June 2015 Web stuff

If you or anyone you know ever “joined” the Columbia House record “club” (“Any 11 tapes or records for $1 !!) you might enjoy reading about (this 72-minute Vimeo) about someone who worked there … it’s called The Target Shoots First.

• WNYC’s Note to Self podcast discusses backing-tracks in Why Live Music Won’t be Live for Long. (from Sep. 2014. 22m)

Hear Alex and Manoush go on a journey of discovery to find out why backing tracks enraged him so much when he found out his favorite band was less live than he thought.

• In Slate’s After Altamont, Jack Hamilton looks at how the Rolling Stones set about making the Sticky Fingers album.

It opens with the most morally vacant piece of music to ever hit the top of the charts. “Brown Sugar … Jagger himself summed it up as “all the nasty subjects in one go.”


Vice (2014, first of a series): Dance Pride: The Gay Origins of Dance Music.

Gay culture, at least an urban black and latino subsect of it, has already spawned a decade-spanning era of DJ-driven culture that is currently eclipsing both rock and hip-hop in popularity, 40 years after it’s inception. No movement can realistically be expected to maintain more than fleeting traces of its minority flavor once it hits the mainstream. It’s simply a numbers game.

And/or have a look at Resident Advisor‘s (much longer, also 2014): An alternate history of sexuality in club culture

• NPR: Why can’t streaming services get classical music right?

So I type in “Havergal Brian,” a not-very-well-known 20th-century British composer. What Brian lacks in name recognition, he makes up in prolixity: He wrote more than 200 pieces in all, including more than 30 symphonies. Surely, Pandora might have some gems of his to share. In response, Pandora feeds me the last movement of Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony.

More NPR: 12 Essential Archives For Internet-Era Music Historians.

• NYT: Music streamer Spotify plans to move beyond genres.
Whether fans want to is another matter. But considering all of the fine, universally appealing music written in the past, for sure there’s plenty of expansion room for new fans. * Lists of one-hit wonders.
For sure, French internet station FIP, which calls itself “Radio musicale éclectique” has been radically mixing genres for a long time; blues, opera, novelties, baroque versions of 60s pop hits … anything could be next. Plug into their 32K stream and plan to be surprised!

• The NYTimes writes about The First Computer Musician, Max Matthews. (Max@DEM)

He provided the initial research for virtually every aspect of computer music, from his early work with programming languages for synthesis and composition (the MUSIC-N family of software) to foundational research in real-time performance (the GROOVE system and RTSKED, the first real-time event scheduler). Max also helped start the conversation about how humans were meant to interact with computers by developing everything from modified violins to idiosyncratic control systems such as the Radio Baton.

In Nov. 1963, Max explained how computer music is made in a Science article called The Digital Computer as a Musical Instrument.(PDF)

• Albini: The music industry is a parasite.
Now, if only Steve would come up with a way to help us sort through all the crap …. Somewhere are ten great bands being ignored…
Great DJs have been our traditional filters. What about portals like Ektoplazm (psy-trance, techno)?? Netlabels??

Now it can be told. Secret reefer tapes of Louis Armstrong.

———— (May 2015 Web Stuff)

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