Remember 311, the funked-out rock band from Omaha that moved to Los Angeles? They’ve got a new album, Don’t Tread on Me , coming out on August 16th and iTunes has a special deal for preorders: two bonus live versions of “All Mixed Up” (the band’s biggest hit) and “Freeze Time.”
iTunes has a few good exclusives. First is Will Smith’s
“Party Starter” single from his album Lost and Found . It comes with a digital booklet (the exclusive part of it). The other is Melissa Etheridge’s
“Refugee” single. It’s a cover of the Tom Petty classic. At her website Melissa explained, “I decided to cover ‘Refugee’ because I wanted a song that spoke to my heart, my mind and my soul about where I was at, and a song I could share with an audience that I knew they could relate to, a song that was recognizable but that I could make my own.”
iTunes just added an EP by Bright Eyes, the
Easy/Lucky/Free EP. The title track is the last song on the album Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and it’s joined by the regular version and two remixes of the song “Gold Mine Gutted” as well as the Hot Chip remix of “Easy/Lucky/Free.”
Just a few years ago Americans used to laugh at French pop music. Then along came air and people pretty much still laughed but they had one French band in their music collection. Then along came Phoenix, a band with pop, rock and funk smarts that transcend nationality. First came United. Then came the film “Lost in Translation” in which the Phoenix song “So Young” appeared (it’s on the soundtrack, too). Then came Alphabetical. iTunes has a three-song
Live Sessions E P (songs can be downloaded individually) with songs from both albums: “Run Run Run,” “I’m an Actor” and an acoustic version of “Everything is Everything.”
The free iTunes download of the week is
“Bad Day” by Daniel Powter, the latest in a long line of Canadian musicians to make waves around the world. “Bad Day” has been a hit in many European counties and he’s no slouch on his home turf. The song may remind listeners of the soaring melodies of classic Elton John (Powter’s voice sounds a bit like Sir Elton’s when he hits those high notes) and the every guy charm of Ben Folds.
Worth checking out at Rhapsody is the Cash Machine EP by Hard-fi, a hot British rock band whose Stars of CCTV (not yet released in the States) has been nominated for the Mercury Prize. Reviews of the band’s maiden American shows were extremely positive. “Tied Up Too Tight” is especially impressive.
Also new at Rhapsody is the new single by Liz Phair, “Everything To Me.” Liz has continued the slick pop songwriting and accessibility that caused her previous, self-titled album to please many listeners but rile some critics and longtime fans who were weaned on her brash and often graphic early works.
Recently added to Rhapsody were World Outside and Book of Days by the Psychedelic Furs. Listening to these records is evidence that a lot of new bands are taking their sound from the ‘Furs. Book of Days , previously out or print, will be a Rhapsody exclusive for one month.
MSN Music is as quiet as usual other than a
promotion with American Express. If you sign up for a Blue credit card you will get ten free downloads. Through November 7th, every ten MSN Music downloads purchased with any personal AmEx credit card will get you a credit for one free song.
The current free single at Calabash Music is “Aindo Me Lembro” by Cris Aflalo. It’s a light-footed voice-and-acoustic guitar song that brings together different Brazilian styles.
MySpace has some good bands highlighted this week on its
music page. One is rock/electronic band
Mobius Band. Their debut album is being released by Ann Arbor-based Ghostly International. Another is
Simon Dawes, a Malibu-based band that sounds like it has a lot of Ziggy-era David Bowie in its music collection.