A while back, when I was learning to use my new music software, I wrote three shorts. There are less about the song than the sounds. Still I think they are worth sharing.
You can find more on my music page.
I spent some time listening to some of the new music offered by RCRD LBL and found a few tunes I thought were worth sharing.
The first song is by The Secret Machines. I already have one of their releases, Ten Silver Drops which has the fantastic single Alone, Jealous, and Stoned (you can listen to it on their MySpace page). Their new single, Dreaming of Dreaming, is more psychedelic than the previous stuff I’ve heard from them and is still of very high quality. Download it and let me know what you think of it.
The next two songs are by a five-piece band based in Brooklyn that calls themselves Freshkills. Their music is alternative rock with a bit of an edge. I’m particularly taken with their production aesthetic. They use two distorted guitars, one panned hard left, the other hard right. One plays long riffs with lower notes and tame distortion while the other plays shorter, higher-pitched riffs with a distortion that makes it sound almost chaotic.
Freshkills have three songs posted on RCRD LBL. I recommend I Quit Smoking and I Know I Know (downloadable). Both songs are quite good but more importantly both suggest that this band has some amazing potential. I’ll likely purchase their new, self-titled release when it becomes available on September 2nd in hopes of discovering a hidden gem.
Also of note are You by acoustic rock group Two Sheds, alt-country song New Years (language warning) by The John Henrys, and the “B-Town” remix of Raised by Wolves by Cansecos. All three of these are available for download as well.
Here’s a song I wrote and recorded a few years back. It’s called Forward Arrow. It’s mostly me (I even ‘sing’ in one part of it), though I did get some guitar and vocal material from Chopdeli. It’s a slightly experimental electronica. I’m interested on your feedback, good or bad. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Thanks to Jason Bently, host of my favorite radio program, Metropolis, on KCRW, I’ve found a great resource for new free music. It’s called RCRD LBL (‘Record Label’ without any vowels). What is RCRD LBL you ask? Here’s how they describe themselves:
RCRD LBL is an online record label releasing exclusive and completely free music from emerging and established artists. In addition to our in-house label, our network includes a roster of independent record labels offering free MP3 downloads and multimedia content.
It’s organized like a multimedia blog. You can view music videos and listen to great music. You can even download many songs. I spent a few hours this morning downloading and listening to some of their archives and found over 30 great songs! They have a wide variety of styles but one thing all the songs seem to have in common – quality. Here are some of my suggestions:
I was catching up on my podcasts that I had missed while traveling. The last one I listened to before I left work on Friday was one of my favorites: World Cafe: Next. This podcast features two full songs and short bio of an up-and-coming artist or group. It’s usually good music… this time it was amazing.
The featured artist this week was Yeasayer, a Brooklyn group that released their first album All Hour Cymbals this past October. David Dye, host of World Cafe, described them as “… inspired by the multi-ethnic layering of people like David Byrne and Peter Gabriel and they are not adverse to the odd ecstatic experience as well.” What he doesn’t mention is that they also have strong electronica influences, which makes all the difference for me.
The two songs from the podcast were “Sunrise” and “2080″, both of which are available on their website as free downloads. The later blew me away. The song is dripping with beauty and talent. It’s become quite rare when a song can elicit such a strong emotional reaction from me. I don’t expect the song to have the same impact on anyone else as music is an intensely personal experience . Also, there are some aspects of the song that suite my peculiar tastes (3/4 time, melodic bass, and clean, picked guitar), but I must share regardless. Songs like “2080″ are precisely why I constantly seek out new music. Give both a listen (they are free, after all).Â Enjoy!
November’s second TITMT is available on The Art of Getting By. The author, Janet, is a huge music fan just as many of you are and, indeed, I am. So she posted another music-themed question.
“What are some of your favorite albums?”
Wow. Where to begin? My favorite is probably Priest=Aura by The Church. That shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone. Here is a list of a few more:
It’s finally happened! Both Chopdeli and I have agreed that one of our songs is complete. We now want to share it with you. The song is titled Bustle. Click on the link and give it a listen. To download it, right-click on it and select “Save Link As…” in Firefox or “Save Target As…” in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Let us know what you think.
I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing CD reviews on my blog for a while now but struggled over how I should do it. Should I review only new CDs? Should I carefully select CDs from the past that I love? Should they follow a theme or be limited to a genre?
I finally decide on a cop-out. I’m proud(ish) to introduce the new series Sid’s Random Compact Disk, or SRCD for short. In this series, I’ll occasionally put my iTunes or iPod on random and listen to the first CD that comes up and review it here. This method of CD selection is not meant to be exclusive. I still might insert a new CD review (SNCD) or a carefully-selected CD review (SCSCD) and you’ll just have to adjust to my arbitrary whim .
First up on SRCD is the self-titled release from one of my favorite bands, Clan of Xymox (or just Xymox, depending on the release). Clan of Xymox is the brainchild of Netherlanders Ronny Moorings, vocals and guitar, and Anka Wolbert (Mojca), bass and vocals. Their debut was first released as a limited LP entitled Subsequent Pleasures in 1981. It’s production and song line-up was greatly improved and given full release as Clan of Xymox in 1985. They helped define (and in my opinion, perfected) the 1980′s goth-rock genre, compete with drum machines and simple synth sounds and appropriate wardrobe.
This release features very structured, mechanical drums and simple base lines coupled with distant and echoey vocals and guitar. Ronny took most of the singing responsibilities on this album, a responsibility it sounds as though he was reluctant to embrace. The slightly off-pitch and sometimes nasal style gave the already dark songs a type of desperation similar to that of Ian Curtis. I’m not sure that the similarity is entirely coincidental. Mojca’s singing and bass guitar talents are best displayed on the song 7th Time.
Sometimes the desperation hits an emotional peak through the vocals, like on Stumble and Fall, where Ronny laments “I never saw you” again and again. The same effect is achieved on Cry in the Wind via a layered guitar solo. At the end of that song, Ronny plays like it’s the last thing he gets to do on this earth.
The CD takes a break from it’s dark mood a little on the vocally-minimal single Stranger, which manages to be almost poppy. The highly rhythmic bass dances through the song while the drums sound like a continually morphing typewriter.
About the only thing bad that I can say about this particular release is that some of the ballads sound a bit like filler. The CD would stand just fine with the omission of Equal Ways (the last minute and a half are really good) and No Human Can Drown which makes a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise excellent CD. After listening to Clan of Xymox, one may also be left wondering how this music would sound with modern sounds and production sensibilities. There is no need to! Just pick yourself up a copy of their 2001 release, Notes from the Underground, and hear it for yourself!
This week’s TTMT is blogger-specific and will thus not be of much interest to most of my readers. Thus I will have to use another question. I had a good response with the music question, so I’ll ask another along the same lines.
What are your favorite song lyrics? Why are they your favorite? What song are they from? Who wrote them?
This is a very difficult one for me to answer as I am not as interested in lyrics as I am music, but I’m very interested in others’ responses. While I can’t pick a favorite, I can list some that I like. As will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, my first choice was written by Steve Kilbey of The Church. The song is Lustre off of Priest=Aura. The CD is full of good lyrics (in my, admittedly poor, judgment) Here is a sample of the lyrics:
If I never see you again
That will be way too soon
And if I ever get over this
I will be over the moon
I hope that something new comes along
Something more my style
I hope that someone else comes along
And makes it worth my while
Why do I like these lyrics? I’m not sure. I tend to like bitter lyrics, even though I am not a very bitter guy. They seem to capture my inner-teenager who needs his angst addressed. Bitterness seems to do this well.
I’ll let others talk about their favorites before I list any more.