Smeared Black Ink

If The Postal Service didn’t give you goose bumps when they released their Give Up album in 2003, than we can’t be friends. Dutch probably has some beef with Ben Gibbard after he divorced Zooey Deschanel last year. I’m just stoked to see that they are touring again this year! Unfortunately they aren’t coming anywhere close to me, and most of the shows are already sold out. Here’s to hoping they add some more dates in the future. If you happen to be in any of these places maybe you can catch some tickets on craigslist or sell your soul to the devil for a pair of passes. In the meantime you should spend the next fifteen minutes watching this mini documentary on the band entitled Some Idealistic Future. ~cw4ll

P.S. After too long of a hiatus I’ll be back to adding my voice to the blog, hopefully my brain can decompress some of my new adventures into text on a page.

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The Best Video You’ll See Today

Check out the video for Magic Clap by The Coup featuring one of my favorite comedians Patton Oswalt. This post is about the amazing video and the music, I realize that there are political undertones to the song, but the video is too amazing not to post. Lyrically the song is impressive no matter what your opinion is. ~cw4ll

Random Access Memories

Reading a recent Pitchfork article on Daft Punk makes me feel old. I had no idea they’d been around for 20 years! I was graduating high school when One More Time was making its rounds in clubs, and prior to that I was listening to Around The World that I downloaded off Napster in 1997. The release of their latest album Random Access Memories was a couple weeks ago, and it’s just what the EDM world needs. I generally am not a huge fan of current electronic music, the genre name is even redundant, Electronic Digital Music, come on! What Daft Punk has done different is collaborate with a number of artists to breath a new life into the digital age of music.

Recently I had a random Sunday night and managed to get some free tickets to see the Daft Punk Tribute band “One More Time,” which on paper sounds awful, but the guys playing tribute put on a really great show, and reminded me why I used to listen to Techno and House music in the first place. I haven’t seen a crowd that sweaty of dancing glow sticks since I was in college. I made fun of those people because at the time, indie music was my current music to be sad to. I guess the point of all this wandering text is that there will always be a place for both electronic and traditional instrumental music. Now that I’m old and have sweet salt and pepper beard thing going on it’s okay to like both. Now I have to to go shave and look presentable for work tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the audio for the track Get Lucky featuring Pharrell Williams below, and google “Daft Punk – Collaborators” to find all the episodes on YouTube of the artists they worked with on RAM. ~cw4ll

Murder In The City

img_7594I’m back, I’ve been super busy lately and haven’t had much time for posting, not to mention a small case of writers block. In my time away I have been scouring the web and exploring for a bunch of awesome stuff I have planned. Normally we reserve Thursdays for a throwback, however I’ve noticed that most of these posts often have to do with music. So today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite current bands, and to make Dutch happy I’ll explain why this is a throwback, kind of…

Tonight I’m going to see The Avett Brothers pending any possible distractions. Here is the throwback part, pay attention, roughly a year ago I had great tickets to go see The Avett Brothers in a small outdoor baseball stadium. I had something come up and had to sell the ticket last minute, my friends that ending up going still talk about the show. Hopefully tonight’s show makes up for my loss last year, the venue isn’t as good, but I have a floor seat which should help. The Avett Brothers are what I would call a “live” band, meaning they are better live than in the studio, 2010’s Live Volume 3 is one of my favorite albums of theirs. If you happen upon my local watering hole while I’m there, either in front or behind the bar, you’ll likely hear some Avett Bro.’s on the jukebox, their folk rock/bluegrass sound is pretty much perfect for a lonely pub. By now you should have already heard some of their music, either on the radio, late night talk shows or a Judd Apatow movie, if not, click play below. ~cw4ll

I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

In 2005, Bright Eyes released two albums on the same day: I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. It’s no secret I love Conor Oberst and everything he is a part of. When these albums came out, I was 21 and maybe at the peak of my emo phase. I’m sure being old enough to buy liquor and making wedding plans had nothing to do with that phase ending…but anyway… I’m Wide Awake has some of Bright Eyes best songs: First Day of My Life, Landlocked Blues, We Are Nowhere and It’s Now. I think Conor’s lyrics have meant a lot to a lot of people but it’s not like he’s making millions like popular singers out now. What I am really happy to hear is this album was just certified Gold, meaning it has sold over 500,000 copies. This is a first for Bright Eyes and for Saddle Creek Records. Way to go Bright Eyes! I am posting below a video of him singing Landlocked Blues at Austin City Limits. I love this guy!   ~Dutch

Piki

I use Pandora daily in my car to stream music I like from my iPhone. Last month I hit my 40 hour limit with ten days left in the month. Pandora’s business model sucks. Play music for free, listen to irrelevant ads (play videos while you drive), only get limited access to the free service that they make ad revenue from, when your time is up ask you for money for the ad free service or a buck for the rest of the month. So they want a buck so you can continue to listen to their ad based service, which they make money off of already.

pan·do·ra
noun
[pan-dawr-uh, -dohr-uh]
Cut off your nose to spite your face.

