So I sometimes do these posts where I give up the song that’s rattling in my brain at the moment. You may have heard of these songs of the moment, maybe not. In either case, I’ve been wanting to put a little something extra on these posts s an added takeaway. I though, HEY!, I’ll put up the song. What a novel idea! Nobody’s thought of that! Sarcasticism (yea?, what of it?) aside, I ended up finding ways to do that alright for the blog, but not for those oh so precious Twitter moments that I seem to be having more of (than actual blog posts).
And as if on cue, it came to me like a sign from the Web 2.0 Deities (or like a song I wrote. You don’t know). Tinysong.com is the site. Let’s say you’re looking for “Sex God” by the Brand New Heavies…Ok, not your cup of tea. How about “Erotic City” by Prince….(*SIGH*) Fine, “3 is the magic number” from Schoolhouse Rock…Prude! Anyway, you have your song, you go to the site, Tinysong.com and put it in the box, and hit the little search icon next to it. If the song is there, it will list it underneath the box or give you what it thinks you meant. You can then click on the song and it will give you a web address AND will copy it to the clipboard for you. Handy, huh? You could also click on the name of the track under that and it will take you to Groovshark.com where it will start streaming. It goes there because that is where it’s searching from. Hence the “Powered by Grooveshark” link near the bottom of the page. Grooveshark is another site for music discovery, streaming, and playlist making. I’ve had a 90% success rate given the search terms i’ve used, so far, so they seem to have a good range of music that I can tell. But hey, give it a try for yourself.
I’ve been going silly with Tinysong links on Twitter because I like it so much. Sometimes, they don’t have the song I’m looking for and that sucks, but it’s not that often. You’ll be seeing more of this from me for a while. Until then, go try it.
So after much hemming and hawing, I’ve decided to kick around Muxtape. You see, i’ve come across some old tapes and playlists that i’ve done in times past (I guess you can call them mixtapes, but there was no real mixing involved). I wanted to find a place or two where I could put them up and link them to the blog for any number of reasons. Not saying that there might be any additional segments to the site, but you never know what may come. Anyway, I’ve found other such websites, but they either need the song to be already on the net or you need to have your music on a site or space you’re in control of. Well, I can’t always find songs on the net using sites like Seeqpod, Skreemr, Mixwit, or Grooveshark lite (though Grooveshark has been having a better average so far), and I don’t have a spot of that I can just store stuff in the cloud…yet. I’m looking into something, but that’s for later. Right about now….
Muxtape is a website wherein one can put up a quick, and I use the word quick loosely (you’ll see), playlist for the world to share in…Well at least your friends or whoever you send the link to or sees it. There are other site that probably do this better and will let you embed something on your own site, but this is a quick dirty job, with a fairly clean interface.
After you sign up, (its free), you can start uploading MP3 tracks or do what little customizing of your page that you are given. This means you can title, caption or change the password and color of the page. Simple. But let’s get to the meat of it. Muxtape is cool for it’s simplicity, but some annoyances at the same time. You’ve got a 12 song limit and you can only load MP3s for now. No problem there, but you can only upload them one at a time. This is not such a bad thing if it wasn’t for the fact that some times you get an error in the midst of uploading a song and have to start again. There is a 24MB limit per track but I don’t know too many MP3s that will exceed this. Once you get your songs in there, you can rearrange them, rename the track, or delete the track if you don’t think it fits, which you probably would have done before uploading songs. And once you delete a track, it’s gone unless you upload it again. By the way, the speed of the upload depends on the speed of your internet connection. Don’t think you’ll be trying this on Dial up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Rearranging songs is easy, just drag and drop the track where you want it. Doesn’t really get easier. Once done, sit back and enjoy the mix (or mux). Once you get to your playlist page, you can click on a track and listen away. You get the names of the track which, I believe, comes off of the ID3 tags of the MP3 unless you change the name after uploading. This reminds me of a pet peeve with MP3 tagging, but that’s for another post. Anyway, let’s get to controls. You can click a track start/stop a track and/or click on in another track. That’s about it. No rewind, no fast forward. No wire hangers. If you start a track and let it play on through, it’ll go to the next one automatically. You can see how much time the song is under the name and a counter to the right of the song. Also, if you were listening to someone elses Mux and like the song that’s playing, you can buy it by clicking the ‘buy this MP3’ link under the title.
