personalized expeditions in music from a musician who doesn't matter

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Momentary logistics

Posted by r on August 23, 2014

Comments have been shut down. Akismet is still doing a good job of keeping spammers out of my hair, but the spam-onslaught has become so vigorous and relentless that even the incredibly tiny floating-point percentage of spammers that are actually getting through are becoming a regular annoyance.

In general, I’m thinking about how to move back to a more personal, controlled-access sort of thing with my faux-blogging. This has been a good place on occasion to get some of my OCD ya-yas out, but it’s still not resulting in anything that is getting read nor I think anyone should read (and more frequently than not, I just end up removing the longer screeds that were posted out of temporary and ALWAYS totally futile anger with the limits of humanity at large; such posts are thusly questionable therapy absolute-best-case).

LiveJournal is still very much my model for what both personal blogging and social networking should be, but I guess this just means that I’m old.

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Posted by r on February 28, 2014

…or what I’ll just be calling #RCFAChallenge for short.

Musicians, here’s the deal. If something prevented you from completing the RPM Challenge in the specified February timeframe this year – like, say, despite your best “efforts” you honestly couldn’t figure out even the most basic things like even what style of music you’d like to do before 2/25/14, and when you finally decided on it it wasn’t going to be the kind of thing you could reasonably write and record in four days – you can take the RCFA Challenge instead.

The RCFA Challenge is just like the RPM Challenge, except:

1) Instead of requiring a work window of 2/1-28/xx, your RCFA work window will take place entirely within any continuous 28-day interval you’d like… preferably the first 28ish days of March, but whatever.

2) There’s no mailing in a CD somewhere by noon on March 1, etc.

3) There’s no central website for the challenge where your finished product will be posted, somewhere / somehow, and also at which no one will ever find / listen to your finished product in a million billion trillion years. (Actually, if I’m notified, I will give your RCFA albums a shoutout and full review here… and since I actually know of two semi-regular readers of my blog, your chances of getting heard by a single human being here vs. via the absurdly overpopulated RPM site may actually be much better!)

4) Here’s the single biggest difference between RPM and RCFA: Instead of having to start and finish one “album” (min of 10 original songs and/or min of 35 minutes of original music) in 28 days as per stated RPM Challenge standards, you must complete two (edit: see new “rule” below) such “albums” in the same timeframe. They must also be discrete, “separately framed ‘n’ named” albums– absolutely no double “albums” allowed.

This is, after all, an atonement challenge.

edit: Having slept on it, I think one “normal” RPM 10t/35m “album” and one separate EP of min 4 original songs and/or min 12 minutes of original music should be sufficient for atonement, so I’m going to alter the RCFA requirements to that particular combination of completed products. I mean, the Bandcamp kids these days seem to think 4-5 songs amounts to an “album” anyway.

Having failed to find any kind of meaningful inspiration / semi-directed motivation for the RPM Challenge until well into its fourth scheduled week, I started my RCFA Challenge project(s) / 28-day work window on 2/26/14. How about you?

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Posted by r on December 6, 2013

ps – I haven’t forgotten about trackers. I have a few more words about that coming soon, at long last.

Top-of-2013 lists are coming in, as always, and making me feel more than ever that the world hears with ears very different from mine. I listened to that Chvrches album a couple times this year and scratched my head at all the hype, since it just seemed like a pedestrian, not-even-particularly-convincing retro-80s effort from end to end. The Arctic Monkeys album on “everyone’s” list was much more boring still (Squeeze at their least enthusiastic meets Nickelback, anyone?); Arcade Fire can go back in time to 2004 and fuck themselves with particularly dull and pretentious swords; etc.

So, without any attempt at ranking, here are some things I thought were worthy of re-mentioning as things that were released in 2013 and should probably be remembered longer than that. Some of them may even be things you haven’t heard of, particularly if you make a habit of ignoring my Twitter output, which is probably wise. note: this not-really-a-best-of list was courtesy the top of my head; I reserve the right to amend, if I think of anything else I’ll post again.

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Spotify vs. MOG: The ultimate smackdown

Posted by r on October 14, 2012

I’ve been a big fan of Spotify since it came out in the States in July ’11. I’ve been a paid subscriber almost since day one, and it’s changed the way I listen to music just about as much as MP3 tech did fifteen years ago. The vast majority of my music listening is done on Spotify now, particularly in the car. But my enthusiasm for Spotify has been waning recently for several reasons, most of them centered around decreasing usability of its mobile client… and when I heard about its competitor MOG, I thought I’d give it a serious go to see if it could make me happy again.

There aren’t many (actually, any) truly useful or detailed comparative reviews of these two services out there, and since signing up for either one on a mobile device requires taking the serious step of handing over your credit card, I figured maybe someone ought to take this task seriously. Thusly, the following are my typically detail-oriented conclusions in comparing these two services, because I am the world’s biggest proponent of outlining first-world problems.
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Scordatura: best metal band name ever?

Posted by r on March 7, 2012

(Edit cleanup 3.19.13: Lengthy meanderings on the joys of alternate guitar tunings after the break.)
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A whole bottle of Dreamy Sleepy Nightie Snoozy Snooze

Posted by r on January 1, 2012

My favorite records of the year (sadly, no real new / magical discoveries):
Micachu and the Shapes (w/ London Sinfonietta), Chopped and Screwed
Craig Wedren, Wand
Deerhoof, Vs. Evil
Sloan, The Double Cross
Real Estate, Days
Chad VanGaalen, Diaper Island
Battles, Gloss Drop
Tim Heidecker, CAINTHOLOGY: Songs in the Key of Cain

Records that were better than I might reasonably expect:
Drake, Take Care
Burzum, Fallen
The AWOLNation thing
The Homefront – Songs for the Resistance soundtrack (the latter half is way better than the first, though)
The new Primus record actually wasn’t bad, but don’t ask me how I know

Records I still need to get around to from 2011:
New Tom Waits
Giles Corey s/t
Probably the Jay-Z / Kanye thing at some point, but meh.
And about five dozen others I probably read about, got excited about, and forgot about.
Hey, there was a new Bill Callahan in there somewhere, I think?
I should probably also finish a whole Tyler the Creator-related record someday before he’s totally irrelevant.
And I also asked for the Weird Al live Bluray for Xmas, but didn’t get it. So.

Big disappointments:
Heidecker and Wood, Starting from Nowhere (not that it will stop me from idolizing either of these two fine gentlemen)
Low, C’mon (apt title, that)
I finally got around to listening to Bon Iver. Yeah, no.
And who the fuck are all these people who think Adele is omg so awesome? She’s like one notch more musically interesting than Susan Boyle. I’m not sure who is worse– them, or the Bon Iver people.

Resolutions for myself:
Make a helluva lot more music, and make it a helluva lot better this time, punk.
Learn to code so you can make cool music stuff, y’doofus.
Finally learn the frickin’ pedal steel; also, the fiddle (note: NOT the violin).
Learn about alternative vocations that are actually useful to society at large.

Proposed resolutions for the record industry, of which I am not really a part, but it’s always nice to dream:
Let’s get back to not mastering everything to 0dB every time, all the time.
Let’s also stop rehashing everything that’s ever been done ever with a fresh, proud coat of Autotune on top.
Also, please die a horrible, horrible death.
(note: I have also made these same three proposed resolutions every year since roughly 1999)

Things I look forward to in 2012:
Not a whole lot, honestly.

Happy strictly-arbitrary new calendar year! May our truly chaotic universe with its strictly-arbitrary economy and ultimately meaningless existence find you all well, or at least believing that you are well. Comfortable self-delusion is a great gig if you can land it.

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