Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Top 20 Albums of 2011


It was truly a great year for music. There were a lot of great albums that came out that I have enjoyed and dozens that I really didn't care for. There were albums that I'm sure other major music blogs and publications will highly rate and base their lists on popularity or sales. There were albums that I liked but could only get online in the form of mixtapes. There were albums that came out only as imports and were not available in the USA, and then there were two albums and an EP that came out this year that I was personally involved with. Those albums did not make my Top 20 list of 2011. This list is based on my personal favorites of the year. Here they are:

1) The Horrors - Skying

2) Class Actress - Rapproacher

3) Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip

4) Belong - Common Era

5) Still Corners - Creatures Of An Hour

6) Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo

7) Cults - Cults

8) I Break Horses - Hearts

9) The Beach Boys - The Smile Sessions

10) The Raveonettes -  Raven In The Grave

11) Beady Eye - Different Gear, Still Speeding

12) Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Self-titled

13) Neon Indian - Era Extra├▒a

14) Clams Casino - Rain Forest EP

15) The Drums - Portamento

16) Dum Dum Girls - Only In Dreams

17) Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin'

18) Washed Out - Within and Without

19) Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Self-Titled

20) Tom Waits - Bad As Me

Did I not mention your favorite albums? What were your favorite albums of 2011? Happy New Year!

- Mike

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top 5 Reasons Turntable.fm is Really Cool!


A few months ago, my buddy Flinchbot showed me this site, Turntable.fm where you can go into a virtual theme club with other music fans and listen to music together, either by listening in the crowd or jumping up on stage behind a laptop or iPhone and selecting individual songs from an on-line library or uploading your own mp3s. With it's lovable avatars and appealing interface and interactivity, Turntable.fm quickly became my new internet addiction. Here's a Top 5 list of reasons why Turntable.fm is really cool.


5) There is a Room For Every Music Genre
The Lobby.

As soon as you enter Turntable.fm through Facebook, you arrive in the lobby where a chart shows you a list of rooms and how many listeners are gathered inside each one. As you can see from the pic above, there's everything from ambient trip hop to dubstep to rock and roll and classical. There's basically a room for any type of music style and if there isn't one, you can create one. Just click on a room to enter and you'll be sent to a virtual room where you are a part of the listening audience. If there is a DJ spot available, just hop up and play a song when your turn comes up.


4) The Avatars
Starting avatars.


When you start off, you are only allowed to choose from some basic avatars and when you play a song that someone likes, you get a DJ point. Get enough DJ points and you can unlock special avatars to represent your Turntable.fm presence. Starter avatars include some basic human characters. As you collect more DJ points you can become a pin-cushion or possessed teddy bear, or a green cat, or bug-eyed caped creeps, until you eventually get to unlock a blinged out gorilla or a monkey with glasses wearing a fez. If you participate long enough, you can unlock special astronauts/spacemen at 10,000 DJ points. 


3) You can vote whether a song is Awesome or Lame.
The awesome/lame meter.


If a song comes on that you like, you can express this by clicking on the Awesome button, which causes your avatar to bob it's head to the music and reward a DJ point to the user playing the song. It's a great feeling when you have a room full of avatars bobbing their heads to a song that you chose to play. On the other hand, if a song comes on that you simply hate or consider over-played, you can click on the Lame button. If enough users in the room click on the Lame button, the song gets skipped. In some circumstances, if the DJ continuously gets lamed, they get booted from the stage.


2) Music Artists and Bands can play their music to a virtual audience.
Shimmercore playing a song from his latest album, Dronelands to a large gathering.


Turntable.fm is a great medium to hear and share new music and it's a great tool to play original songs that you've recorded to a captive audience and get a feel how the community views your music. Be careful not to just play your own music constantly or TT.fm users will know that you are just spamming and lame you. Everyone has their way of promoting their own music. Just be sure to balance your DJ queue with similar sounding songs to your music style to maximize receiving the most DJ points on your turn. If TT.fm users enjoy your songs, they can become fans and will be notified through email when you DJ again at a later date.


1) You can discover music you've never heard before from actual people instead of an algorithm.
The chat box allows you to interact with the users in the room.


Instead of letting Pandora or Spotify pick songs for you based on some fuzzy algorithm, the DJs of Turntable.fm want to gain more DJ points by playing what they consider the best songs for the room at the current moment. You will more than likely hear something you enjoy from actual users playing the hits from the room specified genre or obscure songs from a forgotten album to new releases from the past week and unreleased promos. The chat box is great to interact with the users of the room about the music you are hearing or playing. Often times, themes can occur organically where DJs start playing songs that reference a commonality.


Punk rocking possessed teddy bear DJs.


If you're still unsure what Turntable.fm is all about, then sign in and explore what it can do for you and how it can enhance your music discovering experience. Who knows? you may be the next Turntable.fm DJ Star!


- Mike
The author's Turntable.fm avatar.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Stone Roses Are Reuniting!


