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FEATURE: Tommorow’s Sounds Today

Hello everyone and welcome to another editions of Tomorrows Sounds Today – sorry it’s a little late, but we had a manic one at the ol’ day job yesterday. Anyway, let us welcome you in from the cold cold winter and settle you in from of our roaring fire of new and exciting music. Slip off the shoes, pop on the slippers and we’ll make you a warming mug of some tasty new albums, we might even slip in a wee dram of hot releases as its a super cold day.

My first choice this week is one which is not part of Spotify but I feel it is an important thing to raise. I try not to be a charity plugger as there are far too many out there doing too much good work and inevitably they don’t all get equal voice.

That said, I have friends in the field on active service and I’ve spent different periods of my life tied with different Army Units (it was almost a full time career choice for me) so I am a strong supporter of the work the Royal British Legion do, not just at this time of year but all year round. Political views around war aside, people are dedicating their lives on a daily basis.

http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/remembrance/the-nation-remembers/two-minute-silence

Anyway…. morale guilt trip over with, onto the normal tunage!

Weezer – Death to False Metal – This album comes very close to the latest studio release Hurley which we covered previously and whilst the songs are all ‘new’, it is not intended as a new album, although the band have professed to giving it the same energy and coverage. It acts as a collection of work spanning their careers, and all I will say is if you are a fan of Weezer already, I think there is plenty in there you will like. However, I don’t think (as you would expect from an informal, non studio release) that it will necessarily convert any non-fans. It is still a great album and worthy of mention along with their main releases, and for me at least it certainly doesn’t feel like a weak B-sides cash in attempt. For that alone they should be applauded, as that is all too easy to do these days.

The Radio Dept. – Never Follow Suit – This EP from Swedish outfit The Radio Dept. is one of an ever growing list from a band who never seem to release many albums but are always punching out the EP’s. To say never is a little unfair as there are a couple out, but EP’s seem to form the backbone. As their name might suggest, they are on the more electronic spectrum and certainly make me think of some of the 80’s electronica bands with hints of New Order, Cocteau Twins and the like. A great piece of work and worthy of the rest of their catalogue.

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Features Playlists

FEATURE: Tomorrow’s Sounds Today

Hello and welcome to another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today, where, as always, our crack team at Spotisfaction have crossed palms with silver, tossed runes, followed black cats and polished crystal balls till our fingers were mere nubs to bring you the latest and greatest releases on the Spotify shelves.

Also I’m afraid I’d also like to have a little moan but best to get it out of the way before the good music! I’m not sure if this is a function of Spotify or their wrangling with the evils that are record executives (I have my suspicions but at the moment they are unproven), but a number of the newer releases I’ve been listening to recently are starting to have that growing trend of only including part of the full release. It can’t be my account as I’m currently running the full premium (mostly so I can listen on my iPad) so I can only assume its deliberate. My concern is that some bright spark at (x) records has decided that if we cant hear the full album on Spotify, we’ll rush to the nearest MP3 vendor or better still, the killer margin of a high street record store to buy their wares. Can I just say, if any of you are listening, no this won’t! It will make me more likely to look online for the rest of the album. Once I have made the decision to spend my hard earned on streaming services I am not buying your overpriced plastic discs! Recent articles have shown in some territories, Spotify makes more for the artist than regular sales, stop robbing us of half the album!

…. and breathe…

Onto the good stuff! This week we have a nice mix of genres for you. In the lead up to Christmas I’m sure we’ll start to see the compilations and seasonal albums ramp up, but for the moment we’re still getting normal releases thankfully!

UNKLE – Where Did The Night Fall – Opinion appears to be divided as to whether the current releases by UNKLE are as good as their early work, personally I’m a fan of all their albums but I’m sure the debate could rage in the comments section :) This album was an easy choice for me following my slightly unhealthy repeated plays of one of its tracks, Follow Me Down which reminds me of early Sneaker Pimps. This record contains some great guess artists and a good range of subtle blending of styles which for me just create a really complete sound and a really solid record. To those new to the artist, there is nothing about this record that will disappoint, but to those fans of the old, I’ll leave you to make your own minds up!

