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Posts Tagged ‘best music of 2009’

Hey Rosetta! – New Goodbye (review and mp3)

March 20, 2010 4 comments

Hey Rosetta!

Hey Rosetta, Halloween 2008

When I start sifting through new music for the playlist, it can sometimes get a bit repetitive and boring. Occasionally, I just have to stop and get away from it for a while, take a break. Ear fatigue? Maybe. Tons of sound-alikes? Not so much, but it can happen. Now and again, I’ll be listening to track after track after track and something happens. Something starts playing and it catches me off-guard. The opening of New Goodbye by Hey Rosetta sounded like it could have easily been just another one of those tracks, but it was a misdirection. Slight of hand.

Have you ever heard a song and the first thing you want to do is corner someone you know who loves music, throw a pair of headphones on him or her and just watch the reaction? Not everyone has this kind of relationship with music, I know.  If you read this blog, you’re probably one of the ones that do. And I don’t say that to denigrate those with a more casual relationship with music, it’s just that you and I? … we’re better people*. And we’re the kind of people who feel that when we have a positive, moving experience with a song, we feel as if we’ll burst if we don’t share it with as many people as possible.This is one of those songs. Even if it’s not the kind of music you’d normally listen to, the power of the song and the recording is unquestionable, in your face and obvious. If you can actually find the strength to set aside your short attention span for a few minutes. The way it sneaks up on you, makes you think it’s one thing and then hits you over the head with unexpected shifts and turns, then becomes something else. And the quality of the recording? The dynamics? Outstanding. Even saying that much is almost a “spoiler”. Just give it a listen and tell me what you think. I suggest pumping that volume up quite a bit at the beginning and just leaving it right at that level, especially if you have really decent headphones or a great set of speakers. Just make sure you’re not in a situation where you’ll have to turn it down halfway through. Commit to listening! Do not just avoid distraction, actively refuse it. It’s something people just don’t do as much anymore, just letting something unfold. We half-listen and half-watch. We surround ourselves with distractions and background noise. This is not one of those experiences. This is musical immersion. Let it happen.

Hey_Rosetta-New_Goodbye (right-click-save-as)

(track posted with direct, specific permission from the artist)

I wish I could remember specifically where I first found this track, really. I’d like to give the blog or torrent uploader or whatever a huge thank you. And if you end up loving this track as much as I did, I think you’ll find the album, **Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart, and on through your blood), a very satisfying experience. You can find Hey Rosetta! at the following places:

WebsiteMySpaceTwitterFacebookiTunesAmazon(NON affiliate link)

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*Please, please know that’s a joke. And if you think it isn’t? It isn’t. But just for you.

**Which technically came out in 2008, but I feel didn’t really get decent attention until the beginning of 2009. And people are still discovering it. Cannot wait for the new one.

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/suckamc/3003127762/

Creative Commons – Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic

The Bear Quartet – The best band in the world you’ve never heard of. (mp3)

March 13, 2010 Leave a comment

The Bear Quartet - Photo by Kevin Conrad

The Bear Quartet - Photo: Kevin Conrad

And no, I do not mean the world you’ve never heard of. (I know it could read like that) I mean the band you’ve never heard of. And if you’ve heard of them, you probably don’t need to read any further because you’ll be busy listening to the best band in the world you HAVE heard of. I honestly do not remember how I came by  ’89 (2009), their latest album. It probably sat there all alone in that folder for weeks, forgotten, set aside. I was assembling tracks for one of the playlists  (Oct? Sept?) and I was short a few tracks. So I went rummaging through what I had, finding little, and came across a zip (or was it a rar?). I extracted the files into a new folder and started listening. And it kicked my butt. This band can play anything, and sound like they mean it. Because they do. Part of the reason for that is probably that they’ve been doing it for so long. Where have these guys been hiding? Well, as it turns out, Sweden, which is apparently a pretty good hiding place. They’ve had years of success there, and from what I’ve heard of their earlier catalog (not all of it, ..yet…) they’ve been honing their art. I find it difficult to describe their sound, so luckily they’ve allowed me to link to tracks AND the full album for download.

One of the things that stuck out immediately on the album was that they were unafraid of making the drums loud, full and open. That’s pretty rare in this world of taped, muffled, stuffed and compressed drums. As a matter of fact, it has to be mentioned that the drums on this album sound phenomenal. The first track on the album, Halmet, proves this. The Bear Quartet is unquestionably a ROCK band, but minus most of the embarrassing staples of the genre. And when a cliche’ pokes through(rarely), they somehow get away with it. They seem unafraid, experienced and still reckless in their search for the perfect song they appear to be trying to find. But don’t tell them they’ve achieved it here multiple times. It could ruin it for them. I want at least 12 or more long-playing attempts from them. That’s not too much to ask, right?

I would normally list off what I think are the highlights of the album here, but the tracks are so genuinely unique, none of them sounding like the previous one, all I can suggest is that you give the whole thing a listen and see if you agree. I think you will. Each track sounds very different, yet there’s no question that each one is a TBQ song. My favorite, at the moment, is “Millions”. Both for it’s lyrics addressing conformity and it’s infectious, stylistically immediate sound. I’ve always been a sucker for percussive guitar lines that follow along synchronously with bass-lines. And this one has a catchy one with an almost Kokolo-like afrobeat feel. Like I said, these guys can play anything.

