allaboutgeorge + music   671

The Economics Of Getting Heard: Guest Op-Ed | Billboard
When choice is unlimited, the authentic and the intangible become most valuable. Putting out a great record is the required start, but building and maintaining the conversation is -- more than ever before -- paramount to getting your music heard.
music  economics  attention 
10 days ago by allaboutgeorge
Richard Hell Interview - Richard Hell Very Clean Tramp Book Autobiography - Esquire
When you're young, you don't especially think of yourself as being young. You're just alive and everything's interesting and you don't think of things in terms of age because you're not conscious of it. But then you hit your 40s and you realize, well, you're still alive but you're not young anymore. And things start taking a different kind of aspect. And you start getting curious about what it all adds up to. What does it mean to outlive your youth? I wanted to hold my life in my hands and turn it around and look at it in different ways to figure out what the hell had happened, to see if I could put it outside of myself and make it into a material object that I could grasp. So that was part of it. And the other part was I like writing books.
aging  punk  music  rock  writing  biography  nonfiction  history  attention 
march 2013 by allaboutgeorge
After 30 Years, I Finally Went To A Barry Manilow Concert : The Record : NPR
I liked pop and didn't know to call it that. Liked pop and didn't know that me liking it is what in fact made it popular. I didn't know to articulate anything about pop phrasings, straightforward melodies and the crisp, bold enunciations that with some luck and a promo budget meant millions would request a song at radio, meant millions would purchase singles and albums and T-shirts and lunchboxes, would contribute to the radio/sales/tour/merchandise quadruped that, until the internet and "views" and "free," meant a song could gallop to the top, and be, in ways that are more elusive now, a really big show. An artist could reach the kind of places that are, as Jay-Z says, "higher than weather." I didn't know that Barry Manilow made himself as much as he was made. I didn't know he was raised by a single mother in (Williamsburg) Brooklyn. I didn't know what Brooklyn was.
music  1970s  hiphop  celebrity  memory 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
Deconstructing: Chris Brown, Surfer Blood, And Villainizing Entertainers - Stereogum
We can play high and mighty when shit gets real, call for some kind of justice where the “bad” musicians don’t get to have successful careers anymore. But any lines we draw about whose music is tainted seem arbitrary to me, particularly in a culture that celebrates moral ambiguity. Where is the line between Chris Brown and, say, that angelic beacon of truth and wisdom Frank Ocean? If “Wiseman” is anything to go on, Ocean would probably argue there is no line. He’d be absolutely right.
music  identity  reputation  r&b  rock  indie  violence  relationships 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
QA: David Lee Roth Vents About Van Halen's Future | Music News | Rolling Stone
When I talk to young musicians or authors and they ask for advice, I say, "You gotta learn all the letters of your own personal alphabet. With music, you need to know all the different kinds of music and everything in and around your given instrument." They say, "Well, why would I want to learn somebody else's alphabet?" "Son, you're not gonna invent any new letters in the alphabet, but if you do learn all of them and you can start creating words with them, well, last I looked, the Bible is written in the identical alphabet as all of my favorite pornography. At least you can make an informed choice." [Laughs] Which way is the porn store?
music  writing  songwriting  creativity  rock  language 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
The Indiepocalypse - Waxy.org
Artists of all kinds want to focus on making art, but not if it means giving up a large financial stake in their work, exclusive rights to their work, or a loss of creative control.
indie  music  future  art  creativity  money  copyright  culture  media 
february 2013 by allaboutgeorge
The neuroscience of Bob Dylan's genius | Music | The Guardian
Just look at poets, who often rely on literary forms with strict requirements, such as haikus and sonnets. At first glance, this writing method makes little sense, since the creative act then becomes much more difficult. Instead of composing freely, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints. Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they'll never invent an original line. They'll be stuck with clichés and conventions, with predictable adjectives and boring verbs. And this is why poetic forms are so important. When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits the iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process.
creativity  music  science  brain  dylan  poetry  writing  songwriting 
april 2012 by allaboutgeorge
A blow to black musical culture in Chicago - chicagotribune.com
"I think it would be an absolute disgrace. It would be a blot on the city itself."
music  from twitter
march 2012 by allaboutgeorge
Show Explores Spiritual Link Between African-American, Jewish Music | Music | English
"A history of a people is not measured by how much they suffer, but how they overcome suffering."
music  from twitter
february 2012 by allaboutgeorge
A Conversation With John Flansburgh And Jonathan Coulton | The Awl
k a lot of the performance aspect of what we do is about that sharp shock of just finding out that there are different levels of what’s going on. There’s a communal level, a literary level, a personal level. I feel like this kind of writing and performing at its best gets at something that’s normally found more in prose. Nobody reads a novel, and thinks, “The guy who wrote this must be a serial killer,” although maybe David Mamet has screwed that up. They know that the author is working to push ideas to extremes. We talk a lot about unreliable narrators and trying to push the point of view beyond just first person singular singer-songwriter stuff. It can be done. The popular song is not over. It’s not like all the good songs have been written and we’re just going to write some more because we like songs. There’s a future there. And if you really think about it, you can do some good stuff.
songwriting  music  beauty  rock  aesthetics  story 
august 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The Grid TO | The uncanny allure of couples who make music together
When a band involves romance, there’s also a certain voyeuristic thrill for the audienc
music  creativity  love  relationships  writing  rock  songwriting  indie 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The authenticity trap - Music News: Artists. Songs. Videos - Salon.com
Art, unfortunately, doesn’t always function that way -- there is no vacuum. Authenticity does matter to fans, even when they’re smart enough to know better, and especially when it’s difficult to pinpoint why. We want to see real blood in exchange for our devotion, every time. The human reaction to music can be so crippling -- who hasn’t accidentally started whimpering in a drugstore, huddled and vulnerable by the cough drops, when a sappy ballad seeps out of the overhead speakers? -- that we need to believe the artist in question, the instigator, felt that pain, too. It becomes a question of solidarity, and to crack that trust -- to fake it -- feels like a smirking betrayal. And we feel stupid for believing so deeply.
art  creativity  reputation  music  death 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The trials of St Antony | Music | The Observer
"I don't have a relationship with my fans," he says. "I feel I am in dialogue with culture generally. I have a relationship with the work; they have a relationship with the work. It doesn't mean that we have a relationship."
fandom  music 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The Sunday Conversation: Barry Manilow - latimes.com
So I was surprised to learn that you wrote the music for "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there."

