Hype Hype Hooray is a biweekly “critique” of the music scene and the blogosphere that feeds it, told through the lens of Jamie Hale, a journalist who likes music about as much as he likes scotch and a firm leather chair. Please enjoy with a grain of salt.
I was somewhere in the woods of southwest Washington, hiking a well-worn trail on a cool spring day. My iPod sat in my back pocket, headphones nestled into my ears, pumping the sweet sound of Foxygen to my brain. It was somewhere during their acclaimed single “Shuggie,” in the middle of one of the song’s sudden breakaway bridges, that the feeling overcame me. I was in love, I realized–in love with Spotify.
I hadn’t known the app long. I was in the midst of its two-day trial, a coy courtship meant to lead to a monthly subscription of their premium service. With the trial I got all the perks a premium user gets: instant streaming of almost any album ever made, ability to craft custom playlists, and the oh-so-important offline feature.
I took a break on a log, turned on alt-J’s “An Awesome Wave,” and sighed.
Back in high school, after MP3s swiftly subjugated the reign of CDs, I used to tell my friends “Just wait, something will come by someday and make MP3s obsolete.” They would scoff and say “Sure, but what could possibly be better than a digital music file?” nearly a decade later we have the answer: limitless streaming.
It’s pretty amazing when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We can now, at the touch of a screen, listen to almost any album ever made. The original iPods, which required the external purchase of music, are now nothing more than mausoleums for our dated goods. Who needs to acquire music when we can just have access to it all?
Spotify isn’t inventing the wheel here, it’s simply taking advantage of the inevitable change in technology and marketing it better than anyone else. And, oh, does it market it well.
Continue reading [Hype Hype Hooray] Spotify, You Beautiful Wench →
Monday can be the best day of your week if you’re willing to make it happen. Buffalo Rodeo’s brand of kinetic upstart indie rock is sure to give a jolt to anyone’s fresh work week despair. And if you’re happy-go-lucky ALL THE TIME, this Bowling Green, Kentucky group should be right up your alley.
Home Videos, Buffalo Rodeo’s newest EP, was released April 19.
Buffalo Rodeo on Bandcamp | Facebook
I am devastated. I am devastated that I had not yet heard Kim Janssen until yesterday when I posted about Snowstar Records’ 10 Year Anniversary Compilation. I am devastated by Janssen’s pacifying voice, and by his deft instrumentation. I am devastated by his latest EP, The Lonely Mountains, which grips me with cascading strings and choral brilliance.
The Lonely Mountains (out via Snowstar Records) features over 30 (30!) musicians and singers. Careful if you’re already in a delicate mood.
Kim Janssen – “Britten” [MP3]
Kim Janssen – “Drift” [MP3] (video here)
Kim Janssen on the web | Facebook
In honor of Record Store Day on April 20, Snowstar Records released a 10 Year Anniversary Compilation, including nine new songs from their favorite artists. It’s an exhilarating listen, starting with the stellar “City of the Dead” from Kim Janssen.
The Dutch label has a diverse array of talent, so have a blast with their roster.
Ghost Hotel is hot on the scene from Frederick, MD, and of course we have a special affinity for Maryland music, what with the Knox Road name (College Park, hi!) and all. Not to take away from this talented five-piece who craft honeyed indie pop with guy-girl vocals and a simple yet elegant style. You know me, I have a soft spot for this stuff.
Do You Feel It, Ghost Hotel’s debut album, was released last summer.
Ghost Hotel on Bandcamp | Facebook | Tumblr
Coasts continue to bring the goods with their new song “Wallow,” off their Paradise EP, which they will stream in full at the end of June. I’m curious how their music translates live. If they can pull off the energy of their recorded material, watch out. The crescendos burst at the seams.
“Wallow” is officially out May 20 via Tidal Recordings
Coasts on Knox Road | SoundCloud
So. Last month I finally made it. After many youthful daydreams about the city from whose loins an infinite number of my musical faves sprung, it happened. How’d it go? Well. Manchester.
Firstly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the reason for my being in the drafty, NW England town: My Bloody Valentine live at the O2 Apollo. NOTE: I managed to wind my way around not writing a review following the release of mbv back in February when the entire blogosphere, megamagazines and even your grandma had something to say about the chaos surrounding it. Given everyone’s knowledge of my superfandom it was a bit too predictable for me to go on about how much I loved it at first listen (and still do). Bor-ing. Right. Anyway. Manchester. I was there to see MBV.
While I realize the possibility and reality that I am writing this to an audience who largely doesn’t give a fuck, I’m giving it a go anyway. I’m not stupid. When after seeing the line-up more than a handful of 2013 Coachella ticket buyers snorted on Twitter about having no idea who The Stone Roses were (“maybe the promoters meant The Rolling Stones WTF?”) I had serious reservations about mentioning anything about this, or continuing to write at all. Good loving lordy. But, I have faith that a few folks out there are interested. It is an important part of musical history, this Man/Madchester. Genius the likes of Martin Hannett and Tony Wilson cannot be ignored. To take a completely selfish view: I care about it and so should you.
Continue reading [Abby's Road] Oh Manchester, so much to answer for. →
Long one of my favorite bands, Bell X1 hadn’t probed my space much over the last couple years. That may have been my ignorance, but more likely it’s that the band wasn’t up to much new studio recording as they toured. However, that’s all changed, as the Irish trio grouped together to record their newest album Chop Chop, in the span of two weeks.
Chop Chop is set for release July 1 on BellyUp Records, and if the first two singles are any indication, we’re in for the most intricate, exquisite Bell X1 album yet. The album was produced by Thomas Bartlett and Peter Katis, of The National fame, and you can hear his influence. Which should tell you all need to know. If that’s not enough, though, listen to two songs below off Chop Chop, including the freshly released, entrancing album opener, “Starlings Over Brighton Pier.”
Déjà vu! We’ve partnered for a second time with our good friends over at exfm, as well as dreambear (the music/video production company I recently discussed), to present a fantastic night of music at Pianos, April 17 in New York City. Featuring the likes of Black Light Dinner Party, New Myths, Cultfever, and AM to AM, the show couldn’t make us more proud and legitimately excited.
You know we’re major BLDP and Cultfever fans around here, but we’re also psyched to have the new wave New Myths ladies and the up-tempo AM to AM crew with us. It’s actually BLDP’s residency this month at Pianos, so if for some reason you can’t make it to our show (lame), catch them live tonight or April 24.
Get there early on Wednesday night; the place will be active. Be sure to visit the Facebook event page and invite your friends / say hey. We want to see you.
11pm: New Myths
9pm: Black Light Dinner Party
8pm: AM to AM
158 Ludlow St | New York, NY
Doors at 8:00 pm | Wednesday April 17, 2013
Tickets: $8 (all proceeds to artists) | 21+
Pianos Event Page | Advance Tickets
I missed this dreamy gem a few weeks ago, and for that I apologize. So allow me to rectify the situation by highlighting Swim Deep’s “She Changes The Weather” on a sun-soaked Tuesday in New York City.
Swim Deep on Tumblr | Facebook