Posts tagged with ‘music’

  • Taken by Anna Meredith

    The whole album is fantastic, but this one stood out. Intense and super repetitive, I’m reminded of Steve Reich’s Desert Music…

  • Apple Music |

    Apple Music is Killing It. Mostly.

    Surprise! Apple Music is good, even with a few interface missteps.

  • Short Mark Knopfler film by Henrik Hansen

    "And then the song walks out the door and goes on to have a life of its own"

  • link

    Robert Christgau: Expert Witness — Cuepoint — Medium

    Robert Christgau: Expert Witness — Cuepoint — Medium

    It started with a visit to a used CD store in Berkeley, California, seeing the album art for Naked City, a collaboration between John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz and others. I came to know about Bill Frisell the summer of 1989, because my then brother-in-law would drop me off at Yoshi’s some Tuesday nights (pre-Jack London Square location) and our friend who was bartending would let me see whoever was playing for free. One night I got to hear Bill Frisell. There were maybe 20 people there. Mind blown. This midwestern looking preppy guitarist started playing these crazy notes, with a tone that went on for miles. It was sad, full of melancholy and also exceedingly schizophrenic. Very studied in a way as well. I bought Frissell’s album “Before We Were Born” the next day. I remember playing that album on my return to Provo and it pretty much cleared the house. Which was the desired effect. cf: exactly one minute into the title track when the drums come in and the guitar sounds like the darkest urban canyon of Manhattan, circa late-1980s:

    Naked City’s self-titled album Naked City opens with a track called “Batman”. Given the frenzy around the 1989 release of the Burton/Keaton Batman, I knew I had to have the album.

    * * *

    I remember the first time I read a review by Robert Christgau, probably 1989-90, in his Village Voice column, “Consumer Guide.” I had subscribed to the Voice because of Nat Henthoff, Pauline Kael and a list of other writers, media critics and reviewers, but was oblivious to Christgau. I was a moron. Maybe I still am. In Provo, Utah, in 1989-90, reading the Voice on campus felt subversive. It also felt like disappearing into the demimonde of Manhattan, a markedly darker place where the above albums would get the attention they deserved. It was also more morally gray than Brigham Young University and full of more amazing everything.

    Steve Reich, Radio Rewrite

    So this morning when I read the above-linked Christgau post on Medium, it took me back to the days when I would come back from campus and find the latest Voice issue in my mailbox, stuffed in there with obvious disregard by a philistine of a mail carrier. Here’s why I like Mr. Christgau:

    Although I admire Reich in general and love Music for 18 Musicians in particular, he does dig him some austere, and austere I can live without. But here Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood performs one of Reich’s more virtuosic pieces and Reich returns the favor by assigning minimalist variations on some cunningly concealed Radiohead themes to the alert experimentalists Alarm Will Sound. Right, no one would call it a party. But the rock sonorities are very much a comfort nonetheless.

    In four sentences, you know everything you need to know about Steve Reich’s new album, Radio Rewrite. Also, he gives grades to whatever he reviews, e.g., Before We Were Born, B+.

  • Beats and Apple

    I’ve been an extremely casual Apple news junkie for the past couple of years. When news hit yesterday afternoon that…

  • Kind of Bleached by Jon Armstrong for

    Kind of Bleached

    More from my trip earlier this year to New Orleans. More Second Line here. Really loving the Analog Efex Pro…

  • Let it Slide by Jon Armstrong for

    Letting it Slide

  • Finger Picking by Jon Armstrong for

    Finger Picking

  • image

    Marlo feels it

    I know everybody says their kid is destined to become the next virtuoso of whatever instrument they happen to be…

  • audio

    Work in Progress

    Really really liking Logic Pro X. It feels like Apple learned from the screams you can still hear from veteran users of Final Cut Pro after upgrading to Final Cut Pro X. They kept the good stuff in Logic and added some really amazing tools along with a long overdue interface refresh and a sweet app that lets iPad owners remotely control Logic. This track is my first crack at bouncing out of Logic without really mixing or mastering. We are not going to talk about how late I was up installing and tweaking. Notable additions that I played with right off the bat are: Drummer, a new arpeggiator (LOOOOOOOONG overdue) and track stacks. Track stacks are a really great implementation of multitrack grouping of an instrument with several subtracks. You have always been able to group tracks on the mixer, but track stacks let you work at a macro and then micro level, e.g., you can open a track stack and add a compressor to just the kick drum or just the snare. So when you add a Drummer track, Logic will create a stack that isolates the drums for fine-grained mixing and tweaking. Not to mention that adding a drummer track gives you an insane and yet organic way to get to a natural-feeling drum track, complete with fills and crashes in the right spots. It won't replace a real drummer, but for composing and getting a feel going, it's a lot better than a plain drum loop. Apple also beefed up the organ simulations with more control, yet a simpler interface from Logic Pro 9. The module gives you a better idea about microphone placement as well as more visible controls for obvious things like where to assign the rotor speed for the virtual Leslie cabinet. Which probably means I need to stop writing now. One of the best upgrades Apple has ever done and I'm still not even 10% into the new version. I wish they would have done this with Final Cut Pro X. * * * I'm still emerging from a grief haze. Might have to start with the daily affirmations again.
  • blurbomat, Daft Punk, Conte, Remix, Doin' it Right

    Daft Punk – Doin’ It Right – Conte Remix

    The girls loved seeing this right before breakfast. Marlo is still on a “robot song” kick and makes the song request 60% of the time she rides in my car.

