Rocking the Route

Posted by: jim on October 29, 2010 @ 10:50 am
Filed under: Chicago News, Events, Humor

Just so that everyone knows, I’m going to be out of the office next week heading out on the road with my band. There are 5 gigs over 7 days, all at stops on Route 66 — Chicago (tonight), St. Louis, Tulsa, Albuquerque, and finally LA. Info here. If you are in any of these place, come out and say hi. It’s not a jazz thing, but it is good-ole-rocknroll.

The tour is sponsored by Red Bull. They are filming each night for spots on the web and potentially a couple TV episodes. The idea is that they get us and another Chicago band on the road, they put us in surprise competitions at each stop vying for a ride on the Red Bull tour bus the following day (if we lose we ride in a sh#!tty van, not too dissimilar from the one we usually tour in), and finally some free studio time in LA if we win the whole thing. Celebrity guest judges, too. They are keeping us in the dark about pretty much everything to add suspense.

Hilarious, huh?

Anyway, I’ll be updating as much as I can from the road. Greenleaf orders will be shipped out next week on Tuesday and again on Friday–unlike our usual 1-24hr turn-around time–just so you know.

Preparing to get my kicks…

jt


2 Comments

Diz as Google Doodle

Posted by: jim on October 21, 2010 @ 10:03 am
Filed under: Culture, Humor

On Diz’s birthday — he would have been 93 today — Google commemorates his legacy with a doodle. You can see doodle next to the search field when searching on Google.

Diz Doodle

via BlackWeb
Dizzy is considered a pioneer in bebop and jazz music. He’s credited with influencing such greats as Miles Davis and Fats Navarro. Besides being a musical legend, Dizzy is known by two characteristics: his cheeks and his horn. Google has captured both of these in their Doodle, making his cheeks bright yellow and circular and giving his horn an upward bend.


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Happy Birthday Lester

Posted by: jim on October 11, 2010 @ 7:45 am
Filed under: Events, Humor

Thanks to Jean Paul Bourelly and Joseph Bowie for the link.


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Flamethrower Trombone

Posted by: jim on August 24, 2010 @ 10:02 am
Filed under: Humor

Couldn’t resist posting this. Video below via the always entertaining Make Online »

(more…)


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Conan does Frankenstein

Posted by: jim on August 18, 2010 @ 2:21 pm
Filed under: Culture, Humor, Spark Of Being

Apparently it’s the “IN” thing this year to do a project involving the Frankenstein story. We’re rolling out Dave and Bill Morrison’s reinterpretation of it, and now Conan O’Brien is releasing a 7″ with his.

via TwentyFourBit: We knew that a live album wasn’t the only recording Jack White and Conan O’Brien put to tape back in June, and now the latest release from Team Coco-White has been unveiled: “And They Call Me Mad?,” an “improvised take on the Frankenstein legend” by the former Tonight Show/Late Night host, is now available for pre-order at Third Man Records and will ship out next week.

Seems vinyl is the preferred release method for a lot of folks too. Good thing we pressed a few.


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The Onion: Dylan Goes Electronica

Posted by: jim on July 14, 2010 @ 7:44 am
Filed under: Humor, Music Technology

One of the better Onion articles I’ve seen in awhile. Couldn’t resist reposting…

Rock Fans Outraged As Bob Dylan Goes Electronica
July 12, 2010 | ISSUE 46•28

NEWPORT, RI—Audience members at the Newport Rock Festival were “outraged” Monday when rock icon Bob Dylan followed up such classic hits as “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Maggie’s Farm” with an electronica set composed of atonal drones, hyperactive drumbeats, and the repeated mechanized lyric “Dance to the club life!” “We came here to see the authentic Dylan, the one with the Stratocaster guitar and signature wild blues-rock band behind him,” audience member Robert Hochschild said. “Then he walks out with these puffy headphones, some turntables, and a laptop? The guy’s a Judas.” When asked later about his musical transformation by reporters, Dylan said he had nothing to say about the beats he programs, he just programs them.

Thanks for passing on, Joe.


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Discovery and Deletion: Alphabetical Listening, Pt 2

Posted by: jim on March 18, 2010 @ 8:27 am
Filed under: Humor, Listening, Music Technology

Last month I started a listening project in which I vowed to listen to my whole iTunes library in alphabetical order sorted by songs. Last week, I updated and said I had stopped due to the strains in caused on my ears — it was somewhere between Esther’s Nose Job by The Soft Machine and Estribillo by Aaron Copland. But I’m back on the horse as of yesterday, persevering to get those play counts up.

One of the reasons I stopped was because of the schizophrenic nature of such a playlist jumping from one tune to a completely disparate one. As much as I tout my multi-genre appreciation, trying to hear order in an orderless list — even if the common denominator is that it begins with “Everybody”– is tough. Things do pop out though. Putting on a full album while working usually brings me to eventually tune out a lot if my mind is on something else rendering it background music. This list is a jarring punch in the face at times. It wakes me up — ex. European Son by Velvet Underground into European Trip from Woody Allen‘s Standup Comic album.

