Morning Music

The AS office isn’t a unique structure, it’s rather non-descript, and we like it that way. It’s located in a former residence, like many dozens on Nashville’s Music Row, which provides for some quirky arrangements, i.e. a staircase descending to nowhere, a coffee-maker in the bathroom and such. Outside, the Row, is usually pretty quiet in the morning.The AS office isn’t a unique structure, it’s rather non-descript, and we like it that way. It’s located in a former residence, like many dozens on Nashville’s Music Row, which provides for some quirky arrangements, i.e. a staircase descending to nowhere, a coffee-maker in the bathroom and such. Outside, the Row, is usually pretty quiet in the morning.

I get here early each day; about an hour or so before anyone else. I get in early so I can read the news, sip on my cup of cheap coffee (that I brewed in the bathroom, but not with toilet water, gross) and let my day unfold before me. The stillness and quiet allows the opportunity to make a dent in my overflowing music bin. Over the past few months or so I’ve chiseled away at that bin, and I’ve stacked up a few keepers next to my CD player (yeah, we still use those). These discs are part of my morning stretch, and are as important as a healthy and balanced breakfast, before the flurry of the day commences.

Phosphorescent Pride (DEAD OCEANS)

Matthew Houck creates wispy, eerie tracks that hover over the office in the morning, like fog over a pasture before the sun breaks. Houck was bred in Alabama, but has since moved up north. Folks say his music is tinged with Southern-gothic, and I guess I agree. Pride highlights the best of what uncomplicated choral arrangements and sparse instrumentation can do these days. They’re surreal and nostalgic: like watching a baptism in a creek or staring into a waning campfire. Each time I listen to it in the morning, I sit back in my chair, and think “Damn, that’s beautiful.” Go to his MYSPACE.

Songs of Green Pheasant Gyllyng Street (FAT CAT)

We reviewed Songs of Green Pheasant’s mini-release Aerial Days a few issues back, maybe even longer than that. When Fat Cat sent me Gyllyng Street, I listened to it eagerly, then it fell under a stack of undesirables. But I found it again, and it is consistently in my morning rotation. Duncan Sumpner’s ambient soundscapes invoke fleeting dream sequences and resemble the steady soft crashing of waves. It is a big step forward from his previous work.


Black Moth Super Rainbow Dandelion Gum (GRAVEFACE)

I stumbled upon Black Moth Super Rainbow getting a subscription to ESOPUS magazine. “One Day I Had an Extra Toe” is the lead track on ESOPUS’s sampler, which is titled Dreams, and is also a great morning listen. After wearing that thing out, I had to buy Dandelion Gum. The album weaves and winds out of languid electro-beats, but is upbeat enough to keep me going while I chug my second cup of coffee. From what I can gather, BMSR is a group of talented hippies living in rural Pennsylvania. CHECK ‘EM OUT.

CITAY Little Kingdom (DEAD OCEANS)

This is my favorite CD to put on in the morning. This eight-piece psych outfit hails from San Francisco. Citay’s lush sound is anchored by the guitars (Ezra Feinberg and Tim Green) that come off as classical at times, yet are undoubtedly progressive and modern. The vocals, percussion, and synth provide appropriate accents and loft to this fine, epic-sounding LP. If Little Kingdom contains a fault, please, don’t bother to point it out to me. I can’t think of a better way to start of my day. LISTEN.

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