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Curse ABBA for giving Sweden a bad name for musicians. Often I’ll come across music on the net that I find absolutely moving, check the origin and sure enough it comes from Sweden. Many of it electro and dance, but the music coming out of that place has this understated power and hidden drive beneath airy, fluid melodies. Let me show you what I mean….

Heartbeats is the jam right now. Nevermind that it was dropped in 2006… that track is HOT. How do you do it Sweden? How do you produce so much great music from the likes of Sigur Rós, Robyn and the Knife? Forget meatballs and ABBA, dudes and dudettes – Sverige is all about the TUNES. The country is swiftly moving to replace the city of Glasgow as my “oh, well that makes sense” musician origin.

Mind if I gush about Swedish musicians some more? You can keep your M.I.A., you can keep your Ke$ha… keep all of them just give me those funky hot dance tracks from the land of candied fish and I’ll stay happy all day.

Here’s another gem that came out a little earlier this year from Swedish group Staygold. Incredible live performance and sick backup from  Robyn and American electro-rap outfit Spank Rock.

MMmmmm…. you know that felt good. I LOVE YOU SWEDEN!

The Knife – “Heartbeats”

Staygold Feat. Spank Rock and Robyn – “Backseat”

(Right click and choose “Save Link As” to download)

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A couple days ago, Virtual Worlds News announced a partnership between Planet Cazmo and the ‘Better-than-T-Pain’ (my phrase)  iPhone app, Ladida, for a song writing contest.

Virtual world Planet Cazmo and LaDiDa have partnered to launch a song-writing contest. LaDiDa works on a “reverse karaoke” system that lets users sing into their iPhone application while the software composes a song to match, adding in pitch correction and reverb to tweak the song towards professionalism. Once users have written their songs, they can email it to Cazmo straight from the app when it will be reviewed by staff for content and then voted on by members to select 5 songs for the virtual concert finale.

Um, this could be one of the coolest moves by a music-themed virtual world in the short history of music-themed virtual worlds. Planet Cazmo has already made its mark with virtual concerts by superstars like Michael Jackson and Sean Kingston, among others. Now they’re putting the spotlight back on the kiddos.

So what if you can’t sing? Witness the power of Ladida….

While a few virtual worlds allow the user to create music using a provided toolset, this will be the first event to include real voice talent from the players. Here’s to hoping this works out well for Planet Cazmo. While I’m all about bringing superstar entertainment to a different medium, I’m much more about giving kids their chance to be their own superstars. Good move, Planet Cazmo.

Now this begs the question – will this marketing campaign produce the next Justin Bieber?

Music, the metaverse and pandas… thus the circle is complete.

I’m resurrecting this bad boy from the dead. You’ll notice my last post here came in August, shortly before I moved to Dallas for Webosaurs. Since then I’ve been busy with the day to day of work and all of my blogging attention focused on the Webosaurs blog, Metaverse Mod Squad company blog and now writing for Ypulse.

Still, my passion for Music and the Metaverse remains strong and I believe it’s important to maintain something personal and free. Do I have any clear-cut objectives for the resurrection of my blog? Not especially. I’m here to blog about music, the metaverse, pandas and anything that blends those elements. If you are a music loving tech-geek, virtual world enthusiast, whatever – this is your spot.

Now, in celebration of bringing the Electric Panda back to life I’d like to offer a couple tracks from the electrifying mashup duo The White Panda. These guys are mashup machines who are creating some of the best dance tracks out there on the web. I’m sure to do a dedicated post on them at some point in the future but they qualify under music and pandas so I feel this is more than appropriate.

The White Panda – “Sweetest Fascination”

The White Panda – “Intergalactic Spell”

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