Monday, May 31, 2010

nothin's gonna stop me but divine intervention


If you are a band or an artist, I hope you are still not JUST using MySpace music to get the word out. There are so many options to spread the word, but in my opinion, SoundCloud.com is one of the best!

I totally feel like I was one of the first to discover SoundCloud. I was smitten from the get go, and I signed up right away and began uploading my stuff, and re-sharing it everywhere else! You don't have to tell me that I am wrong about discovering one of the greatest sites to receive, send, collaborate on music on the interwebs today. After recently celebrating their millionth user, the word must be out! Congrats guys!

Since I love SoundCloud, I will often troll it looking for talent to share with our readers. I recently found a mash-up/remixer/DJ extraordinaire that I couldn't wait to tell you about! Andrew James Bowers, aka DJ Dain, is only 22 years old but has quite a musical resume. From composer to remixer, Dain is an award-winning artist specializing in DnB, Trip-Hop, and Mash-ups. He mixes up this creativity at DJ gigs to get the crowds crazy! If you got a party that you want to go off, I suggest you book him now while he's still relatively cheap to get...His rate, with his popularity, are sure to sky rocket!

inALLcaps: What was your favorite gig to date?

DJ Dain: It's quite difficult for me to pick a favorite gig because every party has its own unique energy. I have special memories of certain performances. For example, there was the first time I was invited to perform along side DJ Mikey, Mr. Low and a few other established disc-jockeys from St. John's, or the time my friends MD and "That Mexican DJ" tried to host our first EDM show at the GCSU Backlot in Corner Brook. However, I've come to enjoy playing house parties a bit more than paid gigs. I usually know the crowds better and I have much more freedom to play anything I want and have a really fun time.

In terms of favorite gigs where I've been in the audience, seeing Daft Punk in Toronto for the their Alive 2007 tour is still at the top of my list. I was not prepared for the level of positive energy in that crowd. That experience changed my life and my relationship to music. Considering how Daft Punk incorporated material from all three of their studio albums, I would say that performance was what first got me seriously thinking about mash-ups.


IAC: What inspires you to make these mash-ups?

DJ Dain: Usually I'll stumble across a song either in my collection or on the radio and just "hear" other songs in my head that match with it. For example, with the "Don't Worry, I'm Yours" mash-up, I had heard Jason Mraz' "I'm Yours" on the radio countless times and just started singing Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" over it. The same thing happened when I was listening to the instrumental of Perfume's "Dream Fighter" - I just starting singing Katy Perry's "Hot 'n' Cold" to myself. When I'm really lucky, the right songs will just float up to the forefront of my mind and "click" together. Unfortunately for some of my friends and loved ones, this can be really annoying for them if they're trying to listen to the radio while I'm also in the car.

IAC: Kaze No Ne and Lucky Channel are original work? Are these for a Video Game project? Can you tell us more about that?

DJ Dain: My remixes of "Kaze No Ne" and "Lucky Channel" were produced a few years ago for my own amusement. I used to be an active member of VGmix before the website went down temporarily, and I had a number of video game remixes released through there.

The only video game remix project I've participated in was the Cave Story Remix Project. I made a remix of "Last Battle" which is a track associated with the secret/ultimate ending from the game. That remix became something of an underground hit within certain circles. I had a lot of fun working with all the other talented remixers on that project. One of my favorite moments was when we were informed that the creator of Cave Story had discovered our work and was very impressed with us! That kind of recognition and appreciation is special to me.

I also had something of an underground hit with my "Long Train Ride" remix of "Triage at Dawn" - a track composed by Kelly Baily for the video game "Half-Life 2". It was mainly shared within the gaming community, and only through the help of a fan did I discover that it was eventually featured in a "PC Gamer UK" article. There's still some confusion out there about the origin of the remix. From what I've heard, some have mistaken it for a song from the beta version of Half-Life 2, while others speak of another individual who tried to claim the remix as their own under the title of "Path of the Borealis". Unfortunately at this point I don't think I could correct the level of misinformation about the track.

IAC: What makes you happy?

DJ Dain: More than anything right now, being able to share my success and experiences with the woman I love is real happiness to me. I've been extremely fortunate with all the opportunities I've been offered, but I've also worked very hard to achieve my goals.

