I logged into my SoundCloud account this evening to find my stream plastered in “Here’s the Drop” graphics on waveforms [insert mega-surprised vinyl rip here!]. Like every other SoundCloud user right now, I’m totally baffled!
And it’s not just on other users waveforms, there’s plenty of these ugly graphics on my own tracks!
A quick scan through forums and Twitter, users are noticing and there’s mixed feelings. Some believe it’s an early April Fool’s joke SoundCloud is playing on their users and find it funny… some feel like their creative work has been defiled and are furious… there’s plenty of talk about a possible hack and of course, there’s uproar that a term normally associated with Dubstep music is getting plastered on metal, rock, live recordings, video game music, etc!
At first glance I thought it was a clever new gimmick SoundCloud were testing, the arrows seemingly did point to spikes in waveforms but after closer inspection I did realise it was all completely random.
Personally I believe SoundCloud has been hacked this weekend. Did anyone else notice on Facebook that their newsfeed activity was completely random? My newsfeed was chocablock with bizarre memes and what not. Of course, this has all disappeared from their App page now.
I tend to take SoundCloud a bit seriously, I use it every day and I prefer it to other social media music platforms (MySpace is dead! Reverbnation never appealed to me as much as I tried! Twitmusic doesn’t cut it either) and I take pride in my profile. For me SoundCloud is the cleanest, easiest and most efficient means of putting my music out there and keeping track of my stats!
Maybe it’s all one big marketing move to get us talking about SoundCloud? 😉
I hope it’s not an early April Fool’s joke, would SoundCloud really do that to us? 😉 (but maybe the fact it’s premature is part of the joke?!)
UPDATE: It’s called the Dropometer and it SEEMS to be a gimmick! read about it here (I just hope we can remove it from our tunes cos not everyone uploads Dubstep to Soundcloud… though I still think it’s an April Fool’s joke, haha!) : SoundCloud » Debuting Today: The Dropometer.
The Spirit Store opened it’s doors last night to rock out with two of Ireland’s busiest metal/rock bands; the powerful force of original metal that is Black Svan and headliners Thin Lizzy tribute “Bad Reputation”.
I attended the gig to catch up with Black Svan (I’ve been following them since August 2009 but haven’t been able to keep up with them in recent times since their blast of non-stop gigs all over the country, following their incredible European tour with monsters of rock, Fozzy and Stuck Mojo last year). Last night was my first time seeing/hearing their new line-up, Mo Clifford on second guitar, Kenneth Bell on bass and Joe Toal on drums accompanying founding members, vocalist Keith Caffrey and guitarist Jagger Murray. The powerful wall of sound instantly struck me as the most solid, tight, heavy (and may I add, the loudest!) line-up yet!
Opening with the killer riffage of “STD”, Black Svan instantly owned the stage and captured everyones full attention straight away. Keith’s vocal was not drowned out by the rhythmical hammering of Joe’s kit and wall of guitars that screamed Jagger’s signature fat, full-bodied, properly distorted (no fizzy fuzz guitars here) sound, Keith’s vocal soared, strong, confident, clearly. The anthemic bridge “Talk to me, yeah, yeah, yeah….” filled the room.
Personal favourite “Sickness” came early in the set, a surprise to hear it played on guitars down-tuned to a bad-ass C, a full tone lower than the album teaser on the band’s MySpace page (BLACK SVAN | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos.), I personally would have preferred to hear it in its original key as I felt the song lost something, some vocal power, or maybe it’s a just a case of demo-itis on my behalf! Perhaps if it was played in the original key, it would have sounded weak in comparison to the rest of the set, all the new songs are written in C and sound awesomely heavy!
