The Charlatans – Modern Nature

December 30th, 2015 by Lev Lafayette

modnature
As one of the great British indie synth-rock bands (hey, just call it “Madchester”) of the 90s, The Charlatans, left an indelible impression on those who encountered them. Three of their studio albums reached #1 in the UK, in that period, (Some Friendly, The Charlatans, and Tellin’ Stories), and four of their singles were in the top 10 (‘The Only One I Know’, ‘One to Another’, ‘North Country Boy’, and ‘How High’), along with a string of others that also fared damn well indeed.

Alas the 00s were not so kind to them. Whilst their five albums all charted (‘Wonderland’ in particular reached number 2), they lost talented keyboardist Rob Collins in a car accident, and drummer Jon Brookes from a brain tumour. None of their singles from the period reached the top ten, although clearly there was still plenty of talent; ‘Blackened Blue Eyes’ for example is certainly an superb piece of work in production, lyrics, and narrative.

But they did struggle to find their place again. The otherworldly and powerful sound from a band who produced ‘The Only One I Know’ from 1990 would require great creativity and invigoration twenty five years later. Alas, despite rapid success in the charts by many who want a revival of The Charlatans (for good reason), their new album, Modern Nature, does not include these features.

What is provided is a range of slow-moving eighties-style indie-pop songs. As a style this is fair enough, and has the occasional ethereal vocals, such as the excellent ‘Talking in Tones’ open track and much of ‘I Need You to Know’, and some rather convivial constructions. Released as a single, ‘So Oh’ has some good construction and a catchy tune but not much else in substance. ‘Come Home Baby’ almost belongs in the category of lounge music. Considered as a whole, this is a very average album and not the great revival that many may have hoped for.

Last Words (EP) by Muzzle

December 24th, 2015 by Lev Lafayette
Indie Rock

muzzlelastwords“Last Words” (2014), is the debut EP for young Fremantle independent rock band, Muzzle, with three-piece Daniel Panizza on bass, Daniel Prince on drums, and Luke Hoehn providing rhythm guitars and vocals. With some coverage by national broadcasters, JJJ, the band’s cross-genre sounds will appeal to many who have derived great delight from eclectic sources. The cover art of the album by Alex Aitken is a fairly simple affair, a rhinoceros beetle (chalcosoma atlas, I believe). Not a creature native to Australia, but it does remind one of the cover of “Mezzanine” by Massive Attack (yes, they did use a stag beetle – for goodness sake, how many entomologists are really reading this?).

The opening track ‘Lock Up’, starts with a positively thumping bass introduction by Panizza, before moving into some very hard and fast guitars, reminiscent of the early Dead Kennedy’s, juxtaposed with Hoehn’s distant vocalisations which are almost like the more artistic parts of Joy Division. This is followed by by ‘Lemonade’, which has a slower alternative rock introduction with careful constructions, gradually building to a heavier and faster sound, with a rather charming short metal guitar solo no less before breaking into punk chords and finally a return to the introductory tempo. Again the vocalisations come across are distant, but in this case often shouted rather like many of 90’s grunge bands (e.g., Nirvana).

The title track of the EP, ‘Last Words’ also has a slow introduction, and is far more melodic and ethereal than others. The dark progressive pacing laments rather like Archive does in ‘Lights’, builds, changes, and comes to abrupt yet perfect stop. The final track, ‘Breakaway’, has a charming indie-rock introduction, before transmogrifying into a heavy grunge style again with a metal solo, before returning to the introduction’s style, in a manner rather like the earlier track, ‘Lemonade’.

Overall Muzzle provides a good collection of sounds that will certainly have some appeal to fans of alternative rock, grunge, metal, and punk. The technical competence of the band is excellent with the two Daniel’s not missing a beat on drums or bass. The production qualities, whilst not first grade, where certainly adequate for a first EP. The weakness in the band is that their style will be insufficiently appealing to all the genres they touch, and there will always be a significant challenge in ensuring the tension between the different styles does not collapse into discord. Of course, the easier path would be to concentrate on just a single stylistic genre, with a few concessions to other styles – and whilst popular, that’s hardly art, is it?

“Air On A G-String” played on actual G-strings.

December 14th, 2015 by David Gerard
Classical

For science! Apparently, underwear has a four-octave range.

(yes I thought this was hilarious when I was ten as well)

(baby got bach)

Today’s links.

December 11th, 2015 by David Gerard
Esoterica

Doctor Who goes disco. Delia, we are so very sorry.

