Music Videos: Best Apps

GUEST POST: Music videos are awesome. The advances in modern technology mean that it’s easier than ever to enjoy your favorite music, no matter where you are. Now, almost any device has the power to host your favorite music videos from almost any artist you chose.

music videos

Music Videos

With so many fantastic music videos on the market, it can be hard to pick the best place to see them, so we’ve compiled a list of three frontrunners that are bound to give you your best daily music videos fix.

YouTube + a VPN

Everyone knows that YouTube is by far the industry giant in music videos. The fact that music videos can be individually uploaded by anyone means that you’re able to find almost any song you are looking for without a problem. Further than that, there’s usually a range of options, so you can opt for the best quality.

Unfortunately, when it comes to being on the go, YouTube does have its drawbacks. It’s one of the most heavily censored sites worldwide, so you could find it’s often blocked if you travel to a different country. Because of this, it’s wise to accompany it with a VPN such as IPVanish, which will hide your IP address and allow you to gain access no matter where you are. Cool tip, huh?

Vidzone

Run and operated by VidZone Digital Media and Sony Entertainment, this is probably the largest official source for music videos available today. With over 10,000 unique videos available and a well-structured user interface, you can easily search by genre, artist or song to find a great variety of music videos.

This app also offers you the opportunity to create bespoke playlists of your favorite tracks, so it’s perfect for parties and social events. You can also ‘favorite’ tunes that you listen to regularly, and add songs to a queue to create an ongoing listening and watching experience. BONUS: It’s regularly updated with new releases.

Pluto.TV

Pluto.TV is an online broadcasting app that offers over a hundred channels, many of which solely stream music videos. You can choose by specific genre or even opt for one of the many channels dedicated to some of the biggest names like David Bowie and Taylor Swift.

Set up identically to a digital TV box, this app is easy to use. You can easily switch between channels if you’re bored of the content you’re getting. You can also skip backward and forward through shows to find certain songs you want to listen to or to check out content you might have missed. It’s like MTV used to be, only better.

These are just a few of the many great music video services out there.

About the Author: Caroline is an entertainment and technology blogger and life-long music fan. She loves combining her passions and finding the best ways that tech has influenced the world of music, and she hopes she can share all she knows to help others make the most of our changing world!

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Even Fish Love Beer

Gary Clark has a Country song that will put a smile on your face. It’s called “Even Fish Love Beer (A Fish Tail).” Available on iTunes, Amazon and other sites, “Even Fish Love Beer” brings something back to Country music that’s sorely missing these days: a sense of old-school humor with the song lyrics.

Even Fish Love Beer

Even Fish Love Beer

When he’s not at his day job as a commercial banker, Clark writes songs, plays guitar and sings– and does all of these things well. It’s refreshing to hear a song like “Even Fish Love Beer” compared to what’s passing for “Country” music these days on the radio.

Have you heard of the term “Bro-Country?” It’s the name given to today’s radio-friendly hits by artists like Florida Georgia Line, made by and for tatted, gym-toned, young white party dudes. For a couple of years now, Bro-Country has taken over the charts with songs that seem to concentrate on trucks, country roads, and objectified women (aka girls wearing tight jeans) as the main lyrical themes. One thing Gary Clark’s “Even Fish Love Beer” song has in common with Bro-Country is that both celebrate beer… proving alcohol is, was, and always will be a Country music staple.

My friend Grady posted about the Bro-Country phenomenon on YouTube and his video has since received more than 4 millions views! Check it:

When songwriters all start to sound the same, using the same themes, it gets boring. This has happened in Christian music, pop music, and, yes, even Country music. That said, there are usually independent artists on the fringes who are willing to do stuff differently in order to stretch people’s imaginations when they hear interesting songs that aren’t just “by the numbers.”

I think Gary Clark’s unique new song, “Even Fish Love Beer,” will appeal to Country music fans who appreciate oldies but goodies like “There’s a Tear in My Beer” by Hank Williams, Sr., and “Too Drunk To Fish” by Ray Stevens.

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Soul R&B singer Rob Hewz

Rob Hewz just got done performing at the Unity1 Summer Music Festival at Pierce Park in downtown Ennis, Texas, where the crowd loved him. He has a natural charisma and music in his bones.

