Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lennon & Maisy

Came across this video that seems to be going a bit viral.  It’s always a bit creepy when kids sing lyrics that are way out of their emotional experience or understanding, but you have to admit- there’s something really special going on with the raw talent of these two.

Great voices, beautiful harmony and phrasing.

 

 

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Being a better music fan

I just read this great article by Lachlan Bryan over at Artshub.  I think he makes some excellent points.  Some of my most enduring favourite music has been found because I took a punt and bought a  cd from an unsigned artist on CD baby or I clicked through a link on a music blog to something that sounded interesting and bought the album on itunes or through bandcamp.  I don’t do it enough either anymore- I’ve made a loose rule for myself, that if there is a song being played on independent radio here in Melbourne that I find myself singing along to in the car constantly- I write down the name and go home and look for it on a digital store.  Last one I’ve nabbed is Lost Animals– Lose the baby. Such a fantastic song.

There really are amazing songs out there- not just the ones that come to your attention through great marketing and hype.  we all need to stop saying we can’t afford to buy music.  When you only had the options to buy CDs- you saved for that CD you just had to have, you found a way to own it and you played it over and over for weeks.  It’s a brilliant feeling falling in love with a song- be brave, take a punt and actually go and buy some music that you are passionate  about.

Lachlan’s article can be found here.

A CD I bought on CD Baby by US musician Gileah many years ago has remained in my top 25 on itunes ever since.  Here’s a taste:

Just after posting I came across this fantastic article- so had to re-edit to include:

http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/

and if you still aren’t convinced http://www.popmedium.com/2012/06/response-to-groupies-article-entitled-why-music-piracy-is-good/

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Amon Tobin ISAM Live- Melbourne

I was lucky enough to have a prime balcony position looking straight onto the stage for Amon Tobin’s ISAM live at The Palace Theatre in Melbourne last night.  We arrived early (read 2 hours early!) to make sure we got a good vantage point as this is a show that is heavily reliant on the relationship between the incredible visual performance and the carefully manicured and layered sound that are Tobin’s brilliant trademark.  I recently attended Aphex Twin‘s concert at the Palace and unfortunately arrived just before the main act and couldn’t get a spot to see the stage anywhere.  Luckily the 2 hour wait was absolutely made up for with a performance, like nothing I have ever seen before.

The set was a combination of different shaped white cubes creating a 3D precarious looking stack- not unlike toy blocks stacked up high by a toddler.  While interesting in itself- this was nothing compared to the transformation once the show started by way of precision projections onto the surface of the block.  Timed to the music with such absolute perfection, the blocks morphed in on themselves, lit up, caught fire, melted like lava, got sucked into themselves like some kind of vacuum or black hole, went all fluoro like a scene from Tron, turned into some kind of grinding machine and on and on it went.  For over 1 1/2  hours you could not take your eyes off the stage.  It was mesmerising, the patterns never repeating, always keeping you engaged.   The sophistication of the images made the whole set feel as if it was alive- pulsating, breathing and moving, not just with the compositions- but as part of it as if it was creating the sounds.   I loved that Amon Tobin himself was inside one of the cubes and that at various points he was lit up and at other times camouflaged.  You really got a sense that he was the pilot, or the beating heart in this strange creature.

Performing electronic music can be disengaging for the audience and it is something I try and consider every time I do a show– a head in a laptop, slaving over buttons and faders that are complex and take a lot of skill are lost on an audience who is listening to you with their eyes and don’t see the complexities of your performance when they are not taking the physical form of fingers on the string of a guitar, of sticks on drum skins.  Although a show like this takes a massive budget and huge team to achieve, I find it good food for thought when thinking of ways to show the scope and power of electronic music to an audience.

Here is a little overview of the show and below it an insight into the amazing technology and skill that went into creating the projections.

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