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Current Topic: Music

Peaking Lights, Hanggai
Topic: Music 7:17 am EST, Feb 13, 2012

On Peaking Lights, from the Rhapsody review of their album, 936:

In a parallel universe, one where dub icon Lee "Scratch" Perry, and not ABBA, dominated the pop charts in the late '70s, Peaking Lights are the Mr. and Mrs. Lady Gaga of the modern age. If you're not cranking 936 right this second, then that sounds like nothing but crazy talk. So go ahead and explore this wondrous platter; it's gooey mutant disco at its most luxuriant and spellbinding. Even when the Wisconsin-based duo ventures far out, as on "Marshmellow Yellow," your body will still demand a glistening parquet floor and softly strobing light patterns. Oh, and crank the bass, too.

Try Birds of Paradise Dub Version and Tiger Eyes (Laid Back).

On Hanggai, from the Rhapsody review of their album, He Who Travels Far:

Like an Appalachian opium den or a rollicking Irish bar in the middle of Mongolia, Travels pulses with intense, incongruous and, yes, intoxicating energy. On album two, the Beijing-Mongolian folk-punk outfit expands their experiment to folk-rock realms around the world, yet still manage to make all their far-flung influences sound like drinking buddies. Ominous electric guitars throw down with galloping acoustic strings, mournful dirges like "Hairan Hairan" alternate with Central Asian hoedowns like "Zhang Dan," and everywhere you'll find the rockingest throat singing this side of Yat-Kha.

Try "Yuan Ding Cap" and "Drinking Song".

The Mercury Program - Slightly Drifting
Topic: Music 11:01 pm EDT, Sep 12, 2011

The Mercury Program -- Slightly Drifting, 2002

The Mercury Program - Slightly Drifting

Amy Winehouse Found Dead in London
Topic: Music 6:12 pm EDT, Jul 23, 2011

Julia Werdigier:

Amy Winehouse, the Grammy-award winning singer who has battled addiction problems for years, was found dead on Saturday at her apartment in London, the police said. She was 27.

Amy, from the archive:

We only said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black

So where's my moral parallel?

Amy Winehouse Found Dead in London

Topic: Music 6:53 am EDT, May 31, 2011

Danger Mouse, Norah Jones, Jack White ...

From the Rhapsody review:

The word "prolific" doesn't do Danger Mouse justice. For Rome, the Grammy-winning producer gathered a cast of superstars to capture the mystique of the spaghetti Western: It's a natural progression, as hints of the dusty and desolate sound have popped up in his previous work with Beck, Sparklehorse & David Lynch, and Broken Bells. With help from composer Daniele Luppi, Rome features musicians who played on the original Ennio Morricone scores (how's that for authenticity?) and grants blockbuster starring roles to Jack White (the suave rebel) and Norah Jones (the soulful seductress).

Try track 3, "Morning Fog (Interlude)".

From the archive:

Like a Morricone-style dirge recorded by The Mamas and The Papas, Violent Femmes' cover of Gnarls Barkley's infamous "Crazy" is like nothing you've heard from the legendary alt-rock trio before. Their oft-imitated folk-punk sound is flavored with surf-rock guitar and Theremin, creating a tranquility that is somber and otherworldly.

A Word:

I never had this problem
with nobody in the government
I guess I always figured
they never mean what they meant
and GOD help us all
not to be so stone surprised
when we wake up in the stars
with the skies in our eyes
if we keep tellin'
lies lies lies

The Onion:

After nearly four months of frank, honest, and open dialogue about the failing economy, a weary U.S. populace announced this week that it is once again ready to be lied to about the current state of the financial system.


Lazerproof, by Major Lazer and La Roux
Topic: Music 6:49 pm EDT, Jun  1, 2010
lazerproof img

It's Mad Decent!

La Roux, the British synth-pop duo, and Major Lazer, a hipster dancehall vanity project helmed by producer-DJs Diplo and Switch, don't share any obvious aesthetics. But their respective bodies of work -- just one 2009 LP, each -- are a jumping-off point for "Lazerproof," a mix tape as chaotic as it is cohesive. Like M.I.A.'s Diplo-helmed "Piracy Funds Terrorism, Volume 1" mix tape, it succeeds by acting more like a broad survey of emerging music trends than a compilation of remixes and mash-ups.

Download the new release for free.

Bill Gurley:

Customers seem to really like free as a price point.

