Posts Tagged ‘Essential Reading’
The Bulby Awards first annual contest between websites is under full swing and in the final stretch this week as many different websites including T.CO, Twitter’s URL shortener domain, Joan.CO of Joan Rivers, and many more compete for the top spots in 10 different categories from Best Content to Best Startup Resource to Best Social Idea. Song of the Day is proud to have been nominated for the category of Best Content against several other up and coming websites including an Irish Social News website, a Columbian news blog website, a Bahamas travel blog website and several others! The competition is fierce among these startup websites, and Song of the Day was off to an early lead against Pappas.co a blog that appeared to be the creation of the design team at another online company. Pappas.co soon took the lead as I personally didn’t bother sending out any more “Please vote for me” updates on my blog. But now, seeing that I’ve been knocked into 3rd place tidily by the upstart Irish lifestyle and general interest blog Socialable.CO, I feel it’s my duty to at least give this another go and see what my fans and I can muster. I know there’s a lot of music lovers out there just waiting to put their vote in for Indie bands all across the nation. Let’s see where I can ring the freedom guitar and stomp on the distortion pedal to get more of my followers on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere to chime in for the music they love.
Even if I don’t win, it’s been a great honor to be recognized for my efforts in getting my love of great lesser known music out to the public. The message of my blog is simple, there are thousands of bands you’ve never heard of that are much better than what you hear on the radio and TV, and these bands need your support. Music is culture, and our culture cannot be found on the radio or on TV right now, tens of thousands of amazing bands exist right now that are never heard for the simple fact that major record labels and their subsidiary radio stations only care about making money and playing formula music that satisfies the widest possible audience.
Please take a moment to vote for Song of the Day in the Bulby Awards at Opportunity.CO.
In a deviation from every other post I’ve ever added on here, I want to give a shout out to all the people and bands and energy that is the festival which we call Coachella. The funny thing is that I’ve never even been there. WHAT? Then how can I write about it? Well, sometimes hearing is believing. I heard it from the band Dream Thieves today on a flight into Moline while on their way back to their hometown of Iowa City. They were just returning from a week of great music and energy and shared with me photos and stories of their trip. I remembered seeing the lineup for Coachella and imagining it to be one of the most amazing events of the year, and I think it just may have been. I’ve been to Burning Man twice and thought that was amazing, but I believe Coachella is also fully capable of reaching Nirvana.
Of the most particular importance I want to highlight how you can make the most of not attending Coachella, and that is to listen to the bands that played there. I’m promoting them here because a lot of the bands that I’ve featured on this Song of the Day blog are listed in the Coachella line up. The Dream Thieves crew said that Arcade Fire put on the best show with the longest and least interrupted set of all, followed by several other fantastic headliners and lesser known but equally amazing artists. Bernardo, one of the Dream Thieves members who sat next to me on the plane recommended Yelle (Safari Disco Club) from Saint-Brieuc France, Delorean from Zarautz/ Barcelona, Spain, and also CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy) from São Paulo Brazil.
I think I just realized what the problem is with music today. PROPRIETY!!! The reason why music suffers sometimes and why good music is hard to find is that people don’t share enough, and that’s because of money and the fact that our culture does not spend money on art and music. No, instead we spend at least half of our energy and funds on building bombs to destroy things, bullets to kill people, chemicals to speed up the growth of our subsidized genetically modified food, and research how to find ways to make people dependent on drugs so they come back every month to buy more of the drug instead of actually curing people.
My point here really is that artists should be collaborating more. Just like how gene pools require and benefit from a constant mix of diversity, just like eco-systems, music needs more marriages of two diverse styles. It’s a fact, when you mix two creative and vibrant things that come from different backgrounds but that are from the same species you get the most beautiful results. I present this song to you to help illustrate my point.
Upon previewing the songs from both the band Planet Funk and the DJ producer Benny Benassi, I could not find a song that either band produced that had more richness than this one. Now, that could also mean that when you combine the total sum of time that both artists spent on the song in their own respect perhaps there was more energy poured into this song, but that’s also kind of the point. From new blood, collaboration, sharing of ideas, and having a creative dialog you get things like “The Postal Service”, “Zero 7″, and a whole slough of other bands that I can’t think of right now because it’s late and listing a bunch of bands isn’t important, because I think this point illustrates itself.
So basically, I wish more remixes were made, I wish artists started out with more “Open Source” rights to their work or collaboration was facilitated more.
It produced great results, and makes for great Songs of the Day!
