Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Turntables

I acquired a turntable a few years back and used it quite a bit, but I have always had the feeling that I was not quite getting the most out of it. The sound was always crisp and nice, but I was never sure of whether I had everything set up correctly. That is until I read this article on Wired's how-to page.
I have to admit I am a member of generation that is not always used to analog technology. Even television has made the jump to digital. Most Mp3-players are fairly straight forward devices to-me and require very little "fiddling-around" to work properly. The Wired article does a brilliant job of laying out how to properly set up a turntable for us newcomers. After reading that article I feel much more confident about using my turntable, and I recommend this for anyone considering making the leap to analog. Don't you want to make sure the Azimuth is set up properly?


[mp3] Lit Up- The National The Black Session 11-17-2003

An mp3 & a piece of art by our in-house( artist.
(no reuse without permission)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Top 5 best sites for free (and legal) music downloads

Now, we have already done a top 10 sites for finding new music, but what if you have succeeded in finding a good new band, but don't have the cash to shell out immediately for an album. Well this list is for you. Here we have the top 5 sites for free (legal) music downloads.

Remember, nothing is free, but there is no harm in freeloading

1. Internet Archive's Live Music Archive- the goal of this site is "to preserve as many live concerts as possible for future generations to enjoy. It is "strictly non-commercial". It has managed to accumulate a very impressive array of live shows.

2. NPR's studio Sessions- National Public Radio is not normally associated with the hottest new music, but it should be. Their whole live music archive is available to download. You can even find it on itunes in the podcast section. I think its simply amazing for someone who grew up listening to fresh air bored out of his mind to suddenly love NPR, but thats how good NPR music is.

2. Peel Sessions Archive- the accumulated recordings of legendary BBC music radio host John Peel. He literally recorded thousands of bands live. The site lets you browse by decade, artist name, or simply chooses the best 125 for you.

3.Daytrotter- Daytrotter records a band a day. 28 songs a week. It centers mostly on indie rock bands.

4. Hearya- a website that has a small (roughly 50) collection of live recordings as well as posts a few mp3s regularly.

5. 3hive- A blog that posts a couple mp3's and a new band every day. Great for finding new stuff, but not so good for

*Black Cab Sessions- Video recordings of Bands playing in the back of a black London cab. completely normal. It doesn't have any downloads, but it was so cool I had to throw it in.

Have I left any out?


White Denim Video

While perusing my favorite blog right now, You Aint No Picasso, I found a great video by Alt-Rock/electronic band White Denim. Ordinarily I would not simply repost some else's great find, but we analyzed this video in depth and found references to STARWARS. We hold ourselves to very high cultural standards here at SMS.

After receiving his gun the Hero of this video proceeds to strike the classic Tusken Raider pose as in Star Wars IV: A new Hope. This reference combined with the Jabba the Hit style
characteristics of the Villian makes the references glaringly obvious to those with a scholarly eye. The Villian barking at the band to start playing is another clear reference to Jabba's barking at the Max Rebo Band to start playing again in the Palace scene of Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi.

Did I mention the White Denim Video was quite good? They have a new Album coming out on June 22nd called "Fits". I really enjoyed their last release which was an EP called "Lets Talk About It". They play a wonderful kind of Schizophrenic electronic influenced rock.
You can stream many of White Denim's songs including their last EP here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Looking Forward: Our upcoming releases list

Here are the Albums we are looking forward to coming out over the next 6 months.

6/23/2009 Brighten the Corners.. Pavement

6/30/2009 Wilco (the album) Wilco
stream-able here
7/21/2009 Josephine- Magnolia Electric Company
[mp3] Josephine
9/08/2009 After the Robots BLK JKS
9/08/2009 Black River Killer[EP]Blitzen Trapper

8/18/2009 Watch Me Fall Jay Reatard
9/08/2009 Popular Songs Yo La Tengo


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tech: Top 5 Music sites for finding new music (legally)

1. The Hype Machine- This site allows you to find what sort of music is being shot through the blogosphere. The Hypemachine displays lists of mp3's and which blogs are posting them. This makes it possible for you to not only find great music, but other blogs with similar tastes. It also has a radio with a comment board, and cool "spy" feature that allows you to see what other people from different parts of the world are listening to. Who knew Australians listened to so much Passion Pit?

2. Lastfm- recommends music, lets bands have pages myspace style, and judges them
based on user "shouts". If you like the bands you can add them to your library after you join. Its pretty good. It even has video, radio,and an events section of the website.

3. Imeem/Grooveshark/Lala- As far as I can tell the basic function of these sites are all the same. They allow you to legally build playlists and stream Mp3s from their libraries. One may have an edge on the others, but for finding new music I think they are all roughly the same.

