Innovators at work


You might not be heading to Austin, Texas for the big music industry fest that is South By Southwest yourself (watch out for coverage in Day and Night in two weeks) but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the fact that 1,500 bands are looking for global attention. The official site contains artist pages with MP3s for many of the acts playing including Broken Bells, She & Him, Fanfarlo, The XX and many, many more. If you prefer to grab them all in go, there are two torrents available with over 1,000 MP3s. If passive selective listening is more your thing, NPR have a streaming radio show on their site with takes 100 MP3s of the best bands playing and repeats it ad infinitum.

Following on from OK Go’s recent Youtube/label music video problems which were documented here two weeks ago, the Chicago band have found a way to resolve the issue of non-embeddable Youtube videos for their fans.

The band released a new version of the video for This Too Shall Pass and chances are you’ve already seen it. After a week, this new video had 6.6 million views (compared to 1.1 for the marching band version). The video shows the domino effect in action via a Rube Goldberg machine: an elaborate warehouse setup where marbles, globes, cards, blocks, household objects, cars, pulleys, slides and levers combine to make a thrilling four minutes of viewing.

Crucially, the video can now be placed on any other site other than Youtube thanks to an insurance company from Chicago called State Farm. In a first for music videos, State Farm paid an undisclosed sum to allow embedding of the video on every other site on the internet, as well as a credit at the end of the clip and their logo on two of the domino objects in the video. Everyone wins here. OK Go get mad viral hits and more buzz. Their label EMI get paid by State Farm who get global advertising and fans can do what they want with the video.

Speaking of innovative initiatives in music videos, check out French band Uniform Motion’s unique approach to theirs. They produced an interactive animation that can be customised and sent to friends. You can pick any track from their second album to soundtrack it, you can type a message to appear in the video and the result is an animated performance of the song you chose with the customisation intact. View an example.

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Linkage: How to fold a t-shirt in two seconds & other links

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How to fold a t-shirt in two seconds
Sometimes, the internet can be useful you know.
Watch at Urlesque

R&B’s smoothest voice
A list of deep-voiced, spoken word monologues as recorded by Boyz II Men’s Michael McCary.
Read / Listen at 11 Points

Plan B magazine archives
Download all 46 back issues in PDF format of the much-loved independent UK music magazine which ceased publication last year.

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Band of Blogs: Foals, Owensie, The Very Best, Cults

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Foals’ Spanish Sahara
With their new album Total Life Forever due in May, Foals have returned with a slow-burning number with no discernible comparison to the freneticism of their debut album Antidotes. It’s a grower however.
Watch/ listen at East LA

Formerly of Dublin rock bands Puget Sound and Terrordactyl, Owensie’s new solo project is a much gentler affair akin to Jose Gonzales’ finger-picking folk with great tunes to boot.

The Very Best’s You’ve Got The Love
Remixing a remix should feel like spreading things a little thin, but The Very Best have successfully taken The XX’s remix of Florence And The Machine and added some light to the shade thanks to the warm vocal tones of Esau Mwamwaya.
Listen at the Hype Machine

Not much is known about Cults apart from the fact that they are a boy/girl duo from New York and their playful happy-pop has been debuting on a lot of music blogs this week. Download their free digital release.

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Sites of the Week: Hunted radio, Ripfork, Doids

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Hunted radio
From the team behind We Are Hunted comes this online radio station which analyses Myspace plays and queues the most popular song streams on the social network right now.

Matt Wendus really dislikes music critics. Reading some of the reviews he dissects, you can see why.

A blog filled with photos and videos of dogs driving cars. Sure, it’s a specific niche but it works.

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