• Why the Most Popular Music Is Not Always the Best

    Giu 1 2012, 19:54 di Milkshake8

    What's the Latest Development?

    When online music-selling platforms were first emerging, a team of researchers at Columbia University wanted to know how much influence Social Media would have on a song's Popularity. By placing the same nine songs across different platforms, they found an unpredictable variability in which songs became Popular. In other words, THE BEST SONGS did not necessarily become The Most Popular ones. "Because what people like depends on what they think other people like, what the market 'wants' at any point in time can depend very sensitively on its own history," said the researchers at the time of the study.

    What's the Big Idea?

    The notion that a song's quality does not determine its presence in the Music Market may offend Musicians and Critics alike but, thankfully, time helps The Best Music Rise To The Top. "Even on sites where the number of downloads determines song ordering, high-quality songs will gradually creep up the rankings, because, by definition, they net more downloads per sample than low-quality songs do." Coco Krumme, an author of a new paper on the subject, says that while Quality ultimately matters, it takes a long time for the music market to reach a point of equilibrium.

    Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

    Read it at MIT News
    By Orion Jones

  • Lamar Smith Can't Hear You

    Gen 9 2012, 22:37 di Milkshake8

    Here's ChadRocco's Lamar Smith anti-election poster, in honor of the congressman's advocacy for the net-killing Stop Online Piracy Act and his blithe dismissal of the bill's critics.

    Meet Lamar Smith, representative from Texas, and Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. As Chairman he can kill any bill he doesn't like by denying it a hearing while giving priority to the bills he wants to pass, Like SOPA. While addressing the massive outcry over SOPA he stated that:

    “It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There’s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.”

    Above is a list of people that have pointed at the language, including law professors and computer experts. You have a civil war among video game companies, and the successful boycott of a company. How do you ignore that? It's an election year. This November. Whatever happens, Texas, please kick this guy out of office.

    SOPA- I CAN'T HEAR YOU (Thanks, Melted Crayons!)
    By Cory Doctorow

  • Last.fm serenades users with new discovery tool

    Dic 15 2011, 4:01 di Milkshake8

    Last.fm is one of the Grandaddies of Online Music services, but it’s Surrounded by Upstarts and Rivals who keep launching new products and expanding.

    To combat this, the site has just gone public with a new service of its own, last.fm/discover, aimed at helping users Find Independent Artists and Fresh Music.

    Music discovery tools aren’t new, but Last.fm’s betting that its huge Trove of data — 40 Million or so users, going back to the site’s Inception nine years ago — can help uncover acts that might be unfamiliar to you. Specifically, it’s based around a Library of some 2 Million tracks mostly from Independent Artists, but also from some Labels that have licensed their music for this purpose.

    Unlike most other attempts at Music Discovery, which use the traditional itunes-style lists or Cover Art, Discover uses a cute HTML5 interface to guide people through.

    On loading the page, users are presented with a view of rolling hills stretching into the distance, each Labelled with a tag related to a genre or sub-genre of music. Up close are the broader Categories — “”, “”, “” and so on — while other less popular ones are visible in the Background: like a sort of 3D word cloud.

    As you click on tags and Dig Deeper, Genres split into sub-genres, which split into incredibly specific meta-genresfancy listening to some hiccup or kl4bb1n d0wn, anyone?

    It’s all based on user data, yours and the rest of the site’s self-defined tags, and each Tag represents a Radio Station: simply CLICK TO PLAY a based on the you’re currently browsing. You can then ask for more of the same, shuffle off to something different or drag and drop tracks into a Playlist for Sharing.

    This isn’t Revolutionary, but it is fun. That makes a Big Difference in a market that relies, to some degree, on Novelty. While I appreciate the utility of most music streaming services, the ones I tend to really enjoy are those that convey a sense of emotion or connection with music — services like The SixtyOne or Turntable.fm, for example. As last.fm’s head of product, Matthew Hawn, told me, too often Online Music “ends up looking like a spreadsheet”.

    That makes this an interesting move from Last.fm, which is really trying to gain back some ground and Get Back to its roots as a Tool for helping Music Lovers get more out of their Listening — not simply go Toe-To-Toe with Spotify, Pandora or the rest.

    Earlier this year I met up with Hawn, who outlined in an interview how the site wanted to Stay Relevant: looks like this is the first Real Fruit of that labor, but I’m told there are more launches in The Pipeline.
    By Bobbie Johnson

  • How to edit the Last.fm Linker-script

    Gen 27 2012, 23:07 di Alainn

    Note: this script (for now) only works in Firefox+Greasemonkey, I have no idea how to get this to work in any other browser. It also only searches for artists.

