Tag Archives: Internet radio

8Tracks: Music Curated

8tracks - handcrafted internet radio

8tracks: handcrafted internet radio. Their apps are pretty cool, too.

I’ve become fascinated with the playlist curation site, 8tracks. It allows users to upload songs from their personal libraries as playlists with tags and cover art, then share, browse and comment on playlists of other members. All for free. Think of it as cloud-based mixtapes with social functionality included (comments, tags, profiles, etc.).

I’d been a casual listener of the site for a while (and similar sites like Pandora and Blip.fm), but only when hosting an ’80s-themed party recently did I fully get into the full 8tracks experience.

[8tracks width=”245″ height=”245″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/640055″][8tracks width=”245″ height=”245″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/109389″]

The two above were the perfect soundtracks. Turns out there are scores of ’80s playlists already hand-picked and battle-tested by folks who care enough to share them with the world. And now I’m making my own playlists – which embed beautifully here:

My 8tracks playlists: singles, covers, guitars…

[8tracks width=”245″ height=”245″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/1131093″][8tracks width=”245″ height=”245″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/1126173″][8tracks width=”245″ height=”245″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/1127082″][8tracks width=”245″ height=”245″ playops=”” url=”http://8tracks.com/mixes/1130745″]

It’s been fun for me to see who likes these and then to check out their playlists myself. As a person who enjoys discovering new music perfectly suited to my tastes, this is rather exciting, as I now have several promising playlists to explore. Heck, TIME magazine even named 8tracks the best site of 2011. If you’re into discovering and sharing music, you should definitely give 8tracks a try.

What do you think? Have you ever used 8tracks? Is there a similar music discovery site that you recommend? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Beats Antique: Tribal Fusion Electronica Awesomeness

I discovered Beats Antique through Pandora Internet radio, and after liking every song of theirs I heard, I checked the band out and discovered they are the real deal. The group blends electronica with traditional Mid-Eastern percussion and melodies (and live bellydancing). And they are my new favorite music.

Video: Copyright 2011, Tom Couture Photography

I’ve always been a huge fan of percussion. I’m not a drummer, but I play I mean set of air drums to most any song. And generally speaking, things like shakers, gamelans, hand drums, and especially the tambourine (think: power pop 16th notes) have always appealed to me greatly, though my main instrument is bass guitar. Percussive effects are one of my favorite elements of electronica, but it’s even more amazing live – there’s a primal energy that’s in our DNA from when our cave dwelling ancestors beat on logs around a fire and danced around. And yet another super-cool thing about Beats Antique is that they’re real musicians, not just an electronica act. Check out the group breaking it down acoustically:

Beats Antique Acoustic - Opens in New Window

Video: Copyright 2011, Relix 

Compare the above “unplugged” performance to the actual studio version to fully appreciate the awesomeness – they don’t miss a note or beat.

Bellydance Music and Beyond

What I especially dig about Beats Antique is their blending of traditional percussion with unique instrumentation, along with melodies evocative of caravans traversing the desert or incense wafting through spice market stalls. But it’s not exactly “world music.” Nor is it simply electronica, and it definitely isn’t rock. Whatever you call it, Beats Antique definitely grooves, and makes for some excellent bellydancing accompaniment, as evidenced by the group’s dancer, Zoe Jakes.

Beats Antique Live at the Fillmore, Denver

Beats Antique Live & Selected Tracks:
rsmithing’s YouTube Playlist – Click To View

Beats Antique is on tour right now, and I’m happy to have scored my ticket to see them at the Cat’s Cradle in NC in a couple of months. In the meantime, I’ll be blaring their beats and melodies through my headphones and in the car at every opportunity.

UPDATE: Instagram Brings Fans to Gigs!

May 4, 2012 – Just wanted to point out how social networking and visual art-by-way-of-blogging (and the Facebook) can promote the art-music experience of Beats Antique. Show tonight. Blog review to come…

Beats Antique Facebook Instagram

Click to view Instagram post referenced here.

David Satori

And I met David Satori before the gig. Cool dude.

 
What do you think? Can you name other examples of traditional sounds blended with modern beats? What new music have you discovered lately? Or what are you listening to at this exact moment? What’s the last song played on your iPod/Zune/8-track? Let us hear from you in the comments!