Chillmost 2007 Year End Wrap-Up

It has been a somewhat bittersweet year. My Aunt Sue passed away after fighting a long hard battle with breast cancer. That was the first time, as an adult, that I was confronted with the death of someone close to me and all it entails.

I’m feeling pretty healthy compared to 2 years ago today. No heart problems in 2007, except for some weird mental anxiety issues. Well, I haven’t gone jogging in almost 6 months. Some shit came up. I hurt my legs and just generally got lazy. But 2008 is a whole new year I tell ya. I’m gonna get back on the wagon soon, I swear.

Chillmost’s favorite Records of 2007:

  • Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings: 100 Days, 100 Nights – This is a beautifully produced album that channels the spirit of Motown and other R&B labels of the 60’s. It should be noted that The Dap-Kings were the backing band on most of Amy Winehouse’s 2006 album, Back to Black. So, if you dig that you will probably dig this.
  • Deerhunter: cryptograms – Trippy, dreamy and rocking. Lot’s of noisy guitars and drones.
  • The Dynamics: Version Excursions – Modern dub reggae versions of old classics
  • Apparat: Walls – I dunno watcha wanna call it. Modern krautrock? It’s kind of has a Notwist thing going on there. It’s good check it out.
  • Beastie Boys : The Mix Up – If you liked The In Sound From Way Out!, you should dig this. It doesn’t sound at all like the Beastie Boys you are used to.
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Baby 81 – A return to asskicking form. Not the best, but I listened to it a lot. They put on a good show as well.

Year Highlights:

As a parting gesture from 2007, I give you an 18 minute epic monstrosity of an appropriately titled blissed out slide blues in open D: New Years Eve.

If you got a glass of wine, pour another. Is Absinth your thing? Thats cool baby. If you are smoking a fatty, roll another. If your tripping on acid, ummm, well, see you on the other side. Seriously, it’s long. I wasn’t paying attention to the clock on this one. Enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.

Why Today’s Music Sounds Like Shit

An interesting article over at Rolling Stone about the actual dynamic and sonic quality of music being produced these days.When I was in school 10 years ago (my God, has it been that long?) our instructors were complaining about how remastered releases at the time, which were supposed to offer the highest audio quality consumer technology could offer, had all the dynamics and life squeezed out of it. Little did they know how much worse it would get with the introduction of the mp3. Well maybe some of them did.

Over the past decade and a half, a revolution in recording technology has changed the way albums are produced, mixed and mastered — almost always for the worse. “They make it loud to get [listeners’] attention,” Bendeth says. Engineers do that by applying dynamic range compression, which reduces the difference between the loudest and softest sounds in a song. Like many of his peers, Bendeth believes that relying too much on this effect can obscure sonic detail, rob music of its emotional power and leave listeners with what engineers call ear fatigue. “I think most everything is mastered a little too loud,” Bendeth says. “The industry decided that it’s a volume contest.”

Read more.

If this is over your head and you don’t feel like taking the time to sift through it, please watch this short video to help illustrate the “loudness war” and explain what the article is getting at.

Live from The Reeperbahn!

Last week Venusberg recorded a short song for BalconyTV. It was filmed on a very small balcony overlooking the sex shops, porno theaters and other colorful establishments that make the Reeperbahn what it is.
Today it is online.

It was really cold. The cold air threw my guitar a bit out of tune but I still pulled it off. There are usually 5 of us on stage but due to the small size of the balcony, the drummer and loop wizard had to observe from the side. Markus fashioned a lo-fi Keytar out of a small midi controller and I was playing through a small battery powered amp that I had around my neck.

Smoker’s Glory hole

Over the past summer the German state of Lower Saxony, or Niedersachsen as we like to call it around here, imposed one of Germany’s first smoking bans in restaurants and pubs. If you have never been to Germany, you should know that many Germans like to smoke. A lot. It is a bit contradictory that one of the most health conscience nations in Europe is also home to so many smokers. I could back that statement up with some cold hard statistics but I am not a journalist so I don’t have to. Besides, I tried and failed. Just trust me on this. Ask someone who has been to Germany.

Anyway, it should come as no surprise that Germans, know for their ingenuity and problem solving, have come up with a fitting solution to the smoking ban. What looks like a cross between a pillory and a glory hole is a very interesting way of getting around the smoking ban:

The Smoking Hole.

Wake Up Crying

Oh hi, what are you doing here? You’re dead.

Well kiddo, after all that I’m okay. I woke up after the funeral. Turns out it was nothing.


Ha ha! I’m okay.

I know this is a dream. I’m going to hug you until I wake up.

We Went To Linz

Last weekend M and I went to Linz, Austria as part of the TourCon trip organized by some students at her University. We left Lüneburg on a bus on Friday night, got off at Passau, got on the MS Johann Strauss and went down the Danube river overnight to Linz. While M was enjoying conferences and seminars, I explored Linz.

I noticed that there were a lot of creepy dudes meandering about near the town center on this Sunday morning. I think they were party zombies left over from the previous evening’s events.

It being Sunday, all the shops were closed. My first stop was the ARS Electronica. If you are interested in the latest greatest forms of interactive input devices, check it out. They are currently renovating their permanent location which means the exhibits in their current location are kinda slapped together. A lot of the cool gadget things weren’t working. The things that were working were cool and interesting but trying to get any helpful information from the guides was pointless. There was a very cool music sequencer that was controlled by light and also a so called CAVE, both of which I would have liked to learn more about. Hardware? Software? “Um, something with Onyx I think.”

I also got to play with or in Gulliver’s World. It was a lot of fun.

Next stop was the Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich. There was a cool exhibit by Luca Vitone and a really interesting audio exhibit audio Sam Auinger. My favorites were deep blue v.1.2 and mauerpark.

I could write more but I have become bored and don’t feel like it. Here are some pictures.