Monthly Archive for December, 2005

Page 2 of 12

We Have A Problem

For the past couple of weeks, we watched Season 1 of Lost. Not to mention the 6+ hours of bonus features on the DVD.

That wasn’t enough.

Clearly. We’re no amatures at obsessive and compusive behavior! Please.

So who could wait until the DVD of Seaon 2 comes out? Surely we couldn’t wait. Emily had the bright idea about downloading the new shows to her Video iPod. Genius! The clarity is pretty good. 200 megs for a 45 minute show @ 128kpbs. It’s around the quality of a VHS tape on a 19″ screen. It’s not bad and it’s only going to improve. Perhaps it’s the wave of the future. Definately a strong niche. Time will tell. Looking forward to this Apple Media Server. And better yet, we’re 9 episodes in to Season 2. Now we have to wait weekly for the episodes. We caught up, but watching commericials and waiting a week is going to suck nut.

Anyways. We seriously have a problem. We litterally come home every day, eat some food and plant ourselves in front of the TV to catch up on who Kate has slutted up on. What Locke has done to creep someone out. What Naveen Andrews did to be portrayed as an Iraqi when he’s from India. How Jin became so goddam ripped. How happy I was so see Shannon die. And how awesomely cute Emilie de Ravin’s accent is. It’s so good. However, we need to get out. Are we the only ones who are scared to go out at night in fear the Others will get us? Ack!

Records That Changed My Life, Part IV

Records that changed my life, in one way or another (1999 – ?) | Part IV :

The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin / Zaireeka – Sure they were released in 1999 and 1997 respectively, but I still jumble them together as a similar era – and in the genre of rock. Especially for groundbreaking music production in popular music. I use the word popular very loosely. The first time I heard The Soft Bulletin I couldn’t stand it. Honest truth. I thought it was a total indie cliche. And in some ways, it still kind of is – but of course does not make it bad music. I was also going through this anti-music period where if the music had a key signature I couldn’t listen to it and it would grate on my ears. Yeah, I know. Weird phase. But then again The Flaming Lips on 90210 was weird, too. So anyways. I heard this record and wasn’t blow away. Then I heard this 4-disc set called Zaireeka. Wait. 4-discs at once. On different CD players! This idea was amazing to me. It got my full attention. I had never heard of something like this. It totally fascinated me and I found out it was an extension of Wayne (the singer/guitarist) performing a similar idea with car stereos and cassette tapes in a parking garage. Totally revolutionary and put 5.1 and 7.1 sound to shame. I never did get 5.1 and all that surround sound for music. It just doesn’t make sense to me. But that’s another story. Zaireeeka: 4 CDs. Similar production to The Soft Bulletin. Crazy lyrics and vagina and planes and suicide. Kind of symphonic with the strings via Roland keyboard. Music beyond emotion. DRUMS DRUMS DRUMS. And likewise with The Soft Bulletin. The Soft Bulletin was a little more cohesive of a record and in my eyes “less concept” – but I am sure others would disagree. Dave Fridmann is truly an engineer of audio. He placed the sounds on this record impeccably. The vocals and lyrics will make an asshole cry. Seriously heartfelt regardless if they happened to Wayne or not. It was a reality. Someone’s and it worked. And the lack of guitars on every cut (in other words not ever track has guitar in it) is inspiring for rock bands across the world. Rock with out guitars is not such an amazing thought. But at the time it was for me. Waiting For A Superman still gets me choked up. Those ghost notes on the snare are mesmerizing. And the Gash. Jesus Christ. Talk about pure sinister. And the gong. One can never get over the gong. Wayne loves his gong. To not be moved by this record might prove one to be lifeless and/or dead. But what do I know.

Godspeed You Black Emperor!’s Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000) – I bought this in 2000. In NJ at a random record store that was selling a Pearl Jam record the day before it was supposed to be selling. Random, I know. But I remember these things and forget where I put my house keys. Anyways… I initially liked this record, a lot. I had not heard anything so emotional in a while at this point in my life. It was sincere heart searing instrumentals. Piercing emotions that anyone in the Western world should be able to relate so. Lots of ups and downs. The highs really high and the lows really low. It was symphonic with all the strings and mallets and rolling drums. There was seriously repetitive melodies. But it wasn’t until Emily and I were driving through a semi-worn-down area of Delaware. It was kind of baron and depressed. And the music completely fit in and clicked for me. The music already made sense to me, but it REALLY made sense to me. It was emotional and timely. There is nothing better than that. Oh yeah and there are no lyrics, so that’s always an added bonus for me.

