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  • [My Gang] Music: The Next 10 Years, 2010 - 2020

    30 jan 2009, 01:21 av Babs_05

    Continuing my series of speculative journals:
    Wonky Pop. Bahahaha
    Is Pop The New Avant-Garde?
    RIP Indie : 1982 - 2008


    It is fair to say the have been dominated by indie music. From The Strokes to The Libertines and Pete Doherty. From Oasis and The Foo Fighters all the way over to Goldfrapp, with a little wave from Bjork, as a genre exploded and scattered, each element evolving to form something new.

    Where in the past, we had tastemaker TV, in the form of Top of the Pops and CD:UK, to inform us and influence the mass market, in the 00s we had download culture and a total disregard for what the music industry wanted us to buy. The whole dynamic shifted. We had the internet at our disposal. We could do whatever we wanted, listen to whatever we wanted, when we wanted, and on an increasing number of platforms, thanks to ever cheaper digital technology.

    We slowly stopped socialising in clubs and started hanging out online. No longer the preserve of geeks and nerds, by the end of the 00s, if you don't have broadband and you are not online, if you don't at least use email, you are not in the loop.

    The music industry as it was collapsed. We destroyed it. The very idea that we should pay full price for an album we have only heard one track from became outlandish. It was an arrogance we were forced to accept for decades but now, we didn't have to.

    Last.fm started up around the middle of the decade. Our mass tagging for the is a fair reflection of the last 10 years or so.

    Retro music became big news but, in my opinion, that was tied with celebrity culture and Amy Winehouse. The fascination lay with her, not retro music. The music industry tried to monetise what they thought was a new trend, spending a good year or two searching for the 'next Amy' and the best they came up with was Duffy, who pretty much destroyed the vibe before it got going with her one-note singing.

    Underground, we saw great strides in , from retro 80s Hercules & Love Affair to Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter and his ringtones album 24 Postcards in Full Colour, and music and from labels such as . We saw most of the new bedroom music come from this genre, Maps - We Can Create being a great example.

    music didn't really change, it just went back to skool. went abstract and underground. Flying Lotus, J Dilla, Daedelus. We got two big internet stars, Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen. Rock was sidelined, no one listened unless it had some elements.

    If people were complaining in the 90s that things were accelerating, in the 00s, acceleration was almost at breakneck speed, with trends barely lasting a season sometimes. Some trends arced over a number of years, but even they were forced to evolve to keep our dissipated attention. We stopped doing one thing at a time and got used to multi-tasking. Our attention became more divided once we got home from work or school, balancing demands from people around us, the television / radio, and the internet and email, with our mobile phones by our sides.

    In music, people started to just grab the tracks they wanted from albums. Listening to one whole album, in one sitting, became less and less attractive. Bands responded by creating album-albums, as opposed to albums containing a few great songs and the rest fillers, but fewer and fewer artists were rewarded for their efforts, notably Radiohead.

    Pop ... heh, you just missed my typo but it's so appropriate I'm going to use it... pop became poop. Having lost tastemaker TV, the only way the music industry thought they could get our attention was to morph with reality TV. So we had Pop Idol and the other one to deal with. Only a precious few actually hit the bigtime, notably Girls Aloud and Leona Lewis.

    As the decade comes to a close, we see a shift away from modern America / Western values in music to an embracing of musical styles from around the world and from history.


    So what of the next decade? 2010 - 2020? What can we reasonably expect? What can we predict already? What can we hope for?

    I listen to a lot of music, but even I can't listen to everything, time being a factor for one thing. If we are to look at future music trends, we need to also consider wider cultural factors, as well social, political and economic climates, and global and local trends.

    I'm opening the floor to you, my fellow Last.fmers. What do you see?

    In conversation somewhere else, I brainstormed the following: the future of the internet and increased broadband uptake. Cyberculture. Porno avatars. Erosion of morals and inhibitions in a bid to be noticed online. Then the opposite - the new prudes. 24/7 lifestyle. Flexibility - working at 3am, working from home or the park bench thanks to new gadgets and cheaper technology. That's if technology gets cheaper. Earth's resources plundered and precious metals getting more expensive. So we either recycle our tech or pay more in future. Mass dumbing down. Ever poorer education. Inability to concentrate on one thing. Divided attention. So a division in music - music that can be enjoyed in short bursts. Or slow music, 'old-fashioned', to be taken time over. If people have time. A whole hour dedicated to one activity a rare luxury.

