The Blueberries (Uruguayan Independent Artist)


The Blueberries Are Ernesto Pasarisa, Virginia Álvarez, Fede Hell And Santiago Jaureguy

In one of the poems he wrote during the final phase of his literary career, W.B. Yeats defined the inspiration which drives artists as the appetite for the apple in the bough that is the furthest away from reach. I find no better allegory for the musical vision of the many Uruguayans who hold both British and American performers as ultimate role models. The difficulties they have to face the moment they decide to make music in English in what is a Spanish-speaking country are tantalizing, including a coma-inducing lack of airplay and a barrage of misconceptions regarding what they really want to do. Onlookers claim that they are selling out, that they have no respect for Uruguayan culture, that they are posh bastards… nobody minces words. They are called all kinds of things.

There is one thing they are seldom called, though.

They are not called people with the ability to cast their aspirations beyond the logical barriers of the context they live in, and with the endurance to follow such aspirations wherever they might take them, and whichever obstacles they might end up facing. Which I think we have to agree is the truest sign of strength – the person who falls and picks himself up constantly is by far stronger than the one who never falls down.

I have already covered many artists who have chosen to sign in English in this country. Having written in English my whole life (and having gone as far as to publish a book of lyric poetry in English in Uruguay, no less) I’m naturally interested in what they do. If you read the blog frequently, you know the reviews I write about such bands usually revolve around the same set of considerations – while I profess a larger or lesser sympathy for what they do, I also tend to have reservations about how they do it. Sometimes I criticize their over-reliance on specific bands (to the point they end up sounding like cheap imitators), and other times the lyrics make me just disgruntle owing to the grammar violations and disregard for British/American naturalness they evidence. But I mainly end up the coverage of such artists remarking how much I appreciate what they intend to do, which is nothing short of an Herculean task: making people understand that one will go as far as his ability to dream and stand for these dreams can go, that only then can monotony be overtaken. Notwithstanding which shortcomings I might (or not) perceive, I always conclude that these bands are transcendental simply because of the motivational role they do play for people who have the certainty there’s something more to life than what the eye can see.

The Blueberries is a band that certainly does. Led by Ernesto Pasarisa (who sings, plays guitar and composes the songs performed by the band), they became publicly-known when they were nominated for a Graffiti Award for “Best Alternative Pop Album” just a couple of months ago. But the story of the band actually went a long way back, more precisely to the year 2007 when it was founded by Ernesto and some good friends to keep the music and essence of artists like The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, The Hives, The Libertines, The Strokes, The Moldy Peaches, Oasis and Blur well alive. Over the course of the years, they settled on their actual line-up which comprises Ernesto on lead vocals and guitar, Santiago “Saji” Jaureguy on guitar and backing vocals, Virginia Álvarez on bass and Fede Hell on drums. An indie band at heart, The Blueberries recorded a self-titled album that they chose to make available as a free download on their own site. It was produced by Max Capote, and mastered by Juan Branaa.

An Earlier Line-up Of The Blueberries Playing Live

As regards the way in which the band chose to market their music, this is what Saji recently told a Uruguayan portal:

“The dream of many an artist is to see his album on the racks of stores, and to be supported by a record company which has contacts along with logistic and marketing resources. That sounds quite tempting, but the truth is there are very few people willing to make an investment on emerging artists. Right now, everything revolves around placing an album in a rack and little else. If the album is successful, you will become best friends with the owner of the record company, and he will take your calls. If not (and that is something lots of bands we know can attest to) you will be moved down the pecking order, and nobody will lift a finger for you. And the thing is, few are willing to take a risk – the cost of recording an album is on the artist/band, and so is the cost of pressing it. Yet, the label is the one taking up to 80 % of what is earned just by placing it on a store.”

Thus, the band chose to make their debut album freely available to whomever wished to get it. And Ernesto wrote about 200 personalized emails introducing the band to radio stations, bloggers and the press. That’s how I became acquainted with their music.  Continue reading

Radiohead Premieres A New Song: “Staircase”

The Sessions For Radiohead’s New Album (“From The Basement”) Are Officially On.

The level of acrimony generated by the “King Of Limbs” album showcases the kind of pressure world-conquering artists are always under. Sadly-enough, the best-remembered aspect of the album so far has been the “Dancing Thom” meme. Which is not a propitious token of recognition in anybody’s book, of course.

