The Music Room: Julia's CD Collection


Trains collide on a regular basis
stars explode and fireworks don't
A sea runs dry and the moon leaves its orbit
and we're on this one thinkin' it won't...

-- Thomas Morgan Dolby Robertson, That's Why People Fall in Love

I loved the music of Thomas Dolby as soon as I heard it... while he's best known for his 80's pop-hit She Blinded Me With Science, he's done much more, with five albums of his own, several movie soundtracks, and now a company of his own -- Headspace, specializing in virtual audio things (they've done everything from video game soundtracks, to The Virtual String Quartet).. Headspace is probably best known for Beatnik, the fantastic new way to hear music on-line. Thomas also has a very devoted group of fans...

His homepage, The Flat Earth Society, has a lot of wonderful stuff on it, especially for fangirls like me.

I really like Prefab Sprout too. Thomas produced some of their albums, which is how I first found out about them, but I like Paddy & co. in their own right.

After Thomas, my next musical love is Keali'i Reichel. Simply after hearing the first few notes of the title track of Kawaipunahele, I was deeply touched. Beautiful music in a beautiful language (regardless of whether you understand it)...and of course, Keali'i's beautiful voice.
A big "Mahalo!" to Auntie Jessica for introducing me to na mele a Keali'i.

Now rivaling Thomas and Keali'i in my Euterpian affections is Grant Balfour. An extremely talented musician and a brilliant lyricist, he makes the rest of us realize what untalented scum we are. But we don't mind, because we're listening to such wonderful music! At any rate, it horrifies to think that I might never have heard his work if I weren't with Ryan, who's friends with Grant from their BBSing days. On the other hand, if it weren't for Grant, a New College alumn, then Ryan might not have come to school here! The bottom line is that you have to go listen to Gravity Song (the original) right now, and then the rest of them. Yes, ALL of them. And then buy the CDs. And then make your friends listen to them. Start with his page on www.mp3s.com and follow the links. And pardon my hyperbole. He also has an odd, informative blog.

Information Society was pretty cool for what they did. Their pop-hit in the 80s was What's On Your Mind(Pure Energy)..They were known for hiding digitized pictures and messages on their albums, and pretending to play cardboard instruments during concerts. The band is quite different now, with an industrial sound instead of a pop one, following the parting of ways of the main members. Here's a fansite dedicated to the era covering their first three albums.

I think Erasure is another personal favorite, especially the I Say I Say I Say album. It's what I listen to during times of transition (moving, parting ways, long trips...). Somehow Blues Away and Miracle remind me of the sea.

Then there's Jai Uttal (& The Pagan Love Orchestra), who does this very powerful Indian music with a pinch of techno and hillbilly mountain stuff thrown in. It is my absolute favorite music for bellydancing.

I adore Chumbawamba after hearing their new album, WYSIWYG. It's flowing, varied, lush, cynical, poppy, quirky, anarchistic, and great fun. Best of all, the album forms an extremely cohesive whole (and those are always my favorite albums). Plus I picked it up right when I was starting to read about New Urbanism, and I think my mind was primed for it (and for interpretting it in particular ways, probably differently than its anarchist authors).

Anyone out there who digs They Might Be Giants should check out this TMBG unofficial website, it's got all sorts of stuff.. I especially enjoyed the interpretations of some of the songs; a few of them are really pretty funny.

And of course I like Kraftwerk (& a fansite. Mmmm... oldschool (cheerful) techno...

I'll admit that I like 80's pop-rock as a genre too, it's just so much more cheery than a lot of 90s rock. Lots of happy happy bouncy energy... so I like lots of old '80s bands, like Tears for Fears, A Flock of Seagulls, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Men Without Hats (@whoo, Safety Dance!), etc. (Okay, so several of these bands are still around. I liked their 80s work better though.)

Naturally, I like anything with dolphin whistles in it. Especially well-done are a beautiful pair of albums called "Pacific Blue" that have music with dolphin whistles, they're some of my favorites. I also have a CD of just orca whistles (no human-made music) which I like... I have some of Jim Nollman's music, there's something rather compelling about the fact that it was real time, live music with the orcas...
Trisha has a cetacean audiography, I'm hoping to expand my collection with its help.