I wrote a lot of those in those days.

That's probably your biggest hit. Do you still get royalties on that?

I got $500. They buy you out. And in those days I was happy to get the $500.
songwriting  music  business  pop  marketing 
july 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Everything is a Remix Part 3 | Everything Is a Remix
For instance, all artists spend their formative years producing derivative work.

Bob Dylan’s first album contained eleven cover songs.

Richard Pryor began his stand-up career doing a not-very-good imitation of Bill Cosby.

And Hunter S. Thompson re-typed The Great Gatsby just to get the feel of writing a great novel.

Nobody starts out original. We need copying to build a foundation of knowledge and understanding. And after that… things can get interesting.

After we’ve grounded ourselves in the fundamentals through copying, it’s then possible to create something new through transformation. Taking an idea and creating variations. This is time-consuming tinkering but it can eventually produce a breakthrough.
attention  curation  music  art  creativity 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Duncan Sheik Uncovers Hope For The '80s : The Record : NPR
For musicians, mining the 1980s has proven very fruitful on a sonic and stylistic level. Synth-pop's colonization of indie rock during the past decade occurred partly because of technology; making electronic music is now such an accessible and self-contained process that going the rock band route seems almost ecologically unsound.

I also wonder if youthful fans of synth pop and New Wave style are looking for ways to be expressive but not overly earnest. To be a party person is to create a safe space for individual liberation and experimentation, and the 1980s model of a party person — crazily clothed, like some kind of exotic bird or Muppet — seems exceptionally well guarded from the risk of being taken too seriously.
1980s  music  pop  memory  songwriting  art  technology  electronica 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Clarence Clemons, Much More Than Springsteen’s Sideman - NYTimes.com
Of course Mr. Clemons was the band’s abiding African-American musician, who kept the E Street Band multiracial after the early departure of a keyboardist, David Sancious, also African-American. Along with the sound his saxophone brought to the songs — of soul and R&B, of urban sophistication and wildness — Mr. Clemons’s imposing figure declared that the E Street Band was sharing rock ’n’ roll’s black heritage, not plundering it. In America’s long, vexed cultural history of race, his bond with Mr. Springsteen made Mr. Clemons a symbol of unity and reconciliation.
rock  music  race  1970s  obituaries  newjersey  r&b 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Clarence Clemons, E Street Band Saxophonist, Dies at 69 - NYTimes.com
He was older than Mr. Springsteen and most of his future band mates, and he often commented on the oddity — even the liability — of being a racially integrated group in those days.

