March 29th, 2011 at 2:58 pm (Random Stuff)

Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site!


Coolest Music Video

December 17th, 2010 at 1:50 pm (Notable Artists, Notable Music, Random Stuff)


The Most Unexpected Rihanna Cover Ever

December 2nd, 2010 at 1:24 pm (Notable Artists, Notable Music)

I anticipate I’ll have more to say about this artist later.  For now, I’ll post this here so I don’t forget about it or lose it and just say: wow.  Pop/classical fusion — I’ve never seen anything like it. (If you’re not familiar with “Don’t Stop The Music” by Rihanna — a huge pop radio hit from a few years ago — watch this first).


Kanye’s Self-Inflated Twisted Fantasy

December 1st, 2010 at 5:21 pm (Music Commentary)

Sometimes aimless YouTube surfing can be rather satisfying.  Sometimes it can be rather aggravating, particularly when one’s interest in a new album by a certain popular artist named Kanye West causes one to stumble upon some startlingly laughable interviews of said pop artist.  I’m fully aware that calling Kanye a self-involved jerk is a bit like declaring that Velveeta isn’t real cheese.  After his drunken gaffe at last year’s MTV Awards — where he botched sweetie-pie Taylor Swift’s tender moment of triumph — Kanye’s belligerent arrogance is practically household knowledge.  Even President Obama (mistakenly thinking he was off-record) called him a “jackass.”  The problem is, Kanye can’t be dismissed wholesale.  Commenting on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which dropped November 22, an iTunes listener-reviewer writes: “Dear Taylor Swift, I just gave this album a listen and Ima let you finish, but this is one of the greatest albums of all time.  OF ALL TIME.”

I’ll preface by saying that I intend to give his new album a good, earnest listen, and that I like some of his past work (808’s and Heartbreak in particular).  It’s clear that Kanye’s music has struck a chord with listeners, despite his unflattering public image.  The many vigilant Kanye haters out there are surely missing something by ignoring his recurrent popular success.  Surprisingly, his jackassery can sometimes even be endearing, or at least comical. During an interview with Ellen Degeneres, Kanye’s casually immodest cracks earned him quite a few laughs from the studio audience.

Still, one can’t help but mumble “hubris” — or at least wonder if he isn’t getting in his own way — when Kanye says (in all seriousness) that he intends to be the greatest performer in a generation.  Or when he self-righteously explains that in making 808’s and Heartbreak he discovered the value of “melody”, and cleverly decided to use it here and there.  Or when he talks about the difficulty he and other hit-makers face in deciding whether their latest release outshines The Beatles.  Give me a break.  Why don’t you just focus on making the best music you can, and be grateful that so many people find it valuable enough to purchase.  You might also beware of that fabled Achilles’ Heal of stardom, the belief that present-day fame is: (a) a vindication of artistic merit, and (b) lasting and historically relevant.

That Kanye’s most potent skill is in production and beat-making, and not so much in performing or melody writing, is obvious, but let’s go a step further.  I wonder (and this is a sincere question) whether Louis Armstrong would have ever said, publicly or privately, that he thought of himself as the greatest performer of a generation.  Terry Teachout can correct me, but it appears to me Armstrong was simply a gifted and hardworking musician who endured the struggles of touring and fame to share his genuine passion for music.  Somewhere far along that road (to borrow a line from a certain genius), he became, yes, one of the most loved and enduring performers of a generation.  Perhaps the differing attitudes of Kanye and Armstrong can offer a lesson to young artists about talent, fame, and humility.

Time, of course, will supply its exclusively evenhanded assessment of Kanye West.  I downloaded “Heartless” last night, one of the epic hits from 808’s and Heartbreak, because I hadn’t heard it in a while.  To my surprise, I found it kind of boring.



December 1st, 2010 at 4:47 pm (Random Stuff)

I’ve been absent from blogging for a while, the worst consequence being that my goofy “Bed Intruder Song” cover sat at the top of the page for a month.  I feel a rant coming on, though, so the hiatus is soon to end.


My Cover Of The Bed Intruder Song

October 13th, 2010 at 12:02 am (Random Stuff)

So I finally set up a camera and recorded my little cover of the famous Bed Intruder Song.  Apologies for the spotty singing and often wandering glances.  My YouTube debut!


Katy Perry Too Racy For Sesame Street

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:14 am (Random Stuff)

This reworked version of Hot ‘n Cold is pretty hilarious.  Makes me miss Sesame Street.  The producers decided not to air this segment after bad reactions from parents following its YouTube release.  I agree with the decision: that dress is way too skanky for Sesame Street.  The official statement:

“Sesame Street has a long history of working with celebrities across all genres, including athletes, actors, musicians and artists.  Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult.  We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver.  We also value our viewer’s opinions and particularly those of parents.  In light of the feedback we’ve received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers.  Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on You Tube.”


I Want A “Big Knob”

September 19th, 2010 at 11:46 pm (Home Recording)

A Mackie “Big Knob” studio controller, that is.  I currently have to re-patch everything whenever  I want to switch between my two pairs of monitors (or mess with the Apogee software) and especially when I want to use my record player.  This controller promises to really streamline one’s workflow in the area of monitoring with multiple monitors and sources, complete with a phono input.  It offers quick switching between sources and between monitors, both for easy routing and for fast comparisons while mixing, and a nice big volume knob for accurate volume control (which is more necessary during mixing than it might sound)  I’m not usually one for luxury equipment (such as one of those large, beautiful Apple computer monitors, which can run you upwards of two killabucks) but this is starting to feel like a necessity, and I am an advocate for efficient workflow (the easier it is to A/B monitors, the more you’ll do it, and that’s a good thing).  And I don’t fire up the turntable as much as I’d like because of the prerequisite wiring.  Have I sold myself yet?  Oh, you’re still wondering about the name.  So funny that zZounds includes this in the “features” section of its sales page:

“Humorous product name ensures years of off-color studio humor.”

Me wants one.


Bed Intruder Song Cover

September 9th, 2010 at 8:00 am (Dan Griping About "The Modern World", Notable Music)

Totally sick cover of the bed intruder song.


Six Days On The Road

September 7th, 2010 at 7:00 am (Notable Music)

I’ve always loved this song.  I think I like Dudley’s performance here better than the studio recording!


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