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#100 - One Hundred

I finally made it to the 100th episode!  I would have been there sooner, had I stuck with a bi-weekly schedule.  Nonetheless, we're fina...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Show Notes: #40 - New Year's Eve

Unfortunately, no special podcast planned - just a list of songs I haven't played in a long time. It's also a short podcast, clocking in at under 25 minutes!

Rock Creek Ramblers - Anchortown
The Dead Rocks - Sonic Stars
Singleton - Before the Rain
Ward Bones - Island of Bones
Catfish Haven - Please Come Back
Studebaker's Blacksmith Shop - Wings
The Destroyed Room - It's All Happening Now
Brad Sucks - Bad Attraction

#40 - New Year's Eve

Unfortunately, no special podcast planned - just a list of songs I haven't played in a long time. It's also a short podcast, clocking in at under 25 minutes!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Show Notes: #39 - The Penultimate Edition

Penultimate in the sense that this is the second-last podcast for 2011!  I have some new tracks from 2011 (plus one FROM THE FUTURE aka January 2012 release from AF Music), and some more favourites from 2011 podcasts.  I'm still undecided re: what to do for the December 31st podcast, but I have a couple of weeks to figure that out.  Here's the playlist!

  1. The Ugly Club - Visions Part II (Visions of a Tall Girl EP)
  2. Fine Young Firecrackers - Landslide (From the Ground Up)
  3. Tin Armor - Just So I Know It (Life of Abundance)
  4. The Julys - Springsteen (The Julys)
  5. The White Soots - If I Go (The White Soots)
  6. Hot Fiction - Start it Off (Dark Room)
  7. Sick of Sarah - Overexposure (2205)
  8. When I Was 12 - Vanilla Vodka
  9. Swear and Shake - The Promise (Extended Play)
  10. Silver Rocket - That's Life (Frank Sinatra Cover - Old Fashioned, 2012 Release)

#39 - The Penultimate Edition

Penultimate in the sense that this is the second-last podcast for 2011!  I have some new tracks from 2011 (plus one FROM THE FUTURE aka January 2012 release from AF Music), and some more favourites from 2011 podcasts.  I'm still undecided re: what to do for the December 31st podcast, but I have a couple of weeks to figure that out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Weekly Airwave #21 :: Snowy O. McSnowerson : Feliz Navidad

ARTIST: Snowy O. McSnowerson and the Oh So Snowly Snowers
TRACK: Feliz Navidad
ALBUM: Thee Christmas Mix Tape 2010

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Show Notes: #38 - Looking Forward, Looking Back

Welcome to the first of the last two podcasts for 2011!  Lots of great stuff this week, with new releases in the first segment and the last segment filled with some of my old favourites from 2011.  Plus, a special timely cover to end off the podcast.  On with the show!

Segment 1 - New Releases

Winter Severity Index - "The Wiser" (Winter Severity Index EP, Dec 9 2011)
Rozwell Kid - "Rocket" (The Rozwell Kid LP, Sept 5 2011)
CABAU Philippe - "Thsoe Reporters" (Just For You, Nov 30 2011)
Boy Things - "Dirty Dancing" (Boy Things EP, Oct 14 2011)

Segment 2 - Looking Back

The Easton Ellises - "Endorphin" (EP One)
Mouth's Cradle - "Front Porch, Back Porch"
Ellus Bellus - "Sticks, Stones and My Bones"
Sliimy - "Womanizer" (Britney Spears cover)

#38 - Looking Forward, Looking Back

Welcome to the first of the last two podcasts for 2011!  Lots of great stuff this week, with new releases in the first segment and the last segment filled with some of my old favourites from 2011.  Plus, a special timely cover to end off the podcast.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Weekly Airwave #20 :: NYCO: Out of My Head

ARTIST: NYCO
TRACK: Out of My Head
ALBUM: Realize PPO

Neat pop tune I discovered on the Jamendo Pop/Singer/Songwriter radio station.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Show Notes: #37 - Battling Back a Cold

Welcome to another podcast!  I was afraid I might not be able to talk as much for this episode because of a cold, but luckily it subsided long enough so that I wasn't interrupted every few seconds by coughing.  The new release section is a bit light on music, but overall there's some great stuff this week.

Section 1 - New Releases
Praverb the Wyse - Blue Collar (feat. Don Streat) from Professional Hobbyist (Oct 15/2011)

Painted on Silent Blue - Jealosy from This Could be Just One of Those Silly Dreams (Nov 11/2011)

Amanda Palmer - Ukulele Anthem single (Oct 31/2011)

Malones - Bandera from Capitulo #1 (Oct 11/2011)

Section 2
Bloody Lovely Audry - See Me from Animal EP (Jul 16/2010)

Captain Stu - Siamese Twin from Free Music EP (Jun 6/2010)

Five Minutes On: Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008, Tor Books)
Awards won: 2009 White Pine Award2009 Prometheus Award2009 John W. Campbell Memorial Award; nominated for Hugo Award for Best Novel (Neil Gaiman won for The Graveyard Book in 2009).  For instructions on how to make things from Little Brother, see http://www.instructables.com/member/w1n5t0n/

frontRegen - Dead Corner from That Dance EP (Aug 28/2011)

Busby Marou - Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper cover)

#37 - Battling Back a Cold

Welcome to another podcast!  I was afraid I might not be able to talk as much for this episode because of a cold, but luckily it subsided long enough so that I wasn't interrupted every few seconds by coughing.  The new release section is a bit light on music, but overall there's some great stuff this week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Releases - Week of November 15, 2011

Sorry for the late post, but I was sick yesterday and had a busy weekend.  Excuses portion over now, here's what's new this week (and since last week):

Empathie by Rebentisch - November 11, 2011 - From German label afmusic, this is - err, well, an interesting release.  Afmusic is known mostly for goth-influenced music, and that's no different here. 

Pray for Rain by Mutts - November 8, 2011 - Bluesy band Mutts have a new CD out called Pray For Rain; it's available to purchase now, but apparently it will be available for free/pay-what-you-can download December 13th, 2011.  Keep an eye on this band.


PrixQuills by Ram Hoss - November 9, 2011 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada-based artist Ram Hoss has released an electronic-y album via netlabel 23 Seconds.  Only 7 tracks / 20 minutes long, this is actually a side project from band Azeda Booth.

That's all I have for now - as I mentioned before it's hard to find new release schedules from most netlabels.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Releases - Week of November 8, 2011

Welcome to a new blog feature!  This one is actually quite simple - it's just a run-down of new releases scheduled for the week.  I'm not covering anything released on Jamendo because it's not scheduled...they kind of just pop up unexpectedly.

Here's what you can expect for the week of November 8th, 2011:

Beyond Time & Space - Selknam Records Compilation - November 7th, 2011 - Okay, bit of a cheat, but the well was a little dry for tracking down new releases from various netlabels.  Selknam Records is a new label, focusing on "progressive psytrance" - whatever that is.  Check out more releases at Ektoplazm.

Jorge Saxon - Something Like Jazz (PHONOcast 1) - November 7th, 2011 - I sense a theme here, and that theme is "maybe I should say week of November 7th".  This release comes from Good Netlabels, which specializes in Nujazz, Downtempo, and Hip-Hop.  Something Like Jazz looks like it has a little of all of those genres mixed in there.  Check out similar releases from Good Netlabels.

