Platinum Albums

People are decrying the fact that in 2014 not one album has sold one million copies to be certified platinum and therefore the music industry is dead.  The fact is more music is accessible than ever before with just a click of a button.  Have you heard that Billy Idol and Cold War Kids have album out?  Do you know Sleater-Kinney is back in action?  Hey did you want to see Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors at The Troubadour?  Never heard of them? Watch this video.  It might make you want to go check them out.

Nirvana "Nevermind" Platinum

Of course all this new music means most likely when you go to a show, the entire audience isn’t singing along because people no longer spin their albums over and over again.  I think this is where radio succeeds in that you have a favorite radio station; they play your favorite song; you memorize the lyrics, you buy a ticket to the show and sing along with everyone else.  The best moments in concert happen when collective strangers share their love of a song.

That said, I’m going to go see Queen Of The Stone Age at the Forum.   Twenty years ago, 20,000 people would be singing in unison because they all owned Nevermind and they paid $14.99 for the right to own that album.   Queens of The Stone Age do not have an album that has sold more than half a million copies. QOTSA can fill up the Forum because of their amazing live show and yet I’m sure there will not be any sing along moments.  Though I’m pretty sure we’ll all be singing the “Feel Good Hit of The Summer

The point is there will no longer be a Tapestry, Rumors, Thriller, Jagged Little Pill or 21, a collection of songs that entire nations seem to own. It’s the end of an era which is kind of sad.  The good news is you can now easily discover music that is uniquely for you and that’s probably why there are no longer platinum albums.

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New Music Tuesday

The Divas return with their unique take on the classics.

Aretha Franklin “Sings The Great Diva Classics” Aretha is here to remind everyone she’s the true original.  The first single is a mashup of “Rolling In The Deep/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” with mixed results.  I think it needs to be a little more restrained but I’m not going to tell The Queen of Soul that she needs to hold back.  I think that’s why she calls this song “The Aretha Version”

I much prefer this jazzy/disco version, I’m sorry Aretha Version of “I Will Survive” mashed into Destiny’s Child Survivor turned out.

Annie Lennox “Nostalgia As Annie explains, she wanted to take these classic songs and put her contemporary spin on it.  I think Annie is one of the best interpreter of songs of the past thirty years and she certainly brings her unique vocal stylings to the forefront including this version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkin’s “I Put A Spell On You” as she takes the female perspective of this song

Here’s Annie talking about each song from her new album

Aretha Franklin "Sing The Great Diva Classics" Annie Lennox "Nostalgia"

 

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Fall Classic Songs

 

Oh, it’s on! The Boys in Blue that are not the Dodgers are playing the boys in pumpkin Orange.

It’s so on that artist Matthew West has created a Kansas City Royals championship song and it’s actually not too bad.  It’s a mash up of Lorde’s Royals with the back beat of Queen’s “We Are The Champions”

And of course, there’s the home spun creations.  May I introduce you to JFlex and TKT of the 816.

It’s so on the San Francisco radio station 96.5 KOIT has bared Lorde’s “Royals” from being played on the air until after the World Series. KFOG (104.5)/SAN FRANCISCO posted on FACEBOOK, “No offense, LORDE, but for the duration of the WORLD SERIES, KFOG will be a ‘Royals’-free zone. We’re sure you understand.” This prompted its KANSAS CITY-based  KZPT (99.7 THE POINT) to put the song into the station’s “highest rotation.”

Appearing in three out of the five past World Series and winning it in 2010 and 2012 this is kind of old hat for the Giants.  The Royals last won the World Series in 1985.    Nevertheless, Hot Buttered Rum realizes they win every other year and have created a song around their Championship run “SF Giants Bluegrass Fight Song”

And of course, there’s Steve Perry  karaoking his way through “Don’t Stop Believing during the 8th inning of the Giants post season games

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Featuring SoundHound

Get Rid of that Earworm with SoundHound

Some time ago, Apple’s annoying catchphrase phrase “There’s an app for that” became popular, and while the phrase has resulted in more than a few laughs, it hasn’t been more true than it is today. There’s an app for just about everything now, including getting rid of that annoying earworm.

The earworm can be seen as something of a work hazard for an audiophile. You listen to so much music you end up getting songs stuck in your head sometimes. The general opinion is that to get rid of an earworm, you need to listen to the song that’s stuck in your head until you grow tired of it, but what if you don’t even know what the song stuck in your head is? You hear a song on the train or the bus or in a cab and you spend the rest of the day just humming the tune without really knowing the words, and while it’s a minor inconvenience at most, these earworms can be extremely annoying.

But not to worry – there’s an app for that, and so much more. SoundHound is a breakthrough in music recognition, allowing users to look up a song simply by singing a tune into the orange button. You can even tap the orange button when there’s a song playing so the app can quickly look it up, give you details, and even lyrics to the song. The app’s LiveLyrics feature also listens to the song and displays lyrics in real time, so it’s the most accurate lyric app ever. If you’re using the app on your iPhone, it can even display lyrics for the songs you’re playing on your device too.

