Archive for January, 2009

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Threesome: City of Angels

January 30, 2009

gursky_los_angeles[image: Los Angeles by Andreas Gursky, C-print, 1999. From the exhibition "Global Cities" at the Tate Modern, UK]

I’ve been on a roadtrip in the Central Coast of California all this week, and it’s beautiful, but I think I am temperamentally more suited to grey Seattle, icy Cambridge, or even foggy San Francisco. This became particularly apparent to me as I took a look through my music collection for this trio of songs. No sunshine, no surfing, no California dream in sight.

MP3: Youth Group – The Destruction of Laurel Canyon [buy]

MP3: Elliott Smith – Angeles [buy]

MP3: Bad Religion – Los Angeles is Burning [buy]

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Band start times

January 29, 2009

band-that-starts-on-time

I have to admit that I’m OCD enough that I love when venues post set times, and bands follow them. The clock with the big red LED digits at TT the Bear’s is my friend.

More Toothpaste for Dinner.

MP3: Simian Mobile Disco – Clock [buy]

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Coverage: The Motion Sick at Influenza

January 28, 2009

influenza

Tomorrow night (Thursday, January 29) is the premiere of “Influenza,” a new Boston-based monthly show that features local artists playing a mix of their original material and covers of songs that influenced them (hence the title). I think this is a great idea – one of the things that makes it a little tough to see a new band for the first time is the absence of the familiar. You don’t really know what they sound like, or what to expect, and unless you are a dedicated neophile, that’s a little off-putting. “Influenza” makes it a little easier to go out and try some new music, because you know you’ll hear something you’ll recognize, even if it’s from a band you’ve never heard before. Conversely, however, you’ll get to hear original music too – it’s a far cry from cheesy cover bands.

So go check out the show tomorrow night at Great Scott. If you need some additional motivation, this show includes z=z faves (and fellow bloggers) The Motion Sick.

Boston Globe article on Influenza

MP3: The Motion Sick – 30 Lives [buy]

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Concert notes: Jonathan Coulton

January 27, 2009

joco

So, last Friday, my friend dragged me out to see this guy Jonathan Colton. We got there right at eight and we didn’t have to wait very long at all, which was good because my mom wanted me home by 11. *pout*

The opening band were pretty fun – I don’t really remember their name. Paul and…something? Thunder? But ewww! One of them got some things called jafa cakes, they didn’t really look like cakes, they looked more like cookies and he dropped one on the floor and HE PICKED IT UP AND ATE IT! EWWW GROSS!!!

I didn’t really get a lot of the main guys songs. There seemed to be a lot of robots. And there was something about a vacuum cleaner? All of the songs seemed to be about guys who have crushes on girls. Just ask them out already! Unless you’re really a dork, cause then they’ll probably just say no.

All in all, it was a pretty good concert. I got to wear a really cute outfit but it was really, really cold in the theatre so I had to keep my coat on so no one could see it. But it was still really cute.

Current mood: :) happy

[For those of you thinking 'WTF?', today is Rabbit Hole Day. For those of you not thinking 'WTF?', might I refer you to some of my other postings? If you actually prefer this one, you may wish to return to the LiveJournal from whence you came. And my sincerest apologies to Jonathan Coulton and to Paul and Storm.]

MP3: Jonathan Coulton – Shop Vac

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Emerging models for new music: Illius Rock

January 26, 2009

illius-rock

We’ve spent a bunch of time here at z=z discussing different models for the future of music. Here’s an interesting one. Boston-based Illius Rock runs ‘campaigns’ for artists. Emerging artists ask their fans to make contributions, typically for studio expenses, to shoot videos, touring and the like. In exchange, fans get treats, like exclusive songs, parties, cameos in music videos and the like. Interested in learning more? They’re throwing a launch party tonight (Monday, January 26th) at the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, featuring z=z faves The Main Drag.

MP3: The Main Drag – A Jagged Gorgeous Winter

[via Bradley's Almanac]

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Economic effect of downloading a net win

January 23, 2009

graph

A new report, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands, to look at the effects of downloading was just released (here; it’s in Dutch, of course). Some of the findings were not entirely unexpected – for example, 35% of the Dutch population has downloaded content (music, movies, games) without paying for it, but they pay for content as much as those that haven’t ‘freeloaded.’

But the most interesting point was the following (it’s quoted from Ars Technica, who posted about the report):

The study concludes that the effects are strongly positive because consumers get to enjoy desirable content and also get to keep their cash to buy other things. Because the consumers save much more money than the producers lose, the net economic effects are positive. The report also reinforces the truth that unpaid downloads do not translate into lost sales in anything close to a one-to-one ratio.

It’s refreshing to see downloading considered in the context of society as a whole, rather than just in terms of money lost by corporations.

If anyone reads Dutch, I’d be interested in the rest of the report. Feel free to e-mail me or to share in the comments.

[via Ars Technica]

MP3: MC Lars – Download This Song

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Read: The Pitchfork 500

January 22, 2009

pitchfork-500

The Pitchfork 500, subtitled “Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present,” is an excellent example of the upstart music criticism website using its powers for good, not for evil. Covering the period from 1977 to 2006 (with a few late-breaking tracks from 2007 snuck in, including z=z faveAll My Friends“), the book presents capsule reviews of each of the chosen songs. As lists go, five hundred is quite large enough to include many songs that you’d agree with, and as well as bunch that you wouldn’t, and some of the choices were surprising but inspired – for instance, Duran Duran get Rio‘s tense and disturbing closer “The Chauffeur” and not either of the megahits, “Hungry Like the Wolf” or the title track.) Unsurprisingly, the list is a bit American-centric (the omission that jumped out at me was the band Squeeze, who were much bigger in the UK and Canada than in the US). But the beauty of the format is that the writers get to enthuse about the songs they love – even a casual perusal of the book rewards with a new appreciation of songs that you’re familiar with, and an urge to go and search out the unfamiliar ones. Being Pitchfork, they couldn’t quite leave out the snark entirely, and the book is peppered with sidebars focusing on specific genres, ranging from grime to ‘post-Fugazi emo,’ to ‘yacht rock’ (yes, songs about sailing).

The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present: website amazon

MP3: Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love? (1977)

MP3: Animal Collective – Grass (2006)

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