the listenerd

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Tag: 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?
Laundromatinee
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.

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Links for 5.9.09: Live Nation loses, The National plays, Mississippi Drift…

*Concerts: Live Nation lost $102.7M in Q1 of this year. Attendance was down 22%. Kind of a lot of money. If we’re using that scale, I basically held even.

*Video: Check out The National playing “Somewhere Around the Bend” on Jimmy Fallon.

*Sponsorship: De La Soul has done one of those commissioned running songs for Nike. It’s called “Are You In?” I only wish eccentric rich people would commission weird-ass songs purely for their own perverted personal pleasures. But that’s just me.

*Economy: Readers tell Money what it’s like to try to live on unemployment checks. Spoiler: It makes you tense.

*Industry: Vevo – the “YouTube for music” hires a CEO. I thought YouTube was the YouTube for music. [silicon alley insider]

*The Internet: Ze Frank on celebrity, identity and proximity. And the internet. And Ashton Kutcher. Spoiler: Ze wishes that Ashton wouldn’t care about him.

*Movies: Read the New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane on “Star Trek.” On J.J. Abrams: “He is the perfect purveyor of fictions to a generation so easily and instinctively jaded that what it craves, above all, is a storyteller who—with or without artistic personality, and regardless of any urge to provoke our thoughts or trouble our easy dreams—will never jade.” With or without artistic personality. HAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa.

*Local: Mississippi Drift – Read this old Harper’s article about modern-day hobos setting off from Minneapolis on a self-made barge. I remember reading this when it first appeared in the magazine and promising myself never to become a river-traveling hobo.

*Today’s links: Zero. New scale, unexplained.

*Question: This blog is coming up on two years of operations. Should it be about music, internet culture or just whatever the fuck I’m interested in? Thank you for your time and attention. I am also happy to take your answers via twitter. Regards.

Links for 3.10.09: Prince, the Dead, No Dig gardening…

*Album covers: The New Yorker‘s Sasha Frere-Jones asks “What Would Prince Do?” He would most probably hit on Salma Hayek in song. That’s what he would do.

*Music: The New York Times talks Grateful Dead concerts, collecting pics and anecdotes from hardcore fans. I never went to a Dead concert. I can do that…

*Plants: No Dig gardening sounds like a hell of a lot of work. And it can’t be as delicious as Lasagne Gardening.

*Documentaries: Check out this 12-part documentary on Philip Glass. [pop candy]

*Dental health: I have never tried cupcake-flavored dental floss. If I still have teeth after Easter, I might have to. [babble]

*Internet: More on the ATTRIBUTION debate (regarding which I linked to posts from Waxy and Kottke previously) from Anil Dash and Merlin Mann. This is weird for the listenerd to link to because if you don’t know it, you probably won’t read it. But if you know it, you probably don’t need to be told it. But I’m telling you, it’s worth reading if you care about what you read. Best of luck in your future endeavours and I am an idiot.

*Today’s links: D. Let’s try harder next time. A lot harder.

Links for 12.30.08: Defriending, Retweeting, Gibbarding and Metal Beef

*Love: All the bloggers have told you this – Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel are engaged. That dude must have some smooth game, because even I think he is unattractive. And that’s like the pot calling the kettle horribly disfigured.

*Metal Beef: It’s Kip Winger vs. Lars Ulrich. God, I love a good beef. Side beef: Tila Tequila vs. Rihanna. Eh.

*Comments: The post most commented-upon over at Stereogum this year was one discussing VH1’s Top 100 Songs in Hip-Hop list. I used to comment on Stereogum. God, that’s weird to think about.

*Musical obits: The Times has put together a musical montage from musicians who passed away in 2008.

*Concerts: Kraftwerk will be playing with Radiohead on the latter band’s Latin American tour, kicking off March 2009.

*Blogs: Fimoculous’ 30 most notable blogs of 2008. This list – a new version of which comes out yearly – is usually very good! It feels more mainstream this year! Waxy, Gawker, the NYT. Maybe it’s not the list who’s changed, it’s ME. It usually is. It usually. Effin’. Is.

*Social media: The Wall Street Journal takes on the unsavory topic of DEFRIENDING. I have long been a staunch advocate of defriending, and defriend at least once a week. I have to tell you, without fail it feels great. I’d guess that I eventually refriend about 15% of the people I defriend. [ypulse]

*Ugh: Is Steve Jobs ok?

*Dumb: This post on Retweets as a primary metric in Twitter authority rank (whaa???) made me finally unsubscribe from TechCrunch. I can’t take the time to explain why it annoyed me so much, but at the heart of things is a profound lack of perspective.

