Category Archives: syndicated

Top 5 Gift Ideas For The Music Geek On Your List


This post is syndicated from Yahoo! Music


The holidays are just around the corner and with it comes a plethora of gadgets, gizmos, and devices that can leave even the savviest of shoppers overwhelmed. But when it comes to music-related gadgets, have no fear – we’ve got you covered!

Check out our quick guide to some of the latest tech goodies sure to please any music geek on your list, all of which can be purchased online. Whether you’re looking for something small or large, fun or practical, we’ve put together a cheat-sheet on the latest and greatest!

1.) Headphones for Rocking Out in Style!

For looking chic and tuning in on-the-go, Urbanears offers a large variety of quality, stylish headphones at a reasonable price point (most are under $30). Clocking in at under ten bucks is another model, the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-D. A pair of these makes a great stocking stuffer and delivers a fantastic audio punch for the small price.

 

2.) Listening on the Go: Portable Speakers for Everyone

iHome speakerThe iHome iHM61 is an amazing little speaker that adds some vibrant color to your listening experience. The speaker connects to your computer – or other USB power source – and lights up the room with a cool color changing LED light. The vacuum design provides good audio quality for this ultra-portable speaker.

If your gift recipient is a diehard Apple fangirl or fanboy, the JBL Soundfly is sure to impress. It’s a smart little speaker you can take anywhere – perfect for the student or frequent traveler in your life. This innovative little gadget hangs from an electrical outlet and streams audio from an iOS device via a WiFi connection. No wires required!

The Belkin Bluetooth music receiver is also a nifty little device that allows you to play music from your mobile device through your home stereo. You’ll get stereo sound and the ability to control your playlist directly from your device from anywhere in the house. The wireless receiver simply connects to your stereo and pairs wirelessly to your iPod or iPhone, allowing you to use it as a virtual remote. Great for parties!

3.) Tune in to the next Generation of Smart Radio.

LogiTech Smart RadioLet’s face it, radios have come a long way since the good old days of the analog dial. TheLogitech Smart Radio connects to Pandora,SlackerSpotify and more, providing the user with limitless options for broadcasting personalized radio at home. Just turn it on, connect to your home internet, and instantly access thousands of free internet stations from around the world. You can access most popular music apps and even stream music stored locally on your computer.

4. Tablet Roundup: The iPad Mini vs. the Microsoft Surface vs. the Google Nexus 7

The jury’s still out as to which tablet will win as best all-around music device. Outside of playing games, reading, and managing day-to-day tasks like e-mail, a tablet, while not exactly cheap,*  makes an excellent investment for the casual or die-hard music fan. You can easily watch all your favorite music videos and documentaries (even record your own with a built-in camera), catch up on music blogs and magazines, stream music, and host your own digital music library.

While the iPad mini serves as a fantastic digital jukebox – just download the free Pandora or Spotify app and press play – it also offers a vast amount of powerful apps like GarageBand and djay for music-makers on the go.

The brand-new Microsoft Surface offers Microsoft Surface Music, a music-listening application for building a personalized digital music library. Not unlike iTunes, a user can create and organize their music collection by creating playlists and listening to them via an elegant cover-flow design.

The Nexus 7 tablet was created by the folks at Google and was originally designed to compete with theKindle Fire HD from Amazon. With many features including a volume rocker, headphone jack, and multimedia capabilities, you can easily port over your music, watch videos, and catch up on the latest digital music publications.

*iPad mini starts at $329, Microsoft Surface $499, Google Nexus 7 $199.

5.) An Easy-to-use Microphone for the Aspiring Star

Spark Digital Microphone For the aspiring musician, singer, or podcaster in your life, theSpark Digital mic from Blue Microphones is the perfect tool to get your loved one started on the road to fame! The Spark Digital offers many options for recording via USB (just plug it into your computer). This is the latest model in their lineup of portable, compact, and stylish microphones. Check it out!

Bloc Party – Four

This post is syndicated from Indie Shuffle.

Sounds like: Kele, Friendly Fires, Two Door Cinema Club, LCD Soundsystem, Gang of Four

What’s so good?

By  | August 21st, 2012

The critically acclaimed, indie rock quartet Bloc Party are back with an unexpected new sound on their first album in nearly seven years.

The debut Silent Alarm (2005) introduced the band’s punchy, shouty, “almost-dance-music-but-not-quite” style that was welcomed by the music community with open arms. In a post-millennial blur of UK bands like The Libertines, The Kooks, and Maximo Park, Bloc Party ran the pack of being just talented enough, just cheeky enough, and just unpretentious enough to suggest something new.

Their unpresumptuous and approachable style made it easy to connect with fans while solidifying relationships with young party promoters across the globe. This led the band to eventually finding — and owning — their righteous place in the burgeoning indie rock community. Whether it was lead-singer Kele Okereke’s unique vocals or “Matt the drummer” and his elevated drum technique, Bloc Party ran a cool factor that has always been completely unique and untouched by any other band.

