Archive for music

Arrest that man

Posted in City with tags , , on Friday, April 3 by City

There is some talk on tha intarweb after Obama’s well publicized gift giving/transfer of illegal goods. Giving the ipod to the munchkin queen of oz just shows how ridiculous copyright laws are when it would take a court ruling to decide if that pass of a gift was a legal transaction. From a blogger at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org), he says that in all the 9000 words of the agreement you click through when you download an mp3, it still doesn’t specify whether that is legal or not. If Obama had bought the tracks that went on the ipod (Broadway songs, and probably some Insane Clown Possee) from Amazon then they explicitly say it’s illegal due to their terms of use which really only licenses you the songs and you never really own them.

I hope they arrest the queen for posession of stolen goods.

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Music I listened to in 2008

Posted in City with tags , on Tuesday, January 20 by City

The year in music for me started out on a good note from the post about the music I listened to in 2007 , experienced some bumps in the middle of the year, and died at the end. Mostly this was because my music consumption was drastically reduced throughout 2008 by my lack of a working (read: paid for) internet connection and music download capability. I was still able to get some random stuff here and there and did end up buying 2 cds like I have every year since I was 15. Obviously I am still not able to come to terms with the possibility of paying for music, I mean I have a 10+ album to-download list as it is and I’m not paying $15 per albm, or $150-$200, for music that I don’t even know if I like. Sue me RIAA, oh that’s right you’ve finally been exposed and given up on your illegal blackmailing mob style litigation strategy. But it’s OK, im back, ready to download, considering actually paying for the internet since no one in my building will open up their wifi. Hopefully some ideas from anyone who comments their lists below will inspire me. Cheers to a prosperous music listening year in 2009. Anyway, here is what I listened to in 2008:

mia_kala3

 

 

 

MIA  Kala

This album was the perfect way to start off the year. It was one of those breathes of fresh air you need every once in awhile. It was getting some Best Album of the Year for 2007 nods in various places but I hadn’t heard a single track before I listened to it over and over after Spencer recommended it in this post last year. Song I became obsessed with: World Town. 

justice-cross

 

 

 

Justice  Cross

I’d been hankerin for some good ole “computers fucking in a lightening storm” music, or whatever Eric called it, after of the void that Daft Punk left in my ears when they stopped making music very frequently. It’s an awesome, short, techno interpretation of the Bible that starts with “Genesis”. Although, it gets a lot more funky and dance floor friendly than any bible I have ever read… (not including Dianetics, because that thing can get down).

cage

 

 

 

Cage  Hell’s Winter

Nothing has gotten me as excited about music* hip-hop as Cage. I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is about the album, but I listened to if for about a month straight once I finally got over that El-P album from the year before (which I wasn’t able to do until I saw him live… it brought closure). Maybe it’s the delivery, maybe its the production, or maybe it’s just that the guy is such an interesting person and his album is so disturbingly personal. It was right around this time that I came to that harsh realization that I will never again be able to listen to Kube93/Tpayne/Flowrida/Timbaland/almost any Rap/Cage’s first album(it’s awful). Looking forward to seeing what he puts out next. Not looking forward to the movie about Cage’s life that Shia LaBeouf is rumored to be trying to put together and star in (he’s a huge fan too!).
* see MIA

atmosphere

 

 

 

Atmosphere  When Life Gives You Lemons Paint That Shit Gold

Pefect album – it’s almost as smooth as the man who crafted it himself. When I’m listening to the album it’s like we’re the only people in the room and I’m lost in his big brown eyes… does that make sense? Well whatever, you’re just jealous of what we have.

commonmarkettobaccoroad

 

 

 

Common Market  Tobacco Road

Writing this reminds me that I need to go back and listen to their first album to see which one I like better, and that’s a good sign, because I loved that first album. I listened to this album and the shorter EP they put out both quite a bit. I don’t know why I haven’t seen them live yet. I’m going to go search for when they are back in town next.

streets-everything-borrowed

 

 

 