If you’re going to be using the app, however, make sure you’re using WiFi. A blog post on Pocket Fruity says, “Wherever you can, use Wi-Fi. It’s another good way to save mobile battery, it’s cheaper because you won’t use up all your data allowance, and Wi-Fi is just generally more reliable for playing games on your mobile. 3G is good, but can be a bit temperamental depending on where you are, what network you’re on and how much data allowance you have.” SoundHound uses large amounts of data, and you’re better off using WiFi with the app.

SoundHound is available across all mobile platforms, and it’s free to install too. It is, by far, the best music identifying app there is out there.

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Fighting Foo

The Foo Fighters have a new album coming out as well as a music series based around the album.

Eight songs.  Eight different studios in eight different cities to create eight songs and eight episodes of the show and album  entitled “Sonic Highways”

Here’s the first song “Something From Nothing recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago.

 

Dave Grohl is truly a master of promotion and he does this by hitching his wagon to other artists to create some must see viewing.   Here are his appearances on Late Show With David Letterman.

Foos and Zac Brown covering Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”

Foos and Heart “Kick It Out”

Foos and Tony Joe White “Polk Salad Annie”

Foos and Rick Nielsen singing Cheap Tricks’ “Stiff Competition”

Foo Fighters Fight Foo for You!

Foo Fighters "Sonic Highway"

Foo Fighters “Sonic Highway”

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Get Out

Movies to see this weekend or soundtracks to hear

The movie to make me want to pick up the drumsticks and start a band,

God Help The Girl

written and directed by Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch (available on VOD)

 God Help The Girl

Whiplash“, the movie to make me put down the drumsticks and give it all up because I’ll never be good enough

 Whiplash Soundtrack

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John Lennon and Number 9

It’s no secret that John Lennon felt connected to the number 9.  He was born on the 9th (in October).  His childhood home was at 9 Newcastle Road.  He made this drawing of a footballer whose uniform number is 9.  This artwork would later be featured on his album “Walls and Bridges”

First Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan February 9, 1964.

John met Yoko on November 9, 1966

Sean was born on October 9, 1975

The names of John Ono Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon have a combined 9 o’s in it…okay, that one is a stupid fact.

As John said, “it’s just a number that follows me around, but, numerologically, apparently I am number six or three or something, but it’s all part of nine.”

And now, John is featured on my 901st post.  In honor of this fact and that sadly John would have been only 74 this month, I give you the John Lennon “9” songs.

The Beatles “One After 929″

McCartney said, “It’s not a great song but it’s a great favourite of mine because it has great memories for me of John and I trying to write a bluesy freight-train song. There were a lot of those songs at the time, like ‘Midnight Special’, ‘Freight Train’, ‘Rock Island Line’, so this was the ‘One After 909′; she didn’t get the 909, she got the one after it.”

John Lennon “#9 Dream”

The phrase repeated in the chorus, “Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé”, came to Lennon in a dream and has no specific meaning.

The song, coincidentally peaked at #9 on the Billboard charts.

 

And of course there’s The Beatles infamous “Revolution 9″

This is John Lennon in a 1970 Rolling Stone interview:

“Revolution 9 was an unconscious picture of what I actually think will happen when it happens; just like a drawing of a revolution. All the thing was made with loops. I had about 30 loops going, fed them onto one basic track. I was getting classical tapes, going upstairs and chopping them up, making it backwards and things like that, to get the sound effects. One thing was an engineer’s testing voice saying, “This is EMI test series number nine.” I just cut up whatever he said and I’d number nine it. Nine turned out to be my birthday and my lucky number and everything. I didn’t realise it: it was just so funny the voice saying, “number nine”; it was like a joke, bringing number nine into it all the time, that’s all it was.”

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New Music Tuesday

Milky Chance "Sadnecessary:"

 

It’s the most unlikeliest of hit songs, produced by a duo from Kassel, Germany.  It’s reached #1 on the US Alternative and Triple A charts and is sure to do the same on Hot AC.  It  currently has over 76 million plays on YouTube. If I gave you the band name, you would probably have the deer in the headlights look.  If I even gave you the name of the song, I would still get that blank look.  But when I play the song, you’ll go “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah I totally know that song”.  The track is “Stolen Dance by the duo Milky Chance.

 

Honestly, it was the makings of the perfect one hit wonder.  Of course, vocalist Clemens Rehbein and Musician/DJ Philipp Dausch have other plans as their first album Sadnecessary is released today.

Foxygen "...and Star Power"

 

 

Another duo, this one from Agoura Hills, CA created one of my favorite albums of 2013.  Now  Jonathan Rado and Sam France aka Foxygen are back and the first single sounds like they took Todd Rundgren hostage and made him divulge his secret in creating the perfect sounding  1970’s era pop single.