“You had your black bands and you had your white bands,” he wrote in his memoir, “and if you mixed the two you found less places to play.”
race  music  rock  1970s  obituaries 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
The Boss, the Big Man, and the Best Rock Song of the '70s < PopMatters
From the languid, strings and piano introduction to the gradual build-up (“As secret debts are paid / Contacts made, they vanish unseen), to the guitar solo (3.00 - 3.27), the tension, at once joyous and foreboding, builds and then, instead of crashing, it crests. Enter Clemons at 3.54: the solo. It is extended, totally in charge and almost indescribably affecting. He wails, establishes a groove and then (right around the 5.43 mark) goes to that other place. Finally, just as the strings and piano take over, that last gasp, like a light going out or a life being saved. It is his moment, and in addition to being the best thing he ever did, it ranks as one of the best things anyone has done in a rock song.
music  songwriting  rock  1970s  beauty 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
New author Clemons sees no end for the E Street Band < PopMatters
"It's sad to see these old buildings go because they have so many memories, and it's a real personal kind of thing when you play these places. It's part of our history just gone.
"But we're just creating new history in new places."
obituaries  books  biography  music  rock  philadelphia 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
“The atomic element is the story”: This American Life navigates a future that goes beyond broadcast » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism
“I’ll tweet out a link to our blog,” he said, “and I’ll get responses from people clearly on their phones…saying, ‘The audio is garbled on my random cellphone!’ People are just getting to a point where they expect everything to work on handheld devices.”
radio  technology  mobile  music  story  data  audio  google  audience  chicago 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Berry Gordy Jr. | What's Going On | When Marvin Gaye Broke Pattern | Cultural Conversation by Marc Myers - WSJ.com
Interestingly, two of the most singular aspects of "What's Going On" that were extended to the album began as errors. The opening alto-sax solo by Eli Fontaine actually was a warm-up phrase for an overdub that Gaye decided to keep. And Gaye's harmonized duets with himself occurred when Ken Sands, the engineer, accidentally played back two of his vocal versions on one mono tape.
music  r&b  pop  rock  songwriting 
june 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Kind of Blue | Feature | Oakland, Berkeley & Bay Area News & Arts Coverage
Of course, the Bay Area will never be able to rival New York, if only because of sheer density. With 7 million residents, New York can sustain countless venues that stay open late. Few people have cars. Everything is laid out specifically to generate a vibrant nightlife scene.

In the Bay Area we have sprawl, a lower population density, and a subway system that shuts down at midnight. No matter how much lip service we pay to the idea of nightlife — in any form, not just jazz — we're topographically set up to inhibit it.
jazz  music  livemusic  bayarea  nyc 
may 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Interviews: tUnE-yArDs
What brings it into a new light in this album is moving to Oakland. In Montreal, I got away with living in a pretty idyllic state with other Anglo musicians. It was a small city with a really warm environment for being a young artist and then I come to Oakland and there's a new kind of fear I have walking around. You've got to watch your back. It reminded me of how my dad used to talk about New York in the 1970s. Gunshots and muggings-- that happens a lot around here. It threw my awareness of what the state is right now back in my face. I never want to be a political songwriter; I don't want to tell people what my opinions are. And writing from a character's point of view is a way that I employ to understand that view. To get the personal story rather than "I believe this and so should you." You get to the humanity of a riot or a shooting or whatever it's about. There's a visceral connection rather than an overarching personal sense.
Oakland  music  songwriting  power  politics 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Interviews: TV on the Radio
Pitchfork: People say the protest song is dead, but maybe it's just not as specific anymore.

TA: Yeah, it's not like historical documentary-- you have to be a really talented writer if you're trying to encapsulate a news story with a song and have it live after the event. I don't have the focus to do that, really.

Pitchfork: But would you want to?

TA: Not particularly. My feelings aren't as concrete or based in time. Like, any human being oppressing another human being-- I don't care who it is-- I'm not for that.

KM: You could write a song called "I'm Not for That". [laughs]

TA: Like a 22-minute song of things I'm not for-- [sings in country voice] "I don't like my pizza in a personal pan." [laughs]

KM: [sings] "Don't take me back to Vietnam."

