August 31, 2009
August 30, 2009
Take Estelle, her single "American Boy" was last year's summer success story selling millions of singles on itunes. However she was still unable to move copies of her debut album. This became so worrisome for her record label, that the company even withdrew her first single from music downloading sites in the hopes that it would motivate people to go to record stores to purchase the entire thing. This actually led more people buying the new version of "American Boy" off of itunes sung by an Estelle and Kanye West impersonator. People didn't care about Estelle's album, they just wanted her single.
Furthermore, The Smashing Pumpkins were recently interviewed on The Hour, a Canadian pop culture and news talk show hosted by ex 102.1 radio DJ George Stroumboulopoulos. They mentioned something quite interesting. Billy Corgan (one half of the remaining members) said they were finished with albums, there was no point anymore: no one was sitting down and listening to an entire record. So what was the point of sitting down taking up hours of studio time and creating a bunch of songs no one would listen to. It makes much more sense to release a few songs at a time, instead of a huge artistic opus the masses will not appreciate, or purchase.
Maybe that's Radiohead's idea as well. It's widely known by now that the band has announced they are not creating a follow up to In Rainbows, and yet new singles continue to be leaked on the Internet. Maybe its the new era of empowerment for musicians: if they are not tied down with studio time and the daunting task of writing many songs for an album, they can release material whenever they want. This also saves money on promotion campaigns for records, as well as lengthy and costly touring time. It gives artists a flexibility they never had before: to release music whenever they want. This also eliminates the middlemen: the large record companies, the promotion campaigns and so forth.
However, does this also mean that experimentation and creativity have also died with the album? Some of the greatest songs of all time were B sides, or songs that were never meant to become singles. The Smiths song "How Soon Is Now?" was a B Side the band was thinking of throwing away, but in a last minute change was added to an album and became one of their biggest hits, and one of the greatest alternative rock anthems of the eighties. Albums for me have always been like books, tangible items with intangible meaning that you can flip through and revisit again and again. Album art has already taken a hit from the digital transition, no longer can you page through drawings and album covers, something being an artistic person myself I really miss. Album art was usually the concept of the music put on paper, it was music without the notes and now its just a tiny icon on the screen on Windows Media Player.
The economics of the album are also controversial. Does the elimination of an album really make artists more experimental or will there be a drive to become more marketable; make songs for the public that will sell and break away from making cutting edge music that would have been placed on a record. I have mentioned ring tone rap in a post I did about Spencer Pratt, but what about indie bands and alternative acts, will there be a drive to sell singles or experiment more? The record industry has been hit hard by the recession (although it was suffering before the recession) will moving singles on itunes take precedence over making great music? And if it does what will the next generation of artists sound like? Every generation has their "generic pop bands" but usually there is a movement of performers who push the envelope, and who test boundaries and those individuals are usually the ones who define the music of a decade or era. However with the elimination of the album, will those artists still exist, or will they be pushed out of the market, by the cutthroat ring tone and singles industry? Or will there be a new "
A really mellow song with a great romantic vibe even though "It's not a love song."
Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You
A bit creepy, and Collins sounds like a stalker but the song is still a great throw back.
Watchmen - Stereo
One of the greatest Canadian bands ever! I know some people would say The Guess Who and Rush are better, but this song is so well written, its nineties pop rock perfection.
Girl Talk - Too Deep
Best mash up ever, I almost saw Girl Talk in Ottawa but ended up not being able to go...bummer.
Projet Orange - Tell All Your Friends
A great Canadian band that never got it's due this was their big hit before they faded back into obscurity.
August 28, 2009
New Song - I Don't Care
Scroll down to listen here you can also download the mp3 for free.
their myspace best song is "calling."
August 27, 2009
Mr Hudson - Supernova
Blond Englishmen croons with a little help from his friends (Kanye West and Auto-Tune). Although the vibe of the song is pretty decent.
Daniel Merriweather - Change
More philosophical than Hudson just as experimental this time backed by Wale and Mark Ronson. Definitely more old school feeling, I think he's my favorite soul singer thus far.
Mathew Santos - Superstar
This time an American versus an Aussie (Merriweather) supported by Lupe Fiasco. However its really Lupe's song.
Colin Munroe - I Want Those Flashing Lights
Better than Kanye's version by a mile.
