Monthly Archives: September 2012

Noisetrade – (Legally) Free Music

Here’s the thing. Free music is awesome. Especially because it is really expensive to buy all the good music coming out all the time. And yet, hopefully, you feel somewhat guilty about illegally downloading music. Well, here’s a solution: NoiseTrade. Co-founded by Derek Webb and a team of artist and music industry veterans, NoiseTrade is a place for the trading of information for free music.

Here’s how the website explains NoiseTrade: Fans get free music. Artist connect with new fans. Everybody wins.

Basically, for the cost of your email address and zip code, you can download free albums from bands. Any band can upload their music onto the website and the fans can download as much music as they want. Plus, there are always great artist on the website. Here’s some great free records you should get:

The Civil Wars – Live at Eddie’s Attic
Derek Webb – Ctrl (3 Song Sampler)
Aimee Mann – Noisetrade Sampler
The Lumineers – Tracks from the Attic
Jars of Clay – Gather and Build: A Collection
Ben Rector – Ben Rector Sampler
Josh Garrels – Love & War: B-Sides & Remixes EP
Brandi Carlile – Live at Bear Creek EP
Young the Giant – Remix EP
Green River Ordinance – Green River Ordinance
Future of Forestry – Young Man Follow EP
Andrew Bird – NoiseTrade Sampler

…and there’s thousands and thousands more to sift through (with full track previews). So go to NoiseTrade and start getting all types of free music from great bands of all genres.

Derek Webb recently wrote a blog about free music, Spotify, illegally downloading, and NoiseTrade. He brings up some really interesting points. It’s a fairly long read but well worth it. Read it here.


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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Music Review


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100 Greatest Novels: Brave New World and The Sound and the Fury

I’ve read two more books from the list of 100 greatest novels. Oddly enough, these next two books were both named after Shakespeare quotes. Anyways, my thoughts:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This book falls into one of my longest lasting love of a genre: science fiction about dystopian societies. What makes this novel special is how little of a political point it tries to make. Numerous characters have many different ideas on this dystopian world and they all do a fairly good job defending their beliefs. It’s the readers job to defend our concept of society and to argue against a world without families or monogamy and with brainwashing and government-driven drug use. Good luck.

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

I’m not really sure what I think about this book. The overall story and themes of the book were great. It’s a very interesting look at the downfall of a Southern aristocratic family in the early 1900s spanning many family members and many years. Each chapter (4 in all) is from a different family member’s point of view so there’s drastic changes in writing styles. The first two chapters are fairly difficult to read but they also provide the most interesting insights into the family. This is one of those novels that you enjoy thinking back on it after you’re done reading and not as much while you read it. Does that make sense?

Next up is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.


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100 Greatest Novels: The Great Gatsby, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, & Lolita

I’ve completed three more books in my quest to read the 100 greatest novels of all time. Here’s what I thought:

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s been many years since I’ve last ready Gatsby and I noticed a few different things. First off, this is a really quick read. I don’t know if it was because I just finished Ulysses but I was surprised at the simple language used. The novel took about a day and a half to finish. Secondly, while Gatsby is an interesting character, the book is not really about him. This time I paid much more attention to the narrator, Nick Carroway, his lady friend, Jordan Baker, and Nick’s cousin’s husband, Tom Buchanan. Also, looking at the bigger, historical picture, this book is about the metaphorical death of a decade and of a generation. So there’s that.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
by James Joyce

I was glad to be back in the language world of James Joyce. He’s just in a whole different ball game. This book is a loosely autobiographical novel about Stephen Dedalus growing up. The writing style starts childish and slowly grows more mature to represent Stephen becoming the poet he wants to be. Here’s the opening lines:
“Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo…”
And here’s the closing line:
“Welcome, O life, I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

I don’t know how to describe this book. But I’ll try (and fail). It’s disturbing. It’s sad. It’s hilarious. It’s immoral. It’s beautiful. Let me try again. This book is about a 40s European male who has an attraction for girls between the age of 9-14. He calls them  “nymphets.” He does everything he can to be with one he names Lolita. He gets to be with her. And it becomes a physical and mental hell for both (mostly the former for Lolita and the latter for Humbert). Which leads me back to this: It’s disturbing. It’s sad. It’s hilarious. It’s immoral. It’s beautiful.



Onwards! I’m currently reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in 100 Greatest Novels, Book Review, Literature


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New Music – September

It always seems like releases that I’m excited about come out in a short period of time. Then there will be many months of no new music. Well, this month happens to be the period of time with lots of exciting new music:

September 4th:

Matchbox Twenty – North
If you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy this record. Nothing revolutionary but solid songwriting, great singing, and spot-on playing by the band.

Derek Webb – Ctrl
Even though you could have purchased this record a few weeks ago, it officially went on sale today. Check out my review here.

September 11th:

Bob Dylan – Tempest
Can’t really sing anymore but this album should still be great. The music is goth, country-tinged Dylan. The lyrics are pretty dark. I’m excited.

Dave Matthews Band – Away From The World
I was such a huge fan of their last record and couldn’t be more ecstatic about this one.

The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
One of the best concerts I’ve seen and not sure how they could screw up recording an album.

ZZ Top – La Futura
I grew up listening to ZZ and will always be a fan and I will jam every record.

St. Vincent and David Byrne – Love This Giant
I started listening to St. Vincent after her last record. Great stuff. And this new record….HORNS!

September 18th:

Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
The band puts out consistently great records and I expect this to follow suit.

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind

I didn’t become a fan of Ben Folds until his solo career and had to go back and discover BF5’s discography. I think Ben is an incredible pianist and songwriter. His lyrics are always hilarious and touching at the same time. Should be a great record.

The Killers – Battle Born

This is the record I’m probably most excited about. I love the Killers and everything they do. And I think Sam’s Town might be one of the most underrated albums by a popular band.

September 25th:

Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1
Lupe is a poet. WARNING: this video has strong language.

Mumford & Sons – Babel
I was blown away by Mumford @ Sons’ first record. It took me many weeks to stop listening to it. So I’m ready for this.

Any records coming out this month you think I should get?

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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Lists, Music Review

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