Ritz Brits

It's called the Ritz for a reason.

All in the Family December 11, 2009

My brother is a genius when it comes to music and has introduced me to some amazing bands, so he deserves an entire post dedicated to his influence.  I even have a playlist on my Zune dedicated to music he’s given me.

He loves classic rock, and I have a modern, eclectic taste for punk, dance, and rock.  But we agree completely on one thing:  Muse is the greatest band of all time.  We’ve practically worn out their new album, The Resistance.

If you haven’t seen it, check out the music video for Uprising.  Spoiler alert:  evil teddy bears take over a playdough town.  I still laugh everytime I see it.  But not even teddy bears and playdough can mock Matt Bellamy’s voice and Chris Wolstenholme’s bass that you will never get out of your brain.

Our favorite concert DVD is the Live 8 benefit concert from 2005 featuring the likes of Paul McCartney, U2, Razorlight, Scissor Sisters, and many more.  My favorite moments are when Johnny Borrell of Razorlight performs Somewhere Else in his furry plaid hat, and when Bono joins Paul in a Bono-y rendition of Sergeant Pepper.  And I’m not even a huge Beatles fan.

Reggie and the Full Effect now takes up residence in my Zune thanks to Jordan, and I’ve discovered the magic of Dream Theater.  Fatal Tragedy is an epic masterpiece that makes almost 7 minutes fly by that is faintly reminiscent of The Eagles.

He also gave me the Them Crooked Vultures album, heralded as “the greatest super group ever” by Rolling Stone Magazine.  Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, and John Paul Jones of Led Zepplin came together to create an album of pure rock greatness.

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More Beats for Your Buck

Let’s face it, my paycheck doesn’t entirely support my music and shopping habits.  So I had to get a little creative.  There are tons of places to find free songs and deals on  mp3 downloads.  As I’m sure most of you know, Zune Marketplace and iTunes have a free song and/or music video every week.  They are released every Tuesday with the rest of the new music, movies, and tv shows.  An even better resource I’ve found is Amazon.com.  Go to mp3 downloads, and click on “Special Deals”.  There is a free song every day, and an mp3 album of the day that ranges in price from $1.99 to $3.99 for the full album.

If you don’t check everyday, be sure to check on Tuesdays.  Lately, the mp3 album of the day has been a new release.  I scored Leona Lewis’s Echo and 30 Seconds to Mars’ This Is War for $3.99 each the day they were released.  That can save me up to $10 per brand new album.  Trust me, this is one kind of math you will enjoy.  I call it shopping math.

Amazon also has tons of free sampler albums that range from mainstream pop to indie and global labels.  Its a great way to try out new sounds and new artists.

http://www.amazon.com/MP3-Deals/b/ref=sv_dmusic_3?ie=UTF8&node=678551011

Urban Outfitters is another unlikely resource for new artists and free music.  Every few months they put out a new Listen Playlist.  You can see the list of songs on the Urban Outfitters website, and get a code to download all 25 songs on iTunes for free.

And as if Starbucks wasn’t a fantastic place already, they also offer one free song or music video each week.  Check near the register for a stack of cards with the “Pick of the Week”.  On the back is a code to download the song or video for free on iTunes.  You can also view the songs Starbucks has recommended on iTunes, which is another great place to find new music.  This is where I first heard of great artists like Mayer Hawthorne.