Band of Horses on Numb3rs

I’m sure many fo you watched Numb3rs last night, not only because it’s an awesome show, but because it was one of the only new things on the TV (stupid Writers Strike).

During the climactic scene of the episode we were once again treated to a great Band of Horses song, The Funeral, in the background. Must be exciting for these guys to get their music used on the prime time TV shows.

Cease to Begin

Music Pick of the Week: Rooney

It’s interesting to me what “Alternative” or “Modern Rock” has become these days. I don’t listen to “Pop” radio much these days, just can’t take the Fergie, Kanye West, or Taylor Swifts of the world. Interestingly the hip hop, R&B and other music types that have taken over the pop charts in the last decade or two has forced much of the “power pop” type acts to the “Modern Rock” genre.

I say all of that to introduce this week’s Music Pick, Rooney. Rooney’s single, “When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” is currently getting airplay on the local Denver “Modern Rock” radio station. While I appreciate the introduction, this California band is much more influenced by 80’s power pop than anything that has been in the alt music scene in the last 10 years.

“When Did Your Heart Go Missing?” sounds like it just fell off the sound track to a John Hughes movie, even down to the semi cheesey voice-over last verse:

Things were so good
We had a little dream
A little dream together
Buy a house, settle down, do our thing
But you disappeared on me
And your heart, your heart went missin’…

I suggest you just watch the video for yourself and let me know what you think.

Music Pick of the Week – West End Girls

Ever since my friend Dave introduced me to the Pet Shop Boys back in college, they have been one of my favorite bands of all time. This would probably surprise some of the people who know me, since they aren’t exactly the kind of redneck music you might think I listen to, but anyone that reads my music picks will probably understand.

The great mix of witty lyrics, Neil Tennant’s vocals and the great electronic sound that the Pet Shop Boys pioneered has always appealed to me.

Earlier this week, Brian Ibbott of Coverville, did a review of Goes Petshopping by the West End Girls. Swedish West End Girls are a cover band, taking their name from the Pet Shop Boys biggest hit. Being a fan of both the original band, covers, electronica and female vocals, this was a no-brainer choice for me.

After listening to the album, I found it interesting how a band in the same overall genre could have such a different sound than the original. The tracks are definitely more upbeat dance music, and lose much of the darkness of the original. West End Girls have made these recordings even more dynamic. The sirens in West End Girls, the clock ticking in Jealosy are a great touches and at times Rent borders on being orchestral. The feeling is almost overwhelming, an amazing achievement considering that the originals weren’t exactly stripped down.

This rendition of some great Pet Shop Boys tunes is amazingly well done and a great addition to the collection of any fan of vintage electronic music. I would highly recommend Goes Petshopping

Music Pick of the Week – Band of Horses

Band of Horses

Band of Horses is quickly becoming one of my new favorites.

Formed in Seattle in 2004, Band of Horses has a great indie rock sound. Their latest single, Is there a Ghost is an ethereal track that builds from an acoustic start to a power pop finish. The music just feels dark and deep – two things that anyone who reads my music picks knows that I like.

I would definitely recommend getting their latest album, Cease to Begin, definitely worth it.

Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost

YouTube sued by ‘indie’ music publisher?

Read this article today about YouTube’s defense of the lawsuit brought by Viacom and other copyright holders.

One thing that caught my eye was

…lawsuits brought against YouTube by Viacom International Inc., England’s top soccer league — The Football Association Premier League Ltd. — and indie music publisher Bourne Co.

I thought to myself, “Wow, an Indie music publisher is suing YouTube?”. So I decided to do some research.

First, for those of you not really acquainted with the indie music and film scene, there is a certain connotation that goes along with the term indie (short for independant).

Wikipedia defines indie like this:

The term indie is short for “independent” and refers to artistic creations outside the commercial mainstream, without the support of a major record label, major movie studio, or other source of a large budget.

So, I did some research on this so called indie music publisher, Bourne Co.

BOURNE CO., one of the largest independent international music publishers, has since its founding in 1919, never lost its passion for the art of song writing or its deep respect for the creative processes involved in that art

So, they are one of the largest publishers of sheet music in the world. In this context, independant means ‘privately owned’, not ‘outside the commercial mainstream’. It really sounds to me like either the author of the article, Viacom or the AP is trying to spin this and make it sound like indie musicians are against YouTube, and that is just not the case. In reality it’s just a bunch of large companies (Viacom, Bourne Co., Football Association Premier League) angry because YouTube is making money off content they ‘own’. In reality, these publishers should be suing the individuals that actually post the copyrighted content to YouTube, but as the RIAA has shown us, that’s not a great PR move.

Music Pick of the Week – Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

There are few musical instruments that are more beautiful than a well played acoustic guitar, which brings us to this week’s Music Pick. Rodrigo y Gabriela are a duo of acoustic guitar players from south of the border. The two Mexico City natives play fast and hard – their CD includes covers of Metallica’s “Orion” and Zepplin’s “Stairway”.

If you like acoustic guitar, or are just looking for something different, check out their myspace page.

Music Pick of the Week – Amy Winehouse

I haven’t had a Music Pick of the Week for a while, but those of you who have read this segment will know that I typically attempt to promote relatively unknown acts. This week takes a little different turn, this week I want to talk about Amy Winehouse.

Winehouse has been on the music scene for some time, her debut album, Frank, was released in 2003. In spite of this, I had never heard of her until her new single, Rehab, hit the airwaves in recent weeks. First impressions were of a Macy Gray type artist, but this not true at all.

Amy Winehouse is a Jewish Jazz Singer from London. Think Norah Jones with an attitude. I do not claim to be any Jazz expert, and I’m sure there are many that consider Winehouse a parody of the traditional Jazz singers of the 40s and 50s, but if that is so she has taken the mimicry to an extreme. Her look, sound, instrumentation and even her penchant for controversy and substance abuse is remincent of some of the Jazz greats.