Saturday, November 28, 2009

Free MP3 Album of New Latin Music: Aterciopelados, Juana Molina, and More

If you're a fan of rock en Espanol or any kind of new Latin music, you'll want to get this new free sampler from Nacional Records. For a limited time, is offering "Nacional Records Sampler 2009: The New Sounds Of Latin Music". It features 21 tracks by some of the foremost new Latin artists, including some of my favorites such as Aterciopelados and Hello Seahorse! Also on the album are Mexican Institute of Sound, Juana Molina (who has gotten a lot of media attention in the U.S. in 2009), Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Señor Coconut, Manu Chao, and others.

Track listing:
1. CJ by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
2. Bandera by Aterciopelados
3. Yo Digo Baila by Mexican Institute of Sound
4. If You Want It by Pacha Massive
5. Brooklyn Cumbia by Uproot Andy
6. Shake It Up by Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible
7. Cosita Rica by Bomba Estereo
8. Help Me Feat. Francisca Valenzuela by Latin Bitman
9. Trocintro (Extended Version) by King Coya
10. Puerta De Oro (Con Pablo Lescano) by Fidel Nadal
11. Mate by Todos Tus Muertos
12. Happy Everywhere by The Pinker Tones
13. Bestia (Julieta Venegas Remix) by Hello Seahorse!
14. Amar Y Vivir by Tonino Carotone
15. La Vida Es Llena De Cables by Señor Coconut
16. Llama by Monareta
17. Chicken Wing Ft. The Demigodz [Explicit] by Eric Bobo
18. Encadenado by Gonzalo Yañez
19. Insensible by Juana Molina
20. Esta Vez (Album Version) by Sara Valenzuela
21. Clandestino by Manu Chao

It's a nice collection that reminds me of one of my favorite podcasts, Ritmo Latino, which close up shop earlier this year. (Fortunately, the podcast's creator and host Neil Hohmann has a Ritmo Latino Facebook page that offers news and updates on Latin music, including live performances, new albums, and details on freebies (such as this sampler)). doesn't say how long the Nacional Records sampler will be available for free, but I downloaded it more than a week ago and it's still free as of Saturday, November 28th.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2009 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales: Music, Movies, and More

For those of you recovering from eating massive amounts of turkey and other foods, the Black Friday sales offer you the chance to shop for your friends and relatives (or yourself) and get some great deals. (What's more, many of the specials will continue through Cyber Monday).

The Black Fridays main pagelists deals available in a number of popular categories: music, movies and TV, electronics, video games, etc. At the top of the page is a "Lightning Deals" offer. These are items available only for a limited time and in limited quantity, and below the item is a countdown timer and a progress bar showing you what percentage of the item has been claimed. If you like the pulse-pounding thrill of chasing down a hot deal and buying it at the last minute, this option is for you.

Check out the Black Friday music salefor information on sale prices running through Monday, Nov. 30 on new releases and bestsellers, boxed sets, and $5 lightning deals on CDs. You'll also see the list of timed specials available.

Amazon always offers a selection of 50 MP3 albums for $5 each month, but for Black Friday they claim to be offering 600 MP3 albums for $5 each. I didn't take the time to count them all, but go to their page to check it out. There are lists of 50 $5 albums in pop, rock, indie and alternative rock, jazz, Christian and gospel, R&B, singer-songwriters, Amazon editors' picks, and more.

Many of these albums seem to have been offered in the monthly $5 sale, but there are also some titles I haven't seen there. These specials, like many other deals, may continue through Cyber Monday.

The Black Friday movies & TV dealshas a bunch of timed specials available through Friday night, Nov. 27. Only a few titles are on sale in any particular time window, but if there's something you want there, you'll want to pounce.

If this all sounds like a bewildering array of products and deals, well, it is. I can only peruse the Black Friday pages at for a few minutes at a time without feeling bogged down with all the choices. But, an overselection of discounted music, movies, and the like to choose from is a good problem. Amazon will likely hold sales after Cyber Monday as well. Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Get Tickets for New Lady Gaga NYC Shows; Video of Her at AMAs and in Pre-Gaga Days

Two more shows have been added to Lady Gaga's existing two nights at New York's Radio City Music Hall. She will now be performing at the famed Rockefeller Center venue on Jan. 20-21 and 23-24, 2010. Kid Cudi and Jason Derulo will be supporting Lady Gaga at all four gigs. You can buy Lady Gaga Radio City tickets here for all four shows; this is the official Radio City online box office. Tickets for all of the Radio City shows are on sale now.

And if you're wondering who Lady Gaga was before she was running around without pants and with flashing lights in public, well, check out the video below. It's from a 2005 show at at New York University talent show and features a young singer and pianist named Stefani Germanotta. I guess that name and the female singer-songwriter motif was just too common in the NYC area, so somehow she came up with the Lady Gaga persona. Obviously a smart marketing move.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

John Mayer 2nd Madison Square Garden Show - On Sale Now

The other day I noted in my post about upcoming concerts in NYC that John Mayer was playing at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 25, and that tickets were going on sale today. Well, a second show has been added for Feb. 26, and tickets for that second show also went on sale today.

You can get John Mayer Madison Square Garden tickets here for both shows, directly from the MSG online box office.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NYC Concerts On Sale This Week: John Mayer, Vampire Weekend, Cheap Trick, Yeasayer, Imogen Heap

Left: John Mayer promotes his new album Battle Studiesat Madison Square Garden on Feb. 20.