*Security: Check out the Top 100 passwords. “Fuckyou” slides in at #49, but what’s really surprising (and effed up) is #5. [can’t remember]

Links for 11.11.08: Journey rules, “Chinese” reviewed, Live Nation sells…

*Journey: Power ballad “Don’t Stop Believin'” is DOMINATING digital music. The Journey song is the biggest seller on iTunes. And though the Guardian says the band “has Tony Soprano to thank for it,” bloggers who watch their incoming traffic know the band has Arnel Pineda to thank for much of their online success. And that is a FACT. [licensing plate]

*MP3s: Live Nation will sell MP3s from Sony Music, Universal Music Group and EMI. [listening post]

*Concerts: One Radiohead concert filmed with 12 cameras. [largehearted boy]

*Neologisms: Thumbnail goggles – “Effect whereby a person seems more attractive in a thumbnail than in a much larger image or in person.” OK, so this is what I’m going for.

*Reviews: Says Rolling Stone of Guns N’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy,” it “is a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record.” [fimoculous]

*Things people hate: The SlotMusic player costs only $20 and stores 1GB of music. If they start selling/giving away music-filled SD cards at McDonald’s, it could work.

*Backlash: Fuck Norris Facts. “Chuck Norris does not sleep. He passes out after two wine coolers.” [mefi]

*Blogging: Has Kanye West been stealing other people’s blog posts? And is he stealing from the people who have been stealing his music? Because that would give me a headache.

*Morphing: If Wu-Tang members were NBA players. Link comes complete with WICKED MORPHING FACES.

*Trips: It turns out, I am going to CES this year for the day job. Pray for my health, please. And my sanity. But mostly my health.

Links for 10.26.08: Butts, sounding black and Bono + bikinis

*Politics: Where voting and music meet: Q-tip, Brad Paisley and Fall Out Boy. OK, that’s a weird trio.

*Academia: Kid Rock has established a scholarship. For STUDENTS.

*Music: Here is Kanye West’s “Robocop.” Which Kanye West says he did not leak. In other news Kanye West recently saw the image of Kanye West in a tortilla Kanye West was using to make his signature Kanye West burrito. It has carnitas in it.

*Linguistics: It is possible to sound black. If you didn’t know this, you are a racist. [murketing]

*Bono: Bono has been caught partying with some 19-year-old girls. If by partying, you mean posing for pictures. Also, there are bikinis involved. I hate Bono. [buzzfeed]

*Butts: Songs about butts. Butts. Butts. Butts. Butts. Butts. Butts. Butts. Butts. Butts.

*Ouch: Bad concert experiences caught and codified by the A.V. Club. “There must have been a hundred kids—some as young as 13 and 14—face down on the parking-lot blacktop, hands cuffed behind their backs, bawling their eyes out.” [largehearted boy]

*OH HELLO: This is me, for the jobby job. Boring. On the plus side, I saw Diane Keaton.

Links for 10.5.08: MySpace Music’s billionth, Latifah’s Touch, Weird Al’s iTunes…

*Streaming: MySpace Music streamed a billion songs within days of its launch. Whatever this MySpace Music monster is, it is LARGE. I had a fake MySpace page once. I thought I should admit that.

*Success: Classical music is kicking ass. Among other numbers on the rise: “Ticket-sale income from orchestra performances grew almost 18%, to $608 million, between the 2004-’05 and 2005-’06 seasons.”

*Videogames: Queen Latifah is obsessed with playing mah-jongg on her iPod Touch. And that is NOT a euphemism, assholes.

*Crowdsourcing: Another experiment in putting elements of the music business directly in the hands of the people, SongVest lets fans invest in the works of songwriters. [licensing plate]

*Politics: Jay-Z is doing (did?) a free concert in support of Barack Obama in Miami tonight.

*Rights: Rhapsody grabbed the exclusive rights to sell Kid Rock’s catalog online. Bawitaba. (That’s lobotomenglish for “I don’t know what further to say in this context.” Look it up.) [coolfer]

*Weird Al: Weird Al Yankovic will begin releasing his songs on iTunes as soon as he’s done recording them. Or so he says on his MySpace. Yes, Weird Al blogs on MySpace. [waxy]

*Art (or whatever): The New York Times profiles Shepard Fairey: “I don’t need to do street art anymore. But I enjoy it. It’s not insidery. It’s an opportunity to ire or inspire. And it’s free.”

