Everybody will have different experiences based on their preferences, their familiarity with one product or another, as well as what hardware they’re using. In the interest of transparency, this is my brief history and a list of test devices. I’ve been a member of Spotify Premium since July of 2011 and I’ve never really had any issues with it or a desire to try to find anything better. On the other hand, I do like Apple products so I had to give Apple Music a shot. The ‘test devices’ that were used for my comparison of Spotify and Apple Music are the following: iMac, Macbook Pro, iPhone 6+, iPhone 4S, iPad 3rd Generation and iPod Touch 5th Generation. There will be a lot of comparisons to Spotify since that service is obviously Apple’s biggest competitor.
The actual presentation of both the desktop and mobile versions of Apple Music are beautiful. On the desktop, the streaming albums integrate flawlessly with any purchased/ripped music that is already on your iTunes. The only way to tell the difference is the little cloud icon with an arrow through it that lets you know that you can download the track for offline use. The integration doesn’t stop there, though. When you select an individual artist there are a few new features that pop up. The most noteworthy is the addition of three tabs at the top of the band page. The first is ‘My Music’ which is exactly what you would…
Because who wouldn't be enticed to click on this playlist by Chad Kroeger's glorious mug?
Ladies, gentlemen, and readers who may not identify by either pole of the gender binary, welcome to Sputnikmusic’s 2nd Quarter Infinite Playlist for 2015. It’s been a long year since the last one of these went up – in the interim, the staffers who typically run the playlists (namely Sowing and myself) have been very busy with various kinds of work, both within and without Sputnik. That said, we figured now is as good a time as any to kick-start the ol’ Infinite Playlist again, and thanks to a healthy crop of user submissions we’re able to present a wide variety of some of the finest music released between April and June of this year. We’ve got a great mix of music for you, from post-hardcore to weird synthesizer explorations to a double dose of Britpoppy alt-rock, and we hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
Hi there! Apologies to those of you who missed out on our celebratory rainbowsplosion on Friday.
In case you missed it, pretend you’re Homer:
You're not at Moe's anymore.
People got a bit cranky with me, and perhaps understandably so — my favorite remark had something to do with “keeping the politics out of a music site” — despite that user 5′ing the entire Ted Nugent discography. Another user inquired as to why we decided to “fag up the main page”, which seemed odd considering there were no large bundles of sticks anywhere to be seen.
Despite our Communist name, Friday might have been the most important SCOTUS ruling since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, and there’s no reason why we can’t dance.
You know, perhaps there’s lots of lumber in those pants.
Let’s carry on, then, to our Q2 mixtape, which our staffers are again delighted to present to you. Featuring selections from Titus Andronicus to The Drays to Nicolas Jaar to Icicle to Witchwood to God is an Astronaut, please feel free to stream the playlist below for some of our favorites between April 1st and June 30th.
Not everything is in the Spotify playlist, though, so keep your…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 23rd, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Apathy – It’s The Bootleg, Muthafuckas! Vol. 4: The Black Lodge (Dirty Version Records)
Apathy – Weekend At The Cape (Dirty Version Records)
August Burns Red – Found In Far Away Places (Fearless Records)
Bang Gang – Wolves & Whispering (Idol)
Bilal – In Another Life (Entertainment One Music)
Dan Svizeny – Whitecaps (Group Tightener)
Failure – The Heart Is A Monster (Failure Records) God Is An Astronaut – Helios/Erebus (Revive Records)
The Internet – Ego Death (Columbia)
Joy Williams – Venus (Columbia)
LA Priest – Inji (Domino Recording Company) Man Overboard – Heavy Love (Rise Records) – Davey Boy
Matt Pond PA – The State Of Gold (Doghouse Records)
Miguel – Wildheart (RCA) Refused – Freedom (Epitaph) – Dan H.