There's no off season in the New York concert scene, and there are plenty of good shows coming up later this year and early in 2010. Here are some upcoming in-demand shows that have tickets going on sale this week:

Going on sale Wednesday, November 18th:
* Imogen Heap, Music Hall of Williamsburg - show date Dec. 3

Going on sale Friday, November 20th:
* Vampire Weekend, United Palace (Upper Manhattan) - show dates Jan. 17, 18, 19

* Yeasayer - show dates Feb. 8 (Bowery Ballroom), Feb. 9 (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

* Dropkick Murphys, The Wellmont Theatre - show date Feb. 24

Going on sale Saturday, November 21st:
* John Mayer and Michael Franti & Spearhead, Madison Square Garden - show date Feb. 20
* Cheap Trick, The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza - show date Jan. 25

And if you're looking for a show to attend sooner rather than later, additional tickets have been released for Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, November 24.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cheap Music: Discount MP3 Albums at - Limited Time has special deals every day offering discounts on MP3 albums (as low as $1.99), and while these usually only last one day, here are a few good deals that are still valid a few days later. (Note: prices are still effective as of 1 a.m. Eastern time, Monday, Nov. 16th.)

* Document (R.E.M. No. 5), R.E.M. - Although this album doesn't get the attention of some of the band's better-known sets, it contains some classic R.E.M. tunes you'd recognize, most notably "It's the End of the World As We Know It," "The One I Love," and "Finest Worksong."

* Candy-O, The Cars, $2.99 - Ah, the second album by The Cars... I listened to this LP (yes, LP) many, many times when it came out. Includes "Let's Go," "Dangerous Type," and the title track.

And don't forget Amazon's usual 50 MP3 Albums for $5,a monthly feature on the site. The November offerings include new-music favorites from Heartless Bastards, The Gaslight Anthem, Yo Gabba Gabba, The Decemberists, The Antlers, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Blitzen Trapper. For hip hop fans, Jay-Z's latest, The Blueprint 3, is also available for five bucks.

There are classic rock/pop albums from Johnny Cash, Heart, The Beach Boys, The Clash, The Band, The Steve Miller Band, and and Minutemen. For jazz and blues fans, there's Nat King Cole, Art Blakey, and John Coltrane.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Music News: FREE Veterans Day Downloads, Listen to the "New Moon" Soundtrack, Get Backstage at the CMA Awards

Free Veterans Day Downloads: Just heard this afternoon that is making available a free MP3 collection of patriotic songs for Veterans Day, entitled "Veterans Day Honor." The set features the bands and ensemble of the U.S. Armed Forces and features a few contemporary tunes as well as versions of classics such as The Star-Spangled Banner, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and the Navy and Air Force hymns. There are 12 songs in all (though some are pretty short). It's not clear if the set will be free after today, so you might want to get it now.

Free Streaming - "New Moon" Soundtrack: The next movie in the "Twilight" movie series will be in theaters soon, and has made the original soundtrack for "New Moon" available on its Web site until November 15th. Most (but not all) of the tunes from the soundtrack can be streamed there, including tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Skulls, Lykke Li, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Editors, and more.

You can buy The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrackhere, and learn more about it at its Web site,

Get backstage at tonight's CMA awards: If you want to get behind the scenes of the Country Music Association awards, follow @wildaboutmusic on Twitter. Longtime music writer David Wild has written the lines that are spoken by the stars on many awards shows, and he'll be sending along his inside, backstage tweets tonight at his Twitter feed. His comments will be a worthy complement to watching the CMA Awards on TV.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Weezer Snuggie: Smart Marketing or Nutty Stunt?

Weezer has never been hesitant to tap into pop-culture references (witness its music video for "Buddy Holly," in which the band played in a scene from TV's "Happy Days.") Now the band selling a Weezer-branded item in conjunction with their latest album, "Raditude," and that product is none other than that ubiquitous sleeved blanket, the Snuggie.

Weezer has put together a tongue-in-cheek infomercial to promote the Weezer Snuggie (below), featuring the band members lounging around what looks like a typical middle-American home wearing their soft fleece alt-rocker blankies.

What's more, the band wore its branded Snuggies while playing a song at a recent appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

You can buy the Weezer Snuggie in two designs, soothing blue or zebra print ("snugging safari," they call it), both with the Weezer logo. It comes with a copy of "Raditude" (either regular or deluxe versions), and you can purchase directly from the band's Web site, The Snuggie with the regular version of the CD is $29.99.

An article at WFUV's Alternate Side notes that "Raditude" features some interesting guest players, including Lil Wayne, the All-American Rejects, and Jermaine Dupri. And the band's recent AOL Sessions had smooth-jazz sax man Kenny G blowing his horn on one track.

It'll be interesting to see if the Weezer Snuggie campaign boosts the band's sales and visibility, or just gives its current fans a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Live Music News: Bon Jovi & U2 Dates on Sale; More Springsteen Full Albums

Here's a special live edition of our semi-irregular music news. Three heavy hitters in arena rock are in the news with live dates this week:

* Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band continue their string of New York shows at Madison Square Garden, and they've announced that this weekend's shows will feature albums performed in their entirety. On Saturday, November 7th they will perform the whole The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, Springsteen's second album, for the first time ever.

The next night, November 8th, Bruce and the band will give the full-album treatment to 1980's The River, also for the first time.

Tickets may still be available for these shows.

* Bon Jovi tickets for the first-ever concerts at the new Giants Stadium (May 26 and 27) went on sale earlier this week; visit the band's Web site for information.

* U2 continues its series of presales for its 2010 concerts. This is the second week of the presales, which are open to subscribers, and include shows in Anaheim (June 6th), Denver (June 12th), Chicago (July 6th ), Miami (July 9th), and New York (July 19th).

Tickets for these dates go on sale to the public Monday, November 9th.