I have found so many hidden gems in my library. Tunes I didn’t know where there or had never even heard or heard of making me wonder how they even got on my computer. Pieces in the Steve Reich boxset that I hadn’t gone all the way through popped out immediately. Guitar instrumentals by the fuzz guitar inventor Link Wray. And tunes from my past, things I hadn’t listened to since high school or college. How interesting it is to know that after almost 8 years, I can still sing all the words to Asleep On A Sunbeam by Belle and Sebastian. It’s crazy sometimes what the mind retains.

On the other side, I have deleted 30 to 40 albums. I mentioned a Metallica album (note: I kept all albums before the Black Album). Other deletions: songs and albums without complete ID3 info, mislabeled Faces albums, some of The Frogs catalog, some later AC/DC albums sans Bon Scott, Roky Erikson & The Aliens, etc etc. I could name more, but I don’t want to start a fight. I feel like deleting as I go helps the list move along. And it’s making room for new purchases and vinyl rips.

Anyway, onwards and downwards through the list. Here’s what I have to look forward to as I finish with the E’s…

(more…)


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A New Listening Project

Posted by: jim on February 10, 2010 @ 11:35 am
Filed under: Humor, Listening, Music, Music Technology

I have a new listening project. It’s a pretty mammoth undertaking. As you can assume from my job and past posts, I am an avid listener of music. I love vinyl. I love CDs. I love digital. All means to the same end: experiencing great music from jazz to rock, folk to metal, prog to lo-fi and everything in between.

The project? Listening to all the songs in my library in alphabetical order.

I started at the beginning yesterday: “¶ª” from the Trap Door International Psychedelic Mystery Mix (special characters are sorted first). I made it all the way through “Achilles Last Stand” by Led Zeppelin. Today, I started with “Acorda amor” from Joyce’s killer Passarinho Urbano album, and while I write, I went from “Adagio for Strings, Op 11″ to Springsteen’s “Adam Raised A Cain.” Next up: “Adam’s Apple.”

Given the diversity of my library, some of the transitions are pretty rough — the aforementioned Barber to Springsteen is a great example of that. But I am discovering and rediscovering some great tunes from people that have been lost in the massiveness of the library.

I pointed to an interview for the New Yorker awhile back in which Jonny Greenwood said:

SFJ: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of the MP3 age?

JG: The downside is that people are encouraged to own far more music than they can ever give their full attention to. People will have MP3s of every Miles Davis’ record but never think of hearing any of them twice in a row—there’s just too much to get through. You’re thinking, “I’ve got ‘Sketches of Spain and ‘Bitches Brew’—let’s zip through those while I’m finishing that e-mail.” That abundance can push any music into background music, furniture music.

Read more.

I will admit, I fall into that a lot. I own far more than I can digest. That’s one reason why I like vinyl. 20 minutes, switch, 20 minutes, done. That’s also one reason why I’m doing this. I want at least 1 legitimate play count on every tune, and I want to delete the things I don’t like. Not that play counts are proof I digested everything, but it’s a start in dealing with my library.

It will take me 88 days, 18 hours, 16 minutes, and 56 seconds to get through this. Wish me luck.


11 Comments

Early Bird Special

Posted by: jim on January 19, 2010 @ 1:38 pm
Filed under: Humor, Listening, Music Technology

Lot o’ guitar noise happening on my speakers as of late. This fit right in.

Early Bird Special: Old and Busted: Songbirds. New Hotness: Avant-noise birds.

Thanks Graham.


5 Comments

Old-industry bootleggers complain about sagging sales

Posted by: jim on January 7, 2010 @ 9:28 am
Filed under: Humor, Music Business News, Music Technology

In a classic case of irony sent on by Greenleaf commenter Mike Grimaldi, “Scorpio” talks about the golden days of smash hit bootlegs and how the Internet has ruined his business.

From NY Mag:
The music industry took another tumble in 2009, with CD sales down 12.7 percent from 2008. But the shadier, shadowy side of the business has been equally decimated. At one time, as many as 75 unofficial bootleg “companies” existed, illegally cranking out LPs and then CDs of hard-to-find studio and soundboard-jacked live recordings by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Phish, Pearl Jam, and other rock icons. Some, like the multidisc Dylan Ten of Swords box, are considered classics. Although it’s impossible to gauge exactly how profitable this quasi-industry was, the four-decade-old bootlegging biz generated millions of dollars globally. But now, this old-school method of illegal music distribution — one of rock’s most illustrious if illicit traditions — is being destroyed right along with the legit CD, all by the new-school method: the Internet.

I remember back in the day paying $40 for a “rare” Pink Floyd bootleg set. Hard to imagine doing that for burned CD-Rs now.


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