Rumer – Seasons Of My Soul – Considering the amount of coverage and hype Rumer has had, its hard not to remember this is still her debut album. Countless comparisons to the likes of Karen Carpenter are easy enough to hear in both her voice and the tunes, but at the same time these comparisons feel a little lazy. One of two of the tracks certainly seem to have been written to show that style of vocal of which she’s more than capable of, but she also has enough range to be strong on her own and not just be seen as a clone of a former favourite of the collected consciousness. This album might feel safe to some but I see it as a great example of someone playing to their strengths. It’s a perfect sunny morning, coffee and danish, feel good about yourself record and I think there are days we all need that.

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Features

ARTICLE: Do You MP3?

Hi guys, I have a question for you: Do You MP3?

The other day I was performing some long overdue maintenance on my PC when it occurred to me that the 70-80GB worth of MP3s I have on my hard drive haven’t been touched now for quite some time. A quick peruse of my programs showed that Winamp (my long-time MP3 program of choice) wasn’t even installed on my latest OS install, something I had done some months previous.

I wondered at that point what I should do with them. Should I leave them on one of my drives taking up valuable space that could be used for more useful data like educational videos [Editor’s note: “educational vids” indeed… ahem], or should I pop them into offline storage? Another thought occurred – would it really be a big deal if I deleted them altogether?

It was the fierce protection of my MP3 collection that got me making backups in the first place, a process that I have long gotten out of the habit of, and this leads me to the nub of the matter:

Is the humble MP3 already a dying format? We’ve all been there – I’m sure if many of us went up into our lofts and garages we would find VHS cassettes or (if you’re an early adopter) Betamax tapes, we’ll find old C90s, minidiscs, and maybe even the odd 8-track. Do any of us still have the devices on which to play them? I would say in most cases probably not, so why do we hold onto them? Is it the aesthetic value? Is it habit or is it a strange notion of duty for all the pleasure they gave us?

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News

NEWS: Spotify iPhone App Improved

iPhone iOS 4Image courtesy of cnet.co.uk

For those of you out there with an iPhone (there must be some of you that haven’t yet moved over to Android), there is an update to the Spotify app which now allows users to ‘multi-task’, ie. keep listening to music after switching to other apps. This will allow you to enjoy all our Spotisfaction playlists whilst checking your email, using fart joke apps, and the miriad of other things you can do on an iPhone. In all seriousness, though, this could conceivably replace the native iPod app, as one of the new features allows you to play your synced iPod tracks locally instead of streaming them through the cloud. That, folks, is a game-changer as it will drastically reduce the amount of bandwidth that Spotify on your iPhone will use (as long as your playlists contain tracks that you’ve synced to your phone).

There are a whole host of further updates to the app, including the ability to share links and playlists with other Spotify users, access Spotify’s music controls from the iPhone lock screen, and use Apple’s remote to control your music playback.

The app is available for Spotify Premium users and is available now for the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS or the third-generation iPod Touch.

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News

Sign up for Spotify Open, no invitation needed

Hey guys,

As you know, here at Spotisfaction Towers we have a huge crush on Spotify. A manly crush, you might say. A deep, meaningful, sweaty and sadly unrequited man crush, but a man crush nonetheless. And so, the following excites us:

http://www.spotify.com/uk/get-spotify/open/

Spotify Open is a free version of our favourite music-streaming client. If you’ve not been listening to Spotisfaction because you didn’t have an invite, now’s the time to get involved!

Much <3 to the Spotify crew.

PS. Yes, this is old news, but I’m OK with it.

David.

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Playlists

Spotisfaction Monday – 24/05/10 Guest Mix by Craig Lee

Do you know, so far there have been about 60 Spotisfaction submissions. About 2/3rds of those have been generated by your good selves. Thank you very much for all of the fantastic submissions.

I guess the biggest news is that there are going to be a few changes to this blog going forward. Firstly, we’re cutting down the frequency we’re running playlists. From 5 times a week to 3 times a week. We’ll be updating Monday, Wednesday and Friday as from today.

We’re also toying with the idea of going full-blog with Spotisfaction (as opposed to just running playlists). We’re still working out the details, so more on this nearer the end of the week.

So, on with today’s guest mix. This guy bears some responsibility for my love of music so I’m pretty honored to have a submission by him. Enjoy todays mix by Mr Craig Lee.

