music!

May. 17th, 2010 03:53 pm
inahandbasket: (Bass me)
We played the steampunk world's fair this weekend.
Friday night we had 10 people watching us.
Saturday night... well, it was the highlight of my weekend and possibly the highest energy moment in ENSMB (sans circus) gig history, roughly 2am-ish. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1435456294927&ref=mf

Coraline has a great post here with lots of links to media from the weekend.

Had some friends sit-in with us, made some new friends, played NiN's Wish with Brian Viglione sitting in on drums... yeah. Musical life is doubleplusgood.

music!

May. 17th, 2010 03:53 pm
inahandbasket: (Bass me)
We played the steampunk world's fair this weekend.
Friday night we had 10 people watching us.
Saturday night... well, it was the highlight of my weekend and possibly the highest energy moment in ENSMB (sans circus) gig history, roughly 2am-ish. http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1435456294927&ref=mf

Coraline has a great post here with lots of links to media from the weekend.

Had some friends sit-in with us, made some new friends, played NiN's Wish with Brian Viglione sitting in on drums... yeah. Musical life is doubleplusgood.
inahandbasket: (Bass me)
OMG OMG OMG!

Listening to rough cuts of the ENSMB CD that's nearly done production, this sounds SO AWESOME!
I mean, I was expecting the music to be good, but the quality is absolutely stellar! I seriously need to buy our engineer some beers for this one... And these are the ROUGH cuts that still need a bit of work!

More news (and buy-it links) once it's finalized...
inahandbasket: (Bass me)
OMG OMG OMG!

Listening to rough cuts of the ENSMB CD that's nearly done production, this sounds SO AWESOME!
I mean, I was expecting the music to be good, but the quality is absolutely stellar! I seriously need to buy our engineer some beers for this one... And these are the ROUGH cuts that still need a bit of work!

More news (and buy-it links) once it's finalized...
inahandbasket: (Bass me)
So now that anyone going to see Amanda Palmer playing with the Boston Pops has already seen it or is at it this very minute I feel comfortable posting my thoughts on it.

I'm not a huge Dresden Dolls fanboie, it should be noted. Sure I like them, they do some interesting stuff and some downright awesome stuff, but I don't get fan-y about much and they're not one of the few. So I feel it should be as relatively objective a commentary as anyone on LJ can provide. *grin*

So the long view: overall it was definitely a fun night. It had it's highs, and it had it's "meh"s.

They opened with 4 movements of Holst's planets; Mars, Venus, Uranus, and Jupiter. Now I know these pieces very well, having played them in the past, and the pops certainly did them justice. Not sure I agreed with all the nuance bits, but overall it was a stellar performance. The large video screen was showing some very nice NASA imagery, but frankly I think it dampened the acoustics on the violins a bit. (Yeah, nitpicky ex-orchestra dork, deal.) Keith (the conductor) made a little speech about how hard it was to pick a good opening acct for Amanda P., and that The Planets seemed suitable. I'm not sure I entirely agree, but out of the repertoire of the Pops it was probably a good choice.

Then there was intermission.

Amanda's set was pretty good, there were some fun "action" scenes with her pulling random orchestra members out of the hallway and having them chase her around the stage and audience. There was a very good somber piece with ghostly actors (and Clara!), and she played Coin-Operated Boy which is always fun. It was also the most well arranged/orchestrated pieces of the night. For the most part they just didn't use the orchestra well. I nearly growled out loud when a snare and bass drum kicked in, let alone the electric guitar that came along a song or two later. If you've got a full orchestra to play with, especially one that's used to more 'fun' tunes and arrangements you should use it to it's full extent! There were a few parts where I really wanted a solo instrument weaving with her melody, etc. Meh.

She did two classic showtunes as well, the one from Cabaret had three girls from the Boston Conservatory dancing on stage in skimpy lace. They were lewd and dirty, which would have been fun at a rock show but felt really out of place on stage with the Pops. I got the feel that it was a choice made because they could, and because it'd be out of place, but it didn't work for me. Not that I'm a prude, it just felt forced in that context.

