By Jye Smith Dec.1.2009
In: Other
0 comments

Symphony Of Science

“A morning filled with four-hundred billion suns, The rising of the milky way” – Carl Sagan, A Glorious Dawn, ft Stephen Hawkings

Symphony of Science brings us three incredible videos around delivering some very scientific knowledge and philosophy in the form of music.

Take a bunch of space and time nerds, grab a vocoder and drop some beats and strings behind it, and you’ve got some pretty incredible videos.

Full version at the original post at A Digital Perspective

By Jye Smith Nov.23.2009
In: Other
13 comments

The Power of Sound

Sony Australia and The Music Blogs have teamed up to offer six lucky readers a number of Sony personal audio prizes, including the new 16GB Walkman E series video MP3 player each valued at $219.00 and the impressive MDRXB300 Extra Bass headphones, valued at $169.00.

With a profound heritage in delivering industry leading sound quality, Sony Australia is uniting all its audio products under a banner entitled the ‘Power of Sound’, which will focus on the importance of sound quality and demonstrate Sony’s leadership in this area.

A number of interesting ‘laboratory experiments’ have been conducted by Sony to test the capabilities of some of their latest audio products including headphones, Walkman, home theatre systems, Hi-Fi and in-car audio equipment. The films demonstrate the products’ ability to deliver the true power of sound and we’ve been provided with the headphone experiment to show just what Sony means by ‘The Power of Sound’.

Further information on Sony’s ‘Power of Sound’ campaign can be seen at www.sony.com.au/soundville

How to enter

Leave a comment and tell us in 25 words or less, the 1 song that would be the sound track to your life right now, and why. Best 6 as voted by us here at TMB win these amazing prizes.

By Stuart McPhee Nov.17.2009
In: Commentary, Opinion
0 comments

We can work it out? Apparently not.

apple-rottenIf we want to be truthful we can blame The Bubblies. If it wasn’t for this obscure French Pop band we may not have this current insult to the music world. I am talking of course about Apple Corps bizarre decision to release The Beatles collection on an Apple shaped USB Stick.

Limited to 30,000 copies and going for around $350 (AUD) this is, according to the L.A. Times,  the Fab Four embracing new models of distribution.

Well if by embracing new models of distribution you mean selling the same thing on yet another physical product then I guess you are right.

Anyone who wasn’t sick the day they taught marketing at marketing school could tell you the following:

The target audience for a new model of distribution is an audience you haven’t yet reached.

Imagine for a moment I am a teenage kid who wants to get into The Beatles.  Like most teenagers these days I have an MP3 device and an account with a digital music outlet. What I don’t have is $350 and an attention span to take in 14 albums all at once, especially on a band I am not really sure about. I want to choose the tracks that I want by previewing them so that I don’t end up with ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ or something equally as excruciating.I also do not want to open a Read Me Document to tell me how to transfer the music to my portable player. Isn’t that what my digital music outlet is supposed to do for me at a click of a button?

So how exactly does this odd looking plastic Apple reach a new audience? It doesn’t.

The ONLY audience this USB stick will reach are the hardcore collectors who insist on acquiring every format available. With a production run of only 30,000 these monstrosities won’t last long. The sad thing is most of them will remain in their original packaging collecting nothing but dust and value (value only to other hardcore collectors).

This is money for jam but it is only $10.5 million (minus retail’s cut).

Now imagine if Apple Corps and Apple Inc finally brokered a deal and The Beatles catalogue was finally made available on iTunes. Working on the basis that a single song costs $2.00 (AUD) on iTunes then The Beatles would have to have their songs downloaded 5,250,000 times to reach the same amount. Considering over 8 Billion songs have been downloaded from iTunes (since inception) and The Beatles are the most popular band in history then that 5.25 million target would be reached and passed fairly quickly. All done without any production costs or limiting your sales to only  30,000 people.

Apple’s bottom line aside, tell me this isn’t the way to reach a new audience?

To think, this is the same company that released the innovative The Beatles: Rock Band only a few months ago.

How can they get it so right one minute and so wrong the next?