TA: [sings] "I'm not for that." It's great! Liquid gold!
songwriting  rock  indie  politics  music 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #38
Music's digital availability means we're currently in a happy position where our distance from the Milton Point is utterly apparent: the past is too big for anyone to get much of a handle on it. It's easy to think of history-- of pop or anything else-- as a kind of map, whose final bits of terra incognita are now being glumly filled in. But there's a better way of thinking about history-- as a network, scaling up in complexity as more and more nodes are added and more pieces of information link to one another.
music  criticism  writing  history  attention  mapping  technology 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Richard Thompson – I don’t think there are rules « Americana and Roots Music - No Depression
The thing is not to be satisfied with the style of the folksinger sort of singer-songwriter; to come out and push the limits of what you can do to accompany yourself as a singer, on the guitar.
There can be something kind of seductive about somebody who’s very introverted onstage, who stares at those shoes, strums, doesn’t say very much — and draws you into their world. I think that can work, in terms of performance, though it’s not the right way for me. I was nervous onstage, and didn’t want to be standing there looking nervous, so I figured I’d use some bluster, use the personalities of a couple of male friends of mine…
ND: Would you like to name names?
RT: Uh — no! They were a couple of loud bass players who shout in restaurants. I decided to be loud onstage, tell jokes between numbers, so if the songs were kind of quiet and introverted, there’d be some contrast. I could put the audience a little off-balance; they wouldn’t know what to expect.
music  livemusic  songwriting 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Steve Reich revisits tragedy with 'WTC 9/11'
The three-movement piece opens with a violin drone in F, the note a phone makes when left off the hook. The strings then amplify recorded voices, edited to evocative sentences. They include the voice of the first ambulance driver to arrive at the World Trade Center and an air traffic controller who rhythmically utters, "No contact with the pilot, no contact with the pilot whatsoever."

Reich acquired the voices of emergency officials from public-domain sources. He also made recordings of those who lived near the World Trade Center, including his son's neighbor, who eerily states in the piece, "Suddenly it was black outside."
classicalmusic  classical  music  songwriting  wtc  september11  nyc 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Juan Maclean LCD Soundsystem - The Juan Maclean on James Murphy Influence - Esquire
I know he's definitely continuing DJing, for sure. And I imagine making twelve-inches again. My sense is that he wants to be a sort of David Byrne or Brian Eno character, without the sort of burden of making albums and touring that being in LCD brings with it. Now he can just do whatever he wants. If he wants to make some weird ambient album that he records in Africa, he can do it.
music  lcd  nyc 
april 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Rob Sheffield's Eighties Odyssey | Rolling Stone Music
That pretty much sums up the Eighties to me, and I think that's why people still gravitate towards that period, when people were so open-eared and experimental. It's a sense that these boundaries had been crashed down by artists like Michael Jackson or Duran Duran or Grandmaster Flash. There was a sense that rock could be influenced by disco and hip-hop could be influenced by pop. There was this really kind of glorious moment where every station that was playing the Human League and the Clash was also playing the Pointer Sisters and Marvin Gaye. I thought that was going to be the future from now on.
music  1980s  radio  pop  rock  books  nonfiction 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Urge to Own That Clapton Guitar Is Contagious, Scientists Find - NYTimes.com
The most important factor seemed to be the degree of “celebrity contagion.” The Yale team found that a sweater owned by a popular celebrity became more valuable to people if they learned it had actually been worn by their idol. But if the sweater had subsequently been cleaned and sterilized, it seemed less valuable to the fans, apparently because the celebrity’s essence had somehow been removed.

“Our results suggest that physical contact with a celebrity boosts the value of an object, so people will pay extra for a guitar that Eric Clapton played, or even held in his hands,” said Paul Bloom, who did the experiments at Yale along with George E. Newman and Gil Diesendruck.
celebrity  music  rock  behavior  science  economics  money  design 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
High on the Stones by Dan Chiasson | The New York Review of Books
I am not making an original point, but it cannot be reiterated enough: the experience of making and taking in culture is now, for the first time in human history, a condition of almost paralyzing overabundance. For millennia it was a condition of scarcity; and all the ways we regard things we want but cannot have, in those faraway days, stood between people and the art or music they needed to have: yearning, craving, imagining the absent object so fully that when the real thing appears in your hands, it almost doesn’t match up. Nobody will ever again experience what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger experienced in Dartford, scrounging for blues records. The Rolling Stones do not happen in any other context: they were a band based on craving, impersonation, tribute: white guys from England who worshiped black blues and later, to a lesser extent, country, reggae, disco, and rap.
culture  culturalstudies  memoir  writing  nonfiction  books  music  rock  blues  youtube  social 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Adele: 'I want to discover my own sound' - Telegraph
“Country was never part of my life growing up but I really liked the storytelling. Contemporary records can take three minutes to get to the point, and sometimes you don’t know what the song was about even when its finished. Whereas in the first 20 seconds of a country song you know exactly what’s going on.

