The Liner Notes

All the music that matters

Archive for January 2009

iPod good as cash

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NYC Taxi

A 20-year old California college student touring New York City with a bum credit card was forced to pay her cab fare with an iPod nano, according to MSNBC.

According to reports, Natalie Lenhart took a cab from Manhattan to JFK airport, but when she tried to pay the $59 fare her credit card was rejected. So instead of running, like 95 percent of Americans would do, Lenhart faced officers at the airport who made her hand over her iPod nano, packed full of oldies such as James Taylor, valued at $140.  

What kind of communist cop makes you pay a bill with personal property that is nearly twice as much as the debt? It sounds like some sort of gypsy cab scam that an American tourist would encounter in Eastern Europe.

When James Taylor read the story in the New York Post he was pretty peeved. So upset, in fact, that he decided to send Lehart a new iPod filled with his music.

A New Yorker “Would never have put up with it,” Taylor told the Post.

A true New Yorker would have had a few choice words for the driver and the cops I would imagine.

The cab driver has offered to return the iPod if the fare is paid.








Written by David Young

January 29, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Posted in MP3s, Music

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Arctic Monkeys team up with Josh Homme for third album

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Arctic Monkeys

The Arctic Monkeys took a trip to the desert to meet up with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme for its third yet to be titled album.

The follow-up album to 2007’s Favorite Worst Nightmare is expected to be released this summer.

The group premiered four new songs earlier this month at a show in New Zealand. reports that the new songs, expected to be on the upcoming album, include: “Go-Kart,” “Crying Lighting,” Pretty Visitors,” and “Dangerous Animals.”

Homme appeared on BBC radio 1 this month confirming that he acted as a producer for the Sheffield group that has been recording in Joshua Tree.

“Oh man, it was great. We spent most of the time in Joshua Tree and it was really cool to be present and watch them go nuts,” Homme said according to

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner spent 2008 focused on his side-project The Last Shadow Puppets.  The Arctic Monkeys burst onto the mainstream musical scene in 2006 with their debut Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not, which featured the hit song “I bet you look good on the dancefloor.”

The group is currently touring Australia.




Written by David Young

January 25, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Concerts, Music

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Gorillaz premier demos for upcoming album

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All things considered, ‘D-Sides’ was a good album. It was like a dinner mint after a really good steak dinner, the steak dinner being ‘Demon Days.’

And while sweet and palatable, ‘D-Sides’ wasn’t enough to tide over Gorillaz fans.  Good news is that Damon Albarn and crew are getting down to it and starting work on their third full length album.

This is evident by the demos Albarn and Jamie Hewlett debuted on BBC Radio 1 this week. The three songs were Electric Shock, Broken and Stylo/Binge.  

While rough cuts, all three are signature Gorillaz and sound very promising.

Broken is filled with howling echoing noises soaring over steady beats. Albarn’s spacey voice floats over the music singing “It’s broken.”  

Perhaps the most daring and insightful song is Electric Shock. The sporadic song features Wulitzer organs and Arabic rhythms, which Albarn has been dabbling with. It has heavy influences from Albarn’s opera with shifting tone and moods. Midway through Noodle comes onto the track with Noodle yelling, “That’s electric shock.”

While working on songs for the album for several months now, the group plans to begin recording the in Syria this March.

Hopefully this won’t interfere with Blur’s planed reunion in London’s Hyde Park on July 3rd.

Electric Shock:




Written by David Young

January 18, 2009 at 10:16 am

Posted in Music

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The Black Ghosts Album Hauntingly Good

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black-ghostsAnything Damon Albarn touches seems to turn to gold. Gold records that is.

That being said, when listening to The Black Ghosts for the first time a week ago, I had no idea Albarn was on a track and was thoroughly impressed by it.

The Black Ghosts are the a recent punk/electronic duo to emerge from the United Kingdom, and the fact that they have Blur/Gorillaz frontman making a cameo on the track “Repetition Kills You” says volumes.

Theo Keating and Simon Lord, formerly of Simian, comprise the band that traverses a wide range of musical tastes on their self-titled debut.

“Repetition Kills You,” is by far the catchiest song on the album filled with a poppy chorus and grand synthesizer beats. Other songs, such as “It’s Your Touch” and “Anyway You Choose To Give It,” are much more dance oriented and fall in line with the techno genre.