The Streets  Everying is Borrowed

Enjoyable enough, much more laid back than previous albums… already  wrote about it. I’m liking what I’m hearing about the next album, but it probably won’t be out until 2010.

richard_d_james_album

 

 

 

Aphex Twin  Richard D. James Album

Did a little bit of exploring Aphex Twin this year. He has a lot of really interesting work put out in the 90’s and into the 00’s. The problem is, besides a few more-radio-friendly singles and possibly the best music video ever made, much of it isn’t too easy to listen too. Not that it isn’t good, it’s just hard to figure out where to start. For example the first few tracks off his album Druqks are titled: Jynweythek Ylow, Vordhosbn , Kladfvgbung Micshk, Omgyjya-Switch7 and it goes on from there. Apparently it’s Cornish or something and the first song translates to “electronic machine music”. Beat that song title… I’ll save you some time, you can’t. This album is more listener friendly however than the other stuff I’ve found. Listen to “Boy/Girl Song”.

Preview 2009: I don’t know anything coming out at this point, but I did just download Mitch Hedberg’s last 3 albums… so I am looking forward to listening to those on the ride over to Corey’s Cabin.

Everything is borrowed

Posted in City with tags , , , on Tuesday, October 28 by City
The Streets came out with a new album recently, called Everything is Borrowed, and I have been listening to it off and on for the last few weeks. It quite a bit different from his other work. At one point on the album he talks about getting married and having a kid so I guess it’s not like he is going to make another record about smoking spliffs on the couch and trying to pull girlfriends on the weekend. Still the bigger change is that he has recently been quoted as saying that he is “fucking sick of the name (The Streets) and the conotations it brings”. Basically the album sounds sounds a lot like someone who has come to terms with the fact that he is sitting on a winning lottery ticket that he can’t stop himself from cashing in. On his last album he wrote a song that goes step by step how to pull off a fairly simple but well thought out con, and then finishes the song saying that making beats is a very similar con. He has also said that next album will be his last, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it sounds like he already has a name and has begun making the “futuristic synthesized mix” record. And a curse because I could be without Mike Skinner beats for awhile after that album.
 
On the current album he seems to be focused on making the songs more meaningful, and on the other hand it sounds like he is focused on making Robbie Williams style London pop hits.  However the reason I wrote about the album is because of some of the lyrics. Though they lack some of his self proclaimed “(quick) white hot wit” which defines his first albums, his sharp tongue is used in this album as more of a scathing contrarian commentary which I relate to. Here are some of my favo(u)rite lyrics:
On the Edge of a Cliff
(chorus)
For billions of years
since the outset of time
every single one of your ancestors survived
every single person on your mums and dad’s side
successfully looked after and passed onto you life
what are the chances of that like?
it comes to me once in a while
and everywhere i tell folk
it gets the best smile
 
The Way of the Dodo
 
Everybody do the dodo
Everybody do the dodo
I can’t imagine the day when things have actually faded away
But the day i may not be able to pay my way could be today
It’s not that I don’t care, just that I’m way too caught up with breathing air to grieve for the trees and air or how breathable air is
You go first, I’ll follow suit
Make the mistakes I’d probably make
I’m right behind you but don’t expect me to ride like it’s a race
Cos you’ll be back there picking scraps while I’m Mr. Mug, do-gooding around and I’ve lost my rank and base
I’ve got to manage my little space
(chorus)
It’s not earth that’s in trouble
It’s the people that live on it, no no
Earth’ll be here long after we’ve all gone the way of the dodo
 – OK, not that great of a lyric, but still… how many times have a tried to make that point before? a million times.
Alleged Legends  (from a song about a certain all-time best selling book)
(2nd verse)
There’s a bloke in the book who made everything
He knows every individual and every trick in them
Way above emotion, never getting stressed
But when men choose against him, gets jealous
People fight for him in crippling wars
But since he has the power of infinite awe
We’re merely itching on futilities floor
Should we really be needing to assist him at all?
If he loves us all, knowing all we think
Should he only like people with faith in him?
Given I can’t control what I truly believe,
Can I be forgiven for only believing who I see?
 
