M&T Best Songs of 2017


We've compiled a playlist of the 75 best songs from the year that was and highlighted our top 10 below. Make sure to subscribe Read More

M&T Best Albums of 2017


The moment you've all been waiting for...our favorite albums of 2017. We've compiled a list of the 40 best albums of the year and highlighted a Read More

January 2018 Spotify Playlist of the Month


Welcome to 2018. Hopefully we never hear the words 'bomb cyclone' ever again after this far-from-temperate January day here in NYC. To keep you Read More

Music News

Aunt Martha Set To Release Record For Free

Posted on by Eric in Music News, Nor'easter Festival 2011 | Leave a comment

Yes you did read that correctly, the New Hampshire band who is quickly becoming an M&T favorite will be releasing some tracks on September 6th free of charge on their website. The record Norway, ME was recorded in, yes you guessed it, Norway, Maine and was mainly (see what I did there?) the work of frontman Tim Noyes. On this record the band intends to take a step in a new direction, experimenting with vocal loops and a variety of effects that will contrast the tracks from the acoustic sound heard on previous releases.

Aunt Martha will be supporting Juliana Hatfield this weekend at Brighton Music Hall and will also be making an appearance at this year’s Nor’easter Festival in Burlington, Vermont along with M&T favorites River City Extension and many more great acts.

Check out the video for Norway, ME track “Starter” below as well as an inside look into the making of the album.

Spotify: What’s the Big Deal?

Posted on by Trevor in Music News | Leave a comment

Spotify is a form of software that as far as I have read will revolutionize the musical experience and forever change the way music is consumed. I guess I’m just not that impressed. I have downloaded the program and have been using it for the past week or so and am still waiting to have that moment of clarity where I become a devout Spotify supporter. That moment hasn’t come yet.

Am I missing something here? I do agree that there are some pretty awesome benefits. Typing in almost any artist and getting every single album, compilation or soundtrack they appear on instantly for free is pretty splendid. But at the same time, if you wanted to listen to a song before was it really that hard to find? So why should I install a whole new program that takes up space on my computer and just interferes with the way I organize my iPod? iTunes does a good enough job at that so why replace it?

I think the largest selling point of Spotify is the instant gratification of being able to play any song you want at any time. While this is awesome, this access is only limited to the realm of Spotify. You don’t own that file and cannot do with it what you please. I know that my point will most likely be null and void with anyone who reads blogs but hear me out. I have recently got back in the habit of burning CDs with this intention of sharing my musical tastes with those who still prefer and enjoy the CD player found in their car. Without burning CDs my father would not know who The Black Keys are and my mother wouldn’t know who My Morning Jacket is. While it is critical to be progressive in making music accessible and easily within reach, it is unfortunate that ownership must be sacrificed. I guess that’s the best way to fight piracy. Just make ALL of it free.*

*If you do not subscribe to Spotify’s monthly membership fee expect to hear ads, not be able to use Spotify (and therefore listen to music) unless you are connected online, be limited in the amount of music you are allowed to listen to and most importantly not be able to listen to all the tracks offered by Spotify.

 

 

 

The #StrangeMercy Phenomenon

Posted on by Caroline in Music News | Leave a comment

 

Celebrities and social media have a rocky relationship.  They always manage to get themselves into trouble, don’t they?  With the rise of Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere, it’s been fun for us commonfolk to observe just how dim-witted celebs can be with technology.  We’ve witnessed the controversial, like when Patrick Carney of The Black Keys received unrelenting verbal abuse from Lady Gaga’s fans in response to a fairly harmless jab at Mother Monster on his Twitter.  We’ll also see celebs use the media for damage control, i.e. Kanye West’s heavy-handed apology on his blog to Taylor Swift after the VMAs (hey, if the VMA incident inspired a song like “Runaway,” West probably should just keep doin’ what he’s doin’).  And we’re bound to see some true media trainwrecks every once in a while (Anthony Weiner, anyone?).

