Music

One Christmas at a Time

John Roderick & Jonathan Coulton have come together to make a great album of Christmas music. The record is 10 tracks long, and features all-new tracks; there aren’t any of your run-of-the-mill Christmas hymns on this thing. It’s a lot of fun, and if you like Roderick or Coulton, you’ll love this disc. You can purchase the album online starting at just…

Fender Squier Usb Stratocaster Guitar

Before the USB Stratocaster Guitar, hooking up a guitar to a Mac or iOS device required a USB-ready break-out box, but no more. This $200 axe includes a regular 1/4-inch passive output, but also a Mini-B USB port, so plugging right in to a computer or iOS device is a snap. The high-quality headphone amp lets you listen to the output without…

‘The Carpenter’ by the Avett Brothers

If you’re looking for some smooth, heart-felt folk music that deals with the darker side of things. The band is no stranger to heartache, and that really comes across on this record. From front-to-back, it’s thoughtful and sober, with the same great performance we’re used to from this grou. It’s just $7.99 for the 12-track album.

Pre-order: Babel (Deluxe Edition) by Mumford & Sons

Everyone’s favorite English folk rock band has a new album coming out September 25. Named Babel, it’s available for pre-order on iTunes now. If the tracks scattered across YouTube are any indication, this album should be a instant hit with fans of the group’s unique sound. The Deluxe Edition will ship with three additional tracks. For the Mumford & Sons fan, the…

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Soundtrack

If you enjoy epic and instrumental soundtracks, you’ll enjoy the latest work by Hans Zimmer: the original motion picture soundtrack for The Dark Knight Rises. Zimmer, who is the leader of the film music division at DreamWorks studios, has composed the musical accompaniment for all three of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.

The JHS Panther, Analog Delay Pedal

I’m a drummer, so I don’t know too much when it comes to guitar pedals, but I do know that analog provides a very different tone and effect than digital. And so this brand-new analog delay pedal, the Panther, is something special. The internal circuit board was custom designed and each pedal is made by hand in the USA.

“The Reckoning” Album by NEEDTOBREATHE

This new-to-me band, NEEDTOBREATHE is led by two brothers whose father was a preacher. The lyrics and melodies sound like a southern gospel rock band and are full of heart and soul. The music is engaging and teases you to keep turning it up just a little bit louder and a little bit louder. (Also available on Amazon.)

Michael Bublé Christmas Album

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Christmas Music. I generally prefer instrumental, jazz renditions of classic Christmas carols. But Michael Bublé’s new Christmas album is pretty great, too. We’ve been listening to it pretty regularly for the past couple of weeks, interspersed with our normal Christmas jazz. It’s also available as MP3 on Amazon and iTunes.

MuteMath, “Odd Soul”

Long have I been a fan of MuteMath. These guys write great music that packs tons of punch. Their most-recent album, Odd Soul, is Mutemath at their finest. Fun, energetic, thoughtful, artistic, and crazy. (Also available on Amazon MP3 Store.)

Switchfoot, “Vice Verses” Album

I’ve long been a fan of the genuine music that Switchfoot makes. They’re classy and they rock. Their latest album, Vice Verses, is fantastic. I’ve been listening to it at least once a day (Preferably very loudly) since it came out. (Also available on Amazon MP3.)

A Fantastic Bluetooth Speaker: The Jawbone Jambox

The Jawbone Jambox is a Bluetooth speaker rig that packs a surprising amount of punch. When I first turned mine on I was shocked at the clarity and fullness that such a small speaker box could produce. It connects to any device that has Bluetooth (such as your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, etc…) and can pump the jams for over 8 hours.…

Cardboard FM Radio and MP3 Player

An inexpensive FM radio with a cardboard casing that also has an auxiliary input for your MP3 player of choice? Awesome. This thing would be ideal for use in the garage, outside, at the beach, camping, or as part of your cardboard box collection. (Thanks, Dave.)

The Social Network Soundtrack

So long as we’re talking about music today, here’s another recommended album: The Social Network soundtrack. I spend most of my working day writing at my desk. And writing is, for me, a mostly quiet endeavor. Too much noise or distraction and I can’t concentrate. But there are times when I really do need some background music and for those moments soundtracks…

“Torches” by Foster the People

Oddly enough this album was recommended to me by the record store employee in this Rdio promo video. And the truth is I really do like the new Foster the People album. Maybe you will, too. (Torches is also available in CD, vynil, and MP3 versions on Amazon.)

“Young Love” Album by Mat Kearney

Mat Kearney’s music is the sort you keep hitting Play on. His 2011 album, Young Love has fun and up-beat beats, with clean and classy lyrics. Mat’s music makes the perfect companion for late-night projects and August road trips alike. (Young Love is available on iTunes for $9.99, but is currently $5 on the Amazon MP3 store.)

Sony MDR7506 Professional Headphones

The Sony 7506 headphones are about as good as a headphone can come for the price. For less than a C-Note you get a studio-quality headphone that will last for a lifetime. Whether you’re recording a podcast or the next platinum record, or even pumping the jams so you don’t have to listen to your co-workers, these are a great choice.

M-Audio Studiophile Monitor Speakers

These bad boys are the perfect companion to sit side-by-side with that big computer monitor of yours. Who cares if you’re mixing an album or blasting your iTunes library, the point is it’ll sound good and you won’t make your wallet cry in the process.

Tron Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

I don’t know what’s better: the movie, or the soundtrack. Okay, actually yes I do know: the soundtrack. Sometimes I wonder if they decided to make the movie just so Daft Punk could write the soundtrack. But no matter the reason, I’m glad they did. And note: this album sounds best with the volume turned up loud.