Oops, I forgot to post my March edition of Opening Notes. So…. second Monday of April it is! A few albums that I heard in March and a mini-love letter to my favorite record store.

Boris Dlugosch – Bionic Breaks
Genre: DJ mix of old-school electro, hip-hop, and breakbeats
First Impressions: One day, I took my lunch break and made a Park Ave CDs trip with my sister on a whim. While I was shopping around, I heard this dance music playing, and Sherri and I were sort of digging it. When she asked, the guy working there (whose name escapes me!) sold it right out of the CD player! It’s a rare out of print compilation from Germany, two discs of continuous chilled-out electro. Reminds me of my long-abiding affection for dance music, and makes me appreciate hip-hop a little bit more. I would’ve never found this on my own… and this is why record stores are greater than Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora combined.
Source: random used CD purchase from Park Ave CDs

Andrew Bird – Break it Yourself
Genre: Lo-fi indie folk, with violins and whistling!
First Impressions: The real reason I took the random record store trip was to get this while it was on sale. Compared to Noble Beast, my only other Andrew Bird experience, this is a much more chill and somber record, but it’s just as charming. I have yet to untangle the lyrical substance, but the effect is soothing and enchanting. Love the quirky violin strumming techniques, the whistling, the mysterious lyrics where a short line will break into my mind and command attention. Potential year end fave? It’s early, but maybe so, maybe so…
Source: Also my beloved Park Ave. CDs (vinyl!)

The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond
Genre: Diverse mix of folk, mainstream pop, and some big indie sounds
First Impressions: So I really wanted to hear this, because the lineup was pretty great. (Or at least, the thought of new music by Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, and The Civil Wars.) and it surely did not disappoint. On it’s own, this is a really great mix of music that has a rootsy folk feel most of the time, with some surprises thrown in. But what I really appreciate is how it captures the emotion and spirit of the story rather than sounding like a bunch of pop songs thrown together and called a “songs inspired by” mix. You probably don’t have to be a Hunger Games fan to appreciate this.
Source: Borrowed from my mom, who bought it after a similar “heard it in the record store” experience. So proud.

Eric Peters – Birds of Relocation
Genre: Literate folk meets confessional singer-songwriter pop
First Impressions: I discovered Eric Peters’ music at Hutchmoot last year and picked up his album Chrome, a beautifully honest yet heartbreaking record. When he launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new one, I was in. Now that I have the finished record, I’m noticing how it serves as a great companion and contrast to his last record, because while the first honestly wrestled with darkness and doubt, Birds feels like being set free and coming back to the light. I’ll be writing a full post about this one soon, and it will make more sense. :)
Source: I got mine for supporting on Kickstarter, but you can buy it at The Rabbit Room store.

New records in March: 12. Lots of reviews in the works for JFH soon. By the way, I’ve started visually bookmarking those reviews and interviews on a Pinterest board. (Yep. I’m there.) Only a few things posted right now, but if you’re into reading that stuff, this will be a good place to find them in the future. And if you see something you like and do the Pinterest thing too, please repin away!

What have you been listening to?

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