Saturday, May 10, 2003
This is a blog with short, well-written and informed reviews of the electronic/sound design stuff I listen to a lot -- mostly as I surf
I'll be posting some more on e-music sites soon.
Meanwhile try some of Kenneth Kirschner's sound design/piano work.
I've been listening a lot to post piano, his collaboration with Taylor Deupree, which came out last year.
1:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Pro Tools software heralds the end of the recording studio as we've known it [Undernews]
In just a few years, the commercial recording studio has become an endangered species. Between a troubled record industry and new technology that makes studios and their expensive equipment all but obsolete, only a handful are still able to stay in business. With the extraordinary capabilities of the digital recording system called Pro Tools and the rapidly dropping cost of hard disk storage and blank CDs, musicians can set up their own recording studios for a fraction of what it used to cost to make albums at commercial facilities.But something's lost as something's gained, as Joni Mitchell once wrote:
While studios everywhere scramble to accommodate this new world, Pro Tools, a software program that makes the previously impossible possible, has fundamentally changed the way music is made. Entire careers have been credited, Eventually, only the wealthiest musicians will be able to afford studios where musicians play together live, which will be a special event which people treasure.
for instance, to just the auto tune option of Pro Tools -- (read: Jennifer Lopez, Lisa Marie Presley) which electronically puts off-key vocal performances in tune. Musicians playing together live in the studio are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, as with the Santana record.
"It's all data manipulation now," said Fantasy's Bombardier. "Where is the striving for excellence? The take after take of reaching into the depths for a performance? Now they don't have to do that. The machines make the less talented people sound almost as good as the talented."
12:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, May 09, 2003
A Tour of Cold War Baltimore
Mount Weather -- This 43-year-old big daddy of bunkers near Berryville, Va., might have remained a secret if it weren't for a pesky jetliner that crashed nearby in 1974, effectively blowing its cover. It's a vast underground affair, complete with streets, multistory buildings, and a lake large enough for water skiing. A host of governmental higher-ups have sleeping quarters here, including Supreme Court justices. The Federal Emergency Management Agency runs a multitude of disaster-response operations from under the mountain today.
2:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Indonesian pop phenom Inul rocks the casbah with her "drill"
To her legions of ardent supporters, drilling is a funky, somewhat erotic dance style. To the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, one of the ruling bodies of Indonesian Muslim clerics, it is a debased display of pornographic lasciviousness that should never be performed in public. More here.
Basically, it involves rotating the hips in increasingly energetic circles while steadily bringing in the rest of the limbs until one's body has become a flurry of moving appendages. With her flowing black locks and usually clad in a brightly-coloured sequined outfit, Inul has created, or rather become, a new art form.
The articulate star first courted controversy in February when the Ulemas council issued an edict against her, accusing her of besmirching the nation's morals and performing pornography.
11:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
It's easy to forget how small the Earth really is, in times like these
See this photo of Mercury (upper right dot) against the sun yesterday?
Earth is 3 times bigger than Mercury.
3:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
TCM's Complicated Women festival this month is what they do best
The introductory documentary was on tonight and it's pretty good. The series runs Tuesdays and focuses on pre-Code films 1930-34, the newly liberated female characters in movies and the brief period of sophistication and de-stereotyping of women's roles before the Code Hammer came down thanks to the Catholics.
Dated though the plots etc. are, these films show women having fun (who has really joyful fun in movies -- or in real life -- anymore?), wearing next to nothing, having casual sex or being prostitutes (offscreen) and doing "men's work" -- and not getting punished for any of it.
A number of them haven't even been on TCM, that I've noticed, anyway.
I recommend 2 that were on tonight that they aren't repeating right away: The Divorcee (for which Norma Shearer won an Oscar; I think she's pretty sexy in a number of films, and acted very well in The Women, which came out late in the 30s) and Design for Living which I've never seen on cable before and which is one of Lubitsch's -- and Miriam Hopkins' -- best.
Design also stars Fredreic March and Gary Cooper (neither of whom are particularly well-cast) as artist/bohemians that Hopkins falls in love with and with whom she forms an uneasy menage à trois. It works well enough anyway in Lubitsch's magical hands, IMO. It's a re-tooled a Noel Coward play.
Old favorites like Shanghai Express (Marlene Dietrich), Red Dust (Jean Harlow) and She Done Him Wrong (Mae West) are included, as well as lesser-known essentials like Baby Face (Barbara Stanwyck) and Downstairs (Virginia Bruce) are on the list too.
The doc is on again on the 20th and it's worth a look. It's based on a book by Mick Lasalle.
Also check out Mark Vieira's Sin in Soft Focus: Pre-Code Hollywood (for the pics) and Tom Doherty's Pre-Code Hollywood (for the politics).
3:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Stephen Glass writes a novel about his true experiences making up stories for the New Republic [drudge]
Mr. Glass has written a first-person account of an ambitious young journalist who slips from truth into reckless fraud, even concocting bogus notes and voice-mail messages to deceive editors and fact checkers. "When the first few fabricated stories were done and fact-checked and the articles were turned in, my editors loved them; more than that, they loved me ? I felt it," Mr. Glass writes. I remember the stink about this.
