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22 Nov 2011


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Shea Stadium’s Bathroom in Brooklyn, NY


There’s definitely a particular kind of homage in the independent music scene – because in many situations the people you go to see play a show are people you’re actually friends with. It becomes a little less buying a record because you want to listen to it at home and add it to your collection to buying it for the singular purpose of supporting that musician because you dig how genuine they are – if you give Drake’s Take Care a listen you’ll catch my drift. Reverting back to my belief that music helps us associate feelings to memories, I’ll buy my boys record for the simple reason that it reminds me of hanging out with him and some of the good times we had.


I for one will go to a show mostly because a good chunk of my friends are going or my friends are playing it, too. When I first started to going to shows as a kid, the first few shows I went to were at a big venue because it was all I knew about at the time. My initial exposure to going to shows at small venues started when I learned about the DIY scene, peddled to me via the internet.

After attending shows at both big venues and small venues, I can clearly see the difference between going to a show at a big venue and seeing a show at a small one. Big venues are just so cold! They’re really just glorified bars. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to be stuck in between a large mass of people and not even be able to see the artist preforming, regardless of how much I like their music. not only that, but I’ve found that smaller venues are generally a better social environment. Is it really worth paying the premium cost for a ticket to see a musician play at a huge venue vs. one you kind-of like play at a smaller venue and typically for a cheaper cost?

28 Sep 2011


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Liz Pelly recently interviewed James Blake for The Boston Phoenix, and James stated something that I can completely agree with:

“I think the dubstep that has come over to the US, and certain producers– who I can’t even be bothered naming– have definitely hit upon a sort of frat-boy market where there’s this macho-ism being reflected in the sounds and the way the music makes you feel. And to me, that is a million miles away from where dubstep started. It’s a million miles away from the ethos of it. It’s been influenced so much by electro and rave, into who can make the dirtiest, filthiest bass sound, almost like a pissing competition, and that’s not really necessary. And I just think that largely that is not going to appeal to women. I find that whole side of things to be pretty frustrating, because that is a direct misrepresentation of the sound as far as I’m concerned.”

For those of you that know me, you know I love to dance. I went to dubstep night at one of the local clubs in my city to see what the deal was with the recent popularity of this genre (music with focus on the bass is something that has always been pretty popular in the UK) and to be honest, I was pretty disgusted with what I experienced that night. When my friends and I left, we determined that it was a place ravers would go when they couldn’t find a good warehouse to rave in. The music was fairly disinteresting and is a lot what like James Blake stated to be, “…who can make the dirtiest, filthiest bass sound, almost like a pissing competition…”. What I experienced wasn’t really dancing, it was more like stopping on the ground in a somewhat coordinated fashion. The worst part of this night was – there were barely any women whatsoever there to dance with, and I can’t blame them for not attending. Below is a short clip of what I experienced that night, a video that shows James Blake’s description of “a pissing competition” coming to life:

It’s a shame, really – that a fickle trend can seemingly ruin the integrity of a genre.

11 Sep 2011


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I’d like to get rid of the last few compilations I have and therefore I will be offering FREE SHIPPING on the compilations I have left. Orders will also be closing after TWO WEEKS so saturday, September 24th is the last day for orders. Anything I have left after Spetmeber 24th will be distributed locally in Providence, RI. Of course, you can still download the compilation for free here and if you’d like to donate $10 and get a CD with handmade packaging you can get one here. We only made 36, so now is your chance to get one if you haven’t already.

Original Post

02 Jul 2011


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Be back in a week

24 Jun 2011


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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.

16 Dec 2010


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Around September sometime I stumbled upon my mom’s cassette tapes that she used to teach her fitness classes in the 90’s in our basement. She taught STEP, Spinning and Yoga to name a few. My sister and I used to go with her to all of her classes when we were kids during the summer, and I can say each tape is a recallection of the 90’s for me, a complete throwback into all I experienced growing up during that time. MEGASTEP, in particular, is a tape created by a company that compiles remixes of songs according to a certain BPM for a workout. This tape features generic drum beats, well laid-out synth lines, funk, and nice vocal samples. Overall it is a simple, well done C45 of electronic dance modified for workouts. It’s is a reminder why I have such a short-temper with the glo-fi genre, because I grew up listening to the sounds they attempt to emulate for their nostalgiac, laid-back aesthetic, and I have the real thing sitting in the form of 30 or so cassette tapes in a milk crate.
MEGASTEP: Excerpt 1
MEGASTEP: Excerpt 2
MEGASTEP: Excerpt 3
(photo) By: Louis