Lots of fun pop releases this week not to mention a new album from UK alt-rockers The Charlatans “Different Days” and there’s a 50th anniversary release for the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” (remix is pretty good).
I did see Tool in concert for the first time this week and it was an both an auditory and visual experience. Great musicians plus a lot of attention and detail to their lighting and projections to complement the music. Plus, they have actual fanatics for fans. Lots of love going on there for those four guys. And the longest merchandise lines I can remember seeing at a concert. And they stayed that way the entire evening.
Many people walking around with plastic shopping bags overflowing with merch. It seemed like about 75% of the attendees were wearing Tool shirts. However, I saw a number of Soundgarden shirts walking around as well.
Stop in next Friday for your weekly Release Radar from Noisy Planet.
For those of you who are into gaming and rock music, you are probably familiar with the Rock Band game franchise on Xbox. The last game in the franchise to come out was Rock Band 3 in 2010. It was known for having many content offerings available for download, which stopped being available in late 2013 but then started up again in early 2015. However, fans of the Rock Band franchise had gotten to the point where they weren’t just looking for new downloadable content for Rock Band 3. They were looking for an entirely new sequel all together. The creator of the franchise, Harmonix, is finally going to satisfy these demands.
It was just announced by Harmonix that Rock Band 4 is in the works and will be released five years after the previous game came out. It is also predicted that it will have all new downloadable content available for gamers to purchase. The great thing about downloadable content in Rock Band is that you can request your own songs to be placed into the game, and then you get to play them yourself. Remember, Rock Band is all about creating your own rock band and living the life of a rock star virtually through your gaming console. But this also gives you the chance to play some of your favorite songs as a rock star and to experience the thrill of having an audience cheering you on as you play it.
The only thing Rock Band needs to have is newer songs in its downloadable content. In fact, there are ten songs in particular created within the last five years that need to find their way to Rock Band 4 as downloadable content.
These songs are “Bucker Buster” by Viet Cong
“BlockBuster Night Part 1” by Run the Jewels
“Under Control” by the Internet
“Reflektor” by Arcade Fire
“II. Shadow” by Childish Gambino
“We Were Rock & Roll” by Janelle Monae
“Graceless” by the National
“Under the Pressure” by The War on Drugs
“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar
“New You” by My Bloody Valentine
Chances are newer gamers from the current generation would have probably heard of these songs and bands by now. If you are an older gamer from the 80s generation then you are probably looking for soft or classic rock.
Either way, you’ll still have a good time playing these songs if they do become available for Rock Band 4.
The music streaming service known as “Grooveshark” is finally shutting down after ten years of service. A letter on their homepage last month announced the termination of the company. Grooveshark was most famously known for being a music streaming service, but they apparently failed to secure the proper licenses with a number of music producers and record companies that owned the rights to the music. Grooveshark claims their intentions were good because they wanted to help fans discover and share music with each other. But due to these legal issues regarding licenses and a settlement that was made with the recording companies, Grooveshark had no choice but to shut down completely.
Many people have misconceptions about music streaming by thinking it must be illegal or unauthorized by the record companies. The truth is that music streaming is perfectly legal as long as you get authorization from the record companies to stream their music. This entails purchasing a license from the company to legally stream their music. The company ends up getting a percentage of the earnings generated from their music streams and the music service provider ends up getting the rest. Some examples of music streaming services that are legally operating are Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, Apple’s Beats Music and Deezer.
Grooveshark gained attention because they allowed people to just upload music files to their website. These music files were not screened for copyrights or anything. Grovoeshark basically became a file sharing website where people could just share their music files with each other. The problem with any kind of file sharing service is that illegal activity runs rampant. If somebody uploads a file that is copyrighted and illegal to reproduce, that person is committing a crime. Also the people who download the music are committing a crime as well. On top of that, the file sharing service provider will get in the most trouble for permitting this behavior. That is why authorized music streaming sites, like Google Play, put new artists that submit their music files under very strict agreements. You are only allowed to upload files to Google Play that you own the rights to. It is not a file sharing site where you can just distribute any random file to other people. Each file you upload is screened and the submitter is forced to contractual agree that they hold the rights to it. Unfortunately, this was not the business model that Grooveshark lived by which is why they were forced out of business.
