HP TouchSmart with Beats Audio Brings Power of Touch to Your Desktop

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Playing Angry Birds on the HP TouchSmart at SXSW

At this year's South by Southwest Music Festival, I partnered with the fine folks at HP to bring you all the live coverage from Austin. HP demonstrated some of its brand-new products at the SPIN Loft right in the heart of downtown Austin with artists like Ellie Goulding, Young The Giant, Yellow Ostrich and many others coming through the HP space to play around with their new technology.

One of the coolest new HP products I tried out is the brand-new HP TouchSmart all-in-one computer. While a lot of people are pre-occupied with keeping track of the lastest greatest tablet devices, HP is not only about to launch their own tablet, but also creatively thinking about how to apply the power of touch computing to the desktop. Enter the HP TouchSmart.

Think of the HP TouchSmart as an oversized tablet with a gorgeous wide screen that you can put on your desk and that comes with all the power you need for home computing and entertainment. It tiIts and swivels, it runs Windows 7 and you can zip through the operating system and all of your favorite applications using multi-touch gestures. Plus, it comes with a wide range of apps that were specfically developed for the HP TouchSmart that take advantage of its touch navigation. It's what I like to call sci-fi cool

You can type on the HP TouchSmart with an on-screen keyboard or you can use a regular keyboard that connects wirelessly. But here comes the best part. The HP TouchSmart includes HP's Beats Audio technology, which means that the music, movies and any other sound you play on the PC will sound significantly better than on a standard computing device. I have been using the HP Envy 14 laptop with Beats Audio and I'm blown away with the sound delivery everytime.

The HP TouchSmart is the ideal entertainment companion if you're looking to use your desktop computer as a place to play games, watch movies and TV, and play music from the cloud or CD. It is one of those products that is extremely versatile and also very affordable. The standard HP TouchSmart is available at a retailer near you starting at only $999. Click here for more information.

March 22, 2011 in SXSW | Permalink

Report from SXSW: Frankmusik, Kerli, Panic At The Disco, Jared Evan, Operator Please, Nervo

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Austin's annual South by Southwest Conference has come to a close. It is Sunday now, and I'm typing this blog at a downtown coffee shop getting ready for my flight home. It was a fantastic and productive week of hearing great new music, meeting friends, making lots of new ones and filming exciting new video content.

The day started early on Saturday with a bunch of video interviews for Cherrytree Pop Chop Minute.  We filmed brand-new episodes with Aussie pop outfit Operator Please, a slimmed down Panic At The Disco and delicate pop newcomers The Good Natured.

I also chatted with Estonian pop fairy Kerli who is about to unleash some exciting new music after returning to the scene with "Army Of Love" late last year. She likes to refer to her brand of pop as "bubble goth" and her sharp sense of fashion is a reflection of that. The singer was dressed in a revealing white outfit with a white and neon-colored dreaded hair-do. Super fun, fresh and forward. 

After finishing up our interview, we headed over the Rolling Stone Party at La Casa Rosa to catch Ellie Goulding's final SXSW performance. The popular U.K. singer performed a tight set that included "Lights," "Starry Eyed," "Guns & Horses" and "Animal," which is Ellie's fave song to perform right now.

We grabbed a quick dinner at the W Hotel before heading to Perez Hilton's annual "One Night In Austin" event, a large-scale pop concert at ACL Live that was packed with music lovers, Perez fans and a few celebs. Performing at the show were artists like Zowie, OhLand, Kids of 88 and Frankmusik (more about Frank's performance in a separate post).

I also ran into the sassy and classy Nervo girls backstage. Great to meet them and we chatted about their forthcoming artist album that they are currently working on. Will be a fantastic dance-pop effort with some high-profile features.

After Perez's show, I headed over to see Jared Evan play a short set at Suite 101. Rocking, entertaining show that included tracks like "Fourth Chapter," and the brand-new "The Light" (from Jared's new mixtape) and the pop-savvy, radio-ready "It's You," which has massive crossover potential and should be Jared's go-to-market single. Very good stuff.

And that concluded the official portion of the day. Lots of fun! Miss you already Austin. See you next year!

(A big thank you to HP and Beats Audio for supporting my passion to bring live coverage from South by Southwest, March 16-20.Watch new episodes of HP's "Every Passion Has A Road" with Rural Alberta Advantage and Yellow Ostrich after the break. Catch new episodes every day on HP's YouTube Channel.)

