Music Video Spotlight: I'm From Barcelona

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Calling I'm From Barcelona the biggest band in Sweden is most definitely an understatement. Boasting 29 band members, I'm From Barcelona implements a wide variety of musicians to their unique pop sound. Featuring everything from trumpets to banjos, accordions to kazoos, this Swedish band turns the term "big band" on its head. Earlier this year, I'm From Barcelona released their third full length album, Forever Today. Following the successful release of 2008's Who Killed Harry Houdini?, Forever Today certainly hasn't disappointed, only adding to the growing critical acclaim that has been heaped onto the band.

Today's Music Video Spotlight will highlight I'm From Bacelona's unique and quirky videos from the past and the present.

May
18
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: The Hundred Days

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As often as we can remember to (we dare not make promises of consistency), we'll be highlighting artists that have either been recommended to us, we've stumbled across organically, or however. And, since we figure music videos give you something to entertain the eyes in your head, this is a fun way to introduce new artists to new people...so here we go.

The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand, and The Killers don't have a lock on rock with electro undercurrents, but they're the main players at the moment and they have to compete with new acts forging their own sound everyday. The Hundred Days is one such group. Comprised of Their tracks wouldn't be out of place in a nightclub and yet there's a lot more to their sound than just a throbbing pulse to help two sweaty bodies coordinate their co-gyrations.Their video for "Sex U" follows in that vein and it's easy to get it hooked in your mind quickly. The single comes off their upcoming freshman album Really? which debuts later this year.

May
17
2011
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JPP Live: Dirty Beaches at Mercury Lounge

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Riding on the success of his album, Badlands, Taiwanese-Canadian musician Dirty Beaches brought together quite a respectably sizable crowd for his super short (but mighty sweet) show at the Mercury Lounge on the Thursday, May 12th in New York City. And though most of the audience seemed as though they had assembled there just to see Dirty Beaches, it became obvious that the openers, Brooklyn band Widowspeak, might just have an equally bright future of their own if they gain the attention that they deserve. The kind-of-psychedelic but mostly grunge-inspired band was, in all of their muted (but undeniably magnetic) stage presence, definitely something quite different to behol. This is especially true in regards to lead singer Molly Hamilton, whose nonchalant appearance and mellow persona made it seem as though she had just ambled off of the street and into the venue, almost uncaring of the fact that she has an undeniably durable, sensuous and evocative voice.

May
17
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: Saigon

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As often as we can remember to (we dare not make promises of consistency), we'll be highlighting artists that have either been recommended to us, we've stumbled across organically, or however. And, since we figure music videos give you something to entertain the eyes in your head, this is a fun way to introduce new artists to new people...so here we go.

I hope you didn't think we just covered indie rock and electro bands in this column, because everyone is fair game. As Jay-Z and Alicia Keys have been sitting pretty with "Empire State of Mind" becoming an anthem of sorts for city living, with clips of New York's ritzier and more signature locales, Saigon gives a look at the more downtrodden part of New York with his video "Clap" (ft. Faith Evans) which tours Brooklyn (and I'd swear Harlem - but I could be imagining it, as bodegas all start to look the same after awhile).

May
16
2011
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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey to Premiere "Race Riot Suite"

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A somewhat cliched quote, attributed to Mr. Edmund Burke, says that "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Even when some history seems as if it is better off forgotten, whether it be due to the fact that an event is either too painful to remember or too embarrassing to flaunt, it should never be overlooked lest it be repeated again. May 31st of this year will mark the 90th anniversary of one of the worst race riots in the history of the United States. On May 31st, 1921 the Tulsa race riot, spurred on by an overblown account of a young black male shoe shiner who supposedly assaulted a young white female elevator operator, resulted in a devastating riot that before the night was over would see 39 dead, over 800 injured and the majority of an affluent black neighborhood burnt to the ground.

May
13
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: The Japanese Popstars

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As often as we can remember to (we dare not make promises of consistency), we'll be highlighting artists that have either been recommended to us, we've stumbled across organically, or however. And, since we figure music videos give you something to entertain the eyes in your head, this is a fun way to introduce new artists to new people...so here we go.

