Boom Bip – Blue-Eyed in the Red Room

Since I haven’t really “reviewed” anything as of late, I flipped over to iTunes and hit the “random” button. I then clicked “next” 5 times. The first thing that popped up was Boom Bip’s Blue-Eyed in the Red Room CD. So, here goes.

Ummm … cool.

Interesting stuff. I like that it’s mostly instrumental. I also like that there are literally no samples used. There’s kind of a Postal Service sound to this, but no Ben Gibbard–just music. And it’s mixed really well. A lot of times with instrumentals, there’s an emphasis on keyboards, or bass, or drum beats. Not this–everything is well balanced and sounds great together. I’d be curious to know if this was all done on a keyboard, or whether actual instruments were used. It sounds like instruments, but with as accurate as some sound processors can be, it’s a bit difficult to tell!

The CD opens with “Cimple.” Keyboards, piano, drums, bass, something that sounds like a harpsichord, some other programmed sounds … kind of a mellow piece that kind of keeps you awake, but could easily lull you to sleep.

“The Move” is a little faster, with more keyboards, bass drums, something that sounds like it’s supposed to be a snare but isn’t … sounds more like a DJ scratching. Lots of layered sounds mixed in.

I’m liking this CD.

“Do’s and Dont’s” features utilizes the vocals of Gruff Rhys. “Thou shall not do this; thou shall not do that.” I like the lyrics–a classic back-and-forth between opposites. I’m also digging the water-pipe sounds. If you’re familiar with the STOMP dvd where they play pipes in an underground sewer line and they put them in water and move them up and down, yah–similar sound.

Kind of like Mike Oldfield, a little Owl City-ish… though in my opinion more diverse and a LOT more sounds than OC. I like this CD a lot.

Okay, that’s it for the song reviews. If you’re a fan of instrumental music and dig the whole electronica scene, this CD is for you.

Best of Both Worlds

So, U2 had to cancel their tour due to Bono’s back surgery. Crushing shame for fans all over the world, right?

Tell that to the Glastonbury audience.

In their absence, Muse was asked to fill the slot. Now … I have no problem admitting that I am a HUGE Muse fan, and I bask in their musical glory on a daily basis, but those are awesomely MIGHTY large shoes to have to fill. U2 is legendary. Their shadow is cast on just about every country. Is there a corner of the world that hasnt’ heard of them? I highly doubt it. Muse, by way of comparison, are on the rise, and they are comprised of some of the best musicians out there, but …  they’re not Adam, Edge, Bono or Larry.

Yet.

So the good folks at Glastonbury recognized the talent in Muse, asked them to headline the show. An honor in and of itself. However, Muse “filling in” for U2 is like asking the now LA Lakers to “fill in” for the Chicago Bulls of the 90s. You can’t do it.

Yet.

Muse knows PR. They know the fans got shafted out of seeing the legends. They also know that they have a good, strong fan base in the UK. So … how do you assuage the audience that feels cheated?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yX1avvACZM&feature=related

If that doesn’t give you goosebumps, you suck. Period. For one, it means you know next to nothing about either music history or current music, which begs the question: “Why am I even reading this blog?” Second, the energy these two bands have ALONE is enough to power a small country, like France. Together? I don’t know. We’re way past nuclear fusion or atomic energy. We haven’t even created that much energy yet.

Or maybe they have.

In any case, enjoy the video. I have at least a dozen times at this point.

New Music Friday!!

After a long hiatus of not posting new music, it’s time to update. Yes, another trip to the fantastic Fat Fin, another fantastic haul. 12 CDs for $37. I can handle that!

This is not the first time I’ve bought new music in a few weeks … it’s just the first time I’ve posted buying new music in a few weeks. In several weeks, actually. Chalk it up to busy Fridays at work and forgetting to write when I get home, or being out of town, or … something.

So here’s what I got today.

  • The Lost Patrol – Songs About Running Away
  • De Giacomo – Asa Nisi Masa
  • The Tight Connection – I Am the World Trade Center (2002 release date … I’m very curious to hear what this sounds like)
  • First Aid Kit – Drunken Trees (recommended by John! THANKS!)
  • John Wilkes Booze – Five Pillars of Soul
  • Liars – There’s Always Room on the Broom EP
  • McLusky – She Will Only Bring You Happiness
  • Burning Brides – Fall of the Plastic Empire
  • The Caribbean – Plastic Explosives
  • Champaigne Kiss – Dancing in the Pocket of Thieves
  • Clinic – Walking with Thee
  • Controlling the Famous – Automatic City

iPhone Music App You NEED

Nifty.

That’s about the best way to describe Moodagent. This app ($4.99 in the App Store) will take all your songs, catalog them and assign them to one or more categories (up to 5), then you can select your mood–sensual, tender, happy, or angry, then select the tempo. All of this selecting is done on color-coded sliders. The higher you slide a particular mood, the more songs of that type will be added to a playlist. The playlist can be up to 50 songs, but the default is 25. 