I will try to upload the mp3’s of the above songs soon…

Dr. RIAA or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Torrent

Posted in City with tags , on Tuesday, May 6 by City

For some strange reason both the music industry and copyright law interest me. I am not really sure why this is, but what I do know is that I really can’t stand the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and like to stay up to date on watching them burn their industry to the ground. Especially now that judges might be understanding that mafia style tactics of trying to make an example of people is not a viable business model.

Before I go into the RIAA I feel that I should at least justify my stance on the issue. First off, as a pirater I mostly take a product that I would not buy in the first place. My mp3 player has over 20 gigs of music and that would roughly come out to about $5000 had I planned on buying that music legally. Music has become a commodity and our generation is both bombarded with it (see MTV/commercials/ringtones/movies) and demand it (see all the earplugged people walking around/working/exercising/reading/generally living in a stereo music cloud).  Obviously im not going to be able to pay to fill my Zune, so instead (and conveniently for me) I consider it free advertising for me to make a copy of an artist’s music and keep it on my mp3 player to show and play for others. For example below I will suggest some music and tadah, free buzz for your artist, Universal Music Group, you’re welcome. Also, since my preferential medium is digital distribution it’s not like there is a theft taking place. You will never be able to convince me that creating my own electronic copy is in any way theft, no matter how many FBI ads are put at the beginning of a DVD that says its the same as stealing a car, because its not. If I could make a copy of that car without stealing any resources from you, you can bet I would. I understand that there are future monetary gains that may have been forfeited by me making a copy from someone else, but maybe if you actually had a pricing scheme that allowed me to get what I wanted you would be better off than trying to having your lawyers running around suing people to try to take out as much flesh as they can to plug the holes in your sinking ship of a music industry.

I know that you hear that you starve artists by pirating their music and not paying for their product makes them not want to make music but, lucky for me, I find that people that are making music only because they can make money at it happen to make shit music. If piracy had started 10 years earlier, there is a very real chance I would not have heard any Nickelback songs. I find that comforting. Plus if we all act right now,  newspaper headlines could read: Paris Hilton unable to feed self, starves. It’s not like she is selling tapes out of the trunk of her car to make ends meat people, she put out a record because she would be turning down money not to. So sorry musicians but you will have to actually learn to play music and play it at live shows to make a living at this… unless of course you are Nine In Nails, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna, Jimmy Buffet, the Eagles or any other artist that has figured out that you can make more money by selling music straight to the consumer and cut out the middle man (thats you RIAA). Not to mention that this week NIN has put out another free album, this one you can’t even pay for if you wanted to.

There are many alternatives to the current broken model:  iTunes monthly subscriptions (with compensation to the industry to each iPod sold) – a $5 surcharge for your internet subscription to get a library of music – selling advertisements with downloads or streams – http://www.pandora.com  – all very possible business strategies that would bring in a lot of money. Selling mp3s at the current album price is not viable.

So thank you RIAA, you have inspired to make sure everyone is sharing files correctly. And now as an encore…

HOWTO: TORRENT

I assume Big Dog is still trying to use Napster to download his Hootie cuts, so do yourself a favor and start using torrents. The main benefits are a much better transfer method which increases speed and a much better way to search for files. Using torrents is a two step process and here is what you need to know. A “torrent” is a link that takes you to a list of people that are seeding a file and a “client” is the application that manages the download.

First go to www.utorrent.com and download the free program ( the “client”), and install it.To search for what you want to download go to a torrent searcher, like www.torrentz.com or www.piratebay.org. Here is an example if you went to torrenz.com and searched for The Black Keys, you would get a link to their album Love Potion here (at least listen to the first 3 songs of this album they are fantastic). You then click on whichever site you want to download the .torrent file from (usually the first one) and your uTorrent program will automatically open it download it. A torrent will have a list of files it contains and you can choose to leave any of them out if you don’t want them. For example that Black Keys link will probably give you all the mp3s for the album and some album art and maybe a playlist, click off any files you dont want. For extra credit download this album too (its the best album I have heard in awhile).