More specifically, one of the best feelings in the world is when I'm performing. When I'm able to build tension and and release it into a wealth of positive energy - getting the crowd singing along, clapping, smiling, and having a great time - it's euphoric. The experience is both spiritual, sensual and even sexual. Performing as a disc-jockey is a lot like trying to make love to everyone on the dance-floor. Everybody has their own needs and desires, so you have to be very observant and watch your pacing and timing - knowing just when to change things up and try something new. Obviously you can't please everybody, and it's easy to get discouraged when things go awry, but that's really the only way I'll learn - so I have to have fun with it! If I clear out a dance-floor, I try to see it as an opportunity to start fresh and rebuild - like a new canvas to paint on. Whatever I do in life, it's important that I enjoy the processes - the journey - as much if not more than the reward at the end. When the work is it's own reward, it's not really work anymore.

When you get right down to it - it's sharing that makes me happy. I think sharing is a very natural, important part of life, and a human right that should be protected. Sharing information, ideas, feelings experiences and culture - all of it - that's how we all learn, grow and bond with each other. I think we would all get along better if we embraced more systems that encouraged us to share.


IAC: Do you like it Hot or Cold?

DJ Dain: Too long in either extreme makes me uncomfortable. I enjoy playing with both dynamics - you can't really appreciate one without experiencing the other.

IAC: Are you a Dreamer or a Fighter?

DJ Dain: I've been a dreamer for a long time, but I've reached a turning point where I'm ready to fight for those dreams and make them my reality. I'm learning to recognize and understand what's important to me - cutting out the bad and fighting to keep what's good in my life.







Download DJ Dain - Hotter, Colder, Dreamer, Fighter (Perfume vs. Daft Punk vs. Katy Perry)








Download DJ Dain - Don't Worry, I'm Yours (Jason Mraz vs. Bobby McFerrin vs. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole)

Hot Fire Tracks! Having a BBQ/Party today for the 3 day holiday? Throw those MF'ers on the boombox, drink a cold one and enjoy your day off!

P.S. I risk immolation from the girlfriend for posting yet another Katy Perry anything on the site. So really...this might have to be the last one. It's really good...worth being lit on fire to share this one with you! So thank me or flame me in the comments...just be sure to tell me your home remedies for 3rd degree burns.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The plot sucks but the killings are gorgeous


I still love him. LIKE CRAY-ZAY.


I didn't know it was hot in the middle
I touched it once then I touched it a second time
'Cause I am that naive, a myriad of bright ideas


He is from Mahtomedi. I know that means nothing to 98% of you. But it just makes me feel like kin to him even more. Well, not kin, because maybe one day he'll marry me. It could happen. But innt he CUTE?!

This post isn't all about Justin Pierre. He is the main lyricist and rhythm guitarist for Motion City Soundtrack. To me it always feels like MCS is pretty mainstream and everyone knows about them, but more and more I am realizing - Why Doesn't Everyone Know About Them?

It just does something to me the way Justin is able to cram approximately 400 words into every song. And of course he's the guy who sticks out in the band pics, and he is there effortlessly delivering all of his fun, funky, and flabbergasting lyrics in the music videos, so he is the one who gets mentioned.

Motion City Soundtrack formed in 1997 with Justin and buddy Joshua Cain. The full band lineup has changed since the band formed, and meanwhile, they've released four full-length albums.

You had to have at least caught one of their videos on MTV. Being that the band creators fancy themselves as fledgling filmmakers, you know their videos are going to be good. Hell, the name of the band is no mistake, what did you think?




I used to rely on self-medication,
I guess I still do that from time to time.





So if somehow you've been oblivious to this band throughout the last decade, and you missed the video above from '05, I want you to check out their latest album and tell me you don't become an instant fan. It is absolutely the perfect mix of upbeat fuck-youness that we all love and appreciate. My Dinosaur Life is the name of the album, and it's been out since January. So get on it, pally. Check their touring schedule - there are still a few heartland dates before they get on Warped Tour. And you know Warped is coming somewhere near you.

I'm going to share Track 6, "History Lesson", because I think it best showcases the strength in Pierre's voice. You get just a hint of the underlying snark on the album and the musical talents of the rest of the band.








