Friday, December 18, 2009

bend over fixed to shoot and breathe hard in metal suits

not feeling well lately. every little ache and pain and muscle twinge has me thinking i should be at the doctor's office.

where's my replacement body? it must be held up in customs because of the holiday rush.

if i don't speak to you before the year end, and i probably won't, have a lovely time and do all the things you were told not to do as a little one. make it a naughty holiday to ring in the teens in proper style.

adieu 2009. i shan't be sad to see you go.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

shine on you crazy diamond

crazy diamond is the brainchild of connor lovat-fraser and regan brennan helped brought to life by matt davis. connor mentioned after crazy diamond's first show, "i hope it sounded like a full band and not just two people and a computer." matt joined shortly after that show on bass but with connor and regan on guitar and vocals and mac book filling in on drums crazy diamond put on an honest, heartfelt show that leaves little room to do more than just sit back and enjoy.

i find many people are quick to dismiss bands that have a computer on stage for a number of reasons. true, some groups just shadow play while the whole thing streams out of itunes. true, i've caught more djs than i care to admit checking their email during a "performance". the question is, have you ever played with a computer backing before? it's hard as hell unless you're used to playing to a click track. once you're out, it becomes instantly noticeable so you have to hand it to a group that can do it and make it sound natural. crazy diamond are one of the few bands i've seen that can pull this off.

there's an odd juxtaposition between regan's vocals and the lyrical content of crazy diamond's music. regan's voice has a cute, sweet quality to it that seems to make lyrics like, "Keep this sandy shore.Take it. It's yours. I'll keep the floor boards.You'll pace back and forth.Your place is haunted by ghosts from the sea floor.", cut that much deeper because pain shouldn't sound so happy. you kind of want to bundle that voice up and protect it from harm. connor sits at the other end of the spectrum quite comfortably. this is a lad that's spent the vast majority of his musical career peeling peoples faces off with screams and wails so it's no surprise that his voice is full of the same emotion and power even when he's singing softly.

i'm just going to say it, the ep kicks ass. it's the kind of album that makes muscians say, "why aren't i making music like this?" and fans ask, "when will there be more and where can i buy it?"

these are sickly sweet tunes for the loved and loveless. there's pain in spades but what's love without passion? there seems to be and ebb and flow to the album that follows a relationship. sometimes things are good and we're happy you're near. sometimes things are awful and we just wish you'd understand and leave us alone. whatever side of the fence your love life tends to find itself on, this is the kind of music that helps make it better by showing the light at the end of the tunnel or being the sympathetic shoulder that says you're not the only one that's been through this.

you can get your greasy mits on the ep here and if you ask really nicely, magic elves will hook you up with their musical treats for a nominal fee. also, rotate this has them for you anti-internetters.

happy kwanzaa!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

don't fear the reaper

it's been a while since i've written anything here and i'll get back on track shortly. things haven't exactly been smooth in the land of me lately and unlike most bloggers i keep my mouth shut because i don't think the world needs to know me that intimately.

on that note, i've got a review for a lovely little band called crazy diamond coming up.

good times.

also, how have you been? i've been wrapped up in my own things and forget to ask about others. shame on me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

all the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey...

it's not the prettiest of seasons right now eventhough i absolutely love the fall. it's warmer than normal and raining just as often which is double edged. who the hell wants humidity in november?

new music though. sweet sweet (and not so sweet) new music. it's been a while since i posted anything that i've been listening to so here's a new one for you that i've really been enjoying. beef terminal's the isolationist came out in 2003 and sadly i'm just getting to it now.

it's a little more shoegazey then i normally listen to but i keep coming back to it which is always a good sign for me. i can normally tell if i like an album by listening to the first 5-20 seconds of each song. sometimes more, most of the time less. it's a skill that you pick up when you're given piles of cds to review on a regular basis and you literally don't have time to listen to them all. you cheat. it's mean and sneaky and one out of one thousand times you miss eight seconds of genius hidden in the middle of a crap song on a crap album and you hate yourself for missing that eight seconds, but you needed the sleep and you're getting paid the same amount no matter what you say about it. ahhhh the politics of magazine reviews.

also, beef terminal is michael matheson from toronto, ontario. beef terminal started back in 95 which is possibly before you were born but more than likely long before you were hip and cool enough to be listening to things like this. unless you were one of the artsy kids in high school/grade school/pre school/the womb. if you were in college at the time and you're reading this, sweet, i'm making new friends. welcome and tell me about yourself. (i keep diverging from my actual point in this post for some reason. i'm blaming it on low blood sugar and my desire to hunt down a pint.)

to sum up, it's good. go buy it and his other works.

