Category Archives: Music

Roku Just Added Channels for Spotify and VEVO

Roku makes one of the best streaming desktop boxes. It’s tiny and jampacked with services. We’ve already been able to enjoy Rdio for quite some time, but now Spotify subscribers will be able to enjoy music in their home theaters with a new channel

Roku also added a VEVO channel which is wonderful for all you music video lovers (remember when MTV used to play music videos?). The need would have been satisfied if we had an official YouTube channel but I wouldn’t hold my breath for that.

Go ahead and add these channels and keep practicing your Gangnam Style dance to Psy on the big screen.


Beck’s New Abum Will Only Be Available As Sheet Music

Titled “BECK HANSEN’S SONG READER”, Beck’s newest effort truly embraces the user generated content era. The album, which will arrive the end of this year, catalogs 20 songs presented a colorful hardcover case.

We should really be excited about this album. This release will surely spawn covers by both amateurs and professionals offering their own interpretations. I can’t wait for an explosion of renditions on YouTube.

Even if you can’t read music, the release offers more than just notes by the inclusion of illustrations by Marcel Dzama, Leanne Shapton, Josh Cochran, Jessica Hische, and others truly raises the bar.


Imaginary Adele B-Sides

Adele was one of the biggest music artists of 2011. Her album, 21, was one of the top selling album and tracks like “Someone Like You” continue to get heavy rotation on stations. One could also measure Adele’s success by the number of renditions found on YouTube (Yes. Connie Talbot has covered Adele songs).

If you’re wondering what fans are drawn to, you’ll have to listen to not just music, but her lyrics. Sure she’s got a great voice that’s soulful, but what people are really connecting with is the heartbreaking story she’s telling. Is it possible that Adele has made other songs that just didn’t align with the rest of 21’s theme? After all, she’s only human. We can’t assume sadness is the only emotion she feels. There must be balance and after the critical acclaim and sales figures she’s received, we’d hope that money can buy a ounce of happiness, even if its just temporary/superficial.

We don’t know if including these tracks would have hurt 21’s appeal but they certainly would have changed the album’s tone dramatically:

Club anthem track

We all know that every hit track gets at least 3 club remixes that can turn even the biggest tear jerker into a booty shaker. But what if Adele had just released a track strictly for the clubs. It would obviously be produced by Redfoo and GoonRock (LMFAO) and feature Pitbull. Obligatory lines include mention of hanging out with he girlfriends (name dropping of course), guys trying to hit on her, her describing how unqualified the aforementioned individual(s) were, and getting tipsy from cocktails. Naturally her appearance would need to be a bit more colorful for the music video. If you’ve ever wondered what Adele might look like with green/purple highlights in her hair and a hoop nose ring, this video will present that version.  The male figure in the video would have to anatomically flawless, kind of like the guys in the late 90’s Britney Spears videos. Kudos if she ends the video by splashing a drink in the guy’s face while winking at us. After all, Ke$ha isn’t the only girl that knows how to have fun in a club.

 Teen angst song

Although Adele is amazing at telling stories of heartache, she’s also 23. She’s only a few years past the awkward years of teen love described so well by the likes of Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch. I wonder if Adele ever had moments when she was boy crazy for the older 17 year old that rolled to school in a muscle car his dad and him worked on. Do you think Adele ever contemplated keying her ex’s car, flattening tires, or getting with her ex’s best friend? What about all the complex emotions of trying to fit in with all her classmates? I bet a lot of kids told her to pursue a more conventional career path like dentistry or marketing. Remember, no teen angst video would be complete without Adele sitting on staircase, looking to the side with a highly contemplative face.

Political/social commentary

With great power comes great responsibility. Adele has garnered much spotlight and this would be a great time to use her voice to promote a great cause. Imagine her voice belting a sweet tune about the end of war or reminding fans to think about parts of the world where the daily struggle is not coping with an unpredictable love life, but simply surviving harsh conditions like the tyranny of a ruthless dictator.

Perhaps another topic Adele could touch on is how the selfish motives of mankind will one day lead to the world’s inevitable implosion. Has anyone ever made a song about the inhumane working conditions of an electronics components factory? Now is the time.

Activision Celeberates Modern Warfare 3 With Inaugural Call of Duty XP Event (UPDATED: Now with VIDEO)

Activision held it’s inaugural Call of Duty XP event, which was a 2 day event for gamers and fans of the series to connect through activities beyond gaming. Located within a large hangar in Playa Vista, California, fans were treated to various activities including:

