Music Websites

Listen to Common Sound’s Latest Performance

Yesterday  Common Sound, my a cappella singing group that I founded a little over a year ago, had a performance for friends and family. We wanted to show off what we had been working on, as well as do a proper send off for one of our members who moves to the west coast next week.

Click here to listen to a recording our set. I solo on the last song, “I’m Yours.” (Alternatively, if anyone knows how I can embed the player into this blog post, that would be awesome.)

I would love to hear your thoughts! Note: We don’t use any amplification. It’s all natural echo from the high-ceiling church that we sing in.

Also, we are always looking to perform more, as well as audition new members–especially since our wonderful tenor is leaving! On our website, you can invite us to sing at your event or request a singing audition to join the group. Check it out or pass on the word.

Thank you so much. <3

music interview: Paul Irish, founder of Aurgasm

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Paul Irish, Boston native and founder of www.aurgasm.us. It’s one of my new favorite music blogs that got me into Wallis Bird, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Aurgasm often shares entire tracks of the artists it features, so it’s an awesome opportunity to figure out if you really like the music or not. (I just wish they posted more often!)

Aurgam’s specialty is finding what hasn’t yet reached mainstream popularity. For example, Paul claims to be the first to discover Isreaeli artist Yael Naim that you may know from the Macbook Air commercial. At the time Aurgasm featured Naim, she wasn’t on Israeli radio, MySpace or even Wikipedia. Aurgasm takes full credit for jumpstarting her career. How about that?

The following are his words. Enjoy.

The Birth of Aurgasm

Aurgasm launched August of 2004, but it actually started when I was active in this song sharing community in LiveJournal. That’s how I got my first audience. Then with regular posting, the audience grew.

I try to be different from other blogs that do only indie rock. And while a lot of people like that style, I try to focus on the more eclectic: reggae, folk, funk, jazz, world beats.

Discovering Talent

I find who I feature in no typical or consistent way. A lot of it is just downloading a LOT of music, and then somewhere around 5% turns out to be good, 1% worth posting. Also, I have a lot of friends all over the world that tip me off to good music that’s taking off in their locales.

Supporting Musicians and ‘Illegal’ Downloads

Back in 2005, I went to this show at the Middle East. RJD2 was headlining and Diplo was opening, but no one knew Diplo at that point. After the show, I went back to the merch table and told him I was really into his track… “Summers Gonna Hurt You”. And then I offered, “Hey, man. I downloaded your music online. I don’t need your CDs, but here. Take 20 dollars.”

Music is social.

Within the past 2 years a really different kind of scene has emerged–as far as dance music goes–specifically electro.

Since dance music has a really short shelf life, everyone is really eager to hear the next new thing. If you go out to a club that’s a weekly spot, you expect to hear brand new tracks every time.

DJs know this, and a few mp3 blogs have become the epicenter for providing new music. Meaning on any given night, all the clubs around the world are playing the exact same tracks because that’s what was highlighted on those blogs. They create an instant sub-culture. Now, from Syndey to Stockholm to San Fran, people are out dancing to the same music. It’s like a globally shared experience.

Your blog could become famous because the Internet gives crackpots a voice

My cousin Adam from the Philly area is a new contributing music reviewer for a blog (ahem, web site as he would prefer) called This Is Some Scene. He did his first review on a Flaming Lips show he went to last night.

It’s cool stuff, and I’m proud of him for joining; however, he has quite an interesting perspective on the developing influence of blogs vs. the news biz.

He’s concerned about what the growth of the blogosphere–in conjunction with news sources switching to an online medium–is doing to Joe Schmoe’s ability to decipher “legitimate news sources” (in which Adam is quite cynical about already) from blogging crackpots.

In an earlier Internet age (like… 3 years ago) a lot of people read information produced online with a grain of salt, assuming if the author had any credentials at all, he wouldn’t be expressing himself on the Internet. Obviously, he’d have a newspaper column.

However! Now, news corps, big businesses, small organizations and weird dudes living in their parents’ basement eating Cheetos all are producing content in the same form. Basement dude could potentially become just as influential as NYT blogger. So how can Joe Schmoe tell what’s “news” and what’s a whole lot of BS?

Well. That’s what’s so great!

The same phenomenon that’s causing Adam’s concern also is giving This Is Some Scene the potential to become a very successful site. So far only 4 or 5 people are running it, who never would have had the opportunity to be heard if it wasn’t for the fact that crackpots (and the rest of us) have the chance to produce content and make it available.

Even better? Society judges big shots and no-names on the exact same terms.

I think blurring the lines between traditional news and blogging-nobodies is a fantastic thing. It’s quite possible that my cousin Adam is an 800 times more competent reviewer than someone from the The Philadelphia Inquirer. Now Adam can write something, we will read it and we’ll never know he’s actually a crackpot!

I mean… my lovely, wonderful cousin! :)

Anyhow. Best takeaway from our conversation? I asked him the main reason he decided to write for the blog. His response:

“Because I like music, I like writing and it’s something to do. And it might impress girls if I am at a show and I tell them that I’m ‘covering it’ for something.”

Hear, hear.