Monday, November 2, 2009

dreamer, you're nothin but a dreamer. can you put your head in your hands, oh no!

it's been a too long since i've posted anything. part of that is because i don't have internet at home at the moment. the other part is because i haven't been all that inspired to write. mostly internet.

ok mostly not inspired.

having said that, i've recently stumbled upon a blog that made me realize how much a need a new camera. i have a small POS ("point and shoot", not "piece of shit") made by panasonic and it gets the job done in fine style as long as you don't want to mess about with things like manual settings or perhaps take a photo with some kind of life in it. i'm tired of it and i wish some kind soul would buy me a new one. since that isn't going to happen i'll have to just go out and buy one for myself. that will take significantly longer.

i spent a looooooong time behind the lens in high school and university. i all but stopped taking stills when uni started but the theories remained the same. good lighting and an interesting composition and you'll take good photos every time. i've always enjoyed the fly on the wall school of still photography and tried for that approach with motion as well. it's a lot harder to be inconspicuous with a movie camera and the end result generally tends to look rather shoddy.

so here's the deal, i buy a new camera and you join me for a bit of fun. i'm thinking that i need to get people out and around and doing things more often. there need to be more parties attended, more picnics had, more brunches and roof top drinks. there will be more travelling to do in the near future i'm sure, i just need to get my traveling fund back up to a healthy sum.

so what do you say? join me for a show or a pint? a dance or a skulk? bring a friend or three and we'll make it a thing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

a still more glorious dawn awaits, not a sunrise but a galaxy rise.

quick post cause i gotta run but a friend of mine was good enough to share this link with me and while i'm not a youtuber, every once in a while some cool stuff finds it's way into my eyes and ears.

carl sagan and stephen hawking represent! what! make dat hypothesis, take dat hypothesis ain't nobody eva break dat hypothesis.

now that i've proven once again that i'm a total nerd, this song is odd as hell but one of the coolest things i've seen in a long time.

i don't know if this is supposed to be a joke or an actual tribute like colorpulse suggests but the billy mayes "tribute" he's made seems to hint it might be a joke. either way, it's amazing and i've had it on repeat for the last two hours. i don't listen to songs on repeat because it's a great way to ruin a song. having said that i can't get enough of this thing.

have a listen and let me know what you think. there are links for download at the end of the video. good times.

Friday, October 16, 2009

get illuminated cause the old state starts to rust

you know me. i hate things that other people like. not to say that once other people start liking something i like i start to hate it but that has happened on occasion. i can't help it. i'm just one of those people that starts to lose interest in something once everyone else is doing it. (yes i see the irony in talking about how much of an individual i am in a blog.) my point is that i have never needed anyone else's opinion to help steer me towards things that i felt were worth my attention. i spend stupid amounts of time scouring the planet for music, films, art, clothing or whatever and if it speaks to my sensibilities, i try and hop on it as fast as i can. i find that when creative things are taken out, paraded and flogged, as they so often are in the mainstream media, they start to lose whatever their original message was very quickly. to sum up my opinion; mainstream = banal and generally crappy. niche interests = a pure gamble that span the gamut of life changing to "holy shit that's awful, burn it burn it now" and are looked on as pretentious. i'll take pretentious gamble over banality thank you very much.

having said that, pitchfork for some strange reason has become the end all be all of music reviews for sometime now and i really don't get it at all. why does the opinion of a handful of johnny come lately, third string scenesters seem to count as the gospel on music these days? i regularly see reviews for music that is fully yesterdays news by the time it gets on their site jammed with words like, "when i got around to listening to their major label debut" which means, "i don't know who these guys are but this cd was dropped on my desk and then i googled them and downloaded their eight album back catalogue so now i have an opinion about them even though i've never seen them live and don't know anyone that has."

yes the argument can be made that most critics are on the third or fourth string list of who gets to discover something these days because most publications won't let them write about the cool new act they saw at some dingy club last wednesday. instead they have to write about what they find in their in-box because it's safe and people have heard of it. i do not however buy this argument because that's a really easy way to get away with a doing the least amount of work possible. this is a website where the staff will write about what they had for dinner the night they listened to an album instead of the actual album because they think they're funny, witty and have the final say on what frat boy douche bags should be listening to.

yes this is a tirade. no i'm not sorry (ok, i'm a little sorry) that you've been swept into my friday afternoon anger management because the upside is that you should go out and buy the new(ish) as tall as lions album, you can't take it with you.