Now. I’ve never personally purchased an album based on a review alone. The way it used to work was that I’d read about something and if the review convinced me it was worth a sampling, I’d head on down to the CD store to give it a listen or try to catch it on the local college or non-profit radio station. If I loved it, I’d buy it. If I just liked it, I’d buy it. For the most part, those days are over. In my area we still have a couple of college stations and one non-commercial community station. The latter plays a LOT of what I could best describe as near-easy-listening aging hippie music (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and the other two are typically out of range or being drowned out (IMHO, on purpose because hippie music kills babies, right?) by a religious station and a mega-huge-gazillion-watt top 40 station. So, what are my options now? I can either stream the music on the band’s MySpace (really bad quality, sorry) or the band’s site. Or in some cases the band will trust its future fans and the quality of what they’ve created to actually let us download the thing and give it a listen. And who knows? Maybe even pass it on to a friend or two who just might also love it and do the same. This is the option The Bear Quartet has chosen. And I have faith, yes faith, that it’s the right choice in the long run. It’s my hope that if you end up loving this album as much as I do, you’ll spread the news and seek it out for purchase. And if you decide not to, at least spread the word. That this band is relatively unknown in the US is nearly criminal. Lots of people in the music “industry” talk about losses these days. As if I would buy an album I heard and hated. While they attach undeserved value to the act of purely listening, it’s as if they suddenly think they deserve money for the things they create that people HATE. The term “entitlement” is used fairly loosely these days to describe the consumers of music. As if they think they are “entitled” to own all the music in the world without paying for it, while in reality the people who truly feel entitled are the ones producing absolute crap that nobody wants, then putting said crap out there for people to hear. Then once it’s downloaded for free, exposed as the junk it is, they act as if they are entitled to the 17 bucks you WOULD have paid them if it wasn’t crap. That’s the real entitlement. The real losses occur when a great band like this makes a great album and the people who love it do nothing. So, even if you cannot afford to buy it, do something! Even if that something is just telling one other person. Grab it now, while you can, and listen. If you feel the same way as I do about it, buy it or spread it. Just don’t do nothing. These guys deserve better than that.

So, here it is:

The Bear Quartet - 89 - Cover Art

The Bear Quartet – 89 (2009) Entire album. Zip file. (right-click-save-as)

The Bear Quartet – 89(2009)Entire album. Rar file. (right-click-save-as)

and if you just want a quicker sample of their sound, try a single:

The Bear Quartet – Millions (mp3) (right-click-save-as) Seriously my favorite track on the album.

The Bear Quartet – Millions (Andreas Tilliander Version) Good re-mix-version. Well, really a complete transformation that works, by Andreas Tilliander.

If you would like to purchase the album, you can do that here: http://www.adrianrecordings.com/shop/paypal/ They do ship overseas.

The Bear Quartet – MySpaceFacebook GroupWebsite

All download links posted with permission.

Another Day On Earth – Self-Titled(2009) Indie69 Exclusive

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Another Day On Earth album cover

Cover for Another Day On Earth - Self-Titled

I found Another Day On Earth a little late in the game. It was kind of a twitter accident of sorts. Here was a guy recording a song a day, for the entire year of 2009. There’s no way the songs could be good, right? So like a lookie-lou at a car crash, I had to see for myself. And I was shocked to find that not only were the songs good, some were in fact GREAT. They were energetic, spontaneous and creative.

Here, Lawrence has collected the tracks he liked the most and presented it as an album.  (representing only January through September) And it works. As an album AND as a testament to the power of creativity within a framework of specific constraints. Read more…

Has It really been almost a year? Already?

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

(text originally from the nfo file in the Best 100 of 2009 playlist torrent , which can be found HERE.. and about 100 other places)

First of all I want to say a huge thank you to all of YOU for downloading the monthly playlists and giving me all kinds of feedback from great to constructive to negative. It’s ALL appreciated. And secondly, yet no less importantly, to the others who do playlists. Blalock, Dahkradha, Joydue,everyone!! I look to you for guidance, inspiration and yes sometimes ideas as well as music I missed in the previous months. I could not do it and would not do it without you. Read more…

William Doyle – Born In the USB (review and download)

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

William Doyle-Born in the USB

William Doyle - Born In The USB

William Doyle has been hiding. Or so it would seem. Back at the beginning of 2009, when I was desperately grasping at torrents to find new tracks for the second ever Indie69 playlist (March, 2009), I came across this album quite by accident on TPB. The fact that the artist himself uploaded it made me warm and fuzzy and I must admit a bit apprehensive, considering my past experiences with such exploits. Many of the albums I’ve downloaded like that have been interesting but ultimately un-fulfilling and disappointments overall. But when the first swells of that distortion loop and distant jangly guitar began, I knew instantly I was in for a different experience. Then the voice kicked in, reminding me at first of a few brit-wannabees I’ve seen locally,then the acoustic kicked in and the harmonies started.  “lookin’ for the truth until it struck me blind” Both fresh and a bit “newbie-ish”, the harmonies were beautiful no matter.  The track started small, got remarkably huge and then faded beautifully back into a backward guitar, followed by a sampled percussion track that lead right into the next one.  I was astonished. Where did this guy come from? Read more…

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