Music

Hey Wonderful


First post in months – new design (well initial design) – and content should be flowing again… Besides the holiday stress, I’m still feeling wonderful:

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Theophilus London – Hey Wonderful

Culture

Veins on the Roof

This summer there was a Roxy Paine exhibit on the roof of the MET called: Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom I’ll go to the MET about once a month and check out the latest exhibits and photography shows, however, during the summer it might be more often. Usually the extra trips are excuses to use the bathroom and grab a cocktail or beer on the roof over looking Central Park. Besides Columbus Circle (which is completely indoors) I don’t know of any public spots you can get to for free (donation) to enjoy the outdoor view of the park on a summer day.

Day 27: Veins in the Sky

I’ve loosely been trying to keep up with “what’s next” in house music. It was tough enough as a buyer of music when I worked at a record store in college, but being way on the outside of the music edge it’s just a mountainous task to keep up with what’s hot. What I’ve been reading and hearing though is Tech House, minimal, some funk, and dub step will be coming up big in 2010. I don’t know trends but I do know Lady Packa. She’s an award winning breaks DJ from Spain and easy on the eyes as well (which I’ve written on here before, may partially explain the awards). Check out some of her tracks and mixes on Sound Cloud and here’s a Maelstrom mix to match my post:

Lady Packa – Sara’s Night (Maelstrom Dubstep Remix)

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Music

Happy 75th Elvis

I don’t have an appropriate Elvis pic for his birthday however, a quick story. I was shopping Wed. for my mum’s birthday this month at a specialty card shop in the west village that was closing down. Apparently calendars and cards don’t pay the rent any more in Bloomberg’s Manhattan, so they were closing shop and moving to Brooklyn.

I was going through all the unique stationary: embroidered, unicorns, and special typewriter fonts for the 60 year old news paper reporter. There was 20-50% off everything but even at those discounts it was really all crap. I hate to buy something superficial and just couldn’t find anything with a persona connection.

Some would say a spiritual sign, others would say the laws of gravity, but as I accidentally kicked the bottom shelf of the calendars, a stack of black and white photos fell on my Timberlands. The twenty or so photos were all of Elvis Presley in his prime, staring up at me with blue discount stickers. I’m a fan since my college days but since I was on my mission to shop for someone else, not myself, I passed on the purchase. I realize now that Thursday is Elvis’s birthday so I’ve put a few of my favorite quotes of his together and a tribute to him as well:

Elvis Presley – My Way

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“After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake.”

“I knew by heart all the dialogue of James Dean’s films; I could watch Rebel Without a Cause a hundred times over. ”

“I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.”

“I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line. ”

“Man, I really like Vegas.”

“Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over. ”

“The closest I ever came to getting married was just before I started singing. In fact, my first record saved my neck. ”

“The colored folks been singing it and playing it just like I’m doin’ now, man, for more years than I know. I got it from them. ”

“Those movies sure got me into a rut. ”

“When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.”

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Music

Will Technology Lead to a Better Future or Just…

Technology is a part of everyones lives, now more so than ever. I never thought I would see the day that my mother got an iPhone before I would (or some other “cool” smart phone device – I’m still using a cracked Blackberry as shown below). 2010 is said to be the year we further our lives with tech and become more mobile, use more web based services (cloud computing), and demand that everything we do occur immediately (real time) and more locally defined (Geo tagging and local search).

2010 will drive people to use internet services more extensively than every before – we already are storing and sharing our photos and videos online (Flickr, Picasa, Smugmug, Fotki, YouTube etc.), email is primarily web based outside of corporate, we share thoughts and comments with friends through social networks (Facebook) and content services like Twitter, listen to our music on the web (Pandora Lala.com), we shop more online today and all our financing goes to online rather than physical bothering with physical bank runs or working with actual brokers. These trends will continue.