Download Motion City Soundtrack - History Lesson

Stock up and create your summer soundtrack now.

OK, fine. Here's one more track for the kids. Now you need to go buy ALL the albums.








Download Motion City Soundtrack - @!#?@!






Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Guided by the blazing sun

me: have you heard the new project from Trent Reznor?

Bonnie: no
good?
or bad?
i'm afraid bad...

me: It sounds almost identical to another NIN song...just can't place it.

Bonnie: ohhh
well
hmmm

me: but...it's his new wife on vocals

Bonnie: she's hot

me: with music that sounds just like NIN...which is great but just rubs me funny.

Bonnie: yea

me: she is hot...no question.

Trent married an alien from Mars' Bai Ling Tribe who goes by the name of Mariqueen Maandig. Mariqueen used to be in the band West Indian Girl, but now that she's fucking on Trent's nine inch (I hope) nail, she doesn't need to sing for her supper anymore.

-Michael K (dlisted.com)


My first thought when I heard Trent Reznor's new project, How To Destroy Angels, was: "The music sounds great, but the vocals, well the vocals just don't fit."

I wondered who this amateur vocalist could be.



Mariqueen Maandig Reznor. Trent's wife...and she's no amateur.

Mariqueen was a vocalist for the band West Indian Girl for 5 year span starting in 2004.

Sounding a lot like the Beach Boys on acid, Californian West Indian Girl is the pop answer to the Flaming Lips or Pink Floyd. The band is even named after a well-known strain of powerful LSD.








Download West Indian Girl - Leave Tonight

And then there is this new project for Trent and Mariqueen Reznor. How To Destroy Angels, or HTDA for short. The group also includes Atticus Ross, a past collaborator on Nine Inch Nails stuff as well as a remixer/producer/musician/programmer on many different projects including the Coheed & Cambria's "Year of the Black Rainbow" and the musical score to The Book Of Eli.In a facebook discussion, the group answered some questions from fans...well...fans of NIN at least. Trent answered one question about what How To Destroy Angels allows Trent to do that he couldn't do with Nine Inch Nails besides having a different vocalist.

Yes, it sounds more NIN-ish than I believe it will as we progress. To me, HTDA frees me from some of the constraints I've begun to feel (primarily emotionally) in NIN.
NIN is not dead and I am about to work on some material that I believe will be quite different than previous NIN very soon.


Fair enough, and I am not complaining, I love the "sound" of NIN. I just don't get why we care about this new vocalist. (She's hot tho...) The song sounds like an outtake from the album Ghosts or The Fragile. It even sounds a lot like the song The Fragile in my opinion.








Download Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile








Download How To Destroy Angels - A Drowning

If you think you can do better, Trent has made the multitracks for the HDTA song above and the video below available via remix.nin.com




Bonnie: here's my issue
gotta re-listen
but her voice isn't that awesome
it's good
sufficent

me: yeah
absolutely
it's very much just ok

Bonnie: i would rather hear a trip hop artists singing it
something raspy and sweet at the same time?
or maybe someone wth a french accent

me: i was gonna put in the post...if I can find the instrumentals to this song I bet I could do better.

Bonnie: hehe

Friday, May 21, 2010

House of 9's Where I Belong

I bought this album last week and meant to review it on Friday. Then I sprained two fingers and shit got real. I'm just kidding. It didn't get real. I just like that phrase. But I did mangle my fingers pretty bad and typing just wasn't in the cards.

I heard of this band, Everest, because an old pal from childhood actually did the album art. Yeah dude! Give some props to the wildly attractive and popular Desi Moore. Thankya.




This isn't Everest's first album or rodeo, but really, let's pretend it is. They recorded Ghost Notes in 2007 when they had barely been a band for two weeks. They jumped on tour (with acts as notable as Neil Young, huzzah, and My Morning Jacket, of course) and got all set to record their second album. But a little something called SXSW happened, and before you know it, they sign with Warner Brothers instead. Mental note, prepare for an e-mail from the Web Sheriff du-du-doooo...

