RockAngel gets a facelift…and syndicates to Rockandrollreport.com

15 05 2009

No…not really a facelift, but I did add a new header!  That way, no matter where you are, you can see me and my crazy Halloween costume.  If I could wear a costume every weekend, I totally would, but unfortunately, that kind of thing is usually frowned upon.

So anyways, onto the big news for me!  After this week I’m going to start writing for rockandrollreport.com.  I’ll still be writing on this one, because they specialize in mostly unsigned and indie bands, and I pretty much love it all…big names and all.  But I’m thinking it will force me to keep up with this a lot more than I have lately and at least give you guys one more band a week to check out.  You should definitely head over to the website and check out what they have going on. There’s a lot of great lesser-known artists they feature, you could spend hours there!

This is also going to allow me to help spread the word about a lot of the music I feel so passionately about, so I am really excited! Hopefully we can help build more of a fanbase for those bands that remain under the radar.

I’ve been checking out a lot of new artists lately too, so be sure to check out RockAngel’s Rotation..put a handful of new songs up and you can listen to the full version of them.   I’m still working on trying to figure out how to get a good widget in here that I can add live music dates and album releases; hopefully I’ll figure out something soon.

So much great music is coming to SD this summer and I’ll make sure to give reviews for all of them.  Iglu and Hartley are playing at 710 tonight and Stroke 9 is playing there next Saturday.  I’m also hoping to catch The Riverboat Gamblers on the 28th at the Casbah and have plans to see Unwritten Law, Incubus, Kings of Leon and Bedouin Soundclash…I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.

I should have a fresh set of recommendations by next week.  Lots of musical treats coming your way!  …and you don’t even have to beg for them 🙂

…keep rockin’…





You think Britney Spears music is torture?

17 12 2008

Surprisingly, it’s not, but NIN, AC/DC and Eminem all are.  Who would have thought? What on earth am I referring to?

The Associated Press reported last week that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were being tortured by being forced to listen to the same music at insanely loud levels for 16 hours straight a day.  This forced many of them to go mad and literally lose their minds.

This has come to light now because musicians are banding together to demand that torture using their music be stopped.  Can you blame them?  I’m not one to get political, but what the F**K is our government/military thinking?  What musician would be okay knowing that their music is being used to TORTURE people?  Not only that, but our military is literally ruining perfectly good music…way to take the brilliance of an artist like Trent Reznor and tarnish it by driving people mad.

Now I understand these prisoners are not innocent bystanders…obviously…they were detained for a reason.  But why use something that is the heart and soul of so many people for something so terrible?  No wonder these artists are banding together.  This is probably the worst news that any artist could get.  Can you imagine?  “Hey Trent, I was in Guantanamo Bay and we used your music to drive people insane and cause them to smash their head against the wall until they knocked themselves out so they wouldn’t have to listen to them anymore.”  That’s gotta hit you where it hurts.

I don’t think it’s arguable that the artists are absolutely in line for demanding that this be stopped.  But what I’m wondering is why did they have to use music that would otherwise be good?  I would think they’d have better luck forcing someone to listen to Pussycat Dolls or Lil Jon for hours on end…that would drive me crazy for sure…

…kidding.  I think this is extremely sad news for the music community and I hope this sort of torture (and all others for that matter) are shut down now that the public is getting wind of it. I’m behind our troops 100%, but whoever is responsible for this kind of behavior needs to be forced to listen to the new Hillary Duff album until they drive their head into a pretty little pink wall.

(Full Story Here)





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.





Lala and Rhapsody and Napster, oh my(space)!

22 10 2008

If there’s one certainty in the music industry right now, it’s that no one is certain where the future of the music industry really lies.  After the explosion and subsequent downfall of Napster, it became pretty clear that the music industry needs to learn how to dominate the digital world, before it is destroyed by it.  However, exactly what kind of digital world that is, still remains unclear.

Being a leader in the technology realm, Apple initially monopolized on digital downloads.  Though from the beginning there were a lot of criticisms.  I mean, DRM protected music is just a pain in the butt and now digital distribution and sharing is easier and easier, so $.99 a song seems pretty steep.  But the music industry has been stuck in a very old model, and until the digital explosion really started hitting their bottom lines, they weren’t really interested in discussing new business models…until now.  I think it’s pretty clear that iTunes-as it stands now-is not the future.  People will not pay $.99/song for every song they want to listen to, and only be able to listen to 30 second samples. I love you Apple, but unless you have a new digital music model up your sleeve, the iTunes music store is going to sit in music history along with the tape.

