Weekend Music Game: What’s in Your Ears?

by Ken Mueller on January 11, 2013 · 66 comments

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Kicking off the first of my new Friday Blogging Experiment, whereby I go off the beaten path of marketing posts and just play around and have fun. To start I thought I would keep it simple, and participatory. I’ve done the Weekend Music Game before, and hope you’ll join me in this. The idea is to see what type of music we each have in our chosen music players.

The rules are simple:

1) Set your music player, whatever it is (I use Spotify) to random/shuffle/DJ and click play.

2) List the first five songs that play. Perhaps even tell us a little something about some of them.

3) No skipping. That’s the hard part. This isn’t about being cool or hiding some of the embarrassing stuff you have in your library. It can actually be kind of funny. It might be that a Christmas song comes up, or a kids’ song. Or…that Bieber song you don’t want anyone to know about. You might even rediscover something you haven’t heard in awhile.

So here goes. Here are my Weekend Music Game songs:

1) Jon Anderson – Everybody Loves You – from a solo album from the lead singer of Yes which came out while I was in college (1980) and played quite a bit on the college radio stationl

2) Amy Stroup – Grace Abounds – I discovered Amy through the Ten Out of Tenn series and her work with Trent Dabbs in Sugar & the Hi-Lows.

3) Bruce Cockburn – When the Sun Goes Nova – Discovered Cockburn in college radio as well, and quickly became a fan, to the point of importing all of his older vinyl that was only available in Canada. A few  years later, Columbia released them all on CD in the states. Oh well. This is from one of his earliest albums, 1973’s Night Vision.

4) Richard Buckner – Thief – Interesting that this came up as I just discovered this album from 2011 the other day, and it’s a new favorite of mine.

5) Brown Feather Sparrow – Try to Foat- A favorite from this Dutch band. Simply beautiful.

Bonus five –

6) The Punch Brothers – It’ll Happen

7) Tsunami – Punk Means Cuddle

8) Hank Snow & Anita Carter – Down the Trail of Achin’ Hearts

9) Neil Young – When You Dance, I Can Really Love

10) Steely Dan – Home at Last

So, that’s my list, and now it’s your turn. You don’t have to explain anything about the songs if you don’t want, but feel free to play along and just live your first five songs. Might be a way for us all to discover new music, as well as help us learn more about each other.


 Weekend Music Game: Whats in Your Ears?

I listen to a lot of music from India. You wouldn't understand a word! :)

Latest blog post: I don't need you


1) William Shatner – I Can't Get Behind That

(Has Been, arranged by Ben Folds) FUN album; had the chance to see the film William Shatner and the Gonzo Ballet at the Nashville Film Festival a few years ago and sat across the aisle from Shatner. 

2) Broken Social Silence – Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl

(Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) This is my favorite album to work to; lots of good songs/artists on this one.

3) U2 – Original of the Species

(How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb) No stories here. 

4) The Beatles – The End 

(Abbey Road) Can't go wrong with Abbey Road.

5) Weezer – O Girlfriend

(Green Album) Love me some Weezer.


56 comments already? Nice experiment! 

Dixie Chicken by Little Feat -- an all-time favorite. First heard it in high school many years ago when my buddy's gorgeous older sister was playing guitar and singing in a "coffee house" (places where underage teens could hang out in the 70's). I was worried we wouldn't like her singing... she was unbelievably good, as far as my 15-yr-old ears could tell. 

Where Would I Be Without You -- Beach Boys  

Heaven -- Los Lonely Boys

Hello Mary Lou -- Rick Nelson (I miss Ricky!) 

I Don't Need A Reason -- The Skip Castro Band, a Charlottesville Va/ UVa band who worked full-time from about '78 - '88, and still play occasional concerts even though they all have day jobs. No one was/is more fun than Skip Castro. Four perfectly normal guy-next-doors who would transform themselves into rockin' r&b stars on a daily basis. Here's a video from sometime in late 80s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX518WcYW-s


1. Frederik - Black fur

2. Support lesbiens - Abandoned Prayers   ... this used to be one of my favorite bands, they're from Czech, but sing in english. Dont really know this album though.