    If artists are to do well in the next few years, they must be able to effectively use social networking sites and communicate with their listeners. Why? Because with rising mass unemployment, we can expect to see a surge in social networking, and everyone knows online advertising doesn't work. Artists must be personable and have warmth and humanity to keep listeners coming back. Communication must at least appear to be two-way between artist and listener. On the net, Radiohead lead the way. In Last.fm, it has to be Pixieguts. Of course, there are artists we don't expect to connect with to such a degree, but this new angle will become the new norm.

    The current global recession will have an immediate impact on the early years of the next decade. With rising unemployment comes greater creativity. and were born out of the troubled times and recession of the end of the 70s / early 80s. We can reasonably expect to see more homemade music and it quickly becoming available to all online, especially via social network sites. Electronic has been the favoured medium until now, but with more time on their hands, it's not unreasonable to expect artists to pick up other instruments, continuing the trend so markedly brought to the fore by The Arcade Fire and Coldplay.

    The second half of the next decade is harder to see. It depends how well we recover from the global recession for a start. It also depends on us finding decent alternatives to energy because as things stand, if electricity becomes too expensive, we can kiss goodbye to sitting at our PCs all day, streaming music, downloading and file sharing. If things improve and we all feel happier again, we won't need pop, classic rock and electro-disco as much as we do right now. We can go back to being introspective and will be able to afford to wallow in something miserable, or deep and meaningful, for an hour or so.

    Where before it was quite easy to predict a return to a particular decade, it's not so straightforward now with no unifying medium to bring us all together. Instead, it might be helpful to look at how we use music in our lives. We always want dinner music, dance music, background music to shop by or drown out the neighbours and the city by. We always want music to relax to, seduce to, sleep and wake up to. We want music in our cars, on our mobile devices, and we want it cheaper or free. In amongst this almighty racket, we want music to think to, to inspire us, to mull over. We want music to mark out our groups, our social standing, maybe even our age. Sometimes we want a break from music we hear all the time and want to rest our ears on something different. These are all givens. We could see a rise in local collectives, such as The Arctic Circle and The Magpie's Nest. Local music for local people. Collectives create an opportunity for small performances aimed at target audiences, or just the local community. There is no need for great budgets for big concerts or extensive travelling, gigs take place in small venues that are cheap to hire. So far, they have been word of mouth, even online. Whether they catch your eye or not is down to sheer luck or serendipity.

    I think as in fashion, where we no longer have a single defining style we are all forced to adopt, the next decade might be a free-for-all, with us listeners grabbing what we want, whenever we feel like it. We will be less the victims of cynical marketing and more the consumers of music that resonates with us. It means musos will be in heaven and people who need a little guidance, who aren't so into music, will feel a little lost. They will most likely turn to tastemaker bloggers for ideas. The choices of bloggers will therefore become increasingly critical. We might see a shift away from official sites such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Stereogum to smaller, individual blogs run by real people with real opinions. They are already seen as more trustworthy. Mass marketing might try to fake it but hopefully, we will see through the ruse. And with the music industry having less influence on artists, we can expect to see more self-indulgence, more progressiveness across the genres. We can expect baroque prog pop and rock, as well as more jazz-influenced music.

    Far from an end to music as we know it, the collapse of the music industry in the 00s will free us to explore and we should see a rise in people enjoying music. It might just be we're not all listening to the one same thing.


    Babs My Gang


    PS: This is my 150th arcticle!

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  • [My Gang] D-Mob - We Call It Acieed : Reco of the Week 12 Aug 08

    12 aug 2008, 22:07 av Babs_05

    Artist: D-Mob
    Track: We Call It Acieed
    Tags: , , , ,

    YouTube


    I remember seeing this the first and only time it was shown on Top of the Pops, 20 October 1988. I was about to sit down to dinner with my friends when the song came on. We all stopped talking and just turned to the tv. We looked at the screen, looked back at each other, looked at the screen again, then burst out laughing. To put it in some context, also on the show was Enya with Orinoco Flow, and Whitney Houston was at number one with the excruciating One Moment in Time.