But I digress.  Singer St. Vincent’s recent use of social media has turned out to be well thought-out, provocative, and effective.  Over the past week or two, the hashtag #strangemercy has been popping up all over my Twitter feed.  Upon the urgings of music bloggers and friends to tweet #strangemercy in order to “reveal all,”  I could not deny my interest.  Reveal all?  Is this hashtag going to tell me who killed Kennedy?!  The curiosity that #strangemercy piqued in myself, and many, many others, is part of the brilliant Twitter campaign that Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) has begun.  A #strangemercy tweet unveils tracks from St. Vincent’s forthcoming album, which is to be titled Strange Mercy, of course.  The more #strangemercy tweets that flood in, the sooner Clark will release tracks from the new album.  The genius of Clark’s plan is its cryptic, veiled nature.  Many #strangemercy tweets were out of curiosity, rather than genuine interest in St. Vincent’s music, which is great for increasing listeners.  However, a great social media campaign isn’t anything without a little controversy.  Many seem to be enraged at St. Vincent for blowing up their feed, so much so that a few angry Tweeps created accounts solely to spam #strangemercy.

So far, the only track that has been unlocked on strangemercy.com is “Surgeon.”  And luckily for Miss Clark, all the buzz doesn’t disappoint.  “Surgeon” begins summer-day hazy, while slowly building intrigue via Asian accents and a frantic Prince-esque keyboard solo.  By the last minute of this once-smooth song, you’ll feel like you’re taking a ride on Willy Wonka’s trippy boat cruise.  While St. Vincent’s “Surgeon” may sound like its gone wrong, Clark makes it work, and all while assuring us that when her full album drops September 13th, it may have been worth the hype after all.

New Single From The Drums

Posted on by Eric in Music News | Leave a comment

After raging on the Bonnaroo stage this summer, The Drums began preparing for the release of their second LP Portamento. The lead single “Money” hit their website last week and I must say Jonathan Pierce’s voice sounds especially like Ian Curtis at the beginning of the track. Obviously Pierce lets his killer falsetto take over soon after, but it can’t hurt to hear glimpses of the late great Joy Division frontman. Check out the track below and grab the whole record when it comes out on September 12th.

Bruce Honors Big Man

Posted on by doucebox in Music News | Leave a comment

 

I was browsing through rollingstone.com today and I came across an article about Springsteen playing a surprise set in honor of Clarence Clemons on Sunday night.  The show occurred at Asbury Park’s Wonder Bar where Clarence’s son had performed earlier that night.  This was the first time Bruce had played since Clarence’s funeral, and the set consisted of all covers. I just thought that it was really cool of Bruce to play in front of such a small crowd to honor his friend. I know that thousands of people would love to share the memory of the Big Man together, and I’m sure that will happen, but playing in front of 400 people is so special and intimate.

I’ve been a Bruce fan my entire life and have had the privilege of seeing him and the E Street Band quite a few times. I was deeply saddened when I heard of the passing of Clarence Clemons, he was a tremendous musician and entertainer. He often stole the show with his magical sax playing and his incredible stage presence. It didn’t matter how many times I saw Bruce perform “Out in the Street,” I smiled every time I heard Big Man’s booming voice. I could also listen to Bruce list off nick-names for Clarence for hours. If you went to one Bruce show you could see on the stage how much respect they had for each other and how much fun they had together.

Rest in Peace

 

Newport Spotlight: The PS22 Chorus

Posted on by Caroline in Music News, Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

A motley crew of inner-city 5th graders, performing nationwide at venues like The Academy Awards and The White House, all while being conducted by an ex-clown with cornrows.  Shockingly enough, this is not the premise for a feel-good children’s movie with a half-baked script (ahem, August Rush).  This is the PS22 Chorus.  If you’re thinking it sounds too Disney Channel Original Movie to be true (or at the least, legitimately good music), think twice, because these kids know how to put on a show, and they’ll be doing it at this year’s Newport Folk Festival.