    The number of plugins to search for artists on other sites became a bit to much (they all wanted to use the artist name on the profile page) and I found an excellent replacement for it: Last.fm Linker. It adds buttons to those sites in the sidebar that (when clicked) searches on those sites for that artist (also works with the leftbar on top-script).

    Update: I had to delete the sources since Last.fm adds a semicolon in the sourcecode and it breaks the script :(
    Thankfully I was able to make a Google Docs-version of the instructions that works a lot better (includes info on how to add/improve your own sources):

  • My charts are SO unique that...

    Giu 1 2011, 18:35 di spineshank155

    Not one band i listen to is in the.. weekly Chicago, IL USA Charts. In Flames doesn't even show up in the United States charts. It's so laughable.
  • V/A "Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings" (actually) out now

    Nov 13 2010, 13:35 di Varkung

    The compilation "Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings" was actually set for release last Friday (October 29). Unfortunately, due to a combination of production and delivery problems, the CD edition won't be ready to ship before this week. Every pre-order that we already received will be shipped as soon as possible. However, the LP version is available now.

    Order "Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings" now!

    Read here some of the amazing press feedback to "Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings":

    "Tip of the month!" ZILLO
    "Special tip!" LEGACY
    "Compilation of the month!" 10/10 Punkte ORKUS
    10/10 points METALGLORY.DE
    10/10 points METAL-SOUND.NET
    10/10 points METAL.TM
    9,5/10 points NECROWEB.DE
    9,5/10 points THE-PIT.DE
    5,5/6 points MEDIENKONVERTER.DE
    5/6 points METALLIAN (FR)
    4/5 points INFERNO (FI)

    "This sampler is going to be a paradigm of artists' compilations of this kind for a long time!" ORKUS
    "A highly recommended compilation of timeless quality." ZILLO
    "Due to its atmospheric coherence and intensity, 'Whom The Moon ...' would even function as one band's album!" LEGACY
    "A perfect example for an artistically successful compilation!" ROCK TRIBUNE
    "A must-have release!" RITUAL
    "With 'Whom The Moon ...', Prophecy Productions are truly setting a high standard for conceptual compilations by releasing an anthology that is compelling from start to finish and, by virtue of its common theme, comes across as a total work of art!" THE-PIT.DE
    "All lovers of moody and acoustic music should purchase 'Whom The Moon ...' as soon as it is unleashed. Prophecy really took care of everything possible. Mandatory!" METAL-SOUND.NET
    "'Whom The Moon ...' displays a tremendous firework in honour of nature. Every single song captivates with dense atmosphere; you just feel how much passion for detail each artist put into their work. Buy it!" METAL.TM
    "Rarely does a compilation sound so consistent, and rarely has an attempt at a concept-bound anthology of music been so effective!" MEDIENKONVERTER.DE
    "Perfect, an absolute masterpiece! This is going to be a classic among compilations!!!" METALGLORY.DE
    "A romantic work of art that never loses its common thread. This isn't simply premium quality, this is essential!" TWILIGHT-MAGAZIN.DE
    "A piece of music that is the perfect soundtrack for autumn and winter. This is a complete success and comes highly recommended!" AMBOSS-MAG.DE

    For further information join www.last.fm/group/whom+the+moon+a+nightsong+sings
  • HELRUNAR: "Sól" release dates and cover artworks revealed

    Nov 13 2010, 13:28 di Varkung

    Helrunar's "Sól" will be out on December 31, 2010 in Germany and Austria, on January 3, 2011 in the rest of Europe, and on February 8, 2011 in North America. The album will be available in three versions:

    1. Sól I – Der Dorn im Nebel (Digipak CD)
    Part 1 of the concept album. Musically, "Der Dorn im Nebel" establishes the concept of "Sól" with classical and direct , while the lyrics outline the individual's struggle against and for himself.

    2. Sól II – Zweige der Erinnerung (Digipak CD)
    Part 2 of the concept album. With "Zweige der Erinnerung" the struggle of the individual reaches a new dimension: Supported by Pagan Black Metal that is more experimental and more complex in regard of atmosphere, the focus here lies on the individual's conflict with society.

