Experience the Angelic Mix of the Allah-Lahs and The Black Angels

JamBase’s Jake Krolick reviews The Black Angel’s tour stop, singing both performing band’s praises in The Black Angels with Allah-Las; Philadelphia. Jake Krolick describes the concert:

To the crowd’s chagrin, the Black Angels maintained their let-it-all-hang-out live show and gave an impeccable performance.

I personally can’t wait to see when and if this show will be rolling through my hometown.

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Twitter List Loving

I recently started following a list on Twitter called singer-list created by @celebritygossip. I found this list through the MTV Twitter account. This list is a long collection of various artists all in one place. By following this list I don’t have to take the time to follow every singer on Twitter, an unreasonable amount, would be a waste of time and add an awful amount of clutter to my feed. I particularly like this list because just like my music tastes, this list is uncategorized. Regardless of your taste in music, this has something to offer you.

My one complaint of this list is also one of my previous compliments. The fact that there is no order or sub-topics to this list can be distracting. If you are looking for only specific information, this list could be a waste of time. An individual might do better just following a specific artist. However, if the individual is more interested in an overview of the music scene and upcoming events this list is more than adequate.

A benefit of having the excess number of artists all on the same list is the fact that you can come across artists of which you have never heard. Looking through the list I have already noticed at least ten names that I have never seen before. I cannot wait to look them up. Also the fact that the list links you directly to each artist’s twitter, makes it so easy to learn more about all your undiscovered artists.

Overall I’m pretty happy with @celebritygossip list, however, I am going to continue searching for lists that are more genre focused. I think this will be more time efficient and will also make it so much easier to find new artists in particular genres.

He Said She Said

            This past week the concert promoter, Goldenvoice, and the city of Indio reached an agreement that is allowing an increase of two concerts to be held in the quiet town located in California. Goldenvoice is famous for its festival Coachella and more recently for the country festival Stagecoach. After a few years of debate, the new agreement has will allow for increased revenue for the town and an increase of two festivals per year, through 2030. This major business and music promoting deal was covered by both the LA Times and Rolling Stone Magazine.

The LA Times took this story and came from the angle of the residents of Indio; the music scene was not their focus. They found residents that were not pleased with the idea of this agreement. Many retirees have settled in the area and find the increase of traffic, inflow of tattooed hooligans, sound pollution, and property damage to be unacceptable. The LA Times talked to many residents who claimed that these music festivals made it unbearable to live in Indio three weekends out of the year.

The angle that the LA Times took highlighted the angry citizens of Indio and barely touched on the improvements that this agreement will bring. Along with a major increase of tourist revenue, the town itself is benefiting through every type of business. The bars, restaurants, gas stations, and hotels are all being helped out, tremendously benefiting this sleepy town’s economy. The LA Times quickly grazed over the fact that the city council unanimously voted in favor of the proposal. The only problem arouse when the city tried to demand a higher percentage of each ticket sold. Upon hearing Indio’s demands, Goldenvoice quickly ended the discussion by telling the council that they would move somewhere else. Overall the LA Times’ article felt as if the audience was expected to be middle aged public that didn’t have an interest in the expansion of indie music, nor would they be able to relate to those going to the concerts. This audience related to homeowners, who wanted respect for their privacy and property.

Rolling Stone Magazine took a completely different approach when reporting on the settlement. Rolling Stone’s audience are music lovers who would attend concert’s such as Coachella and Stagecoach, and could only be more delighted to here about the expansion of festivals to choose from. The Rolling Stone barely touched on the opinions of unhappy townspeople and instead focused on the positives that the festival brings to Indio. The agreement includes an environmental impact report that is planned to help ease any damage the city might experience. The article also quoted the city manager’s happy feelings toward the agreement while not quoting any harsh comments.

Overall if you are a music lover, Rolling Stone did what you would want. It showcased the good and told you everything you wanted to hear, failing to give any of the opposition the time of day. The LA Times failed to give a festival lover any credit and harped on the dangers encroaching Indio’s peace and quiet.