Well, it looks as if Radiohead has taken the criticism in stride. The band has begun premiering new songs, with the first being “Staircase” (which will be part of the band’s forthcoming album, “From The Basement”). It’s been featured on Radiohead’s very own YouTube channel, and this is the clip in its entirety:

Would this song have made “King Of Limbs” better for you? Or would it all have been more of the same? Please, sound off in the comments below and let us all know where you think the legendary is headed based on all its recent activity. – All You Need To Play By Ear, To Recognize Intervals And To Develop Perfect Pitch

Name: Pitch Improver

Being almost tone deaf wasn’t the only reason why I gave up on instruments when I was younger, but it certainly played its part. With a tool like this one back then, things might have gone more pleasurably. I would have been encouraged to keep at it for a little longer, and maybe (just maybe) reach the point in which I could actually play something. I find myself thinking that every time I go to a rehearsal of any of the bands I write lyrics for, and any member couldn’t make it there on time, leaving an instrument vacant. Today was one such day. Hence, today is the right time to review this site.

Found at, this a site that will let you learn to play instruments by ear. The site lets you choose the one you want to master from a list made up by “Piano”, “Guitar”, “Strings” and “Woodwinds”, and then it will let you do as many exercises as you want. These all revolve around a melody being played to you, and you having to reproduce it using an interactive keyboard. There are 20 different skill levels, and you are actually the one choosing the one you are in at the beginning of the process. Level 1 is “Major 1, 3, 5” (the one even I get right), and level 20 is “Chromatic” (the one I wouldn’t get right in twenty consecutive reincarnations). Continue reading

The Birth Of Facebook Music

Soon You Will Be Listening To Music On Facebook

Big news today as it has just been announced that the next F8 Conference will revolve around one thing: music. I’m sure someone at MySpace is having a heart attack right now…

The Internet has been abuzz with discussions concerning a possible Facebook and Spotify alliance, but Zuckerberg himself denied that. And most people (count me in) also saw such an alliance as unviable. But now it has been confirmed that Facebook and Spotify have indeed been discussing a joint service. And what’s even more interesting, Facebook has also been approaching other music service providers. If it’s not Spotify (again – I stand my previous ground), then it’s surely going to be an America-based startup. Which makes more sense, owing to the legal implications of streaming music online.

We can only try and guess which features Facebook music will have, but it’s fair to assume that a tab reading “Music” will be displayed on the left-hand side of the screen, right with your friends, groups and places, and that clicking on it will let you stream songs live from the one service that becomes Facebook’s music partner.

With Facebook being the most visited site on Earth, this can be the death knell not only for MySpace but also for services like Apple’s own Ping. We’ll have to wait until August to know more, as that is when the F8 Conference will be held and all these questions will be answered for good.

“Gigantes” By Orgánica [Video]

The winners of the Grafitti Awards were announced last Friday. The
Grafitti Awards are the exact equivalent to the American Grammy
Awards, as the work of musicians across different genres and styles
is distinguished and honored.

What I want to share with you now is the clip that romped home with the
“Best  Video Award” accolade. The song is named “Gigantes” [Giants],
and it is by the Uruguayan band Orgánica. The clip was directed by Pablo Riera, and arranged by Paristexeas. Relaunches As A Platform For Sharing Music In A More Global Way

The name of might as well be familiar to those of you who are active on the Twitterverse. The site launched about one year and a half ago, and it basically stood as a Twitter-powered platform for the sharing of songs. Then again, you might not. It didn’t pick that much traction, despite some famous musicians (most notably rappers) singing it praises. Well, is back with a vengeance – the whole platform has been revamped in order to let people share music on practically all the main social networking sites available today.



This is how it works. People who join (it costs nothing) can link their MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and accounts together, and share their own music (and the music that they have discovered online) with everybody and his wife. That is, provided everybody and/or his wife can access the Internet in one way or the other. But I think we can count on that in this day and age, right?

And the discovery quotient of the whole platform is pretty high, since users can follow their friends and see what music they have been sharing/uploading more recently. Continue reading

Customize The Latest Album By Kaiser Chiefs And Buy Just The Songs You Want

“The Future Is Medieval” Is The Newest Album By Kaiser Chiefs. In A Bold Move, Fans Can Choose Which Tracks To Actually Buy

Can you imagine what would happen if bands let punters build their own albums using the songs they have recorded, arrange them in the order they want and also pick a cover to go with these? Would that be beneficial for the actual music recorded by bands, or would that be taking things just too far? I ask you because a band has done exactly such a thing, and it is turning to be the talk of the Internet.