2009 saw the death of clunky desktops but soon we’ll be looking to build our own server networks at home using small dumb access points like netbooks or our smart phones to connect to the internet. Internet, and more specifically wireless, will become standard plumbing of our lives. No longer a luxury, we’ll be connected more than ever by not only our PCs but our phones (MagicJack, Google Voice, Skype, Gizmo), gaming consoles, book readers, HDTVs (Roku, Sling box, Boxee, Netflix etc.) and other smart kitchen or home appliances. Thanks to new operating systems (Window 7 & Chrome OS) and the expansion of high speed Internet services (FiOS and AT&T U-verse) we are free to roam and implement these tools of our life more freely.

There’s a lot of talk about the Tablet making it’s presence known this year and I hope that’s true. Either it be Apple, Google (Android), Lenovo, or HP, it remains to be seen if these devices will live up to their hype.

However, the big question every year will all this tech help to make my life more easier, organized, and connected or will I be spending too much money for more complicated ways of doing simple tasks (e-readers, news delivery, making a phone call). With so much openness and our information freely available over unsecured wireless connections, will we see an increase in malware and security breaches of our finances and personal identities. The Federal government is already being proactive in warning Small Business owners to take note and with the introduction of all new technology, we should all take our time with these steps and understand fully the repercussions and risks before trying to take advantage of the rewards.

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Mariah Carey had Billboard’s hottest played song of the decade with “We Belong Together”. Honestly I can’t say that I have even heard this song, but then again, I don’t listen to the radio anymore – Last.fm, Pandora, or my own vinyl and mp3 collection are my formates of choice. I realize this label is based on radio impressions which is an industry term for saying these are the tracks records labels paid heavily to have played on the airways, and thus force feed to the consumer to buy, download, play and then throw up all over in 3 months. Of the 10 listed, I can still handle Usher’s Yeah! (but I will always have my NOLA memories of Flo-Rider’s Low).

Usher Featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris – Yeah!

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Although my Last.fm profile would say that Santogold was my artist of choice for the year, Last didn’t scrobe every play I made over the year and I think a few of the old ladies plays got integrated here (come on, I’m not that big of an Édith Piaf fan). Also on top of my Last.fm list is Thievery Corporation’s Mandala, which did have heavy rotation this last year in my iPod and I attented at least one of their live shows in 2009. Thievery is one of the most ethnically diverse groups I’ve heard, playing sounds ranging from Indian (tabla), Caribbean, reggae, house and jazz funk – all of which come together nicely on their latest release Radio Retaliation. They definitely epitomize my eclectic tastes in all these musical stylings thrown together into a congruent progression that is my iTunes collection. Mandala is a sweet track and up there for my top 5 of the year even though it was released late in 2008:

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Entertainment

Clash’s collection of 100 Most Outrageous Music Quotes

keithFrom Clash Music, here’s their list of most outrageous 100 quotes for all time (up to this point) but I it should have been titled the most Pompous quotes of all time, as they give space for 11 of their 100 quotes to the Gallagher brothers of Oasis. Liam and weren’t outrageous but just pompous ass clowns; the only thing I will agree with them is Liam Gallagher stating: “You’ve seen one of our gigs, you’ve seen ’em all.” Amen to that brother… Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

“We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
Decca Records’ rejection letter to The Beatles, 1962.

“I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.”
Elvis Presley

“I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.”
Jimi Hendrix

“When I die, bury me on my stomach and let the world kiss my ass.”
L.L. Cool J

“When I first went to the Betty Ford Center I was very surprised they didn’t have a bar there… I thought they taught you how to drink like a gentleman.”
Ozzy Osbourne

“I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.”
Keith Richards

“I’m an instant star; just add water and stir.”
David Bowie

“As I get older my eyesight’s going bad, I don’t know what I’m in for [with groupies] until they come backstage and they’re very large with missing teeth.”
Nikki Sixx, Motley Crue

“Sometimes when I’m flying over the Alps I think, ‘That’s like all the cocaine I sniffed.’”
Elton John

“When you think about it, Adolf Hitler was the first pop star.”
David Bowie

And the most ridiculous quote (and I agree):
“Dance music was on its arse before we came along.”
Serge Pizzorno, Kasabian

BTW who the F is Serge and Kasabian, never heard of them…. honest and I’m a DJ of “dance music”.

