Music, Shameless self indulgence

Four good emusic finds

Your Monkey has been an emusic member for about six months now, and he’s had fun hunting through the stacks and stacks of music in search of diamonds in the rough.

For those of you who don’t know, emusic is an music subscription service where you get a set number of downloads per month depending on what plan you have. This monkey is on the 37 per month plan.

You pay less per song than you do on itunes, but the catch is that most of the popular music you’d want to download from itunes won’t be there.

In other words, you won’t find any Lady Gaga, Kayne West, Katy Perry or Jonas Brothers on the emusic site.

But you can find some Jimi Hendrix on there, as well as some Van Morrison, some Bob Dylan and some Simon and Garfunkle.

Oh yeah, and lots and lots of indie music, from the relatively well known (the National & My Morning Jacket) to bands you’ve never heard of (and probably should never hear of).

But if you are persistent in your searching, and willing to gamble with your downloads, you can often find good songs/artists in unexpected places.

So here goes my list so far.

1. Eilen Jewell: It seems somewhat odd that this singer-songwriter is currently based out of Boston, since her music has a country swing that is more suited to Nashville or Texas. What is best about Jewel is that she manages to blend country influences with a slightly sultry, film-noirish vibe. Check out “Sweet Rose” and “Codeine Arms.” Find her website here.

2. Dead Heart Bloom: Don’t know much about this band but decided to take a flyer on them when they came up  as an emusic suggestion and really liked what they sound like. Apparently it is a one-man project by Boris Slasky, a former member of a band called Phaser. Check out “Who Will You Love” and “Chelsea Song #2.” Also, this band is currently giving away loads of music for free on its website, which you can find here.

3. The Assemble Head in Starburst Sound: As the name suggests, this is a groovily psychedelic band that manages to be both spaced-out and drenched in sun. It’s as if someone gave the Silver Surfer a guitar and an effects pedal, and sat him in front of a classic rock radio station for 20 years. Check out the smooth waves of guitar on “A Bourbon for Rudy.” Find the band’s website here.

4. Scanners: This English band brings some much needed visceral intensity to your Monkey’s music library. They are a little bit rock, a little bit electro-pop, and a little bit industrial. Check out “Violence is Golden.” The band’s myspace site is here.

Here’s Eilen Jewell doing a cover song:

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