Since the recording industry (RIAA) has been cracking down on illegally downloaded music by prosecuting the people who download the music (or their parents) and shutting down the sites where music is shared the face of online music sites have changed drastically.
Music sharing sites are either pay per song or album services that are more of an online music store or sites where a plethora of free music is available by unknowns and occasionally wannabes.
When the download crackdown began Napster was targeted as an illegal site and shut down. When the site re-launched it became a music service for the purchase of a wide variety of artists from new or up and coming artists to the mega rock stars.
Sites like iTunes, Rhapsody, and Wal-Mart are two more such services in the market that is seeing an increase in competition. Some of these sites also allow unlimited listening to the available library without downloading for a monthly fee.
Fans who use this service may create a library or transfer the songs to their mp3 player, they cannot put the songs on a CD without actually buying the song or songs. Sites that offer the “to go” services are an excellent source for discovering new music or fans who have very limited space to store CDs and the like are aren’t worried about keeping the music anywhere but in the service library.
Amie Street is one of the newer sites that offers music for sale but unlike iTunes and Napster song prices are on a sliding scale depending on the song’s popularity. On Amie Street songs begin free and increase to 99 cents for the most popular songs. Among the new music service sites is My Space which allows artists to upload songs for sale on the artist’s own site.
Sites like www.mp3.com, www.download.com, and www.ourstage.com are sites where the artists themselves upload the music. By the artist uploading their own material and offering it to fans for free there is issues of legality since the music is being shared by the owner.
Free music sites such as these are great for finding new music by new and unknown artists and even old favourites done by unknowns or “sounds like” artists.
Online music services and free music sharing sites have become an excellent outlet for the independent and small label artist in an age of the mega label only interested in promoting a few of their favourite “darlings” or people with questionable talent.
“Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects – This breezy, catchy anthem grows more entertaining with each spin. While not generally at the top of my list, the Reject’s latest hit is a surprisingly excellent track.
Possibly the Best line: “Truth be told, I miss you. But truth be told, I’m lyin’.” “Mercy” by Duffy – Think of a really spunky Amy Winehouse. This infectious 60’s-era sounding pop confection is a perfect follow-up to the throwback soul of Winehouse’s “Rehab.”
The song regained popularity after being heavily featured in a popular routine on So You Think You Can Dance. “LoveGame” by Lady GaGa – In the wake of “Just Dance,” this excellent track seems to have been overlooked. Equal parts futuristic techno and guilty Millennium-pop pleasure, “LoveGame” is a standout track from GaGa’s first studio album The Fame.
“You” by Rain – Sadly, the majority of J-Pop never crosses the border. Rain is one of Asia’s top stars, and this stand-out track shows why. Funky, electronic grooves dominate Rain’s repertoire, with “You” being one of the best. “Lace amp; Leather” by Britney Spears – Sometimes an artist’s best tracks go unnoticed by the general public.
Stylistically different from the majority of Circus, “Lace amp; Leather” features a sound reminiscent of Prince in his early 80’s days. “Inside the Fire” by Disturbed – This unforgettable track will get under your skin with its horrific narrative, in which Satan attempts to lure a man to Hell by the promise of a reunion with his dead girlfriend.
The song served as a nightmarish anti-suicide PSA and spawned a terrifying music video. (Warning: While the song is intense, the uncut video is extremely intense. Listener and viewer discretion advised.) “Feedback” by Janet Jackson – Life’s been rough on Ms. Janet.
Wardrobe malfunction, blacklisting, canceled tour dates. Unfortunately, her public image has hindered many from experiencing her excellent recent albums. Off of 2008’s Discipline, “Feedback” showcases a creative and revitalized Jackson. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyonce’s latest smash has spawned a viral video sensation, with countless individuals attempting to master the music video’s vibrant choreography.
This bouncy pop cut is considered by many to be the best song of the year. “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry – Katy took a swipe at homophobes and taboo with this energetic pop-rock anthem.
The endlessly catchy pop-rock anthem made Katy,a virtual unknown, into a superstar. Fun fact: Katy was originally a Christian contemporary music artist. “Butterfly” by Jason Mraz – Critics always seem to hate on this quirky musician from Mechanicsville, VA.