If you know of someone else with a muxtape, you can favorite there mux at the top right. They can do likewise and you can see the ones you’ve favorited when you log in. One thing I’ve noticed is that in the terms of service, they say that once you you upload a track, they can use it. I have little problem with this, but I’ve not seen what they do with the track and/or whether it stays with them should you delete the track.
And speaking of deleting, This brings up the thing that peeves me out about the site. Suppose you are tired of the mux that you’ve made and want to another one. No problem, just delete it and start fresh with a new one….oookay, and what does one do if one wants to recall an old mux. Guess what, you’re SOL unless you delete and reload it! You can’t have more than one muxtape ever (Unless you have multiple logins). That’s bunk! I would really like to see the ability to keep at least 5 muxes around, but maybe the internet music license strikes again. Who knows.
Now you may be asking yourself, I wonder how can I find a particular artist or song in someone’s muxtape. Well, look no further than Muxtape Stumbler. I don’t think it has anything to do with the folks at muxtape, but it doesn’t matter. Muxtape Stumbler, as you would expect, is a music search engine using muxtape as the playground. this way, you can find songs and there by finding new muxtapes to discover, as opposed to the ones you see on the front page of the site. Now if there was an alternate way to get the mp3’s this would be a dangerous combination. it’s just as well there isn’t. you should really support the artists and but the songs anyway. What would also be cool is if they had support for Last.FM, which I hear is coming.(EDIT: as of the day after I originally posted this (probably the day of) Muxtape now has Last.FM integration. You first have to logon and link it to your Last.FM account. Then while you’re logged in to Muxtape, you can scrobble any songs you listen to.
(EDIT) Came across an app that let’s you have Muxtape up without going to the site in a browser. It’s called Muxtape on AIR. It’s made with Adobe’s AIR platform, so if you don’t already have it, you will have to download it and install it before installing MoA. This is cool if you don’t feel like having a browser open or don’t want to have Muxtape in a browser while surfing. haven’t checked this out yet, but I will.
Well, that’s about it except for one thing from the ‘You should have saw this coming’ file: If you care to check out MY muxtape, you can go here. What’s there now may not be new to a couple of you, but if it is, enjoy it. It was something I put together a few months ago, just for giggles. Plus, if you should happen to see this post sometime from now and the content has changed, hopefully, it’ll still be good. And while this defeats the purpose of sending you there, you can download the mix (if you liked it) from here:
Now before you ask me why I’m using Pando, 1) is because I like it, and 2)Mediafire wasn’t playing right and zshare…I just didn’t try. There you go.
Estelle – Shine: Why don’t you already have this? Portishead – Third: Still need to spin this one some more, but get it anyway. Maybe they’ll get their asses into the studio more. (If any member of Portishead happens to see this, I say this with love. And where the Hell is Keybored 299 03??)
Iron Man movie: Hadn’t seen it. Shut up! I usually wait until they get to DVD anyway.
Grand Theft Auto IV: It apparently is the shit. I’ve only cracked it open and started it before getting busy with other crap. Lemme lone. If I finish it before Soul Calibur IV, that’ll be saying something.
That’s all I can think of right now. If this wasn’t enough for you. Allow me to point you to a time passer. It’s called Typeracer. Sounds self explanatory? It is. You’re a car, you’re in a race with other cars. First one to type their way to the finish line with the given lines of text, wins. Mistakes have to be dealt with before moving on. I personally, suck, but their seems to be some jokers who can type 160 words a second (that’s insane!). There is a leaderboard, if you some choose to participate. You can also practice, which let’s you know how bad you really are. It’s pretty fun…if you like typinggames.
Song of the Moment “Music For Life” Ft. J Dilla, Nas, Common, Busta Rhymes Marsha Of Floetry
It’s true. I was there. I was in a box musically where I’ve never kept myself. I missed out on a lot of good music in the past year or two. I’m getting better. I have help. Pandora’s riding shotgun even though I hadn’t been on there much lately. Honeysoul and Neosoulcafe are starting to keep me in line and I can’t forget about my man T. Grundy who constantly reminds me what and where the real music stays. I’m set, but I hate the fact that I believed that Soul music was in hibernation.
