Category Archives: Raves & Musings

On the changing nature of the music industry… 1,000 FREE Downloads

I’m a Featured Artist this week (July 29-August 4) in the Microsoft Windows Sponsored Songs program, a campaign Microsoft is doing to advertise their newest Windows Media Player. What does it mean? 1,000 free mp3 or mp4 downloads by indie artists. My song “here on earth/The Opening” is one of ten songs omnipresent here: and available for free download. 


The Sponsored Songs program was launched by, a social networking site created to help musicians turn emerging online technology into marketing tools, fanbase monitors and, ultimately, money makers. In more sugar coated terms, it’s a place where genuine music enthusiasts can easily browse, sample, and discover music from established and emerging artists, and where artists can distribute their music across the web regardless of where people want to go get it.

Sponsored Songs is an opt-in program for select artists that use as their online marketing platform. 1,000 out of the site’s 400,000 indie artists were selected to join the pilot program (by pilot, they mean it is a trial run). Artists are paid for each qualified download, and are shown the exact advertisement for their approval prior to the campaign launch.

Who is the sponsor paying these starving artists for their music and giving it away for free? Microsoft Windows. The program is the latest in the trend— large companies using independent music to reach new audiences. The music can lead the brand into new markets, and simultaneously offers bands a new avenue of access to potential fans while earning the band a pittance.

ReverbNation is probably the most artist-friendly social networking site that I have come across and that says a lot as my music is pretty much on every significant music site there is (I’ve done the research!). “We treat Artists like we would want to be treated,” says Lou Plaia, vice president of artist relations at  

The three month campaign will provide reach metrics to the participating brand (in this case, Microsoft Windows) by tracking the songs with a digital watermark as they move through peer-to-peer networks.

According to Jed Carlson, chief operating officer of ReverbNation, “Sponsored Songs aligns the interests of artists, fans, and major brands, creating a win-win-win situation where free music is a shared goal that benefits all parties.” I (want to) believe this statement is true and I’m honored to be included in the program.


Disarming lyrics

In one word, Regina Spektor’s new album Far is precious. An example of this such preciousness is best illustrated in her disarming lyrics.

From the song Folding Chair (track 4), she says:

“I have a perfect body. Just sometimes I forget. I have a perfect body cause my eyelashes catch my sweat.”

If that’s not utterly precious, I’m not sure what is?!

Folding Chair

Some things are just precious…

Randy Newman live, playing piano & singing Feels Like Home.

The Dan Band does Beyoncé right…

Brilliant and hilarious, you must watch!!

And for the sake of comparison, I tried to post Beyoncé’s video but she apparently does not like her videos embedded.  Check it out on YouTube

Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Listen to: Chains Chains Chains 

Elvis Perkins released his debut studio album, Ash Wednesday  in 2007. His band, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, includes multi-instrumentalists Brigham Brough (bass,vocals, saxophone), Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (organ, harmonium, trombone, guitar, vocals) and Nick Kinsey (drums, clarinet, vocals).

I saw them in Austin, TX during SXSW and bought a CD after the show not anticipating the extent to which the music would grow on me. In order to fully appreciate it, I suggest listening to the nuances in his voice, the eclectic instrumentation and the unusual melodies. This album sounds like it’s right out of the early 1970s, accompanying The Band, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan in the record stacks at your local music store.

Upon further research I learned that Elvis Perkins is the son of actor Anthony Perkins who died in 1992 of complications related to AIDS and photographer Berry Berenson who was a passenger on one of the September 11th flights that attacked New York City’s twin towers. Knowing that, the music seems to take on new meaning. I pondered whether to include that personal information in this post as I’m writing about his music and not his personal history but is it fair to say that the two are inextricably linked?

SXSW 2009 – Cold War Kids – Part III.

St. John LIVE – I apologize for the poor quality. Guest appearances by Brigham Brough (saxophone), Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (trombone) and Nick Kinsey  (clarinet) of Elvis Perkins in Dearland.

SXSW 2009 – Cold War Kids – Part II.

Brigham Brough on saxophone and Wyndham Boylan-Garnett on trombone of Elvis Perkins in Dearland join the Cold War Kids for their last song, St. John.