RockAngel Rants…get with it Music Biz

21 11 2008

What do  AC/DC, Police, Christina Aguilera and the Eagles all have in common?  They would all like us to waste a little gas, just to listen to their music.  In other words, if you want any of the new releases from the artists above, you’ll have to drive your ass down to a Wal-mart, Target, or Best Buy as they all have exclusive deals with the big box stores.  Why would they do this?  Well, in exchange for exclusivity, the artist/band gets HUGE promotion in the stores.  So anyone walking into one of those stores, may come out with an impulse purchase of a Christina Aguilera CD…or not.

Will the music industry please move completely into the 21st century already?  The future of music is digital.  Period.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to love the old neighborhood music stores and actually owning the CD, artwork, etc, but let’s face it, all of those stores are out of business…for a reason.  When faced with the choice of driving to a store, or clicking a button, consumers chose to click a button, and own the music instantaneously. Those who want to own the CD now buy it online at Amazon.  The iPod and other portable music devices only furthers the need for digital downloads as buying a CD requires the extra step to actually upload it digitally before it can be transferred to the device.

So what’s up with this new wave of artists who think they are so big, and people love them so much, that they can make it MORE difficult to give them money.  Seems a little backwards if you ask me.  I suppose you could say a true fan would drive anywhere to get their hands on the latest release from their favorite artist.  Well you know what?  I wouldn’t…just for the principle of it.  You think you are so great that I don’t want to listen to the CD before I buy it?  You think people should have to drive to give you money for your music?  Fuck that!  I’m a big supporter of buying music, but illegal downloads haven’t gone away, and I think artists are going to lose a lot of money to that if they don’t make it available legally online.

Yes, I’m very aware that AC/DC has sold a shit-ton of albums already using this model.  But has anyone thought about how many more they would have sold if we could just click “buy” in the iTunes store?  And I’d be very curious to know how many people have, and will opt to get the music illegally since they can’t access it on their computer.  In fact, I encourage this, who do these artists think they are?  Does anyone else see how f’ing backwards this is?

Yes, I’m a little angry, not because I was planning on buying any of those albums, but at the audacity of artists and labels so caught up in retail commercialism that they are forsaking spreading their music to as many ears as possible.  In a time when the music industry is struggling to keep up with technology, I see this as a huge step backwards that may work for a few big names, but is ultimately bad for their bottom line, and just plain annoying for their fans.

Hey, I’d really like you to pay me $10 to read my blog, but I have much better visibility at my house so I’m not going to post it digitally anymore.  Why don’t get in your car and drive over and read the handwritten version?  Thanks.


Free Streaming Preview of Guns N’ Roses long awaited “Chinese Democracy”

20 11 2008
Chinese Democracy - Guns N' Roses

After 17 years, “Chinese Democracy”-Guns N’ Roses latest project-is finally being released.  The question is, will this album go down in legendary music history like “Appetite for Destruction” or will it be the next Y2K bug and live on as the biggest musical hype of its time?  Luckily for you, Myspace is letting you do decide that for yourself…before the album is officially released on November 23rd.

Right now, you can go to and listen to the entire album for free…as many times as your little music-junkie heart desires.  There’s nothing to jump-start your day like a little dose of Axl Rose.
So far I’ve made it about halfway through the album, and already I can tell I’m gonna need to listen to it a few more times before I can really absorb the flavor of it.  Their sound has definitely become more modern, but you can still hear remnants of the GNR style…and there’s no denying Axl Rose’s distinctive vocals.  In my eyes, the recipe for an epic album needs to not only be perfectly written and composed, but it needs to contain one part old school roots, one part modern charm and one part pure originality, topped with a generous helping of emotional guts.  Does Chinese Democracy live up to this epic status?  Well, by song 8 on the first listen, I can’t judge it quite yet…but it just might…so why don’t you mosey on over to and hear for yourself.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy New Music Thursday…keep rockin…

(If you want to read more about the album, I found this article by MTV pretty interesting)

Kings of Leon “Only By The Night” – Free Album Listen

11 11 2008

Occasionally a song just hits you immediately…and for whatever reason it feels like that song has already become a permanent fixture in the soundtrack to your life.  This song for me was “Sex On Fire” by Kings Of Leon.  I’ve been a fan of these guys since the days of “Molly’s Chambers”, and have gone back and forth from how I really feel about their albums as a whole.  However, I realized today I hadn’t even heard their newest album with my new favorite song, and it came out in September!  I must have missed that New Music Tuesday!  I was extremely disappointed with myself. But disappointment turned to joy as I streamed the album for free on Lala, and fell in love with it immediately.  This album is original, with lots of mainstream undertones.  Their progressions move your soul through the song, and just when you think it might start sounding pop, they throw in a curveball.  It’s taking awhile for the ‘States to catch on to this international hit, but I highly doubt that anyone will wonder who they are after this year, and this incredibly amazing album.

