Music biz thought Friday March 16, 2012

From the Lefsetz letter:

All these people have handlers and friends who blow smoke up their ass, telling them their new music is good. No one ever speaks the truth to an established artist.

Comment:

This gigantic cloud of ass smoke goes far past folks not telling rock stars their new songs aren’t very good.

In our fan-fucking-tastic music blogosphere I see musicians with debut records proclaimed as geniuses and compared to legendary musicians with deep and outstanding discographies.

One good record and you’re a genius?  I think this qualifies as smoke being blown up an ass.

Why does this happen?  I maintain it’s all about the clicks.  A musician or label takes a great review (even if untrue) and they spread that link far and wide.  It’s in the self-interest of a blog operator who hopes to draw advertising to like records.

I try not to be cruel about how I feel about records I don’t like.  I try to be rational and honest and give some praise where I can, but I only like a record publicly if I would buy it myself and have listened to it for pleasure in my life.

If you think that’s a common occurrence, I think you’re wrong.

Music biz thought Thursday March 15, 2012

This guy is really smart and you can read the whole post here:

Excerpt 1:

Of course, what we say doesn’t matter so much. What we do is what matters, and we have far more influence that we’d like to confess.

Excerpt 2:

We say we love art, the brave work that touches us, but we listen to oldies and rarely head out to hear live music or visit a cutting edge gallery.

Hypocrisy may be an epidemic, but the problem isn’t in what we say. It’s what we do.

I agree with this statement.  Read the whole post.

Serious and active music listening Thurs March 8, 2012

Each day’s listening begins with a spiel — that’s the price you pay for having someone working on the listener’s behalf instead of on the music biz/promo machinery.

I got some negative feedback following yesterday’s Hypem listening tour.  Apparently, the indie crowd is not too excited to have someone put a critical ear up to their genre.  I put out free jazz, and nobody hesitates to shit all over my genre so get your thick skin on because the truth is that indie music is king because of its organizational hyping prowess not because it contains the greatest musicians playing with unheard of originality.

As it was so much fun yesterday, on to the Hypem:

@@@ Over here at The Sky Report you can catch the OFFICIAL new song by Beach House, coming out on Sub Pop.  Or you can listen below.  It’s dreamy, it’s soft, the singer can at least sing.  There’s a nice segue in the middle of the tune, so there’s some songwriting skills in residence.  Overall, not your usual indie dreck and not anything to jump up and down over.

@@@ Onward.   Over here at Awkward Sound you can read about Loma Prieta.  Here’s a picture of the band — those Orange amps are pretty sick. I’ve never played one, but I’ve been at show that contained herewith said amplifiers.

As far as tuneage, it’s a hardcore meltdown.  I can’t embed the video on the the blog, so you have to click through.  These gents can bring it, I’m sure it’s a cathartic live show.  I like hardcore live over hardcore recordings, but this is a real band putting some muscle into it.  The drummer is the star of this band, in my opinion.

@@@  Over here at Oh My Rock, the fine bloggers there are on about Jessie Ware.  She is down below doing her thing.  It’s a solid B example of modern day smooth R&B.  Not what I was expecting, very professional, and not particularly passionate.

@@@  Over here at Feast of Beast you can see a video of Keep Shelly in Athens.  Before we discuss Keep Shelly in Athens, you can also find the Beach House tune posted over there.  What a shocker.  Is this our unbelievable grassroots blogosphere in action or is it the silent hand of the Music PR folks?  I’ll let you decide.

As for Keep Shelly in Athens, it is an indie electronic, highly synthesized thang.  I’m not a huge fan of this sound, but it’s a decent specimen of that now very trendy trend.

@@@ It seems fitting to end today’s Hypem listening fest over here at The Digital Outhouse.  Oh, my, I’m not even sure what to say here.  This is not my cup of tea, and I will leave it at that.

Conclusion: Another tough day in Hypem listening land and I want to sign off by saying that I will give it up for great music.  I will buy it, I will tell others, I will blog it and fuckin tweet and mash it up and wipe the band’s ass.

Serious ass music listening Weds March 7, 2012

More time with Hypem blogs and it wasn’t productive time.  My hit to shit ratio as a listener was 1/2 out of 5 bands.  I kinda liked the first tune.

@@@  Would you like some alternative rock from Lovedrug?  If so, go over here to HillyDilly or click below.  It’s the best of what I’ve heard today so far and it’s a solid B.

@@@  Via Pop Goes the Radio here’s some new Free Energy.  The first album was extremely derivative and it sounds like they’ve picked up right where they left off — right down to the cowbell!

@@@  If you’re looking to get your indie on head over here to Music Under Fire.  There’s some decent tunes over there but I listened to six tunes and I did not jump up and down once.

@@@  Would you like some electro-house F.O.O.L. (Fuck Our Ordinary Lives) courtesy of the fine people Stoney Roads.

Put your hands in the air
put some gel in your hair
get to all those malls out there

@@@ Check out Casey Diamond — I found her at Ryan’s Smashing Life over here.

Check out the verbiage from the blog and tell me this wasn’t written by a music publicist:

Having appeared on last season of NBC’s “The Voice,” Boston’sCasey Desmond is the proud owner of dozens of songwriting awards and has recently enjoyed a string of successes; her work has been picked up by several television programs – she is clearly a player on the rise in the music world. Casey’s unique style and music combine her soaring vocal melodies, synth-driven electro dance rhythms & socially conscious lyrics with a retro yet ahead-of-the-curve fashion sense that keeps today’s tastemakers wanting more, landing her coverage in The Examiner, Star and Keyboard Magazine. Elements of her song and art have seen her compared to electro-pop icons like David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie, and today’s dance pop divas like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Are you fucking kidding me?  I call this putting lipstick on a pig.  There’s nothing ahead of the curve here and there’s no socially concious lyrics.

