CD Baby unfair advantage - December 2008
Christmas day is creeping closer, looming over you like those twinkling lights you never took down from the roof last year. Before you drown yourself in a sea of hard cider, take a gander at this handy cheat sheet we've compiled on your behalf. We've set aside choice cuts for mom, gathered up some holiday pop tunes, and hand-picked some discs just because we love them. Best of all, you need not even remove your Rudolph jammies to do your shopping.
In This Week's Unfair Advantage
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The Music of Scott Alan
Scott Alan – Keys: The Music of Scott Alan
Easy Listening: Musicals
This is the follow-up to the successful Dreaming Wide Awake, featuring some of today's brightest Broadway and West End Stars, including Sutton Foster, Julia Murney, Randy Graff, Norm Lewis, Kerry Ellis and More.
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Benise Righteous Mothers Nils Lofgren Kiosk
Latin: Flamenco
The Righteous Mothers
Best of The Righteous Mothers: The First 25 Years
Folk: Political
Nils Lofgren
The Loner - Nils Sings Neil
Rock: Acoustic
Bagh e Vahsh e Jahani (Global Zoo)
World: Persian Contemporary
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Gifts for Mom
After a childhood spent subjecting your mom to your "unique" taste in music, you finally have a chance to redeem yourself. Hook her up with some music she might actually enjoy. Whether she's looking for some seasonal tunes or something she can listen to once the tree's taken down, we've got some ideas that'll make her forget those afternoons you spent in your bedroom with the volume cranked. Note: don't see your mom's tastes reflected here? It's worth mentioning that we also have the new death metal offering from Nunslaughter, currently available for digital download.
Lisa Gungor
Lisa Gungor - From the Ground
Pop: Pop Underground
Just when you think everyone on the planet has forgotten what the ingredients are for a good song, Lisa Gungor comes along with an EP of catchy piano-based pop tunes that blend sophisticated harmonic changes, effortlessly memorable melodies, and smart, earthy lyrics. Lisa’s sparse-yet-punchy arrangements leave ample space for her beautifully smoky and earnest voice to works its magic. Her vocals are surrounded by light ornamentations provided by cello, kalimba, 60’s pop tambourine, atmospheric guitars, and pump organs. But no matter what sonic goodies bubble up to treat your ears, the songs remains the focal point, and rightfully so. These are solid compositions that could stand proudly on their own without any production tricks at all.

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Jake and the Leprechauns
Jake and the Leprechauns - A Long Dash (Followed by Ten Seconds of Silence)
Country: Alt-Country
Take a bit of Sufjan Stevens, a taste of Wilco, and a smattering of My Morning Jacket, and filter it through a Quebecois group of multi-talented musicians and you get this admirable new album from Jake and the Leprechauns. It's filled with great songs and singing, impeccably recorded by Arlen Thompson (of Wolf Parade), and the band, and mixed by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Islands, Beirut).

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Eureka Birds
Eureka Birds - Eureka Birds
Rock: Rock & Roll
Employing an unabashed yet tasteful bells-and-whistles approach to album production, this Baltimore sextet has mastered the art of layering sounds without sacrificing clarity or composition. Coupling indie pop with a darker side of folk, the resulting sound is initially one of gripping melancholy, often the result of the male/female vocal harmonies that play off each other, adding even more depth and character to their already distinct sound. Careful not to dwell, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel: the pensive progressions often open up into tight-knit pop melodies that press harder and aim to get you nodding your head. Fans of Rilo Kiley and The Decemberists would be wise to try this on for size.

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CD Baby Podcast Christmas Pop
The CD Baby Music Discovery podcast is already picking up steam and gaining listeners around the world. In the Christmas Pop podcast, our hosts Kevin and Peter bring you a healthy sampling of original holiday songs and fun takes on some tasty old chestnuts. From bubbly piano pop to sweet adult contemporary, this episode highlights some of the coolest, catchiest Christmas carols for the 21st century.

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We listen to every CD that comes through our doors, so we're privy to the always-changing (and often unexpected) common threads that run through our current releases. We hip you to the latest trends right here.
Haunting, Fractured Folk-Pop
With all of the sudden hype that surrounded Bon Iver at 2008's SXSW Festival you might think Justin Vernon came out of nowhere. But, in fact, his previous band DeYarmond Edison had been making similarly haunting music for quite some time, part of a long line of artists that have been blending hushed, fractured-folk and chamber-pop for over 40 years. Since 2000, when Volkswagon helped renew popular interest in Nick Drake's music thanks to their use of his song "Pink Moon," the modern indie landscape has been largely dominated by a resurgence of neo-folk influences. However, this new, ghostly folk music has shed the old skin of protest songs and didactic diatribes. This is painfully personal, earnest music, that balances intensity and tension with quiet understatement and whispery vocals. Included in this Playlist are 16 CD Baby artists that exemplify this sound, each in their own unique way. check 'em out.

Sofia Talvik - Jonestown
Folk: Folky Pop
Check out our Folk Playlist here
Sofia Talvik
Sandpeople Honest Racket
Phil and Zaeron aren’t just those warm-hearted, mild-mannered fellas that work in CD Baby’s digital distribution department. To many hip hop fans across the country they’re known as Ethic and Gold, rising stars in the Portland group Sandpeople. Unlike the Tusken Raiders in Star Wars, these Sandpeople are not easily startled. Nor do they have any need to return in greater numbers. They are already a fiercely talented 10-person crew that is hitting the Northwest underground hip hop scene harder than any other act in recent memory with a winning combination of whip-smart wit, biting political satire, big boasts that are backed up by real talent, and a healthy helping of juvenile fun. With a number of national tours behind them and a slew of highly successful independent releases to their name, it won’t be long before CD Baby is looking for two new digital distribution experts.
Independent music: a WAY better gift than argyle socks. Shop CD Baby now.

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