Entries Tagged as 'music'

musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that lyrical lip-tasting shall cease

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. i-124-B: The Emperor is aware of how hard it is for young musicians and lyricists to approach the profundity of their Springsteenian and Dylanesque heroes — those stretchers of poetic and pop-cultural boundaries. He knows (not from experience, mind you, but from within the depth of his infinite wisdom) what it feels like to struggle with a lack of intellectual and artistic development in the face of a monumental desire to write something truly powerful. In short, the Emperor empathizes (theoretically). He cannot, however, allow these young lyricists to continue crossing the line of sensuality and over into  increasingly frequent  implications of cannibalistic desires. Lately, there have been far too many references to the “taste” of the lips of one’s lover, in popular tunes. This is not sensual and edgy, my young and comically rebellious friends. This is gross. Ye shall quit it.

The Punishment: Violating lyricists will be tied up and forced to listen to three weeks of non-stop jokes about cannibals, like this one: Two cannibals are sitting around the fire, eating. One cannibal says to the other, “I can’t stand my mother-in-law.” The second cannibal replies, “So, just eat the noodles.” THANK YEEEW! (Try the veal.)

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Michael Cade's audio filesmusic

Audio files: Justin Bieber and the New World Order; the screams of dying stars, etc.

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Some links about music and sound.

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musicreligion & philosophy

The killing frost thaws: Pussy Riot = free birds?

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Yesterday, some odd news came to light when Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev announced public sympathy for the imprisoned Pussy Riot girls. According to the New York Times, my favorite newspaper ever:

Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev said Wednesday that he believed that three female punk rockers jailed for a profane stunt in Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedral should be released rather than serve out their two-year sentences, weighing in on a case that has drawn widespread condemnation in the West.

Sounds good. Those of us who consider ourselves free speech absolutists have reason to celebrate, right?

Wait! Not so fast.

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musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that reggae may no longer be played on rock stations

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3T-45: Rock and roll stations are no longer permitted to play reggae music. Reggae is the polar opposite of rock and roll. There are no similarities between rock and roll and reggae. The rhythmic stresses occur in different places. Reggae is “laid-back” and rock and roll is “in-your-face.” Barry Manilow fits a rock station playlist about as well as Bob Marley does. (And, no, excessive marijuana use is not enough of a connection between rock and reggae to justify its presence on the playlist.) Hearing reggae on a rock station is like finding a picture of one’s grandmother edited into a pornographic video: it just breaks the whole vibe; lets the air our of the balloon; jams on the brakes; busts the groove; kills the buzz — and all those other cliches that you lowly minions always identify with. It’s a bird in the face of roller-coaster-riding Fabio. When the Emperor is cruising along, slamming his face against the dashboard to “Hell’s Bells” he doesn’t want it followed up with “One Love.” You can’t do the devil’s horns thing to Marley, plain and simple. When the Emperor wants to suck on a juicy mango and loaf in a hammock, he welcomes all things Rastafarian. But when the Emperor feels the need to bang the royal head, he doesn’t want a pillow thrown in front of it. (It just ain’t a party until the crown gets dented.)

The Punishment: DJs who play reggae on rock stations will have headphones duct-taped to their heads and they will be forced to listen to Don Ho singing “Tiny Bubbles” for one solar year.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

 

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: Special July 4, 2012 unstoppable summer listening guide!

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A lot of big hits have been racing up the summer pop charts in recent weeks.

Unfortunately, I can’t name any of them.

So I’ve decided to create a super-great SUMMERTIME PLAYLIST of my own.

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musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to ridiculous musical genre names

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 9000: Henceforth, no one is allowed to come up with asinine categories for types of music, especially categories that revel in their own masturbatory paradoxicality, like “folktronica.” Likewise outlawed are terms like “synthcore,” “shoegazer” and “melodic death-metal.” Creators of such silly genres need to be informed, in clear terms, that no level of verbal skullduggery will ever conceal the vapid, hackneyed and generally worthless nature of their insubstantial compositional flatulations. The Emperor, for instance, is The Emperor because he is intrinsically superior, not simply because he wears a blinking neon cape with ermine trim and exquisite silken underlay. (Although he does look dashing in his neon cape.)

The Punishment: Violators will be chained in the bowels the Dungeon of Serious Woe and forced to listen to their own pretentious drek for a period of thee years. If able to survive this heinous ordeal, they will be released into the custody of Barry Manilow who will keep them as pets until the end of time.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: The awesome, evil genius of “Friday” producer Patrice Wilson

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Some of you may recall the catchy viral strains of Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” which was popular on the Internet last year.

This year, journalist Jon Ronson visits “Friday” producer Patrice Wilson to conduct a viral experiment. Ronson’s theory is that journalists wield too much power in the subject/chronicler relationship. To subvert that dynamic, he submits entirely to the whims of Wilson.

The results, which are very funny, can be seen below.

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Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: Rock-band mascots and Charles Manson

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This post started out as a piece about the band Riot, whom I vaguely recall reading about in such magazines as Hit Parader and Hit Parader when I was a metal-obsessed youth.

Riot’s album covers were notable for featuring some kind of humanoid, polar-mammal guy.  At first I thought the guy/creature was a snow owl. But then I looked closer, and the features revealed themselves as mammalian, not avian.

The Internet informs me that the Riot guy is called “Johnny.”

