Shinjak’s Listening Lounge

It’s finally time to shut the doors on the Listening Lounge.  It was fun while it lasted.  It started off as being lots of fun.  But there is one thing  that I had to find out the hard way:  There is a lot of music being made out there.  Some of it is genius and at the forefront of a true modern musical revolution.  However, some of it is pure crap.  I have reviewed both on this blog, but the guilty shall remain nameless.

And therein lies the problem.  I honestly don’t have time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the golden eggs from the rotten ones,  the sinkers from the floaters.  Therefore, Shinjak’s Listening Lounge will be closing indefinitely.  I will always treasure the artists who have made this blog possible and inspired me over the last two years (hint: see below).    Thanks for stopping by and make sure the music never stops.

Here is my original goodbye message started over a year ago:

Well kids, I have done it.  I have achieved what I set out to do 1.5 years ago when the doors to the lounge first opened.  I have found my new favorite music and I have shared it with the world.  My favorite new favorite bands haven’t changed a whole lot since I first discovered them.  The National still sees daily rotation in my playlists.  Since discovering them shortly before the relese of Alligator, this was the first band to change my opinion of indie rock.  This band’s pretentiousness stems from their raw talent, not leftover teenage angst.  The Everybodyfields changed my opinion of the alt-country / americana movement.  Seeing them live (a few weeks prior to their current hiatus) changed my opinion of what a live show could be.  Country music is dead.   The Everybodyfields are the new country music.  Death to country-pop radio.  Long live the new country!

I have also achieved some unexpected collateral benefits from starting this blog, and that is meeting and being befriended by the musicians themselves.  The guys from Bucktown Kickback have to be one of the kindest groups of individuals in music today.  They know that their fans are the life blood of the group.  Knowing your fans by first name probably means they will buy your next album (and maybe their friends who are impressed by this will too).  Many emails were also traded with Mr. K of Mr. K And The Famous.  I also got to chat with one of the top truly independent Irish bands, The Delorentos.  Good times all around.

I originally began writing this way back in March.  My intentions then were to announce the closing of the Listening Lounge.  I started looking at things again in May, and changed my mind to keep on kicking the old dead horse around here.


January 26th, 2010

I’m sitting here doing something I haven’t done in a long time, and that’s just simply listening to music.  My blogging muse left me over a year ago, and I’m not sure if it will ever come back.  I just know that one song is out there that I’ll just have to write about.  I have actually found it a couple of  times, but the mountain always seems to high to climb.  My word of advice for the year: if you love doing something, just do it for yourself.  When you start doing it to try and please other people, the spark will die.  Thanks for stopping by.

Back In Blue

May 12th, 2009

Well, the lounge is officially back online. I think I lost a few posts somewhere in the process, but I can’t remember what they were. So that tells me they weren’t really that important. Right? Anyway, we are biding our time on this free server. After rebuilding this site twice from scratch and twice from backups, I’m not really sure I have it in me to rebuild it again. So hopefully the free server holds out. Look for more soul searching posts on the Lounge real soon.

Looks like 2009 is shaping up to be another busy year for Ramseur Records.  Durham based band Bombadil is currently in the studio working on their second album.  The followup to A Buzz, A Buzz will be produced by  Scott Solter.  Their first show of the new year will be in Raleigh on April 10 at the Lincoln Theatre.  This will be their last show in NC for awhile, so see them close to home while you still can.  Here is a list of other upcoming shows:

4.10.09 – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC
with Lost in the Trees
4.11.09 – Plaza Bowl – Richmond, VA
4.13.09 – DC9 – Washington, DC

Stay tuned for more show dates!

Here is a video of the guys hard at work in the studio:

Bombadil in the Studio from ramseurrecords on Vimeo.

Sometimes it takes music awhile to sink in with me.  But after hearing it played on WNCW several times, I’ve officially decided that Julain of Norwich was one of my top 10 favorite songs of 2008.  I’ve offered the song here before.  But for the lazy among you (and the mp3 scrapers), here it is once again.

Bombadil – Julian of Norwich



I just added a truckload of new show dates to the calendar, conveniently located on the right side of your screen. Those of you who live in Asheville AND within walking distance of the Orange Peel officially suck. The rest of you are formally pardoned.