December 9th, 2015 by David Gerard
Esoterica

The Doctor Who theme has of course been done in every possible style. Today we have disco versions from Space Disco and Mankind. But the most instructive example is by Ron Grainer, the original composer. The version we know and love was of course arranged by Delia Derbyshire, who did so well with it that Grainer tried to get her a co-credit. But on this record, The Exciting Television Music of Ron Grainer (1980), we finally get to hear what Grainer would have done with the theme given a free hand. It’s … remarkable.

After that, you’ll probably want to cleanse the skull palate with Bill Bailey’s “Belgian Jazz” take.

(HT donjuan-auxenfers and ambiguations)

Reissues, past subcultures and the dead foot of the market.

December 8th, 2015 by David Gerard
Record

Amanda Petrusich at the New Yorker writes a ramble on the reissue market. It’s not clear, but she seems upset these previously-unavailable classics are available again, because they’re available again for the wrong reasons.

The backbone of the reissue market is … me! And other middle-aged blokes whose tastes ossified at sixteen like most people’s, but we have money now. And boy do we spend it with untrammeled delight that the world has finally caught up to good music. We are the market for the box sets and 3-CD floor-sweepings-edition reissues.

FUC51’s essential point was sound — the middle-aged blokes are the dead foot of the market on the throat of vital youth culture — but they were incorrect to blame the artists, who are after all just doing the stuff they want to do. It’s people like me, and our money, that’s to blame.

Petrusich’s particular example is Cubist Blues, an utter obscurity by Alan Vega, Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn that they jammed out in 1996 and issued on Henry Rollins’ 2.13.61 label. But note the timing: this was well after the pre-grunge burst of the indie rock scene, and just after grunge itself burnt out. But this was a record for post-punk and pre-grunge hipsters … who would only have known of Chilton through the ’80s reissue market, which was just as big a concern at the time. I remember the Charly and Edsel ads in Bucketfull of Brains.

Awareness of history is lost all too easily, even as we have unparalleled access to the works, and every generation must construct its canon, with lost classics and lost second-rate influences on first-rate artists. Canons are illusory, constructed after the fact to make shit just happening look like a story; a statement about the present. But not a meaningless one, after all: cool shit from the past that works in the present, works.

(I gobble up books of music and literary criticism and histories of popular music, but again quite a lot of it is constructing a story where one doesn’t exist. Real life does not happen in story form. Tracing histories of musical influence tends to this sort of teleology, when actually artists have always just taken everything they could from everything to hand.)

The particular button Cubist Blues, and its cohorts in this wave of reissues, presses is the one where the entire pre-grunge subculture vanished like morning mist the the moment the clock struck 1995, the Internet was invented and history started. Can you find ’80s or ’90s fanzines online? Can you fuck. Wish I still had mine to scan, and if you have yours PLEASE DO SO. In particular, if you have copies of Motorbooty or similar.

Alvin and the Chipmunks at 16rpm.

December 7th, 2015 by David Gerard
Esoterica

Retrospectively obvious, but this is what Alvin and the Chipmunks sound like at 16rpm: normal vocals with GRIND CORE DEATH SLUDGE DRONE music. That being how they were actually recorded. I think we’ve uncovered Sunn O)))’s secret past.

This is pretty awesome, but playing records at 16rpm generally is. Quite a lot of pop music benefits markedly from this. When I first bought “Blue Monday” (in 1983 at age 16) I played it multiple times a day for several months … at 16, 33, 45 and 78. Wore out my copy. (Then sold it second-hand at UWA to some poor bugger.) 16rpm “The Beach” (the B-side) is twenty minutes of top notch death disco. “Computer Games” by Mi-Sex also works amazingly well. (That link’s full speed, but I’m sure you can do the obvious with it.)

You can do this in Audacity with the transcription toolbar. Load your victim, double-click on the playback thing, set it to play at 0.37 of full speed, hit the green triangle next to it.

(I wrote this and started playing “The Beach” at 0.37x and seeing how long before the wife killed me. Made it to 7:00 on the original! Which is 19 minutes of this stuff. Longer than I expected. Dead now. But so worth it.)

Access denied: The media in a world where they aren’t the gatekeepers.

December 6th, 2015 by David Gerard
Media

John Herrman at The Awl laments the difficulties of the media in a world where they are no longer the gatekeepers of social knowledge. Nothing here isn’t obvious with a moment’s thought, but he does go through it in some detail: how celebrity gossip journalism, politics coverage, sports coverage and even rock journalism (the part where I throw my head back in laughter) don’t know quite what to do when people don’t routinely use the mass media as their window on the world, instead gorging on assorted other channels that aren’t even media organisations.

