Bembel-B Blog

2009/04/26

Keeping Track of Upcoming Music Releases with Soundamus

One thing I was missing for many many years is a (free) Internet service, that informs you of new music releases for specific artists. I even thought about making such a thing myself. A year ago or so I discovered such a service called soundamus which I highly recommend! One ingenious feature is the integration with one’s Last.fm stats.Last.fm Social Music Revolution

But the artists considered aren’t limited to your Last.fm profile. Other services like Pandora are also supported and you can alternatively manually define which artists you’d like to track.

The resulting list of upcoming releases is available as webpages, an RSS feed and iCal. So you can also integrate that iCal feed into a calendar software like Google Calendar. From my understanding, the data of releases is from Amazon Webservices, so more obscure releases might not be included (but I didn’t notice that so far).

Here are examples for the available data sources for my Last.fm profile:

There are more features and new features are being added. Check out the Last.fm Group for details on that.

2007/05/23

Last.fm’s New Full Length Track Playlists and Radio

Filed under: Internet radio,Last.fm,music,sound,websites — FrankZabbath @ 17:40

Last.fm just keeps getting better and better! In their May 2007 news announcement they present their extended full length track streaming offers.
Last.fm Social Music Revolution
Before that AFAIK you could only hear all streamable tracks full length when having subscribed (for free) by listening to a last.fm radio station (neighbour radio for example). There were very few songs, that could be listened full length by everyone.

Now any (unsubscribed) visitor can tune in to their own full length track radio station for any artist or tag etc.! Try for yourself!

Subscribed users can now also create full length tracklist. As soon as more than 15 different artists are added, the playlist will contain full length tracks, but in shuffled order.
To try that out I took the time and added most of my current top 50 artists into a more than 270 tracks playlist.

Enjoy! :D

2006/08/26

Albums I Eagerly Await(ed)

There’s still good music being made in the 21st century, believe it or not. This list is mostly for my own reference, but some of you might find it usefull.. I hope.

Upcoming albums I eagerly await

  • Farmer’s Market – (unknown): No certain informations. Got signed by Ipecac Recordings and speculate on their homepage.
  • Harmful – (unknown): Studio recordings have been finished as of 4th July.
  • Napalm Death – Smear Campaign: German release 19th September. Advance leaked.
  • Nine Inch Nails – (unknown): Read Reznor writing on the homepage about a new longplayer in the making. Should investigate further though..
  • Primus – (unknown): Somewhere I read about an upcoming studio album on one of their sites. Yeah!! Hopefully not just wishful thinking..
  • Squarepusher – Hello Everything: UK release on 16th October on Warp Records.
  • Ween – (unknown): Still in the studio or so.

Long awaited “recent” releases

  • Boards of Canada – Trans Canada Highway: UK release 6th June on Warp Records.
  • Emirsian – A Gentle Kind of Disaster: German release 18th August on Nois-O-Lution/Indigo.
  • Helmet – Monochrome: US release 18th July on Warcon Records.
  • Les Claypool – Of Whales and Woe: US release 30th May on Prawn Song.
  • Slayer – Christ Illusion: German release 4th August.

2006/08/14

Ultra relaxing Internet radio stations

Filed under: ambient,Bluemars,electronica,Internet radio,music,relaxing,SomaFM — FrankZabbath @ 03:32

If you feel a little stressed out or you just want to relax for what ever reason, you should try these ambient and alike Internet radio stations:

SomaFM

Bluemars

  • Bluemars (128k mp3) – ambient and electronica w/ beats
  • Cryosleep (128k mp3) – ambient and no beats at all
  • Voices from Within (128k mp3) – worldmusic-like

Sweet dreams to all!

2006/01/23

Musical and social networking, acoustic fingerprints, music file tagging

Extend your musical experience, get your music files tagged correctly easier.
Last.fm Social Music Revolution

Last.fm

This free service is a combination of a musical and social network web-application based on the Audioscrobbler technology. You have to submit the music you listen to with your PC’s mediaplayer(s) via plugins, e.g. for me Rhythmbox, XMMS, Winamp. Based on that data, charts of your most “favorite” music are calculated and compared to other charts. Thereby you will be recommended artists you haven’t listened to yet and also people with comparable musical taste. You can also listen to webradio in context to your taste. Paying subscribers will get their own personalised webradio.
There are lots of other features (like fan listings and groups), so best check it out yourself.
I haven’t done research on whether this service is thrustworthy, but they seem to be quite nice ppl there! :) Privacy is taken seriously (server logs are deleted every 3 days) and the content is Creative Commons licensed. I guess they are enthusiasts (musically and IT-related) and earn their money through subscriptions, Amazon affiliation, reputation.
In the future Last.fm’s database will be fully coherent with MusicBrainz, in order to avoid collecting badly/differently tagged music data. So if available, use a plugin with MusicBrainz integration and/or tag your files like in the MusicBrainz database.
You can take a peek at my userpage at Last.fm.