So May 11, On Approach was released and even though the band likes to say they don't actually sound like other bands, well. Look. We've all accepted it by now. We are a product of our influences; we just are. I realize I am probably the only one who hears Exile in Track One, "Let Go" -and yes I mean Exile as in 1978, long hair and synthesizers - but then I doubt many other people grew up with the fully stocked juke box that I did. I hear "I Wanna Kiss You All Over" every time I hear this track:








Download Everest - Let Go


After that, I really don't mean to make any other comparisons and I just want to get in to this chill album. But by the time I get to Track 8, "House of 9's", I am hearing Thrice - or at least Dustin Kensrue - through and through. Another listen through the album proves that if you like Thrice, you will really love Everest. They're on a heavy-duty tour right now. I hope their van is holding up - go see them and buy some merch! Help them out! This is a solid, solid sound.

The band asks that you support your local record store, so why don't you go ahead and do so. Browse around for Exile while you're there too. Compare and appreciate the funky guitar sounds.

If you don't have a local record store, try buying online here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is summer here? Really?


So here in Boston, the weather just won't stay the same. I spent all of last week sick as a dog, and eventually even lost my voice. Imagine trying to work tending bar without much of a voice. It didn't really bother me much, to be honest. But this weather? Needs to get a bit stable. Seriously. Anyhow, this post has a bit of summer in it. The rest? Is a newer track that's been getting a bit of play as of late.

So for those that don't know about Broken Social Scene yet, you're missing out. They're a strange group in that they never keep a steady set of band members. When I saw them live a few years back, I think they had about 15 people on stage at any one time. It's crazy but awesome at the same time. I believe I've said it before, but they do remind me of a jam band, but in much better a way. These guys have this strange cohesiveness to their music. Which made me a bit surprised when I heard this song. It's off of their latest album, Forgiveness Rock Record. The track is "All To All" and is a departure of sorts from their typical indie-rock sound, as they steer more towards a light electronic route. It's a refreshing change, and smacks of what you would hear during summer. Enjoy!








Download Broken Social Scene - All To All

Next is the latest release from LCD Soundsystem. Now, "Drunk Girls" I found rather unimpressive, and so far, this new track "Pow Pow" - off of their just released album This is Happening - doesn't really hit me as all too wonderful. Although, some of the lyrics are subtly hinting at people just shutting the fuck up (I'm looking at you, Obama-haters), which I enjoy. This is the typical LCD Soundsystem sound we've grown accustomed to, however, so I am sure this is one that will grow on me.








Download LCD Soundsystem - Pow Pow

As usual, go buy some stuff. You don't wanna be "that guy", now do you?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Backmasking


Sometimes I have intentions for a post. I'll even start writing some of it, and then something happens.This is a post about a post that didn't happen. Although it's happening now. This almost sounds like a plot line to the TV show Lost.


I had been thinking a lot about Backmasking last week. Backmasking is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forwards. The beatles were infamous in this tehnique, using it on a few different albums. It got to be though, that people were finding unintended messages on songs. Well, maybe Paul IS dead after all.



The reason I was thinking about backmasking was that I have a weird setup in my iTunes. I listen to a lot of music, to easily find them I sort by Date Added. Which normally works beautifully because whatever you recently bought or downloaded shows up at at the top of the list, and I need to peruse all this new stuff for ideas on what to write about for a post on the blog.

When you rip or download a cd, it adds the file into your library in the order of the tracks on the CD. Track 1 gets added the library first, then Track 2. But when you sort by Date Added, the last track is first, since it was added last. Which means that, if it takes me a few extra steps to listen to an album this way. I have to see what albums were recently added, settle on an album to listen to, then resort by artist/album and filter by album name. By this time all the tracks should be in their normal orders and I can begin listening.

Maybe this makes no sense to you because you are not buying and downloading as much music as I am.

Either way...I don't like the idea of playing an album backwards...meaning playing the last track first and the first track last. I often will think I am being dumb about it...what does it matter. If an album is not considered to be a "rock opera" then it shouldn't matter what order I play an album.

Still, what if there IS a message in the order of the tracks...I would miss it. Even worse, what if there is an unintended message by listening to it in the wrong order? It seemed about as wrong has reversing a song to hear weird messages.

I wanted to use this idea of track order while reviewing the new album by The National for a post. The new album by The National, High Violet, was the kind of album that sounded like it had a message in it. I don't have any proof that there is a message in this album, but it seems like the dark sounding albums always have something sinister hidden. Even the name of the album had me thinking about spy code words or terror alerts.