Imeem- This site lets you build playlists of Mp3's uploaded by other users. (Unlike-scratch that) Like Grooveshark it has a discover feature that recommends new music to you. For all of you lucky iphone owners it is now a free app on the iphone app store.

Grooveshark- Grooveshark is a music listening site similar to Imeem that allows you to build playlists and listen to music on your profile from anywhere. This site is very handy and nicely designed.

Lala- Another good music streaming site. Sign up, and listen to its vast library of free music. It functions similarly to Imeem and Grooveshark.

4. Pandora- Yet another music-streaming site. This one allows you to build "radio stations" that stream songs recommended by users based on bands you choose.
ex)If I chose "The Hold Steady" as a radio station It might spit out songs by the "The Hold Steady", or other similar bands like "Lifter Puller". It also has a handy Iphone app.

5.Skreemr- It is Just a search engine. Skreemr finds Mp3's based on their tags floating through the world wide web. It is a nice simple way to dig up an Mp3 or two by a band you have heard of but never listened to.

6. Songbird- Ok, I lied. This is a top 6 six, but that just doesn't have the same ring does it? Technically Songbird isn't a website, but I had to put it on here anyway. Songbird is an open-source music player that users can customize to their liking. You modify it to function like Itunes or pump it out with all sorts of add-ons. You can add a music searching app with Skreemr, streaming with Lastfm, lyric grabing apps, or even integrated music stores from Amazon and 7digital. It even has a browser to surf the web built in. I like the logo too.

others places
HypeTape- This site calls itself "The illegitimate child of the Hype Machine and Muxtape". It lets you make playlists based on other people's Mp3s floating around the web. It is kind of cool, but not quite useful enough to make the top 5 (err... top 6) list.

Muxtape- Formerly Muxtape was a site where you could upload Mp3's to make stream-able playlists. It is now under renovation. The site looks like it could become much more than that when it is done.

Myspace- old news...


Friday, June 12, 2009

Lineup Preview
Here is the new lineup for Memhis Tennessee's premier punk-rock music festival. Goner Records puts on the Music festival (usually at the Hi-Tone Cafe), and this years' lineup looks amazing. The list is huge, and bands come from all over the US. Sonic Chicken 4 and Magnetix are even coming all the way from France. The range and obscurity of bands makes it a great way to find new music. I have been scanning the lineup and linked to a few cool mp3s to give you a feel for what they are like. The festival is scheduled for Sept. 24-26. Here is the incomplete lineup.
The Clean (New Zealand)
Cheater Slicks (Columbus, OH)
NoBunny (San Francisco, CA)
Compulsive Gamblers (Memphis, TN)
[mp3] Compulsive Gamblers - Rock & Roll Nurse
Box Elders (Omaha, NE)
Ty Segall (San Francisco, CA)
Thee Oh Sees (San Francisco, CA)
Magnetix (Bordeaux, France)
Tire Fire (New Orleans, LA)
Intelligence (Seattle, WA)
[mp3] The Intelligence - The Outer Echelon
Golden Triangle (New York, NY)
Earthmen & Strangers (Tempe, AZ)
Davila 666 (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Sonic Chicken 4 (Perpignan, France)
[mp3] Sonic Chicken 4 - Shalalalalove
Hunx & His Punx (San Francisco, CA)
Magic Kids (Memphis, TN)
Loose Diamonds (New Orleans, LA)
Useless Eaters (Memphis, TN)
Teenage Whoremoans (Philadelphia, PA)
River City Tanlines (Memphis, TN)
White Wires (Ontario, Canada)
Tampoffs (Boston, MA)
Yusuf Jerusalem (France)
Msr Jeffrey Evans (Memphis, TN)
King Louie One Man Band (New Orleans, LA)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Blk JKS mp3

here's a new BLK JKS mp3 off Secretly Canadian. Molalatladi

Subpop Music Sampler

Well, Subpop Records has decided to release a bunch of free mp3's from their upcoming releases in order "in the hopes that you might like what you hear and then buy these releases for actual dollars". Normally I might try to avoid looking like a corporate automaton and attempt to stop myself from mindlessly consuming obvious bait in mp3-form, but it is a tricky situation.

The sampler has some great bands featuring songs including the Fleet Foxes and Iron and Wine. If the sampler were Kool-Aid I would drink it. Let's face it. If you cant support a Label that signed both Nirvana and Flight of the Concords then what's left in the world?

