Friday, January 12, 2018

The DLX - Two Kids

How about some nice smooth pop to start the year off right?  The DLX is the product of singer-songwriter Shawn Chambliss of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, US. 

Available on Jamendo is just a single, "Two Kids".  It's a smooth well-produced pop track that has a nice pace to it.  It feels like some of the more popular ballads you'll hear on the radio today, but different. 

Hopefully he will have more to come in 2018!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Creative Commons Christmas - Day Three

Ho Ho Ho!  Another round of Creative Commons Christmas music.  I've been a bit busy with work (who knew the Christmas season would be so busy?), but luckily I had this saved for a rainy (or snowy) day.

https://www.jamendo.com/album/170343/my-favorite-christmas-guitar-songs

This album is full of guitar instrumentals of Christmas songs.  If you're looking for some non-vocal music to fill the air, this is a good place to start!

Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

#110 - Battle For The Net


This is a short episode today - one that comes to you on "Break The Internet Day".  There's only one song in the show - the rest is me talking very briefly about protecting Net Neutrality.

As a Canadian I don't have a direct voice in this fight, but if you're in the US, you might!  Instead of listening to me talk about it, there are a couple of podcasts on the issue that say it much better.

Almost Educational - Episode 147 - "FCC Me"

Plus Two Comedy - "Break the Internet and Save Net Neutrality"

Track you heard today:
Louis Lingg and the Bombs - Occupy Everything

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Creative Commons Christmas - Day Two

Hope you're having a good week!  From US artist Explosive Ear Candy, I bring you this poppy single "Christmas All The Time". 

It was a real treat to listen to - it fits right in there with some of the bouncier holiday songs out there. 

Here's a little bit about Explosive Ear Candy:

Explosive Ear Candy is the brainchild of the muse-infested mind of L.A based songwriter Tal More. It features explosively infectious Rock, Pop and other furry animals- ranging from the purely fun to the more artistic and deep. If you enjoy the music, please support EEC and help it record more songs by buying the music at: ExplosiveEarCandy.bandcamp.com. If you're interested in licensing a song please shoot an e-mail to ExplosiveEarCandy (at) gmail.com with the details and your budget. If you're into artistic, moody and "singer-songwritery" type material, be sure to also check out Tal's other project- The Quiet Revolution (TheQuietRevolution.com).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Creative Commons Christmas - Day One

Welcome to "A Creative Commons Christmas"!  By now (and probably even earlier) you've been listening to plenty of Christmas music as you go about your daily lives - we're outside of the ratings periods so there are many stations that just go all out and switch to 100% Christmas music.  I know of a couple near where I live, anyway. 

So how about some Christmas music from the Creative Commons world?  That's where A Creative Commons Christmas comes in.  I don't have anything grand planned - I will just share some of the cool Christmas or Holiday-themed songs that I find licensed under Creative Commons. 

First up is "The Xmas Split", a 2016 single released on Blocsonic from Donnie Ozone and The Impossebuls.  It features "Christmas Shopping at the Dollar Store" by Donnie Ozone, and "Do You Know...?" by The Impossebulls. 

Check it out and add it to your holiday playlists!

The Xmas Split

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Figures In Motion - Confusion Will Pass

Figures In Motion - Confusion Will Pass
Searching for a new album to write about, I tuned into Jamendo's Indie radio station.  I'm not sure how exactly they put this thing together - from what I can tell, it plays songs tagged as "indie" back-to-back like a radio station; you can't skip ahead or go back to hear previous songs.  So if you hear something you like, you'd better click on it.

One of the songs that came up was Curled Up by French indie band Figures In Motion.  It's off of their debut album Confusion Will Pass, which was released in 2014.

Confusion Will Pass is the first full-length album of Figures in Motion. It was entirely written, recorded and produced at home. Mastered by Jeff Ferrand (WooDBox Studio).
 This album was a treat to listen to.  It truly lives up to the "indie" tag, though touches down into pop and alternative on a few tracks.  Overall, I heard some heavy Coldplay influences - the lead vocalist Mickaël Menu sounds a lot like Chris Martin - mixed with Radiohead.  Not surprisingly, Radiohead is listed first among their main influences (others include Sigur Rós and Aphex Twin).  The sound of the band is predominantly electronic, but there are some acoustic touches as well, with a lot of piano.