But not this time. With We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things., Mraz finally got the critics and the fans on nearly the same page. “Butterfly” shows the best of Mraz’s knack for rhyme and melody.
Even at the tender young age of 8 years old, Eddie “NoEdall” Rivera has been writing his own music in Spanish until his fascination with American rap icons Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur paved the way for his dream of sharing his musical talent with the world.
Born in Puerto Rico, the 25 year old hip hop artist recalls moving to Connecticut with his mother to escape the hardships associated with his father’s drug addiction. Although moving to Meriden gave the two hopes for a better future, financial struggles soon plagued him and his single mother.
As a teenager NoEdall found an outlet through listening to his favorite Spanish artists, Daddy Yankee, Gringo, and Chezina, along with his newfound American rappers and soon began honing his own skills. “I was 15 years old the first time I was in the studio,” recalls NoEdall, and he got his first big break when he opened up for the Lost Boyz’s Mr. Cheeks at Club Impulse when he was 19.
Since that moment, NoEdall started taking his talent and love for hip hop seriously and began managing himself. “It’s hard managing yourself, you have to make calls, harass people, get advice from people in the business, and build relationships with DJ’s.” This go-getter attitude started paying off for the young artist and in a few years he heard his song “Go Get Right” on the radio for the first time.
After working with groups and producers that didn’t share his same artistic vision and who he felt were holding him back, NoEdall has been enjoying working with a talented and ambitious group of artists in RTB (Round Table Bosses) including rappers Scandle, Friz and Jax, singers J Vocals, and the man behind the beats, Cory Gadget.
Although budgeting and promoting are two of the major stumbling blocks of breaking into the industry that plague him and many talented artists from Connecticut, that hasn’t stopped NoEdall from putting on crowd pumping shows with his hit song and Holla Back Video Music Award “Banger of the Year”, “Stop Pause”.
NoEdall isn’t slowing down any time soon and the aspiring artist is releasing a new single “Take You Home” in February, his music is being downloaded heavily on iTunes, and he will be interviewed on CT’s 1# Hip Hop and R B; station Hot 93.7 this Friday, Dec. 3rd. With passionate, determined artists like NoEdall; the sky’s the limit for Connecticut hip hop.
It is always hard to be an upcoming new artist today, and even harder to be an upcoming Christian artist. We hear stories of Rubin Studdard and others being dropped from their labels, but there are other artists who are making it big.
Many times it’s because of their unique sound or the power behind their vocals and how they bring the songs on the albums across to the audiences. Sarah Kelly has been gathering a following because of her unique vocals and music. She has made quite a splash on the Christian scene in 2004 with her debut album “Take Me Away.”
Sarah began writing songs at the young age of seven years old. It was at her local church where she found out her songs can be turned into worship songs and worked on her writing and singing skills.
“You Overwhelm Me” an independent project she did in 2000 was created when she served as worship leader for the Master’s Commission, which is a discipleship training program for students 18 years and older. When her indie work began circulating around the industry, insiders began to take real notice of her.
Before her album with Gotee was scheduled to debut, she already had concerts all over the country, range 150 to 200 concerts a year. When her album finally hit the shelves, it hit with a bang.
Christianitytoday.com picked Kelly as one of the best new artists of that year. She has been on tour with Jars of Clay and even played a part on their “Redemption Songs” CD where she lends her vocals to the song “I’ll Fly Away.”
Though she had great success, she was hiding a past she was unable to face at the time. Sarah feels writing music is a way “to communicate emotional honesty” as she told the magazine Christianity Today.
Her sophomore CD “Where The Past Meets Today” is one full of emotional honesty and about pushing through some of life’s toughest obstacles. Kelly describes this album as being a mix between Keith Green and Led Zeppelin, earthy tones meets classic rock. During one of her shows for college students and young adults, she stopped in the middle of the song.
She reached for her journal and began reading. She told the people in the audience about her most secret and dark moments. When asked if anyone has ever had that happen to them. She didn’t have and alter call or preach; they simply came on their own and she stopped the show and began to pray with everyone there. That had to be one of the most powerful moments in ministry.
She spends her time touring and reaching the lives of so many. She teaches piano to as many people as she could. Her music and her words captive so many around her.
