Musical duldrums

20 December 2007

music

There are times that I realize I haven't directed my own music choices for a while. Maybe I've been traveling, spending all day on the phone, or simply driving down the road with the radio inadvertently tuned to KRAP-FM.

And I find my motivation waning, my creativity lacking, and my general happiness in deficit. Music matters to me. But even then, I'll have trouble finding the right music to listen to. Somehow the 26.5 days of music jammed into iTunes just is not sufficient. The online streams seem off.

But then there are days like today, when my wife introduced me to Jos頇onzᬥz. This man sings exactly the right way for today. Plus the video has a creepy pigman.

Garage Band

21 August 2007

asheville music

This week I'm dropping by the recording studio where my friend Sean is recording an album for his local Asheville band The Propheteers. He, Joe and Mason are cranking it out. I, a man who spends his daylight hours leveraging synergies as an engineering manager, hanging with the band helps me reclaim some of my younger, free-wheeling, garage-band days.

I took my cameras along to document it, and to give me some reason for being there.

Sean

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Joe

joe_sean.jpg

Mason

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Moog Pedal

moog.jpg

Jeff at the mixing board

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Guitar cases

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Smasheville

24 June 2007

culture music social technology

To be honest, I'm not that much of a Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I think it's cool that they're breaking out of the normal box, and doing a rather odd tour this year. They've picked 2 cities to have a "residency" at. One of them is my town, Asheville, North Carolina.

9 shows between 23-June and 5-July at The Orange Peel.

They aren't just rolling into town, playing a show, and retreating to the next stop under the cover of darkness.

It's a freakin' 13 day event.

Of course, events mean people. And people mean social networks. I guess.

Nonetheless, once again Ning pops up as the implementation behind Smasheville.com. Go Ning go!

Emo Igno

01 June 2007

culture music trivia

Image removed

This evening, sitting around with my wife and our friend Jeff, he mentioned seeing a crapload of emo kids outside a local music venue. I immediately asked what an emo kid looked like. My wife suggested the kids from The OC. Jeff described what sounded to me like followers of The Cure.

Luckily, Wikipedia's there to save the day. Then I realized that I'm old, and I don't understand and can't even identify this whole sub-culture of music. I do like Death Cab, but otherwise, I'm ignorant of it all. Wikipedia at least lets me feign knowledge of current popular culture.

It turns out that emo kids seem to be a mix of Robert Smith-alikes with a little punk thrown in, I guess.

At least I get to see Les Claypool next week.

Update

This post has become a magnet for commenters and people direct-linking to the image for their MySpace profile. Image has been removed. Comments are closed.

Galactic!

31 January 2007

music

GalacticGalactic played in Asheville on Sunday. My friend C.D. and I hopped into the car amidst a snow storm, and proceeded to the venue. During the trek, we saw several 4×4 trucks sliding around along with a cop car skipping along laterally. Deciding that we probably stood a slim chance of making it back home in a few hours after the show was over, we turned around then and there. We did not see the show.

But, luckily, Galactic played in Nashville, Tennessee the other week. And “Nashville” sounds similar to “Asheville”. Using the power of imagination, I’m going to review that show. Some portions of the what follows has been fictionalized for the sake of color.

We rolled up to City Hall and circled around some to catch Galactic, who was in town. Finally, we found a place to park and wandered up to line at the door to claim our tickets at the will-call window. While waiting our chance to yammer at the pretty girl behind the glass, Tim “Stickylips” McGee wandered up, toting his bongo. As you may known, Sticklips is a familiar sight at many shows. He seems to tour with different bands, playing his bongo (just the one) in the parking lot for spare change and free tickets. So, we each gave Sticklips a fiver after hearing him beat on his bongo some.

C.D. had never heard Galactic before, so I did my best to describe them.

Galactic is like the band Morphine, but only after they’d each had 3 cans of Red Bull and a hug from their moms.

The CDDB classifies them sometimes as “Cajun Jazz”. They’re from New Orleans, but it isn’t zydeco at all.

While they do include some vocals, they are musically closer to Medeski, Martin & Wood, the Benevento/Russo Duo, or any number of drum/bass/organ-centric groups. But Galactic has a saxophone. And a harmonica. Bless the reed instruments!

At times they sound like the trippier bits of Neil Young and Crazyhorse or even The Doors, while others there’s distinct flavors of James Brown or the Blues Brothers. And sometimes even a tad bit like the Red Hot Chili Peppers before they sucked.

Anyhow, the show opened with a powerful rendition of FEMA, an upbeat tune with ripping harmonica riffs. They dashed through a few more tunes that I lost track of as the hippie chick in front of me spilled her beer all over my toes.

About midway through the first set, they had an awesome jam on Bongo the Dog (listen, mp3).

