this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This is me on tv <- click on the first video

i have been performing with the newly formed Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) these days, and man, it's been a whirlwind. We did our first kind of test gig on Saturday out in the sculpture garden on campus, and it was a surreal experience. 20 laptop/speaker combos spread throughout the forest (a total of 120 speakers + 2 subs), drony computer music, a beautiful day amidst towering totems from New Guinea; i felt like i was in a Japanimation or something.

We had our first 'proper' gig last night in the auditorium here. Asides from the pieces for laptop orchestra alone, there was a couple mixed pieces with acoustic instruments, and even some telematic jamming with performers in Beijing (Terry Riley's 'InC' which, coming from STK instruments, sounded a lot like a casino).

It's been a busy week and it's probably not slowing down, seeing as Maker Faire is this weekend and they want to infiltrate that place as well.

I personally want to thank anyone who came or shared interest, and especially to the other performers in the orchestra. At this point, the thing has a life all it's own.


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This is my Uncle Marty playing piano

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Big L Quote of the Day

I'm so ahead of my time that my parents haven't met yet.

-Big L

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dirt Off Your Shoulder

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

kicked out!

I was really full of piss and vinegar about 2 hours ago. Shane says I got what I deserved. I can neither agree nor disagree with that statement. I was waiting in line for the Belaire show, my trusty 8 dollars in toe, when some dude just waltzes right in. I turned to Willard and Christine and said "did that guy just walk in?" and they were like "hmm...looked like that" and some part of my brain said "fuck it" and I just waltzed right in. The guy working the door belatedly came over to me and was like "what are you doing?" and I was soon kicked out and disallowed entry, even for a price.

So that's the story of the 2nd time I have ever been kicked out of a show, (the first time being for The Black Lips, which wasn't even my fault....I had stage dove, and been pushed back up to the stage twice. I tried to roll off but couldn't so I dove again, apparently kicking some girl in the head, which led to my removal). It hardly feels like it counted, to be honest. Who gets kicked out of a Belaire show? I had had one drink.

But whats funny about this situation is the part in my brain that upon getting kicked out is indignant. It went like this: "Hey doorguy! Who the fuck are you?? Do you even know how many shows I've snuck into for free, and you're gonna give me shit? You know what, you can keep your 8 dollars! Seriously who the fuck do you think you are???"

I think I told the door guy "No I get it man, that's not cool! It's OK, whatever!" I really was very close to telling him he could keep his 8 dollars, which I guess would have been slightly confusing more than anything.

Pre all of this I did catch Transmography at Club Deville. It was awesome, those guys rock, and then after the incident I went back and caught La Snacks who were good too

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weird Weedsss

So congrats to our friends the Weird Weeds who have been getting some good press for their latest album I Miss This. I think it got on the CMJ chart, too. And look at them (and the stage) in this Popmatters review.

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If that's not enough, try this here.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Corporate America Listening Party 4-17

Every day at work I listen to a bunch of albums that I haven't heard before in order to keep me pacified. I've realized that I might as well chronicle them here.

The Jungle Brothers - Straight Out the Jungle
Early 90's hip hop, playful, conscious, and funky. A few surprisingly fast tracks, including an ode to house music that didn't seem out of place. The standout track had to be Sounds of the Safari, an instrumental cut that reminds you why scratching was cool before it became all nerdy.

Kidz in the Hall - School Was My Hustle
Some more hip hop for the early morning. Lately I've been down on contemporary hip hop, but Lanneau recommended these guys pretty highly and rightfully so. The beats sound gorgeous, at points pushing your typical hip hop drum pattern in new directions and creating a lot of energy in the process. It seems a pretty blatant counterpoint to College Dropout, constantly referencing the importance of education and the literacy of rapper Naledge and producer/DJ Double-O. The lyrics are really clever, and leave the listener half a bar behind at many points, but if you just want to bob your head they've got that covered too.

Cluster - 71
Found this one based on the fact that members of the group collaborated with Brian Eno later on in their careers. Wasn't really my cup of tea. It's ambient music at heart, but the experimentation with different timbres doesn't really yield well to a casual background listen. It feels paranoid, overwhelming, and hypnotic in the worst sense of the word. Imagine some of the darker textures on Another Green World without the counterpoints or melodies, and you've got this "seminal" piece of ambient music.

Indian Jewelry - Invasive Exotics
According to their press, I'm supposed to like this band. Psychadelic noise outfit from Houston, fairly free form as far as band members go, sounds like an alright time. Generally I think of psychadelic music as something one might want to ingest drugs while listening to, but this just made me think of being drunk. The guitar work felt sloppy and uninspired, the percussion lacking the tribal umph that their name might imply. The lyrics are darker than dark and more pseudo-proletariat hippie bullshit than the battlecry they're intended to be. I think this band is full of it.

Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Another band, like Indian Jewelry, that I usually hear compared to Animal Collective in their press releases. I honestly paid very little attention to this record, which is a difficult thing to do based on the fact that I spent my day hitting the print button in Adobe Acrobat and waiting on a loading bar for the chance to stumble onto the print button again. There were a flourish or two of Beach Boy influence that caught my eye, but I don't really have much to say about this record. It deserves another listen.

Working on The Adventures of Slick Rick right now (Slick Rick's a big hip-hop deficiency of mine) but I don't really feel like writing anymore, so until tomorrow (hopefully).

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A.C. Newman: Grizzley Man with Giant Beard

I got real into the A.C. Newman record (aka the "lost" and best New Pornographers record) and found this picture to be hilarious. Ripped straight offa p-fork

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Projections at SVT on Friday

In case you missed it...

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Thursday, April 10, 2008


thanks for coming to the show last night! you're the best!

Hey, so remember when Gnarles Barkley dressed up different for every time they were on TV? I never saw this one (Star Wars version). Thought it was pretty damn good.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Show Tonight

duuh. hole in the wall 10 PM. Be there, you squares. EMHU CD Release party

also, check check it...

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Friday, April 4, 2008

and you thought Eliot Spitzer was bad...

Kinda gonna be a trashy post here, (as if you couldn't already tell) but the head of Formula 1 racing is in this huuuuuge scandal. his name is Max Mosley, and here's a video that explains the whole thing (remixed to Rammstein - Du Hast, for amazing comedy value)

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dear Chris (why can't we be friends?)

Dear Chris,

It's me Pitchfork Media.
Come on. I'm not that bad!
You know you don't believe those things you said about me. Deep down you know those American Apparel leggings are smoking hot. Especially when girls are skinny from all the coke!

You've gotta change with the times man, you know? Like when the Bee-Gees jumped on disco and jive talked it into the American mainstream. We're just like that! You think people would want to live in places like Brooklyn, or maybe a little closer to home, East Austin, if they thought only black and Mexican people lived there? Of course not! We need to let our readers know that while there may be minorities, these burgeoning cultural centers are full of coked out American Apparel hunnies fucking in the bushes behind raging house parties full of DJs playing Pitchfork Recommended French electro releases.
And you know what, we like to bring our hipster masses down a notch or two sometimes. It's important to remind them that they don't decide what they like, we do. And once they think that they know what they like, we switch it up on them and decide that shit isn't cool anymore, and it's just like our readers decided it for themselves!

I know that you think house shows are cool. We think so too! You know that band you had play at your house the other day? Well we like them. We like that band that played a month before too. And those guys that used to live at your house, like three or four years ago? We like their band too! We even put a picture of you on our website!

It's true, maybe I don't know what you're listening to these days, but we try our best. We've been working on getting an interview with Prince for years! He just won't talk to us!

We can't put on house shows, it just wouldn't work. So we try pretty hard to put together the most affordable this-side-of-free music festival around with bands that would generally be listed in small to small-medium font on a professionally designed fsetival flyer. Do you know how many of those flyers we have to embed into HTML every day? Like two. We know the bands really well that hang out in that font size.

But maybe you have noticed a change in the past few years. We used to only cover those small to medium fonted bands. Now we care about Rhianna! We're trying! We don't want you to think we're snobs, we want to do like the common people. We hear songs on the radio we like every once in awhile. We usually apologize for them, but it's called journalism.

Now the MTV thing was a low-blow and you know it. Especially on the eve of our launch. We're not going to have hipster elimidate, we're talking the Pixies! Liars! And you know those parties you were talking about, well Death By Stereo has a D-I-Y party space, and we're going to be giving you a personal interweb tour!

Please Chris. Remember when you would get all hot and bothered by a 9.0? We used to mean something to you and we want to mean it again. Did you see The Dodos at the SXSW show at the Communications Courtyard? We're jizzing all over them! Recommended New Music, Forkcast, 8.5 rating, tour itineraries! Remember reading tour itineraries? You loved it! You have to admit that our use of symbols to designate the intersecting itineraries of bands is downright practical, you know in your heart that it is.