Her testimony is one like no other. She has overcome so much and has become one of the top female Christian artists of today. Once you hear just one of her songs your heart will be moved and you will want to know and hear more of Sarah Kelly.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to create a romantic music playlist for someone you love. But with so many songs about love out there, how do you find the best songs for a Valentine’s Day playlist? Read on for some tips on how to find the best love songs for a Valentine’s Day playlist.
Google Keywords About Love Songs
If you do a Google search for phrases like “best love songs” or “songs about love” you will be directed to a multitude of love song compilation lists. If you’re looking for songs from a specific genre, specify that in your search (example: “best country music love songs”).
Check Your CD Collection for Songs About Love
Some of the best love songs may already be right under your nose. Look through your old CD collection to see if you already own some good love songs. Burn the CDs to your computer so you will have the songs in MP3 format.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Do you remember what the song from your senior prom was? Or even more importantly, if you’re married, do you remember the name of your wedding song? (hopefully so or you’ll need to do a lot more than just make a love song playlist!) Romantic songs from special occasions are great songs to include on a Valentine’s Day playlist. Also, think back to songs that remind you of times you’ve spent with your significant other. You may want to check out soundtracks from movies you’ve seen together or try to remember songs you’ve danced to together in the past.
Purchase Love Songs from Music Download Sites
You can find just about any song you are looking for from sites like iTunes, Napster and Amazon.com. Can’t find a particular artist? Some artists have not inked deals to have their music available for download, so you may have to buy their CD in order to get a particular song.
Valentine’s Day Playlist Song Suggestions
Keep in mind that there are thousands of suitable songs for Valentine’s Day available in every genre. Here are some suggestions that span across a few different musical genres.
Love Story- Taylor Swift
More Than Anyone- Gavin DeGraw
Heaven- Bryan Adams
Always and Forever- Luther Vandross
You’re Beautiful- James Blunt
I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston
Wicked Game- Chris Isaak
Endless Love- Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
You’re Stlll the One- Shania Twain
The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face- Roberta Flack
Thank You For Loving Me- Bon Jovi
Annie’s Song- John Denver
Breathe- Faith Hill
LoveSong- The Cure
You Light Up My Life- Lee Ann Rimes
My Valentine- Martina McBride
Unforgettable- Nat King Cole
Valentine’s Day Playlist Songs About Missing Someone
Missing You- John Waite
Home- Michael Buble
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing- Aerosmith
Ain’t No Sunshine- Bill Withers
Telephone Song- Stevie Ray Vaughn
Tuesdays Gone- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Wish You Were Here- Pink Floyd
I Miss You- Miley Cyrus
A Long December- Counting Crows
I Miss You- Blink 182
Miss You- Rolling Stones
So what are your favorite songs for a Valentine’s Day playlist?
Brett and Brad Warren have hit the road with country music superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw on their separate tours. And when the “first couple” decided to headline their own Soul 2 Soul Tour together, they inked in the Warren Brothers as their opening act.
George Strait invited them to join his stadium tour this summer, which is a huge honor. Obviously there is something special about these fellas if they are in such demand by their colleagues. Brett, Brad and their rowdy band have rocked the house, and sometimes even stole the show, in front of thousands of fans at sold out arenas. But for some reason, country radio has not given these talented brothers the airplay their songs deserve.
Their first album, Beautiful Day in the Cold, Cruel World had marginal radio success. King of Nothing is the Warren Brother’s sophomore album, and it just may behold the hits to get them in the top of the charts. (Not that the Warren Brothers care about a #1…they just want to play their music.)
First of all, I’d like to point out something unique about this album. Most Nashville recording artists will use the same few studio musicians on their album. Not the Warren Brothers! They use their live band on the album as well. So, what you hear on the album is exactly what you get live…well, maybe a little more tame! And, 9 of the 11 songs were written by the duo.
The CD starts out with the groovy beat of “Strange”. The singer is going to his best friend’s brother’s wedding to get food and drinks for free, but what happens? He falls for a bridesmaid!
The chorus says, “Life all comes down to a couple moments, when just like that, everything can change/ You open up your eyes and in an instant, nothing will be the same/Ain’t life strange?” The song has very clever lyrics, and surprisingly, was only one of two songs not written by the boys. It is just their style!