3. The Black Keys - These Days ... still getting to know these guys

4. The Mistletoe Singers - Let it snow Let it snow

5. Mindy Smith - Falling ... Never heard this one before, its from a Smallville soundtrack

... I havent heard most of these songs before, but I did enjoy all of them...even the Christmas one :)


just to balance out the mess o' tunes listed, here's some sweet, sweet country:

5-1-5-0 Dierks

Pontoon LBT

Love Make Me HH

(Kissed You) Good Night Gloriana

Dancin' Away with My Heart  Lady A


I tink we've had this convo before Ken. I don't use a music player. Let me check my ITunes and see what comes up: {checks phone} ....well, that was fun. It's not working. Remind me never to update my frikken phone ever again!!! It's been a nightmare!!


I'll Play. I subscribe to rdio & have several playlists:

1) Mackelmore (Feat Mary Lambert)- Same Love.  EVERYONE should listen closely to this. One of my favs.

2) Jason Mraz -93 Million Miles

3) Maroon 5 - Daylight

4) Killers- All These Things I've Done

5) Grace Potter - Stars

Latest blog post: Come see our new digs!


1) Field Report – I Am Not Waiting Anymore -- Field Report is a project of Chris Porterfield, who formerly was in DeYarmond Edison, the band that Justin Vernon was in prior to Bon Iver. One of my favorite albums of 2012.

2) Dr. Dog – Fools Life -- Ironically, this is one of my least favorite Dr. Dog songs. The intro makes me think I'll have a seizure.

3) Jordan Hull – King of Swing -- I encountered Jordan's music through the Toy Soldiers clan. Ron used to cover Jordan's song "By The Light of the Moon." Jordan's new album (Who's Gonna Teach You How To Live?) is a must-listen.

4) The National – Start A War -- One of my favorite lyrical images in the opening lines - "Do you really think you can just put it in a safe behind a painting, lock it up and leave?" 

5) The Traveling Wilburys – Handle With Care -- Sadly, the only Traveling Wilburys song I own. I purchased it before a group of local musicians (Kyle Morgan, Colin Deibler, Dominic Billett and I) got together to cover it. And while we're on the topic, here's what we came up with: http://vimeo.com/48290316.


Alright Ken, you asked for it!

1) Space Cowboy- Thunderheist- sad this amazing Montreal based group has split up now, but their self-titled disc will not disappoint.

2) He's a Good Lad- Bread- YES I love the Bread! I am a white chick born in the 70s...

3) Liberty Ship- The La's- such excellent pop songs. 

4) Ready to Change- Joe, Marc's Brother- Props to the Indie Soup Runner podcast for bringing this gem in to my life. 

5) Traffic Light- The Ting Tings- Love them! 

Bonus 5-

6) The Killing Type- Amanda Effing Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra- put on one of the best live performances I have ever seen. 

7) Faraway Swimmingpool- Mum- who doesn't love a little Icelandic electro-twee pop?

8) Shadows- Honeycut- great little indie dance song that makes it on to my running lists.

9) The Way- Record Producer- fun samples from Peter and the Wolf

10) Soft- King of Leon-back when they were still making good music and not sounding like a Coldplay rip off. 

I am proud of this selection, especially the Bread. Only a little Jimmy Buffett could have made it more typically RAT. 


Something on Friday just for fun? What a concept! Please forgive my non-yet-participating status, re: Spotify, etc., so I will try to be as honest as I can about a likely top five artists on my iTunes playlist

1.  Beatles – Hide your love away (also love the Kentucky Headhunters version); finally got the Beatles entire collection for my birthday and listen to all of it

2.  Bruce Cockburn – got to see Bruce live about 15 years ago at a writer's conference; favorite song "Tie Me at the Crossroads," but favorite line is from "Soul of a Man"  "I read the Bible often / I try to read it right / As far as I can understand / Ain't nothing but a burning light.  Also, if you're not in the mood for lyrics while you work, check out "Speechless," for some of his incredible, signature guitar playing

3.  Nickel Creek –  I listen to Chris Thiele's post-Nickel Creek stuff, too, but admit I'm sill hooked on his earlier music here.  Fans of romantic sarcasm, check out "Somebody More Like You" and self-doubting seekers everywhere should try "Doubting Thomas"

4.  John Gorka – " The Water is Wide" from a tribute album to Pete Seeger. I am an old folkie at heart; this is one of the first songs I learned to play.

