The Liner Notes

All the music that matters

July’s Hits

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One thing I have enjoyed with MOG, aside from streaming music 24/7, is it presents a list of everything I have listened to. It also puts those songs into categories of top songs, albums and artists that I’ve been checking out.

Here are the hits for July:

Top Songs:

Top Albums:

Top Artists:

Just for fun let’s compare to what Spotify says were my hits last month. It only breaks it down by top songs and artists.

Top Artists

  • Beady Eye
  • DJ Khaled
  • Brett Dennen
  • Flux Pavillion
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Nikka Costa

Top Songs

  • The Edge of Glory – Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix by Lady Gaga
  • Floating (Time isn’t working on my side) by Portugal The Man
  • The Cantina by The Sea and Cake
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
  • The Roller by Beady Eye
  • Sydney (I’ll Come Running) by Brett Dennen
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Written by David Young

August 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Studying Spotify

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The folks over at Spotify must have read my last post because that same week I received three invitations to the new streaming music service here in the U.S.

I immediately signed up and downloaded the mobile app for my iPhone. There I encountered my first disappointment. To use the mobile app you must subscribe and pay for the site’s upgraded service.

So I am tethered to the computer for now. But I was hopeful, if the site is a good as it is rumored to be I was ready to pay and switch from my current streaming music provider MOG.

Almost immediately I was frustrated again. Rather than just use a site online, the company requires you to download their program to your computer which you then launch from your desktop. All other streaming sites I have ever used are web-based.

After taking the time to install the program, I created a profile and signed in. A note on this step, you can’t change your screen name that you choose so take care. It almost is a moot point because to use any of the site’s social options you are forced to use Facebook, which is your main ID.

But I digress.

Initial impressions after logging in were great. The site looked really clean. Great interface and new music was right up front. Everything is easy to play, just click and boom music. The ads are horrible as they move and interrupt the music, but hey it’s free so I can get past that.

I was prepared to dedicate hours to exploring the site and all it had to offer. It took me all of 10 minutes. Spotify is so limited in what it can do.

I’ll start with the strengths. It offers all you can listen to free streaming music. The share options are easy, and playlists are really simple to create. And that’s about it. If you want to check out new releases or listen to some classics, yeah this site is great. But Spotify is supposed to be social and make sharing music with friends fun.

This is where the negatives come in. Spotify social permits you to link to Facebook. I did this and found only two of my friends had done the same. I assume this is because the site was still hard to access. Since then my “social” group on Spotify has grown to four people. This may change when the site opens up but really it does not matter.

To find a user who you’re not friends with on Facebook or who does not have Facebook you have to know their screen name. The point here is that I already know what my friends listen to, I want to be able explore a larger social network as in everyone signed up to Spotify and see what they are listening to then choose who I want to follow based on their tastes.

The bottom line is the site’s biggest strength tuned into its biggest weakness.

The ability to share with my four social friends on the site is great. I can simply click, drag and drop albums or songs into their inbox.

Beyond this the library has a ton of holes and is missing a great deal of music, but again it’s free so for someone who does not want to pay this is the best option.

For those willing to pay, almost every other streaming service I have tried – Napster, Rhapsody, MOG – all beat this.

With the high hopes I had for Spotify, It’s sad to report it’s not all that it was hyped up to be. Even Pandora beats it in respect to streaming radio.

Written by David Young

July 28, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Spotify premiers in U.S.

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It’s the day music lovers have all waited for.

Spotify is available in America. But as it is with all things that seem too good to be true, the streaming music service that was supposed to change the game is already exposing its flaws.

Spotify is a free streaming music service that has been available in limited countries for a number of years now. For some time the record companies here stateside haggled and hemmed and hawed over legal rights.

For the longest time it seemed as if the service would never make it here. In that time competition has grown. Services such as Napster, Rhapsody and MOG have taken chunks out of the streaming service market. Each has their strengths and weaknesses.

Spotify was supposed to come in and crush them all. Or so they would have you believe. The biggest disappointment is for now the only way to use Spotify is to pay or to get a special invite.

The biggest claim by Spotify, as you can see in the video below, is that it is all the music in the world at your fingertips for free. But no, it’s not true here in the U.S.. An impact of the record companies I would guess.

