Music has definitely been a heavy topic on this trip. First of all it was the reason we came over to the UK, also it’s how we got to meet so many great people and bands, we also lived and breathed music – whether it was setting up or hanging out in the bus – music was playing or being talked about. A huge issue is the whole illegally downloading part of the music industry now. It’s a virus for music and has torn down the industry to bare bones.
It’s really a vicious cycle once you think about it…if creatives in general (i.e. authors, filmmakers, musicians, artists, etc…) aren’t able to provide for themselves and their families then they aren’t able to do what they love anymore. And that’s the harsh reality of art. It sucks.
A lot of people have set out to show the truth behind the topic, but I really haven’t been super stoked on them until I stumbled on Unsound. A true account of how downloading art illegally hurts the artist. Following 5 artists cellist Zoe Keating, indie rock icon David Lowery from the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, Jurassic 5, Tycho, and singer songwriter Rhett Miller.
“The internet revolution has brought about so many positive changes in our lives, but there is another side to this story that has not only impacted the livelihoods of musicians, but creators of all kinds. Although the music business was hit first in the digital economy, many other industries are not far behind. As the world becomes digital, the work of creators is now at risk. Increasingly all music, books, movies, and media has either been devalued, or is widely available for free illegally online. Right now, the people that create the things that we all love and depend on are struggling more than ever. In just over a decade, creators have watched their work become increasingly devalued, and their ability to survive from their work is in great danger.”
I got a little giddy when Spotify emailed me telling me M83 had a new album out the other day. Something I didn’t expect. When I finally got around to listening to it – I was definitely not expecting what it was. Very short instrumental tracks – most around the one minute range. My first thought was – it’s another soundtrack. And that’s exactly what it is.
After doing a little snooping around – I found out that Anthony Gonzalez’ (M83) brother is into films and made this movie called You And The Night, a French film apparently surrounded around an orgy. Definitely an interesting pick for a subject of a movie, but the soundtrack is definitely worth sharing about.
I’ve written about LaVoy before – and I’m super proud whenever I get to write about them. They’ve been super busy the last few months with recording new songs with prestigious producer, Tony Hoffer (M83, Silversun Pickups, Fitz & The Tantrums, etc…) in LA and now they have teamed up with Alaskan based production company Sons Of Winter to make a music video for one of their new songs “Fool Proof Plan.”
I love the simplicity of the video. It shows off a great deal of beautiful Alaskan scenery – and it’s not a performance video and doesn’t have the whole band (which is dissapointing – the other guys look great on camera) but it let’s you focus on the words and the visual aspect of the shots more.
Check out their brand new songs that they recorded in LA below…
There’s been a lack of postings on here lately – apparently it’s pretty hard to find good wifi around the UK. For some of you who don’t know – I play in a band called Thera and right now we’re on tour in the UK for a couple of weeks touring alongside our good friends in 36 Crazyfists and Armed For Apocalypse.
We brought along my brother, Rick, who has been documenting the trip and hopefully afterwards we’ll be making a documentary about our time over here – so we don’t want to give too much away, but for now we have just a little web video that he put together showcasing what we’ve done so far.
Hopefully it gives you a little glimpse into what we’ve been doing over here. Right now we’re in Leeds and have played 13 shows in 15 days and have 3 more left. Then afterwards I’ll be in Europe traveling around with Rick and Mason, the guitar player in the band. You can follow more of our travels on our FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM. We’ve been playing some really cool places – including a boat called Thekla in Bristol.
Thanks for sticking with me and hopefully I’ll be able to find some good wifi like tonight and be able to blog more.
Amazing sci-fi animated trailer for Le Castle Vania‘s new album”Prophication.” I love how the futuristic landscape of the video goes so well with the cinematic dance inspired song. Orchid Animation aka Evan Viera has done some wonderful work including the widely popular Caldera animated short, he also has an impressive music portfolio.
I haven’t heard much about CLAIRE until a few days ago. It popped up on my Facebook feed first – so I ignored it – like I do with most advertisements, but for some reason – the second time I saw the advertisement for CLAIRE, a german 5 piece, I clicked it. This ad didn’t come with a virus or constant sales pitching, but an amazing EP that was recently released by the band. “Broken Promise Land” is an amazing debut from the band – and is kind of right along with what today’s music is gravitating to. Kind of dancey, but not crazy dubstep, mostly just neon/synth pop beats below a beautiful voice from singer Josie-Claire Bürkle. It’s a phenomenal 4 song EP. We can expect to see a bunch more from these guys.
