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

Archive for January, 2012

In the fingers of the beholder

Posted by r on January 25, 2012

(edit cleanup 3.19.13: Relatively personal and/or perhaps pointless musings on the myth of “pros play pro instruments.” Extremely short version: goddammit, I love cheap guitars and/or the thrill of getting “pro grade” results from bargain-basement gear in general. But if you know me at all personally, you probably knew that already.)
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Posted in Crazy, almost-certainly-invalid theories, Stuff I ended up with | Leave a Comment »

The loudness wars part 2: Ukelele edition

Posted by r on January 19, 2012

(edit cleanup 3.19.13: In which I contemplate the last half-decade of ubiquitous ukeleles– and casual, user-friendly glockenspiels– in commercial music and muse on this fad’s connection to the last decade-and-a-half’s worth of highly questionable commercial mixdown practices and/or The Alleged End of Interesting Music.)
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Posted in Crazy, almost-certainly-invalid theories | 3 Comments »

The loudness wars and the damage done

Posted by r on January 10, 2012

(edit cleanup 3.19.13: Lots of people like to bitch loudly about the so-called Loudness Wars of post-1999 or so, and apparently I am one of them. In this post, I talk a lot about a specific set of vintage loudspeakers that were once a mid-century reference standard in studio monitoring and now, when presented with a Loudness War-era recording/victim, reveal quite clearly that 95% of everything new sounds like shit. What’s below the cut, however, is probably of little interest if you don’t want to hear a lot about a particular obsolete model of speakers that 99% of us will never be able to afford nor find room for in our living rooms, myself included.)
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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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