    D-Mob

    Although house music had been bubbling underground in its own subculture for a while, this was the first time it had gone mainstream. Mistakenly, people immediately assumed it had to do with drugs but it was more to do with a mindset and a coming together of Chicago/Detroit/New York , in the UK and beat from Ibiza.


    Acid House ravers, 1989

    For most of us, the second summer of love happened in the press and the evening news. We heard about secret raves and warehouse parties where huge crowds gathered just to dance and where the police focussed all their attentions on non-violent events. Eventually, laws were passed to stop people from dancing in large numbers, clubs were forced to close at ridiculously early hours, even people celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall were stopped. The Beastie Boys must have seen it coming. Fight for Your Right (1986)



    As is usual with media hysteria and the general public believing the lies, some shops stopped selling anything with smiley faces and the new subculture was viewed with great suspicion for its tolerance of race, creed, gender and sexuality. It was the press who called it the Second Summer of Love, a period which stretched from 1988 to about 1990. Whilst mainstream radio and tv refused to play the new acid / house music, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing it. I remember being in a pizza restaurant with work colleagues when Lil Louis' French Kiss came on. Not exactly appropriate dinner music. (and why do these things always happen when I'm having my dinner??)



    The time period is associated with Ecstacy but does anyone remember what it cost? I always wondered about this. The late 80s was when real Ecstacy was going round, proper MDMA, and it wasn't cheap. Around that time, someone tried to sell me a tablet for £50. I was shocked - that was more than my weekly rent! It's just another one of those lies, like everybody was involved in the first summer of love of 1967and they were all swinging hippies. They weren't. Just like the second summer of love, rave culture and everyone supposedly on E's, it mostly happened in the press, not in real life. More often than not, they served as convenient smokescreens for more serious matters, such changes in government policy. Thatcher's Britain met its downfall with the poll tax riots of 31 March 1990. She was to leave Parliament later the same year, in November.



    I could never do crowds and was never one for substances, not even headache pills, so I never managed to get to one of these raves. I didn't even know how people heard of them. The closest I got was house parties and London clubs. Hand on heart, I can honestly say the atmosphere was lovely. Everyone smiled at each other, talked to each other, and we all felt safe. There wasn't an ounce of aggression, the good mood was so contagious. Plus, I could enjoy a night out and come home with change out of £20. The only thing I needed was a cup of coffee around 2am. Bar Italia, opposite Ronnie Scotts was brilliant for that.



    I found this online - Summer of Love - it's a mashup of music from the two summers of love, 1967 and 1988. You don't have to download, you can just listen via the VW Van player.

    There we are. I did promise you silly nonsense this week. Sorry I got a bit carried away with the old memories. I've added some further reading below, in case anyone's interested.


    Babs My Gang



    Back To Skool

    'We Call It Acieeed' by D-Mob was the first Acid House track to enter the Top-20 singles music chart. The culture of Acid House music began in the 1980s and was described as 'Cheap synthesizer sounds, fluctuating bass lines and minimal vocals'. It generated a new club culture and new form of 'Trance Dance' often associated with the Ecstasy drug.
    20th Century London


    'We Call It Acieeed' - D Mob
    It was 1988, the Summer of Love. Everyone wore dungarees, Kickers and bandanas. Clubs such as Shoom and Spectrum were awash with tie-dye. A big smiley face shone down on all of us dancing like loons, running on the spot, arms waving at imaginary air-traffic. But this was the advent of something big, something new. Dance music was sweeping up youth and feeding it ecstasy. Tabloid hysteria followed. The Sun's medical correspondent Vernon Coleman warned potential drug-takers, "You will hallucinate ... if you don't like spiders, you'll start seeing giant ones". Scarey stuff. Sir Ralph Halpern banned smiley t-shirts from Top Shop and TOTP went 'mental, mental', reluctantly playing the video once but not permitting a live performance. D Mob's risible dance-floor mash-up 'We Call It Acieeed' may have been removed from our screens but it did jack into the charts at No.3.
    BBC Top 5 Banned Songs


    House music is uptempo music for dancing and has a comparatively narrow tempo range, generally falling between 118 beats per minute (bpm) and 135 bpm, with 127 bpm being about average since 1996.