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas as Robert Hughes, he began performing at age 9. Keeping it interesting, his stage name became Rob Hewz, which definitely sounds and looks more like a performer’s name than “Robert Hughes,” which could be your accountant or dentist, right?

As a teenager, Hewz played for audiences in clubs and made his first professional recording. Right before he turned 20, he was offered a production deal via a meeting with a band whom he loved. But the music biz can be shady. An artist has to be careful about the people he associates with and you’ve undoubtedly heard or read stories of artists being taken advantage of by sharks just out for money. Hewz could have had a fancy recording contract, but when he voiced his needs– like being properly paid for his music sales and getting proper promotional support–in the end the contract(s) didn’t work out.

Rob HewzAs with most artists these days, Hewz found himself working hard to handle the different aspects of a recording and performing career as a “do-it-yourselfer,” and after releasing The Intro, his first CD, he did just fine on his own. Besides receiving radio airplay, Hewz received requests for shows and music videos soon followed.

I particularly love Rob Hewz’ “Why Can’t We Just Get Along.” It’s ear candy, slinking along on a groovy beat with Hewz’ more than capable R&B vocals. Besides The Intro, you’ll want to check out his other release Life After “the 9-5”, available on CDBaby.com here and iTunes here.

You can see and hear Hewz in action in a video taken at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas, here:

I think that if you like Johnny Gill or Tony! Toni! Toné! then you should add Rob Hewz to your music collection.

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Curtis Lee Putman

Curtis Lee Putman
I immediately liked Curtis Lee Putman’s new single, #TallintheSaddle, upon first hearing it. His deep voice suits Country music perfectly, and the beat, the violins and subject matter are spot on for a good Country song. #TallintheSaddle (When I Ride) is the first single from a planned full album release to be entitled #MyTruth. Putman likes hashtags.

Like all good Country songs, there’s truth to the words Putman, aka “The Rambling Man,” is singing. It tells the story of the aftermath of his being exonerated of wrongful criminal charges. After taking on a corrupt County in Michigan that was “prosecuting for profit,” Putman spent several weeks as a fugitive from justice. In the end, he was cleared of the charges. Even the bounty hunter who apprehended him became his friend and ended up helping him. As you can imagine, the whole situation has the making of a great Country music album as Putman tells his side of the story.

When he’s not making music, Putman is an advocate against parental alienation with Dads and Moms of Michigan. He also raises awareness regarding parental alienation, father’s rights, and the rights of the falsely accused.

Having played guitar since the age of 12, Putman’s influences include Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash. He currently calls Montgomery, Alabama home, and considers his concerts to be parties rather than performances.

After receiving several of life’s curve balls–usually knocking them back over the fence but not always– Putman has overcome his demons and found peace. He finds himself in a place where good has come from the bad. Singing and songwriting have soothed his soul and now he wants to share it.

“I just play music, the good kind, the universal language of everyone. Because really, we’re all saying the same thing,” he says.

Curtis Lee Putman is a dynamic performer, a gifted songwriter and a strong musician.

Check out his website here.

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Alt-Rock from Desert Chariot

Desert Chariot

You never know where you’ll meet your bandmates. In the case of the alt-rock band Desert Chariot, two of the band members met in an unlikely place: a shoe store in downtown Denver.

A couple years ago, Ian McGonigal and Daniel Patchin both worked at the same shoe store. They got to talking and discovered they had a lot in common musically. Both were interested in rock music, playing guitar, and songwriting. Later on they formed a rock band with Lou Sanfacon on drums and Dave Bond on bass. Desert Chariot, the band, got its start in 2014, and made their debut at Herman’s Hideaway in Denver.

If you’d ask the band what they were about they’d probably say “redemption and perseverance.” Being a band that likes to regularly write songs, they enjoy the recording process. Listen to their latest song, “Don’t.”

Clocking in at just under three minutes, like good rock songs do, “Don’t” starts out with guitars grinding away. When the vocals come in, you’re transported to another time and place in your mind. Maybe it’s a British club in the 1990s, maybe it’s outerspace, or maybe it’s a smoky garage in the middle of America. Dave Bond’s bass-playing stands out on “Don’t” helping it move along while McGonigal and Patchin provide ample guitar riffs. There’s definitely a punk aesthetic to “Don’t,” with a little bit of “screamo” infused to give it extra passion.