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Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: At the bleeding edges of reality sits the rough-and-tumble pop music hits of William Martin Joel

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So, a friend posted the following Billy Joel video on Facebook the other night.

 

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Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: If we can’t hear people screaming in agony, how can we hear at all?

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So I’ve been reading The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller, which has an entire chapter devoted to French-born composer Edgard Varese. And it’s some great music writing.

“Some men, and Varese is one of them,” writes Miller, “are like dynamite. That alone, I suppose, is sufficient to explain why they are handled with such caution and shyness.”

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Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: The worst thing about music is the people who play it

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I’m back with a rare Thursday night edition of  the once weekly and now sporadic “Audio Files” column.  And look out, because I’m armed with the contents of my Google Reader, namely…

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music

He said, she said — songs with two points of view

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I have a tendency to find songs that I get addicted to–listening to on repeat incessantly, walking around with its lyrics in my head all day. One of the most recent examples of this has been Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (linked below for your convenience.)

As this song keeps finding its way back on my playlist, I started to wonder what it was that made me love the song, and even the video, so much. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmusic

Eine kleine Rammsteinmusik

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I first encountered Rammstein in an almost empty cinema on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, during an afternoon matinee of the largely unloved David Lynch movie Lost Highway. Balthazar Getty had just broken into a house, a porno starring his lover was unfolding on a giant screen, and something was about to go very wrong — a point underscored on the soundtrack by sinister chanting, tolling church bells and an impossibly low German voice muttering words I didn’t understand. It was ominous, bombastic, absurd, utterly hilarious- and yet also thrilling: [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmusic

The secret afterlife of Roy Orbison

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For me, like most people, memory is intricately intertwined with music. Another Brick in the Wall pt 2 was a hit the year I started school, and so the song always resurrects those early experiences of classroom tedium. Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus,playing on the ferry that brought me from England to Holland in 1986, summons textures of my first trip abroad from the sinkhole of amnesia; while Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity is forever fused with a 6am walk I took around Amsterdam ‘s Schipol airport. Endlessly and subjectively I can listen to a track and landscapes, people, places and moods return.

What is the mechanism behind this? I don’t care. I note only that the links in the chain of music and memory are almost always forged accidentally- standing in a shop, watching TV, sitting in a café. When I was travelling in Central Asia a few years ago however I decided to conduct an experiment- I would intentionally fuse some music with the landscape to use as an aid to memory later. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmusic

I’d like to give a shout-out to the non-sentient

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Fantastic and strange Godley & Creme tune.

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: My favorite fan-made YouTube videos

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We’re all familiar with the genius of YouTube; how it lets the unknown masses contribute to pop culture as freely and often as they’d like. But lately I’ve taken a particular shine to YouTube’s vast array of fan-made music videos (i.e. fan-chosen footage splattered onto musicians’ songs).

A few such gems recently caught my attention.

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art & entertainmentmusic

Weird sex objekt: how to enjoy Kraftwerk’s Electric Cafe

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Like many people I enjoy the music of Kraftwerk and think that their reputation as musical pioneers is entirely justified. Indeed I would choose to listen to Trans Europe Express or The Man Machine over anything by The Beatles any day. Come to think of it, I’d listen to their 2003 album about riding bicycles over anything by The Beatles any day, but that’s another matter. I enjoy their dry humour, their minimalist, retro-futurist aesthetic, their decades-long dedication to pretending they are robots… and of course, their music.

And yet, there is a problem. And if you know Kraftwerk then you will know its name: [Read more →]

damned liesmusic

Complexity and the salvation of rock and roll

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Heides hotdogs One of the loose collective of my friends — The Defeatist-Malcontent-Anarchist Slacker Collective and Bait Shop — a Vet who’s trying to get his band going in upstate New York doing kind of boogie rock with metal overtones, spends time he should spend doing something like picking up bottles for the return fee on a Marshall Amp blog, and one of the folks on it posted something about a piece of software that my pal had not heard of. He tossed it out to the collective, and one of the guys explained that it is really kind of an auto-cad system that enables engineers, architechts, and marketing types to overlay everything and walk the customer through the whole bloody thing. He then commented that if he wanted to go back to working for somebody else, he’s take some classes…and then realized what he just said. Commented that he hated his life, and went off to drink copiously in the pine woods of Maine. [Read more →]

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzomusic

Pretty popular for a dead guy: Thoughts on running out of milestones

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I was watching Paul McCartney in concert on TV the other day. He was playing to a festival crowd — maybe eighty-thousand strong. (It was at the Isle of Wight or the Isle of Lucy or something like that.) As he got the end of “Hey Jude,” the crowd, many of whom had been years away from being born when “Hey Jude” was written, joined in, singing the “Na-naaa-na-nanana-naaaah,” part and it occurred to me that success is a bizarre thing. [Read more →]

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzomusic

The sheepdog’s eyes: Lady Gaga’s empty theatrics

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If it weren’t for Lady Gaga, many of the points I have tried to make in this column would have been so hard to illustrate. She consistently delivers. She constantly examplifies the things that, in my opinion, are the unnecessary and even damaging trappings of art, from the element that I have called “artistic weirdness” to plain-old insincerity. At the recent MTV video awards, dressed up and acting like a dude, as “Jo Calderone,” Gaga physically illustrated the pitfalls of insincerity in art — the problems that are caused when “show” overshadows art. [Read more →]

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