This week I’m highlighting 3 different tracks from 3 different artists that have stood out among the clutter this year…
Tobias Jesso Jr. is a Canadian singer/songwriter who released his debut album earlier this year. He’s got an interesting backstory. He started out in Vancouver in an indie band as a bass player. The band moved to L.A. to back a young pop singer, but that didn’t work out. So Tobias started to work as a songwriter in L.A. He didn’t have much luck as a songwriter and wasn’t finding any work. Then after breaking up with his girlfriend, he got hit by a car while riding his bike (injuring his hand and having his bike stolen in the process). The very next day he found out his mom had cancer. This chain of events helped push him to move back to Vancouver, and he decided songwriting was going to move to hobby status (his music equipment was left in storage in L.A.). He then proceeded to use the family piano to write a song for himself, which he sang (he was never confident in his singing ability). He posted a video on YouTube and Facebook, and started getting really positive feedback from both friends and strangers. As he posted some more material, more buzz followed. This eventually led to some demos and then a record deal. He worked with multiple producers on the album, including Patrick Carney (Black Keys), Ariel Rechtshaid (Usher, Vampire Weekend, Kylie Minogue) and Chet “JR” White (Girls). Adele tweeted a link to his video for “How Could You Babe” which garnered him a lot of attention, and he was booked on The Tonight Show for his TV debut before his album was even released. His album “Goon” came out in March and Jesso Jr. wrote it entirely himself, centering on his piano and vocals. His sound has a very ‘70s era vibe, definitely doesn’t sound contemporary at all. Jesso Jr. continues to gain popularity; I read that he was hanging with Taylor Swift and that he may be collaborating with Adele on a song for her upcoming album. So definitely check him out if you’re looking for something mellow to listen to. I’m including the lead track from his debut album “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”, which is a very stripped-down song with mostly just Tobias and his piano. It reminds me, just a little bit, of the theme from Cheers (part of the piano that is).
“Can’t Stop Thinking About You”
AWOLNATION struck it big with the anthem “Sail” from their debut album “Megalithic Symphony”, which went platinum in the U.S. and double platinum in Canada. This is a solo project from Aaron Bruno, who used it to record music that didn’t fit with his other bands he was playing with. He freely mixed genres, incorporating both live instruments and electronic elements, very slick production and a heavy electro-pop vibe. The sophomore album came out earlier this year, titled “Run”. I’ve heard it’s more of the same, but I have to admit I haven’t yet listened to the album yet. I’ve heard the lead single “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” many times though, and I still haven’t gotten tired of it (granted I don’t listen to the radio a whole lot). So for those of you that are sick of this track, I apologize, but if you’re not familiar with it then check it out. It has all of the key AWOLNATION elements, bombastic production, and a heavily arpeggiated blend of new wave, electro and pop with a powerful chorus. This is one artist that is maybe better to listen to in small doses, becausehe mixes so many elements into his songs it can be fatiguing to take in an entire album in one sitting. My favorite part of “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) is the chorus (I like the fast-spoken words). I also like the overly bombastic part about 3 minutes in where the music starts pounding even harder before Bruno starts screaming like a lunatic. Again, the production on this song makes it “pop” when it comes on the radio compared to most other songs.
“Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”
The Arcs is the latest collaboration from Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys). Auerbach keeps busy, in between Black Keys albums he’s recording solo albums and producing records by other artists. When his bandmate, Patrick Carney, injured his shoulder this year and the Black Keys took some time off, Auerbach pulled together a side project which is The Arcs. He partnered with Leon Michaels, a multi-instrumentalist who Auerbach worked with in the studio on albums by Lana Del Ray and Dr. John. They brought in some other friends to play on the album. “Yours, Dreamily” was released in September. The album was recorded hastily, in two weeks across three different studios, and has a spontaneous vibe to it. The music is not unlike the Black Keys, especially their last album. Auerbach does take advantage of being more experimental, there’s more of a psychedelic tone on some tracks and overall the record is a little more soulful and harkens back to classic R&B. The band is pretty tight and there’s a definite groove throughout the album. Unlike AWOLNATION, this is an album that you can easily digest all of the way through. The track I’m highlighting “Put a Flower in Your Pocket” was a favorite right away after my first listen. The song has psychedelic elements and has some cool production techniques on it to make it sound more retro. But I really like the overall vibe of the track, the band plays well together and it has a timeless element to it – not to mention a great chorus.
