Posts Tagged ‘the motion sick’

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What does ‘selling out’ mean, anyway?

November 17, 2009

Three recent perspectives on artists licensing their songs to big companies.

The end of selling out. A predictably trite blog post in Newsweek about the ‘sudden shift’ to fans not really caring if songs get used in commercials.

What does it say about our culture? Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney, wrote a post for NPR which offers an considerably more nuanced route to the same question that Newsweek asks: what does it say about us that we are no longer bothered about music being used in commercial contexts? Brownstein argues that our infinite access to music has led to a well-developed ability to divorce music from its commercial content. But she (rightly, I think) questions this tendency to decontextualize music.

What does it mean to sell out? Amanda Palmer, as usual, got to the crucial point, even though she wasn’t specifically discussing ads:

selling out is when you go against your own heart, ideals and authenticity to make money.

selling out is an action, a 180 from a stated position.

…but if neil young were to suddenly hire the matrix to write him a thumpin’ dance album and then appear on saturday night live snogging bob dylan, i’d have reservations about his integrity.

Like everything else, there’s no single right answer. When I hear “Lust for Life” soundtracking a cruise line commercial or “Heroes” behind a Microsoft Windows ad, it doesn’t diminish my respect for Iggy Pop or David Bowie, but it sure as hell diminishes my respect for those companies, or at least their ad agencies (and I’m not alone). Boston favourites The Motion Sick getting their videogame-themed love song “30 Lives” in Dance Dance Revolution is a win all around. And I must admit to more than a tinge of sadness when I listened to Modest Mouse‘s The Moon and Antarctica for the first time in ages and found my mind wandering to minivans.

EDIT: Make sure you check out the comments for Michael and meredith’s great remarks from the musicians’ perspective.

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In heavy rotation at zed equals zee

October 19, 2009

DNFMOMD photo

Some music, mostly local, that’s getting a lot of listens here at zed equals zee headquarters.

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling (pictured): Boston music power-couple Sophia Cacciola and Michael Epstein (also of The Motion Sick) are Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, currently working on a Prisoner-themed EP.  I went to their debut show and was just blown away by Sophia’s vocals, and I’ve been listening to the few songs they’ve released, on repeat. DNFMOMD don’t really lend itself to a ‘recommended if you like,’ since they don’t sound like anyone else, but maybe Kim Deal Gordon*-fronted Sonic Youth?

MP3: Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling – Episode 1: Arrival [more]

The Beatings: What post-punk is supposed to sound like. There’s a fantastic (in both senses) review of Boston’s The Beatings new album, Late Season Kids, over at Ryan’s Smashing Life, and more MP3s for you to listen to.

MP3: The Beatings – Bury You [buy]

Eric Schmider: We’re welcoming new Boston arts and music blog Bean Town Vision to the scene and thanking them for the intro to local retro-oriented indie rocker Eric Schmider. You can read a full bio and a preview of the upcoming show (Wednesday, October 21st at Toad) with his current project, Mollycoddle, over at Bean Town Vision, as well as download some more demo MP3s.

MP3: Eric Schmider – Knee Deep [more]

Rah Rah: Regina, SK’s Rah Rah just released their debut full-length, Going Steady, and I’m enjoying it immensely, especially the quirky love song, “Tentacles” (about accepting free tango lessons from a beautiful troll, and a betentacled beloved).

MP3: Rah Rah – Tentacles [buy]

*Edit: Gordon, not Deal. Not like I didn’t just read Goodbye 20th Century. Where is my mind?

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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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There’s no place like home

August 5, 2009

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Zed equals zee is back in 02139, hurrah! Postings will be light this week, thanks to Verizon deciding they need an entire week to turn the phone service on in my apartment, but I’m psyched to return to a bunch of zed equals zee local faves doing live shows. Tomorrow night (Thursday, August 6th), The Main Drag [myspace] is headlining at the Middle East Upstairs, and The Lights Out are playing with The Divorced at TT the Bear‘s (and if you’re looking for a few seconds of fame, The Lights Out will be shooting a music video at the gig). And on Saturday night, The Motion Sick will be part of the Third Annual 08.08 Party, also at the Middle East Up. And there’s a bunch of shows on my calendar for the second  half of the month (like Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling and Gene Dante and the Future Starlets). And I’m really, really looking forward to the musical and community experience  of One Night Band, presented by Boston Band Crush, on August 29. It’s good to be home!

MP3: The Lights Out – Miss Fortune [download EP]

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The Motion Sick, Boston’s best local band!

April 17, 2009

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The Motion Sick is Boston’s Best Local Band! We are psyched to congratulate z=z friends and faves The Motion Sick on being the Boston Phoenix Best of ’09 Reader’s Pick – “nerd meets quirk meets Steampunk meets pop meets Kurt Vonnegut.” What more excuse do you need to go check them out?

MP3: The Motion Sick – Winged Bicycle [buy]

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It’s rumbling time!

April 5, 2009

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If you’re in Boston, this is a great week to check out lots of great live music, as it’s the 31st Annual WBCN Rock’n’Roll Rumble, a battle-of-the-bands style competition in which four acts do short sets each night. In typical Boston underdog fashion, there’s said to be a curse on the winners and the losers are celebrated. You can see a full schedule here, or check out the nifty play-along-at-home chart above. It’s from Boston Band Crush, who have pretty comprehensive coverage of the event. And best of luck to z=z friends Logan 5 and the Runners and The Motion Sick.

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♬.ws: music search engine for Twitter

March 10, 2009

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There’s a new music-related-service for Twitter, ♬.ws. The basic premise is that you can enter the name of a band, and you’ll get a page with info on the band, a listing of relevant tweets, and links to iTunes, Amazon MP3s, and Musebin (a website of one-line music reviews and, not incidentally, the creators of ♬.ws). But the big advantage to the memorable-but-annoying domain name is a very short URL for your query, which can be embedded directly into a tweet (in lieu of a hashtag, for example).

I beta-tested it with two z=z faves, The Motion Sick and Logan 5 and the Runners. The Motion Sick worked pretty well, with only one nausea-related false positive. I was less successful with L5R; their album name, Featurette, hit lots of non-music-related tweets.

It’s an interesting concept, but I think it still needs some work. It’d be great if it also gave website and Myspace pages for the artists. And I hope they redesign the results page – I’d happily trade the 18-pt type and ugly Roman font for more tweets on a page and something more legible.

MP3: The Motion Sick – Winged Bicycle [more]

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