(and of course, note that all of these are actually practiced as celebrity gossip journalism.)

Herrman doesn’t have a solution; he tentatively suggests the professional media could move to doing explainers. This is literally what Vox was set up to do, specifically to compete with Wikipedia on the kind of article where there’s an event and Wikipedia rapidly assembles the best available overview of the subject: “the world’s first hybrid news site/encyclopedia.”

Wikipedia-but-not-as-good turned out not to be so hot a commodity, particularly as such topic pages had failed to quite be the Golden Ticket in previous years. But this is why early Vox articles looked like ersatz Wikipedia, with “fact cards” for infoboxes and so forth (with the fatal flaw that you couldn’t hit “edit” to fix the typos) and why Vox’s articles are so often (a) rehashes of everyone else’s coverage a day late (b) opinion pieces on everyone else’s coverage of the previous day.

There is a cultural place for media of record, even if the economics remain ghastly in a world where Craigslist took away the classifieds. (If you read any site whatsoever with ads on, run an ad blocker so you don’t get virused.) The BBC still exists and does something like journalism, for example. Wikipedia reifies the notion of media of record with its reliable sources policy, which in practice is used to sort out internal editorial arguments. (And anyone who’s ever been quoted in the media will laugh hysterically at the notion that the shoddy first drafts of history are “reliable sources”.) So we’ll be stuck with the idea for a while, even as they’re terrible at it and know they are.

This is life in the Silver Age: the Great Cultural Fragmentation continues apace and the assorted industries have to catch up. I am inclined to consider this a fundamentally good thing that is making the world a better place in pretty much every way. I note again Steve Albini’s claim that these are the best of times for the actual musicians, as surprising as that might seem, even given the actual problem, which is a surfeit of non-professionals whose work is good enough. That is, the force that’s taking out the professional media.

(Anyone else remember the previous Vox? SixApart’s attempt at creating a walled garden blogging platform with photos and videos and stuff that was very like a cleaned-up version of their other acquisition at the time, LiveJournal? I had reddragdiva.vox.com for a while, but it turned out nobody could comment on it without a Vox login. Promptly self-hosted and it was all much nicer, thanks. As a walled garden blogging platform with media, that Vox was pretty much Tumblr several years early. Tumblr being where I saw this story. HT David Severa.)

Links.

December 5th, 2015 by David Gerard
Esoterica

The Music Theory Song!

December 4th, 2015 by David Gerard
Musician

Just in case you forgot all this stuff, here it is doing everything the words say as they say it. By David Swenson. The lead sheet.

How to cook squid ink calamari risotto the Blixa Bargeld way.

December 3rd, 2015 by David Gerard
Drugs

From ’80s German TV show Alfredissimo. The other dude is Alfred Biolek. You can tell how old it is by them quoting prices in marks.

Imogen Heap doesn’t make the blockchain hype make sense either.

December 2nd, 2015 by David Gerard
Industry

The big name in recent “blockchain” (Bitcoin) hype is Imogen Heap. As far as I can tell, it’s still the case that nothing about this is going to work.

(Rocknerd passim: blockchain hype, another blockchain hype.)

The particular snake oil they’ve sold Heap — who is not a stupid person and has considerable bitter experience in music industry fuckery — is Smart Contracts. These are in fact the worst idea ever, for a number of reasons, which is a separate rant. (Dr Strangelove is the story of an unstoppable smart contract going wrong.)

In this specific case the snake oil is that smart contracts on the blockchain (which in this case is the Ethereum blockchain rather than the Bitcoin blockchain, but that doesn’t matter) will mean that Heap will be paid a penny shaving every time someone looks at her music.

Problems with this:

  • Nobody in the extant music industry has any interest in this working.

  • If you strike out as an independent with this, you cannot get the hashing power to protect against the people who would fuck with it, whether for business or lulz.
  • Try to work out how to actually buy a copy (or whatever right to a copy you’re buying) of “Tiny Human”. (Answer below, but I urge you to go looking first.)
  • They’re promising digitally controlled “limited edition” releases with this mechanism, but DRM still literally defies mathematics.
  • This will not scale ever ever ever. (c.f. Bitcoin again.)

How to buy the song, since there is no easy guide available: it’s nearly fucking impossible to actually buy this song, and involves buying Bitcoins then exchanging those for Ethereum. The instructions look easy, but the trick is that even getting hold of the Bitcoins involves either sending stupendous amounts of government identification, dealing with crooks or both. Once you’ve done all this, you get a download key.

