20 March 2007

Math Metal: Textures

I found this cool math metal band, Textures. Elements of Meshuggah, Dream Theater, Pantera, Converge.

Formed in 2001, TEXTURES – Jacobs, guitarist Bart Hennephof, drummer Stef Broks, bassist Dennis Aarts, synth maestro Richard Rietdijk and then vocalist Pieter Verpaalen – decided that the only way to truly capture their musical manifesto was to tackle every element of creating an album themselves – from production through to artwork.

Kill the Pimps

Here's a great summary of why the current middlemen between musicians and listeners are deservedly doomed: "How I Became a Music Pirate".

As dubious as it is to denigrate music sharers as "pirates", it's just as goofy to adopt it as a term of pride (ironic or otherwise). Technology, ethics, law, and business models are crazy unaligned right now, but "pirate", even as a denial, allows the moribund middlemen the rhetorical floor. There's nothing wrong with trying before you buy or sharing with friends. Like it? Be honest and buy the t-shirt, go to the show, subscribe to eMusic and (re-)download it, give the musician free advertising on your blog. But whatever you do, kill the pimps!

Currently listening to: "Tabula Rasa: Silentium" and "Collage über Bach: Toccata" by Arvo Pärt. The "Sarabande" is heavy as hell!@$#

Kris Delmhorst Live in San Francisco, 24 March

I met the very cool Kris Delmhorst the other day when I sold her one of my guitar amplifiers. She's playing at the Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco this Saturday, 24 March, with Ana Egge.

Kris Delmhorst at eMusic, and sample song "Weathervane".

18 March 2007

Cory Doctorow on the Affordances of Networked Computers

Cory has a new article explaining that it's not the low resolution of screens that keep us from reading e-books, rather it's the nature of the computer (and its applications) that the screen is hooked up to:

A super-sharp, super-portable screen would be used to read all day long, but most of us won't spend most of our time reading anything recognizable as a book on them.

Take the record album. Everything about it is technologically pre-determined. The technology of the LP demanded artwork to differentiate one package from the next. The length was set by the groove density of the pressing plants and playback apparatus. The dynamic range likewise. These factors gave us the idea of the 40-to-60-minute package, split into two acts, with accompanying artwork. Musicians were encouraged to create works that would be enjoyed as a unitary whole for a protracted period — think of Dark Side of the Moon, or Sgt. Pepper's.

No one thinks about albums today. Music is now divisible to the single, as represented by an individual MP3, and then subdivisible into snippets like ringtones and samples. When recording artists demand that their works be considered as a whole — like when Radiohead insisted that the iTunes Music Store sell their whole album as a single, indivisible file that you would have to listen to all the way through — they sound like cranky throwbacks.


The problem, then, isn't that screens aren't sharp enough to read novels off of. The problem is that novels aren't screeny enough to warrant protracted, regular reading on screens.

I'd try to rebut Cory, because I do think he's wrong, but I wrote this post halfway through reading his article and edited it while watching a movie.

12 March 2007

Sun Ra on David Sanborn's TV show in 1990

Al Vorse sends us this delightful morsel: "A defining moment for me as a kid."

Top 10 Corporate Moments in Rock

It's hard to order these by importance or egregiousness or flabbergastage or whatev, because they are all so brutally heinous. For me, the John Fogerty and DJ Dangermouse episodes are particularly septic. Since I used to work for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, you might expect me to be the most pissed about the Sony rootkit fiasco. But that was really just a particularly naked example of the sloth and contempt for fans the record companies are founded on -- and as such, mostly just funny.