Monday, 16 September 2013

budtobud V2 Beta – It’s ON!

Story from the budtobud Team

We hope you enjoyed the Summer. We sure did. We got to enjoy a lot of music and worked hard to bring you budtobud V2. It’ll help you keep the spirit of Summer alive by letting you listen to music with your friends. If you’ve got a Mac and an Rdio account (try it for free!) download the V2 app here.

Here’s what you need to know:
  1. We’ve got a new look and feel that incorporates the feedback we received from our V1 beta testers – thanks everybody!

  2. You’ll need an Rdio account to use V2. Use your Rdio account to register with budtobud and then simply press Play on the music that (a) your Buddies who are using Rdio or (b) people you follow on Rdio are listening to. We’ll take care of the rest so you can listen with them.

  3. The social media goodies along with chat for your Buddies are still there. So is Song Crush – where you save your favorite discoveries.

  4. You can and should send this to everyone you know who listens to music online, particularly if they are already Rdio users. Remember, budtobud gets even more fun when your friends are there. Take our word for it.
So why Rdio? If you know Rdio, you’ll know what we’re talking about. We chose them as our first music service to support because they have a huge music library available in multiple countries, they present a smooth and intuitive user experience, and are cool San Francisco neighbors. If you haven’t given them a try, set up an Rdio account here.

For now, the budtobud V2 app runs on Mac OS X and supports listening with friends using Rdio. We’ll be adding budtobud support for mobile devices and will add support for other music services such as iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube in the near future.

Don’t forget to check out our featured artist series, #CRUSHWORTHY, on the budtobud Blog, Facebook and Twitter. These are artists that we’ve discovered with friends that you may enjoy, too. Join the conversation or if you’ve got a crush on a particular artist, please let us know and we’ll try to feature them and spread the love.

Have fun and let us know what you think.

Please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and the budtobud Blog and we appreciate your (re)tweets, posts, and comments.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

#CRUSHWORTHY - High And Mighty Brass Band!

Story by Marc Watley

                                                                                                                                 Photo: Megan Blackburn

High And Mighty Brass Band! High and mighty, indeed. The band's collaborators include such music stalwarts as Galactic and DJ Logic, and they've shared the stage with such legends as Dr. John, Rebirth Brass Band, and Trombone Shorty. Their acronym [HMBB!] even commands attention.

Just before an eight-member HMBB! rained fire upon a mostly unsuspecting Brooklyn crowd last month, I sat down with the band over drinks and Brooklyn Bowl’s fittingly New Orleans-inspired grub, and had a chat with founder and bandleader Evan Howard. 

How did you guys get started? 

The band was actually started here in New York City. 

New York City?!?

“[Laughs] Yeah. I went to University of New Orleans to study music. Funny thing is that I didn't play any brass band music. It wasn't until I came back to New York for grad school at the Manhattan School of Music – it was after this that I wanted to do something that was the perfect mix of jazz and party music. Something where I could have the enjoyment of improvisation and solos, but also have a groove.” 

The brass band sound brought this all together for you.

“Right. Brass band music was something I could do that took me from being one of thousands of jazz drummers to what only a few people can do. Also, it's lot more fun to say 'hey, come out to my gig at Brooklyn Bowl, where we're opening up for Galactic, than hey, come to this little jazz club.'"

You bring the NOLA vibe hard, but I've also heard everything from Earth Wind & Fire to Soca and Brazilian in your sounds. Where do you draw influence?

“I love this instrumentation so much because you can literally do anything with it. There’s something about the brass instruments that is just so versatile. The way I write is to approach the music from different kinds of grooves – it always starts with bass line, and builds from there.

We’re interrupted by an order of chicken muffaletta and bread pudding.

We also get a lot of people coming through and adding to our sound. One of the girls sitting in with us tonight [the amazing Mayteana Morales] plays with the Pimps of Joytime.”

That's brass band culture, right there.

“It is. Brass band culture is people flowing through all the time. It’s complicated to have a band this big, especially with horn players. It’s kind of like herding cats sometimes.”

“Chad was one of the O.G’s!”, says dancer and percussionist Jamie Newman, referring to saxophonist Chad Gales, who is seated down the table from us. Evan chimes back in:

“Exactly. Chad was with us from the beginning, and then spent the last few years away, on a cruise ship, and now he’s back, playing with us.” 

Obviously you’ve got a fluid vibe going. You guys recently played Pork in the Park festival up in Connecticut. How was that, and how many ribs did you guys eat? 

“Ahh, yeah – we did Pork in the Park, which was good. It was lots of music, and plates upon plates of ribs. The fortunate thing, too, is we get to do fun private functions. We just did the Bloomberg company picnic, which might sound crazy, but I'm told it's one of the largest corporate parties in the world. They took over Randall's Island, and had literally thousands of people there. It was fantastic, playing our music amongst all the people and stilt-walkers.”

So, we'll be seeing HMBB! at more festivals?

“Our goal is to do more and more festivals and, I mean, I won't really be happy until we're just out on the road and playing as much as possible.” 

