Art Life Music

“Air and Simple Gifts,” performed at the Inauguration of Barack Obama

Yesterday a couple of friends and I went out to lunch and watched the Inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama.  I had never actually watched an inauguration before, so it was a pretty cool sight to see; so many people, so much history, so much tradition.  I also thought Rick Warren did a great job on the opening prayer.  Obama evokes hope in people, but I really like how Warren visibly evoked something greater.

Just prior to the Oath of Office, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Anthony McGill, and Gabriela Montero performed an excellent rendition of John William’s new composition, “Air and Simple Gifts,” which I wanted to share, because I think it’s so beautiful.  🙂  Enjoy.


It’s a new day, with a new president.  Exciting times.

[ Edit: I was still waking up when I wrote this:  yes, it was Rick Warren, not Tim Keller, who gave the opening prayer.  😛  Thanks, Mark. ]

[!] Art Music

Ki:Theory – Holiday Heart Video

A few months ago I went and saw Ki:Theory play at Toad’s Place in Richmond, and I was quite impressed.  In addition to being a great musician, he’s crafted some cool music videos, as well.  Check out the video for Holiday Heart below; if you like what you hear, check out his music over at Amazon.

Art Music – The Allens

Alright, my next recommendation off of NoiseTrade is the self-titled release by a band called The Allens.

I’d never heard of them before, but after listening to a few of their samples on NoiseTrade, I shared the album with three friends and got their free download, and I could not be more pleased.  Definitely a folk-rock / americana vibe, the female half of this husband and wife duo can sing.  The songwriting isn’t bad either.  What are you waiting for?  give them a listen, right here.

[!] Art Music – Alex Mejias

I’ve been testing NoiseTrade for a few weeks now, and I’ve been rather impressed.  If you remember the FreeDerekWebb campaign, Derek gave away his Mockingbird album for free in exchange for sharing the e-mail addresses of three friends who might be interested in his music.

NoiseTrade builds off of this experiment; a growing number of partnering artists have put up their albums for preview and download, absolutely free.  Totally free.  No strings.  There’s an option to pay what you like, if you feel so inclined, or share music with your friends.  I’ve already discovered some great new music through the service, and I’m sure you will, too.

The site officially launches July 4th, but they had a soft opening a few days ago.  Since then, they’ve added a few more artists and a few more albums.  To my surprise and delight, it seems my friend Alex Mejias has put up his debut self-titled album for download on NoiseTrade.  Give it a listen, and if you like what you hear, share it with a few friends and spread the word.  🙂

Art Life Music

Paste Magazine: Name Your Price

(Via TheLongBrake on Twitter.)

Following in the footsteps of Radiohead, Paste Magazine has decided to experiment with a “Name Your Price” 1-year subscription to their magazine. That’s right, you can name your price (anything $1 and up) for a 1-year subscription to their magazine, an offer that usually goes for $19.95 (11 issues). This will work for renewals, too, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go.

For the uninitiated, Paste is a great magazine about music, film, and culture. I find a lot of cool new artists through it that I wouldn’t hear of otherwise; I love this magazine. As a bonus, a cd sampler is included in every issue.

So, what’s Paste worth to you? If you’ve never gotten around to getting a subscription, here’s the perfect opportunity. Enjoy!

(P.S. – Looks like Rae blogged about this, too. 😉 )