September 8, 2009

Hype Machine News

Filed under: Digital Distribution, Music — Robert John Ed @ 4:29 pm

I finally set up an account on Hype Machine.  I’d been lurking (btw, I want to write a longer and more thoughtful post on lurkers and what it means for sites and companies online at some point) on the site for over a year now, but recently saw that they have integrated and Twitter functionality with it, which offers a 1+1+1 = 5 equation.

Hype Machine is where I go when I want to hear early buzz on bands I’ve never heard of. works similarly for me, but it’s more of a way to track how much of what has been in my rotation lately and read more in depth band bios.  Many people use Myspace for this, but I abhor Myspace and think it’s the equivelant of an 80’s acid trip gone bad.  Meanwhile, has comprehensive information on every band and offers scrobbling, which is probably the most important music related feature on my hardware.

Ever more so recently, I’ve realized how much of a music fanatic I am.  It doesn’t matter what kind, I’m near always consuming new music.  Some lasts a long time (like the Wolf Parade or Rural Alberta Advantage albums) and some dies out.  But it’s a constant for me, and I’m going to continue to write about it.  Getting out to more live shows is also of interest.

I  also want to use twitter more proactively again(user:  @redmarketer).  I used to be a constant user and although I didn’t do it all the time (3x per day?) it did offer significant amounts of information and a good outlet for less important info, i.e. non bloggable stuff.  Combining all these three services like Hype Machine has done is the key to building a smarter network and keeping me as a user, kudos to Hype Machine for the good work.


September 7, 2009

But First, New Musics, September 2009

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 3:56 pm

Before logging off though, here is a brief overview of musical meandering for the month:

Stellastarr*, Self Titled:  Kind of a different sound from another NY based band, I haven’t listened to it much, but the lead voice is higher, nasally, etc.  Something there is about the East Coast and singers, that Bouncing Souls sound, I’m not sure if it’s a regional dialect or just coincidence.  Anyway, the guitar sounds good, it’s different, so we’ll see where it goes.

Mountain Goats, All Hail West Texas:  It’s no secret that this has been one of my favorite new bands (I use this loosely, as they are new to me) of the year.  The first two albums I picked up were far more traditional in terms of recording as they were recent, but apparently, John Darnielle’s early recordings were all decidedly lo-fi (as opposed to hi-fi, duh).  I’ve listened to it once through, on my way back from Split Rock camping on the North Shore, and as expected, it’s really good.  I think as of yet I prefer the more traditional recording as it points out the singing quality, but this kind of recording really shines for the Goats.  It’s difficult to describe, but Darnielle writes in prose so simple it often belies obscurity.  This is not Hemingway, it’s something else altogether.  Much like I’ve studied Dylan and Oberst, I’ll parlay a more robust analysis of his writing as it becomes apparent.

Additionally, I’m going to see them with Final Fantasy (whom I hear good things about) along with a few other concerts in the next month; they are without a doubt the most exciting of all.

Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest:  Yet another NY band, Grizzly Bear has had a LOT of great reviews over the last few months.  I wonder if Rolling Stone often gives more credence to East Coast bands, but the praise has been widespread.  I try to stay away from the hot bands initially in order to keep off the hype.  I haven’t really listened to this much at all, but from what I have heard of this band, it reminds me of experimental psych pop, think modernized OK Computer, I guess.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’m not huge into experimental stuff, for instance, I never really went crazy over Yeasayer, though I thought it was good enough to listen to and digest a few times.  Problem is, new types of music take more time, and this certainly does require much more time.

Arctic Monkeys, Humbug:  The third full length from the Indie/Garage sounding Brits, I have really high expectations.  Their first album was very fast and kind of blew the doors off of 2006.  It was just really high energy and well put together with a different sound and a British dialect in the vocals.  I wasn’t writing about music back then, but it probably would have been my top album that year.  Their follow up was different.  It took me a while longer to really enjoy it, but once it hit me, it seemed more mature and valuable than their first.

Upon listening to Humbug, my first thoughts are that it’s a little bit slower, but you can hear some progression from their secondary effort.  The guitars are just heavier and overall it sounds, well, confident.  It’s not easy to deviate and morph your sounds, and the Monkeys seem unapologetic in distancing themselves from prior successes.  I have a feeling this will be an album to listen to over the long haul.