[Editors note: This playlist was originally intended to run on a Friday, however as pointed out it’s more of a Sunday playlist. So we’re running it on Monday. It’s Tuesday tomorrow, by the way].

Craig Lee:
I’m not really sure of the format as this is my first post so apologies if this is wrong somehow. It’s not a Friday playlist really, more of a Sunday playlist but I’m guessing you wanted todays date in the title? Well, I’ll post my playlist anyway, I’m sure you’ll tell me if I got something wrong.

64 Spotisfaction Monday (24 May) – CLee

  1. Serpentine – Ani Difranco
  2. Uptown Top Ranking – Scout Niblett
  3. Woman – Alessi’s Ark
  4. The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades is out to get us – Sufjan Stevens
  5. In Our Talons – Bowerbirds
  6. Animals Can’t Laugh – Moriarty
  7. Can You Blame The Sky – Alela Diane
  8. Flume – Bon Iver
  9. Instead – Ola Podrida
  10. Where The Humans Eat – Willy Mason
  11. Bellingham – Bishop Allen
  12. Now You Are Pregnant – The Wave Pictures
  13. Please Do Not Go – Violent Femmes
  14. No LSD Tonight –  Jeffrey Lewis
  15. Steak For Chicken (Acoustic Version) – The Moldy Peaches
  16. True Love Will Find You In The End – Daniel Johnston
  17. Burkowski – Modest Mouse
  18. No Children – The Mountain Goats
  19. 2 Atoms In A Molecule – Noah And The Whale
  20. Leftovers – Johnny Flynn
  21. Angelika – Devendra Banhart
  22. Bristol – Herman Dune
  23. Two-Headed Boy – Neutral Milk Hotel
  24. The Way The Wind Blows – A Hawk And A Hacksaw
  25. Elephant Gun – Beirut
  26. Oh So Insistent – Andrew Bird
  27. Poor Edward – Tom Waits
  28. It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Blind Willie Johnson
  29. Psychotic Girl – The Black Keys

“Carolina Drama” – The Raconteurs
This was supposed to be a themed playlist, the theme being “lofi“. I then realised I wanted to include too many songs that didn’t really fit that particular bracket. I therefore decided to change the theme to “acoustic” before realising that having a theme probably wasn’t the best idea I ever had! Unfortunately that realisation came too late for this playlist as I was already too far in and determined to finish it. Trying to stick slavishly to the format was frustratingly restrictive and ultimately proved futile. Perhaps my focus was simply too narrow, perhaps themes still have some role to play in my future but, for now at least, I abhor the concept of the “theme“. Having said that, I (mostly) managed to stick with the acoustic idea and ended up with a coherent play list. Ok, so it’s not consistently coherent but it still sounds pretty good! The following tracks are my stand out picks;

“Serpentine” – Ani Difranco.
Lyrically unsurpassed as far as I am concerned and some pretty nifty guitar work too! Her finest work.

“Uptown Top Ranking” – Scout Niblett. The most interesting cover version I’ve heard for some time, she has some great songs of her own too but this one seemed to fit best.

“Woman” – Alessi’s Ark. Saw this performed live on the late review I think and it was totally unexpected, it was a sparse and beautiful performance. She has a voice that reminds me of Joanna Newsom (who is criminally absent from Spotify!) at times, probably not for everyone this track.

At this point I’ve reminded myself I don’t need to explain every choice. Luckily it’s Sufjan next, what needs to be said about Sufjan?!?!

“True Love Will Find You In The End” – Daniel Johnston.
This guy is a lofi genius.

“The Way The Wind Blows” – A Hawk And A Hacksaw.
The best live band I’ve seen in the last couple of years. Everyone I’ve ever played their stuff to hates them but I’ll keep trying.

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Playlists

Spotisfaction Friday 14/05/10 – Friday Collaboration

Happy Friday guys. A few things.

Firstly, today we are going to do a collaboration. Free for all. All is welcome. Please add some tunes and enjoy.

http://open.spotify.com/user/mukinabaht/playlist/6wTMzctOqTaS2TikPgqtF7

Secondly, tonight is a Cheltenham Underground night. Get down to The Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham for 8pm tonight to see the delights of Midnight Mile and Blackberry Wood. Details of the event can be found here. As usual it’s £4 entry. Get on down and have some fun times.