Thus the site makes you enter your e-mail for a special invite. This is frustrating because more than two years ago I gave Spotify my email for updates on its U.S. launch. Not only were there no updates, but they gave no advantage to those who signed up in advance of the launch.

We will see if the site can overcome these initial foul-ups. I would even be willing to pay for the service if it is that much better than current sites, but not without a free trial period.

It’s not looking good for the site to start for Spotify.

In related news, MOG has unveiled a new beta user interface for its site. After using it, I must say it is much better than the previous layout. The new site is cleaner and permits users to have “favorite” songs and albums as well as manage their music in a left-hand tab system.

However, the best improvement is an embedded player that eliminates multiple windows to play a song or album.

Written by David Young

July 14, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Beastie Boys star-studded short film

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When “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two” came out last month I checked it out not expecting much.

The album had been a long time coming, and their recent work has been subpar at best. Admittedly, I was never a big Beastie Boys fan anyway, so I was pleasantly surprised by this effort.

The rhythm rhymes and beats are a throwback to the classic “License to Ill” and “Hello Nasty.” The sound is the signature Beastie Boys, but it’s hard not to bounce your head to these beats and admire the lyrical juggernauts.

Songs like “Nonstop Disco Powerpack,” “OK” and “Funky Donkey” are enough to bring the Beastie Boys back to the table of relevant rap artists.

Perhaps the icing on the cake here is the 30 minute video that accompanies the album.  The video titled “Fight For Your Right Revisited” features Seth Rogan as Mike D, Elijah Wood as Ad-Rock and Danny McBride as MCA. It is a bit eerie how much the trio resembles the real rappers.

The short film follows the boys through the streets of Brooklyn as they unleash a beer-fueled party that peaks with a dance off with their counterparts from the future played by Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly.

Other cameos include: Will Arnett, Susan Sarandon, Ted Danson, Will Arnett, Rainn Willson, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi , Amy Poehler, Alica Silverstone, Jason Swartzman and Kristen Dunst.

Check it out:

May’s Hits

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One thing I have enjoyed with MOG, aside from streaming music 24/7, is it presents a list of everything I have listened to. It also puts those songs into categories of top songs, albums and artists that I’ve been checking out.
Here are the hits for May:

Top Songs
• Broken American by Dispatch
• Beto by Dispatch
• Sail by AWOLNATION
• Turn This Ship Around by Dispatch
• Melon Bend by Dispatch
• Mighty To Save by Laura Story
• Two Against One (Feat. Jack White) by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
• Bad Romance by Lady GaGa
• Where Them Girls At (Feat. Nicki Minaj & Flo Rida) by David Guetta
• The Gambling Priest by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi

Top Albums
• Rome by Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
• Dispatch Ep by Dispatch
• Turtleneck & Chain (Explicit Version) by The Lonely Island
• Burst Apart by The Antlers
• D by White Denim
• Fits by White Denim
• Megalithic Symphonyby AWOLNATION
• Street Sweeper Social Club by Street Sweeper Social Club
• The Sauce by Panty Raid
• Suck It And See by Arctic Monkeys

Top Artists
• Arctic Monkeys
• Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
• White Denim
• The Lonely Island
• The Antlers
• Panty Raid
• Street Sweeper Social Club
• AWOLNATION
• MGMT
• Death Cab For Cutie

Dispatch reunion tour at Red Rocks

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When Dispatch announced they would be playing their first show together in nine years at Red Rocks it didn’t take too long for tickets to sell out.

The band, which has a tremendous underground following, sold-out two shows and had to add a third date at the legendary amphitheatre in Morrison.

Thanks to a membership to a Dispatch fan club, we got first crack at the tickets and picked up five for the Friday night show. I missed the Saturday night show, but was able to go again Sunday when one of my buddies had an extra ticket.

Both shows were spectacular and having not played together since their 2002 breakup, they sounded great.

Both nights the Flobots from Denver opened, and both nights I missed them because we were in the parking lot enjoying some tailgate action. I’ve seen the Flobots before and wasn’t all that impressed so missing them was no big loss.

Both nights, Dispatch came on around 8 p.m. while it was still light. Sunday they had some sound and equipment problems and had to take a few entrances to get things going. But once they did it was a nonstop three hour barrage of hits.

