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Random songs

Playing on TV where I live is a commercial for Volkswagen in which a young dude is helping an old, blind man to find his family in the big city. The quite sweet scenes are scored by a song I knew, liked, and was sure I had. On Sunday my nephew told me what it was: I had introduced it to him through one of my favourite movies, Garden State. You know you have a problem when you have so much music, you can’t even remember what you have…
Bonnie Summerville – Winding Road.mp3

Still on the TV tack, if there is one reason to have loved the late O.C., it was for the series’ way of introducing to a wider audience some excellent music that otherwise might have lingered in obscurity (some steaming shit too, but that’s neither here nor there). Several shows have followed the template. Grey’s Anatomy has a particularly fine track record in that regard. One artist recurrently sampled on Grey’s is Emilíana Torrini, from Iceland (the name obviously gives her nationality away), whose tender, fragile songs are just touching. Here’s one, from 2005’s Fisherman’s Woman, which also featured on Grey”s:
Emilíana Torrini – Nothing Brings Me Down.mp3

The O.C. and a host of other shows and movies also introduced the world to Alexi Murdoch through the majestic “Orange Sky”, from the gorgeous Nick Drake-channelling Four Songs EP. Murdoch released his full debut last year, to no hype whatsoever. Time Without Consequence is a very good album, but it fails to equal the exquisite beauty of Four Songs, except on “Love You More”. It also features an inferior re-rerecording of “Orange Sky”, thus continuing a deplorable trend which I flagged here and here). This fascinating track featured on Prison Break (when Haywire jumps off the grain tower thing).
Alexi Murdoch – Home.mp3

I might hate Australia”s cricket team, but I like Australia’s music scene. Crowded House, Missy Higgins, Powderfinger, the Go-Betweens, the Vines…and Ben Lee. The latter was one part of the triumvirate that was The Bens, with the excellent Ben Kweller and the god-like Ben Folds (who is now an Aussie resident), so Lee has the implicit seal of approval by association. That seal is however tempered by a very patchy output: moments of near genius are offset by rampant crap even the singer himself couldn’t have considered to be of any value. But when Ben Lee shines, he does so brightly. Here is one of such bright moments:
Ben Lee – Whatever It Is.mp3

I note that The Fray are having a top 10 hit in the UK with this. I had the album it’s from two years ago already. A solid two-and-a-half-stars-out-of-five effort…
The Fray – How To Save A Life.mp3

I wish Mat Kearney would drop that silly white-boy rapping routine and do more of the John Mayer meets Joe Purdy stuff, like this:
Mat Kearney – All I Need.mp3

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