Okay, so there we have it. Get adding your tracks to the playlist today. I look forward to hearing them. If you feel the need to justify your tracks, add some comments below.

Sweetness.
Thom

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Playlists

Spotisfaction Thursday 13/05/10 – 3 Way Split – Thom Lavelle, David Prowse & Kevin Atkinson

Three is a prime number and today’s playlist is nothing if not prime. (However please note that there is no Primus on today’s playlist). See if you can spot the theme here. Answers on a postcard.

Today myself, David and our evil minion Kev decided to stick 10 tracks each onto a collaboration and share it with the world. Or at least the part of the world that cares.

Coming up next week we’ve got a variety of fantastic guest playlists to stir things up a bit. We’re still waiting for a few submissions to trickle in (John Brobyn, I’m looking at you here) so hurry your pants and get them in.

Playlist is here:
http://open.spotify.com/user/mukinabaht/playlist/2AlVGmvwqLeeZsPDGKd0un

Bonus Track: Ernie K-Doe – Here Come The Girls

  1. Dinosaur Jr – Little Fury Things
  2. Husker Du – Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely
  3. The Lemonheads – Second Chance
  4. Temple Of The Dog – Pushin’ Forward Back
  5. The Toadies – Possum Kingdom
  6. Tad – Throat Locust
  7. Local H – Back In The Day
  8. Mudhoney – Suck You Dry
  9. Sonic Youth – Kill Yr. Idols
  10. Nirvana – Oh The Guilt
  11. Sleater-Kinney – Jumpers
  12. Maggot Brain – Extreme And Hard Boogie
  13. Silverchair – Pure Massacre
  14. Screaming Trees – Beyond This Horizon
  15. Queens Of The Stoneage – The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret
  16. Smashing Pumpkins – Ava Adore
  17. Pearl Jam – Garden
  18. Alice In Chains – Them Bones
  19. Silversun Pickups – Melatonin
  20. Blind Melon – Tones Of Home
  21. Meat Puppets – Plateau
  22. Rival Schools – Holding Sand
  23. The Get Up Kids – Grunge Pig
  24. Nada Surf – Popular
  25. Soundgarden – Spoonman
  26. Audioslave – Like A Stone
  27. AM/FM – Come Suck Down A Cloud
  28. Oceansize – Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs
  29. Quicksand – Fazer
  30. Rage Against The Machine – Guerrilla Radio

As an aside, how do you all think Spotisfaction is going? As I stood on my faux-balcony this morning, having my post wake-up cigarette I wondered what the future had in store for this blog. Is radio dead? Are people so saturated with music choice that they have no idea what to listen to? What makes music journalists so damn snooty they think they can decree the success of otherwise of a band with their sub-par, horribly subjective and bland reviews? I’m getting the tickle that states something must be done. This summer, we have to take some kind of action. Please upload your ideas into my brain along with a bit of alcohol so I can get something moving.

Ramble over, ramble on.
Thom

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Playlists

Spotisfaction Wednesday 12/05/10 – A guest mix by Paul Pritchard

Guys, girls and northerners. Apologies for the delay in today’s Spotisfaction. David and I are currently trialling a later update to afford us some more free time in the morning. It works for us, let’s see if it works for you.

Today’s mixtape of the virtual kind is from our good friend (and generally slick muddyfunster) Paul P, who obviously knows his way around the music. Turn left here, down that dark alley, ooh, check out that little shop, it does the best dango. Mmm, dango. I just ate a tomato. I was hoping that when I bit into it, tomato juice would shoot out and hit David right in his ear. You know, RIGHT IN HIS EARHOLE. But it didn’t. Instead it went all over my beard, hands and keyboard. I blame David for this, and he will soon know the full extent of my wrath. Because he’ll read this news post. Yes, David, I will have my revenge. Revenge is a dish best served with mint sauce. Like cous cous.

But enough talk, HAVE HAT YOU!

