Archive for category Music

The Hype Machine Radio iPhone App Has Arrived

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I’ve written about Hype Machine before, so if you haven’t checked it out and you are a fan of discovering new music, then you should head there now and poke around.  Basically, Hype aggregates all the top music blogs to bring you what is hot and being listened to out there in the music blogsphere.  From new releases to the latest mashups and remixes, browsing around and “loving” songs lets you discover and share music in a cool new way.  By creating a profile, you can “love” songs and add them to your playlist.  My playlist now has over 350 songs that I can pull up on any browser and listen to.  I also follow and am followed by friends to see what everyone else is listening to.  Although not perfect, its a great way to listen and find new music in your browser.

Up until this week, it was all browser based.  Many a party I went to where I wished I could plug my iPhone in and play what i’ve been listening to on Hype so finally an iPhone App has been released where you can listen on the go.  Athough you have to pay $2.99 for it, I feel like it’s definitely worth it.  Early reviews reveal that its not perfect such as the lack of having your own “loved” songs available, but it’s a good first step and i’m sure features will be added soon in their next version.

With Google announcing their music platform this week, i’m excited to see the evolution of the music industry, making it easier to share, discover and listen to new music while keeping it all in the cloud.

Check out my newly added Hype Machine Widget on the right hand side of SML, below the Facebook Widget to see the latest songs i’m listening to on Hype.

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Who’s Gonna Save The World Tonight?

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Seeing Steve Angello DJ at Ruby Skye the other week was definitely one of the best live performances i’ve ever been to.  Angello and the rest of The Swedish House Mafia have been putting out some serious heat over the past couple of years and if you have the chance to see them, you have to do it.  One song that stood out was “Save The World” which Pete Tong just debuted on BBC the other night.  The energy of this song live was amazing, but this recording will have to do for those who weren’t there – enjoy:

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Hit The Hype Machine For The Hottest New Beats

I couldn’t let all of April pass without a post, so I figured I would share a new music site I have been spending a lot of time on.  If you like to discover new music then keep on reading.  The Hype Machine is a super easy to use music site that ” keeps track of what music bloggers write about.”  Basically it’s an aggregator that pulls together the hottest new songs that are being mentioned on music blogs and lets people listen to them, share them and rate them.  Since music blogs are usually the first to share new beats and albums, The Hype Machine will have you listening to the hot new tracks long before your friends.  Because there is a social element to it, you can follow your friends and see what new songs they are listening to.  Even if you aren’t necessarily looking for new music, type in a band or artist you already like and I guarantee there are new tracks or remixes you haven’t heard before.  Instead of spending the day searching the hundreds of random music blogs out there, just head to The Hype Machine and let them sort through the blogs and give you the hottest new tracks.  I’ve only been using The Hype Machine for a couple weeks but I’ve already found a bunch of new music.  Although you can’t download directly from Hype Machine, you can listen to the songs for free on the site.  If you wish to download songs, they do give links to sites like itunes where you can purchase the music legally.

Sign up for The Hype Machine and start adding to your personal list of favorites.  To check out my profile and follow me go to http://www.hypem.com/rapcity

Happy Listening

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The Untzological Society: Sharing Funky New Beats From Across The Untziverse

After a short hiatus, I am back and I’ve got a hot new music blog to share with you all.  Five guys who go by the names of JackPitney, Master of The Untziverse, Lazersaurus Rex, Mr. Smooth and Smasher have started The Untzological Society……an elite society of funky beats that are sure to create a dance off at your next party.  They travel all across the Untziverse in search of the hottest beats, both old and new.  From the Ukraine to Japan and back to the summer of 1987, they talk about a wide variety of music, but with each post you are guaranteed to find a beat or two that will have you bobbing your head on the bus to work tomorrow.  Their concise and witty write-ups keep it lively and fun and the songs they post up are sure to keep your ipod chock full of fresh new beats.  Join the Untzological Society at http://untzsociety.blogspot.com/

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New Single By Chromeo – “Night By Night”!

