New York City Club Scene 1984

In the video above you see the emerging dance scene in NYC. If you ever listen New Order’s Confusion and thought wow this is well produced and really works well in a nightclub now you can know the reason. Producer Arthur Baker tells how he tested the track in club specifically to sound good there. At that time most music heard even in clubs had melody and lyrics. At 13:58 in the reporter amazingly has an epic thought and asks Baker if he thinks if eventually dance music will just be rhythmic without vocals or melody. He knew the future!

“The other question is what would be the next? Because things are becoming more and more rhythmic. Do you think we will end up with just complete rhythm records with no melody whatsoever?”

For more info: wikipedia.org/wiki/Confusion_(New_Order_song)

Depeche Mode Live on Letterman

So if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know that a good friend of mine got me a ticket to see Depeche Mode last night at the Ed Sullivan Theater. The theater which David Letterman uses as his set only seats 461 people so no matter your close to the stage. The show was set for 8PM with doors opening at 7. I got there about 6:15 and to my surprise there was only about 30 people on line. One thing I noticed was that the crowd was definitely older. I didn’t see anyone under the age of 25 and most people were upper 30s/40s. Everyone was stressed boringly in black. There were no freaks and only a few people were even wearing DM shirts. I asked a few people online what they wrote in as their answer to the “What does Delta Machine” mean contest question. To my surprise all the answers were random and different. I knew right then my Vince Clarke theory was probably wrong. The stage was lit beautifully and was full of keyboard rigs. There was a quick announcement letting us know it was ok to use our phones to tweet and update facebook. They also stated we would be filmed and could watch ourselves later that night. Then just like that Dave, Martin, Fletch a drummer and additional keyboardist walk on stage right in front of me. The songs they played honestly left me a little bewildered. All of them were upbeat and rockish. There was nothing slow, and nothing with Martin as the lead vocal. I heard Barrel of a Gun, Enjoy the Silence, Personal Jesus, Walking in My Shoes, Heaven and I believe three other new songs. One of the new songs was very good. I can tell it will be great on the album. Walking in My Shoes was the old song that had my eyes watering a little. Martin changed his guitar every song which I guess shows some sort of fetish for the instrument. Of course I would have rather enjoying them swapping synths. On that note there was an Access Virus and some controller/composer type of keyboards on stage. No real analog or modular stuff. You could say it doesn’t matter but I would have enjoyed it. I was thrilled to be there seeing old friends; people who still bring me much joy. You can watch the complete broadcast here: cbs.com/shows/liveonletterman/artist/209798/depeche-mode

Our next guests are an influential band and their career spans three decades and still going strong selling over one hundred million albums. Ladies and gentleman welcome back Depeche Mode.” – David Letterman

For more info: depechemode.com

Latin Rascals 1984

I have a huge box of cassettes I recorded off NYC radio in the 1980s. Hands down some of the most cherished are the Latin Rascals mixes. They took hundreds of tracks and mixed them in such an amazing musical and technical way. I used to play basketball and swim to this stuff everyday after high school. Even though it may not be apparent my own music is heavily influenced by these tracks. Hearing this is just a reminder I have to somehow convert my cassettes to digital ASAP. This stuff is the soundtrack of classic NY.

“As far as trends in DJ Culture go, New York always was light years ahead of anyone else on the planet. This mix changed everything – Latin Rascals – 1984 – I remember hearing it and that was it for me, it’s never been topped actually.” – Frankie Bones

“Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran (collectively known as the Latin Rascals) got their start as movers and shakers on the budding early’80s New York City club scene, hosting an influential continuous-mix show on local danceradio. The duo went on to become the most in-demand editing and remixing teams in the record business. The Latin Rascals also masterminded the Latin freestyle dance scene, including work for TKA , Sa-Fire and The Cover Girls…among others. The Latin Rascals were also artists for two albums released on Polydor records.” – rascaltunes.com

For more info: discogs.com/artist/Latin+Rascals,+The

via Frankie Bones

Control Voltage Faire

There is a modular synth show at the South Street Seaport (210 Front Street, New York) in NYC tomorrow today! It’s called the Control Voltage Faire and it runs from 3-8PM. If that’s not enough fun for you there is a Buchla Concert that follows from 8-10PM.

“Since most modular synthesizers are constructed at the cottage industry level and distributed online, it is difficult for users to interact with these instruments. Control Voltage Faire will be the first opportunity on the East Coast for amateur enthusiasts, professionals and the general public to experience analog synthesizer modules produced by DIY manufacturers and crafters. Like a small-scale NAMM show with the independent spirit of the Maker Faire, the Control Voltage Faire will zone in on the origins and future of modular synthesis. Presenters at the Control Voltage Faire include: Control, 4ms, Harvestman, Knas, Main Drag Modular, Make Noise, Malekko, SnazzyFX, MeMe Antenna and Pittsburgh Modular. And more to be announced! The evening will feature Buchla 200 Recital, presenting three composers exploring this powerful instrument: Alessandro Cortini, Carlos Giffoni, and Mark Verbos. To end the event, a late show featuring Xeno & Oaklander and Loud Objects will perform on all-analog instruments. The concert will take place in Lower Manhattan’s @SEAPORT!, located at 210 Front Street.” – facebook.com/events…

For more info: indiegogo.com/sourceofuncertainty and facebook.com/events/352178294830987

Bleecker Bob’s Closing Down

Another absolutely legendary store is closing down in NYC. I’ve been to Bleeker Bobs countless times. A good chunk of my record collection comes from Bobs. I supposed it’s inevitable but the news saddens me. After my parents divorce my mother had a new boyfriend (now her husband Doug). To get my brother and I out of their hair on the weekends they would give us $100 to go record shopping. There were about 10 stores on our village walk including St. Marks Sounds, Vinylmania, Discorama, Rebel Rebel, Tower, Second Coming and Bleeker Bobs. As the 80s ended and I went to college, EBM/Industrial records started to dry up and I started making my own music. These factors ended my vinyl shopping spree. I think fondly of spending time with my brother and finding the music gems which I still cherish today. Be sure to read the article in The Stool Pigeon (link) for Bob’s history.

“Landmark Greenwich Village record shop Bleecker Bob’s is closing down after more than 40 years in business, and the only person in new york who doesn’t know is Bleecker Bob… A long CD rack, installed in the nineties, runs down one side of the store. It looks out of place now, like an arcade game in a library. Art deco clocks hang at the top of the walls in rows. Many of them have stopped. And there are crates and crates and crates of hand-labelled, meticulously catalogued records. But forget about the records for a minute….” – The Stool Pigeon

via The Stool Pigeon and Kevin W Fitzgerald

photo credits: bytegirl24, J Blough and nyperson

Tekserve’s Future of Music V

I will be doing a live presentation of iPad music Apps on February 3, 2011 at the famous NYC Apple repair shop Tekserve. My co-host will be Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music. I already have my Apps and plan and I think if you can make it you will have a lot of fun. Tekserve has a great new A/V room and the store will be offering special discounts during the evening. 8:30 – 11:00 p.m and refreshments will be served.

“Tekserve’s “ Future of Music V ,” coming up on February 3 at their 23rd Street store, will be a night of live performance and panel discussion featuring artists using Apple’s iPad in performance and production. Oliver Chesler aka The Horrorist Co-presented with createdigitalmusic.com , Future of Music V will feature electronic and visual artists performing some of their latest works using iPad and a discussion, moderated by music journalist Harry Allen.” – vstinstrument.com

Sign up and more info: tekserve.com

photo credits: tantek and nickjeffery

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