    3. Sól (2CD artbook edition)
    The band's principal offering; it unites both CDs and contains a 50-page large-format book which expands the song lyrics into the dimensions of a classic drama and presents exclusive illustrations and a preface by Skald Draugir.
  • ANTIMATTER: Second sound sample of "Alternative Matter"

    Nov 13 2010, 13:28 di Varkung

    After last week's acoustic version of "Flowers", we are happy to present you the enhanced acoustic version of "In Stone" today as a second excerpt from Antimatter's anniversary compilation "Alternative Matter:" ANTIMATTER: In Stone (acoustic, enhanced)

    "Alternative Matter" can still be pre-ordered as Digipak 2CD and limited artbook edition (3 CDs, DVD, and 104-pages book) in Prophecy's online shop!

    For further information join www.last.fm/group/antimatter+-official-
  • Nevermore - The Obsidian Conspiracy (Review)

    Nov 11 2010, 22:35 di MinaseTaki

    I didn't want to believe it. I still don't want to believe it, but it's futile. Now matter how much I struggle to fool myself, reality refuses to change.

    Being and avid Nevermore fan who considers Dreaming Neon Black and This Godless Endeavor to be some of the greatest metal records of the past two decades, I was fired up about this album like you wouldn't believe. I was positive it would be the best metal album of the year. Almost like a milestone in modern metal, a turning point, a revolution of some sort...

    ...and I chose to ignore the signs that were already indicating that this would not be the masterpiece I was expecting. The two main forces of the band, Loomis and Dane, both released solo albums, which probably meant that their creative output was somehow being restricted by the style of the band. When your singer and guitarist decide to start sideprojects, you know your band is in trouble.

    Then there was Peter Wichers: the guitarist from Soilwork, an once awesome melodeath band that after only three albums decided to whore itself out to the american mainstream. That's the guy who was going to produce the album. This wasn't a good sign either.

    Finally, Loomis stating that he was giving Dane more "room for the vocals" was also unsettling. Obviously Warrel had enough room to use his vocals in whatever way he wanted on his solo record, why would he want to do it again?

    Fast forward to late April 2010, and the whole album leaks. So I decide to try it out. I give it a listen, and I'm not really impressed. Then again, I'm usually the kind of guy who will listen to an album and say "eh, it's alright" later to give it another try and go apeshit about how amazing it is, and how is it possible that he didn't really like it at first.

    So I gave it another spin. And another. And another. I've listened to it numerous times during the past six months, and here's my veredict.

    It blows goats.

    Now then, if you were to ask me exactly why it sucks, I'd tell you that there are a few factors at play. To be fair, it's not like the band has forgotten how to play their instruments. Loomis has been able to come up with some pretty decent riffs, such as in The Termination Proclamation, She Comes in Colors and the title track. The rythmic section is as solid as ever, and Warrel is still and awesome vocalist. What exactly is wrong, then?

    First of all, the songs are too streamlined. Now, Nevermore has never been the kind of band that refuses to utilise conventional song structures, except for a couple of tracks, like The Learning and This Godless Endeavor (and even those had recognisable verses and choruses). However, this is just ridiculous. It feels as if every song is just waiting for the chorus to shine. There are barely any mindblowing solos, memorable riffs or great vocal lines. The lyrics are really bad sometimes, and that's not something I'd like to say about a Nevermore song. Take a look at the lyrics from Moonrise:

    "Turn to the left, turn to the right
    If you judge me for my faults
    My soul searches for flight"

    They're naive and silly. It's hard to believe this is the same man who wrote the lyrics from songs like Sentient 6 and No More Will.

    There are some songs that feel like they were written as 6-7 minute epics, but were cut down for some reason. And the Maiden Spoke, The Blue Marble and the New Soul (where Warrel's lyrics are actually up to his usual level for once) and She Comes in Colors all showcase good ideas, but again, they're too streamlined and just when you think that things are getting interesting, the song is over and you're left thinking "...that's it?"

    And that's the feeling that I get from listening to this album. It has "tame" written all over it. Even the so-so self titled album had more furious riffs and passionate vocal performance.

    Some people may think that I get pleasure from bashing this album. I don't. Nothing would have made me happier than being able to say that this is a worthy follow-up to This Godless Endeavor, that Nevermore has done it again, that this album is excellent. However, I can't. I had really high expectations for this album, and they haven't been met.

    Sure enough, some Nevermore albums are better than others. DNB and TGE, for example, are much, much better than EoR or DHIADW. The problem is that we had waited five years for a new record. And now with the ongoing solo projects and the Sanctuary reunion, this might very well be the last Nevermore album we'll ever see.

    So yeah, this has been one of the biggest disappointments of my life, and that's pretty much all I have to say. On to write some more reviews, I guess. That was The Obsidian Conspiracy.
  • Setlist of Kiev a-ha performance at Internation Exhibition Centre, 04.11.2010

    Nov 11 2010, 7:47 di TotalMusicNet