Joe Frawley - Curious Perspectives - November 8th, 2011 - This is an interesting-sounding album.  It's a solo piano effort from the Clinical Archives netlabel by New London, Connecticut pianist Joe Frawley.  The description from Clinical Archives says it's an homage to French mathmatician and painter Jean François Niceron. Too much detail to go in here, but suffice it to say his work was all about geometrically distorting images to create something new.  Sounds neat!  Check out more releases from Clinical Archives.

Dustmotes - None For The Crow EP - November 2nd, 2011 - This offering is from Dusted Wax Kingdom, and the album is described as "a magical ambient, lo-fi, abstract hip-hop sound-therapy medicine, boosting the spiritual energy and turning the state of mind in a lovely hypnotic reverie."  Check it out!  Hat tip to Blocsonic for sending this my way on Twitter.


That's all I have this week. There was a Blocsonic release scheduled, unfortunately there were some technical difficulties involved and it's delayed until next week.  I'm going to try and collect more new releases for next week well before Monday so that I have a better list next Tuesday.  Enjoy for now!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Show Notes: #36 - New Hip Hop and New Features

Podcast 36 features lots of new hip hop, plus a new feature debuting!  It's called "Five Minutes On" and this week is reviewing His Girl Friday (1940).  Plus there's a new theme (based on TenPenny Joke's song "Sense"), and a few new elements thrown in that may or may not have come across properly.  At any rate, I fixed the microphone problem from #35.  Here's the playlist!


Kellee Maize - Mad Humans (Integration)

Garmisch - Rent (The EPs XE) [4:04]

BADLUCK - Got Hits (Renaissance 2011) [7:15]

Praverb the Wyse - Everlasting Struggle (The Professional Hobbyist) [9:43]
Go to Praverb's website to pick your favourite song from Professional Hobbyist!

The Bear Season - Trainwreck (If We Sink Together EP) [14:41]

Bearstronaut - Sensual Sanctuary (Satisfied Violence)[18:15]

Five Minutes On: His Girl Friday (1940) [23:58]

Lorenzo's Music - Intro (Solamentes Tres Polabras) [29:02]
Lorenzo's Music - I'm Doin' Fine (Solamentes Tres Polabras) [29:23]

The Bear Season - Just Dance [34:03]

* Notes: Check out http://freealbums.blogsome.com/ to take a look at older Free Albums Galore posts

#36 - New Hip Hop and New Features

Podcast 36 features lots of new hip hop, plus a new feature debuting!  It's called "Five Minutes On" and this week is reviewing His Girl Friday (1940).  Plus there's a new theme (based on TenPenny Joke's song "Sense"), and a few new elements thrown in that may or may not have come across properly.  At any rate, I fixed the microphone problem from #35.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekly Airwave #19 :: Conway Hambone : Thrift Store Twist

ARTIST: Conway Hambone
TRACK: Thrift Store Twist
ALBUM: H-BONE-RE-ISSUE-ROCK

Info In Brief: Conway Hambone plays some cool retro rock; Thrift Store Twist is some great surf rock, and perfect for an evening drive down the highway.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weekly Airwave #18 :: Lorenzo's Music : Went Your Way

Original Air Date: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
NOTE: Support CKCU!  Pledge now at http://www.ckcufm.com/

ARTIST: Lorenzo's Music
TRACK: Went Your Way
ALBUM: Solamente Tres Polabras

Info in Brief: This track was chosen for two reasons: 1) It sounded really cool, 2) it sounds a lot like Hawksley Workman.  "Solamente Tres Polabras" was released in 2005, published to Jamendo in 2009.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Show Notes: #35 - October 22, 2011

No fancy title today, my mind was a little blanked.  A couple of notes for this episode before you listen: one, I was trying a new method of recording (that ended up being much less convoluted), so there are going to be a couple of hiccups here and there - especially at the beginning, where my voice is overpowered by the music. Woops!  Two, because of the microphone I have and the method I used, my mic had to be on at all times, so there may be some background noises throughout the podcast.  As I warned on Twitter, my dog probably makes a frequent appearance in the first segment.

Now that's out of the way, onto the show notes!

Intro
Tab the Dead Poet - RubixBox (0:00:10)
 - From Tab & A.U.R.C: Grayscale Ballads {EP} released October 19, 2011
Segment 1 - New Releases
Principe Valiente - In My Arms (0:03:45)
 - From the debut album Principe Valiente released October 21, 2011; preview at MySpace
M!R!M! - No Way (0:07:57)
  - From It's Not Enough Anymore EP, released October 14, 2011
- Tobias Borelius - Billy (0:13:22)
  - From Du känner mig för väl, farväl, released October 8, 2011
Sean Wright - Glint of Light (0:16:04)
  - New single Glint of Light released October 9, 2011
The Art Punk Band - I Can't Complain (0:20:42)
  - From Three Fishermen, released October 18, 2011
Segment 2 - Relaxo-Time
Tokyo Police Club - Party in the USA (excerpt) (0:23:47)
  - From the 10 Days, 10 Covers, 10 Years album
- Brittani Louise Taylor - Everything's Gonna Be Okay (0:24:58)
  - Cover/Single ** No longer available on Jamendo
Robin Grey - The Winter Blues (0:28:11)
  - From the album I Love Leonard Cohen, available at Jamendo.com
InAshton - It's OK...It's OK (0:33:13)
  - From RED album; new video can be found on YouTube
First Rate People - Summer Job (0:36:24)
  - From Someone Else Can Make a Work of Art EP
Wrap-up
Uniform Motion - An Island (0:40:57)
  - From One Frame Per Second

#35 - October 22, 2011

No fancy title today, my mind was a little blanked.  A couple of notes for this episode before you listen: one, I was trying a new method of recording (that ended up being much less convoluted), so there are going to be a couple of hiccups here and there - especially at the beginning, where my voice is overpowered by the music.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

InAshton - It's Ok...It's Ok Official Video

Just thought I'd pass along a cool video; I'm sure you know I've talked about InAshton plenty of times before.  Well, they just released their official video for their song "It's Ok...It's Ok", and it's a really darn good video!  It's professionally done, and looks really cool.

Well, here it is!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weekly Airwave #17 :: Fresh Body Shop : Losing Control

Artist: Fresh Body Shop
Track: Losing Control
Album: Bring Me Down (Released March 2011)
Genre: Rock / Electronic

Info in Brief: Fresh Body Shop is based in France, and have released a staggering 9 albums on Jamendo.com, all under a Creative Commons license. They're extremely popular on that website, and are frequently featured in the Top 100 tracks week to week. I liked the sounds in this track, and the vocals reminded me a little of Finger Eleven. Check it out! Also, their most popular track is "The Middle Line", which features a lot more electronic sounds than this one; it's worth a listen to experience their varying sounds from album-to-album.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weekly Airwave #16 :: I Am Not Lefthanded : The Place That Won't Take Me Back

Sorry about the late Weekly Airwave!  Unfortunately, due to a Thanksgiving weekend trip I took I wasn't able to record the Airwave this week.  However, I still chose an awesome track for you, and it deserves a post just the same.

ARTIST: I Am Not Lefthanded
TRACK: The Place That Won't Take Me Back
ALBUM: Time To Leave EP
GENRE: Indie / Alternative

Info in Brief: They're playing three shows in Toronto this week as part of IndieWeek: Thursday at The Peacock, Friday at The Hideout as part of the Irish Showcase, and Saturday at Czehoski (your guess is as good as mine for pronounciation...maybe like Czech Republic?).  All shows are All Ages, get more details at http://www.iamnotlefthanded.com or http://www.indieweek.com.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Show Notes: #34 - New Format, Same Struggles

Well, the debut of a new podcast format did not come without its stumbles. It's still very much a work in progress, and I can only improve from here. I apologize for the poor mic quality - that's also something I need to fix again.  Some great music this week though, so click away and listen!  Here are the show notes!

