Category Archives: music industry

Blitzen Trapper “American Goldwing” [NEW MUSIC]

I want a porch.  I want a friggin’ porch so bad.  If I had my way I would move out of my Hollywood apartment away from my homeless neighbors who live on the stoop and the drunk assholes ready to kill someone over a double double from In and Out real fast.  I want a porch.  I want to sit on it and I want to listen to music and relax and drink a lot of beer without a care in the world.  I would have massive speakers and a rocking chair.  That to me at the moment is “the life”.  With Blitzen Trapper as my band of choice and their newest record “American Goldwing” as the soundtrack to my laid back afternoon I think I’m on to something here.

Might Find It Cheap – Blitzen Trapper

Indie rock, folk rock, southern rock, call it what you will Blitzen Trapper is a rock band.  They call Portland, Oregon home and have been touring heavily for the last few years.  They just released “American Goldwing.”  It’s one part rock and roll guitar laden, drum heavy grooves and one part distinct cool vocals with a southern twist.  Blitzen Trapper have created a sound all their own and I’m sold 100% on what they are selling.  Next track is called “Fletcher” which is one of my favortie tracks on the record.

Fletcher – Blitzen Trapper

After releasing Furr in 2008 Blitzen Trapper fell onto my radar.  After seeing them at Coachella Music and Arts Fest later that year (or in 09, I can’t remember) I couldn’t get them out of my head.  I have been following them on and off since then.  They released an awesome record called “Destroyer of The Void” in 2010 and now American Goldwing is just solidifying what I saw years ago.  These guys are tight and have honed this music and are perfecting it.

Your Crying Eyes – Blitzen Trapper

Despite being from Portland Blitzen Trapper has a little bit of a southern twang to them and then they just kick you right in the junk with a tune like Your Crying Eyes.  I think thats what I like most about these guys.  They have that southern influence that eases you into the music with familiarity and then they turn up the volume.

The band currently has six members with Eric Early on guitar and vocals with Brian Adrian Koch and Marty Marquis on drums and vocals and guitar and keyboards respectively.  The vocal duties are supported Erik Menteer on Guitar and Keyboards, Michael VanPelt on bass.

Girl In A Coat – Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper is currently on tour.  Lucky for me they are wrapping up their tour on November 17th at the Music Box in Hollywood.  Tour dates page is HERE.  Their new album “American Goldwing” is available anywhere where people care about good music, so basically the internet and Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd.  Here are a couple final tracks from “American Goldwing.”  One rockin’ and the last track which is not so rockin’ but a great way to end the record.  Check these guys out when they are in your town.  In fact go out of your way by hours and hundreds of miles to see these dudes.  It’s worth it.

Astronaut – Blitzen Trapper

Stranger In A Strange Land – Blitzen Trapper

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

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The Muppets “The Green Album” [NEW MUSIC]

Muppets fans get ready.  A couple weeks ago the soundtrack to the new highly anticipated Muppet movie was released.  Amazing indie rock acts takes on Muppet classics.  I love the muppets more than sunshine to the point where it is extremely awkward when people come into my office and see my collection of Muppet shit, but guess what?  I don’t care.  Muppets are cooler than skinny jeans and flannel.  Before I get into the artists and the record itself I wanna kick it off with a Muppet classic we all know and love done a little bit differently… ok, go.

Muppet Show Theme Song – OK Go

This soundtrack features 12 tracks from folks like the aforementioned OK Go to the sweet solo sounds of Andrew Bird and Rachel Yamagata and pretty much everyone in between.  These new takes on old classics are re-energizing my childhood dreams of becoming Animal when I grow up.

As you can see from OK Go’s take on The Muppet Show Theme Song people are doing things a little differently on this record.  One of my favorite songs is Rainbow Connection.  Done by Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore fame. They take a more straight forward approach to the tune and thats not a bad thing at all.

Rainbow Connection – Weezer feat. Hayley Williams

Singer Sondre Lerche stands out among a crowd of greats with his version of Mr. Bassman.  A country vibe mixed with great a cappella “bass” vocals his version of the tune is awesome.

Mr. Bassman – Sondre Lerche

Other great artists include My Morning Jacket with “Our World” and Alkaline Trio with “Movin’ Right Along”.  Both are hugely successful acts who have come up through the indie and jam scenes.  Another great standout is LA’s own Airborne Toxic Event with an awesome take on “Wishing Song.”

Wishing Song – Airborne Toxic Event

As a compilation this record is a gem and as a compilation involving the new Muppets movie it’s even better.  We all know and love these songs and we all know and love the artists covering these tunes.  Here’s a full track list just incase your gonna be “that guy” and not just go out and buy the record based on the awesome tracks you’ve already heard.

  1. The Muppet Show Theme” (OK Go)
  2. The Rainbow Connection” (Weezer and Hayley Williams)
  3. Mahna Mahna” (The Fray)
  4. Movin’ Right Along” (Alkaline Trio)
  5. Our World” (My Morning Jacket)
  6. Halfway Down the Stairs” (Amy Lee)
  7. Mr. Bassman” (Sondre Lerche)
  8. Wishing Song” (The Airborne Toxic Event)
  9. Night Life” (Brandon Saller and Billy Martin)
  10. Bein’ Green” (Andrew Bird)
  11. I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along” (Matt Nathanson)
  12. I’m Going to Go Back There Someday” (Rachael Yamagata)
There is a great balance between the full band blowouts and the small gentle solo acts on this compilation.  Songs to note aside from what I mentioned above are “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along” by Matt Nathanson and The Fray with the popular “Mahna Mahna”.  To end this thing properly I have to post the latter of those two tracks and then as usual with all my blogs, the last track on The Green Album.
Mahna Mahna – The Fray
I’m Going to Go Back There Someday – Rachael Yamagata
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Act As If – “Pathetic” (Blink 182 cover) [VIDEO]

This post is part show and tell, part discussion question raised by the song and video above.  I directed the piece for an artist I’ve worked with before, and was excited to find the response from the generally picky, grumbly internet was 99% positive.

A small number of people who hear it though instantly dislike it.  “That’s not ‘Pathetic’!”,  “It’s too slow!,”  “I can barely tell what song that is!,” and my favorite, “Great.  Now we’re doing Coldplay covers of Blink 182?”  More than one fan pointed me to Great Glass Elevator’s cover as the better version:

I can see how it definitely sounds more like the original – mostly because they kept the same vocal phrasing – but how on Earth could you prefer it?  The production is Casio keyboard level and the vocals aren’t much better.  There’s no added depth or flavor, it’s literally just slowed down.  In fact, the only standard by which it seems “better” is that it’s “similar,” but in that case, why not listen to the original instead of the kinda, sorta slower one?

To wit: isn’t deconstruction, manipulation and mutation of the original the point of doing a cover?  In an era of media that is taken to task for being too derivative, we should be celebrating the re-examination of pop-art through a highly personal, specific lens.  It’s the difference between a bad remake of a film and a good one: does the director connect with the material in a unique way?  No one (well, almost no one) would argue that Gus Van Sant’s Psycho or John Moore’s The Omen are strong films because they are almost a shot for shot remakes.  John Carpenter’s The Thing is considered the definitive take on the concept because he brought his sense for creeping, claustrophobic horror to what was, in a past life, just a silly monster movie.  It’s why I’d love to see David Lynch tackle a Nightmare on Elm Street film – it might not even have Freddy Krueger, but no one is better at creating nightmares on film than Lynch and he would present a fascinating personal vision of the series’ themes and ideas.

Anyway, I digress.  I realize this might be coming across as a knee jerk defense to a minor criticism, but I really find the differing opinions interesting.  What say you all?  Is this how you like to hear songs covered, or do you prefer less abstract, more straightforward versions?

Oh, and if you do like the track, you can download it for FREE right here.

Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |

Ten Out of Tenn at Live on the Green in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

Where can you find ten of the best singer/songwriters from Tennessee in one place to play a concert together?   Nashville’s own free concert series: Live on the Green!

Ten Out of Tenn is more than a band comprised of ten of Nashville’s best singer/songwriters.  It represents a community of friends and artists that make up one of the best emerging artist scenes in the country.  When most people think of Nashville, they think about pop country and honky tonks, but Music City has much more to offer the current music industry.  That is part of the reason why Ten out of Tenn came to exist.  The band showcases the raw talent in a group of friends that “create organic pop music in the shadows of today’s slick commercial country music industry.”  They travel together as a band supporting each other, and as a sum of creative talent on stage, showcasing some of the best and brightest songs and songwriters that Nashville has to offer.  Ten Out of Tenn features Katie Herzig, Andy Davis, Tyler James, Trent Dabbs, K.S. Rhoads, Griffin House, Matthew Perryman Jones, Butterfly Boucher, Jeremy Lister and Erin McCarley.  Will Sayles is the group’s talented drummer.  Check out these clips from some of my favorite new songs!