By Nathanael Boehm Oct.23.2009
In: Concerts
3 comments

Future Music Festival 2010, tickets on sale today

Celebrating the ultimate sounds of tomorrow, today, Future Music Festival is a 10-hour sonic boom that travels Australia at the speed of sound and rivals any major festival experience on the planet. This unique, world-class event blends the biggest names in electronic music with the brightest stars of Hip Hop, Pop, Indie Rock and beyond …Read the full story

By Stewart Heys Oct.20.2009
In: Concerts
0 comments

St Jerome's Laneway Festival 2010 line up announcement

Laneway Festival has announced the first round of bands that will be gracing the stages next year. The current hype surrounding bands like The xx will sell a lot of tickets I am sure, but there is also huge interest in Wild Beasts, Black Lips, as well as Mecury-nominated Florence and the Machine.

The big draw card for a lot of people, however, will no doubt be the appearance of Echo and the Bunnymen on the list. Heading in to their 4th decade of making music, the makeup of Echo and the Bunnymen has changed a little of the years, but by all accounts their sound now is remarkably similar to that of the late 70s and early 80s. It will be fascinating to see what they have up their sleeves early next year.

Full line up details can be found here

There will also be a change in venue for 2010, no longer will we be squashed intimately snuggled down Reiby Place, but will be benfiting from the ‘ample space’ of Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle. As a ‘bohemian hotbed of creative talent’ I am sure that the new location will be more than suitable for a Sunday in the sun.

Details on the venue can be found here

Tickets on sales 9am Friday 30 October from www.greentix.com.au

See you there!

By Nathanael Boehm Oct.19.2009
In: Commentary, Opinion
0 comments

Soon the recorded music industry becomes the performing music industry

An excellent article written in 2007 by owner of Littoral Records, Alan Jones that looks at the decline of the traditional business and marketing model of big record labels and predicts they’ll be run down and overtaken by smaller, more agile, responsive and smarter labels.

Read the article »

- Nathanael Boehm

By Jye Smith Oct.13.2009
In: Other
0 comments

Slipknot: Corey Taylor Sings "Snuff" In The Studio

Corey Taylor: In The Studio Singing “Snuff”

Some great footage from their recent album.

By Nathanael Boehm Oct.10.2009
In: Album Reviews
1 comment

Lyrics Born collaboration with The Bamboos

I love The Bamboos – awesome Aussie funk group – and heard about their collaboration with Lyrics Born from California on the radio the other night. Just had a chance to listen to it. Good track, soulful, works well … although I thought it was a little repetitive; could have been trimmed by at least 30 seconds or built up towards the end, though it’s saved by the two-stage breakdown at 1:50 and 2:45. Anyway, I still like it!

Listen to Turn It Up by The Bamboos feat. Lyrics Born on Triple J Home & Hosed and listen to more of The Bamboos on MySpace.

- Nathanael Boehm

By Jye Smith Oct.7.2009
In: Other
0 comments

Parralox - Hotter

Just found this little gem while doing some social media monitoring for one of my clients. A brilliant, tight little progressive/vocal dance peace from Melbourne.

Hope to hear more from them!

By Stuart McPhee Sep.27.2009
In: Commentary, Opinion, Other
5 comments

Call It A Lesson Learned #3

A Lesson Learned

The third in a series of essays on what I may (or may not) have learned from music. The previous essay can be found here.

Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight

A few nights (and a fair few drinks) ago a few of us from the office pondered the inevitable hypothetical question: If you could only listen to one genre of music, what would it be?

I say hypothetical because any self respecting lover of music has more than one field of interest. Those who like hip-hop are probably partial to a bit of R&B (not racist at all), whilst I am convinced that there are people out there who own both James Blunt and Kings Of Leon albums (housewives from middle England is my guess).

The responses around the table were interesting, some specific (Alternate Rock 1991-1994) others wide ranging (World Music) and one from a bloke who was obviously taking the piss (Jungle). I chose Soul, a selection that did not surprise anyone at all. My love of soul music knows no bounds (There ain’t no mountain high enough you could say) but I wondered about the flipside to the discussion: What if there was no such thing as soul music? What would I choose instead?

That was a dill of a pickle.

A few nights (and a fair few drinks) later, the answer hit me: alt.country.

I realise that in hindsight selecting it as my backup was a bold move as I know almost nothing about alt.country. What was it? Does such a thing still exist (if in fact it ever did) and if so, what is out there to listen to?

