Tuesday, November 23, 2004


At Dusk

This weekend I was contacted by Portland, Oregon's At Dusk. They have no less than nine songs available for free download, all from their new album, "Heights." Because I may be the only mp3 blogger limited to dialup access, I haven't heard all nine yet but I did manage to hear the first two listed, "Come Too Far" and "We Could Do Anything." Member Greg Borenstein, in his letter to me, also mentioned "Farewell Joel Dean" in particular, calling it "a little less up." I'll listen to the others but I wanted to get a post up as soon as I could. I don't know who I'd compare them to exactly but it's sort of like indie rock with a west coast character and with stronger order and harmonies present. There's also a blog on the website.

I had a post made yesterday morning but somehow Blogger lost it and I had to write it again today. I've never had my text lost like that before; maybe it's a good idea to copy the body of every post to be safe.

At Dusk is the first band to write to me asking for coverage. Every such band is encouraged to do the same; all you need to have is free mp3's to share. I should have broadband by the end of the year but even if I don't, I'll download as much as I can.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Dark Holidays

If you're like me, you might like a darker touch to holiday music, something different from the same old carols and such. The good people at the darkwave label Projekt have three complete songs from their "Excelsis" trilogy. And they're not all Christmas songs, in fact, one is black tape for a blue girl's "Chanukkah, oh Chanukkah," which in itself is a departure from traditional Jewish celebratory music. The other two are a little lighter than the rest of the CD's (I own the second volume) but still have a pleasing musical quality for goth/industrial/darkwave fans. "Welcome Xmas" by Love Spirals Downwards kind of sounds like someone might be welcoming the season for different reasons than most. Audra's "Let the Reindeer Live On My Roof" captures that post-holiday letdown feeling we get when we realize it's about to be January, then February and March before anything gets good again. That's how I feel about winter, anyway, and I live in the South; maybe we don't get winters as long and cold as others but it's enough for me.

I'm not sure if there's any label quite like Projekt doing this sort of holiday music. You should check out the samples from other songs on the collection, including my favorite, "The Christmas Song" by London After Midnight. Of course, you should check out the rest of their catalog as well, including another mp3 page which features a complete black tape for a blue girl live CD. I think you'll also appreciate Projekt's Sam Rosenthal's position on file sharing.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


More Original Christmas Music

I left AOL last spring but they still haven't taken down my old web space, surprisingly enough. Last year I put up a page for the holiday music I had, including lo-fi mp3 and Real versions of "Almost Like Another Day" and a song called "Parade," which wasn't really finished but I posted it anyway. Also included is a song off the first Radio:Tahiti cassette album, "X-mas"(1992) called "Xmas at the Launderama." This song is actually made from a cover recording of Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric?" played in reverse, so for this reason I can't really release it commercially without working something out with Numan.

I know it's not Thanksgiving yet but I have Christmas on my mind, mainly because I'm trying to finish "A Very Lester Xmas" on time this year, and I don't think it's too early to think about it and enjoy some holiday music. If you'd like to listen to some more conventional Christmas music, there is christmasradio.com which plays Christmas music 24 hours a day, every day of the year. I'm sure I'll have more holiday fare to share soon.

Monday, November 08, 2004



These days my music is made under the name Distaster. Last night I went ahead and made a temporary web site using free space and tonight I have uploaded two new net singles, "Almost Like Another Day" and "Spartanburg." The first is holiday song and part of "A Very Lester Xmas," a collection of all-original holiday songs. The second is a rough mix of a non-holiday song, one of two songs recorded in July with Asa Leffer.

Distaster is probably a stupid name because people might think I can't spell "disaster." That's not the name. The root word is "distaste." I know how to spell but this name comes from a misspelling in an old BASIC text game called "Kingdom," which was a primitive forerunner to the likes of "Age of Empires." The object of the game was to manage land and food and to keep the people in your kingdom alive. When you ran out of food and everyone died, the screen would say "Distaster! All of your people are dead!"

Part of why I decided on it for a band name is my own taste, which many people may find suspect, and my great distaste for what other people like, so that's my "artistic" meaning.

Anyway, these songs are free and complete. They may not be for everybody but you're encouraged to share all the same.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Area 51

I found this site called Narcopop which is another resource for independent artists to reach the public and for new music fans to find free mp3's. I'm still limited to dialup access so I pretty much had to choose one band to download and I chose Area 51 because they're Czech and because of the familiar reference in the name.

What I like about this band is its honest sound. It has a basic 90's and later feel to it but this sort of thing sounds much better when not completely overproduced like everything we hear on American commercial radio. "Tomorrow" would fit on radio playlists and maybe even become a hit if someone snuck it past the program director. I guess "My Savior" and "Separate" are just as playworthy; both those downloads were interrupted when I tried getting them before but that should be more because of my own inferior internet service. I find the accents in the singing somewhat charming in the way they always were with bands like the Scorpions and, to a lesser extent, Golden Earring.

Sure, Area 51 is a corny name but if there's a western act under the same name, they probably aren't as good. I hope to find more new music from eastern Europe soon.

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