I’m focusing on “free” streaming service. There is no such thing, but some are better than others. Songza played literally nothing I enjoyed, Twitters new #music service only works if you have a pre-existing account with another service (read Spotify), iHeartRadio is a good alternative and works well with my Bluetooth stereo, but still has some limitations. GrooveShark needs to work on their web interface, and who knows how long they’ll actually be around. New to the streaming music playground is Piki, which just came out of beta testing and should be available for all your devices soon. Piki is the same but different. When you sign up, it asks you to pick a few songs you really like then develops a station based on your choices. Additionally, it connects you with other users with similar preferences, thereby ‘crowd sourcing” your musical tastes. Piki is free, and has no listening caps or hourly limits. There are a certain number of skips you’re allowed but it’s more than Pandora and iHeartRadio. Download it here and give it a try! ~cw4ll

Filming in Progress

It’s the first Friday in May and if you live in East Tennessee you know that First Fridays are a good day to enjoy free wine, free art and free music. Today is a bit different though, I’m “working”, if you can even call it that. My friends local band the KVillians are playing a show tonight at the Jackson Avenue Market in the Old City of Downtown Knoxville, and I’ll be filming the show for a project I’m working on. You most likely won’t get famous being in one of my videos but you will end up on YouTube. The show is free tonight at the market, so if you’re in the area come check out the KVillians, and stick your face in my camera! Check the video below for their single “Unfinished Business” ~cw4ll

Third Man Records

goodsellvoiceographNeil29450Last Saturday was Record Store Day, and while initially I had intended to bring it up Friday, I was out of town and completely forgot about it. This years Record Store Day ambassador was Jack White of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, appropriately he also runs a record label that he created back in 2001, and opened an official location in 2009. The Nashville based brick and mortar location boasts a record store, the record label offices, a photo studio with a dark room, a live venue and even an analog recording booth. This year for Record Store Day, Third Man Records introduced a completely refurbished 1947 analog recording booth, and anyone who ponies up the cash can record 111 seconds onto vinyl. There was a line waiting Saturday for the booth for everything ranging from a wedding proposal to Neil Young and Jack White making recordings. Basically you drop your tokens in the machine, watch for the prompts, record your song, and listen back as it cold pressed to a high quality 6 inch vinyl that will play on modern turntables. Did I mention you can grab a prestamped record envelope and drop in the mail to that girl you’ve been Facebook stalking? The novelties lounge even has a photo booth if you feel like dropping in a photo strip with your 2 minutes of music! Check out the video below and support your local record store. ~cw4ll

Can’t Hold Us

Are you as tired of “popping tags” as I am? Did you know that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis even had other songs? Did you know that their collaborative album in 2012 debuted at number 2 on the Billboard charts? At the ripe old age of 25, Ryan Lewis has made a name for himself as a producer, musician, director, photographer, graphic designer and DJ. Macklemore has been around for a while longer but really didn’t get much recognition until recently. The album “The Heist” isn’t even with a major label! The two seem to have found the magic formula for success with their collaboration. In addition to their own collaboration, they also have included a number of up and coming artists including Ray Dalton, Wanz, Mary Lambert, violinist Andrew Joslyn and trumpeter Owuor Arunga. Their sound may not appeal to main stream hip hop fans because of the use of unconventional instruments and West Coast style underground lyrics. Lately, I’ve been listening to anything with a brass horn section, and this fits the bill nicely. Check out their latest single below, “Can’t Hold Us.” ~cw4ll

St. Paul and The Broken Bones

stpaul

This past weekend I was walking around downtown during the Rhythm n’ Blooms music festival. I got a tip from a friend about a band I should check out if I had time. That band was St. Paul and The Broken Bones, from Birmingham, Alabama. The tip paid off, St. Paul put on an electric performance in a crowded hot basement venue, thanks in part to their front man Paul Janeway. His story is why I’m posting it on a Monday, which we normally reserve for something motivating, and because it’s fresh in my mind. St. Paul was set to play a show in Austin’s SXSW festival, however Janeway’s request to leave work at the bank that he was a teller at was denied, he had a choice to make. Play the show and lose his job, or keep his job and continue pursuing his degree in accounting.

I think the fact that I saw them Friday night is answer enough to the choice he made. The band continues to have a snowball effect with every show they play. Their music is a mix of soul, rock, R&B and blues. Janeway’s voice is likened to some of the greats before him, imagine Aretha Franklin with James Brown. Like the Alabama Shakes, St. Paul seems to have hit the music scene at just the right time. Pop & Rock genres continue to pump out singles with no life, and EDM has it’s place, but it’s not for the live audience. Okay, enough of my words, the video below is my current favorite track of theirs, titled “Call Me.” ~cw4ll