Now there’s a chance you may not have heard the whirlwind success story of this traveling band of neophytes, perhaps if you are an ascetic monk, or if you never replaced your desktop computer that crashed in 1999 after too many games of Snood.  The PS22 Chorus is, you guessed it, a public school chorus of fifth-graders out of Staten Island, and they have completely blown up in the media over the past few years.  The Chorus is directed by Gregg Breinberg, their thirty-something teacher who is much more often described as energetic and handsome than as “an ex-clown with cornrows.”  Breinberg, known to his students as Mr. B., began video-blogging about his chorus in 2006, and they have steadily become an internet phenomenon since that point.  Their in-class performances have acquired a staggering 35 million hits on Youtube, where they cover songs ranging from the classic (Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”), to the indie (“Round and Round” by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti).

There’s no question that this chorus is one-of-a-kind.  But why?  Each academic year, the chorus changes over, and a new group of rising fifth graders auditions.  That means that each year it’s up to Mr. B. to pull amazing musicality and energy out of his new chorus.  The fact that every year he not only matches but exceeds the innovation and popularity of the Chorus might cause one to wonder what’s in that Staten Island water.  Are these kids sprinkling magical protein powder in their Hi-C and Capri Sun or something?  Nope.  Mr. B. has just masterfully fostered an environment of creativity and self-expression in his chorus.  The kids are encouraged to move and dance when performing, and they are also welcomed to contribute to the song choice process.  Mr. B. has flipped the idea of a school chorus on its head, making it an open and fun place for children to learn music (Dept. of Education, take note!).

At the end of the day, The PS22 Chorus is one of the very few musical acts out there that do it solely for the music.  It is not their “career,” there is no monetary compensation for chorus members, and their fame as individuals is somewhat transitory, since the chorus members are replaced each school year.  They perform out of love of the music, and it shows.  So, if you’re still not sure about these crazy kids, watch the two videos below.  The first is a really beautiful reworking of Phoenix’s “Lisztomania.” Lots of fun, spirited performances from the kids in this one.  The next is the Chorus doing an endearing, layered performance of “Generator: First Floor” with Freelance Whales.  These two groups will be an almost-definite on-stage collabo at the Fort.  The PS22 Chorus will be performing at 11:30 AM on Saturday July 30th at the Newport Folk Festival, Harbor Stage. I’ll be the one front-row holding an economy-sized box of tissues.

Sansone Remixes Lidell’s Gypsy Blood

Posted on by sandmanmusic in Music News | Leave a comment

Jamie Lidell is one of my favorite modern soul vocalists. And as many of you have probably noticed, Wilco is also a favorite of us here at Maimed & Tamed, so learning that Pat Sansone had remixed “Gypsy Blood” off of Lidell’s most recent effort, Compass, was love at first sound.

“Gypsy Blood (Pat Sansone Remix)” is part 4 of a remix series Lidell has been releasing to his online followers over the last couple of months. The most noticeable changes Sansone has made to an already simple track include a subtle reworking of the drum pattern, making the bass line a more prominent element of the song, and placing Lidell’s vocals front and center, which are now the star of the track – never a bad thing when dealing with a vocalist the caliber of Mr. Lidell.

According to Lidell, Sansone (who was also involved with the making of Compass) “demanded” to be allowed to remix Gypsy Blood. I am glad he did.

You can preview the track below and then head over to http://www.jamielidell.com to watch a pretty entertaining interview with Jamie and Pat and download your own copy of “Gypsy Blood (Pat Sansone Remix).” Enjoy!

More than ‘The Voice’

Posted on by Caroline in M&T Favorites, Music News | Leave a comment


To the greater public, Cee-Lo Green is generally known for three things: His Little Teapot stature, his vocal coach stint on the breakout TV show The Voice, and his massive radio hit “F**k You.”  Being a borderline obsessive fan of the Talented Mr. Green, I’d like to take the liberty to respond to these matters.

Firstly, hold on to your hats Middle America, because Cee-Lo Green is officially not a midget.  Though short and stout, Cee-Lo checks in at 5 foot 6, making him about 8 inches too tall to qualify for the coveted title of Midget/Dwarf/Little Person.  Glad we cleared that up.

