Saturday, February 27, 2010

Temple Scene: The Gloworld Remixes (free download)

Temple Scene are offering free downloads of their new EP, The Gloworld Remixes. All three songs were remixed by electronic artist Alex Gloworld. The songs are "Helsinki," "Too Far Gone," and "Is This The Life," and they're definitely worth a listen.

For more info or to check them out, click here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

T61 Highway is Abandoned

So Rafael Brandão sent me this tip and some screenshots. Apparently many, many songs on aren't getting any hearts at all. And there's no way to direct message the artists to tell them someone will stumble upon their tracks ... eventually.

As to the artists and listeners who put time and money into building up the site? T61 admin James Miao is still standing by his statement, "Just because you like my stuff doesn't mean I owe you anything."

Three (of many) pages of unhearted songs (click for big):


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Skybox releases "In a Dream" video

Skybox just released a wild and crazy video for their song "In a Dream," from their album Morning After Cuts, which came out in January. Check it out:

(The song starts at around 0:44.)


New url!

My blog's new url is I may have to change around the settings for those subscribed by e-mail (all two of you), so watch this space.

Friday, February 19, 2010

James (of thesixtyone) responds

I saw this post from James the other day, and thought I'd share it with you all. It's from the something awful forums (warning: you might need an account to read it), in a thread he started awhile back to promote

"hi everyone, sorry for neglecting this thread for so long. while it's never fun to read critical feedback, i do appreciate the fact that people have taken the time to share their concerns and wanted to let it be known that i am reading.

to clarify a few things:

- i took a small investment last spring so i could hire our third person to help on a new mobile project.

- i shut off facebook comments because it had basically come down to the same 50 people (a few of whom actually work at other music sites) writing the same nasty message everyday and facebook has really poor admin tools...i'm all for feedback, but it needs to be constructive for anything to get done. note that i never removed comments and purposely left the comments section open for about 2 weeks after the new design was released.

- like most 3rd party services, alexa is terribly off target. quantcast is also wrong as we removed the measurement code last month. quantcast was a requirement from our advertisers, and it doesn't make sense to keep it around now that i've taken all of the ads off thesixtyone.

- our current implementation of groups/channels is computationally intensive and couldn't scale. we have some good ideas for improving performance and actually improving the user experience. it's only just occurred to me how crappy this must feel for those participating in the goon group. i feel bad about this.

- i know that change sucks for some. heck, my partner, sam, had a hell of time adjusting for the first two weeks...but, at the end of the day, i felt an obligation to continue to push the envelope for music discovery and was prepared to fail outright rather than sit comfortable with a subpar yet familiar music experience.

all i can really say for now is that i promise that things will only get better, that i'm aware of the distress, and that i've got something to prove."

"The goon group" he's referring to is The Goons, a music group on thesixtyone, for members of the Something Awful forums. When someone asked why he changed the site, he replied:

"Simplicity. I had furiously bolted on features over the last 12 months as I experimented with how people explore music. Anything that didn't fit the core experience was cut."

Now, on one hand I've got to hand it to him for going back to a thread where people were criticizing him. But really, some of his points don't make any sense. A lot of the Facebook commenters were artists and listeners who had no affiliations with other music sites, and who spent a lot of time and money on the site and were confused and angry due to the sudden change. It also doesn't address his puzzling blog post. If he wants to do damage control, it's a bit late, as he should have started doing it on day 1. What do you think?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Review: Dream of Sleeping, May All My Delusions Come True

The last song I heard before the sudden change of's layout was Dream of Sleeping's "Cracked Lips, Dry Skin." I saved it, logged in the next morning and ... holy re-launch, Batman. Since Dream of Sleeping was a new artist, I felt awful for him: he never had the chance to experience all the music-radio site had to offer. And when I read that he was getting trashed by reviews, I knew I had to step in and level the playing field a bit.

Part of the weariness seems to be reviewers saying, "Oh great, another solo artist," which I think is missing the point entirely. The fact that a single musician can carry an album (something that usually takes an entire band) makes me pay more attention, not less. The fact that it's indie accoustic music doesn't diminish its charm. And on that note, let me begin my review.

Dream of Sleeping is Neil Cartmell, and his music is reminiscent of snow falling gently on a cool day. (The cover art helps with this image, but my point stands.) "Scar" is a good opener to the album, and draws the listener right in. I do have to agree with the reviewers on "Why How When," since the drums go nuts and overpower the song. But the lyrics are great, and it's nothing a good remix can't clean up. The album jumps right back on track with "On a Paper Plane," which is a beautiful song.

The guitar work in "Changing Times" is positively melodious, and the title track, "May All My Delusions Come True," gets at the heart of the album: dissatisfaction with the status quo. That theme is continued in "The Longest Day," which starts with the lyrics: "What will you do when you grow bored with me, and nothing is how it used to be, and nothing is how you want?" It's a sparse, haunting song.

"December Something" starts off with some great piano work, and the vocals remind me of Michael Stipe from REM. "Wait In Line" is positively heart-wrenching, and my only complaint is that it doesn't go on long enough. However, "Cracked Lips, Dry Skin" is the clear star of the album, and I can picture it being used on an episode of Chuck. It's low-key, filled with emotion, and perfectly performed. The last song is the wryly titled "No One Listens to the Last Track," a short and simple outro.

Overall, it's a great album, and many good things can be said about it. So, do I have any advice for Neil? Well, don't give up yet. Get on sites like that allow you to connect with listeners, give away a song or two for free, and record some more music videos. Something to help your music grab listeners' attention. And don't put too much stock in bad reviews: everyone gets them. Make music to please yourself and your fans, and you won't be disappointed.

The Rescues - "Can't Stand the Rain" video

I've been looking for a live performance of The Rescues, and someone pointed me to this just a few days ago. Here's The Rescues performing "Can't Stand the Rain" on PCTV: