Friday, May 13, 2011

Singled Out - John Legend covers Adele's Rolling in The Deep

So arguably the year's biggest single so far has been Adele's Rolling in The Deep. The girl can sing, though I was so underwhelmed by her first album, it's taken me sometime to warm up to her sophomore effort, which is much brighter.

But at the Childish Gambino show last week, they closed out with John Legend's cover of the song. Bare, no music, just his incredible voice with a gospel choir backing him up. It's powerful.

You can download the song from the link for free.

John Legend - Rolling in the Deep (Adele Cover) by johnlegend

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Things We Love - Amazon Cloud Drive and Player (and Google too at some point)

I started writing this post in fits and starts. I just sort of left it in the drafts pile, would come back and massage it a bit. I was going to pull the trigger last week, but couldn't find a decent graphic.

And now Google has gone and stolen my thunder with its Music by Google site. And it's storage is 20 times more than Amazon's right now for free (but unsure how free for long).

Which is awesome. More companies saying "fuck off" to major music labels and refusing to negotiate with terrorists is a good thing. Maybe this will part the waters for other companies like Spotify (which I loathe).

I still advocate Amazon over iTunes as the place to best spend your musical bucks. And since you can't buy from Google right now, Amazon wins that battle too. The Cloud Drive/Player and Google Music are changing the game radically and positioning Amazon and Google a thousand steps ahead of iTunes in digital retailer industry. The labels are hoping that Apple's cloud offering will be super fancy awesome and make Google and Amazon's look like crap. I doubt it. The've been on the wrong side of every big industry decision since Napster, and have paid the price in declining sales ever since.

But why is this so game changing?

First, Amazon and Google didn't bargain, negotiate or even notify the the major labels about their moves. Why should they? The arcane notion that labels must issue you a license on how and where you can listen to your music is dumb and a holdover from before the advent of high speed connections and cloud storage. If you buy it, you should be able to listen to it how you please, whether you store it in the cloud or on your phone or on your computer.

Second, Amazon (and at some point Google too) is making purchasing music easier than iTunes. Doesn't matter where you are (work, friend's house, laptop downstairs away from your desktop), you can buy an album, and then download it later to where you want it. They both make it easy to play on your Android device (earlier this week CloudPlayer loaded some muddled iOS play functionality).

Finally, it's easy. It doesn't take a degree in computer science to make it work. Your music is accessible whenever you want it. Just click a button to play, listen or download.

Amazon has 1,500 albums on sale for $5 each this month. Start your cloud storage up today.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What We're Listening To - Amor de Dias' Street of the Love of Days

If you haven't been paying attention, Merge Records has been churning out an incredible string of must have albums in 2011. Telekinesis, Apex Manor, Mountain Goats, Times New Viking, Wye Oak, and Destroyer have added more trophies to a case already struggling under the weight of other great albums.

Adding to that list is the debut from Amor de Dias, the new duo featuring Alasdair MacLean of The Clientle and Lupe Núñez-Fernández of Pipas. Street of the Love of Days is a fantastic album, echoing the gentle Brazilian samba and bossa nova of Getz/Gilberto/Jobim. It is one of the most gorgeous releases I have heard all year.

Recorded over three years with the help of friends and when they had time from their various tours and main bands, Núñez-Fernández and MacLean are two peas in a pod complenting each other perfectly. Lupe occassionally sings in Spanish, to delightful effect on songs like Wandering and Late Mornings. Alasadair takes lead some, cooing on House on Flint to come dance, an altogether pleasing comeon. But the song and album sounds like a dream you can barely catch, so lounging lazily seems like a better activity.

If you're looking for something to help you fill upcoming weekend morning at home or those afternoons that meander into dusk, Amor de Dias' Street of the Love of Days will fit that bill nicely.

Street of the Love of Days will be available 17 May 2011.

Buy Amor de Dias' Street of the Love of Days from Merge Records