Sufjan Stevens EP for Only 5 Bucks

Just the other day I was saying to Ian, “what happened to Sufjan Stevens?”  Remember when he announced he was going to do an album for each of the 50 US States?  Yeah, that didn’t work out so well… after Michigan and Illinois, he gave up, calling the project “such a joke.”

But now he’s back, with All Delighted People, a new eight-song, 60-minute EP that he’s released online.  And the best part is – you can download it for 5 bucks. Talk about value.  The EP is described as follows:

The EP, All Delighted People, is built around two different versions of Sufjan’s long-form epic ballad “All Delighted People,” a dramatic homage to the Apocalypse, existential ennui, and Paul Simon’s “Sounds of Silence.”

Sounds just like the kind of pseudo-intelligent literary hipster drivel that I love.  I’m downloading it right now.  You can too – click here.

Rock Out: Ryan Adams

Alt-country super-prolific rocker Ryan Adams is probably my favourite musician out there.  Well, maybe.  I think he’s tied with Wilco for the title of “Avery’s Favourite Band/Musician”.

Anyway, Ryan has done some pretty crazy stuff in the last couple of years, including deleting his entire blog in March 2008 ( which is sad, as it was full of great writing and goofy photos), putting the blog back up and taking it down again repeatedly for over 6 months, marrying teen-pop star/actor Mandy Moore in 2009, and then releasing a sci-fi metal concept album

Oh, and up there in that first paragraph, I wanted to include a link to Ryan Adams’ website, but he took it down.  Or, more accurately, it auto-forwards to the sci-fi metal concept album website.  So I had to put his Wikipedia link up there instead.

Yeah, so he’s pretty nuts.  But in the best possible way.  So I was thrilled to see on his facebook page that he is working on a new solo album.

While I wait for that, I’ll be listening to my favourite Ryan Adams song, from a long time ago when he was in the band Whiskeytown.  YouTube clip below for audio… enjoy.

Internet radio

I like to listen to music while I work, but I don’t always like to listen to albums all day long.  I like to mix it up a bit – I’m more of a radio girl.  But other than listening to BBC Radio 1 Scotland in the morning, and a bit of CBC throughout the day, I don’t have a lot of options.

I like the “genius” function on my iPhone, but that plays music I already have.  I want to hear songs I already like, with some new songs thrown in there too.   I used to LOVE Last.FM, which would play a customized radio station for me (it would “learn” my preferences over time, based on me giving songs the thumbs up or thumbs down).  But Last.FM started charging for their service, so I stopped listening.

I read this article in the New Yorker last night (about internet radio and music streaming services), and my interest in the topic has been renewed.  I’ve heard amazing things about Pandora, but it’s not available in Canada.  So now I’m going to try MOG, the other service reviewed in the article.  But at first glance, MOG looks like Last.FM (same features).  And I did spend all that time “teaching” Last.FM about my music preferences.  So maybe $3 per month for Last.FM isn’t so bad.   I think I’m going to sign up again.

Favourite Things: BBC Radio 1 Scotland

If you haven’t already noticed, I love Scotland and all-things-Scottish.  Since I have no plans to return to the Highlands anytime soon, I get my Scottish fix by listening to BBC Radio 1 Scotland online.  I like to tune in throughout the day, but you can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be listening weekdays between 9-11am (Toronto time).  That’s when the Tom Morton show is on – an excellent mix of pop music (new and old), witty Scottish banter, and Scottish news. If you can’t listen live, you can download podcasts of the show here.

You can listen to all the BBC radio stations online here.  And if you want BBC Radio 1 Scotland, click here.

Rock Out: Frightened Rabbit

I’m going to see Frightened Rabbit play tonight at the Opera House.  I can’t remember the last time I went to a real rock concert.  These guys are great – they’re from Selkirk, Scotland.  Other than maybe haggis, I can’t think of anything that’s come out of Scotland that I didn’t like.  Anyway, they’re a great band, and I hope they’ll put on a good show.  Here’s their MySpace page if you want to hear some tunes.

Rock Out: Broken Social Scene

It’s been 5 years since their last album, so I couldn’t help myself from pre-ordering the new Broken Social Scene album, Forgiveness Rock Record.  I probably would have ordered it anyway, but when their website told me that I’d also get a digital version of Lo-Fi for the Dividing Nights (a bonus 10-track EP) if I preordered.  So that’s like getting 2 albums, all for 12 bucks.  I can handle that.

Want to give it a listen before buying?  You can hear the whole album on the BSS website here, or on here.

Yep, I know it’s a total hipster cliche to like Broken Social Scene.  But I really don’t care.  I like the music.  It’s not my fault that they’re the most uber-cool band this side of Montreal.

Stolen From Others: Jason Schwartzman Crush

If you couldn’t tell from the last post, I’m catching up on my blog reading this morning.  I came across this awesome post from Janine at UPPERCASE Mag all about Jason Schwartzman.  Just like Janine, I LOVE the Schwartzman.  Ever since I saw him in Rushmore (sidenote – I just googled Rushmore so I could give you a link, and wow, he looks really really young).  And if you haven’t seen Schwartzman in Bored to Death, you haven’t lived.

Stolen directly from Janine’s post – those photos over there and this video below.  Oh, you didn’t know that Schwartzman is in a band?  Check it out.