if you haven't heard of them then shame on you. if you have heard of them then why haven't you told the people you know about them? yes this only helps to perpetuate the circle of influence this band has by bringing them closer and closer to a point where people that like to keep our precious bands in our pockets so no one else can get at them are suddenly forced to give them up and move on so mainstream audiences can enjoy their goodness, but really that happened a while ago to these lads and they deserve big crowds of people showing up at their shows. they're a solid group with catchy as hell songs. they might be a little too melancholic at times but that's been the trend for a lot longer than i've been alive so who am i to judge?

this was a messy post. run on sentences. fragments. bleh. i'm tired and can't be bothered to spell check.

go buy some music. it will make both of us feel better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

heel up, wheel up, bring it back come rewind

i've been unpacking for what seems like two years now. it hasn't been, but because i've moved a few times in the last year it seems like everything i own has been sitting in boxes for a long long time. the upside is that unpacking can actually be fun because you get to rediscover your personal history as told through keep sakes, old clothing and most importantly for me, music.

it will take some jury rigging in order to get this stuff posted but i found a few tapes that seem like the logical next step in my musical journey. i'm not going to say what they are now because it will be a tease for some people and be a direct call for ridicule from others. let's just say they're old tapes so the quality won't be great.

i felt like i should post something since it's been a little while. i'm trying to keep this a routine thing so it doesn't fall by the wayside like so many other projects do. i'd like to make this a little more interactive though and have people post their musical past and present.

the following albums that spring to mind helped shape my tastes and directly effected who i've become today. here they are in as close a chronological order as i can remember

1. simon & garfunkel - sound of silence

2. the police - synchronicity

3. genesis - invisible touch (specifically the instrumental track "the brazillian")

4. various artists - krush groove soundtrack

5. dj jazzy jeff and the fresh prince - rock the house

6. dj jazzy jeff and the fresh prince - he's the dj, i'm the rapper

7. the fat boys - s/t

8. digital underground - this is an e.p. release

9. public enemy - fear of a black planet

10. bdp - criminal minded

11. the pharcyde - a bizarre ride to...

12. das efx - straight from da sewer

13. chris sheppard - techno trip

14. white label - street fighter techno remix

15. y'all so stupid - van full of pakistans

16. some five disc detroit house comp that blew my mind

17. nofx - i heard they suck live

18. various artists - inflight program (revhq # 50)

19. ignite - in my time

20. chick corea - touchstone

21. no fun at all - out of bounds

22. chickenpox - thursday night at mickey cohen's

23. shai hulud - hearts once nourished with hope and compassion

24. fugazi - 13 songs

25. the smiths - somehow hollow

26. rainer maria - past worn searching

27. mos def - black on both sides

28. some random dark rave album that i can't remember the name of at all

29. burial - untrue

30. color pulse - carl sagan "a glorious dawn ft. stepehn hawking cosmos mix" (not an album but holy shit has this blown my mind) *new addition on oct 20th*

it starts to get pretty fuzzy at this point. from here i started listening to bands like bane, braid, sunny day real estate, jimmy eat world, cradle of filth, mortiis, iced earth, harkonen, dillenger escape plan (was the second show in a place called who's emma that totally destroyed me. literally. they stabbed me with a metal gibson flying V. the first band i saw at that hole in the ground was shai hulud. it's too bad who's emma was run by douche bag 16 year old arm chair anarchists. the place was broken into and literally everything was taken. while that was a shitty thing to do i have to say that there weren't many kids in the scene that actually felt bad. i've gone completely off track there but yeah...)

if i can remember more or if one hits me in the future i'll add it to the list.

i've also decided to stop worrying about paragraph spacing on this stupid site because it will do whatever the hell it likes no matter how much screwing with the html i do.

Friday, October 2, 2009

it takes two, it takes two, me and you...

or in this case and old and a new.

tried a new layout.

yay? nay?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

it's time you made amends, look in the mirror my friend.

since i gave a little auto-biographical detail for the first cd i thought i should add a bit for the digital underground post. i bought this album at this amazing little record shop in toronto in the beach (or beaches depending on what side of the fence you sit with this asinine debate). the had more tapes than i had ever seen at the ripe old age of eleven(maybe twelve?) and were one of the first places i had seen that had a rap section. i was in heaven.

whilst in heaven, i took a heavy verbal shit kicking from my father for listening to "noise". he would say things like, "they can't even sing and it's just loud and angry." i'm sure my grandfather said similar things about his crazy long haired hippy music. needless to say digital underground and the second tape i bought, public enemy's: fear of a black planet were not music in his eyes and i was more than happy about it.

hip hop cemented itself as my favourite genre of music from the ages eleven to seventeen. at some point i started listening to house and techno because my friend sean got big into clubbing. he was the reason i started listening to electronic music of all kinds. if it wasn't for him i would have missed out on clubs, raves and some of the most interesting music to grace my ears till the age of eighteen.
i know some of you are probably of the opinion that clubs and raves were worth missing out on and i feel sorry for you if that is the case. you might not like dancing or the music that is generally associated with clubs or the people that are usually found at clubs but these broad generalizations might just have kept you from having some of the most fun nights of your life. more on that at a later date.

my love affair with hip hop has come and gone over the years for various reasons but i'm glad it was where i started. i still remember sitting in my room with my brother singing along to simon and garfunkle's sound of silence. while it may seem like an odd jump in tastes, hip hop opened the doors to funk, ska, reggae, soul and eventually an appreciation for classic rock.

so if you hadn't guessed at this point, i'm going to start doing things in an auto-biographical nature. yes this idea was indirectly jacked from a scene in high fidelity but it's a damn good idea as it helps me take a look at where i came from and where i'm going both in listening to and writing music.

more stories to come. i hope you enjoy the trip.

Friday, September 25, 2009

love in an elevator, livin it up when i'm goin down.

not long ago my friend ethan rilly played host for a fantastic night of food, booze music and most importantly his beautiful illustrations at the freedom clothing collective. if you get a chance check out his book pope hats, it's fantastic.

the night went well. people chatted, bought art, chatted more, bought more art and just generally cavorted and capered. i think it went off without a hitch and the lovely and talented ladies of the fcc were so nice and accommodating that i feel like i didn't say thank you enough. it was a pleasure to meet (alphabetically seems the fairest way to do this) amanda, amy, ewa and karen and it was great talking to them through out the night.

on to the music though, ethan asked me to help dj the evening which did not go according to plan sadly. the gear i brought decided that it didn't like to output sound (that's what i get for going laptop and crappy torq controller) so in true "the show must go on" fashion my work around meant having to bump everything out to a playlist and fire it out in itunes. i was not impressed. the program (torq) is actually pretty amazing but the entry level sound interface is a piece of shit. whilst trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with it and helping whistlestop, (who may or may not have changed their name to/from bear layer but i'm kind of out of the loop on that business) a sweet little folky three piece featuring instrumental goodies such as banjo and ACCORDION (if you know me you probably have heard me express my undying love for this instrument)set up, i had a chance to chat with vangel.

vangel is the kind of person that i just don't meet often enough. he's good at what he does, knows the technical aspects of how he does what he does, knows and knows about the other people that are doing similar things and is just a super nice guy. he was good enough to let me hitch a ride on his mixer in between sets and the rest of the time we talked shop.
i like his approach because he sounds like he has a lot more fun making music than most musicians i've known over the years. vangel's e.p. biblio is available on itunes, emusic, and as a limited edition 5&1/4 inch floppy from 5&1/4 records. the album was pieced together from private and public library collections and recorded with top session musicians. it's a jazz record which you probably wouldn't guess at first if you've heard some of vangel's other work. his live set for ethan's show was more of an improvised breaks and glitch performance.
my favourite tag line for the biblio ep is "cheesy yet serious, like hipster scarves". i'd contest this because i don't think the album is cheesy at all. there might be a hint of st. germaine (and let's be honest, st. germaine gets pretty cheesy at times) here and there but this album has it's own voice. there are samples but i'm happy to say that i dont recognize any of them or they've been replayed to fit the composition. i'm not the foremost authority on jazz but i've listened to too many sample heavy records, sample libraries and everything else to not hear familiar loops on a regular basis. this leads me to a second regular occurrence and that's telegraphing.
have you ever listened to a song and knew what was coming next? i'm sure it's happened at least once and probably more often for some of you but it's kind of disappointing when you can do it at all. some musicians write their songs specifically so the listener can sing a long and has all of their expectations met neatly with no surprises. i can't say i enjoy that often. i like hearing things that don't make sense. i want to know how someone made that noise or what they used to sequence everything. i want them to drop the beat out from under us or change the tempo or blast us with noise or something and biblio did that. it was a fun ride that i just didn't see coming for the majority of the album.
survey says: go buy this thing now! ok preview it first if you don't trust my word, which you should, then go buy this now.
(also, i don't know why blogspot does this all the time but it has decided to ignore paragraph spacing for the last half of this post. if you know how to fix this i would love to hear from you.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

one for all, and all for one!