Tycho just released a new song from his album that’s not out til next year. This time he sticks with having real instruments be the driving force for these songs instead of electronic synths, but it still has that same new Tycho smell.
Last weekend I was asked to participate in a 48 hour film competition as the composer for a 5 minute film. I’ve never been in a timed film competition – let alone – score a short film in under 48 hours, but I’ve been wanting to do more creative projects lately before I head over to the UK and it seemed like a challenge, so I accepted.
For those of you who don’t know what the guidelines of a 48 hour film competition are – at the beginning of the weekend the crews are given 3 prompts. For this years competition – it was you had to add someone saying the words “I was born ready” – you had to show a watch – and you had to have a flashback sequence – and now here’s the kicker – you have to film, edit, score, etc… all in 48 hours.
So with knowing all of the prompts – the directors, Nick and Howdy aka Door In The Floor Pictures, had an interesting idea to show off a heist of some sort. Immediately I got excited about the idea, because I was thinking of all the music I had been listening to at that time – i.e. Makeup & Vanity Set, Trent Reznor, M83. So I talked with Howdy about what kind of feel he wanted and possibly the direction of the tracks. So with knowing that I ended up working on three tracks til 7 in the morning – it was late – but thats the price you pay to make a 5 minute short film in under 48 hours.
The whole day on Saturday – I spent fleshing out the three tracks and mixing them to get the sound I wanted.
And also – for all the electronic music producers – the best plugin that helped me out with a couple of these tracks was Dada Life’s Sausage Fattener. Gave my bass tracks a huge grit and fatness that I was looking for. Another good thing about it was that it was only $29.
Anyways – I ended up working on another track on Saturday night. So in all I wrote 4 tracks for a 5 minute short film. One of them ended up not making it in, but I think it was for the best. It was a good one, but the songs that the directors chose to feature ended up fitting perfectly.
I put all of the tracks on bandcamp – even the one that didn’t make it in the final film – and if you want – you can download all of them for free.
And now here’s the film…
Would love to hear what you guys think about the music or the film in general. Facebook me and let me know.
I’ve been working on a video and a new song for a while, and finally it’s all complete to share with all of you.
This summer I got to take two weeks off from work and spent them traveling around Alaska and filming some of my advenutres. I went to Seward and hiked a couple trails, saw spawning Salmon, climbed a mountain, played frisbee golf, ate blueberries, and the list goes on. It was a perfect couple of weeks with the gorgeous summer we had. I took all this footage with the help of my iPhone 4S and an app called Dollycam that helped to stabilize the shaky parts. Once I had all of the footage I wanted to create a song that would be the perfect summer time companion for the video.
My brother Rick Cornfield helped along the way by adding some color correction and all those pretty flares you see.
It’s taken a while, but it’s all complete and I’m pretty excited how it all turned out. If you’d like to listen to more of my music…take a look at my Soundcloud and let me know what you think.
I haven’t been able to play GTA5 yet. I’ve been wanting to. But even though I haven’t gotten a chance to control my little destroying, hospital addicted, hooker killer on the game – I’ve been able to listen to Flying Lotus‘ hour long radio station that was made specifically for the fifth installment of the game.
If you’ve played the games before – you know that there are a lot of original radio stations just made for the game while you’re driving around. It’s just another added bonus that makes GTA like real life.
Flying Lotus has made a great radio station and I’m stoked that he was asked to do it. The hour long program features some new FlyLo, some new Tyler The Creator, Captain Murphy, and also Clams Casino. Listen to the whole hour and two minutes below.
Click to see the entire tracklist after the jump…
Not sure what to think of this 22 minute special from Arcade Fire directed by Roman Coppola – riddled with pretty big celebrity appearances. I’m digging the music, but there is some weird going on in this video. It debuted after SNL last Saturday night – NBC was kind enough to give them 30 whole minutes to have a musical special and where they could release three new songs – “Here Comes The Night Time” “We Exist” and “Normal Person.”
