Archive for the Music tag

Mike

Weekly Nostalgia on AbsolutePunk

Mike, Music No Comment

I’ve been reading AbsolutePunk for many years now. During college it was where I found out about new bands, new releases, and tours. There was no MySpace or Last.fm or any of the other millions of ways to find music online these days.

A few weeks ago they started doing Weekly Nostalgia, featuring a great band from years ago. Last week was Midtown, one of my college favorites. I can’t remember the last time I listened to one of their albums. I’ve listened to Cobra Starship much more recently, but that counts less than half. I don’t think I ever saw them in concert, somehow they just slipped by.

This week’s is The Movielife. I know that I definitely saw them in concert at least once. I believe they were opening for Brand New. The Movielife was never one of my favorites. I’m not sure I listened to any of their albums all the way through more than once. The songs in this look back are all excellent (and are still in my playlist today) and make me wonder if I should have spent a little more time digging through their other stuff.

I’m excited for the next rounds of these looks back. I imagine most of them will be old favorites that I used to listen to non-stop but might have gotten out of the habit of listening to.

Mike

Every Man Has A Molly

Mike, Music No Comment

Just because. Just because it came up in my iTunes. Just because Say Anything rocks and this is prob my favorite Say Anything song. Just because.



Mike

Lose the Flashing Guitars FOB

Mike, Music No Comment

You know me, I’ve been a huge Fall Out Boy fan for many years now. Of course now their average fan is 10 years younger than me. Last night they were on Letterman and their guitars had, umm, lights on them. And they were flashing and blinking during the song. I just thought it looked really, really dumb. I’m not sure how I feel about the new album yet. I’ve only listened once and I Don’t Care has seemed kinda boring to me. They really peaked with Take This To Your Grave. Each subsequent album hasn’t been quite as good as the previous one.




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Mike

New Sirius Lineup Preset Worries

Mike, Music No Comment

Today Sirius & XM combined most of their music channels. I only knew about it because I keep tabs on these sorts of things by subscribing to Orbitcast in my Google Reader. Sirius XM didn’t actually make an announcement about the changes, just updated their websites this morning. A lot of XM Subscribers are upset because a lot of Sirius channels were picked to live on. Not that it makes a difference, they we overlapping so everyone will adjust. People just enjoy complaining.

My problem is that with my car only has 6 preset buttons (3 sets of them, but I don’t like changing to other sets). I now have to decide what channels to pick.

Prior to the upgrade these were my presets (in order of channel number and if it’s not clear I’ll mention what they play):

1 Sirius Hits 1
6 60s Vibrations
9 The Pulse – 90s & Now
21 Alt Nation
24 Lithium – 90s Alternative
28 Faction – Punk, Hard Rock, Hip-Hop, and Jason Ellis in the afternoons

All the channels I had before still exist in some form. 60s Vibrations is now 60s on 6 and The Pulse moved to channel 12. There are 2 new candidates looking to break into the presets: 90s on 9 and Pop2K (looks like a new decade channel for the 2000s, but 00s on 10 doesn’t really work).

For now 90s on 9 and Pop2K will take the place of 60s on 6 and Lithium. I haven’t listened to those 2 that much recently but on occasion I am in the mood for oldies. As for Lithium, its a nice change up. With so many pop stations I think one of them is likely to be cut in the next few weeks.

I’m not sure how other car satellite radios are setup but they should be more like the plug & play units. Those units usually have 10 buttons for presets (like my car they usually have 3 sets). The plug & plays also let you setup alerts for songs or artists. The only bonus of having it built in to my car is that, well, its that it’s built in. No extra unit. No extra connections. No having to plug it in. No speaker wire running all over. Many at some point they will realize if they give the new car owners ALL the features they give to the people that buy it in the store, more people will keep the service when the trial runs out.

Mike

And I’ll say I ain’t do it with my face covered in chocolate

Mike, Music No Comment

For whatever reason, this Gym Class Heroes post from April 07 is one of the most viewed here on BF. Today, their new album, The Quilt was released. I checked it out today, it was being streamed on AOL.

One song stood out from all the rest: Cookie Jar. A song about … cookies!

There is already a video for it. Pay close attention to the lyrics. So deep … and delicious.

Other line considered to be the title of this post: My girl be setting booby traps to catch me eating Scooby snacks. It was a very difficult decision.