“I found it easy to imagine myself in those situations and kind of pick an old memory of mine and think about it as I listened. I like the feel, it’s quite euphoric and triumphant-sounding but also really dangerous and bitter. It’s more emotional than pop music, as emotional as the soul singers I enjoyed from when I was little. I really like Wanda Jackson, who’s more rockabilly, but she’s got this bit of grit in her voice, she’s like a bitch! I love it!”
country  songwriting  music  usa  writing  creativity  travel 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
New Music From Adele, Lucinda Williams and Cuong Vu - NYTimes.com
“I know I have a fickle heart, and a bitterness/And a wandering eye, and a heaviness in my head,” she sings, more declarative than regretful. But then comes the moan. “Don’t you remember,” she asks — stretching that last word out over a few seconds and many more syllables — “the reason you loved me before” — on those last two words, more seconds, more syllables. But like a responsible repository of style history, Adele never truly unravels, tying the sentiment together with a bow: “Baby, please remember me once more.”
songwriting  music 
march 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Trent Reznor: 'I Am Truly Stunned' to Win an Oscar - The Hollywood Reporter
“The only immediate direction he gave us was that there be no orchestra, be similar to Bladerunner -- inhabit the same iconic quality -- but not sound dated. It was definitely difficult to score for a bunch of people talking in rooms. There were no landscapes, or battles scenes. It wasn’t obvious to us what shape it would have."
music  movies  film  oscars  creativity 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Reflections of a Newsosaur: iTunes subscriptions won’t stop free news
The best a publisher can hope to do with iTunes or any other system is to capture payments from the relatively small number of individuals who are too busy, too oblivious or too ethical to pay for content instead of scrounging it for free.

This is not to say newspapers and other publishers don’t deserve to be compensated for the investment they make in reporting the news. But the reality that publishers have to accept is that the marketplace is bigger than they are.
music  news  itunes  apple  media  journalism  newspapers  business  technology  free 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Reflections of a Newsosaur: Mobilizing for mobile before it's too late
1. People use mobile devices to find information, get directions, check prices, play games, listen to music, and, yes, sometimes even surf the news. Because consumers are not passive, successful apps must be engaging and transactional.

2. Mobile devices don't just put the user in control; they also enrich the experience by knowing exactly where consumers are - and, in the case of many apps, exactly who they are. Accordingly, successful apps must be customizable and geographically aware.

3. Community and self-expression are as elemental to the digital experience as the information the media dispense or the transactions they enable. Successful apps foster community and enable user control.
mobile  media  journalism  technology  apple  android  local  location  community  creativity  music 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Happy 50th, Henry Rollins < PopMatters
“There’s nothing bad about it. And with the rest you just have to have some humor. Your hair is grey and there are lines on your face. You look at women and say, ‘Wow.’ But wait, they’re half my age. There are all these things that you have to say to yourself, ‘that’s not an option anymore.’ And you have to laugh at it and say, ‘rumble young man, rumble,’” quoting Muhammad Ali.

He continues, “And so if anything turning 50 has been good in that it gets me up and gets me down the road with way more urgency than I had when I was 20. When I was 20 you couldn’t tell me anything. I said, ‘I’m 20 and I need nothing. I can live on nothing and the world is my oyster.’ Now I’m older and I have more of a grip. There is something at stake and I have a few more laps around the track and then I’m out. So, I might as well make as much trouble as I can before I go. And for me that’s all the motivation I need.”
aging  rock  men  music  radio  kcrw 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
How and Why Every Song Can Be an App | Epicenter | Wired.com
For reviewers with permission from a band, label or publicist to build an app around a song, things get potentially even more interesting. I’ve been wondering whether app integration might be able to save music journalism by allowing people to listen to music as they read its latest reviews on their mobile devices, and from the looks of things, Songpier (or something else like it) will make that happen as well, rendering the act of writing about music far more accurate than dancing about architecture, as the saying goes.
music  songwriting  technology  mobile  html  creativity  software  business  mp3 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Aaron Novik's Floating World | Music | Oakland, Berkeley & the Bay Area
Novik sees Adobe Bookshop as part of the album's genesis. It is, after all, one of the only places where Swan can stand outside all day and hand out leaflets that promote drug legalization, and talk about pigeon feeding as though it were a sanctified act. Novik bemoaned the store's current financial woes, which are more a function of the digital age and the bad economy than a decline in customer loyalty. A guy at a nearby table overheard.

"In '89, I used to live in the back of Adobe," the stranger said, sauntering over to Novik's table. He was dressed like a highly literate hobo, with thick glasses and a page-boy haircut. He started waxing nostalgic. "It's one of the last places that just is some sweet old coot with his style of business," the man said. "It's not maximized for anything." He paused a beat. "It's like San Francisco is so transitory, and then he's got this old-style, bohemian, urban thing. And that's all been bred out of San Francisco pretty solidly."
music  classicalmusic  classical  art  creativity  missiondistrict  sanfrancisco 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #35
The provisional quality of choices is a hot topic in a world where design and services are highly iterative. Facebook has become something close to a global constant by continually changing and tweaking its service based on the real-time user data it receives-- a giant ongoing experiment in the kind of cybernetics which so fascinated Eno in the 70s. The simultaneous rise of the app as a software delivery system pushes this idea further out into consumer culture. People get used to the software they buy as iterative-- subject to continuous tinkering, upgrades, and improvements. And as that becomes the norm in one area of culture, it changes expectations everywhere else. Again, it's not unfinished-- you expect Facebook, or an app-- to work. But it's unfixed-- you don't expect it to stay the same for long.
technology  music  attention  facebook  social  business  software  design 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Suicide Demo for Kara Walker | Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good: Making It 1997 Again Through Science Or Magic
Much has been said about the album’s vintage 80’s sound (referred to as soft-rock, smooth jazz, or “ambient disco” depending on who you’re talking to) but I find it amazing how Bejar has taken a style of music that is easily laughed off and used it as the medium for his most ravishing work. The album strikes a balance of being faithful to the sound, with it’s palette of airy synths, extravagant woodwinds and soulful back-up singers, and creating something entirely new that’s both whimsical and stunning.
music  indie  rock  canada  songwriting 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Destroyer: Kaputt
The production and arrangements evoke a narrow window of time-- sometime between, say, 1977 and 1984, or between Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" and Sade's Diamond Life with stops along the way for Roxy Music's Avalon and Steely Dan's Gaucho. It slides between soft rock, smooth jazz, and new romantic pop. The bass is fretless; the synths have the blocky contrast of a Nagel painting; there are heavily reverbed trumpets and saxophones that almost serve as a Greek chorus, trilling away at the end of every line to enforce the beautiful plasticity of these songs.
music  canada  songwriting  rock  indie  creativity 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Charlie Louvin, Country Singer, Dies at 83 - NYTimes.com
“When it comes time for the harmonies to come in, I will move to my left because my brother and I always used ... one microphone,” he said of performing solo. “Even today, I will move over to the left to give the harmony room, knowing in my mind that there’s no harmony standing on my right.”
family  music  country  obituaries  death 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Album review: Destroyer's 'Kaputt' | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times
When there’s such a vast palette of noises represented, it questions the very ideas of good and bad, and how much they are tempered by context, trends and generational bias.

For those who were fully functioning adults in the '80s, some of these songs might bring back bad memories of Kenny G commercials on TV. For those who were still kids or barely in existence, these sounds still hold some sort of exotic quality, the lost, sentimental history of crappy radio. At their worst, the songs can suffer from a strange inertia, stillborn in their own lathery bath.
music  rock  indie  reviews  canada 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Bobby Robinson, Harlem Music Impresario, Dies at 93 - NYTimes.com
"I record things that touch me. And I try to record them pure, 100 percent, no water added."
music  Harlem  from twitter
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Butch Morris and Jen Shyu at Winter Jazzfest - Review - NYTimes.com
There is an audience for jazz, you know. Off the books, it’s bigger than you think. Sometimes the culture around it feels spread out and invisible, like pollen in the air.
jazz  music  concerts  nyc 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Breaking Down the DNA of a Hit Song - Speakeasy - WSJ
Going the way of long intros, at least in pop, is the ballad. In a field littered with thumping club tracks (see Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”) and mid-tempo “sex jams,” as Frank calls them, the top-selling ballad was “If I Die Young” by the young country act The Band Perry—which topped out at only No. 59. With only a handful of rock bands represented in the top 100, including Paramore and Neon Trees, rockers vying for crossover success should take cues from prevailing pop trends, Frank says: “Now is not the time to go esoteric or to go heavy. No power ballads, for sure.”