Secondly, Cee-Lo Green is way too good for The Voice.  And before you even ask, yes, I watched The Voice and I’m not embarrassed to say it (actually I totally am).  Cee-Lo was one of four vocal coaches on the show, joined by Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.  The gist of the show is that the four coaches handpick singers during audition rounds, and help them to create an image, perfect their voices, and perform well onstage.  It is clear why Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine joined the show (to revive their half-dead careers and attempt to regain some sort of relevance in pop culture).  On the other hand, Cee-Lo is at the peak of his career.  When all was said and done, Green was not just the most innovative coach on the show, but the most overqualified to be there in the first place.  While I’m sure that his 75,000$-per-episode check must have partially influenced his decision to join The Voice, Green’s creative coaching style and his bordering-on-creepy dedication tells me that he’s just the kind of artist who is genuinely committed to mentoring new talent.

Lastly, and most importantly, “F**k You” is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Cee-Lo’s awesomeness.  A true creative genius lies behind his Cheshire Cat grin and those stubby T-Rex arms.  He has consistently pushed the boundaries of his genre, just as he encourages his apprentices on The Voice to do.  After three solo albums and twenty years in the industry, Cee-Lo is finally being rewarded for his brilliance, via the success of “F**k You” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”  But I beg that the praise of Cee-Lo doesn’t stop with those hits.  2010’s The Lady Killer is jam-packed with gems, ranging from the soaring cover of Band of Horses’ “No One’s Gonna Love You,” and the perfectly-done Motown homage, “Old Fashioned.”  So indeed, Cee-Lo Green is a bit of a freak-show novelty act in today’s music scene (e.g. his psychedelic peacock costume at the Grammys), but behind all the feathers and F-bombs is one of the most unique musical visions of our generation.

MMJ UNSTAGED

Posted on by Neil in Music News | Leave a comment

 

So with today being the official date that Circuital drops, My Morning Jacket have teamed up with Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There) to bring you Unstaged, a live stream concert in the same vein of Arcade Fire’s webcasted show a few months ago. There really is no better way to showcase this album than to instantaneously showcase it in a concert setting. I haven’t completely bought in to this live stream concert thing just yet; it certainly doesn’t replace being there, but for what it’s worth it is a great tool for die hard fans and curious fans alike to get a taste of MMJ’s live excellence without booking a trip to Louisville. Also, I’ve been promised surprises. Only one way to find out what’s in store… be sure to tune in, live, beginning at 9 PM EST.

Record Store Day; Get On Our Level

Posted on by admin in Music News | Leave a comment

We posted on Record Store Day earlier and hopefully you heeded our advice and went out and supported your local record stores. I know that I personally stimulated the economy so much that the jobless rate here in Massachusetts dropped 5%. Heading over to Turn It Up! records in Northampton, MA I picked up a nice little collection of goodies before walking across the street to Newbury Comics to pick up one last treat.  So what did I end up walking away with you ask?

First, My Morning Jacket’s It Still Moves 2LP Picture Disc in clear sleeves. This album looks sooooo cool and I must say it is probably the most beautiful in my collection so far. Second, Fleet Foxes first music release since their self-titled release in 2008. This album features two tracks, on side one is their single Helplessness Blues with side two blasting their ethereal, flute trilled filled Grown Ocean. The third is a 10″ Adele with one side having her original hit Rolling In The Deep and the second side featuring Rolling In The Deep remixed by Jamie XX, it’s a tasty little track that pumps synth and electronic overtones. The final and my most exciting purchase would have to be Os Mutantes World Psychedelic Classics 1: Brazil. Ever heard of them? If not GET ON OUR LEVEL. Os Mutantes is a monumental Brazilian psychedelic rock band from the late 60’s that infused Bossa Nova, the Tropicália movement happening in Brazil at the time and Western influences such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the American composer John Cage and various funk artists. The resulting sound is delicious in its eccentricity.

Since you are most likely familiar with MMJ, Fleet Foxes and Adele, below you’ll find a track by Os Mutantes called Minha Menina. Enjoy!