Showing posts from 2011

Best Albums of 2011

Well, its that time of year again where vinyl and out-of print rarities are pushed to the bottom of the listening stack to make way for albums released in 2011.  Initially, I set out to start this project in the first part of December so I wasn't rushing frantically to beat the clock on New Year's Eve. However, those of you who have a predilection for collecting and listening to music know that this is quite an unrealistic expectation to set for myself. This quest for creating the perfect list of albums that caters to every taste out there is practically impossible since list-making is completely subjective.

Albums from artists like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, PJ Harvey, Kurt Vile, Wilco, Adele, St Vincent, Lykke Li, Feist and The War On Drugs were featured on virtually every top 10 list. Whether or not these albums are deserving of this seems to be irrelevant to the fact that most people found these records to be the most important records of the year. Personally, I listened to ea…

I Hear a New World Podcast- Stacks of Wax Vol.12

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available to download here, and at
This episode of I Hear a New World features a diverse mix of new and used vinyl that I have picked up recently at the Night Owl Record Show and Exiled Records over the past month. Since I have been buying a lot of international music lately, it leans heavily towards this style with a considerable dollop of funk, jazz, spoken work and psychedelic garage rock to even out the flow. Bands featured include Eddie Harris, Erkin Koray, Thee Oh Sees, Ahmad Zahir and Los Destellos.

I would love to hear what you think about the songs featured on this week's episode of I Hear a New World.

Also, stay tuned for my annual Best Music of 2011 list and a Christmas podcast.

Sinister Sounds from the Crypt

I am happy to say that this year I am ahead of schedule for once, so you will have at least a week to listen to this year's Halloween mix. This time around, you can expect to hear a diverse assortment of rockabilly,  doo-wop, blues, rock and soul interspersed with snatches of old horror film trailers and spooky noisescapes. I worked on this for many hours this past weekend, and I believe that I have constructed a mix that will be perfect for scaring the bejeesus out of those trick-or treaters beating down your door.

For those of you would like a tracklist for this year's Halloween mix, I will be happy to provide this to you upon request.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Eclectic Grooves celebrated it's 5th birthday yesterday. It's hard to believe that it's been this long, but I've really had a blast sharing thoughts with the readers about new musical discoveries throughout the past 5 years. Here's to 5 more!

This will likely be the last post from …

Halloween Redux Part 3

This is the last installment of the Halloween podcasts that are no longer available to download on Podomatic. It was first posted last Halloween, and was split up into two parts due to the length of the mix. As I recall, I was able to comeplete this one earlier in the day on Halloween, as opposed to the previous year where I completed it just before the clock struck midnight.

Here are my notes from last year's post:

Given the time of the season, it is once again time for me to dredge through my seemingly endless archives of spooky music to present a new Halloween mix to the readers. Last year I was rushing against the clock to complete my Halloween podcast before the clock struck midnight on Halloween. After learning my lesson from this, I began compiling my list two weeks ago with possible songs that could make the cut for this years mix. These songs were culled from my own collection, Soulseek users and the numerous Halloween blogs and forums across the internet. Without the h…

Halloween Redux Part II

Vincent Price from House on Haunted Hill

Just to get you geared up for the Halloween season, I figured I would keep cranking these out. This one was first featured on Podomatic back in 2009 and is entitled Halloween Hodgepodge. 

I would love to hear what you guys think of these mixes so please drop me a line in the comments.
Again, for those of you who would like a tracklist, I would be happy to provide this upon requset.
Hope this mix gets you in the Halloween spirit!
Halloween Hodgepodge

Halloween Redux Part 1

Painting by Edward Gorey from The Gashlycrumb Tinies
Over the next week, I will be featuring Halloween mixes that I have posted over the past few years. These were originally posted on Podomatic, but since my server space is limited I was forced to take them down to make room for the newest episodes. This one was posted back in 2008, and it was entitled House of Horrors 2008. For now, I will be leaving the tracklist up to your imagination, but drop me a line in the comments if you would like the tracklist.

Hope you enjoy this blast from the past!

Until next time... Keep those doors locked and make sure to keep one eye open while sleeping cause you never know what evil may be lurking around the corner. Muwahahaha!

House of Horrors 2008

Transmissions from the Vinyl Underground

This week, I attended the movie Vinyl: The AlternateTake by Alan Zwieg on Thursday followed by an insightful panel discussion with Terry Currier from Music Millennium, Hisham Mayet from Sublime Frequencies and Eric from Mississipi Records. Then, on Saturday I went to the Night Owl Record Show at the Eagle's Lodge for a couple hours. All in all, it was a pretty exciting week for me!

