We're always posting new stories and interviews about the musicians we love to listen to. But what about the people who help bring these musicians to venues near you? By that, I mean the bookers, music writers, music fans, music marketers, and concert photographers (among many, many others) you might share a drink with on any given night. Sure, you might chat music for a bit. But do you know the most played songs on their playlists? Probably not. 8 Tracks is a new weekly feature spotlighting one music influencer and their top 8 songs at the moment. Make sure to listen along on Spotify here. It'll be changing weekly depending on who's choosing the songs, so make sure to save your favorites.
This week: Dave Murphy, blogger for Des Moines is NOT Boring and Iowaves Music Blog, as wel as contributing writer for the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition, and a 2013 Backstage Ball Award winner. Check Dave's work out at Des Moines Is Not Boring and Iowaves. See what he has to say about his eight picks below:
“Omission”// John Frusciante
Years ago, I would read almost every iTunes Celebrity Playlists. I guess I’m not sure if they still do them, they might, but it has been a while since I checked. They were often good sources for new music because so many celebrities would include some fairly obscure tracks. I imagine they did it to try and look as cool as possible and they would spout these sort of Pitchfork style reviews where they overused words like “ethereal” and “cacophony," Or maybe they just listened to better stuff than I and I was jealous. Anyway, this track by the (at the time) Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist is maybe my favorite track I picked up from one of those lists. Since this might be the closest I ever get to my own Celebrity Playlist, I figured I would include it as an homage. Plus, it is an ethereal cacophony.
“The Bleedout”// Aeon Grey
This was on my favorite album from 2013, Lead Breakfast, and I feel like not enough people have heard it. It is lyrically smart and challenging. It is musically smooth and expertly produced. I think we are seriously starting to enter into a golden age for Des Moines/Iowa hip-hop with Aeon Grey and Maxilla Blue, Gadema, Young Tripp, Media Fresh, Kris Adams and so much more.
“Artificial Light”// Typhoon
I went to Austin City Limits festival last year and Typhoon played one of my favorite sets of the weekend. I listened to them a little bit ahead of time, but I never really saw them, so I didn’t know what to expect. Typhoon showed up with like 20 quiet hipsters on stage, all playing different instruments or backup singing and they made maybe the biggest impression on me of the whole weekend. This is my favorite track, but really the whole album, White Lighter, is pretty incredible.
I really like MAIDS. What I like best about them is that they seem wholly unique. Not just to Iowa, but to everyone. In their previous gigs (I guess. I’m not sure they are finished with either, but I dunno, they might be) with Danny Heggen as part of Seedlings and Mickey Davis as Is Home Is, they were really good, but they had peers, or at least other people you could point to that maybe kind of sound like them. There are people who make similar music to MAIDS, but they usually throw a female vocalist or just full on auto-tune shenanigans. The sum of Danny’s voice and Mickey’s production makes them incredibly special.
“Dreamgirl ‘82”// Colourmusic
Colourmusic is a band who played the first 80/35 and the one I remember more than some of the bigger names like Frank Black, Jakob Dylan or Cracker, especially since I came into their set completely fresh. They were just so noisy and wonderful. They also represent something much bigger than just their music, at least to me. They represent this idea that you can find great bands if you’re willing to put in a minor amount of effort. That you can fall in love with a band that happens to open for one of your favorite bands, or they’re down towards the bottom of one of your favorite festivals, or even if someone you trust recommends them and you’re willing to press play and listen. That just because all the stuff on the radio sucks, doesn’t mean that this is a terrible time for music. It just means the radio sucks.
“Automatic Repulsion”// Love Songs For Lonely Monsters
I felt like I waited forever this album to come out, and I sort of expected to be disappointed just because I felt there was no way it would withstand the pressure I put on it in my mind. It is really good. Plus, they might be my favorite live band in Iowa, currently. They are so skilled and also so different from everyone else.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”// Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo'ole
I have a 1-year old son who likes to listen to music to help him fall asleep, so this beautiful medley of classic songs by the late, angelic-voiced Hawaiian works really well as a baby lullaby. It works well as a grown-up lullaby, too. If you haven’t heard this before, and I assume most have, go lie in the sun with this in your headphones and see how quickly you de-stress.
“Let it Go”// Idina Menzel
I also have a 4-year old daughter, so if I am being truthful, this is the song I listen to more than any other right now. I think I like it, but I also think I may have Stockholm Syndrome. But seriously, this is some pretty intense, theatre kid belting from the best theatre kid belter in the world. Don’t get fooled into listening to the Demi Lovato version, though. That version is for suckers. Demand the best. And help me, please, I may not be well.