The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

Archive for November, 2007

Lube Me Up Mr. Celebrity

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My growing fascination with the obscure ends of the NY Times lead me to this fascinating article about a new middleman in the music industry. The social networking sites theoretically bring fans closer to their idol (I’m friends with M.I.A. but the relationship is so one way and she never calls me back) but lacks any real connection to the person. Enter BuddyLube, the worst named company in America. Either a new addition to Jenna Jameson’s massive porn empire or a service to bring artists “closer” to their fans by making exclusive items available only to them. By being “closer”, you still don’t interact directly with the musician. Instead, you can share your love affair of a particular artist with other fans – which may be more enriching in the long run than simply meeting your idol. Fans love sharing their experiences and competing for the next “one-up” scenario – backstage passes, exclusive memorabilia, unreleased downloads, etc.

This area of the middleman seems to be one of the growing trends in the industry. If the formal label is dying, why not capitolize on the middle area – making the fan and the artist more accessible. There will always be a barrier. Why not take advantage of it and build tiny holes that make it seem less broad.

NYT Magazine – Getting Along Famously

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November 20th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

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New Issue: Kate Nash

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Kate Nash, Made of Bricks – And your new, reigning queen of quirky pop is Lily Al….wait. Now that the summer is over and the fresh reggae rhythms have lost their appeal in the autumn breeze, Kate Nash has supplanted Lily Allen for the leading young female singer-songwriter getting tons of buzz and airplay. “Foundations” is now a mainstay in London lounges and her album has hit #1. All of her UK shows are sold out. She has everything necessary for the makings of a great career. Except one thing – a good album.

Even with significantly greater talent as a musician than her obvious foil, Made of Bricks falls flat with bratty lyrics and limited melodies. “Foundations”shows off her potential for creating solid piano hooks and a few tracks follow in the footsteps (“Pumpkin Soup”, “Mouthwash”). However, the overall effect is one of youthful spite with subpar lyrics and piano melodies that are too easy on the ears, losing their flavor after only a few listens. Even with slightly redundant lyrics, Allen’s Alright, Still had more staying power due to the fresh beats and reggae feel. Nash will need to hone her style to keep up with the rising level of female talent in the UK.

Written by TopDrop

November 4th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

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Top Drops: October

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Since I was deathly ill for most of the month, I didn’t have a chance to listen to many new albums this month. The few I did get to, however, are on repeat and well worth the purchase.

Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder CanyonIn spite of my fear for his outward appearance, I keep coming back to this album on a crisp fall day. The warmth of the Tropicalia-infused folk and his inventive if not off-kilter lyrics merge well with the wonderful weather we are having in London (sunny and warm mornings with brisk evenings). Guess who’s going to see him during birthday month…

Jens Lekman, Oh Your So Silent, Jens – I can’t stress how great it is to hear well done pop with witty lyrics by a Norseman. A slight hint of self deprecation and you have a great early compilation album from a rising songwriter.

St. Vincent, Marry Me Yeah, I picked her last month, but I can’t seem to put her down. The flow of the album -from jarring electronic rock to the touching acoustic work – makes for a complete sound that is just too alluring to put down. This may be in the running for album of 2007 (don’t fret Arcade Fire – every other list will pick you).

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November 4th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

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