Both Friday and Saturday they played pretty much the same songs, but mixed up the order a little bit and threw in some different guests and dancers.

Highlights from both nights included: The General, Steeples, Two Coins, Bats in the Belfry, Bang Bang, Time Served, Bullet Holes, Prince of Spades, Broken American and Beto.

In all, Friday they played for about three hours with and encore and Sunday a little less. Each night following the intermission, the trio would venture into the middle of the audience and Braddigan and Chad freestyled on “Cut it Ya Match it” while Pete played the guitar. Each night they threw in a little cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mr. Robinson” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What it’s Worth.”

One highlight from Sunday was a nice acoustic set of “Carry You” that was absent Friday.

They also played some of their new songs off the Dispatch EP recently released. Songs like Valentine and Broken American were a welcome change and featured a banjo jam session.

A testament to the band’s popularity, Friday a group from Brazil made the trip just to see their first show in nearly a decade.

The trio seemed to really enjoy themselves and be back together playing. Multiple times they commented how amazing it was to be playing Red Rocks, and it was a homecoming of sorts for Braddigan who is from Denver. It was an awesome sight to see Red Rocks sold out filled to the brim with a sea of bobbing heads.

The tour is promoting education and teachers and the group is encouraging fans to bring books to shows to donate.

While both shows were great, I would have to say Friday’s was better. There were fewer technical issues, better playlist and they played longer and more intensely.

That being said, if you are fortunate enough to be on the list of cities they are hitting for this limited tour – go. It may be the last time to see Dispatch for another decade.

DISPATCH @ RED ROCKS, MORRISON, CO – JUNE 3, 2011

SETLIST

Melon Bend

Here We Go

Open Up

Cover This

Time Served

Con Man

Bullet Holes

Bang Bang

Beto

Passerby

Steeples

Valentine

Spades

Flying Horses

Past The Falls

Turn This Ship Around

Two Coins

Broken American

General

Elias

—–

Cut It Ya Match It

Outloud

Bats

DISPATCH @ RED ROCKS, MORRISON, CO – JUNE 5, 2011

SETLIST

Flying Horses

Melon Bend

Time Served

Con Man

Outloud

Past The Falls

Bulletholes

Turn This Ship Around

Two Coins

Beto

Carry You

Spades

Steeples

Valentine

Bang Bang

Passerby

Bats

Broken American

General

—–

Cut It Ya Match It

Elias

Setlists courtesy of Dispatch

Written by David Young

June 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

Posted in Concerts

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Arctic Monkeys & The Vaccines at the Ogden Theatre

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Last week my brother called and said he had won two tickets to the Arctic Monkeys show Monday at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.

He won the tickets by calling in and naming the frontman for the group – Alex Turner. He asked if I wanted to go and having been anticipating their new album coming out Tuesday called “Suck it and See,” I was stoked.

I’ve been a fan of the Arctic Monkeys since the release of their 2006 debut “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What ‘m Not.” With recent releases and the influence of Josh Homme of Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures producing and even playing on their new release, the group has received a lot of criticism, but I have really enjoyed their new darker direction.

The Vaccines, which released their debut album “What Did You Expect from the Vaccines?” today, opened. The band out of London has made a splash in England.

They sound like a mix of The Clash and Morrissey with a little Kings of Leon mixed in. They were a little stiff regarding their stage presence, but were pretty good.

For a new band they have a lot of potential. Their single “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” and “If You Wanna” were the highlights.

After about a 45 minute set it was time for the main event.

After a pretty quick intermission, The Arctic Monkeys took the stage ironically enough to “American Woman” playing on the sound system, before jumping right into a ridiculously loud set.

From the first powerchord, Turner unleashed a blistering set that included such highlights as “I bet you look good on the Dance Floor,” “Teddy Picker,” “When the Sun Goes Down” and new songs such as “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair.”

The show was airtight with a natural flow mixing older classics and new songs. There was one encore and perhaps the only flaw is the fact that the group has their routine down almost too well. Bassist Nick O’Malley appeared to just be going through the motions.

All in all though, the Arctic Monkeys put on a solid show. It was well worth the money.

Written by David Young

June 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm