Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brian Eno Interview on Sound Opinions

A great interview. A must listen for any one who works in music production. Or for anyone interested in music in general...
Sound Opinions Footnotes:
Frequent Sound Opinions listeners know they can count on one thing: Brian Eno references. In fact some have taken to making it a drinking game. The legendary producer and electronic music pioneer seems to come up no matter what Jim and Greg are talking about. And for good reason—Eno is not just an innovator in the experimental world, but a major pop force as well, first as a member of the new wave band Roxy Music, then as a producer and collaborator with David Byrne and the Talking Heads, John Cale, Devo, U2 and Coldplay. He also composes solo work as well, though whether or not he’ll use lyrics, singing or poetry is never known. His last album Drums Between the Bells was inspired by the poetry of Rick Holland. And he has a new EP called Panic of Looking. Brian joins Jim and Greg from England and shares his unique philosophies on writing, recording and the studio as an instrument.
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Listen Here: Show 310: Brian Eno, Review of Coldplay

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What I Am Listening To Now: "The Words That Maketh Murder" by PJ Harvey

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Facebook Disses Pages With Less Than 1000 Fans - hypebot

Facebook Disses Pages With Less Than 1000 Fans - hypebot:

EdgeRank Checker released a study late last week of activity related to Facebook Fan Pages and found that those with less than 1000 fans are seeing reduced activity after recent FB changes. Overall, while impressions have decreased on Fan Pages, Likes and Comments have increased. But for those Pages with less than 1000 fans the number of Likes and Comments, when combined as an Engagement metric, has decreased by 11.64% presenting an additional challenge for emerging acts just beginning to build their band's Facebook following.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Am Listening To Now: "Ants of the Sky" by Between The Buried & Me

Still not there...  Kicking it up another notch...

What I Am Listening To Now: "N.W.O." by Ministry

Because I need to blast all that damn U2 out of my ears.  Another album creeping up on its damned 20th... Sheesh.

What I Am Listening To Now: "The Fly," "Zoo Station," & "Where Did It All Go Wrong?" by U2

Everything You Know Is Wrong...

So, another album that is 20 years old...  Maybe I shouldn't be as surprised as I am by all those grey hairs in my beard?

Oh, Bono and the boys... (sigh). Y'all don't make it easy on us, do you? Thirty years of tweaking the dials, sometimes getting them right, quite often getting them very wrong, and, on one or two occasions, hitting brilliance.

About once a decade the band has a nervous breakdown, throws everything out the window, and comes up with something completely different.  In the 1980s, after Live Aid, they freaked out, almost broke up, and then decided to do one more album before breaking up....  The Joshua Tree.

At the end of the decade, having reached a point where they felt the hype was completely out of control, they had another breakdown.  I remember reading in Rolling Stone that the insane level of hype surrounding the band was brought into sharp focus for them when they realized the Olympic Torch at the LA Colosseum had only been lit, at that point, four times.  Twice for the Olympics themselves, once for Pope John Paul II, and... yep...  once for U2 on The Joshua Tree tour.

Becoming fascinated by their own hype, coupled with The Edge's new found love of industrial music, the band hit their high point in 1991 with Actung Baby.  This album, and the tour that followed, probably single-handedly, in my opinion, changed music as much as the whole grunge thing that was happening at the same time.  From the sound, the look, the attitude through to the marketing and to what audiences expect from a live concert...  the mainstream was changed by what U2 did in 1991.  You must remember, while watching these videos, nothing looked or sounded like this on mainstream radio or TV (MTV was still playing music back then, sometimes) when this came out.

Because of this one album, industrial elements were pushed into mainstream pop music, and the tour?  Well, nothing ever, ever had been done like that before.  I saw the Zoo TV tour twice, once in Tacoma in its smaller indoor arena version and then, later, in Vancuover B.C. during the Outdoor Broadcast stadium leg of the tour.  No video can really capture the sensory overload.  It was amazing.  This was the first time a band really figured out how to make a performance in these larger venues really work for everyone in the house, not just for those lucky few within the first 25 yards or so of the stage.