Tyga – The Gold Album: 18th Dynasty (Last King’s Music)
The Velvet Teen – All Is Illusory (Top Shelf Records)
Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06 (Def Jam)
My, how time flies… Can you believe that 2015 is almost half complete? To mark the occasion, I thought I’d use a couple of ‘Sputnik Discusses’ blogs to reflect on some of the releases that have graced our ears over the past six months. But instead of immediately jumping into a ‘Best Of’ discussion, I thought it would be interesting to share with your SputnikMusic brethren some of your more exclusive finds of 2015. Personally, I find it kind of exciting when I come across musicians who don’t have an artist page on this website. And the last thing you want to do when you come across such musicians is keep them to yoursef. Write a review here and let the world know. Or if you can’t be stuffed writing 700 or so words, then this is where this very discussion comes in handy… Typing the artist and album title below will do just fine.
To throw out some examples, I’m going to list three 2015 releases which, prior to yours truly rating them, had all of one solitary rating between them (Damn you Thuckabe, you ruined it). Now, unsurprisingly (because [a] it’s me, and [b] they’re overlooked), there are some poppier leanings here… But I think you’ll find enough genre variety enclosed within to satisfy your needs.
First up is one Nathan Feuerstein, who goes by the moniker of NF. This 24 year old may remind you of someone… He is a…
We are currently hosting an AMA over on r/music at Reddit. If you’ve been dying to know if Irving’s nicest-guy-in-the-world persona is really just an act, if Davy prefers boxers or briefs, if I really am a robot, and what Sowing does to celebrate the publishing of another Taylor Swift review, then pop in here and flick us a question. Of course you could always ask what our ambitions for the website are, and what Sputnik truly means to us, but where’s the fun in that?
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 23rd, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Breaking Benjamin – Dark Before Dawn (Hollywood Records)
Bully – Feels Like (Columbia)
Creepoid – Cemetery Highrise Slum (Collect Records)
Desaparecidos – Payola (Epitaph)
Everything Everything – Get To Heaven (RCA/Sony)
Goblin Rebirth – Goblin Rebirth (Relapse)
Jaakko Eino Kalevi – Jaakko Eino Kalevi (Weird World)
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material (Mercury Nashville)
Leon Bridges – Coming Home (Columbia)
London O’Connor – O∆ (Self-released)
Mocky – Key Change (Heavy Sheet)
Neil Young & Promise Of The Real – The Monsanto Years (Reprise)
Pistol George Warren – Oceapur 9 (Self-released)
Richard Thompson – Still (Fantasy)
Rhapsody – Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus (Nuclear Blast America)
Son Lux – Bones (Glassnote)
T. Hardy Morris – Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin On A Mountaintop (Dangerbird)
Thy Art Is Murder – Holy War (Nuclear Blast America) …
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of June 16th, 2015. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
Active Child – Mercy (Vagrant)
Adam Lambert – The Original High (Warner Bros.)
Amos Lee – Live At Red Rocks With The Colorado Symphony (ATO Records)
Ben Browning – Turns (Yellow Year)
Calvin Love – Super Future (Arts & Crafts)
DJ Koze – DJ-Kicks: DJ Koze (K7) Heartless Bastards – Restless Ones (PTKF) – Rudy K.
Hilary Duff – Breathe In. Breathe Out (RCA)
Hudson Mohawke – Lantern (Warp Records)
Ike Reilly – Born On Fire (Rock Ridge Music)
James Taylor – Before This World (Concord)
The Lonesome Trio – The Lonesome Trio (Sugar Hill) mewithoutYou – Pale Horses (Run For Cover Records/LLC) – SowingSeason
Mika – No Place In Heaven (Republic)
Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic (WEA/Fueled By Ramen)
The Ongoing Concept – Homemade (Solid State)
Outfit – Slowness (Memphis Industries)
Ryn Weaver – The Fool (Interscope)
Third Eye Blind – Dopamine (Mega Collider)
Walk Of The Earth – Sing It All Away (Columbia)
With June shaping up as an excellent month for new album releases, I’m in between jotting together a few potential reviews at the moment. As these albums require more detailed listening and examination for the sake of an informative dissection, I’m often lacking the time to hear many other 2015 releases at the same time. What I often do in this case is stockpile a handful of EPs, for the obvious reasons that they take less time to listen to. By pure coincidence, I came across 3 consecutive EPs last week that were all acoustic based. For the record, I enjoyed all three, which were recorded by Pvris, Brigades and State Champs.