I couldn't really key in on the lyrics - it was hard for me to figure out what they were singing about.  Granted, I was working while listening, but Menu's singing style made it hard to pick out distinct words and I found it hard to decipher any meaning behind the music.  That said, the instrumentation is fantastic and was what drew me to the album in the first place.  I just wish I could have picked out more of the words.

Figures In Motion - Cycle EP
From what I can see, there aren't any new albums from Figures In Motion available on Jamendo.  I checked out their website and was disappointed to find that they have a "farewell" message posted; I'm not sure when they disbanded, but it looks like it might have been a while now, and "Confusion Will Pass" is their only full-length album.  If you want to check out some of their other work, you'll have to make do with their 2011 EP, Cycle.  That one opens with a track that just screams "Radiohead".

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Roundup

Hope Americans are having a great Thanksgiving week, and everyone else is having an all-around great Friday.  Keeping things simple this week; I've got a list of tracks for you to check out.  In no particular order, here they are!

  • Serena Foster - "Show Me The Way" - This was another submission by email; Serena Foster apparently had a bit of a re-invention in 2016, leading her to this EDM-influenced pop sound.  She's had music featured in American Horror Story, Ink Master, and The Flash.  This track has a nice catchy beat - this was released as a new single this past Tuesday.  Have a look at her other stuff at http://www.serenafoster.com!
  • Ralph Castelli - "Good Morning" - If you're playing "One of these things is not like the other", you're a winner if you picked "Good Morning".  Very light indie track - the title matches the feel of the song quite well.
  • Wordsmith - "The Statement" - Wordsmith is right.  Great hip hop track with mind-bendingly fast lyrics.  I still haven't caught everything in the song after several listens.  Very talented artist.
  • The Madpix Project - "Moments" - Title track of one of their recent releases, this one is more good pop.  It's actually somewhat similar to Serena Foster's track, just slightly more beat-oriented.  They have many more albums on Jamendo if you're interested.
  • Duo Teslar - "Universal Funk" - Pretty much as advertised.  This is some solid funk music and is fun to listen to. 
  • We Were Cheerleaders - "Alchemy" - I find it hard to go wrong with a little bit of hard rock.  This is heavily blues-influenced, mixed with a little bit of metal.  Mostly blues.  I love that these guys are from France but sound so rooted in the southern rock scene.
  • Scream Inc - "Higher And Higher" and "I'll Be The One" - No - that second track is NOT a Backstreet Boys cover.  From the name I would have expected a "Scream-o" band but that's not quite what they are.  About as hard rock as We Were Cheerleaders, but they have some sort of weird sound combination of Rush and Avenged Sevenfold.  I probably wouldn't listen to these guys a lot but interesting enough for the weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SIDDHI KID - Savage

My taste in music must be in a state of flux; lately I've been really tuned into electronic / dance songs with a good beat.  Enter SIDDHI KID (http://www.siddhikid.com), an electronic group fronted by Brayden Pierce.

From the press kit:
Unleashing a wild blend of electronica/dance and ghost-pop, SIDDHI KID peers into the duality between man’s emotions and primal urges that define our very nature. Perceivably human, but not so far from animalistic. Conjuring a wild and free infectious dance groove, Siddhi Kid delves into the deepest recesses of our mind with “Savage” where we have the urge to go wild and savage, but forced to remain within the constraints of society.

SIDDHI KID, fronted by Brayden Pierce, derives from the ancient Sanskrit word “siddhi,” meaning “supernatural powers attained from spiritual enlightenment through meditation” and “Kid,” a Felini-inspired reminder to “never lose your childish enthusiasm.” His upcoming album, Animalism, is a visual and aural journey playing on the question of what defines us as humans? With influences and blends from artists such as Daft Punk, Chromeo and Prince, SIDDHI KID delivers an infectious production that pulls from Dance/Electronic and Future Rn’B, peppered with house influences throughout.

