• Thu 28 Jun – Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

    14 Jul 2007, 18:47 de nventi

    Thu 28 Jun – Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

    Despite the title, I attended the festivities only on July 6. This was my first time to Montréal. Even having been fore-warned, I was a little surprised, but French is the language of choice up there. I managed to pick up a few words here and there, but no matter who is talking with you, they try French first, realize you're American, roll their eyes, and default to English. Overall though, I loved the setup of this festival. They take over roughly 3-4 city blocks and turn it into festival central. The shows - close to 500 total, are all free (besides ticketed indoor events). There's always about 4 things going on at once, so if you get bored with one artist, you can easily find something else to check out. I saw these groups:

    No Name Jazz Sextet - These guys were pretty good, and on the mainstage when I arrived. Arrangements were good, solos were well crafted. Very straight ahead. They wore matching shirts.

  • A list of drm-free music stores

    4 Mar 2007, 3:07 de sojyujai

    From a guy who never has and never will pay a penny for drm-restricted music; a short but (hopefully) growing list of places to buy drm-free music online:

    emusic
    Apparently the #2 music store on the internet (behind itunes) which is some accomplishment considering the general lack of mainstream music. Despite this there is a wide variety of music available, from Woody Guthrie to Sufjan Stevens and Cat Power. There is a definite weighting towards indie-type bands and an excellent selection of jazz - with many other genres. Mp3 format only (high bitrate VBR). Payment is on a subscription basis and prices are very reasonable.

    Bleep
    Another shop with a good selection of indie bands. High bitrate VBR mp3s and a select few Flacs are available (their FAQ says they're considering expanding their FLAC collection which would be fantastic). Available worldwide. Pay on a per-album or per-track basis. Looks more expensive than emusic but would be a good choice for getting just one album…