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For those of you who know me, you probably know that I’ve been a big Chromeo fansince I started listening to them in College.  Well as we gear up for the Halloween weekend, I figured I would share the latest single from Chromeo for you to add to your Halloween party beats.  This is their first new beat since 2007 and I can’t stop listening to it.  Looks like the full album should drop in the springbut this is a nice teaser for you to enjoy in the mean time.  Enjoy the free download at: http://www.greenlabelsound.com/artists/chromeo/

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Music Monday: Some Hot New Beats From A Weekend At Red Rocks

Discovering new music is always exciting.  Discovering new music with a few thousand people at an outdoor amphitheater in beautiful Colorado is even better.

This past weekend, I had my first Red Rocks experience and I can now say that it is indeed a very special venue.  This weekend was the annual Monolith Festival which featured over 75 acts spread out over 2 days.  Although it rained quite a bit during the first day, the great acts made it easy to enjoy the rainy weather.  There were a number of headlining groups who I had heard of before, but there were also dozens of new bands that I got to listen to for the first time.  I could talk about the bigger names who played like Chromeo (my all time favorite), Phoenix, The Mars Volta, Ok Go, Of Montreal, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but I figured I would talk about a few of the smaller groups who impressed me. For your Monday listening pleasure, I share with you Passion Pit, Woodhands and The Walkmen.

Passion Pit is a new electronica band out of Cambridge, MA who formed in late 2007 after the lead singer Michael Angelakos got a band together to write his girlfriend a song for valentines day.  Their energy and upbeat sound was awesome live so I encourage you all to take a listen.  This band has jumped right up the list of my favorites after their show.

Woodhands is another indie electronica band who put on a great show.  They are based out of Toronto, Canada and are also new to the music scene, having formed in 2007.

The Walkmen came out on Saturday when the rain was coming down the hardest, but that didn’t takeaway from their great sound and energy.  This indie rock band calls New York and Philly their home and formed back in 2000 after attending school together down in D.C.  Turns out they played at my college back in 2006 but I didn’t catch them then.  I had to wait 3 years later to discover them but i’m happy I did.

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A Must See Band: Filligar’s “Stray Dogs Tour” Kicks Off Tomorrow

n8790225966_9002If you haven’t heard the fresh new sounds of Filligar, then you ought to check them out. Starting tomorrow September 2nd, they are hitting the road on a 60 day tour to showcase their latest sounds. Over those 60 days they are putting on 25 shows and covering 6,288 miles.

Filligar is a 4 member band which consists of 3 brothers and 1 friend who all grew up together in the Chicago area. After playing music together as kids, they formed Filligar in 2000 and then went their separate ways to college on the East Coast (the 3 brothers to Dartmouth and the other to Hamilton). While at their respective Universities, they managed to come out with a few killer albums starting with their self titled album in 2005 and their second a year later in 2006, titled “Succession, I guess”. Their music seems to keep progressing with each new album and each passing year. In 2007 they released “The City Tree” and in 2008 they came out with “Near or Far”.

Most bands struggle to come up with an album every few years, but Filligar has managed to do so while being full time students.  Its hard enough to concentrate on school with all the girls and distractions that come with college, but Filligar has managed to juggle them all while putting out an album per year.  Any old college band can play at frat parties and school functions, but these kids are no run of the mill college group.  Not only have they produced a lot of new tracks throughout their college years, but they have managed to keep it unique and fresh.  I’m not always a fan of all the new rock and pop that keeps coming out, but Filligar offers a refreshing sound in a sea of generic and repetitive new bands.

Each of their albums have a unique sound while keeping true to their indie-rock/pop vibe. Its hard to pick a favorite for me as they all have tracks that invoke different moods. Some of their tunes are soulful and slow while others are upbeat and poppy. Their sound reminds me a little of Wilco and coincidently, they list their musical influences as Wilco, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Band, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Air.  No matter what your music tastes are though, I suggest you give them a listen.