The idea to form this singer-songwriter supergroup was born while Kristen and Trent Dabbs were on the road.  They recognized that some of their favorite music came from their friends who were also emerging artists.  “We were thinking about how much music we like that happens to be our friends,” said Trent.  “There’s a community of people here with a lot of talent.”  That idea turned into a perfect reality when they were able to get a group of other incredibly talented artists to join them.  Since then, “Ten Out of Tenn has produced compilation albums, a Christmas album, four tours, showcases at music festivals like SXSW, and an award winning documentary, Any Day Now, that debuted during the 2009 Nashville Film Festival.”  The documentary fully illustrates the concept and the purpose behind Ten Out of Tenn, and gives an excellent view of what it means for the individual artists that are part of this team.  Check out the trailer for Any Day Now, filmed by Jeff Wyatt Wilson.

Ever go to a concert and can’t wait until the band plays their best songs?  Well imagine hearing 20 excellent songs in a row from some of the best singer/songwriters in Nashville.  These talented artists and musicians don’t just stand around while one plays their song.  They are also the backing band for each other, and it creates such an amazing vibe.  As individual artists, these singer/songwriters have “released over thirty albums, had song placements in countless television programs & films, and shared the stage with musicians such as REM, Sarah McLachlan and John Mayer.”  However for Ten Out of Tenn, fame or fortune isn’t a priority.  The drive behind their purpose surrounds the age-old concept of creating and sharing their music with other people.  The bottom line is that this group is amazing.  Unfortunately, Ten Out of Tenn has only two more stops on their tour!  Stay up to date with the latest music and tour dates from Ten Out of Tenn and learn more at 10outoftenn.com.

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Scott Bartenhagen [Interview] [Free Download]

There’s a lot to like about Scott Bartenhagen, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Lathrop, California.  He’s not your typical singer/songwriter: he’s 6’7” for starters, loves Sci-Fi and draws inspiration from movie soundtracks and 20th century classical music.  A friend of mine suggested I watch a video of his song Delta Fog, and I am forever grateful that I did.  Scott’s jazz-influenced guitar playing along with his beautifully deep, soul shaking voice make for an astounding combination.  When I met Scott I was immediately drawn to his warm and quirky personality and quiet demeanor.  It was a privilege to interview such a young talent, and it’s my pleasure to help spread the word about this rising star.  Check out the video of Delta Fog below, courtesy of YouTube, and if you liked what you hear (which I know you will) you can download the song for free via the player below.

 

MF: When I first saw your video for Delta Fog I was immediately awe struck and completely blown away by the hauntingly deep and poetic sound of your voice.  I feel that you have one of the best voices of our generation, I know bold statement, but every time I listen to your songs I am instantly inspired, and amazed.  When did you start your singing career?

Scott:  Pretty freaking bold statement man, and thank you so much.  I sang “Great Balls of Fire” my junior year of high school for a 70’s school dance that the high school band put on.  Then I started writing songs, so I’ve been singing for I guess that would be about five years now, I didn’t ever sing before that I was always too afraid.

MF: Have you ever had singing lessons?

Scott:  No, I’ve never taking formal singing lessons, but I’ve had good guidance from friends that were great singers that really helped me out. 

MF:  Like I said, I feel like you have an incredible voice.  I remember the first time I watched Delta Fog, your voice gave me chills.  It was almost hard for me to believe that that voice was coming from you, it really blew me away.

Scott:  Wow man, thank you I really appreciate it that’s awesome.

MF:  I feel that writing lyrics is the hardest part of creating great songs, and you nail it on every song. Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?

Scott:  I get the inspiration from my lyrics from personal experience, or nerding out on something.  It also comes from my general love of storytelling.  My lyrics have to sound good coming out before anything else.  That’s kind of the David Byrne theory of lyric writing.  I find words that I think sound great then I use my imagination to put them into situations that make sense when they are spoken aloud.  So it comes melody first, then how the words sound, then what kind of words can I fit around those syllables that still makes a great song, and that’s why its kind of a bigger puzzle than if you were just writing lyrics. 

MF:  In my personal experience with writing songs, I feel that lyrics are the toughest part of writing any song.  If you don’t have solid lyrics then it’s going to be harder for the listener to connect to you.

Scott:  Oh yeah.  I could write like a dozen songs a day, but it takes me a week to write the words for the songs sometimes.

MF:  Yeah, that’s understandable I think it’s very hard to write solid lyrics and you do a great job writing great lyrics.

Scott:  Thanks man, As long as they’re not too contrived, or as long as they’re honest enough, even if they’re not true if they’re honest and they’re not contrived and trying to sound cool, I like it.