But the novel centers on the young journalist's unmasking and disgrace rather than on his editors' hunger for vivid, behind-the-scene details.
Mr. Glass, then 25, was a creative and prolific fraud. His many extraordinary inventions for The New Republic included articles about a Church of George Herbert Walker Bush, a bond-trading firm with a shrine to Alan Greenspan, and a conservative political conference rife with marijuana, beer and sex.
He seems like a character out of a fable, perhaps by Twain.
1:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
SURF'S UP Somehow this song sums up the Bubble and the Burst, ThemePark America pre-9/11 and after.
A diamond necklace played the pawn
Hand in hand some drummed along, oh
To a handsome man and baton
A blind class aristocracy
Back through the opera glass you see
The pit and the pendulum drawn
Columnated ruins domino
Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping?
Hung velvet overtaken me
Dim chandelier awaken me
To a song dissolved in the dawn
The music hall a costly bow
The music all is lost for now
To a muted trumperter swan
Columnated ruins domino
Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping, Brother John?
Dove nested towers the hour was
Strike the street quicksilver moon
Carriage across the fog
Two-Step to lamp lights cellar tune
The laughs come hard in Auld Lang Syne
The glass was raised, the fired rose
The fullness of the wine, the dim last toasting
While at port adieu or die
A choke of grief hard hardened I
Beyond belief a broken man too tough to cry
Aboard a tidal wave
Come about hard and join
The young and often spring you gave
I heard the word
A children's song
A child is the father of the man
A child is the father of the man
A children's song
Have you listened as they played
Their song is love
And the children know the way
From a certain angle anyway. A people blind to the cause and effects of their privilege, California escapism married to apocalyptic Protestantism, nostalgia for an idealized Victorian Golden Age financed by imperialism, birthing gothic horror.
And in the end, choosing love over terror.
Don't know why this came to me tonight, sitting outside watching a gauzy cloud sheet sift over the sickle moon.
It was a special evening, obscure and profound. Then I heard this song in my head.
3:12 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, May 04, 2003
the discouraging word
Another one for word people.
Scourge of abusers and celebrator of delights, we are the defenders of the English language. The Discouraging Word does what few dare to do: English itself. Below you will find our latest defensive and offensive efforts.So take a break from that crokinole tourney and check it out. (see the home page)
11:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
A literate blogger and poet with a love for invented languages and 20th century composition
This blog connected with my 2 blogs through one of these link-o-matic thingies. Always fun to learn something new that way, very 21st century.
Michael is way more into language than I am, but his enthusiasm is infectious.
I'm guessing that "Graywyvern" is the name of the blog, BTW.
3:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Ruth Ozeki's All Over Creation: review
...It's a jungle of a plot, a riot of literary species, sown with strains of deadly satire and heartrending tragedy -- winding around kitchen table discussions about family duty and through the international debate on genetically modified food. She's as good with the broad comedy of wacky political protests as she is with the terrifying ramifications of genetic manipulation. She can skewer the industry's PR flaks in one chapter and serve as the midwife for long-deferred affection in the next. And she tends a thicket of metaphors about gardening, seeds, and biodiversity, describing the promiscuity of plants with as much frankness as the promiscuity of her characters.
But even after growing all over creation, Ozeki returns to her roots: the love between parents and children, a relationship beyond the sight of microscopes, more complex than any double helix, never susceptible to engineering, but always in need of careful cultivation like this.
2:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Laura Miller's review of Barry Unsworth's take on the Battle of Troy, The Songs of the Kings
In Unsworth's telling (as in Shakespeare's caustically cynical play about the war, Troilus and Cressida), Achilles is a vain rotter: "a natural killer ... he enjoyed homicide as a leisure activity ... Nothing ever led anywhere, with Achilles, except back to his own pride and perfection, to the gestures with which he endlessly celebrated his own marvelous existence." Furthermore, in the novel's terms, he's a relatively minor character. The Songs of the Kings focuses primarily on the seer Calchas, himself a minor character in The Iliad, and on a slave girl belonging to Iphigenia, Sisipyla, who, I hardly need add, doesn't figure in any ancient Greek account of the war at all. This is not your father's Iliad, Virginia.
Through the eyes of these two outsiders, Unsworth shows us a Greek army whose motives are purely mercenary. The impetus for the attack on Troy -- the "abduction" of Helen, wife of Agamemnon's brother Menelaus, by the Trojan prince Paris -- is a mere "pretext."
Miller weaves into her review a nice short history of how this battle -- which looms mythical in the Western imagination -- has been portrayed by Homer, Shakepeare etc., up to the present day.
Unsworth apparently shows how the Greeks' motives were as mercenary as shrubco's were in Iraq.
2:21 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
MusicMobsters finance software to maliciously hack file-sharers' computers
1:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Dutch Radio 4 will run a 2 1/2 hour ambient/experimental electronic etc. mix on May 18th, 9.30-0.00 PM, GMT 1
The page has the playing list and timezone conversion chart. It's in Dutch and English.
1:32 AM - [Link] - Comments ()