the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Category: concerts

On concerts and context, indie music style

Many years ago (maybe 2005) for the day job, we wrote about the Burn to Shine DVDs, a series of concerts held in homes that had been abandoned and designated for demolition. A few things felt interesting about the story at the time – 1) The fact that bands were being taken out of their typical music venues and put on display in a wholly different context. 2) The idea of scarcity (currently a hot topic once again, as seen by the Gladwell vs. Chris Anderson debates) – in this case, a fact heightened rhetorically; these concerts were not only one-shot deals in offbeat locales, but they were being recorded in buildings that would soon be destroyed.

Since then, a number of music and pop-culture sites have sprung up around the idea. They invite indie bands-of-the-moment to perform a song or two in a strange setting, then put the mini-concert resultant videos online. (Daytrotter was an early example of a channel that amped up the rarity factor, but did little to change traditional context.)

The most prominent example of sites peddling unique live performances – of taking bands out of context – and putting them online might still be a Take Away Show with the Arcade Fire from 2007. (Another notable example is Brian Wilson’s Black Cab Session. Here’s Bon Iver’s Black Cab Session.)

Here are some additional channels who have, over the past few years, recorded video of live performances in unique venues – in parks, on elevators, in graveyards, in cabs careering across town – thus creating an event that is unique in its context and also wholly one-of-a-kind – then posted them online:

Take Away Shows
Off the Beaten Tracks
Black Cab Sessions
Handheld Shows
They Shoot Music, Don’t They?
Pitchfork’s performance series– I’m still not sure what the overall series is called (if anything); Pitchfork has done one called Cemetery Gates and one called Daytripping (and they’re shunting me to the main page right now for some reason)
-(I’m sure I missed a few?)

Everyone already knows that the internet is a copy machine. But what channels like the ones above try to take advantage of the fact that we also live in an era of broader access along the – hold your nose for this – entire entertainment supply chain. It’s important that MP3s can be infinitely copied. But increased access to musicians through multiple media is a shift, as well – and it’s one that creates all kinds of opportunity.

Like inviting indie bands over to play their most pop-friendly songs in your apartment’s elevator, and then publishing the results for an audience of hundreds of thousands.

Video: Bon Iver’s Wolves (Act I & II) from La Blogotheque

Vodpod videos no longer available. from minneapolisfuckingro posted with vodpod

Links plus ultra: SpiralFrog, Bridwell’s beard, wusses + more

*Free, ad-supported music service SpiralFrog finally launches, after much pain. [AdAge]

*LAist once again brings the hate down on BEARDS. This time, surly, camera-hating, Wal-mart loving Band of Horses front man Ben Bridwell is the target of their ill-placed ire.

*Blender calls out music’s 25 Biggest Wusses. I don’t know, man. Natalie Merchant seems kind of grimly tough.

*Concerts in Second Life suck. Especially if you have to sit through a set by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Pavarotti meets James Brown

Tech / tunes links 8.15.07 – The Imposter

*I like the Crank That jumbotron – a LOT. (This is how I dance after 4.5 martinis.) Also, who even watches one YouTube vid at a time anymore? For me, it’s 3 simultaneously, minimum.
*EMI outsources its marketing to Saatchi & Saatchi.
*Nine Inch Nails’ new album Year Zero may be turned into a television series.
*The soundtrack for “The Darjeeling Limited,” Wes Anderson’s new movie, has been partially revealed. (I had no idea that cinematic soundtrack sleuthing was so competitive!)
*Virtual world creator Doppelganger scores $11M in venture capital funding. When I visited the Virtual Lower East Side (very early on), many more than half the “players” bumbling around in there were employed by either the VLES creators or the $ men. [via]
*Crave brings us this wonder: a Speak & Spell modded to work with an iPod.
*The New York Times writes about cellphone concert promotions; how text messaging and the Always On mentality have changed concerts. Band of Horses must be PISSED. Also: The article mentions the possibility of a Beyonce-themed phone…
*Live Nation is widgetizing. Bloggers and Facebookers will be able to put the LN widget on their page, where peeps can find concert info and buy tix from it. [via]
*Explore Dan Deacon’s soundboard – keyboards, mixers, huge glasses, a big gut and a shitload of buzzes, beeps and neon. Also: B(5). [via]

They Looza’d. So you don’t have to.

This Flickr set wonderfully catalogs various t-shirts seen at Lollapalooza in Chicago. [via]

1034866869_c068f3bde7.jpg [via]

How was the Ooza?

*AT&T may have cut Eddie Vedder’s mic as he sang anti-Bush lyrics (to the tune of “Another Brick in the Wall”).
*Says Bol: “I realize it’s entirely indefensible, but I still consider myself a somewhat more than pedestrian fan of Silverchair.” WEIRD.
*Pop Candy has a monster post on shows and parties, and blogger Whitney even Twittered her entire Chicago trip.

Finally, Daft Punk’s “Face to Face” complete with madly flashing green pyramid FX.

Glad I didn’t have to go.