 

MF: What are your musical influences, and what artists inspire you to create your music?

Scott: Um, my musical influences would be, movie soundtracks, Joni Mitchell, and Jazz.  Those are the big three, but I also like singer-songwriters that influence me a lot, like my good friend Travis Vick, a local Sacramento artist. His music has a big effect on me. Also, Bluegrass players and anybody who excels at their instruments inspire me as well. That’s a tough question, because I have a whole lot of influences from a lot of different things.  Movie soundtracks are a big one.  As well as orchestral music, and 20th Century classical music is where I get a lot of my melodies.  So that’s a little bit of an idea of how I get inspired.

MF:  As far as movie soundtracks do you have a favorite composer?

Scott:  I like uh, I really like Joe Hisaishi, Hans Zimmer’s pretty cool, he’s kind of a hack, and I like John Williams as well.  Anyone who puts music to motion, I admire, because it’s all about the emotion other than the notes, it’s about evoking a feeling, which I’m a big fan of.

MF:  Is there anything outside of music that inspires you to write your songs?

Scott:  Yeah definitely. Various novels, stories that my dad tells me, great Science Fiction, um, trying to get a handle on politics.  Not that my songs are too political.  I’m not too crazy politically but politics definitely make me angry, and anger definitely inspires me.

MF:  As far as Science Fiction is concerned what specifically about Sci-Fi inspires you?

Scott:  I like all types of science fiction, usually get inspired by near future science fiction, like Blade Runner, or people like William Gibson who write Cyber Punk. It really gets my mind racing, I really enjoy it. I’ve written some songs based off of stuff like that.  A decent amount of my songs have a Sci-Fi twist on them. 


 

MF: You are a phenomenal guitar player, how long have you been playing the guitar, and what inspired you to start playing?

Scott:  I’ve been playing the guitar since about, eighth grade, probably a little bit before that.  Probably ten years.  My mom is a great guitar player so I listened to her a lot and got inspired.  Also, I think a friend of mine got a guitar down the street, and that made me really want one.  I was already playing trumpet in a band, so I figured I could move onto guitar from there.  I didn’t really get into songwriting for a long time, but learning jazz guitar definitely helped keep the fire and passion for the instrument.

MF: Have you had any professional training?

Scott:  I was a music major at Sac State, before I left.  I took three years of schooling as a jazz studies major.  I am a big proponent of taking lessons and learning as much as you possibly can, shedding ego as a guitar player and just wanting to learn.  I took lessons from a really great jazz guitar player, and I learned to play with other people in groups for a long time as well. 

MF:  Also, you mentioned you played trumpet, do you play any other instruments?

Scott:  Yeah, trumpet and tuba were my first instruments and then I moved onto the piano and guitar.  Those are the main instruments that I can play. 

MF:  I notice you have a lot of songs ready to go, are you coming out with an EP or a new album in the near future, and if so will Delta Fog be included?

Scott:  No.  I’m over the idea of albums.  Like every year you make your one album, and then you put an EP out and then you make an album that has twelve songs on it or something and then a whole year passes.  That whole cycle is formulaic and I don’t think it works any more with the way people buy albums.  So I’m kind of into smaller releases but more often.  I think that’s a pretty cool idea.  I have a few releases coming up, I have a five song project that I’m working on called Speeches, that I’m working on at the moment, still recording.  It should be done in the next couple weeks.  Then I have another small project on the way that should come out within a couple weeks as well.  So within this month I’m hopefully going to have a bunch of new stuff done for the world to see.

And I have a new group as well, with three girls from Sac State, a drummer and a bassist. The three girls are singing three part harmonies as well as playing the violin.  I’ve added six people to my group.

MF:  Wow, that’s exciting I can’t wait to hear you play with the new band.

Scott:  Yeah, I’ve already got to play some shows with this new band and they are really freaking good man, they’re really tight.  These two girls sing some amazing harmonies, and we have this bitching violin player who’s incredible, it’s tight man. I can’t wait to play some shows in Los Angeles so you guys can hear it.

MF:  What are you thoughts on the current state of the music industry, and where do you see it going?

Scott:  I think that there’s a lot of music out there. I think the music industry is pretty oversaturated with the Internet now and I think it’s high time for bands to get more creative with the way they do things and how we get music out there, and what it means to have art.  I think there are a lot of creative ways to distribute music, play shows and collaborate.  I think it’s a good thing and I think it’s going the right direction. I just need people to start giving a crap, but I guess we need to make them start giving a crap. 

MF:  As an independent artist, do you find it difficult to accumulate new fans and to be heard amidst the overwhelming amount of music that is out there?

