Philip Selway – Album Taster

Hello there, did you have a nice weekend? I didn’t, someone came into my house and kindly punched a hole into the fence in my back-garden with his irritating fist. Would you like to know what cheered me up? Bella Union have uploaded a taster of Philip Selway‘s (Radiohead drummer, sort it out!) album, due for release in two weeks.

It’s not a million miles away from Radiohead, whether that’s a good or bad thing I suppose is for you to decide. I liked it and I think if you’re a Radiohead fan you’re definitely going to listen to it at some point, regardless of how good it is.

Why not take a listen now? It’s free you know?

Philip Selway – Familial (Album Sampler) by Bella Union

Tips When Submitting Your Music For Review

Somewhere between 5 and 50 times a day I get asked this question; “can you put my band/music on your blog? You can! OK, what do you need me to send you?”. The question isn’t always phrased exactly like that, sometimes it’s less specific than that, sometimes it’s an email that leads absolutely nowhere, sometimes it’s an msn chat that I don’t really have time for.

In short; yes, I am almost always willing to consider any music for this blog. It’s my favourite thing to do, find new music and share it with the world/few hundred people that bother to read this blog.

Every week I delete dozens of emails without even looking at the music I’m being directed to, simply because the person sending me the music hasn’t made it easy enough for me to work with. I’ve spoken to several other music bloggers on this and they’ve all experienced the same.
This is why I’m here to give you a hand, with my top tips for contacting music bloggers and a few ideas as how best to get your music featured on a blog.

1) Basic Manners

You would not believe how many emails I get that start “Here’s my band, check it out” or even worse, just a link to a MySpace page. It’s quite rude. A short hello and introduction is all I’m asking for.

2) Don’t Waffle

Yes, I want you to introduce yourself and give a brief description as to what you are. No, I don’t want your life story (unless it’s VERY interesting and worth writing about). If you have a press release, please don’t send it to me. If you have a badly written press release that your mate has written and you send it to me then there is a good chance I’ll use it to ridicule you later on.

3) Basic Information

Following on from the last two points on what not to write, here is what you should write; your artist/band name, members of the band, basic set up of the band, 50 maximum describing the band and most importantly how you see yourself stylistically.

4) Links

As much as I want to hear your music, I don’t want to download loads of mp3s and load them into iTunes etc. Send me a link where I can hear your music, tell me if you’re on spotify. Absolutely don’t ask me to go to iTunes and pay to download your music (so many people do this).
If I select you for review what I want is; a website/MySpace, a place where you can buy the music so I can advertise you and something I can embed in the blog post – soundcloud, youtube, vimeo…

and finally… 5) Make your email easy to read and work with

Here is what I would consider to be the perfect email from an artist;

Hi Luke, I saw your blog and would like it if you could review my band for it. My name is Rupert Piffle and I’m in a band called The Old Piss Farmers.

We are a lo-fi, electro-punk band and have just released our E.P – Piss Farming For First Timers.

You can hear the E.P in full on our MySpace page and on band camp, where you can also download it for £2. I have uploaded a track to SoundCloud for you.



Obviously I’ve not included any links because none of those things exist, but hopefully you get the jist…

Anyway, if you want to be reviewed on this blog then please do get in touch, I’ll be more than happy to listen to your music and I hope this post has helped.

Tweet me @monkeyhotel

Something For The Weekend?

Up to anything exciting this weekend? Maybe a garden party, going out clubbing or just hanging out on your own at home starring at your bum? All of these things I’m sure would be improved with some new music attacking your ear drum.

Here are some of my favourite free SoundCloud play lists that I’ve been made aware of this week.

If you would like something to be included in further blog posts then please get in touch; or @monkeyhotel

First, here’s NME’s playlist of the 50 best new bands from 2010. There’s some really good stuff in here, the highlight for me being Darwin Deez (number 44). This is a good, reliable playlist that will happily whir away in the background whilst you get up to whatever sordid activities you choose to over the weekend.

50 Best New Bands Of 2010 by Tim Chester NME

Next, an artist I plugged earlier this week in my music suggestions, Ambeson. If you did the honourable thing and bothered to listen to the album I uploaded earlier in the week and liked it, then why not try his remix playlist? Varied, eclectic and relaxing stuff. Ideal for that post clubbing chill out session (yes, sometimes I like to talk like a moron, what of it?).

remixes by ambeson

And finally some Danish dance music. Here is the upcoming releases set from Danish based indie label Melonsound. Another solid playlist that you should be able to happily play in the background at any social gathering without too many complaints.