“Put a Flower in Your Pocket”
TheGuardian.com has featured a great playlist on their website. The playlist contains new bands that are bound to make names for themselves. These bands include Palace Winter, Gold Celeste, Vogue Dots and Future Elevators. The duo group “Vogue Dots” features Tynan Dunfield and Babette Hayward. They are both sound technicians from Nova Scotia and have just released their first single “Way with Silence.” Their music has a textured synthwave that is a cross between heavier Goth and airy dream pop. It is both murky and cloudy at the same time. Critics say Hayward’s voice is similar to that of Lana Del Rey’s voice.
Gold Celeste’s “Open Your Eyes” is the second single to be released from the band’s first album called “The Glow.” The band calls themselves Gold Celeste because of the beautiful colors in the sky that you see just before sunset and right after sunrise. Their music is supposed to represent the glow that every human being is carrying around with them, even if they are not aware of it. However, their music doesn’t just focus on the good. It also focuses on the bad as well. Human beings are capable of being extremely loving and extremely hateful. Gold Celeste wants their music to be both of these things because this is what creates the glow.
Palace Winter has fast and loud vocals with a shade of deep sadness to it. The duo band claims to be influenced by Seinfeld and Elliot Smith. Their new song “Menton” lasts for six minutes, but it is an entertaining six minutes. The song comes from the band’s debut EP called “Medication” and will be released in October. Anyone who is a fan of Kurt Vile or the war on drugs and vaccines will love this music. It has a steady rhythm that can be considered thoughtful electronic independent country music.
Future Elevators’ first single “Modern World” comes from the five piece Alabama debut album. It is already scheduled to be released in January of 2016 on the “Communicating Vessels” label. The name is appropriate seeing how the music tends to communicate a sense of wonderment to the listener. This groovy music from the band is just as interesting as the music of Gold Celeste. Future Elevators have also had many influences. They claim Modern World was influenced by the Carl Sagan documentary called “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” which is a theme about technology and all of the possibilities it can deliver to the world and universe.
Superstar and pop icon Beyoncé just finished recording a musical collaboration with the famous British rockers known as “Coldplay.” The beautiful and talented Beyoncé went with Chris Martin and his band to the studio to record a musical track for their new album entitled “A Head Full of Dreams.” Other musicians on the album include Swedish winger Tove Lo, gospel star Merry Clayton and British rocker Noel Gallagher. This album is scheduled to be released on December 15th. Fans on message boards and social media are already hyped up about the release. You can be sure the sales will be through the roof.
It is not unusual for Chris Martin and his band “Coldplay” to collaborate with other musicians and singers. The band has already collaborated with Rihanna on Princess of China, which can be found as a feature on the 2011 Coldplay record “Mylo Xyloto.” But according to Coldplay, recording their most recent track with Beyoncé was the most enjoyable time they had making a record ever. Not only that, but they are very happy with the results as well. Perhaps they are happy to have such a notable singer and musician like Beyoncé to collaborate with them. Just putting her name on the album is enough to gain a lot of notoriety for the album.
On November 6th, 2015, the first single from their album premiered, which was entitled “Adventure Of a Lifetime.” The rockers from Coldplay even appeared on BBC Radio 1, which is a British radio station that is well known throughout the United Kingdom. The rockers only finished their record three weeks ago. They claim they were very close to missing the deadline for completing it, but fortunately the deadline moved gradually to a later date. The leader of the band, Chris Martin, said in an interview that this record will be much more cheerful than their previous record called “2014’s Ghost Stories.” The new record featuring Beyoncé is colorful and joyful. Those who listen to the album will get a sense of the happiness and freedom the band felt while recording it.