I’m digging the music. Different style for them, but none-the-less, still worth listening to. But what’s with the costumes? When did I miss Arcade Fire’s jump into the same stage antics as Empire Of The Sun or Coldplay? Kinda weird.
You be the judge.
In light of the colder days here in Alaska – I have taken to my couch and am protesting getting up from under the covers. It’s too cold out there. I like the warmth of my apartment and some nice tunes to listen to – also a good cup of coffee doesn’t hurt to add to that combination either.
But wherever you live – whether it’s the same temperature outside that it has been for the last several months or years – you’ll enjoy this playlist to spice things up in the morning. On another note – you need to check out Nosaj Thing’s album “Home” – it’s been on repeat for me the last week or so.
If you missed the last couple MMM’s – click HERE.
I shared about FMLYBND’s single “Far Away” over a month ago – and today they finally released a 7 song EP – 3 of which you might have heard before. They added an acoustic track of their song “Electricity” at the end of the EP too – to wrap things up in a smooth way.
Let’s just say – I’m stoked this is finally out. So many good tracks that have a little dance influence but with heavy melodies and great layered textures especially in “Gold.” Listen to it the album via Spotify below – or buy it on iTunes.
Some of you might know that I’m in a band up here in Alaska called Thera. I play the bass, once in a while play the guitar, and help out in the synth department. It’s probably one reason why I’m still a little sane to make music on a larger scale then just on my computer in my room by myself.
A little while ago – we announced that we’re heading to the UK for a 2 week tour in November with Alaskan heroes 36 Crazy Fists. Which is a huge opportunity that we never expected to get to do. There’s a couple reasons why I’m stoked about this tour. First – it’s in the UK. Second – it’s with 36. Third – it’s in the UK. I’ve never been overseas (never been out of North America for that matter) and have always wanted to, but here’s my chance to see the world while playing music.
We’ve toured the US before, and we were thankful for the opportunity to do that, but it was tough being a no name band traveling through the states and trying to get people to come to our shows. So – the US was a little tough – let’s try the UK!
The only downside to the tour is we are having to pay for everything ourselves. And even though we thought about doing a Kickstarter again – we didn’t want to keep bogging down your Facebook feeds with a post everyday that says “Help us go on tour by giving us money!!” Even though Kickstarter is a huge help to get projects goin – we wanted to do this on our own and work really hard for it. This will be the biggest thing we’ve ever done…and the most expensive.
So we came up with one idea…it’s not the biggest idea we’ve had, but hopefully it helps. I designed a special t-shirt just for the people that want to help us go on tour to the UK. It’s my first dive into the t-shirt designing business and am really excited how it turned out.
If you’d like one for yourself – you can send $30 our way via PayPal with the email address – email@example.com – we still have a bunch of shirts left including XS, S, M, L & XL. If you would like one – we only have a limited supply – around 100 – and they’re selling pretty fast, but make sure you add your size and address with the purchase. If we sell out of all of them – we might get more – so don’t be discouraged if we sell out of the first batch.
If you don’t want one – totally cool – I’m curious if you like the design I made. Like I said – it’s my first t-shirt design – and I would love to get feedback from the people out there. You can leave a comment on here or on Facebook. Thanks for reading!
Another week has come and gone…and that means another edition of Monday Morning Music. If you missed last weeks click HERE…and HERE for the week before. I’m finding it really fun to collect songs for these posts – discovering new bands and songs that I’ve never heard of before. I hope you’re enjoying the music as much as I am finding them.
So let’s dive into your morning. Hopefully it’s a relaxing and enjoyable one.
So it’s Monday…and I’m feeling good about this one. Changed the format from Soundcloud to Spotify, because Soundcloud didn’t have all the songs I wanted. If you’re just joining us…Monday Morning Music is my attempt to make your Monday morning’s a little more bearable by having some chill music to wake you up and get you going. Here’s last weeks playlist.
I kept the vocals away on this one, all you’re gonna get is a little “Woo’s” from Jonsi, but other then that it’s pure instrumental. I liked it like that, keeping it simple, just sticking with the music.