Why didn’t I just say College Rock 1992 – 1997? That way I could prattle on about the genius of the first Gin Blossoms album.

So before I ventured into the deep unknown I decided it was best to take stock of what I already owned in this mysterious genre. That wasn’t a great deal either.

Are you sure you don’t want to hear about my correlation between New Miserable Experience and my teenage years? Perhaps another time then.

Due to my age and location in the world, the term alt.country first hit me in the Summer of 2000 when Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams was released. I promptly ignored that album for a variety of reasons, a few of which were:

- anyone who has a name like that is asking for trouble
- any album that starts with an in studio argument about a Morrissey song receives an automatic disqualification.

Soon after, the final release by Ryan’s former band Whiskeytown finally saw the light of day. So on a miserable Sunday afternoon as I flew solo in the record store, I threw on Pneumonia. My sole motivation was that James Iha was a guest on the record and anything tenuously linked to the Pumpkins couldn’t be all bad.

By half way through ‘Don’t Wanna Know Why‘ I was hooked.

It was country music that I could finally understand. Sure it had its pop moments (the Iha co-write ‘Don’t Be Sad’ is simply angelic) but overall it was country for those that couldn’t care less about Shania Twain and her bastardisation of the genre. To boot, the press I had read about Adams alluded to the fact he wasn’t exactly a poster boy in Nashville. That made it even better.

I humbly went back to Heartbreaker, fell in love with ‘Come Pick Me Up’ and have consumed everything he has released since (rightly or wrongly) including his weekly singles from his new digital record label PAX AM.

These days, Ryan’s music barely resembles alt.country. The same could be said for Whiskeytown. They only released 3 albums but with each one they sounded less and less like a country band. Compare ‘Too Drunk To Dream’ from their debut Faithless Street to something like the Herman’s Hermits pastiche of ‘Mirror Mirror’ off Pneumonia and you begin to wonder if it is the same band. Considering the majority of Whiskeytown’s original members had quit or were fired has a lot to do with it but perhaps it is an inherent trait with a lot of alt.country acts?

Over the course of their tenure, Minnesota band The Jayhawks drifted away from their alt.country roots (1992s Hollywood Town Hall is a must) to a more pop feel (see 2000s Smile) before returning to their classic sound on Rainy Day Music. Wilco on the other hand were a band that came from alt.country legends Uncle Tupelo and from an early stage frontman Jeff Tweedy began to distance his new band from the genre.

So it seems that on the surface of things I hitched my cart to the wrong horse. Any band who had any say in the history of alt.country didn’t stick around for very long. Heck even the Godfather of the genre, Gram Parsons, only put out two solo albums (the 2nd posthumously) before overdosing in 1973.

A few words on Gram Parsons, those two albums are pretty indispensable. Without them then Ryan would’ve stuck to punk music, a swathe of bands would never have been and more importantly, the wonderfully talented Emmylou Harris may not have made it to the big time. Her vocal contributions to those records should not be underestimated and her standing set the scene for her first ‘proper’ album Pieces Of The Sky a year later.

But what the genre lacks in terms of output is more than made up for in quality artists. Those listed above are a mere starting point and as such there are many fine musicians not mentioned including Drive-By Truckers, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch and Australia’s own The Gin Club to name a few.

However at this moment in time I can only take alt.country in small doses. There are more songs about hurt than there are about love. And whilst heartbreak is also a recurring theme for soul music, there is hope running through a lot of it. Alt.country doesn’t have one of these and without such will always remain in second place.

And there is no shame in that.

By Nathanael Boehm Sep.18.2009
In: Album Reviews
0 comments

Thumbs up for Muse's new album The Resistance

Album cover of Muse's new album The Resistance.

I’m a big fan of Muse. I have Showbiz, Origin of Symmetry, Hullabaloo Soundtrack, Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations, their live 2004 Absolution Tour DVD and now their latest 2009 release The Resistance.

It took me a while to come around to liking their previous 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations. My initial impression with BH&R was that the band had plateaued and were now just a bland, commercial pop-rock group focussed on selling quantity rather than sticking to their we-don’t-care-if-you-like-us experimental progressive, space-rock. After listening to BH&R about a dozen times I finally realised that they hadn’t sold out. They were starting to poke at something new, a new sound.