The current single is “Move On”, with a very catchy melody, that says when love ends, their isn’t anything you can about it, but move on. The very contagious chorus of “Do-Ya” makes the song a contender for a hit single.
A guy is tired of his girl sitting on the fence, so he wants to know how she feels. (“Do ya love me, do ya need me, do you want me?”) It even has a little humor, which Brett and Brad are good at throwing in. (“I’ve been waiting a so long for an answer, my clothes are coming back in style.)
The most rousing, upbeat song on the album is “It Ain’t Me.” And, it is obvious their keyboard player co-wrote it by the awesome keys in the forefront. This song has attitude, as he tells the girl, “Shut up and get out of my truck!” “Superstar” gives a glimpse into the not so nice side of the music industry. (A similar subject matter of Tom Petty’s “Into the Great Wide Open”.)
A young girl heads to Nashville to live out her dad’s dream of country music…starts off nice. But, she falls for a married producer just to get her songs to RCA (a little plug there for their own label). She has some success, but goes downhill. There goes another superstar, they say.
“What We Can’t Have” is one of those songs that makes you think about what you have. Just when you think someone else has the world, you realize they want to be like you. In the song, a bar musician imagines what it would be like to be the rich guy in the corner booth, and get out of work at a decent hour.
Then, the rich man comes up and puts $20 in his tip jar and tells him he’d like to play guitar and sing.
These brothers may be a bit wild, but they do have a tender side. They are both husbands and fathers and can write some heart-felt ballads.
“Where Does it Hurt” is a wonderful song that highlights sentimental moments between parents and children when one is hurting and the other tries to heal…from a little boo-boo to a teenage pregnancy. “Waiting for the Light to Change” tells the story of a guy waiting at a red light contemplating his decision of leaving his girl.
You don’t have to be a Warren Brothers fan, or a country music fan to have heard the gem of this album, “That’s the Beat of a Heart.” This song was featured on the tear-jerker Where the Heart Is, starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd. In fact, the song basically is the premise of the movie.
What an honor for these guys to be a part of such a project. Labelmate Sara Evans lends her angelic voice to this song. And, in the video, not only can you see scenes from the film, but also clips of Brett, Brad and Sara with their little sons. One of the other real highlights of this album is the title track, “King of Nothing”. This song exemplifies the stellar guitar playing talent of Brad Warren. He is just may be the king of something here…
The Warren Brothers are different. They have a style all their own, and absolutely don’t play by the so-called rules of country music. Maybe that’s what scares radio program directors. But what is there to be afraid of?
They are just two brothers with an extreme knack for writing (sometimes witty, sometimes deep), kick butt guitar playing and performing. Give them a listen, and you will be hooked. In fact, when I popped in King of Nothing, I actually had to take the Warren Brother’s Beautiful Day in the Cold, Cruel World” CD out of my stereo.
Marypat Farrell is a local musician I’d met at a performance of this group that she plays with who gave me a copy of her eponymous solo demo CD to review. There are five tunes and they each showcase a markedly different side than the one her group does.
To start with, Marypat Farrell is really Ryan O’Neill; er…or, Ryan is Marypat? I believe the story goes that her actual name is Marypat and her stage name with her band of raucousness is Ryan O’Neill. She plays with the band The Mighty Regis and when you see her perform with them it is all swagger and attitude and a whole lot of spunk. Which is fully in keeping with Regis’ sound and identity.
Marypat the solo artist is a lot more reflective and gentle and quiet. Her sound is very reminiscent of the early recordings of Dar Williams in her solidarity. “Please don’t do what I have done; lovin’ a man always on the run; you’re better off alone!” she wails in the opening track, “John Henry”.
She also has a very timid voice in some instances; not ‘weak’ but careful; reminding me of Emily Saliers or even Jewel (don’t worry; she’s not “Saving Anyone’s Soul” or…I guess casting anyone into damnation; that song’s more about “WHO” will save your soul; not “I” will save your soul. But I digress)
Her lyrical content is very independent “you go your way and I’ll go mine” and very reflective for someone so young. “Let’s take one last walk…I can take your hand now; don’t forget I’m willing to let it go when the morning comes.” She plaintively sings on “Ten Days”. “I’d lay my life down for you but there’s no time.”
