Empire Of the Sun's Interactive Video

Empire Of the Sun

Empire Of the Sun

Technology is moving forward so quickly, and so many bands and artists are trying new things. It’s why this site exists. Our new favourite oddity is the latest video from Empire Of the Sun.

For their We Are The People video, the band have created an Interactive Video. It lives here – once it finally loads. It seems to take a while.

Links is video have started to take hold. They are all over embedded videos on Youtube, with links to outside sites, to buy CDs or other items. Big ugly banners covering the poor resolution video. Sound quality doesn’t matter. Why should video?

But Empire Of the Sun have made something creative out of this idea. The Australian duo are starting to become hot property worldwide. For their new video for We Are The People, little orbs appear throughout the clip. Clicking on the orbs lead you to extended footage, behind the scene stuff, and goodies to enter a competition. One link even leads you to an MP3 of their last single, Walking On A Dream, remixed by Van She.

It sounds slightly better than it is. The orbs look to be tacked into the clip, and not a part of it. The video player lacks any controls, meaning once you click on something, you’re out of that page. It doesn’t make for a very good viewing experience. The film clip itself is pretty wow. The band have a great image, and set in the backdrop of Spain – it’s just weird and looks great.

So is this the future, a new trend, or a one off? It’s a pretty cool gimmick, but we can’t imagine this setting a new bar for music videos. Maybe we’re wrong. Right now though, we’re going to watch the clip again, make sure we didn’t miss anything.

Empire Of the Sun Official site – http://empireofthesunsound.com/ – there is yet another free Walking On A Dream remix on offer.

We Are the People Interactive video – http://empireofthesunsound.com/wearethepeople

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Wednesday Web: Metacritic

MetaCritic.com

MetaCritic.com

For those unfamiliar, Metcritic brings together reviews from around the web of the same records, movies, games and more. Unlike elbo.ws or wearerhunted.com, Metacritic focuses in on respected publications, not fan opinions.

Amongst the reviews collected by Metacritic are Rolling Stone, Q, Mojo, NME, Paste, many internationally renown newspapers and even websites like Pitchfork and Allmusic. Those reviews are given a score out of 100, and the collected scores are given an overall score out of 100.

The point? It’s fantastic place to see what the critics are saying. You don’t have to surf around a dozen websites. And lets face it, the overall opinion of the world’s biggest music press still matters.

We love checking this site. Not only does it reminds us what is out this week, it helps us choose what we listen to every week. The fantastic reviews the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have gotten for their new record made us give that record more of a chance. It’s now one of our faves so far this year. Every time someone like Dylan puts out a new record, you think you might skip it. With a score of ’82’ (universal acclaim), maybe now is not the time.

On the other hand, any nostalgic loyalty to Chris Cornell has been shattered. It has the worse reviews on the site of any album this year. However, when a record is as bad as Cornell’s, the reviews are hilarious. Having one site that collects hilariously damning review after damning review can definitely take a up a few hours of schedenfraude.

There’s also a score for reader reviews, giving you an insight into what regular folks think. Amazing, the user score is even higher for Dylan, who is known for being a critic’s darling! And there is more than just music. Games, movies, DVDs and TV are all covered by the same system.

So next time you’re wondering if something is any good, Metacritic should be your first stop. It takes away the single biased review and gives you a sense of people are saying, without having to ever talk about it. You can just quietly delete that Chris Cornell album off your shopping list.

Check it out here – http://www.metacritic.com/

The Prince Ipod formerly known as $2100US

The Prince Ipod

The Prince Ipod

Prince has come along way in the last decade. Having left WB records, he fell off the radar after tattooing the word ‘Slave’ to his face, and recording mediocre albums like ‘Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic‘.

Two years ago he made a triumphant return with 21 nights at London’s O2. He sold his albums with newspapers, gave them away with show tickets and even released a 3CD, with the wonderfully silly name LOtUSFLOW3R as a Target exclusive in the US. He also sued Youtube before anyone else.

Embracing technology and new ways of getting his music out there, he is becoming what David Bowie was ten years ago. We are fascinated by the man, if not his new music.

The Purple One’s latest endeavor is the publishing world. Last year he released a £30 hardcover book of his 21 night stand in London. This year, he has followed it up with, one of the most expensive fan baits I’ve ever seen. A $2100US deluxe book of the 21 nights (again) and it comes with a Prince Ipod.

The over sized, 280 silk paged, leather bound, 17KG collection is limited to just 950 copies worldwide. And let’s face it, he will probably sell them all. That’s a nice $2m in Prince’s pockets.

So what’s on the Ipod? Not much. 40 minutes of footage (taken from 21×3 hour sets…) and 15 songs. It looks like an Ipod Touch.

Let’s go crazy? It’s definitely extreme. I can’t see who this will appeal to, but you only need 950 people worldwide for it to be a hit.Prince is one of the very, very few artists that can attempt anything like this. I can’t see many artists being foolish enough to follow suit.

Is this how the world is going? Was digital music not driving the cost of music down? The deluxe edition/fan package game is getting out of control. Along with sets like this, VIP concert packages for large shows are in vogue. Will it end?

That said, if someone made one for one of my all time favourite artists, and for some strange reason I could afford this – would I change my tune? That’s a tough question to answer.

Check it out for yourself – http://www.princeopus.com/

And his official site – https://www.lotusflow3r.com/th3b0mb.html

Tuesday Tunes: God Help The Girl – Come Monday Night

God Help the Girl - out 23rd June

God Help the Girl - out 23rd June

God Help the Girl is the new project by Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch. It has been in the works for quite a few years – in fact it was made concurrently with B&S’s 2006 album the Life Pursuit.