Alan Zwieg's first feature called Vinyl was about obsessive record collectors whose predilection for hoarding vinyl seems to have impacted their ability to carry on normal relationships with friends and family. While the first edition of Vinyl was mildly entertaining, it mostly depicted the profound sadnesss that these people experienced due to their excessive collecting habits. I felt that Vinyl was too one-sided in it's message that anyone who collects to this extent is an inherently sad and depressed person, as there were no portrayals of the vinyl enthusiast who manages to have a well-balanc…

Opening the Doors of Perception

This past June for my birthday, I received a fantastic book from my girlfriend entitled Turn On your Mind by Jim De Rogatis. Within the confines of the book, the author ambitiously strives to effectively present an  overview of the last four decades of psychedelic rock according to his tastes and sensibilities, and he is largely successful at doing so. At roughly over 600 pages, it is a thoroughly researched, painstakingly detailed and thoughtfully constructed opus consisting of lists, further listening recommendations and numerous quotes taken from musicians, producers, writers and other scholars who either experienced psychedelic music firsthand or have taken a specific interest in it over the years. When DeRogatis is firing on all cylinders, it shows in his writing. There is an incredibly insightful introductory chapter that outlines the history of LSD, an in-depth analysis of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd and a highly inspired overview of psychedelia in hip-hop.
While the book is ge…

I Hear a New World Podcast- Stacks of Wax Vol.11

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available to download here, and at

This episode of I Hear a New World features a diverse selection of music including blues, surf rock, jazz, soul and flamenco. Some of the artists showcased on ths episode include Manitas De Platas, Brian Eno, Dexter Romweber and Lightnin' Hopkins. This is a tasty batch of morsels designed to satisfy the musical cravings of even the stuffiest music critic writing for that flavor of the month rag.

I would love to hear what you think of this week's podcast, so please give me a shout in the comments.

Stacks of Wax Vol.11

1) Manitas De Platas- Tarantas y Bulerias- 5:02
2) Lightnin' Hopkins- Last Night Blues- 5:06
3) Otis Redding- Groovin' Time- 2:46
4) Brian Eno- Back in Judy's Jungle- 5:14
5) David Bowie- Beauty and the Beast- 3:32
6) The Hospitals- Hairdryer Peace- 3:26
7) Dexter Romweber- Cobra Theme 2 Revisited- 3:06
8) Dick Dale- Misirlou Twist- 4:…

Confessions of a Vinyl Junkie

Word on the street is that blogging has become irrelevant thanks to social networking behemoths like Facebook and Twitter. While I don't usually like to agree with bold statements such as this, I would have to agree that these sites have unknowingly contributed to the ever decreasing popularity of the music blog. Over the past couple months alone, I have seen countless bloggers decide to pack it in because there just wasn't enough feedback or interest from the readers.  This can likely be chalked up to our generation's indelible need for instant gratification. Because most people want everything right now in an easily digestible package,  they aren't taking the time to enjoy the simple pleasure of listening to a record in its entirety.

Memories of my first record purchase are fuzzy at best, but I never will forget the euphoric feeling of holding that 12" round cylinder in my hands for the first time. I was mesmerized by the size, shape and feel of the record.  I…

Spotify Vs. Pandora

Ever since stumbling upon an article discussing Spotify on the Mercury blog End Hits, I have been obsessively compiling playlists and searching for new music on Spotify like a kid in a candy store. It is currently invite only, but I received my invite within a week of the service launching in the U.S. If you don't want to wait for an invite, you can purchase their premium package for only $4.99 a month. Like any new service, it is imperfect, but what it does offer is well worth it. The cost of the service is free with advertisements for six months,  $4.99 for the premium package with no ads and $9.99 for the mobile version which allows you to access your entire I-tunes library as well as a massive archive of over 15 million tracks from Spotify. While they don't have everything on Spotify, they are adding over a hundred tracks a day. I was surprised that the sound quality is as good as it is for most albums, with only a few things that were under par. So far, I have been using…

I Hear a New World Podcast- Stacks of Wax Vol.10

I know that things haven't exactly been jumping on the blog lately, but I have been facing multiple challenges over the past two months that have prevented me from posting. I swear to you it's not because I'm basking in the sunlight every day, because our summer in Oregon hasn't been anything to write home about so far.

Since I have been purchasing a lot more vinyl than CD's recently, I figured now would be the perfect time to do another Stacks of Wax podcast to share my latest treasures. Among my recent purchases are the double vinyl set Light: On the South Side, Castle Face Group Flex ( with five flexi discs built into a fully playable spiral bound book), Thurston Moore- Built For Lovin' (Limited edition) and Hush Arbors- Alive (2 album live set- limited to 1000). The only one of these that I can't fully stand behind is Thurston Moore- Built For Lovin, though it may grow on me with further listens.

