Friday, March 28, 2008

The Bmore Muxtape

Nope, I didn't misspell the title. Muxtape is the new site where anyone can create a page with their own customized soundtrack. It was supposed to be a revolutionary concept, but last time I checked anyone with a blog can post the music they think the world needs to hear.

However it is a cool and super simple way to share music with people. You can upload up to 12 mp3's to your own site, allowing whoever you share your URL with to take a listen. Muxtape just launched last week, and the legality of the concept is slightly in question, but it seems pretty innocent to me.

I created a muxtape with artists from Baltimore, however the majority of my albums are ripped into iTunes which the site does not support. But I was able to muster up enough files of the appropriate nature in order to create something that worked.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Think There's Music In Texas This Week

SXSW started today, and if this is a music blog, I should probably mention it. Many of the year's breakout artists will begin to emerge this very week down in Austin. And yes, people might actually stop talking about Vampire Weekend.

Members and cohorts of Wham City will be down in Texas full force. The Deathset, Ecstatic Sunshine, Videohippos, Lexie Mountain Boys, Jana Hunter, and Ponytail will all be doing their thing. Their ringleader Dan Deacon will be with Jimmy Joe Roche doing their Ultimate Reality Tour, which I hear involves a lot of Arnold Schwarzenegger footage.

Other artists representing Charm City include Scottie B, Aaron Lacrate, and All Time Low. In terms of musicians from elsewhere, NPR is webcasting a bunch of sweet ones including Yeasayer, Bon Iver, Yo La Tengo, My Morning Jacket, Jens Lekman, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

Baltimore's other boy/girl duo Wye Oak, freshly signed to Merge Records, will be in attendance and could potentially be one of the aforementioned breakout artists of the year. Their debut album, IF Children, will be released on the major indie label April 8. But if you head on down to Soundgarden right this second you can pick up a copy of that very album under their old moniker, Monarch. Do it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It's A Show Review Spectacular!

I've seen 3 shows in the past week here in the city that reads, all of which have been pretty solid. Last Thursday I made my way down to the Gspot to catch a glimpse of homegrown Beach House before they tour nationally.

Opening act the Papercuts were a more than pleasant surprise, playing lots of new material that wasn't on their LP (but some can be found here). After a few minutes of figuring out how to turn their lighting on in the dark, Beach House poured out a beautiful hour long set. Full of pretty much everything you'd want to hear off the new album, they also dipped into a few old favorites including "Master of None" and "Apple Orchard". The sound quality was pretty awesome for a DIY artspace, as Alexandra Legrand's voice echoed off the concrete walls of the old textile mill with brilliant effect.

Man Man
began their 3 month long world tour at the Ottobar Tuesday night, and all I can say is, you must go see this band. When they began setting up a massive xylophone and percussion instruments galore, I knew I was in for a treat. Man Man barreled through an hour and a half of stellar tunes that might be what Tom Waits would sound like after 7 vodka red bulls. The only words ever spoken to the crowd were "thank you" at the end of the encore. Lead singer, Honus Honus, probably made the wrong decision in life when choosing to play the keyboard, as he was all over the place throughout the entire show. In fact all members of the band played musical chairs with their instruments ranging from horns to cowbells, or whatever they could bang things on. It is unfathomable to think this band can keep this pace for 3 months around the world, but man did that look like fun.

I found myself back on N. Howard St. the following night to catch Born Ruffians and Cadence Weapon, both of which hail from Canada. There was a surprisingly low turnout for the show, as there was maybe a 1/4 of the amount of people there compared to the night before. Cadence Weapon still managed to give it his all, despite the lacking enthusiasm. I assumed more people in the area would have caught on to his glitchy beats and derisive flow. Born Ruffians have serious potential to make it big, and I'm pretty sure they're already well on their way. But seriously, dudes are young. The lead singer had the face of a 14 year old, but seemed confident and more than capable. The band appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, and will hopefully wow a few people down at SXSW next week.