So here come the next big players.  Originally there was Napster, and then soon afterwards Rhapsody, and now there’s even a re-emerging Lala (couldn’t have been that popular the first time as I’ve just heard of it.  I’m sure there are more, but they obviously aren’t doing much).  Each has their own sort of unlimited digital listening coupled with DRM free MP3 buyable downloads.  And what’s the newest one to enter into the game?  Well if you haven’t heard, it’s ever so popular MySpace with MySpace Music…like we couldn’t see that one coming.  MySpace pages to bands are like breasts to Jessica Simpson…they just wouldn’t get anywhere without them.  So it’s no wonder that they’ve decided to enter into the digital music world, and like they did with MySpace, do it in their own way.

What I’m wondering is…what the heck differentiates one site from another?  And what’s going to make MySpace different? Well, I’ve done a little researching…and here’s what I’ve picked up…

How do their libraries compare?
I think Napster, Rhapsody, and Lala are all going to be pretty much comparable on this one. Myspace Music, as it stands wins on variety of bands, but loses in full length albums and digital downloads.

What can you get for free?
Napster:  7 day trial, 30 second clips
Rhapsody:  7 day trial, or 25 full song listens/month, then 30 second clips
Lala:  25 free web songs, listen to each song once for free, then  30 second clips,
MySpace:  listen to everything for free, all the time, ad supported

Online listening charges:
Napster:  $12.95/month – unlimited online listening, build & save playlists
Rhapsody:  $12.99/month – unlimited online listening, build & save playlists
Lala:  no monthly charge for single listens, $.10/web download (to add to web library that you can listen to unlimited), which is about 130 songs at the price of the other two.  But…Lala has a feature where you can “upload” your current library to your web library which means all your music online, all the time…. I like this…I really like this, and it’s free.
Myspace Music:  Free unlimited; supported by pop up ads.

MP3 downloads (some albums vary):
Napster:  $.99/song, $9.95/album
Rhapsody:  $.99/song, $9.99/album
Lala:  $.79-$.99/song, $7.49/album…sounds like they win, but the MP3 store doesn’t seem to be complete yet so that’s a setback.
MySpace Music:  have to buy from Amazon, so in my opinion, this feature doesn’t really belong to myspace.  It’s like Rhapsody sending you to iTunes.

Portability:
Napster: $14.95 on compatible players: Windows only…that’s just terrible
Rhapsody: $14.99 on compatible players: Windows only…seriously?  Do you know how popular macs are getting?
LaLa:  None as of yet.  Have to buy the mp3s.  Guess us Mac users have to stick to our iPods & MP3s
Myspace Music:  None as of yet

Playlists:
Napster:  Build from anything in their library, or browse others, I think you can share it, but I can’t really figure much out on this site as it doesn’t seem very user-friendly
Rhapsody: Build from anything in their library, or browse others, share yours with friends and the Rhapsody community.  Has a built in Facebook app.
Lala:  Build from anything in their library that you’ve purchased as a web download, or your own that you’ve uploaded.  Share via email/facebook or embed on websites.
Myspace:  Build from anything in their library, browse others, and share via your profile, but not anywhere else online.  The good news is you can build playlists from your local unknown bands that may not be on the other sites.  The bad news is they don’t have many full albums.

Online Radio:
This is not really a feature in my mind. With so many other choices out there for online radio like iChannel, Pandora, Last.fm, Yahoo, AOL, Slacker…just to name a few, why would you ever choose based on this?

So there’s a brief list of some differences in the music subscription services.  I would still rely on iLike for concert notifications and such, but when it comes to paying for a music subscription, I think the choice is still somewhat unclear and constantly changing so it could still be anyone’s game, although I’m opting for Lala, because of my fear of commitment…and because they’ll work with my existing library.

MySpace Music has a lot of potential but it is still to early to see how it’s business plan will really pan out, I mean, the ink hasn’t even dried on the deals with the music labels.  One thing is for sure, it will be interesting for my music-nerd side to see how the site evolves. You can’t argue that they have the right idea…I mean making advertisers pay for me to listen to free music?  I’ll take it.  And you have to love their ambition and ideal of making a music world that really gives all artists a strong platform to not only network, but make money off of music, concerts sales, and merchandise all in one place (and do so with cute little bulletin notifications).  MySpace will win in the networking sense of it all (as it has already), but as far as managing my music online, MySpace Music has a long way to go before their plans come to fruition and it’s unclear to me how I’ll be able to have a consistent library online that is also on my computer, that I can also take with me in a portable player, and listen to in my car…because whoever can do that, and do it for the cheapest, will be the winner in my eyes.





Rock Angel Music launches!

27 03 2008

jem.jpgIf you’ve been looking for new music and new recommendations in the world of rock & alternative (and anything else that’s good)…your search is over. You have now found the music web site with the best recommendations and reviews…that’s because they’re made by me… Rock Angel. 9-5er by day, music junkie/multimedia guru by night.

If you live for concerts, think eyeliner is entirely appropriate for rock stars, or mark album releases on your calendar, I welcome you. If you don’t, take a look around anyways, it could change your life.