Scott:  I do feel it’s really hard to be heard.  I feel there are so many different avenues for me to put my music out that nobody bites.  I get a good response when I play shows, but it’s hard playing venues when you don’t have a fan base.  Promoters don’t promote anymore, venues don’t want to get people in the door themselves, it all falls on the shoulders of the bands, which is I think criminal.  Live performance is not geared to help bands.  It’s hard finding fans, and it’s hard finding places that want to help musicians get fans instead of just wanting to take their money.

MF:  So which one do you think is more difficult?  Trying to accumulate new fans, or to be heard?

Scott:  I think they’re pretty much the same thing. I would like to hope/think if someone hears my music they’d become a fan.  I can’t force them to become a fan. I would say it’s harder to show my music to people in the right context.  It’s hard for people to find my music and want to listen to it, as opposed to they have to either actually search for it or they find it on some obscure online radio station that never actually works.  So I think they’re both related: it’s hard to find fans and it’s hard to try to get the people who aren’t fans yet to listen to your music to become fans. 

MF:  I absolutely agree.  It was really great to learn more about you as a musician as well as a person.  I enjoyed talking about your music, what you’re working on, and the thoughts you have about being an independent artist, as well as your thoughts as the current state of the music industry.  I am looking forward to your upcoming projects and attending your shows with your new band.

Scott:  Thanks man, I really enjoyed it as well, and I will keep you updated with the projects I am currently working on.  Great talking with you, and I will talk to you soon.

By: Mason Frank|L.A. Ambassador|MasonFrankMWL|Beat-Play & Music Without Labels LLC

 

The Barr Brothers “The Barr Brothers” [NEW MUSIC]

I’m going to start this blog off by saying I love music. I love the sounds I love being a part of thriving music scene here in LA, seeing shows and being a small part of the creativity.  Back in the day in college I went the standard college radio station route to put myself right smack frickin dab in the middle of arguably one of the most diverse and ever changing music scenes in the country, Boston Massachusetts.  Little WERS 88.9 fm has literally made me the music fan I am today and my dad, can’t forget him either.  I have been to hundreds of shows and in those early years where I discovered it’s always better in a small club rather than a giant arena I got a glimpse of amazing real talent.  This band I’m about to introduce you to is one of those groups whose members bring music and love of music full circle on a personal level.  They are the Barr Brothers and their new record is something that I honestly don’t want to share with anyone and keep all to myself, but we all know I can’t keep a secret to save my life.

Beggar In The Morning – The Barr Brothers

Brad and Andrew Barr are from Boston Massachusetts.  They live in Canada now.  They have a band which are called The Slip they share with bassist Marc Friedman and now they are The Barr Brother which the share with harpist and neighbor Sarah Page and Andres Vial who fills the void by playing bass, keys and percussion.  My first introduction to these gentlemen was when they were part of The Slip when they were touring behind their amazing album Eisenhower.  I remember doing two in studio mixes with the guys one was fully plugged in and the other was acoustic.  The first mix was all material from Eisenhower, but the second they shared with me a couple new songs and I gave them my mixes to use as demos to make a new record with.  This was about 5 years ago.

I have a amazing treat for this blog.  One of the demos I recorded back in the day made it on the Barr Brothers newest release.  To clarify my version didn’t make it on, but the song did.  I’m going to post both of them.  The first version of the song was recorded with Brad playing his acoustic guitar and Andrew playing the studios Steinway grand piano.  The second is the second track off the Barr Brother’s self titled release.  Same song, years apart.

O0h, Belle (Live at WERS) – The Barr Brothers

Ooh, Belle – The Barr Brothers

Pretty cool huh?  I don’t know how to play music very well but I’m pretty sure they changed the key.  I’d love to know what you guys think in the comments section below.  This is one of my favorite songs I was given the opportunity to record during my stay at WERS and as far as the record the music on this release is diverse and something that I could only see coming from the musicians that made it.  I think it is truly listeners music.  The nuances in it and the light additions of keys and the harp just bring light to the whole thing.  Not every song is as light a lullaby as Ooh, Belle after all they were in an experimental rock/ jazz outfit for many years.  Try this one on for size.

Give The Devil Back His Heart – The Barr Brothers

They still have the rock in them.  I love the guitar and vocal pairing on this song.  Brad Barr is an amazing guitar player and with the effects used on his vocals with his style of singing on this song it’s a little bit of a wake up and just shows how diverse these musicians really are.