Playlist:
http://open.spotify.com/user/uksock/playlist/5OE6qCfjEJ5WZ8eAmuZIZ0

  1. Boyfriend – Alphabeat
  2. Efilnikufesin – Anthrax
  3. Drive That Fast – Kitchens Of Distinction
  4. Black Steel – Tricky
  5. Spit On A Stranger – Pavement
  6. Soon – My Bloody Valentine
  7. At Long Last – Swell
  8. Midnight In A Perfect World – DJ Shadow
  9. Sea Of Teeth – Sparklehorse
  10. I Will Dare – The Replacements
  11. See No Evil – Television
  12. French Film Blurred – Wire
  13. Moby Octopad – Yo La Tengo
  14. You Suffer – Napalm Death
  15. Wolf Like Me – Tv On The Radio
  16. Pearl – Chapterhouse
  17. Here Comes Everybody – Autolux
  18. Leave Home – The Chemical Brothers
  19. Glass Printer – The Besnard Lakes
  20. Broadway (So Many People) – Low
  21. Cybele’s Reverie – Stereolab
  22. Waves – Holly Miranda
  23. Star Fruits Surf Rider – Cornelius
  24. Tunic (Song For Karen) – Sonic Youth
  25. Smokebelch II (Beatless Mix) – The Sabres Of Paradise

This is just a small selection of what I’ve loved to listen to throughout this thing we call life along with a couple of things that I’m liking currently.  The first track is one of the most giddy uplifting tracks you can ever hear, and the second takes me back to my school days, the days of dandruff and mullets (for me anyway, ahem..).  Endtroducing has to be one of my all time favourite records and Midnight in a Perfect world is a perfect encapsulation of the wonder that is DJ Shadow.  Had to put Sparklehorse in (R I P Mark Linkous), truly genius.  I liked Chapterhouse for about 40 minutes in 1991 whilst peering laconically through a very long fringe but this is an ace track I’ve just rediscovered, .

The Besnard Lakes are new to me and I’m loving this album at the moment, it has an epic spacious feel about it which greatly appeals to me.  Low very much being an obvious influence on them had to follow.  All rounded off with an ambient classic I preferred the original with beats but it ain’t on here, the album Sabresonic is well worth a listen even if it is ancient now.

Hope my submission is an enjoyable one, I have much enjoyed checking out other playlists and have picked up a couple of new acts to follow which is what i like.  Adios an’ ting.

Paul x

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Playlists

Spotisfaction Tuesday 11/05/10 – A Mix by David Prowse

Yo! Good afternoon, wondrous people. Day 2 of the week. This playlist was a cick-through experiment. I’d find a track, then try and find another similar artist by clicking through on Spotify, until I found something I really liked. It was pretty good fun, but it’s got a rather random flow to it. Definitely helps you find stuff you wouldn’t listen to otherwise, though.

A bit harangued at work today, so I’ll keep it brief and let the playlist speak for itself.

Peace,
David

Playlist here.

  1. MF Doom, Count Bass D – Potholderz
  2. MED – Can’t Hold On
  3. Cannibal Ox – Straight Off The D.I.C.
  4. KMD – Get-U-Now
  5. Hieroglyphics – You Never Knew – Domino Remix
  6. Explosions In The Sky – Catastrophe And The Cure
  7. Caspian – Sycamore
  8. Saxon Shore – Angels And Brotherly Love
  9. As Tall As Lions – 505
  10. Daturah – Vertex
  11. Explosions In The Sky – A Poor Man’s Memory
  12. Codes In The Clouds – Fractures
  13. Joy Wants Eternity – You Are The Vertical, You Are The Horizon
  14. The Most Serene Republic – A Mix Of Sun And Cloud
  15. Jill Barber – Wishing Well
  16. Minus The Bear – Throwing Shapes
  17. Born Ruffians – Badonkadonkey
  18. Magneta Lane – Medusa
  19. St. Vincent – Now, Now
  20. Annuals – Carry Around
  21. Jason Collett – Charlyn, Angel of Kensington
  22. Lightning Dust – Castles and Caves
  23. The Watson Twins – Just Like Heaven
  24. Maria Taylor – Smile and Wave
  25. Neko Case – Hold On, Hold On
  26. Sunset Rubdown – Stadiums And Shrines II
  27. Forest City Lovers – Minneapolis
  28. Gentleman Reg – Telling You Is Something