Music is more than shipping units

From here:

Music is strongly associated with the brain’s reward system. It’s the part of the brain that tells us if things are valuable, or important or relevant to survival, said Robert Zatorre, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Montreal Neurological Institute.


New Music Listening Wednesday May 23, 2012

YTD listened to: 307
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 165
Not good music:130
Buys: 12 (not all 2012 releases)

@@@ El-P: Cancer 4 Cure.  Out on Fat Possum.  Any record that has a track called Drones over Bklyn must be checked out.  First track is more  an uptempo dance track than a hip hop arrangement.  Urgent rapid fire verbal flow — the second tune is more of a hip hop tune.  Rough business, not a buy but this guy means business and he has skills.  The song ‘Drones over Bklyn’ is an excellent beat/verbal beatdown.  B+

@@@ The Funkees: Dancing Time, the Best of Eastern Nigeria.  Out on Soundway.  Say Santana and the band Styx were gay lovers and they went on vacation in Africa and had a musical lovechild, it would sound like this band.  Rockin’ hard ethnically, but with a combination African/Latin rock kind of feelin’.  The fourth tune Abraka is relentless.  B+

@@@ The Holy Terrors: Patience.  Today’s Bandcamp self-released listen courtesy of CFUV out in western Canada.  First tune is instrumenatl caveman stomp reverbed out rock that bridges creatively into another harmonica based vibe.  I guess these are the dirty strange urban whiteboy freak blues, which is cool.  I like it, I don’t love it, but check it out.


@@@ John Mayer: Born and Raised.  Professional, conservative, not cheesy, not exciting.  It’s comforting, like a cup of international house vanilla cocoa bean flavored coffee.

Gear porn

From a session I did over the weekend:

Those are 1950’s RCA tube preamps on that wooden box on the right.

That’s a Paul Reed Smith guitar with a neck that was popped off and replaced with an aluminum fretless fingerboard.

That’s the back end of my Quad 8 Pacifica mixer.  Mmmmmm.

New Music Listening Tuesday, May 22, 2012

YTD listened to: 302
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 161
Not good music:130
Buys: 12 (not all 2012 releases)

I listened to 4 releases on Bandcamp.  As Bandcamp is a DIY place where a lot of musicians start out I will feature only music I dug on Bandcamp.  I will save my negative feelings for the larger, more established labels and musicians.

@@@  You should check out the second tune on this link.  It is from works in progress by Von Nohrfeldt.  The music is a hybrid of spacious electronic noise with glitched rhythms.  Not really a tempo per se, it unfolds at a walking pace with more sounds introduced as the 9-minute piece rolls on until it’s fairly dense.  I’d like to hear more from this musician, there’s nothing to buy, just listening but it’s interesting music.

@@@  You can check out a couple of tunes from Le Super Borgou De Parakou (1970’s Benin)  over here.  Or below.  That is some funky shit, and I would love to check out more, but this record is not up on Spotify and I need to check out the whole record before I plunk down cheddar.

Alien space ho crackheads invade Billboard music awards

I don’t give a flying fuck what people wear.

And I don’t think that when a woman dresses up like a prostitute that means she is a prostitute.  It’s just an outfit.

And I understand, from a marketing perspective, why a musician might dress like this.  You dress up wild, somebody pops a pic and it gets propagated around the internet tubes.

And I do not think the music business should aspire to put out only great works of art.  There most definitely should be a healthy amount of party music.

Finally, the skin color of the folks in the pictures below is completely unconnected from the points made here.  It’s about these outfits.


If the music business ever wanted to sell records to anybody except horny tweens and teens they might want to look at these outfits and save them for the aftershow party.

If the music business every thought of itself as an industry that puts out substantial music aimed at the head or the heart and not just the crotch, maybe these outfits could present a problem.

If the music business ever wanted to conduct a non-spectacle based business strategy it might be more effective in connecting with normal people who might just want to listen to some good music.

I believe that music is an art form and that it can move people and give comfort to people during difficult times.  It can inspire people and be a restorative force.

But you sure as fuck can’t tell that from these pictures below:

New Music Listening Friday May 18, 2012

YTD listened to: 298
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 159
Not good music:127
Buys: 12 (not all 2012 releases)

@@@ MV & EE: Space Homestead.  Quirky ass psychedlic stoner country folk music.  Slow tempos, a strange drummer, effects on guitars, sort of an oxycontin country vibe.  Parts of the formula I liked as it’s very unique, and parts of it I found less appealing.  I’m going to listen to it more and see if I can recommend it.

@@@ Beach House: Bloom.  Oh boy.  Painfully derivative.  I heard five previous famous tunes mashed up in the first tune.  The singer is soft, there’s too much on his voice.  Blech.

@@@ Best Coast: The Only Place.  Cue the summer bubblehead music.  Go buy Lucinda Williams record This Old World instead of this, you’ll thank me later.


How being a marketing ho only hurts your own life

Do you think that small outfits should be able to market their shit at the same level/expertise as Apple?

Do you think if you had a small company would you be able to compete with Apple marketing?

What do you think the marketing budget was for Lady Gaga’s last record?  Wilco?  Do you think you could compete with that marketing budget?

If you’re a passive consumer of music then you are a desired target of saturation marketing.  Eat what I give you, I’ll be back with more after you’ve done with that.  I have been shocked at how many indie hipsters are unquestioning consumers of weak ass indie rock and how little interest they have in anything else.

If you’re an active consumer of music (and any other thing) you are not a desirable target of marketing as you have a mind of your own.  You know what you like and what you don’t like, and you reject the idea that the best music is the most visible music.  The most visible music is the best funded music, which is a very different thing.

Lastly, and at the conceptual level, if you’ve ever thought you’d like to do something at a smaller level — work for yourself, make something and sell it locally on a small scale — you should be the last person to be a sucker for big budget marketing because you’re not gonna have those resources when you do your smaller scale thing.  The more people become actively resistant to marketing, the better lives we’re gonna lead.

The reason that the Music PR people  want to control the ‘buzz’ and word of mouth is to stifle real word of mouth.  If there was real word of mouth there would be a much more level playing field in the music business — your record collection would be better and your ability to be independent and do something on a smaller scale would be greatly increased.

Don’t expect small business to have the same marketing as huge companies like Apple.  Be happy they don’t.  Don’t be a marketing ho.