… Some of my favorite record/song releases of 2009, in no particular order; I know I’m probably leaving a few other favorites off but these are the ones that first came to mind during this busy holiday season.
For those that have never compiled an end of the year best of list before, here’s how it works: a new song is released, one listens to it and thinks ‘this song is making my end of the year best of list’, and then, this same person listens to it over and over and over the remainder of the year. Yup, that’s how it works… When I look over each of the included records/songs of 2009, I can honestly say that’s precisely how it worked and probably why I blogged about each of them earlier in the year.
You can download each of the sample songs from my favorite record releases of the year in one folder here (right-click to save zip file to your desktop) and each of the favorite songs individually in the same fashion.
I signed up, confirmed my email address (and received 50 credits), filled out some profile information, then created a playlist and got to adding some music.
Lala offers the ability to “upload your whole music collection in a flash” via the Lala Music Lover which allows you to:
Add the music and playlists on your computer to your online collection for free. Play it anywhere on the web.
Most of your music will be matched to Lala’s catalog and available online in minutes.
Any remaining unmatched MP3s can be uploaded to Lala.
However, I currently have 27.33 GB of music in my iTunes Library and, for the sake of time, went with the manual upload instead, choosing six songs to upload via an imeem-like uploader:
My upload timed out however, which was probably the result of the bandwidth of the wireless connection I was on:
But, aside from the final track (Lifelike’s remix of La Roux’s “In for the Kill”), all the songs uploaded properly and formed a playlist which was immediately shareable to social networking and blogging/micro-blogging platforms Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, and Twitter. Since this is currently a WordPress.com blog, I can’t embed my playlist on my blog, however I did test it on a Blogger blog I have especially for these instances. Here’s how it looks:
I hate that when you select any of the menu options like EDIT or SHARE there is no turning back, if you select a menu option your stuck on that path, have a look:
You can only select ‘Embed playlist on a website’ to go anywhere. It’s actually a really annoying user experience glitch. Another issue I’m struggling with is arranging the order of my playlist, which definitely isn’t made any easier by the ability to open FAQs in a new tab. The inability to access these menu options is definitely a hindrance to closing the loop on new users using the service initially and coming back and using it again and again.
I’m still playing around with Lala so I’ll have more by way of a critique soon, but in the meantime, I think I’d like the ability to browse Lala’s collection of songs, find a single song I would like to embed to my blog, then embed the single audio file player, allow for those who come to by blog to click a link on that player and, should this person consume the song, receive a reference credit.
Lala was founded by serial entrepreneur Bill Nguyen, whose initial intention was, according to Forbes, to “reenergize the music industry. He speaks of Lala only in earthmoving terms: “I want to make the music industry hip again. I’m going to undo the commoditization of music and bring back choice. Everything the industry does, we’ll do the reverse.”
People like Bill Nguyen, and RCRD LBL’sPeter Rojas, is what the music industry needs more of, people who’ve had a sense of the music industry their whole careers, but didn’t come to the present tense selling records in retail stores or tour managing, yet still get music because they love music.
According to SV/SJ Business Journal, “Lala executives have secured agreements with major labels EMI Group Ltd., Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group. They also have support from more than 170,000 independent labels and distributors” and, as a result, the service received another $35 million in venture funding.
Here’s three awesome songs (plus 1) for right now:
Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Skeletons”
Crystal Stilts “Love Is A Wave”
1. Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
From the forthcoming (but not until May, still, even though it’s already kinda leaked?) album Veckatimest, here’s the amazingly awesomeGrizzly Bear’s new jam “Two Weeks,” which some of you might recall they performed on Letterman a little while back:
Right around the release of Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear will be heading out on tour in support, and not attending their show in your market will be interpreted as a sign of weakness:
05/24 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theatre
05/25 George, WA @ Sasquatch
05/26 Vancouver , BC @ Commodore
05/28 New York, NY @ Town Hall
05/29 New York, NY @ Town Hall
06/01 Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
06/02 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
06/03 Boston, MA @ Berklee Performance Center
06/04 Montreal, QC @ Le National
06/05 Toronto, ON @ Phoenix
06/07 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
06/08 Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
06/09 Bloomington, IN @ Buskirk – Chumley
06/11 Carrboro, NC @ Cats Cradle
06/12 Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
06/13 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle (with TV On The Radio)
If ya dig, and happen to be in Brooklyn this Saturday you’re in luck, otherwise you might want to put in a call with your Euro friends regarding the availability of their living room couches; Crystal Stilts tour dates:
Jan 10 2009 Market Hotel w/ Tyvek Brooklyn, New York
Feb 2 2009 Beatpol Dresden
Feb 3 2009 Rhiz Vienna
Feb 4 2009 Schocken Stuttgart
Feb 6 2009 Theatre Palace St. Gallen
Feb 7 2009 la romandie lausanne
Feb 8 2009 le sonic Lyon
Feb 9 2009 FNAC (apres midi) Dijon
Feb 9 2009 flannery’s Dijon
Feb 10 2009 Main d’oevres Paris
Feb 11 2009 L’Oreille Qui Traîne Rouen
Feb 12 2009 new hero Brighton
Feb 13 2009 Windmill Brixton w/ Lets Wrestle London
Feb 17 2009 Buffalo Bar Cardiff
Feb 18 2009 Institute w/ Black Lips Manchester
Feb 19 2009 Whelans Dublin
Feb 21 2009 captains rest Glasgow
Feb 22 2009 sneaky pete’s Edinburgh, Scotland
Feb 24 2009 Brudenell Social Leeds
Feb 25 2009 Chameleon Nottingham
Feb 26 2009 Bardens Boudoir w/ Wavves London
Feb 27 2009 Db’s studio Utrecht
Feb 28 2009 Molotow Hamburg
Mar 1 2009 Gleis 22 Munster
Mar 2 2009 Karlstorbahnhof Heidelburg
Mar 4 2009 Debaser malmo
Mar 5 2009 Herrgarn Linkoping
Mar 6 2009 Revolver Oslo
Mar 7 2009 Strand Stockholm
Mar 8 2009 Loppen Copenhagen
Mar 10 2009 Bang Bang Club Berlin
Check out Pitchfork’s review of Alight of Nighthere.