Tech / tunes links 8.6.07 – Look, but don’t make your eyes strain

*Amazon leads a round of funding for Amie Street, a variable-price digital music distributor who, based on anecdotal evidence, sends out a LOT of e-mails. [via]
*The New York Times busts Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes (the magazine who said the iPhone sucks!) as Fake Steve Jobs, the author of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. He has a novel forthcoming, so he wasn’t too mad about getting caught.
*Nerdcore (rhyming on the subject of mathematics, calculators and Weird Al) takes the spotlight once again in the Times.
*The Guardian reports on Daring Fireball‘s pithy translations of PRspeak, pro-Appleness. Water wet.
*Entertainment Weekly‘s take on the top 25 love songs. Sam Cooke, Beach Boys, the hated U2, Elvis and Guns ‘N’ Roses all make the list. No BEP’s “My Humps”?
*Have worked with (and am friends with on Twitter) this dude. I was a little too weirded out to follow the tweets closely when his wife was in labor, though…
*Recommendation engine goodness: An analysis of progress toward the Netflix $1M prize.
*Rock is dead again. This time it’s being killed by people over 30 taking their kids to concerts. Couldn’t that just be an indication that audiences are getting so young they need chaperones – who push strollers?

Tech / Tunes links 8.2.07 – Upward over the mountain

*Celeb music: 74-year-old actor Michael Caine is planning on releasing release a chillout album, Cained. TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek is supposedly slated to produce a forthcoming Scarlett Johannsson album.
*Old-school bands playing concerts in album format; Rockers are playing all songs from a single album, in order. NO DEVIATIONS. MySpace property, the WSJ cites Lucinda Williams and Lou Reed as examples of the phenomenon.
*K-Fed launches a Google competitor. [via]
*TechCrunch gives its take on, another online music player.
*EMI makes a deal to sell DRM-free tracks through Puretracks. Still no definitive sales figures for DRM-free tracks via iTunes.
*“Prohibited Beatz” is a YouTube documentary (in multiple parts) about a “live electronic” group, NERVE. The MFer thread has a number of additional, similar recommendations.
*What, no YouTube video? Pristine record player made out of paper. [via Discovery]
*Let them sing it for you: An online mini-app that lets you type your text into a box, then have real rockers sing it. Like a singing computer! (They need to identify who’s doing the singing.)
*More Thump-like Bluetooth-enabled music-playing sunglasses: O Rokr.
*Spin on how a record gets leaked. [via]
*What does Prince want? An oxygen bar, black M&Ms and eternal life. [via]

Tech / Tunes links 8.2.07 – Wider awake than ever

*Get ready iLike. Pandora leaps onto Facebook.
*Otocky integrates music and videogames. Not in a kick-ass Guitar Hero way, but in a kid-friendly boop-boop way. (Warning: longish video.)
*Elton John on the internet:
-“The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff.”
-“Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision.”
-“It’s just a means to an end.We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.”
-“I mean, get out there — communicate.”
-“Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.” [via]

*Napster losses down, subscribers down, too.
* adds the ability to embed videos. (I almost posted a BEPs vid yesterday, but held off. For you.)
*Oooh. Crave gets ahold of the Venzero Slickr.
*Rock Band wins Best in Show at the Game Critics Awards.
*Concert-goers need not resort to the backlight anymore. Virgin Mobile is offering a “virtual mobile flame” in its Mobile Festival Survival Kit – turn your cell phone screen into a flickering torch, a bright spotlight or a flashing beacon.
*The Terra Firma-EMI thing is done.

More links, more music, less tech.

*I really will get Music 2.0-y again. Soon.
*Country dude Brad Paisley = MySpace geek. (What is Jason Alexander doing, anyway?) [via]
*The Beatles: All mashed up. Photoshopping the Fab Four into anachronistic situations.
*More Beatles, more covers: Cheap Trick to perform Sgt. Pepper album in concert. (Yuck.) [via]
*There’s going to be a Big Lebowski sequel???? [via]
*Hotel lobby music: These are the people who pick it. (A six-person consultancy that is projecting $2M+ in revenue for 2007!)
*A straggling list: 77 unforgettable movie songs. Nicely YouTubed! Wayne’s World at #1, though? [via]
*The album is dead? AC/DC’s 1980 album “Back in Black” sold 440,000 copies last year.

Live Concert Archive

(A “live archive” being, in this case, like a jumbo shrimp – delicious.) Check out’s cache of live concerts. [via]

They Forked so we don’t have to. Again.

Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam (WHO HAS A GREAT BEARD) covers Radiohead’s “No Surprises” at Pitchfork. [via]

Tech / Tunes links 7.16.07 – The Non-Talibeard Edition

*The internet radio royalty compromise requires mandatory DRM for net broadcasters? [via] Also: A handy FAQ on the ‘net broadcasting question from Digital Music News.
*Deathwatch on ringtone revenues – single-digit gains projected over the next few years, and a drop by 2011. (There’s better, and better priced, mobile content out there now, including video, real songs, casual and non-casual games, etc.) [via]
*The Association for Downloadable Media – Apple and a bunch of podcasters; trying to figure out how to make money from podcasting. [via]
*The Beastie Boys enforced a late-1950s office dress code while at work on their latest album, The Mix-Up. They did, however, have casual Fridays. But you had to wear super old-school sneeks. No lie.
*The Guitar Hero-at-the-bar phenomenon continues. Just wait for Rock Band to roll out.
*The WSJ on Iraqi pop music: “The most recent addition to the Iraqi pop scene is Akhlad Raouf, who sings about power outages, fuel shortages and paying bribes, often using the music of Western performers for tongue-in-cheek effect.”
*Forbes on the power of music pickers for television shows like Grey’s Anatomy.
*Gizmodo shows how to control iTunes from your iPhone.
*Google patent: listening to you and the ambient noise around you, then guessing what you’ll search for. Cool? Freaky?

To be fair, the original wasn’t that good either

Totally used to rock out to this song in high school.