What’s next for you guys? You released "Round I" back in 2010, which you have up on iTunes. Any plans for recording new sounds in between your touring? 

“Definitely. Right now, the plan is to get a consistent stable of [band members] so we can go on the road, then in the next few months, we'll be ready to get back into the studio and we'll be recording something new.”

The energy from HMBB! at live shows is legendary, and their Brooklyn Bowl show later that night with the almighty Galactic was no exception. After a procession through the bowlers, diners, and partiers, HMBB! turned up the heat on stage for what seemed like hours, then ended with their trademark off-stage 'lagniappe' – a 20-minute long, impromptu second line in the middle of the crowd. 

This was obviously not lost on the Galactic crew, who called HMBB! back to the stage to sit in on two of their encore tunes. HMBB! is always a party in progress – one  that's clearly never over with these guys. Even when the venue says so. 


HMBB! on Facebook 

HMBB! on Soundcloud 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Story and photo by Marc Watley

Tea Leigh makes perfectly imperfect, delicate music. Wonderfully lo-fi. This is your girlfriend singing to you intimately over a plate of cold blueberry pie on a hot summer's day. Her dream pop collaborations with Boston's Luke Reed are just plain addictive. Just since last summer, her sounds have amassed some 130,000 likes on Soundcloud. Tea has been featured recently on The Hype Machine, and profiled by music blogs including The Wild Honey Pie, Generator UK’s The Tipping Point, and MTV Brasil's Teco Apple.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Building on the Architecture

budtobud decided early on to invest the time and money to build an architecture that would serve as foundation to add new platforms, features, music sources, and services. The benefit of this approach is that we can now add new elements quickly and have the flexibility for fast changes. Our bet is that our approach will have long-term benefits.
An early validation of our approach is evident in our most recent budtobud for OS X release. In it we've quickly add some significant new feature. We hope that you enjoy them.

Rdio is our newest Music Source. Now you can listen in real time with your friends using Rdio, Spotify, or iTunes.

budtobud now has its own volume control for local playback. This control has no effect on the volume for people in your party EXCEPT for Rdio: if you reduce the volume from budtobud or the Rdio app it will affect the volume for the people in your party. You’ve been warned.

Basic controls – play/pause, skip backward and forward – for the selected Music Source have been added when you rollover the album art.

VU meters indicate if the sound is properly captured from the music source. To turn them on to change their orientation (horizontal or vertical), go to the Listen tab in Preferences. It looks cool too.

We’ve made a few usability improvements too.

a.    The budtobud dock icon counter will increment only when a new conversation is started and will decrease by one for each viewed conversation.
b.    When your Mac wakes up from sleep, sound will be captured from Music Sources as it was when the system went to sleep.
Download the budtobud for OS X beta and enjoy the experience.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Time Has Come

This is budtobud's first official news release. Have a look and see you on budtobud!

Say hello to budtobud. We are social music simplified.

Thanks to the online music revolution heralded first by iTunes and later by Spotify, Soundcloud and others, downloading and listening to music online has never been easier. Ironically, despite an increasing number of available music services, music players and social music tools[1], we music fans need to work hard if we want to do something we love best in the real world: simply listening to and discovering music with friends. Today if you and your friends want to have the full experience of enjoying music together – listening in real time from your personal music library or online services, sharing what you’ve recently listened to, your preferences, what's hot – you can only do so if you are physically together. (Gasp!)

That’s where budtobud comes in. budtobud brings all of the elements of social music together into one easy-to-use system. It’s social music simplified.

Here’s the deal. Once you download the budtobud app, you play music as you normally would on Spotify, iTunes or whatever. You tell budtobud what music source you want to use and it captures the song information from what you’re playing at that very moment. Your Buddies can see what you’re listening to and you can see what they’ve got playing too. Then you and your Buddies can listen along with one another in real time. While you’re enjoying the music you can chat, explore each others' listening histories, update Facebook and Twitter, as well as bookmark and purchase songs from your favorite music stores.

Using budtobud you discover music in the most natural, organic way possible – from your friends. For example, and just like you would expect in the real world, 94% of Spotify users said that they “listened to a song because a friend listened to it.” (Lab42: Social Sound Bytes: Music Listening & Sharing). budtobud makes that possible in real time – just like you would with your friends in your home, your car, or at the park.

budtobud is available TODAY as a free beta download for OS X and currently supports iTunes/iTunes Match and Spotify as music sources. Support for other music services will be coming shortly as will support for budtobud running on other platforms like iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows.

So get on it! Start listening to music with your friends wherever they are. Getting started is simple:
  1. download budtobud for OS X (drag-and-drop install)
  2. add friends, play music or decide to listen in
  3. enjoy the music experience! 

[1] The list is huge and includes, in no particular order, iTunes, Windows Media Player, Spotify,, Music on Facebook, Soundcloud, Google Play, Grooveshark,, rdio, Anthm, Deezer, MOG, Pandora, Slacker,, Songza, YouTube, Soundtracker, 8Tracks, Soundtracking, iHeartRadio, Shazam,… you get the idea.