There is a little blues element a little middle eastern rhythm and of course a jazzy element to this tune that really grabbed me and is definitely the standout on a record of standouts.  I think tune will drive all the points I just made home.  The next two tracks after Give The Devil Back His Heart are quiet acoustic songs, amazing, but then  we get to the 7th track on the record called Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’.  Welcome to the delta…

Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’ – The Barr Brothers

I can’t boast about these guys enough.  They are amazing musicians and from my limited interaction with them over the years, they are amazing people always generous to share new music and try new things.  I think this record is a testament to their efforts to try new styles of music and play the music that inspires them.  From the quietest notes of Ooh Belle to the loudest grittiest notes of Lord I Just Can’t… the dynamic range on this record is really one to be admired.  As a music fan I think I can recommend this band and this music to just about any one.

Deacons Son – The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers are currently touring on their new self titled release and will be making stops in Los Angeles on November 2nd at the Hotel Cafe.  Do your selves 2 favors.  Get your hands on this record.  It is available on Amazon and iTunes.  It is also available to listen to on Spotify.  Here is the last track from The Barr Brother’s self titled release.  Next time I’m going to write about the Muppets, yes the Muppets.

Let There Be Horses – The Barr Brothers

Interview with Beat-Play CEO – Dante Cullari

Beat-Play just announced their official public Beta launch. We’re here today with Beat-Play’s founder and CEO, Dante Cullari, to tell us some more about the company.

Dante, what is the goal of Beat-Play?

Beat-Play’s aim is to provide an optimized digital infrastructure to the music industry as a whole. We want our tools to encompass a full spectrum of opportunities for artists and fans to create, promote, distribute, monetize, organize and listen to music. We understand that there is no one perfect solution that will work for everybody, so our goal is really to provide a number of options for each of the different components of the music industry I just mentioned. All of this is now made significantly easier with digital, online and social technologies, and we feel that centralizing these solutions by defragmenting music into one rich community will also be beneficial for everyone. We want to help create the foundation for a long lasting, sustainable and prosperous world music industry online, as we move forward into the future.

What does Beat-Play offer artists and fans right now?

Our first and current product addresses promotion and distribution for artists (or discovery and sharing for fans), organization and playback. Right now, Beat-Play is a streaming player that promotes music to fans with something we call Bump, which is a search based on tags, or keywords that the user enters. Listeners can use Moods, Locations, Artist Names, Genres, Activities or really almost anything, to describe the music that they want to hear. Beat-Play then creates a custom playlist for the listener consisting of both music and videos (via Souncloud, Youtube and Beat-Play itself) based on matches to the user’s tags. These playlists are updated in real time as music is continually added to the service and tagged. Fans can then save the music that they find and like into playlists, and share these playlists with their friends through Facebook.

While the current product currently offers limited functionality, our next product will focus on adding in new options, as well as improving current ones.

What are you working on for the future?

Our next product will address several issues. We’re working on mobile to improve access. The next product will also be socially integrated which again will aid in promotion and distribution, or sharing and discovery, and we hope to also include some more options for user customization. We want to make organizing and managing your listening experience better, with more custom presets, which again, will help in discovery and also fan retention.

The next big step for us then is really artist monetization. As mentioned before, we realize that one option will not be sufficient for every artist, so we’re planning on introducing things like music and merch stores, ticketing and show booking, commercial music license stores or auctions, and even advertising opportunities.

Advertising is actually something I want to briefly touch on – To quote the Facebook movie, “Advertising isn’t cool.”  In the movie that’s really all they needed to say about it before just turning their backs on it. I feel that this is an attitude that most companies have towards advertising, but nobody really wants to be the one to challenge it. On Beat-Play, we’ve come up with a way around this.

First of all, artists on Beat-Play will own their own ad space, and they can leverage their statistics on Beat-Play and on Facebook to negotiate better rates with sponsors. As far as the ads themselves, you wont see annoying and interruptive commercials, or huge flashy banners. Our ads will instead be designed to actually add to the listener’s experience by offering pieces of bonus content relevant to the artist or the music itself. It could be a music video, a cool app, or even a video game. If it’s Skrillex, maybe it’s a Dj app. If it’s Slightly Stoopid, maybe it’s a surfing game you can play while listening to the music. Also, the listeners won’t be distracted by these ads. On the player itself we’ll use something that we call postage stamp ads, because they’re just about the size of a postage stamp. If the user doesn’t want to engage with the ads, they don’t have to, and they won’t be interrupted by them. For the people who do choose to engage with the ads, they’ll get some additional content that they couldn’t have gotten otherwise, creating incentive to actually share ad content. This provides a great revenue stream to the artists, allows the fans to continue to listen to their favorite music for free potentially, and also provides some great cred for the sponsors involved. Everybody really wins, and this even has some great potential to curb piracy for artists. These are the kinds of solutions that we’re looking forward to making available to the music industry in the near future, using digital technologies to make it happen.

