Psychology of Music

Libby from the University of Florida sent me a link to the above infographic. Be sure to click it or click here to see the entire thing. Yes it’s an advert for their school but it’s true and music in education is very important.

“I wanted to shoot over an infographic regarding the psychology of music- how it effects the mind. I saw your blog and thought it might be of interest. Check it out!” – Libby Mead

For more info: musiceducation.arts.ufl.edu/psychology_of_music

Astronauta Pinguim

I have no idea how I stumbled upon Astronauta Pinguim this morning. All I know is I found one of his videos and that led to me listening to whatever else I could find. What’s not to like here? Interesting vocals and synths with emotion and fun. Now in heavy rotation in my music world.

“I discovered the MOOG synth sounds in “A Clockwork Orange” (Stanley Kubrick’s movie) soundtrack, and other vintage keyboard sound hearing artists as Keith Emerson, Brian Eno, Jean-Jacques Perrey and, mainly, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, my second true love (the first love affair was with the MOOG synth, of course).” – Astronauta Pinguim

For more info: myspace/astronautapinguim, youtube/astronautapinguim

Plath – I Am Strange Now

Plath “I am Strange Now” has all the elements I love in an early industrial/electronic musical piece. This is put your boots on and get into the world music. This great rare vinyl is from Italy, 1982.

“Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan “industrial music for industrial people”. In general, the style is harsh and challenging.” – Wikipedia

For more info: discogs.com/Plath-Plath/release/405012

We Will Get Wicked – The Horrorist

We Will Get Wicked by thingstocome

This is a post that really should be made on a Friday night. It doesn’t really fit with the clean fresh start of a Monday morning. Yet the dark acts that inspired this song often did take place and were at there most explosive on Monday mornings. This is the second post of a series in which I will tell you the stories behind each song off my newest album Joyless Pleasure. You may have noticed that its been 27 days since the first entry. You see my album is highly autobiographical so it’s taking me a bit of bravery to type some of this. So what about this song? Even as the human race seems to be hell bent on self destruction I think we are headed into space and to colonize every possible planet. The simple fact is our sex drive is tied to our intellectual brains in a very peculiar manner. Love and power mix with pleasure in ways just out of reach of our own mind’s comprehension. Therefore we just go for it full on no matter the consequences. Mix sex and illegal drugs and the combination is down right damming. This is a song about those times. The times before the bad times. The moments where two adults lock the doors behind them and go at each other with the help of white powder and smoke for days. Wicked indeed.

When I wrote this song there were several songs I was influenced by. First, there is a Skinny Puppy song called Sleeping Beast. The lead singer Nivek Ogre repeats the line, “She’s a sleeping beast.” over and over in a catchy vocal melody that’s been stuck in my head since I first heard it in the 80s. I repeat the lyric, “We will get wicked.” in a similar vein. The second influence was Kraftwerk’s Tour De France. The breath sounds always thrilled me in this song and considering sex was the subject manner here I created my own play on the idea. Beyond those specific songs you can hear Depeche Mode in the vocal chants and the synth melody could have easily come from Marc Acardipane. Some may knock grabbing ideas from here and there but taking concepts from the world around you and other art and making them your own is what I feel creation is all about. Certainly the final song is it’s own unique piece.

The drums are from my Vermona DRM-1 MKIII. The main synth lines are Roland SH-3 and Yamaha CS5. A lot of the vocal effects were resamples of parts of the verses and messed around with using Ableton’s Simpler. The wonderful echo/delay and flange you hear over the track is from a TC Powercore. The last thing production wise I can mention is this song is noticeably longer than most of my songs. This matches the exhaustion of the experience.

“We will get wicked inside of here. And it’s something we must go through.” – The Horrorist

Available on: iTunes | Amazon MP3 | Amazon CD | Beatport

Music Cloud

The tech industry is going to finally let us store our own music in the cloud. We can then listen on our mobile and web devices from anywhere. Amazon is first out the gate with it’s Cloud Drive and Player. Google and Apple will surely soon follow. Here’s some thoughts. I hope it’s easy to get my massive music collection online. I will be glad to have my collection anywhere I can log-in to the net. I’m glad my music collection will be backed up online. I hope it works over 3g or it’s useless. I wonder if any of these services will allow me to embed a player and share my music. If they do I wonder if it will have massive implications for SoundCloud. I hope there will be some interesting APIs spurring some innovative Apps that use your online locker. Ho hum another bill.

“Amazon’s easy uploading process makes it simple for customers to save their music library to their Cloud Drive. Files can be stored in AAC or MP3 formats and will be uploaded to Cloud Drive in the original bit rate. Customers can hand-pick particular songs, artists, albums or playlists to upload or simply upload their entire music library.” – Amazon.com

photo credit: bixentro

Melancholy Hill

On Melancholy Hill – NYC Lights from Chateau Bezerra on Vimeo.

People who know me personally know I’ve been going through one of life’s tragedies lately. My father past away last month. I can’t begin to talk about that but the event has brought me closer to friends. Things and weaknesses I used to tell my dad need a new ear and I was glad to discover I found a few willing to listen. Besides the fact that this video for the Gorillaz song Melancholy Hill features wonderful NYC neon signs it the lyrics remind me of kindness I am receiving these days.

“Up on melancholy hill
There’s a plastic tree
Are you here with me
Just looking out on the day
Of another dream

Well you can’t get what you want
But you can get me
So let’s head out to sea
‘Cause you are my medicine
When you’re close to me
When you’re close to me”

Get the song: click here (iTunes link)

Cults – Most Wanted

I love sweet songs with devious meanings. The song Most Wanted by New York band Cults certainly fits the bill! I discovered the song with the new free iPad App Aweditorium which I highly recommend. A little research on Cults shows they are having some success right now. They will be playing at Webster Hall on November 18, 2010.

“up late at night all alone
can’t you see that I’m trying?
trying so hard to hold on
to the things I know
but in the evening I will have to go
what I most want is bad for me I know

out in the dark, shaking hands
in the street, I’m drifting
drifting away from my family towards my foes
my mother told me you’ll reap what you sow
what you most is want is bad for me you know

back in my home late at night
all alone, I’m flying…”

For more info: windishagency.com/artists/cults

NME 50 Best New Bands 2010

50 Best New Bands Of 2010 by Tim Chester NME

London based NME Magazine has put together a SoundCloud playlist of what it thinks 50 recent hot bands sound like. There has to be at least a few gems on here right? I’m listening this morning as I print some spreadsheets for work. So far I haven’t got to a song I’d buy but I’m only 4 into it. Let me know if any of these songs bands get your brain going. Here’s the original post on the NME website: click here

“Now we’re over halfway through the year, we thought it was high time we looked back and rounded up the most exciting new acts to surface in 2010. Here, then, are the 50 bands who’ve blown our minds over the past few months. Oh, and if you’re in a new band yourself, make sure you sign up to NME Breakthrough – it’s a great way of sharing your music with others and, just maybe, earning a write-up in the pages of NME.” – nme.com

So do you like any of these?

For more info: nme.com

Cruel Summer

We are having a major heat wave in New York right now. It’s been over 95F and humid for two days and the weather report says nothing is going to change for at least a week. Considering it’s only Tuesday we are in for some long hotness. The one song that really triggers my mind into summer mode is Cruel Summer by Bananarama. Something about the melody and singing just feels like summer.

“Hot summer streets and the pavements are burning I sit around. Trying to smile but the air is so heavy and dry. Strange voices are sayin’. What did they say. Things I can’t understand. It’s too close for comfort this heat has got right out of hand.” – Bananarama

What’s your favorite summer song?

photo credit: caruba