Tag Archives: Topspin

The End of the Loudness Wars?

Band on the RunThis is exciting news for audiophiles. While the general earbudder might not give a shit about audio quality or dynamic range, people who really enjoy listening—and listening hard!—to music are going to be surprised by the following note from Abbey Road’s Allan Rouse regarding Paul McCartney’s remastered reissue of Band on the Run.

As is common with releases using Topspin’s tools, customers have a number of options, including CD only, deluxe CD package, vinyl, MP3 download, etc. This time, you can also purchase a High Resolution (24bit 96kHz) download for $19.99. The really cool thing about this is you get both limited and unlimited versions of the audio. For non-audiophiles, “limited” audio is a little louder, while the “unlimited” version will “sound quieter, but retain the dynamic range of the original master recording.” The fact that they’re giving people both may signal a real turning point in the Loudness Wars. Let’s hope so anyway…

Read Rouse’s full explanation below…

Paul McCartney: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

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The Vaselines – I Hate the 80’s

The Vaselines - Sex With An XOh wow, The Vaselines have recorded their first album together in 20 years, Sex With An X, due September 14 on Sub Pop. In exchange for an email address, you can download a 320kbps MP3 of “I Hate the 80’s,” a poppy little jam that turns recent revisionism on its head: “What do you know? You weren’t there. It wasn’t all Duran Duran Duran Duran. You want the truth? Well this is it: I hate the 80s because the 80s were shit.”

Sure, that’s simplistic and we all know there was as much great music recorded and released in the 80s as in any other decade, but it’s easy to forget how much dong the mainstream actually huffed in that decade. Of course there was good stuff, too, but there was definitely more than its fair share of absolute shit. Way more.

And here’s an old MP3: The Vaselines – “Son of a Gun” from Enter the Vaselines.

The Vaselines: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Get Busy Committee – I Don’t Care About You

Video: Get Busy Committee -- “I Don’t Care About You”

Get Busy Committee - I Don't Care About You

The latest video from the hip hop project managed by Ian Rogers, who explains his theory of “Do Something Small Weekly, Something Big Monthly” on his blog. I love the fact that this video was 1) released for Valentine’s Day, and 2) inspired by this seizure-inducing web page.

Get Busy Committee: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

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Get Busy Committee – Chillin Out Maxin

MP3: Get Busy Committee – “Chillin Out Maxin” from Uzi Does It, out now on Tokyo Sex Whale.

So what’s up with all the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air love lately? Last month there was the Neil Young via Jimmy Fallon remake, and now the Get Busy Committee is using a prominent sample of the theme song. Of course, Will Smith was “shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school,” while GBC is shootin’ off their Uzis.

GBC is co-managed by Topspin’s Ian Rogers, who’s done a great job using the internet to market this band. He even wrote up a “how to guide” on the steps they took to make the album release a success. None of that would matter, clearly, if the music wasn’t good. But it is good. It’s got a lot in common with classic-era hip hop like NWA and Above the Law. The gangster shit definitely got played out by the mid-90s, but maybe it’s time for a resurgence. If so, GBC will be leading the pack. Regardless, “Chillin Out Maxin” is one of the best hip hop songs I’ve heard in 2009, and I can’t stop listening to it.

Plus, those Uzi-shaped USB drives are just plain dope.

Get Busy Committee: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web, Twitter.

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Download Four Live Pixies Songs

The Pixies are sharing four live songs from their Doolittle 20th Anniversary tour.

The way it works is the standard Topspin deal: you submit your email address, and then they email you a link to a 22 MB zip file. You download it, unzip the 320kbps MP3s, listen to them, and enjoy. Track listing is:

1. Dancing the Manta Ray

2. Monkey Gone to Heaven

3. Crackity Jones

4. Gouge Away

Pixies: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Download Eight Live Tom Waits Songs

Tom Waits is offering a free, eight-song preview of his upcoming live album, Glitter and Doom Live.

The way it works is the standard Topspin deal: you submit your email address, and then they email you a link to a 78 MB zip file. You download it, unzip the 320kbps MP3s, listen to them, and enjoy. If you are so inclined, you pre-order the album and everybody’s happy.

Glitter and Doom Live is a two-disc collection of recordings from his 2008 tour of the US and Europe. Disc one contains 17 songs. Disc two is “a bonus compendium called TOM TALES, which is a selection of the comic bromides, strange musings, and unusual facts that Tom traditionally shares with his audience during the piano set.” It’ll be fun to have that stuff whether or not you ever go back and listen to it more than once.

Tom Waits: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, web.

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