Friday Indie Feature / Vacationer

Like Now, Now, I saw Vacationer open for The Naked and Famous in Toronto. They seemed to have a ton of fans in the crowd and I could see why: their music sounds great and they put on a great show.

From their Facebook page:

The eastern seaboard’s foremost relaxation specialists have teamed up to compile this unique collection of serenity-inducing sonic arrangements. The audio program you are about to experience was designed with the sole purpose of relaxing the listener and sending their mind on a well-deserved trip. No airfare needed, no reservations. Simply settle in, relax and enjoy; Vacation from anywhere at anytime.

Here’s my favourite song from their album, Gone: Be With You

Friday Indie Feature / Now, Now

I saw Now, Now perform live when they opened for The Naked and Famous in Toronto. Tons of energy, great sound, and their album, Threads, is fantastic from start to finish.

From their Wikipedia:

Now, Now, formerly known as Now, Now Every Children and abbreviated NNEC, is an American indie rock band formed in Blaine, Minnesota and based in Minneapolis. The band is composed of Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar, keyboard); Bradley Hale (drums, backing vocals); Jess Abbott (guitar, vocals), with occasional touring members Britty Hale (keyboard) and Christine Sako (bass).

Here’s my favourite song off of their album, Threads: Wolf

The Naked And Famous in Concert: Better than their album!

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing The Naked and Famous in concert. They quickly became one of my favourite bands when their record, Passive Me, Aggressive you, kept me hooked from start to finish.

Live? They’re incredible.

They played every song from their album as well as a new song and a b-side, and the crowd at the Sound Academy was loving it. In addition, the lights at the show really added to the experience as they had this huge block of LEDs behind them that flashed to the music and displayed images.

They also had two great bands open for them: Now, Now and Vacationer.

Young and talented bands with amazing sounds for a night? An amazing experience that I must get more often. And now I end this post the way The Naked and Famous ended their night: Young Blood.

The Birth of #MixtapeTOSF

Magical things happen when you act on spontaneity.

Example: On Sunday night, Lan and I had decided, to start sending each other mixtapes on a regular basis. Every week, we’d assemble a good lot of songs and sling them over. I thought it was great because I kill two birds with one stone: I get to keep talking to a friend in San Francisco, and I get to hear a bunch of music I may not have heard before.

Yesterday was our inaugural #MixtapeTOSF exchange. It went even better than expected.

Here are our mixtapes, mine (“Energetic Mondays”) on the left, and Lan’s (“I Love The Unknown”) on the right.

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Totally looking forward to next Monday. I’ve already started working on the mixtape!

Be spontaneous!

YouTube: Copyright Hero?

Margaret Gould Stewart, the head of user experience over at YouTube explains the Content ID system over at YouTube, and mentions that the minute you upload some copyrighted material, the rights holders get to determine what happens to your video.

Once again, not a huge fan of copyright protection being too far and overreaching, but you really do have to realize that YouTube is making small and incremental changes to copyright protection. The story from the video is a great example: the wedding video that uses Chris Brown’s Forever brought the song back to number 4 on the iTunes charts, having been long dead before that. Had Sony, the rights holder to Chris Brown’s Forever, simply blocked the video from appearing, that song would have stayed off of the charts.

Keep in mind, years ago, these RIAA companies would simply have blocked the content and prevent anyone from enjoying the video. Now, you have companies thinking about all of the possibilities that can come from that one video. As Stewart said:

By simply blocking all reuse, you’ll miss out on new art forms, new audiences, new distribution channels and new revenue streams.

Now, the real task is to get them to move from only allowing popular videos to benefit from this sort of leniency, and to all videos that simply want to share the song – you want more people to listen to your artists, don’t you?

Featured Album Fridays / Field Music – Measure (2010)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, the 2010 album from Field Music – Measure.

Here is the description of Field Music from their Last.FM:

Field Music is an experimental pop band from Sunderland, UK, formed by brothers Peter and David Brewis and their schoolfriend, pianist Andrew Moore. They have recently reconvened after an extended hiatus with a new line-up featuring guitarist/keyboardist Kev Dosdale and bass player Ian Black (Andrew having taken time out to train as a chef). A new double album is due to be released in February 2010.

The band’s first album, the eponymous “Field Music”, was released in 2005, followed in 2006 by a collection of b-sides and early tracks entitled ‘Write Your Own History’. During this time they toured with fellow bands from the North East England, such as Maximo Park and The Futureheads, as well as sonic adventurers from further afield, including Melbourne’s Architecture in Helsinki and Portland’s Menomena.

In 2007, they released ‘Tones of Town’, a critically acclaimed song cycle, which captured a particularly English variety of post-industrial frustration. However, sensing that a quick follow-up could lead to a dilution of ideas and purpose, the band announced a hiatus shortly after the album was released. In this time Peter and David each released solo albums as The Week That Was and School of Language respectively.

All of their albums were self-produced at their own ‘8Music’ studio in Sunderland.

As usual, the stream is below. Enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Holly Miranda – The Magician’s Private Library (2010)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, the 2010 album from Holly Miranda – The Magician’s Private Library.

Here is the description of Holly Miranda from her Last.FM:

Holly Miranda is a Detroit born musician, raised between Michigan and Tennessee. Besides being trained in piano, Holly is a self-taught guitar and trumpet player. In 2001, She recorded “High Above The City”, a 20-track solo album available only at shows. In the fall of 2003, Holly met and teamed up with Alex Lipsen, producer and keys player. The project evolved into The Jealous Girlfriends, a four piece band based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She also recorded and performed as Raven Mayhem.

Holly has recently released an EP and has a solo album coming out some time in 2009 . It was produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and Celebration’s Katrina Ford.

Very different from what I’m used to, but very chill music. The stream is below, hope you enjoy!

Featured Album Fridays / Built By Snow – Mega (2009)

This week on Featured Album Fridays, the 2009 album from Built By Snow – Mega.

Here is the description of Built By Snow from their Last.FM:

Catchy keyboard rock with an explosion of velcro melodies and magnetic pop hooks that hit your brain like an Atari blasting out of a bazooka.

Short and sweet! This album is very poppy and I love that, give it a listen with the stream below. Enjoy!