Desert Chariot’s music is alt-rock, which is a genre of music that emerged from the independent, underground scene of the 1980s, becoming especially popular in the 1990s. It has its roots in punk rock of the 1970s, coupled with new wave in the 1980s.

If “Don’t” is any indication of what’s to come from Desert Chariot, alt-rock fans will want to put this band on their radar screen and keep tabs on them. “Like” the band’s Facebook page here.

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Michael Stosic’s inspirational Country music

Michael StosicMichael Stosic’s voice reminds me of Barry Manilow. It’s clear, pleasant and warm sounding– the kind that makes women swoon and puts men at ease.

As a singer-songwriter from Reno, Nevada, Stosic manages to evoke the feel of the Western States with his latest release, Welcome Home. This is easy-listening inspirational Country music at its best. If you like the sound of the violin, get this album!

Michael Stosic got his career started in 1986 when he released a contemporary Christian album called Brand New Love.  His music received airplay on KCMS radio, followed by a second album, Symphony of Praise, which ended up reaching listeners in 119 countries.

Stosic’s life changed when he visited Zimbabwe several years ago. He sang there, meeting children from a local orphanage only to find out later on that three of them died from malnutrition after he left. Teaming up with Feed The Nations and The River Christian Church, Stosic devoted his time and energy to helping the starving kids of Zimbabwe. Imagine this: he helped ship some 286,000 meals to Zimbabwe. That’s a lot of food.

Besides having a heart for the poor of Africa, Stosic continued releasing albums, expanding his musical pallete with a fusion of R&B and “adult contemporary” sounds.

Now on his eighth studio album, Welcome Home, Michael Stosic shares his life experiences and perspective utilizing a Country beat on songs like “Thirty-Nine Years,” which is presumably about his long-lasting marriage.

Here’s a sample of his lyrics for “Thirty-Nine Years”…

“Well we sit by our pond, drink coffee every morning. Share the newspaper, read a story that is boring. Say a few words, get up and leave without a warning. We’ve been married thirty-nine years.”

I think dads and people of faith will especially feel a connection with Stosic’s songs.

Discover more about Michael Stosic at his website.

 

 

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Julian Hartwell Project

The Julian Hartwell Project had me hooked upon first hearing their song, “Street Dreams.” It’s a fresh take on jazz music, that somehow manages to sound like something old school AND brand new at the same time. Credit the band’s homebase– Philadelphia. Consisting of many of Philly’s up-and-coming players– many out of Temple U’s jazz studies program, The Julian Hartwell Project has got the skills to make a viable career playing and touring with their unique brand of funky jazz music.

Julian Hartwell

At the heart of the sound is Julian Hartwell, who would describe himself as “Alabama-born, Philly-molded.” He’s going for a “high-energy, funky, soulful, swinging, cinematic, evocative sound” and succeeds. This is feel good music that doesn’t get too unapproachable like so many jazz groups get. Hartwell will tell you he and his bandmates are making jazz music that appeals not only to the head, but to the heart as well. That’s a good thing– a very good thing.

The band’s original compositions are multi-layered and complex, with a variety of instruments getting their chance in the spotlight, including some fun piano work on “Say No More” and nifty trumpet playing on songs like “Stay Easy Bro.”

Indeed, The Julian Hartwell Project puts value on heavy horn arrangements and high-caliber musicianship, and it shows.

Give a listen to Julian Hartwell here:

Playing piano since he was 12-years-old, Julian Hartwell has grown up to become a sought-after pianist, composer, bandleader and educator.

Having graduated as a jazz performance major from Temple University in 2014,  Hartwell is focused on his band right now, gigging around Philadelphia at places like Chris’ Jazz Café in Center City. He also teaches piano lessons, infusing them with both improvisation and fun.

Find out more about this young, cool bandleader here. Find The Julian Hartwell Project on iTunes here.

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Acid Jazz Guitarist

One listen to The Acid Jazz Guitarist and I immediately thought of the TV show Globe Trekker, a show I used to watch on PBS. It’s a long-running adventure tourism TV series inspired by the Lonely Planet travel books, and every single episode that I watched always featured the coolest background music no matter what country the host was showing off to a global audience. The Acid Jazz Guitarist’s style would fit perfectly with Globe Trekker and its audience.