Getting the Facts

Music is a business. Plain and simple. Yes, this business takes artistic talent and creativity, but in the being “good” is reflected by having made the big time, having huge concerts, immediate ticket sell outs, and albums that go platinum. I use various sites to check in on how different artists are doing in monetary sales and how they rate on the charts.

In reference to rating, Itunes is probably the easiest method to find what the top albums and songs of the week include. The easy access to Itunes, on my phone laptop or Ipod, makes it impossible to ignore these results. I also love that Itunes, while a site for music downloading, puts the top lists right on the first page, linking you to snidbits of each song. This action of course is great marketing and allows you to find new songs you love and gets you to buy them! Overall, this site is great for a quick look but doesn’t tell you the sales of the top songs, nor does it tell you how long the song has been at the top.

More detail about the songs making it big, can be found on Billboard’s website. One of the main links at the top of the homepage is called Top 100. This list shows all the songs in the top 100, as well as telling you how long the song has been in that spot and posts a video of the song below the listing! It is so convenient to be able to click on the video of the song you haven’t heard of, but obviously has already made a name for itself. As easy as it is to go search for a song on Google, why do the extra step? This site has got it down and is incredibly thorough!

Billboard also has another list, which ranks the top-selling artists by year. The years are archived so that you can track an artist’s progress. The current year is continuously updated and keeps you up to date. Also as I mentioned before they thorough, under each ranked artist they include details about the artist and history of their past work. Overall, if you haven’t been able to tell already, Billboard is by far my favorite site for facts! They know their stuff and don’t think any detail is too small! Music nerds around the world rejoice because finally someone out there gets it! If I believed in only checking one source, this would be it, I always feel as if I’ve gotten the information I was looking for and discovered even extra!

Talking Tokimonsta

            This week I read the article “Tokimonsta on Asshole DJs and Her Twitter Game” from the blog I mentioned last week, westcoastsound.  This article was an interview with the beat mixer Tokimonsta, an LA based musician. Since the article was an interview there was only one singular source, however, this gave the article an intimate vibe. Reading the questions and responses felt more like you were having the green tea across the table from the musician herself. Isn’t that how music is supposed to feel? Everything should feel as if it is speaking to you individually and this certainly did.

The way the article was organized was different from others than I have experienced. Instead of having a leisurely flow the post was separated by the questions, in a bullet point type manner. The fact that the original questions asked by the reporter weren’t printed, quite frankly annoyed me.This depending on your preference could be annoying or enticing. I found this style enjoyable because I could easily pick and choose what interested me most! However, I feel as if the interviewer could have added to the article by including responses. She left out an element that builds warmth between the celeb and the interviewer. Although the lack of this did help to make the post seem as if Tokimonsta was talking directly to the reader. I am not criticizing, nor am I agreeing with the choice the writer took. Instead I am choosing to see the organization as an element of artistic license.

The lack of linking or mentioning of related sources was disappointing. The only link that was added was of another article within the same blog. I find that to be overly obvious self-boasting, as well as rather annoying. I think the articles integrity would have been better if it had been left alone if it had just avoided referencing all together.

The inclusion of Tokimonsta’s various concerts, fan base description, and album titles was helpful. Since I had never heard of the artist before hearing about all of these details painted an enthralling picture in my mind. I was able to imagine being one of her fans in the crowd, fitting in with the small group of hipsters, bobbing my head along to the electronically produced beats.

Overall I felt that this article gave a clear depiction of the personality of the musician. However, if you were looking for information and details regarding the music and techniques used, this is not the article for you. I wish the interviewer had gone more into detail about behind the music not just behind the musician. Collectively I would give this article a B.

Getting Out There

             Getting out there and learning more about the music scene is as easy as typing music into a search engine. Music is a major enjoyment shared by billions of people in the world. Most people who love something like to share it with their friends. The 21st century has invited all of us to be creators on the Internet and in essence given us a whole World Wide Web of friends. Because music is a love of mine, I have spent the time getting to know many different websites, twitters, and blogs. Since there are so many out there, some are admittedly better than others.