(Note also that the purchase process is ridiculously buggy even if you understand all this cryptocurrency bafflegab.)

The fatal flaw here is that we already have endless filesharing networks that are vastly easier than this. Remember, iTunes made it by being easier even than those. You could also do what everyone will do and play it on YouTube.

Unsurprisingly, sales figures for “Tiny Human” are unavailable. Update: I was wrong, they’re fully available. $95.81 in sales! (HT FlacidPhil at Reddit)

LA punk zines Slash and NoMag scanned, courtesy Circulation Zero.

December 1st, 2015 by David Gerard
Writing

Ryan Richardson has put up lots of old archival material before, and his latest is Circulation Zero, on which he plans to make available the complete runs (or, at worst, the complete interesting runs) of ancient punk rock history. First up are complete PDFs of Slash (the zine that begat the record label) and NoMag from Los Angeles. Scans as PDFs, as simple as it gets. (Hundreds of megabytes each, be warned.)

I don’t want to shock you or anything, but pop music is an industry.

November 30th, 2015 by David Gerard
Pop

The Atlantic is perturbed and depressed that pop music is created by an industrial process and wants you to be too.

Pop has been a factory literally since day one. The Brill Building was legendary in its day. Since before day one: “Tin Pan Alley” had been a cliche rather than a real place for decades before pop music as we know it started.

The only difference now is that nobody outside the industry knows who Martin Karl Sandberg is (yeah, the Atlantic got his name wrong), but that’s a very minor marketing decision; if it would make more money to make him a star, that’d happen instantly.

And in conclusion, y’all need Bob Stanley.

(HT Glenn Murray via Lionel Lauer)

Dammit Yahoo, stop giving the game away.

November 28th, 2015 by David Gerard
Writing

Yahoo posted their writeup on Rihanna’s Anti just a little early.

The main difference from the good old days is that we didn’t write up a literal plugin template. But really, if you need to hear the typical mainstream album to review it (with a quick ten seconds per track skim to check, if you have time) you’re just not sufficiently in touch with the kids.

Read the rest of this entry »

Baron: Torpor (2015).

November 1st, 2015 by David Gerard
Record

baron torpor 300Torpor is squarely an attempt to recapture early ’70s English folky progressive rock. With vaguely sci-fi lyrics. (Their self-description is “Neo-Monastic Byzantine Pastoral Kraut-Drone-Lettuce-Rock”, but the only “Kraut” bit is that it’s prog.) The correct comparison is slabs of whimsical prog rock vinyl from forty-odd years ago of the sort that aspired to be on John Peel in his hippie days. Guitars, drums, organ, recorder. LOOK AT THAT COVER PIC. LOOK AT IT.

The press release places Baron as prog folkies into synthetic Celtic mysticism — “the wind beaten rural landscape and the stories of magic handed down through generations of tellers.” Back in the real world, every square inch of England is catalogued and curated (compare Australia, where wilderness still actually exists) and every drop of Celtic mysticism that makes it through to popular culture is as made-up in living memory as the goddess Eostre. But y’know, we all have to construct our historical launch pads.

The music itself is pleasant and competent (and better than that sounds). The playing is good, the instruments sound good (and making this sort of thing sound right is vastly easier in 2015 than 1970). Not big on memorable tunes, but the music flows well and, a blessing, doesn’t run on quirks. Love of the form keeps them down to forty-two minutes that split neatly into two sides. This album turned out way better than I’d been expecting.

There’s a Quietus review which is vastly more positive than mine. But it does appear that if you like this sort of thing then you’ll like this one.

If you’re gonna do martial industrial music, at least make it really gay. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft.

October 15th, 2015 by David Gerard
Industrial

DAF were a Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) band, covering the time from when NDW meant hideous post-punk noise to when it meant cheesy pop. Funnily enough covering a similar arc themselves.

The sound (of the good albums) is a Korg MS-20 running off a 16-step sequencer, Robert Görl on drums and Gabi Delgado (a Spaniard, whose family moved to Germany to escape Franco) shouting in German and being a sweaty macho leather fag over the top. It’s precisely what you want in the repurposing of martial sounds, i.e. someone pointing and saying “dude, this is gay as hell.” This was just the ticket in 1981.

Read the rest of this entry »

Links: Rod Stewart took cocaine up his arse to protect his nose.

August 10th, 2015 by David Gerard
Drugs

More on the blockchain-music hype: what PeerTracks thinks it’s doing.

