Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Rogue Wave

Over the past couple weeks, the internet has been buzzing about Spotify.  The new subscription-style music service.  Any track, any album, anywhere for only $9.99 a month.  It's not such a bad deal...but it also feels too good to be true.  What happens when you're signed up, you stop buying music and have converted all your listening focus to Spotify, when suddenly they jack up the price?  Do you stick around and pay the piper...or do you cancel it and lose all your music?  The rumor is that Spotify will be $14.99 a month within 18 months...and that's a less appealing thing.  

But the argument isn't whether the price for streaming is competitive...it's whether you want to stream or own?  And is streaming in fact owning?  We don't own physical pieces of music anymore.  There are some of us audiophiles still out there buying CDs and vinyl.  But that's a number between slim and none.  If everything digital base...what's the difference between having the digital file on your computer versus having it in a cloud?  They sound the same. The accessibility is the same.  The experience is the same.  The only difference is that when you purchase music, you have to make the conscious decision to pay money for the music.  The music means more.  When you're not paying for it...you will pay less attention to it and won't mean as much.  Though I want pay for music system to stick around...but I think that model is already a dinosaur in the digital age. 

Hopefully, music will get better.  It's not going to be about getting people to check you out anymore...it's going to be about getting them to stick around.  If you're music isn't good out of the gates...then you'll lose them.  The one thing I do know...cloud is here to stay...until the next medium comes out.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Rogue Wave Now:

1. Love's Lost Guarantee (Descended Like Vultures) 
2. Publish My Love (Descended Like Vultures)
3. Harmonium (Asleep At Heaven's Gate)
4. Eyes (B-Side) 
5. Good Morning (Permalight)
6. Falcon Settles Me (Out of The Shadow)
7. Chicago X 12 (Asleep At Heaven's Gate)
8. Endgame (Out of the Shadow)
9. Permalight (Permalight)
10. Seconds (B-Side)
11. Kicking the Heart Out (Out of the Shadow)

Buy Zach Rogue's new side project, Release the Sunbird now!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Amy Winehouse

I'm not sure it's more surprising to hear about Amy Winehouse's death...or that it wasn't that surprising.

Truly a great talent.  An incredible voice.  A big loss.

Here are the 11 Best Songs by Amy Winehouse:

1.  You Know I'm No Good (Back To Black)
2.  Tears Dry On Their Own (Back To Black)
3.  Rehab (Back To Black)
4.  Valerie (Back To Black single/Mark Ronson)
5.  Someone To Watch Over Me (Frank Demo)
6.  October Song (Frank)
7.  I Hear Love Is Blind (Frank)
8.  Back To Black (Back To Black)
9.  He Can Only Hold Her (Back To Black)
10.  Fuck Me Pumps (Frank)
11.  Stronger Than Me (Frank)

Buy her albums now...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Music Friday: Newermind - A Tribute To Nirvana

I didn't post for the week since I've been out of town, traveling.  I was down in the south for a bachelor party.  We went to a hip-hop club that was supposedly the hottest club in town.  I personally thought the music was terrible and I may not have been the only one.  For the first two hours that we were there, no one danced except the occasional drunk girl looking for her friends as she crossed the dance floor.  I'm rather familiar with the popular rap music out there...and this DJ wasn't playing any of that.  This was some obscure southern crunk crap.  Supposedly this is what was hot in the area...but no one was dancing to it.  Then...in the middle of this hardcore rap set, the DJ switched it up.  He threw on a modern rock classic:  "Smells Like Teen Spirit."  Suddenly, every person of every age...every nationality...and every sex...jumped on the dance floor and went crazy.  This song by a dead white kid from Seattle...turned a dead hip-hop dance club into a bumping party.  People who say Nirvana and Nevermind are overrated have no idea what they are talking about.

Spin has put up a tribute album to Nirvana's classic album "Nevermind" that turns twenty this year.
Get it here free (just like their page on Facebook).

Below is the track list:
01 Meat Puppets: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
02 Butch Walker & the Black Widows: “In Bloom”
03 Midnight Juggernauts: “Come as You Are”
04 Titus Andronicus: “Breed”
05 The Vaselines: “Lithium”
06 Amanda Palmer: “Polly”
07 Surfer Blood: “Territorial Pissings”
08 Foxy Shazam: “Drain You”
09 Jessica Lea Mayfield: “Lounge Act”
10 Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band: “Stay Away”
11 Telekinesis: “On a Plain”
12 JEFF the Brotherhood: “Something in the Way”
13 EMA: “Endless, Nameless”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Free Music Friday (Thursday Edition): Wugazi - 13 Chambers

This week while I was at home visiting my parents, they were playing this cutting edge Tango music to try and impress me.  My mom was trying to sell me on the album by explaining that these songs were so good they could be played on the radio.  I'll always give any music an honest listen, but my mom was so enthusiastic about the tango music, I knew something had to be wrong.  I started listening and instantly recognized the song.  I looked at my wife and then to my mom and said..."Mom, this is Depeche Mode." My mom didn't believe me...but one look at the credits and it confirmed that it was a cover.  The next song was a New Order song...and so on...  The music wasn't bad, decent actually.  But it was kind of amusing that I had to inform my mom that ground-breaking song that she was listening to...wasn't an original like she thought.  I guess I know how they felt when I thought Tiffany's "I Think I'm Alone Now" and Bananarama's "Venus" were originals, too.