The there are songs on the EP like “Some Way Through This” and “Full Moon” that exhibit the guitar skills and song writing capabilities.    

In an interview with Lord described “Some Way Through This” as a “bombastic modern torch song” saying it deals with love in a passionate psychotic way. He noted the album was meant to have a different feel as listeners make their way through it.

“We want it to be like an emotional roller coaster. There are all sorts of moods atmospheres on the album, we’re not a one trick pony, we’re a thorough-bred race horse capable of a full range of emotion a bit like Mr. Ed… though it must be said that we don’t ashy away from the dark side,” Lord said in the interview.

Despite a self-proclaimed affinity for the macabre and somewhat dark theme, the album is full of enough energy to rattle anybody’s bones.

Written by David Young

January 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Justice vs. Daft Punk

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Daft Punk

On the surface Justice and Daft Punk may seem like they are two electronic bands cut from the same wire. But listen closely, these Frenchmen are anything but brothers in beats.

To really understand the two Parisian dance duos one must look to their roots. Daft Punk is more based in rock beats and guttural bass riffs. Firmly rooted in house dance, Daft Punk upended the British club scene with “Da Funk.”

Enter Justice more than a decade later raised on an entirely different diet of music. Rather than acid house, punk and hip-hop, Justice’s sound is much more pop oriented and sweeter sounding. There is an almost playful whimsical feel to Justice’s trippy tunes.

Just compare Justice’s debut hit,  “D.A.N.C.E.” to Daft Punk’s first major hit with “Da Funk.” The two songs are starkly different and poignantly highlight the fundamental differences between the two groups.



Also, keep in mind Daft Punk is going on two decades of producing quality club hits, while Justice is still reveling in its success from its smash debut Cross.

Needless to say both groups are phenomenal electronica duos braving new sonic ground. With that it is up to you the reader to pick the better band:  

Written by David Young

January 6, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Music

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Digital music dominates 2008

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So it is officially 2009 and we are still downloading music to our hard drives rather than directly into our brains like some sort of futuristic sci-fi novel.

While someday we may be able to upload music directly to our cerebellums, it looks as if for the foreseeable future that MP3s will reign supreme.

According to Nielsen Co. Americans bought more music in 2008 than ever before, but album, sales witnessed a steady decline.

Music sales, including CD, cassette, vinyl and digital downloads, increased more than 10 percent over 2007. According to the year-end report, digital music accounted for more than 70 percent of that increase.

As the digital musical media experienced record growth, traditional albums fell by 428.4 million compared to 2007. Rob Sisco, Nielsen’s president of music, was quoted in USA Today saying that music purchases are “astronomically high but it’s a marketplace in transition from physical to digital.”

The trend is sure to continue, and the gap in digital versus album sales will grow in 2009. As a consumer it is far easier to click a button, pay $9.99 and have an album on your hard drive as opposed to driving to a store and paying upwards of $14 for a physical copy.

While digital downloading is easy and convenient, there are certain aspects that the next generation is sure to miss out on. The traditional Tuesday trip to the local record shop to check out the new releases and flip through the rows of albums is going by the wayside.

This site’s namesake, Liner Notes, once an art unto itself, is being reduced to PDF files that include little more than a couple photos and a MySpace web address. The musty smell of an old record shop packed to the gills with odds and ends can never be replaced by megabytes and iTunes libraries.

Yes, technology will propel us forward to the point when we plug our headphones into our forehead, but in the meantime make sure to make time for the corner record shop this New Year. If nothing else feeling vinyl between fingertips does the soul good

Top 10 downloaded songs for 2008:

1) Low by Flo Rida Featuring T-Pain

2) Bleeding by Love Leona Lewis

3) Lollipop by Lil Wayne Featuring Static Major

4) I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry

5) Viva La Vida by Coldplay

6) Love Song by Sara Bareilles

7) Apologize by Timbaland Featuring OneRepublic

8) No Air by Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown

9) Disturbia by Rihanna

10) 4 Minutes by Madonna Featuring Justin Timberlake

Source: Billboard Hot Digital Songs / The Nielsen Company



Written by David Young

January 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm