In the past week or so, I’ve come as close to a heavy rotation on my iPod as I ever will. I discovered this outstanding podcast, Positively 10th Street. It’s done by a family in NYC: two parents and three kids ages 9-14. Lot’s of talk about raising kids and getting along as a family and tons of great music.

The most beautiful thing about the format is that if you’re bored by the family talk or any of the songs, you can FF through it and just listen to the music. (Did I mention the music is outstanding?)

Anyway, I was listening to the 7/29/05 podcast and GothamGal lays into the music industry and cites Semisonic as an example of what’s wrong with music. She plays Closing Time, and then says,

“That’s one of those songs that you can download on itunes and you can put it in your mix batch because you would never in a million years listen to the rest of the songs on the cd.”

One of the things that I like about this podcast is that it has re-ignited my love of new music. So often, I get a bad taste of a band because the only tracks I hear from them are the one or two that I hear on the radio when in fact. Prime examples of this are Coldplay, Jack Johnson, and David Gray. But the fact is, there are a lot of outstanding tracks behind the “one hit” of these wonders. This podcast has opened my ears to these “deeper tracks.”
This is of course one of the problems with iTunes. People are inclined to buy the one-hit off the CD and then are never exposed to rest of the music. In some cases, the depth and quality of their other music is what got the artists signed in the first place.

Semisonic was truly a great band. Their first three albums: the Pleasure EP, The Great Divide, and Feeling Strangely Fine, were deep solid albums. They blended dreamy mystical songs with some driving rock/funk numbers in their albums. Some of the wordplay in the lyrics were unique and inspiring. And the live shows — the ones that I was on-time for, sorry again guys — tied together great music with witty stories and chat.

Semisonic is far from a one-hit wonder. Their influence on other music continues today. The new Mike Doughty CD, Haughty Melodic is getting rave reviews from many outlets, including Positively 10th Street here, here, and here. The producer is Minneapolis’ own Dan Wilson.


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