Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Keep your music offline

Monday, March 25th, 2019

MySpace just lost 12 years worth of music. It’s quite unprecedented. It’s also scary and sad. There probably was some excellent stuff in those 50 million songs from 14 million artists.

I’ve always been on the fence with uploading my music to services. I am slowly getting back to sharing directly. I don’t trust any of the services we have out there. Even when paying. Even when they’re big.

MySpace used to be gigantic. It is now clear that those companies don’t care for a second about people’s creations.

Peter has a great comment:

This isn’t just about individual backups, but the larger question of how digital music is distributed archived in our society. And reflecting on this it’s actually pretty stunning to me how far *backwards* we’ve gone.

Just a few things to consider:

1. While P2P stuff like torrent and Napster may have been illegal, one thing about distributing music that way is that the content then exists more than one place. By comparison, corporate consolidation means we have very little real redundancy. With or without the blockchain business, *any* distributed scheme for content would work very differently.

2. This isn’t just about data reliability, either – it’s also about uptime. If we’re overly dependent on one provider, like Facebook, an outage or your government deciding to put up a firewall or that provider false flagging a copyright claim – any of those things can be utterly devastating, say, if you’re an independent artist/label trying to make a release date work.

3. There’s no library. When I got started, I was advised to register copyright for my scores to the US government, and eventually audio, too. That means the US Library of Congress archives those works and makes them available to researchers and so on. Not to mention, I grew up checking out tapes and CDs from the local library. Now this ‘cloud’ business means things are lost and inaccessible.

I could go on. Backups are important, but a backup isn’t a public archive, which is why the Internet Archive reference is relevant.

Creators are careless and consumers have no sense of legacy or continuation anymore. A pretty awful equation.

R-Kel

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Watched the whole thing.

I didn’t really want to because of the added drama (music and edits). It grosses me out but Twitter being so loud, I watched.

It’s a story about not listening. The music industry is well known for being abusive towards women.

It’s a story about corruption of the mind, and greed. People will do anything to get “the bag” (more like amenities and plane tickets) while they agree to give up their souls, their integrity and their bodies. Fans and fandom are terrible things, they will make you do things you wouldn’t do otherwise. Like believe that a trial for child pornography doesn’t mean anything or that a jury’s decision is the truth. And then you regret.

It’s not a new story. I always think about Marvin Gaye because he got a pass. He still was a piece of shit, who at 33 started to date a 17 year old foster girl that he abused and tortured for years. That story never really came out. She wrote a book about it. No one has ever tarnished Marvin’s legacy with this horrendous fact. I only heard about it very recently, in the past few years. It’s still a fact. He was “lucky” that it happened in the 70s and 80s and that of course, he died before today’s world.

Yes, in the society we’re living in money buys anything, anyone, all the time. The delusion that people will never trespass some principles like trust is naïve yet understandable. Thinking that a teenager is telling you the truth, for important matter, is not being responsible even though you think you are.

I’m amazed at what music can do. These black girls and women fans were not believing these black girls and women over there. Music brings so much to one’s self that we deny anything that goes against it. Music is sorcery.

Hopefully everyone in those stories can heal. Stop buying his music goddamn.

Aretha

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Gone. It was going to happen. It always will happen. Death is coming to all of us.

But there’s this really haunting thought about performers and musicians of the generation of Aretha: they created everything we’re building new music on. They created everything we’re using in our software. And they’re about to leave this earth.

It’s so bizarre. I’m still processing Prince’s as what would he be doing these days. George Duke, my god. It’s just unreal how much stellar musicianship there is with just those two artists. All the feelings in the world expressed in a dozen of musical styles from pop to hardcore free jazz. There are a few dozens of those artists and they will pass in the next decade or so.

All of them.

It’s just going to be a massive extinction of very high quality craftsmanship in music.

We know that music has become such a a commodity that stars these days are more about charisma than talent. The public has accepted that. The music industry has become a LaCroix dispenser for the past twenty years. You (want to) believe it tastes something. Even more so in the past five years. Everything sounds the same, everyone is using the exact same machines. We forget about tracks and it doesn’t even matter, a new one pops out with the same chords. It’s not right or wrong, it’s ultra-efficient.

And music, although doing well with efficiency –great pop music is universally loved-, is larger than that. A whole lot wider.

Azealia

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

I think she’s amazing and I’d totally love to produce some tracks for her.

There’s something rare about miss Banks: she’s pure intersection. At times bad bitch, at times cute naïve girl. She innovates and next second she’s timeless and classic. The mix of house, hip-hop R&B and garage punk is hers. She masters that shit. She has her own way of eating words, changing her accent, inventing meaning and breaking lyrics convention while empowering and dissing over dance music. It’s overwhelming, dense and I love it.

I feel her when they compare other acts to her energy and skills: please don’t? She’s artistically way better.