Murphy and Frank also delved into subject matter, breaking lyrics down into some thematic categories. In pop, Frank found that 21% of the top 100 sellers dealt with maneuvering someone into bed (typically from the dancefloor); testifying about love was less common (17%); followed by falling out of love (16%), partying (16%) and sheer boasting (9%).
songwriting  pop  music  writing  attention  research 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Singer tackles gay bashing, suicide in new video
"I think many musicians separate themselves from what they're actually going through in real life for fear of being judged for, you know, what their political views are (and) what they feel personally about things that are going on in the real world," she said. "Music for me is personal and that's the only way I know how to approach it."
music  gay  songwriting  suicide  video  art  creativity  identity  violence 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Kanye West - ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ - NYTimes.com
Welcome to 2011, a year that — once the last of the snow is scraped away — will bring new hope, the promise of renewal, a chance to wake up in a world in which Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is not the consensus pick for album of the year. [...]
attention  reputation  music  criticism  pop  hiphop  art  creativity  social  power 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
How The Stock Market Influences The Hot 100 Billboard Charts | Darwin vs The Machine
The higher the Dow Jones average, the more top songs are in a minor key. Booms are associated with slower music in a minor key while busts are associated with faster music in a major key. The higher the stock market, the lower the beats per minute. People use music to calm down in boom times and excite themselves during slumps. The strength of the relationship is too large to disregard. In the past, individuals in finance have used trends in music to try and predict the stock market. The relationship I have uncovered is significantly stronger.

This means that the stock market sets the mood, which primes us with regards to what music we listen to- not vice-versa.
music  pop  business  research 
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
Our New Band Of The Day 2010 playlist | Music | guardian.co.uk
RT : Listening to Paul Lester's New Band 2010 playlist. Conclusion: 2010 the year of the spooOOooOoky echo
music  from twitter
january 2011 by allaboutgeorge
An Interview with Jimmy Webb - Americana and roots music - No Depression
I listened very carefully. And my conclusion was that a new age was upon us and that you would either adapt or you would essentially be back-burnered. You would recede in importance unless you at least made the attempt to get on the train and become a singer/songwriter. I wasn’t very successful at it, but I sure as hell gave it a good try.
songwriting  music  rock  writing  creativity 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Anil Prasad: Inner Views, Borderless Perspectives
I find it interesting when musicians say "I'm waiting to see how this thing shakes out, because we don't know where the future of the music industry is going." Frankly, the future is now. The model has been established. It's here, so deal with it [laughter]. It's a hybrid model; we have the iTunes/Amazon MP3 world, we have the other download sources and aggregators, we have streaming, and there's still the hard copy universe of the CD and LP, including the world of the "super-deluxe" physical package. There's also fan-funding, the pay-what-you-want model, and artists just giving away music in order to promote live performances or merchandise.