It sounds as though her birth as a solo artist was borne from the same pain and anguish that many artists must endure; yet she’s candid in her expression.
“Emily Waits,” takes me back to Dolores O’Riordan; the haunting, breathy vocalist from the pop band of the 1990’s, The Cranberries. “Drawn and Quartered,” has a striking resemblance to the work of Lucinda Williams (minus all the Sony Production values) as Marypat exudes a lazy drawl.
Her album closes with “The 7-11 Song” which has the musicality of hope and optimism but has the lyrical content of a suicide note. Talking about how sad life is for the struggling individual who lives their life from the bottom of a 7-11 bag; “No money and no work; her boyfriend was a jerk;” all very resonant themes which too many of us in this insular world are too familiar with.
All in all a great solo effort for an up and coming artist. If you’re ever in the Southern California area you should definitely look up Marypat Farrell and see if you can see her for yourself!
It can be almost impossible for us to feel empowered and in control when we’re in our teens. We’re at the mercy of voices that squeak and shoot from one octave to another, bodies that look and feel different all the time, that always seem too small or too big in comparison to everyone else’s. Hormonal changes makes our emotional life a constant seesaw.
We’re told that we have to start preparing for entering into the adult world of responsibility, but it’s scarcely possible to pull in the reins on our own minds and control our thoughts or even focus on anything for too long.
Puberty is typically the first time that a would-be adult begins to think about things like relief and escape. Some of the things pubescents gravitate towards to provide these things, like drugs and alcohol, are destructive and dangerous.
Sex may be good in and of itself, but is potentially disastrous for people who are too young to handle it emotionally (or financially, if pregnancy results). That rules out the first two parts of the holy triumverate that was a ’60’s credo and a ’70’s cliche, leaving us only with rock’n’roll, which many young people consider passe. Heavy Metal, however, is another matter.
It’s not too hard to see how much of Heavy Metal music caters to pubescent (and particularly male) power fantasies. Look at a cross-section of album covers: there’s massively-built Conan-esque characters dealing death, all manner of modern or ancient weaponry, supernatural beings in countless guises, and just general carnage and mayhem.
Much of the aesthetic behind typical Heavy Metal artwork seems to have been borrowed from Frank Frazetta’s old masterpieces; and this is fitting, because the pulp magazines and dime novels of decades passed nourished the fantasy life of young adolescents in much the same way that heavy music does for kids today.
Heavy Metal has, throughout its history, always caught a lot of flack for this tendency to provide escapism in the form of male machismo. Usually such criticisms were made by people who didn’t need what was being offered anyway, though; they’d deemed to put down a form of music – and, by extension, a philosophy – that hadn’t been intended for them in the first place.
A great rock band knows its audience, and the irony here is that musicians in the Heavy Metal genre often seem to show more respect for young kids than do the self-appointed moral majority who profess to want to protect them.
What many adults fail to recognize is that kids need a rich fantasy life to help them to survive the tumultuous changes that they go through en route to adulthood.
Whereas a youth of 13, in 1933, could’ve found relief and a sense of empowerment by reading about the exploits of the ever-victorious Conan the Barbarian, King Kull, and Tarzan, a teenager living in more recent decades could find those same primal male fantasies being played out in the music of bands like Danzig, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, and Metallica.
We can argue about the ethics behind some records, about the attitudes portrayed by the lyrics, but regardless of all these considerations there still remains that need in young kids to feel empowered in a world that typically gives them little opportunity to.
Being both the niece of Brazilian singer-composer Chico Buarque and the Grammy-nominated daughter of bossa nova king João Gilberto and Brazilian singer-composer Miúcha means that having expectations of musical greatness thrust upon you is inescapable.
Bebel Gilberto seems not only to know this all too well, but to revel in said knowledge. On “All In One,” her latest solo recording, the New York-born chanteuse delivers a level of supple vocal artistry that validates those expectations while joyously seducing in the manner of a woman in love.
Gilberto’s debut solo project, titled “Tanto Tempo,” was released in the United States in 2000 by Six Degrees Records and has sold over one million copies worldwide. Performed mostly in Portuguese, “All In One” marks another debut of sorts, as it is her first recording with Verve Records.