What’s this? The Dead and Phish are touring in 2009? Where the hell have I been? The end of the world must surely follow close behind. Or at least the narcs will.

EDIT:  For the Google Calender to display the correct events, one must import said events into Google Calender.  That is all.

Shows To Ring In Your 2009

December 31st, 2008

There’s a great show happening tonight at 10pm at the Dragonfly Theatre in Boone (215 Boone Heights Drive Boone).  Possum Jenkins, Naked Gods, and Lost Ridge will be playing from 10pm “until they pull the plug”.  Here are some tunes from the first two artists.  Never heard either of these guys, but I think I’m going have to give a closer listen to the Naked Gods.  Feliz ano nuevos!

Possum Jenkins Website Myspace

Naked Gods – I’m going to hold out posting any songs from these guys so that I can do a full post later.  Webspace Myspace

Possum Jenkins


A Night In The Box – Let Me Know

Now for the moment you have all been waiting for.  Ladies & Gentleman, I present to you the Best Music You Never Heard in 2008!

A Night In The Box hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  When they aren’t re-defining the genre of rockin honkey funkgrass, they are busy giving Abe Lincoln help with the finer points of trombone playing.

But seriously, there have been alot of bands this year who have attempted to make it playing music that is similar to A Night In The Box.  In fact, there are those bands who have made it playing music similar to A Night In The Box.  But they aren’t this good.

In my opinion, this is the best music of 2008.

But like so many other great bands out their, the blogging world has generally overlooked these guys.  So don’t let it happen again!  Buy the album, spread the word, and look out 2009.

Like so many good albums, one song doesn’t really do the whole album justice.  You really need to buy the whole thing to fully appreciate how talented these guys are.

Buy The Album – Write A Letter

A Night In The Box – Let Me Know

A Night In The Box – Fiddle Foot Jones


And a little video to seal the deal:

PS – Drop these guys a line and tell them to play in NC pronto.  Tell them Shinjak sent you.


Robert Reed (aka Rob Wilcox) is a true renaissance man for the 21st century. A professional level skateboarder riding for Guapo Skateboards by day. A lyricist and driving force behind his band, Day Blues, by night. Formed by Rob and Ben Mcallister in 2002, Day Blues features intelligent and honest lyrics.

Rob raps what he knows. And it works damn good. These songs haven’t left my playlist all year, and I don’t think they’ll be leaving any time soon.

Here are two songs from Day Blues debut album, The Album. Buy it now at cdbaby or your very own favorite online retailer.

Day Blues – Expensive Wisdom

Day Blues – City Life

Rob is a prolific writer and has been working on tunes for a new album. Check them out over at myspace.

Here’s a video of Rob’s skills on a board:

One more:

Thousands of One – Slaveship Mentality

My ignorance of all things hip-hop is embarrassing.  It was even worse up until a few years ago.  My  exposure to hip-hop was through  (this is even more embarrassing) the Beastie Boys, which I could remotely relate to.  The only other exposure I had was to the “gangsta rap” of the 90′s, which I loathed.  I dismissed a whole genre of music  based on what was popular at the time.

Fortunately for me, MTV exposed me to De La Soul in the late 80′s.  A few years back, I had a yearning to “rediscover” music like De La Soul’s.  That’s when I found out that they were the pioneers of a movement.  The Native Tongues “crew” focused on giving hip-hop it’s concious and social awareness back.  Later additions include one of my favorite artists, Mos Def.

Thousand of One is reminiscent of those Native Tongues efforts, bringing a much needed social conciosness to the masses.  Some of their songs crossover into the realm of the opinionated, but that’s what music is lacking these days.  If more influential artists had an opinion on things that mattered, maybe more people would listen.

Buy there latest album, Soul Force, at cdbaby.

Thousand Of One – Slaveship Mentality


web site

The Broken Prayers – Little Black Heart

This is one of those aforementioned little tunes that I lifted from over at (maybe if I mention his site enough, he’ll give me a linkback!)  These guys hail from Philly in the PA.  It’s really hard to pick the best song from these guys, because the whole damn album is good.  But I’m really enjoying the lead vocalist and his solo on this tune.  So head over to cdbaby or payplay and buy this one already.

The Broken Prayers – Little Black Heart


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