out this band or that band.  I have way too much music to listen to.  I have way too many interviews I’ve been hoping to write.  I have way too many MySpace pages to visit.  I have way too many articles I want to write.

And I definitely don’t have enough time for it all anymore.  It’s nice outside now (most days).  I’ve been busier at church.  I’ve got more freelancing work to do.  I’ve started exercising again (more than just my fingers on the keyboard anyway).  I’ve been reading more.  And I’ve been getting excited about meeting with God faithfully again.  All of which are good things.

So, yeah, I just wanna whine about how busy it is.  I wish I could spend 40 hours a week (or more) just on The Blah Blah.  I’d love it.  But since I can’t, I’ll just keep plodding along as fast as I can.

Don’t stop sending me music suggestions or MySpace pages to check out or cool books to read.  As long as you don’t mind me not responding to your e-mails in a timely manner or posting about every band you send my way, I’d rather have too much come in than nothing at all.

I love doing this blog.  I love getting new music, interviewing artists, giving away MP3s, promoting new bands, researching musicians, and writing my thoughts on music and the music industry… but, man, I want more time to do it.

Dumb title for the post.  I know.  It’s hard coming up with genius every time.

Anyway, Alli Rogers is an artist who is easy to like on one level or another (just like Mr. Rogers – see?).  She’s not my all-time favorite ever, but she’s got a great voice, a sweet and simple folk sound, and some really well-written, catchy lyrics.  Her music isn’t weird, artsy, ecclectic, bizarre, or any of the other adjectives that often describe music I like.

But I dig it.  It’s easy to get into and appreciate – you don’t have to work hard when you listen.

Read the rest of this entry »

When I was in college, I started following God shortly into my freshman year.  Somewhere between then and the summer of that year, I discovered Christian reggae.  So all summer long, on Frances Street in Madison, Wisconsin, my room mates and I blasted the sounds of Christafari, Nothing to Dread, and Temple Yard toward the crowds on State Street.  And when we had listened to the few reggae albums we had so much that our ears couldn’t take even one more song, we popped ’em back in and listened some more.

I fell in love with the bass-driven reggae sounds – a perfect mixture of challenging, almost politically-charged lyrics and island grooves.  Unfortunately, though, my budget was limited and my connections were few, so the handful of reggae CDs I owned received a lot of airtime in our little apartment.

Solomon Jabby is one of those reggae guys I wish I had known about back that summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Cold War Kids have been one of my favorite new bands of recent days.  I first heard of them from wanchanken in a comment he made on the blog here.  He said, “What about some info on Cold War Kids?”  I responded “Yeah, that’s a good idea,” and then I went to Google and tried to figure out who the Cold War Kids were.

Despite the fact that I have a lot of bands here, and I have even more in my library that haven’t made it up yet, people are always coming up to me and introducing new and amazing bands I’ve never heard of.  And they talk about them in a way that sounds like I ought to have heard of them.

Cold War Kids is one of those groups that I really should have known about sooner.  But once I did find them, I quickly grew to love their bluesy soul-rock sound. Read the rest of this entry »

I got the band Hello Kelly sent to me recently and I’ve been promising to offer my opinions on The Blah Blah.  Let me start off by saying that, as a part-time music snob (yes, I admit it…), it’s my duty to give you all the reasons why this band shouldn’t be in your playlist.  They don’t sound indie enough…  They aren’t introspective enough…  They aren’t folk-influenced in any way…  Their songs are too catchy…  Their lyrics are a little over-used and simplistic…  They’re too optimistic…  They sound a lot like all the other pop-rock bands out there…

But I’m really liking them, despite my attempts to remain aloof and snobbish toward the pop-punk ways of this band often dubbed “the hardest working in Ontario.”

Read the rest of this entry »

I got this sweet “cover” of Bob Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” sent to me a while back, and I just remembered I was going to post it.  It was made by Brad Breeck of The Mae Shi for Michael Mohan’s independent film One Too Many Mornings.

It has nothing to do with God or Christianity, and it’s not really a cover of Bob Dylan’s song, but it’s great nonetheless.

Download it or listen to the streaming version.  Or check out the music video on YouTube, if you’re feeling industrious.

Note: all MP3s will be removed after one week.

A guest post from Ben Stimpson, who admits he actually likes screamo…

Take the hard-edged riffs and activist lyrics of punk music, combine that with the emotive chords of a Scottish bagpipe and the energy of Celtic dance, and then top it all off with a desire to honor and lift up Jesus… and you get Flatfoot 56, a christian Celtic punk band.  In a genre populated by the likes of the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly (and really nothing else), Flatfoot 56 offers something musically unique, spiritually uplifting, and well worth the time.  Whether you’re headbanging, moshing, or dancing a jig, crank Flatfoot’s music to 11, and your feet will be moving in no time.

I first stumbled onto Flatfoot 56 during the fall of 2007 when browsing through the new music covered by my most recent HM magazineCeltic punk?! I thought, Could it be so good? Yes, it could, and is.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hey, check out this video of John Mark McMillan leading worship at The Call Nashville.  He goes into some detail about where the song “How He Loves Us” came from.  Pretty powerful stuff.  The first few minutes are the best.  The rest is just the same great song.

I realized I haven’t put up a mix CD in a while (an Easter mix I made never made it to the blog…), so here is the first of two summer mixes.  This first one is “Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blahs – A Soundtrack for Your Summer.”  You should probably play it non-stop until September.

I tried to capture the fun of summer with a lot of upbeat, hope-filled songs, from the past to the present, from the obscure to the well-known.  The next summer mix CD, which should be out soon, has more searching, road trip-styled songs.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the mix, and give me your comments.

1. Five Iron Frenzy – A Flowery Song (Download or Stream)
2. Hello Kelly – 10 Good Reasons (Download or Stream)
3. Christafari – Triumphal Entry (Download or Stream)
4. John Davis – Nothing Gets Me Down (Download or Stream)
5. Value Pac – Don’t Look Back (Download or Stream)
6. U2 – Beautiful Day (Download or Stream)
7. Dave Thompson – Time to Fly (Download or Stream)
8. Aradhna – Jaago Logo (Download or Stream)
9. Ponoka – See You Around (Download or Stream)
10. The Innocence Mission – Beautiful Change (Download or Stream)
11. Andrew Osenga – The Ball Game (Download or Stream)
12. Switchfoot – Meant to Live (Download or Stream)
13. Rock and Roll Worship Circus – New Wave Revolution (Download or Stream)
14. Bodies of Water – I Guess I’ll Foget the Sound I Guess I Guess (Download or Stream)
15. Solomon Jabby – Rootsman (Download or Stream)
16. Relient K – The Best Thing (Download or Stream)
17. Jesse Sprinkle – First Summer on Earth (Download or Stream)
18. Geology – Arkansas (Download or Stream)

Hope you all enjoy the CD!  To download the album art, just save the image above.

Important Note

These MP3s are here for sampling purposes and to help spread the news about some sweet bands you may not otherwise know about. Support the artists by buying their MP3s and CDs and attending their shows. If you're a musician and don't want your MP3s on here, let us know and we'll take them down. In the interests of promotion and not robbery, all MP3s are taken down after a week or two, so if you wanna hear stuff, either come around often or pay for songs.

Send us an e-mail if you want stuff removed or you would like to be promoted here.

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