Tag Archives: Lala

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).


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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Lala means I loved you…

Nothing shocking after their purchase by that evil Cuptertino company, but Lala, the only music website that had a pricing model that actually made sense, is shutting down on May 31st.

For the 2009 best of list, I had this to say:

As if the years of unlimited musical copying and on-demand musical purchasing weren’t bad enough for our overloaded ears, this year (for me, if not others) has been a year defined less by individual bands than by Lala.com and their listen-to-anything once model. On a culture already defined by flitting taste and staggering overabundance, Lala dropped a garbage truck of unbounded possibility. But at the same time, Lala’s model unleashed a counteracting conservative force. In many ways, Lala didn’t make music more available (after all HypeMachine and a dozen other websites had made virtually any song (and it’s seven remixes) available for years): it made, for the first time, albums available to experience, en masse, for free (once). And because of that, I’ve never been more excited about the album format: its death has been greatly exaggerated.

Lala, you will be missed.

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New Music Tuesday (another ode to Lala)

So it’s (late) Wednesday, and I realized only yesterday that Noise Narcs needs some sort of New Music Tuesday posts.

Every Tuesday, we who lust after music flock to sites like Lala.com to listen to new releases. Sure, real music lusters have heard most or all of many new releases far before their release dates, but since Lala has made it so easy to listen to music without cheating, I like to honor musicians and bands by waiting (in most cases) until their official release dates to listen to full albums. The beauty of Lala, also, is that it posts new releases by category, making it absurdly easy to glide through a genre, listening to a dozen or more new albums during a workday.

Here are just a few of the albums I listened to on 2.23.10:

A-Trak: Infinity + 1
K-os: Yes!
Holly Miranda: The Magician’s Private Library
Bomb the Bass: Boy Girl
Johnny Cash: American VI: Ain’t No Grave

(There’s also Steve Reich’s Phases, which I am embarrassed to say I forgot to listen to in my K-os and A-Trak excitement.)

Not all of which were good, mind you. In fact, coming down from New Music Tuesday is often like sliding off a sugar or coffee high. First, you are frantically firing all synapses trying to find the time to listen to everything in the electronica and indie rock categories, but by the end of the day, you are left with a few good tracks or—if you are lucky—one great album.

This week, Holly Miranda’s The Magician’s Private Library stands out for what it could have been had Miranda not overly channeled Chan Marshall (one of my favorite songwriters, but a woman who should never, ever, be allowed on stage in front of an audience who has paid to hear her play live): a gorgeous, ethereal, lyrically-driven album. Unfortunately, the Catpower influence is so strong that it distracts more than charms.

K-os’ album Yes! is another decent entry into the mindful hip-hop genre.

Bomb the Bass’ “Boy Girl (FM Radio Gods Remix)” is a moody entry into the electro deep, and I’m not posting it here lest I get punished by David for its length.

I think it’s A-Trak’s Infinity + 1 that is the heavy hitter this week, although it is a mix album and only contains two remixes of A-Trak’s own (coincidentally not my favorite on the album). A-Trak was a turntable superstar by the age of 18 (an influence you can hear in the turntablism you can hear on his tracks), but he’s perhaps better known for being Kanye West’s touring dj. He’s put together a bouncy little number here (I’m having visions of David and his purse hopping like a kangaroo–um, I mean, dancing gracefully–around the dance floor, or perhaps that is David holding the purse I’ve made him hold for me while I use the powder room).

So here’s a track from Infinity + 1, a song I’ve been digging for a while, Little Boots’ “Stuck on Repeat (Fake Blood Remix).”

A-Trak, “Stuck on Repeat (Fake Blood remix)”

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