Tag Archives: Mog

Guest Post: Inside MOG's Cozy Galaxies

We first introduced Noise Narcs readers (and ourselves) to Cozy Galaxies [Facebook, Myspace] via our post about Philladelphia’s Bloktoberfest. Despite long lines and a plenitude of beers, Cozy Galaxies pierced through the beer fog. And, after having first only given a few songs a cursory rush-to-post listen, their self-titled album is actually one of the finest releases Philly releases of 2010 in an absolute bumper crop. Finely-crafted, swirling Pavement-meets-My Morning Jacket dreampop. Bassist Andrew Mattey graciously offered to send an album over, but we had already been listening to it via the magic that is MOG’s music streaming [free trial here,, by the way]. Even better, he offered to do a guest post, on the horrors of losing your music collection (something I wake up in sweats worrying about) and the panacea that MOG offers. But not, unfortunately, the epic weirdness that must have been their opening spot for Beatles almost-ran Pete Best. Read below and by all means, check out Cozy Galaxies, available now [Buy].

MOG offers eight million streaming tracks, and dries your eyes after your music collection has been stolen

Starting at age six, I began collecting music. Dozens of cassettes at first, then 100s of CDs, and finally there was an epic amount of mp3s. At the time of its theft, my 60 gig iPod was nearly full with music. And because my computer was also stolen earlier that month, the iPod was holding everything. Just like that, my sixteen years of collecting music had come to a brutal end. Sure I still had plenty of CDs, but most were purchased during my early teens and no longer fit my tastes. Also many were scratched, and many of my favorite CDs were gifted to friends. I did get another mp3 player and supplemented my music when I could, but had the sad realization my collection would never return to its former glory.

When I first discovered MOG, which offers unlimited and on-demand access to an enormous library of music for $5 and unlimited mobile downloads for $10, I saw a very interesting innovation in an industry which has seen declining profits over the past year, and also a service that seemed perfectly catered to me. I subscribed to the service almost immediately.

One of my first thoughts about the site was that this type of service is going to put serious pressure on iTunes, the dominant player in the digital music industry. However, the more I think about it, the less this may be true… at least in the immediate future. I currently own very little music, so I am more than happy to pay just to have access to it. But would I be as willing to subscribe if I still had my incredible collection intact? Probably not, and this is the situation that most music collectors find themselves in.

However, it is very difficult to argue against the economic sense of such a service in the long run. For instance, say a consumer wants to buy three new albums, but only has money to buy one. It just makes more sense to pay for the price of one and have access to all three through a service like MOG, rather than just buy the one album from iTunes.

So why hasn’t services like MOG been able to better compete with iTunes, is it because consumers still want to own their music? No, consumers will never own the music that they buy; the label/artist/publisher already does that. When they sell you a CD or mp3, they are just selling another way to access that music, which MOG can do more efficiently. MOG’s main problem right now is visibility, most people don’t know about it. I didn’t know about it myself until David here at NoiseNarcs informed me that it is where he’s been listening to my band’s new album.

Unfortunately for MOG, Apple will most likely unveil a similar service before MOG’s is really able to take off; and their iPod-holding, dancing silhouettes will probably do a better job selling it. But in the meantime, the site is definitely worth checking out, whether your looking to listen to albums that you’ve lost or discovering new music. They are currently running a 14-day free trial.

Cozy Galaxies, “Aquajog”
Cozy Galaxies, “Clean Yourself Up”

Andrew Mattey is the bass player in the Philadelphia-based Cozy Galaxies. He also holds a B.A. in Economics and Politics from Temple University. Cozy Galaxies is available now [buy].

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RCJ&Y and an Earnest Plea (and a Devious Cash Grab)

Note about our sponsors: Music blogs exist in a weird gray area. Ultimately, we at Noise Narcs believe that we’re doing more good than harm. But it’s something I agonize about a little bit, and the number of clickthroughs on our buy links doesn’t sit well with me. The future of the music economy matters to me because music matters to me. We donate any proceeds beyond our nuts and bolts cost to music-based charities. But in my mind, the real future of the recorded music biz will be in recurring fees from streaming music. MOG.com, in my mind, is the best of the current bunch, although Material Lives swears by Rdio and their admittedly superior interface and gapless playback (please, MOG Gods, fix this last one). But MOG has truly superior sound (320 Kbps!) and a much larger library (9 million tracks) for $5 a month ($10 including Android or iPhone access).

Starting today, Noise Narcs is happy to offer a 14 day free trial to MOG. As a full disclosure, MOG is an advertising sponsor, but believe me when I say this: paying $5 a month for access to almost any song you can think of is a steal. A steal that actually supports the musicians.

Back to the music:

Since I posted on Tuesday about Neil Young’s “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” being a companion piece to his “Cortez the Killer,” I’ve been thinking a lot about “Cortez the Killer.” And since I’ve been listening a lot to No Age and Deerhunter’s amazing new albums (both candidates for Top Ten of 2010), it didn’t take much of a mental leap for me to think of this truly bizarre and awesome rendition of “Cortez the Killer” by No Age’s Randy Randall, Deerhunter/Atlas Sounds’s Bradford Cox, and director Jim Jarmusch (?!?). RCJ&Y, anybody?

Randy Randall, Bradford Cox, & Jim Jarmusch, “Cortez the Killer”
No Age, “Fever Dreaming” [Buy Everything in Between]
Deerhunter, “Desire Lines” [Buy Halcyon Digest]

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Google Music: LaLa on steroids

Billboard has an exclusive outline of Google’s in-the-works music service. Browser-based, ability to stream all of your music from any computer, also via mobile apps, and… the ability to stream any track once AND the ability to include in your library any music on your hard drive, legally acquired or no. Details are sketchy, not sure if the labels will get on board, but an intriguing replacement to Lala, for sure. MOG and Rdio beware…

[Billboard via Techcruch]

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Another Music Business Model Bites the Dust: Amie Street

Hot Tub Rock Show posting will resume shortly.

Although both I and Material Lives lamented the demise of Lala and its play once for free model, we’ve become pretty happy with the embrace of the $5/month streaming of MOG and Rdio. And ultimately, Lala’s model never made much financial sense to me. But today, Techcrunch announces that Amie Street is being bought out and (likely) ditching its innovative model, in which tracks started at a low price (as low as free) and increased to a $1 as more people bought the track. It was a fascinating model, which would make a ton of sense for indie bands. That is, if streaming didn’t offer a similar model: artists get paid more the more people listen to their music. And users get more convenience and more content for the buck.

And today, the company will announce that Amazon has acquired the Amie Street business. Going forward the team will focus on Songza, which they acquired in 2009. Amazon will redirect Amie Street to a new cobranded Amie Street/Amazon Music Service site and give users a $5 coupon to purchase songs on Amazon. But while the users and the brand are being acquired, Amazon will most likely ditch the business model, say the founders (stressing that they don’t know for sure).

[Techcrunch]

Songza, by the way, is a streaming playlist-driven radio site. Long live our streaming overlords!

Agustin Amigo, “Video Killed the Radio Star (The Buggles Cover)” [via Youtube] [Buy]

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