Mike

Amazon MP3 Downloads

Mike No Comment

I was looking around at music download sites the other day. I like iTunes for its convenience but I also hate it because of the DRM. It works because the only time I listen to my purchased iTunes music is on my computer or on my iPods. However, I can’t listen at work since I don’t have iTunes and can’t have an iPod or burned CDs there. For that reason just about all of my purchases have been actual CDs. They are a little more expensive than the downloads and I have to go out and get them when I want them. At least with the physical CD I am guaranteed to have the music in any format. On the downside my CD case is filing up and hitting random on a single disc isn’t all that exciting.

Amazon caught my eye because they are only doing DRM-free MP3 downloads. They are also trying to be cheaper. Popular singles are $. 89 and most albums are $8.99. I decided to try it out on Wednesday. I downloaded the new Saves the Day album. It cost $7.99. When I checked the actual CD was $13.99 on Amazon. The first thing you have to do is get the Amazon MP3 Downloader. Its available on Mac and Windows, obviously I’m using the Mac version. You can tell the downloader where you want your files stored and if you want the songs to be added to iTunes automatically. Once you have that you download a file for the music you’ve purchased. It then opens up the downloader. It does just what you expect, saves the files and adds them to iTunes. Then they’ll get sync’d up with your iPod next time. I believe the files are 256kbps, higher than I used to encode my mp3s. After purchasing I put them somewhere so that I could download the songs to my computer at work, they work with Windows Media Player. Its all working great so far. Last night I grabbed another album and a few songs I’d been meaning to get off iTunes.

Today, Sony announced they are going DRM-free. Still not sure where they will be selling those tracks. Still, with the major labels going DRM-free in some capacity there are going to be a lot of different options. For now Amazon looks like it works for me. The mp3s are easily to deal with and don’t have any compatibility problems.  I’ll be going with them until I find something more interesting.

Mike

Week Links

Mike No Comment

Colbert
The Colbert links are all over the place thanks to his book release and his Presidential Bid.

Watch – On Larry King, this link is to the Larry King iTunes podcast. CNN doesn’t seem to have any direct links to their podcasts.

Read – From the New York Times Op-Ed page. He wrote Maureen Dowd’s column for her.

I’ve very excited for his run in South Carolina. Anyone who thinks this is a joke that will make a mockery of the primary process has not been paying attention to the primary process. Right now his focus is getting the signatures to get on the Democratic ballot. The $25,000 to get on the Republican ballot is going to be more difficult. Why does it cost so much to get on the ballot? Shouldn’t the chance to run for office be open to anyone? I thought signatures were fairly standard, or having to go and fill out a form and pay a processing fee, but one a little more realistic. The next step needs to be voter registration. At the very least a ton of people who have never voted before will register and go to the polls. A decent showing could spawn a write-in campaign across the country. In the end, two things are accomplished: more people are registered to vote and people take notice that the whole process is actually a joke. Who knows, maybe by defending his right to be in the race he can get some of the other candidates to defend their words and be honest.

Conan
During taping of Conan one night this week an alarm went off. Conan rolled with it and they wound up keeping it in the show. It continued when the next guest, Paget Brewseter, came out.

I’ve been concerned that Conan might not be able to be successful on The Tonight Show when he takes over. I think he’s great, but, to me, The Tonight Show is an entirely different audience. An audience that enjoys Jay Leno, which I cannot understand how that’s possible. After seeing how he played this I realize how truly great he can be and that he can work with any situation. That will make him successful in the new time slot. I’m just hoping he doesn’t change too much and keep the consistent boredom that is the current Tonight Show.

More Goods
Best Dilbert Blogs that I read this week. They may be a little older, I had some catching up to do.
Indoor Recreation – Just for his idea for the Ping Pong Palace.
Some People – Sometimes, you just want to kill someone for no particular reason.

North American Vexillological Association – Flags, flags, and more flags. The kind of site that you think is dumb, and then a few hours go by and you are still looking at it.

The videos follow …

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Mike

Bandwagon Jumping

Mike No Comment

I’m keeping this as Bandwagon Jumping until I find a better name. After thinking about it, the name doesn’t really make sense. The idea it to start the bandwagon, not jump on it. Bandwagon Starting isn’t all that great a name. So until I figure something out, or hear a good suggestion, here are my weekly look at what I’m liking, and what I’m not.

On

Basic Instructions – I heard about this one from The Dilbert Blog. It was good when I first started reading it, but the last few have been great. Check out this and this.

nhl.com Video Highlights – They show all the goals and great saves. Sometimes even some hits. The stream is 700k, meaning excellent quality and it uses Flash so I haven’t had a problem viewing it anywhere. There is also the option to embed the clip. One problem, controversial plays are skipped. The Flyers-Canucks clip from this week did not show the Boulerice hit that led to his 25 game suspension. I guess that sort of thing requires some voiceover and all the highlights just use the game announcers.