so here's the first cd i ever bought.

i used to live in a neighbourhood that was literally a stones throw away from a street populated by almost every kid that ever broke into a house, stole a car, a bike or mugged someone. funnily enough, i went to school with almost all of them and was friends with a good number of them. the down side was three of those little shits broke into my house and stole what kids normally steal, tvs, cash and other easily pocketd/carried crap. my father's cd player was one of these things. after a quick inventory of what was missing and an insurance cheque my father decided it was time to go out and replace some stuff. i went with him to buy back some of the albums they took and while we were out he said, "go pick something." i didn't have anything to play cds on and knew the only time i'd get to listen to one would be sneaking into his room when he wasn't home and playing it on his stereo. i got one anyway.

y'all so stupid: van full of pakistans was the only rap cd in the store and believe me, i searched hard. how this obscure group of lads from atlanta managed to end up in this weird ass bulk music store is beyond me because it was the only copy they had. they had one video that was played on rap city a handful of times and then they vanished. none of my friends knew who they were or could find the album but they all taped it or borrowed it and i of course got mad props for being the kid with the best music. those were good times.

while i don't particularly enjoy albums that are mostly about getting high, something about y'all so stupid really struck a chord with me. maybe it was because it was only the second group from the south that i'd heard. the first was the ghetto boys and for those of you that aren't familiar with either group it's kind of like comparing the darkness to metallica. they made similar kinds of music but one group is just having a laugh while the other is singing about killing you. y'all so stupid were just plain fun and silly and every few songs there was a message hidden in there.

i realized not so long ago just how many people loved this album but either lost their copy or couldn't find it in the first place. it's the kind of thing that i would like to see get a re-press but that's unlikely as the fans probably don't number high enough to off-set the cost.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

it's the end of the world as we know it and i feel fine

after a handful of conversations with a handful of people i have decided that i'm going to start linking music.

what's been stopping me up to this point is my overwhelming dislike for downloading music without any intent on buying the album. i don't see any problem with downloading an album to preview it though. if it's no good, it's trashed. if it's worth keeping, it's worth paying for because i obviously enjoyed it.

having said that, i'd like to try and link things that are either hard to find or are out of print entirely. you don't need me to help you find the newest godspeed you black emperor. you should already know about them and if you don't you should now go listen to them and then buy their stuff.

so here's me first link. the password is that book

i thought it would be appropriate to up one of the first albums i ever bought. digital underground have been around for a looooooooooooooong time now. they were a pretty standard west coast rap group when they appeared in the late 80s. one of the little known (unless you were a fan of course) facts was that this is the group that gave a young dancin fool by the name of tupac amaru shakur his first real shot on the mic.

this is an e.p. release was the second offering from d.u. but in my humble opinion was a much better album than sex packets. while sex packets had the break out single humpty dance, e.p. release was featured on the sound track of the dan akroyd, chevy chase, john candy and demi moore (wtf?) film, nothing but trouble. the full d.u. band find themselves in akroyd's court on a traffic offence and end up playing a few songs. comic gold...ok the film was shit but this was an interesting thing to see for a group with no real pull in hollywood showing up in an incredibly obscure (read: awful) film starring some of the whitest white people on the planet. the mind boggles at who put that all together but it makes for some fun youtube watching.

e.p. release and the follow up album son's of the p are far and away two of my favourtie hip hop albums of all. let me know what you think.

for my next offering i'll be keeping with the "firsts" theme and share the first cd i ever bought.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

i just don't feel fine unless i have my wine

kettel, not to be confused with ketel one (although both are lovely), recently released his tenth album myam james 2. born in the netherlands and raised on a diet of camping, music and magic, he's been steadily releasing albums since 2001, touring and playing festivals. to have ten albums and ten e.p.s at this stage in the game is pretty awe inspiring since it takes most groups their entire career to release four or five, if they can stay together long enough that is.

from what little of his work i've heard so far he has a certain etheral quality to his music. i've heard some people describe his music as "folky" or "organic" and i wouldn't quite go that far on either lable but he does have an odd ebb and flow to his work that lends nicely to sitting back and relaxing while you just take it in.
the cover art is beautiful but i haven't had the chance to track down the artist yet. the inside of the album is even prettier than the outside. love it.
well that's all i gots for this one really. i've only had a chance to listen to it once so far and it's hooked me already. i'm sure i'd have a much more indepth analysis if it had been on repeat for a week but i'm not getting paid to write about music these days so expect some of the write ups to be short and sweet. it's nice when you can make your own deadlines and article lengths.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

you load sixteen gigs and what do you get...

