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Welcome to episode #2 of Project Wideawake.

For those of you who didn’t get it the first time, here’s the 411 on the name of this project:

In the second X-Men movie, there’s a scene where Mystique, disguised as Yuriko Oyama, breaks into Stryker’s computer. If you look closely at the monitor, you can see a folder labeled “Project Wideawake.” For some reason, that caught my attention, and I backed up, paused the dvd, and zoomed in on it. I knew I would have a use for it later.

Then, when I realized that I would be doing a music blog, it didn’t take me too long to realize this would be the perfect title, because good music can keep me wide awake for a long time.

Anyway, I think I’ve found a focus for this particular podcasting project: I just want to play some music that I really like. Very little of this is Top 40; all of it is podcast safe. If you are a musician, one downside to the internet is that people can share your work without paying you for it, as Metallica found out. The upside is that if you are not a big, hugely successful, incredibly wealthy group like Metallica, then the internet is a good way to get your music out there.

So what I am going to do here is to introduce you to some different music (some new, some not so new), and include links where you can get this music yourself. Sometimes this will be a link to Amazon (where I get a little tiny bit of what you spend on music there), but more often than not, it will be a link to the performer’s website, where you can usually get the track for free or for a small donation.

Now you know what I’m about, so let’s get down to business.

This episode’s tunes

Today’s playlist is seven songs, coming in at just under 30 minutes total. Anything beyond that is just me blathering on about things.

  • “American Dream Man” by Leslie Hunt (3:20)
  • “Before I Get Old” by ThatsMyName (3:39)
  • “Poor Little Boy” by Yvalain (3:14)
  • “Skydiving” by Jonay, featuring Jasmine Kara (4:08)
  • “Dropping Out of School” by Brad Sucks (3:44)
  • “Only a Creation” by Thansmyname (4:57)
  • “David & Goliath” by Wooden Legs (6:19)

You may remember Leslie Hunt from American Idol back in 2007, I think. She was one of the 24 finalists, but got the boot fairly quickly. As a vocalist, she has some chops. She’s not in the same league as Janis Joplin or Debbie Harry, but I still enjoy the sassy attitude of this song. Think of it as Katy Perry, only more mature. You can visit her website at www.lesliehunt.net. This song is from her album Your Hair is on Fire.

 

I can’t find out much about ThatsMyName, other than they’re a French group, with a rich acoustic sound. This if off their EP Under the Roof. They don’t have a website, but you can check in with them on MySpace.

Yvalain is a French performer, who is also on MySpace. (What is it with French people and MySpace?) I can’t say that I would want to be stuck on a deserted island with this album (Soul Colors), but it is certainly different from what I usually listen to, and that’s what’s important.

Jonay is actually Bulgarian, but has spent most of his life in Sweden. This is not really my taste in music—I’m no fan of hip-hop in general—but since I got my hands on this song, I’ve listened to it dozens of times. It’s definitely a great summer song. Jasmine Kara is also Swedish (her father is Iranian), and she has the most beautiful voice. You must listen to this song.

Jonay releases all his music for free, so head on over to his website where you can download this song, and then pay a visit to Jasmine Kara.

Brad Sucks is actually Brad Turcotte, who is a one man band. He doesn’t suck. You can visit his website here, where you can get some more of his tunes. This one is off his album Out of It. Even better—he’s a canuck! Yay!

Wooden Legs has that beautiful Celtic sound that Americans are now familiar with, thanks to groups like Celtic Thunder and Celtic Woman. Guess what, though? This group isn’t from Ireland, or Scotland, or even the UK. They’re from (insert mental drum roll)……………..Italy. That’s right, an Italian group performing Celtic music. How postmodern is that? I can’t say I like all their music, because their singing is a bit uneven at times, but I love this piece. It’s like Riverdance, only without all the annoying dancers.

Well, that’s it. I promised to introduce you to some music you’ve never heard before, and I think I’ve succeeded. If you like this podcast, click on the donate link up above and send me some green love. If you like the music you heard, buy some of it. The only way to keep hearing good music is to support the people who produce it.

All these tracks come to me courtesy of Jamendo, who provides podcast-safe music that you can stream and donwnload. Stop by sometime and have a listen. Enjoy.

Okay, I have been looking for a really good way to include a poll here, so you can vote for your favorite or least favorite song from this podcast, but haven’t come up with one. So for now, just add a comment telling the rest of us which songs you did or didn’t like. Thanks!

 

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