Versus College Football – Last week Stanford beat #1 USC. This week Oregon State beat #2 Cal. I have no idea if the actual coverage is any good, I only watch the last few minutes and at that point you don’t really notice the announcers. I don’t get Versus in HD, but that’s more of a Verizon issue. I’m hoping the Penn State/Ohio State game in two weeks can somehow be covered by Versus.

Angels & Airwaves – My Only Fear – I’m excited for the new A&A album, I-Empire. It comes out on November 6th. I’ve heard some of the songs and My Only Fear hooked me instantly. Don’t be surprised if this album makes the Bandwagon in a month.

Paramore – I’ve like both their albums so far. The reason they are here now is how impressed I am at their live performances. For example, this acoustic version of Misery Business. This week they were on Conan and were amazing doing the normal version of the song.

Dollyrots – Because I’m Awesome – Sirius Hits One is slowly picking up that this song is good. First I like the full of herself attitude of the song. Also, I usually like songs where two people have a conversation in part of it. For example … Guy: I always tell you how smart you are. Girl: It’s cause my brain is really supersized. There are a couple of those type of exchanges in the song.

Natasha Bedingfield – Love Like This – If I like Unwritten and I like this, do I need to get the album? I haven’t heard any other songs.

Off

Finger Eleven – Paralyzer – I was on board with this song early on, then it started spreading. Now its one of the most requested songs on Sirius Hits One. This song just didn’t stand up to being overplayed. Few songs do.

Reaper – I actually like this show. It just didn’t do enough to keep me coming back for more. It isn’t serialized enough. I could watch the first few episodes on their own or in any order and it wouldn’t have made any difference. Its entirely possible that they will figure something out and I’ll be getting these DVDs in a year. For now, I’ve got too many shows that I’m watching every week and something needs to go. I can’t keep up this pace. This is one is the first difficult cut. If you see that its on and you’ve got nothing else to do, you should definitely check it out, you’ll enjoy it.

Mike
Mike

Back to Last.fm

Tech No Comment

I decided to start using Last.fm again. iTunes does a fine job of keeping track of how many times I’ve listened to songs and I have some ratings in there to keep track of my favorites and songs I never want to hear again, but don’t want to delete. Last.fm lets me keep track of what I’ve listened to over the past week or month. More stats the better I always say.

The major reason I had stopped using it was that I don’t want it to count podcasts in my stats. The software lets you pick which directories to track. It took a little while to set that up to ignore my podcast directory and it didn’t work. This is a new version of the software, but I haven’t tested to see if it works now. I’ll survive by going to the site and manually deleting what I don’t want tracked. At least they give me that option. We’ll see if I get sick of it again soon.

Last.fm has all sorts of other cool ideas. Add a large user base and you can see why CBS bought them.

The recommendation or neighbor radio both sound cool if you are looking for something new. I’ve never used any of the radio features. I’m content with all the music I have to listen to. I have other ways of finding new artists. Usually by visiting Absolute Punk a few times a day.

I mentioned how much I love stats. Well, not only do they keep track of your own stats, but for everyone collectively. You can also have groups and see what’s most popular within your group. I was a little shocked when I looked at the Overall Charts. The Weekly Top Tracks have a lot of new stuff except at #7 where Oasis – Wonderwall sneaks in. Its a great song, but seems completely out of place on that list.

The feature that could be the coolest but turns out to be the scariest is the Neighbors. Based on what you listen to it shows you the most similar people. To me this is the best way to find new bands to listen to. Its just quicker than the Recommendation Radio. The scary part? My closest neighbor is a 16 year old girl. I should expect this, but I don’t like it being told to me. I’ve only seen music advertised on Last.fm. I’m thankful for that, I’m scared what sorts of ads I’d be getting otherwise based on my music tastes.

I’m going to go do my part to get Champagne Supernova into the Top 10.

My Last.fm Profile

Mike

The Format, Free Album Download

Mike, Music No Comment

Get it at The Format’s site. To celebrate the 1 Year Anniversary of the release of Dog Problems the album is being offered for free. Well, you do have to give an email address that signs you up for their newsletter, they say you can opt out. I had been looking to get this album but at Best Buy it was about $14, way more than I’m willing to spend on any CD. I took advantage of this offer yesterday. I’d heard two of the tracks on Sirius over the past few months and love them both: The Compromise and She Doesn’t Get It. The tracks are mp3s encoded at 256k VBR. Very solid and very cool of The Format. The download is free until July 16th, so get over there.