Chris was very enthusiastic about the new album and expressed his hope that it would give the band their first headline appearance ever at the Glastonbury festival in Britain next year. He feels this festival is the band’s spiritual home and it is where they belong. With their increasing popularity, Chris might just get his wish.
The Gibson Les Paul is a very popular guitar amongst musicians. It has been on the market for over 60 years and used by so many iconic guitar players, such as Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Keith Urban, Muddy Waters and so many more musicians. But what is truly iconic is there have been five album covers with these legendary musicians with a Gibson Les Paul guitar in their hands. These album covers show how much love these legends truly have for this guitar.
If you look at the cover of 1975’s Blow By Blow featuring Jeff Beck, it features him playing on his electric guitar. There is no singing or anything going on there, except from the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. This cover contained one of the earliest illustrations to feature the Les Paul. You will find plenty of other Les Paul cover examples from albums such as 1975’s Alive by Kiss, 1975’s Bob Marley and the Wailers Live, 1979’s Neil Young and Crazy Horse in Rust Never Sleeps, and 2013’s Skydog the Duane Allman Retrospective.
So why is the Gibson Les Paul popular amongst musicians? Many famous musicians claim they were inspired by the sounds produced from the instrument. Big rock bands, like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, were said to have been inspired by Neil Young’s guitar playing with the Les Paul. The instrument itself is a solid body electric guitar that was first introduced by the Gibson Guitar Corporation back in 1952. The man who created the Gibson Les Paul was actually named Les Paul. He was a songwriter, guitarist and inventor. Les Paul was born in 1915 and died in 2008, so he did live a pretty long life. But even though he is dead, people are still celebrating his 100th birthday by remembering five classic albums that featured the Les Paul guitar on their cover.
The very first Les Paul that was sold contained two P-90 pickups and complete gold finishing. In 1958, sunburst finishes were added with humbucking pickups. Over the next 50 years, the guitar would be redesigned repeatedly to accommodate the look and feel of certain musical genres. Musicians use Les Paul guitars with all kinds of musical genres, including blues, punk, reggae, jazz, soul, rock, heavy metal and more. The craftsmanship of the guitar is topnotch, which means you can expect to pay thousands of dollars if you want to purchase one.
A Minnesota musician named Haley Bonar has become an inspiration to women everywhere. Women with families only dream of being able to do what they are passionate about, like playing the guitar and writing songs. Haley Bonar is a mother who doesn’t let taking care of her daughter get in the way of her ambitions and dreams. This doesn’t mean she neglects her daughter, quite the contrary. She is a terrific mother who is there for her daughter all the time. But she has also been able to find a balance between being a mother and pursuing her music ambitions. Many people wonder how she is able to find such a balance in her busy life.
When Haley Bonar first found out she was pregnant, she had her worries. It made her feel like her music career was going to end and that she would never be creative ever again. But what actually happened was just the opposite. Motherhood made Haley Bonar focus more on everything that is important to her in life; her daughter and music. Where other people in her position would feel that they would have to choose between career and motherhood, she chose both. Haley said in an interview that she just makes the balance work because she is determined to do so. It is also good for her daughter to see her mother following her dreams and doing a job that she loves to do rather than a job she hates. It is never good for a child to see their mother working a job they hate. Haley feels that her daughter will feel inspired growing up while watching her mother follow her dreams. Then perhaps her daughter will grow up and be confident to follow her dreams as well.
In this age of music technology and internet music streaming, it really isn’t hard for any talented musician to make a name for themselves no matter what their position in life is. If you have your own recording studio at your house, you could easily upload your music to iTunes or Amazon and become your own producer. Not only will this help you generate money for your music, but it will help you get noticed as well. Then perhaps someone in the industry will come across your music and want to contact you for a record deal. This kind of thing happens all the time. And if you are a parent, do not worry. The worst case scenario is you can hire a nanny to watch over your child while you are away. Either that, or take the child on the road with you. Anything is possible if you truly want it to happen.