So it seems that Soundcloud has finally gotten around to pulling a couple of my Metallica ...And Justice for All remixes/restorations.
When I originally posted them three years ago, I posted five tracks, two of which were rejected immediately- One and Blackened. The three that somehow survived, the title track, The Shortest Straw and Dyers Eve, have been living there happily, and were played thousands of times by fans around the world.
Soundcloud has now pulled down two of the remaining three, curiously leaving Shortest Straw unmolested. So listen to it while you can, because obviously it won't be there forever.
Minion live at Mime School, Los Angeles, 25 Sept 2010. Digging through my archives, I found this recording of Minion from Sept 2010 at Mime School in LA that I'd never posted. Not really a standard show, because this is one where OG Darkmatter turntablist and noise maker Derrick Baseck was on turntables and was basically scratching through Minion's entire performance. So I guess it's more like a Minion b2b Baseck set.
Hey everybody. I'm starting a new podcast project, and I'd love for you all to check it out if you have the time or the inclination. It's called The Armchair Producers. It's sort of a music analysis and critique show, with some twists.
Description #1- it's like a record review show, except my co-host and I review two albums per show by two different bands, and they're often times well-known albums by well-known bands, and other times lesser-known albums by well-known bands, or relatively unknown albums by relatively unknown bands. We select a handful of songs from those two albums, and provide a running commentary while the songs play of aspects of the songs that either impress us or leave us shaking our heads, asking 'what were they thinking?', or something along those lines. At the end of the show, after we've gone through 5 or 6 songs from each album, we weigh the scales to determine which album is better than the other.
Description #2- it's kinda like one of those karaoke shows on tv (Amer. Idol, The Voice…), except instead of featuring unknown singers, we're featuring bands you know, or at least have heard of. And instead of judging live performances, we judge the albums you've heard a million times. And instead of giving the album a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, we have two albums (of similar styles, of similar eras, i.e. apples to apples) do battle with each other to determine which album is of higher quality, taking into consideration a variety of aspects.
We have a FB pageand a Twitter page, and the shows will live at HearThis.at. We plan on posting a show every week, and we try to keep the shows under an hour. We'll cover all styles, and will go as far back as the 70s, and will include everything up to brand new releases. The first couple shows are already up- Metric's Pagans in Vegas vs Silversun Pickups Better Nature and Toto s/t vs Supertramp's Breakfast in America. Upcoming shows include Field Music vs FFS, Def Leppard vs Bon Jovi, Kendrick Lamar vs Kanye West, The Cult vs Slash's Snakepit, The Power Station vs Tin Machine, Sarah McLachlan vs Sinead O'Connor, UFO vs Thin Lizzy, and more stuff like that. Once we get a healthy number of people hooked on the show, we'll start doing some more outsider/indie music. But starting out, we'll do just the big names.
I really want this to be a big deal. Honestly, I hope all my projects end up being big deals, yet they never are. No matter; I keep doing them regardless. But this one at least has a chance to be a big deal because it features music that many people like, or at least many people might be interested in, or at the very least isn't the usual extreme noise brutally aggressive underground electronic music that normally populates my various projects. Plus, my co-host Emily and I provide some insightful commentary, presented in a very entertaining format.
I know an hour per week is a lot to ask, but if you like music (and who doesn't?) and are interested in listening to music in a little bit more of an attentive way than just as a casual listener, I think it'll be worth your time.
I would very much appreciate it if you could get the word out and forward on this information to any of your friends who you think might like the show. If you feel like it.
Before anybody asks, because we include so much copyrighted music in the show, I'm not even gonna bother going the traditional podcast route through Apple, nor will I attempt to put the shows up on YouTube or Soundcloud, for the same reason. HearThis.at doesn't seem to have any such problems with the show, so they'll live there for now.
OK, so I can't even take credit for this recording whatsoever. But now if I search for it on the internet, I can't find it anywhere at all, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it. I did give it the standard remaster treatment, but that's about it.
Goblin live at Donaufest in Krems, Austria, 23 April 2009.
This is a significant recording because it's one of the last shows performed by the band where all of the original members were still in the band. I'm not 100% up on my Goblin history, but if I remember correctly, in the years prior to this recording, they had broken up and reunited several times, but the reunions would never last too long, and they would end up disbanding every time.
And even that wouldn't be that big of a deal, because there are plenty of bootlegs and tv performances and other live recordings of the band, but this one sounds best by far. The drum sound is cracking, and it has a superior distorted Rickenbacker bass sound, and the keyboard/organ sounds are amazing, and the mix is 100% spot on.
