About Austin KruegerAustin works as a cost analyst for TDS Telecom in the Government and Regulatory Affairs team. He has a marketing degree from UW-Whitewater and has worked in various departments including marketing, sales and network services since joining TDS in 2004. He is a huge sports fan – if he’s not at work, odds are you can find him at Miller Park, Lambeau Field, Camp Randall or the Kohl Center watching the game. In his spare time, he’s chairman of a local non-profit, avid music fan, rec sports MVP and an early adopter when it comes to most new technologies.
Once in a great while you hear a new artist—and instantly you know they’re going to be a success. Sometimes you can’t put a finger on why; maybe they have a great voice, unparalleled songwriting or maybe a sound totally unique to the era. I’ve seen many up-and-coming bands never quite reach the top, but that certainly isn’t the case for today’s featured artist as I’m not sure you’ll find a better vocalist out there.
I’m not sure there are many folks out there who haven’t already heard this album, or at least a few tracks off it. The title track still sees radio play today, as well as ‘Bennie and the Jets’. I’m not sure I detect much of a theme from my few listens recently, other than it listens like a movie. It’s like a nostalgic reflection of the times and told in the signature theatrical Elton John style. This is priced out .99 cents higher than my normal albums, but even at $5.99—it’s worth the price of admission.
The Beach Boys are still active to this day, and they have sold a ton of records. I won’t go into all the acclaim Pet Sounds has out there, but would encourage you to look it up someday. The accolades for this album’s production and how it changed the face of popular music is staggering. I think on first listen, you might think it's an album that’s just sort of background music. But if you sit down and really listen to what was accomplished on this record, I completely understand the praise.
Damien Rice's music is a sound that is very uncommon these days. It’s sort of a throwback to the folk singers of the 50s and 60s—but modernized with the accompanying background sound. Rice heavily uses violin, bass, cello in his music, and even clarinet and a Wurlitzer organ. The attention to detail with in production is second to none. Combine that with his outstanding vocal abilities, and you have some amazing potential to make music.
Great music doesn’t always come from Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown. Over the years of being a music nut, I’ve stumbled upon bands that have a totally unique sound that sort of sucks you in. In today’s case, this is a band I fell in love with when I was 12 years old. Here we are nearly two decades later, and they’re still one of, if not my favorite band of all time.
It's time for another Cheap Tunes Tuesday. Blogger Austin Krueger tells you what rock staple you can get for a five spot.
Normally when you think of bands, the image of a huge stage and a 4 to 10-member group comes to mind. It’s a rare occurrence to check out a band and come to find out it’s only a duo. Today’s Cheap Tunes Tuesday installment isn’t only just two people making amazing music, but perhaps the best music duo of all time.
Ladies and gentlemen, from Los Angeles, California—THE DOORS! All the way back in 1965, a couple guys who went to UCLA to study theater and film met up to discuss forming a band. This self-titled album came out on January 4th, 1967 and it was the first album out of nine released by The Doors. It was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios over just six days, with the 11-minute conclusion track ‘The End’ taking two sessions to get just right. It's also today's Cheap Tunes Tuesday album.
OK Computer came out in May of 1997, and if you were a fan of Radiohead before this record, you probably picked it up on that spring day, put it in the CD player…and wondered what in the heck you just heard. The album was a strong departure from their previous efforts but the result is one of the best collections of songs in history—and it's today's feature on Cheap Tunes Tuesday.
In terms of controversial artists (heck, even just controversial people), our featured artist today would probably have his name in the dictionary. Kanye's 808s & Heartbreak album was universally panned by critics upon release, but now that a few years have passed, many have looked back on this album and remarked how it was essentially revolutionary to the genre. He poured his feelings out in a way most fans had never seen an artist do, and he did it with an almost reckless departure from his typical sound. Maybe didn’t pay off from a numbers perspective – but in terms of concept, perhaps second to none. Give it a shot for only $5—you may feel a little differently about him or his music after you listen.
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