November Song of the Month

I’m going to try and start identifying songs of the month.  I think that these will be from artists that have released something new, for instance, a new album or perhaps a new remix of an old song.November’s song of the month was released in late October of this year by the Kaiser Chiefs.  This band is totally awesome.  I’ve seen them twice now, and this new album, Off With Their Heads is an absolute must have, must rock out to album.

The song I’ve selected for November 2008 is Never Miss a Beat, which clowns on the disinterested, apathetic youth of today.  The chorus is an early turn-off, repeating, “its cool to know nothing.” but the bridge is what saves the song where vocalist Ricky Wilson begs the listener, “Take a look at the kids on the street, no they never miss a beat.”

Buy Never Miss a Beat from Amazon for 99 cents.  Bonus: Pick up You Want History for more excellence.

Add Global Hotkeys to iTunes

Winamp has been my media player of choice for years because it is fairly lightweight, and has a long history off plugins.  Winamp also has the ability to use global hot keys which are keyboard shortcuts to play, pause and skip through tracks even if you’re using another application.

Since I got the iPhone, I’ve been leaving iTunes open more and more.  And since version 8 was released, I’ve been trying out the Genius play list.  The genius can be good, but sometimes it sticks an odd track in there and you need to skip.  The bummer is that iTunes doesn’t support global hot keys.

I can’t listen to music on a computer and work if I have to flip back to the media player just to change tracks , so I finally got around to searching for a solution and came upon Jacob Hickman’s iTunes global hotkey project.   I like it so far–it adds a “toast” or little roll-up/roll-down status display when you skip tracks and has a fun Domo-kun tray icon.  Check it out, if you’re a PC iTunes user.

RJD2 @ Paradise

RJD2 ConcertI just got back from the 5/3/08 RJD2 show at The Paradise on Comm. Ave. I had been looking forward to the show for some time, pulling the on-sale date from an RSS item from tourfilter and within a week or two tickets sold out. It was with great anticipation that I approached the show. I saw RJD2 perform from a distance at Bonnaroo a few years ago, and had seen the crowd get worked. The Third Hand, Randle John Krohn’s latest from March this past year illustrated the major transition from a primarily hip-hop based library of music built on very deliberate sampling.

In his 2006 interview with Pitchfork Media, Krohn gave some important details about the album that would become The Third Hand. Specifically, the album was a huge transitionary work for him, moving from sampling to performance both in instrumentation and his own singing. In addition he moved labels from Definitive Jux to XL Recordings in an outwardly symbolic movement from hip-hop to a destination between electronic and pop music.

Continue reading RJD2 @ Paradise

Hit Me On My iPhone – New Video From Pete Miser

This music video comes from Pete Miser, founding member of the Five Fingers of Funk. Pete hails from Portland, Oregon and his band had a following in the PDX area back when I was in high school.

Apparently, Pete was actually asked to fly to LA for an iPhone commercial and was inspired to create his own. He wrote and recorded the song and then got some help from Merritt Duff and Arrow Kruse putting it together.

With the video remixing you might think it is another parody, but if you listen to his words you’ll come away seeing unique satire. Either way, I’m now officially sold on the iPhone and now intend to liquidate my Blackberry Curve. Continue reading Hit Me On My iPhone – New Video From Pete Miser

Live Nation Positioned for Big Year in 2009

I’ve been watching Live Nation pretty closely since the company was spun off from Clear Channel Communications Entertainment Division. I believe that it is positioned to do quite well about two years out.

Live Nation currently operates three areas of business, Events, Venues and Digital Distribution. Venues and distribution needs happen to be where musicians and artists will be needing help as they leave or avoid major record labels.

A major rift is scheduled for 2009, where Live Nation will be selling tickets for all of its venues without help from Ticket Master. According to the Wall Street Journal the major breaking point was that Live Nation wanted to be able to sell Ticket Master tickets directly through the Live Nation website. Clearly Ticket Master wasn’t willing to give up the brand identity.

live nation music today artist nation
Live Nation Hit a 52 Low Yesterday Thanks to a Bad Market and Slow Quarter As It Works To Expand Operations
Continue reading Live Nation Positioned for Big Year in 2009

New Saul Williams Album Shows Digital Savvy

Radiohead may know music–but they and their management do not know digital downloads. In trying to be artsy, buying In Rainbows was confusing and clunky. When it came time to download, they couldn’t handle the traffic. I found that particularly startling because a band with that kind of IT budget should have been able to get a decently distributed web server set up in 10 days.