Intro
Paper Plane Pilots - Places (0:13:00)
 Segment 1 - New Releases
The Open Up and Bleeds - I Don't Wanna Die (Anymore) (0:03:51)
   - An Act of Love and Violence was released October 4th, 2011
Bernie Bandicoot - Positive (0:06:28)
   - Lorraine was released October 4th, 2011
  Professor Kliq - Bollywood Blades (0:11:23)
   - from Blocsonic's netBloc 34 released September 27th 2011)
 Segment 2 - Honourable Mentions
The Morning Light Project - Slicer (0:16:08)
   - From the album Interface
+ Mentioned latest FrostWire promo for Azoora and Gracielita from the 23 Seconds netlabel- Tsars - Intro / Whispers (0:19:58)
   - From the Whispers EP, released August 8 2011
Derek Klegg - Be Free (0:25:34)
   - From the album Across Town, released September 2, 2011
 Wrap-up
+ mentioned Start Your Own Rebellion Mixtape
Charles Hurts - Guess Again (0:30:15)
   - From the Tough Love Records compilation Young & Research II; hear more music from Charles Hurts   on Myspace

With exception to Charles Hurts' "Guess Again", all tracks are licensed via Creative Commons.

#34 - New Format, Same Struggles

Well, the debut of a new podcast format did not come without its stumbles. It's still very much a work in progress, and I can only improve from here. I apologize for the poor mic quality - that's also something I need to fix again.  Some great music this week though, so click away and listen!  Here are the show notes!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weekly Airwave #15 :: Opus 23: Behind Mountains

Original Airdate: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ARTIST: Opus 23
TRACK: Behind Mountains
ALBUM: Praise to Insanity

Monday, October 3, 2011

Interview with...The Easton Ellises

Way back at the beginning of September, I set out looking for some suggestions for new music for the podcast. I had been "off" all summer long, and just completed a move to a new house, so I needed some help. Blocsonic came through in spades, and in paricular recommended to me The Easton Ellises, a duo from Montreal.  I played them in podcast #32, and in last week's Weekly Airwave - obviously, I like these guys.

I sent them some interview questions, and Simon Roy was kind enough to write back with some responses - and not make me look too bad in the process.  They have some good insight on how music is broken these days in the wake of lower record sales.

Alternative Airwaves:  Artists usually have some different reasons for releasing their music under a Creative Commons license - why do you choose to do it?

Simon Roy: We actually chose to release our music on a creative commons license because in a certain way, we don't totally agree with the traditional way of dealing music online.   The true spirit of the internet is free, and Creative Commons is in sync with the culture.  It's also a very good way to reach a lot of people.  We hope that our music will reach and touch enough people so that they come out and see a show when we are in their neighborhood.
 AA: Being a group based in Canada, it's already difficult enough to crack the international market - but do you feel that you face a greater challenge being independant vs if you were signed to a label? Or do you think that Canadian musicians face the same challenges regardless of label status?

SR: I think that a Canadian band trying to make it internationally, it's pretty difficult in both scenarios (signed or not)  Of course, a label has usually the power and the contacts to make it happen but most are still out of touch with the shift happening to the music industry.  With the current situation of traditional labels making less and less money on record sales, they don't have that much power to push and promote new bands.  The rules of breaking a band have changed and will continue to do so forever.
We are working with a few netlabels (Enough Records, Magnatune, Bloc Sonic) with whom we sign non-exclusive deals for distribution and promotion based on our creative commons license).  They are making a lot of noise about our band on line.

AA: What was it like working with Pierre Bazinet in studio?

SR: Working with Baz was a great school of learning how to record and  great studio habits. Analog gear education, tone, etc. not to mention how he has greatly improved our song writing and production.  We had a lot of fun and we learned a lot with him!

AA: Tell me a little bit about Bret Easton Ellis - the namesake for your band. How does he influence your music?

SR: We got to know about Bret Easton Ellis like most people, through the movie taken from his very popular novel: American Psycho.  We both later read a couple of his novels (Less than Zero to Lunar Park which are all very good reads).  There is actually strong inspiration and resemblance with our lyrics which talks about addiction, sex, love, alcohol, etc...  A kind of concept that colors the world of our songs :)  And also, we loved the phonetics of his name!   
 ---------------------------

Once again thank-you very much to The Easton Ellises for taking the time to answer my questions.  I know I am definitely going to add the books of Bret Easton Ellis to my list of things to read - I honestly did not know that he is the one responsible for American Psycho. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekly Airwave #14 :: The Easton Ellises: Endorphin

Originally Aired on Tuesday, September 27, 2011
ARTIST: The Easton Ellises
TRACK: Endorphin
ALBUM: EP One
Genre: Electronic / Rock

Info in Brief: The Easton Ellises are a duo from Montreal, Quebec.  Their name is based on American novelist Bret Easton Ellis, and they have been together playing music since 1999.  Their previous group was The Stereomovers, who played together from 2000-2010.

**Note - I will have an interview with them coming up this week. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 26, 2011

#33 - Factorable by 11

It's been two weeks, so that means it's time for a new podcast! I normally get these up on the same Saturday that I record them, but events this weekend that may or may not have had something to do with watching Moneyball and baking an apple crumble served to interfere with those plans. In any case, here is your latest podcast! Savour it, because it may appear in a slightly different format two weeks from now (insert ominous chords here).

Show Notes: #33 - Factorable by 11

It's been two weeks, so that means it's time for a new podcast! I normally get these up on the same Saturday that I record them, but events this weekend that may or may not have had something to do with watching Moneyball and baking an apple crumble served to interfere with those plans. In any case, here is your latest podcast! Savour it, because it may appear in a slightly different format two weeks from now (insert ominous chords here).

Direct Download (archive.org) - 36:55

Here's the playlist!
  1. Bear Mountain - Swim
  2. Professor Kliq - Done With Disco (see his website here - apparently he reached his donation goal!)
  3. The Brainstormers - By All Means
  4. The Search - Silent Days (Pre-order their latest album, The Search For Connection Contact And Community)
  5. Not From Georgia - Another Try (pick up their limited edition CD here, and on Twitter)
  6. The Jinxes - Migration
  7. Mutts - Symmetry
  8. The Appreciation Post - I'm No Sure Thing
  9. Bear Mountain - Weighty Ghost

NOTE: I meant to say this during the podcast but I forgot. If you're a fan of Battlestar Galactica, you may want to check out some neat fan fiction called Lords of Kobol. I recently finished book one, Apotheosis, but there's one other book already out and a third due out shortly. Check it all out at http://lordsofkobolbook.blogspot.com/.

Friday, September 23, 2011

State of the Blog Address

On more than one occasion, I've thought about what do do with this blog. I've written about this before, so any regular readers know this is something I do a lot. Probably more often than I actually write original blog posts.

I really wish I had the same passion for writing about music as I do broadcasting it. You see, the only reason I keep this going is because I have fun putting the podcast together and sending my voice over the airwaves. The purpose of this blog has always been as a supplement to the podcast. Along the way, it became a means to an end: I thought that by writing blog posts every few days or so would keep people coming to the blog, and in turn lead to more people listening to the podcast.

This is why I have always tried to make some sort of effort into updating the blog. I have the constant fear that if I only put up a blog post once every two weeks, nobody is going to be interested in the podcast. I know that established podcasts are able to do this just fine (Rathole Radio, for one) - but even then, I don't know how the heck Dan Lynch got so darn popular in the first place. It's crazy and it's something I'd love to replicate, but nothing works the same way twice on the Internet (or Narnia, I guess).