Have you heard The Swinger?

The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing. It does this by taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half. It has quite a magical effect.

From last year, Sasha Frere-Jones:

According to Mad Decent, the record label, Major Lazer is a Jamaican commando who fought in the "secret Zombie War of 1984" and lost both arms in combat.

Then the US military equipped him with experimental lasers that double as prosthetic limbs.

George Romero:

How many zombies do you know?

Stuart Heritage:

We should probably tell you that the full title of this game is Zombies! Apocalypse - Massive Multiplayer Online Zombies Massacre, even though that's basically given away the point of it all.

Lily Allen:

Hi. Um, I'm just wondering, have you got any kind of like, sort of punky, electronica, kind of grime, kind of like, new wave grime, kind of maybe like more broken beats, like kinda dubby broken beats, but a little bit kind of soulful ...? but kinda drum and bassy, but kinda more broken drum and bass, like sort of broken beats, like break-beat broken kind of drum and bass ... do you know what I mean? No?

Lazerproof, by Major Lazer and La Roux

Topic: Music 7:54 am EST, Jan 25, 2010

On thesixtyone, new artists make music and listeners decide what's good. We're nurturing a growing ecosystem where talented folks can sell songs and merchandise directly to their fans. Unlike a record or distribution deal where they only make $1-2 per album (if they ever get paid, that is), artists on thesixtyone make at least $7 per album and are paid every 30 days -- no wait for recoupment and no complex royalty schemes!

We're named after Highway 61, a U.S. route that runs along the Mississippi River and marks the origin of American music culture. Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan and B.B. King rode the 61. Elvis grew up in the housing projects along it. Highway 61 was the road by which people left their homes to take their music to the world.


All of Mojo Nixon in free, legal MP3 - Boing Boing
Topic: Music 11:30 am EDT, Oct 10, 2009

"For three weeks only, Amazon and Mojo Nixon are offering his entire catalog in MP3 format completely free, including his latest album, Whiskey Rebellion."

All of Mojo Nixon in free, legal MP3 - Boing Boing

Topic: Music 8:59 pm EDT, Sep 22, 2009

Pink Floyd:

Ticking away the moments that make up the dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find that ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or a half page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone the song is over, thought I'd something more to say


eMusic Implodes, News At 11
Topic: Music 1:05 pm EDT, Jun 14, 2009

In the latest milestone on the music industry death march, the private equity fund that owns digital music distributor eMusic has decided to trade in its old, loss-making "indie" fans for a fresh crop of youthful, energetic casual listeners. The editors at eMusic eagerly look forward to introducing these new arrivals to Miles Davis.

Regarding the grandfathering plans, it definitely sucks to see your downloads cut. But this isn’t out of a lack of loyalty: this is because those plans, which we have grandfathered for a few years, would now be priced at a loss. We changed what some of you spend per-track so that it was equal to what everyone else spends. Whether Sony happened or not, this was an eventuality. An eventuality that stinks, yes, but one all the same.

Paul Bonanos, for GigaOm:

It seems inevitable that consumers everywhere will eventually demand ubiquitous on-demand mobile streams, making ownership of music less popular and iTunes therefore less important.

Fortune Magazine:

Rhapsody, not iTunes, in my opinion, is the future of music.

From May:

Right before Apple finally implemented variable pricing in iTunes it wasn't hard for many to predict that it would backfire badly on the major record labels as they tried to jack up prices. So, it should come as little surprise to find out those predictions appear to be entirely accurate.

eMusic Implodes, News At 11

Labels Losing Money With iTunes Variable Pricing
Topic: Music 7:49 am EDT, May  7, 2009

Right before Apple finally implemented variable pricing in iTunes it wasn't hard for many to predict that it would backfire badly on the major record labels as they tried to jack up prices. So, it should come as little surprise to find out those predictions appear to be entirely accurate. New reports say that the major record labels are losing revenue from variable pricing. Unit sales are dropping to the point that revenue is less as well. That's just bad business no matter how you look at it -- and totally preventable if they knew their own business. Plenty of people made it clear that sales would drop with higher prices, and it's amazing that the execs were unable to accurately predict how much.

From my comment on NYT's January report on the introduction of variable pricing:

If you think this is great news, you are doing it wrong.

Did you read the part about the 30% price hike on the songs that most people buy the most?

Labels Losing Money With iTunes Variable Pricing

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