Archive for ‘music’

June 18, 2016

2013 Exhumation: Robots want your love.

I’m unearthing a unpublished draft post written in reaction to the announcement of Google Play All Access from 2013.  I recall thinking of “Tyranny of the Majority”, “Dunbar’s Number” and “The 90-9-1 Principle” and the notion that communities of unpaid music curators are rare, fragile, precious and worthy of preservation.

The thing is, what Google was promoting then is equally apropos to what Spotify is now.

So here it is, from 2013, what the presenter said announcing All Access, and my reaction:

“Music unites us. It’s universal. No matter who you are, or where you’re from, the joy of music is a constant. And with ubiquitous mobile devices, there is a potential to bring that joy with us wherever we are. But when a bunch of us on the Play Team got together to talk about the next generation of our Music service, we all agreed the reality was somewhat different. Yes, mobile devices give us more choices than ever before, but they weren’t helping us discover music we loved. It felt more like work. .. so why is it that like managing my queue feels like a chore?”

My answer: “because it is a worthwhile chore.”  Would you ignore a reading a book that wasn’t on the New York Times Bestseller list? What is wrong with expending effort, especially on something you are passionate about?  For me the hunt and sharing of discoveries of any art is a joy. Google may have a spectacular categorization, tagging and recommendation algorithm, but if one succumbs to only what the robots anticipate as your every desire, it diminishes the value of one’s connection to every other sentient being.Radio Wall Plate • closeup

April 30, 2016

The glory of Deerhoof, two decades hence

I would like to celebrate the twenty-plus years of the Art, Noise, DIY, Mysticism, and Creative Joy of Deerhoof.

Trivia: Their seminal Apple’O album was recorded in one nine hour session.

 

February 26, 2016

Post-Rdio

As far as I can discern, ex-Rdio, ex-MOG, and ex-Lala citizens are struggling to share their music discoveries. They’ve migrated to Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music or whatever, but it’s so painfully obvious those platforms have no interest in letting that band get back together. None of those platforms afford any notion of community.

download

So I’m forgetting the spreadsheet-oriented music boxes. I’m now thoroughly content diving into page 18 of YouTube search results and pivoting on the wonders I find there. And there is the additional bonus that I might directly correspond with the original artist.

January 18, 2015

An Overdue Memorial

A quote from Tony Bennett, a performer I adore:

Some people think that anyone could sing jazz, but they can’t. It’s a gift of learning how to syncopate but it’s also a spirit that you’re either born with or you’re not. And Amy was born with that spirit.

The Amy he spoke of was Amy Winehouse.

On March 23rd 2011, Tony and Dae Bennett met with Amy Winehouse at Abbey Road Studio 3 for what was to be the British singer’s last recording session, exactly four months before her death on July 23rd.

This is a video of that session. 

I am gobsmacked with her choice of singing under Tony with her contra-alto on the second verse that just fucking slays me.

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 2.46.32 AM
I did not know she started by accompanying herself by playing guitar.  
At 21, she laid down jazz riffs and expounded on the virtues of a Stratocaster. 
I mourn our loss.
August 24, 2014

​Please enjoy ​Roberto Capocchi playing​ “Loro” by Egberto Gismonti​.​

I’ve known Roberto for a few years via a mutual friend and as such I knew some of his wonderful qualities, but until recently was totally unaware of the depth of his musical artistry.

Exhibit A is his performance of Loro, composed by Egberto Gismonti.

I believe this performance is especially noteworthy. The original is a Brazilian fusion/pop hit from 1981. In 1994, the composer performed it with John John McLaughlin placing it in jazz nerd-dom. Subsequently both pianists and vocalists have employed to highlight their chops.
 
What Roberto did with it is sublime.
March 9, 2014

What is this Kawaii Metal?

I’ve seen lots of stuff I don’t understand but this particular video has me prisoner because I believe it signifies something of import. Yes, it is a mash-up of Death-Metal, Kawaii, millisecond edits, Jesus, teen-fetish, and intricate over-loaded hand gestures. It may play out as an ephemeral trans-cultural fad. However, I ponder why this artifact came to be.

Perhaps this simply a shallow global marketing effort akin to The Monkees.

Or perhaps it is evidence of something else? Indulge me in over-abstraction wherein a particular signal is selected. Could it be an eruption of latent Japanese pride, of long suppressed nationalism, saying “Hey Western World: Remember us? We were rebuilt in your image and likeness. We gave you Kanban, adoration of technology and sushi. Why have you forsaken us for China?” Japan has experienced a catastrophic housing bubble, outsourcing, and a dankai no setai generational welfare Rubicon. Japan is your future. Japan’s culture is asking us to pay attention.

March 19, 2013

Jon Brion on Songs vs. Performances

Jon Brion

In 2006 whilst on a relatively rare appearance outside Los Angeles, Greg Kot & Jim DeRogatis of SoundOpinions interviewed Jon Brion.
The Full Show • Interview with Jon starts at ~ 20 minutes in. See also the Footnotes.

TL;DR edited version: An illustrated YouTube excerpt of  Songs vs. Performances

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