Christmakkah is Just Around the Corner

Something thoughtful but not too over the top. Something useful but not ordinary. Something exciting but not extravagant. The thought process of the typical shopper, everyone is going through it, searching for gifts for the people on their list that are impossible to shop for…. UGH! MixMatchMusic may be able to help you out. MobBase is the perfect gift for the musician on your list. MobBase (which was released a few weeks ago by MixMatchMusic) is a platform that can be used by musicians to connect with their fans through their own personally customized iPhone app! This not only lets them brand themselves in the industry, but will also allow them to easily sell their music, concert tickets, merchandise, as well as keep their fans connected to their blogs, twitter, photos, videos, etc. all through their phone. We’ve turned this incredible service into a perfect gift. Talk about the the gift that keeps on giving.

MixMatchMusic has put together a MobBase holiday gift package for the special musician in your life. The package allows them to create, launch and maintain their own iPhone app for 3 months and for you, at a discounted rate! The best thing is, you can order it online.

The MobBase Holiday Gift Pack includes:
* One custom iPhone app ($20 value)
* Exactly the features and functionality musicians want & need
* Infinite customization (for all practical purposes, anyway)
* Three months of basic MobBase service ($45 value)
* Unlimited love from suddenly connected fans
* A MobBase gift certificate to put under the tree

All for only $50!

See full details here

Soulico Remix Contest

This 4 member DJ crew from Tel Aviv brings us traditional Jewish melodies on top of American hip-hop tracks, reggae, and funk. Meet Soulico.

soulico

Their new album, Exotic on the Speaker, is the “result of years of creative collaborations and finesse – culminating in 13 club ready tracks featuring the likes of Ghostface, Del the Funky Homosapien, M.I.A. understudy Rye Rye, Pigeon John, Lyrics Born, and more,” says The Daily Rind.

In anticipation of the new album, the boys released a free promo mixtape, Exotic on the Mixtape, including the song “Put em up”, which Pitchfork calls “an exuberant synthesis of traditional Israeli folk melodies and familiar hip-hop sensibilities.” You can download it all here.

Once you’ve download the mixtape, read Soulico’s answers to The Music Slut’s 8 Questions, including how playing to an Israeli audience differs from an American one, and check out Sabbo’s blog, Noiz in Zion, if you like remixes (and free downloads). Of course they are on MySpace and Facebook too.

JDub Records, which is a “not-for-profit dedicated to innovative Jewish music, community, and cross cultural dialogue,” was lucky enough to sign Soulico before anyone else found them. CEO Aaron Bisman happened upon their first mixtape while he was rummaging through the bins at Tel Aviv’s Hatav Hashmini record store. Apparently they were hard to track down, but he jumped on their MySpace the day it went up and claimed them.

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Thanks to our friends over at JDub Records for hooking us up with these guys. As part of the release of their new album, Soulico wants you to remix the title track, “Exotic on the Speaker,” and is giving you access to the stems of the song via the MixMatchMusic Remix Wizard. You can either download the stems (for free) and use the audio editing software of your choice OR simply click on the MixMaker button on the widget to make a remix in MixMatchMusic’s simple online music editor. If you’ve never experienced remixing before, or just want to see how the song was made, check out the MixMaker. Once you’ve completed your remix, upload it so that others can listen to, vote on and share it.

Soulico will be choosing one grand prize winner plus three runner-ups. Here’s what you can win:

Grand Prize:
- Soulico – Exotic on the Speaker CD + LP
- Stanton YakPak DJ bag filled with JDub Vinyl
- Your choice of Prime Loops Software
- Pair of Radius Ear buds
- Remix featured on jdubrecords.org & Soulico myspace

3 Runner-Ups:
- Stanton YakPak DJ bag filled with JDub Vinyl
- Copy of Soulico – Exotic on the Speaker CD
- Remix featured on jdubrecords.org & Soulico myspace

Deadlines: Contest starts Monday, October 5th and ends Monday November 23rd. Check out the official rules here.

Get on it!

How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Competition

Gospel music really shouldn’t be stuck inside of church walls. With the brief exception of Sister Act (and Sister Act 2), it typically doesn’t make much of a splash in the mainstream music world. If you’ve never experienced gospel music, especially live gospel music, it’s worth a listen.

Regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliations, it can be pretty damn powerful. It seems like there is some magical intangible quality that really only exists in that environment. Some of you might call it God. Some might view it as communities coming together to inspire and support one another through music. Perhaps it is simply the result of raw human emotions combining with some killer vocal talent.

Thanks to Verizon Wireless, the unique genre of choral worship music can now be experienced by a broader audience. How Sweet the Sound is the search for the best church choir in America. I guess America is not busy enough searching for the best [insert talent here] already… But hey, if there can be a Top Chef, a Top Model, and all that, why not a top church choir? I say bring it on, bitches!