However, as I'm sure most of you readers are well aware, I'm terrible at writing about music. And trust me, I've tried the whole 'practice' thing. It's just not for me. I don't see music the same way I see a well-crafted movie/TV show/book.  I merely recognize music I like, and I add it to my library. Before I started the podcast, writing about it consisted of "Hey, check out this music because I think it's pretty awesome!"  To me personally, this doesn't work as a blog post (which is funny, because these are the type of music blog posts I prefer over the wordy reviews).

What does this all tell me? I should stop with the attempts at writing about music, and stick with posting podcasts. So, effective as of this week's podcast, here are the changes coming to Alternative Airwaves:


 
  • The blog will only be updated for podcasts (full-length bi-weekly episodes + Weekly Airwaves), and special posts (interviews, artist profiles, etc.)
  • I will still be recommending awesome free music - over at the Facebook Page.  Become a fan to stay updated
  • Even shorter updates will be on Twitter, but that's sort of where I "converse" with everyone.
I hope that clears everything up for everybody, and effectively manages expectations. What this means to me, personally, is that I can just focus on picking great music for the podcasts and spend more time working on improving them, vs spending time frustrating myself trying to do unique write-ups.  It might also mean an increase in podcast frequency - but we'll see about that.
 
Thanks for reading, and I hope more than anything else you continue to enjoy the podcast.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Are The Grand - Chasing Lights EP

Another EP for you this week, this time from Chilean rock group We Are The Grand.  I should note though that while they formed in Chile, they are actually based in Liverpool.  What is with these great groups worlds apart from their starting places?  It's pretty cool, but also quite weird.

We Are The Grand released their first EP back in 2009 under the name The Grand, but decided to change it up a little with the release of their latest album, Chasing Lights.  It's also an EP, but like Il abanico's EP I covered earlier this week, where it lacks in quantity it makes up for it in quality.  Oh, and this EP was actually released in June of 2010, so hopefully there's some new stuff coming fairly soon.

Chasing Lights is full of some solid Alternative / Rock music (though leaning closer to the Rock side of things), and opens with a really strong track in "I Just Want It Tonight".  When I was listening, I thought that they had a style very similar to bands like Mobile or The New Cities - like they could have been straight out of the pop-rock scene in Montreal.


But alas, as I mentioned above, they are Chilean by way of Liverpool. Can I call them Transplanted Liverpooleans? Anyway, Chasing Lights is a great 5-track EP and well worth the download, which you can grab from www.wearethegrand.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Il abanico - Crossing Colors EP

Clearly, this group is not Canadian or else Il abanico's charming EP would be titled "Crossing Colours" and not Crossing Colors.  Neverless, this is an awesome little album (hence, "EP") full of some cool pop sounds.

What I liked the most - other than the solid beats and "sing-along-able" tracks - was that Il abanico features an amazing female lead vocal, Juliana Landeros.  The other part of Il abanico is guitarist Nicolás Losada.  I have no idea how you're supposed to pronounce that "á", incidentally.  Other members include Miguel Arroyo on guitar, Ale Giuliani on drums and percussion, and Sayuri Shimada on bass.


Apparently, though Landeros and Losada are both from Columbia, they met up in Boston to start making music. Weird how that kind of thing happens! I wish I knew more about how they met, but I suppose that is up to me to try and contact the band rather than just paraphrase the Frostclick article where I first heard about them.

Speaking of that article, the author - Valerie - mentioned that her only complaint was that this was a short, 5-song album. That's a pretty valid complaint, because I would certainly appreciate many more catchy pop tunes like the ones found on Crossing Colors.

Some other notes about the EP: it was recorded in Studio G in Brooklyn in December 2010, and mastered by Chad Clark at Beauty Pill in Washington DC in February 2011.  The actual release date was also in February 2011.  Very cool stuff!

You can download Crossing Colors by Il abanico from their Bandcamp website.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Life Is a Highway - Doc Zone

It feels so weird realizing that today is already September 15th - or, halfway through the month - when it feels just like last week that we were busy moving into our new place.  Well, if you've heard on the last podcast, we're moved in, and the Alternative Airwaves studio is partially up and running.  I'm still a little behind with scheduling posts (that's what this weekend is for! That, and a lot of music listening), but I'm also trying to set up some new things to try.

One of those is a public calendar. I've already got some stuff on it, including the podcast schedule, and some album releases near the end of the month.  One of the other items I have is for tonight at 8pm EST: a documentary airing on CBC called "Life is a Highway: Canadian Pop Music in the 90s".  This looks like it will be a pretty sweet documentary, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I have it in the calendar as two hours, but I don't know if it's actually that long.  I forget when they air The National (9pm or 10pm?), so it largely depends on that.  Anyway, if you have access to CBC in any capacity, watch this documentary.

Or, if you can't watch it tonight, it's re-airing on CBC News Network this Saturday night at 10pm. I'll throw that date on the calendar as well.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Show Notes: #32 - Back in the Habit

I'm finally back with a new podcast!  It's been since the end of July since I released a new episode, and for that I am deeply sorry.  But the move is complete, and I have some brand new stuff for you.  Today I was just winging it a little, but I plan to put some more work into the blog and get some exciting things happening.  Okay, enough talk - onto the track listing!

Direct Download (archive.org)
** Yes, I know I said in the podcast that Paper Tiger was Canadian.  I don't know where that came from, but on my computer that's how I have it marked down.  They are in fact from the Netherlands.

#32 - Back in the Habit

I'm finally back with a new podcast!  It's been since the end of July since I released a new episode, and for that I am deeply sorry.  But the move is complete, and I have some brand new stuff for you.  Today I was just winging it a little, but I plan to put some more work into the blog and get some exciting things happening.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sort of Weekly Airwave + Tokyo Police Club

I'm not numbering this Weekly Airwave, because I didn't do a proper recording; but in case you missed Mike's show yesterday on CKCU, I sent him this song to play:
Artist: Sean Fournier
Track: Broken Stereo (Acoustic Version)
Album: Oh My

"Broken Stereo" is a great song from a great EP - very much worth your time checking out.  If you want to hear more from Sean Fournier, try buying one of his full-length albums from his website.

Moving back to free music, I'm fairly excited about this project: Tokyo Police Club covered 10 songs in 10 days, one song from each year of the decade (2000-2010).  I didn't know they were doing this, and - well, you know how much I love cover songs, right?

The best part is that while you can certainly opt to support the band by paying for the compilation album, they've also put the songs up for free download on Soundcloud.  You can get all the details from Chromewaves.net, which is where I learned all about it.  Some gems include their rendition of "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World, and "Party in the USA" (yes, that song).  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Greetings From The Abyss

Well, I guess "abyss" might be a bit strong.  But it almost feels like I've been languishing in "a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or cavity."  Long enough that Blogger has drastically changed since the last time I made a post.  It pretty much looks like a vastly uncluttered version of gmail.

At any rate - I'm working this week on setting up my basement studio, so that means my goal is to get some fresh podcasts starting with this Saturday.  I have no clue what I'm going to put on the next podcast, so I'm probably just going to wing it a little.

I won't have any regular updates this week because I'll be working on assembling my workspace; however I will probably spend most of Sunday doing some listening and finding new artists to talk about.

In the meantime: while I didn't record anything, I did send a track to my buddy Mike at Audio Sensory Resuscitation for his show today at 1pm (EST).  You can listen live online over at CKCU FM.  Catch you later this week!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Weekly Airwave This Week

Still in the process of moving.  I have access to my laptop at home but other than using it a little over the weekend I've been too busy packing/organizing to take care of the Airwave for this week.