5.  Taylor Swift – OK, I'm really being honest here. So shoot me. I have teenage daughters.  Besides that, like many songwriters in and around country, she can write a better hook than most of us can write a blog post headline, and tell a more compelling story to boot.  Fire up your old embers of teen angst and try "You Belong to Me." or "Fifteen" (and as a Dad, you gotta love the clear warnings in the latter: "Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now").

(sorry.. got kinda carried away there...)


Love this idea Ken!! I'll try it out today and post later what my five were :)

KenMueller moderator

I'll throw in a quick new list from this morning.

1) 10CC - Rubber Bullets

2) Starflyer 59 - Harmony

3) Kasey Chambers - Colour of a Carnival

4) Van Morrison - It's All in the Game

5) Gang of Four - Damaged Goods


Les Discrets - Svipdagr & Freyja

Sacrum Mysterium - Manx Gaelic lullaby

The Black Ryder - All That We See

Solstafir - Stinningskaldi

Jack Rose & The Black Twig Pickers - Little Sadie

I ... uh ... listen to obscure stuff.

KenMueller moderator

@LamaThePrincess Haha. Thanks for playing, Svatia. I like the Black Keys and Mindy Smith, for sure. 

KenMueller moderator

@JoanneCalderwood haha. I can always count on you for country, though not everyone knows those initials. But I do, and I'm more than OK with this list. thank you!

KenMueller moderator

@belllindsay iTunes is a music player, yeesh. what the heck is wrong with you?? oh...wait...nevermind.


Whoa! I didn't realize the video would pop up like that!

KenMueller moderator

@creativeoncall Another Cockburn fan! and I love both Soul of a Man and Tie Me at the Crossroads. Was that the conference out at Calvin?  My favorite album of his is still Humans from when I was in college. A sad but wonderful disc. 

And great list across the board! Thanks for playing!

KenMueller moderator

@yvettepistorio Well, hurry back! We all want to know what kind of music you listen to. I have some hunches...

KenMueller moderator

@amberdegrace Nothing wrong with that! I love the name "Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers"


@KenMueller -- great Friday idea! Now I won't get any work done (it's still 2:20 here in Spokane) reminiscing and wishing I could have made Skip Castro's 35 year anniversary show in Richmond VA couple of weeks ago...

What's the emoticon for sweet sadness? :-(–: 


@KenMueller @creativeoncall Yep, that was the Calvin College conference.  I remember him shocking (trying to shock?) the crowd that a Christian would/could drop the F bomb.  I think Mumford & Sons are catching the same kind of flack (just starting to listen to them). I really appreciate how visceral his music is, both in the lyrics and guitar playing.  Great new game, thanks!


@KenMueller @yvettepistorio I'm Spotify retarded and don't know how to set it to random. So of the music I starred...

Bruno Mars - Locked Out of Heaven - this song just makes me want to dance!

Sea Wolf - The Violet Hour - from one of the Twilight soundtracks. Yeah, yeah, I'm a grown woman and I love Twilight.

Commercials, commercials, commercials!!!

Paramore - Ignorance - One of my fave bands. I love the lead singer's voice.

Adele - Set Fire to the Rain - who doesn't love Adele!

Motion City Soundtrack - Mary Without Sound - I used to be in LOVE with this band. Brings me back to my early 20's.

The Lumineers - Classy Girls - one of my recent faves. I could listen to them all day and just feel relaxed.

Oh, that's six!! An eclectic mix I'd say...so was your hunch right? I've been really into more folksy music for some reason...loving the Civil Wars and The Lumineers lately.

KenMueller moderator

@sydcon_mktg Just reserving comment on a few of your other choices. *whistles and walks away*

KenMueller moderator

@yvettepistorio then you should also check out Of Monsters and Men, as well as The Last Bison. Both good bands in that vein.

KenMueller moderator

@yvettepistorio they have a sound similar to the Civil Wars and maybe a little of Mumford thrown in.


@KenMueller @yvettepistorio I'm definitely in the Bruno Mars realm, just depends on my mood. Pretty cool that your friend produced the Civil Wars album!! I'll definitely check out The Lone Bellow! I'm always looking for music suggestions :)

KenMueller moderator

@yvettepistorio @KenMueller Hmm. I think I was wrong, though I had you more in the Bruno Mars realm. But Lumineers and Sea Wolf is more up my alley. Love the Civil Wars. A friend of mine produced their album. You should check out the new stuff from a band called The Lone Bellow. They toured with the Civil Wars and were produced by the same guy.


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