Monday, June 25

Off-Topic: Santa Barbara County Adventure

Last Saturday, the Lady Doc and I undertook a wonderful tour of bucolic Santa Barbara County, which is a short drive up the 101 from LA. We tasted wine in the European tradition, soaked in the sun, and explored only part of what the region has to offer. The area feels like it is lightyears away from the city. On our way out we had dinner in Santa Barbara proper and caught part of some crazy, confetti-littered Summer Solstice celebration that we initially mistook for a pride parade. (Sorry; no pics of that.)

The Lady Doc amongst the Lincourt vines.

The wine tasting facility at Sanford Winery.

More Lincourt vines.

DIY tourist photo in Los Olivos.

Daily rations.

Baby grapes!

South on Highway 154, near Lake Cachuma.

Near Bradbury Dam.

All photos by The Lady Doc & Jonathon David.

Friday, June 22

Live: Tortoise

Last night, Kfuture and I attended a performance of one of my most favorite live and studio acts. I've seen Tortoise a ton of times before, but their unstoppable level of professionalism never fails to amaze me. These guys are superstars, pure musical gods that deliver again and again. I would seriously be happy with watching them play just one of their songs over and over again. And they make it look so easy...nothing flashy, just pure, delivered skill.

And I got to chat with this guy.

Go here for more pictures and remaining tour dates.

Monday, June 18

Endless Summer

Now that summer is upon us, I thought it wise to highlight some seemingly apposite tunes.

Christian Fennesz--who simply goes by Fennesz when composing and performing his white noise wonders--originally released this work on Mego in 2001. The album was reissued by the excellent Editions Mego in January 2007 after being remastered.

I was going to try and form complete sentences to describe how incredible this music is. I'm usually competent at that. But instead I'm simply going to list the notes I took while listening recently:

"The sound of decay.
Disintegration Loops - Basinski.
Liquid audio.
Linear overall, but built upon slow, developed, transient loops.
Four Tet at half tempo with no beats.
For Boards of Canada fans (see: synth sounds).
Processed guitar.

That should give you an idea. But please navigate yourself to "A Year In a Minute" and "Endless Summer" here.

Tuesday, June 12

Flickr Photostream: Explosions In the Sky [Jared Swafford]

Do check out Jared Swafford's excellent collection of Explosions In the Sky photos, taken March 12, 2007 at The Alcazar in St. Augustine, (Northern) Florida.

Monday, June 11

Live: LCD Soundsystem

On Sunday, the Lady Doc and I attended night one of LCD Soundsystem's sold out three-night stint at the El Rey. The band rocked our asses off with higher tempo versions of tracks from Sound of Silver and their self-titled debut. James Murphy sure knows how to lead a band, and the hole in my dancing shoes proves it. Can't wait for night two!

Photos by Jonathon David and the Lady Doc.

Tuesday, June 5

Today I discovered a great archive of music-related videos. Face Culture is a Dutch site with dozens of interviews with musicians about their inspiration and technique. There's also a decent live "in-studio" archive.

Don't let the site's "Most Wanted" list fool you--there is a nice selection of quality independent artists including Belle and Sebastian, Broken Social Scene, and British Sea Power (to take a few of the Bs, for instance).

The interviews and text are primarily in English but there is some Dutch, so be prepared. Even though these clips are produced on a shoestring, the content certainly overcomes whatever formal shortcomings there might be.


Turning the Tables On the RIAA

Alert reader Ross recently pointed me to a link regarding counterclaims brought by a defendant in an RIAA p2p crackdown case.

Maybe I missed the boat on this one, but I'm surprised it's taken this long for such theories to be tested. To me it seems natural that a target of the numerous RIAA suits would want to bite back in as many ways possible. It could be that countersuits have been filed in the past but the cases were settled or dismissed before the court reached the merits of the action and before the public heard of it.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see how these issues fare. Remember, the RIAA is a trade group--not a government entity--and therefore does not benefit from any sort of qualified immunity in the investigation and prosecution of alleged illegal p2p users. If the defendant-counterclaimant is successful on any of her claims it could potentially hamper the way the RIAA protects its interests.

When, if ever, will there be a balance between homespun cottage-industry recordings, major label sensitivity, and consumer interests?

Answer: 2019.

Monday, June 4

Zipdecode: 10048

As a closeted fan of cartography, I was pumped when I found this awhile back. Simply punch in a valid zipcode and watch as a cool monochromatic map centers in on the location. I recommend enabling the zoom feature. It's fun, I swear!