Drop by the Whistlestop tonight to see Nude Boy play. One of a small handful of bands with interesting music in the San Diego indie scene right now. And people call Mario Orduno a "DJ" but I've never heard him "scratch." Good dj's should scratch as well have a variety of explosive sounding buttons to push during his/her set. That's what dj culture is all about. Oh- and pumping your fist during the climax of the track. Nude Boy will probably play at 10 11ish. 11ish.
Dedicated to classics and hits.
Friday, March 26, 2010
North Park...needs some help. Bar Pink can't hold it down all by themselves. That's why it's cool that Jon Greene, who mastered the original Dum Dum Girls recordings (as "P.Licious"), produced the Crocodiles Summer of Hate, and who produced a forth coming release by Heavy Hawaii, is starting a Recording Studio in North Park.
Jon Greene is very talented and I am excited to see what he decides to name his studio. Also, I am excited to stand in front of the studio and throw bricks through the wind shields of people who are parking their cars and going to True North. Brinks through windshields- that's the kind of shit I'm talking about when I say "take back north park."
Posted by catdirt at 1:09 PM
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"Mash Up" Artists Hood Internet Play Casbah with Tobacco (Black Moth Super Rainbow): CALL SCENE WOLF & FELICIA CANALES!!!!
No this is not a post from 2008!
San Diego scenesters i hearby summon thee to the Casbah tonight to watch post-Girl Talk mash up artists the Hood Internet:
Tobacco is the pseudonym of Tom Fec, architect of the reclusive (and frequently masked) Pittsburgh psychedelic pop outfit Black Moth Super Rainbow.
Headliner Nice Nice:
on Warp Records, so you know it's going to be... "post rock." Do they have fun at Warp Records? Just asking. Seems so serious over there guys. Lighten up.
What an eclectic bill... smells like Windish Agency.
Posted by catdirt at 8:57 AM
I was at the National Association of Retail Music (NARM) convention held in San Diego, June 7th through June 10th, in 2009. I went to see on presentation that was called "The Numbers: Sales Trends in Retail Music in 2008." The main point of that presentation is that the market for recorded music can be divided into four segments that are basically the same size:
1. American Idol artists
2. "Radio Disney" artists
3. Country artists
4. Everything else.
That is who sold records in 2008. Did this arrangement change in 2009? I don't think so. Justin Bieber, who is signed to Island is an example of how the rest of the music industry is travelling down paths that were dominated by Disney via Disney Records and Hollywood Records in 2008. Not all Radio Disney artists are actually on Disney/Holllywood Records, but they are all played on Radio Disney. You can't be in that category and not be topping the charts on Radio Disney in addition to whatever other success you might be having.
The strength of this genre is that the industry, in all cases, has complete control of the artist. "Radio Disney" artists have no individual identity as artists. You could perhaps fit Taylor Swift as an exception, but in the list of present and future Radio Disney hit song, you don't see a lot of artist. This is not to denigrate the catchy hits that are marketed successfully by the music industry in this market segment.
I think it is comical to think of what must be the fringe elements in this scene, in the sense of the "Toddlers and Tiara" prostituting your children category. I can't imagine the sadness of an 11 year old trying to make it as a radio Disney artists and failing. The dark side, as it were. Knowing what I know about how the music industry, I'm guessing it's a very, very, very, very dark side. Best summed up by a mere citation to the career of Lou Pearlman.
Posted by catdirt at 8:46 AM
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I love Slumberland records. Some notes on their discography.
No releases between 2003-2006. Two releases in 2007. 2008 releases included:
Cause Co Motion "I Lie Awake", The Pains of Being Pure at Heart "Everything With You," and Crystal Stilts "Alright of Night."
But seriously, when is the Black Tambourine reunion tour going to occur?
Posted by catdirt at 8:57 AM
Posted by catdirt at 8:15 AM
Monday, March 22, 2010
(BILLBOARD.COM TOP 200 CHART)
Do you want to know how many sound scanned records you need to sell to get in the Billboard Top 200? MMM.... about 2500-3000 records/cds. This week, the last spot on the top 200 was held down by my man Michael Buble. That record has been on the charts for 58 weeks, and got as high as 47. To give you an idea of the difference in volume, if you are holding down 50 on the billboard 200- that means you sold 10-15k of sound scanned albums in a week. To give you an idea of just how competitive the chart environment is (in a good way) here are some marker bands that should be familiar to readers.
