Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Star Rover - Songs in Asia Minor





I stumbled upon this artist on Jamendo through the Canadian New Releases RSS feed; now, unfortunately, that feed doesn't provide much detail - just the artist name and album title. I needed something to listen to while I worked, so I decided to check out Songs in Asia Minor.


I was quite pleasantly surprised! To be perfectly honest, I have to do a lot of digging on Jamendo to find something that I really enjoy listening to. It's usually pretty rare that I find something this good on the first click. The Star Rover looks to be one guy based in Victoria, BC - I'm not 100% sure, as the website is not very detailed.


Either way, this music is right up my alley today. I can't say that I was specifically looking for some traditional blues rock, but it fit my mood once I started listening. This is the type of music I would expect to hear at a blues bar somewhere - gritty, and with a solid beat.


I listened to his other album on Jamendo, Wings of Fire. That one is a little more rock-inspired than Songs in Asia Minor, though both are deeply rooted in the blues. Which album is superior is really subjective, and depends on what you're in the mood for: rock, or blues. Personally I'm getting more out of Wings of Fire right about now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alive And Well at the Trash Bar

I just want to point people toward a pretty cool looking documentary. It's all about the NYC punk scene since the demise of clubs like CBGBs and Continental - in particular, it's about a club called The Trash Bar. The documentary is called Alive and Well at the Trash Bar.

I personally haven't watched it yet, as I just found out about it this morning, but I plan to stick it on my ipod the next chance I get. You can check out the full write-up on FrostClick. Here's the best part - it's licensed under Creative Commons and is free to download & distribute.

"Alive and Well at The Trash Bar" is a MegaPlatinum Entertainment LLC
Production and it's licenses under Creative Commons. MegaPlatinum supports the
bittorrent platform for spreading and sharing creative ideas. We encourage you
to share this movie with your friends and seed the torrent well, so others can
enjoy it as well.

If you like the music in this documentary, we suggest you take a look
at The Official Live Album of The Trash Bar in Brooklyn NY - you can download it here. It contains 28 tracks in total! All raw, all analog, all
live! -- Courtesy www.frostclick.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Jovian Night - Balayan Bats

A Jovian Night - Balayan Bats

The music I normally enjoy is often either upbeat and energetic, or good ol' alternative; I was musically raised on dance music in my brother's room in the early '90s, and listened almost exclusively to Our Lady Peace in my formative years. I've since developped a taste for a bit of everything, and every now and then I appreciate the calmer, more thoughtful music that's out there.


That's where A Jovian Night - Balayan Bats comes into play. It's a nice, calm album from Ottawa-based artist Mike Britton. I gave this album a short review on Jamendo and said that Bats' track #10, "Oddly Calm", is how I would best describe the sound, and that opinion hasn't much changed. I still find the album enjoyable, and it definitely has a calming effect when you listen to it.


Britton's voice is clear and distinct, and is really good. You can hear the emotion pouring into his lyrics, which are about his experiences in the Phillippines. Britton does a good job of describing the scenery and everything happening around him, and tells a detailed story from start to finish.

I really can't say much more than I enjoyed the sound of the album and appreciated what it was about. If you're looking for some quieter, more thoughtful music, then you should check out A Jovian Night.


If you want to hear more from A Jovian Night, check out the album Shocked Quartz on Jamendo.com.

Friday, January 8, 2010

ARCTIC - Live at Zaphod Beeblebrox October 5, 2009

ARCTIC - Live at Zaphod Beeblebrox, Oct 5, 2009

Track listing:
  1. War of Ideas (5:25)
  2. Dec 25th (6:44)
  3. Happiness vs. Sadness (6:04)
If you're not familiar with Zaphod Beeblebrox - the bar in Ottawa, not the character from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - it is a very unique music venue that books a lot of really great bands. Zaphod's has been host to many talented musicians; the Rolling friggin' Stones even shot a video in the pub at the edge of the universe! One of the other things Zaphod's is well-known for are its Showcase Mondays, where owner Eugene Haslam books up-and-coming bands. The shows are always free, and it's a great time to check out something completely different.

Imagine my surprise when I found that Vancouver band Arctic posted some songs from their October 5, 2009 set. I've heard of this band before - and I believe I played one of their songs on one of my podcasts a while back. The band immediately reminds me of Radiohead because of the vocals, but they are definitely a little heavier than the popular British group.

The standout track for me is definitely War of Ideas. It's a solid track, and this is actually the one that made me think of Radiohead when I was trying to pin down their sound. All three songs were excellent though, and it is quite apparent that the rest of their set was likely awesome.

Check them out at http://www.projectarctic.com/, and don't hesitate to check out Showcase Mondays at Zaphod's if you're in the Ottawa area.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Holiday Podcast + Refocusing

Hello readers & listeners! Unfortunately, due to a combination of moving to a new house and going on vacation, I haven't been able to upload my Holiday podcast. I know we're out of the holiday season, but I still want to take care of that this weekend.

I also want to mention that I'd like to start to refocus my attention on the podcast. I originally intended to release podcasts weekly, then due to time constraints I went bi-weekly, and now it's once in a blue moon when I have the time to do it. This really bothers me, because I wanted the podcast to be a project that I did NOT drop - I'm really notorious for that, to be honest.

So, I'm going to start retooling a little. My podcasts will now be shorter, and more focused; I haven't decided on a length, but I can say for sure they won't be any longer than 45 minutes. I'm going to make them into artist features, taking a look at a few songs from one album in particular with a few other artists thrown in the mix. I feel that this will give me something to work toward, minimally every two weeks.

At the same time, I want to start blogging again. I've really let this podcast/blog slide, and I feel terrible about it. This was a fun project that I wanted to do, and I've let it slip away. Hopefully I still have some readers and listeners out there, so rest assured I will be back on top of things.

I promise to draw up a posting schedule and stick to it; that is my goal for 2010. Thanks for taking an interest in my blog and podcast.