Brian V. came out and they did a really nice rendition of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, complete with Brian faking a Louis growl for one line. They also did a Dresden Dolls song (or 2?) with barely any input from the orchestra, which really felt like a wasted opportunity to me.

Overall thoughts, a fun concert, but it wasn't all it could have (should have) been. I don't regret seeing it at all, I had a good time and it was a decent show, but it definitely left me going "huh, that could have been better." In talking about it after the show with people, they pointed out that there may have been very limited rehearsal time, and perhaps the simplicity of the arrangement was simply due to practical constraints. I'm not sure I buy it though, if ENSMB can sight-read stuff fairly well the Pops could certainly have pulled off more even with time constraints. Heck, back in my orchestral days we would pull of full shows with just 2 days of rehearsal, and sure it was a select orchestra but we weren't pros. I stand by my opinion that they didn't do all they could/should have musically.

The after-show with Luminescent Orchestrii? Absolutely awesome. First time I've seen them live, and certainly won't be the last.
inahandbasket: (Bass me)
So now that anyone going to see Amanda Palmer playing with the Boston Pops has already seen it or is at it this very minute I feel comfortable posting my thoughts on it.

I'm not a huge Dresden Dolls fanboie, it should be noted. Sure I like them, they do some interesting stuff and some downright awesome stuff, but I don't get fan-y about much and they're not one of the few. So I feel it should be as relatively objective a commentary as anyone on LJ can provide. *grin*

So the long view: overall it was definitely a fun night. It had it's highs, and it had it's "meh"s.

They opened with 4 movements of Holst's planets; Mars, Venus, Uranus, and Jupiter. Now I know these pieces very well, having played them in the past, and the pops certainly did them justice. Not sure I agreed with all the nuance bits, but overall it was a stellar performance. The large video screen was showing some very nice NASA imagery, but frankly I think it dampened the acoustics on the violins a bit. (Yeah, nitpicky ex-orchestra dork, deal.) Keith (the conductor) made a little speech about how hard it was to pick a good opening acct for Amanda P., and that The Planets seemed suitable. I'm not sure I entirely agree, but out of the repertoire of the Pops it was probably a good choice.

Then there was intermission.

Amanda's set was pretty good, there were some fun "action" scenes with her pulling random orchestra members out of the hallway and having them chase her around the stage and audience. There was a very good somber piece with ghostly actors (and Clara!), and she played Coin-Operated Boy which is always fun. It was also the most well arranged/orchestrated pieces of the night. For the most part they just didn't use the orchestra well. I nearly growled out loud when a snare and bass drum kicked in, let alone the electric guitar that came along a song or two later. If you've got a full orchestra to play with, especially one that's used to more 'fun' tunes and arrangements you should use it to it's full extent! There were a few parts where I really wanted a solo instrument weaving with her melody, etc. Meh.

She did two classic showtunes as well, the one from Cabaret had three girls from the Boston Conservatory dancing on stage in skimpy lace. They were lewd and dirty, which would have been fun at a rock show but felt really out of place on stage with the Pops. I got the feel that it was a choice made because they could, and because it'd be out of place, but it didn't work for me. Not that I'm a prude, it just felt forced in that context.

Brian V. came out and they did a really nice rendition of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, complete with Brian faking a Louis growl for one line. They also did a Dresden Dolls song (or 2?) with barely any input from the orchestra, which really felt like a wasted opportunity to me.

Overall thoughts, a fun concert, but it wasn't all it could have (should have) been. I don't regret seeing it at all, I had a good time and it was a decent show, but it definitely left me going "huh, that could have been better." In talking about it after the show with people, they pointed out that there may have been very limited rehearsal time, and perhaps the simplicity of the arrangement was simply due to practical constraints. I'm not sure I buy it though, if ENSMB can sight-read stuff fairly well the Pops could certainly have pulled off more even with time constraints. Heck, back in my orchestral days we would pull of full shows with just 2 days of rehearsal, and sure it was a select orchestra but we weren't pros. I stand by my opinion that they didn't do all they could/should have musically.