To make a success out of a release, musicians need to approach a combination of multiple vehicles in a synergistic way. All this conjecture about the future of the music industry is very tiring to me. Let's talk about what's real right this minute instead. I think it's going to stay this way for a long time to come.
music  art  creativity  diy  business  itunes  amazon 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
The Songs They Carried: Music at War - Americana and roots music - No Depression
As personal technology spread into the field alongside military technology, soldiers blast into earbuds what they previously would have shared with comrades on Vietnam-era 45s and radio, and Gulf War I-era cassette Walkmen hooked to PAs. While decreasing fighting in the barracks about what music to play, Ricks does worry about unit cohesiveness, because the battlefield is "the loneliest place on earth... you don't want soldiers feeling alone, you want a group feeling." The fractured music landscape created by personal technology doesn't the create the opportunity for group feelings, just as our professional, volunteer military reduces shared experiences between soldier and civilian.
war  military  music  technology  psychology  attention 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
At 25, Turtle Island Quartet turns back to Hendrix
"Sometimes you want to take a piece and really reinvent it. But this is music that I loved as a kid, and it was holy ground to me. I didn't want to undo it, I wanted to just be it. Hendrix was layering lines on top of each other, overdubbing them into a soundscape. It was perfect for a string quartet."
classical  classicalmusic  jazz  livemusic  sanfrancisco  rock  music  songwriting  beauty 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Lefsetz Letter " Blog Archive " Smodcastle Redux, Starf***ing ...
We’re all trying to get along.  And it’s art that keeps us going.  Imperfect people telling imperfect stories.  Those we can relate to.  Shiny is for Hollywood.  Shiny is a force field that you just can’t penetrate, which is why so many are rejecting the mainstream and digging down into the niches, because burrowed beneath the bullshit is where the real people live.
art  creativity  podcasting  music  interviews  story  hollywood 
december 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Pitchfork: Why We Fight: Why We Fight #8
We can probably spend a minute thinking about all the things that might be lost without the model of the album as a coherent statement-- the same way we can worry about what happens if people rarely sit down for deep, focused engagement with something like a book. But you can't really deny that this ongoing-stream version of following music is a good match for how people experience life and consume information. It's actually the same vantage on pop music that's always been held-- by radio listeners, party regulars, mixtape shoppers, pop-chart followers, folks everywhere. Packets and bursts and narratives.
business  celebrity  hiphop  music  pop  attention  story  radio  life  information  books  presence 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Interview: Kathleen Hanna on The Raincoats and Building an Archive « The FADER
It’s not so much about nostalgia, it’s about leaving a record so that people can view things in the future. I think of punk rock as more of an idea than a genre, and I don’t see it as antithetical to the notion of building on things. I didn’t have a grandma who like, left me a trunk full of shit. I always wanted to leave that trunk full of shit for someone else, you know? Feminism created a family structure for me.
music  history  academia  rock  activism  women  feminism  power  family 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Kanye West Releases My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Develops New Side Businesses - The Daily Beast
"There aren’t a hundred brands interested in Kanye like they are Jay-Z. The partners that are interested in him are niche and select. But that’s not a bad thing. He can position himself with brands as exactly what he is, which is a curator of high-end lifestyle products. Instead of being a mile wide and an inch deep, his strategy is to be an inch wide and a mile deep."
hiphop  marketing  business  fashion  music  songwriting 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Paris Review – The Tao of Prince, Dan Piepenbring
Take “Raspberry Beret" [...] Peopled by such rural mainstays as Mr. McGee (the hardnosed boss of a five-and-dime) and Old Man Johnson (a farmer, of course), the song testifies to the bucolic joys of “doing something close to nothing,” shirking workaday life, and having a literal romp in the hay. All’s well and good until this arcadia is interrupted by another form of pastoral, the elegy. It creeps in with the beautiful, obscure line “Overcast days never turned me on, but something ’bout the clouds and her mixed.” Then comes a quiet reference to lost youth: He “wouldn’t change a stroke … with a girl as fine as she was then.” The last line brings a full-on lament, as Prince sings, “Tell me, where have all the raspberry women gone?” We could argue all day about what a raspberry woman is—for my money, it’s got nothing to do with fruit—and this is Prince’s inscrutable charm. Having lured us in with a frothy romance, he ends by mourning something we can’t even fully understand.
songwriting  prince  1980s  music  rock  writing  death  love  sex 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Henryk Gorecki, Polish Composer of Hit Symphony, Dies at 76 - NYTimes.com
“I think about my audience, but I am not writing for them. If I were thinking of my audience and one likes this, one likes that, one likes another thing, I would never know what to write. Let every listener choose that which interests him. I have nothing against one person liking Mozart or Shostakovich or Leonard Bernstein, but doesn’t like Gorecki. That’s fine with me. I, too, like certain things.”
attention  identity  creativity  aesthetics  classical  music  classicalmusic 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
John Doe – Wolf at the door « Americana and Roots Music - No Depression
“So that’s what I aspire to. Having a few of those moments now and then. As you sing more, I find that you’re able to appreciate it more, and you’re able to put yourself in a totally open space so you’re not mentally trying to do something. You’re just letting it happen, which is great. Then you can find those moments, when it’s just happening. It’s not something you can do easily or by will. You just get into it.”
music  songwriting  attention  beauty 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
Imagine if Mick Jagger responded to Keith Richards about his new autobiography. - By Bill Wyman - Slate Magazine
It's about rock 'n' roll, of course, and playing guitar, and his tenure, and mine, in our unusual coalition. It's also about heroin and everything else he can't stop ingesting. But again it's about Keith himself, who once started never did stop—through the fame, the songs, the concerts and the women and the drugs; and the violence and senselessness, the addictions and the deaths, the ruined lives, the petty and large-scale cruelties. At the end Keith got Wayne Shorter to do a sax solo that is itself almost an out-of-body experience, perhaps the loveliest moment on one of our records. It goes on and on over the last two minutes of a very long track, and the end is almost a … an exaltation, perhaps? I am lost there. It's something I'm not sure I ever saw evidenced in real life, and something that isn't in his book. It's the sound—or at least the closest thing Keith Richards will ever admit to it—of a conscience.
music  books  humor  life  rock 
november 2010 by allaboutgeorge
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