That new sound has three years later matured and become Muse’s latest album The Resistance.

Read the full story

By Jye Smith Sep.8.2009
In: Album Reviews
1 comment

Spineshank

The-Best-Of-SpineshankIt was the middle of a CrossFit workout when I really noticed some really great hard metal pouring out of the speakers. It was here I met Spineshank.

What am I really enjoying about them? It’s ferocious, but it’s dynamic. This is what really sets great metal bands apart.

Santos’ vocals really separate most dynamics on the surface, but it’s the grinding drum and base combo that polish everything off.

The guitars are a constant wall of pure aggression.

Call it nu-metal, call it industrial metal, even call it metalcore. It doesn’t matter – for those who truly appreciate dynamic and hungry metal, it’s a must.

I still can’t choose a favourite album between Self-Destructure Pattern, Strictly Diesel or The Height of Callousness.

Read the full story

By Jye Smith Sep.7.2009
In: Concerts
3 comments

Julia Why

Julia Why

I’m sitting in the cosy bottom floor of El Rocco’s at Bar Me (154 Brougham Street, Kings Cross).  The room is warm, while dimly lit and the crowd seems almost at home in the candle light.  I’ve arrived for Julia Why – who contact me via TMB.

The lights dim further, the candles appear to brighten as the crowd warms while Julia introduces herself to the room.  Her guitar opens with strong, binding rhythms.

When I listen to her voice: it’s warm, almost haunting. Her articulation is nice: almost Irish/UK – nice round tones over deep melodies. Maybe a hint of Evanesence, but there’s something stronger there, something else, something deeper (and less opraratic).  She doesn’t say much – she doesn’t need to.

I really enjoy Julia’s control and inflection with the notes – memorable steps careful phrasing, good use of rhyme.  Her rawness, and openness with the crowd speaks volumes of wisdom beyond her years.

Julia’s lyric choices are definitely not your ordinary lyrics – and they have a really nice dynamic between being quite raw, and shaping some very pretty metaphors. They appear to be quite honest.

“The wine is too far away.” Best line. She just said she’s looking for a bass player – and honestly, she read my mind! This would sound great with a full band behind it.

Julia – wow, what a show. These are some great foundations to set.

Best regards,
Jye

Read the full story

By Jye Smith Aug.6.2009
In: Concerts
1 comment

Stereosonic lineup for 2009

Amazing. Just amazing.

First release tickets on sale at ITM from 9am Thursday, 20th August. Check out the Stereosonic 2009 lineup below:

Deadmau5
Axwell
Fedde Le Grand
John Dahlback
The Crookers
Surkin
The Bloody Beetroots feat MC Justin Pearson
Miss Kittin & The Hacker
Marco Carola
Chicane
Cut Copy DJs
Drop the Lime
Renaissance Man
Alter Ego
Zombie Nation
Umek
Hudson Mohawke
Tim Sweeney (DFA)
The Cobra Snake
Kidda
Juan Kidd/Jason Herd
Grant Smillie
Andy Murphy
Acid Jacks
Grafton Primary
Canyons
Knightlife
Bag Raiders
+ and more to be announced

Dates for Stereosonic – Australia

Sat 28th November – Moore Park, Hordern, RHI & Surrounds, Sydney
Sun 29th November – Claremont Showground, Perth
Sat 5th December – Bonython Park, Adelaide
Sat 5th December – Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, Melbourne
Sun 6th December – Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane

By Jye Smith Aug.5.2009
In: Recommended
0 comments

Eminem: "The Warning" (Mariah Carey Diss) (MP3)

Well, this is the Mariah Carey diss/”Obsessed” response that everyone’s been waiting for from the notoriously maladjusted Eminem. That is, if everyone has been continually stooped over the computer monitors, waiting for pop stars to dive into the miasma of their lives.

Listen and Download Here

By Jye Smith Jul.16.2009
In: Album Reviews
3 comments

Kaamora: Lambs to the Slaughter

The eerie opening to the first track builds tension like few albums I’ve heard before, before your dropped into what can only be described as a Spartan pit fight.  This is metal. Real metal. And there are no prisoners taken here.