The after-show with Luminescent Orchestrii? Absolutely awesome. First time I've seen them live, and certainly won't be the last.
inahandbasket: (Warm)
I promised a music post a while back, and never wrote it.
Short version: Paul Simon's "Surprise" is an awesome mix of Paul Simon and Brian Eno. I didn't think it could work, but it does. I'll post MP3s in a friends locked post when I get the CD back from my dad, who stole it. The rat bastard... ;-)

Currently listening to Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, which I basically grew up listening to and haven't heard since then. The other day one of ENSMB's sax players brought us an arrangement of "Song of Shopska," aka. track 8, or the best track on the aforementioned album. The harmonies are so fantastic, and the structure so unique, and it's in 7/8... I was so psyched to be hearing it again, I begged him to lend me the CD and he obliged. I haven't listened to it in at least 10 years, and yet I still remember most of the tracks well enough to hum along.
[audiogeek]
The recording quality isn't fantastic, and my spandy new speakers are proving that to me, but god I missed this album!
[/audiogeek]

If you have any interest in music whatsoever you owe it to yourself to listen to this album. I may even post MP3s in that music review post I keep promising, but don't hold your breath. The Amazon link above has samples, let me know if you want me to rip it and post it.
inahandbasket: (Warm)
I promised a music post a while back, and never wrote it.
Short version: Paul Simon's "Surprise" is an awesome mix of Paul Simon and Brian Eno. I didn't think it could work, but it does. I'll post MP3s in a friends locked post when I get the CD back from my dad, who stole it. The rat bastard... ;-)

Currently listening to Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, which I basically grew up listening to and haven't heard since then. The other day one of ENSMB's sax players brought us an arrangement of "Song of Shopska," aka. track 8, or the best track on the aforementioned album. The harmonies are so fantastic, and the structure so unique, and it's in 7/8... I was so psyched to be hearing it again, I begged him to lend me the CD and he obliged. I haven't listened to it in at least 10 years, and yet I still remember most of the tracks well enough to hum along.
[audiogeek]
The recording quality isn't fantastic, and my spandy new speakers are proving that to me, but god I missed this album!
[/audiogeek]

If you have any interest in music whatsoever you owe it to yourself to listen to this album. I may even post MP3s in that music review post I keep promising, but don't hold your breath. The Amazon link above has samples, let me know if you want me to rip it and post it.
inahandbasket: (happy)
Spent a little time this evening figuring out how to record my bass on my computer.
Me likey Audacity a lot.

sound clips: http://www.lordgoogle.com/bass/audio/
The only interesting one would be this little dark ditty I recorded... [linky]
The other clips are scales with different EQ settings, and one on a different bass for comparison. (aka. useful only to bass nerds.)

Came out sounding half decent, surprisingly.
I need a music usericon...
inahandbasket: (happy)
Spent a little time this evening figuring out how to record my bass on my computer.
Me likey Audacity a lot.

sound clips: http://www.lordgoogle.com/bass/audio/
The only interesting one would be this little dark ditty I recorded... [linky]
The other clips are scales with different EQ settings, and one on a different bass for comparison. (aka. useful only to bass nerds.)

Came out sounding half decent, surprisingly.
I need a music usericon...
inahandbasket: (sleepy red)
ok, so I may have gotten a new bass the other day.
photo if you're too lazy to click the above link and browse the file structure manually )
It's from a company called The Bass Company (really out-there name...) who sells direct through ebay. Instead of outsourcing their production to a cut-rate korean/chinese factory, they setup their own factory in China. They pay their workers good wages, provide luthier training, oversee the production themselves, and turn out far better product than any other factory over there for a reasonable price, so I feel good about supporting them.

The fretless I got about a year ago made me realize how "not my sound" my Rich Wave is, resulting in my desire for something that would sound how I wanted. Thus, my constant quest for a new bass of late, and the building one, etc.
I think that this newest bass might finally provide the impetus I need to get me to sell the Rich Wave. I've had offers of $1200-1600 for it, but been unable to tear myself away from it for mostly sentimental reasons so far. But if I can pick up a bass as good as this one for as little as I paid for it, I could get 4-5 very nice new basses with the money from selling the Rich.
Therefore I'm finally serious about parting with it.

