Monday, August 30, 2010
The Strokes are fucking awesome. I try to rarely cuss in my blog, a complete departure from my everyday life, but they deserve it. One of their more recent songs is actually one of my favorite, "You Only Live Once" from the 2006 album First Impressions of Earth (I don't want to even hear it music nerds, this was album had some gems). It is upbeat, catchy, and has the trademark Julian Casablancas vocals. However, this was not the original song they were going to feature on the album. The demo was much slower, more of a rock lullaby, a collection of mottos and past experiences. The song was called "I'll Try Anything Once". This title/statement is certainly in my constitution and is on a short list for epithets.
I did not know about it until a Julian Casablancas solo show, promoting his 2009 album Phrazes for the Young, on March 24. In the middle of a set that was exclusively songs from his album, he played "I'll Try Anything Once" with only a little keyboard to help him. It was poignant, he sounded great, and just fucking awesome. The high from attending the show ended up launching one of the crazier nights I have had since moving to NYC where Miller High Life, A Black Key, A Moldy Peach, a Yeah from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, expensive cigarettes, and a basement bar were all part of the background.
I have since recovered but only been able to find the song on YouTube. I have included the video with the best quality and a video montage. You can try some of the Live videos if you don't mind the chatter of the audience, the outfit and the stage presence Mr. Casablancas has almost makes it worth it. I listen to this song a few times a week, it fits any mood, and I finally thought it was time to share.
It also good vacation packing music, just keep hitting replay or work it into a Casablancas-heavy playlist of your own. I will credit this song for the efficient bag I have packed for Colombia, assuming I make the 6:30am flight...
Monday, August 2, 2010
I would not have thought Snoop Dogg and TrueBlood would collaborate but then again, who expected to see Jaime Foxx at the Country Music Awards last year? The fact that HBO either paid for this music video to be made or fully endorsed it once it came out makes them even cooler than I already knew them to be. The marketing team behind TrueBlood have been crafty since the beginning - getting Tom Colicchio to hock the Tru Blood beverage like a Diet Coke commercial, selling the Merlotte's uniform that provided another option to the girls that are typically nurses, angels or devils for Halloween, to even building a complete site for the American Vampire League (Tru Blood also has a functioning web site!). Whether you are a fan of the show, of Snoop Dogg, or both you have to give him and the marketing team for TrueBlood credit for crossing a show with a growing fan base with an unexpected music character/pop culture mainstay.
By the way, I would kill, or at least maim, to meet any of the music supervisors HBO has employed for their hit shows starting with The Sopranos, placing Treme at the top of the list. TrueBlood features some great music placement; they are particularly good at fitting the perfect song to the end of an episode and the opening song is a perfect fit with the montage of images. If background music and song placement in shows is not something you pick up on regularly, try tuning into it for HBO, Showtime, AMC, and Current TV shows. I think The Hills and The City have taken it too far and too mainstream though; displaying the song and artist at the bottom of the screen every time there is music on is just annoying and it all sounds alike anyway.
Some of my favorite lines from the song:
"Order you a gin and juice at Merlotte's"
"We can do it in the daytime, Bill won't know a thang"
"Snoop is a thug, I smoke true bud"
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I was recently tasked with a fun little assignment by my cousins. There was wine involved so maybe no one took it that seriously but I sure as hell did. You can't ask a music nerd their top 10 albums of the past decade AND the top albums of the past year and expect them to blow it off. It immediately went on my list of things to do, I made a mental list of friends I would need to consult and most importantly, time to think it over. It took me over a week and now that it has been sent to all parties involved, I will share it.
I will state a caveat: these are MY top albums. I picked each one because of the value I have placed on them - in my memories and in sheer volume of listening hours. Also, I didn't want to narrow it to a specific number nor did I want to rank them - my rules.
So while I ponder how to spend the +$200 that Lala is giving me to spend in iTunes (because of the amount of money I spent on web albums) - enjoy!
Monday, May 17, 2010
"Lala is shutting down. What this means for you."
Lala was recently bought by Apple to ideally help boost their iTunes platform (though there have been no new announcements about any incorporations to the iTunes platform). The deal was most certainly made to kill competition and the end result has finally reached me and all end consumers. As of May 31, 2010 I will receive $275 in iTunes credit because of the sheer volume of $1.00 web albums I bought over the past 15 months. I will certainly need it to rebuild my playlists, all of which I had to cut & paste into a spreadsheet like the true anal music collector I am - nothing left behind, no meticulous playlist building efforts lost.
