Tag Archives: Music

LP Pop Culture Remix



Movies and music have been lynch-pins of popular culture going back to the middle of the 20th century, capturing and delivering on the zeitgeist of a generation. Many films and albums have become iconic, instantly recognisable from a scene, a track or an album cover…which makes them ripe for a send-up.

Steven Lear (aka whythelongplayface) takes on these sacred cows with some fantastic mashups of film characters and album cover art. Star Wars provides rich pickings and his Instagram account is full of album covers with characters from the films inserted into the scenes. Yoda as the baby in Nirvana’s Nevermind. Leia and Han Solo in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. massive at-at rather than massive attack. All instantly recognisable.

 

If you click through on the revised album covers in Instagram, Steven shows both his version and the original that inspired it.

  

Star Wars isn’t the only source of material – there are remixes from all across the film and LP canon. If there’s anything you particularly like, T-shirts and posters can be ordered via http://www.whythelongplayface.com/.

All images courtesy of Steven Lear.


Jingle All The Way with a Bluetooth Bauble Speaker



Looking for the final decoration to finish off dressing your O Christmas Tree? Well take a look, or rather a listen, to the Accelerate Holiday Tunes bauble with Bluetooth speaker. Connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth and instead of a Silent Night you’ll be Rocking Around the Christmas Tree. The decoration comes in four different colours – Red, Gold, Green and Silver Bells.

The 200 mAh battery will Jingle Bells for about two hours before needing a charge via the supplied USB cable. There’s a microUSB charging port on the back and it takes a similar amount time recharge. You could go for a Sleigh Ride while you’re waiting.

Avoiding a Blue Christmas is straightforward. Hold down the power button to put the bauble into pairing mode and look for HOLIDAY TUNES in the Bluetooth settings of your smartphone. Once paired up, any music played on the phone from Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes, etc. will come out the Holiday Tunes bauble. It’s not worth Driving Home for Christmas just to hear the music but the sound quality’s better than you’d imagine. There’s a hanging loop for putting the bauble on the tree.

The Holiday Tunes bauble is available from Amazon.co.uk, priced at around GB£12-£15 (the price changes a little). You may find it cheaper in store too – try Home Bargains. It’s kitsch Christmas fun so even if it’s a White Christmas and It’s Cold Outside, you’ll have a Holly Jolly Christmas with your favourite tunes.

More in the YouTube video below. It really is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Disclaimer: This was a personal purchase.


iHeartRadio takes a trip south



When it comes to streaming music services, there’s no shortage of ones to choose from. Only a few have become big names – Pandora, Spotify and those run by major companies like Apple, Google and Amazon. Another popular one is iHeartRadio.

Now iHeartRadio is taking a trip south of the border, as the company announces its foray into Mexico. This is a team effort as the company is working with Grupo ACIR,.

“iHeartRadio México is available now in beta and will officially launch November 3 at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina so get excited! To listen now, music lovers across México can download the iHeartRadio app via Apple App Store or Google Play Store and listen online at iHeartRadio.mx“, the steaming service claims.

To celebrate the launch of iHeartRadio Mexico, Grupo ACIR will award a lucky music fan a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience at the fifth annual iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in Miami on November 3, Good luck in the contest.


Creators of Rocksmith Respond to Facebook Trolls



Rocksmith logoIt’s pretty much a given that if you do anything online that attracts an audience, you’ll run into internet trolls whose sole purpose is to harass you. This problem is as old as the internet itself, and it’s only gotten worse in the age of social media.

There are a lot of different ways to handle ‘net trolls. The old adage, “Don’t feed the trolls,” advises that simply ignoring troll commentary is the best way to go. Direct engagement rarely works, as trolls will use these interactions as an excuse to keep the harassment loop going. The truly brave (and patient) may try another route when it comes to trolls; An appeal to reason.

That third option was recently implemented by the makers of Rocksmith, a guitar-instruction program available on many platforms. Rocksmith offers up many songs by popular recording artists that can be downloaded and used within the program. And every time Rocksmith would announce new downloadable songs, the trolls would come out in force to complain about Rocksmith’s latest song selections.

Rocksmith recently responded to these naysayers on its Facebook page:

Folks, we’re going to say this as nicely as we can: Nobody cares what you don’t like.

Okay, now that we read it, that doesn’t seem all that nice. But it’s something worth considering before you post on our page and tell the world that whatever artist, song, or genre currently being discussed is “garbage,” “fake,” “worthless,” or any other negative adjective you can dream up. “Real,” “good,” “fake,” “bad” – none of that holds any power here. That’s simply not how we see music.