  • Hands-on gaming booths for all recent games in the series: Modern Warfare 2, World at War, Black Ops, Call of Duty 4, and of course Modern Warfare 3. Since this event was sponsored by Xbox 360, there were no Playstation 3’s on site.
  • $1,000,000 tournament
  • 2012 Jeep Wrangler course
  • Two paintball gun maps: Pit (Modern Warfare 2) and Scrapyard (Modern Warfare 2). I only made it in time for one of the maps, Scrapyard, but had a blast! This was my absolute first experience with a paintball gun. Even though I played defensive and stayed close to the base (Domination mode), I was able to score some great hits against the other team. The best part is that the guns looked like real arms (I had an M4). They provided 140 rounds, a mask, vest, and a jumpsuit. You get the keep the jumpsuit, which is great if you’re able to keep it spotless or in one piece. I probably should have worn tennis shoes rather than boots. Luckily I didn’t leave with any welts which is something I can’t say for other players.
  • Burger Town: yup. Haven’t you always wanted to taste what this Burger King parody has to offer. Apparently if you asked for “Special Sauce” they’d give you a shirt! They ran out when we tried though 🙁
  • Face painting. Get your “Ghost” on or choose from a folder of possible face paint options.
  • A sumo fighting ring
  • Black Ops cover art picture booth. This one was very addictive! Pose with a rifle or 2 pistols, recreating the Black Ops cover art with whatever goofy gangster pose you can come up with.
  • Zip line. This was one of the activities I wish I had done and taken video of doing.
  • Tons of free experimental Mountain Dew samples. I don’t think anyone turned into a zombie yet, right?
  • A gift bag containing a poster, Doritos and oh yeah… a redeemable code for Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition! Considering entrance was $150, this was definitely a lovely treat. Since the redemption page required an address and NOT a gamer tag, I’m guessing Activision is sending hard copies of the game?
  • Live sets by Dropkick Murphy’s (September 2) and Kanye West (September 3). As one of the biggest names in music entertainment, I can only imagine how much of a pay day for Kanye West this was. Since I only went on Saturday, I can’t comment on the Dropkick Murphy’s set. For Kanye West, however, I was expecting a small set. As I waited with thousands of others, watching the stage slowly take shape, I quickly realized the large hangar was hardly enough to contain the level of theatrics that I would soon witness. Kudos to Kanye West and Activision for pulling this off. While hardly related to gaming, this show added tremendous value to the seemingly high entrance cost. If you were dedicated enough or wait early, you could definitely get a pit level equivalent view. Kanye West did nearly all of his hit singles and that’s lots (I wish he did “Heard ‘Em Say”). Kanye West had 3 acts filled with high energy, laser lighting, and many dancers (Think classy like Cirque Du Soleil/ballet). I wonder what the Dropkick Murphy’s show was like. Check out the pics below.


UPDATE: Here’s some video of Kanye West’s performance

Electric Zoo 2011 This Weekend at Randall’s Island Park

An epic weekend for New York City residents and visitors, as Electric Zoo starts today at Randall’s Island Park!  An annual festival of lights and sound usually held over Labor Day Weekend, bringing top international DJs and live acts from multiple countries.  What was typically a 2 day festival is now a 3 day festival!  Come visit and watch such headliners like Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond, and Skrillex just to name a few.

Armin Van Buuren performing last year at Electric Zoo 2010.

There will be an art exhibit, FLOW, on display under the coordination of Aimee Boden, the Executive Director of the Randall’s Island Sports Foundation.  FLOW is a unique project aimed at fostering an appreciation of the waterfront environment through large-scale outdoor sculptures and art installations.  A portion of the sale of every ticket from 2010 and 2011 helped donate to the project.

FLOW art work in progress.

Tickets can still be found online, all ages welcome!  Electric Zoo occurs from September 2nd to the 4th 2001.

Stay safe and hydrated for those going out there!


For more information, go to Electric Zoo home page.

Artist line up can also be found on the Electric Zoo home page.

Taylor Swift Speak Now World Tour…A Fans Perspective

Last night was the culmination of almost a year in the making.  I remember the excitement when I first heard the announcement that Taylor Swift would be coming back to Staples Center to do another tour, Speak Now World Tour.  Finally I would get my chance to see her live!  I was admittedly more excited back then and the excitement tapered off…

I didn’t know what to expect as I walked in and sat down.  This being my first big concert experience, there was definitely more of an audience to the female teen crowd but there were also the scattered male counterparts as well as females of other ages.  I saw self made signs and lights from all parts of the venue.  I also learned something new, I had no idea what the “13″ meant from Taylors perspective so I asked the nice lady next to me and she explained that it was her lucky number.  I’m going to dedicate this line to her and say that she was a pleasure to talk to, and wish I had caught her name.

After a pair of opening acts, by Josh Kelley and Need To Breathe, and a brief stage set up behind the curtain, the lights dimmed.  Audio plays and a text montage appears on the monitors, she rose up from center stage and the excitement had returned!  You could hear all the screams from albeit mostly female teenagers with probably their moms enticed by their kids.  That didn’t bother me, I was way too excited to finally see her live.  She started with “Sparks Fly”, one of her hits from her Speak Now album that was released in October of 2010.  Once the intro song completed, she welcomed the crowd and thanked them for spending the evening with her even though there were plenty of other things to do.

As the concert proceeded, she continued on to sing a total of about 16 songs from her latest album Speak Now as well as her previous album, Fearless.  I had read on the internet Taylor would be doing covers from “local bands” at the venues she would be playing, after reading this I was definitely excited to see who she would choose to cover.  The covers were of Jason Mraz with “I’m Yours”, Beach Boys with “God Only Knows” and Gwen Stefani with “Sweet Escape”.  In my opinion, she definitely came through with the covers with her added touch.  She also added a small bit from One Republic in one of her songs “Back To December” which was a nice addition.