Read all about the contest here, check out their blog here, and follow the tour as it travels across the country here. If you plan on actually attending one of the events, be sure to bring your old mobile phones to support their HopeLine project. Or if you’re the exhibitionist type, rock your own gospel at their karaoke booths and show the world what you’ve got.

Here’s a classic one for ya. Still makes me cry…

Slightly Stoopid Announces Remix Contest Winners

After carefully reviewing the 49 remixes submitted to their Blazed and Confused at 2 Am Remix Contest, Slightly Stoopid have picked the winners! As part of the contest, Slightly Stoopid invited fans to remix their song 2AM using MixMatchMusic’s Remix Wizard, while the band was on the road for the Blazed and Confused tour. Thanks to everybody that participated, there’s so much talent out there! Some of the remixes were pretty mellow, others were upbeat, some more hip hop influenced, a lot of reggae, some cool sound bites… all in all some really great stuff.

But, there was one remix that really caught the attention of Slightly Stoopid and stood out above the competition. Congrats to icehouseindustries for winning the remix contest! His remix was chosen by Slightly Stoopid as the grand prize winner! Check it out…

Icehouse Industries

Icehouseindustries will receive a HUGE prize pack that includes a set of the new Slightly Stoopid branded headphones (Skull Candy); an autographed Stoopid poster; 2 tickets to the next Slightly Stoopid concert in their area; a limited edition Slightly Stoopid branded glass pipe; CDs of Slightly Stoopid’s entire discography & Chronichitis vinyl; a copy of Slightly Stoopid Live in San Diego DVD; and the icehouseindustries remix will be posted for streaming on Slightly Stoopid’s Website, Myspace, Facebook, and their theSixtyOne.com page.

There was also a prize for the fan favorite, for the remix that received the most fan votes. Congrats to Karma for getting the most fan votes for his unique remix that brought a grooving lounge sound to 2am, complete with funky flute, saxophone and jazz guitar. His remix definitely caught a lot of attention. Karma wins a set of the new Slightly Stoopid branded headphones (Skull Candy) and a limited edition Slightly Stoopid branded glass pipe. Saaawwweeeet!!!

Karma

Make sure to check out some of the other remixes submitted. I’m a fan of NotoriAce’s remix and all of the different levels and genres used, as well as We Like it Edgy out of Galashiels, Scotland’s “2am edgy remix”. Also, I’m kinda diggin’ the use of Daydreamin’ by DJ Devan Air and Biggie Smalls in Will Becker’s mash-up. And, big ups to Gravity Terminal for his electro-dub version of 2am. Click the image below to check out all of the submissions. While you’re there, be sure to browse the Remix Wizard site to find other remix opportunities and to see how you can host your own remix contest using MixMatchMusic’s FREE remix contest platform.

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Click image to check out all the remix submissions.

Monsters of Folk Release Self-Titled Album

The idea of combining indie rock darlings Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Jim James, and M. Ward, conceived in 2004, finally came to fruition yesterday with the release of The Monsters of Folk‘s self-titled album. The fifteen track disc defeats the old adage, often applied to super-groups, of the sum being less than its parts.

Monsters of Folk

The four artists, each already having their own successes with bands Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, and She & Him, highlight the best in each other. All four players share songwriting and vocal duties, and no one artist steals the spotlight completely; however, Oberst’s trademark sound does permeate most of the songs. His distinctive wordplay lyrics and jaunty folk-rock are predominant.

James’ past work with many different genres and influences in his band My Morning Jacket comes through on the trip-hop opening song “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),” and the funk inspired “Losin Yo Head.” The evocative harmonies typical of Ward and Oberst are pervasive. And Mogis, originally of Oberst’s band Bright Eyes, plays a more minor role in the forefront of the album, but was major behind the scenes working as producer.

All four artists brought their best to the table, and created a disc of enjoyable, catchy folk tunes.

monsters-of-folk

Twitter’s New Theme Song: “Follow Me”

I am blatantly stealing this from Boothism cause it’s so classic. (Thanks, Kwan!) Check out his blog. He’s got a lot of cool stuff going on and he’s a great writer.

Whether you’re part of the Twitterati (if you are, you better be following us) or not, you can probably appreciate the suggestion that this become Twitter’s theme song. (Or Barack Obama’s theme song, as ajcgn suggested.) Old school house by Aly Us. Anybody know what year this is from?

What I’m Hearing, Vol. 16

{For the music I was listening to in July, click here.}

Well, once again I’m a bit tardy and we have the music I was listening to in August being posted on the first day of September. But, better late than never, and the August music, while a bit late, is pretty spectacular. The August iPod update covers 94 songs from 7 artists (yes, a lot of full album downloads this month), and stayed largely (and surprisingly) away from Hip-Hop. So, without further ado, here’s what I’m hearing lately.

