Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sam Simmons - Comedian from Australia

I recently discovered a new funny guy named Sam Simmons.  He makes videos, does interviews, and does stand up comedy routines.  I think his material is Hilarius so I thought I would share some of the funny video I have found.

The first one is Sam interviewing Patience Hodgson from the band The Grates.  This is actually how I first discovered him.  The Grates are a terrific band and this interview with their lead singer is awkward and funny at the same time.


In this next one, Sam works with a new intern and shows him the ropes in a series called Right Way Wrong Way.


Lastly, here is an interview he does with Cyndi Lauper in a series called Not Very Good Trivia.


 Sam Simmons has a lot of other funny videos.  Check out his channel here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Song Are You Listening To... (Insert City Here)

Chances are you have seen Ty Cullen's video on Youtube; the one where he goes around and asks strangers what song they are listening to. It's a simple idea, but it is genius. It lets you know what music people are listening to and you get a tour of a city, in Ty's case New York.

As you might imagine, this video idea has spread rapidly and now there are "What song are you listening to" videos from all over the world! I have watched at least 30 different versions so far and here are a few of my favorites:

Amsterdam


Copenhagen


Sao Paulo


It's amazing how music brings everyone together. If you notice, the people in these videos are complete strangers going about their business alone. When they are asked the question, they instantly light up with a smile! People want to share what they are listening to with others and it makes them happy. It's inspiring. I would like to make one for my city. How about you?

5 Good Songs You Never Heard Before

I have a large music collection with a lot of great songs that most people have never heard.  I thought I would start up a series of posts featuring some of these songs.  We'll start off with 5 and see how it goes.  For this set I tried to get some variety in terms of genre.

The first song is Head2Toe by a rapper from New Orleans named Affliction.  He has been one of my favorite lesser known rappers for many years.  Affliction has a lot of good tracks.  Right now his music is hard to find online.  I recently tracked him down and asked him about his music.  He said he lost inspiration and is no longer recording new songs.  I hope he gets back into it one day.  As a bonus, I'm attaching one more from him called Febreze In Da Casket which is a song he did as part of a duo group called Team Fresh.
Affliction - Head2Toe


Team Fresh - Febreze In Da Casket

Next is a band from the 90's called Size 14.  They can be compared to Weezer in terms of musical style.  Size 14 released 1 album and had a minor hit with the alternative radio stations.  They have a lot of catchy songs.  It's too bad they broke up so soon.  Here is a song from them called Earthquake.
Size 14 - Earthquake

Camila Salvagno is a singer I found on Myspace a few years ago.  She is a young soulful singer from New York who posted a few songs online.  She has a Youtube and a Twitter, but neither of them are very active.  I don't know if she is still making music, but I hope so.  Here is a good song for the Summer called It's About To Begin.
Camila Salvago - It's About To Begin


In the early 2000's I was lucky enough to work on the music staff at a radio station.  There I got to hear all the new cds that were released each year.  Most of the songs we got were not that great, but every now and then I found a gem.  One of those gems was a band called Damone, and here is a song by them called Frustrated Unnoticed.  They have a female lead singer and their style is like pop mixed with punk. 
Damone - Frustrated Unnoticed

Lastly I thought I would share a song I found from a fellow electronic music producer who goes by the name Wund3rkind.  I don't know too much about him and I don't know if he is still making music, but he is definitely talented.  Here is a song with a hard dance beat and some amazing melodies. The song is called Chiproots.  Enjoy!
Wund3rkind - Chiproots


What did you think of these songs?  Have you heard any before?  Would you like to hear more?  Leave a comment below.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

FireFox 5 Out Already?

I just upgraded to FireFox 4 like a month and now FireFox 5 is already out?  I thought about waiting to upgrade because there are usually bugs when a new version comes out, but I heard this is more like a minor update.  So I did download  it and it does look pretty much the same as FireFox 4.  I haven't explored it in depth but on the surface it looks and performs the same.

I recently was working on an older computer that still had FireFox 3.6.  It reminded me of how much I miss it.  Just the buttons at the top are so much more user friendly.  They are more colorful and easier to use.  I still prefer FireFox 3 over 4 and 5, but you gotta stay with the time in order to have the latest technology and security updates.  Anyone else miss the old FireFox?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Grates - New Highly Recommended Band!

A few times a year I discover a new band that is really good; one that has not just one good song, but a lot of good songs.  An example of this would be last year when I discovered Fitz and the Tantrums.  It is a great feeling when you discover a new rising talent.  The other day I was reading a music blog called One a Day and I found a song by a band called The Grates.  Immediately I liked the song and started looking into them.  I found that they had a lot of other great songs.

So who are these guys?  The Grates were a trio, now a duo from Australia.  They have just released their 3rd album and are on tour in their home country.  They haven't made it big yet, but with the right promotion, they could develop a huge following within the next year or so. 

Sadly, their drummer Alana Skyring apparently left the band early this year to pursue interests in culinary arts.  This is unfortunate because she was a one of the things that made this band interesting. So now they have Patience Hodgson, that is her name, how cool is that? on vocals and John Patterson on guitar.  They get some help on drums, bass, and keyboards from other musicians.

