Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Hey look, today Cool Hunting featured Minneapolis’s own, Solid Gold.


I’m bored so I’m running through the latest RCRDLBL free downloads. Here’s what I’m adding:

“Shampoo [Alternate Version]” / Elvis Perkins

“Slow Burning Crimes” / East Hundred

“The Echo” and “Why Not” / Voxhaul Broadcast

“Round N Round [feat 77Klash]” / Bosco Delray

“Pine On” / Obits

And speaking of music – today I was at the bookstore and came across This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin. Levitin, a musician turned neuroscientist, reveals the science behind our preferences for music, among other topics such as:

  • Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
  • What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain’s response to music?
  • Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?

This is yet another book I’m adding to my ‘must read’ list!


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Just caught the last part of Oprah, where she’s filming from Kennedy Center. Will.i.am, Seal, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, and Bono sang the new “America’s Song” (co-written by David Foster). At the end of the show, Oprah announced this song is available, free to download off of Oprah.com. This is free until 5 p.m. ET until tomorrow, Tuesday 1/20.

Thanks for the generosity, Oprah!

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logoI’m on the Minnesota Public Radio Public Insight Network, so from time to time they’ll send emails asking for input on a variety of topics. Today they’ve asked “How do you manage family at the holidays?” They write:

Holiday togetherness: Good, bad or ugly?
For many, holidays are a time to be with those we love. But those who are closest to us are also able to drive us the craziest.
What are the topics of conversation, questions and activities that you’re hoping to avoid this holiday season? And how will you keep yourself sane?
Maybe it’s questions like, “When are you getting married?” or conversations about politics.  Or perhaps it’s the annual family game of Risk. Do you find yourself playing with the kids, turning on the TV or volunteering to do the dishes to avoid what you know is coming?

They said I could pass this email along, so instead I’m spreading the word here. Share your stories here: How do you manage your family at the holidays?

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The past few nights I’ve been sampling tunes on RCRDLBL.com and tonight came across Solid Gold. Since I’m only scanning the reviews in my Google Reader and artists’ bio pages, I didn’t see this group is from Minneapolis until I’d given their song a good listen. Tony Plunkett on RCRDLBL likens Solid Gold’s sound to Culture Club, but there aren’t enough tracks there for me to make a comparison. Hop over to their MySpace page and check it out though.

“Who You Gonna Run To” is worth the [free] download…I couldn’t be a music critic as I’m instrument-ignorant so I’m hard pressed to describe the actual sounds here..There’s one sound that’s a constant in the song…Plunkett says it gives it a “woozy groovy” feel. I’d just have to agree.

Yesterday I spotted Mygazines.com via PSFK. This seems like a great resource for people who:

  • are magazine junkies (like myself) – Perhaps you can’t give up any more space in your office/home/bathroom to another stack and it pains you to toss out your 2005 VOGUE collection. Though the physical experience of reading a magazine is lost, Mygazines.com offers the content, including ads (benefit to advertisers!)
  • work in advertising, marketing, media, etc – though the quality isn’t perfect, this might be a handy tool for quick competitor reference (if you work in print)

Basic features of Mygazines include:

  1. browse – choose from 17 categories (arts & culture, home & garden, travel, etc.) And, for specific titles, try searching the sub-categories.
  2. upload – not necessary in order to browse, but helpful for sharing purposes
  3. archive – save an article, entire magazine, or bookmark (Del.icio.us, Digg, Technorati, etc.) However, there seems to be a bug with the saving option. At least, that is my user experience thus far.

When reading a story, actions you can take:

  • zoom (only once)
  • rate
  • comment
  • send/share

I’m using Mygazines.com on Firefox and the magazines pop up in a new window. Zooming is helpful, though sometimes it isn’t the best quality (even when enlarging text, it’s fuzzy). Depending on how careful users are when uploading magazines, the pages may or may not be cut off a bit (or crooked). One very smart feature is the “pages” option, which can be found on the right vertical toolbar, third icon down (specific direction for those of you, like my dear mother, who have difficulty turning on a laptop). “Pages” allows you to go straight to the articles you want to see, versus paging through the entire magazine including ads.

In reference to legality, PSFK writes that though it’s questionable, there is potential. “Mygazines could really provide a useful alternative outlet for publishers looking to reach more readers. When it’s free, your’e going to attract an audience.”

Overall, in my second day of browsing, Mygazines feels useful and fairly user-friendly. As far as the experience goes, it may greatly differ for users who are looking for visual stories (fashion/design inspiration) versus those needing a financial reference in a cut-and-dry article. But, you be the judge, as always.