I don’t listen to the radio much because it seems that the same songs get played every 15 minutes or so. I can’t deal with that. And as far as Rap is concerned, I don’t know, i’m biased because of the school I came from seem more true than these cats out now. That’s now fair even if it is true, so I plan to stick my ear back to the ground check the sound. Jazz for me is an ever growing love. I’ve been exposed to it when I was little and I was hooked ever since. In ’06, I checked out a couple things on the contemporary front, but I lapsed on the classic stuff. Anyway, I am making a conscious effort to rebuild the blocks that fell off my house. Wanna know what I’ve done so far? Let’s stick with Soul for the time being. It’s actually not much, but it’s a step.
You’ve seen my post on Sy Smith, right? I’m looking for true artists like this lady. There are a few and unfortunately I may have to trek into that ungodly den called Myspace (no offense to my known Myspace junkies. I still love you all.) to listen to them. Here are a few:
There are a few more, but you get the point. Like I said, I’m working out. And speaking for working it out, it’s is Valentine’s Day. Whether that means anything to you or not, it’s always a good day for some great music. On that, I’m going to have to ask you to point your browser to this link:
In a case of my man never letting me down, Mr.TGrundy hosts a very interesting post full of great music mixes as he says, “3 Musketeers” style between himself, Grantlove, and EJ Flavors (whom I’ve checked out in the past and will be hitting up his spot with more frequency). And even if you see this post after February 14th, still check the mixes. After all, you’re still going to Love and/or be in love after today, right? RIGHT?
Quick, what’s the name of song with that guy who did that thing with the thing….? Here wait, let me hum about 2 seconds of it. Come on, you know who is it!
If this happens to you on the regular (Don’t lie, it’s not just me), then I have a site for you to send these people and get in some kicks in the process. Midomi.com is a music search site that identifies songs by humming them. If you have a microphone hooked up to your computer, you can go to this site and you can sing (or hum) a few bars of that ditty you’ve trying to find the name of. It then goes out and tries to find the name of the song that you are looking for. It is said to be fairly accurate according to the article that I’ve linked to below. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s not too accurate with Rap songs. Now that I think about it, I haven’t tried it. Oh, if it finds what you are looking for and you want to buy it, there will be a link to where you can do that.
And now for the beautiful part. The site also let’s you record said rendition of songs and share in a Youtube / Myspace type fashion. So now you can bring that shower version of Mariah Carey to the masses. This is my favorite part because anyone can come to the site and listen to some good and some not so good versions of songs from Joanne and Joe Shmoe. HOTNESS! It’s the stuff that American Idol was made from (God help us). I’ve actually heard some people with some pretty good voices on the joint. And I can always go on a Youtube style hunt for the next William Hung. That’s where the kicks come in.
But hey, you don’t have to take my word for it, check out the article below from Webware.com and then go to Midomi.com and check it out. I’m sure I’ll hear a couple of you there shortly. 🙂
The holiday season is upon us and you know what that means….
Ok, yea, you’ll wish you hadn’t had that last mound of stuffing, but besides that it’s one week away from the busiest shopping day of the year. The time of year stores LOVE because they will be giving thanks to you for giving them all of your money for the sake of Christmas. You know, when you CLAIM to be Christmas shopping for the family when you are really just getting stuff for yourself (selfish ass). For those of you crazy enough to want to go out and shop during that day, I know you will want a leg up on all of the sales going on for Black Friday. Wait a minute, who came UP with that stupid name anyway and why is it BLACK Friday……..oh!!
Anyway, how will you get a heads up on the sales when the paper with those sales won’t come out until Thanksgiving (sometimes they start advertising the Sunday before)? You are in luck, there are a couple of site that will help you in this time of greed need.
Now Blackfriday.info covers just that day. It usually has all of the sales that are going to be had on Black Friday at least a week in advance. Which is why i’m telling you about it now. Usually when a store puts it out, they post it. Well, Except this year for Best Buy, who made them take theirs down this year. I don’t know how long they have been doing this, but I found out about them a couple of years ago.
