Thursday, June 08, 2006

Myspace Music

Myspace Music

Myspace is huge. It’s everywhere. Sometimes it seems that everybody has a Myspace page so everybody else needs to have a Myspace page just to keep up. While its gotten some bad press lately, Myspace is not just a bunch of old men trying to lure fourteen year old girls, or the police officers pretending to be them, out into mall parking lots for a Vladimir Nabokov inspired rendezvous. There is a thriving music community on Myspace, which I am pleased to say, I am a part of.

For every artist you hear on the radio, fourteen or fifteen times an hour, there are hundreds of independent artists who are infinitely more talented. Myspace Music gives artists an opportunity to showcase and promote themselves on a scale never before available to your average garage band. Bands and musicians from all over the world can post their gigs, MP3s, blogs, promotional material, pictures and pretty much anything else you can think of. They can also build up a community of fans, heroes and other likeminded artists around themselves who can take their names, their songs…and, for all intents and purposes, their futures to the “wired” and “unwired” masses alike.

There is so much great music out there that you are jut not hearing because the music industry in it’s current form, isn’t designed to allow it…or as more often than not is the case, chooses not to allow it. I guess this is my attempt to help inform the “wired” masses about some of the great music I’ve managed to find on Myspace Music.

Chelsea Williams:

Chelsea Williams’ MP3s were some of the first I downloaded and I was not disappointed. She has four tracks available for download on her Myspace Music page: Wait, Undecided, It’s Not Too Late and You Don’t Want To Know. They’re very simple tracks made up of just her voice and acoustic guitar and yet they are elegant in their simplicity. Chelsea Williams is a smart, intelligent writer with a sexy, jazzy, sophisticated voice and a knack for melody. Hearing her four songs makes me want two things. The first would be to hear what she would sound like in a more orchestrated and structured environment. I would love to hear a professionally produced studio album. It would be like putting a the right frame around a piece of art, the core is still there but you have the support that lends itself to making the work look even better. The second thing that I want when I hear Chelsea Williams is…more.

Gabor 13:

Gabor 13, from Hungary, is retro rockin’ lo-tech funk at its best. They have four downloadable MP3s available on their Myspace page: E74, Loose4, Love and Provaa…all instrumental and all worth a listen. All the tracks are sonically interesting and intense and flow with an amazing amount of energy. I’m curious to know more about the band as a whole as the only description on Myspace lists them as being from Hungary and their website does not provide any additional information, it does however provide additional MP3s for download. Listening to Gabor 13, I’d be curious to find out if everything was recorded live in studio or if any samples were used. Either way their four tracks are just fun to listen to because it’s so rare to hear something so raw and full of energy.

Jan James:

Jan James can sing. She’s got a deep, funky voice and just tears up the blues on her tracks. Her band also rips and who ever is playing guitar for her sounds like Gary Moore meeting Stevie Ray Vaughn in a dark alley. Three of her four downloads are samples of the full tracks and judging from Drive Me Home, Good Times Roll In and Hush the rest of the tracks should sound great. Rock Your Woman is a full length download and really showcases her guitarist. It almost has that recorded live feel to it. I’m sure a Jan James show would be something to see…and hear.

Late Nite Access:

Late Nite Access are pros. They play like pros, their recording sounds like a pro recording, their production is top notch, the band as a whole is tight and when it comes right down to it…they rock. They have three downloadable MP3’s available on their Myspace page, two samples and one full track. The full track, All Too Easy sounds like a demo, but still showcases Late Nite Access’ strengths. As I said before the band is tight, the vocals are strong as is the musicianship and the lyrics hold up too. The two sample tracks are Save Me and Money. Their tags list them as coming from an EP. If that’s the case it sounds like it was done by, you guessed it, a pro. The sound is crisp and clear and everything is where it should be. I can only imagine that a major label debut is sure to follow sometime soon.


Law is one of the more unique bands that I found on Myspace. There are shades of Ben Folds and Weezer as well as what might be an acid flashback to the late sixties. Law gives you four MP3s for download: Domino Effect, Headphones, I Couldn’t and Lets Meet all featuring drums, bass and keys with a sense of humor. If the Beach Boys, back in the day, ever decided to venture off into the adult industry I Couldn’t would have been on the soundtrack. All of Law’s songs are catchy and fun with good production value and would be right at home on your iPod.

Martina Axen:

Martina Axen only has one downloadable MP3 on her Myspace page, but it’s completely worth a visit. The song is listed as the Xmas Song Demo. It’s Dark and heavy and sexy and in general...awesome. The track is tight and polished and the musicianship is out of this world. The guitars, in particular, are fantastic. It’s hard to really talk about an artist based on one track because there’s always the possibility that it was a fluke. But you know what? Based on this one track, I’d be more than willing to find out.

Mieka Pauley:

Mieka Pauley offers up four downloadable MP3s on her Myspace page and all of them are, in a word, brilliant. She effortlessly mixes genres like Folk, Rock, Blues, Pop and contemporary R&B. Her voice is soulful and bluesy and her writing is smart and full of feeling. The overall impression of the tracks is powerful, the production is transparent and doesn’t get in the way at all and the orchestration is perfect for the individual tracks. Mieka Pauley’s influences do show through on occasion in these four songs, but again, her delivery is so powerful that they meld into the songs that she brings to life. She actually has two EPs available on iTunes for download. The first is the Mieka Pauley (Acoustic) EP from 2003 and the second is the Out of Car Wrecks & Hurricanes EP released in 2006. The Way It Is, Stronger, First Stone and Run are more than worth the download time. If she doesn’t have a deal already…she should!

So there you have it. I could go on for damn near ever, but I have to draw the line somewhere I guess. Without having this turn in to a thirty-seven (" a row?") page review of everything I’ve found at Myspace Music, there are some other artists I would just like to quickly mention.

Once Just:
A very cool and fun Ska band.

Kind Of Girl:
A cool band in the vein of Death Cab For Cutie.

Letters From Earth:
A no bullshit hard rock band that should be playing the main stage at Ozzfest.

Slow Signal Fade:
A great band with ambient soundscapes and cool guitar sounds.

Stephanie’s Id:
A very theatrical band with a very unique take on their music.

Tiffany Page:
A great voice in contemporary female country music.

Ye Gods!:

Your modern, classic metal band with a sense of humor. They may very well have influenced Spinal Tap. Douglas Adams would have loved these guys.

I absolutely think that everybody I mentioned here is great. I respect each and every one of them for doing their own thing and putting it out there for you and me to listen to. All of these bands, not to mention the rest of the unsigned, independent bands on Myspace Music are kind of like an alternate reality if you think about it. They exist, despite what the major labels and the chain stores and the video music channels and the radio stations of the world tell you exist. They exist because they love music and they love making it. The least we can do is listen.

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