The semester is over… but we’re still kicking

The semester has come and went so fast, and we hate to say good-bye.  We’ve truly enjoyed sharing our music and the ways that we get our music with all of you, and we hope you enjoyed it as well.  Although our class is over, we are not quite ready to pull the cord on the Lifeline of Music. So keep posted because there may be some surprise posts!

Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s

I was having some trouble finding a topic to post about for this week after visiting my usual sites so I decided to branch out to some other sites. Since my blogs weren’t really getting me anywhere, I decided to check out the website of my favorite music magazine, The Rolling Stone. On the front page I stumbled upon a link to their top 100 albums of the last 12 years. I thought that this would be really cool to check out because most of my music tastes were developed in the 2000’s.

Here’s the link to the whole 100 list: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-best-albums-of-the-2000s-20110718

The top five shakes out like this:

5. The White Stripes – Elephant

4. Jay-Z – The Blueprint

3. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

2. The Strokes – Is This It

1. Radiohead – Kid A

While I had at least heard of all of the bands/artists, I found it really interesting that I have only listened to one of these albums. Earlier in the semester I wrote a post about how radio was becoming out of touch with what people really want to listen to, and I guess that it makes sense that awards would too, but it is kind of disappointing. As I looked further into the top 100, there were a lot of more noticeable albums and names, mostly towards the bottom. I know that music tastes are all relative, but this list seemed pretty snobby to me. The Rolling Stone is a pretty popular magazine as far as music goes, but I would be interested to see if other people agree with me that very few people actually listen to the albums that they named. The albums towards the top of the list were mostly well reviewed indie rock albums that didn’t get much radio play at all. I guess it all comes down to the responsibility of readers to digest this information actively and always question what you read.

DJ or Musician? Or Are They The Same Thing?

So since I’ve  been here in Madison, I’ve noticed the huge popularity of house/techno/electronic music. When I go to parties it’s all I hear, and when Avicii comes to town, half of Madison is lining up outside of the Orpheum. Being broke, I ended up selling my Avicii ticket the day off, deciding that it wasn’t worth it to spend $50 to watch a guy perform with his computer. And I’m sure I’ve pissed a lot of you off with that comment, but this next may tick you off more: I can’t quite understand the hype around DJs; I understand that it’s far more complicated than a guy and a computer, and yes it takes talent, but for me, it’s hard to have the same amount of respect for DJs as I have for other musicians.

I also get that the concerts are a lot about the experience as well, they’re giant parties with a fantastic atmosphere and the DJ is right there in front of you, but I’m interested in the hype around these concerts. And maybe it’s just a stigma I’ve been surrounded by from my friends at home; that electronic music isn’t “music” and that DJs aren’t “musicians”. If anyone ever turned on house music, there was instant outrage and a requirement for the next song to be Tom Petty or Bob Dylan. I’m certainly not trying to take away from what these individuals do, and I’m certainly not saying that I don’t enjoy hearing it at a party. But I’ve posted two videos on here, the first is footage of Avicii from Tomorrowland (the music festival that Kelsey had earlier posted about), and the next is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and their NPR session, and I’m interested in what you guys think.


And not only does this discussion of the differences in today’s music apply to house music, but I think it applies to our entire generation. My parents are constantly hating on what I listen to and saying that it isn’t “music” and undoubtedly, music has changed from what it used to be. Songs on the radio can be about about “disco sticks” and due to today’s technology, voices can be incredibly altered in the studio, the music can even be completely electronic. And yes, those are generalizations, but it’s clear that music has certainly crossed new borders and has expanded the possibilities for what can be considered music. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Music News (a tad late): Tupac Hologram Coachella 2012

One of the biggest music news stories in the last month was Coachella 2012, more precisely, the appearance of a rapper that has been dead for over 15 years. That rapper is Tupac Shakur. A hologram of the rapper was created on stage using the Musion Eyeliner technology. And let me tell you, the effect was astonishing. He was able to actually interact with the other rappers that were on stage (Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre), as well as perform two songs as well as Tupac himself could’ve. Watch below for yourself.

The technology used is simply breathtaking, I said myself that if you showed that video to someone who didn’t know Tupac was dead (good luck finding someone), they would not have seen anything strange at all in this video. It’s amazing the technology that was used to make this happen. This isn’t the first time this technology has been utilized for live shows.

The virtual band Gorillaz has used this technology to perform live on a number of occasions, including a more well known performance at the 2006 Grammy’s that included Madonna. The craziest part about this performance, was that in the beginning, it wasn’t actually Madonna performing with the Gorillaz, it was a hologram Madonna. Only, not many people knew this. She actually appeared on stage later in the performance. Check this amazing technology out again in this video!

So what are the possibilities of this technology? Are they endless? There has been rampant talk lately about bringing back many other dead artists, and even with the possibility of having deceased artists tour! This technology definitely opens up new musical possibilities but at the same time creates questions about how far it should be utilized.

YouTube to MP3 Converter

As many of you already know, there are MANY different ways a person can download their music in today’s new, rich media environment.  However, it is important to weigh both the pros and cons of each downloading technique.  First, iTunes and Amazon are popular downloading technique many people choose.  ITunes and Amazon are the most legal, legitimate and high quality way of downloading music.  However, most songs cost at least $1.00, and many music fanatics, like me, are cheap and downloading music can become a financial burden.  Another downloading technique people use is programs such as Limewire or Frostwire.  Although downloading music from these programs is free, it is also illegal, difficult to use, and definitely not the best quality music.  One of the most popular ways to download music is through the third most popular website on the World Wide Web today, YouTube.com.  Many people enter “convert YouTube’s to MP3” in the Google search bar and use the algorithm’s generated list of websites to convert the YouTube URL into an iTunes’s music file.  But, how user friendly are these converter websites? Are they free? And most importantly, are they legal?

When I download my music there are three key elements that are important: convenience, cost, and legality.  Therefore, I have come to a conclusion that www.youtube-mp3.org is the best site for downloading music on an apple computer.  When using this site, a person needs to first find the song on YouTube.  Next, you need to copy the YouTube URL link, and then paste it in the youtube-mp3.org converter bar located in the middle of the page.  The final two steps are clicking the convert video button and then the download button.  The converted link will then show up in the computer’s download folder and iTunes music library.

This YouTube to MP3 converter website is very easy to use, fast, and 100% free.  But, is it legal to use converter sites like youtube-mp3.org?

I am not a lawyer, or a copyright expert, but from what I have read from the information I found surrounding this issue is that it is okay to copy a song off of YouTube, as long as it’s only going to be for personal use only.  The fair use act that was established, specifically says that an individual is allowed one copy for personal use only. For example, when recording a TV show with your DVR, you are then creating one copy for your use. It does not become illegal until you start distributing that show, or music for profit, or non-profit use. Just the act of distribution is where it officially becomes illegal. Making a copy of a YouTube video is no different than making a copy of your favorite TV show on your DVR, as long as it’s for YOU!!!

Santigold: Disparate Youth

It’s so difficult to pick a song of the day every week, they’re so much music I want to share with you guys! But today I decided to post Santigold’s song Disparate Youth. I’m usually not a giant fan of Santigold, but I like this! Let me know what you think.