I call this bullshit.

Hardcore music listening March 6, 2012

Music Business Spiel:  You don’t get all the links without the spiel.  In the music business there is a hit/shit ratio.  Number of great records a label puts out vs. the shit.  There is a more meta- version of that concept at work for the listener. How much music that you do not vs. the music you end up loving and buying.  It’s my contention that the music business is completely in denial about this music listener ratio.

For example, I put 5 videos up today, and I like one, the fucking grinding hate, and I’m not sure I would buy it.

@@@ Carnivale: Magalenha.  Uptempo would be an understatement.  I find some Brazilian music to be tiresome, but not this.

@@@ Black Brew Bantha/Archagathus 7″ over here.  Self-described as fucking grinding hate.  That’s what it sounds like to me, and unlike many American out there I think hate is fine, normal human emotion.  Wow, fast as fuck, nice work.

@@@ Islands: A Sleep and a Forgetting.  Out 2/14/2012.  It’s a decent tune, but I’ve been hearing versions of this tune for just about my whole life. It’s not fresh enough for me to give respect as my blog rewards originality and creativity most of all.

@@@ Ruthie Foster: Let it Burn.  The album songs are much slicker than this video which is live.  Beautiful voice, a little melodramatic for my taste, but you might dig it.  I like the super plain, straight old school soudning folk/blues style.

@@@ Polica: Give You the Ghost. Poptronica music with a little too much delay on the vocal.  There’s a flatness to this tune — if you dig the beat you can groove on it, if you need more than a beat and a wandering female vocal you probably won’t like it.

.

 

Hardcore music listening Monday, March 5, 2012

I have trouble engaging with any entity named The Hype Machine, but I want to support this Brooklyn behemoth (not really).  I mean, how about the Music Lover’s Machine?  When you have the word hype in the title, I’m not sure you’re off to a great start.

I don’t obsess over website usability, but I don’t like being on their website.  It’s clunky and clicking around I found one blog putting up .zips of copyrighted music and another blog that contained a trojan.  Impressive.

@@You can listen to a veritable assload of indie rock over here at movementa.  If it’s indie rock then a whole boatload of it has to be ass-y.  I tried but I could not find a tune to put up here.

@@ If you’re in the mood for some electronic booty bumping tune action of all sorts there’s a bunch of it to listen to here at Mix Tape Riot.  A tune described as hypercrunk wonk-hop (illegal in some states) so you get the idea.  Another no go.

@@ Check out My Brightest Diamond here at Melophobe.  It’s arty indie music, if that’s your thing.

Conclusion:

Not really a very good day in the listening hole.  Not only could I not find anything I was interested in, I was not into the quality of what I came across.  I was not impressed with the Hype Machine.  I will spend more time on it, and blog more about listening experiences that I have there, but my instinct says that this site will not be a really big breakthrough in helping to fix the music filter.

 

 

 

Hardcore music listening Friday, March 2, 2012

Deep in the Music is not a white folks’ music blog.  We love jazz, we love the blues and the funk and the soul.  We actually think white folks, as a rule, need to be around other cultures and musics so they don’t sink into an ocean of bologna and Wonder Bread sandwiches and Justin Bieber (it hurts just to type that).

Head over here to Grooveshark to stream George Garzone‘s new recording Filing the Profile.  I’ve seen Mr. Garzone play with his almost legendary Boston group the Fringe and I really like his tone and his improv.

C’mon all you indie rockers, you know you’re bored with your genre check out some folks who can play their instruments AND tear it up.

@@ If you would like to start your weekend out with some avant-metal you should go here to Invisible Oranges to stream Wizard Rifle‘s new record Speak Loud Say Nothing.  It’s a little proggy, and punky with some metal headbanging but it purposely jumps around.

I’ve always been more focused on creativity and energy rather than genre/lifestyle sounds, so I’m always happy to hear a band not keeping themselves in a specific genre slot.

Hardcore music listening Thurs March 1, 2012

It is one of the main ideas of this blog that there are not many music lovers in the music business.  Maybe there were in the golden age of the music business, but not now.

Another main point of this blog is that the music blogosphere, often held up as an emerging ecosystem that supports bands and musicians from the grassroots all the way up to the superstardom, does not function as advertised.  The great majority of music blogs are orifices for music publicists and label marketing departments to stuff their wares, regardless of music quality.

On to the music.

@@ Carolina Chocolate Drops: Leaving Eden.

Initially, I thought the live video would be great and the recorded version on Spotify would be dosed with cheese, as I find a lot of the Nonesuch releases to sound like soft brunch music for yuppies.  But the recorded version of this song is beautiful, I’m happy the label didn’t ruin this band.  I want to check out more of this record when I get time.

@@  Robert Glasper Experiment: Black Radio.  Eh, I’m prejudiced against the smooth R&B style.  I can totally get with the Roots’ sometimes slick production because the music behind it has a strong punch to it, but this music doesn’t work for me.

@@ Mind Spiders: Meltdown.  Garage punk, but not too rough, so it’s good to go for the suburbs.  The tune below is the second one I checked it, and I liked it much better than the first one so I upgrade them a bit.

@@ Sly and Robbie: Blackwood Dub.  I can only find 45 second excerpts — it sounds wicked from the excerpts, but I’m sorry this is not how you get hardcore music listeners to traffic in your music.  Nothing on Youtube, nothing on Spotify and 45 second shots on Soundcloud.  Boo, hiss.

Lastly, I found one website selling .wav files of the sly and robbie record and they wanted $2.47 for each song.  Wow, that’s nuts, I’ve never seen that price before for that audio format option.