Still listen to Audio Sensory Resuscitation today between 1p-2p on CKCU FM - I hear Mike has a little treat planned in the second half.

Friday, August 26, 2011

In which I avoid making lame apologies

I just thought I would let you know (officially) that until I get settled in to my new digs in the new house next week(end), I probably won't be updating the blog.  I've got one last Weekly Airwave that I should be able to put up for next Wednesday, but that's about it.

I probably could put some posts up at work, but one of the "trying new things" aspects for the blog that I'm going to put into effect for the "new season" (read: my seasons correspond with the school year, it seems) is that I'm going to have dedicated days set for working on the blog and the podcast.  I feel that this will lead to a better experience for anyone who likes to read what I have to say, and for those who enjoys listening to my voice every two weeks.

The good news here is that I'm going to have a lot of free time to do all of this, so it's (hopefully) not just a bunch of empty words.

Trust me, I have a lot of music saved up to write about, even though some of it has probably been floating around the music blogosphere for a while now.  Still, I like to think that some people want my particular take on it.  I mean, be honest - just about everything posted on FrostClick is described as "quirky folk" ;) (No offense FrostClick - you guys pick out some solid music!)

See you in September!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Virtual Radio DJs + Divided By Design

I originally wasn't going to write anything more than a music recommendation (and I'll get to that shortly) but a recent post over at alancross.ca got my attention.  Apparently a community radio station in San Antonio is set to debut a completely programmed virtual radio DJ on August 24th.

The thing cost $200 - a one-time payment, interestingly - and simply needs a script.  It's going to be on KROV at 1PM CDT on the 24th; like Mr. Cross, as a radio industry employee I'm more than a little unnerved at the prospect of a programmed DJ taking the job of a live on-air personality (especially on a community radio station).  However, I won't deny that I'm a little intrigued at the prospect.  Will she actually perform well?  Will she fail miserably at being a DJ?

I for one will be tuning in to listen.  I honestly don't believe that this is the shape of things to come / the death knell of the radio industry, but more of a publicity stunt (I mean it IS a community radio station).  This is just a novelty, and listeners probably won't stand for a programmed DJ.  If you're interested in listening, and you're in the Eastern time zone like me, it'll be August 24th at - I think - 2PM EDT.

Now onto my recommendation!  In another example of someone using twitter to get me to pay attention to their music, we have Divided By Design.  They followed me, and I asked if they had music - simple as that!  And, as it turns out, they have three tracks for free download at their website, http://www.dividedbydesign.com/.

I'll be honest - I developed a pre-conception of their music before I even heard it.  With a name like "Divided By Design", I guessed that they played a solid Rock sound similar to what you'd hear from bands like Three Days Grace, Theory of a Deadman, or other bands you might hear on 106.9 The Bear (my apologies to other Ottawa stations - I'm trying to remain neutral).  I was right - the band labels themselves as an Alternative Rock group (I guess that's different in my mind from Alternative and Rock), and the music is similar to bands I mentioned above.

Interestingly though, their influences are wide and varied and include bands that sound quite different - bands like Sonic Youth, The Arcade Fire, and Jane's Addiction.  Granted, I'm basing this on three tracks - and some of their other influences (Finger Eleven, The Rapture, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.) are bang on with their sound.  Also, isn't it so weird that new bands are already claiming Finger Eleven and The Arcade Fire as influences?  I feel slightly old.

You can check them out at http://www.dividedbydesign.com/ and look forward to an album from them possibly this year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Weekly Airwave #13 :: Sick of Sarah : One Night Stand

Original Air Date: Tuesday August 16, 2011
Artist: Sick of Sarah
Track: One Night Stand
Album: 2205
Genre: Punk/Alternative
 
Info in Brief: An all-female punk/alt rock group from Minnesota, Sick of Sarah have been around since 2005 and released their latest album, 2205, for free download via Bittorrent in 2011.  They've experienced some pretty awesome numbers in downloads and people seem to really like them.  Reminds me slightly of Magneta Lane (and speaking of Magneta Lane, where the hell are they? Recording new music, apparently).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Self-Promotional Tuesday

My blog post titles are getting less and less original as the days go on!  Anyway, I just thought I'd remind you that you can listen to the Weekly Airwave live this afternoon between 1pm-2pm during Audio Sensory Resuscitation on CKCU FM (93.1 FM in Ottawa)!  You can also stream live at http://www.ckcufm.com/.  Times are EST, by the way.

Also thought I should mention something very important.  You may or may not be aware that I am in the process of packing up everything in order to move September 1st.  I've decided this week to pack up all of the pieces of the Alternative Airwaves studio - so that means that there will be no more podcasts until after I've got everything set up again.  I'm aiming for September 10th, as that was my original date to be back on regular schedule, but we'll see how that goes.

Including this week, there are two more Weekly Airwaves pre-recorded left to air.  After that, Alternative Airwaves will go silent.  I'll do my best to keep up with posting to the blog, as well.  But we all know what "my best" means ;)

Thanks for listening, and we'll see you with the launch of a new season of Alternative Airwaves podcasts in September!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Free Music Monday

I am so sleepy right now - I don't know what's gotten into me (or rather, what hasn't - perhaps I need more sugar?).  Anyway it's a good thing that I was planning on doing a rather lazy Monday morning post in the first place!

A couple of weeks ago Canadian singer/songwriter Billy the Kid (aka Billy Pettinger) released her latest album, Ours.  She provided e-mail subscribers with a full download, which I thought was a bit of a secret until I came across a blog post asking to share this with you.

Now - I think you still will need to join the mailing list - but that as always is a very small price to pay for free, quality music.  Don't you think so?



I will try to have some less sleepy posts coming up later this week.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Quick Links

I wonder how long it takes for me to stop being able to come up with different blog titles involving "Friday" and any variation on "quick links"?  Already I'm reduced to "Friday Quick Links", today.  We'll see what pops up next week (hint: it might actually be a podcast?).

Here are some quick notes on some bands I discovered on my own this week:
  • Pony Picture - Pony Picture - Reminds me of Franz Ferdinand (slightly). A mixture of indie rock / pop.
  • Tiny White Radio - Radio Operator - This is a single track album (perhaps you might call it a...single?), and while Tiny White Radio's nationality is unknown, it seems fairly safe to assume they're British.  Very Brit-sounding pop tune, with what sounds like influences from The Clash.
  • Tornado - An Invention (Audi A1 Version) - This single was inexplicably tagged "Justin Timberlake", so I had to check it out.  The result is actually a really nice, fast-paced indie track.  I like the guitars in this one, they give it a nice flavour.
  • Leslie Hunt - Your Hair is On Fire - I think this is actually my favourite find.  It's some pretty sweet pop rock AND it's a strong female voice - something often lacking in my picks.  Oh, it's also got a sort of reggae vibe on some of the tracks, so there's definitely a variety in sound on this album.
Picks from around the Blogosphere
  • Boca Chica (via FrostClick) - From Pittsburgh, this is a band that apparently has had over 40 members since they started.  Now, they've got a lineup of 6, and they play some very nice folk/pop music.  Available for free is their 3-track EP.
  • D'Lyfa Reilly: Sewing Seeds (via FrostClick) - Do you like thoughtful hip-hop that features smooth R&B sounds and an irresistable British accent?  Then this 7-track album is for you!  It's a compilation of tracks recorded by D'Lyfa between 2009 and 2010.
  • Elmo Buzz & The Eastside Bulldogs (AKA Todd Snider) - Shit Sandwich (via A Truer Sound) - I'll admit to not having listened to this yet - just came across my "desk" this afternoon.  However, A Truer Sound heavily vouches for it so I'm willing to give it a chance.
  • Curly Jefferson and His Orchestra - Ooh La La! (via FrostClick) - Man, I need to tap FrostClick's sources.  This is some awesome hip hop, sampling some sweet jazz sounds.  You can never go wrong with raunchy jazz with your hip hop.  Also, the title brings back some fond memories.  Don't worry, that link is perfectly SFW.  Anyway, be sure to check out the single "Blame Me boy".
That's it for me today.  I have a few more links but I think I'm gonna have to save them.  This is already way more than I originally planned (never a bad thing)!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Le Galago - So High

After my post about The Sheepdogs last Tuesday, I wanted to find some similar music on Jamendo.  Unfortunately there is no such thing as a "classic rock" tag on Jamendo.  I was slightly disappointed that I had to go with the all-encompassing "Rock" tag.  But I remained hopeful, and what I found was Le Galago.

