Some free commuter music to start off your week

CMT Edge 2012 SamplerEvery so often I like to peruse the free samplers from Amazon MP3, and as I was doing so this morning I found some commuter tunes among Amazon’s recent additions.

A pleasant listening surprise was the CMT Edge 2012 Sampler — pleasant because country music is not usually a genre that I lean toward. This sampler had three commuter-themed songs — at least when it came to the titles or band names:

The commuter tie-in of the Community Music Sampler is a little more of a stretch, but I enjoyed most of the tracks, so give it a listen. The two loosely commuter-themed songs are “So I Turn” by Aaron Embry and  “Give Me A Sign” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes.

The Green Hill Jazz Sampler has one song that is the perfect Friday drive-home song. Not matter your mood, stresses or traffic volume, it will put you in the right Friday afternoon frame of mind. Fair warning: “Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home” by Sam Levine is likely to induce some Dixieland dancing and hand jives in the driver’s seat.

One of my favorite artists of 2010, Frazey Ford, can be found on the Nettwerk Fall Music Sampler 2012 but the commuter song in that collection in both title and artist is “The Wrong Direction” by Passenger.

Finally, this list would not be complete if we did not include “Big Blue Bus” from Max & Ruby Bunny Party. Naturally, this only recommended if you have toddlers. Also check out “Telephone Song” with its subliminal message to use your headset or in-car Bluetooth controls while talking on the phone in the car — or at least that’s my inference from Max’s sirens in the background.

Sam solos at the Sandwich Grade 5 Jazz Band Spring Concert

Tequila! And a surprise “Sammy” Joy solo!

We had no idea the solo was coming. So glad I had the camera rolling! We asked Sam about it later, and he said he had simply wanted to keep it a surprise.

The conductor announced him as Sammy Joy, and ordinarily Sam does not like to be called Sammy. He later confessed, though, that he didn’t mind, likely because he was so excited that he had successfully completed the solo. I told him it would simply have to become his new jazzy stage name, which he seemed to think was a good idea.

Apologies for the jerkiness of the camera. Benjamin was crawling on me a couple of times during the performance. Next time I’ll bring the tripod.

Rock to the Max, Mr. Sax – Part I

This post is a bit tardy. I accompanied Sam a few weeks ago to the Pasta and Jazz Supper at Sandwich High School, where the Fifth Grade Jazz Band helped out with raising money for the high school band to attend a national competition.

Not only did Sam have a great time playing in the concert, but I traded him my cookie for his salad, so he got a double bonus that night!

Update: Part II is here.

Sam’s Band Concert – Jan. 28, 2009

The Henry T. Wing School Grade 5 Band does a song-and-dance number at its Winter Concert on Jan. 28, 2009. Sam is right in the center of things (watch for the identifying ballon at about the 20-second mark), but we were in the Sandwich High School balcony to compensate for a fidgety Benjamin, so it’s a little hard to tell. That, and Daddy the Videographer did not have a very steady hand with his first Blackberry Storm video shoot….

The good news — or bad news depending on your tolerance for video quality — is I finally figured out how to transfer the video from the phone to the laptop via Bluetooth, and then convert it to a format for worldwide consumption. Lucky you, dear viewer!

Now playing: Rusted Root – Send Me on My Way
via FoxyTunes

Favorite music and books of 2008

Each year my friend, Geoff, leads the charge amongst a group of us longtime friends and shares his favorite songs and books of the year. His primary motivation is to inspire reciprocation, thus expanding his musical and literary horizon.

So tonight, while snowed in and sitting by the New Year’s Eve fire with Brandy, I started preparing my ranking, in full anticipation of his e-mail in the next few days. Lo and behold, he was simultaneously preparing his list, and his hit my Inbox while I was in the midst of crafting mine.

Clearly we were on the same wavelength, which serves as further evidence why we’ve been such great friends for so long.

You’ll have to ask Geoff for his personally. He certainly didn’t anticipate his being shared with my small blog audience….

However, for anyone keeping score at home, mine is below.


A couple of notes:

  1. I let iTunes do my ranking for me. My criteria is that the songs were added to my library in 2008, and they are then ranked by rating (four stars or better, a functionality I use throughout the year to mark my favorites). The number of times each has played throughout the year acts as tie-breaker.
  2. Though these songs have been added within the past year, they may have been released in prior years. I think that’s in keeping with how many consume music in this age of the Long Tail.
  3. I’m sharing the list online because many — though not all — of these songs were downloaded for free via iTunes, Amazon, LastFM or the artists themselves. So the least I can do is trade the artists some publicity and back links.

With that out of the way, on with the music.

  1. “Stranger Than a Stranger” by Oliver Future

    Free download of another track:
  2. “How To See The Sun Rise” by Ben Sollee
  3. “Shine On Babylon” by Sheryl Crow
  4. “Our December” by Thriving Ivory

    Free download of another track:
  5. “Flowering Spade” by Sean Hayes

    Free download of another track:
  6. “Hometown Glory” by ADELE

    Some other tracks available here:
  7. “Eve, The Apple of My Eye” by Bell X1
  8. “Bang My Drum” by Danielia Cotton

    Free download of another track:
  9. “You, Me & The Bourgeoisie” by The Submarines

    Free copy:
  10. “Color” by Toby Lightman
  11. “Brotherhood Of Man” by The Innocence Mission
  12. “Something Good This Way Comes” by Jakob Dylan
  13. “Boys With Girlfriends” by Meiko

    Free download of another track:


These are in order of consumption, as they were the only ones I managed to read cover to cover (or listen to on CD) this past year. I did enjoy them all, but “Schulz” and “Dinner With Dad” were easily my favorites:

Please reciprocate with your favorites in the comments. I, like Geoff, look forward to expanding my horizons.