I recall looking at the track-listing for the State Champs EP (titled ‘The Acoustic Things’) and being disappointed that only one of my highlights from their album ‘The Finer Things’ was included. Yet, upon listening to the 7 included tracks, I found that the tune ‘Simple Existence’ stood out. I wondered why I had not included that as an LP highlight, so I went back and listened to the electric version. The answer was simple? The acoustic version was better!
Without harping on the pop-punk goes acoustic factor, it reminded me of a couple of years back when I was listening to the discography of (arguably middling) Massachusetts quintet A Loss For Words. Sure, they have a knack for a catchy hook, but so does 90% of pop-punk bands. The…
Tengger Cavalry. Nature Ganganbaigal. Names that are not part of everyday discussions here on Sputnik, which is exactly why I went out and shot an interview request towards Metal Hell Records some nights ago – to find out more. Only a day or so managed to pass, and already the wise Mongol chieftain in charge of Tengger Cavalry had answers for my written inquiries. Founded in 2009, Tengger Cavalry is currently the leading Mongolian folk metal band… in the world. The group has been more than active since its inception, due to the never ending creative flow of its mastermind, Nature Ganganbaigal. To date, the band has released four full-length albums in the span of six years, with their latest release – a re-recording of their debut Blood Sacrifice Shaman – dropping on May 18 of this year. Given that the latest addition to Tengger Cavalry’s discography is less a remaster and more an entirely new beast brought to life on the carcass of old ideas, it is safe to say that Tengger Cavalry is one of the busiest bands in metal today. Now that the new old album is out there for everybody to hear, Nature devoted some time to me, to answer a few questions about the band, himself, and his religion.
Good evening to you! As Tengger Cavalry is rather unknown on our site, would you be so kind as to give a short overview of what this band is all about?…
It’s been a while since a Davey-moderated ‘Sputnik Discusses’ went interactive and took a look at the best album art of all time, but fear not; I’m still sitting in a dark room somewhere thinking up discussion topics. Filling the breach for one of my missing weeks was our very own Lord of Brostep, Sir. Will Robinson, with his blog concerning life in college and a lot of cursing. I kid, I kid. Thanks to Will for stepping in, and if you are yet to read his thought-provoking discussion on hip-hop lyrics, I urge you to do so by clicking here
Today’s topic is a genuinely tough one for me to write about. I mean, I’m never wrong… So how the hell can I personally convey any situation where I was incorrect on anything? I guess that if I had reached school-age yet, I would have been wrong on Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson, but even the statute of limitations would have forgiven me for that one by now. Plus, this is a music website.
I guess the closest time that such a music-related phenomena occurred was back in the mid-2000s when I heard Toronto punk rockers Billy Talent for the first time. Call me narrow-minded, but I just felt that it would be near impossible to overcome such negative first impressions of a band. Owning a voice that will be despised much more than it is liked, it’s an…
Three weeks after braving a sixth year of the desert of Coachella, I was off across the country to Atlanta, Georgia, to take in the relatively fresh-faced Shaky Knees music festival. Only in its third iteration in as many venues, Shaky Knees has shot up fast in festivalgoers’ estimation: its penchant for widely disparate artists, with a noticeable lack of pandering to wide-eyed EDM fans, convenient location in the heart of Atlanta, and relatively cheap cost for a three-day festival (at $125 for early bird tickets, that’s $175 cheaper than Bonnaroo and a full $250 less than Coachella). DEALZ$$. The fact that my editor harassed the media until they granted my journalistic integrity a pass sealed the deal – another weekend in a mishmash of parks, side avenues, and parking lots to catch set after exhausting set. Hey, at least I now know what the weather at Bonnaroo feels like.
Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
After a debut in a historic Atlanta park and an artistically successful, location-challenged (at an outdoor mall??) second year, Shaky Knees’ move into downtown Atlanta’s Central Park was apparently a welcome one to many fans I talked to, although the location was more a chunk of park (actually two parks, as it connected a bit with Atlanta’s Renaissance Park – Atlanta has a lot of parks) winding its way through a few residential divisions and…
Almost a solid month ago, on the 9th of April – which was a clear and delightfully quiet spring evening, for me at least – I got in touch with Joe Tiberi, the brains behind the Chicago-based symphonic-industrial-extreme metal band Mechina, who in January 2015 released their 4th full-length album, titled Acheron. What was probably the longest interview I’ve ever done, we spoke a good two hours about Mechina, about his convictions, and eventually got thoroughly off-track by exchanging what we believe is to be the next step for us as humans, why we hate movie adaptions of games, and whether we are too sober for the conversation that we suddenly found ourselves in. Since the latter part of our talk was less an interview and more a pseudo-intellectual banter, I decided to cut the ending off, but the point is: if you ever get a chance to talk to Mr. Tiberi, I would highly recommend doing so, since he’s one of the more down to earth guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing. I’m not known for my punctuality, so a good month later, here it is – a very all-encompassing view into the life of Joe Tiberi and the workings of Mechina.