As Tall As Lions, You Can’t Take it With You: Having been kicking around in various formats since 2001, ATAL has released their third album. The band, originally from New York but recording a good portion of work in Chicago, flirts with rock, Indie and folk in darker soundscapes. The sometimes low, sometimes high or falsetto voice of lead singer Dan Nigro works with lyrics often dealing with depression or anxiety over brooding tracks. Through all of these songs, a feeling of being trapped somehow persists, with snips of guitar rifts floating through deep bass lines or horns whispering in the background. But despite this, the melancholy at times reaches crescendos that speak of freedom through misery. At other points, ATAL is a runaway train of energy on a track like “In Case of Rapture,” where the drums keep a frenetic pace. Don’t Sleep On: “Sixes and Sevens,” “We’s Been Waitin,” and “Home Is Where You’re Happy”

Beats Antique, Tribal Derivations: Fusing old and new, Beats Antique uses World and specifically Eastern-inspired music while adapting it to Western downtempo, glitch and hip-hop. Indian chants, thick stand-up bass, lightly picked harps, sitars and other string instruments are thrown in the pot with tablas and hand drums, frequently to be sprinkled with drum machines and electronic effects. The result is an album with driving, lounging or club music. In some cases you can imagine the hookah smoke drifting around you as dancers move slowly to the tunes, while in others you can imagine a dark lounge. On “Derivation,” they take portion of melody from “Summertime,” and pepper it with a digeridoo and deep drums. If you’re a fan of World music, this is an album for you. Don’t Sleep On: “Derivation,” “Intertwine,” and “Discovered.”

Fruit Bats, The Ruminant Band: After working on the fringes of music, Eric D. Johnson, the frontman of the Fruit Bats, signed with Sub Pop in 2002 and have been labeled by music publications as “Zoology Rock,” “Boot-Gazer,” and “rustic pop.” The Ruminant Band is their 5th studio release and offers a sunny panoply of pastoral and easy to listen to (which is not the same as easy listening) rock tracks that feel like they could have come out of another era. Up-beat acoustic guitars back moving guitar riffs, piano dances playfully across the spectrum and Johnson’s voice, high and plaintive, is reminiscent of some of Led Zeppelin’s tracks. The tracks are on the shorter side, content to bring the listener along, get the idea across and move onto something else without brooding on one sound. An upbeat album perfect for a ride or camping trip, early mornings in the sunshine and dusty backroads. Don’t Sleep On: “Beautiful Morning Light,” “Primitive Man,” and “Singing Joy to the World.”

M.R. Shajarian, Night Silence Desert: Where Beats Antique took traditional music and mixed it with new themes, M.R. Shajarian stays strictly classic here in his World music. The tracks are light on percussion and heavy on atmosphere, with songs that feel as if they’re literally drifting away into the night of a desert. The instrumentation is skilled, an almost Middle East Béla Fleck sound permeating many of the tracks. Don’t Sleep On: “Silence of the Night (Sokout-e-Shab),” “Rain (Baroun),” and “Setar Instrumental (Torgheh)”

The Morning Benders, Talking Through Tin Cans: Berkeley natives The Morning Benders, who recently garnered “Best Of” for a local band in the yearly San Francisco round up are a pleasant mixture of rock and Indie pop without trying to be too much of either. The songs are laid back and pleasant melodically. Simple drums, guitars, a Rhodes and tambourines paint a picture of sunny California in much the same way the Beach Boys did, but with urban flare and a nod to slightly less-polished pop. Like the Shins without the depression, The Morning Benders are a group to keep an eye out for over the next few years. Don’t Sleep On: “Waiting for a War,” “Boarded Doors,” and “Wasted Time.”

Oumou Sangare, Seya: Hailing from Mali, Sangare weaves traditional African hunting songs with lyrics of social criticism attacking the position of women and marriage in the society, among others. Seya is her first album release since 2004 and it is full of sound. The rhythms and melodies of her native land meet superbly with her voice which is smooth and slightly musky. The arrangements are lively and moving, and as her voice soars over the songs, you don’t need to speak her language to hear her emotion. Don’t Sleep On: “Kounadya,” “Senkele Te Sira,” and “Wele Wele Wintou.”

Owl City, Maybe I’m Dreaming/Ocean Eyes: Adam Young is the one man behind Owl City. He started making music to combat insomnia, and the tracks carry an energized dreaminess that speaks to the line between dusk and dawn. Fans of Postal Service will recognize his electric and synth symphonies, while fans of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service will find in Young an eerily identical voice to Ben Gibbons. Young is soothing, his melodies are light and sound pure, and his balance between sweet sentimentality and sad longing creates almost a joyous balance between joy and pain. For some, these tracks might be too syrupy, but for others, a slightly more electronic and upbeat Postal Service will be just the delivery they need. Maybe I’m Dreaming is a 2008 release and Ocean Eyes from 2009. Don’t Sleep On: “Fireflies,” (video below), “The Technicolor Phase,” and “On the Wing.”


Copyright © 2007-2009 MixMatchMusic, Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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