Articles

  • Some kind of Scientology virus, I assume

    31 mars 2009, 21h37m

    Hey, I don't know what caused my iTunes to think I played Beck's Modern Guilt 35 times on January 6, but it's fucking up my charts. At 34min per album play, it is possible to listen to it that much in a 24h period, and I do like the album, but come on. Has anyone else ever had this happen?

    I don't like the idea of editing my library/charts, but this is just bad data.
  • Holy Fuck is making me all patriotic

    20 mars 2008, 20h37m

    Usually when I meet someone new in this area, if the talk gets around to music, we exchange our respective countries’ bands. Unfortunately this is always initially embarrassing for me.

    “Oh I know,” says other person who then rattles off Celine, Bryan, Avril. If I’m lucky I get Neil.

    Well, now I’m just glad that my usual muttered-at-my-boots reply of “Holy Fuck” can be taken as a positive band recommendation. Am loving these guys. A rare perfect balance of electronic melodies and analogue depth. Heard them for the first time a couple months ago, and happy to see they’re getting a lot of good press. Currently listening to a live show of theirs downloaded from dublab (via
    Gorrilla vs Bear).

    Now if only I could reconcile myself to the fact that musically I have more in common with some perky tv chef than with Neil Gaiman.
  • Stuff I bought in February

    9 mars 2008, 21h21m

    My last entry particularly annoyed me after I checked its link to my first entry. One would think I hadn't progressed at rehab at all.

    So just a quick note in my own defense. My last cd-buying binge consisted of:

    LCD Soundsystem, Sound Of Silver
    Simian Mobile Disco, Attack Decay Sustain Release
    The Knife, Silent Shout
    Alice in Chains, Greatest Hits (used, still kicks ass)

    Right. Just wanted to put that out there.
  • Thanks NIN for finally making me cheat

    9 mars 2008, 20h44m

    As someone who gets paid to worry about statistics, my charts have bothered me for a bit. It’s ok to have a top artist, but this is verging on insane.

    1. NIN: 740
    2. Radiohead: 146

    That is not healthy. It also makes for an ugly chart shape. But at least it’s honest. When I started this, I thought it might be a way to get an unbiased view of what I like; therefore I decided not to cheat on my scrobbling. However, the combined impacts of stress, in-ear headphones, and NIN having an interesting and unusually productive year have had their effect.

    And now Trent hath bestowed Ghosts I-IV upon us. Sigh. 36 tracks. 1:50:07 of soundscapes. You know that baby’s on heavy rotation right now. You know it’s skewing those charts even more.

    (Quick review. Gorgeous. 12 is a favourite – if this album could have a single that would be it. Don’t like 15 only because there’s some noise in there that sounds like a sampled baby laugh. Someone please tell me it’s not. Otherwise, Meathead's review is pretty much bang on.)

    Winamp says I now have 432 artists, 2240 tracks in my library. NIN has the most with 187 tracks (The White Stripes are next with 69). 8% NIN, and that’s an underestimate because there’s remixes in the library filed under different names.

    I started cheating on the scrobbling this week. Turned off the scrobbler for some Ghosts plays. Is that bad? Like the music equivalent of hiding vodka around the house?
  • Cover thoughts

    19 jan. 2008, 4h13m

    So the Saul Williams Sunday Bloody Sunday video is out.



    Takes considerable balls to cover the iconic SBS. It’s a fairly conservative cover, but I think they pull it off ok. I did a lot of U2 back in high school, so that nostalgia mixed with the Trent Reznor obsession caused a small brain meltdown on first hearing. Yes, it’s Williams singing, but that opening line sounds like Reznor at first (and second, third …) listen. Adore that chainsaw guitar covering the Edge’s solo.

    But I’m a bit bothered that SBS seems to be the first single from The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggy Tardust!. Generally, I’m wary of any new artist that’s promoted with a cover for a single. It seems gimmicky. I know that Williams is already a respected artist (at least I know that now - like a lot of others, I’d never heard of this guy before Reznor got involved), but is this song really going to bring a new audience to him? Honestly, if Williams’ SBS was the first song I’d ever heard by him, I’d probably dismiss him as some guy trying to cash out riding U2’s coattails. It’s frustrating too because there are so many great tracks on NT, and the power of Williams’ music is in his lyrics.

    Then again, I think Nine Inch Nails’ first hit was covering Get Down Make Love and that worked out, so what the hell do I know about promotion.

    All that said, I like covers if the artist does something new and interesting to them. As Brian Ibott on Coverville (good podcast) says, makes it their own.

    Bands Under The Radar had a cover show a while back. Some notes on that:
    Chris Cornell’s Billie Jean blew me away. Understand that I hate the original of that song. It’s been beaten to death by every retro-night dj on the fucking planet. I walk off the floor when they play it. But Cornell’s version strips it down to the lyrics which I never really listened to before, and without the whoo-hoos, there’s a story and confusion and pain.
    The DarknessStreet Spirit (Fade Out). God knows I also hate nu-metal-glamrock or whatever the hell genre they are, but this is just freaking fun.
    But whatever you do, DO NOT listen to the auditory hell that is that Gwyneth Paltrow/Huey Lewis track. It’s not kitchy and amusing. It hurts.

    Finally, some random fav covers:
    Catherine Wheel, Wish You Were Here
    Easy Star All-Stars & Citizen Cope, Karma Police
    Cowboy Junkies, Misguided Angel
    The Flaming Lips, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
    The Magic Numbers, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
    Camper Van Beethoven, Pictures of MatchstickMen
    U2 (full circle! ha!), Night and Day

    And from the realms of total weirdness, Eläkeläiset, Niilo Yli-Vainio tervasi potkukelkkani jalakset (yup, it’s Jesus Built My Hotrod).
  • Wired vs. Trent Reznor

    28 déc. 2007, 22h44m

    Eh, copy-paste of the article description is good enough.