Notes on Republican National Convention music

Execrable local newspaper the Star Tribune highlights some live music that’ll be playing in and around the Twin Cities during the Republican National Convention. See especially the Take Back Labor Day concert at Harriet Island, which features populism-pimping acts such as Steve Earle, Atmosphere, and The Pharcyde.

Furthermore: Said paper does a Q&A with Spearhead’s Michael Franti, who says, “I want to share my music with Republicans, Democrats, black, white, anyone who wants to hear what I have to say.”

1) Did the Strib really need to cut this interview into multiple pages? They didn’t. And it was a bad decision to do so.

2) I once did security at a Spearhead concert. I was positioned directly in front of the stage, and before the concert started, some sage old stagehand gave me this piece of advice: “If the crowd surges, go over the stage or go under the stage. Don’t try to hold them back.” And that advice is as relevant now, to the Star Tribune, as it was back in the day, to me.

Additionally (and as mentioned previously), on September 2 at the Fitzgerald Theater, the ProVention Concert will feature a lot of local and quasi-local musicians singing for Peace, the Planet and some other “P” I can’t remember. Acts include The Honeydogs, Haley Bonar, and Dan Wilson.

Links for 8.27.08: Jay vs. Noel, Okkervil YouTube and SMOKING…

*Music videos: If you want more Okkervil River music videos like Bon Iver’s cover of “Blue Tulips,” you should probably subscribe to the band’s YouTube channel. [filter]

*Mashups: Jay-Z vs. Oasis again; this time in the form of a mashup (by Cookin’ Soul), rather than a beef. Personally, I enjoy beef. [listening post]

*Concerts: Greg Gillis of Girl Talk says “I’m waiting for someone to 69 on stage.” Also, he says a lot of other stuff.

*Interviews: Paste magazine interviews Calexico: The band really digs Cormac McCarthy. [music slut]

*Obit: Steve Foley, the drummer for the Replacements, died this weekend of an accidental prescription pill overdose at the age of 49. [rolling stone]

*Guns: Read an excerpt from “Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns N’ Roses.” [fimoculous] Also: The dude who leaked those Chinese Democracy songs has been arrested. At the behest of Dr. Pepper’s lawyers?

*Religion: Guitar Praise is like Guitar Hero, but with Jesus. And, probably, Moses. [best week ever]

*P2P: The legit wing of the LimeWire store is expanding; they’ve added The Orchard’s music catalog. [hypebot]

*Smoking: I don’t know why you would want to have a pack of cigarettes stuck to the side of your head, but if you would, you can buy a telephone headset that looks like an open pack of heaters. And then you can wear it. [shinyshiny]

Links for 8.18.08: Radiohead feud, topless Kanye, rockers ask Why Obama?

*Rules: The RIAA comes down on Muxtape. First, it’s Scrabulous; now this. It’s almost like stealing isn’t OK anymore.

*Prodigies: A 16-year-old Guitar Hero prodigy quits school to focus on his passion, playing Guitar Hero. Hilarious joke [REDACTED]. [ypulse]

*Old white guys: David Byrne and Brian Eno offer a full stream of their new record, “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.” [listening post]

*Live: Crowdfire captures concert-goers’ live music experiences. Multi-media experiences uploaded by people who were there.

*Feuds: The Hold Steady thinks that Radiohead has lost their way. As far as beefs go, I will take Ice T vs. Soulja Boy over this half-assed bullshit any day.

*Politics: Largehearted Boy has a series of posts wherein writers and indie rockers explain Why Obama.

*Topless photos: Of Kanye West. The commenters are asking for sit-ups. Yeezy, I feel your pain.

*Off topic: Pornography that’s for Canadians, by Canadians. Canada’s first adult video channel offering significant (at least 50%!) homegrown content prepares to launch. [kate]

Links for 7.28.08: Indie labels rule, 8tracks emerges, Zune tatts farewell…

*BusinessWeek: Veteran indie record labels are kicking the asses of the majors. (They have decided not to take names at this time.) [medialoper]

*Speaking of Faith: Is Bono the Godfather of Brangelina’s twins? I have on many occasions professed my hatred for Bono, but it has never been so strong as it is today. Except for that one day when he was wearing those sunglasses and swaggering around all prickishly.

*Music 2.0: 8tracks – “is a simple way for people to share and discover music through an online mix — a short playlist containing at least 30 minutes, roughly 8 tracks, of music. People can do 2 things on 8tracks: listen to a mix, or create a mix. Listeners can search for a mix by artist or genre, stream it in a legal, radio-style manner, and follow others who make compelling mixes.” OK. I will try.