I really think the future of music may lay in the past.  The most talked about new release this week isn't any of the mainstream dreck on itunes or Amazon's main page.  It's a bootleg album...that's being given away for free.  It's a mash-up of uber-indie punk, Fugazi, and seminal rap entourage, Wu-Tang.  It's all over Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere.  Like the tango music, maybe being original today isn't about creating something new out of nothing...maybe it's about taking some great and looking at it with different eyes...or ears in this case.

Download Wugazi - 13 Chambers (free for now)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The 11 Best Songs By Buddy Holly

Been on vacation for the past two weeks...so not as much time to commit to the posting as usual.

One catch up I had to do was a Buddy Holly post.  With the crazy good new tribute album out, I had to do a list for one rock's trailblazing original stars.  Buddy Holly had everything:  geek appeal, hooky songs, was poppy enough to be mainstream but edgy enough to push off parents.  He had charm and charisma.  And as much as he came off as the boy next door, there was a side of him that he was the rebel who you didn't want near your teenage daughter.  Yes, the plane crash made him the first true rock n roll tragedy.  But if he wasn't as brilliant as he was...then the crash would not have meant as much as it did.  Fifty...yes, fifty years later, his songs have ripened with age...and may even be better now than they were when they came out.

Here are the 11 Best Songs By Buddy Holly:

1.  Everyday (Buddy Holly)
2.  Rave On (Buddy Holly)
3.  Oh Boy! (The "Chirping" Crickets)
4.  Blue Days, Black Nights (That'll Be The Day)
5.  Rock Around With Ollie Vee (That'll Be The Day)
6.  That'll Be The Day (The "Chirping" Crickets)
7.  True Love Ways (The Buddy Holly Story 2)
8.  Not Fade Away (The "Chirping" Crickets)
9.  Peggy Sue (Buddy Holly)
10.  You're So Square (Buddy Holly)
11.  It's So Easy (The Buddy Holly Story)

Buy the new Buddy Holly tribute album...Rave On!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Unknown: The 11 Best Depeche Mode Bonus Remix Tracks.

Last week, Amazon ended its Affliates program for residents in California.  This came about from a new law signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown.  In crude terms, the new law put a new tax on retailers who were located in California.  Since Amazon had affiliates located in California under the new law that would make Amazon a "California" business and be susceptible to the new tax.  Therefore, Amazon ended its affiliates program to avoid being hit with the new tax.  It's a stupid law.  It probably hurts California more than it helps it.  Since the world is moving toward digital business, having affiliates programs only helps the California economy and their taxes, since all affiliates located in California have to pay taxes on their earnings.  With the lost earnings from Amazon, that's less taxes that will now be paid to the state.

With the limited quality releases this month, I'm going to catch up a bit on the releases I've missed or overlooked.

Though I love Depeche Mode, I can't say I'm thrilled about the massive amount of bonus tracks for their latest Remix compilation. Each retail affiliate was given certain bonus tracks that were only associated with their deluxe edition.  The total amount of bonus tracks tops out around 25 extra tracks on top of the already 37 tracks from the regular deluxe edition.  Some of the tracks can be bought individually...but others like the ten tracks from Beatport.com will cost you about $4 a piece.  So, if you want to get the additional 10 bonus tracks of dubs and instrumentals, you'll be shelling out $40 which is more than you would pay for the regular deluxe edition.  Of course, if you want to just by the Beatport deluxe edition, it's only a mere $78...and is oddly missing ten tracks that are readily available on the other editions.  I can't really figure out what DM's goal is on this one.  It's one thing to lure people into buying the album for a couple extra tracks.  But only the true fans are going to buy multiple editions.  Aren't the true devoted fans the ones you want to bribe to keep around?  Not the ones you want to gouge?  I did a heavy search and have picked up most of the bonus tracks and out of the 25, here are the ones I found the best bang for your buck.

Here are the 11 Best Depeche Mode Bonus Tracks from the new Remixes:

1.  The Sinnner in Me (Sixtoes Remix) - HMV Digital
2.  In Chains (Myer vs. Wilder Deconstruction) - Itunes
3.  The Sun and the Rainfall (Black Light Odyssey's Further Excerpts) - HMV Digital
4.  Personal Jesus (Sie Medway-Smith Dub) - Beatport
5.  In Chains (Tigerskin's No Sleep Alternative Remix) - Beatport
6.  Sister of Night (Ida Engberg's Giving Voice to The Flame) - Amazon Digital Edition
7.  The Sweetest Perfection (Phil Kieran Vocal Remix) - Amazon Digital Edition
8.  Suffer Well (M83 Instrumental) - Beatport
9.  Wrong (Trentemoller Club Remix Dub) - Beatport
10.  A Pain That I'm Used To (Jacques Le Cont Dub) - Beatport
11.  John The Revelator (UNKLE Dub) - Beatport

Buy Depeche Mode's Remixes 81-11...now!

Monday, July 04, 2011

The 11 Best Albums of 2011 (so far)

Happy 4th of July.  We're halfway through 2011.  Here's what's worth listening to so far...

Here are the 11 Best Albums of 2011 (so far):

1.       Yuck - Yuck (The Wall)
2.       Bright Eyes - The People's Key
3.       The Strokes - Angeles
4.       Jeff the Brotherhood - We Are Champions
5.       James Blake - James Blake
6.       Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
7.       Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
8.       The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
9.       Middle Brother - Middle Brother
10.   David Lowery - The Palace Guards
11.   Foster The People - Torches

It doesn't do me any good to tell you to go buy the albums since as a California resident I can't profit off it any more.  But go support the artists...because they deserve it.