Month In Review – September 2009

This was quite an interesting month for a number of reasons. First of all, MusicKO became 100 post old this month. In addition to that, one of my favorite sites on the WWW (Chalkhills, a huge repository of information devoted to XTC) linked back to me and I am very grateful for that.

I am also glad I added a band I love to MusicKO: The Goo Goo Dolls. Moreover, I reviewed some great compilations like Crystal Gayle’s “All-time Greatest Hits” package and a ZZ Top’s greatest hits album. Continue reading

All Guitar Chords – For All Aspiring Guitar Heroes

Name: All Guitar Chords

Looking back at the resources for musicians and music lovers I have covered so far I realize that I have not featured a single one that teaches people how to play an instrument. There is a good reason for that – I believe that playing an instrument (any instrument) is something innate. Still, a helping hand does not go amiss, and the site I am reviewing now is as good as any other to these effects.

In this particular case, it all revolves around guitar chords and scales. More than 200 of the former and 80 of the latter are featured for you to start emulating David Gilmour. Well, maybe not, but these are enough chords to play any song within the repertoire of The Kinks, The Jam or The Who. Continue reading

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (The Goo Goo Dolls) – Compilation Album

The Cover Of The Compliation

The Cover Of The Compliation

If you have already gone through the general introduction I penned yesterday, you know I bought this CD more or less accidentally and how it hit me like nothing else the moment it started playing.

This compilation focuses on the Goo Goo Dolls’ commercial peak, heralded by the smash song “Iris” from the movie “City Of Angels” and the album “Dizzy Up The Girl” up to the song “Before It’s Too Late” from Michael Bay’s debatable big-screen adaptation of the classic 80s’ show “Transformers”. Three albums are covered: “Dizzy Up The Girl”, “Gutterflower” and “Let Love In”. These are albums that more or less follow the pattern set down by a song that was originally featured on the album called “A Boy Named Goo” (1995), and which was entitled “Name”. It was their first successful excursion into a territory much mellower than what many fans were accustomed to, and it signaled the commencement of their surge in popularity. That song has been re-recorded for inclusion on this compilation. There is not really that much of a departure – the role the acoustic guitar plays out is the only noticeable difference between the old and the new version of “Name”. Continue reading

The Goo Goo Dolls – General Introduction

Left To Right: Robby Takac, John Rzeznik & Mike Malinin

Left To Right: Robby Takac, John Rzeznik & Mike Malinin

One of my greatest projects is the eventual realization of a mini-series revolving around the lives of five friends who are in a band together, and who enter a music contest. The viewer gets to see them as they learn what matters in life through music, and I have spent a truly inordinate amount of time working the soundtrack out to the point that music has become the true protagonist of the series.

One day, I caught a song called “Sympathy” on the radio. I liked it and downloaded it. The song became part of the soundtrack I assembled. And I have a rule: if I ever come across a CD containing any of the songs I have included in that soundtrack, I buy the album immediately. When I was shopping one day, I spotted the Goo Goo Dolls “Greatest Hits” CD and I purchased it. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but a rule is a rule. Continue reading

All-Time Greatest Hits (Crystal Gayle) – Compilation Album

The Cover Of The CD

The Cover Of The CD

The youngest sister of country luminary Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle has had career that began at the age of 16 (as part of the Loretta Lynn Show) and which has lasted to this day, yielding no less than 18 number 1 singles.  This cut-cost compilation (first issued by Curb in 1990) boasts a representative number of them along with songs that nearly topped the charts like “When I Dream” (a top 3 hit) and “I’ll Do It All Over Again” (which hit number 2 back in 1977).