I think.
I've been serious a few times before as well.
inahandbasket: (sleepy red)
ok, so I may have gotten a new bass the other day.
photo if you're too lazy to click the above link and browse the file structure manually )
It's from a company called The Bass Company (really out-there name...) who sells direct through ebay. Instead of outsourcing their production to a cut-rate korean/chinese factory, they setup their own factory in China. They pay their workers good wages, provide luthier training, oversee the production themselves, and turn out far better product than any other factory over there for a reasonable price, so I feel good about supporting them.

The fretless I got about a year ago made me realize how "not my sound" my Rich Wave is, resulting in my desire for something that would sound how I wanted. Thus, my constant quest for a new bass of late, and the building one, etc.
I think that this newest bass might finally provide the impetus I need to get me to sell the Rich Wave. I've had offers of $1200-1600 for it, but been unable to tear myself away from it for mostly sentimental reasons so far. But if I can pick up a bass as good as this one for as little as I paid for it, I could get 4-5 very nice new basses with the money from selling the Rich.
Therefore I'm finally serious about parting with it.

I think.
I've been serious a few times before as well.
inahandbasket: (scrunchi)
[rant]

of course the new iPod that plays video has spawned a million and one articles about how groundbreaking it is to be able to take video with you, lots of 'how-to's', countless bits of commentary about how this new ability to take video with you will cause disruption in the current paradigms of video, tv, and broadcasting, and how video-podcasting is the next great thing.

Give me a fucking break.
Portable music/video players are nothing new, they've been on the mass market for almost 2 years now in the states. It will not affect current broadcasting at all, and it's not revolutionary. And, as usual, other companies are doing this far better than Apple. Hell, the iPod doesn't even support DivX. Weak. It's another case of "me too" from the company who claims to "think different."

And as a matter of fact, most reviews of it are saying that it's really not even very good for video!

You want portable video? here, check these out.
creative zen vision. bigger better screen, more formats, far better bundled software.
Cowan iaudio X5. similar form factor, way more formats, higher quality build and far better quality sound. (on my xmas wishlist.)
Archos AV420 (and other models from archos.) Hell, this one will RECORD video from any source as well as play it. Again, more formats, better quality.

ok, I'm done.
[/rant]

Ok, fine. so if you've got a mac, the iPod is pretty much the only game in town that works well.
I'm ok with that.
And honestly it's not a bad piece of hardware. I'm impressed with how thin they managed to make it without sacrificing too much battery life. And if you like iTunes (i hate it) then it's about the only music player that sync's with itunes.

So go for it. Just stop telling me it's revolutionary, new, amazing, and the best portable music player in the world.
Because it's none of the above.
inahandbasket: (scrunchi)
[rant]

of course the new iPod that plays video has spawned a million and one articles about how groundbreaking it is to be able to take video with you, lots of 'how-to's', countless bits of commentary about how this new ability to take video with you will cause disruption in the current paradigms of video, tv, and broadcasting, and how video-podcasting is the next great thing.

Give me a fucking break.
Portable music/video players are nothing new, they've been on the mass market for almost 2 years now in the states. It will not affect current broadcasting at all, and it's not revolutionary. And, as usual, other companies are doing this far better than Apple. Hell, the iPod doesn't even support DivX. Weak. It's another case of "me too" from the company who claims to "think different."

And as a matter of fact, most reviews of it are saying that it's really not even very good for video!

You want portable video? here, check these out.
creative zen vision. bigger better screen, more formats, far better bundled software.
Cowan iaudio X5. similar form factor, way more formats, higher quality build and far better quality sound. (on my xmas wishlist.)
Archos AV420 (and other models from archos.) Hell, this one will RECORD video from any source as well as play it. Again, more formats, better quality.

ok, I'm done.
[/rant]

Ok, fine. so if you've got a mac, the iPod is pretty much the only game in town that works well.
I'm ok with that.
And honestly it's not a bad piece of hardware. I'm impressed with how thin they managed to make it without sacrificing too much battery life. And if you like iTunes (i hate it) then it's about the only music player that sync's with itunes.

So go for it. Just stop telling me it's revolutionary, new, amazing, and the best portable music player in the world.
Because it's none of the above.

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