March 20, 2011 in SXSW | Permalink

Report from SXSW: Ellie Goulding, OhLand, Bright Light Bright Light, The Knux and HP Spin Loft

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Chopping it up with Ellie Goulding in Austin

Every year, Austin's South by Southwest seems to become bigger and better. Traditionally the festival has been a mecca for lovers of indie and alternative rock, but over the years more and more great pop and urban acts are heading their way to Texas, which makes the event a lot more balanced and fun.

I had a great day yesterday racing around town to see shows, panels and film new episodes of Cherrytree Pop Chop Minute.

The day started with a stop at the HP SPIN Loft on 6th Street in downtown Texas. It is a really cool loft space where is HP is demonstrating some of their new products including the new HP TouchSmart (gorgeous wide screen) and the HP Envy 14 with Beats Audio technoloy, which makes the sound you play on your laptop so much better. I've been using one and I love it.

HP has also partnered with Spin Magazine to produce a web series that follows Young the GiantYellow Ostrich and Rural Alberta Advantage, and their road to SXSW. Catch new episodes every day on HP's YouTube Channel

I was invited for a quick lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel together with The Naked & Famous. Great band who is blowing up on both sides of the Atlantic with their album "Passive Me, Aggressive You." Band was tired from trekking around the globe, but super excited about their success.

At the W Hotel we filmed two episodes of Cherrytree Pop Chop Minute. One with the lovely New Zealand electro pop artist Zowie (who turns out to be massive fan of The Knux) and the second one with Ellie Goulding who was on a tight schedule playing dozens of shows, but is oh-so excited to be in the U.S. to meet fans here.

I headed over to the PureVolume House for Idolator's "Pray For Pop" party with headliner OhLand. This was first time I saw the Danish artist play live and I loved every second to it. Dreamy pop with a punch, and a very exuberant stage performance.

Later that evening, I went over to The Ghost Room to see emerging British electro-pop artist Bright Light Bright Light who performed a fantastic set. Truly enjoyed it. The singer was accompanied by a drummer and keyboard player, and together they stirred up a dance party that took my right back to the '90s. He ended his set with new single "Disco Moment," which is excellent. Something to look out for.

Another highlight that evening was seeing The Knux at a special Billboard showcase. The group played a few brand-new tracks (including single "She's So Up") and crowd favorite "Cappucino." These two brothers have great energy on stage. Rock 'n roll of a new kind. 

More SXSW updates throughout the day on Twitter.

March 18, 2011 in SXSW | Permalink

Watch New "Every Passion Has A Road" SXSW Web Series

I'm heading to Austin, TX today to attend the annual South by Southwest festival and immerse myself in all of the event's musical goodness. We will be shooting some brand-new episodes of Cherrytree Pop Chop Minute as well so look out for those very soon.

I'm partnering with the fine folks at HP to bring you all of the coverage on the blog, Twitter and Facebook. In preparation for South by Southwest HP and Spin Magazine are collaborating on a very cool web series that showcases three up-and-coming indie bands that are gearing up to play South By Southwest for the first time while demonstrating how HP and Beats Audio technology enables their journey. The bands include Young the GiantYellow Ostrich and Rural Alberta Advantage.

Watch new episodes of HP's "Every Passion Has A Road" with Rural Alberta Advantage and Yellow Ostrich after the break. Catch new episodes every day on HP's YouTube Channel. (A big thank you to HP and Beats Audio for supporting my passion to bring live coverage from South by Southwest , March 16-20.)

March 16, 2011 in HP, SXSW | Permalink

Free MP3 Download: Operator Please "Catapult" (Slim Remix)

Ever since I met up with them in Australia last year, I have been obsessed with Operator Please. Can't wait to see them again at South by Southwest next week. Hailing from Brisbane, Operator Please is the teaming of vocalist and guitarist Amandah Wilkinson, drummer Tim Commandeur, keyboardist Chris Holland, bassist Ashley McConnell and violinist Taylor Henderson.

Together they bring a slick and tight mesh of crunchy, new wave-ish pop and stylish rock with steady indie sensibilities. Think Alphabeat meets The Gosspip meets The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Very photogenic band with all the right chops to do well outside of Australia.

Their sophomore album “Gloves” is out in the U.S. now and I highly suggest you pick it up. Grab the sleek and minimal Slim remix of their new single "Catapult" now totally guilt-free. (Shout to HP and Beats Audio for sponsoring my trek to South by Southwest.)

 Operator Please "Catapult" (Slim Remix) 

March 11, 2011 in MP3, Operator Please, SXSW | Permalink