MoMA Kraftwerk Retrospective

I saw Kraftwerk live years ago in New York City. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The show was very cold, steril, German and clear. I won’t be missing this MoMA showing. Tickets go on sale Feb 22 at noon. I’m not sure if a ticket will get you into 1 or all of the 8 nights (all different performances!).

“Kraftwerk will give a series of eight performances, each devoted to one of its albums, as part of a Museum of Modern Art retrospective of the electronic music pioneers in April, museum officials said. The performances during “Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8,” on consecutive evenings starting April 10, will not only feature tracks from one of Kraftwerk’s albums, but also other original compositions intended to showcase the group’s influence on contemporary culture. Projected images, including 3-D ones, will accompany the music. The albums will be performed in chronological order, one each night, starting with “Autobahn” from 1974 and working up through “Tour de France” from 2003.” – NYTimes

For more info: kraftwerk.com

photo credit: Cristal en Vivo

monohomo

My brother bought me a Korg Monotron Delay. It was on backorder for a good 6 weeks. It arrived yesterday thanks Al! This is what it sounds like (in my hands).

“A good delay was an essential part of the classic analog synthesizer sound. More often than not, that delay came from a tape-style echo machine until affordable digital delays were created. The monotron DELAY is an analog synthesizer optimized for sound effects. In addition to its analog oscillator, filter, and LFO, it also provides a Space Delay that’s indispensable for swooping, cosmic sounds. The monotron DELAY even reproduces the pitch changes that occur when you vary the delay time, just as though you were using an analog tape echo. As with the filter, the delay effect can be added to any external sound via the Aux In jack. This fat and warm delay will add an authentic edge to your analog sounds!” – Korg.com

For more info: korg.com/monotrons

Love Sick

It’s Valentine’s Day so how appropriate is it to explain the greatest love song I ever wrote? I wrote this song for the obsessed, wanting, yearning. I wrote it for those who found fire in another persons eyes. I wrote it for those trapped in one place dying to be in another. I wrote it for us.

“Love sick dangerous blood falling from the sky. I want you everyone must die. Love sick unhappiness I scream into the night. I want you wrong or right. Love sick evilness on my way I lie. I want you everyone will cry. Love sick sickness people can’t understand. I want you I am a sick sick man. Love sick tenderness alone we dance. I want eternal romance.” – The Horrorist

Available: iTunes, Amazon and Beatport

Strangelove

Happy Valentines Day.

“There’ll be times When my crimes Will seem almost unforgivable I give in to sin Because you have to make this life liveable But when you think I’ve had enoughFrom your sea of love I’ll take more than another riverfull And I’ll make it all worthwhile I’ll make your heart smile Strangelove Strange highs and strange lows Strangelove That’s how my love goes Strangelove Will you give it to me Will you take the pain I will give to you Again and again And will you return it”. – Martin Gore

For more info: depechemode.com

photo credit: Rosa Menkman

Grammys and Whitney

The music business had a loud weekend. I’ve had a copy of Whitney Housten’s I will Always Love You on my hard drive for years. Even if the song isn’t your style the range she hits smoothly matched with the very sad country lyrics (Dolly Parton wrote the song) is touching. Death to addiction is tragic and as in this case is usually post years of a public downhill slide. Too often the cliche sayings such as, “The higher the highs the lower the lows.” ring true. To die the night before the Grammys certainly adds to the story.

And what about the Grammys? Until last night the last time I watched even a few minutes of the award show was in the 90s. However I was in the mood so I watched the entire 2012 shebang. I was surprised to discover I liked most of it. The overall look was nice and glittery, gold and flashy and they mixed the sound just right for television. You could hear all of the vocal performances clear enough to understand the lyrics. Springsteen’s patriotic song “We take care of our own” was very jock like chanting USA USA but fun. I learned Rihanna has a seductive voice. Host LL Cool J is a major has been but for some reason no one knows that yet. His hosting style is best described as boring. Get a host that’s interesting please. Glen Campbell and The Beach Boys completely showed up the younger bands who lead them onto stage. I used to sing Rhinestone Cowboy when I was a kid. Later I thought it was a song about gay cowboy. I still have no idea what the song is about. The worst performance of the show was Chris Brown. First off why let the woman beater even be on stage it all? I watched the Grammys partly to find out who are these artists I hear when I’m out at a restaurant or clothing store that offend me so much. Yeah Chris Brown is one of those artists. Lady Gaga didn’t win anything which made me happy. I dislike her music too. They gave Stevie Wonder a standing ovation. He can’t see so I’m not sure that made any sense. Taylor Swift was the worst dressed. Clearly she doesn’t live in a shack in Alabama so why try and pretend. Foofighters played a few times. I can’t stand them either except when Dave Grohl sang with Deadmau5. So yes there was electronic music on the Grammys. Of course for David Guetta’s 30 seconds they had some hip hip artist rap over what he was doing (can’t remember who). Unbelievably they had the hand picked fake crowd holding giant glowsticks. Guetta looked retarded smiling and bopping his head up and down. I now he’s happy to be on the Grammys but it was very awkward. You will hear a lot of people talk about Deadmau5’s helmet. That thing was cool but an evil led mask has to be cool no? The animations on it were wicked too. I particularly liked the eyes winking and the shots of him from a far with the big ears moving slowly up and down. Too bad he missed the Grammys being stuck inside the thing unable to see. Nicki Minaj had to be on meth. Her exorcism performance was just plain stupid. Paul McCartney is old but had some good lyrics, “Your going to carry that weight a long time.”. He played two times which was one time too much in my opinion. Finally we get to Adele who won song and record of the year for Rolling in the Deep. There’s little to argue with here because lyrics and melody won. I’ll say it a million times… music inspired by real events in your own life is what makes it. She sings about a breakup and she sings “You’re gonna wish you never had met me”. I bet he felt that last night. Nothing wrong with that.