This year they have started to make a real name for themselves with slots on MTV, VH1 and a bunch of press.  I encourage you all to sample some of their music and if they are heading to a city or town near you in the coming months, buy a ticket and check them out.  Look for these guys to keep climbing the charts and winning fans as they continue to grow.

Here are the dates and locations for their Stray Dogs Tour:

Sep 02 Cambridge, MA
Sep 03 NYC
Sep 05 Terre Haute, IN
Sep 09 Los Angeles (Atlantic Records Showcase)
Sep 15 Apple Store (Woodfield, IL)
Sep 16 Chicago (w/Pomegranates)
Sep 17 Minneapolis, MN
Sep 18 Milwaukee, WI
Sep 19 Madison (w/ Antlers, Pomegranates)
Sep 22 Hamilton College
Sep 24 Cornell University
Sep 25 Middlebury College
Sep 26 Dartmouth College
Sep 28 Providence, RI
Sep 30 Philadelphia, PA
Oct 01 Dewey Beach Festival, DE
Oct 05 Washington, DC
Oct 07 St. Louis, MO
Oct 09 Memphis, TN
Oct 10 University of the South
Oct 11 Chattanooga, TN
Oct 12 Atlanta, GA
Oct 14 Charlotte, NC
Oct 15 Wilmington, NC
Oct 16 Duke University
Oct 23 NYC (CMJ Festival)

For more information about Filligar go to their official site at www.filligar.com or check them out on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace

For a free mixtape from he Stray Dogs Tour download it at: http://www.filligar.com/straydogs

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Les Paul: Remembering A Guitar Legend

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Courtesy of Gibson

Like many kids growing up, I had to pick a musical instrument to play when I entered a certain grade in elementary school. Most kids played because they had to and never picked up an instrument again after their first year. For others, It was a starting point that lead to a music career or a great hobby. Although I loved music from an early age, I could never settle on an instrument I wanted to play. I started with the piano, moved on to the trumpet and then ended up with the saxophone. After a few years of mediocre saxophone playing, I went to a friends house and watched his older brother play the guitar. When I picked up his guitar, I knew I had found my instrument. The guitar was sexier and more powerful than the instruments that I had previously tried. Plus, as I had seen in the movies, girls seemed to flock to guys who played the guitar so I knew that might come in handy later on in life. Like so many kids before me, I wanted to be a rock star. My love of the guitar grew strong and fast and I was soon soloing with it in front of my entire school as a member of the Jazz band. My blue Strat was my baby and I practiced all the time. Unfortunately times change and I started playing less and less. Different sports took over my life and then there was college. Although my Strat has not been out of its case in a few years, it’s like riding a bike. Once you pick it up after a long hiatus, you get inspired again. My goal is to pick it back up this year and start playing again.

The passing of Les Paul only enforces my love of the guitar and the fact that I should be playing it more often. When I was young I obsessed about different pedals and amps with friends and drooled over the pricey guitars that hung on the store walls. I was lucky to have a U.S. made Strat which is a classic, but The Les Paul always seemed to be the one people dreamed about. It was hard to beat the classic lines on it, the look and the sound that came out of it. Whether you were a country star or a rock wanna be, the Les Paul was the one. With the passing of Les Paul yesterday, we lost a legend and an innovator that was responsible for so much of our music history. An acclaimed guitarist and innovator, he helped to change the face of how music was made. Whether you are an avid guitar player or just like music in general, you have been touched by the life and work of Les Paul whether you know it or not.

Below is a brief write up from the Gibson guitar site about Les:

New York, NY…August 13, 2009…Les Paul, acclaimed guitar player, entertainer and inventor, passed away today from complications of severe pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York, surrounded by family and loved ones. He had been receiving the best available treatment through this final battle and in keeping with his persona, he showed incredible strength, tenacity and courage. The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks for the thoughts and prayers from his dear friends and fans. Les Paul was 94.