Passion Pit is at 186 this week after 20 weeks on the chart and a high of 51. The new Pavement record debuted at 170. That's it's debut, and that is about 3,500 records more or less. Spoons newest album, Transference is at 150 after 8 weeks on the chart, but it had a high of 4. At four your're talking 25, 30, 40, 50 thousand records depending on the time of year. Joanna Newsom's "Have One on Me" is at 140. Muse's last record is at 85 after only three weeks, Pearl Jam 88, Phoenix 95, Vampire Weekend is at 42 after nine weeks on the chart. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club debuted at 58 (take that indie rock nerds!) Gorrilaz is at 2.
Honestly, that's pretty decent representation in the Top 200 as far as I'm concerned. Indie acts can compete on the charts. But everyone of those artists gets stocked big time in the big box electronics retailers. Pearl Jam actually did a Target Ad, Phoenix is in Cadillac ads, Muse? Gorrilllaz? Gorillaz sounds like it was made for Best Buy.
Posted by catdirt at 1:20 PM
Too Much Information was the third single released from Duran Duran's 1993(!) Album, "Duran Duran" (or "Wedding Album.") The first thing that jumps out to the viewer is that this is "late period" Duran Duran, with them castigating MTV whilst performing in an expensive MTV style music video. In Too Much Information, we find Duran Duran both anticipating and completely missing the point of an artistic theme that continues to resonate today.
Is there anything more emblematic of the spoiled position of MTV era major label rock bands then the spectacle of a rock band using an expensive music video as a platform to denounce music video culture. Dire Straits is another good example in the "Money for Nothing" video. Neil Young- This Note's For You. That's another example.
Who complains about a system that caters to their every whim and gives them millions of dollars? Ah... major label rock stars. I'm sure they all love the way things are now alot a better. So much freedom, it must be glorious.
Posted by catdirt at 12:55 PM
I was watching the health care bill pass last night on CNN, and that had me thinking about the "tea party" movement. I think the only thing funnier then the tea party participants themselves (Did you start reading books last week?) are the people who are upset by the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party does not have a monopoly on a lack of self awareness, let's put it that way.
Or take another issue, like the Texas State Textbook Committee issuing revised "conservative" standards for history books. Again: Only think funnier then the people in favor of this, are the people outraged by the same behavior. What are all these people lacking? Perspective. They all lack historical perspective. By historical perspective I mean "understanding formed by reading academic history written either by reputable, non-popular professors, be they "conservative" or "liberal."
Again, this is not to single out only one "conservatives dumb, liberals smart" relationship. In David Hackett Fischer's "Historians Fallacies: Towards a Logic of Historical Thought" one of the best examples he gives is an essay that is currently en vogue right now: Richard Hofstrader's, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." That piece was published in Harper's magazine in November 1964, right after Barry Goldwater, a conservative, defeated Nelson Rockefeller, a moderate for the Republican nomination to the Presidency. Fischer rightly points out, in a sections discussing "ad hominem"(attacks against the person) fallacies of argument, that calling conservative essentially mentally ill doth not a valid argument make.
Historians Fallacies, written in 1970, remains fresh and vital today. Fischer marches through several hundred years of fallacy, arguments made by historians that just don't work logically, and breezily dispatches error like a Scholastic Monk proof reading a thesis. Most of his examples are drawn from American interpretations of the Civil War. The level of critique varies from the aforementioned "ad hominem" attacks, and an entire chapter on rhetorical/argumentative error introduced by their latin names; to high level discussions of laws in meta-historical arguments(Tonybee, Marx.)
Fischer points out something that I found profound: Just as many mistakes vis a vis history are made by people who remember TOO MUCH about history, or draw the wrong lessons from history then are made embodying Santayana's famous aphorism, "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it." Actually, Fischer would reply, "Those who remember the past are just as likely to repeat it as those who don't." In fact, my takeaway from this book is that if you are thinking strategically about something, you can't get too locked into past experience or you lose important insight.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
His work is knowledge. You can not f*** with his scholarship.
Posted by catdirt at 8:23 PM
It's right after their Justin Bieber review. Amazing. (NEW YORK TIMES)
“I Will Be” was produced by Richard Gottehrer, the Brill Building pop songwriter and a founder of Sire Records, and it’s got about the same number of songs and length as some of his other productions, including Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ “Blank Generation” andBlondie’s “Plastic Letters.”
So the album is like a smart, 50-year gloss on dreamy, sentimental, dirty-of-surface, pure-of-heart garage music, from surf to punk to the postpunk of early New Order (there’s a hint of “Age of Consent” in “Jail La La”) and the Jesus and Mary Chain. It’s anachronistic, fashionable and sometimes quite beautiful. It’s teen music for adults.