Not much is known about The Acid Jazz Guitarist. He or she lists Savannah, Georgia, as homebase though the music has a worldbeat European flair. For the sake of this article, lets assume that The Acid Jazz Guitarist is male– after all, most acid jazz guitar players are– I think. Right?

Though it’s not a genre I’m that familiar with, acid jazz, the way the guitarist plays it, has the kind of groove I like.

The artist is inspired by Sun Ra, and quotes, “Music is a spiritual language, and it represents the people of earth.” He wrote me that, “I believe this. Music is my religion. And so the intent with my music is to create something authentic that represents what I feel, hear, believe and aspire to be. And so it brings me great joy to find that there are many others (via the web) who feel the same or simply enjoy what I create.”

He’s a talented guitar player, and has over a dozen releases available on bandcamp, including A Spiritual Calling. Mostly instrumental, A Spiritual Calling manages to fuse together hip-hop, R&B, soul, dance and jazz into a tasty concoction for your ears. Give “World’s Of Our Choosing” a listen for its slinky bass and lush keyboards. Put on “Love Is All Around Me” and hear the female singer sing sensually. With 18 tracks, you’re sure to find favorites.

About his style, The Acid Jazz Guitarist says, “This music is an eclectic blend of the many styles and genres of music I enjoy listening to. It doesn’t fit comfortably into one genre which can make it difficult to describe at times. There are elements of jazz, hip-hop,
lounge, soul, rock and new age. And many of my instrumentals are tools for improvisation. This is the basis of jazz though I wouldn’t consider myself a classical jazz guitarist.”

I would consider him a very talented acid jazz guitarist who makes music you can chill to– it’s the kind you close your eyes to, take a deep breath, and relax as the beat moves you and the adept guitar work makes each song an intricate ear worm for your aural pleasure.

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Rachael Sage Choreographic

How have I not heard of Rachael Sage until now? She has been an active music maker since her teens, releasing a dozen or so full-length albums. She has shared stages with Shawn Colvin, Judy Collins, Jamie Cullum and Ani DiFranco, among others. Rachael Sage, in my opinion, should be just as well known as the aforementioned artists. She’s a talented musician and songwriter– and her singing voice is appealing, too!

Rachael Sage

Choreographic is her latest album, and it is a tribute to her first love: dance. Besides music, she loves ballet, and she recognizes how intertwined the two truly are.

So what does Rachael Sage sound like?

I’d classify her sound as country folk pop, with a good dose of violin. On Choreographic, the songs were inspired by dancers and choreographers she has encountered in her life.

Her latest single is called “Try Try Try.” Hear it here:

The New York-based Sage recruited several top-notch, diverse violinists to capture what she describes as the “ballet heart” of the record. Rachel Golub (Adele, Sting) and Lyris Hung (Indigo Girls) brought their respective classical flair to the somber “It Would Be Enough” (composed for B.B. King) and “5 Alarms,” respectively, while fiddler Kelly Halloran (G Love) stepped out on rootsier tunes such as “Try Try Try,” “I’ve Been Waiting” and “Loreena.” Cellists Dave Eggar (Coldplay, A Great Big World) and Ward Williams (Brandi Carlile, Sara Bareilles) contributed a lush foundation across all of the songs, bolstered by drummers Doug Yowell (Joe Jackson) and Andy Mac. Guitarists James Mastro (Ian Hunter, Garland Jeffreys) and Jack Petruzelli (Patti Smith, Rufus Wainwright) played a wide range of acoustic and electric parts; bassist Mike Visceglia (Duncan Sheik, Suanne Vega) supplied the low-end, while dynamic keyboardist Peter Adams (Rickie Lee Jones, Juliana Hatfield) layered in organ, accordion, glockenspiel and Rhodes, throughout the album. All in all, Choreographic is a very musical album.

Find out more about Rachael Sage at her website.

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Kids and Teaching Them Music

music kidsI know a guy who plays guitar named Tommy. He asked me if I’d be interested in teaching music to kids. I said yes.

There’s a group of Christian home school moms who bring their kids to a nearby church every two weeks. The moms do a Bible study and talk about adult stuff, while the kids go to several classes: art, gym and music.

I had the pleasure of assisting Tommy with his class of older kids ages 10 and up, and then I was in charge of the class for kids between the ages of 7 and 9.

