Posts Tagged ‘electric laser people’

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This weekend in live music: z=z picks

October 2, 2009

BurmaBikes

This is a killer weekend for live music in Cambridge, at least in the z=z worldview.

Friday: Montreal’s Besnard Lakes are headlining at TT the Bear’s, and a lineup of bands including Kingsley Flood are playing a free (as in beer) show at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville.

Saturday: Double-plus-good bill tonight – first up is another show at TT the Bear’s with local luminaries The Motion Sick, Aloud, Sidewalk Driver (CD release) and John Powhida International Airport. A couple of blocks away, Electric Laser People is playing at the Cantab Lounge.

Sunday: The main event – it’s Mission of Burma Day! The legendary Boston band is playing a free outdoor show at MIT to celebrate the release of their new album, The Sound the Speed the Light. Head on over to the East Campus Courtyard at 2:30 pm.

[for a less idiosyncratic and more comprehensive view of what's happening in Boston musically, I urge you to check out Boston Band Crush's listings]

MP3: Mission of Burma – 1, 2 ,3, Partyy! [preorder]

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Music and tech news roundup

March 31, 2009

djhero

First off, the zed equals zee happy hour was a rousing success, with lots of terrific conversation. It was fantastic to meet so many Boston musicians and bloggers face to face, including some of the people behind Boston Band Crush, The Limits of Science, Electric Laser People, and Paul Lamere of Music Machinery and his colleagues at The Echo Nest. It’s a measure of how friendly the crowd was that there was waaaaaaay too much money on the table at the end of the night; if you came out last night, join us for the next zed equals zee happy hour in a few months and the first round is on us.

More news:

Activision and Red Octane have announced that DJ Shadow is signed up to help develop and test the hardware for DJ Hero, set for release later this year. The turntablist may also appear as a playable character. There are not-terribly-substantiated rumours (which I’ll happily spread) that Daft Punk may also be involved in the new game. [via Resident Advisor]

On a related note, MTV reports that Rock Band has sold over 40 million songs, for nearly a billion dollars in revenue.

According to a recent report, live music has now overtaken recorded music in revenue in the UK (£904 million vs £896 million). Although that includes neither sponsorship revenues nor digital licensing, which makes me wonder a bit about the author’s job title of Chief Economist. No word on whether the numbers include Rock Band downloads. [NME] [EDIT: removal of unwarranted snark; see comments for details]

Mission of Burma is blogging the recording of their new album! [via @clickyclicky]

DIY donk. Remix any track into the Northern England sound of bouncy techno. Music Machinery’s donkified version of The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights” made me laugh out loud, although I still had to turn it off after about 15 seconds.

DIY…keybass? bass keytar? Whatever, it’s pretty awesome.

MP3: Amanda Palmer – Such Great Heights* [more Amanda Palmer]

*the anti-donk version

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Experiment: name-your-own-price merch

February 17, 2009

merch-table

Should you let your fans pay what they want for merch? Dave Allen, the original bassist of the Gang of Four, recently made the argument on his music blog that bands can make more money by not posting prices at merch tables and instead letting fans name their own price for merchandise at concerts:

My thinking here is that those fans that really like the band and are leaning towards buying will ask what the price of a CD is. And the answer should be “how much do you want to pay?” I guarantee that the answer will be somewhat along these lines – “I only have $4,” “I’d like to give you $10,” “You guys were great, here’s $20,” “I have no money.” You should sell your CD at those prices to all of those folks and give one to the guy with no money. They will never forget the experience they had and they will tell their friends that you are the coolest band on earth for doing that.

Allen argues that, on average, bands are likely to make more money doing this than by having fixed prices. More importantly, however, this approach either leverages an existing relationship (people who have money are happy to give the band more than the ‘official’ cost of the CD) or it helps develop a relationship. Here at z=z, we recently discussed the role of relationships in differentiating artists in a world where the music itself may be fungible.

