Monday, 30 November 2009

Miss The Occupier: Free Download

I have talked about Miss The Occupier before and once again I should declare an interest: the lead singer/bass player is a friend of my wife.

I really like this band. One reviewer said that Roz, the lead singer, "...has a voice somewhere between Clare Grogan from Altered Images and Justine Frischmann from Elastica". (Sorry... I've lost the source of the quote!) I can see what he means but it doesn't really acknowledge the unique nature of her powerful and passionate vocals. ...And she's a jolly good bass player to boot!

I follow them on Twitter (@Misstheoccupier) but somehow missed this Tweet posted nearly three weeks ago:
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things available to download here NOW for a limited time:
Given that there was limited time three weeks ago, I thought I'd better post it here as soon as possible.

They are not quite the out and out noisy guitar rock that is my usual taste, but they have an energy and an attitude that appeals. This track is my favourite out of all the stuff I've heard from them so far. Roz's vocals sound great in it and the guitars start off strong and get better as the track develops. (And do I detect a hint of strings in there too? Possibly the most ambitious production they've put out so far.)

The video is not as good as a the song but can be viewed on YouTube and it may be available longer than the download.


Miss The Occupier: The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

P.S. Special no-prize available for spotting the literary reference. :-)

Friday, 27 November 2009

Free Download Friday #37: It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas...

"A Christmas download? But it's still November!" I hear you cry. Yes, this is true and I normally have a rule not to play Christmas music before December (well it's more of a guideline really...) but I realised that there are now only four Fridays to Christmas. By my reckoning, that makes this the first free download Friday in advent. :-)

For the first Christmas download, I offer you John Wesley Harding singing I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. It's a fairly traditional take on a Christmas classic. In fact it starts with a sample from the Phil Spector version - and it doesn't get more classic than that. He drives it along at a fair lick and, while not exactly wall of sound, it is well produced and it sounds like he had fun recording it.

Normally, I'd link to the artist's site rather than directly to the download. Unfortunately, the navigation of the site is not reflected in the web addressed displayed, so I can't link directly to the page. However, if you go to the Music page, click on the LIVE MP3s & RARE SINGLES ARCHIVE link and then use the triangular arrow at the bottom of the left hand navigation panel, you will find other, non-Christmas links to sample and hopefully enjoy. Remember to let me know if you find any tracks you particularly like.

Disclaimer: Having announced that this is the first free download Friday in advent, I realise I have created the expectation that there will be four free Christmas download between now and Christmas. While that is my intention, at the moment, I only have one other up my sleeve at the moment. I'll do my best, but I may just resort to my old trick of stealing some ideas from Jeff (sometime contributor to this blog, good chap and maintainer of the Free Christmas Music blog - which is outstandingly good).


John Wesley Harding singing: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

When musical worlds collide #4

This is is nothing short of genius!

Queen + The Muppets - I'd pay money to see more of that.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Jamming With Tommy Lee

Would you be interested in downloading raw tracks created by Tommy Lee, use these tracks record your own ideas and then upload your contributions for a chance to have your work appear on his album? He calls it the project the Public Record and it sounds like a really interesting idea.

Tommy Lee
Originally uploaded by Drew "Rukes" Ressler
He is releasing every song from the upcoming album in this way. Every week, he posts the “skeleton” of a new track and allows people record their own parts, using any instrument they choose, to accompany material he has released. If you don't have a suitable piece of software to help you mix the tracks and add your own work (such as Garageband) Tommy even provides a link to RiffWorks T4 for you to download... for free.

I am only sorry that I did not discover this project earlier as six of the eleven tracks have already been released (although they are re-opening these tracks for a few days each, for further contributions - but this time with some direction about what they think they still need).

He claims it is the first time that this has been done with a whole album, on such a massive scale, for a recording that is intended for commercial release and. In addition, some of the contributors will be invited to play live with Tommy in Los Angeles when the album is released.

It's difficult to judge whether it is magnificent or mental but I hope he pulls it off.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Free Download Friday #36: It's all gone a bit Gothic...

If you have teenage daughters, you cannot have failed to notice that the second film in the Twilight series was released this week. New Moon will have girls squeaking with delight in cinemas up and down the country. It seemed appropriate therefore to post some suitable music to download.

Flyleaf have been compared to Evanescence and so seem appropriately Gothic. In exchange for your email address, they will send you a link to download I'm So Sick - a dark, brooding and shouty track. Enjoy... certainly I've enjoyed this download significantly more than I enjoyed the film!

If you want to hear more, you could check out their YouTube pages.


I'm So Sick email sign up page.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Free Download Friday #35: Back to Wolfgang's place!

I visited Wolfang's Vault once before (Free Download Friday #15: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead) but since I got a message that he'd cracked open the vault and made even more concerts available for download (currently 763 items!) I thought I'd go back to see what was new.