If you still need help, watch a nerd explain the process step by step http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KV5mG6k4pg

Parker’s most listened to in 2007

Posted in City with tags , , , , on Monday, January 14 by City

This was going to be a Best Albums of 2007 review, but I usually change my favorites about 3 times a day depending on what kind of mood I am in or who I am talking to. Instead I thought it would be easier (and more honest, see Lily Allen) to list the albums that were new to me in 2007, that I played the most. So without further ado, my most listened to in order of guessed # of spins.

 

Gorillaz Demon Days
demondaysCame out some time in 2006 but I didn’t really start listening to it until 2007. I probably played it for the entire month of March. I just kept finding more and more I liked about it. Plus front man Damon Albarn (better known as the dude from Blur) collaborates with so many people that it kept me coming back all year to listen again and learn more about who he worked with on some other track. The album influenced most of the music that I listened to for the rest of the year. Most listened to song: Intro + Are We the Last Living Soles.

DangerDoom The Mouse and the Mask
themouse Released in late 2005, but I didn’t find it until early 2007 after trying to figure out what else Danger Mouse had been working on. It is a collaboration between Danger Mouse and rapper MF Doom. It’s nice to hear a rapper who has a better understanding of the language than I do, though I some times get lost in his rhymes. MF Doom wears a crazy supervillian mask at all times, and raps as a fictional character. The album is strangely centered on their love and previous work on Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force and features the characters in the show. Most listened to song: Sofa King. MF Doom is supposedly working on an album with Ghostface Killah for 2008.

Common Market Common Market
commonmarketI think this album was released in early 2006, but I listened to the shit out of it in 2007. The Seattle group is MC’ed by RA Scion and produced by Sabzi (who also represents half of the Blue Scholars). Sabzi went to UW, which is pretty cool too. The lyrics are highly political and spiritual:

Devout by choice, but providentially Baha’I* by chance
I make the most of an unusual circumstance
For a Cause I discovered in another land
I don’t expect y’all to fully understand

from most listened to song: G’dang Diggy . It is intelligent hip-hop and it is really good. They are releasing “Tobacco Road” in 2008.
*his strange religion

Radiohead In Rainbows
inrainbowsEven though In Rainbows didn’t come out until late in 2007, I will still add it to this list because I listened to a lot of Thom Yorke’s solo album Eraser last year as well. If you combined those two albums, it would definitely crack the top of my plays. The album dips into the electronic sound of Kid A/Amnesiac but stays fairly remiscent of Hail to the Theif through most. I suppose the way they leaked their album on their website, while accepting donations, will end up making more history than the music, but still, it’s pretty good. Most listened to song: 15 steps

Lily Allen Alright, Still
alright I don’t know what to tell you about this one besides that I listened to it about 1000 times back around April, mostly because I’ve never really listened to much like it. She somehow makes her songs sound like radiofriendly pop songs, but they are all mostly about the dirty side of London or drugs or confrontation. She seems rather angry in several songs. She is probably the only other female artist I have besides Lady Sovereign. Most listened to song: LDN

The Good the Bad and the Queen (self titled)

thegoodAnother Damon Albarn and Danger Mouse production, but it sounds nothing like the Gorillaz. The music is a lot simpler than some of their other stuff and not much of it is electronic. The first song is my most listened to song: The History Song. Just listen to it and you will know what the album is about. The album is a story put together about everyday life. It’s a good listen all the way through, with most the songs having a great building until they break down into the chorus (ie song 11 “Green Fields”).

El-P I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead
illsleep A New York hip hop artist who goes by El Producto. The album features the Mars Volta, Trent Reznor, Aesop Rock and others. This one actually took me a couple plays through before I really got into it. I like it because seems like something more than just hip-hop, instead he might be actually doing something with it, taking it somewhere if you will. He described it himself as old school hip-hop on acid (basically it has a psychedelic rock influence to it). Most listened to song: The Overly Dramatic Truth.

 

Pre-view 2008: The albums I am most looking forward to being released

The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath (Jan 29)
Common Market – Tobacco Road (early 2008)
The Streets – not yet titled (mid-late 2008)