A couple of weeks ago, a couple of friends told me about a new(ish) music download service they were using called eMusic. I took their advice and signed up for the trial version and then immediately upgraded to a full account, which gives me 90 tracks per month for $20 per month. (Do the math, it is a good deal.)
But I’m not writing to pimp the service today, rather I am writing because one aspect of the service gave me access to a new treasure. EMusic sponsors concerts, which they record and then make available to customers. One such is a Denver concert by Mike Doughty.
In case you don’t recognize the name, Doughty is the former lead singer of Soul Coughing. SC made their name in the mid to late nineties with songs like “Circles” and “Janine”. They split up in ’98 or ’99 and Doughty began putting out solo records. His solo records are good but they lack some of the brilliance of the Soul Coughing records.
In this live performance, Doughty performs with just an acoustic guitar to accompany himself and he does an amazing job of interacting with the crowd. The concert is lively and engaging with the requisite sing-a-longs and audience banter. Doughty performs a good mix of new songs and old favorites from his Soul Coughing days. All in all, a great buy.
And I’m finding that this sets the pattern for eMusic. Through them, I have also gotten into another former front man, this time Frank Black, formerly Black Francis of the Pixies and his recordings “Honeycomb” and “Fast Man / Raiderman”, both of which show what a great songwriter he can be on his own. There are a lot of neo-country songs on the records and some fantastic imagery in his lyrics.
Another find: I have gotten back into Concrete Blonde. Back in the day, they were one of my favorite bands, but they broke up in the late nineties and the various members fell off my musical radar. In the past few years, the Blonde have gotten back together and put out a few new records, with some great songs.
I could go on and on, but, suffice to say, my ears have not been this happy in a while.
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