The Postpunk Project is a Kickstarter for a book I want you to contribute to. Last summer I was contacted by a girl named Andi Harriman. She was looking for 80s photos of goths and related culture. I had a few good photos, out of print magazines and boxes of NYC event flyers. I delivered her some high resolution scans. I’ve been watching the book’s progress and I am pretty impressed. It’s going to be a high quality affair named “Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace” full of never before published images (some highly paid for) and narrative. Pledges that start at $15 get some really interesting gifts including an 83 Ministry 12″ (I Wanted to Tell Her), Goth postcards (remember getting these are record stores?), the documentary La Peli de Batato, an Alien Sex Fiend 12″, a signed LP from Gavin Friday and Man Seezer of the Virgin Prunes, 7″ from Sisters of Mercy, A signed Vigin Prunes Poster, Clan of Xymox LP from 85, a special digital insert from “Some Wear Leather Some Wear Lace” with additional unpublished photos, Vintage real Winklepickers!… the list goes on including a one of a kind painting from Rikk Agnew (Christian Death, ex-Adolescents). I think it’s important to preserve these photos and stories in a beautiful book. Pledge: click here
UPDATE: Goal reached!!
“The Postpunk Project aims to uncover goths and postpunks that should be displayed on an international level–the original, everyday fans of the scene. Additionally, we aim to highlight bands that shaped the scene but might have been forgotten. Our interviews with original goths and postpunks, and with writers and filmographers of the time enable us to compile a plethora of information on the time period and the scene as accurately as possible. Ultimately, this will result in the curation of a well-designed, high quality art book full of interviews and photographs that carries the name SOME WEAR LEATHER, SOME WEAR LACE. Old and new goth fans will recognize this as a dedication to the legendary line in the a song from Sexbeat–a band that described all the peculiar sides of the ’80s ‘goth’ scene.” – The Postpunk Project
Ethan Winer is a person you should follow if you have your own little studio. He owns the company RealTraps in Connecticut. If there is anyone who understands how audio waves travel through the air and bounce off surfaces it’s Ethan. He has a new book out The Audio Expert: Everything You Need to Know About Audio and even though I’ve probably heard it all by now I’m going to read this on my iPad next week.
“Gain a deep understanding of audio practice and theory with this easy-to-read book, illustrated with more than 400 figures and photographs. Using common sense, plain-English explanations and minimal math, author Ethan Winer helps you understand audio at the deepest, most technical level-no engineering degree necessary.” – Amazon
NPR has posted an audio story on the history of the Vocoder. They interview Dave Tompkins who recently wrote a book called How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder From World War II to Hip-Hop. Grab the book from Amazon (about $20): click here
“If you’ve listened to pop music in the past 40 years, you’ve probably heard more than a few songs with a robotic sound. That’s thanks to the vocoder, a device invented by Bell Labs, the research division of AT&T. Though the vocoder has found its way into music, the machine was never intended for that function. Rather, it was developed to decrease the cost of long-distance calls and has taken on numerous other uses since.” – NPR.org
Appetite For Self-Destruction is a great new book by Steve Knopper about the crash of the music industry. NPR (National Public Radio) has a 38 minute interview with Mr. Knopper and it’s a must listen for any musician. The interview, which aired on NPR’s superb show Fresh Air was posted yesterday so it’s a fresh look back at all the simultaneous ways the record industry blew it. Greed, laughable negotiations with Apple and CD-R manufacturers, and top level execs not listening to their younger underlings yelling “Napster is the future!” are just some of the things that contributed to this spectacular crash. As a musician it maybe painful to listen to because this was once a valid livelihood but it’s time to re-tool the workshop and produce a different product.
“In the sub-sub-genre of books about rock music and the industry, I rank this right up there with classics like “Hit Men” and “The Death of Rhythm and Blues.” We think in terms of “industry,” but through his deftly drawn portraits of industry leaders, Knopper helps us see clearly how we got to here from there: simple bad decision making and a blatant refusal to consider, first, that the world had changed and then a stunning lack of curiosity about how it had changed. Highly recommended. Enjoy!” – Patricia Romanowski, Amazon.com (book review)
The interview is online so head over and listen now: click here
Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age (Hardcover) is available at Amazon for $17.16: click here
My wife consistently asks me how to do the same few things in Photoshop over and over. I beg her to RTFM (read the ____ing manual) but it’s just too dry for her. Myself on the other hand read operation manuals cover to cover at least two or three times. The way I see it is the more you know the more power you have in your hands. Power!!!
As a reader of Wire to the Ear you know I was graciously given a free copy of Reason 4 not too long ago. As soon as I finished the yummy manual I did my usual forum and blog troll for more info. I knew there were some really crazy things I could do with the back panel routing in Reason. More than a few times Kurt Kurasaki’s series of books aptly titled “Power Tools for Reason” came into the conversation. Kurt is the defacto Propellerhead Reason smart man. I remember coming across his Reason specialty websites and refills since the Netscape Navigator days. You may know him as Peff. That rings a bell no?
“Peff’s (as Kurasaki is more widely known as) book is a great journey through Reason’s deeper mysteries for those who have cut their teeth on the virtual studio software and want to see just how deep the hole goes. Beginners need not apply – read the very good documentation that comes with Reason first – but intermediate level users who have a song or two under their belts and know their way around Reason’s virtual rack will find a wealth of information and techniques that will prove indispensible in their later music projects.” - Jacques L Capesius
“For one, it certainly DOES illustrate the fact that Reason is a much more powerful piece of software than most people will believe. Secondly, the information itself is very good, and I’m sure will be a great reference tool for those who already have a strong background in audio engineering. The bottom line is, don’t get this book if you’re looking to learn the basics, that’s what the instruction manual is. This book was written with the professional industry veterans in mind.” - the enlightened one
My copy of Power Tools for Reason managed to get through German customs last week and I have been really enjoying it. As the reviews above state this is meaty material. I already deployed a few new tricks into my own music from the book. If you have Reason it’s highly recommended.
Kurt (or Peff if you like) makes the rounds at many of the Propellerheads Producers Conference meetups the company produces. You can also check out his site at: www.peff.com
Sometimes in life you have to wait. I was reminded of that on Friday when I showed up to record some voice overs for a mobile phone company. It turned out my appointment at 4pm was also twenty other people’s exact time slot and they were only recording one at a time! Normally, I would have walked, but I spotted the cover of a book that looked interesting on the table in the waiting room.
“Making Tracks: Unique Recording Studio Environments” is a 208 page hard cover coffee book with photos of one of a kind, unusual recording studios. We are not talking bedroom studios. These are multi-million dollar facilities on beaches, mountains, vineyards, etc…
The Interviews are great, discussing how people arrived at the designs, what the use of the space is about, personal journeys, and more. I highly recommend this book and have enjoyed reading it.” – Tape Op Magazine
Unlike so many of the available studio coffee table books, Making Tracks has that high quality, hard cover, colorful coffee table style quality, with tons of photography and in-depth interviews with each subject. This book is very easy to pick up when you have five minutes to kill, or sit with for a good hour.” – Pro Sound News