Posted by catdirt at 1:05 PM
Credit Ryan Beal of Norse Horse. Facebook.
Upcoming Norse Horse Shows:
March 23rd "Back to the Grind" (Coffeeshop?) Riverside, CA.
April 3rd "Back to the Grind" Riverside, CA.
April 15th The Hip Kitty Claremont, CA.
On a personal level, I love everyone up in Riverside to death, even the bands I haven't booked and/or seen down here. I'm checking: Family Time Records, Ancient Crux, No Paws, Rapid Youth, my man Aristides, Kevin Greenspon (not Riverside, CA. based), Twin Lion, Trudgers- you are all dope. This is just a whole group of bands where I'm kind of waiting for one to break out, knowing that I can't really do anything to encourage it, or effect whether or not it happens. Norse Horse:Asian Music::Vampire Weekend:African Music- strictly speaking in a market sense.
As everyone knows, the first break out hit record from the Wu Tang Clan was the Wu Tang Clan record. That record featured strong production and interesting lyrical contributions with a super creative theme (hip hop/samurai swords). If you were to analogize the Riverside CA. artists to the Wu Tang Clan, the first chance for a break out would have to be a hypothetical Rapid Youth record, followed by a tour with a strong visual element.
An element that gives me hope of the viability of at least some of the Riverside CA. artists is that they have a geographically compact center where the main artists are interacting each other on a more-or-less regular business. They also have an aggressively "cult of the amateur" attitude that bodes well for endurance. On the other hand, I think the question of whether any of these acts can display a dynamic live performance is open. Other then maybe Ancient Crux's "Strange Situation" I've yet to see a song grab significant attention (as supposed to the group of acts, or records being put out by specific acts, which is different.)
It's fair to say that none of these artists is interested in creating a "break out" situation. Parlaying sporadic blog and print media attention into a larger audience requires more work. It's worth while, from the perspective of a writer to spend time contemplating the emergence of geographically diverse independent music centers who are linked together via the internet.
Perhaps the single most relevant document within that discussion is the Mayfair Set record on Captured Tracks. That record is a collaboration between Mike Sniper of Blank Dogs and Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls. The record was created by the two artists trading tracks over the internet. It's interesting to think about the relationship between artists in the same geographically situated group versus relationships between artists in different geographic areas. I think the reality of the specific geographic locations are incontrovertible: New York city, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and so on.
It's also fair to argue that this exchange makes it easier for individual talents to emerge from musical backwaters with little or no friction. On the other hand, current residents of traditional first and second tier locals are being punished by this shift as the prevalence of individual artists first, bands second, penalizes those who have 'put in the time' at a local level- developing and networking, playing shows in the style of yore. Perhaps it should be observed that artists who are emerging in the newer environment might do well to learn some lessons from the geographically centered local music scenes of the past.
Relationships both within and without count, and though the move may be away from groups to individuals, the fact is that individuals take their cue from their surroundings. That is a fact. Art does not happen in a vacuum chamber. To divorce yourself from the physical environment that gave rise to a creative product is to abandon what made you successful. In musical history, you see this effect OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER and artists NEVER EVER learn the lesson, which is so simple: Don't give up what got you there in favor of what people "there" want you to do.
In the past, collaboration between artists at early stages of their careers was limited to playing shows in each other's cities. Today artists can collaborate on actual records without having to move from city to city. On the very indie level, the aforementioned Sniper/Penny Mayfair Set project is a good example, on a more macro level, the James Mercer/Dangermouse project "Broken Bells"(On sale at Starbucks right now) is another.
In conclusion, the internet changes some things, but not everything. One thing it definitely does change is that you do not need music industry contacts to write and record a hit. One thing it does not change is how the music industry treats you after you come to their attention. Each emergent artists will have their own variation on this experience. Some will succeed, others will fail. The experience will basically the same for every artist, and it is almost a given that every artist will make the same mistakes, and that is because artists do not share their experiences in this area with other artists.
The atmosphere of competition among artists is a regrettable consequence of decades of capitalism influencing artistic production. Artists should not compete with each other. That is stupid. Artists who are competitive with other artists are stupid. Those emotions are best directed at the audience or the music industry itself. Artists who can successfully cooperate and collaborate will succeed, artists who do not will fail. And, at a very basic level, the first audience any artists will encounter is other artists.
Posted by catdirt at 10:25 AM
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