Well…I’m impressed with Mansions On The Moon. Not only did they make a phenomenal EP that has been playing in my headphones for quite a while now, but they single handedly have caught the attention of music stars Pharrell Williams, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, and Diplo. If four white boys who play chillwave electronic music can roll with rap artists…you know you’ve got something good on your hands. The following song “Leaves Fall” is the first one I heard off their EP “Lightyears” which was executive produced by Williams. Super chill – and a great vibe to it. Love the vocals.
I know I’ve been saying this a lot lately…but expect something good to come from these guys…not only do they have some powerful backers, but they got the music to prove it.
If you’ve been looking for something to play on that long drive back from a long weekend of camping – look no further. Tessa Rose Jackson has you covered. Her song “Lost And Found” might be the catchiest damn thing I’ve heard in a long time.
Her voice is so sweet and it makes me just want an album of her singing lullabies acapella all with my name in them. When the chorus starts – “Lost and found / Lost and found, and found / Never meant to be / Still we’ll stick around / For now, for now” along with the beginning – there both such simple melodies, but yet it’s been stuck in my head for a while now. It’s that good. Her album “(Songs From) The Sandbox” reminds me a little bit of Feist – so this is for you Feist fans, you’ll love it. I promise. Or your money back.
I’ve always been a fan of mixes that set a mood – that tell a story in music. My favorite’s I’ve done are probably A Midsummer’s DayDream and the “Music To _____ To” series. If you’ve followed ToC for a while…you probably know what I’m talking about. Today while perusing my Feedly – I stumbled on an amazing article from DJ TechTools that shares the basics of telling a story through a DJ Mix.
It’s a concept that I’ve been doing for a while, but never really thought too deeply about. I’ve always thought about telling stories with words or film, but why not share it with music? A great quote from Pamela Rutledge in the article - “Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life…Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities, and define and teach social values.”
It goes along with what I’ve been reading in Robert McKee’s book “Story” (which I highly recommend) – “The archetypal story unearths a universally human experience, then wraps itself inside a unique, culture-specific expression.” The same can go for producing music too. You grab the attention of the listener in the beginning with a hook, making them want to hear more, and instead of just doing the mundane verse / chorus / verse / chorus – you take them on a journey into a new listening experience.
You can read the whole “Storytelling In A DJ Mix” here – which has a lot of good examples of great music storytelling including a set from Flying Lotus.
Remember when I used to do Music Mondays? Well…this is gonna be similar, and hopefully I can stay on track with this one. But I was thinking the other day – how nice it would be to have some good morning music for a Monday to put us in the mood for the beginning of the work week.
I usually like to listen to chill music while I wake up and sip coffee while roaming the interweb before heading out. It wakes me up in a gentle way, and also I’ve noticed it puts me in a good mood. So – hopefully every Monday morning – I can start to compile some of my favorite morning tracks for you to take advantage of.
I had a couple more I wanted to share, but I could not find them via Soundcloud, so these seven will have to do for now.
If you like ToC on Facebook…then you might have seen the song “Electricity” I posted a while ago from one of my new favorites “FMLYBND” (pronounced Family Band … they took out the vowels – because vowels aren’t in anymore and they just don’t care).
They released a new song a while ago that apparently flew under my radar, and I am just now getting to it. It’s called “Far Away” and it’s just as killer as the first track. Literally…it’s killer. I don’t say that very often. So yea…there ya go. History in the making.
I’m gonna make a prediction…I have a feeling FMLYBND will be the next big thing soon. Once the word gets out and these guys have more then just 2 songs…they’ll be everywhere. Well…even if they don’t record any more songs…they’ll still be big. Their live shows will be super quick…but totes worth it yo.
I need to bring ‘em up to Alaska. I feel like they would do really well up here.
Two years ago today I started my first Spotify playlist – “TheseOldColors Radio.” I remember exactly where I was too. Fresh off a 2 month tour in 2011, hanging out with the family in upstate New York – and I got just a little too excited over this new music discovery tool. At first I put everything in the playlist…dance, hip hop, rock, whatever…then I decided to branch off and make more playlists dedicated to a genre. TheseOldColors Radio is still my favorite though…kind of being an eclectic group of songs that fits so well together, and putting it on shuffle is the best. It’s crazy to think that I’ve added 754 tracks and counting to the playlist – and now with over 20+ other playlists – it’s a lot of music. Spotify has changed the way I listen / find / and share music.
