Posts Tagged ‘rock’
I have been doing this for several weeks so I thought a refresher would be useful for anyone that missed the original post. These reviews of indie music labels are specifically geared to people looking for new music or people who don’t presently listen to music from independent labels. The most important criteria is ease of finding and previewing the music.
This week the spotlight shines on Matador Records. Based in New York City and London, Matador is big for an indie label. The artists they represent cover a wide variety of music styles from blues to hip hop to rock.
Strengths: The site is clean and fairly easy to navigate. The blog and discussion forums give Matador a laid back feeling. The artist bio pages are extensive, with video and news updates. The tour schedule is nice and even has links to some of the venues.
Weaknesses: Once again, no streaming audio. I get that bandwidth can be expensive but since Matador doesn’t provide links to the artists websites or myspace pages the only way to preview the music without downloading is to hope the artist has some video up on their bio page.
Overall this a pretty good site. The eclectic mix of music styles is a bonus to anyone just starting their music search.
Picked up a couple of tracks off Colin Munroe is the Unsung Hero. Lot of remixes on this CD. That isn’t neccessarily a bad thing. I listen to a lot of blues and covers are fairly common, but I still want the individual artist to come through. I want to hear their ‘music’, not just their take on someone else’s.
(This was my problem with Jukebox by Cat Power. I really wanted Cat and felt like the cover album just diluted her.)
And that is my problem here. No matter how much I like his version of ‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday‘ I would still love to hear the real Colin Munroe. His own words, his own music.
If anyone has a rec of Colin singing and playing his own stuff please let me know.
You can listen to and pick up free tracks from the album over on RCRD LBL and can purchase it on Colin’s myspace page. If you are near the Atlanta area, you can see Colin Munroe live tonight Dec 18th at Vinyl and Friday night Dec 19th at Stand Back @ Club Cenci.
Okay, so yesterday’s post may seem a little…pointless but it was actually supposed to be the lead-in to a short review of Dark Horse, the new Nickelback release. Unfortunately, Scooter had an epic meltdown before I could finish the post so I had to close early. That might have been a better decision than doing a review.
The ‘Bit recommends Gotta Be Somebody and it is not too bad. It is one of the few young-teen-friendly tracks on a ‘whoa, were we obsessed with sex or what’ cd. (Hey, it’s party rock and I have no problem with that.)
Although I hate Something in Your Mouth. Serious hate.
Mutt Lange produced and while he is brilliant at it (and a pretty cool songwriter) most of his stuff has a very identifiable sound. That works very well for some artists, unfortunately it does not for Nickelback. They sound like an eighties band. Sort of like Def Leppard if Joe had a rougher voice.
The alt-country sound of This Afternoon is just sad but the worst thing is they just sound so mainstream. With the exception of Next Go Round (a seriously awesome track - already bought and on my mp3 player) there are no jagged edges to the sound and no surprises.
I can recommend ‘Gotta Be Somebody’ for your teens and Next Go Round for everyone else. If you are big Nickelback fan you probably have the cd already. If not, give it a listen first.
You can pick up Dark Horse pretty much everywhere. (Amazon is good if you only want some tracks)
Five Horse Johnson – The Mystery Spot
Rock, with just a little blues slipping through. Not bad, and they get bonus points for the slide. They have kind of a rough sound. A little raw, and with kind of an early ZZ top feel. I guess my favorites would be The Mystery Spot and Of Ditch Diggers and Drowning Men. (I love the opening)
Beyond that, we crash into the subjective. The rest of the cd is sort of a ‘party down on the river’ thing and while that is cool, I am old enough that entire cd’s about guy parts and what they do with them are just not that interesting.
Look, this is actually a pretty good band. I just happen to like my Texas blues-rock with a little more blues and a little more subtleness in the lyrics. If you like more of a raunchy, party sound you will probably love the CD. I did put ‘Ditch Digger’ (which is awesome btw) on my mp3 player but I still can’t recommend the rest without you all giving it a listen first.
Bob Dylan – Tell Tale Signs:The Bootleg Series Vol 8
This is a 2 disk set of unreleased, alternate and live versions of his songs. If you are a Dylan fan you will want to pick it up. If he is someone you listen to casually you are probably better off previewing the tracks and only d/ling those you love.
My favorite is High Water (I have the urge to say ‘duh’) but there are many other nice ones in the set.