So I guess you don't want to fool around anymore. That's cool, I understand I have been putting on the pounds and I'm not as quick a read anymore. I know you'd rather be intercoursing with more relevant community focused zines or talking to those cool older people that you, well, didn't know a few years ago. It's fine, we don't have to make the same streaming non-pornographic internet love that we used to. But you know, you could, like, come over and hang out and maybe we could watch a movie or something.

-Pitchfork Media

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Dorms

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bottom feeder: dear pitchfork

There was a time when I thought we were close, and it seemed that we might make it. I was still young and the world seemed so big and open to me. Napster and Soulseek got me listening to all kinds of stuff I had never heard of, and sometimes I would just get way too overwhelmed by the choices. When I felt lost though, you were there for me.

I checked in with you between classes and homework to get tips on records that you thought were cool. You were like a collective of the record store clerks, older siblings, and "in the know" people that, well, I didn't know. Sure, you facilitated a bit of completely unfounded music snobbishness, a wash of subcultural elitism, and some really mixed up notions of objectively "good" music. BUT between you, Stylus, Dusted, and TinyMixTapes*, my friends and I learned about the Microphones, TV on the Radio, the Unicorns, Fela, Lightning Bolt (!), Deerhoof, and all those other bands that filled my headphones a few years ago. And your Top 100 features for the 70s, 80s, and 90s blew my mind. Sure, I didn't like all of the records or even the idea of a Top 100, but I mean, the highlights of my father's record collection didn't go too far beyond Neil Young's Zama, some Trinidad steel pan albums, and that Devo album with "Girl U Want" (all of which I dig ... except that the Devo album really isn't so hot for a Devo album).

Something happened over the past few years though, and, Pitchfork, I don't know whether it is you or me, but we need to talk. Somewhere along the way we just out of touch. Maybe it's something about those American Apparel ads or something about the return of cocaine. Maybe it's gentrification. Maybe it's that I'm not so young and naive anymore, I don't know. And in a lot of ways, I really don't care at this point. But I wanted to say something about it because you were special to me until it just sort of "cooled" off, y'know? Our interactions just seem a little absent now. Like, you aren't even really there anymore.

I think the thing is that I met these other people. They make music here in Austin or they stop in town here and we set them up with shows. They make awesome music and they are humble and smart and funny and they don't spend all their time setting up ads or synthesizing some sort of indie culture taste regime. They make their own stuff rather than just talking about other people making things. And beyond that, they support their friends and help one another put shows together and have a good time. And they don't just jump from band to band to be hip with it.

But you don't cover them. Or if you do, it's only after a bunch of other people did and you get a free promo and a few recommendations. You don't even seem to know or care anything about what is going on with the good music in my life now. Yes, maybe that's a little egocentric, but the fact of the matter is most of the music that you recommend doesn't seem all that spectacular to me anymore. I almost wonder if you, Insound, and a lot (but definitely not all) of these other "supporters" of the independent music scene are behind this weird urban hipster showiness thing AND with the disappearance of good partying. You just seem so passive. You just sit there with your American Apparel ads and your indie music festivals and make me think of our belovedly bohemian Miller's talk about the Grange, a rural farmhouse where "there is a remarkable neighborliness, but no community spirit."

Now, when I was younger and all this internet mediation was still exploding, I thought our abstracted anonymity thing could work out. I mean, who says we have to know each other to have fun, right? It was hot, but the party just isn't as fun anymore. Maybe you are going through a bad transition stage like when early crazy MTV transformed into lame establishment MTV. Maybe people aren't putting in the same kind of creative freaky honest effort anymore and it's just business and maybe it's time to move out of the city and get away from this shit for awhile. I just don't like being around what has become of us.

And I know that I have changed over the past few years too. I am less naive about how the rock music game works for sure. I just wanted you to know that I miss what we had.

If you want to talk, I'm all ears.

Tall Reed

P.S. No disrespect to the Flaming Lips, but I never really thought The Soft Bulletin deserved that 10.0. Just had to come clean about that one.

*TMT, please go back to your old design. Or get a new one like it. This webcomic style thing with the red and blue has been killing me for the past two years. I swear I would check you guys daily and maybe still be writing for you if the appearance of the site didn't make me want to rip out my eyes and mail them to Stan Lee. Somebody had to say it, and besides, I always thought your content was way better than Pitchfork's anyway.

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