Friday, February 11, 2011

Acoustic Accoutrements

The CDs we listen to at the bookstore are good. Really. They feature the best songs of excellent bands from around the world, things you definitely wouldn't hear on the radio every day.

But even really good music can get old if you listen to it over and over again. So, every now and then, I make a CD for the bookstore, carefully keeping out the headbanger tunes and going for a fun, somewhat eclectic mix. Here's the most recent playlist.

Escoutas (Diga Diga Diga) - Carolina Chocolate Drops
Donald McGillavry / O'Neill's Cavalry March - Silly Wizard
Place to Be - QuinnElizabeth
Closer to Fine - Indigo Girls
Breakable - Ingrid Michaelson
How I Lost My Heart - Shel
Wonderwall - Ryan Adams
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
Fake Empire - The National
The Book of Love - The Magnetic Fields
As I Went Down to the River to Pray - Alison Kraus
These Days - Nico
Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
Pallin' with Al - Squirrel Nut Zippers
Billie Jean - Pickin' On Series
St. James Infirmary - Arlo Guthrie
Each Coming Night - Iron and Wine
Older Chests - Damien Rice
Sunday Morning - Velvet Underground
Popular Mechanics for Lovers - Beulah

Making a CD is usually preceeded by getting an iTunes card. New bands I discovered this time around were Carolina Chocolate Drops, Shel, Ryan Adams, Arcade Fire, and Beulah. Shel was featured on A Prairie Home Companion a while ago, and their harmonies are amazing. I've got a thing for harmonies. Ryan Adams' cover of Wonderwall caught me right away - his rendition is haunting and gives me shivers.

QuinnElizabeth is a band of sisters, mostly girls I knew from high school. They are all accomplished musicians, and I love the folksy but adventurous style they've got - they use djembe drums and penny whistles! Plus there's that harmony thing again, and they sound just as good (if not better) in live performances. Lead singer Elizabeth has one of those bold, confident voices that have a way of convincing you of every word she sings.

In non-musical news, a guy came to the bookstore yesterday and asked if we could change a million-dollar bill. Sorry, no. He said he'd go to the bank and come back later.

That's a new one.

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