So I thought this track was really good.  The beat is catchy and the accompanying video (which you can see on Youtube) is pretty fun to watch.  It features what looks like archival footage of monkeys playing various music instruments with some trippy transitions.  I particularly like the monkey wearing the sombrero and glasses, by the way.

I consider "Savage" to be a fairly short track, compared to similar songs in the genre.  I appreciate that, because if there's one thing that I generally don't like, it's a 10 minute track.  That's not to say that ALL 10+ minute songs are bad, but there's only so much repetition I can handle.  There's not much repetition going on in this song; that is, it feels fairly fresh for the entire 4 minutes.  I didn't feel tired listening to it - in fact, the opposite.

I wouldn't say that the song is "energetic", exactly, but I really love the driving beats behind it.  I feel like it would fit very well on a playlist to help me make a night time drive and keep me alert and motivated.  That's where I see this song playing for me - in the car, at night, driving a long-ish distance.

A quick note about the accompanying artwork (at the top of the blog post) - it completely matches the sound of the song.  You can see the "savage" animals in the picture, at the same time it's kind of trippy and funky looking.  That's the best way I can describe it.  Either way, it's a piece of artwork that would entice me to have a listen!

Definitely recommend it, and you can check it out in a few places:


There are no affiliate links in this post.  The track & video came from a submission to altairwaves@gmail.com.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Urban Canals - Night Walks

Colour me surprised today!  I wasn't planning on posting anything (poor planning, there are tons of things to write about when it comes to music and Halloween!), but I got a surprise Bandcamp notification email letting me know that Urban Canals has a new EP out today!

For me, Urban Canals was last seen 2 years ago on podcast episode #85, where I played their track "Generations".  Urban Canals is also Alex Hindriks, who I wrote about a few weeks ago.



This new album - called Night Walks - is not exactly Halloween themed except for name alone.  There are a couple of tracks that you could probably stretch into that theme: "Harmless Monster" and "Sabretooth".  The EP itself has a light pop / indie vibe.

It's a short but enjoyable listen - I think the standout track for me is "City Breaks".  It's a great musical arrangement, and the vocals are fantastic too.  "Down the Street" is great as well - it slows you down from the more upbeat "City Breaks" and sort of guides you through the song.  I don't think I'm explaining it very well, so I'll stop rambling there.  Can you tell I didn't plan this out ahead of time?

The album closes out with a heavier track, "House of Cards".  So I think the Night Walks EP gives you a wide array of musical styles and you can walk away from the experience satisfied. 

Hope you enjoy it!  Happy Halloween!


Monday, October 30, 2017

Mainstream Monday: What are you streaming?

Rather than putting the spotlight on a specific artist, I figured I would write a little about where I listen to mainstream music.  Simply put, pretty much everywhere. 

I tend to listen to SiriusXM's Alt Nation the most.  More often than not I find that Alt Nation has new music well ahead of most radio stations that play the same type of music.  I really like the personalities on Alt Nation too.  They don't usually say very much - they're very generic when they have talking breaks - but they have good voices and every now and then they have some entertaining stories.  Mostly though I come back for the music - though I find extended listening periods tend to mean a lot of repetition in music, which has turned me off several songs now. 

I used to listen to an Ottawa station, Live 88.5, with the Radio Player app.  However lately I've been enjoying Sonic out of Edmonton, Alberta.  Sonic seems to play more of the newer songs that Alt Nation plays, but also sprinkles in older alternative songs.  The personalities on Sonic are much better than on Alt Nation.  I wish I had this station on a local preset but at least now with RadioPlayer it's convenient enough to tune in. 

After that, I play individual songs via Spotify.  Sometimes it's music based on what I've heard on the above sources, but Spotify does a really good job of curating playlists (the Daily Mixes, New Release Radar, and Your Discover Weekly are pretty great).  Generally though, if I'm on Spotify, I'm probably playing music I've listened to before and re-discovering old favourites.  Sometimes I will throw Spotify's algorithms a wild card and play something like Johnny Cash live from San Quentin.