August 7th, 2015 by David Gerard
Industry

After the amazingly terrible Berklee white paper on how to make all musicians rich using magic beans, today we have a breathless piece of content marketing in Billboard hyping the notion.

The Billboard article is devoid of useful detail and keeps to promising the moon on a stick fueled by very complicated computer wizard magick. A company called PeerTracks claims it will have some sort of actual launch based around these ideas within two months. tl;dr no.

Read the rest of this entry »

Classical links: In which classical is hampered by iTunes.

July 29th, 2015 by David Gerard
Classical

Film links. KUNG FURY!

July 28th, 2015 by David Gerard
Film

The silver age of music: the Midas plague. How do you keep up?

July 26th, 2015 by David Gerard
Writing

Found on 4chan /mu/ (which is readable by humans, unlike its famous arsehole of the internet sibling board):

Will I buy something? Pretty much not. If I see what I really want, I’ll buy the CD, or if I feel guilty, but physical records or even the CD things are just a nuisance. More and more things and piles of things, and guilt versus things, not having the things wins.

I have fuckoff piles of vinyl and cassettes. I keep saying to myself that I’ll rip them to the computer. I know I never will.

I download like a motherfucker. SEVENTY THREE GIGS I’ve not listened to yet. Some is 4-5 years old. I play it like it’s my job. I finally play something and it’s played once and never again in my life.

So, how big is your queue?

Even MP3s are weighing the kids down these days. New first world problems!

People do this because music works like a drug. But one that doesn’t work consistently, and one dose might explode your head while the next is like smoking a dog turd. Random reinforcement produces a far stronger trained response — addiction — than consistent reinforcement.

Even if you go for depth rather than breadth, there is only so much stuff to learn about any band, in any given subculture, in any given genre, in any given medium — after a while, more albums really aren’t worth spending time on. Consider the difference between when there were three punk rock albums and when there were a hundred. Consider how many bands said everything they had to say on the first album.

Indeed, we resort to depth because breadth is impossible. There has always been far too much for anyone to keep up with. Even if you’re a viciously self-flagellating hipster, who considers it important to let yourself like only what you should.

We learn our aesthetic vocabulary in a couple of years as adolescents and then it’s stuck. You can pick up new languages, but it’s hard. And you’ll probably learn them relative to the first one.

(It was somewhat liberating when I realised how much quite a lot of what I liked as a teenager sucked. Whole areas I didn’t feel obliged to finish exploring!)

So, there’s ridiculously too much music. There has been since all living memory, but here in the future it’s impossible to deny.

I’ve tended to throwing up my hands and treating music as an exercise in tunnelling through plenty rather than seeking rare joys. Whatever YouTube and blogs throw my way. Mostly listening once only. Occasionally I play something less than twenty years old, or that at least sounds less than twenty years old.

It helps that I can remember the day I consciously gave up keeping up with indie rock: a middling review CD (that I’ll do the kindness of not naming) that I’d actually been looking forward to arriving in the post in 1992 and realising how much I’d run out of caring. Liberation. Many angsty young rock critic burnouts, but that was the last one.

So what do you do? What’s your path through the tunnels of the music mines?

(By the way, trusting music lockers remains a bit silly.)

Blacklisters: Adult (2015).

July 25th, 2015 by David Gerard
Record

Blacklisters: Adult sleeveEarly 1990s grunge, reproduced with 100% authenticity. Really, I felt like I was a 26-year-old student/bum again, smoking Lucky Strikes on a front porch in Perth, wondering if I too would ever find some way to hit it big with Generation X.

The press release comparison is Jesus Lizard. Makes me think of the bands that were up to Touch & Go quality but released themselves anyway. The bass is particularly pleasing. The songs are not bad and don’t go longer than they have to (except maybe the closer, “Downbeat”); if I got out the old vinyl I could probably list which particular twenty-year-old song each is closest to. I suppose MP3 rather than FLAC is a reasonable substitute for thick American vinyl in the circumstances.

It’s 2015, not 1993. This is a historical re-enactment society that I hope realises it is one (probably, given they’re on a UK label called “Smalltown America”); given that, it’s not doing too badly. If you’ve spent a couple of decades wondering how things would have gone if the music pulled along in Nirvana’s wake had kept going (without returning as emo brats, which is what actually happened), you’ll like this.

The album’s released properly in September. Here’s the first single, “Shirts”.

Industrial estate.