Her social media stuff? Whatever. Social media is about getting engagement and lights on you too. And there’s the circus of media engaging people over what the “crazy” Harlem artist said, profiting. Read about Marvin Gaye’s late personal life and see if you can still hum his stuff.

What’s a bit annoying to me is her output is scattered. Some producers don’t get her and the track will be OK but not bang. The all remix/EP then album re-using some tracks from those, that’s annoying. It’s hard to make consistent albums though. And, it’s probably hard to keep a direction with a multi-faceted talent like Azealia. But also, labels and contracts. That shit is crazy and will delay and water down your output.

Treasure Island, her last single, is dope af.

Bellabass

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Composed and recorded in one quick shot. Best to listen to it in a calm environment at low volume.

Close your eyes.

Betty Davis

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

There’s a documentary out this year about her.

Betty’s music has been on regular rotation in my life since the early 2000.

I have the hardest time to swallow the fact that Miles Davis abused her. She transformed him, Miles, one of the most important musician ever. She introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone music. He beat her up.

The music industry beat her up closed the door on her. Too carefree. Not pop enough. Whatever.

Her music is good. Sometimes absolutely great. Her presence on stage looks like you needed a whole fire department next to the building, ready to hose it down.

Her artistic and production choices were on point. She and her collaborators really had her sound. Big Ass Drums. Growling Bass. Dynamic. I’ll always imagine what she could have done later on.

She truly doesn’t give a fuck. She didn’t disappear to be found. No one really knew anything about her life for decades. Now older, she is ready to tell her story.

If you read this Betty, I love you. You’re the best. You’re the inspiration for many, many things and people. Thank you.

I am Charlie Wilson

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

I had always wondered why the GAP Band was in this weird zone, universally praised and known while being completely obscure and different.

I had always wondered why so many of those grooves and amazing anthems sounded so similar.

All the answers are in his book. I read it months ago and it still makes me sad. They got robbed. They got pissed. Brotherhood might not be what you think it is.

The GAP (standing for Greenwood, Archer and Pine, where the Tulsa riots happened) Band is huge. Charlie’s voice’s enthusiasm is unmatchable. I feel him when he talks about learning music and how he was fascinated by harmony while teachers were telling him to focus on melody. I had the same shit happening to me when I learned piano. Stacked notes over sequences of notes any day, I don’t care.

I’m glad you’re at peace now man. Thank you for the absolute bangers you guys created and thank you for writing it all down, uncle Charlie.

On that music and Mars thing

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

The Grapevine. IS BRUNO MARS A CULTURAL APPROPRIATOR?

I mean, yeah. He’s one of the best-selling artist of all times already. It’s not just that he’s known. He’s making mad money and started by impersonating Elvis, the dude who stole black people’s moves and music. Patterns.

That’s how music business works. Music sells primarily to white people, in a much bigger volume to white people. Since about the 40s so it’s been a while.

For this reason, artists need to cater to that market. And there’s nothing better to cater than to look alike, especially since videos are how the word spreads out (and the reason why I don’t like them: music is about listening, fuck watching).

It’s no coincidence if Rihanna and Beyoncé are not dark skin women. That Drake is very white. The Wknd. That Bruno is even whiter. There is an absurd amount of talented black artists who were/are too black for TV. It all started to really hurts with the rise of MTV almost 40 years ago.

So many originators of black music –that is being used in various ways in ALL pop music- have never been heard or seen. I dig them online, listen to their music, find their pictures and love them. Music will always be more important than faces.

I think that’s the core argument: most black artists were making their own shit, creating their lanes. Trying things out. On the last Prince’s album he toys with house music and dubstep, but it’s still a Prince song with his guitar licks and ways of arranging horns and keyboards. MJ’s Bad album is fucking unique in so many ways. You can recognize a GAP Band groove from miles away.

Bruno copy/paste shit and says shout out to the OGs. It’s a different vibe. But yeah the song 24 Magic slaps and it’s annoying. It itches.

The worst part is that this entire appropriation phenomenon makes black people hate their black skin when their black skin is perfectly fine. Black skin is a symbol of creating timeless music genres and songs. Be proud of it.

In The Summertime

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Produced, recorded, performed, mixed and mastered by Harold in Los Angeles on an AMD A10 computer.

Tyler

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Man, awards don’t matter. But you deserved one.

I listened to your album a lot last summer writing my book. I think it was better than other rap albums, different. Also you rap and produced the music so that makes it immediately richer in my mind. Even though I’m mad you botched the 911 beat on purpose, I like it. I like the risks. I also appreciate the fact that each track loops properly on its own. Attention to detail. Obviously, Garden Shed and See You Again are big songs.

“I’m the loneliest man alive, so I keep on dancing to throw ‘em off”  For real though.

One more thing: stop obsessing about cars so much bruh. Get into architecture, passive systems and interior design. Or game development, if you’re crazy enough.