Download The National - Afraid Of Everyone

As I started to put all this together I felt like I was stretching it too thin. It was a dumb idea. I think.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We really are quite small when you think about it


This is not going to be your average post from me. Now, some of you may have read this blog for a while and know I bounce all over the place with the music I post. This is one that really I don't have a lot of words for, as it expresses a lot of beauty. This song I'm posting today was used in the now classic "Cosmos" series by Carl Sagan by Vangelis. I've gotten my nerd on lately and have been watching it and this song in particular just smacked of all the old synth legends of the 1970's, including Brian Eno, Giorgio Moroder, and Jean-Jacques Perrey. I've taken the liberty of including the full-length original of Vangelis' "Heaven and Hell (Part 1)" as well as just the part entitled "Movement 3" that is just one of four parts to this raucous legend. Beware! This isn't your typical song! However, this piece is just sheer brilliance, and I've also posted a little video I saw online that included this that used parts from the "Cosmos" series.



Seriously, a brilliant song that pretty much transcends time. Enjoy it.








Download Vangelis - Heaven and Hell (Part 1) (Movement 3)








Download Vangelis - Heaven and Hell (Part 1)

Yep. Go buy it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I thought about jumping...


I was so sure that I had written about William Fitzsimmons on the inALLcaps Music Blog. I was beginning to panic that I never actually published it, or maybe I dreamt it.

Then I realized what I had wrote was in fact research for a podcast we mentioned him on.

William Fitzsimmons, if you haven't caught that particular episode of the podcast, was born the youngest child of two blind parents who were the occasional musicians. William was a psychotherapist before deciding to record some songs at home that would become his initial debut CD, Until We Are Ghosts.

Fast-forward past two more albums, 2006's Goodnight and 2008's The Sparrow and the Crow, both about divorce (the former about his parents, the later his own) and we have 2010's Derivatives.

It's fitting to find a great cover on this album, since it was his cover of Kanye's Heartless that I found meandering around the many networks of music blogs I frequent. This time it was a rendition of the Katy Perry hit "I Kissed A Girl," which he says he covered "to see what the tune would be like with that dark undertone as a more obvious context."








Download William Fitzsimmons - I Kissed a Girl (Katy Perry Cover)

I love it. But, William Fitzsimmons is not all about covers, but he is down with a remix or two. In fact, Fitzsimmons has never had a problem with combining electronic music with with folk music. Derivatives, according to William's website, is a multicolored re-imagining of several prominent tracks from The Sparrow and the Crow, Fitzsimmons' well-received 2009 release. Derivatives contains several remixes of Fitzsimmons largely folk-inspired tunes - revisited and remixed in an electronic fashion - while still retaining the emotional and heartfelt core of William’s songs.

One such remix is the Mikroboy remix of "If You Would Come Back Home".








Download William Fitzsimmons -If You Would Come Back Home (Mikroboy Remix)

If you would come back home
We could start all over
If you would come back home
I swear it would be better

There's room left in the house
There's food still in the pantry
I could fix you lunch
Or take you out for coffee


CMJ recently spoke with William about his new release, and he had this to say:

"I started to learn that people weren't experiencing these songs with the same measure of darkness. For some reason, they were hearing a certain amount of hope in them, and to be honest, that began to change the way I understood them myself. So I wanted a way to hear the songs in that more positivistic way."


They're not the happiest songs, but I DO hear some hope. Most importantly I hear an amazing album from an artist you need to know about. Buy the albums and share this post with your friends.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Gasoline That I've Been Drinkin' Like It's Water

He's quite a talented young guy, this Robert McDowell. He has been the lead guitarist for the band Manchester Orchestra since 2005, and this year released his solo project called Gobotron. I remember when the kid started his own MySpace page with this same name in '08, and I wondered for a little while. But he didn't tell anyone about it until he finished the album.




So of course Jeremiah Edmond, whom up until recently was the amazing drummer for Manchester Orchestra but gave that up in order to stay in one place with his wife and run the label Favorite Gentlemen, happily pressed and marketed the music for him.
And when I say happily... I mean, he hand packaged these suckers and numbered them individually. And wrote a thank you note to go along with every order.





The project to him is the opportunity to "do exactly the opposite of" what he truly does enjoy - the working with a team. The sound, though, still comes off as if it was created by a group of happy pop rockers... Silversun Pickups. The Beach Boys. The Lemonheads. Something in there somewhere.

That's the magic of software: "This is a computer album that could have never been done if it were on tape. It became a science project rather than a band." The album name is On Your Mark, Get Set and I'm not sure how serious I need to be with you when I tell you - it's obviously just the beginning and you should really pay attention.

Now, despite the fact that Track One is :49 of Gobotron repeating the word "Nothing" and maybe shouldn't qualify as a track, somehow the "formula" has prevailed and it is Track Four which really gives what I think is the best representation. Enjoy "Never Turn Around":








Download Gobotron - Never Turn Around


It's good stuff, and this kid is going to make more and more amazing art so get in on it before your friends do. Order everything you need here. Get on that now!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dirty Boston Water

So a few of the readers here may be from Boston. A lot probably aren't. Well, if you're unaware, the city of Boston lost its clean water supply for about four days due to a breach in a pipe that delivered water to Boston and many of its suburbs. Well, we have our water back. And now that "aquapocalypse" - as some termed it - is over, the jokes aren't going to stop. This blog entry, included.

The first song will be familiar to anyone that's gone to Fenway Park and stuck around after the Red Sox won the game. Below is your introduction.



Recognize the song? Most people probably wouldn't. That song is "Dirty Water" by the Standells, a garage rock band hailing from LA. Now, considering all that's gone on here in Boston since this BS started on Saturday, how great would it have been to be there at Fenway Park on Monday after they won? And to hear that song? Hilarity would have ensued. Personally, I nearly brought a couple of water bottles down to the grocery store with a lawnchair and would have rolled them down the aisle to watch people fight over them. Turns out the joke's on all those morons that cleared out the shelves of all bottled water in the mass panic you knew would ensue. 'Never mind, water was safe all along' was the headline on the Boston.com front page today. So here's "Dirty Water".








Download The Standells - Dirty Water

Next up is just a song that is freakin' amazeballs. For real. It's like you all could slow dance to this bastard back in the mid '80's and it would have fit in. Even better? The group's name is 100% fitting for this post. Double win! Washed Out is the name of the group. This track is just unreal. Just take a listen to this one. Right now my early favorite for best track this year. Really.








Download Washed Out - Feel It All Around

"Well I love that dirty water! Ooohhhh Boston, you're my home!" Damn right! Now go buy stuff!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I don't even own a gitar...

I'm not white. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just that I am probably not as into the band Journey as you are.

Let me start over.

I like the band Gogol Bordello. There is a lot to like! Gypsy-manic-tongue-in-cheek-punktastic! To boil it down, it reminds me of my own heritage. My parents are both from the Middle-East. When mom and Dad would entertain guests, they would always crank the tabla and violin music.

Alcohol, dancing, jokes, laughing...and always the repetitive arabic drum and the fast paced vibratos of the violin. I wished I could be out there with the adults, instead of falling asleep with my ear to the door.

As I got older, the music of choice was often punk music and reggae. Bob Marley was maybe the best of both worlds to me. Punk AND reggae. Then there was my whole Ska period.

It's not surprising that I would be into the Eastern European sounds of Gogol Bordello. What was surprising was how much it reminded me of my childhood.

I kinda want to listen to Trans-Continental Hustle through the walls in another room...no, that's not right...I wanna drink, dance, and laugh with the album on full volume! I kinda want both!








Download Gogol Bordello - Pula Tute

This album really felt different to me. Better than previous albums, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I thought that it must just be the skills built up from a tour hardened band. Tight and together. it all made sense once I discovered that the lead singer/songwriter, Eugene Hutz, had moved to Brazil follow a girl. A long the way he discovered and worked with many amazing musicians there. Most notably, my favorite World Music artist, Manu Chao. I hear the influence of playing with all these South American artists has done to Hutz. Me gusto mucho!

If you are already familiar with Gogol bordello's discography, then you probably already have this disc in your collection or loaded onto your iPod. If not...the links are below.