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available …

Summer Mix 2011

Well, it's been close to a month since I last posted on here about a summer mix being right around the corner. It just depends on what your definition of right around the corner is. Primarily, I used this time to prepare the tracks for my latest summer mix entitled Waves of Inspiration. I put my blood, sweat and tears into this one so I hope you all enjoy it. Hopefully, I can resume to posting on a more regular basis, although I may be too busy soaking up rays of sunshine. Until next time, grab a cold one, throw some steaks on the barbecue and take in the eclectic sounds of summer.
Without further ado, I present to you the track list for this year's summer mix.

Waves of Inspiration

1) Opening Waves- :30
2) Satan's Pilgrim's- Que Honda- 2:45
3) Octopus- Summer- 3:00
4) The Breeders- Saints- 2:32
5) Jack McDuff- Hot Barbecue- 2:56
6 ) The Chakachas- Hot Hands- 2:35
7) Beck- Sissyneck- 3:52
8) Laghonia- Neighbor- 3:24
9) Ray & His Court- De Eso Nada Monada- 3:16
10) Ju…

Fuzz-Funk Friday

Over the past several months, my normal night to post on the blog has been Thursdays, but this is about to change after two more weeks. Since my posts don't usually reach people from other sectors of the world until Friday anyway, I figured I would call this post "Fuzz Funk Friday".

For those of you who don't know, "fuzz-funk" is that type of funk that features guitar and/or bass that has been filtered through a fuzzbox. According to Wikipedia a fuzzbox "alters an audio signal until it is nearly a square wave and adds complex overtones by way of a frequency multiplier". Put in laymnan terms, it simply creates a warm buzzing sound that amplifies the normal sound of the guitar, creating interesting sonic textures that are pleasing to the ear. I have found many songs to be more palatable simply because they have a little fuzz guitar added to the mix.

Today's post contains a funky fuzz gem from Curly Davis and the Uniques called "Black Cobr…

Thee Oh Sees- Music Fest NW 2010

It has been about a week since I posted on here, and during this time I have been diligently working on compiling the tracks for a summer-themed mix for 2011.   Back in 2003, I compiled a summer mix that was recorded before I started Eclectic Grooves, so this will be the first official summer mix to be featured on the blog.  Be on the lookout for this to be dropping on here just in time to enjoy these tunes with the windows rolled down and the summer breeze blowing through your hair.

In other news,  I have been working out the logistics for another series to debut on Eclectic Grooves where I will be featuring posts about the music blogs and record labels that are currently blowing my mind.  For the posts on the record labels, I will be featuring a few songs that truly capture the essence of the label, and will hopefully encourage people to purchase music released on these labels.

Well, I know you have been patiently waiting for today's offering, so I will get on with it. Anyone …

Rediscoveries of Lost Gems- A New Beginning

Most of you have probably noticed that there have been some changes on Eclectic Grooves over the past week. Recently my girlfriend dropped a thought in my mind that promoting my blog on Facebook might not be such a bad idea. I have been reluctant to make this move for various reasons, but I have finally decided that it is time to give in to the gods of social media and just do this. If you feel so inclined to help me generate more interest in the blog, please click on the Facebook "like" button at the bottom of the posts to let your friends know that you enjoy that particular post. If enough people do this, it could seriously generate some interest in the blog and inspire more conversation among music lovers across the world.

In addition to this, you will notice that there is a new plug-in on the blog called Networked Blogs. I needed to add this in order to get my blog post announcements to appear on Facebook. Apparently it is possible to remove this after the blog has been…

I Hear a New World- Eclectic Mishmash

The latest edition of I Hear a New World is available for download here, and at

Over the past year, I have been primarily taking songs from my vinyl collection to compile the podcasts and using an Olympus portable recorder to do this. The sound quality of these podcasts has been sort of lackluster since the microphone input isn't plugged directly into the stereo source. Because of this, I have decided to start doing podcasts compiling songs from my extensive digital library for awhile. I will return to the Stacks of Wax format as I purchase more vinyl and have new things to share with you.

This edition of I Hear a New World was originally compiled a few years ago, but it is only being fully realized during this moment. I used to listen to lots of music while I was hanging out in my apartment and would create extemporaneous mixes that seemed to have a specific flow to them. This was the result of one of these sessions where I wrote down the tr…

Choice Cuts- The Premiere

I know that you have all been patiently awaiting the next post on Eclectic Grooves, so I hope that this one is more than worth the wait. Over the past couple months, I have been painstakingly working on a couple new series that will serve as a replacement for the now defunct Plain Brown Wrappers and What's Playing on My Stereo.  My plans are to revitalize the somewhat successful Rediscoveries of Lost Gemsseries with some incredibly mind-bending sonic trips into the great unknown. The albums featured in this series will be extremely rare or out of  print, and will only be available for a limited time. Hopefully this will increase the interest in the blog, and encourage readers to stop by more often to make sure that they aren't missing out on these rare gems. Also, another coal that I have on the fires is an ongoing post featuring live shows that I have amassed over many years of downloading from various sources on the internet such as Dime-A-Dozen, Soulseek and live sharity b…