*Sad video: This one has made the music blog rounds. The Zune Tattoo guy says goodbye via YouTube. Unrelated: Should I get a tattoo of an anchor or a tiny chicken wearing a party hat and carrying a cane? Or neither? Please vote.

*Tomorrow: Get your Tom Waits “Live in Concert” stream from a recent performance at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre July 29th at NPR Music. [p-fork]

*Releases: Bonnie Prince Billy puts out a new 7-inch (Notes for Future Lovers, Donde Esta Prufrock). (Notice how I refuse to accede to the prince-in-quotation-marks convention!) [catbirdseat]

*Television: The song from the “Mad Men” intro is “A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2. I thought you would want to know more about this television program because you are most probably a male human of some means and are almost certainly on the internet and conversant in the popular ideas currently circulating on it.

Links for 7.22.08: A Lennon movie, Miley goes green, amazing movie mashups…

*Movies: John Lennon’s childhood is to be depicted in a forthcoming movie, Nowhere Boy.

*Moneys: TicketLeap is a platform that allows event organizers to sell tickets to their concerts or events. The venture has recently received $2M in funding.

*Mashups: Kottke collects a number of YouTube mashups that combine movie scenes (often poignant) with music that doesn’t fit them at all. I don’t even like Monsters, Inc, however I guess I like juxtapositions such as these.

*Things I Did Not Even Know: Miley Cyrus’ single “Breakout” is an eco-anthem. Despite covering both the music and sustainabilities spaces extensively, I did not know this. [grist]

*Local music: Jayhawks Gary Louris and Mark Olson talk about a forthcoming Jayhawks reunion album. I listened to the Jayhawks a lot in college. I’m not sure what that says about me, but if you know, please contact me with your analysis. [heavy critters]

*Off-topic video: Groverfield. Would a St. Elmo’s Fire muppet mashup be too much to ask for?

*Off-topic video: Watch a man kick himself in the head for about a minute straight. [esquire]

*Upcoming: I have read a lot of hate about LISTS on the internet recently and I am now currently preparing a vigorous defense. Please look for it. (In short: lighten up.) GOODBYE.

Links for 7.21.08: Prisoners’ musical tastes, iLike’s expansion, Billy Joel fans speak…

*Business: EMI has a crazy new idea. They may start considering the desires of consumers in how they do business. [koar]

*Retro tech: Cassette tapes still sell like mad. In prisons. There is a captive audience of 2.3 million incarcerated Americans.

*Online: Favtape lets music geeks create mixtapes from their recent Last.fm and Pandora favorites. Forgive me, father, for I have not audioscrobbled in more than a year. And I have not confessed to not audioscrobbling in almost a day. [mashable]

*Social media: iLike now has 30M+ users, and is expanding functionality to include concert promotion ads.

*Interviews: Do you want to hear whooping from some Billy Joel fans at Shea Stadium? I have the video for you. Also, you may want to carefully inspect your priorities. [coudal]

*Criticism: Pitchfork is telling me what the best overlooked albums for 2008 are. I give this list a 7.1. (No idea.)

*Experiments: Paul Westerberg is offering a one-file 43+ minute album (titled 49:00) that costs $.49. I have an Amazon gift certificate, so I just might buy this one! [universal music group]

*The listenerd: A recent comment about this blog read “Thanks to listenerd for the link, which I almost passed over because it looks too random to be valuable….wrong! :)”

*Too random to be valuable since 2007.

Links for 7.13.08: Bon Jovi’s concert, Lovett’s income, Google Trends anomalies…

*Albums: Twenty years and 4.6 million records sold, and Lyle Lovett has “never made a dime” off album sales? [largehearted boy]

*Numbers: Concert tour grosses were flat for the first half of 2008 – though number of tickets sold went down, prices went up. Also: “Things are fucked up.” [lefsetz]

*Review: It appears that Bon Jovi rocked Central Park yesterday.

*Video: “Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal” is a documentary detailing the ins and outs of the thrash metal scene. [switchblade comb] Fun fact: When I was in high school, skateboarding enthusiasts were called “thrashers.”

*Weird: The L.A. Times picked up on the swastika topping the Google Trends chart the other day. [murketing] In more recent Google Trends news: “ǝlƃooƃ noʎ ʞɔnɟ” takes over for a couple of hours!

*Local music: It is Bastille Day (tomorrow), and Cafe Barbette is celebrating by putting on a concert (today) featuring Faux Jean and Romantica. Also: there will be roller skating ladies.

*Icons: My favorite icon symbolizing the toilet is of a magazine that has fallen into the toilet. Or maybe that symbolizes me. Or America. Or our culture. Or the media. Or life.