2017 Album Releases – Coma Collective’s Notable Picks

2017 albumsAmong the massive hoard of amazing albums that came out this year, more than a few stood out as noteworthy mentions. In a year packed with releases from industry veterans and up-and-comers alike, below is a handful of Coma’s top picks for 2017 releases (in no particular order that has anything to do with rank). Continue reading “2017 Album Releases – Coma Collective’s Notable Picks”

As You Were – Liam Gallagher Album Review

liam-gallagher-as-you-were-release-date-1498231032I’ve always had a bit of an ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ opinion of Liam Gallagher. He just seems like such a miserable prick who doesn’t understand how to interact with the world in any way other than being a complete asshole. Granted, because of this I haven’t exactly followed his career very closely, so maybe he’s had some redeeming things to say about someone somewhere, although I’m not too confident in that possibility. Here’s a fun read detailing a long list of insults he’s dished out to undeserving (and in many cases, more talented) musicians over the years, including the likes of Kieth Richards, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan. And of course, then there’s the historic feud he’s kept up with older brother and former band mate Noel Gallagher since presumably the exact second he was born. My favorite (or favourite if I’m gonna’ be all British about it) example of Liam’s Noel-bullying was when he bailed on an MTV Unplugged performance an hour before they went on and proceeded to drunkenly heckle the band from the balcony.

Despite these and a hundred other reasons not to give a single manky crumpet for the guy, I finally found something positive to say (he also seems to hate America, although I guess I don’t entirely blame him for that one). Liam’s new album, As You Were, is actually pretty great (*caugh* *hack* *dryheave* *gasp for air* Ugh, there, I said it).  Continue reading “As You Were – Liam Gallagher Album Review”

Kaytranada Offers More Potential Support for SoundCloud

kaytranadaWhat’s up everybody!?! As the world falls apart a little more (and more) (and more), I’m just sitting here trying to look for the Sunshine.

That’s probably how SoundCloud feels these days too, as they’ve been dealing with their own set of fires lately, like losing a huge chunk of their user base, forcing out their CEO, and some major cash flow problems. I reported on some comments Deadmau5 had for the independent streaming service in the wake of vocalized support from Chance the Rapper (and that Deadmau5 doesn’t expect it’ll make much of a difference), but now rising hip-hop star producer Kaytranada is rumored to be joining the fight as well. Continue reading “Kaytranada Offers More Potential Support for SoundCloud”

The National – Sleep Well Beast – Live Debut

natLike so many other indie rock fans, I became completely enamored with The National after hearing their most recent album, Trouble Will Find Me. After listening to that about a thousand times, I started to dig in reverse chronological order through their catalog. Each record exposed a little more vulnerability as I followed the songs backward through their history – less vulnerable in terms of themes and lyrical expression, but more in the way they sounded. Continue reading “The National – Sleep Well Beast – Live Debut”

Alt-Pop Infiltration: Style on the Radio

Style on the RadioWhat’s up everybody?! It’s another Monday and another great opportunity to drown out your coworkers with some good tunes. Today I want to profile some of my favorite pop artists that are bringing new style and personality to the world of big radio. Pop music is by far the greatest money-making genre in the music industry, and thus the heaviest concentration in radio. But here and there new voices are sounding out through the static of the major stations and redefining the boundaries of what pop music can sound like. Continue reading “Alt-Pop Infiltration: Style on the Radio”

Playlist Wednesday – Postpunk Trashcat

7-26-2017 1-12-38 PMHello everybody! I wanted to take a moment to post some of the music I’ve been getting really into lately. This playlist features artists that I feel like would’ve all been punks and skunks if they were born 10 years earlier, but due to the evolution of the industry, they came out sounding a little different.

It’s sort of a working title, so don’t ask me why I threw ‘trashcat’ in there. It’s one of those buzzwords all the youngsters are using these days. Deal with it. Click through to get to the playlist –> Continue reading “Playlist Wednesday – Postpunk Trashcat”

Concert Review: Portugal. The Man at Edgefield

Portugal-The-Man-newSaturday July 22nd, Troutdale, OR, McMenamins Edgefield. The sun was beating down at a solid 90° on a sold-out crowd of just under 1,400. Scattered across the lawn were an eclectic mix of indie-goers ranging from flower-crowned millennials, to hip rocker yuppies, to a handful of high waist-pantsed and seemingly lost seniors (maybe they thought this was a Willie Nelson concert?). The grass was soft and the beer lines moved quickly as people got settled in for a night with one of the most accomplished bands to grow out of Portland.

Kicking off the event was Cat Hoch, a Portland-based psych-jazz-rock ensemble headed by a floaty-voiced melodist of the same name. Their echoey instrumentals strung together waves of trance-inducing guitar solos and ghostly themes of celestial proportion. The night then shifted to the surf rock stylings of The Shivas. Channeling the spirit of early southwestern 60’s blues and a wicked-shaggy haircut that Joey Ramone himself would’ve been proud of, The Shivas ramped up the tempo and got heads bobbing faster than you could say ’90’s Quentin Tarantino soundtrack candidate.’

Cat Hoch - The Shivas
Then, it was time for the main event. Continue reading “Concert Review: Portugal. The Man at Edgefield”

MusicfestNW Presents Project Pabst!

musicfest-nwWhat’s up ya’ll!?! There’s always a ton of great shows/festivals over the summer, but one that I’m really stoked about is the Project Pabst stop in Portland. I didn’t actually have any clue about it until I was looking up tour stops for Noname a couple months ago, and this one popped up.

One of the greatest things about what I’m going to call the massive ‘festival frenzy’ that’s picked up in the last few years (or decade?) or so (also maybe I’ll do another post about how huge festivals are these days), is that it gives you the chance to see a ton of different artists at a bulk discount that you might not have splurged for the ticket to alone. There are a lot of those that fall into that category for me at this event, like Beck, Die Antwoord, Lizzo, PUP, etc. etc.. But of course, I’m kind of losing it over getting to see Iggy Pop, Fidlar, Father John Misty, Spoon, Nas (like, f*ckin NAS?? legend, never thought I’d get to see him live), and of course, Noname all in the same weekend.

The full lineup is here (and also inserted below). I’m trying to get some press passes for photos and interviews, but either way there will definitely be more posts to come after the show (maybe it’ll help to give a direct shout out to Motormouthmedia while I’m at it ;)). Let me know who you’d like to hear from/about and I’ll try to focus in that direction.

[insert snappy sign-off here]

\m/

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How deadmau5 would save SoundCloud (even though he’s not going to)

Deadmau5 - SoundCloudWhat’s up everybody! From where I sit on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the sun is out, the birds are chirping, and deadmau5 is out busting balls again.

He’s laid out his opinion on what would help solidify a prosperous future for SoundCloud, a user-based online music distribution platform, which has recently closed two offices and laid off about 40% of its workforce in an effort to cut costs. The rant seemed to be prompted by news that Chance the Rapper is jumping in to help keep the sonic cloud in the air.

Despite the customary abrasiveness in his tone, I think deadmau5 nailed a pretty solid plan for how SoundCloud could continue to support budding artists without having to close its doors. The only catch: they might have to give up their stance as being 100% independent.

spotify-soundcloud

Through a series of tweets, the electronic mouse man detailed how the streaming service would need some extra cash upfront, along with a stripping-down of data collection strategy and a branding face lift. Once the silicone has dried (sorry, I don’t really understand how face lifts work), the plan would then be to farm out access to its content and user base to other independent labels based on a Creative Commons license. This is different from a standard compulsory license, which is what big hitting streamers like Spotify and Pandora use to build their content base, in that the CC license only offers a limited realm of protection, often requiring the copyright owner to relinquish any royalties from the distribution of their content. This smooths out a lot of the legal snags and allows for simpler distribution without as many disputes over how different parties will get paid. Being that artists often release their music for free to SoundCloud anyway, this sounds like it would be a relatively painless transition. The pressure would then be on those independent labels to curate the talent and market their findings into a tangible, monetizeable, and most importantly, sustainable form.

But wait, if they’re just selling to independent labels, they’re still an independent platform, right? Sure, I would agree that selling SC’s user base to indie labels to cover its costs is still totally an independent move. The problem is that most indie labels don’t have an abundant surplus of cash, and they also might not be the only ones interested in the global network of millions of users that SoundCloud has curated over almost a decade. Toting itself as “the world’s largest music and audio platform,” you’ve gotta’ imagine that the Big 4 (UMG, Sonny, WMG, EMI) would have some interest in a similar deal, not to mention the likes of Spotify, as deadmau5 alludes.

deadmau5trollSo let’s take a step back; what does any of this mean, anyway? It’s all just speculation by one internet troll, albeit a troll who’s pretty educated and experienced in the industry (even if he’s kind of a dick for no reason sometimes). Regardless of whether or not these comments will actually shape the future for SC, they do open the conversation about the fact that the “WORLD’S LARGEST MUSIC AND AUDIO PLATFORM” has a lot of key decisions to make that will affect A LOT of people and businesses, not to mention a major chunk of online music consumption as a whole. Would enough indie labels be able to scratch enough cash together to bail them out? Can they avoid the temptations of a possible offer from one of the Majors? Or does their future depend on a different business model entirely? Either way, deadmau5 isn’t going to help them. Let me know what you think they should or will do!