            Out of the websites I have two favorites, Rolling Stone and Daytrotter. In my previous two blogs I have talked about my love for Rolling Stone, however I have yet to mention Daytrotter. Daytrotter is a website with a anthology of new music. The site dedicates itself to finding the best music and sharing it with its audience. The cool look of the site showcases cartoon-like drawings to represent bands that are trending. The site also provides bios and information on each band and song they introduce, making the site incredibly enthralling for fellow music lovers that just can’t get enough!

            Twitter is a very useful way to keep updated on various topics and music is no exception. My favorite account to follow is Stereogum. Stereogum was one of the first blogs related to Internet shared music, giving much prowess to its opinions. Also I love the account because of its refusal to become typecast! The account sees no shame in tweeting about Ke$ha, Paul McCartney, and Matt and Kim. Stereogum, like myself, sees the value in all type of music and makes it its purpose update the blogosphere about all of it.

            An app I follow is Soundtracking; I talked about it a couple of blogs ago. The app, downloadable to any smartphone, is akin to a public music diary. When you want to find bands that haven’t quite made it to the surface, this is the place to go! Everyday people you follow take the time to post a song that is relating to their day, sharing emotions through music, creates a tight knit group on the web.

            Finding music, as well as listening to it, has been tackled by the ever-popular site Pandora! I don’t think there is a single person I know that doesn’t use this site. Pandora allows a user to type in an artist or genre of music and listen to all different songs similar to what the user typed in. It is genius and allows for people to find and discover brand new artists by doing what they love, just hanging out and enjoying their favorite artists! I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent downloading music I found on this site. Plus this site has capitalized on the popularity of smartphones and has converted its website into app form; allowing you to take the art of music discovery everywhere you go.

Where to go?

When looking for research regarding music, it is important to have respectable sources that you trust. My favorite source to go to regarding history or upcoming events is Rolling Stone magazine online. This source is well stocked with many different types of information. Reviews of music, dates of album releases, blogs, artist directory, and much more are available on the site. I often visit the site in order to read reviews on new music. I have never witnessed an anonymous article or review on the site, which gives more credit to the site’s name. A writer that is unwilling to claim their work gives raise to suspicion about the article. Even more so, when I hear about a new artist I go into the artist directory in order to find out everything I can about the artist. Every post on this site is incredibly detailed; very rarely do I feel as if I have not been given a thorough report on a subject. The site also is more credible because it lists alternative sources in order to prove the facts listed on the site. Being willing to site alternative sources shows that the publication stands behind the work they have done and the facts they have reported. If a person has to stand behind there work they are normally much more diligent in making sure that they are proud of it. The reasons listed above are most of the reasons I love Rolling Stone, however, my favorite reason is the fact that so much history belongs to them. This publication has been around since 1962, formed at the height of so much change in the world. The magazine grew out of the inspiration of change, I believe that this is the reason it has lasted so long.

A polar opposite to Rolling Stone, LA Weekly Music Blogs West Coast Sound, is a site that hosts different writers posts about popular music. This site doesn’t seem to check what is posted. Allowing people the freedom to produce media, while a good thing, can also lead to false information. Another issue I have with the site is the fact that when referring to other sources and linking, the blog tends to link to other blogs on the same site. Unlike Rolling Stone, the site seems as if it doesn’t want to have the reader double check its facts. Some of the articles within the blog also don’t list specific authors, instead they hide behind the general identifier of LA Weekly Music Staff. While somewhat respectable, this moniker makes it difficult to check up on the credibility of past work. It also makes it cumbersome to have to look up individual members of the staff in order to double check their work.

Overall I prefer Rolling Stone, if I had to choose to trust one media source at face value, Rolling Stone would win over LA Weekly hands down! The safety net for Rolling Stone will always be in the prestige that it has built for itself.