I am glad that my two favorite songs by Crystal are included – the adorable “Talking In Your Sleep” and “Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For”. Both compositions were number 1 smashes – the former was the first song of hers I ever listened to, and the latter is one of the faster songs included here in terms of tempo, and one that provides a nice break from the overall mood of the album, which is mostly middle-paced. I am also very fond of the song “Somebody Loves You” – a top 10 hit, and one that melds a bouncy melody with a set of lyrics that are simple but incredibly effective, portraying attachment and loss very deftly indeed. Continue reading

ASCAP Aims To Implement License Fees For Ringtones

Today I came across this article when browsing through TechCrunch and I frankly thought it was something worth-sharing with everybody.

For those of you too lazy to click on the link and read the full story, it explains that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) are insisting that cellphone ringtones should be deemed as public performances of music. Consequently, these “performances” should be accompanied by the paying of a license by the “public”. Continue reading

We Love Festivals – A Social Network For Festival Goers


Name: We Love Festivals
There are many social networks that are aimed at music lovers, and many are a bit similar for my liking. This particular one, on the other hand, did really catch my glance. Not because the basic premise is revolutionary or anything like that, but only because I found it incredibly useful.

You see, this particular networking site is aimed at festival goers. Here, they can meet up with other people keen on attending such events, chat until they run out of breath, and share media recorded at the festivals they have attended. Continue reading

Kristian Dupont (Minimum Noise) – Interview (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of the interview with Kristian Dupont from Minimum Noise. You can read Part 1 right here.



When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?

I have been a music lover for as long as I can remember. My first purchase was “Into the Dragon” by Bomb the Bass. Vinyl. Great album all over, and, it featured Megablast – the sound track to the video game Xenon 2 by Bitmap Brothers which I absolutely loved as well.

Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a file on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?

I played the drums for 7 years and was in a band at one point but it didn’t amount to much. Later, I got into electronic music production when “soundtrackers” started to appear on the PC platform. These days, I toy around with Ableton Live. Continue reading

Strangeways, Here We Come (The Smiths) – Album Review

The Album's Title Is A Play On "Borstal, Here We Come" From Billy Liar

The Album's Title Is A Play On "Borstal, Here We Come" From Billy Liar

The Smiths’ final studio album is a very graceful way to bow out. Leaving aside the presence of some songs that spoil its second side and which are notoriously glaring, the record adheres to the formula that had worked so well before: self-questioning lyrics over jangly guitars and very solid grooves.

The album’s opener is (in my opinion) the best opener of all their albums. The song is called “A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours”, and it has a roaring vocal from Morriseyy while the main melodic instrument is a piano. It is abutted by “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish”, a song which was released as a single. I agree with that decision – while it doesn’t lead the band into unchartered  territories it does play their formula to a hilt, and it plays it well. But I can’t disagree with those who claim “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” would have been a better A-side.

The other single, by the way, was “Girlfriend In A Coma”. Again, it incarnates their classic sound. It doesn’t take the listener anywhere he hasn’t gone before, but it lets him enjoy the ride for sure. Continue reading

Kristian Dupont (Minimum Noise) – Interview (Part 1)

As you probably recall, last week I reviewed (and was very impressed) by a startup named Minimum Noise. I was lucky enough to interview co-founder Kristian Dupont, and I am extremely grateful for his insight and advice. I have split the interview in two parts, the first is found below and it deals with the company, whereas the second one is the “Music & You” section that you are probably familiar with already if you are a MusicKO regular. It is found here.


Kristian Dupont

Mr. Kristian Dupont

Full Name: Kristian Dupont

Age: 31

Startup: Minimum Noise

Position: Co-founder



Tell us a little about your startup. How was it conceived? What are its most distinctive features in your opinion?

Sammy (my co-founder) and I have worked with tv-production and video games for many years. We love all things media. Having seen the crowdsourcing model work well for design sites, we wanted to apply this to media production in general. Minimum Noise does this for music. The concept is simple: if you need music production, you post a “project” on Minimum Noise. This project describes your requirements and how much you want to pay. Musicians can then upload mp3’s with sketches of how they would make it. You pick a winner, pay the musician and get the audio material. Continue reading