So...moving on! I have decided to put my chips down for Grooveshark now - http://listen.grooveshark.com
Grooveshark is similar to Lala; you can listen to any song for free. It also has elements of Pandora in that you can build your own internet radio station based on artists you like and they will find similar songs to expand your horizons. Also like Lala, you can tap into anyone's collection to discover new music and build a community. It is free to sign up though they have a $25 annual fee for an enhanced platform that gets rid of the ads. I am not yet sure it is worth it because I have had no trouble using the free version so far. Grooveshark seems to be climbing the ranks of sites to find new music, stream music all the time and find fellow music heads around the world. 50 to 60 million songs are downloaded everyday and since last year their audience was growing 2-3% daily (the source: http://blogcritics.org/music/article/musicians-find-fans-at-grooveshark-artists/)
While I continue to figure out how I can build playlists to keep feeding all of you with new songs, I am going to start suggesting and tagging all of the many artists' web sites that stream their new albums before they come out, fellow bloggers that put up free songs and mp3s, RCRD LBL and Pitchfork.com for the newest music and remixes (although the latter also used Lala so we shall see what they offer).
Here is my first find for all of you - Band of Horses is streaming their new album Infinite Arms on their web site now before it officially comes out on May 18th. Visit their web site to listen; they organized the songs into a really cool picture pinwheel that rotate like a slideshow. I saw them at the New Orleans Jazzfest recently and their new songs sounded great live, particularly Compliments. For those in and around NYC, they are playing the Williamsburg Waterfront with Grizzly Bear on Sunday, June 20th and there are actually still tickets available so go get them: http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/h2oshows/
I am about to jump into wedding attendee season but I promise to write soon - maybe even collect my favorite songs to hear at a wedding reception and make a playlist? Comment/e-mail me your favorites for consideration!
Monday, April 26, 2010
La Blogotheque - http://www.blogotheque.net - talk about another way to share music and view intimate versions of some of your top indie artists, new versions of great songs often with other well-known collaborators in unique settings throughout Paris (think Andrew Bird adding his violin and whistling for St. Vincent in a top level apartment with 30 people at sunset). Another really cool thing about these mini concerts is that they are filmed in one take, anything can happen, it is guerrilla film making where musicians are the protagonists. Calling them 'Takeaway Shows" (in French it is Les Concerts A Emporter); is very fitting.
It only make sense that Phoenix, the French band from Versailles that finally got their big U.S. break with their last album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, recently performed for the web site. They picked one of the most visit sites in Paris, the Trocadero Square in front of the Eiffel Tower, then they hopped on top of a double decker tour bus, performed a song and continued singing as they hopped off at the base of the Parisian landmark.
My other favorite posting featured Bon Iver, the band created by Justin Vernon, the falsetto indie singer that made one of the great albums of 2008 (actually came out independently in 2007) - For Emma, Forever Ago, in his father's northern Wisconsin cabin in three months during winter. Peter Gabriel recently covered Bon Iver's song Flume in his recent album of covers (scroll down the blog to hear it).
Get on the web site, they have such a catalogue of musicians they have filmed - Wilco, The Antlers, Yo La Tango, and even Tom Jones.
If you want to check out the English's version of rogue performances, visit Black Cab Sessions - http://www.blackcabsessions.com - the name is very appropriate.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Monday, March 1, 2010
Peter Gabriel is back! Well, sort of. Rather than come out with a CD of new and original material he thought he would wail a variety of songs from other people in his own way, call it a new CD, get a ridiculous amount of praise and call it a day. A bit scathing I know but is this really going to be the trend now - borrow the sounds of the youngsters and sing your same old, same old?
One of the first singles off Gabriel's new CD, Scratch My Back, is Bon Iver's song Flume from the album For Emma, Forever Ago. This album launched Bon Iver into the high court of the indie world - Pitchfork ranked it 29th in the Top 200 Albums of the 200s and NPR named it among the 50 Most Important Recordings of the Decade.
A little background helps a lot: Bon Iver is a band founded by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. In 2007, after the end of a relationship, the breakup of a band, and a bout with mono, Justin spent three months alone in his father's cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin. He ended up writing and recording the entire album, which is a collection of beautiful, melancholy songs sung in a distinct falsetto enriched by layers of voices, which is now duplicated wonderfully live by a full band. The single Skinny Love is best known and I think explains the mood of the album very well. It is a good story and one that follows Bon Iver everywhere they go, which most recently was the soundtrack for the second Twilight movie (the song is Roslyn, Bon Iver with St
The original Flume by Bon Iver:
I will leave the album review of Gabriel's Scratch My Back to the LA Times: