Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

More Beck!!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Wow.  Beck is seriously becoming the hardest working man in show business.

In addition to his Record Club and Planned Obsolescence (more here), he’s posted a great conversation with Tom Waits about growing up in LA in his Irrelevant Topics section.  That, in and of itself, is amazing — hearing two very strange characters wax nostalgic about what Los Angeles used to be (as well as generally philosophizing about the nature of existence.  as one might expect them to).

Not to be outdone by himself, Beck has also started recording an all-acoustic version of his sonically rich 2008 release, Modern Guilt (mastered by the mind-blowing Danger Mouse — about whom I should have posted something by now).  I think the deal is that he’s recording songs in order — track by track.  Be sure to check back often to catch the full album.  For now, here’s Orphans:

Modern Guilt Acoustic “Orphans” from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Planned Obsolescence

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Beck has been busy!  Last week he launched Record Club, where he and a bunch of celebrity friends gather at his place and record covers.

This week, he released a DJ Mix called Planned Obsolescence which is available for free streaming!  I’ve been listening to it to the past hour or so and it’s pretty funky.  Kind of reminiscent of Brainfreeze (which is in no way a dig) — but with Beck at the wheel instead of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist.


Check it out!

The Roots

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Love him or hate him, Jimmy Fallon picked an amazing back-up band.  It remains unclear to me how someone talked The Roots into being a house band for Fallon (a regular paycheck?), but these guys are certainly not slouching riding a slow train to retirement.

Check out last night’s performance of the funk/soul/hip-hop single ‘How I Got Over’ from their new album, due out in October:

Thanks for the tip, stereogum.

Indie Record Shops

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I’m a little sad today.  I tried to buy a copy of the new Dirty Projectors album that I’ve been blabbing about for a few months now, and couldn’t get my hands on a copy.  Partly because the record store I like forgot to order it (I’d mention their name but I’d prefer not to give them any love at the moment).  So fine.  It’s New York City.  I thought it’d be pretty easy to find another shop with a copy.


Partly because the 3 remaining shops around Christopher Street mostly seem to cater to vinyl lovers.  Partly because most of the other stores that would’ve carried the record are now gone.  There used to be about 12 of them in that area (and there are still 10 on Google maps) but their numbers seem to have dwindled to about 3.

It remains a question, in my mind at least, as to why this happened.  Was it the economy?  Was it the mega-stores (in which case, thank you Tower and Circuit City for driving these places out of business and then closing yourself)?  Or is it that selling CDs in a digital distribution age is a losing proposition (I feel like I’ve actually heard other people musing over this last one recently, but I can’t remember where)?

I certainly can’t say for sure, but the net result is that I didn’t get a copy of the CD I went out of my way to try to purchase today.

Sad for me. And I guess for all of us.  Because I’m now going to help perpetuate the problem by either buying online or getting it from one of the remaining annoying mega-outlet stores.  Assuming they carry it.  Which is probably about 50/50.

I guess I’m not saying anything profound today.  Just noticing that this might be a dying industry, and that I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

Bitte Orca: Oh yeah. It’s good.

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Dirty Projectors’ new album Bitte Orca comes out next week!


And thanks to NPR, you can get a first listen to the whole album HERE.

You know I like these guys.  I’ve blogged about them before. And I’ve definitely been waiting for this new album to come out (since I was not one of the lucky ones to get my hands on a leaked copy).

I definitely dig it.  It has a sound unlike anything I’ve heard.

Go ahead.  Give it a listen.

A History of White Rappers

Friday, May 1st, 2009

I thought this was a joke when I first saw it posted on Vulture yesterday.  But this is the real deal.  And man, is it comprehensive:

White People in Rap: A History

Man… that Amos Barshad is good!  Thanks Vulture!

UPDATE: For even more fun, check out the user-corrected amendment to the article, ‘It’s Raining White Rappers!

Facebook Not So Dirty After All?

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Alright.  Not to speak too soon here, but maybe I was wrong about Facebook yesterday.  And If so, I’ll gladly eat my words.

Read this: Results of the Inaugural Facebook Site Governance Vote

As always, the proof will be in the pudding.  But this sounds to me like FB is going to go with the majority of the 0.32% of active users that voted — and adopt the new user agreement (tossing out the Evil Terms of Service).

While there’s talk in the post about their disappointment at the low turnout, they do acknowledge this is a Faceboook First (as well as an internet first), and are considering lowering the 30% threshold necessary for any future vote to be binding.

First of all, I offer my non-binding, conditional apology to Facebook.  Maybe they’re actually interested in protecting their users’ rights after all.

Second, I still maintain this vote was not nearly as transparent as FB believes it was.  The language was confusing.  The voting period was too short.  And there should’ve been more user notification (eg. ‘Hey! You haven’t voted yet! Only one day left to vote!’) if they wanted this whole process to actually be more democratic.

Still, from the looks of it, at least their heart is in the right place…