I have a beard.
Meant to post this before...but remember that dance dance revolutionary remix contest a while back my sister organized? Turns out spinnerty won! * head nods and pats on backs all around* Also check out spinnerty's "slow boil" track on his website, it features my ride cymbal.
I have a strange habit of watching a lot of bad TV. A lot of times I'll just leave the TV on mute...the flickering glow allows my brain to slip into a theta trance.
When I say bad, I mean BAD. Really. How many episodes of the Steve Harvey show have you seen?
Or how about the show, "Yes, Dear?" Oh, never heard of it?
Unfortunately I have the bad luck in finding the meaning behind every episode. No matter how stupid the dialogue, or cliche the plot, I'm a sucker every time.
don't ask me how or why, but i just got back from jamming with a bunch
of polish rockers in a warehouse slum building. trying to rock out in
odd 6/8 time signatures over casio beats was a challenge. also, there
was a drunk trumpet player and a rather bizarre 40 year old ex-punk
rocker woman wearing dreads and screaming wildly while she flailed her
arms on the bass guitar.
I just went with Drew to see Rhys Chatham at the Empty Bottle. For those of you who don't know (and I didn't before last week), Rhys Chatham is a minimalist avant garde composer from the seventies, who was heavily influenced by rock and punk music. Basically if you can imagine, this guy composes pieces that involve sometimes hundreds of guitars playing one note or drone with a rock beat underneath. It sounds really simple but there is something raw that he is catching, the slight variations between all the guitars, the gut feeling and sheer volume from the performance. It's exactly what minimalist performances should be like, making the audience realize all the details of what they are hearing while putting them in a trance. It just has the added flavor of raw guitars and a heavy beat.
The opening performances were good, warming up the crowd for what was to come. Rhys Chatham came out on stage, as well as members of Tortoise and other local groups. All together there were eleven people on stage - one drummer, one bassist, and nine guitars. The first piece was Guitar Trio, a recreation of a piece he first played around NYC in 1977. It was basically, and I kid you not, the same note played for 40 minutes. Rhys jumped up and down on stage and opened his eyes wide, strumming furiously, despite it being thirty years since the piece was first performed. That's punk rock for ya. The second piece was very similar except the drummer (John McEntire) layed down a heavier beat, the strum rhythms were slightly different, and there was a slideshow displayed at the same time. The second piece also had more dynamics, more like a wave with a few ups and downs, while the first was a straight noise build up.
The "encore" took a moment of preparation, as all the members detuned their guitars randomly. Then all of a sudden they simultaneously strummed their guitars, creating a wall of sound that sounded like a bomb went off. McEntire continued a fury of drum playing (he was sweating his ass off and it looked like he was about to devour the drumset) while the rest of the band played disjunct, chopped, chunky bits of sound that made you want to bang your head against a wall (in a good way).
Oh one more thing...it was the LOUDEST F@#%IN show I've ever been to!
Himself influenced by minimalists Morton Subotnik and La Monte Young, the influence of Rhys on such contemporary groups as Sonic Youth and other experimental noise rockers is pretty clear after hearing him. Not just sonically, but also in terms of combining formal highbrow art theories with rock music in a way that makes it much less cerebral and more visceral. I'm glad I got a chance to check him out, it was a great experience, and definitely challenging. I recommend catching him if he is playing in your area, although it's pretty rare.
DRM (Digital Rights Management) is like attaching a ball and chain to a CD you buy from the store. It's an invention by the RIAA and record labels to try and apply control measures to a technology that by its very nature WANTS to be copied and distributed. As the industry loosens its grip on these pointless control measures they'll realize that consumers will thank them by buying even more music.
Beyond this, labels need to think about their artists as much more than a hit factory. Selling the music was never the point, and you'd think that they'd understand that by now.
My point: digital music begs to be a freely distributed and traded entity. Applying control measures won't work. Trust your consumers and they'll reward you.
The most successful online systems will figure out the next pieces of this puzzle:
1) How to create an ad based revenue stream to allow free downloading/streaming of digital content and
2) How to sell direct to bypass so called online vendors.
Artists should take a note of this as well. If you can sell direct, in enough volume, you don't need to depend on anyone. That leveling of the playing field is what makes the internet so powerful.
So if you are still afraid of Bittorrent, now would be a good time to get your feet wet. The software has gotten easier to use, the hype about it has gone down a bit, and more importantly, there are more sources for downloading files than ever. Still don't believe me? Follow these two steps:
1) Download a Bittorrent client. I recommend uTorrent because it walks you through how to set it up. You can also download the original Bitorrent client. Another popular one is Azureus.
2) Find some files to download. Instead of downloading the file directly, you download the torrent package file which contains the file (or a bunch of files). You don't have to worry about all that though. Just download .torrent files and open them using your software from step 1, and it should take care of all that stuff.
To start you off here is a link to download the new Shins music video, "Phantom Limb".
Oh and if you are wondering what makes Bittorrent so useful:
1) it keeps files organized as packages (good for albums)
2) as the popularity of a torrent goes up, the faster your download becomes. look for torrents with lots of seeders (people sharing the file).
From my friend mike about the good the bad and the queen:
"Yeah, that guy Damon is the singer(from Blur/Gorillaz), Paul Simonon is the bass player
(from the Clash), the drummer is Tony Allen (from Africa 70/Fela Kuti)
and the guitarist is Simon Tong (played in The Verve). It's a super group."
-30 below wind chill today/tomorrow. This is absurd. My eyelashes froze the other day.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force hired these guys to essentially do an LED graffiti marketing stunt. I first heard about "LED Throwies" a few years back on the Graffiti Research Lab. Looks like the campaign worked beyond their wildest dreams...below is a series of videos, the first is a vid of them putting them up, the second is Fox News reporting the panic in the city (the police blew one up), and lastly, the nonsensical interview from yesterday. The second video is really the best. It shows the absurd level of fear and paranoia in america right now. TERROR suspects?
As my sister points out, it's sad that such a stunt which is based on graffiti tactics and culture jamming is being used (and effectively) as essentially a marketing tool for a media conglomerate (Turner Broadcasting Co). It reminds me a lot of the "corporate graffiti" tactics that companies such as microsoft, sony, and other have done in the past. Sadly they are the ones with enough money to fuel these campaigns to a level where it can gain such widespread attention and get their (albeit corporate) message out.