Here’s a new video from Yeasayer I stumbled upon today. This album – All Hour Cymbals – was one of my favorites for 2007. If you haven’t checked them out, do so. They have a West African rhythmic vibe infused with harmonies and chants that’s both primitive and modern all at the same time.
Probably the most common question my friends ask me is how I have so much time to listen to all the music that I do. Well, here’s the answer: Sonos. It’s simply the best digital music system – period. It allows you to play any music, in any room, from anywhere, all over your house. (And it’s an excellent way to drown out the incessant whining of a 3 year old.) I can choose to listen to my own music library, any Internet radio station, Pandora, Sirius Satellite Radio or Rhapsody. You virtually have millions of songs at your fingertips.
I have this set up at home and in the office, so I’m constantly listening to and exploring new music without having to carve out a chunk of my day to sit down on my computer and ‘research’ the subject. Whenever I read a new album review, I simply queue it up in my playlist through my Rhapsody account (which costs you about $10/month to access to all the music you could possibly imagine) and play it in the background as I go on about my day.
It’s like having my own virtual radio station. But the best part is, if I hear something I like, all I have to do is pick up my wireless handheld remote (that I carry around like a newborn baby), check out the artist, click a button and add it to my library.
Voila. My music secrets are now revealed.
To learn more about how Sonos works, watch this demo. Do keep in mind that to listen to music in every room of your house, you do have to have speakers in every room in your house. Which is why I also highly recommend an in-wall speaker distributed audio system, which requires professional installation. But we’ll talk more about that in another post. Just wrap your head around Sonos for today.
Album: Sex Death Cassette
File Under: Lo-Fi Indie Rock
Recommended if You Like: Fiery Furnaces, Sufjan Stevens, Guided by Voices
Featured Track: zzzpenchant
This album hooked me from the first song, zzzpenchant, which sets the tone for the entire album – a crafty arrangement of short, eclectic tunes by musician Rafter Roberts that literally mashes up every conceivable music genre and instrument. The end result is fresh, kooky, chaotic and beautiful.
Artist: School of Language
Album: Sea from Shore [released February 4, 2008]
File Under: Brit Pop
Recommended if You Like: Rock Symphonies
Featured Track: Extended Holiday
It wasn’t until I took my Sonos player off shuffle and listened to this album in its entirety did I actually ‘get it’. Now I can’t stop listening to it and the more I do, the better it gets. Testament to a great album and an exceptional musician by the name of David Brewis, member of the on-hiatus group Field Music. The songs are exquisitely constructed and I love the way he plays with structures and sounds.
The album is almost entirely a solo project showcasing David’s genius and is a true album experience. Like a mini rock symphony, the album starts and ends with a series of songs called ‘Rockists Part 1 and 2’ and ‘Rockists Part 3 and 4’. Parts 1 and 4 are different versions of the same song but strung together and listened to in it’s entirety, is a stunning arrangement.
If you’re tired of swapping MP3 CDs with your friends, I have the solution for you. Mojo is a free music sharing application that makes it ridiculously easy to share music online with your music buddies. With just a couple of clicks, you can browse, select and download music from any Mojo user directly into your iTunes library. It’s a fabulous tool, but I have only had success sharing music with my other Mac OS X friends. There is a Beta version of the tool for Windows available, however I have yet to successfully connect with my old-school, PC pals.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Songbird for a while but was always a bit intimidated to try it out. A fractional (v 0.5) developer release with nightly builds? Come on, that’s a bit scary for the average bear. I finally installed it this weekend and can honestly say I have arrived at the pearly gates of music heaven.
Developed by a group calling themselves ‘Pioneers of the Inevitable’ (love it), Songbird is a free open source media player and web browser rolled into one. It’s like the power of iTunes and Firefox combined. Not only can you manage and play your own music, now you can play the web too.
For example, any media files stored on a website will show up as a playable file in the Songbird application that you can download or save to your library. Even better, it has a built-in RSS subscription and MP3 file download so now you can subscribe to your favorite MP3 blogs as playlists! Plus, it’s already integrated with HypeMachine, eMusic and InSound. To get a better sense of all the features, watch their online demo here.
The potential of the application is mind boggling. Just today I added the mashTape add-on that shows tour dates, photos, lyrics and videos of the artist currently playing and I thought my head was going to explode. Now if they would only integrate with Sonos…..