All posts tagged: Music

➟ The Beats Question

Apple’s Pursuit of Beats May Foretell a Shift By BEN SISARIO, nytimes.com If Apple makes a major marketing push for Beats’s subscription model — or, even better, if Apple integrates Beats into its ecosystem of online services and physical products — it could mean a big lift for streaming. Apple entering the streaming music market (virtually overnight) with the clout and installed user base of iTunes would be massive, and it’s probably not an exaggeration to say Spotify’s days as currently structured would be numbered. Looks like we’re in for the next phase of music industry economics. Since the rumor surfaced a couple of days ago, people have tried to rationalize why Apple would buy the headphone and services company. Some good theories and analyses of both brands have resulted; I think it’s fantastic to have lots of smart people simultaneously indulge in a thought exercise, the answers to which we will probably have in the near future. My resistance to the idea has largely been because I’ve heard several pairs of Beats headphones myself, and haven’t been …

Omodaka: The Sound of an Electronic Edo

Discovered (and spread) Omodaka's Sanosa album on Spotify. Traditional Japanese folk vocals + 8-bit electronica. pic.twitter.com/OVd43fipGp — Brandon Lee (@sangsara) July 1, 2013 If you like traditional Japanese folk songs (you shall recognize them by the winding female vocals traveling up and down a scale unlike anything else, usually sung by geisha in period films, accompanied by a shamisen) AND ALSO LIKE CHIPTUNES(!) you’ll love the music of Omodaka. Here’s an article from 2010 that I found, which mentions the songs are composed on a variety of devices including a Sony PSP, Nintendo DS, and a Game Boy. From what I can gather, the group is a vessel for producer Soichi Terada’s experiments and collaborations — most of which feature intriguing art music videos. Check out the one below: it’s trippy as hell. Later in the day, I was pleased to get a retweet from Terada’s Far East Recordings account (@fareastrecordin), which seems to tweet info about upcoming shows in Japan. I’ll be heading that way soon, so maybe seeing them in the flesh will …

Random Access Memories

The new Daft Punk is incredible. The more I hear it, the more it unpacks waves of hidden melody. I was underwhelmed the first time, listening while walking home (on bass-weak Etymotic headphones), but now it’s like a whole other record. iTunes Link

Tricks & Cider

About two weeks ago, I kinda realized that two people I knew online were in a band together, and preparing to put out their first EP. I visited their website, bought the record when it came out, and ended up seeing them live at the Esplanade last Friday. Hear for yourself through the embedded player below. In addition to Bandcamp, you can get the 5-song collection on iTunes and Spotify.

[Branch] Do we still need to physically experience music shopping?

[Branch] Do we still need to physically experience music shopping? I thought I was perfectly fine with digital discovery, Spotify-style apps and the iTunes Store, but at the risk of losing the last big retailer in town (HMV), and remembering how one could wander for hours and come out with armfuls of new music, I think I’m going to miss the tactile/spatial experience of old. There’s something about walking in and seeing with your own eyes a handmade display promoting an album you’d never heard of, and becoming curious. A thumbnail doesn’t do that. Branch is a relatively new startup and service that allows anyone to set up ad-hoc, public discussion spaces. The person who sets the topic (or question) can invite others over Twitter or email, and any other viewer can ask to join in by simply writing what they would say if they were already part of the discussion. After that’s approved, they’re in. It’s an elegant and well-designed system, but still relatively unfriendly to some.* For my first attempt, I asked the …

Bad for Good

Found out after suddenly wanting a single album that contained every song by Jim Steinman (couldn’t find one) that he tried to record his own follow-up to Bat Out of Hell in 1981, entitled Bad for Good. The songs were originally meant for Meat Loaf, of course, but when he lost his voice, Jim decided to go ahead and record them with his weaker vocals. Check out the sample of “Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through” on iTunes, and then compare it to the Bat Out of Hell II version. Seems the album was a hit anyway, but I was only a year old at the time.

8tracks Mix: Hiphopotamus

 I recently rediscovered and am enjoying 8tracks.com, an easy, free, and legal way to share mixes online. Even if you’re not into that, it functions as an excellent community-driven radio site. There are even good iPhone and Android apps for tapping into it.