    Trent Reznor on Year Zero, Planting Clues, and What's Ludicrous About Being a Musician Today

    Wired contributing editor Frank Rose interviewed Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor at his house in Beverly Hills on October 18, 2007. Listen to a partial recording or read the full transcript.

    Trent's downright babbly these days: the interview's 11 pages long and the interviewer barely says a thing. It's part of a piece on ARG's and other things that don't interest me as much.

    In related news, a friend gave me Y34RZ3R... whatever, the remix album for xmas. And a very nice NIN tshirt that fits awesomely. Someone knows what makes me happy.
  • nemozob mashups

    5 déc. 2007, 22h40m

    Don't normally get my music tips from boingboing, but this one's fun: nemozob.

    Mashed:
    Nick Drake vs. Marvin Gaye
    Beastie Boys vs. Led Zeppelin
    Rick James vs. Rolling Stones
    Electric Light Orchestra vs. Eddy Grant
    Bjork vs. America

    Well, that dragged me out of the music equivalent of an opium den for a few minutes.
  • Radiohead / Saul Williams-NIN celebrity death match

    4 nov. 2007, 1h25m

    I know, it's not a competition.

    Round 1. The Model

    I said I'd support Radiohead on the In Rainbows release, and I did. I paid £3 (+ 43p service charge), so that works out to $7 CAD/USD. The buy process was straightforward. I don't know about the free download because I never tried that (I should have, just to see). Downloaded, zipped files extracted with no problem. Sounds fine on the iPod. I've also burnt a cd of it, and am happily listening to it now.

    There is however grumpiness on the net. A lot of people pulled out their credit cards in support and/or to give the finger to the major labels. Viva la revolucion! But then, someone said their pay-what-you-want model is all just a tactic to promote cd sales. It was all marketing! Gasp! Well of course it's marketing. It's all marketing, baby. But it could have been done better. And someone should have told their manager to shut the fuck up and not go around telling people that the revolutionary Radiohead model is a promotional tool. People do not want to feel like tools. So the "real" product is the cd that might come out sometime soon? That's nice, but probably no thanks, I'm happy with my current purchase.

    Saul Williams' The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggy Tardust! download model is better. I wasn't sure about Trent Reznor experimenting with his direct distribution model (and it is his model, according to seller Musicane) on a relatively unknown artist. But he's throwing the entire weight of the Nine Inch Nails brand behind to promote it, so it's getting some attention. This model is improved: the website is cleaner, the product details are clearly described. There's free stuff and high quality options for the audiophiles, even artwork pdf for those of us who still like that kind of thing. On the whole the process feels more transparent and honest. Perfect download and unzip on the free version.

    I haven't bought this album yet. I will as soon as I decide whether I want to fuck about with FLAC files or just get the mp3. (One complaint here. These guys have asked me to consider alternate file types. I'm flattered - very important in marketing! - that they think I'm up for making such decisions, but also I feel uncool for not knowing how to deal with FLACs. So research, yuck. Probably this will turn out to be one more thing suggested by TR that sounds scary and is unpleasant the first time but eventually is worth it.)

    So, round 1 goes to Saul Williams-NIN. Please tell me in the future we won't be calling this the Niggy model. I can barely bring myself to type that for god's sake. Someone work on a good name.

    (I see that Niggy Tardust isn't on last.fm's database yet, but someone got In Rainbows up pretty quickly. Then again, Year Zero is still not up, so TR obviously hates it here.)

    Round 2. The Album

    Ok, this isn't really fair. You can't compare these albums. They have completely different styles, moods, themes. But I feel that I should at least comment on the music, because that's what I love. I've played both albums about 5 times.

    I like In Rainbows. It's pretty, melodic with interesting electronic stuff playing around it. I should do a song breakdown here, but the thing with Radiohead for me is I just melt into this sound and float. It's Radiohead, therefore it's gorgeous, as expected.

    I'm loving Niggy Tardust. Loving it. Think it's the best new thing I've heard in ages. Admittedly, I can't be objective because of the NIN obsession. But take NIN as a music base and put solid intelligent hiphop poet over it? Holy god. NT does deserve its own journal entry though, so I'll leave it at that.

    Gotta call Round 2 a draw. And this has been a long entry, so that's enough of that.
  • NINdependence Day

    9 oct. 2007, 6h25m

    From nin.com:

    08 October 2007: Big News

    Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate. Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008. Exciting times, indeed.

    posted by Trent Reznor at 10:45 AM.


    Aw, who's a happy little rock god? I think he's almost smiling. So maybe there some good side to the currently fucked up US political scene: Trent still has one thing to be depressed/pissed off about. Because between sober, hot, critically acclaimed, and now this, I worry about him going all Shiny Happy People on us.
  • Cosmos Incorporated soundtrack

    8 oct. 2007, 21h46m

    A while ago, I randomly picked up Cosmos Incorporated by Maurice G. Dantec. Frankly, I think the novel sucks (why is it every French novel I read is so depressing?), but it has an excellent soundtrack. I don't know anything about the author, but according to the wikipedia link above, he's into music; I guess that's why he just namedrops songs in the story. Conveniently, this site lists the songs so I don't have to go back through the book to find them all. I assume it's correct.

    Interstellar Overdrive
    Final Solution
    Dancing With Myself
    This Is The Day
    Blue Monday
    Belfast Child
    Love Will Tear Us Apart
    Rocket Usa
    Rope Bridge Crossing
    Ruiner
    Happiness in Slavery
    Radio Activity

    Don't like the guy's writing, but sounds like a decent retro dj.