Mayer Hawthorne - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out
Woah is this 1964 or 2009...I can't tell anymore.
Fitz And The Tantrums - Still Looking
Another seriously old school band...but I dig.
Dan Black - Symphonies
Mentioned this man on my June Playlist seriously check this guy out he does amazing things. I'll put money on him blowing up in the next two years he's just too good to remain obscure.
Another artist I have featured recently and another act doing amazing things (also a guy who wasn't featured on Spin's list). I have this post and this post about him. Check out VV Brown on the July Playlist as well.
look here for more info.
Muse - Time is Running Out
From the Album "Absolution" Muse infuses as much classical and opera in their sound as punk and metal. The great thing about Muse is they are one of the only modern bands I know of that appeal to a large range of people, everyone from indie kids, scene kids to metal heads seem to appreciate them.
Our Lady Peace - All For You
I like Our Lady Peace's older stuff (basically Gravity and anything that came before it). This song is off of Gravity and is great for blasting through head phones on the bus when I want to be left alone...it works wonders.
Refused - New Noise
Mentioned these guys in a July blog posting one of the greatest punk bands from the nineties who may have single handedly started the screamo (they are not screamo more like hardcore punk) movement. Not a huge fan of screamo....at all, but Refused is a great band.
Garbage - I'm Only Happy When it Rains
I think the song title says it all. I loved this band in high school and they really were quite comforting on my most bitchy days.
August 26, 2009
One of the best make out songs ever created! However I have yet to use it...I haven't exactly had that much luck with guys lately...
Tegan and Sara - Speak Slow
The coolest singers/song writers lesbian identical twins I know...or the only ones I know.
Bright Eyes - Lover I Don't Have To Love
Another awesome make out song...even though the lyrics aren't exactly cheery...
Tapes 'n Tapes - Omaha
Once an indie "it" band this was from their wonderfully over-hyped debut album The Loon.
NOFX - American Errorist
NOFX is an artifact from my punk music phase lasting between the ages of 12 to 14. I listened to a ton of Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, Bad Brains, and Clash at that time...I still do but I no longer have any desire to dye my hair cherry red and get a mohawk...phew.
Mark Ronson - Apply Some Pressure (Maximo Park remix)
I really like the original version but Ronson almost makes it a completely different song with the remix.
Nine Black Alps - Unsatisfied
One of the random British indie bands that sprang up after The Libertines love fest and slowly fizzled as the British revival died down...they may still be around like The Subways but they aren't getting much press coverage at the moment.
The Strokes - What Ever Happened?
The Strokes is one of those bands indie snobs should "disown" because they are semi mainstream, but you just can't. They are too fucking good to dislike and too good looking not love. I get giddy like a 13 year old girl every time I hear the name Julian Casablancas...oh hormones.
Deep Blue Something - Breakfast At Tiffany's
An older song (not as old as Black Metallic that's from '92) about the unraveling of a relationship.
August 25, 2009
August 24, 2009
August 23, 2009
After listening to the track again...I have concluded that he sounds more like Boomhauer from King Of The Hill than Chingy...although I can't understand either one so it doesn't really make a difference.
For further entertainment purposes...see if you can understand him here...oh man.
August 22, 2009
Nada Surf Popular:
How long have you guys been a band?
Micah: In the summer of 2004 I started writing songs and playing them at shows with my friend Colin, we called ourselves Unwelcome Guests. Long story short, people came and went but the current lineup came together when Steve joined up with the rest of us in the fall of 2005
Steve: It’s true. I joined last, I’m like the sprinkles on this delicious musical cake called Unwelcome Guests. Micah is the Red Velvet Batter, Zac & Chris each are ingredients in a scrumptious butter cream frosting
Chris: Since 1995
What influenced you to form a punk band in particular?
Micah: In the beginning I definitely just wrote songs without much care of what genre they fell into and I suppose that still holds true. We try to play louder and faster because it’s more fun that way and Zac really enjoys hitting his drums hard. Also the definition of punk can be debated forever and never really come to a definition that everyone agrees on. The aspect of “punk” that I truly love is DIY, for all arguments for or against it no one can disagree that it’s a great thing to experience when it works.
Steve: Micah definitely wrote shitty, boring country songs in the beginning which eventually morphed into punk-like songs. We’ll cover this more in question 9.
Zac: I hit things hard!