Music

Burning Down the House

CBGBNO Covers!

That was Hilly Kristal’s primary rule for CBGB’s on Bowery and Bleeker in New York City. Replacing Hilly’s on the Bowery, CBGB & OMFUG (Country, Bluegrass, and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers) stood at 315 Bowery from its opening in December 1973 until it was closed on October 15, 2006. It was built as a venue for new and upcoming bands to the new york music scene, and ended up becoming the birth of American punk rock scene and was a jump off point for the careers of some of music history’s greatest bands and singers: Patti Smith Group, The Stillettoes (featuring Blondie’s Debbie Harrry), Blondie (under their original name of Angels & the Snakes) The Ramones, Mink DeVille, Talking Heads, Tuff Darts, The Shirts, The Heartbreakers, The Fleshtones and even the Police played here.

The Gorilla Biscuits, the Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, Reagan Youth, Warzone, and Youth of Today were all part of New York’s underground hardcore scene started at CBGB’s and kept the bar a float through the 80’s. In 2005, however, the Bowery Resident’s Committee had enough of Hilly and the CB’s crowd and worked to get them removed from the property without compromise. Succeeding in closing the venue for good on October 15, 2006.

I moved to NYC in 05, and never got a chance to experience a show in CBGB’s but I did participate in the ralleys and free shows in Washington Sq to help spread awareness and get support for keeping the venue open. I went last week to the Tribeca Film Festival and watched the only movie of the fest (for me): a documentary called ‘Burning Down the House” The Story of CBGB‘. The show was April 30th, and I had the opportunity after the show to hear a Q&A hosted by Matt Pinfield, with the director (Mandy Stein), Chris Frantz of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, Jesse Malin of Heart Attack and DGeneration, and Tommy Ramone of well… The Ramones.

Mandy Stein is the daughter of eymour Stein, president and co-founder of Sire Records, who launched the recording careers of the Ramones, Talking Heads, and The Pretenders, among many others so it made sense she get access to all the people featured in the making of this film.

I sat solo in the theater surrounded by guests, friends and participants of many of the two dimensional people portrayed or interviewed in the film. It was a good film, not great, by film standards, however, the heart of watching the progression of CBGBs from hole in the wall nothing to, punk glory, to hole in the wall franchise and finally demise was a roller coaster of intense laughs and tears from an audience that was there and lived again vicariously through the digital frames.

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The Ramones – Teenage Lobotomy

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Sick Of It All – “Take The Night Off”

Culture

How to start a dance party

I’ve been to many dance parties, clubs, shows and festivals so far and how people react in mass tends to very by location, genre of music and level of intoxication. There’s no doubt everyone reacts differently to music but I’ll say no matter who you are, there’s gonna be some tune out there that gets your foot tapin, head nodding or body rocking. Not everyone though has rhythm but that should never stop you from feeling the beat and moving to it.

I’ve danced by myself many times, typically when I go to hear good djs/bands, playing at douche bag venues where the look, style or vip of the scene is more important than the company you keep and the music that’s bumpin through the speakers. I’ve never let a bad scene deter me from getting down and I’ve certainly been the first on a dance floor early on in the night when the music encourages me.

Here’s a great vid of one guy, feelin it at the Sasquatch festival in OR and with a tipping point of 3 dancers, this becomes a field dance party:

Just Dance!

Music

French electro pop garners proper attention…from male eyes

French house and electro pop has always been associated (to me) with new disco and filtered funk 4/4 beats. I think my first French house track I bought and loved was Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” – which I still love and would play today. Later their Homework album opened the door to a short disco house era blown up by Stardust’s “Music sounds better without you”.

Today, my French house bag holds more of the deep house, trip hop and laid back tunes coming from artists like St. Germain, Laurent Garnier, Modjo, Air and Stephane Pompougnac, but I still keep in rotation tracks from Dimitri from Paris, Sabastien Lager, Bob Sinclar, Justice, and Rinôçérôse.

