Archive for June, 2011

24 Jun 2011


1 Comment Uncategorized

This article is a response to a post Mark Schoneveld made on his blog Yvynyl. The original post can be seen here.

This post popped up on my tumblr dashboard and of course, I felt a need to get my two cents in on this issue. To summarize, TV Girl is one of the many bands that sample small pieces of other songs and puts them into their own music. One of TV Girl’s tracks sample Todd Rungen‘s Hello, It’s Me. When the TV Girl track that sampled the song began to get popular the band reached out to the copyright holders in order to get the sample cleared but the terms of the agreement would have been completely unreasonable. The band argues that their use of the sample falls under the protection of “fair use”.

The art of sampling music in particular has been around for a while. Not too long ago I put together a longer post about “The Future of R&B and Pop Music” where I discussed the art of sampling, citing examples from an Altered Zones profile on James Ferraro and DJ Shadow’s 1994 LP titled “Endtroducing…”, which was the first record that was composed completely of samples from other records.

The ability of being able to sample another artist’s music without permission is something that has been being fought over since the early ninties. Before 1991, when this technology was still new, sampling in most genres was a widely accepted practice. However, the 1991 case Grand Upright Music, Ltd v. Warner Bros. Records Inc. changed those rules. The end ruling of this case was that all samples used after the court ruling would have to be preapproved by the original copyright owners, as long as both parties agreed “to a level of legally cognizable appropriation.” It is important to note that even after this court ruling minimal uses of sampling were still allowed.

Recently, however, the use of minimal samples without permission of the appropriate copyright holder has been reversed in the Sixth Circuit Court decision of the case Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films. This court ruling stated that the argument of de minimis (minimal things) does not apply to the sampling of music.

In my personal opinion, I believe that artists should be allowed to sample other music. Independent music is great because it gives more creative ability to the artist. The recordings may be very rough and lo-fi, but put simply it allows an artist to have full control over the music they are producing. This might not be the case when signed to a major record label. As a listener and a fan of independent music, I want artists to be able to be creative as possible, creating their music by any means they see fit. As technology moves forward we’ve had the advantage of merging more electronic-based effects into music, and I have personally really enjoyed the results. The reason why we don’t hear about this problem often is because the independent music niche is still a small (but growing) part of the music industry and the fact that someone from a record label would have to sit down and listen to music all day to try and identify a sample that vaguely sounds like something they’ve released. This of course is in reference to minimal samples.

The moral of the story is: If you want to take a small sample without permission from a song by a major artist, don’t email the label telling them that you did, because most likely they’ll have never found out if you hadn’t told them.

22 Jun 2011


No Comments audio

While on a dinner date, John takes a bite out of the banana pepper in his salad & squirts pepper juice into the eye of his date.

Now nervous due to the pepper juice incident, John unknowingly uses all the butter for his bread and left none for his date to use.

Things are not going well for John. Flustered by the butter fiasco, John gets marinara sauce all over his shirt during the main course.

John runs to the bathroom to clean the sauce off with his Tide to go stain remover, but it didnt work well. He returns to the table in shame.

At this point, the dessert had been delivered. John asked for ice cream with no fudge. “There’s no way I could mess this up”, he thought.

During the entry of the ice cream to his mouth, a woman screams-her boyfriend proposed to her. The ice cream falls onto his pants.


“Harsh Realm” by Widowspeak by forcefieldpr

Record dropping soon on Captured Tracks.

22 Jun 2011


No Comments audio

Balmorhea is a band composed entirely of strings with the exception of a drum set for percussion, and for whatever reason when I listen to Balmorhea, it instantly takes me back to what I’ve learned about the movement of sound. For the sake of this post, we’ll discuss Huygen’s Principle. It is this principle that defines and explains how sound moves, the behavior of sound waves as they travel through some medium or reflect off of something.

This principle states that each point on an advancing wave front may be considered to be a new point source generating spherical Huygens’ wavelets. If you know the location of a wave front at x time, you can use that information to figure out the location of the wave front at a slightly later time by drawing spherical arcs centered at points along the wave front. It is important to note that each spherical arc is a Huygens’ wavelet. The radius of each of these arcs is given by the distance that sound travels in that relatively small amount of time.

In the figure below, the initial wave front is labeled “A”. If the sound speed is c (340 meters/second), then therefore in a small time increment, delta t (seconds), sound travels a distance c*delta t (meters). The new wave front, labeled “B,” is the convergence of these wavelets with a radius c*delta t, and is made by drawing the line tangent to the leading edges of the wavelets.

With each strike of the xylophone I envision a sound wave being generated, invisible to the eye yet visible to the ears. I can imagine the sound widening due to the new points being generated and new wavelets being created.

Not really sure if ‘Untitled’ is a new track, but I haven’t heard it yet and like all Balmorhea songs it sounds amazing. I have always been a huge fan of Balmorhea, and I’m still kicking myself for missing their show at a really small local venue in Providence a few years back by about a hair. Nevertheless, they did this totally epic session for Daytrotter, you can download all the tracks there.

Balmorhea: Untitled