Chris: My friends in High School wanted to start a band but that never worked out so I joined this band.
What drew you to this genre of music?
Micah: In high school some friends of mine played in a band called The Young Ones and they played shows at the nearest DIY venue called the Cobra La. I went to a whole bunch of their shows… they played Clash covers, it was fun and then I decided that I wanted to do it too.
Steve: Micah. I only listened to annoying core and ragtime before joining the band.
Zac: Same story as Micah, different town one hour away.
Chris: My older brother is the one who introduced me to punk.
How do you think you have grown as a band (musically/artistically) since you have been together?
Micah: At first I’d write songs to sound like other songs, if people said something like: “sounds like a song I’ve heard before” I took it as a compliment. Now I’d like to think I’ve gotten past that a bit, though I don’t go out of my way to hide my influences (i.e. the Replacements). The biggest step forward for us was simply when Steve joined the band, he rips.
Steve: I prefer the term “shreds.”
Zac: My biggest step as an artist was actually learning how to play drums.
Chris: I have developed a drinking problem.
How do you think the Buffalo music scene has changed since you've been a band?
Micah: Some venues have gone away and others have sprouted up, people have come and gone, but somehow it really hasn’t changed at all.
Steve: Many great bands have gone, but plenty new ones have sprouted up to take their place. Like flowers germinating (is that a word?)
Zac: Less hardcore, more indie, more drinking, less straight edge.
Chris: It is still the same, lots of drunks and sporadic show turnouts.
"Warm Soon" seems to pay homage to the Replacements a tiny bit. What are your biggest musical influences?
Micah: The Replacements and Uncle Tupelo are the most obvious comparisons and I love that but we all listen to very different things:
Steve: As I mentioned before, I really love the Annoyingcore (Micah coined that term). I also love the cardigans.
Zac: I’ve been hypnotized by Micah’s Wilco-esque propaganda.
Chris: My influences range all types of genres and bands.
I really like the song "Walking is Tough" what is it about exactly?
Micah: It’s basically just me being grumpy… my expression of how life’s a bummer but I try to make the best of it. The “I’m gonna write all my lines so they rhyme” line is in reference to modern song writing. So many people try hard to sound sophisticated or progressive with their writing and end up with a song that people can’t relate to, so that’s me saying “meh.”
Steve: OMG Micah is always grumpy, except on 50 cent wing night.
Zac: A night after several beverages formerly known as Sparks (with caffeine).
Chris: I agree with Zac.
The song "Waiting" sounds a lot different than your newer stuff.
Micah: That song was actually written while we were writing songs for the album, we were asked to do a split 7” and that and “Diddle” were the two that were most ready to record. The main difference that I notice is simply the recording being raw, recorded analog without much polish. We did that at Hi-Lo with Matt Smith… he’s awesome.
Steve: Hi-Lo Studios was great fun! By “different” do you mean “different good” or “different bad” ?!
Zac: Beer and cigs in the room we recorded in.
Chris: I’m still “waiting” for Micah to write some good songs.
What caused the musical shift in direction that is demonstrated on such tracks as "Put Down Your Gun?"
Micah: I’m not really sure if there’s any shift for that song in particular… though it is one of the cases in which Steve and I wrote a song together. I had a really shitty, boring country song written but I liked the lyrics… he came up with the verse chord progression and we took it from there.
Steve: Basically Micah had a really shitty, boring country song and then I made it better…. J/K Micah! Kisses!
Zac: We were really pissed!
Chris: I don’t know why but everyone got angry when I brought a gun to band practice.
Where do you see your careers as musicians going in the future?
Micah: Haha... Failure? Nah… I think we’re all on the same page of how we’re never going to make enough money to live off of with music. So we’re trying to figure out some kind of job or career in which we can take care of ourselves and also go on tour. I could never stop doing it because, well… I’d become incredibly depressed and bored. Doing both is a simple concept that is terribly difficult to pull off. Right now we all hate our jobs and it seems when people find a job that they don’t hate, it takes up all their time and they give up on music. If we could financially pull it off to just be on tour all the time, I’d be down… but financially we can’t seem to pull it together.
Steve: Relegated to the miseries of open mic night.
Zac: Simply playing in an alternative cover band in weddings and pig roasts.
Chris: I’m going to hit it big in Nashville.
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