malleus&incus

whooping throngs

Posted in Indie, Live Music by Giri Nathan on August 23, 2010

Epic songs call to mind epic scenes: rolling meadows, endless sea, snowy peaks (like you could almost see the hobbits trudging in the distance). Also, multi-million dollar stadiums. And when you find yourself in Madison Square Garden, like Arcade Fire did a few weeks ago, you play the venue to your advantage. The epic space was already there; they just needed to stuff it with sound. By chugging through a solid, stolid set, stowing away their not-so-secret weapon in the encore, they kept us writhing in our seats just waiting for the arena to erupt. Then they delivered.

obligatory crappy iPhone picture

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Videosongs: A Medium By Jack Conte

Posted in Art Music, Folk, Indie, Live Music by jurbanik on August 1, 2010

Everyone knows the cliché that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Considering most YouTube videos are uploaded at 24-30 fps, and each of the videos I’ll be posting here are over 120 seconds, this post is going to be a minimum of 20,000,000 words – that is one LONG post. Yes, that’s right, this is going to be a video post. Why, you ask? Jack Conte.

What is so special about this scruffy man, you ask? Well, beyond being a very talented musician, he is the mind behind the VideoSong – something that I believe has the potential to develop into its own new (and niche, of course) genre of media. Whereas music videos today are all about unique filming, a clever story, bizarre imagery, or any number of other things that serve to cloud and distract from the music (or at the very most, complement it), the VideoSong is a medium that is all about honesty and transparency. In the words of Conte:

A VideoSong is a new medium with 2 rules:
1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice).
2. If you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds).

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Live (almost): Islands @ Black Cat

Posted in Alternative, Indie, Live Music, Pop, Rock by dc3 on July 2, 2010

Live shows are always filled with unease. Maybe it’s the strange realization that the voice you’ve been listening to for a year now through headphones actually has a voice box and a head and appendages attached to it. Or perhaps it’s your own nervousness for the artist who’s meeting hundreds of people he doesn’t know but who in some abstract music-is-the-expression-of-the-soul kind of way already know him.

In any case, this unease was too much and caused me both to take the Metro in the wrong direction and to almost fall forward accidentally walking down the up escalator. After thinking that these two literal reversals of direction were some unspoken symbolic message to “turn-back,” and seriously considering calling the whole thing off, I decided that that would be the stupidest reason to miss a perfectly good concert and so decided to forget about the whole thing. The rest of the night contained no other prophetic signs.

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