July 24th, 2015 by David Gerard
Industrial

I am doing the musical thing at last, despite literally being unable to sing or play (‘cos that observably never stopped anyone else). Two tracks up on SoundCloud, Top of the Pops here we come! Of course, I have the wisdom of others to guide me.

  • You think rock’n’roll is staid? Measuring the evolution of contemporary industrial music — there is none. Three years old, but the condition it describes hasn’t changed a dot. I’m into this stuff and I can assure you it hasn’t moved an inch in fifteen years — and this is with the usual two-to-three-year cycle of kids joining and leaving the scene in that time. Probably the last thing that happened in industrial was when the Human League released their best three albums to date in 2000: Empires, United States of Mind and Welcome to Earth. There is nothing you can’t do with an Access Virus … that hasn’t already been done.

  • For the lay of the land, try the huge free download compilations Face The Beat 2 and Matrix Downloaded 004. Enough tracks you should feel free to hit fast-forward as soon as you’re bored. There’s also the previous editions of each.
  • LMMS remains my noisemaker of choice. The Woolworths guitar of industrial: simple, easy, limited, free, very punk rock. Avoid industrial clichés by having none of the usual sounds at your disposal! Though I’ve been having fun with the ZynAddSubFx presets.

Putting the record industry on Bitcoin: Why this won’t work.

July 23rd, 2015 by David Gerard
Industry

Musicians get paid last, and have been forever. Also, musicians are good at music but actually worse than any normal human at business. With radio largely replaced by streaming, this hasn’t changed. So Bloomberg has put up a breathless piece of hype based on a report from the most speculative unit of the Berklee College of Music, suggesting that doing it all on THE BITCOIN BLOCKCHAIN will shower money on all.

Here’s the download link for the original report. Plus point: it is indeed from Berklee. Minus points: it’s made of squirrels and crack.

Read the rest of this entry »

The James L. “Rusty” Hevelin Collection of fanzines (the SF sort).

July 2nd, 2015 by David Gerard
Writing

Of course, the first zines were science fiction zines, and they sprung up in the 1930s just about as soon as mimeographs were physically possible. The Hevelin Collection and Hevelin Fanzine Digitization Project are getting this stuff scanned and available.

I have the old Party Fears up and Brad Lambert is scanning the old Vortex … I deposited my old indie rock fanzine collection with the WA State Library when I moved to the UK; if I hadn’t, I’d be doing the lot … anyone who has the old B-Side, etc. from the 1980s and access to the standard office photocopier/scanner, please contact me.

Matrix HiFi: Blind-testing high-end audio equipment.

May 11th, 2015 by David Gerard
Audio

As usual, a well-set up blind A/B test of supposedly stupendous audio equipment. And as usual, the actual answer is “fix the room first.”

The interesting thing is the excuses for why science, logic and joined-up thinking don’t work when someone is making a factual claim like “superior audio reproduction.” In this case, subjects claimed the A/B/X switch being present affected the sound, even though the test also showed this couldn’t possibly be true. The testers indulged the subjects by swapping entire cables by hand rather than using A/B/X, but frankly when they reach that stage of homeopathic balderdash, “bugger off” is the right answer.

Apple wants free streaming and videos on YouTube shut down.

May 4th, 2015 by David Gerard
Industry

Of course the new distribution channels are going to act like the old distribution channels. Apple wants to relaunch Beats as a new and exciting service that involves paying them money, so they’re pressuring labels to kill Spotify and Pandora’s free tiers, and pressuring Universal to pull all videos from YouTube. The US Department of Justice and the EU Competition Commission is looking severely askance at these moves. Of course, if Apple succeeds, I’m sure their name won’t become mud or something.

Help the suffering stars of Tidal.

April 28th, 2015 by David Gerard
Industry

With the tidal.com app sinking without trace for no better reason than that it’s terrible and there’s no conceivable reason to bother with it, Unnamed Insider puts out a heartfelt plea to you, the concerned music lover.

(VLGroup analyses their deal, which is streaming FLAC at a premium … despite A/B testing on good AAC on earbuds coming out much as you’d expect. Wonder if Tidal will pivot to pure 24/96 snake oil, and if there’s a market for 24/96 Nicki Minaj.)

Based on the trailer, it is blindingly obvious that everyone must watch the hell out of Kung Fury.

April 25th, 2015 by David Gerard
Film

A kung fu cop film from the television ’80s. Here is the trailer. And here is the Wikipedia article. And here is the theme song, by David Hasselhoff. The movie is released 28th May. YOU MUST WATCH THE SHIT OUT OF THIS.