Their sound can be described as upbeat indie rock with a little bit of electronic influence.  What I love is the diversity of their songs.  They all sound different.  Patience is an amazing singer.  Her voice sounds great on the studio tracks and even better live.  Check out this video they recorded for LaundroMatinee.  It's one of my favorites called Burn Bridges:

The Grates - Burn Bridges from LaundroMatinee on Vimeo.

The band is a nice group of people.  Patience has an amazing personality.  Check out this fun interview they did while playing a game:


The Grates have a bunch of excellent songs, but their videos are kind of strange.  To me they don't always fit the style of music, but at least it helps spread the music to more people.  Here is the video for their newest single "Turn Me on".  Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beards, To Grow or Not To Grow?

Being a man in my late 20's I am in the habit of shaving every day.  It's a routine and it just seems like the thing to do.  The most I have gone without shaving is about a week.  This past week I had some time off so I decided to grow it out again for a week. Overall it looked ok, but I just didn't feel like myself.  It just feels kind of messy and out of place.  It's strange because I know it is natural, but for modern society it seems like shaving is the way to go.

Or is it?  Since it was on my mind, I began studying others facial hair, both in real life and on tv.  I noticed that about half of men are shaved and the other half have facial hair.  This is something I never really paid attention to until I tried to grow a beard.  So I guess you can go either way.  You can really commit to it and grow it out, you can shave it, or you can just take the lazy approach and go somewhere in between.

After a week, I shaved the beard.  I was starting to look like a bum or a scary looking guy haha.  Plus I don't really want to go through the whole explaining process of the new look with everyone I know who I run into.

I'll share a little story.  Back when I was in my early 20s, I would grow out the facial hair for a few days before I would shave it.  One day one of my older co-workers addressed me about it with one of those, "Hey did you forget to shave?".  I told him how I thought it made me look older if I didn't shave.  He told me it had nothing to do with that.  I highly respected this co-worker so I took his advice and began shaving more regularly.  That is how I got into the routine of shaving every day.

Maybe one day I will go for like a month and try growing a full out beard, but for now, I will stick with shaving.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sublime is back, under a new name, "Sublime With Rome"

Sublime is one of my all time favorite bands so of course it was tragic when their lead singer/guitarist Brad Nowell passed away before they even gained mainstream popularity.

I was listening to some old Sublime songs the other day and decided to look them up just to see if there was anything new going on with the band.  Turns out there is a lot going on!  The original members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh have reformed the band again with a new singer named Rome Ramirez. The band now goes under the official name Sublime with Rome

When I first heard of this, I was skeptical.  I mean Brad was a legend and no one will ever replace him, so how good can this be right?  So I check them out with the new singer Rome.  To my surprise, he is actually very good!  He can play guitar, has a good voice, and he sounds remarkably similar to Brad.

The new Sublime has a new album called Yours Truly which comes out July 12th.  I for one am looking forward to it.  From what I have heard, the new line up sounds very much like the old Sublime and even the new original songs are good.

Check out one of their new songs here called Panic:


For more information on the reformation of Sublime with the new guy Rome check out:


Here's a clip of them playing Wrong Way on Jimmy Kimmel Live.:


Want to hear more from Rome?  Check out this song he did on Raw Session.  I'm sold.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There is So Much Plagiarism on the Internet!

I have written many original articles on the internet over the past couple years. recently I had my articles taken off of one site so I could move them to a new site without there being 2 of the same article online. (Websites don't like when you submit articles that are identical to those found on other sites).

So no problem right? Well I come to find out that even though I had my articles taken down from the 1st site, several other spam sites have copied my articles. So now I can't even use my own articles because to the new website, it looks like I am copying them from other websites.

If there was just one incidence or one website, I could take care of it by reporting them and having the articles taken down, but it is not just one, I have found at least 10 different sites that have stolen my articles. When I request that they be removed, they ask me to provide all this length information for the case to be considered. It's not even worth it.

There needs to be some better policing of the content being published on the internet. People are just going around copying text, throwing up a ton of ads and trying to make money on other peoples work. Hopefully there is better moderation of this in the future.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What did you want to be when you grew up?

It's kind of a fun question to look back on when you are older and have a real job. I used to want to be an NBA player. I would play basketball every day on my driveway; sometimes with friends, often by myself, just shooting around.

While practicing, I would pretend that there were NBA scouts driving around and they would find me and be like, "Hey check this kid out. He's pretty good!". Then they would offer me a chance to play in the NBA and get signed to a team. Kinda funny looking back thinking that anything like that would actually happen.

I never even played in high school. Thing is, I was pretty good, but I never even tried out. I didn't really like organized team basketball. It was not fun. I preferred casual, "And 1 Street Ball" style of play where you do lots of tricks.

So yeah, that was one of my childhood dreams of what I wanted to do when I grew up.

Now I think about what I would like to do if anything was possible. I would probably be a music producer or a movie producer. I have done these things on an amateur level, but I was never able to take it to the professional level.

I have a regular job that is ok, but not something that I am passionate about or necessarily excel at. It pays the bills. I'll keep doing it until I find something else I really want to do and can do.