Le Galago - aka Christophe Marc - produces some pretty cool sounding indie rock.  I'm not 100% sure (his information isn't terribly clear), but I believe he is based in France and originally from Liverpool.  Either way, it seems that his current habitation details are only partially deserving of credit for influence on his music.  Well, as near as I can tell anyway - I couldn't find lyrics.

The album I found was called "So High", released sometime in 2009.  It's a fairly decent album, full of indie rock as I mentioned.  Some of it is laced with awesome drum beats - most notably the title track - and those are the songs that I liked a lot more than the rest.

Honestly I don't have very much to say about the album other than "I liked it", and you should give it a listen.  It's available over at Jamendo.com.




Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weekly Airwave #12 :: The A.G.'s : Jesse's Girl

Artist: The A.G.'s
Track: Jesse's Girl
Album: This Earth Sucks
Genre: Punk

Direct Download (archive.org)

Info in Brief: Defunct band The A.G.'s (from Durham, NY) smash one out of the park with this great cover of a Rick Springfield classic. From the album This Earth Sucks, which is great in and of itself.




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Sheepdogs

I'm fairly certain just about everyone has heard about The Sheepdogs by now - after all, they are on the cover of the latest edition of Rolling Stone.  Actually it's funny - until I heard the single "I Don't Know" played on Audio Sensory Resuscitation on CKCU FM last week, I hadn't heard of this retro rock group out of Saskatoon; but after I heard them last Tuesday, I immediately saw them everywhere.

First, it was a live session on the CBC Radio 3 Sessions podcast (which I have yet to hear - I hope it's good!); then I heard the story about appearing on the cover of the Rolling Stone - the first unsigned band to grace the cover of said magazine.  And to top it off, they were on Jimmy Fallon last week.  Of course they're no longer unsigned, as the magazine gave them a record deal with Atlantic.

All that to say: where the hell was I and why didn't I know about this band?  I hate it when things like that happen.

And now let me present to you The Sheepdogs: a group that sounds so much like The Guess Who (and in the best way possible), they are a refreshing band to listen to.  It's strange but good to hear something that sounds so familiar and yet is brand new.  You can buy their latest album - Learn & Burn - from a few places (how about their website?), but you can also download their 2008 album Big Stand for free!  Learn & Burn is definitely the better album, but Big Stand is also quite the treat.  They also have an album from 2007 available to purchase.

All albums can be streamed online from The Sheepdogs' official website, http://www.thesheepdogs.com/.

Oh, speaking of Audio Sensory Resuscitation - it's on again TODAY at 1PM EST.  Listen at 93.1 FM in Ottawa or online at http://www.ckcufm.com/.  There'll be another Weekly Airwave during that time as well!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Young [da]Vinchi

Back on August 3rd, I was sent the newest single from hip hop artist Young Vinchi.  I didn't listen to it right away, but since then, I've probably heard it 4 or 5 times.  To be honest, this is one of the few times where a musician (or promoter or label or what have you) has contacted me, and sent me a piece of music to share with everyone else.  Normally I go and find links and sometimes establish dialogue after the fact.  tl;dr: I wanted to get this right (hence not putting this up Thursday night).

I will tell you straight off the bat, Young Vinchi was not on my radar at all.  That shouldn't be surprising - he's a hip hop artist, and I don't really have my finger on the pulse of the hip hop scene.  Before I get too far, let me assure you that I enjoyed the track he sent.  But we'll get to that in due time - how about joining me on a brief learning excursion to find out more about this Young Vinchi?

Young Vinchi hails from The Bronx in NYC, and his moniker aptly describes him - he is young, at a fresh 24-years old.  His mixtape, "BLC", has apparently gained a lot of notice on the hip hop scene.  There wasn't much "official" info, so I did some digging around and found this article, which gives us some more info.  Vinchi was born as Albert Neysmith Jr in the Bronx (as mentioned), and started rapping at the age of 8.  He also went to high school at Banana Kelly High, which is about the best high school name I've ever heard.

He moved on to Atlanta in 2007, and recently returned to NYC where he put together new material in studio.  That's where we get to Getcha Hands Up, an entertaining bouncy track that I enjoyed.  And yes, I listened to it 4 or 5 times, but I would have to listen to more of it in order to catch all the lyrics.  While I'm not 100% certain of what Young Vinchi is rapping about, the lyrics I did pick out were pretty clever.

You can download "Getcha Hands Up" for free with the link below.  To get more information about Young Vinchi and to hear more of his songs, check out these links:
http://www.reverbnation.com/VINCHI
http://www.troublemaka.com/
http://www.twitter.com/YOUNGVINCHI
Young Vinchi - Getcha Hands Up
(Link removed)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weekly Airwave #11 :: Emerald Park: For Tomorrow

Wow, my bad.  I thought I had this posted.  A day late; very sorry about this!  At least now I have a Thursday post!

Artist: Emerald Park
Track: At the Mall
Album: For Tomorrow
Genre: Pop

Direct Download

Info in Brief: "For Tomorrow" was re-released as a deluxe version in 2010 by Aaahh Records (http://www.aaahh-records.net). Emerald Park is a Swedish group that puts out some pretty great pop music.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free Music Tuesday: @blocsonic edition

I will admit it right now: I enjoyed a weekend that included a lot of drinking, doing nothing in the sun, and was free of the technological tether to civilized society.  In short, I was at my friend's cottage party.  Good times were had.  Do you remember those marble race playsets? Yeah, we played with one from the early 90s that we remembered when we were kids.

The result is I have nothing prepared for this week (yet).  So today you will get the laziest link post; lazy for two reasons: 1) I have not listened to the music I'm linking [more on that in a minute], and 2) someone else has compiled the music and I had nothing to do with it.

tl;dr: Blocsonic presents Netbloc 34: ccMixter Strike's the Root

Normally I would listen to the music I link to, but in this case I absolutely trust that blocsonic provides top notch listening pleasure.  You can also read a much nicer summary of what the common theme of the netbloc is over there as well.  So go forth and download...I will be doing that tonight when I get home from work.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blog'd Music Friday

Hey, it's another Friday.  Excellent.  That means that I have a long weekend to enjoy!  But first, here's what's been going on around the blogs this week.

