Black Milk CD Baby Artist Session

Earlier this year, Detroit’s legendary producer & emcee Black Milk swung through Portland. While he was here, we invited him out to Destination: Universe! studios to lay down a few tracks for our brand new CD Baby Artist Sessions series. Little did we know, he would unleash a tour-de-force three song medley, which he and his band, Nat Turner, tore through in one unstoppable take. Check the full video of the session below:

Big thanks to Victor Nash at Destination: Universe! for hosting.

Directed by Tony Altamirano

Engineered by Victor Nash

Mixed by Bryson Hansen

Mastered by Dave Rosman

Produced by Danielle King & Ben Hubbird

DIG! our playlist of new music on Spotify

Spotify_Logo_RGB_GreenLooking for something new? More and more people are discovering new music on streaming services like Spotify, Rdio & the newly launched Apple Music. We’re big music fans here at CD Baby (obviously) so being able to listen to any track we want, and have our listening support the artists, is a no-brainer for us. The problem is, how do you know what songs, from the tens of millions available, you should listen to? Well we’re here to help.

Each week we dig up a new crop of tunes and update our DIG! playlist on Spotify with tracks from some of the best indie artists around. From the familiar to the obscure, we’re constantly on the hunt for new music from the over 6 million tracks distributed by CD Baby, and we’re bringing you our very favorites every week.

Listen below and be sure to follow CD Baby on Spotify for updates.

But enough about us, how about you? How do you discover music these days? What are the tracks you can’t get out of your head right now? We’d love to hear what you’re listening to, especially artists we might not have heard before!

Comments ahoy!

#ThrowbackThursday: From the Crates featuring King Jazzy

This week Kim is sharing one of her favorite feel good albums that blends reggae, hip hop and calypso. It’s Jazzifrass by King Jazzy.

#ThrowbackThursday – Mother’s Day Edition: From the Crates featuring Janis Ian

We’re thrilled to be bringing in a CD Baby mom, Mrs. Griffin, to share one of her favorite throwback picks: Best of Janis Ian. See what she has to say about this classic folk artist in the video below!

Brad’s Picks: Elliott Smith’s Memory Lane

I’ve lived in Oregon all my life, and in Portland for the last 17 years. I miss a lot of things about the Portland of the late-90’s that have since changed, but I miss Elliott Smith’s music more than anything. It’s still hard for me to believe he’s been gone for over a decade, and maybe that’s because this city has done such an amazing job of keeping his spirit alive. I was able to see him play solo at our now-deceased, legendary rock club, Satyricon, a few times in the early 2000’s, and I’m so glad I did.

Of course, we’ll always have his music, so if you’ve never experienced Smith’s mastery of melody and knack for leaving a knot in even the most steady of stomachs, it’s never too late. CD Baby is proud to be a home to Elliott Smith’s music, and if you’re looking for a place to start with the man’s vast catalog, let me see if I can help you along.

An Introduction to Elliott Smith

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Want a quick overview of Smith’s work? Start here. Featuring songs spanning his entire career, this collection can’t help but leave out tracks that many would deem essential, but if you’re starting from scratch, this ain’t a bad place to begin.

Roman Candle

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Famously recorded to 4-track cassette in a dank basement, this is Elliott Smith’s first full-length solo effort, made when he was still a member of the band Heatmiser. The audio quality is the scratchiest in Smith’s catalog, but it only adds to the charm. Songs like “Condor Ave” and “No Name #4” still hold up amongst his finest work.

Elliott Smith

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Smith’s first proper LP (he went into the studio for this one) marks the moment when Portland and the rest of the indie-rock world started to realize what they had their hands on here: a songwriting talent like we hadn’t seen before. Songs like “Southern Belle” are more aggressive than previous compositions, while “Christian Brothers” and “St. Ides Heaven” betray their titles with delicate, beautiful melodies.

Either/Or

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Many cite Either/Or as Smith’s quintessential record – this is the one released just prior to his unexpected rise-to-fame with the song “Miss Misery” on the Good Will Hunting Soundtrack. Classic Smith tracks included here: “Say Yes,” “Rose Parade,” “Angeles,” but pretty much every song on this album is more than worthy of your time.

From a Basement On The Hill

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Smith released a few albums on the Dreamworks label following Either/Or, and this posthumous album collects the tracks he had completed (or almost completed) before his untimely death. Simultaneously moving and troubling, these songs are Smith laid bare; some of his most intimate songs both lyrically and musically. Make sure to check out “Pretty (Ugly Before),” “Memory Lane,” and “A Fond Farewell.”

It can’t be stated enough how honored CD Baby is to help share Elliott Smith’s music with the world. Start anywhere: you won’t be disappointed.

#ThrowbackThursday: From the Crates featuring Prom Queen

Enjoy the sultry, vintage sound of Prom Queen!

CD Baby Artist Sessions featuring Royal Canoe

A few months ago, CD Baby coordinated a live-recording session for Royal Canoe at Type Foundry Studio here in Portland. Royal Canoe is a Canadian six-piece band creating eccentric, textural pop music with lots of vocal variation, electro layers and expansive melodies. It was a pleasure to work with the band on this project. Check out the videos below!

Birthday

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Stemming

Read a little more about the session’s track “Birthday” on Pop Matters.

New Music Tuesday – 4.21.15

We’re back with some exciting stuff!

Rising Appalachia – Wider Circles

Strong songwriting meets beautiful harmonies and traditional folk

RIYL: Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, Michael Franti

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Michal Menert – Space Jazz

Sonic electro-soul that goes beyond the realm of EDM

RIYL: Big Gigantic, Break Science, Pretty Lights

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Hutch and Kathy – Hutch and Kathy

Look! It’s The Thermals before they became The Thermals. Antifolk and bedroom pop goodness at its best

RIYL: The Thermals (of course), Jonathan Richman, The Mountain Goats

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