    Far and away the most important element of the house drumbeat is the (usually very strong, synthesized, and heavily equalized) kick drum pounding on every quarter note of the 4/4 bar, often having a "dropping" effect on the dancefloor. Commonly this is augmented by various kick fills and extended dropouts (aka breakdowns). Add to this basic kick pattern hihats on the eighth-note offbeats (though any number of sixteenth-note patterns are also very common) and a snare drum and/or clap on beats 2 and 4 of every bar, and you have the basic framework of the house drumbeat.

    This pattern is derived from so-called "four-on-the-floor" dance drumbeats of the 1960s and especially the 1970s disco drummers. Due to the way house music was developed by DJs mixing records together, producers commonly layer sampled drum sounds to achieve a larger-than-life sound, filling out the audio spectrum and tailoring the mix for large club sound systems.

    Techno and trance, the two primary dance music genres that developed alongside house music in the mid 1980s and early 1990s respectively, can share this basic beat infrastructure, but usually eschew house's live-music-influenced feel and black or Latin music influences in favor of more synthetic sound sources and approach.
    Blog - House Music - What Is It?

    Acid House

    20th Century London - 1980 - 1989

    Professor examines how music genre unified a youth subculture

    Times Online, August 6, 2008 - Music The BBC Banned

    Wikipedia - House Music
    Wikipedia - Second Summer of Love

    Blog - The Acid House



    Admin - Stats as of today:


    Video:
    Date Added to YouTube: March 04, 2007
    Views: 70,076, Ratings: 184, Responses: 0, Comments: 194, Favorited: 835 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 2,412 (streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 5,012
    Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 22
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 572


    Stats after 7 days:

    Video:
    Views: 71,628, Ratings: 189, Responses: 0, Comments: 199, Favorited: 859 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 2,429 (streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 5,047
    Position in Last 7 Days: 1 / 32
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 572

    270 Unique Visitors
    321 Page Views


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  • The Beta Code

    22 jul 2008, 06:22 av Babs_05

    It's a funny thing in my life: people tell me their secrets. I don't know what it is. I used to think it was my open face and winning smile but even on the internet, people tell me things.

    I won't tell you who told me but I'll tell you what they said. And if I find I can't log in tomorrow, I've got this article saved...

    Let's unravel the mystery, shall we?

    Let's start with CBS, one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States with a great portfolio, now including Last.fm. As a business, they need their assets to perform whilst at the same time meet their needs. So it was that at some point last year, a new release was promised by Last.fm, one that would fix all of CBS's problems.

    What might those problems be? Let's make some intelligent guesses and arrive at some assumptions:

    * improved advertising
    * new business, ie attract more users, ie target mainstream audiences
    * better incorporation of CBS data, ie their back catalogue
    * better promotion of artists (CBS artists?)
    * a more up-to-date look
    * room for future growth
    * CBS and Last.fm senior managment probably signed off a vague paper which wasn't more than a list of ticked boxes. The 'creatives' would do the rest.

    What came next was a year's worth of mismanagement and ignoring of 'creatives' on the shop floor. Writing code which wasn't going to be released for 8 months was a recipe for disaster and a disaster it was. The silver bullet promised by Last.fm senior management didn't work. Understandably, after waiting a year, CBS wanted to see results. What was taking so long? Get it done! And so it was an unfinished beta was released to over 21 million users worldwide.

    It's the old story, isn't it? You have senior management who make all the decisions; middle-management who are effectively the go-betweens; and the shop floor who do all the work. It's people on the shop floor who always have the closest relationship with a company. And it's senior management who are the most disconnected. The go-betweens can work for good or evil, depending on the point they want to make. We all have our stories...