Upcoming releases by MELONSOUND

EMI Think Apple Has Too Much Control in the Music Industry

UK major label EMI this week railed against Apple’s iTunes in the body of its latest annual financial statement.

EMI are unanimous in their praise for Apple’s achievements in online music sales, but resent the huge slice of the music sales market the company has carved out. In other words they want Apple to be a large player in the online music space, but they want to see a few other services step up and compete with them on marketshare. Apple is now the biggest music retailer in the US for both the digital market and the overall music market.

This gives Apple too much control, label bosses feel. Now EMI has found this sufficiently significant to warn that a key risk to the music industry is:

“The substantial dependence on a limited number of online music stores, in particular the iTunes Store, for the online sale of music recordings, and the resultant significant influence that they can exert over the pricing structure for online music stores.”

This warning was included within the company’s most recent financial statement, in which the label confirmed continued decline in CD sales, but said digital revenues now accounted for 8.1 percent of music publishing revenues, up from 7.4 percent in the same period last year.

A Friday Treat: Smashing Pumpkins – Freak

Good morning and good Friday (no, not that kind of good Friday) to you. Want to see something cool before the weekend do you? Well, why not take a look and have a listen to the (relatively) new Smashing Pumpkins song ‘Freak’ on their customised SoundCloud player below?

OK, so the big fans amongst you will have heard this song already, fine. You might not have seen the customised SoundCloud player before, and it really is a thing of beauty.

Have a nice day, more treats later.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor feat. Armin van Buuren – Not Giving Up On Love

Sophie Ellis-Bextor hasnt really done that well in the charts recently, but her new release might be a hit. Not Giving Up On Love is Sophie’s new collaborative single with Dutchman DJ Armin van Buuren.

The single, which will appear on both Ellis-Bextor’s forthcoming Straight To The Heart (out in October) and Buuren’s Mirage (September) will be released worldwide in digital format on August 20.

Apple Pull Grooveshark iPhone App

Apple have completely pulled the Grooveshark iPhone app from it’s App Store following a copyright complaint from Universal Music U.K.

Grooveshark stated on their blog; “Earlier this afternoon, Apple sent us a letter notifying us that, due to a complaint they received from Universal Music Group UK, Grooveshark for iPhone has been, strangely, pulled from the App Store”.

This could be significant chapter in the ongoing row surrounding free and paid for digital music distribution. It’s perhaps not entirely surprising that Apple would so happy to delete any app that acts as a rival to it’s own music distribution services given a good enough reason (remember the song and dance they made before allowing Spotify to have an app?), although this could act as something of a catalyst for more big companies to make formal complaints against similar digital music services.

NME Wants The World to Read Their Music News on iPhone or iPod Touch

Leading UK music magazine the NME has launched their official iPhone app. The application is priced at £1.19 and allows users to personalise their music news experiences. I really wonder how many people will choose to buy this application, when there are so many free options available.

The app lets users browse news, galleries and videos from the website, and tag individual artists to receive alerts on their activities. The app supports offline browsing and Twitter/Facebook sharing too.

The application is currently only on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but im sure they will develop an iPad version soon enough.

Kings of Leon Dont Want to Appear As Sells Outs, so No Glee and Ugly Betty Appearances

Kings of Leon are way too cool to appear on sites like Glee and Ugly Betty, as they have turned down cameo appearances on both shows.

Kings of Leon turned down the slots because they didnt want to appear as “sell outs”.

Bassist Jared Followill said: “We got an offer to appear on an episode of Ugly Betty. They wanted us to play ourselves. We were supposed to come in and help her out with some problem or other.”

The band also confirmed they had rejected an offer from Glee, with Jared saying: “We could have sold out so much more. We turn stuff down contantly.”

Midweek Music Suggestions – 18/08/2010

Welcome to my Midweek Music Suggestions.

This week I have two new artists that I hope will help make the remainder of your week a tad more tolerable. Why not have a little listen, eh?

First up is a “dazzling, seductive and warm tour de force” according to the homepage of her own website – Claire Simone.
Claire is already an established artist with a decent enough fan base, who serves up delicious and very digestible soul dishes that you could do a lot worse than checking out. You can find out more about her three releases here and I have inserted a track from her latest album Organic.

Tell Me A Lie by claire simone

My second (and final) suggestion this week is an artist whose album I am currently reviewing. Ambeson is an electronic producer type who makes some pretty interesting stuff happen in a very sparse and tasteful way.  Linked below is a generous free taster from his most recent album When Colours Flow, which is available to listen to and buy on bandcamp if you click here.

When Colours Flow sampler by ambeson

If you would like your music to be featured in this blog then please get in touch; or on twitter @monkeyhotel