The unfortunate part is that this is obviously not their entire performance of that night. It's only 26 minutes, and that includes the long-ish intro and a solid minute and a half of outro applause. I remember seeing some complete tracklist of this show at one point, and it was about an hour and a half. Only these four songs in this recording were ever posted to the internet.
The original recording was done by the ORF, the national public radio network in Austria. I sincerely hope that they did actually record the entire show and that the master recording survives somewhere in a basement of their studios. It would be a landmark live recording of the legendary Italian prog rock band.
Especially considering that shortly after this recording, they broke up yet again. And again I'm a bit foggy on this, but I think now there are actually two Goblins where half of the members play in one band and the other half in the other. One generally goes by the name Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, and they have been very busy touring quite a lot, even doing their first US tour, which I caught in Hollywood. Further confusing matters, they were also called New Goblin for a while, as you'll see on the cover of their live album recorded in Rome in 2011. The other band I think still goes by the name Goblin, and plays all the same songs, but has different members in the band.
Another reason why this recording would be the ultimate live Goblin recording if the entire thing were released, is because the replacement members in Claudio Simonetti's Goblin don't measure up to the original members. The original Goblin, as heard in this recording, are a prog rock fusion band. The replacement members in the new Claudio Simonetti's Goblin (the drummer and bassist) obviously have their roots in heavy metal, which doesn't fit the music at all. They sound like a heavy metal cover band playing Goblin songs, and to my ears it doesn't work. They've listened to too much (and are seemingly trying to emulate) Pantera and not enough Weather Report.
And that live in Rome album is a glaring example of how misplaced they sound, as they come across as a heavy metal jam band, and it's rather embarrassing.
Which is why I'm so big on this Donaufest recording. I'm sure there was all sorts of tension and turmoil behind the scenes, but on tape it sounds effortless and magical.
1. It was recorded on the tour for Elizium, the same tour that spawned one of the best live albums of all time, bar none, Earth Inferno. This was a period when the band was at the height of it's powers (aka before they started losing original members and eventually morphed into a second-rate heavy metal band).
2. It sounds super amazing for a board tape. In stereo, no distortion, very good balance between instruments.
3. It's an epic concert. One hour and 40 minutes, including all songs from the Elizium album.
4. Technically, it's a very clean recording. Cassette was pretty much standard back in 1990 for these type of recordings, but this sounds much cleaner than cassette. So maybe dat was the original recording medium*?
But, with that said, I also noticed some deficiencies, some room for improvement:
1. Somebody had obviously transferred it from cd to flac at some point, because it has those little audio hiccups/gaps right where one song transitions into another. I hate those things, so I edited them out. There were also some fade outs and fade ins to edit out the time between encores, so I edited those out so it now sounds like one continuous recording.
2. In the original flac, the one minute intro thing is not quite in tune with the intro guitar of the first track, Preacher Man. Not everybody will notice stuff like that, but I'm a musician, and that stuff makes my ears cringe. So I pitched that intro down 1/4 of a step, and now it's perfectly in tune (Waves SoundShifter Pitch to the rescue!).
3. The bassist misses a note in one of the songs, so I fixed it.
4. The entire recording needed the standard remastering treatment, so now it sounds a bit fuller, ballsier, sharper, crisper, and all around more pro.
* I have suspicions that this isn't a standard board tape. First of all, the crowd sounds are much too present to have been picked up by only the mics on stage. Plus, the crowd is in stereo. Which means somebody set up mics specifically to capture the crowd sounds, and there's absolutely no reason to do that except for the specific purpose of multi-track recording the concert for a live album. Also, you can hear in the intro of Blue Water where the crowd is cheering the previous song's performance, and when Carl starts singing, the crowd sounds drop off quite unnaturally. That tells me that the at least the crowd was multi-tracked, and had their own faders.
Secondly, the mix is just too good for a board tape. I suppose that could be a coincidence that the relative volumes of all the instruments and vocals simply fell into place so the front of house mix sounded this perfect as well as the signal being sent to tape. Especially with all the volume coming from the amps on stage, as well as the monitors, it's too unlikely that this is a standard board tape.
Have you seen the Visionary Heads video? That's the live video from this tour, with many of the songs in that video being the same versions as on Earth Inferno, and a couple extras. You will notice in that video that there are many shots that are used and reused and reused again. That recycling isn't that big of a deal; I never gave it too much thought. But now as I hear this Hummingbird recording, I have a somewhat far-fetched theory-
I think this Hummingbird show was professionally audio and video recorded, but for one reason or another was never released, neither audio nor video. The video that was recorded on this night was meant to supplement the footage that became the Visionary Heads video, but for some unknown reason wasn't able to be used. Or maybe I'm completely wrong, but in any event, I strongly suspect this show was multi-track recorded (or perhaps submixed to ADAT with drums on two tracks, guitars/bass/synths on two more, vocals on another and the crowd sounds on two more), and somebody had the wherewithal to mixdown a copy of the entire concert for themselves to a couple cds (which is why there's also a break in the original flacs right at 51:30, thus splitting the concert into a first and second half, because the full concert is far too long for a single cd's 80 minute capacity), and those cds eventually found their way to the internet.