Well as mysteries reveal themselves and as the tonalities, landscapes and emotions change slightly as new bands form organically in the misty musicological amorphous sludge that is the beating heart of the sea of inspiration from which we derive our musical genius, I’ve just recently discovered that the singer of Snow Patrol, Gary Lightbody, actually was also the front man for the band Reindeer Section, and has now moved to creating an album with an assembled group of individuals whom they call Tired Pony. Tired Pony, having just produced the album The Place We Ran From features this song “Dead American Writers” as you see in the music video above. Before anyone had heard much of Snow Patrol, I remember them being a great indie band that I’d discovered by following the “Customers who bought this album also liked” links on Amazon.com (which is another great way to discover and find new indie music by the way).
This new album from Tired Pony is supposedly moving in a slightly different genre direction than Snow Patrol and Reindeer Section towards a country influenced alternative rock that should hopefully bring appreciation to the hearts of square dancers, horseback riders, and probably a million and a half mid-westerners across the Great Basin who may have never square danced or ridden a horse but who listen to country music every day. I appreciate their efforts and this song is worthy of good praise. Although, I wonder what the term “country” brings to mind to people living in Lightbody’s native land of Scotland.
I particularly like the music video, for it’s complete lack of traditional “this video will help us promote our band by making them look cool or by making them seem like a big name” types of sentiments. Instead it gives the impression of boredom with traditional music videology and music label marketing teams. Maybe it took a marketing team to come up with the concept for the video, but either way it runs counter to the hyped enthusiastic feel-good commercialism that is supposed to make you want to buy the album so you can be transported into some kind of alternate reality where things are somehow preferable to your every day life.
So good for them! And thus, behold, your indie, alternative country music Song of the Day. Ta da!
This indie group came to my attention from a friend who makes a yearly music compilation mix. The content of the music video and the feel of the song remind me of Radiohead although I’m sure like any band, Kashmir would prefer to not be labeled as similar to another band. Kashmir has been around since the early 90′s, but probably haven’t been heard much in the United States music scene because they are from Denmark.
The guitar riffs in this song actually remind me the most of some Sonic Youth tracks, although their songs seems to be more accessible.
The music video for this song is definitely intriguing, but you’ll have to watch it completely through to the end to know why. Watch it twice and it will make total sense. You will end up watching the video in two different ways with at least two different stories. I think both of these stories are similar in a way. And both bear a strong resemblance to an animated video I saw for another Radiohead song Creep Acoustic produced with Adobe Flash. All three videos remind us of the evils of corporate culture and the need to change or abolish these institutions, and even in some cases give up our lives in a singular act to destroy large alienating corporations that destroy people’s lives. I’m getting away from the topic of music here, but then again, music is simply a form of artistic expression and a means for us to communicate messages that are sometimes lost or difficult to fully communicate through words. Sometimes, the emotional power of songs and the visual impact of videos and stories is the best way to get these messages across.
I don’t think corporations are necessarily evil by their nature, however, like anything, if it is allowed to satisfy all of its excessive wants and desires, just like anything, it can become a force of evil, just like a child that is not raised in a healthy environment can become a murderer or drug dealer. If you disagree with me, please take a look at the following website where you’ll find plenty of information defining the history and role of Corporations in our society and the negative impact these institutions have had on our society due to lack of restrictions and controls.
Sorry to end this on a sad note, but obviously, I’m not the only one here that feels like there’s a message that needs to be communicated.
If you grew up in the US you’ve heard Johnny Cash songs hundreds of times without even trying. This song by LA native Robert Francis, along with perhaps all of his songs are one giant drawn out montage of reminiscing about young love that’s been lost or drunken bar counter memories that are always just out of reach. It’s like daydreaming while driving down some dusty Southwestern highway and remembering the love of your life and how you lost your chance, yet are content to just have the beauty of the memory in your mind and never really truly find out if you could have been happy if you had ended up with the person. The song sounds sad and lonely, but shows a deep appreciation for love and a weathered heart still hoping for love. It’s the kind of music a guy would write if he was a hopeless romantic and wishing that the girl of his dreams will just happen to be in the bar he’s playing at in Ottawa, Ontario next month, October 5th to be exact. And yet, even if she approaches him, the musician’s life on the road and the success of the music would make him reject her and continue on his self-fulfilling spiral of heartache and lonesomeness, fueling his lonely song writing and making the songs more and more true with each show.
I really like the music, this song in particular catches me with the long woooo-ooo-wooooos and brawny guys in rural midwestern getting in fights over a girl. The video says, although the aggressive guy gets the girl and kicks your ass, as long as you come back to her house after it’s all said and done she’ll be there at the door waiting for you with open arms in the rain. But in reality, at that young age, she probably doesn’t have the presence of mind to know that you’re better for her than the macho guy and meekly allows the aggressive scumbag to keep her under his thumb. That is until you all go off to college, or just move to the sort-of larger town in the same state and get a job doing something that you never expected to, make new friends, and forget about each other. But later find each other on Facebook, yet never really take make the leap to visit each other because one of you always happens to be in a relationship with someone else. And… ahhh…. Reality creeps in.
