Archive by Author

Beginning of the End of Illegal Downloads

2 Mar

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As a note, I wrote this last week on my band’s blog but I so adamantly want people to talk about this issue that I figured I would write about it again. I know there is a lot of debate on how downloading should be handled and what laws and rights it is violating (on either side) but it is something that isn’t going to go away and changes are coming, so here is my take on the new “Six Strikes” policy from the ISPs

The day has finally arrived. We are reaching the end of the digital era.

You are on a computer. You’re knowledgeable enough to know that I’m exaggerating. In a way, there will never be an end to the digital era. We will forever be in a world of “ones and zeroes” and soon enough we will get the flying cars we were promised in our childhood. The digital era I am referring to is the age of the illegal download. Sure, we all know how wonderful it is to have limitless access to the world of melody. An iPod full of everything we have ever heard and a hard drive with limitless possibilities? That’s the dream. We all love music, and we all want to gain access to what we love and not be reminded what we owe the world every time we want some joy in our lives.

So we are about to lose the thing we love? We are about to lose access to the dream we all have of endless music without limitations? In the way that we are used to, technically. sure. On the other hand we are living in an era of true musical discovery and will never again have to pay for music if we do not want to. Now, obviously, as a representative of a band (not only just a band but also the band you are reading the blog of) I would love nothing more than for everyone to pay to listen to our music. I am also not advocating that no one should pay for music; I am merely acknowledging that people no longer have to pay.

There is the one option of free streaming, and by one option, I technically mean limitless options. You can go to Pandora, Last.FM, Spotify or SoundCloud to name a few. There are real, viable options to get new music on a regular basis. All of these services have paid options too that expand upon their already limitless bounties. It’s a great tool to find new artists and get a taste of new projects from the artists you love. I can’t advocate these programs enough. They are the leaders in an era of confusion. With everyone doing whatever they want and letting piracy be a problem instead of viewing it as a warning that the market needs to change, we have a few people letting progress be progress.

There is still another answer. You have limitless access to the world right in front of you (if you are reading this) and there are more aspiring musicians and bands than the gods can imagine. You can go to Bandcamp or Kickstarter and find people who need your money to have access to the lives they dream of. It’s not just for them though. They have music that is just as good as the artists we all know and love. It’s not a part of the collective in the way we are used to but it can be. Music directly from the artist can be the new standard – it’s up to you as the fans to decide how the world evolves next.

I implore you browse the internet (sure you can start with our music) and find something new to love. Find something fresh to introduce to your friends instead of just listening to the dial tone that is modern radio. Music doesn’t stop on the airwaves; it only gets amplified there. You can not only find new music to add to your identity, but also you can help people who are spending their lives trying to make a difference by supporting independent artists

Trust me – it’ll work out..

Chromeo Leading By Example

23 Feb

Everyone has a different take on where electronic music is and what it truly has to offer. A lot of people don’t think it has the same impact of other genres, but others love it more than anything. Personally, I think it has lagged a bit behind other genres because of its accessibility. Anyone can make electronic music with a keyboard, drum machine and software. You can even make it in your bedroom. With that in mind, I think some great artists unfortunately get clumped in with the garbage that doesn’t even deserve 15 seconds in the spotlight.

Chromeo, on the other hand, is doing everything right. Not only does the lead singer play guitar to the electric tracks, but also he writes great songs with memorable melodies and doesn’t let the electronics take away from songwriting. The band uses the format to make what it has stronger. Now if you’re someone who completely hates electronics (maybe you are just that stubborn), I am sorry – you’re missing out on a lot of possibilities. If, however, you loved the eighties and want something that falls between the music you love and your guilty pleasures – this is exactly what you’re looking for.

Meet Mobley

15 Feb

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A well kept secret of this southern city (Austin, TX) is an up and coming band called Mobley. Aside for their stellar music and inspiring melodies, this alternative rock band puts on one of the most well rehearsed live show you will find in a bar scene; well, anywhere. Now just fresh off their new album “Young Adult Fiction,” you can find them on tour right now (If you live anywhere near one of these locations just buy tickets now.) What’s best is as these guys continue to write music, they get harder and harder to classify or compare to other artists. The band has really developed its music into a damn unique sound but not in the offsetting “I’m avante-garde and I want to prove that by acting artsy” kind of way. The band creates a great product that connects with you and makes you forget that the show was only part of your night.

The Rise of Jamie Lidell

9 Feb

You never know what you’re going to get when you find an artist that doesn’t fall in the bounds of a specific genre. Sometimes it is just too erratic and “art for art’s sake.” I know there is merit in pushing boundaries, and it’s great to challenge the status quo of music, but I still need melody, and I still want to enjoy what I’m listening to. I don’t care how avant-garde you are. If I don’t like your music, my opinion isn’t going to change just because you think you’re original. You can write new stuff all day that no one has ever composed or dreamed of, but if it’s garbage then I don’t know what all the fuss is about. There is another case though.

Some artists can’t be placed into a solid genre for a better reason. Sometimes artists are just putting together albums that reach far boundaries that become a sublime blend of music that keeps you guessing the entire record. Sure, I love it when bands like AC/DC put out albums because you know exactly what you’re going to get, but I also love being surprised and finding something fresh in a new album.

I recently stumbled upon the music of Jamie Lidell. He is a solo artist from England. He currently lives in Nashville and puts on one hell of a show. He achieved his fame looping rhythm tracks with his vocals and performing as a one man show. I caught wind of this because he is featured on a Simian Mobile Disco track that I love (Off the Map). His music is incredibly soulful, super rhythmic and a complete dance marathon of melody laden music. I can’t imagine this guy being a secret in the music industry much longer.

Both of these songs are the night and day of his music so just in and check out the range of this up and coming artist.

Check out his website for more.

The Substance of Pop Music

2 Feb

I have always wondered why, when there is so much powerful and artistically driven music in the world, are we left with the pop music we have? No one I talk to listens to top 40, but there continues to be over-saturated music that is shoved down listener’s throats. I am by no means denouncing all popular music or trying to attack certain genres of music. Everything under the sun can be held up to a particular light and shine with some merit . I have just always found it strange that while everyone I know listens to music, no one listens to the top 40. Do children have that much say in what becomes “popular music?” Are the big wigs that poor at learning the demographics of their industry, or am I the crazy one?

Well an interesting development happened to me the other day. I stumbled upon some pretty spectacular music (which isn’t really out of the ordinary at all) and the funny thing was that these were all cover songs by “top 40” artists. The kind of music that just has no connection to the real artistic community of music and is more of what I like to call “corporate-pop/hop” than actual pop music. When I listened to these covers, it brought a whole new light to the melody and the lyrics. It got me wondering: are these artists really not artistic or have we just lost the ability to produce music now that we can do it so cheaply with computers? Was the real magic behind the artists that controlled the charts 25-40 years ago the fact that real musicians had to come into the studios and lay down tracks for the album? Were the producers just that much more vital to the process? Is Quincy Jones just that good? Probably.

Check out a couple videos that I found that completely redefined their originals.

There is just something about the way this music is recaptured with an honest sound instead of a couple poor synth riffs and a drum machine. Maybe there is some hope for the music community, even if the world of popular music is continuing to head in the wrong direction.

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