I just watched the video for “Baby Baby Baby” by Make The Girl Dance, a new French Pop group sure to break out this year with at least attention paid from the male audiences. Since I don’t read French (and have the time to dig-translate-report), the best I can understand from them is that they like to “make music to make the girls dance”. I and many men (and women) can get behind that:

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The video is more entertaining than the track (check the lyrics below), but it has potential to cross over to the US clubs and I hope there’s some good remixes that come out from this (Justice?).

I want to have Sebastien Tellier on my Ipod; I want your Mom’s Black AMEX; I want your dad’s car; I want to go out with your friends; I will wear my cutest panties; I want a hot sex session; You can look but you can’t touch.

I want to be in Justice top friends; Gaspard’s hand on my thigh; I want to be able to count without my fingers; And I want yours in the right spot; I don’t want to take the stairs; Carry me in your arms then; I want to be the only person on pictures; And I want to model for Yves Saint Laurent; I want geniuses as children; And I want my dog to graduate; I want your head on a tray; I want mine on TV.

I dont want a piece of cake, I just want blow; I dont want Kate, I want Ethan Hawke; I want to jump off of big ladder; do as you can for the rainbow; i want chocolate and vanilla flavoured ice cream; i want your balls to be blueberry flavoured; I want to dance like Vanessa Paradis; I want to see her boyfriend at Ibiza; I want to be asleep when you wake up; and I want Yelle’s tshirt; I want to fit in all my jeans; and I want you to make me presents with your pay check; I want ice cubes in my glass; I want to make your grandma smoke weed; I saw your stupid ex blah blah blah

Ah yes. Perfect for the NY Club scene girls at Cain Luxe, Eldridge, or Oak 1.

Daft Punk – “Da Funk”

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Stardust (Still getting reworked 10 years later) – Music Sounds Better With You (2009 Dirty Bergeon Remix)

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Music

Car makers still extending lifestyle with electronic music samples

America is the last major country on earth where the populous doesn’t appreciate the nuances of both electronic music and soccer. Despite flare ups of popularity of both (womans US World cup and olympic performance, Moby’s incredibly popular “Play” album years ago or today: Lady GaGa’s “The Fame” album) both still struggle with mainstream attention.

In the realm of electronic music, the only on going success has been in soundtracks, ESPN and shopping mall background music and in advertising. When I was ahead of the curve, buying white labels, in record pools and hanging out at record shops hours on end to get the latest music, if I heard anything I purchased, later turn up on a commercial that track would instantly go into my dead pool. Dirty Vegas’s “Days Go By” was a key example, made famous by the Mitsubishi Eclipse commercial.

I’m not so much on the forefront of music these days so a good background track on a commercial catches my ear and I will want to hear it again, maybe even buy it. This happened earlier this year when I caught a Scion tc commercial entitled “Samples”. Here’s the commercial:


Scion Samples TC

I did plenty of research on this one and found the track isn’t even a full track but was created by Face the Music (Executive Producer: Adam Joseph Composer/Sound Designer: Tony Shimkin Mixer: Tom Burbank) specifically for the commercial, rather than the marketer picking up an already produced track to match the commercial message.

FTM has done some quality work for commercials and I’m sure they claim to have a successful business out of their work, however, I’m putting a public request out for them to remix the Samples track into a full 12″ and I’m sure they can extend their music talents with a private record label.

Justice went the other way with a sample from their “Genesis” track at the end of the Cadillac Escalade commercial. The sample didn’t kill the track use in the club scene however, still drove home the point of the commercial.

As long as the style continues to permeate in American culture, I’ll continue to accept it, hoping one day electronic music becomes even half as popular as European football.

Music

Kid Cudi already out of the game

What! I just posted this blurb about his video and then yesterday he goes n quits the game! Posted on his blog, he claims to quit the solo game and finish up his final collab album with Chip.

Kid Cudi – Sky Might Fall

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Kid Cudi – CuDi Get

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Kid Cudi – Switchin’ Lanes

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