One of the foremost influences on 20th century sound and responsible for the world’s most famous guitar, the Les Paul model, Les Paul’s prestigious career in music and invention spans from the 1930s to the present. Though he’s indisputably one of America’s most popular, influential, and accomplished electric guitarists, Les Paul is best known as an early innovator in the development of the solid body guitar. His groundbreaking design would become the template for Gibson’s best-selling electric, the Les Paul model, introduced in 1952. Today, countless musical legends still consider Paul’s iconic guitar unmatched in sound and prowess. Among Paul’s most enduring contributions are those in the technological realm, including ingenious developments in multi-track recording, guitar effects, and the mechanics of sound in general.

To read the rest of his bio and view the beautiful guitars that are still at the top of the industry over 50 years later, go to the Gibson website.

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2008 Les Paul Standard ($3,899 MSRP)

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iPhone App Tells You About Concerts In Your Area

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It is hard to keep track of all the iPhone Applications that are added to iTunes on a daily basis. Most are time wasters or don’t actually make your life any easier. With the growing popularity of the iPhone, the developers who make the apps are starting to come out with some really interesting new programs and concepts including the augmented reality apps that will start popping up soon.

Today I downloaded a new music application that just came out and I have some mixed feelings about it. The application is called “Local Concerts” in the app store and is made by the developers at iLike. The application uses your location to find concerts happening around you. It sorts them by date and allows you to view concerts by venue as well. It is not as helpful in a small town like Aspen where you only have one major venue, but it could be mighty useful in a larger city where it is hard to keep track of all the live music going on around you. The really interesting feature is that it allows you to add your favorite artists and track when they come to a venue near you. When they do, you get a pop-up alert telling you where. Another great feature pulls the artists from your iPod library and lets you know which artists you should be looking out for. Further, when you find a concert you want to see, the app has a link for you to purchase tickets and even a map for you to see where exactly the venue is.

concerts_screenshots_4The concept of this application is great. I am a fan of a lot of different music so it is tough for me to follow the tours of all the music I listen to. This app would allow me to make a list of all the artists I want to see and let me know when they are playing near me. This would save me hours of looking at various band websites and figuring out what shows I want to see.

Although it is a great concept, when I downloaded it and looked for concerts in Aspen, the list was very incomplete. The Belly Up has shows almost every night and it only listed a few over the next month. One big concert the app failed to alert me about was Nas and Damian Marley this coming Wednesday. If I was relying on this app to keep me up to date on the local music scene, I would be sitting at home watching Shark Week instead of front and center at the show. Maybe this is a small town problem and the app works better in larger cities but it might also just be the fact that this app is only a day old. I love the concept and it looks like a clean design so I will give it some time and see if it becomes more accurate when the kinks get ironed out.

The best part about this application is that it is FREE so it won’t hurt to give it a try and see if it works for you in your city.

To purchase the application or see more info check out their site at: http://www.ilike.com/mobile

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Röyksopp Album Review – “Junior”

-1 I first discovered this Norwegian duo thanks to a very clever Geico commercial. I’m sure you all have seen years of the Geico Cave Men in various forms. It has been such a brilliant ad campaign, they even made a TV series based on the characters (although it feel way short of expectations). Anyway, they used a Royksopp song (Remind Me) in a commercial that featured a cave man walking through an airport with the song playing in the background. As soon as the commercial was over I was typing, “Geico commercial airport song” into google and boom I discovered Royksopp.

“Junior” is their third studio album and although a change from the sounds I first heard on their first album they still stay true to their down-tempo electronica sound. They keep you entertained from chill and inspiring “Royksopp Forever” to the more poppy and catchy “Happy Up Here”. I recommend playing it from front to back on your next road trip.

Here is their website where you can find out more and get a few samples – Royksopp

Here is the “Happy Up Here” video…..if you can watch it without going cross-eyed

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