I download and review a lot of great software, but obviously I don't keep everything. Some programs don't make the cut simply because I have a better option on my computer already or I have no use for them at work. But other applications I've downloaded have withstood the test of time and remain useful on a day-to-day basis. I'm talking about my must-have applications.
O'Brien is known for his traditionalist outings (2005's "Fiddler's Green" is a stunning tour of classic folk varietals). But even then he's looked a lot like a modern solo bard, and it's that persona that appears in "Chameleon." The LP is nearly ideal: coffeehouse ruminations with a serious folk grounding.
Even hardcore audiophiles have to face the music--brick and mortar record stores are fading fast--and it's starting to look like the CD is on its way out. Sure, no card carrying audiophile would be caught dead downloading MP3s or iTunes, the sonic sacrifices are too drastic. Well, what if there was a site that offered bona fide CD quality downloads, would audiophiles go for it? That's HDtracks' prime directive, but I don't think the high-resolution download store is just for audiophiles.
Then again I never understood why anyone would pay more or less the same price for … Read more
Bay Area-based Zion I pumps up energy levels with potent beats and punctual rhymes. High-grade production by Amp Live comes in assorted flavors, all of which are ultra-crisp, clean, and chunky. MC Zion commands your attention with a steady stream of politically seasoned rhymes and plenty of charisma. With songs like these, the duo's stock continues to shoot through the roof.
U.K. indie-styled rockers give a nod to a tradition of melodic crooning and gritty guitars and the result is the enticing sound of Futureheads. These lads strut into the dance party and shamelessly flirt with Britpop by employing a lyrically driven sound surrounded by dirty guitar work. If the Strokes intermarried with Interpol, these bandmates--who've obviously graduating with honors from the school of sexy--could be their prodigal offspring.
Since emerging in the '80s as the voice of 'Til Tuesday, and following that with a series of thoughtful, introspective solo albums, Aimee Mann has maintained her high status as a thoroughly engaging and accomplished singer-songwriter. Her songs carry the weight of complex emotions, yet they never get bogged down in too much sentimentality.
This week, tens of thousands of alt-music junkies are fleeing to the desert to take part in the hottest event around: the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. And when we say "hottest" we mean both temperature hot and, yes, sexy hot, as well. We're impressed with the headliners, such as Portishead , Death Cab For Cutie, Jack Johnson, but we're even more down with the bands in the small print, too, such as Little Brother, Jens Lekman, and Modeselektor.
We're not actually going to Coachella (bummer), but we will be celebrating virtually via the playlist … Read more