It has been a somewhat bittersweet year. My Aunt Suepassed 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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 gloryhole is a very interesting way of getting around the smoking ban:
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.”