Archive for ‘musical’

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I’m unearthing a unpublished draft post written in reaction to the announcement of Google Play All Access from 2013.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

September 4, 2014

Rdio, dear Rdio

I’ve been a subscriber since June 2010. I’ve been a loyal supporter and paying customer. I’m seriously disappointed by the most recent UI changes which have either buried or eliminated the features that distinguished you from your competitors.
I am not alone in this opinion. See here, here, here, herehere, and here.
But that’s not the worst of it. There is a more serious problem. You’ve allowed an employee to treat paying customers, who are long-time, fervent advocates, who have given countless suggestions for improvements, promoted Rdio to their friends and family, like dirt:
Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.11.38 PM
Why is this an egregious offence?
First, one of the reasons I adored the Rdio community – and yes there is a very social aspect to your site (whether you recognized it or not) – was that it was generally free from the troll-ish behavior such as this. Folks espoused positive emotions about music, through collaborative playlists and their reviews. My first reaction was:“who is this person?”, and then “why are they not cogently expressing their thoughts?”
Second, upon discovering Joe Armenia was an employee, I felt sad for Rdio’s customers, it’s investors, and it’s other employees. There is no surer way to destroy a brand than to insult your paying customers by an employee who is utterly clueless as to whom is buttering their bread.
I’ll make it easy for you Rdio. Either Joe Armenia or I am leaving Rdio.
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 22, 2013

Marvelous Band + Game Show to Tour Again

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

June 29, 2012

Philip “Pud” Kaplan

Why am I writing about Philip Kaplan? Pud founded AdBrite and Fucked Company.  In retrospect, Fucked Company may have best thing I ever experienced on the internet (perhaps except for 4chan, about which I cannot and shall not comment).  This is perhaps astounding because FC was nothing like the internet of today.

FC was all text.

Were such a forum to exist today, one might exclaim: “Fucked Company is the well-spring of tomorrow’s poetry, yet also the definitive locus of the internet’s largest anarchist cesspool.”  A bizarre prototypical social network. I spent what seems like a lifetime reading FC during its brief existence, whose era was pre-Y2k to post 9-11.  The “Happy-Fun-Slander” board, purportedly authored by vetted employees, was a momentum trader’s wet dream. I found my tribe among the free-for-all non-elite mosh-pits – a treasure-trove of unbounded raw emotion. The rumor was many comics and writers both tested and gathered material from the message boards there. When Pud finally shut it down (there were tears, lawsuits, and worse), I asked him if it’d be possible to curate a Best-Of book. I don’t think anything was ever re-constituted from its ashes, though Pud did sell a book about the experience of running the joint.

To be clear: FC was the antithesis of web properties today – anonymity was essential to its existence. As such, it was an elaborate sock puppet theater whose sophistication has not been replicated in the transparent, post-Facebook era. The only openly verified in-real-life FC persona was Pud.

Cut to today. I just asked Pud about his newest venture, Fandalism. I told him I’m a fan and I loved the concept, but I’d like to talk about what happens after the “dates” hook up .. ya know: getting tabs, rehearsal schedules, lyrics, finding the right key signature for the singer, remembering your unique arrangement, and so on.

If something wonderful results, I’ll let you know, but I feel very confident about approaching the domain defined by the intersection of “practical technology” and “musical practice”.

Namaste.

References

May 17, 2012

Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss? -Full Post

look for Lady Kier’s comments ..

The Trichordist

By David Lowery

(Copyright in the author, used by permission)

What follows is based on my notes and slides from my talk at SF Music Tech Summit.  I realize that I’m about to alienate some of my friends that work on the tech side of the music business.  These are good well intentioned people who genuinely want to help musicians succeed in the new digital paradigm. But if we are gonna come up with a system to compensate artists fairly in the new digital age we need an honest discussion of what is going on.  The tech side of the music business really needs to look at how their actions and policies negatively impact artists,  just as they have pointed out the negative effect record company actions have had on artists.

Too often the debate has been  pirates vs the RIAA.  This is ridiculous because the artists, the 99 percent…

View original post 10,977 more words

November 17, 2011

In SocialBookFace, the Music Plays YOU!

[originally posted on Rdio] I’m afraid the road ahead for digital music purveyors will continue to be bumpy. Expect the multi-billion dollar social media investment bubble to get serious about demanding returns from advertising, entertainment, gaming, and publishing revenue streams.  Maybe it’s already started with the arrangements made between Facebook, Spotify, MOG, Pandora, Rdio, et al.

big brotherPerhaps as an appropriate seque – what about that☟&✖% SOPA bill in the House? Run any kind of a web site, link to the wrong place and have your DNS pulled and payment processors turned off, just like they do in China and Iran. Regard who’s giving supporting testimony: the Register of Copryights, the MPAA, Pfizer, MasterCard, and the AFL-CIO. Certainly no friends of the kind hosts here.

Ugh. Sorry. I’ll include ponies and rainbows in next post.

October 29, 2010

the place just ain’t the same… …without Billy Ruane

September 2, 2010

My heart still belongs to Lala

My Lala profile

dude, where's my Lala?

I’ve just taken a test drive of Apple’s Ping and I am totally underwhelmed.   As a user of Pandora, Rhapsody, Last.FM, MOG, and most significantly, Lala, I am completely befuddled.  Why in the world would only iTunes purchase history be considered in user profile creation and not the wealth of data contained in the user’s iTunes library?  There are play counts, ratings, playlists, genre tags, BPM annotations and so forth.  No, really, can someone explain this to me? As it stands, Ping is utterly worthless to the musically driven social net citizen and is not likely to perform a meaningful social networking function in Apple’s marquee media store.  Surely Apple must realize how scale-free social networks are formed.  Without well-connected nodes capable of generating quality content, and without those nodes’ mass of preference data there is nothing going on here.   Had my library and playlists been pulled in I just might have cared enough to write some reviews, invite my tribe and hang around long enough for a little more Lala DNA to show up.  Not a chance now.

In summary, dear Apple, compare and contrast how hard Last.FM works to import and export user music preferences.

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