  • FrostClick recommends an electronic-heavy pop/rock mix from Equals Conquest called "Rummager".  It's an interesting album - I'm not sure if all of it is my cup of tea, but there are some good songs in there to be sure.  About the only thing that is uniform across all tracks is the heavy electronic element.
  • Another new release from BlocSonic.  This time, it's a hip hop outing laced with funk from The Honorable Sleaze called "This Funk".  Definitely worth checking out - Michael Gregoire always releases high-quality hip hop, and this is no different.
  • Over at CBC Radio 3, on the music notes for July 27th 2011, there's a link to a Hot Hot Heat cover of Amy Winehouse's Rehab.  There's also a link to a new Shad song called "Fearless".
  • Moving along to HeroHill, the boys there bring us back some more electronic music with a track from Whale Skin.  "Lady" is a pretty sweet track and you can download it free from bandcamp.  Note: This is not a creative commons licensed track.
Therer are a few more, but those are the only ones I've listened to.  I'll save 'em for next Friday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#31 - The Dog Days of Summer

Your eyes are not lying! I'm going away this weekend, so I thought I would release the podcast a few days early.  It's a little long this time around, but since it's been three weeks since the last episode, I figured nobody will mind!  Some great music in there, starting off hard and fast and ending on a similarly strong note.  Except for one or two songs, everything in the podcast has been featured on the blog in the last three weeks.

Show Notes: #31 - The Dog Days of Summer

""Dog Days" (Latindiēs caniculārēs) are the hottest, most sultry days of summer.  Dog Days can also define a time period or event that is very hot or stagnant, or marked by dull lack of progress. The name comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather." -- Wikipedia

Your eyes are not lying! I'm going away this weekend, so I thought I would release the podcast a few days early.  It's a little long this time around, but since it's been three weeks since the last episode, I figured nobody will mind!  Some great music in there, starting off hard and fast and ending on a similarly strong note.  Except for one or two songs, everything in the podcast has been featured on the blog in the last three weeks.

Direct Download (42 MB) - Length: 46:02

  1. Prepare to Meet Thy Broom! - High Like it's 1989 - This song is one of the many awesome funky songs I found last Thursday.  That mixtape is still on its way.
  2. MC Frontalot - Spoiler Alert - I really mentioned the infamous MC in passing, but I haven't ever featured his songs on the podcast so I thought it was about time.
  3. Hot Fiction - War of Attrition - Awesome band, played them before - this song just fit perfectly for the set.
  4. The White Soots - If I Go - great bluesy rock band that sometimes channels The Black Keys
  5. The Polymorphines - The Clean and The Dirty - Great Ottawa band that is having a CD Release party this Saturday!  Go, if you can make it.  Details are here. *NOTE: I may have mentioned the EP is for free download.  It is not; it is however only $4 US! Very good price.
  6. The Search - Distant - awesome song, really reminded me of the 80s when I heard it.  The rest of their album is much like this.
  7. Ellus Bellus - Sticks, Stones and My Bones - I think this band has just about the best band name and the best album name on this entire podcast.
  8. Gunther Brown - Minnesota - If I'm to believe the lyrics, Gunther Brown really don't like Minnesota.
  9. Bella Ruse - Heart of Everyone - Played them simply because they're from Minnesota.
  10. Not From Georgia - Caroline - Great band, plays catchy folk/pop music and licenses everything under Creative Commons.  Followed me on Twitter, so I checked 'em out.
  11. These Animals - Four to the Floor - Great song at the end of their EP, it's also up for a remix contest of sorts at Aaahh Records.
Thanks for listening / downloading!  I hope you enjoy your own dog days of summer.

Weekly Airwave #10 :: Dan Mangan : Robots (Live @ CBC Radio 3)

Original Air Date: Tuesday July 26, 2011

Artist: Dan Mangan
Track: Robots
Album: Live @ CBC Radio 3 / Roboteering EP
Genre: Roots/Pop

Direct Download (4.9 MB)

Info in Brief: Dan Mangan is a really great singer/songwriter that dosen't usually release tracks via creative commons, but has a few live performances up at Free Music Archive.  There are actually a lot of Canadian indie artists over there, as CBC Radio 3 is one of the many curators.  There's a lot of great stuff to be found.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CBC3 Asks: Do Reviews Matter?

I've been trying to read more music blogs lately in order to improve my own writing, and one of the blogs that I find consistently good is the one run by CBC Radio 3.  It's well-written, and the authors (most of the time they're the on-air hosts) have a good read on the pulse of the music world.  In a recent blog, guest host Louise Burns asked an interesting question: Do reviews matter?  The question was asked in the context of music reviews, to be accurate.

It's an interesting question because I find myself in two camps.  On the one side, I barely pay attention to music reviews.  Often my 'buy impulse' is triggered when I hear a particular song by that artist, and I don't really look beyond my own opinion to see whether the album is any good or not.  I don't read a lot of reviews, so I don't "know" the reviewer or what they like.  If I do consult a review, it'll likely be a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend.

On the other side, I am constantly sifting through reviews of independently released music (licensed by Creative Commons) to find genuinely good music to recommend on the blog and play in the podcast.  I often try to write my own reviews of that same music, which means what you read is usually filtered through someone else before you hear about it from me.

Since I'm trying to discover more music on my own without the help of other music blogs, I'm relying less and less on these very music reviews - only to write my own recommendations for you to read.  This presents a bit of a dilemma - while I eschew reviews, I expect you to read mine.  So, do reviews matter?

Yes and no.  I think there's definitely a place for reviews, but at the same time, discovering music is up to personal taste, and no review can determine whether you will like the music.  The best you can do is subscribe to music review blogs and magazines that cater to your general personal taste - but even then, there's no guarantee you'll hit a home run every time.

-----------------------

*phew* that was a mouthful.  Okay, don't forget that today between 1pm and 2pm the Weekly Airwave will air on CKCU FM during Audio Sensory Resuscitation!  Listen on the radio if you're in the Ottawa area at 93.1 FM, or online everywhere else.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cooking with Not From Georgia

Not From Georgia - Love & Umbrella
Not too long ago, indie-pop band Not From Georgia followed me on Twitter.  Their description mentioned specifically that they play CC-licensed music - definitely an eye-catcher.  Let this be a lesson to you: if you make it easily known that you license your music via Creative Commons, I will make sure I pay attention to you.

Moving along; I put 'em straight onto my ipod the first chance I could get.  I listened to them at some point in the weekend but gave them a more attentive listen while I was cooking dinner.  I would love for this post to be something along the lines of the Breakfast Club over at CBC Radio 3, but alas, I am not that well connected.  No, I was merely cooking dinner, and needed some backgroud music.  If you're interested, the dinner menu was sausages cooked on the BBQ, along with simple boiled potatoes.  Nothing fancy, but I can assure you it was well-enjoyed.

So was Not From Georgia.  They play an indie-pop kind of sound, with a mix of rock in there for good measure (song "Horseback Rider" from their latest album Love & Umbrella being a prime example).  For the most part the songs are well-paced and bouncy (that is literally the word I wrote in my notebook), with some slower paced songs if that's more your fancy.

Only one other note here in my notebook; that the song "Caroline" has a Return of the Jedi victory song vibe going for it (not in a bad way).

You can download Love & Umbrella for free, or put down a bit of money and buy the limited edition CD version and have it shipped to you.  All of that is possible from their Bandcamp website.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Music Blogosphere Friday

I've been talking about increasing the quality of my posts (or at least, the originality) for the past week in a number of places (no need to link to them), and this is one of my attempts at offering up fresh content not seen on any other blog.  By linking other blogs.