While I’m not a musician, I know that a number of artists read this blog – please let us know what you think. And if you decide to try this, please share how it works out!

How bands can make more money by not putting a price on a CD

MP3: Electric Laser People – Move Right, Move Left [buy, CC-licensed download]

Image: From behind the merch table by Flickr user Brett L., reposted here under its Creative Commons license.

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Electric Laser People in Nike campaign

February 3, 2009

nike-punchbag

While we’ve previously discussed the role of advertising in getting new music heard here at zed equals zee, it’s just come surprisingly close to home. Nike decided to use a riff from the song “Guilty,” by Boston band and z=z faves Electric Laser People for their “Be Transformed” campaign. The song is part of the soundtrack for an ad called “Punching Bag,” which features Hong Kong volleyball player Sonia Kong working out with a heavy bag, which then transforms into an animated monster. The whole ad campaign is really interesting, actually – it’s for Nike Women, and it focuses on women transforming themselves through sports and competition. Given that its target market is Asia and the Pacific Rim (including countries like India, mainland China and the Philippines), it really does send a strong message to cultures that haven’t traditionally valued women.

You can read more about it at the ELP blog and at TrashBagAesthetics, where you can also watch the ads. Or you can see them in the wild at one of the Nike pages, such as this page for India.

Because Electric Laser People are super cool, you can download their whole album, Straight Talk on Raising Kids, at their site (it’s free and under a Creative Commons license). Also, you should go check them out live at the All-Asia Cafe in Cambridge, MA on February 27, and if you are an MIT person (or enjoy hanging out with MIT people), they are playing The Thirsty Ear next Friday, February 13th. More tour dates at their blog.

MP3: Electric Laser People – Guilty [buy CD]

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Listen local: The Motion Sick

August 23, 2008

Boston’s The Motion Sick are doing a residency at Church, playing every Wednesday night in August. Every night has a different theme; last Wednesday was the superhero-themed “Flash Wednesday,” and they were supported by zed equals zee faves Electric Laser People (playing—and costumed as—”Michael Phelps and the Defenders of Freedom”). For each night of the residency, The Motion Sick has a theme song, and for the superhero show, it was the hilarious (and deeply catchy) “Aquaman’s Lament.” Check out the other theme songs on their website and, if you are in the area (and not three thousand miles away, like me), go catch the final night, this upcoming Wednesday, August 27th.

[thanks, Erich!]

The Motion Sick: website myspace

MP3: The Motion Sick – Aquaman’s Lament

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Listen local: Electric Laser People

July 13, 2008

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[click photo for Performer Magazine article on ELP

Regular readers of this blog could probably compile a list of what I think is notable in music: local artists; funny, sexy or geeky lyrics; band members with academic or scientific day jobs; hooky, danceable songs; great live shows. If you had to create a band that I would love, Frankenstein-like, you’d probably come up with Electric Laser People. A minor disclaimer – I initially went to see them play because they are friends of friends.

Musically, think electroclash crossed with hip-hop, with a dash of punk, and a soupçon of opera, thanks to classically-trained Jess Riley’s soaring vocals. The Boston-based (check) band sing songs like “Disco 3000,” about going to the future and trying to get with ‘permatan honeys’ at a club where ‘everyone is beautiful/and owned by Monsanto’ (lyrics: check). Lead singer and bassist Dan Paluska is an award-winning robotics engineer for art installations – check out this insane video of one of his pieces – and guitarist Grant Kristofek is a  design consultant; we share a colleague, in fact. (day jobs: check).

Their album, Straight Talk on Raising Kids, is permanently embedded in my car stereo, to say nothing of my brain, since many of their songs are catchy to the point of becoming earworms (hooky: check). However, they really come into their own live. Like Dan Deacon or Holy Fuck, they just seem like they are having enormous fun on stage, and that gets communicated to the audience (great live: check). Electric Laser People play at Church on August 20th. Go check them out.

More Electric Laser People: myspace website allmusic bio buy

MP3: Electric Laser People – Disco 3000

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