MusicBrainz

A database collecting metadata (artist, album, title etc.) for every audio track. Tracks are identified by their acoustic fingerprints (TRM); that’s some checksum magically generated by the amplitude, frequency spectrum, length of a audio track, as far as I understand. The data is user-maintained.
On the project website you can browse the database, download software and keep yourself informed about the project’s development.

Tagging your music files (with Linux)

I tried 3 MusicBrainz enabled taggers for Linux. Most of my problems are probably caused by my old and broken Linux installation (Fedora Core 3), where the RPM database got wiped. With RPM and up-to-date software this shouldn’t be that much of a hassle.
So unfortunately I only got QMBTagger to run. There’s an (new) official MusicBrainz tagger called Picard Tagger, but I obviously failed to update from source to the required wxWindows/wxPython version. Kid3 compilation aborted with an error.
There are many tagging applications around, but my favorite so far is EasyTag! But no MusicBrainz support (at least in my version).
Guidelines for MusicBrainz compliant tagging seem to be: Use correct English upper- and lowercase spelling (e.g. “Tales from the Crypt” and not “Tales From The Crypt”), keep foreign spelling as-is (what about non latin letters?), keep “The”-prefix (i.e. “The Doors” and not “Doors”), don’t add anything to the album title like “CD2” or “EP”. But this is just my impression! I bet there’s an official guideline somewhere on the project site. And in the end, as this is user-driven, any spelling could be “correct”.. :/
And there’s also libid3tag and its command line utilities, which can be handy for mass tagging and checking tags..

Other interesting music related sites

Allmusic
A vast database of artists/bands featuring professional artist and album reviews, style categories, discographies and more.

Discogs
A community-based discography database.

Liveplasma
A neat 2D map displaying artists’/bands’ relations in style and involved persons(?). Formerly called Musicplasma.

rolldabeats
A database for drum & bass, jungle and related music.

Musicline
A (mainstream) music portal in German language including the commercial “rororo Rock Lexikon”.

ChangeLog

[2006-04-22: Add tags.]

2005/09/27

Warning, fine art ahead!

Here’s just a small fraction of art I love for many years. I tried – and failed – to focus on less known artists with publicly available works.
This listing is in alphabetical order. The hyperlinks at the artists’ names point to their official website where available. The works named beside are only meant as an example and not representative. And well, cartoons and humorists are completely missing.

oil paint palette

Comics

Frank Margerin from France – Lucien
Comics. English infos here.

Walter Moers from Germany – Das Kleine Arschloch (The Little Asshole)
Comics and film scripts and novels.

Filming

Chris Cunningham from England – Rubber Johnny
Short films and music videos.

Music

Aphex Twin from England – Come to Daddy, Druksq
One of the “gods” of the electronic music scene. His style varies mainly from ambient, techno, electronic, drill-and-bass to experimental sound collages.

Bogdan Raczynski from USA plays crazy experimental electronic and drill-and-bass like tunes with pitch-shifted vocals partly in Japanese. Melodies often remind me of nursery rhymes.

Einstürzende Neubauten from Germany plays some sort of experimental industrial. They partly use unique do-it-yourself instruments and have very poetic lyrics. Their singer Blixa Bargeld holds poetry lectures at an university in Berlin for students.

Farmer’s Market from Norway plays a mixture of all sorts of musical styles with focus on Bulgarian-Balkan-jazz on a very high technical level. You can find free audio and video recordings of whole concerts on their website.

Les Claypool from USA plays mostly variations of weird funky rock music. He’s one of the most virtuoso bass guitar players I know of. He is best known as a member of the prime Primus. There’s a nice Wikipedia article about him.
You can find free legal BitTorrent seeds of concert audio recordings at etree.org amongst many other bands and artists! Or you may purchase some live sets online at primuslive.com and c2b3live.com.

Nine Inch Nails from USA plays industrial very sophisticatedly produced and sometimes with beautiful melodies and harmonies. On their website you can find music videos, concert clips and even a multitrack version of one of their latest tracks to reuse/remix freely.

Paintings, photographs, installations

Alex Grey from USA – Sacred Mirrors
Contemplary psychedelic paintings and performances.

Gregory Crewdson from USA
Photographs.

Jonathan Meese from Germany – Képi Blank, nackt
Paintings and installations and performances.

Writers

Aldous Huxley from England
Works freely available at Project Gutenberg.

Douglas Adams from England

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from Germany
Works freely available at Project Gutenberg.

Copyright notice

The photograph showing an oil paint palette used in this entry is in the Public Domain and thus free of any Copyright restrictions. The content is provided by Michael Connors and Morguefile and has the ref id# 1082255024.

ChangeLog

[2006-04-23: Add tags.]

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