If you don’t have Spotify – and you don’t hate music – go ahead and download it…because…heck, it’s free. Then once you have it…feel free to share with me your favorite songs of 2013 or whatever.
Here’s a quick question before you head on to do that though…if there was an actual ToC radio show – would you listen to it? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.
Jon Hopkins is a huge inspiration to me. Ever since I heard his 2009 album “Insides” and especially the track “Light Through The Veins” I was hooked on his music. I blogged about his soundtrack to the movie “Monsters” a while back, too. He released a new album in June titled “Immunity” which features a more experimental and underground sound for him. Needless to say…I’ve listened to it a bunch.
There is a song on that album called “Breathe This Air,” that has a certain dark groove to it. Recently…Hopkins joined up with Purity Ring‘s singer Megan James to add some vocals on the track, and honestly…I like this version a whole heck-of-a-lot better. The voice really adds a glistening wave of melody on top of the gritty electro beats. It’s like a little hope shining through the darkness. Beautiful.
Haerts is about to be a band that you will hear a lot of. Hailing from the big Brooklyn, NY, the 5 piece band are making big waves in the indie music world and don’t even have that much in their discopgraphy yet. I like how Ben Taylor from Swide described their sound -”These guys are on to something big, crafting a sound that is not only very now, but also nods to acts of decades past, taking us on a nostalgic journey that looks firmly into the future.” Really good way to define the music their producing. They’re taking elements from past, present, and future…and turning up on top with a huge, epic, heavy sound.
Get to know Haerts better with a video made by Yours Truly.
Holy balls…just stumbled on the new genius of music, Lockah. Why am I just finding about him? I have no idea, but it’s brilliant. The track below “Young Neon Countach” is just straight money. Literally I just walked into a bank and pulled out a couple grand and now I’m stuffing it into my ears. It’s not super dancey, but it get’s the people moving. His choice of synths to layer on this track go so well together – especially the bass when it kicks in. Song structure is also fantastic for an electronic song…it doesn’t go too long on some parts and get annoying like most music out there now…it lingers just as long as you need it to.
I could go on for a while about this track. Can you tell I’m pumped about this music right now? I love feeling like this.
I know most of you aren’t from Alaska and probably have never been here – and you probably won’t care about this – but if you’re one of the special few who have ever wondered what it’s like to go to a concert in the big AK, look no further. Matt Collins of the Anchorage Press has released 10 interesting behaviors you might see at a concert or festival in Alaska.
He hit the nail right on the head for some of them…like the ‘Unwavering Appreciation’ – spot on. I also like how he started out with ‘Shirtless fat dudes in the moshpit’ – because let’s all be honest – we know that guy. Or at least we know he’s going to be around when we need him the most.
CHVRCHES has become on of the fastest growing groups to gain a massive following. There is even a subreddit in their honor, which in my mind, boosts them to front page status. Honestly…they don’t even have much out there, but what is out is top notch (check out their new single “The Mother We Share”). They’re debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, is set to release September 23 of this year.
Even though the couple songs that are out are worthy enough of their own post…I really am loving this remix of their song “Recover” by Cid Rim. It’s gentle on your ears – yet grows into this beautiful cacophony of synths towards the end giving it a more underground feel. Listen to it, and let me know what you think.
I love projects that fuse more then one art form. I always come back to the band, MAE, an acronym for multi-sensory aesthetic experience, meaning to please more then one sense and dealing with the human’s response to beauty. I’ve always loved the thought of that. It’s so easy to please one at a time, but adding on top of it, gets more complex and in-depth.
That’s probably why I love this project ‘Symphonie Cinétique – The poetry of motion’ by media artist Joachim Sauter and composer Ólafur Arnalds where they try to ‘fathom the synergy between kinetic movement and sound, at the MADE Berlin.’ Doubt we’ll ever be able to hear Ólafur‘s compositions, he said this about the project, “The music is created for this space and this moment. It’s beautiful and very precious in it’s way, it will disappear and may never happen again.” Wish I could fly over to Berlin and discover this for myself.