But maybe they made the music video because they saw the irony in it all and wanted to show people what could really happen if you could only just go back in time and change it all! Ah, yes, thanks for nothing Robert Francis.
I sort of cheated today by posting this song. I’ve been listening to this song for about 2 years now, although I think most people still have never heard it. It came out in 2008 when M83 released their 5th studio album Saturdays = Youth which is somewhat of a tribute to certain musical themes that emerged in the 80′s. Most of the songs on the album feel like a soundtrack to a series of dream-like memories of someone’s child-hood. M83 is the only song on the album that I can still come back to again and again and enjoy the whole way through.
The video for this song was the winner of a contest that the band apparently held sometime recently. So if you go on YouTube you can find a couple other videos with the same name. I thought it was pretty well done, although sometimes when you know a song first and then see the music video it can be a blend of amusing disappointment as the video doesn’t live up to the expectations of your imagination. Like seeing any movie after reading the book.
In any case, I love this song and hope you do too! So far most of the songs I’ve posted here on Song of the Day have been pretty gentle. And with that cherubic girl at the top of every page of this site listening to her headphones with a look on her face like she’s listening to her favorite Celine Dion track, I hope I’m not giving the impression that I’m only going to be posting soft alternative and eclectic electronic tracks on here. Also, to clarify, the thing about the music industry and the mediums that we use to hear new songs that really bugs me is that amazing music can come out, and if it doesn’t fit just right into the massively produced Pop or macho dramatic love-scarred rugged male rock genres the music doesn’t get played on the radio or on TV. If you follow this blog and see how many good songs and artists you find on here that you wish you’d heard about earlier, please ask yourself this question, “Why do I never hear this stuff on the radio”. That’s my point. And the reason is, because radio stations and TV don’t care about spreading good music or supporting new and upcoming music artists that are amazing. Instead they care about money. And a lot of the radio stations you hear are either owned or supported by giant media conglomerated like ClearChannel, that have very specific criteria for what can and can’t be played on air. And those criteria that they use are designed to support only those artists that are being promoted by specific major record labels so that the majority of people go out and buy that music so the giant media conglomerates can make their profit.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this picture besides the fact that most people IMHO believe that if there was good music out there, the radio stations will play it, and that they can rely on large radio stations to play all of the new music that comes out and give them a good idea of what is out there and available. That’s the problem, and as a result, many musical artists who don’t fit the major media labels’ mold never reach your ears.
This same exact thing happens in the film industry these days. Most major action movies that come out these days all have a bunch of things in common and are extremely predictable and just about as original in thought and execution as a soggy bowl of Rice Krispies. The reason is again the same. Money.
Major film production companies could give a damn about making a good movie, what they care about is how to sell the most tickets possible, and the way to do that is to try to appeal to the widest audience possible. What this means is they add a romance story to make young women who like romance want to go see it. They make it violent enough for action fans to feel like they need to go see it, but make the violence soft enough to keep it rated PG-13 so everyone can still come and see it with their kids. They add comedic asides amidst the action so people who love humor come to see it, they add some theme about saving the world so people who want to see the world get saved or who like to see “global disasters getting averted” will like it, and they throw in a super sexy girl, a male lead role that college guys can relate to, and a really easy to understand plot with enough exposition so that Americans who have been trained by the media to not think critically or use abstract logic won’t tell their friends not to watch it because it was too confusing. So what you end up with in the end is this genetically engineered Monsanto corn seed that will never yield new seeds of creativity and that is marketed in a way to keep you dependent on it and forgetting that you ever knew any other variations, and the word variety slowly fades from your memory.
Again, it’s not necessarily the fault of these large companies that this happens, they are just doing what is necessary to maximize profit. The two issues that concern me are, first, that the public trusts in these major media outlets to present to them a decent variety of things so that we as consumers can make the right decisions about what we want, but instead of seeing all the variety that’s on the market the only thing that’s blasted at us everyday is the white spongy artificial wonderbread variety. And secondly that the public is so uninformed that this is even happening that they don’t have the knowledge to speak up and say, “Hey, you’re not telling me the whole story, you’re not telling me about everything else that’s out there, and maybe if you gave me the chance to make a decision, I wouldn’t buy your wonderbread, but instead would buy creative and original melodies like this song by M83 here, or it’s filmatic equivalents.”
I hope you understand what I mean, and it’s the whole reason why I think it’s so important to speak up and share with the people you know, the really amazing things in this world that don’t have multi-million dollar advertising budgets. Because, how else are we going to find out about this stuff?