How can people help?

Get on board now. It’s only going to get better, and for artists especially, it’s a good idea to start gaining their fan-base here so they can get their statistics up. Even if they’re not on Beat-Play though, building Facebook statistics will still help them out, and Beat-Play could still help promote an artist if their music is on Soundcloud, Youtube or Jamendo right now. So not being on Beat-Play doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t still benefit from it, but it’s a good idea to get on there now as we’ll really be able to offer the fans a better experience with their music on Beat-Play if they do. It’s completely free, so there’s nothing lost by trying it, and for fans right now we really offer some great discovery and organization options, along with unlimited, uninterrupted free streaming. Mobile is obviously something we’re really excited about pushing out next.

As we continue to grow, we will really need help from the artists and fans to support and build this community. We need artists to upload their music and tell their friends and their fans. We also need artists to work together in helping to support and promote each other by tagging fellow artists in their own songs. Most of all though, we need artists and fans to really take ownership of this community, and take advantage of the free options we’re putting out there. This really does need to be a team effort, and I think we have the strength and the ability as indie artists to build something huge, so that we can have the kind of impact that we need in order to benefit all of the incredibly talented independent artists out there that are struggling right now, and also to impact the fans that are missing out on a lot of great music because of it. We’ve had a great response from artists so far, and we’re confident that these solutions will bring some big changes to the way the music industry operates in the coming years.

You can go to Beatplay.com right now to sign up, and you’ll be asked to login with your Facebook account. We don’t auto-post to anybody’s walls, or publish any user information, not even on the Beat-Play player itself right now, so your account will still be completely secure.

If you have issues or suggestions, please contact us! We are still in beta so we understand there’s a lot of room for us to grow, but we’re working really hard with our small team to keep up with the demand for more features. The player is best used with Firefox right now also. Again, we really appreciate the support of the independent music community that we’re getting, from both artists and fans, and we’re extremely excited to get to the next level!

Dante, thank you so much for the interview.

Absolutely, Thank you!

To get you started, here are some awesome playlists courtesy of the Beat-Play team – over 6 hours of great tunes:

Beat-Play Launch Mixtape (dubstep, house, indie, hip hop, r&b, electro, other)

 

Mellow Music Mix (Reggae, Indie, Dub)

 

 

Kendrick Lamar Mix (Hip hop)

 

 

Interview by: Kian Bardikalaie

Cymbals Eat Guitars “Lenses Alien” [NEW MUSIC]

Cymbals Eat Guitars is an awesome band name.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is an awesome band.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is loud energetic and just the right kind of music for the mood I’m in right now.  I think I’m going to get tired of continuously typing Cymbals Eat Guitars, but I’ll do it for you in the name of rock and roll.  If you like this kind of stuff and hate typing, feel free to proceed.

Rifle Eye Sight (Proper Name) – Cymbals Eat Guitars

When I’m in the mood for distortion I think I have a new band to turn too.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is that band.  They hail from the NY/ New Jersey area.  Their record comes out today and, duh, I HAVE IT ALREADY so were gonna move through this, it’s going to get loud and soft and loud and soft and you’re going to like it.

Keep Me Waiting – Cymbals Eat Guitars

“Lenses Alien” was produced by John Agnello.  His past clients include the likes of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. two bands that make evident where Cymbals Eat Guitars draws their influence from.  Dinosaur Jr. is a hometown (Boston) band for me and also one of my favorite bands of all time so when I started putting 2 and 2 together I was excited to see the resemblances between the two acts.  I was also excited to see Cymbals take their obvious influence and turn it on its head.

There is a little more pop to their music.    I can only speak for “Lenses Alien” but I will most definitely be diving into their back catalog VERY soon (as in right after I’m done writing this entry.)   High powered heavy guitars, distinct melodic vocals and great bass lines are what is driving this record for me right now.

Definite Darkness – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Appropriately enough the band started with drums and guitars.  They have grown since then and found popularity on the indie rock circuit nationwide.  As I write this and listen to Lenses Alien I’m pretty blown away.  One of my favorite tracks is the eerie tune called The Current.

It has a driving rhythm throughout under darkly distorted vocals.  It’s a far stretch from the music I usually enjoy, but for some reason it stands out for me on an album of good stuff.  The juxtaposition between that and the following partially acoustic track, Wavelengths, was a really cool transition.

