It is with heavy hearts that we must announce the shutting down of the Earbits service on June 16th.
Shutting down a company after 4.5 years is going to be painful for anybody but is particularly painful for us here at Earbits. Most startups validate over the course of a few years that their concept is inherently flawed, or that the economics of it would not work out at scale. For Earbits, nothing could be further from the truth. We proved to ourselves and a substantial number of artists and listeners that our concept does work, that our vision is what the industry and larger streaming providers need to be doing in order to create more value, but that we simply needed a lot more capital to pursue such an aggressive mission properly. In trying to build a digital media, two sided marketplace in an already tough industry, it appears we bit off more than we could chew.
If you’ve always wanted an album that combines every time Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes have appeared on a song together as well as new material from the two hip-hop legends, then you have both strange desires and good taste, and that material has arrived in the form of a free, downloadable .zip file.
Four Tet and Burial, the good guys of the underground UK electronic music scene, are finally having their moment. A Four Tet show at Los Angeles venue the Echoplex scheduled for March sold out so quickly that promoters FYF added another night. Both make dark, scathing intricately produced music, both have become hugely popular for it, and both still act like regular dudes. Burial’s Wikipedia page describes an interview where he said “I’m a lowkey person and I just want to make some tunes.”
Former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp’s band The Rentals has found a new home at Polyvinyl Records, one of the many awesome record labels you can find on Earbits Radio. As a result of the new pairing, Polyvinyl and The Rentals are scheduled to release a new album sometime during 2014. This marks the group’s first album in 15 years.
Sharp was one of the founding members of Weezer, and his influence over that group’s sound is evident in the style played by The Rentals. It’s infectious power-pop fun undermined by a sense of darkness and seriousness. Lots of catchy ooh ooh’s and big, arena-style power chords. It’s a shame that the band didn’t produce more work and follow Weezer along its evolutionary path.
Note-taking is an essential part of any smartphone experience. While it’s nice to have a phone, a GPS and a camera rolled into one, it’s amazing to have a notebook with endless pages and ink (barring any battery issues) in your front pocket at all times.
My notes app is useful for a wide variety of reasons, but a major one is remembering all the great music I hear or am recommended to listen to throughout the day.
Brett Easton Ellis has a podcast. His first guest is Kanye West. The episode is an hour long, and it claims to be part one of two. These are the things that make commutes endurable.
The hook of the show is simple: two of pop culture’s most outspoken icons speaking out about pop culture. You’ve probably already predicted that Ellis’s first question meanders on for about five minutes and he mostly talks about himself. You’ve probably already heard that Kanye responds by quickly describing himself as a “Creative Genius,” the title he’d put for his occupation on his customs and immigrations forms if he knew how to spell the word “genius.”
Boiler Room is the organizer of underground DJ events that take place in front of some of the coolest (read: lamest) crowds in select cities around the world. Madlib did an awesome performance most recently, but these are the top 5 sets put on by Boiler Room throughout the past couple of years.
Another installment of the Boiler Room event was recently released via YouTube, so you know what to expect: people looking disinterested, other people trying too hard to get on camera, and even more people looking like they’re way too cool to be standing a few feet from one of their generation’s best producers. But great music.
This version of the event took place in San Francisco, which doesn’t host the events as frequently as the LA or NYC, and it also served as a post-Treasure Island Music festival event. For those reasons, the crowd does seem a bit more into the music than past versions of the event. But the man behind the boards is also Madlib, the elusive yet eternally dope DJ/producer/West Coast hip-hop extraordinaire. Everyone pays attention to Madlib.
If you thought Lion was the last step in the evolutionary career path of Snoop, you underestimated the artist. The musician has now become Snoopzilla, a character akin to the 70s-style funk-rap persona he popularized on songs like “Sexual Eruption.”
Along with retro-style modern producer Dam Funk, Snoopzilla is releasing an album entitled 7 Days of Funk via Stones Throw Records. While that album has a release date scheduled for December 10th, the duo ecently released the video for the track “Faden Away.” The entire video is like a vintage performance, with Snoopzilla donning the outrageous wig and singing and rapping with the vocoder effect.
The new video from Welsh indie-pop band Los Campesinos! is a tremendous feat of acting, choreography and camerawork. The entire clip for the No Blues track “Avocado Baby” was shot in one go, and there are enough costume changes and bombastic effects that it would’ve been difficult to film even with the time and editing offered with multiple takes.
Never mind that the video’s narrative doesn’t quite make sense, there’s enough going on and the song’s good enough that the clip is worth watching. What viewers can take away from the story is that band member Gareth Campesinos stars as “the host of a terrible game show” called The Avocado Show, and then there are lots and lots of weird costumes, masks and other crazy things going on.