Foxygen goes all in and creates a double CD.  This second song called “Cosmic Vibrations”, uses slowed down vocals and spooky Hammond keyboards that sputter forward before kicking it into gear would fit nicely into an episode of True Detective. I can’t wait to dig into this album.

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Innovators/Imitators The 2015 Rock Hall Nominees

Welcome to the 4th edition of Innovators/Imitators in which I try to separate the wheat from the chaff and determine whom I think should be inducted into the Rock Hall in December.

The Innovators/Imitators idea came from My Morning Jackets’s “Wordless Chorus” so let’s kick this off with the theme song.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – IMITATORS Is the 3rd time the charm for this band  This was my opinion the last two last years and it hasn’t changed. Great musicians that were a springboard for many more innovative acts

Chic-IMITATORS Again, as I said last year.  They  might get in this year because of Nile Rogers contributions to Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” which just proves what I said in the past.  Nile Rogers “deserves to be in the Rock Hall for his production work alone”.

Green Day-INNOVATORS When Dookie first came out, I figured they would be one album wonders but they continued to create catchy punk pop songs. Then 20 years into their career they  practically reinvented themselves with American Idiot and their subsequent Broadway musical of the album. Suddenly 50 and 60 year olds knew the band Green Day.  You might not call it punk rock but they changed the idea that punk was for a limited audience.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts- IMITATORS   While she was one of the first female punk rockers with the Runaways (also not in the Rock Hall), her work with the Blackhearts is mostly known for the one album that contained “I Love Rock N’ Roll” and their cover of “Crimson & Clover”. They’re still a great live band but I don’t think that’s enough to get them in.

Kraftwerk- INNOVATORS I’m shocked they did not get in last year but I think their tour earlier this year reminded everyone of their relevancy.  Let them in!

The Marvelettes IMITATORS They gave Motown records their first #1 hit with “Please Mr. Postman” and they influenced others enough that  The Beatles and The Carpenters covered their songs but they only had two other top ten songs during their heyday (“Playboy” and “Don’t Mess With Bill”) and that’s not enough to get them in.

N.W.A. INNOVATORS Maybe the Rock Hall has some secret policy of only one rap group per year.  They should have got in last year but I guess that was reserved for Public Enemy.  I’m going to scream “Fuck The Rock Hall” if they don’t get in this year.

Nine Inch Nails INNOVATORS Trent Reznor took what Krafwerk, David Bowie and Lou Reed created and made it his own

Lou Reed INNOVATOR Just for his influence alone.  Sure he’s already in with The Velvet Underground but I dare you to listen to his albums “Transformer” and “Coney Island Baby” and say he does not belong in the Rock Hall as a solo artist.

The Smiths INNOVATORS It’s a shame The Smiths won’t play together for this event and Morrissey will turn all the attention on him with some outrageous statement but you can’t hide the fact that they made four brilliant albums in four short years before self imploding

The Spinners – IMITATORS They were a hit making machine in the 70s with 7 top ten hits including the number 1 song “Then Came You”.  But their records were shaped by the talents of Philadelphia producer-songwriter Thom Bell.  Five fine singers but enough to get into the Hall

Sting – INNOVATOR I’m kind of on the fence with this one.  He already has a well deserved entry in the Rock Hall with the Police but his solo work helped spawn the jazz/pop/rock hybrid that helped give credence to Kenny G and the era of Smooth Jazz.  Still, there’s no denying the depth and experimentation in both the lyrics and playing of his songs while still maintaining a huge following.

Stevie Ray Vaughan – INNOVATOR  No one played the guitar like Stevie Ray Vaughan.  The brilliance is that you can recognize his playing in a lineup of 100 similar guitarists.  Just like Hendrix, it’s a shame he was taken away from us so soon but the music lives on to this day.

War – INNOVATORS Just like Rock Hall inductees Santana they combined the roots of their city and their Latin heritage to create a unique sound that caught on with the masses

Bill Withers – INNOVATOR I think watching the movie “Still Bill” slightly influenced my decision but there’s no denying the beauty in his voice and songs.  He should be in the Hall for “Lean On Me” alone.

You can vote for your favorite artist by clicking on the photo below.

Rock Hall 2015 Nominees Let's Not Get Carried Away

Rock Hall 2015 Nominees Vote Now!

 

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Free Music Friday The 5 Fave music blog edition

I’ve never tried to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new music.  I prefer people or blogs or yes, even radio stations I like to turn me on to something cool.  So with that said, here are a few blogs  that  I think are cool and interesting and a good way to try to stay relevant with up and coming new artists.  Click on the image to get to the music blogs

Pretty Much Amazing 10 Downloads You Won’t Regret

Stereogum “The ‘Gum Mix”

Stereogum "The 'Gum Mix"

Stereogum “The ‘Gum Mix”

Gorrilla Vs. Bear MP3

Gorrilla Vs. Bear MP3s

largehearted boy Daily Downloads

largehearted boy daily downloads

largehearted boy daily downloads

Indie Shuffle

indie shuffle

indie shuffle

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