Up this week is The Japanese Popstars comprised of three guys from Derry, Northern Ireland who create a wide range of sounds all falling under that, in this case vague, umbrella of the electronic genre. Together, Declan McLaughlin, Gary Curran, and Gareth Donoghue have won quite a few DJ awards around the world and in 2010 they signed on with Virgin/EMI Records. What's most interesting about The Japanese Popstars isn't the fact that their name is one of the more ironic misnomers in recent memory, but that each of the three music videos below are wildly different. Furthermore, so are the songs. At times, you won't even think you're listening to singles by the same group.

May
12
2011
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Three Vids and a Tape: Spotlight on Jared Evan

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In the last three years, New York native Jared Evan went from a complete unknown fusing seminal hip hop influences with the rock n’ roll he was raised on to a hot new up-and-comer in the music biz. At the age of nineteen, he won the Source magazine-curated Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival’s Spit 16 competition, and today at 21 he’s signed to Interscope with two mixtape albums under his belt, Radio in My Head and Back & Fourth. The latter is less a “mixtape” than a full-blown album, with appearances from artists like Roscoe Dash, Kevin Rudolf and Stat Quo and production duties being handled by stars like Pharrell Williams and Ill Factor as well as Evan himself. Although he has a “proper album” in the works for release later this year (tentatively titled The Fourth Chapter), why wait until then? You can check out three of his music videos and download the Back & Fourth mixtape after the break.

May
11
2011
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An Evening with the Quintessential James Taylor and his Band at Carnegie Hall

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In an interview to promote his Perspectives concerts as part of the 120th anniversary celebration of New York’s Carnegie Hall, James Taylor remarks how the current state of the music industry, impacted as it is by decreased album sales courtesy of illegal downloading, has seen a change in fortunes for the musicians who sound great in live performances. In the age of Autotune and extensive remastering, it’s easy to be a popular artist that cranks out a #1 record without having the live show stamina and charisma to earn their keep on the road. However, for artists who cut their teeth in an age when studios didn’t have the same arsenal of computer tricks, the live show was an art form, and not just a ritual to proclaim the coming of the next album. It’s been decades since James Taylor released a “hit”, but what he’s done instead, in fact what he’s been doing his entire career, is practicing the good ol’ fashioned art form of the live show. Thus, as you might imagine, when you put a practiced and traveled musician in one of the best music venues in the country, you’re going to get a fantastic show with great sound.

James Taylor outdoes the imagination.

May
11
2011
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ISIS To Release Five Posthumous Live Albums

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We reported one year ago that popular post-metal band ISIS parted ways and also gave tour dates for the band's final farewell tour. For those who weren't able to catch the band play on their final tour, or any tour for that matter, you will soon get a chance to add a number of live performances by the band to your digital music collection. Throughout the summer, ISIS will be banking on the fact that their enduring popularity is big enough to sell music a year after the band's break up. Beginning with an EP containing four songs taken from a 2003 performance at The Fillmore in San Francisco, the collection of live albums will span five different releases with the final installment arriving on July 26th of this year.

May
10
2011
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Music Video Spotlight: Eclectic Method

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As often as we can remember to (we dare not make promises of consistency), we'll be highlighting artists that have either been recommended to us, we've stumbled across organically, or however. And, since we figure music videos give you something to entertain the eyes in your head, this is a fun way to introduce new artists to new people...so here we go.

The issue of sampling has become a hot topic in recent years as hip hop and techno have yet to slow in their rise in popularity and yet their usage of clips from other songs ("sampling"), whether it's a few bars, a beat line, or a chorus continues unabated even in the face of copyright infringement suits. Some artists don't mind having their music sampled, and some even request it when the group responsible have proven themselves capable of great remixes. One such group is Eclectic Method and they've attracted the attention of Fatboy Slim, U2, and major film studios to make remixes of fan favorites, whether they be singles, music videos, or films.

Their work splices up a lot of great stuff, and we've included a few examples including their latest "Outta Sight" featuring Public Enemy's Chuck D.

May
10
2011
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