May-June 2013 Auds & Ends

The New

READ Longform recently: Kanye West. Stevie Nicks. Steve Storch. Billy Joel. Patsy Cline. Eurovision. Stevie Wonder. George Jones.

MIX XLR8R’s 300th podcast is a 14-track house mix by Maya Jane Coles. A quality craftwork with lots of personality, color, variety. Impressive! (62m) See also: Ladies on the Mic feature.

An increasing number of female artists are staking out prominent spots in the electronic-music landscape. In 2012 and early 2013, Cooly G, Laurel Halo, Ryat, Julia Holter, Nina Kraviz, Holly Herndon, Grimes, Ikonika, Maya Jane Coles, Ellen Allien, Natasha Kmeto, and numerous others released debut albums or added significant new records to their catalogs.

FACT In the U.S., radio stations have never paid a cent in royalties to the performers of music. Here’s a little bit more about how it all works.


MIX Headphone Commute offers very listenable 23-track Gravity Mix (54m) by Ben Lukas Boysen, aka Hecq., who’s just released his first album. In the “space music” tradition this filmic mix bridges the acoustic/electronic divide in search of humanity. (Starting with Hank Williams!)

RIP Country yodeler Slim Whitman. 59 years ago in Memphis, Elvis opened for Slim on his first pro gig. Slim’s big mainstream hit was Indian Love Call. In the 80s he annoyed people with endless late-night TV ads.

They support any dogmatic authority. They are the arch-conservatives. They lose no opportunity to invert human values. They are always self-righteous. They have to be right because in human terms they are wrong. Objective assessment drives them to hysterical frenzy….
The Industrial Revolution, with its overpopulation and emphasis on quantity rather than quality, has given them a vast reservoir of stupid bigoted uncritical human hosts. The rule of the majority is to their advantage since the majority can always be manipulated.

— Beat author William Burroughs, about The Aliens in The Place of Dead Roads

MP3/AUD Good mixes have been absolutely important to bringing out-of-the-mainstream electronic musicians to the attention of a wider public. The 40-year-old radio show Hearts of Space stands as a prime and heroic example.
Toby Frith and the gang at podcast blog Bleep43 went quiet some time back after building up an archive of electronic mix podcasts, ranging from 40m to 3 hours long. There are over 200 of them — all are well done, some excellent. The very wide variety has something for everyone. Recently I’ve enjoyed Shows #60, 73, 81 and 107.

TECH When critics complained about an Aria being too long, composer Luigi Cherubini used charcoal to black it out of the score for his 1797 opera Médée. Using x-rays, Stanford has been able to read through the charcoal.

TECH Longform points out Pitch Battles, an article about how ‘standard’ pitches have changed, sometimes wildly, over the centuries.

BAND Mefi looks at the dark side of ABBA.

WEB Fellow music-trivia fans may enjoy this blog called Second Hand Songs, which claims to have indexed over 250,000, and where I just learned there’s a Swedish cover of “Mickey” aka “Kitty”. Another, smaller covers site is Cover vs Original.
And then there’s Who Sampled … with videos … and direct links among 187,000 songs. You can even browse by year … aaaaaaall the way back!

TECH Remember “Harmony of the spheres”? Hear what a Harvard prof came up with after taking on sonifications of signals from space. A NASA fellow in Michigan has been harmonizing solar flare data.

VID The full BBC video doc David Bowie and the Story of Ziggie Stardust is available on Youtube. (60m)

FACT magazine has begun reviewing cassette tape releases. Break out those boomboxes!

MP3 Aquarium Drunkard has posted his newest mix, Sidecar (Twelfth Transmission). Other topics recently explored on the AD Blog include Alice Coltrane, Exhuma, The Soft Boys, The Emporers, and the Graham Bond Organization. L.A.’s Drunkard is very plugged. Tune Sirius radio? you get two tries at his 2-hour show each Friday.

VID Lemmidos channel on Youtube collects over a hundred videos of computer/synthesized music works that are hard-to-find.

VID A rare Vimeo HD treat features Finland’s Vladislav Delay in a rarified 51m ambient treat. Oh the bandwithity! If you like that, here are several dozen you-can’t-get-seats-that-good more. (Delay has filed 11 albums since 1999.) Plus here’s a thinkpiece on laptop performances. [all via CDM]

RIP Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek. He got started with the Doors playing the bass parts on a Fender Rhodes. But it was the Vox Continental, which had already been heard on a long string of 60s hits (particularly The Animals cover of House of the Rising Sun) that he made unforgettable. Light My Fire 

EM CDM has a report from Stanford CCRMA‘s yearly (since 2007) Modulations concert.

EM Berlin, where they really know their EM, has created Beatguide for upcoming electronic music events. Lots. (Here in the US, we have so few we need a clue more than a guide.)

EM A long list of all Reddit’s electronic music SubReddits.

MIX Sun in Aquarius [link to HeadphoneCommute] is an interesting, skillfully-produced experimental-ambient mix of upcoming releases by Australia’s Enig’matik Records. Once again the down-under is no stranger to fine sound.  (51m)

MeFi’s Filthy gets deep into plunderphonics, a word which it seems was coined in 1985.An unrelated MeFi post looks at sasakure.UK ,a “Japanese songwriter/artist who often produces [anime-cute] songs using Vocaloid, a singing voice synthesizer program.” The program was developed (backed by Yamaha) in Spain in 2000. (Vocaloid website) See also: Hatsune Miku.

PIX Guess what’s going on in the Heavy Metal Parking Lot?

RIP Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly.

MIX French DJ Ludis’ Uzic is 1:54 of inventive acid-techno.

WEB Think you’re confused about all the genres? Every Noise at Once proves your confusion has just gotten started.
(Click for an example, follow the arrow to a bands list.) [via MeFi]
One of Furia’s pages tracks Rdio’s new releases by genre.

EM Motherboard takes a close look at the Boards of Canada (BoC) numbers station mystery. (There may be clues on the BoC YT page?) (A video of the extremely short mysterious 12″.) (More analysis at the 2020K blog.)

RIP Troubled, affable country music giant George Jones.(*) Born in a log cabin in 1931 in Saratoga, Texas, from 1959-83, he had fourteen US#1 country hits. In the 80s he was non-stop with 22 top-40 hits – and finished off his demons. He released 60 studio albums.
S.P. Clarke bio.

EM VICE describes Daft Punk’s latest. And here’s more, on the involvement of Animal Collective‘s Noah Lennox. And Giorgio Moroder. And …

RIP Richie Havens, who became famous (somewhat to his regret) for his performance of Freedom at Woodstock in 1969.

………………… March-April 2013 AUDs & ENDs