    The new look Last.fm went live on Thursday 17 July 2008 at 4.45pm, British Summer Time. There was no announcement or forewarning but that's not unusual, I have never known them to make a big announcement prior to a new release in all the years I have been here. There was an immediate backlash and staff on the shop floor were left to cope on their own, without any guidance or support. I noticed throughout beta testing, whenever they put a foot wrong or revealed a little too much to us, they were punished, yet the vague directions they had to go on weren't fleshed out. If communication between Last.fm and users was lacking, it was even worse back at base. If you think we impassioned users don't like it, imagine how heartbreaking it is for those staff who have been there for years.

    Where do we go from here?

    Effectively, what we have right now is an open beta, which means the site is being built and tested whilst in use. We are testing the new site as we go along and it is up to us to report bugs as we find them; remember to mention which operating system and which browser you're using, and don't forget to mention if you have a disability and are using any additional systems. We can request new features for consideration in the final version. Staff are going through all our feedback. It's exciting to see them go through. Recommendations on the Music landing page? Mine. Claimed! (at least, I think it's mine...) With only one site to look after and with any luck, it should be a much smoother process than when trying to maintain two.

    To find out known issues and what Last.fm teams are working on, go to the Forums (at the bottom of the page), and in particular this thread: Site Update: KNOWN ISSUES (Updated 21 July). Frequently asked questions are answered here: Site Update FAQ. To find out what will definitely be added in the future, go here: Previously Suggested Ideas 3 (!). To leave your feedback and suggestions, go to the Feedback and Ideas forums. To report bugs, go to Website Support.

    Some users are working on 'survival guides'. I will add those journals to this one as and when I find them. If you are writing one and want me to add it, please give me a shout.

    Well, I feel much better. I have been sitting on this information for a little while and I look forward to sleeping soundly and not dreaming about beta bugs or drowning in my Library.

    Hope I can log in tomorrow...


    Babs My Gang

    Related:

    * Journal: 4.45 - beta goes live
    * Journal: I can't believe it's not beta...!
    * News stories bookmarked by me: StumbleUpon
    * The thread to read: this one

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  • 4.45 - beta goes live

    17 jul 2008, 16:17 av Babs_05

    Today, at 4.45pm (British Summer Time), Last.fm's beta site went live.

    It's nowhere near ready, however, maintaining one site will be a lot easier than managing two, so it makes sense. The next few weeks will be difficult whilst we get used to not having certain features.

    Missing:

    * Reply Tracker / Grapevine - yet to be added
    * New message indicator - don't know if this will return
    * Group Descriptions - don't know if they will return. All data is lost for now
    * Forum Search
    * Proper music search - cannot search by artist or track in drop down mini menu
    * Certains URLs will no longer work, eg tag radios, journals, because information has changed

    and many, many more.

    There have been some very important changes to user permissions. Non-subscribers will no longer be able to listen to other people's tag radios. Non-subs may listen to their Playlists but only full tracks will play in full and they will have to click on each next track to hear more. See here for the reason why.


    Last.fm have made an announcement in their blog:

    For those of you who are veteran Last.fm users, you’ll notice we’ve taken a step back to make our feature set more coherent. Don’t worry, we haven’t taken much away*, just re-organised.

    Along with putting straight our clutter, we’ve cleaned house too: the user interface has been re-aligned to be a more robust foundation for features to come, and we’ve updated the look and feel. This is an evolution of the Last.fm interface, and it won’t stop developing either—we’re inspired by iterative change and dedicated to adapting the service.

    *A few missing pieces will reemerge, phoenix-like, in the coming weeks. I’m looking at you ;-)


    The beta has been eight weeks in testing and is not over yet. We are still all invited to head to the feedback forums for our input. Note, that's the Feedback and Ideas forum, not the Beta group.

    Reported in The Times, UK today:

    Revamped Last.fm boasts 'smartest' ads on the web

    Interactive advertising will be at the heart of the next generation of web marketing, says the social music site


    A new type of web advertising that interacts with the site on which it appears is to make its debut on Last.fm, the social music site.

    Last.fm, which announces a major relaunch today, will start showing advertising that can tap into the community features of the site, making adverts more engaging, the site said.