Command Records/Terry Snyder & All Stars’ Persuasive Percussion II (Acquired in 2001 – Recorded in 1959) – This was a record given to me by a friend. I thought it was going to be simply all percussion. But it was not. It was sort of like easy listening big band music or “space age pop” as the critics call it. But the more and more I listened to it the more textures and layers and sounds I heard. Jesus Christ. This was music recorded in the 50s and 60s and it sounds like music coming out of the studios of today. It was fat and chunky and detailed and not muddy and washed out and flat like a lot of pop music from the 50s sounded like. They used stereo like George Martin started using 5+ years later. No one had ever really done such dramatic stereo panning at this time. It was a breath of fresh air for me and reassurance that there was interesting and breakthrough music happening in pop music and in recording techniques, best of all. After reading more and more about the label, I found out more about their recording techniques, like using 35mm film to record audio on to. Yeah, totally ZERO wow and flutter because the tape is sprocketed. I started picking up other Command Records records where ever I could find them. Strangely very few were ever transfered to CD. Rightfully so, as I am not sure how this music would translate to CD. If you still have no idea what this music sounds like, think Esquivel but seriously wider and deeper and bombastic. And if you ever see a Command Records LP in a bin somewhere pick it up and if you don’t like it, give it to me. I’ll give you a big kiss.

Violently Happy

I’ve been listening to Björk all morning. I shit you not. Post. Debut and Debut Live. I tried. I tried years ago. And I am trying again now seeing if there was something I missed. I clearly didn’t. She does nothing for me. Again, I just needed to prove I wasn’t be ignorant about music. I don’t know why I keep doing this. I am not sure who I am proving this for. I am done trying. There is no need anymore. It’s not for everyone and it’s clearly not for me.

Last night Kier and her Mother came over to discuss her music and selling it and websites and what not. We’re having dinner at her house on Thursday to discuss more business. She’s much shorter than we thought and talks just like we thought. They were so cute though. It’s fun watching the mother/daughter dialogs. Talking with Kier really solidified the fact that we only want to deal with artists and musicians for the design slice of our business. It’s the only way. And Emily totally worked it like she never has before. She’s pretty good at talking the talk. More than she knows!

Shortly after Kier and Alice left, Sara and her friend Greg came over. We caught up over tea and a sad dying fire on our new couch listening to Sinéad O’Connor’s newer record and Herbie Hancock’s Sextant. She’s writing a book on the Riotgrrrl scene. Sara amazes me. I am glad we’re still friends. There’d be no other way. It’s so amazing how she’s interviewing Kathleen Hanna among other people that she was so inspired by in high school. It’s so great and I can’t wait to read it.

In other news, the speakers came. I ended up getting the Athena Technologies Audition Series 2 F2.2. 1″ teteron dome tweeter. 2 8″ injection molded polypropylene woofers. Frequency response from 35Hz – 20kHz +/- 3 dB. Sensitivity to 93dB. And can handle 250 solid watts. Each one weights just under 50 lbs. And the weight and size really make the difference. You can try to defy physics in some aspects of life. But never in audio. It’s just too simple. I am just so happy with my new babies. Emily asked me last night, “Are these going to be the last speakers we ever buy?” I said, “No way, but we’ll have these for a very long time.” They are sick. SICK. And huge. Over 40″ tall. But they totally work with the room and definitely don’t overpower it. Bummer they take about 100 hours to burn in. Which is something new to me about speakers. But even now right out of the box, they sound amazing. They passed my test. Which is:

  • Soul Coughing – Irresistible Bliss :: The upright bass is a true test to the clarity and response of the bass of loudspeakers
  • Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage :: There’s something about this record that sounds so good to me. I am not sure what it is.
  • Lisa Loeb – Tails :: The upper harmonics of her voice are so shiny and make any speaker system beg for more
  • Roni Size – Represent :: The dynamics of drum & bass/electronic music really push speakers and their amps to their limits
  • Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin :: The drums being one of the most dynamic instruments lends to be a great testing tool

And since we finished Season 1 of Lost and we needed more we downloaded from iTunes the first few episodes of Season 2 to Emily’s Video iPod. We couldn’t wait for the DVDs. It’s pretty amazing. It’s clearly compressed, but the video is actually not bad at all on our crappy 19″ TV.