With the new 2.0 version of the app, you can tweet or Facebook your playlist. I *love* that. I’m a big fan of sharing what I’m listening to (though once it got me in a bit of trouble with FB friends who wondered why I was posting every 3-5 minutes, “I’m listening to ‘X’ by Y,” but that was a different app, iShareTunes). I’m also a monster fan of helping others discover new music. Others better than I have done it for me; the least I can do is return the favor. “Pay it forward,” as it were, only with a musical twist.

There is a music profiler that you can download from their site, both for PC and Mac platforms, that allows you to “speed up” the process. I’ve noticed that quite a few of my songs (read: a few thousand) weren’t catagorizable because they weren’t in the profiler’s database, nor could the program cull the information from the internet. I’d say about 90% of my items were cataloged. Pretty good, considering the amount of indie and foreign/world music I have.

Things I’d like to see in future releases:

  • Longer playlists. Really, 50 songs is good, but it’s really only about 3-4 hours of music, if that. If all you have is Weezer, then it’s probably about an hour and a half of music. 🙂 And sure moods can swing in that 4 hour span, but … meh. At least it’d be another option.  
  • Better cataloging. This has to be a no-brainer. 90% is good, but … when you have a 30000-song repository, that means you’re lacking 3000 tunes. Not good. That’s approximately 300 CDs. WHAT?! Yes–you read that right. 300 CDs not cataloged. So, again, 90% is good. 100% … yah. That should be the target. Always (again, a no-brainer).

Other than that, it’s a *great* app. I like selecting the “angry” mood with the slowest tempo possible. I get some seriously brooding, bruising tracks. Conversely, selecting the “happy” mood with the fastest tempo could very easily cause me to swerve off the road from the sheer energy.

For example, here are the first 10 tracks that Moodagent selected for me, based on the “angry” mood being all the way at the top, and the tempo being set to the lowest setting:

  • Autolux – Turnstyle Blues
  • Phaser – Life and Illusion
  • Muse – Microcuts (a personal favorite)
  • Adult – Contagious
  • Land of Talk – Magnetic Hill
  • The Beautiful Confusion – Rain
  • Xandria (Casablanca)
  • Krypteria – Victoriam Speramus
  • The Music – Guide
  • The National – The Geese of Beverly Road

Here’s an uptempo happy playlist:

  • Niyaz – Arezou
  • Vas – Moshka
  • Mike Oldfield – Sunjammer
  • Nouvelle Vague – Dancing with Myself
  • Von Iva – Birds of Prey
  • Of Montreal – Oslo in the Summertime
  • Niyaz – Golzar
  • Dido (don’t judge) – Us 2 Little Gods
  • Straylight Run – Untitled
  • Azam Ali – I Am a Stranger in This World

Anyway, for all you iPhone users out there, get this app. I think it’s well worth the $5 it costs. There is a free version, but the only difference is that it’s not ad-supported. In other words, annoying ads appear at the top of the app. If you can live with that, by all means, download the free version. I loathe ads, so I ponied up the $5.

On the Horizon

Yes, I know … it’s been a while. Life happens. I can’t do anything to stop it.

And I don’t *want* to do anything to stop it. The highs are too many to discount it based on a few lows. Sometimes the lows suck, sure. But the highs … much goodness and enjoyment.

For example …

We all have those friends from our high school days who we remember upon having the cobwebs shaken loose from our deepest recesses, where the vague tends to mingle with the suspicion of forgotten. With a word or a song, maybe a smell … perhaps something we see, the memories come flooding back, and we sit back and reminisce with ourselves while we smile to no one in particular. Those present, assuming anyone else is around, might question the grin with an ounce of trepidation, for such looks are normally immediately chalked up to a diminished mental state.

Such was my experience the other night when I was transported back to my senior year of high school. As is so often the case when I look at old friends’ pictures on Facebook, I found a picture of a girl with whom I have not spoken since at least May 1990. This friend and I used to dance together at church youth functions. I’m pretty sure that she was a couple of years younger than I. I’m equally sure that I didn’t care. The sincerest and warmest smile is what I remember. Friendly, approachable, fun … quite the combo.

And away I went to college. Never saw her again.

Flash forward almost exactly 20 years. Facebook. Friends. Friends of friends. Jennifer Morrow. Memories. Now Jennifer Morrow Burrell. “Add Friend.” And just like that, we were back in contact.

The musical connection, thus making it a relavent blog post, is that she is now an aspiring musician with ambition and talent.  Her works can be found on iTunes under the name “Paisley Rose.” At the moment, they only have two songs listed in their catalog, but I know more are coming, and I’m *really* excited to hear what they’ll offer.

She and her husband, who is also in the band, have graciously agreed to a phone interview in the coming weeks! I know they’re super busy with life and stuff, so the fact that they are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to answer a few measly questions for me is flattering beyond words. When I get the interview finished and transcribed, I’ll post it for your reading pleasure. It might be a couple weeks, but it’ll be worth it!

Thanks, Jennifer!

© 2017 A MarketPress.com Theme