Hear me out on this one.  More often than not, my posts are simply links to music picked up by places like Free Albums Galore or FrostClick.  Fine blogs to be sure, and they certainly highlight some great music.  But what's the point of talking about them if you've already read about them?  To hear my take?  I don't think people are interested in that.  My solution is the Free Music Blogosphere Friday (it's not completely alliterative, but it'll do); a day where I can provide a one-paragraph write-up of music the other blogs have already talked about in the past week.  The other days will be split between my own discoveries and the Weekly Airwave.  I think it sounds like a good plan.

First up: The White Soots - The White Soots (2010 / Independant) :: Free Albums Galore posted this link this past Wednesday, comparing The White Soots to bands such as The Black Keys, Kyle Byrum, The White Stripes, Jimi Hendrix, and so on and so forth.  These comparisons are pretty apt, especially The Black Keys.  This is some solid, blues-y hard rock.  If it weren't for Skratch Bastid's mixtape that Herohill linked to yesterday, I'd call this my favourite find of the week.

Speaking of Skratch Bastid's mixtape, go get it - it's pretty awesome.  That's really all I have to say about it.

Album the Second: Gunther Brown - Gunther Brown (2011 / Independant) :: Originally posted at FrostClick, I deliberately chose not to read anything about the band prior to listening to the album.  One of the things I struggle with is identifying what kind of genre music falls into, so I didn't want to get any opinions dipping into my brain.  On an initial listen, this is some great roots/folk music.  It's tagged at Jamendo as "Americana" as well.  The lead vocals are pretty much a match for southern rock too - rough but still a little melodic.  Good addition to any library.  Note: I couldn't find information on their label so I assume they're independantly released.  Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

I'll stop counting: Ellus Bellus - Sticks, Stones & My Bones (2011 / Independant) :: Charming band name AND album title, this link comes from FrostClick yet again.  Ellus Bellus is a couple of guys from Chicago creating some neat indie pop.  Once again I can't find label information, so if you know what it is - let me know! EDIT: I've been informed by Ellus Bellus that there is a space between their name. Fixed! :)

Sarah Fimm - Near Infinite Possibility (2011 / Independant) :: Didn't listen to this one apart from one track, "Yellow", but the album has some promise.  Sounds a bit like Evanescence on a first listen.  You can get more info from FrostClick.

I think that's all I have for this afternoon.  I know for a fact there will be plenty more coming next Friday, so be on the lookout for that!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Break Out The Funk Thursday

For lack of a catchy alliterative title (that I could have easily saved for Friday), I present to you Break Out The Funk Thursday.  Everybody loves funk music; no matter what decade it was produced in, it reminds us of the 70s - and everybody loves the 70s.  Therefore, everybody loves funk music.  Nobody correct me on that.

This is my attempt at putting together more unique content for the blog.  Make no bones about it: I am blatantly trying to keep your attention so that you don't wander off somewhere else before the next podcast arrives (which won't be until next weekend).  And I already established that everybody loves some good funk music, so I decided to hit up the Free Music Archive to see what was offered.  I sorted by "Most Interesting" and here's what I found for this Thursday playlist.

To reduce confusion, here's how I'm writing the songs: Artist - "Song Title" (Album, Year / Label).  Links go in that order too.

Patrick Lee - "Quittin' Time" (The Last Thing, 2010 / Bad Panda Records)
If you're going to release a funk tune, you better have some great song titles, and "Quittin' Time" fits the bill for me.  More info after listening again.

Juanitos - "Soul Africa" (Soul Africa, 2010 / Independant)
Pure funk; the lyrics aren't the deepest in the world, but since when is funk deep?  The guitars - especially the bass - are delicious, and has just the right kind of percussion thrown in.  Beautiful track.  The Juanitos hail from Chambry, France (a country I've come to know as reknown for reggae and funk), and have been around since 1991.

Juanitos - "Black Samba" (Soul Africa, 2010 / Indpendant)
I had to put in this track - probably the only artist to deserve double-billing - because of the organ on the track.  Some great work in there.

James Curd - "Back Off Move Away (Treasure Fingers Remix)" (James Curd - Greenskeepers - Ziggy Franklin - Studio 11 Sampler, 2011 / Studio 11 Chicago)
They make it on today's playlist simply for being different.  "Back Off" still has plenty of funk elements (else, why would it be here?) but it is also deeply rooted in the pop/house music scene.  It blends the two worlds very well, and the bass line is nice and thick.

Pierlo - "Barbarian" (Olivetti Prodest, 2010 / UpitUp Records)
A case of an odd one out, this is more of a showcase of electronica than of funk - but I think you can appreciate the funk-laced beats in this enough to include it in the playlist.  This electronic artist is from Rome, Italy!

Mystic Morrison Visions - "Impressive" (Fuzzy Set, 2010 / Accessory Takes)
While most of the songs on Fuzzy Set seem to be more jazz-laden, "Impressive" has more of a funk twinge to it.  It still is more freeform jazz than traditional funk, I still liked the sound of it.  So here it is.  Also, these guys are from Russia...might explain a few things, maybe.

Javelin - "On It On It" (Javelin Live @ KEXP 5/3/2010, 2010 / KEXP)
I'm calling this one "video game funk" - it's a faster beat than everything else on the playlist, and it has some interesting sounds that seem like they're straight out of a video game.  Javelin is a duo (with friends) out of Providence, Rhode Island.

Prepare to Meet Thy Broom! - "High Like it's 1989" (This is the New Yeah! / lalala4e)
Easily my favourite track from the bunch, if you don't recognize the song sampled here then I don't know what's wrong with you.  Just in case you don't recognize it, it's Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches and Herb.  Prepare to Meet Thy Broom! is a duo from Mexico - it's two brothers, Timmy (18 years old) and Kevin (14 years old); apparently they only use a MIDI keyboard and laptop to make their music.

Stanton Moore Trio - "Pie Eyed Manc" (Live at KEXP, 2010 / KEXP)
Neat little instrumental number, tons of funk oozing from this track.  That's right, I said oozing.  The eponymous trio is from New Orleans, and you can tell from the sound.  Very enjoyable.  I think if I can find more tracks like this from New Orleans, it may be enough for a special podcast episode.

Jimmy Cousins - "Living Proof" (Crime Spree & the C.S.C. / Mass Dist)
I really like the voice on Jimmy Cousins.  He has a real primal scream and some smooth funk grooves to back it up.  From what I gather he's originally from New Orleans, moved to Philly, and is now somewhere on the east coast.  I'll take that as "another New Orleans native for a special podcast".

Smoked Meat Fax Machine - "The Waste" (Slums of Heaven, 2009 / Ancient Robot)
With a name like Smoked Meat Fax Machine, would you pass up putting them on any playlist?  Luckily their sound is sort of a distorted funk - almost punk-like - and fits with this playlist.  SMFM (my acronym) is actually John Constantinides.  By the way, isn't Ancient Robot a cool name for a label?  They're based in Montreal!  I'm going to have to keep tabs on this label.

Ex-Friendly - "Simply Bootieful" (Best of Breitband Vol. 3 / Breitband)
Oh man.  This song is just exquisite.  It's slow, it's soulful, and just listen to that full bass.  It totally sounds like it's out of the 70s.  I can't find much info on Ex-Friendly, and it looks like Breitband is a German netlabel - but if the rest of their music is like this, then go download it now!

Tha Silent Partner - "Billy (Starsky Instrumental)" (Starsky (Featuring Seti AKA K9), 2010 / Blocsonic)
This one is not exactly funk, but gives off an ambient 50's music quality.  I thought it was a fitting track to put at the end of the playlist.

I really like the songs on this list.  I think I'm going to create an actual mix (songs may appear in an order other than that given) out of this and put it online.