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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Long Tail = Crusty Fossil Music?

The Long Tail: Give away the music and sell the show

This article I found over at The Rambler talks about how these days bands make an astounding percentage of their yearly income from touring (92% for the Rolling Stones), and that live shows are in fact the only growth part of the music industry.

Something that caught my eye:

Here, from Wired's music blog, is a list of the top grossing touring bands of 2006.

1. Rolling Stones $150.6m
2. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill $132m
3. Rascal Flatts $110.5m
4. Madonna $96.8m
5. Barbara Streisand $95.8m
6. Kenny Chesney $90.1m
7. Celine Dion $85.2m
8. Bon Jovi $77.5m
9. Nickelback $74.1m
10. Dave Matthews Band $60.4m

Apparently being a crusty fossil from a bygone era is the key to big money in the music biz... I have got to get to work on that.

(I thought I heard a rumor that Celine Dion retired?!? Damn, maybe I dreamed that...)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dub Conversion: Surya Dub

There's an article by Eric Arnold in this week's SF Weekly about a new club night that we're very excited about here at playtherecords. Surya Dub is a monthly "global dub" party (if you're reading this in the Bay Area and want to come, the first one is this Saturday, January 27 at Club Six). This night is being presented as an attempt to bridge the gap between the more traditional reggae/dancehall/dub sound and its edgier electronic counterparts, a goal I've been rooting for for ages. Organizer Maneesh the Twister explains his "mission to unite dub's far-flung branches under one venue":
There's a schism, Maneesh says, between the roots-reggae side of dub and its electronic counterpart — not so much in the music, which shares similar elements, but in the crowds who attend the events. The folks who attend Give Thanks and Karibbean City, and the audiences who go to dubstep nights at An or Underground SF, he says, need to get on the same page and realize "there is a common bond to this music."
Promises to be an excellent party, and not just because PTR friends Kid Kameleon and DJ Ripley will be spinning. The thing that really got me excited reading Eric's article is this sentence:
It's feeling like the next big thing to hit S.F. may be the global dub movement, which has emerged on the cutting edge of the progressive electronic scene.
I really hope that turns out to be true!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blog Link Roundup

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but here are a few good articles I came across recently:

Music Companies Mull Ditching DRM

The funkiest Cover Ever

Problems with CC attribution clauses

Ubuntu studio - Linux for multimedia creation


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Darren "Beardyman" Foreman Teaches You How to Cook Up Some Beatbox

Ever wonder what a Julia Childs beatbox lesson would look like? Here ya go:

(from Musicthing)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Everybody Needs a Chord Hat

Moonshine and Chord Hat's, solid proof that Appalachia is truely the center of modern innovation.

(link from boingboing)

Monday, January 15, 2007

You Think YOU Know How to Moonwalk?

Trust me, you got nothing on this bird:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

In the Studio with Scratch

Nice little video from inside a session in Lee Scratch Perry's studio back in the day. Would have liked to see some more closeups of how he mic's the instruments, particularly the drums.

"By other peoples standards the instruments may sounds distorted, the balance way off. But it's just these rough edges that give Reggae the kind of raw sound that they can never copy abroad."

But oh how we try.

Any of you have any links to good articles describing technical details about the kinds of mic's, techniques of mic'ing, etc. that scratch used? If you do, I'd really appreciate a reply.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Intelligent Toys 3 (Sutemos014)

A while back I downloaded the Intelligent Toys 3 (update: that link seems mess up blogger... here is the direct download) collection, I don't even remember how I got to the Sutemos site, but I was in the mood to try something new. I gave it a listen and enjoyed it, and I've kept it in my short list of files that I play regularly.

One song in particular really stands out, its "Siux Eight Piano Feb2k5" by Tim Koch. Its quite straightforward, assembled from some disparate elements. It starts and ends with a simple rhythm played by a very digital click. New layers come in bit by bit, some electronic and ambient, some more instrumental, and one woman's voice floating on top of and through all of the intermixed layers. When it comes down to it, almost all of these layers are quite simple and repetitive, but the magic lies in how they interleave, especially as the voice occasionally steps aside by singing notes that are outside of the floating cycles.

The whole construction feels very natural, almost as if you were watching a meadow scene, with each layer representing an aspect of the view: some butterflies floating around on rapidly beating wings, a burbling creek, wind gently blowing thru the trees. But you never lose touch of that feeling that this is a very digital creation. It is an unusual sensation, its almost as if a very hyperreal computer generated world felt just as homey as a park that you walk through everyday.