“We could have had it all (You’re gonna wish you never had met me). Rolling in the deep. (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep). You had my heart inside of your hand. (You’re gonna wish you never had met me). And you played it to the beat. (Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)” – Adele

For more info: grammy.com

I Like Dancing So Much

It’s a Friday in February, early in the morning dark and dreary. It seems appropriate to tell you another behind the music look from Joyless Pleasure. We are on song number four. This song has the same title as the album so consciously I’ve highlighted it in yellow for you. If you look closely at the album you will notice this song is not the original mix. I’ve had help on this one so now I’ve underlined the song too.

This song is about being in love with sadness. The song is about feeding addiction, depression and danger. It’s about the search for pain and keeping your head up after you found it. I once lived in Chelsea for about a decade. The years I was there a notorious homosexual community was locked in crystal meth addiction. I met some very troubled soles screaming, crashing and melting into each other. There was incredible pleasure. All of it incredibly joyless.

Although I didn’t think of it at the time when I hear the song now and hear the chorus it reminds me of the lyric “Keep your head up (moving on)” in the Eurythmics Sweet Dreams. Not the vocal style or melody but the message. I loved the song Sweet Dreams when I was a teenager. It makes me a bit sad today that I now now what she really means in the song. We have all had times where the only way forward was to just walk, keeping walking and forget. Funny how we preemptively connect with things.

The vocals took about a full month to get right. I would do a verse here and there because sometimes inspiration trickles instead of flows. When I have the lyrics perfect I have to re-sing the entire song because each previously recorded verse was a different take and don’t sound right (different mics, times of day). That usually causes another issue: when I have everything done and want to record the final full vocal all at once I’ve heard the song so many times that instead of singing it with inspiration I sort of parody myself. This is why many times I have to shelve the song for a long enough time so I forget about it, come back to it hit record and hope the first new take after 4-5 weeks is an insprired one. So yes that was the original mix… its just drums, one synth and vocals. I sent it to my most trusted musical friend Gabri Negro (Richter) to hear. He always asks to remix/reedit my work and in this case I was so exhausted by the track I said please do. I didn’t expect what he returned with. Usually I have enough confidence and bravado to think I can always make a better song than anyone else. In this case the original or anything I was going to do wouldn’t be better so I asked him if I could use his version on the album. I should note here he never asks for any money or anything in return. If your looking for a version that can be played on the dancefloor check out Frank Kvitta’s remix (link) on the Joyless Pleasure Remixed album.

Listen to and read more stories from the album here: Modern, We Will Get Wicked and Darkling Lullaby

“I like dancing do much it makes me really crazy. I like you so much come come kill me.”

Buy the song: iTunes, Amazon and Beatport

Pintrest

Well there’s another social network. I don’t post about sound libraries here too much but I have started a Pintrest “Interesting Sound Libraries” board you can choose to follow. Keep in mind these are interesting to me so expect a high dose of 80s, screams and springs.

“Pinterest is a vision board-styled social photo sharing website and app where users can create and manage theme-based image collections. The site’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”.” – Wikipedia

For more info: pinterest.com/thingstocome

Solvent

If you want to listen to music purely made from analog synthesizers and drum machine Solvent is a good place to start. Jason Amm has some nice stuff in his studio no? I like his honesty when he does into details how even though he’s a veteran at this point he is still largely unknown and gets ripped off my distributors and promoters. He will also be featured in the upcoming I Dream of Wires movie.

“Veteran Canadian producer and hardware lover, Solvent, gave StudioFeed an inside look at his Bloor-West home studio set-up, as well as discussed everything from why he makes music to the story behind his recent RDJ-CS5 EP.” – studiofeed

For more info: solventcity.com

Melody Music Maker

I love software that helps with music theory and composition. Off the top of my head a few of titles come to mind such has Harmony Navigator, SoundPrism, Polychord, Songsmith and LaDiDa. I’ve yet to try it yet but Melody Music Maker looks like a nice addition. Nothing beats some piano lessons of course.

“What have Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and Ray Charles in common? They could not read scores but nevertheless their songs captured the world. With Melody Music Maker you are walking in the trails of these super talents. You can fully focus on one thing: the melody that you enjoy, without taking care for the notes and theoretical correctness. Colors guide the user through the composition of the song.” – melodymusicmaker.com

For more info: melodymusicmaker.com

via promusicapps

Sympathy for the Devil

Watch the Rolling Stones record Sympathy for the Devil. There’s a lot of magic happening in bedroom project studios these days but I wish more productions were still created like this.

“Sympathy for the Devil is also the title of a producer’s edit of a 1968 film by Jean-Luc Godard whose own original version is called One Plus One. The film, a depiction of the late 1960s American counterculture, also featured the Rolling Stones in the process of recording the song in the studio.” – DRJVancouver

via musicradar