It’s definitely progressive, but it’s not math metal. Thankfully. It’s raw and quite emotive. The timing is supburb.

Ballarat never sounded so brutal.

Yep, this is a local band from Victoria, Australia.  The drums and bass stick together and move as a powerful force.  The guitars are dripping wet on top and drive a lot of treble and high mid.  The vocals are done in a full growl – not everyone’s cup of tea – and the force is again brutal.  You can hear a unique blend of a wide range of influences coming to taint this voice: I get flavours of Bolt Thrower, Cradle of Filth and a little Pantera in the higher screams.

The guitars continue to fly on top of drums and bass that can only be described as a rumbling boom.  It’s a really nice balance of blood lust and atomic doom: it’s fast yes, and raw, but the bass and drums ground the sound to give it depth. Depth, especially in faster and harder metal, is vital to develop any kind of story and emotion with the listener.

Soul of A Machine is track 5 of the 7 track album – is a great little spoken word piece. A really unique mark on the album – and something rarely done.

Birth of a Digital God would definitly have to be one of my favourite tracks followed by Ruptured.  Over all, the final track End of The Aeon - would be my favourite.  Like the opening track, we’re treated to the vocalists clean styled vocals. AND FUCK ARE THEY GOOD. The vocalist, Luke Greenwood, really showcasing his full range, tonal flexibility and raw emotion throughout this last piece.

The album over is very dynamic and is great cranked at some solid volumes.  To Dylan, Will, Aaron, Jase and Luke: keep up the amazing work. Hope to see you guys in Sydney sometime.

For everyone else, get your copy of Lambs to the Slaughter by Kaamora and prepare to be taken apart with a pick axe, and love every minute of it.

Post-Script:

I just kept the CD running and discovered the secret track. Hah. This is fucking brilliant.

By Jye Smith Jul.8.2009
In: Concerts
0 comments

Bloc Party to play at MCA - Sydney, Australia

Bloc Party

For all those fans who missed out on seeing Bloc Party at Splendour, the band will be playing only one other gig in Australia, at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday July 28.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday, 9 July. To purchase, fans will need to go to www.mastercard.com.au/music


By Jye Smith Jun.19.2009
In: Other
0 comments

johnnyonline: Halleluja - a Leonard Cohen cover

By day I work for a social media agency, which means I get to see some really incredible content at time. And this cannot be ignored. johnnyonline – big thanks man.

By Stewart Heys Jun.18.2009
In: Other
2 comments

Splendour in the Grass announces second line-up

I am not going to Splendour this year, but if you are lucky enough to have got your paws on a ticket, then I reckon you will be either super-happy with the second line-up announcement, or completely underwhelmed.

If (like me) you remember the halcyon days of the Hacienda, Madchester, flared jeans and fishing hats, then you will be dancing in the street at the prospect of the Happy Mondays coming to Australia with all the pills, thrills and bellyaches that their arrival promises.

If you can’t remember the late 80s, (and I would assume the majority of Splendour devotees fall into this category), then there is nothing earth-shattering about this announcement. Doves are a solid if uninspiring festival band, so the other two highlights would be Architecture in Helsinki and Bridezilla who are both worth a walk across a field for.

Here is the second line-up in full:

Happy Mondays (in their ONLY Australian show), Doves, Architecture In Helsinki, You Am I, The Beautiful Girls, Downsyde & Drapht, Kisschasy, Little Red, Bluejuice, Children Collide, Miami Horror Live, Art vs. Science, Paul Dempsey, Dappled Cities, Dananananaykroyd, Holly Throsby, Bridezilla and Deya Dova

I have just seen the words that I really didn’t want to – “in their ONLY Australian show“.

Surely if those cheeky northern monkeys are coming all the way over from England they will do more than one show? Bez and Shaun will want to see much more of this beautiful country and all that is has to offer, even if they have forgotten all about it by the time they get on board the flight home…

By mbancroft
In: Other
1 comment

difficult for you easy for me

There was a song on the hit parades back in the 70s or 80s called ‘Difficult for you easy for me’. Can someone please tell me who sang it. Jack Henson and his orchestra has a track with the same title on his Ballroom dancing record but it doesn’t sound like the same tune and it has no lyrics