The $25 Tunes: November 2010

November has always been a month of good sales. Games, books, movies and music, you can get a lot of them at the cheap. Even Amazon’s mp3 prices were at the lowest I’ve ever seen them. They had albums as cheap as $2 during the whole Black Friday Week. Unfortunately, I already have most of the good ones that they put on sale. So I’ve kind of regretted buying those albums earlier this year. But not only did Amazon threw some good music in their bargain bin, they also handed a “$3 off” code when you by an mp3 album from them. Cheapskate that I am, I took off with that code and bought myself some digital music.

Valley of the Smoke by Intronaut – $6
I only found out about this band because of Justine Chancellor [of Tool], who is a guest in their album. Prior to that, I don’t know Intronaut. So I Google’d them. Needless to say, I was so impressed with their sound –a raw and sludgy progressive metal that is infused with lots of jazz tones– that I instantaneously bought their album, Valley of the Smoke, and nominate it as one of the best metal album of 2010.

Score: A

“Elegy” by Intronaut

This is Happening by LCD Soundsystem – $2
Even though I’m a big fan of LCD Soundsytem, I didn’t rush out a couple months ago to buy their critically acclaimed album, This is Happening. Which I’m glad because Amazon had it on sale last week, with a price tag of $2. But this album, even in its full retail price, would still be worth every buck because it’s a lot of fun. Danceable fun with humorous lyrics, and tones that are full of texture as well as melody.

Score: A-

“Drunk Girls” by LCD Soundsystem

Blessed & Cursed by Devil Sold His Soul – $5
Like Intronaut, I didn’t know anything about Devil Sold His Soul. But, with 4 out of 5 star reviews, I took a leap of faith, used Amazon’s discount codes and bought their album. Surprisingly, they’re not a bad band. While their music is without too much experimentation, it’s still hard to pin them down in any category. To sum it up, however, they have the soundscapes of post-metal and vocals of metalcore.

Score: B

“The Disappointment” by Devil Sold His Soul

So that’s it for November. I thought I’d actually be filling this post with more than 3 albums. Especially with all the sales going on. But I guess I got unlucky and only found a couple albums that I really liked. Nonetheless, I only spent $13 for all my albums this month, and that is awesome.

The $25 Tunes: October 2010

I’m having a hard time beating Amazon, I’ll tell you that now. As a frugalist, the site has been nothing but a blessing to me with all the cheap stuff they sell. Sometimes, however, they just push way too many cheap stuff for me to choose from, leaving me torn. This October, especially, when they unveiled their $5 mp3 albums. The selection was just so good and so massive, I was getting headaches choosing from their catalog. It’s a good thing I got this “$25” rule, else I’d gone broke from buying all those music from them.

Anyways, here are the albums that I got for this month.

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire – $5
I became a big fan of Arcade Fire when I heard their album, Neon Bible, back in 2007. That album was amazing. The songs in it were dreadful, like it’s the end of the world. Though I must admit that I don’t really get them, their lyrics. This time, however, in The Suburbs, they’re pretty much straight-forward. But, with all their songs about family and middle-class neighborhoods, it makes me feel old and cynical.

Score: A+

“Ready To Start” by Arcade Fire

Blue Sky Noise by Circa Survive – $5
Honestly, I was torn between getting Spoon’s Transference and this album. Naturally, since I like prog-rock more than indie rock, I chose Blue Sky Noise. I’m glad I did so too. Because this is an awesome album. It’s a heck of an improvement from their sophomore title, On Letting Go, which I happened to like a lot. Every song here is great, and every member plays to their potential that I never thought they had.

Score: B+

“Imaginary Enemy” by Circa Survive

A Mouthful by The Do – $5
I never really knew anything about The Do (which is pronounced as do in do, re, mi) prior to purchasing their album. But I fell in love with them after I streamed their music. A Mouthful is just that –a mouthful. While The Do’s music is tethered to pop, it has its eccentricities that makes each track different from one another. Some songs may appeal to you, some may not. That’s what so fun, and not so fun, about it.

Score: B-

“On My Shoulders” by The Do

The Fool by Warpaint – $9
(see my review here)

$24 spend on music this month. Honestly, I almost went over my budget because I was tempted to throw Spoon’s latest album, Transference, into my shopping cart. But my will prevailed. Although if Amazon continues to add good albums on their monthly $5 mp3 deals, I’ll probably capitulate and break my $25 rule.

The $25 Tunes: May 2010

If you read my manifesto (which can be found here) a few posts back, then you know that I plan on limiting my music budget to $25 a month. That’s like half of what I used to spend. Honestly, I don’t like this one bit since it’s the hardest part of the manifesto to keep. I’m a big music aficionado after all. There’s just so much music out there that I want to buy, not download illegally. But I have to abide by my own rules. If I break one, especially the one about music, then I think I’m gonna go downward spiral to being overly capitalistic again. Which means I’ll have to work another job to keep my hobbies.

So, in order to prevent myself from browsing and impulsively buying new albums on Amazon Mp3, I think I’ll just focus on writing about the monthly music that I bought with my $25. And without further ado, I present my $25 tunes for May 2010:

High Violet by The National – $6
I’ve enjoyed every bit of music made by The National ever since I’ve heard of them. Their albums Alligator and Boxer were just phenomenal, in music and lyrics. High Violet didn’t disappoint either. The lyrics here carries a great deal of weight about life, and not about drugs or booze that most rock bands sing about. All the songs are also performed in a melancholic manner that will spellbind you to the album.

Score: A

“Bloodbuzz Ohio” by The National

A Determinism of Morality by Rosetta – $7
I never really got into Rosetta before. But since I can’t seem to quench my thirst for post-metal these days, I’m willing to listen to any band just to get my post-metal fix. Hence, Rosetta. Surprisingly, A Determinism of Morality turned out to be a heck of an album. It has everything I love about post-metal: sludgy riffs and atmospheric sounds, and how the two transit from one to another and then back. Amazing.

Score: B+

“Revolve” by Rosetta

Volume Two by She & Him – $5
She & Him’s music isn’t really my cup of tea. But why do I own a copy of their second album, Volume Two (and also Volume One)? Two reasons: Zooey Deschanel (the actress from (500) Days of Summer, Elf, etc.) and the album only costs $5. But honestly, the sunny oldies pop appeal of this duo is growing on me. Slowly, but steadily growing.

Score: C

“In The Sun” by She & Him

Diamond Eyes by Deftones – $8
(see my review here)

Well, that’s what I bought with my $25 (although the total of all these albums is actually $26) for this month. All in all, I think it was a great month. I’m happy with even just Diamond Eyes and High Violet playing on my PC or iPod. These albums are just terrific to listen to. It’d be real stupid of you if you don’t get them for yourselves.