the answer of course is about four days or so of continuous music.

if you know me or have read my posts regarding downloading music then you know i'm again'it and t'ain't fer'it dad gummit. the problem with that stance is how hard it's become to a: find new music and b: audition it for more than a pathetic thirty second clip. you may be like me and enjoy songs that are anywhere between four to fifteen minutes if not longer. thirty seconds is just about enough for most of those songs to fade in but no where near enough time to actually get an idea of what the song is about. so (and here's my moment of hypocrisy) i think that downloading music is a viable option if you're doing it to preview an album. i have no problems with listening to an album and if i don't like it, tossing it away. if i plan on keeping it then i hunt it down and buy a physical copy whenever possible.

with that explained let me now regale you with the vast amount of music i've managed to find in the last few days. i have spent easily three or four days digging. this is a pass time that has all but died out save for some djs and audiophiles. it's a shame because i spent a good portion of my late teens and early twenties digging and now it looks like everyone just opens a new google page and voila; new music. there's something about dusty old record shops and yard sales that just screams "GOLD!!!" to me. if you're one of those people that has let that excitement creep out of your listening experiences and you find that you only listen to mp3s on an ipod then you have my deepest sympathies.

seriously though, last night i was giggling and dancing like a child when i finally got a chance to start listening to some of my latest finds. i damn near wet myself when i started listening to
alarm will sound and their acoustica album. they've taken a smattering of aphex twin's more popular songs and transcribed them for a twenty piece orchestra. cock/ver 10 is the kind of piece that human drummers shouldn't be able to play and they've managed it. insane.

another spectacular find was actually handed to me by my friend ben, known in some circles as gentle ben, i have long since admired his musical leanings. i love sitting with him and talking about music because he has such a wide range of musical tastes and in depth knowledge of those styles and musicians. we will easily from our love for reggae and our different opinions of the misogynistic and homophobic lyrical content of dance hall, to how mastodon's crack the skye might easily be their softest album yet. we'll probably talk shit about hip hop and pop punk in there somewhere as well. whatever the conversation holds i'm never surprised when we introduce each other to a new band. this time it was shuggie otis.

there's just no other way to say it but shuggie brings the funk like twelve week old socks. i've heard people talk about shuggie in that, "he could have been the next hendrix" way that people do. he turned down the rolling stones because he had "his own sound" that he was working on. turned down the stones! that's brassy. not that i like the stones but if they were looking to replace charlie and said, "hey you want to be our new drummer?" i'm sure i could suck it up for a tour or three and rest my head on the piles of money that came with changing keith's diapers.

that's literally the tip of the ice burg. i mean don't even get me started on glen porter. sigh...i'll post some pictures and links and such and if it looks like people are actually reading this i might just have to start linking albums. we'll see. it only seems fair given my earlier mention of hard to come by preview material. what i'd really like to do is give unknown musicians looking for exposure a little help. so if you're a musician and you're looking for more avenues to get your music out there we should talk.

on that note, a bientot.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

lick wood means rewhine, a gunshot means fahwad, you requested it so we rewhine and if you haven't checked it out yet you need to.

this is the blog page of diplo's mad decent label and has crazy amounts of free downloads for the open minded music fan. the acts on mad decent jump all over the genre map as well as geographically. there are acts from france, north africa, brazil, u.s. and they play everything from house to electro to reggae and all manner of things in between. check out riva starr's "i was drunk ft. Noze" video and you'll get an idea of what's going on. is the world ready for balkan folk mixed with four on the floor? i don't care i'm just happy it's out there.

enjoy it or hate it, gimme a shout and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

inner city life. inner city pressure taking over me.

it would seem that i'm not the only person that was chuffed to see goldie take a kick at the classical can. "classic goldie" is a new show about goldie attempting to compose a classical piece of music in the hopes that the bbc concert orchestra will play it for the proms upcoming season.

i've only seen bits and pieces of the show at this point but i'm interested in how this will go down. goldie's composition style is unlike any other musician i've ever seen. this is a man with little to no understanding of even basic musical theory but has incredibly complex arrangements at times. his arrangements are all written down on paper in what looks more like a systems process chart. there are numerous off shoots of the "body" of sound where filters and delays and re-triggers should take place with arrows and what not pushing back into the work flow. it's intense seeing something like and trying to figure out how i would play it if it were handed to me.

