Wednesday, October 29, 2008 Brings Back Music Videos Old and New

Once upon a time, MTV actually used to show music videos (not surprising, since MTV stands for "music television.") Of course, the network has over the years gotten away from music to put all kinds of lame reality shows on the air, and it became hard to find music television on MTV.

That's where comes in: it's a Web site that has plenty of your favorite (and not so favorite) classic and current music videos where you can view them on demand, whenever you want.

The "most viewed" columns has both old and new offerings" "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits shows up first, followed by Britney Spears's new "Womanizer." There's also "Once in a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads and the classic Guns N' Roses tune "Welcome to the Jungle."

And if after all the rickrolling on the Internet you still yearn for more Rick Astley, you can view the original video for "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Liz Phair Performs "Exile in Guyville" Live - Free Podcast Download

A young Liz Phair shook up the rock world 15 years ago with her brash, sexually charged "Exile in Guyville." Now a middle-aged single mother, Phair has distanced herself from the album, but recently has undertaken a limited tour in which she performs the entire album live.

You can download the "Exile in Guyville" concert free from NPR Music, or stream the concert along with an interview with Phair. At the Web page above you can also find some previous stories NPR did on her. The concert was recorded at The Troubadour in West Hollywood.

Whether you were a fan of the album when it first came out or have come to it later, check out the performance and hear today's Liz Phair recreating her classic CD.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

British Singer Adele Appears on SNL

Adele is the latest British female singer to take the U.S. by storm, following the success of women like Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, and Duffy. Some of Adele's songs you might have heard include "Cold Shoulder," "Chasing Pavements," and "Make You Feel My Love." (The video for "Cold Shoulder" is below.)

Adele appeared on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 18th, and you can hear her songs, view her videos, and learn all about Adele at her official Web site. You can also hear tunes and view videos, and buy songs online from her album "19" at Adele's MySpace page. Unfortunately, NBC doesn't have Adele's performances from her 2008 SNL appearance archived on its website (or the rest of the show, for that matter).

Adele has had to cancel planned performances in the U.S. and elsewhere but will be touring the U.S. starting in January 2009.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 CMJ Music Marathon - Artists and Panels Announced

It's as much of an autumn ritual in New York City as as falling leaves and the Greenwich Village Halloween parade: it's the annual CMJ Music Marathon! The artists and panel discussions have been announced for the 2008 edition of CMJ Music and Film Marathon (as it's officially known).

This year's CMJ Marathon takes place October 21st to 25th.

The Marathon is an abundance of riches: more than 1,000 different artists performing in 65 different venues over five days. Some of the artists included Coheed and Cambria, George Clinton and the Gangsters of Love (w/ special guests RZA, Shavo Odadjian, El Debarge), Broken Social Scene, the Del McCoury Band, Deerhoof, Donavon Frankenreiter, Minus the Bear, The Dears, and the rising Swedish singer Lykke Li. And many, many more. Check the CMJ Marathon artists' page for the complete listing.

Besides all these live music performances, there are panel discussions and films. You can find out more information about the performances and when and where they're playing at the CMJ Music Marathon Web site, There you can find out about buying passes for the entire festival (if you're daring) or buying individual tickets to any of the gigs.

You can also get a free taste of the artists from 2008 CMJ Music Marathon, and previous years, with an exclusive download of 28 tracks by some of the featured artists. (I haven't yet been able to get it to work, though.) And the Web site features a music player that streams songs from various artists taking part in this year's Marathon.

Sometimes too much of a good thing really is a good thing.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dylan, Basia Bulat, and a Young Mexican Singer on NPR

There have been a number of good music stories and previews on NPR in the last few days. And while they may not be available as podcasts, you can stream them live.

There's a story and sneak preview of Bob Dylan's "Tell Tale Signs," his new two-disc set. Actually it's not so much "new" as a collection of bootleg recordings from the last 20 years. The album comes out on Oct. 7th, and it appears you can stream both discs from the NPR link.

Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat was the subject of an NPR story on Oct. 5th, called "Making the Autoharp Cool." You can hear that story, along with a live session from Bulat and a story on her as one of the artists to watch at the 2008 South by Southwest Festival, at a page that features these and other Basic Bulat stories.

The young Mexican singer Ximena Sarinana was interviewed on Oct. 4th, and though her debut album "Mediocre" is entirely in Spanish, it's gotten rave reviews from critics in the U.S. as well as Mexico, including a four-star review in Rolling Stone. The page also includes a live session from KCRW.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Learn About Gwen Ifill, Moderator of the Biden/Palin Vice Presidential Debate

We're all used to seeing the likes of Tom Brokaw and Charles Gibson moderating political debates, but on October 2nd a relatively new (and different) face will be running the debate: Gwen Ifill of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

As moderator and managing editor of PBS' "Washington Week in Review" and senior correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," Ifill has a savvy and no-nonsense style, which I'm hoping she'll bring to the debate. She joined the NewsHour in 1999 as a senior correspondent (and a substitute host for regular host Jim Lehrer). She is probably the most well-known black woman in American journalism, and the most respected.

(As you'd probably guess, I'm posting this profile because there's a connection to podcasting: both the "NewsHour" and "Washington Week" have podcasts that you can download. You can check them out through iTunes, or look for information on the PBS Web site,

This year's VP debate won't be the first debate moderating stint for Ifill, either: she was the moderator for one of the Vice Presidential debates in the 2004 election.

Gwen Ifill worked for NBC News before coming to PBS, serving as chief congressional and political correspondent. She can still be seen occasionally as a panelist on NBC's "Meet the Press." Before joining NBC she covered beats including the White House, politics, and national affairs for publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Baltimore Evening Sun.

Born in New York City, the 53-year-old Ifill has received more than a dozen honorary degrees, according to her profile on A&E television's

You can find also find a biography of Ifill at the "Washington Week" Web site.

Gwen Ifill is also working on a book: she is the author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," to be published next year.