The key change here is the vocalists. Murdoch himself said that their last album was lacking a girl vocal. With God Help the Girl, it’s an almost all girl affair.

The history goes something like this; Murdoch had some songs that he felt would be better if sung by female singers. So in the modern day and age, he basically put the word out far and wide. A good old fashioned audition process led to a set of new female voices, mostly backed by Belle And Sebastian. It’s a very 21st century way of making an album.

The final part of the story has not happened yet, which is a Murdoch penned film which ties all the songs together. It is due to start filming next year.

Pretentious? Of course it is. But Murdoch is such a nice, self depreciating guy, it’s tough to hold it against him sometimes. Having been such a long time since the last B&S album, we’re eagerly awaiting this album.

You can download ‘Come Monday Night’ at http://www.godhelpthegirl.com/

Pixies – Minotaur: Yet another useless limited edition.

The Pixies used to be one of the great contenders. They never quite broke through like REM or even Sonic Youth. But they were loved and respected. Few people frowned when they reunited in 2004, and seemed to be bigger than they ever were. Which makes reissues of their badly packaged, badly sounding CDs seem like a natural. We waited years for news. And as the Pixies played to the biggest crowds in their career, the only in-print versions of their music were shitty sounding CDs (and digital of course).

This does not change on June 15th, when A+R records releases (or as they say, reissue) the Pixies studio catalogue in a new box set called Minotaur.

It’s actually two box sets. The ‘Deluxe’ edition has all five of the Pixies studio albums, with a deluxe book and a DVD. That all sounds interesting til you see the rice tag of US$175. That’s with no remastering or bonus tracks. A quick look on Amazon in the US, you can get all 5 studio albums sounding exactly the same for around US$50.

Also, there is a vinyl version with a hardcover book, called a ‘limited’ edition. This retails for US$450.

What happened? When did the Pixies audience become the Rolling Stones audience? Are there that many yuppy Pixies fans? Pixies fans who love the band so much that they are willing to fork out so much money – surely they have all these tracks in badly mastered versions?

Expensive versions have become a trend. And for a band that have avoided trends up til now, it’s sad to see that it was this one that the Pixies chose. It’s also frighteningly un-indie.

There are two types of Pixies fans out there. The new converts who want to know what the band is about, who will not pay that much for this ridiculous package. And then hardcore fans who have all this stuff already.

Who will buy these box sets, I do not know. With any luck, this is the first step in a proper series of reissues.

You can pre-order the box set from the label, A+R, right here. Will you be buying this?

Two videos after the jump. A little trailer for the new Pixies box, and the brilliant clip to Alec Eiffel
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Everything Is Microblogged: The Streets on Twitter

Heres how you push...

Mike Skinner: Here's how you push...

In 2002, The Streets sang ‘Let’s Push Things Forward’ – a brilliantly eloquent middle finger to UK music culture, and how it stands still. 7 years and 4 albums later, the Streets (or, it’s main guy, Mike Skinner) is still pushing things forward.

Skinner has been posting links to new songs on his Twitter. It’s a really simple idea – but it’s not a huge publicity event. It’s just something he wants to do as an artist, and he’s getting stuff out there and people are listening. On one tweet, the man himself claims he has such a backlog of songs he can afford to give some away. It’s a very 2009 organic way of getting your music out there.

So far five tracks have been given away.

I Love My PhoneTrust MeDavid HasslesLong Working DaySee If They Salute

Trust Me is a highlight – a 70s disco number mixed with the unmistakable Streets vocal and grit. See If They Salute sounds like it could have been a single. Pop culture references to phone models, Facebook, Coke Zero colour the tracks. It’s not terribly groundbreaking, but a lot of fun. There’s a sense of silliness that was missing from the (otherwise brilliant) last Streets album, Everything Is Borrowed.

Many of the tracks are already appearing on the charts for WeAre Hunted. It definitely hasn’t escaped the blog world. It’s getting more excitement than that last record as well.

I guess this whole way of getting music out on Twitter is not that groundbreaking either. But it’s also kind of fun. There’s no signing up, no fixed schedule. It’s really when Mr Skinner feels like putting up a tune for us, and pushing things forward.

http://www.skinnermike.com/

Mike Skinner on Twitter – http://twitter.com/skinnermike

Wednesday Web: We Are Hunted

WeAreHunted.Com

WeAreHunted.Com

This site is exactly what we love about the internet. It’s the kind of thing that makes us happy to be alive and a music fan today. Forget ’63. You can have ’77. We love ’09. And we are dying to see ’10 as well.

But back to WeAreHunted.com. WAH is an online chart with a major difference. It collects information from all over the ‘net – torrents, music blogs, social networks, forums, P2P networks and, of course, Twitter – and shows you the hottest 99 tracks in the the world (wide web) today.

You can see why we are excited about it. It’s a brilliant idea. (And it’s Australian to boot).

Now we suddenly have an alternative chart. It’s a buzz chart, what people are talking about.

How it works, and what weighting is put on what information, is not known. How the Kenny Dope remix of There Was A Time by James Brown is number 2, I don’t know. But the potential is there.

Today’s charts are filled with lots of new artists. Bat For Lashes makes multiple appearances. The Streets – who have been giving away tracks for free on Twitter – makes a number of appearances as well. The fantastic Silversun Pickups also make multiple entries, which makes sense as their new album is doing very well.

So are people downloading? Or just talking about this stuff? Hard to tell with WAH. Maybe this will change. But it’s already a valuble place to start checking out what the latest hot tracks are. Hopefully it will stick around and develop. Although the innovative website has already stirred the ears of APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association) about license fees. Hopefully it wont be another Muxtape.

Check it out! – WeAreHunted.com