Without a shadow of a doubt “Dream Forever” was the song of the night, a finely crafted song, crushing riffs and seriously powerful lyrics and melodies from Keith, a hint of Iron Maiden influence peeps though with Jagger and Mo’s close guitar harmonies in the short link to verse 2. “Dream Forever” will be the track to listen out on the debut album when it’s released next year. The band completed their recording very recently, the highly anticipated album is sure to be a hit both here and abroad, thanks to their army of loyal fans in Europe. We were also treated to a very new song “Immortal”, ultra-tight, very heavy, very big- an album definite, even title track, according to the band’s Facebook profile!
Wrapping up with the awesomely heavy, monster of a track “Killing Time”, Black Svan left us begging for more. Black Svan will rock McHughs of Drogheda tomorrow night, 9.30 sharp, wrapping up a musically fulfilling 2011 which saw the band’s biggest Irish dates so far, Vantastival, Jam for Japan, Killybeggs Tattoo Convention to name but a few. 2012 is sure to be the year of the Svan, the Black Svan.
It’s that wonderful time of the year again, the fire is blazing in the sitting room, hot water bottles are officially okay to bring to bed again, massive, furry, pom-pom snow-boots are acceptable to wear and everyone is full of holiday and Christmas spirit now that the college assignments are done and dusted! So what better time than now to review some of the wonderful music 2011 has brought to my ears?!
Fallon Bowman (Canada’s finest export) who is a very gifted young lady (musically brilliant, independent, charming, down-to-earth, smart, hard-working, all this AND blessed with good looks!), released her third album Human, Conditional earlier this Spring under her own name, (her previous albums were released under the artist name Amphibious Assault, I’ve been a fan of Fallon’s since 1999 and have been watching her progress through the years). And she delivered yet again. Human, Conditional not only showcases her new voice, stronger, bigger, braver than ever, it reveals a mature songwriter, eager and unafraid to blend rock, pop, soul and electronic genres, to create her own unique sound. I’m not sure if I can do justice to describe just how wonderful her new sound is! A true voice singing anthems of deep human emotion in a gorgeous spread of guitars, synths, drums and basses! Fallon is real, Fallon is here, now!
Personal favourites include “Disappearance” (guitar heavy throughout with a haunting, minor vocal verse, trust me, her voice is astoundingly beautiful here), “Tales From The Fourth Floor” (hearing this progress from the demo Fallon posted online last year to a huge anthem, bound to fill the dance floor live, with strong lyrics, soaring vocal and hooky synths) and “The Empty Space”. Fallon also treats us to new versions of her fine Depeche Mode cover “In Your Room” and her original “Mistakes, Breaks, Way Too Lates” (aptly renamed “Mistakes: Retake”).
I dearly love her Amphibious Assault sound for it’s pure, raw, grittiness (the songs are savage!) but Human, Conditional with it’s fine production is a new work of art. Please listen to Fallon, please support her!
Another kick-ass lady who’s certainly going places as well is Porcelain Black (Alaina Beaton). I only heard of Porcelain a few months ago but she has been around the block already as well, getting serious attention on MySpace and live with her previous industrial rock band Porcelain and the Tramps, singing with Courtney Love as well as Lil Wayne, modeling and working the celebrity scene. She was signed to a major label who wanted her to go the Avril Lavigne road but is now signed to 2101 Records (via Universal Republic Records) thanks to her collaboration with label head and producer RedOne.
Porcelain’s new sound is also fantastic! Her growly, edgy vocal combined with RedOne’s signature hooky synths along with pounding drums and heavy guitars, maintaining industrial rock roots, makes a perfectly danceable, kick-ass, in-your-face, lets-go-run-some-red-lights wall of sound!!!
Porcelain has just released her definitely addictive, debut single “Naughty Naughty” on iTunes last week, her album is due early next year. Mentioned online as the next Lady Gaga, Porcelain is the original Lady Gaga (as Gaga herself often acknowledges Porcelain online), but in my opinion, there’s no comparing the two, they have dramatically different sounds and both are equally quirky! Porcelain oozes rock attitude and will be be a hit in 2012, mark my words!