    * * *

    You might recognize this guy. He’s in Pomplamoose. Which seems odd, that a DIY music composer/producer/engineer YouTuber would craft a remix that is more Daft Punk than the source song from the album.

    Note: the video ends with Mr. Conte talking about a crowd/patron-funded (kickstarter for music and music-related projects?) project he’s got going using a service called Patreon (Conte’s page). If you don’t dig on that, I apologize. However, this remix is quite nice.

  • Nevernude?


    Just like 1978. Except in 1978, the marching band would have had insane wool uniforms.

  • audio

    Today’s Earworm – Lights Out, Words Gone

    "Lights Out, Words Gone from Bombay Bicycle Club off their 2011 full-length, A Different Kind of Fix has a great feel, despite the downer-ish lyrics about wanting to settle down with someone who doesn't want to settle down. It's the feel that's getting to me. I'm a sucker for the lopey shuffle of the hi-hat/shaker in the background, the very 1980s British rhythym guitar (first heard at :55) and the blinky synth backing up the melody. The lyrical content is not quite up to Paddy McAloon levels of clever, but the female vocal delivery is pure sultry, Sprouty breath. The verse bassline is a little Talking Heads. Something about the move up to the fifth at the exact moment a Talking Heads song does. I actually agree with a Pitchfork review! I am awash in 80s reminiscence, plinks and strums. Spotify: Rdio: The keyboard nerd in me has to note that the vocal pads are very reminiscent of any number of 1980s hits that used the Emulator 2 sampler (vocal samples at 2:38): More sampler goodness here.
  • audio

    Doin’ it Right

  • status

    Status: Marlo’s favorite song

    Marlo: “Dad, can we stay in the car and listen to this song?” Me: “guuuu YES!” Song? Daft Punk, “Doin’…

  • Blurbomat - screenshot

    Dropping Off

    I’ve been catching up on Louie episodes as I work, at least waist deep, in various Keynote decks. One of the episodes from season 2, “Country Drive”, features footage shot inside a car with Louis CK driving and his two daughters in the backseat. “Who Are You” by The Who comes on the car stereo and Louie does a really good job of air playing along. For the duration of the song, the girls are clearly nonplussed and eventually trying to hold in their laughter.

    This is exactly what I look like when I’m on my way to dropping the girls off or driving back to the condo and a good song comes up on shuffle. Most of the time, Leta will ask if I can please change the song. One night, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” came on and I let it play without singing along. We arrived at my place and I asked Leta what she thought.

    “That was the best song ever!”

    While I’d love to say that she’s worked her way through the Stones’ oeuvre, she’s firmly planted in the work of the female artists of the day. Which is probably how it should be. Just like my dad, I’ll get worked up about the historical importance of a song or an artist and try to share just how important it is that Leta understands the whole deal.

    “Leta, he played the guitar UPSIDE DOWN! And backwards! Imagine if the piano had all the bass notes at the top! He came from Mars, Leta.”

    Leta cared not one whit about Jimi Hendrix. One day, maybe I’ll try again.

    I have to be careful that I don’t take the best evers too seriously, because there are a lot of them. Even though last Friday, Leta assured me that by getting ice cream, playing on iPads at the Apple Store and buying an xBox controller at the Microsoft store (so we could play Marvel v. Capcom 3 against each other at her request) that was the best day ever as she hugged me.

    p.s. We tied in a best of three and I took out Hulk to win the final round. Then it was time for bed.

  • Blurbomat - Jon Armstrong - Turkish - 2012, city, late summer, neon, pike place, pike place market, seattle, signage, travel, type, Jon Armstrong blog,, Jon Armstrong Photography


    A neon sign in Seattle and I gush about my oldest daughter. So proud of her!

  • Blurbomat - Jon Armstrong - Village Vanguard

    Village Vanguard

    Here's the sign for the famous jazz club in the Village. I'll just have to go off about Bill Evans...

  • blurbomat

    Cupid Schmupid

    Valentine's Day playlist for the scorned, lonely or smartass-inclined. Features: Circle Jerks, Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Psychedelic…

  • Jon Hopkins live 2010 - video

    Work Music

    Today's motivational music: an epic remix. Of epic proportions. Epic.

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