For whatever reason, I’ve noticed most albums start off strong, and then fade out slowly until they fizzle at the end.  So being the skeptic I am, I kept waiting for a song to suck, but then I got to the end of the album…and still no sucking.  Guess I can’t complain about that one!  If you are a fan of the single on the radio, you will be a fan of the rest of the album.  Caleb’s voice is much smoother on this one and they have almost a U2 kind of feel.  Though they consider themselves to be Southern Rock, I feel this is a much more universal sound.

This one deserves to be bought, but if you’d like to listen to it once for free to make sure, you can stream the whole album below:

Kings of Leon “Only By The Night” – Free CD Preview.

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Looking for the next great band to come out of San Diego?

6 11 2008

EndoxiLook no further…Although I was exhausted from a long week of football, elections, and birthdays, I went to 710 Beach Club last night to see Endoxi who I’d previously seen at the Acoustic Alliance show at Brick by Brick.  Originally awed by the fact they had a sax player–who absolutely kills it, btw–I was equally impressed by their stage presence and catchy melodies.  Two guys-Chris and Joe-managed to not only capture the attention of limited Wednesday night audience, but also thoroughly entertain us into singing and clapping along, all the while amazed at the level of talent that stood before us at one of my favorite local bars.

Chris’ voice is smooth and confident and radiates a maturity way beyond his years.  Joe’s harmonization is a is just as perfect of a compliment to Chris as his sax playing skills. But what really sets them apart from all the dreamers in San Diego was the ability to really connect with the audience…in their music and in between songs.  They seemed so comfortable and so happy to be up there, that you couldn’t help but feel like they are your friends that have let you in on their jam session.  The potential I saw last night was something that really struck me, and if you are in the area, and can check them out, I’d highly recommend it.  I got their CD last night and have been jammin’ to it all morning.  If you’re slugging through the workday, check out their myspace for a little music pick me up…and don’t be afraid to say hi.

Music Must-Haves

3 11 2008

There are certain artists that every music collection should contain, and we all know the big ones…Zeppelin, Beatles, Marley, and probably Radiohead (for most people), just to name a few, but what about those hidden gems that sometimes fly beneath the radar? Here are three of my many all time favorites.  I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know yours. (Album names link to lala where you can listen to them once for free)

Bedouin Soundclash “Sounding a Mosaic

bedouin_soundclash-sounding_a_mosaicThis album is not only musically creative, but it sounds amazing and the title of the album sums it up perfectly.  Bedouin is from Canada, but they definitely have a reggae influence.  Don’t think this is just another wanna be reggae band though…just when you think you have their sound pinned down, they throw it in the blender and come up with an entirely different treat for you.  I can and do listen to this CD over and over.  Plus, for all the ladies…the singer’s voice is almost as sexy as he is.  They have a newer CD, but it doesn’t compare to this one.

Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s “The Dust of RetreatMargot and the Nuclear so and so's Dust of Retreat

So it’s no secret that I am in love with this band.  So much in love, I would marry this CD, if that kind of thing was legal.  I don’t think I’ve ever gotten this much emotional satisfaction from anyone or anything.  Their new CD is great as well, but something about “The Dust of Retreat” just grabs you and won’t let go, but trust me, you wouldn’t want it to.

Santogold “Santogold

santogold-santogold coverIf you haven’t heard a Santogold song, you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe you just haven’t realized what you were hearing…I’ve counted at least 3 different brands that use her in commercials, and I think she’s even been licensed to a few TV shows.  This is the best album of 2008…yeah I said it.  The year’s not over yet, but mark my words-the indie critics will be all over this one.  Originally I thought she sounded like M.I.A, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Santogold won’t be pigeonholed.  Just when you think you know how she sounds, she throws you for a curveball.  This CD is fun, spunky, and a just a splendid listening treasure.  Oh, and did I mention she rocked it live at House of Blues in SD?  The whole show was a big party…just like this album.

Here are some other albums that I absolutely love (they all link to lala, where you can listen to them once for free).  This is not exclusive, just some splendid little listening treasures to fit whatever mood you’re in.

Head Automatica “Decadence” (so much better than whatever else they did after this)

Maroon 5 “Songs About Jane” (call me a sellout…there’s no denying this album is good though)

Raconteurs “Consolers of the Lonely” (this is my current addiction)

Rilo Kiley “More Adventurous” & “Under the Blacklight” (my indie girl crush)

Chiodos “Bone Pallace Ballet”  (not for the faint of heart)

My Chemical Romance “The Black Parade” (played out, but for a reason)

Jack Johnson “In Between Dreams” (I think he peaked here)

Muse “Black Holes & Revelations” (CD almost as good as their live show)

The Kooks “Inside In/Inside Out” (Such a fun and spunky British treat)

The Killers “Hot Fuss” (no brainer, good luck to the Killers on ever topping this one)

Unwritten Law “Heres to the Mourning” (My favorite San Diego band…good rock all the way through)

So…what are some of your faves??