i'm not sure how long the show is airing but i'll post again when i've seen more. till then, if you're a classical fan or an electro-acoustic fan you might want to check the show out simply to see how similar the two styles of music really are.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

let us at last praise, the colonizers of dreams

you may have heard me mention this on facebook but i may have mentioned it here as well, i can't remember. mecho - the style black book (linked to the right and at the bottom of the page) is a lovely little site by a lovely young lady i met waaaaaaaaaayyyyy back in november whilst globe trotting.

the site focuses on all things style related from clothing to art to gadgets, it's got it all.

what makes me particularly happy about this is that yen, the founder of the site, asked lil' ol me to write for it. i will be reporting on gadgets and things design related. i'll probably end up writing about video games, toys for big boys, and why the iphone 3gs is less exciting than a root canal.

feel free to have a look. i'm one of a handful of contributors to this site and from the sounds of it there seems to be a heavy emphasis on fashion writing so far so i'm glad i can help mix it up by writing about something else.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

come to me, in those open arms is where i want to be

i thought i should follow up that last post with a more positive one so here we go...

i'm not normally a reality tv fan which is a shame because the company i work for has made oceans of money off of selling them around the world, however i saw one today that was truly inspiring. the show is called maestro and aired on the bbc some time ago. it's a pretty standard format. several stars compete to see who will win the coveted prize of maestro and lead the bbc symphonic orchestra for a piece during the last night at the proms.

i won't bore you with all the details of who was on the show except alex james and goldie are in the running which i find particularly interesting. alex james of blur fame and goldie of...well, goldie fame tackle the classics in a battle of the batons. it's amazing to watch two professional musicians that can't read music learn to conduct an orchestra in two very different ways.

alex plays a host of instruments and left his wild partying days of blur behind to become a cheese farmer. he approaches the orchestra from the perspective of a man trying to learn more about the over all experience of what it is that makes a piece of music truly epic. he hopes to learn more about musical theory in the process.

goldie started djing in the late 80s if i'm not mistaken and began making drum n' bass records in the early 90s. his musical background is much more like a conductor in that he's piecing together bits of sound to make a final composition which is much more like a classical score.

so this brings me to the part that i found truly interesting. what makes a musician truly great? do you even have to play an instrument to be a musician?

i've spent my entire life in and around bands of all kinds and it never ceases to amaze me when i meet people that everything just clicks for. i haven't met many, truth be told but the people that just pick up an instrument and play when they've never even seen how the thing operates is just awe inspiring. i wish i was one of those people and while i can sure noodle my way through a song on an instrument that i've never played before, i'm not writing anything with them.

what i would love to see is more people try something new on a regular basis. it doesn't have to be a huge thing. it can be as simple as walking a different way to work or as crazy as sky diving but trying something new each day leaves the brain open to new ideas and new experiences and i really think that's something that music is missing these days. it's not just musicians that seem to be lacking imagination but the general public as well. have we just become so used to listening to mechanical (as in robotic) music that we're happy when we hear five songs on the radio that all sound the same? have we just lost our ability to play with art and use our imagination? it certainly seems like the only "new" things happening these days are just people taking three or four different styles of music and trying to turn them into some odd hybrid. i remember hearing a young lass explain her music as, "punk, folk, electro, opera, funk" then i heard her music and it just sounded like an average alternative rock album. that didn't make it bad, it just seemed odd that she felt the need to hype it up by making it sound like something new and different.

perhaps what we should be doing is worrying less about labels and the super specific ideas that come with them and worry more about just making things that sound good and get people singing along or dancing or smoking weed or having sex or whatever it is that people feel the need to do when a song they love is playing. leave labels for reporters and people who never understood what any of it was ever about in the first place.

i seem to have gone off track with this one but that's what happens when you're typing late at night without caffeine or sugar...which reminds me i have ice cream so i'll try to make this brief. i want to meet more musicians. good, bad, crazy, flaky, whatever and see how they process things. i know for a fact that i'm not the only musician to start about fifty songs and not finish any of them. i know i'm not the only one that writes things that other people will never hear but unlike a lot of those musicians, i have played in front of people and i like getting feed back from people about the work that i've done. in short, (in as long and rambling way as possible) i want to be a better musician and i'm not entirely sure how i go about that at this point. i can play. i've taken lessons and i play with other people on a shifting somewhat regularish schedule so where does a guy go from there pray tell?