But for me, the music was really what hooked me at this point.  U2 had been one of my favorite bands since The Unforgettable Fire.  But, they were something of an anomaly in my tastes.  For the couple years leading into the release of Auctung Baby, like The Edge, I'd been spending a lot of time listening to the Chicago Wax Trax bands (Ministry, KMFDM, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult), and when I heard the first opening riffs of "The Fly" (first single) and then, later, "Zoo Station" (first album track), well...  they just sounded perfect.

Of course, this moment of perfection was short lived.  The mocking of their own hype that worked so well at this point in their career was turned up a notch for the follow up album, Pop, and the Popmart tour. Turned all the way up, too far, to eleven.  It no longer felt like they were making fun of themselves and the media, but actually taking themselves too seriously again.  Plus, the album sucked.  Bad.

They've been up and down ever since.  But for a brief ride in 1991 and 1992, they had it all nailed down into perfection.

So, they've thrown down a Deluxe Edition of Actung Baby today. Meh. Nothing new. The second disc has a couple high points (the b-side track "Salome" and the covers of "Satelite of Love," "Paint It Black," and "Fortunate Son") and a lot of unlistenable crap (the re-mixes).  The most interesting track is them getting their Kubrick on with "Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle Of Milk / Korova 1."  The second disc, though, is definitely released by the current band, not the band that was getting it so right back in 1991 and 1992.

Listen on Spotify, if you wish...  That is what I did. Here is my playlist, featuring the decent tracks (and the original album in its entirety):  U2 - Actung Baby Deluxe Tracks

Very fittingly, the last track on the bonus disc is "Where Did It All Go Wrong?"

Yeah, I think Bono and Co. get it. | U2 News | U2: Turn off the decline:
And then, suddenly, U2 lost its way.
Pop was the turning point, not just because that oft-maligned 1997 album was the first truly weak entry in the U2 catalogue but because it marked the beginning of U2 pulling its punches. After the electronically enhanced excursions of Zooropa, the band crowed long and loud about making a full-tilt dance record the next time out, enlisting such electro-savvy chaps as Flood, Howie B. and Nellee Hooper to bring those aspirations to life. Yet the work that eventually surfaced from those sessions sounded every bit like the "compromise project" guitarist the Edge would later call it; it sounded like a record by a group that had gotten cold feet midway through the recording process and then hastily backtracked to behaving more recognizably like itself out of fear of alienating its audience.
That's the way I heard it, anyway -- and I think I was right, given the unsubtle retreat to its "classic" sound that the band would make three years later on All That You Can't Leave Behind after Pop's perceived commercial failure -- and I've never forgiven U2 for it.
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Ten Rock-Star Stunts Even More Ridiculous Than Flying to Antarctica -- Vulture
4. U2 Trapped in Lemon (1997)
When U2 decided to go ironic with their Popmart tour, they literally found themselves stuck inside of a 40-foot, malfunctioning, mechanical lemon multiple times. Bootleg video footage of the ironic lemon that was, ironically, a lemon, is widely circulated among cultural-studies graduate students.
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spotify rising...

Repost from Suburban Eschatology Part Two:

I am starting to suspect that Spotify could be the "next big thing"...

I agree, it has been a long time since I have taken to a service so quickly... Not just in music, but in every department.
Salesforce CEO: Facebook Is Leading The Direction For Where ‘We’re Going As An Industry’ | TechCrunch:
While Benioff’s tone has definitely tempered somewhat since OpenWorld in relation to Ellison and Oracle, it has not changed in terms of what the CEO sees as the future of his company and the future of the enterprise industry as a whole. Enterprise has to be, needs to be: Social.
What do I mean by that? Well, unsurprising for anyone who is familiar with Salesforce, Benioff has a big old man crush on Facebook.
“I really think that Facebook is becoming a vision of what the consumer operating system is”, he said. “Everything I want, I’m beginning to see on Facebook”.
The CEO was speaking largely in relation to Spotify, which he says has become his favorite music service, a quicker transition than he’s made to any other platform in the recent future. Having the Facebook UI built into Spotify is incredible, he said, allowing friends and colleagues to what he’s listening to in realtime — was inspiring to him.
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Support your local music scene!

Found on Facebook.  Amen!  One of the main points of the blog.

What I Am Listening To Now: "Sexual Healing" performed by Anita Lane

This cover gets the creepy level right for this song...