    An example of the new "smart" adverts displays an image of a mobile phone handset which changes according to what the Last.fm user is doing. For instance, if someone is listening to Bon Jovi, the phone would appear to start playing a Bon Jovi track, showing off its MP3 player.

    Hotel chains will be able to tap into a Last.fm user's list of favourite artists and display adverts for hotels in cities where those artists have upcoming gigs. Train companies, similarly, will be able to advertise services running to other music-based events that may be of interest to the user.

    "It's really about using the functionality of the site to help the brand come up with an ad that is more immersive, and entertaining," Spencer Hyman, the chief operating officer of Last.fm, said.

    He cited a recent example of a partnership with Motorola, where the company sponsored a new feature on the site which allowed a user to get a customised print-out of a festival programme, showing bands they were likely to enjoy based on their music collection.

    Last.fm's technology enables the site to recommend music to its users by analysing what they have in their collections and how often they play songs. That information is then compared with similar data from other users who listen to the same music, via a process the site calls "scrobbling".

    The site interacts with iTunes, Apple's music software, and updates its recommendations every time a user listens to music using the program. It also employs a team of "music scientists", who constantly mine the data produced by the site to match particular genres of music with certain demographics.

    Advertising that targets groups or individuals by monitoring their web behaviour has attracted criticism from privacy campaigners. Phorm, which conducted trials of targeted advertising earlier this year, was accused of invading people's privacy by tracking every website that they visited.

    The Information Commissioner's Office ruled that Phorm did not breach pricacy because it did not collect information that would identify individual users, but the system may now face a challenge from Europe. Viviane Reding, the EU communications commissioner, said yesterday that she was concerned about the British Government's lack of action.

    "It is very clear in EU directives that unless someone specifically gives authorisation [for web tracking] then you don't have the right to do that," Ms Reding said, according to the Dow Jones Newswire.

    Mr Hyman said that web advertising had always been able to target customers because of the information sites had about their users, citing Google, which tailors adverts according to what a person is searching for.

    Last.fm, too, had run targeted ads, he said, giving the example of a British bank which wanted to target Polish builders. The site was able to deliver adverts to people who listened to Polish music or who were in the UK but using the Polish language version of the site.

    Increasingly, however, the success of web adverts would depend on making them more engaging, Mr Hyman said. "The reason TV ads have been so effective is because there has been a whole creative industry behind them," he said, suggesting the web had been slow to catch up.

    Among the features of the newly relaunched Last.fm is a "recent activity" list which alerts users to what their friends have been listening to, a bit like the news feed on Facebook and the ability to share recommendations more easily.

    Last.fm, which is based in London, has more than 1.5 million users in Europe, according to Nielsen Online, 10 per cent of which are in the UK. The site was bought by CBS, the US television network, for $280 million in May last year.


    Source: The Times, UK

    Related journal: I can't believe it's not beta...!

    Babs My Gang

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  • Calling All Artists... !

    11 jul 2008, 21:07 av Babs_05

    Last.fm Group: Central Point: where artists and listeners meet

    I've started a group in Last.fm where artists are invited to self-promote - the more shamelessly the better! - and where we listeners can browse, investigate, find stuff we may not otherwise come across.

    Join policy is Open to all. I only made it Owner Approval so I can say hello.


    Artists:

    You probably already know you may not 'spam' in Last.fm, however that means it's harder for you to get the word out. In Central Point, you are invited to start a dedicated thread all about You. Tell us who you are, where we can hear you, if you have any free mp3s, where we can find you elsewhere on the net. Anything you want us to know, this is where you can advertise.

    The same goes for all service providers: all of you who are DJs, have radio shows, podcasts, etc. Keep us up-to-date on your news and activities.

    Bloggers: add yourselves to The Blog Directory.

    On my part, I tag all artists , thereby creating a global radio. Click on the link to see how it stands. We haven't limited the love and we've also been tagging other artists who may not otherwise get much exposure. (see this thread to find out who they are). If you would like to hear who's on board already, try the Boss's tag radio.

    If you know anyone who'd be interested, pass it on. Spread the word.

    Do you like my Index? I did that. :D

    Ok, that's your announcement from the Front Desk.

    You can find me in The Kitchen.