The twelve-song set released on September 29, 2009 highlights her self-assured singing style and weaves it through infectious tempos that one moment ripple with samba-infused heat and the next, refresh like a splash of cool ocean. Six of the songs were written or co-written by the recently-married artist, with several tracks recorded in her home studio.
That sense of intimacy is felt throughout her lyrics. Gilberto muses on a number of themes, such as love, nature, and life moments, while seeming to genuinely enjoy herself.
Sung in English, the titular track, “All In One,” is mellow and sunny, liable to send listeners in search of sand to feel between their toes. “Cancao de Amor” is performed in Portuguese, and evokes a lazy, hazy Summer afternoon spent lounging along a tropical shoreline, remembering past lovers.
“Forever” is a sultry song that seeps into the consciousness like morning-after sunlight through gauzy curtains. Her work on “Far From The Sea” is as nuanced as red wine; the love affair between the richness of the piano and the subdued sweltering of her vocals makes listening seem somehow voyeuristic.
Gilberto perfectly balances the tranquil sensitivity of these offerings with sweatier, more energetic pieces like “Chica Chica Boom Chic,” to which musician-producer Carlinhos Brown lends his artistic talents, and “Bim Bom,” on which she is joined by Daniel Jobim (grandson of Grammy-winning Brazilian music legend Antônio Carlos Jobim.)
Other musical luminaries with whom Gilberto keeps company on this effort include keyboardist Didi Gutman of Brazilian Girls, guitarist Masa Shimizu, and John King of the Dust Brothers.
The album’s most affecting aspect is how ably and smoothly Gilberto’s vocals swing between smoke-heavy huskiness and shiny-as-polished-brass upper register notes, bringing to bear the best of the tonal extremes at which she excels.
This project marks a slight deviation from more electronica-laced sounds that have played a bigger part in some of her previous efforts and lent her works to seemingly unending chillout remixes by artists from Nuspirit Helsinki to Thievery Corporation.
“All In One” does revisit some familiar territory with regard to themes, however with its profusion of playful beats and musical arrangements rendered with the delicacy of falling raindrops, the album succeeds in making the trip a pleasant one that listeners will be glad for having taken.
In 2004 Illeven:Eleven Recordings (i11) was started up by Keith MacKenzie mainly as an outlet for his remix work with DJ Fixx (Paul Caudill) as KMFX. In its few short years of existence, he has released some of the most prolific breakbeat tracks coming out of a US-based label, with remix and original work already released by some of the biggest names in breaks worldwide, including Autobots, Influenza, Splitloop, and Paradox 3000 (JDS’ Darren Pearce amp; Angel Farringdon).
Upcoming releases include remixes of Mic Perri’s (MC Flipside’s other guise) ‘Have A Nice Day’ done by another big name in US breaks, Agent K (Kerry Lane) and his production partner DJ Bella (Natalie Rockefeller) who are our featured DJs this month (www.betterbreakbeatbureau.com/music.html). Also look for a remix by KMFX on that release.
Off in the future expect a release of another KMFX original featuring MC Flipside and female vocal sensation Mandy.
A rarity in this day and age, all i11 releases come complete (much in the way of Fingerlickin’ Records releases) with cool cover art amp; corresponding label art on the record, all created by Darcy Reenis. Keith says of this “I am really into art and what my designer creates and I feel like the art creates more of a package–more of a memory; signs of the times.”
With all of i11’s success, it has already sprouted an offshoot label called illBeatz, already out with its first release, Kem’s ‘Voodoo Hex’ with remix by KMFX of course. illbtz002 is going to be Agent K’s ‘Hacksaw’ still awaiting remix work from UK producer D-Ranged.
Keith solely owns and operates i11, but when it comes to marketing and promo he gets a hand from two other breakbeat scenesters. “I get alot of help from Krisp (Greenville, SC DJj/producer) and Shaykee (Tampa, FL DJ/producer). They are my right hand men.” Keith continues “Krisp does alot. I really appreciate his work.”
Keith MacKenzie has recently relocated to the midwest from Tampa FL, now working and living in a northern suburb of Chicago, IL.