British indie band Kaiser Chiefs has just finished recording a 20-track CD, and it lets people buy any ten songs from it, in the order they see fit, and give it a cover of its very own using lots of preloaded images. What’s even more interesting is that once a person orders this customized CD, he will then be given the option to sell this customized album himself online, and earn 1 pound per sale.

This is as interesting as it is debatable. While letting fans do such a thing is the ultimate way to get them engaged, it also lessens the unity of what has been recorded. In this specific case, Kaiser Chiefs has recorded 20 songs. The fans buying the album will get to listen to only 10. A system like this one might as well come with a large sticker reading “Forget about sequencing or continuity”.

Plus, the fact that there might be as many versions of an album around as fans of the band means nobody will have the same impression of what has been released. There are thousands of ways in which songs can be combined.

This is not really the first time something like this has been done. Not so long ago, Devo crowdsourced the tracklist for its album “Something For Everybody”. And going way, way back I recall how let you customize your copy of The Who’s “The Blues To The Bush” before ordering it. Granted, it wasn’t the same thing. That was a live album. But it made for multiple permutations of the same disc to be available to the public.

Kaiser Chiefs’ “The Future Is Medieval” is a brand-new collection of songs. The only way to listen to all of them is by ordering two copies with 10 cuts each. So, how will this go down with fans? If your favorite band ever did the same thing, how supportive would you be? Leave a comment below and let us all know, please!

Spotify Signs A Deal With Universal. Only Warner Left To Go Now.

By The Looks Of It, Spotify Might Be Coming To America Sooner Than Expected

Spotify’s much-touted disembark on American shores finally picks up some pace. The company has managed to sign a deal with Universal Music. This means that the one and only company that stands between Spotify and America is the typically-conservative Warner Music Group. By now, Spotify has already managed to nail deals with UMG, EMI and Sony.

The Warner deal itself might not be that hard to sign, actually. All four major labels have recently signed with Apple for its iTunes to the Cloud and iTunes Match services. This is a clear indicator that the majors are opening up to the concept of digital music. I know, I know – the European streaming service and Apple are in entirely different leagues. But that is something of a precedent all the same.

One thing’s for sure: if the Warner deal comes through, it will involve some kind of heavy compromise. Let’s see how Spotify can handle that – remember, it has already angered punters by cutting on the amount of music that can be streamed for free.

Stay tuned for the latest developments. This might as well turn to be one of the hottest stories of the year as far as digital music is concerned.

The Les Paul Google Doodle Will Live Forever On Its Own Page

The Les Paul Google Doodle

Google’s Doodles were implemented by the search giant as a direct response to the random backgrounds that one gets when using Bing. Doodles conmemorate the birth of famous people, the date in which discoveries and inventions were made, and the date in which remarkable products were issued. And just last week, one of the most interesting Doodles ever was featured on Google’s homepage.

I’m obviously talking about the Les Paul Doodle. It celebrated the 96th anniversary of the birth of Les Paul, unarguably one of the biggest names in guitar history.

This Doodle proved so popular during its original run that it was left online for two full days (Doodles are only left there for 24 hours at most). And the immense popularity of the Les Paul Doodle was confirmed when Google announced the musical logo would live forever on a page of its very own.

So, the Les Paul Doodle will remain accessible for perpetuity here. You will be able to create songs and have them recorded and shared with all of your chums. Just check the video featured below in case you have not seen what this latest Doodle is capable of.

SoundSpar – Compete With Other Bands And Win New Fans


Name: SoundSpar

There is something which is obvious, but which is not any less true because of that. Listeners are the only people who can truly determine how good your own band is. Forget about critics, forget about these radios that actually play your songs or shun them. Any band worth its salt knows the one answer that actually has any real meaning is the one they can elicit from the public. All the rest comes later.

And which better way to measure how popular a band is in the world’s eyes than a site where bands from everywhere can challenge each other out, and have punters vote on which is better? Well, that’s exactly what this site is all about. SoundSpar is a battleground for bands to fight for supremacy. The word “battleground” might be too much, come to think of it. Bands fight each other in what is comparable to a kind of forum where people can vote and opine as freely as they wish.

Each featured band has a record of its own, highlighting how many confrontations they have won, how many they have lost, and how many have ended in a draw. And these bands that step into the ring more often are all highlighted on the main page, for you to know who the champs you should aspire to challenge one day are.

A wealth of different styles are supported on this site – rock, pop, country, rap, electronic/techno… and something that definitely has to be mentioned is that the site is also usable by comedians. The will be able to battle for supremacy much in the same ways that bands are allowed to.