We can start off on a high, since you just released a statement to your fans that the first batch of your new album, Acheron, has sold out. Did you expect that to happen so quickly, being an independent…
Hello, wonderful users/contribs/staff/mods/lurkers/mx, and welcome to another edition of Sputnik Discusses! Davey’s MIA this week (my money’s on him having to stave off Australia’s terrifying wildlife), so I’ll be doing whatever I can to prompt and moderate the discussion this time around. I’m in the midst of our school’s “reading period,” which is essentially the lull before the maelstrom of finals in which we study as frantically as we can and/or procrastinate as frantically as we can, so I’ll hopefully have some time to respond to as many of you as I can in the comments section. Don’t be surprised if Davey manages to poke his head in here or there, though.
I’d like to broach the topic of potentially offensive or hurtful lyrics in hip-hop because that’s been a topic of contention on my school’s campus as of the past few weeks. A bit of context: Princeton University’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) hosts a day-long festival called Lawnparties every fall and every spring, in which various campus organizations invite about a dozen artists to perform on a certain part of campus known as Prospect Ave. This past iteration of Lawnparties, held on Sunday, featured Detroit rapper Big Sean as the headliner. The choice was a divisive one. Almost immediately, a small but significant portion of the student body began to protest his selection, calling on our USG to “take down Big Sean.” According to Duncan Hosie, a junior and one of the students who spearheaded the protests,…
Fear not; ‘Sputnik Discusses’ has not been retired just yet. This blog’s absence over the past fortnight was simply due to the most deadliest of all diseases: the dreaded man-flu. Let me tell you folks: It got me good and proper this time around. You know that a music lover is sick when they’re just lying there for days on end doing nothing at all, yet can’t muster the energy to throw on an album or ten as background music. The dreaded lurgy isn’t completely gone either, so I had to think of a way to turn my lack of writing – and thinking – energy into a positive. What I’ve decided to do is write on a topic that I have no real strong feelings on, thus leaving the majority of the discussion up to you! It’s therefore fitting that the topic at hand actually came from one of you… So much thanks to elcrawfodor for the suggestion.
More than that however, ‘Sputnik Discusses’ is going even more interactive than it already is. It’s simply not enough that you get to write what you want in the comments section. In this discussion’s case, some of your responses will actually make the blog itself, since I will update it (most likely on a daily basis) as the discussion heightens.
So what is the topic of discussion at hand? Well, as the title suggests; It concerns album art. Even back in my purchasing…
Another year, another Coachella won by the DJs. It was apparent seeing the massive crowd flocking to the Main Stage for Kaskade’s 7:30pm set that no matter the time, no matter the place, big electronic names have supplanted rock ‘n roll and pop acts as the biggest draw of the festival. Ever since Tiesto’s headlining set in 2010, electronic music and its den of iniquity, the Sahara tent, has consistently drawn the most packed crowds, with the requisite increase in dilated eyes and face paint. Not to say Kaskade’s set was a bust – indeed, it was quite good – but it failed to rise above the constraints of its audience, who know what they want and are happy enough to get it. Still, credit to Goldenvoice: where past Coachellas have gone heavy on the big names), the electronic acts this year pushed the boundaries of their genre, from Kygo, who’s languid house beats draw white girls like moths to a flame, to Jamie xx’s innovative, heavy set, to John Talabot, who proved the best avatar of the Yuma’s throbbing, mutating waves of bass music. Sure, David Guetta may have still closed out the Sahara Sunday night, but: progress! And that’s not even mentioning one of my favorite sets of the night, which rocked the top of the Mojave, of all places.