Beach-Boys_Pet-Sounds

16 Aug: Decoding a Pocket Symphony

Posted by the Polyphonic YouTube channel, this video essay illustrates all the remarkable things that happen in the three minutes and thirty-nine seconds that comprise The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” It is remarkable when the details get laid out: the convention-defying sections of the song, the ingenious chord combinations, the metamorphosing moods and transitions, even how the deceptively simple lyrics reveal a deeper meaning. “Good Vibrations” is indeed a “pocket symphony.”   Wikipedia: The making…

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15 Aug: My Every Day Album Discovery Routine

I was recently asked, “what are you listening to these days?” I explained that I listen to a lot, and it’s because every day I aim to listen to an album I’ve never heard before A couple of years ago I was writing a ‘best of’ list and came up short for my top ten favorite albums of that year. I realized I didn’t listen to a lot of new music and that made me…

it's a speaker

13 Aug: Songwriters Getting Paid as the Robots Listen

There are a few options for businesses to legally play music on premises, whether that business is, say, a nightclub, restaurant, or hair salon. An in-store music service like Mood Media (formerly Muzak) can supply channels of pre-cleared tunes for a subscription fee. These services are like radio in most cases, as the business won’t be able to choose any particular song that’s played. The business could also just play music by friends and enter…

Def Leppard

09 Aug: The Upside of Music Piracy

For a legacy act, taking a nuanced stance on the effects of music piracy is surprising and somewhat brave. But that’s what Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell is doing in a recent interview with Ultimate Classic Rock: “The way the band works is quite extraordinary. In recent years, we’ve been really fortunate that we’ve seen this new surge in our popularity. For the most part, that’s fueled by younger people coming to the shows,” Campbell…

Ways of Hearing Podcast

08 Aug: ‘Ways of Hearing’ Explores Listening in the Digital Age

  I’m excited about this new Radiotopia podcast named Showcase. Mostly because the first season consists of the six-part series Ways Of Hearing, hosted by Damon Krukowski who you may know as the drummer for Galaxie 500 and a member of Damon & Naomi. Apparently inspired and culled from Damon’s recent book The New Analog, Ways Of Hearing explores how listening has changed as audio delivery moves from analog to digital. It looks to go…

04 Aug: The Rhythmic Surprise of Syncopation

Treat yourself to this ten minute explanation of syncopation, using the deceivingly complex rhythmic basis of Radiohead’s “Videotape” as its example. “Videotape” is my favorite of the Radiohead ‘dirge’ songs but what I didn’t realize is that it actually grooves at a very un-dirge-like 155 BPM. Vox has been on fire with their videos for a while now. I watch them all. Check more of their output HERE.

06 Jun: If You Are Losing the Game, Best to Change the Rules

Ben Thompson for Stratechery: The long-rumored competitor to Amazon Echo and Google Home was, fascinatingly, framed as anything but. {Tim} Cook began the unveiling by referencing Apple’s longtime focus on music, and indeed, the first several minutes of the HomePod were entirely about its quality as a speaker. It was, in my estimation, an incredibly smart approach: if you are losing the game, as Siri is to Alexa and Google, best to change the rules,…

04 Jun: Hitting the Links: Music’s Technological History, Repetitive Pop Lyrics, and Peter Saville

Technology In Music: A Chronological Playlist Through History: Let’s start from from the beginning, in 1937: a timeless feel – eerie and alienating at times, permeates ‘Oraison’ by French composer Olivier Messiaen. The song was originally written for an ensemble of early electronic musical keyboards called Ondes Martenot. The Ondes Martenot is a very expressive instrument, meeting Messiaen’s avant-garde composition techniques. If you’re expecting beat drops you may want to keep in mind the release…

02 Jun: Cranking the Wheel

Noisey: “Spotify playlists, and Spotify charts, and Spotify plays, have become the number one tool that labels and artists and managers are using in order to break artists and measure success,” said industry analyst Mark Mulligan, speaking to Wired earlier this year. “If you get things working on Spotify, that’s going to crank the wheel.” Anyone who’s opened Spotify and found themselves clicking on their Daily Mix playlist, or fired up the app’s Discovery Weekly…

31 May: Music as Data, and the Wisdom of the Crowd

The Conversation: The Musical Genome, the algorithm behind Pandora, sifts through 450 pieces of information about the sound of a recording. For example, a song might feature the drums as being one of the loudest components of the sound, compared to other features of the recording. That measurement is a piece of data that can be incorporated into the larger model. Pandora uses these data to help listeners find music that is similar in sound…