Music

Loud is the new loud

LoudnessThe chaps at RollingStone have compiled a pretty in-depth article chronicling the current trend for music production to have its dial turned waaaay up. Titled The Death Of Fidelity, the article discusses the landscape of modern music production and how several noted artists have had recent albums engineered extra loud to gain attention- rendering the actual quality of their sound rather low.

This effect is done by “applying dynamic range compression, which reduces the difference between the loudest and softest sounds in a song,” which masters the music much louder than it should be. The article goes on to say advancements like ProTools only enable the “loudness wars” and perpetuates the ongoing “volume contest” to attract attention and, ultimately, sales.

RollingStone also talk to noted producers and artists like Butch Vig (Nirvana) and Kim Deal (of the Breeders) about this rising Continue reading

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Music

Amazon selling Warner music DRM free

Amazon’s online music download store has been given a boost thanks to the addition of Warner’s catalogue- DRM free to boot! According to this article, Amazon has added the Warner collection and now sells close to 3 million songs via it’s store without digital rights management and its restrictions.

This news is sure to shake up the Apple’s iTunes store which still has music controlled by DRM restrictions, and on some occasions, at a higher price. Amazon’s burgeoning MP3 store sells its tracks from $0.89 to $0.99. Amazon’s next target? Perhaps Sony BMG- whose online tracks still use restriction-based encoding.

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Featured, Music

Audio: The Valley Arena

Valley ArenaThe Valley Arena are a three-piece indie rock band from Long Beach who draw their strength from the likes of Drive Like Jehu, Husker Du, and the Dismemberment Plan. It’s angular, mesmeric indie rock that skirts away from the thin veil of gloss that seems to coat most artists plying their trade under the “indie” banner these days— all of which would benefit from just being called “pop.” But I digress- The Valley Arena have a depth to them, to their music; a crunch, a complexity, a certain kind of urgency. Continue reading

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Featured, Music

Audio: Tera Melos

Tera MelosSacramento-based noise rock outfit Tera Melos have been causing quite the commotion since their formation in 2004. The trio have been amongst the flock of noise/experimental acts of recent times that have effectively blended to limitless space of instrumental-based music with the organized chaos that can be jazz/funk, and of course, rock music.

What immediately strikes me listening to their work is how chaotic their music can sound- almost to a point of sheer noise- but upon further listen, one discovers an amazing sense of calculation involved with the terror. Audiences who take more comfort in melody fronted music with more rigid song structures take heed; this is apocalyptic to say the least. You can preview some of their recent work after the jump. Continue reading

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Music

David Byrne’s Music Survival Guide

Former Talking Heads front man and current solo artist David Byrne has written an in-depth and seemingly important article for burgeoning musicians hoping to strike it successful in the current music climate. Aptly titled, David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists – and Megastars, the article goes on to point out that with so many different artists and music genres, there really is no single working formula for success;

No single model will work for everyone. There’s room for all of us. Some artists are the Coke and Pepsi of music, while others are the fine wine – or the funky home-brewed moonshine. And that’s fine.

Back in the day, all punk rockers and indie artists needed as record label advice was this now infamous (but slightly outdated) piece by heavyweight producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Pixies).

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Film News, Trailers, Videos

Trailer watch: Hellboy 2

Hellboy 2The first teaser trailer for the anticipated sequel to Hellboy has made its way on to the web. Guillermo Del Toro returns to direct Hellboy 2, which features much of the same cast as the original including Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones.

In the sequel, Hellboy and friends have to stop evil from conquering the world … which, if I’m not mistaken, was pretty much the plot for the first. Nonetheless, from the trailer, we see that much of Hellboy’s snarky attitude and sarcasm is ever present (which made him such a likable guy), all while he kicks the stuffings out of the bad guys. Expect much of the visual spectacle that made the original such an enjoyable ride to return— including a giant tentacled monster thing that makes its presence known in the trailer. All looks good, and judging from this initial teaser, Hellboy 2 could make competition even tougher come summer time.

You can peep the trailer after the jump Continue reading

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