Fat Wallet, I believe, works all year round. They have been around for a while and they pretty much sniff out all of the deals and coupons around the web from places and posts them up on their site. I haven’t used it much, but I have heard of it. It might ask you to sign up, but it appears that you don’t have to in order to take advantage of what is posted.
And there you go. consume until your hearts content. Oh, I want to give up a bonus site that also works all year. It’s called Woot.com. Their thing is: “One day one deal”. Every day they have a new or refurbished item, mostly of a tech related nature, on sale. Once the day is over, the deal is over. Sometimes (like right now when i’m writing this), the will have what is called a Woot-off! That is a day or two when they put something up on the site until it sells out and then put up another item. As I said, that goes on for a day of two and sometimes there is some good stuff that comes up. They even have a nice little funny podcast to go along with the item. The write ups on the items are amusing, too.
Anyway, go check that stuff out if you are so inclined. I just want my 10% commission of front. Leave it at the door on your way out. And no plug nickels either, ya cheapskates!
You know, I think what I originally wrote might have be nicer than what i’m posting now, but what can you do (see bottom). Anyway, a while ago, I mentioned a nice music blog that I said I would check out and write about. Actually, it was two sites, NetInfoWeb 2.0 “Tracking the sites, Tracking the Soul ” and RIBS: Rhythms in Black Satin, an MP3blog, ran by the MAN TGrundy. I can’t seem to find the post that I mentioned them in, but go with me on this. Maybe if I would get off of my ass, I would finish the post properly (and I will. it’s a great site). I will say right now that RIBS has some great audio mixes (and the playlists for them) and that you should go check them out. Anyway, i’ve been checking the site out and commenting on a couple posts here and there. I went there earlier tonight and saw that I got a nice post written about me. Well, it’s not really about me, but a post I did fairly recently. How about this, you go check his post and you’ll see what i’m talking about.
Now, I thought it was nice and and I quite possibly blushed when I saw it… well, you know, being brown and a man, it doesn’t happen often. Actually, this reminded me of something that i’ve had on the back burner for a while now. I may try to dig some stuff out and post them. Oh, and don’t get me wrong, i’ve been mentioned in other’s post before (not that i’m anybody), but this took it to another level for me. So once again, I will say thanks to tgrundy for the post and I can’t wait for the mix!
Performancing Tip(s): 1) Save early, save often. Pretend you are in Microsoft Word and fear a crash. It does happen. 2) Unless you are 200% confident in it’s delivery, don’t clear the post until after it’s published. Performancing is pretty good about letting you know if it wen through or not, but why risk it (unless you did #1). Firefox could possibly crash and not recover you post (don’t know if the new version works for running extensions). The last tip is mainly for Blogger users because I can’t tell you how many times i’ve posted something only and it not be there or worse. Oh wait, yes I can, it’s about 5.
Now, i’ve talked about Pandora enough in the past and I probably won’t stop talking about it any time soon. This post, outside of having some other good links, clicks through to this post on the Lifehacker site:
As the title says, there are some useful tips for handing Pandora. Some of them I have heard of and/or used before. An issue in one of these tips, I hadn’t encountered. The only one I didn’t see is the one on how to rewind a track and I know there was a way out there. I’m not so much concerned with saving tracks (which is mentioned in one or two or the tips), but it is handy, I guess. At any rate, if you use Pandora, check it out. If you are curious about it, check out my stations to the left of this post.
And now back to the previously scheduled rant or whatnot.
Well, I least I think it’s number 3. I can’t remember the last one I did that counted as one. I have one I’ve been sitting on for a couple of months, but haven’t put it up yet. Forget that, this one has priority.
So I was talking music with my dear friend Baby Jaguar last week (Hi Daneita) and she asked a question that I totally could not answer, until NOW. The question was…
Where the HELL is Maxwell!