Apparently the biggest highlight, judging by the crowd volume, was when Justin Bieber was introduced to sing a duet of “Baby” with Taylor.  I’m honestly going to say I am not a Bieber fan but there was definitely a crowd for him there.  The moment he was introduced, my ears started piercing from all the screams of teenage excitement.

After her set of 20 songs, she concluded with “Love Story” while introducing her stage / band members and a final bow.   As the curtains went down the audience cheered, or I should say screamed, and applauded.  At that moment, I was excited, yet sad.  I truly did not want the concert to end.  From start to finish, she delivered.  I came in as a fan and came out as a an even greater fan.


You can contact Samuel Tjuatja, the author of this post, at

How to Survive a Taylor Swift “Speak Now” Concert

I just got back from a Taylor Swift concert at the Staples Center. I didn’t actually plan on going but decided to support a friend who’s friends turned out to be flakier than me. Here are a few tips you should know if you’re going to a Taylor Swift show

Take care of your body

Get off work early. The earlier you get there, the more time you have to comfortably enjoy a meal. Grab a $5 foot long sandwich from Subway and load it with veggies. You’ll be standing on your feet for 3+ hours so eating right before the show will ensure you have the energy just in case you get too comfortable and decide to rest during one of her outfit changes. Buy a Frappuccino. You’ve probably lost sleep the night before wondering what tracks she’ll play and in what order. Also stretch. You wouldn’t want to hurt your neck while tracking Taylor Swift as she’s floating around on a 3’x3′ platform for her closing song.

Understand the audience

Remember age is just a number. The tween with braces who’s accompanied with her parents, the 3 bros that are wearing matching shirts with custom messages declaring their love for Taylor Swift, the recent MBA graduate who decided that separate seats from her friends wasn’t a deal breaker: they’re all like you. You all understand the emotions of longing and heartache.

Do mark your skin or clothing with “13”. Every TRUE Taylor Swift fan will have this emblem stamped on their body somewhere. If you don’t have one, you’re obviously seeing her for the first time and not going to be singing along to songs that weren’t aired on the radio.

Don’t forget that declaring your love for Taylor Swift is most effective when done in high volume (quantity and decibel). The chances of her hearing your distinct message from hundreds of feet away are certainly much more slim if you’re doing it alone. Go with a group who understands this or join another group.


Study the lyrics to songs she’ll cover: Gwen Stefani – Sweet Escape, Justin Bieber – Baby, The Beach Boys – God Only Knows. When she does these songs, you want to look like a cultured fan who knows her range. Singing along to covers will definitely give you the necessary credibility to talk to  fellow fans at the show. When Justin Bieber shows up on stage, don’t be offended. You can’t like one and hate the other. Trust me, Bieber fans definitely hope Taylor Swift makes a cameo at the next show they go to.

Understand the career path of a pop artist

Haters  always go “Dude. I hate that she’s so popular now. These $30 Ticketmaster fees suck!”. Taylor Swift blew up, deal with it. Do you honestly think that her talents should be limited to a small corner in a coffee shop? Of course not! Her lyrics can only be realized through the magic of theatrics, giant high definition monitors, pyrotechnics, dancers, and moving platforms.

Charge your phone/camera battery

This one is a no-brainer. You’re not a true fan unless you post status updates/tweet about what songs Taylor Swift is singing so all your closet fan friends can feel like they’re there with you. Network coverage will be sparse, so be sure to post carefully and not waste everyone’s time with messages like “Taylor Swift looks soooo good in purple and a ponytail”. When that exclusive live cover happens, you’ll have two options: call your good friend who will appreciate hearing it over a cell phone the most or be the quickest to alert all your social network friends. No one wants to be the last to break news like “Dude, she just mixed in a little Mraz into one of her songs”.

Prepare a defense

You will undoubtedly shock some friends. When they ask you how much you paid and why you went to a Taylor Swift concert if it wasn’t a date, just respond: “Whatever. I wanted to diversify my musical taste. Plus, she’s really great live! I listened to the album and she’s DEFINITELY better live. Oh… She also plays guitar AND piano. That means she’s a true musician” Remind them you were the first in your group to listen to dub-step, loved the Black Eyed Peas when they were just 3 dudes, and were listening to Arcade Fire before they garnered critical acclaim and awards.

Ok Go and The Muppet Show Theme Song

Making its rounds of the internet is a new Muppets Show theme song.  Chicago rock band, OK Go, has teamed up with the Muppets to produce this awesome video.

It’s part of a new music album called “Muppets: The Green Album”, which features other current music artists reimagining classic Muppet music. Consider this a promotional item for the upcoming Muppets movie in November.


Feeling nostalgic? View the original The Muppet Show theme song below.

Demonization of Electric Daisy Carnival?

An interesting editorial message was posted earlier this morning on LA times from Pasquale Rotella, who is the founder and chief executive of the Los Angeles-based Insomniac concert production company. That alone could be bias but the post is fairly informative and paints a picture from the other side. An interesting read for all EDM (Electric Dance Music) fans.

Read more here:,0,5370559.story