As evident on each album in their discography, the band has always excelled at nailing and even forecasting particular trends in music. The first singles we heard all the way back in 2004 were simple melodies driven by staccato-laden lamentation – not dissimilar from bands like LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, and other Gang of Four-inspired groups also gaining momentum at the time. Their second album, Weekend in the City, was a nod to indie disco that continued to speak to the dance music crowd and indie hipster alike.

Fast-forward to now.

Four, the band’s first album since 2008’s electronic-heavy Intimacy, retains the sentiment. We hear Kele plunge deeply into lyrics surrounding fame, society, and relationships. The band goes on a relentless rock spree, gently acknowledging the resurgence of alt 90s rock and post-hardcore – without allowing it to take over their sound entirely.

The title track of the album, “Day Four,” is signature Bloc Party material. The listener hears steady drums, lilting, melodic vocals paired with soaring guitar and trembling bass. Other tracks like “We Are Not Good People” have the same listener double-checking the iTunes playlist to see if they’ve stumbled across an old Nickelback song.

While there are no immediate standouts, Four is a good listen. It’s well-rounded, confident, and a complete body of work that supports their natural evolution as a band, and growth as individuals.

Fellas – welcome back.

Review: Analogue Monsta

This post is syndicated from Indie Shuffle

Sounds like: Flying Lotus, Teebs, Nosaj Thing, Tokimonsta, Suzi Analogue

What’s so good?

By  | August 11th, 2012

The cultural scene in East Los Angeles has been exploding for quite some time, and in the electronic music community there’s one night commonly known as the place to be. It’s called the Low End Theory, and it goes down every Wednesday night at a unassuming location called The Airliner in L.A.’s Lincoln Heights.

Once a low-key local night attended by DJs and aspiring producers, art students and their significant others, the party has quickly grown to become a world-renowned launching pad for heavy-hitting electronic artists like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing.

Two of these talents have teamed up for a duo unlike any other. The group, aptly named Analogue Monsta, is comprised of Suzi Analogue and TOKiMONSTA. And together, they forge the perfect blend of emerging talent and nu-school artistry.

TOKiMONSTA is a producer at-large – a highly-sought after femme fatale whose textured electronic landscapes have just the right amount of deconstruction to elegantly cross genres while defying what we’ve traditionally come to define as mainstream appeal.

Like many of her peers in a similar genre (Flying Lotus for one), Toki has the flawless ability to deconstruct drum patterns, implement arresting bass lines, and keep the most cynical of listeners guessing at each turn. If the walls of the food truck begin rattling, it’s likely that Toki has just taken the stage.

Suzi, known for signature sultry vocals falling somewhere between Erykah Badu and the late Aaliyah, brings a new panache that is raw and defining of a new generation.

On “Boom,” Suzi Analogue’s vocals lend just the right amount of footing and upright persuasion to make each song on the full-length collaboration a thoughtful listen.

“Boom” is out now via Scion A/V.

Record Review: Virtual Boy

This post is syndicated from Indie Shuffle

Sounds like: Ratatat, Nosaj Thing, Caribou What’s so good?By  | August 2nd, 2012What happens when classically-trained musicians go head-to-head with electronic instrumentation? Answer: a place where theory clashes happily with informed chaos.

Meet Virtual Boy: the duo comprised of Preston Walker and Henry Allen, two former music students from Chapman University. Recent grads studying under the infamous talent and mad scientist Steve Nalepa, they’re part of the East L.A. scene that gave birth to the rise of other prominent electronic music artists like Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, and The Glitch Mob.

Regulars at Low End Theory and promoters in their own right for a new project called Team Supreme, Virtual Boy are part of a movement that shakes up electronic music in a big way.

The self-titled album, released earlier this year, is a thoughtful and meticulously constructed blend of the old informing the new. Each song flows into the next, sequenced and with a particular movement in mind – not dissimilar from material of the classical variety. The album remains varied yet consistent. Songs like “Empty Place” are arresting from the start, grabbing one’s attention with a deep bass line; while other tracks like “Memory of a Ghost” are haunting and slightly more textured.

The informed present of a musical past – the future is here.

You can grab a download of the first single from the album, “Memory of a Ghost,” in addition to remixes of Grimes and more at their SoundCloud page.

“Virtual Boy” is out now on Alpha Pup Records.

New shows on Moheak, KCHUNGradio

I’m thrilled to kick off 2012 with the announcement that I’m now hosting two online radio shows! Many of you already know my obsession with new music and undying love for radio. I’m thrilled for the opportunity and feel at home being back on the air to share some great new tunes with you!

KCHUNG 1630am Chinatown // Kchungradio.org // Sundays 7-8pm Pacific Time

Moheak Radio // moheak.com // Wednesdays 6-7pm & 12am Pacific Time

Yay!