It seems like every few years or so, there's a rumor that The Stone Roses will be reuniting and then one of the former band members breaks his silence and says "No! The Roses are not getting back together, now piss off!" but this time it appears that the rumor has turned into a full blown truth and the band made a press conference announcement confirming the reunion. I remember hearing The Stone Roses for the first time on LIVE 105, a radio station based out of San Francisco. I was working alone at a gas station at the time and when "Elephant Stone" hit the air waves, it sounded supernatural and felt like there was hope for greatness in the future of music. I am glad that the band set aside their differences and decided to make a comeback.  We all live in dark times and The Stone Roses are here to bring magical rainbows of happiness back into our lives. Long Live The Stone Roses! They Are The Resurrection!

Check out their recent write up in the Daily Mail

MC

Shimmercore "Dronelands" is now Available!


The latest album by Shimmercore titled "Dronelands" was released Oct. 11th and is now available at http://www.shimmercore.com . If you are in the Indianapolis area, physical copies can be purchased at Indy CD & VinylLUNA Music, and Vibes Music.  All physical CDs contain two buttons within the packaging. Get your copy today! 

Here's a link to the latest video of the title song, "Dronelands":


Each song from the Dronelands album is being made into a video and will be posted exclusively from Temporary Rough Venom. 

MC

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Sneak Peek at the new Neon Love Life Video

Neon Love Life
So, there's this all-girl band performing around Indianapolis called Neon Love Life and they do all kinds of awesome things besides write rock songs and play shows. They also run Girls Rock Camp that helps young girls to become musicians and songwriters. About a month ago, they invited a bunch of friends and fans to participate in the making of their first video. I had to work and missed out on all the fun, but I'm glad to say that I knew these girls WAY before they became famous. 


Here's their video for the song "Love Control":
http://vimeo.com/27017482


Mike



Monday, July 11, 2011

SPOTLIGHT: The Rise of LIL STOOOPID



I receive a couple of emails a week regarding artists to review and late last night I get an email from an obvious gentleman and scholar that goes by the name of LIL STOOOPID. His email went something like this:


"YO YO YO YO YO!!! STR8 OUTTA INDIANAPOLIS! I GOTTA FLAVA THAT YOU CAN'T RESIST, KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? ITS GOTTA BEAT AND RHYMES THAT SAY SOMETHIN, YOU KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? I GOTTA A NEW BEAT AND ITS FRESH AS FUCK, KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? LIL STOOOPID IS THE DOPE. IM DIFFERENT THAN OTHER STOOOPIDS CAUSE I GOT 3 O'S IN MY NAME, KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? CHECK MY SONG "LIL B THE BASED GOD" AND HOLLA AT ME WITH REVIEW, KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? YOULL ATTEST, IM THE BEST AND YOULL LET ME HAVE YOUR GIRL, KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN? SWAG!"


Well, I don't know if I'd let this guy around inanimate objects, much less my girlfriend, but I saw that he had heart and gave his song, "Lil B The Based God" an honest listen. Lil Stooopid sounds like he stands up to any hip hop artist that's trying to "hustle" right now. I'm not an expert at hip hop, but I know if a song sounds good or not. He definitely idolizes Lil B apparently since he named the track after his hip hop hero. I have to admit that this song made me laugh out loud a few times. This rapper should have named himself LOL STOOOPID! 


Check out "Lil B The Based God" track right here:
LiL Stooopid - "Lil B The Based God" by way of Cat Like Records


What do you think of this underground hip hop from Indianapolis, Indiana? Do you think LIL STOOOPID has what it takes to make it in this cruel music world? Would you give your girl to LIL STOOOPID? Is this guy for real? Are his beats "dope" and "fresh"? Who should LIL STOOOPID collaborate with? Would you see this rapper live? Is this the future of hip hop? 


- Mike

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Top 20 Albums of 2011 So Far

What a girl enjoying cool new music may look like.

It's already July in 2011 and half the year is over. Where has the time gone? It's obviously been spent listening to lots of awesome new music. This is not an original blog post and you are going to see every major and minor blogger post their favorite albums of 2011 so far. This list is not based on sales or popularity but on my honest opinion and the number of spins and listens my precious time has been devoted. I have not included any of my own music releases because that would be really lame and douchey, although they would sit well alongside any of these great albums. So, here is my Top 20 Albums of 2011 So Far, starting with:

1) Ringo Death Starr - "Colour Trip"



2) The Black Lips - "Arabia Mountain"



3) CULTS - "CULTS"


4) Raphael Saadiq - "Stone Rollin"


5) The Raveonettes - "Raven In The Grave"


6) Belong - "Common Era"


7) Beady Eye - "Different Gear, Still Speeding"


8) Wire - "Red Barked Tree"


9) Puro Instinct - "Headbangers In Ecstasy"


10) Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "Unknown Mortal Orchestra"


11) Psychedelic Horseshit - "Laced"


12) James Pants - "James Pants"


13) Cat's Eyes - "Cat's Eyes"


14) Lykke Li - "Wounded Rhymes"


15) DOM - "Sun Bronzed Greek Gods" EP


16) Toro y Moi - "Underneath The Pine"


17) Washed Out - "Within and Without"


18) Foster The People - "Torches"



19) Beastie Boys - "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two"


20) Tyler The Creator - "Goblin"


Of course, there were several great releases that didn't make my top 20 and there are many releases to look forward to this year. It could be possible that some of these albums may not make my final best of 2011 list. For now, these albums get lots of plays at my abode and work and I recommend them to anyone with discernible taste in music. What albums would be included in your Best of 2011 So Far lists?

- Mike