As the moderators of this page, our philosophy is simple: There’s music that inspires you to play guitar and bass, and there’s music that does not. We don’t make DLC based on what you *dislike* — we only make DLC based on what people actually tell us they want. That’s why we have a request app, embedded on this page – so you can offer specific song suggestions directly to the team. But once something’s released, it’s there for the people who want it. If that’s not you…honestly, we don’t need to know. Knowing what you’d rather see in the future is far more valuable. Something good could come from that. Nothing good comes from you suggesting that your entirely subjective taste in music is superior to everyone else’s.

What’s more, in all the time we’ve moderated this page, we have never seen someone respond to a “your band sucks” post with “Now that you mention it, I don’t like my favorite band anymore.” You cannot stop people from connecting with music; it’s a personal, emotional relationship, and it’s a fight you cannot win. It’s not a fight we want to host on our page, either. Don’t pick that fight here.

If it helps, think of Rocksmith like a restaurant. Check the menu, then choose only the items that seem appetizing. You’re not expected to order everything on the menu, and if you were to say “take this off the menu because I don’t personally want to eat it,” you’d get funny looks. If it’s not to your taste, just look for something else that is. Our menu has nearly 1,000 options for millions of customers, each hungry for something different, and we add to the menu every week. If you find something that doesn’t appeal to your tastes…keep looking. There’s gotta be something on that menu for you. There’s something for everybody else, too.

So, please: Before you waste any time or energy insulting music that does not inspire you to play — for the good of your own community — stop, and shift gears. Nobody cares what you don’t like, but there’s plenty of other things we can talk about.

Thanks.

Rocksmith’s response to troll comments is succinct and on point. Instead of lashing out, the message explains why positivity (telling Rocksmith what songs you’d like to see in the future) is so much better than negativity (telling Rocksmith why you hate the new songs they’ve added).

I hope this message helps to keep the trolls at bay, at least for a little while, on the Rocksmith page. This message also serves as a good example to other companies who are dealing with similar problems on social media.


Jameasy Helps You Practice the Violin at CES



Jameasy LogoIt’s only natural that musical performance and technology would collide in some interesting ways at this year’s CES. Musicians, music teachers, and students are always looking for new ways to hone their skills. And eager hardware/software developers are stepping up to provide some innovative tools to help.

One such company is called Jameasy. Todd met with Dawon from Jameasy. Dawon is a violinist (and a capable one at that). She showed off the Jameasy system which uses a Bluetooth-enabled sensor on her violin that measures all kinds of information from the instrument and transmits it to the Jameasy app on her iPad. The app then tracks her performance and shows her where her playing might be off from the original composition. Correct notes show as green, wrong notes as red, and notes that were just a bit off show up as yellow.

The Jameasy system is expected to retail for between $59 and $99. Jameasy is planning on expanding its product to all stringed instruments, but the product will be available for violin first.

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Noted Adds Support For SongSync, Spotify, Apple Music



Noted SongSyncNoted, the music-centric social sharing service that lets users receive a “news feed” style stream of songs selected by friends, has added support for SongSync, Spotify, and Apple Music. From a recent Noted e-mail announcement:

 

SongSync lets you integrate with your Spotify/Apple Music account to share songs and build playlists across services.

Here’s an example: Now friends can share a music video from YouTube and you’ll be able to add it to your Spotify playlists through Noted.

In order to use SongSync with Noted, users should follow these steps:

  1. If using Noted on a mobile device, update to the latest version.
  2. Sync with your favorite library (if you aren’t a paid subscriber, choose YouTube for full tracks).
  3. Noted automatically converts every available post to your synced services and your posts to your friends’ services.

Once the process is completed, Noted users will have automatically synced playlists on connected services based on their own Noted activity, as well as the activity of friends. This is a pretty handy feature, as it can be difficult to follow everything happening on Noted, especially if a user has a lot of friends.

Noted has stated that this is only the beginning of its SongSync integration and that it will be sending more information and tips about how to best utilize the service.


Spotify rival SoundCloud arrives in the UK and Ireland



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Music streaming has become a big deal with many major players like Google, Apple and Amazon in the game. However, the biggest player in the game these days seems to be Spotify, but it’s tough competition in a crowded market.

Now SoundCloud is trying impinge on its territory and it announces availability in both the UK and Ireland. The name may not be as familiar, but the streaming service is becoming a major player in this market.

This is a bit different, as it features up and coming unsigned artists as opposed to established acts. However, there are 125 million tracks available.Don’t worry though, there are top 40 songs as well.

“And just like in the US, we are sharing part of that advertising revenue with a growing number of creators. When you hear an ad, artists get paid”, the service claims.

There is also paid plans available, which run £9.99 per month in the UK or €9.99 in Ireland on Android and £12.99 / €12.99 on iOS.