    Babs Central Point: where artists and listeners meet



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  • [My Gang] A Place to Bury Strangers - The Falling Sun : Reco of the Week 03 June 08

    3 jun 2008, 18:33 av Babs_05

    Artist: A Place to Bury Strangers
    Track: The Falling Sun
    Album: A Place To Bury Strangers
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    Video

    I just discovered these guys last week. I wrote more here. (refresh the page if it doesn't land properly).

    Regular readers will know I love my 'old school', I was at school during post-punk before it became 'post' and I love my music dark. Not just ordinary dark, I like it inky black. I just found it again and I'm ecstatic.

    Last.fm

    The new album from A Place to Bury Strangers is 5/5 perfection. It's been a hard task to pick a track. I decided on The Falling Sun because it isn't typical of the album. The rest of it is much louder and faster than this. Also that video is just so cool. Made-for-tv 70s sci fi. It's not Garth Marenghi though, more Logan's Run. I'm not sure if it's an official video or an amateur effort. Either way, it's great.

    From YouTube:

    The video was directed by David Yoonha Park: http://www.yoonhapark.com/. The footage is culled from a late 70's made for TV movie entitled "Lathe of Heaven," the first sci-fi movie ever produced for public television and based on a Ursula K. Le Guin novel.
    Wikipedia: Lathe of Heaven



    If you look at the shoutbox for this artist, you'll see a lot of references to The Jesus & Mary Chain. I think that's simplistic and obvious. From my point of view, I'm hearing darkwave from the late 70s and early 80s - Echo & the Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, The Cure. What we used to call . Then I'm hearing The Sisters of Mercy, The Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, of course. From more recent times, I'm hearing The Stone Roses, Spacemen 3, Mogwai and Slowdive.



    Their influences as cited on their MySpace (I won't get spammy and link them):

    The Crystals, Xinlu Supreme, JAMC, Loop, Heaven Piano Company, Skywave, Ecstasy of St. Theresa, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Slowdive, Ride, Cocteau Twins, Somber Moments, Snow-cane, Venom, E.P.M.D., Sleep, Lightning Bolt, Alcian Blue, Airiel, Ceremony, Ministry, Boris, Mono, Ashrae Faux, Hartfield, Dirty On Purpose, Autodrone, Mogwai, Curve, Vaz, Adult, Death From Above, Death in Vegas, The Emerald Down, Spacemen 3, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Warlocks, Suicide, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sex Concious Young Moderns, Lazy Lane, The Bedroom Set, Cobra Spa, Hoomdorm, Six Finger Satellite, Bowery Electric, Spiritualized, Oasis, Chapterhouse, Joy Division, The Sex Pistols, Astrobrite, Medicine, Mazzy Star, Francis 7, Dead Kennedys, Flying Saucer Attack, Guitar Wolf, Bauhaus, New York Dolls, Catherine Wheel, Kraftwerk, Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, New Order, Tommy James, Public Enemy, Misfits, The Ramones, Red Lory Yellow Lory, Orange Juice, Rockethouse, The Smiths, Stellarscope, The Shangri Las, The Vandelles.



    What A Place to Bury Strangers have done so well is bring all these styles together. Loudly. Turned up, the music comes to life. The band play with tension and control, assaulting you with "sonic annihilation" so loud you're in pain, without ever losing the music. When you listen with the volume down, you get a lovely thick soup of sound. It's like when you were a kid and you listened to John Peel in bed, under the covers with the radio pressed against your ear.

    There's a great review at Amazon.co.uk. Looks like there's a new album due later this year! Something to look forward to. It will be interesting to see how they develop their sound, although what they have now will be missed.

    Babs My Gang



    Admin - Stats as of today:

    Video:
    Date Added to YouTube: February 05, 2008
    Views: 4,666, Ratings: 14, Responses: 0, Comments: 8, Favorited: 44 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 8,055 (not streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 27,139
    Position Last Week: 7 / 376
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 6 / 4,752


    Stats after 7 days: to be added

    Video:
    Views: 4,911, Ratings: 15, Responses: 0, Comments: 9, Favorited: 44 times

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 8,055 (not streamable)
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 27,139
    Position Last Week: 7 / 517
    Position in Top 100 Tracks: 6 / 4,747

    212 Unique Visitors
    334 Page Views



    Unique Visitors
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  • A Mixture of Glam Rock and Folk Music

    26 mar 2008, 18:47 av Babs_05

    Is anybody ready for this mixture?