Here’s what I learned…

Kids at that young age love to move around. They can sit still for a couple minutes, but any chance you give them to walk, bounce, dance or run– they’ll gladly take it! So we played games like musical chairs. They loved musical chairs.

Next, I discovered that I wanted to teach them as if they were college students and yet they were little kids, so I had to adjust accordingly. What’s common knowledge for me is literally unknown to them, so we ended up concentrating on learning “Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge” and “F-A-C-E.” Thank God for flash cards my teacher friend lent me– the kids loved looking at the various notes and guessing which ones they were. They especially liked when I’d have three notes on the staff that formed a word like “BEE” or “DAD.”

I did not have the use of a computer, a screen or even a proper classroom setup with tables and chairs. Class was held in a noisy auditorium adjoining the gymnasium…an in-use gymnasium.

I had to make do with what I had. I went to the local library and got out picture books that showed the various instruments like drums and flutes and tubas. Like a teacher would show picture books to their class, I was in front of some two dozen little ones paging through the books and seeing how well they knew their instruments. Some of them recognized instruments because their family members played them. I was fascinated that this was all so new to most of them.

I tried to have each class meeting have an overall theme. So, the first class was about music in general. I asked each kid what they liked and got answers like “singing and dancing,” “the sound of the drums,” and, surprisingly, “Vivaldi!”

Since it was a Christian home schooling group, I talked about music in the Bible and the relationship between music and God. As a class, we came up with a list of places where music is used, from movies to speeches, parades to funerals, and then some. We talked about how different music evokes different emotions. It can be used to “scare people,” to “help them rest or sleep,” and, of course, “to dance.”

I enjoyed teaching music to kids.

We covered basic concepts like melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, the treble clef, and musical genres.

I would use my iPhone and some big speakers to play the kids different styles/genres of music. Seeing as this was a class of Christian home schooled kids, I wanted to make sure they knew more than just church songs and musicians. They needed to know who Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley were, as well as many other famous artists, if they were/are to interact with their “unsaved” peers and elders, right? Yes!

For musical genres, I picked a song that I thought best represented a particular genre, and then one by one each student would come up to the front of the class and say one or two words of what came to mind while hearing that genre. The answers I got were, as you’d imagine, both interesting and right on. For hip-hop, descriptive words included “shaking, dancing, leaping, African tribes, a car tipping over, and noise.” Rock music got “break the door down, shake your head, a beehive on your head, guitar slammin’, knock out, and plugging ears.” Classical music made the kids say, “haunted, in the dark, dramatic, wedding, nervous, God, and parade.” Folk elicited both “happy” and “sad,” as well as “rolling down hills, falling asleep, and on a farm.” I like that the kids said “dress up, boogie, old school, and jazzy” for jazz. Blues got them saying, “patterns, mole in mouth, jump in seat, rock-n-roll, and The Incredible Hulk.” Top 40 pop garnered responses like “dance, city, cymbals, love, disco, annoying, fun, and evil.” When I played a funk-dance tune, I got some fun responses like “brain explode, ants in pants, smash a box, peppy, pool party and hands in the air!”

I love listening to different genres of music, so I wanted to be sure to cover as broad a spectrum as possible. For some of these Christian home schooled kids, they never heard Latin, Reggae or Celtic music before… With Latin music, they said words like “happy, beach, Mexico, maracas, limbo, jump, tango, and shake.” Reggae got “dance-weird, catchy, alive, mad, cry, clap, bingo, and break the floor.” Celtic music made the kids think “jig, riding a horse, lullaby, ear worm, tapping feet, colors, and the apocalypse.”

My music class also did some singing. I wanted them to do a slow worship song, but after one attempt, I knew they needed something more upbeat and simpler with less words. Besides singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” I got them singing “This Little Light Of Mine” and “I’ve Got Peace Like A River,” both of which they ended up performing for their friends and family members during the end-of-the-year recital.

During the class, we also talked about fame and how it can be used for good or destroy a person. The kids tried their hand at songwriting, as well as getting up in front of each other to perform songs and dances. We covered love songs, patriotic songs, God songs, and more.

All in all, I was thankful to spend time with these young minds and introduce them to musical sounds, ideas and concepts. My hope is that they at least have an appreciation for music and all its diversity…and, at most, some of them make music their passionate hobby and/or full-time career in life. –Mark Weber

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