Back to these shores, Dublin based trio The Minutes made excellent wavelengths with their debut album Marcata, released in May. I already dedicated an entire post to how awesome The Minutes are after seeing them kick serious ass in Harrisons, Blackrock, Dundalk this autumn. Marcata is a rock n roll gold, straight up, proper rock, blues flavour guitar riffage, earth-shaking drumming, screaming vocals and steady bass playing. Fine musicianship and they sound like a band!!!! I haven’t stopped playing the album in my car (top volume of course), all autumn/winter. Go see them live when they return to Ireland (the lads are currently on a monster tour of Europe). Personally “Black Keys” and “Black and Blue” stand a mile out and are wicked live! I’m very excited to see an Irish band doing so well and I can’t wait to see what they bring to 2012!!!
On the subject of Irish artists, legendary guitarist of Irish punk-rockers, The
Radiators From Space, Pete Holidai released his debut solo album The Devil’s Guitar, this summer also! Pete treats us to twangy, surf (dare I say sexy?!) guitars (they bring Twin Peaks soundtrack to mind) fused with beautifully crafted 60’s/70’s pop melodies, clever arrangements, deep lyrics and musical sophistication. Pete pays tribute to his musical influences such as David Bowie, Matt Monro and Les Baxter and delivers a fine piece of musical art. Pete composed, wrote, recorded (with vintage gear and modern technology!), produced and released The Devil’s Guitar by himself!
Personal favourites include “Famesville” (that baritone guitar sound give me goosebumps every time!), “The Girl In The Car” (makes me feel like it’s summertime and want to travel somewhere!) and “Lunar Girl” (I like the idea of dancing with a handsome stranger to “Music From the Moon”!)
The Devil’s Guitar is much more than musical inspiration, Pete invites his listeners to follow the story of Johnny, a man tortured by the death of his true love, who travels to Berlin to make sense of the voices in his head and follow his heart-breaking, twisted, emotional journey. A damn fine listen, get your hands on this C.D at once!
The above is just a few of the great artists I’ve been listening to this year, but they are the ones that have rocked my car, iMac, iPod and kitchen radio the most! Other Irish artists I highly enjoy and urge you to go check out are:
Last night was Aztaria’s 2nd rehearsal in Dublin after our summer break. To ease ourselves back into the swing of things, we decided we would rehearse our entire set acoustically. And sure while we were at it (seeing as I never leave home without my iMac, microphone and magic recording box!!!), why not record the whole session as well?! 🙂
As you can see above, many a giggle was had and it felt as if we never had a break, in a good way of course! Were any of the naughty jokes captured on video-camera? Perhaps! 😉 Aztaria Rockumentary coming soon!!!
I set up my trusty Rode NTK microphone in the far corner of the rehearsal room, as far away as I could get from David’s kit (no offense to David in any way, it’s only natural he’s the loudest member of the band! :)) and Sandra positioned herself in front of the mic. I sat to her left with my Tanglewood acoustic guitar and Paweł sat next to me again. He wished to use his (hot and sexy) Cort electric guitar with his new guitar rig which includes his Boss GT-10 effects processor, Boss V-Wah pedal (love the sounds he’s making with this new toy!!) and a host of Marshall and other racks to compliment his sound! Arianna sat nearby on her bass amp (playing her electric bass as as she’s saving for a new acoustic baby!) and far, far, away all by his lonesome was David using his full kit with brushes 😉 We set up a 58 over his kit to make use of the second input available on my Roland Cakewalk UA25EX audio interface (aka my magic recording box!) and recorded straight into my iMac. Not the most acoustically soundproof room but I was surprised after a brief soundcheck of the clarity of our realtime mix (leaning closer and further away from the Rode mic as appropriate and playing/singing louder and softer when necessary), we recorded 4 tracks, 3 of which we may use!
It was great fun to do something different together and make something productive! Aztaria are back and ready to rock and roll!!!