no more pencils no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks

asher roth. i swore to myself that i wouldn't get sucked into promoting someone i can't stand by writing something negative about him but i guess i would rather have people make up their own mind by hearing a dissenting opinion in response to all the ball washing good press he's had.

so, asher roth. the young ne'er do well making the rounds at penthouse apartments near you has been called "the next big thing" "the new eminem" and other non-sensical crap that makes him sound like the third coming of christ. i'm just going to come right out and say it, i don't get it. i did have a good laugh when i read and young james suggested that most people in the hip hop community like asher but they can't come out and say it. that's why they hang their heads and get quiet. it couldn't be because they think he's a no talent hack but don't want to say it just in case they can make some money off of him. heavens no.

it's not that i'm old. it's not that i don't like hip hop. it's not even that i have something against partying. what i have a problem with is sloppy musicianship mixed with sloppier performance that validates the idea that you don't have to know ANYTHING about music in order to make hip hop.

so i'm hoping someone will read this and let me know what it is that's appealing about roth. i will not accept anything along the lines of "he's got sick beatz" as an explanation because clearly, i don't find that to be the case. he's gone on record as saying that he had a band play on the album because they didn't have much money which means nothing because having a friend play a four bar progression, recording it and then looping it in pro tools is the same as ripping it off a cd. you're still making music with loops. it's nothing to be ashamed of, it's just lazy when you don't do anything to change the song structure and the same four bars just plod along. that's not unique to asher though so don't think that i'm mad at him just because he can't write a song. most hip hop acts can't. look at timbaland. he liked the one republic song he did so much that he sold it to chris cornel.

so let's hear it internet. why do you like asher roth?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

i ain't no politician, i am a citizen

i'm actually trying to wrap my head around ACTA. this is an agreement i mentioned a while back about the G8 nations getting together and deciding that it was wholly within their right to give border guards and police the power to randomly search anyone they want on suspicion that they might have pirated media on them. this agreement is still being tabled and hasn't been formalized in any legally binding language as of yet but from what i've read so far it's fucking scary.

now i know i'm in the minority these days because i actually pay for the media that i listen to/watch/read/play. call me a sucker but i don't get how people can be fans of something and not give a shit about the person that made that art in the first place. you've heard the argument before about how if you don't pay for *insert product here* then the people that made it don't get paid and they can't make more of the thing that you love so much in the first place. i know most people don't care because they really aren't intelligent enough to understand that just because it's on the internet it doesn't mean you should steal it. not that people aren't intelligent they just don't want to take the ten seconds to think about what they're really doing. it's thanks to these people that we have wonderful things like streaming video and music to look forward to. the idea sounds great doesn't it? hot and cold running tv/radio from your internet but that means that you don't actually get to own any of it. you'll be tethered to some sort of player that only streams the things that get approved by the company providing that service so you only get to hear what "they" want you to hear. i can't imagine why that doesn't sound like a great idea.

now let's hop back to the real world where people have different tastes and desires. a place where all the colours get to shine through no matter how bright or dull they turn out to be and no one can tell you what you get to listen to except you. which side would you like to be on? the side with choice but you have to pay for that choice, which is only fair since the people providing that choice are performing a service, or the inevitable banality that will come from having repositories of music stored by large "for profit" companies that will make you pay for their service as well but you have a fraction of the choice?

Friday, April 17, 2009

the kids are alright

well for the most part they're alright.

there's this odd thing lately where everything i've been listening to has been pushing every button it can to make me sad. i'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but i've been up to my ears in things that have been making me think about stuff i would rather not be thinking of.

have you ever had a piece of music remind you of a time/place/person/thing that you had strong feelings for or related too? i know that's vauge as hell but i don't know how else to explain it. the things i've been listening to have been making me think of being a kid and having to change school's several times because we moved or when my parents used to fight all the time and their eventual divorce. i've been thinking about the first time i had my heart broken and then wished it was the only time it had been. really, i've just been thinking about all the sad things that have ever happend to me and at some point i realize things are really good because none of that is happening at the moment.

the moral of the story is don't listen to samamidon's "saro", "wild bill" or "o' death" cause they're all about making people feel down. sad stuff that is.

Monday, February 9, 2009

life is what you make it

this is my first post of the new year! haha...crap.

so far, i found a home, set up music listening/writing equipment, put together my couch and have cooked several meals. now if only i had a storage spot for the umpteen cds and dvds i own. i'm hoping to get some people in for drinks but that might not happen if i can't get the crap off my floor.