    The Mighty Boosh
  • What To Do With Tracks You Love, Love, Love

    16 aug 2007, 20:48 av Babs_05

    It all began with Wack Wack. Where to put this so I can hear it again and again, as often as I wanted??

    Thinking cap went on... had a brainwave... build that playlist thingy that's been staring me in the face tantalisingly for ages!

    Wack Wack went straight in.

    But I need a shedload of tracks to make it work. Now what? :s

    Thinking cap went on... had a brainwave... go through Top Tracks, pick a few, and at the same time, play my Top-Rated track in my iTunes. And try and keep up! All before dinner and tonight's episode of 'House'.

    I rather like the nice little mix I'm making. Crosses every genre I like, and all tracks are those I hit 'Love' repeatedly for every time they come on.

    For my next trick, I shall be visiting your page - yes, YOURS, and nabbing whatever takes my fancy. ; )

    Can you see this? It's the selection of tracks in the playlist. There are 53 so far, but there will be plenty more. I've barely scratched the surface. In there, there's folk, rock, alt-country, proper country, electronica, ambient, world, opera, classical, contemporary instrumental, experimental all-sorts, film soundtracks, pop, disco, dance, trance, jazz (and indie, whatever that means nowadays). The criteria is they have to just utterly beautiful, or plain fun. That's it, that's all.

    I've added tracks that don't have blue or gold triangles yet. One can only live in hope and maybe they'll be here too, one day.

    Happy listening! : )
  • Thoughts and Questions

    2 aug 2007, 02:28 av Babs_05

    Going off the beaten track. Down dark alleys with just a torch and my fingers crossed, hoping I'll be ok. Being brave and trying anyway.

    Trying to find out about music that the press doesn't cover, that there is no convenient MySpace page for let alone a next-to-useless artist's own website, is already proving frustrating and I've only just started. Sometimes, there's a reason why there are so few listeners, and it ain't nothing to do with quality! } I

    I don't mind being challenged, that's fine, I expect that. I do mind being insulted. You can't make any old racket, slap a label on it and call it music. Sorry, it doesn't wash with me, not even if you tell me you come under some fancypants underground über-cool genre. Not impressed. Look at my face -> : / Basically, it's not enough.

    I don't know what other people do, but I try to let my instincts guide me. The advantage of hearing something before everyone else is I don't feel obliged to agree/disagree with other people. (Self-esteem issues, I'm sure). It's just me and the music and I get to decide for myself. I like that.

    On my list of non-mainstream sources to check out are:

    * join groups that specialise in genres I'm interested in, or that focus on non-commercial/non-mainstream music

    * try tag radios that people have built

    * listen to 'artists similar to'

    * listen to tagged genres, eg

    * browse Last.fm for reviews and journals

    * ask people

    * search the web for specialist sites, eg the latest in Bollywood, latest folk news, etc. Then read them all regularly! :s

    * listen to specialist radio online, eg SOAS

    One thing I'm a bit stumped on is how / where I'm going to find out about the latest news in classical and opera. I know I could read the Sunday papers, but that's not good enough because I can't hear what they're talking about. In any case, I'm not very impressed with the current stable of Russell Watson, Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, *cringe* Charlotte Church, and then yet more flamin' Russell Watson. I am also not keen on bratty conducters imposing their will* on classical music, so I think I might have to accept I'm a Royal Philharmonic Orchestra girl and just leave it at that. Which is rubbish because how can I call myself a music reviewer if I'm having trouble with an entire world of music?? Does opera have to stop at Maria Callas? Seems to, for me.

    This new project of mine is going to be difficult because I want things now. Yesterday. But I don't want anyone else to do the filtering for me. I want to do that myself. In order to do that, I have to subject myself to stuff I don't like (and yes, utter dross). So I'd best keep some paracetamol handy, huh?

    edit * ok, except for maybe Leonard Bernstein.