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August 2008

Bleu, Sixpence and NoiseTrade

Majorlabelscov Bleu is back! He has teamed up with Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers to form the brilliant and hilarious new band The Major Labels. The name of the album is Aquavia and it’s a concept record mocking the music biz…What’s not to love?! This isn’t just a novelty act though and it definitely sounds like more than just a side project, it’s a great album full of hooky melodic power pop.  If you like Bleu, The Candy Butchers or a Jellyfish type sound you should love this one. Lyrically it’s nothing short of biting sarcastic genius. If you’ve ever had any dealings in the music industry, as an artist or in any other capacity, you’ll laugh and you’ll cry. It’s all good though and musically rewarding too. My favorite tracks are “Don’t Hear a Single” and “Velveteen Queen.”

Sixpencefp Another huge surprise is the return of Sixpence None The Richer. I saw them this past March at SXSW and not only have they reunited, but they have a renewed energy and a brand new studio EP called My Dear Machine. It’s easily the best thing they’ve ever done. Matt’s guitar is lively and Leigh’s voice blends perfectly with the sound… This is more than just a return to form. The title track is probably my favorite Sixpence song ever, complete with a plethora of cool guitars and horns. They also have a new Christmas album coming out later this year.

The real discovery here isn’t just these two great new projects but the website where I found them called NoiseTrade (www.noisetrade.com). It’s a ‘pay-what-you-want’ site, so you can pay anything from $1 to $25 for the DRM free high quality MP3 downloads, or you can get the download for free if you refer 3 friend’s emails. I don’t really think spamming friends is the best way to get free music, but overall this is a great concept for a music site and almost every album they have up so far (about 30) is very good…some fall into that singer-songwriter category but all are great artists. You can listen to samples of each song there as well. If you know me or have read my past posts and reviews you know I’m not big on downloading over physical product (which is why I’m glad you can get The Major Labels CD through their MySpace page www.myspace.com/themajorlabels) but this NoiseTrade site is great to use and I like the pay-what-you-want option as well as the artists that it features. Check it out: www.noisetrade.com


ObviousPopCast Episode 11 - New Music!

Podcastlogosmall

Episode 11 of the ObviousPopCast is here! This is the perfect holiday weekend podcast! Download it and listen as you travel to that crazy relatives' house or that fireworks stand. Amazing new music from Sparks, Coldplay, Phantom Planet, Brian Scary, Oppenheimer and more! Download the DRM free MP3 and listen now!

Download it now: ObviousPopCast Episode 11

Add it to your iTunes podcasts: CLICK HERE

(If you use the link to download it to iTunes, it may go into your podcast folder or possibly be listed in the main music library under the title: ObviousPop or the artist name: Dr. Tony Shore.)

 
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Viva La Coldplay

Coldplayvivalavida When is the last time a truly great record sat at the top of the charts? There hasn’t been one that I’ve liked in a long time. But then again, I’m not into rap, country or Disney music which seems to always dominate the top 100 albums chart in Billboard these days. Finally, it’s happened. The number one album is a truly great album. I know I’ll get grief from some of you because it’s not cool to like such a popular record, but the new Coldplay is truly amazing. I almost wish it wasn’t number one, so I didn’t have to justify liking it to all of the Pitchfork elitists. The promotional hype on this one is a bit much, but this truly is one of the best records of the year and easily the best Coldplay release to date. I liked A Rush of Blood to the Head, but their sound had actually gotten old and everything started sounding the same to me. Viva La Vida is different. Every single song is so well written, orchestrated and produced that it truly stands out from pretty much every other release of the year so far. I’m sure everyone has seen the TV promo for the album with the video clip of the title track, maybe one too many times, but it’s such a great song and the album is incredibly rich, it gets better with each listen. Their recent appearance on The Daily Show shows that it’s even better live. They did two tracks, ‘42’ and ‘Lost’ and you can watch the video clips here:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml
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