iCompositions Newsletter

In this issue:
• iCompositions 3.6
• The Importance of Backups
• "Criminally Overlooked"
This Week's Top 5 Songs
1. Resolution Number 9
2. FAR AND AWAY
3. THE GIRL THAT LIVED IN THE...
4. Swing For The Crime
5. Fine Situation

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    iCompositions 3.6
Last week, iCompositions launched the newest version of our site software, delivering many behind-the-scene enhancements and a few notable new features.

icradio iCompositions Radio
iCompositions Radio, in particular, has received one heck of an overhaul. While Podcasting is certainly here to stay, we've added a new streaming radio service allowing you to hear your favorite iCompositions songs at random 24/7. The playlist is expanding every day and if you'd like to submit your own songs for inclusion, see this thread. The station allows you to listen in iTunes, your Browser, and, in the near future, through a custom Dashboard widget.

iCompositions Radio's Now Playing/Recently Played list is integrated into the iCompositions Music section, providing easy access to song commenting, downloading, favoriting, etc. The list updates automatically, alleviating the need to refresh when the song changes.

Podcasts iCompositions Radio Podcasts
As I said, iCompositions Radio Podcasts aren't going anywhere. In fact, we've added several enhancements to our line of shows! You can now listen to a Podcast episode right in your browser. You can also post comments on each episode.

Here's an example: MUGshots is a podcast in which jlgerk features individual artists, one at a time. If I want to listen to his most recent episode, featuring wal4u, I can either subscribe to podcast through iTunes or RSS and have new episodes downloaded automatically. With the new system, however, I have even more options. I can now go directly to wal4u's episode and listen to it or download it right from my browser. Then, I can post a comment telling jlgerk how much I enjoyed it.

New Homepage
The iCompositions Homepage is, quite obviously, the first thing visitors see when they come to our community. As such, we want to present information in a way that provides easy access to our most important features.

Our new homepage moves Music News to its own below-the-fold column, providing more room for information like date posted and number of comments. Additionally, the "Features" box has moved above the fold to provide exposure for our written content like jdwyer05's Criminally Overlooked and our in-depth Jam Pack Analyses. We'll be adding more to this section in the coming weeks.

Criminally Overlooked
Speaking of Criminally Overlooked, it now has a new classification as our official music recommendations column. All of Julian's columns can now be found in their own section, with comments!

RSS More RSS
Really Simple Syndication is a way for you to stay on top of all the latest posts on iCompositions. RSS support is built in to Safari 2.0 and many other browsers, making it easy for you to keep track of iCompositions' newest songs, comments, forum posts, and more! iC3.6 now has a new, all-inclusive RSS page. Additionally, all content that can be tracked via RSS has an orange RSS icon in the top right corner of its box (look in the Recent Discussions box to the right). Just click and you're taken right to the feed.

We're very excited about all of the new changes brought about by iCompositions 3.6 and we look forward to even more. Thank you to everyone who worked on this update and to our wonderful community for your constant support!

More information » The Importance of Backups
by mattf

Image Today, a friend came to me in a panic. His hard drive died. His term papers, code work, his life. All of it gone with a nasty head collision. His last backup date: 6 months ago. The results: Devastating.

As a bit of a public service, I'm outlining potential ways that you can approach your backup strategy based upon my own (admittedly extreme) backup strategies. It'd be equally devastating for you to lose some of your music and other work, let alone confidential financial data and what not.

Read more » jdwyer05's "Criminally Overlooked" Music Recommendations
By BossHook, special guest contributor

Image Music has been good to me. It has been the muse of my soul since I was fortunate to pick up a guitar at 9. It has elevated my spirit to creativity that sometimes feels as close to transformation as I can comprehend. It has been the bane of my disposition too, knocking me into the gutter of disdain and despair at many turns along fretboard of life. Music has been a lover, a fighter, a stranger, and a friend. Perhaps its greatest reward is the simplicity of its existence. A philosophical rationalism of sorts; I make music, therefore I am.

Icomp has been an oasis, that perfect gas station for me along the super audio highway. Funky bathrooms and all, I can always come here to get a chocolate bar and soda pop and leave feeling refreshed, enlightened, ready to put another 400 miles under my hood. With gratitude to Julian and the Administrators for their dedication to the site, I offer some worthwhile listening efforts.

Come on in to the virtual record shop. I want to take you with me through the store first, and then we can sift through the bins to find some gems. Starting with the Songsmiths as I call them, these guys inspire me and challenge me in a wonderfully competitive musical joust to see if I can match wits with their genius. While certainly not overlooked here, it is never time wasted to make it through the catalogues of Dylan, TheGranz, Ponkey, and Uncletupelofan. Here are selections from them that rank with the finest songwriting around.

"Au Mont Sans-Souci"
"Trotsky At The Cell Phone Shop"
"Now Right Now"
"Bee the One"
"The Generous Briton"
"Beatnik Monkey"
Whiskey Neat, Water Back
"The Saddleback Motel"

I like to call the next group ElectroMagicians for their ability to pull beats out of their hat and push the boundaries of what is real and imagination. Composers such as Ghost, Yohmar, Bampot, LWinston, and Orangeaudio can manipulate emotions with the best this world has to offer.

"S O L A R F L A R E DnB"
"Aye It's Heart Attack"
"PESCARA"
"The Walk"
"Orange Techno Lounge - class A stuff"

Sharing the nationality of these next artists has allowed me to learn more about my Italian heritage and the sheer brilliance of creativity of Italians such as Fromano, Ramzar51, Seles58 and Lupiroz. Some of their Multo Bene’s as I’ll call them are:

"Faticare"
"Tenta la Bossa Techno"
"RAMSEL - RAMSES"
"Hey lou"

Brilliant composers begat brilliant players here at Icomp, and whatever your instrument of choice is, a maestro is right around the corner. Bass2x and his cool jazz style trumpet, Lafayette and his jazz fusion guitar, Pezlab56 on any saxophone you want to give him, Bluepiano and his rompin’, stompin’, key bangin’ prowess, EnicholsIC, TheTiler, Wal4ujr all laying it down on six string with so much soul. Keeping the 3 and the 4 and a whole lot more are bass players Plexaura and NealBowen on bass and Leonaleva on drums. These players have an affinity to pull you into their playing. Here are some selections featuring their top notch chops:

"Whirly"
"Junk Funk"
"IF"
"Your Heart Used To Be Warm"
"A Tribute To Leo"
"Slow Burn"
"How To Rob A Train In Under Two Minutes"

Players who play all night are entertaining, but usually not without some pipes to color in- between the lines. Singers are abundant here, and while I enjoy the great talents of many of our “guy” singers, especially Baboon, Dave M, and n2groove, I confess that listening to some of the girls sing in the wee hours of the night at my computer is, well, it’s tintillating. Is that wrong? Leahbanicki, TessCrazy, Pandasdontdance, Nadiestar and Geechi3 are some of my favorite singers and these are great examples of their good stuff.

"Lay it down"
"Care For You"
"You Ain't No Good"
"Baby's Breath"
"Dreamer"

Can I get a witness? May I approach the bench? Your Honor, I submit to you some songs that must be prosecuted to the fullest extent, according to the precipe of the common law of good, quid pro quo and nunc pro tunc! These are more Criminally Overlooked :

Lbarringer's, "That’s How She Knows" is hypnotic and a perfect composition and recording in my humble opinion.

Manatthewindow has the reggae medal proudly swinging from their chest and you can hear it loud and proud with "Babylon". All of their reggae, ska drops are great songs, this happens to be my favorite.

Macomar writes some wonderful arrangements including, "Romanza,"

Tmccready5 has returned to writing after his successful songwriting career took a bit of a hiatus. Lucky for us, because with songs like "The Honey and the Lye" and "Colorado Girl", he is establishing himself here just like he did on the road a few years ago.

Hiphopmoses came crashing down on our scene at Icomp and has jumped centerstage with amazing tunes like "Superfreak"
and "Don’t Run Away". Hip Hop Mo, as I like to call him, can capture the best elements of the greatest soul and R&B monsters like Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson, and Curtis Mayfield while also sounding very contemporary.

Speaking of soul. Psykosoul is a newer artist to Icomp who is completely absorbed in bridging original soul music with neo soul and every kind of soul in between. This recent release on a collab with OSCAH is as good as it gets for defining what real soul music is: "Eternally Yours"

Richard Geiger captivates with "Nerja Impressions" and Reinholt56 captured me with "Flowers in the Hair", quite a groove.

Robotpantyraid has teamed up with Uberkultur to form retrolust and they are very divergent pair. Trevor (RPR) is a real cutting edge writer and lyricist who digs deep with his imagery. Uberkultur is a talented cat who sings with all the best attitude of the best 80’s groups like Depeche, Tears For Fears, Joy Division. Paranoia Manifesto is a great example of how well they work together.

And soaring with his awesome vocal treatments of songs you know and love is Eagle_1. Two of my favs of his are a great treatment of Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out With Him, and Neil Young’s Comes a Time.

Mori Behar is a real talented musician who plays everything. His jazz piano pieces are great, his upright bass playing is tops and I have had the opportunity to work with him recently. Check out his cover of Straight No Chaser, a penultimate bop piece.

Filmscorz joins him and wails on trumpet. The Adventures of Miss Bea exposes you to Mori’s great piano and bass chops and Bass2x’s steamy trumpet.

Some real honest bluegrass folk is coming out of straight picker Calebhawkins’ hands. He writes great songs in the genre and recently took us through the process of him writing an album. Check out Musician’s Lament and Curbside.

Alt country your thang? Somofantasmas has a cool driving tune called Ghost Chain.

Speaking of driving, it’s time to take my chocolate bar and cherry Coke, drop in this quart of oil, wipe down my windshield, and hit the highway again. If you see me up at the next oasis, ‘yall say Hi now and feel free to encourage me to do some singin’ and playin’ with you. Despite what my first grade teacher said, I really can play well with others! When in doubt, turn it up…
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