They finished their first set with a cover of Led Zepplin’s Immigrant Song. It seems that at other shows, they’ve been playing other Zepplin covers, such as Kashmir.

Of course, during the set break, the lines to the restroom were horribly long, and the beers being served were warm and full of foam. But we loved it. That’s just part of the live music experience, eh?

Another long set flew by, finally ending on a great performance of Little Miss Lover.

So, no, I wasn’t actually at this show, but I have heard it. Thanks to taper-friendly bands and etree.org, it’s possible to hear shows you couldn’t attend. BitTorrent has revolutionized legal tape-trading.

You can grab the whole show from here on bt.etree.org. It’s in FLAC format, so use the power of Google to figure out what to do with those on your particular platform. I’ve transcoded Bongo the Dog from this show to mp3 for your convenience.

Syndication Experiment

25 January 2007

blogging music

circle.gifJoe invited me to blog at Music Sucks. And now I've started. But going back to wanting to earn karma for all of my blogging, I'm now reverse-syndicating my blog posts from Music Sucks. They all end up back here within an hour or two of going live at Music Sucks.

No comments or trackbacks are allowed at this end, and the permalinks point back directly to Music Sucks.

I'm also hoping that perhaps lijit can help me out some, since it seems to maybe be heading in roughly the right direction, in gathering all of my feeds. We'll see how that works out. Ultimately, I'd like anything I do that produces useful RSS to end up back here. We'll see what sort of tangled network I can come up with.

John Popper Project

25 January 2007

music

Skinny JohnAfter listening to radioioJam for a few days, I realized that one song kept catching my attention. That song was Horses by the John Popper Project.

Horses has a mid-eastern flavor to it in terms of melodic intervals and phrasing from John’s sometimes spooky voice. In general, it’s more processed than your typical organic Blues Traveller song. It’s repetitive without being reptitious, harkening back to his jam-band roots. The drumming is intricate and multi-layered, a joy to listen to exclusively even. John ultimately whips out an electrified harmonica solo, once again proving just how cool he is.

Tangentially…

I place John Popper into that small category of folks who radically change the rules regarding “traditional” instruments. John wails on the harp and never do I imagine cowboys swilling whiskey and watching cattle. The only other person off the top of my head in that category is Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. Ian does crazy and inhuman things with a flute. Crazy, man, simply crazy.

Earlier on the CD is Fire In Her Kiss, which opens with the distinct sounds of DJ Logic, but quickly becomes a nice soulful tune which displays not a little influence by Hendrix.

A few tracks are simply a little too upbeat and sappy, in that Canadian Bare Naked Ladies sort of way.

On other songs, such as Took, Popper almost even sounds like the dude from BNL, while still retaining a non-Canadian funk. What’s with Canadians?

Surprisingly, John is from Ohio, not Canada.

I vote for Skinny John. How about you?

Take a listen

(This is my first post to Music Sucks. I hope it lives up to Joe’s high standards, and I thank him for the opportunity to contribute. Rock on, Joe!)

Implicit Podcasting

25 January 2007

blogging music podcasting

If you use WordPress and occasionally link to an mp3, you're creating an implicit podcast.

Ye Olde Timey Radio Poking around, I realized that iTunes would consume the RSS 2.0 feed from WordPress as a podcast, and load up the first mentioned mp3 in a given entry as the podcast. If you link to multiple mp3s, alas only the first is caught, at least by iTunes. It doesn't seem to want to play friendly with multiple enclosures per entry.

Or maybe I'm just doing it wrong.

So I now get random new music loaded onto my iPod by giving iTunes the RSS 2.0 feed from Music Sucks.

Funnily enough, even the founder of the site didn't know it was producing a podcast for him. I think it's key that the technology has gotten to the point where someone who blogs about music magically gets a podcast.

It just makes sense.

If you like music, then Music Sucks.

13 January 2007

blogging music

Music Sucks. So my friend Joe is one of those crazy cool Contegix kids.

He's a music maven and has set up a new blog for music stuff, Music Sucks. He's particularly proud of his most recent interview with Alex Chow of Islands.

Joe's also invited me to be an occasional guest blogger, so any of my future ramblings about music will appear over there. Add it to your aggregator henceforth.

Hammond vs Drums vs Alien vs Predator

14 November 2006

music sharing

Picture 1.png Just heard Diamond (link to mp3) by Bootcut ("The World's Greatest Hammond and Drums Duo") on the radio this afternoon, and thankfully they're progressive enough to have quite a handful of free MP3s available on their site. They are definitely in the general style of Medeski, Martin Wood or the Benevento/Russo Duo, but seem slightly more traditional (ie, less masturbatory) in their arrangements.

Check'em out.