Here’s some awesome new-ish music to check out. Everything is electronic this time, and embedded!
Portugal. The Man
(Don Hertzfeldt Retrospective)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2 songs)
TV on the Radio
Jimmy Buffett/Ilo and the Coral Reefer All Stars
of Montreal (2 songs)
Nine Inch Nails
Okkervil River (2 songs)
Merle Haggard (3 songs)
Andrew Bird (2 songs)
Band of Horses
Here’s a cool cover of Pearl Jam’s ‘Why Go’ by rapper POS. It’s been stuck in my head for the past few days, so I know it’s good. Pearl Jam has been in the news a lot lately, what with the rerelease of Ten and all.
There’s now officially a product available from the extreme amount of material NIN recently released. The best part about this material? It’s high quality and totally free. Free, as in $0, not even a donation asked for free.
There are two albums under the combined name, Another Version of the Truth, Las Vegas and The Gift. All recordings are from live shows, with some of the audio coming from fan mics mixed with soundboard feeds. Both albums incorporate material from The Slip and Ghosts I-IV, which shows stong indicators that this internet-released music is something that’s going to be a permanent part of the NIN discography rather than an experiment in a new business model.
One strange and amazing thing is that there’s a DVD project on the site that aims to get together fans who are willing to produce and distribute burned DVD copies to fans who want such copies. That’s such a new, fresh idea that it’s very notable. Tape trading is something most bands tolerate, but to actively facilitate it is remarkable.
At this point, one has to ask whether Trent and Co. will ever release an album again with no free component to it. There certainly hasn’t been one for the past three releases. That’s extremely laudable, and it’s good business for NIN to boot. Check this out:
Yet again, Trent Reznor proves his love for his fans by releasing to torrent 400GB of raw HD footage of three complete Nine Inch Nails concerts. Not only that, he’s encouraging fans to take the raw footage and do something beautiful with it.
NIN isn’t protecting or hiding their property, and everyone benefits. How many other artists have vaults of this type of stuff that has limited commercial viability? It’s stuff like this that’s definitely better used as a promotional vehicle, because people often find actual value in free content.
Today is a good day, and it’s only getting started! First, the greatest news that’s happened in a while- the RIAA has publicly stated that they are ending individual lawsuits against file sharers! Of course, there’s the 35,000 individuals that unfortunately got sued and lost money needlessly, so it’s hard to forgive still. The greater victory is that we’re not making criminals out of our citizens needlessly. There are way too many people to thank for helping to get to this point, but I’ll be the first to say I’m grateful.
The second good piece of news is that Al Franken has taken his first lead in the Minnesota senate race (I saw it live at The Uptake (donate to them!)), and most news outlets seem to be favoring him as the eventual victor. If rejected absentee ballots are counted, I don’t think there’s going to be any question – those are projected to heavily favor Franken.
Franken’s still projected to be up by about 50 votes after the primary recount and before the absentee ballots are counted. We’ll know more tomorrow, live coverage at The Uptake.
2008 was a good year for music – there were a lot of standout albums by some heavy hitters this year (at least one of which is returning to form after about a ten year absence). It was a pretty evenly paced year, every release coming a few months apart. Here are my picks for the five best albums of 2008, not in any particular order:
This is some good stuff here – all shot in one take, if you pay attention. I found the link cruising on Kaliber10000. Still not sure if it’s offensive, but whatever – life’s too short to waste time thinking about that…
There’s another new, creative commons licensed Nine Inch Nails album out there, titled ‘The Slip’. Trent Reznor and his crew really seem to get where the music industry going and should be. It looks like one of the ways NIN is trying make back their costs on this (and most likely make a small mint as well) is through related concert ticket sales, which are scarce goods. Of course, that’s one good that will be more in demand, too, given that more people are listening to NIN nowadays. Plus, the Ghosts albums were pretty commercially successful, to boot, so there’s a decent chance this one will make some money too.
This is just a great, angry album, and it’s one I wasn’t expecting to be that good. The title track is a great intro to the album, and it rocks hard until the end.
Jack Johnson finally gets his hands a little dirty on this album, from a man not typically known for his political views. The great part is that he is able to do this without comprimising his style in any significant manner. This may be his best album to date.
Until this album, I’ll admit to never having listened to Biffy Clyro. They’re a Scottish band, and this album is their best commercial success to this point. I’ll admit to not being much in love with their name, but this really is an album to check out either way.
I’ve never been quite able to get into She Wants Revenge. To tell the truth, I have a hard time distinguishing them from Interpol in the past. However, this album is pretty solid from start to end – check out “It’s Just Begun,” my favorite track.
This one is kind of hard to categorize – it’s political, yet at the same time it’s not too full of itself to have some fun, with tracks like “When Vegans Attack”. Clutch is one of those bands that have been around for a long time, existing at the fringes of popularity – enough to pay the bills mainly through touring, but they’ve not enjoyed any significant mass exposure. This album is one of their most critically successful albums to date, and hopefully will open other doors for the band.