September 1, 2009

I’ve Been Listening to Wolf Parade a Week Straight

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 2:13 pm

August 25, 2009

New Musics: August 09′

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 1:34 am

Did some Amazon ordering as of late:

Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot: This is one of those bands everyone seems to like a lot and I’ve never listened to them. On initial rotation, I don’t necessarily get what all the hubbub is about. Good? Yes. Fanatically endearing? At this point no. Chia like, it may well grow.

Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary: This one is really eccentric. Reminds of Arcade Fire vocals and a lot of really eclectic sounds; I have a good feeling about it. Definitely a lot of things on this worth listening to, and an album that will certainly take time to fully mentally digest.

The National, Boxer: Picked this up on a recommendation from a fellow classmate. He was right, it’s really interesting. Chilled out, deep vocals and a somber musical cadence create a very unique sound from this NY band of brothers. Rockable and repeatable.

The Hold Steady, Stay Positive: Another NY band, the first time I heard these guys was on the I’m Not There soundtrack (which is phenomenal, btw). I didn’t really get into their version of “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window;” dude’s voice just didn’t do it for me. It is a very distinct voice. Their full album is a little better, more upbeat, but still not necessarily my cup of tea.


August 15, 2009

Concerts Upcoming

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 1:28 pm

Prepare for an onslaught of irrevocable sonic heat in the coming months.  Live.

First off, the Arctic Monkeys are playing at 1st Avenue 9/25 for their new LP (Humbug) tour.  Wha-HUH?  OK this sucks, I just checked out the 1st Avenue page to link to and my favorite band of 2009 is playing concurrently at 7th Street Entry.  Whiskey tango foxtrot???!!!!  Rural Alberta Advantage is $10 the same night and time.  I already have tix to the Monkeys and plans to hit it up with a friend.  Talk about crumby timing.  Damn.  I guess I’ll catch them on the next run through.

Seawolf, my favorite band (or album at least) of 2008 is playing the following Tuesday for a frugal price of $12.  Gravy.

Finally, the Mountain Goats, who have also gotten a ridiculous amount of rotations for me this year, are playing at the Cedar on November 7th, likely to play songs off their new, Bible driven LP called The Life and the World to Come.

That’s a grotesque platter of rad.  But I’m incredibly bummed I don’t get to listen to “Edmonton” live when the RAA comes through.  F.  Life goes on.

July 17, 2009

New Musics

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 10:45 pm

I had went to Cheapo a while back to find new music and was aghast at the prices.  It sucks that many of the bands I’d like to buy are SOOOO expensive at retail.  In all truth, the two CDs I walked out with could have likely been gotten cheaper on Amazon with the used section.  Many times I want the music right then and there, but I’m still financially prudent.  So the last time I went there, I walked out with something completely different than I wanted.

In steps Amazon and the tubes.  I bit the bullet and ordered 6 new albums, 2 used and 4 new.  The four new ones arrived today.  Here’s a brief listing of what I’ll be listening to over the next few weeks and potentially longer:

Rural Alberta Advantage, Hometowns:  Off Saddle Creek Records, they sound mellow and I heard about them from AVC (who happens to have really good taste in music).  Already listening to this right now and it seems very folksy and mellow, which if I owned any alley, such would preside.

Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals:  Saw these guys live at Rock the Garden and was impressed, really want to pick up MPLS band Solid Gold too, but it isn’t on Amazon and goes for $18 at Cheapo.  Fuck that.

Okkervil River, The Stand Ins:  This is a bit of a random album I’ve been meaning to get forever.  Amazon and Apple Genius have been suggesting it forever, and the buzz on is really good.  Life’s like a box of chocolates, right?

Of Montreal, Sunlandic Twins:  I’ve had this on my list to buy for a long time.  Of Montreal just keeps growing on me, despite their latest album being only half worth listening to imho.  Everything of theirs I’ve purchased has gotten a good deal of rotation and I have no doubt that this will live up to the same standard.  It’s just really good, ecclectic electronica driven drivel making your head swivel.

Jealous Sound, Kill Them With Kindness:  Got it based on one good song I’ve heard.  Maybe a stupid move,  not sure.  Buying an entire album based on one song isn’t a great idea most of the time, but it’s a good way to get exposure to an album that you know isn’t complete fecal matter.  Buying something you’ve never heard works well at times and at times not.  But the one song is pretty good, so there’s hope.

Desaparacidos, Read Music/Speak Spanish:  A more punk sounding band Conor Oberst was in a while ago, it has good reviews and seemed worth a shot.