Ahh…another RCRD LBL/branding/marketing connection!

via Adam Crowe is Paul Isakson’s presentation “What’s Next in Marketing & Advertising” found here or here on Slideshare. One point Isakson makes is that brands need to connect through content. Specifically, “content is the new currency”. Isakson points to RCRD LBL as proof in slide 51. hehe. Yes, they certainly have made enough of an impression on me that I’ve now blogged about it numerous times, have joined is fan page on Facebook, and have told my good friends about it.

Recently I wrote about Scion’s new site that lets creative-minded folks make their own logos. I also recently posted some stuff about RCRD LBL. In one post, I told you that I downloaded Kid Sister’s “Pro Nails (Big Raiders) Remix”. Now here I sit at Vera’s Cafe in Uptown (Minneapolis). Vera’s is one of those cool neighborhood cafes (coffee/food/alcohol/music/free wi-fi/good people-watching etc.!) where you can pick up flyers for local shows, local city guides, etc. Upon walking in, what do my beady little eyes spy? A cd…free, of-course…so I paw it and take a look:

It’s a Scion cd sampler (v.20), mixed by LA Riots, who are DJs Jo’B and Daniel Ledisko. A quick scan shows Kid Sister’s “Control” is no.9 on the mix. Now I’m thinking…Scion is impressing me lately. The packaging reads “Scion’s commitment to artistic expression provides a platform for passionate musicians to focus on developing their art and exploring the endless possibilities.” To learn more about Scion/Audio/Visual (SAV) check out scion.com/SAV. Here you can listen to this particular mix, previous mixes, and future mixes.

When I saw the new and mostly unheard of (to me) artists, including the Kid Sister mix, my mind went back to RCRD LBL and their devotion to the new and emerging talent of musicians. And of-course, I also made the positive connection to Scionspeak. It’s one thing (and probably not always very effective) for brands to attach themselves to so-called ‘cool’ ala the Samsung/Armani phone. (Does the Samsung customer connect with the Armani lifestyle? Maybe. Need to read more on this probably.) And then, it is quite another when a brand does its homework, works to give its users/fans/etc something meaningful (to their lives) and speaks to their interests. Scion’s movement to recognize the progressive and lively street culture just makes sense for this brand. Does it make sense for Armani to brand a Samsung phone? Thoughts?

Four days ago I wrote about RCRD LBL, the new online record label/music blog. At that time, there were 1,405 RCRD LBL fans on Facebook. Today I see it has risen to 1,453 fans. That doesn’t seem too shabby for only four days. Meanwhile, the number of bookmarking actions to del.icio.us has only increased by 11. Does anyone know how many users are on del.icio.us compared to Facebook? My assumption is that Facebook is much, much more widely used.

It looks like RCRD LBL posts each week’s featured downloads on Fridays. The past week’s list of 29 songs can be found here. Reviewing what I’ve downloaded, here are some numbers and lists (which may or may not be of interest):

1. # of featured songs I’ve downloaded in the last four days: 8, which = 29.6% of weekly list

2. # of total songs I’ve downloaded in the last four days: 17

3. featured songs I really like: “Paper Float (Scott Through Remix)” by Cassettes Won’t Listen. There’s something very dreamy and moody about this song that just makes the tune unique. “Talk To Me (Devlin and Darko remix feat EMarce)” by MINK. It’s quite upbeat, and, as Faith-Ann Young writes, “is that a cowbell I hear?”. Sure sounds like it around 30 seconds in!

Other new favorites of mine not from the featured download list:

1. “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver. I think I read somewhere that he isn’t referencing a lost love, contrary to what you’re conditioned to think when you hear a song like this with the word “love” in the title.

2. “Fake Baby” by Bad Veins. What is the meaning of “I’ve got you, fake baby”? Hmm…still thinking about this one…

3. “Gold and Warm” by Bad Veins. Feel-good tune to rock out to when you’re in a great mood and can’t stop smiling like the goofball that you know you are.

4. “Pro Nails (Big Raiders Remix)” by Kid Sister feat. Kanye West. Gotta appreciate the line “always fresh like my Girbauds”, right?

5. “Control – Metro Station Remix” by Steve Aoki. This song will make you want to loose control, at the club…on a table; it’s pretty damn crazy. In a good way.

These are my weekly picks. From angsty rock, to trippy rap, to frenetic electronica…a nice reflection of the variety that awaits discovery, like fat juicy bugs underneath a rock. Mmm. Thanks RCRD LBL.


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