And I thought to myself, yea, where the hell is he? He hadn’t had an album since 2001’s Now. Hell, Sade’s done something since then and you KNOW she can space out her albums like nobody else. And Maxwell was on a pretty good run when he came out. The voice, the timing, the blowed out hair, it was all there. However, I didn’t go snooping around for it right off the bat. It wasn’t until I was listening to a NeoSoul Cafe podcast last night at work when I heard “Each Hour Each Second Each Minute Each Day: Of My Life”(I love his song) from his second album, Embrya. This is what sent me to finding out what’s the deal is. So let’s back up a bit.
Maxwell hit the ground running with his 1996 debut album, “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite”. I knew the album was going to be something when I saw the video for “‘Til the Cops come Knockin'”. And I only saw it once on B.E.T. The whole album was a hit and it played out like a story, or a suite, if you will. Notable songs* were, “Ascension (don’t ever wonder)”, ‘Reunion’, “Sumthin’ Sumthin'” (of course), and my personal favorite, “Suitelady (The Proposal Jam)”. He followed this album a year later with an MTV unplugged album. Let me go ahead and say that I don’t usually count “live” albums as full albums because they usually they are usually concerts centered around whatever album was out at the time and not full of any real new material. This one was no exception, but it did spawn a single from it and it was popular. He remade Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work”, it took off, and he rode it until the wheels came off.
The video that started it all (for me)
1998 saw the release of the aforementioned album, “Embrya”. This also brought the release of some quite long and strange ass song titles. Nonetheless, the album was about as good as the first. Some would argue better. It worked the way it worked for me. Notable songs, “Everwanting: To Want You to Want”, the single “Luxury: Cococure”, “I’m You: You are Me and We are You”, “Submerge: Til We become the Sun”, and my personal favorites “Matrimony: Maybe You” and the aforementioned “Each Hour Each Second Each Minute Each Day: Of My Life” Which, by the way, is exactly what was being taken typing all of this out. Jeez! Pretentious, much? Anyway, good album, terribly long titles.
Now that my hands are tired, i’m breezing through the res of this. Maxwell rode Embrya until 2001 (not really, but go with it) when he released “Now” where he re-ran “This Woman’s Work” as the jump off. This album was as good as the other albums, in my opinion, which is good. I happen to like consistency in an artist. Call me crazy. I guess now I should take the time to say that through out all of the albums laid the consistent production of Stuart Matthewman. The name may not sound familliar but the his sound does. He is part of the group Sweetback who also doubled at one point as Sade’s backing band (okay, do you see the connection?). So if you know the sound, then you know what this album sounded like. In fact, I forgot that Sweetback’s album and Maxwell’s first album came out the same year, so they had the connection even then. Maxwell also sung the song “Softly Soflty”, which is a nice song, on their album (go pick it up. It’s sexy).
Back on track. Notable songs… really, f like the first two albums, you probably liked this one. But since you insist on having notable songs here they are: “Get to know ya”, “W/as my girl”, and the hit single, “Lifetime”. After that, he dropped off the face of the earth. Or so I thought.
I just so happened to do a Myspace check and sure enough, he’s there. Not only that but it appears that he is working on a new album that looks to be out around Valentine’s day? This is great news, personally. There is one thing that has me worried. If you go to his Myspace page, you will notice something quite wild. No, not the fact that there are 3 tracks presumably from the upcoming album. The brother done cut his blow out! Oh wait, I think he just has it dreaded up and pulled back. his hair was kind of signature for him, so I got worried. Actually, I still am. Is this going to be the Maxwell of yesterday with some new material, or is this a new Maxwell that feels the need to flow with the mediorcrity of today’s R & B? Who know? Well, I guess I would if I had checked out the tracks on Myspace and I will later on. Right now, I’m kinda glad to see the brother is coming back out. Maybe lifting up the underground (Neo)soul genre, perhaps? We’ll see. Hopefully, he’ll still do a little Sumthin’ Sumthin’ (yuck, yuck yuck).
A new “season” of the Neo Soul Cafe video show has started. First up: Van Hunt. If you don’t know who that is exactly (like me), go the the site and click on The Lounge. Then click Podcasts, then video, and finally click on the link for the show. Now was that so hard? Interview + good music videos = Winner! You can also get any of the other shows you may have missed. It is video so hopefully you have a fast connection. Oh, you can subscribe to the show (with your favorite podcatching client like Itunes or whatnot) and grab it that way.