There are loads of concerts that interest me and most are reasonably priced. For example, you can get 52 minutes of B. B. King from 1971 for only $7.98 or a whopping 1 hour 39 minutes of Stevie Ray Vaughan from 1984 for $9.98. Brilliant!

However, this post is called Free Music Friday, not Reasonably Priced Music Friday and two free downloads caught my eye. In alphabetical order... first up is Carly Simon from October of this year. Her voice is not as powerful or as clear as it once was but the emotional depth is still there and the simple arrangements works really well on the four tracks offered. I especially like the sound of You're So Vain.

Second is a band I mentioned in a previous Free Music Friday (Free Download Friday #20: The Gutter Twins). Wolfgang has made a concert from March of last year, with twenty tracks, available for download. The track that featured in Free Download Friday #20, Idle Hands is, I think, the stand out track from this concert but I also like The Station, Live With Me, Down The Line, and Methamphetamine Blues.

Two very different but equally interesting downloads from Wolfgang and both are free! Which of these tracks stand out for you? Are there any other free downloads in the Vault I should check out?


Carly Simon Oct 27, 2009 from Daytrotter Studio.
The Gutter Twins Mar 1, 2008 from Bimbo's 365.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

But is it still Aerosmith?

Aerosmith is diebanding, or Aerosmith are continuing without Mr Tyler, or maybe nobody is leaving anything, or... who knows what's happening!

{Note: This started off as a comment on Layla's Classic Rock blog. If you haven't already been to her blog, it is well worth checking out. However, it was a fairly long comment, so I decided that a bit of editing and a few additions would make it worth posting here too.}

Aerosmith 01
Originally uploaded by Serjao Carvalho
I've been following the reporting of Aerosmith, Tyler and Perry on Classic Rock Magazine's site for a wee while now and I'm not sure what to make of it all.

First news item I noticed was Are Aerosmith Headed For A Permanent Vacation? where it seemed to be about Mr Tyler wanting to do his own thing. At the time I wondered if falling off the stage (and by some accounts off the wagon too) hadn't jumbled his thinking a touch. Then came Aerosmith: Split With Tyler Moves Closer where Perry is quoted as saying "As far as replacing Steve, it’s not just about that, it’s also four guys that play extremely well together, and I’m not going to see that go to waste." To an extent I can see where he's coming from and sometimes a band can pull it off. For instance Deep Purple Gillan era to Deep Purple Coverdale worked (IMHO). However, at what point does a band get broken? Is the band currently touring as Deep Purple really Deep Purple? When does it become something new? For example Black Sabbath without Ozzy... tricky but Black Sabbath with Dio becoming Heaven and Hell - yes, I can see that. However, as Liggy points on Layla's blog, Steve Tyler has been with Aerosmith since they formed in 1970 - that's an awful lot of history with a very distinctive (not to say flamboyant) vocalist and it is difficult to see how anyone could pick up where he has left off. Having said that, Queen + Paul Rodgers seems to have been fairly well received. See what I mean when I say I'm not sure what to make of it?

However, the stories didn't end there because in quick succession Classic Rock Magazine published Aerosmith: Perry Announces Search For New Singer! and Tyler Announces He's Staying With Aerosmith. The last announcement in particular takes me back to my first thought about what damage was done in the stage fall!

So, as I said, I'm not sure what to make of it all. Aerosmith without Tyler would, I think, still be a great band but would it be Aerosmith? Perhaps they just need to do their own thing for a bit. ...Or maybe if we wait another couple of days it will all just go away. :-)

What do you think?

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Them Crooked Vultures

Not a free download Tuesday this time, but a return to Them Crooked Vultures. As I mentioned last time, the band consists of John Paul Jones (Led Zepplin) on bass, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) on drums and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on vocals and guitar. If that didn't sell it to you, I directed you to a free download and some YouTube content to reel you in.

However, they've now done more than just release a few bits and pieces to whet our appetites... They are now streaming the whole album a week prior to its release. Will I say that again? The whole album!

I've embedded the stream below, or you can go to their YouTube channel if you prefer.

What do you think? Is the "super" in "supergroup" merited in this case?

Friday, 6 November 2009

Free Download Friday #34: Nine Inch Nails

Before I had started this music blog, I wrote about a crowd sourced video of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson playing at a Foo Fighters concert. Today's Free Download Friday takes that concept and adds rocket boosters!

An extended quote from the This One's On Us site will fill in some of the details:
When I first heard about the TDS set the band performed at Webster Hall on August 23rd 2009, I pretty much, like everyone else in the entire world, went apesh*t. Part of it was my epic failure of choosing to see the Bowery Ballroom show the night before instead (which was still mindblowing in its own right). But then I remembered Trent tweeting the night before about the show not being officially filmed due to Live Nation charging them too much dough. Trent also mentioned this would be the first and last time they'd ever play that set... I immediately got on it and used the @thisoneisonus twitter feed to get the ball rolling.
So what ball started rolling? The ball was to collect together video taken by fans in the audience and edit it together to create a multi-angle DVD release of the concert. Brilliant!