Anyhow, three cheers for Saul Williams and his management for connecting with Musicane on the pre-order of his new album Niggy Tardust. (Yes, that is a racially charged album title. This guy has some pretty serious stuff to say to you.)

Musicane’s system for doing the pre-order was the slickest I’ve seen yet, offering a pre-order download of the 192kbps version for free or you could pay $5 and have access to 192kbps, 300kbps, or FLAC. I paid the $5 and it was worth it! Continue reading New Saul Williams Album Shows Digital Savvy

What Made OiNK So Special?

[Updated 10/31/07, see bottom of post]

I had a professor ask me for more information on what made OiNK special and what it was all about. I assembled the following information for him:

Why Oink Was Special

  • The community was very tightly controlled:
    • Only albums that had a certain level of audio quality (192kbps+) were allowed to be uploaded. Albums had to fit a stringent set of criteria such as being original rips from real CDs, and not “transcodes.” A transcode is a song that has been ripped to mp3, decoded back to wav, and then re-encoded to an mp3. This was despite the fact that many feel double compression is not noticeable to the ear.
    • All torrents had to fulfill certain basic requirements such as a complete tracklisting. A basic description, accurate meta data, cover art scans and a playlist file were highly encouraged and more often than not taken care of by the uploader.
  • The community was self-policing and highly active. Torrents of albums were uploaded weeks sometimes months in advance of their official date. High profile albums were combed over very quickly and rejected if either they appeared to be transcodes or had been doctored in any way.
    Continue reading What Made OiNK So Special?

In Rainbows Delivery Dissapoints

I paid 5 pounds plus the transaction fee on October 3rd, pre-ordering the new album. However, I did not receive an email from WASTE (Radiohead’s merch arm) with my activation code. I emailed them and asked what was up, and got an auto reply as follows:

“Thank you for your message.

Here is some information which may answer your question….

If you are having problems placing an order please check that your
cookies are enabled. You may need to try a new browser and you may need to use a new e-mail address if you failed to place an order with your original e-mail address. You can track successful orders by following this link.

If you are yet to receive your activation code (please check your spam
filters) or are having download problems please e-mail

Please contact us again next week with any Discbox postal address

After checking my spam folder on gmail, I found some other mail I should have gotten, but not one from WASTE. I emailed them back saying Continue reading In Rainbows Delivery Dissapoints

Radiohead Is The Answer

Radiohead is the most innovative band in the worldI have a lot of catching up to do since moving to Boston but this is perhaps one of the most exciting and important things to happen in the music industry since Napster was released.

A Time article included a quote from an American producer that reads as follows:

That’s the interesting part of all this,” says a producer who works primarily with American rap artists. “Radiohead is the best band in the world; if you can pay whatever you want for music by the best band in the world, why would you pay $13 dollars or $.99 cents for music by somebody less talented? Once you open that door and start giving music away legally, I’m not sure there’s any going back.”

Via Green Plastic

I’ve explained my feelings in depth that Dave Matthews Band has the potential to do an independent release, but this seals the deal in my eyes. Dave Matthews loves Radiohead and York just created an artistic milestone DMB could only dream of taking part in at this point.

New Ratatat? "9 Beats" Hits Hard

Ratatat 9 Beats Album Cover“9 Beats” a collection of short songs from Ratatat’s Evan Mast has been passing around recently on the web. The album seems to have broken first as a highly priced item on ebay where it sold for 26 pounds ~$47USD back in earlier this year.

Contact information for 9 Beats is provided presumed publicist Hannah Overton. According to the Wikipedia E*vax AKA Evan Mast and his brother E*Rock run the Audio Dregs record label. His first album, Parking Lot Music is from August 2004 and is known for his minimalist electronic music. Continue reading New Ratatat? "9 Beats" Hits Hard