So I've been aware for some time that a few of the live recordings that I've posted to my Mixcloud are greyed out. I looked into it one time, and found that it's only the US listeners who aren't able to access those recordings. Something to do with royalties or licenses or copyrights or something like that. Something about mixes not having more than three songs from the same artist in the recording. Which is a bit absurd, because I've posted about 100 other recordings which have many more than three songs from the same band in them, yet those aren't blocked in any countries.
The only thing I tried to do is to delete those recording's tracklists, and label the entire recording as one big single track. That didn't do the trick, and those few recordings were still greyed out. It sucked, but it didn't bother me too much, as I expected somebody from some other part of the world would find some way to download the audio and post it somewhere else for download or as a torrent or whatever.
But now I see that for one reason or another, at one time or another, I signed up an account with a Mixcloud clone site called hearthis.at. It was super simple to transfer all of my Mixcloud recordings over to HearThis; it was just a single button in fact. But those recordings that were greyed out didn't transfer over.
So I dug out my archive hard drive and found the original aiff mixdowns and tried to upload them directly to HearThis, and apparently HearThis has no qualms whatsoever about making them available to everybody, worldwide. So now all you American listeners can rejoice, as you can now access these recordings-
Enduser live at Berghain, Berlin, 14 May 2010
Venetian Snares live at El Corazon, Seattle, 7 June 2008
Enduser live at Scoundrel's at Liquid Den, Las Vegas, 5 May 2007
Dj? Acucrack live at DNA Lounge, San Francisco, 6 June 2006.
Despite having one of the lamest monikers in all of electronic music, Dj Acucrack made some amazing music. Here's the duo, captured at DNA Lounge in San Francisco in 2006, before the death of founding member Jamie Duffy.
Industrial strength drum and bass with many samples of metal guitars (ala Pantera, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails…). They pack a whole lotta music into 34 minutes.
So the last time I wrote about Instagram was when I first signed up with them about 9 months ago. At the time, I thought it was absurd and laughable that they forcibly cropped every picture into a square, no matter of it's original dimensions.
But now that they've seen the error of their ways and have joined the rest of us in the 21st century by finally allowing for 16:9 widescreen photos, I might give it another whirl.
Although do they allow for original resolution or do they crush everything down to a certain size or dpi? Maybe I'll find some FAQs or just do a test.
Edit 1: Why can't I upload pictures directly from my laptop? Why do I have to first email the photo to myself, pull up the email on my phone, save the photo to my phone and then upload it via the app? Instagram, why are you making this a pain in the ass? Ya, I know of the workarounds. BlueStacks is always the first thing mentioned, but reading the comments about BlueStacks, it seems that it's either equally a pain in the ass to use, or it's not even functional, or riddled with viruses. Other options don't fare any better.
Edit 2: OK, so even though Instagram says it accepts widescreen now, I see that all preview/thumbnails are still displayed as square and are only widescreen when you click on them. So it's either totally half-assed of them or completely disingenuous when they say that Instagram is now widescreen capable. I suppose technically that's true, but they're really making an effort to make it difficult* for us users to view widescreen pictures as they were originally shot. And, by the way, they're totally small- about 600 x 325. My giant-sized 5200 x 3450 photos smashed down to 600 x 325. That's deplorable.
*Ya, I know, how is one mouse click 'making it difficult'? Well of course, no it's not. It's just that it shouldn't have to be that way. There should be something in settings where we users can default it to view all pictures in their original ratio, thumbnail size or largest size or anything in between.
Edit 3: And now I see that Instagram pictures can't be downloaded, either in small size or as shot? What is this shit? We all know the shift-command-4 trick. Why are you making this more difficult than it has to be?
Seriously, I'd be better off signing up with Deviant Art. Because of all the complaints I spelled out above, Deviant Art has answered every one of them. Deviant Art displays the thumbnails of the pictures in their original dimensions, the pictures can be viewed large size in their original dimensions, and can be downloaded in their original dimensions (although there are customizable settings on Deviant Art if for some reason I want to prohibit downloading of any specific photo(s)), in their original size too, even if the picture is 5184 x 3456, which is what I've set my Canon to shoot. And I can upload pictures directly from my laptop. And users of the site can comment on my photos, can follow me so as to get notifications when I upload new photos, and can share my photos with their followers.