I’d like to put album artwork next to all these, but formatting looks really stupid with this blog as of now because I tampered with the code unwittingly.  Hopefully, by the end of the summer I’ll alleviate that situation and illustration will be included, for now, click the links.  Peace out honkeys.

UPDATE: Just one listen into Rural Alberta Advantage, I can tell this is going to be epic.  Remember the first time you heard a great band and just knew their sound was special?  These guys are legit.  They kind of remind me of an Arcade Fire/Neutral Milk Hotel style sound with a softer Billy Corgan at vocals.  Sounds like really good road music to travel by the swaying fields of wild rye.


July 5, 2009

Small Biz Building

Filed under: Marketing Tactics, Music — Robert John Ed @ 10:38 pm

Small businesses have been on my mind a lot lately.   Part of the reason is what a down economy can do to them and the furvor upstarted over the last year.  Part of it is that someday I’d like to start a business, though I’ll keep the details on my ideas low key until they actually make inroads toward tangible form.  Small businesses really are the heart of our economy.  I often wonder how many make enough to stay in the black.  More and more it seems like small business owners are getting better at marketing.  It’s still a really small amount of businesses that treat customers as their priority, but they are out there and they keep my business.

It’s really difficult to do today, customers are fickle and easy to turn off.  One wrong move and someone will scream holy hell on their blog or wherever else; they should do this.  Businesses need to be accountable for their actions and word of mouth does that well.  A few weeks ago my boss asked me if they should try out El Paraiso in Uptown.  I told them no.  I got food poisoning there a few years ago and consistently advise against going.  Is that wrong?  Maybe it was a bad shipment of meat or whatever, maybe they’ve cleaned up?  I could care less.  You can’t make amends for that, unfortunately.  That’s the nature of the beast, and companies of all kinds must pay heed.

So today, I actually got an update on Facebook that was worthwhile.  Atmosphere, a local and quite amazing hip hop duo, is giving away ANOTHER free EP.  These guys produce a lot of music and have given away an LP online (last year) as well as done a huge amount for the local community.

Here’s the thing.  They get it.  They are opening an online version of the 5th Element and want to get traffic there.  So they are giving something away to the people that have shown them interest and appreciation.  This is permission marketing done well.  The store gets traffic and a valid data grab to start, the fans get a free EP, the band continues to build an already good relationship and likely a good amount of free press and new fanfare.  So go check it out.  All you have to do is click on the EP and give some information (no CC needed!) and download it.  Tubular brah.

Time for a bike ride.  Stay up.

June 30, 2009

I Will Follow You Into The Dark

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 1:29 am

A good song off of Plans:

May 19, 2009

Other Musics Miscellaneous

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 2:14 pm

The other music I picked up isn’t too shabby, btw.  The Black Keys‘ Rubber Factory is VERY good.  Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion is a little more difficult to access, but is showing a lot of promise.  St. Vincent’s debut hasn’t proven my cup of tea, but is certainly an expression of sorts.  Dark Was The Night has 30 songs of today’s best in indie show.

One song in particular off of Dark Was The Night (which is a CD made to fight AIDS, and has Paradise Lost illustration for Dore, one of my favorite artists) will likely be in my top songs for some time.  Gillian Welch & Conor Oberst made a duet of “Lua” and her voice is absolutely ridiculous.  Check this out:

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band: Outer South

Filed under: Music — Robert John Ed @ 2:03 pm

I picked up about five new discs in the last week.  This is normally a problem as one or two albums usually prove the best of the lot to start and the others are listened to much less.  Then alternately as time goes on I’ll cycle back and listen to a lot of the other stuff.  Well that has happened again.

Most of the last few days I’ve been listening to Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band’s Outer South.  It’s an interesting album, most of the songs are Oberst, but a handful are other singers in the band and they actually hold their mud pretty good.  Songs like “Big Black Nothing” and “Difference Is Time” prove that the band itself really isn’t contingent on Oberst’s lyrics and voice.  Still, Oberst’s songs are the best on the album.  The feel of this offering is something different, some kind of alt country road music.  There are more “sing along” kind of songs, it’s very free flowing and good summer music.  Certainly worth the time and effort needed to access it.  This isn’t the greatest output, but it’s a different slant and has enough to keep people in the seats, though I’d say there are a good 3-4 songs that probaby shouldn’t have made the cut.


Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at