Did I mention the site they have posted the sampler on is the sketchy-looking page I have ever seen?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Local Memphis Guide

We have just come out with a nice little local music guide you can find on the right side of the site. In honor of this we will give you guys a nice little rundown of our favorite music spots around town. It is nice short guide to some of the places frequented by many of the great musicians of the 20th century, but it is also a look at where the good ones play today.

It has the location of some important musical landmarks like Stax Records and Sun Studios, but also newer labels/record stores like Goner Records where Jay Reatard released a 7" before signing to Matador Records. The recently renovated Levitt Shell in Overton Park now has a great music lineup for this summer here ( I especially recommend Todd Snider on June 19). The shell has been saved from destruction several times and once hosted greats like Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins, but is luckely still around to serve us some free music. Just across from the Shell is Elvis' old Karate Dojo and kickass music venue the Hi Tone Cafe. Its my favorite venue in town, and not just because its within stumbling distance of my apartment. This place has the best consistent music schedule around, and im sure you'll find some of their shows on the list of those we are attending on the right.

I think you get the idea. These are just some of the spots on the map.
Feel free to post anything you think we have left out. We are planning to update it every so often and would appreciate any contribution.

Intro: DJ Rupture

One of the favorites here at SMS is a artist called DJ Rupture who recently released a new album called Uproot. Its a great album and you can hear him talk a little bit about it here through an interview with Maga Bo. DJ Rupture has some really cool things to say about the album and living in NYC, and I am sure after watching the little 7 minute interview you will want to check out Uproot.

He also has a cool blog called at Mudd Up! You can also find his 2001 Gold Teeth Theif Mix there. If that peaks your interest I also recommend checking out the archives of his radio show on WFMU in NYC.
[mp3] Gold Teeth Thief Part I
[mp3] Gold Teeth Thief Part II
(it's good, but definitely a flashback to 2001)

Attack of the Weird!

here is a new post exhibiting the strangest of (good) music we find around the web. This weeks is a song called Mr. Wobble's Nightmare by an electronic musician called Kid 606. His new album is called Shout at the Doner. Here is a video of Mr. Wobble's Nightmare...

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Once upon a time there was a truly great Ska band named the English Beat (don’t know what Ska is? Look here). They burst on the music scene in 1979 from blue-collar Birmingham, England and wrote some terrific songs, like the punchy, political Stand Down Margaret, the manic Mirror in the Bathroom and a delightful up-tempo take on Smokey Robinson’s Tears of a Clown. Their best record was the first one, I Just Can't Stop It (1980), and it includes all of the songs mentioned. It is worth noting here that the Beat spawned two other good bands: General Public, a rock/pop outfit fronted by former EBers Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, and Fine Young Cannibals, in which Beat sidemen Andy Cox and Dave Steele hooked up with vocalist Rowland Gift.

Now the English Beat are back, and a recent gig at the legendary 40 Watt club in Athens led to a flurry of articles. For futher reading on the subject, here is one from Athens-based weekly Flagpole, and another from the Athens Blur Blogozine.

The current incarnation of the English Beat is basically a vehicle for Wakeling, who owns the name. They reportedly still play very acceptable Ska, and will be touring the U.S. this summer with another well-known band in Ska circles, Reel Big Fish. The tour will hit some of the larger cities in the South along the way.

Friday, June 5, 2009


We here at SMS are always on the lookout for new goodness from Ted Leo. Well, we hit the jackpot with a little goodie called Where Was My Brain? that was posted Friday on Ted’s website, in the Media section. Its described as an 'older new song' that Ted has been playing in concert recently. Meanwhile, Ted and the boys are heading South, so check out their tour dates here.

BTW, the art above is from a crazy-good site called Gig Posters; if you haven’t been there, drop everything and go there now. Gig Posters has published a book. You really need to buy it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dundun-dundun. DUNDUN.

I've been on a noise kick lately. Giddy Motors' Do Easy (metal-tinged noisy punk, swagger), Noxagt's The Iron Point (seriously Viking instrumental metal), and Zu's Carboniferous (Sax! Bass! Drums!). For Noxagt, by no means listen to Kling No Klokka. For Giddy Motors, by no means listen to Dotdotdot. This Zu album would be pretty unlistenable to the general populace, but what isn't? The Jonas Brothers, that's who. Also, Miley Cyrus. Zu is an Italian band producing arty, sludgy, noisy experimental metal. On two Carboniferous tracks, Mike Patton (founder of Ipecac Records and an important musical force) does vocals. This alone was enough for me to take notice; his vocals on "Soulympics" made the album. Wikipedia lists Zu's genres as "Math Rock, Metal, Noise Rock, Punk Jazz." Wikipedia is correct. If metal's not your thing, perhaps the krautrock of Can's Tago Mago could scratch one's incessant itch for quality listenings.