I must admit, it never occurred to me that venues charged bands to allow them to video a show. Clearly they are not making enough money just charging for the hire of the venue and the free publicity from the Nine Inch Nails Live From [Insert Venue Name Here] DVD title is clearly not worth anything. The poor lambs have to make their money somehow. It's like the ticket chaps - I use my machine, my time and often my printer to order tickets for a concert and then they charge me a fee on top of the ticket price! Why? "Because we're the only place you can buy the tickets from so like it or lump it. Mmwwa, ha, ha ha!" Bah!

Anyway... thanks to NIN's open camera policy, the chap(s) at This One's On Us have managed to create a DVD that captures the energy and the excitement of the gig. The site notes that the audio is not perfect, and that it "...has some nasty moments due to one over-excited fan screaming in the microphone." To be honest, I think this adds to the atmosphere rather than detracting from it. It feels authentic.

The full DVD release can be downloaded as a bit torrent. This is slightly more complex than a standard point and click download but is appropriate for such a massive file. If you want a smaller, more straightforward download, This One's On Us has links to an iPod friendly version and a YouTube version.

Not the usual Free Download Friday today but I thought it was worth sharing. Is it OK to do the occassional non-audio download or would you prefer it if I stuck to audio files?

Update: If you want an mp3 download, I've just noticed that the NIN Hotline have a link to an audio version of the concert.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Bonfire Night

It's Guy Fawkes - Bonfire Night here in the UK. I noticed that Classic Rock Magazine had suggested a soundtrack for the night, and I thought it would be fun to start a Spotify list on the same topic.

Only eight tracks just now. Feel free to add more tracks on the bonfire/fireworks theme. :-)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

When musical worlds collide #3

I thought it was a one off... then I found some more... and here we are with the third When musical worlds collide. Do you enjoy these odd pairings as much as I do? Would you like to see more?

Collision 1: I'll start with the one I'm least sure about. I love the video but I'm not sure it counts as a collision as I'll explain below:

My memory of Gary Numan is of a early pioneer of Synth Pop whereas Nine Inch Nails are the founding fathers of Industrial Rock. Surely no connection there - a clear collision. But when you watch the video - it works. What do you think? musical collision or is there is a clear line from Numan to NIN?

Collision 2: I'm not convinced that the embed code for this next video is right. However, you should be able to see it in the original ill doctrine post. If it doesn't work here, check it out there... as long as you promise to come back here afterwards. :-)

Update: I really like this video but I can't get it to load reliably either here or on the ill doctrine site (which is a pity). I've edited the embedded video out because the page just hangs when it fails to load. :-(

I think this Blues/Rap mashup works well. John Lee Hooker and 50 cent - two very different artists and two different attitudes to money but one interesting musical mashup.

Collision 3: Next up is a musical duo that featured in Free Download Friday #33: - Rodrigo Y Gabriela:

Listening to the free download of Orion, it was clear that they were very good but watching them perform with Robert Trujillo is just stunning.

Collision 4: Finally, something that's more than a little bizarre. When I hear the term One Man Band, I picture a chap playing a guitar, with a bass drum on his back, cymbals between his knees and a kazoo on a bit of wire round his neck... that doesn't come close to describing this chap:

The drumming is good - that he's doing it one handed is brilliant! If you had only heard the track without seeing him perform, would you have guessed that he was doing it live and all by himself?

I can't quite remember who directed me to these videos but feel free to claim the credit in a comment. I can't see that I'll have another of these posts in the near future but if you want to make some suggestions...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Free Download Tuesday... Again!

This is getting to be a habit! For the second week in a row, I decided to post a music download early rather than wait until Friday.

Today's download is from the latest supergroup to hit the Rock world - namely Them Crooked Vultures. The band consists of John Paul Jones (Led Zepplin) on bass, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) on drums and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) on vocals and guitar. To be honest, they had me at John Paul Jones! Can't remember where I first heard about this band but I've been listening to the stuff they've made available on YouTube with interest.

However, today's Track of the Day from Classic Rock Magazine is Mind Eraser, No Chaser from Them Crooked Vultures. Brilliant. The Classic Rock site links you to iTunes where the track is available as a free download to anyone who finds their way there. (When I tried the link, for reasons unknown, it took me to the iTunes site in the USA, so here is a link directly to the UK iTunes page in case you have similar difficulties.)

This a strong track, but not my favourite, so I offer you the New Fang video from the official channel as well. Which track do you like best from the material available so far?

In closing, what's with supergoups and birds? First we have Chickenfoot and now Them Crooked Vultures. All suggestions for the next bird themed supergroup (name and line up) will be welcome. :-)