03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dog Ears Music: Volume 106


The Guggenheim Grotto
Dublin duo The Guggenheim Grotto is captained by the magnificent melodies and harmonies of singer/songwriters Kevin May and Mick Lynch. The unit has earned a devout following in the U.S. Credits include Brothers and Sisters, One Tree Hill, and a haunting song placement in Fred Durst's directorial film debut, The Education of Charlie Banks. Get the hypnotic, press-rewind "Philosophia," from their 2005 freshman release Waltzing Alone

Genre: Folk/Rock
Artist: The Guggenheim Grotto
Song: Philosophia
Album: Waltzing Alone

Antony & The Johnsons
Antony & The Johnsons is the fragile and powerful force of sound with an avant rock spin. The ensemble is fronted by the ever-original singer/songwriter and pianist Antony Hegarty. Julia Kent (cello/strings), Jeff Langston (bass), Maxim Moston (violin/strings), Rob Moose (guitar/vioin), Parker Kindred (drums/percussion), and composer-arranger/ master of horn Doug Wieselman round out the cast. Credits include the Hal Wilner-directed Leonard Cohen film I'm Your Man and the Charles Atlas-directed Turning. Among their collaborations are Devendra Banhart, Lou Reed, and Rufus Wainwright. Accolades include the Mercury Music Prize for 2005's I Am a Bird Now. With plenty of original works to relish, experience the otherworldly ambience of "One Dove," from 2009's top EU album The Crying Light.

Genre: Avant Rock
Artist: Antony & The Johnsons
Song: One Dove
Album: The Crying Light

The Balfa Brothers
Cajun legends The Balfa Brothers--Will, Dewey, and Rodney--were born into a family of nine children in Mamou, Louisiana, raised by hard-working, music-loving sharecropper parents. These Acadians, who became a dance-hall rage in the 1940s, issued a trove of vinyls throughout their lives. Tragically, in 1979, brothers Will and Rodney perished in a car accident, leaving Dewey to carry on the legacy until his death in 1992. Get started with the classic and authentic 1967 title "Valse de Balfa," from The Balfa Brothers Play Traditional Cajun Music 1 & 2.

Genre: Cajun
Artist: The Balfa Brothers
Song: Valse de Balfa
Album: The Balfa Brothers Play Traditional Cajun Music 1 & 2

Bailiff is the Chicago-based rock trio of Josh Siegel (guitar), Ren Mathew (drums), and Adam Schneider (bass). Founded in the mid-aughts, the band has become a big rave on the Windy City club circuit. Their sound is old-school big rock. Fall in love with "Even I Know the Rain," from their 2008 debut EP Mm Hmm, and play it loud.

Genre: Rock
Artist: Bailiff
Song: Even I Know the Rain
Album: Mm Hmm

Fredo Viola
Singer/songwriter and auteur Fredo Viola was born in London late last century. Well traveled and cultured at an early age--by way of Rome, New York, and Los Angeles--Fredo returned to New York as a teen to attend NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, Viola supported his music habit as an animator, earning enough coin to set up a home recording studio. 2004 found his first song placement in Jonathan Demme's Manchurian Candidate, and his recent work can be found in the film The Education of Charlie Banks. Enjoy "K Thru 6," from the 2008 release The Turn, which is currently a contender for France's Prix Constantin Award.

Buy: iTunes
Genre: Alternative
Artist: Fredo Viola
Song: K Thru 6
Album: The Turn

Gang of Four
Gang of Four are the flinty punk quartette founded in Leeds, England, in the late '70s. Original lineup is comprised of Jon King, Andy Gill, Dave Allen, and Hugo Burnham (Sara Lee and Busta Jones bridged the '80s; Thomas Mcneice and Mark Heaney picked up with King and Gill in the '00s). Their unyielding swagger and punk-funk influence still resonates in much of what we hear today. With three decades and a dozen-plus releases to collect, the band remains a magnetar. Download "Natural's Not in It," from their 1979 debut Entertainment! (Remastered).

Genre: Punk
Artist: Gang of Four
Song: Natural's Not in It
Album: Entertainment! (Remastered)