Wavelegnths – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars is the perfect kind of rock music for pretty much anyone who wants a new flavor of style of music from our younger years.  Either that or if you are into guitar laden, harmonic, sonic or whatever else ends in “onic” type of music.  Lenses Alien is refreshing, loud and most of all this record is honest in the fact that even though the inspiration is obvious they have stayed true to themselves and have created awesome new music because of it.  Here’s the last track.  I love it.  A great ballad to leave us on a soft note… if your not in the mood to be left in a soft note just replay the damn thing from the top on today when you buy this record.

Gary Condit – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars are about to tour from Boston to LA and back to NY for the fall.  They play LA’s Echo on the 7th of October.  See you there chumps.

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Afrojack Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA [PHOTOS]

Afrojack Live at Identity Music Festival in San Diego, CA (With Special Guest Steve Aoki!)

Afrojack– “Funk With Me”

Click the pic for more concert shots!!!

Check out Afrojack!!!

Photography By: Shane Suski |Ambassador of Photography | San Diego, CA| @shanewithmwl | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC

Musicians Corner at Centennial Park in Nashville, TN [SHOW/NEW MUSIC]

After sweating for a couple hours at The National Folk Festival last Saturday, I decided to head over to Centennial Park where Nashville was kicking off its free fall concert series called Musicians Corner.  Two events in one day?  Well, three actually.  I ended up going to another concert later that night, but I haven’t written about that yet.  Musicians Corner featured seven bands from 3pm to 6pm on a medium-sized stage with a decent turnout of a few hundred people at its height.  The artists that played this week were The CO, Metro Parks Jamband, Andrew Osenga, Foxes Have Foxholes, Damien Horne, Striking Matches, and Attwater.

I arrived a little late and missed The CO open up with their set, so I’ll have to catch them at another event in the future.  I did get there just in time to hear Metro Parks Jamband finish up their set with a funky sax and guitar duet.  Next up was American singer/songwriter Andrew Osenga.  He was formerly the lead singer for The Normals and is a member of the band Caedmon’s Call.  His performance on Saturday took place as part of his solo career, for which he has released four albums.  The bands rhythms and tones were super tight, and the crowd really took to his music.  After Andrew Osenga, Foxes Have Foxholes took the stage and played an acoustic set with just two of their members.  The pop rock duo serenaded listeners with a short set of a few songs that they will hopefully be performing live at their next show as a full band tonight at 12th & Porter.

The next act was Damien Horne, a pop-rock soul artist from Nashville.  Also known as Mista D, Damien has collaborated and performed with Bon Jovi, Kid Rock, John Legend, 3 Doors Down, Hank Williams Jr., Faith Hill, Robert Randolf, Jewel, Velvet Revolver, and more.  Damien is working with John Legend who when asked about Damien said, “I’ve been working with this guy who is based in Nashville, his name is Damien Horne, he’s good.  Look out for him, he’s a good song-writer and performer.  He plays the guitar too.”  You can get some free downloads of his music on his website.  Check out this video of Damien Horne performing “Sacrifice” live at The Rutledge.

I posted an article two months ago about a blues duo called Striking Matches.  They were the next band to play at Musicians Corner and they were a huge hit.  Performing as a duo with their acoustic guitars, Justin and Sarah had a great set showcasing their clever songwriting, tight harmonies, and ripping solos.  Like I said before, this is a Nashville band that you want to keep close tabs on because of their huge potential.  The last band to perform was Attwatter.

Attwater is a country band from Sacramento, CA that signed with the independent production company and label, Twenty Ten Music in December of 2010.  They were discovered through Twitter by Grammy Award-winning producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Switchfoot), the Sr. VP of A&R for Twenty Ten Music.  Check out this official music video of Attwater’s first single called “Never Gonna Happen.”

You can download the song for free at http://www.attwatermusic.com/.  Attwater’s foundations lie with Erika Attwater and Jonathan Richards, the duo songwriting team that first started the band.  Their discovery occurred after they played their first set of tunes in the Northern California Area.  With a good product and intentional use of social networks, Attwater was picked up by Charlie Peacock and the band was on its way to having a beast of a debut project.  The recordings include co-writes and musicians from some really great teams that have produced music for Carrie Underwood, Sixpence None The Richer, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, Lady Antebellum, and more.  Attwater’s music combines modern country with bluegrass flavors and classic rock roots.  Keep an eye on the country charts for this band and stay tuned for an article on next week’s Musician’s Corner!

By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC