Goldie Lookin’ Chain Are Holding a Pay What You Want Gig in London

This is definitely a first, Goldie Lookin’ Chain are holding a pay-what-you-want gig.

The band are holding a warm-up show for their next UK tour in January at Metro in London.

Here’s the blurb:

“Entry to this Metro show is FREE, however, taking a leaf out of Radiohead’s book, you will be expected to pay as much (or as little) as you like on your way out depending on how much fun you had (but you don’t get a free Radiohead album). It’s a bit like the Severn bridge toll into Wales, but in reverse.”

Source: MusicAlly

Memotone – Music for Trains

Memotone is somewhere between Lemon Jelly and the Cinematic Orchestra, which for a one man act, recording on an 8 track and a laptop is a pretty incredible achievement. William Yates has put together a bewilderingly large array of instruments into a really crystal clear, deep and textured soundscape, blending live instruments, samples, glitchy computer noises and sound effects like air raid sirens, lairy kids arguing in corridors and canned laughter. There are odd moments of humour and unease, drifting clouds of sound, sharp beats that bring you back to your senses and then drop away again to let warm, live double bass lines pour into your ears and build into complex little sonic poems that wrap back to the beats. I really like it. If I wasn’t already listening to it, I would buy a copy. In fact, petition him to get vinyl pressed, so I can buy a copy.

<–buy it on iTunes

Qtrax Signs Sony BMG To Their Ad Supported Service

Qtrax has released a press release this morning stating that they have finally signed Sony BMG to their catalogue.

Qtrax is a legal P2P downloading service. In January 2008, Qtrax was overeager to announce it’s launch during the Midem conference and misrepresented ongoing negotiations and expired deals with major recording labels as being signed deals.

Qtrax is a very interesting service that has never really lived up to expectations. I’m keen to see how the service grows and if they can actually deliver decent royalty rates for the content providers. Here at RouteNote we are always looking for the next site to take off and Qtrax is definitely in the mix.

The Hitchcock Rules – For My Monster

There’s a lot of music on this album. Not just in the sense that there are 14 meaty tracks on it, but in that each one has been painstakingly written and composed. The album would feel uncomfortable being limited by a single genre, so I’ll just slop it into ‘Rock’, and then qualify it with a lot of competing styles: Coup d’Etat is soaked in drawling Country and Western guitars, with a shuffling drumbeat and a simple guitar riff riding over and under the backing and vocals. There are thumping, stadium rock beats, trashy, crashy indie guitar riffs and stabs, bluesy organs, aching prog rock dissonances and breaks, and a whole gamut of influences competing for space and attention in this music. The twin Ariadne’s threads of the album are front-man Ryan Jones’ allusive writing style, liberally peppered with literary references, and his voice, which is very mobile and fluid, and usually backed up with complex overdubbed harmonics. A fast paced, stomping, pop-tastic, sing-along chorus-fest of an album.

<– Buy it on iTunes

Amazon Mp3 Has Finally Launched Its UK Music Download Store

Amazon has just launched their Mp3 Music store in the UK. The store can be found at The simple-to-use digital music store offering over 3 million DRM-free (Digital Rights Management) songs which will work on any MP3 player including the iPod™- with top-selling albums from just £3 and individual songs from 59p.

Amazon Mp3 UK has all four major labels signed up, SonyBMG, Universal Music, EMI Music and Warner Music – and leading independents such as Cooking Vinyl, Harmonia Mundi, Beggars Banquet, The Orchard, Concord and IODA.

Pinnacle Entertainment Has Gone Into Administration

It has been reported to a source close to Hypebot that Pinnacle (UKs largest indie music player) has now gone into administration. The UK giant has dozens of record labels signed up including One Little Indian, Magaforce and Cooking Vinyl. Plus premium deals with The Fleet Foxes, Belle & Sebastian, Nine Inch Nails and Eva Cassidy

Pinnacle also operates their own online store and its own label from the site. However, I have thought for years that there sites needs to really be update and bought into the 21st century.

Pinnacle is very well know here in the UK and it is a shame to see this happen. Thus, if you are in a band or label associated with Pinnacle and you are looking for digital distribution, RouteNote has to be the place to come. 😉

What Are The Top Selling Songs and Albums in iTunes for 2008?

Best Selling Albums of 2008:

1. Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
2. Jack Johnson – Sleep Through The Static
3. Juno (Music from the Motion Picture)
4. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
5. Sara Bareilles – Little Voice
6. Once (Music from the Motion Picture)
7. Jason Mraz – We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things
8. OneRepublic – Dreaming Out Loud
9. Across the Universe (Music from the Motion Picture)
10. Leona Lewis – Spirit

Best Selling Songs of 2008:

1. “Bleeding Love” Leona Lewis
2. “Viva La Vida” Coldplay
3. “Low” Flo.Rida f/T-Pain
4. “I Kissed a Girl” Katy Perry
5. “Disturbia” Rihanna
6. “Lollipop” Lil Wayne & Static Major
7. “No Air” Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown
8. “Pocketful of Sunshine” Natasha Bedingfield
9. “Love Song” Sara Bareilles
10. “Don’t Stop the Music” Rihanna

The Menahan Street Band – Make the Road By Walking

Cool, old school and no-ones fool.
Cool, old school soul

Old school revival. Recorded on old analogue equipment in a Brooklyn bedroom by a group of young soul musicians, this album has a sound straight out of the early 70’s. The music sounds like it’s been lifted from a classic film soundtrack: if Marvin Gaye had written the score to a Bond movie it might sound something like this. There are no samples, no casio-tone saxophone parts, no vocoders, just live instruments arranged well, played well and recorded well, like music used to be when people cared about what they were producing, instead of jumping about like strippers in front of a listless, pallid audience of 17 year old girls. Even on the digital version this sounds like classic soul that’s been maturing in someone’s vinyl collection for the last three decades. Like a vintage wine, take it down from the rack, gently wipe away the imagined dust, stroke the album cover in anticipation of the sensual delights you’re about to enjoy, and lift the stylus gently into position. Immediately you’ll hear a snappy, shuffling complex beat, maybe backed with a bit of piano, then a guitar drops into the groove, picked out with a long, reverb soaked xylophone, and then you notice that your head has been bobbing like Stevie Wonder for the last 30 seconds and whoops, here comes the horn section and there’s funk all up in your ears.

I admit it, I’m biased. I love that old funk and soul (although it’s by no means the guiltiest of my pleasures) – there’s so much feeling in it, especially compared to all the angry rap and vacuous pop rock that make up ‘pop’ at the moment. Having said that, Jay-Z was awarded Rolling Stone’s best single of 2007 for his track ‘Roc Boys’, which is basically just a sample of the really cool beat and horn section hook from title track ‘Make the Road by Walking’, with him rapping about how brilliant he is all over it. What makes me sad is that Jay-Z probably made millions from the single, and the album’s producer/creator Thomas Brenneck will have got nothing like as much for actually writing the song. Still, chin up.

If you’re into Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Marvin Gaye or Amy Winebox, or the idea of a bluesy, funky, soulful instrumental album appeals to you, then buy this and you’ll love it. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be hearing it in movies, adverts and sampled in other more ‘pop’ artists songs as soon as the music supervisors of the world feel it’s safe enough, so you might as well get a copy and annoy your friends by telling them who that track on the advert is by, and how they should really go and check out the Daptone records site, because there’re really a load of great music up there, funk and soul as it should be, or at the very least check out The Menahan Street Band or Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (the musicians’ other band) on YouTube or iTunes.

Tabb’s Arcade – Under the Stars

Loose, bluesy, indie rock in a style mixing influences from both modern and (to me) 1970’s Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart sounds. The singer’s voice in particular reminds me of ‘The Rod’ at times. As a whole the album is more modern and grungey/garagey than this might suggest. Pick the Diamond out of it…

<– Buy it on iTunes

RockFree Launches Online Web Browser Competitor to Guitar Hero and Rock Band

Acclaim has decided that they didnt want to battle Guitar Hero and Rock Band and instead have launched an online music game called Rockfree. Players can battle it out with up to seven other people over the internet, and it”ll feature licensed tracks including Iron Man, Fat Lip, and Woman. A closed beta kicked off this weekend, with a full launch scheduled for the first quarter of next year.

WMG, Sony and EMI are on board for licensing – which indicates that Acclaim is ponying up a decent amount of cash for song rights, since WMG is apparently playing hardball on this score with games publishers right now.

Currently, the game is free to play so it is going to be very interesting to see if Acclaim will make money from advertising, or even push though affiliate sales to iTunes and Amazon. All I know is that this is a very interesting idea and it is good to see that Acclaim is moving away from just being a console publisher and now turning into a real games publisher.