I dare you to try and not tap your foot to The Postelles. It might be impossible. "White Night" is the new video by these New York City garage pop-rockers, and it is one poppy song - in the best way possible. The video features the group playing in a dark room with flashing lights, a woman running around, and possibly a disco ball.
The Postelles have also decided to offer up a free download of the "White Night" single, which you can grab at thepostelles.com or via the handly little widget below.
"White Night" is available currently on the White Night EP and will also be on the band's forthcoming debut, self-titled full-length, set to be released October 12th via Astralwerks/Capitol. Did we mention it was co-produced by the Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr.? Right, so mark your record store calendar appropriately and stay tuned for more from The Postelles.
Dangerbird's latest signees, Hot Hot Heat, are embarking on a US tour in support of their latest album, Future Breeds.
The tour officially kicks off in Portland in August and will conclude in Seattle before these Canadians return home.
Future Breeds is out now via Dangerbird Records.
17 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
19 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
20 Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones
21 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
22 Las Vegas, NV @ Hard Rock Hotel
23 Scottsdale, AZ @ Martini Ranch
24 Tucson, AZ @ The Rock
26 Dallas, TX @ The Loft
27 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
31 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
1 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
3 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
4 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
5 Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
7 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
8 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs
10 Chicago, Illinois @ Lincoln Hall
11 Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot
12 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
13 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave/Eagles Club
14 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
15 Minneapolis, MN @ Seventh Street
17 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
18 Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound
20 Spokane, WA @ Empyrean
21 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
My good friend Mirko is back after working away crafting an album and EP. Inspired from his trip down under, Mirko has produced a nine track album filled with resonance of OZ. Not only that, he has also included links to the videos he has created for the tracks. Multi talented!
Some serious kosmic mashup!
The EP consists of seven tracks with some influences from the orient together with trip hop, break beats and more kosmic cocktails!
In the run up to the release of Janaka Selekta‘s debut album Pushing Air on 06/07/10, ChaiWalla’s Boombox is offering 5 glorious tracks to download for free … But only for the next 7 DAYS!!!
Follow the link and Check it out: http://chaiwallasboombox.bandcamp.com/
Do not miss out, as I mentioned in my previous post, you will not be disappointed!
New Jersey has brought us many things including Bruce Springsteen, drive in movie theatres and lastly, Steel Train.
These anthematic indie-rockers have just released their new self-titled album and are currently on a full US tour. The band will also be offering an exclusive all-female companion album. Terrible Thrills Vol. 1 will feature each of the new album's tracks reinterpreted and remixed by female artists including Tegan & Sara, Scarlett Johansson, Holly Miranda and Deradoorian to name a few.
You can pick up Steel Train's new self-titled album here.
You can see the full list of female artists as well as other band information on their Official Site.
You and I Undercover
You are Dangerous
S.O.G. Burning in Hell
Touch Me Bad
Children in the 90's (I'm Not the Same)
Soldier in the Army
The Speedway Motor Racers Club
29 Bluebird Theatre - Denver, CO
30 Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT
2 Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
6 El Rey - Los Angeles, CA
7 Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ
9 Emo's Alternative Lounge - Austin, TX
10 House of Blues - Dallas, TX
12 The Social - Orlando, FL
12 Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA
14 Exit/In - Nashville, TN
16 Grog Shop - Cleveland, OH
17 Water St. Music Hall - Rochester, NY
20 Jammin Java - Vienna, VA
21 First Unitarian Church - Philadelphia, PA
22 Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
23 Middle East - Cambridge, MA
An ASCAP fundraising letter that seeks to vilify advocacy positions of organizations like Creative Commons has been circulating the Web. As I noted in a separate story, it’s not exactly news that ASCAP has taken issue with the licenses Creative Commons advocates. Now, however, ASCAP also argues that the advocacy organization Electronic Frontier Foundation is also an enemy of artists getting paid. The EFF hasn’t made a public statement about the issue, but in a response to CDM, an EFF spokeperson says the letter “mischaracterizes” her organization.
“They imply in that letter that the EFF don’t want artists to get paid for their work,” says Rebecca Jeschke, EFF spokesperson. “For years, we’ve had a proposal for Voluntary Collective Licensing,” she says, a scheme by which users of file sharing services could contribute to funds for artists. She says the EFF has been working on the issue since 2003. “We’re interested in making sure that there’s a balance, that copyright respects the rights of the creators but also innovators and speakers, and that [the doctrine of] fair use rights [a provision of US Copyright Law] are respected.”
For more on EFF’s proposals on voluntary collective licensing, see the organization’s 2008 white paper. Ironically, the proposal explicitly cites ASCAP and similar organizations as their model for how file sharing collections could work:
A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing
The Precedent: Broadcast Radio
It has been done before.
By voluntarily creating collecting societies like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, songwriters brought broadcast radio in from the copyright cold in the first half of the 20th century.
What would cause ASCAP to lash out at EFF in the first place? While the EFF advocates on a number of issues unrelated to ASCAP, including privacy, government transparency, and free speech, it conflicts with some ASCAP positions in some of its recent intellectual property work. For instance, in regards to the case of United States of America versus ASCAP, EFF has criticized ASCAP in court battles over whether mobile phone ringtones should be licensed as performances, and thus subject to performing royalty collections. In legal analysis on EFF’s website last year, intellectual property lawyer Fred von Lohmann described ASCAP in harsh terms:
ASCAP (the same folks who went after Girl Scouts for singing around a campfire) appears to believe that every time your musical ringtone rings in public, you’re violating copyright law by “publicly performing” it without a license. This will doubtless come as a shock to the millions of Americans who have legitimately purchased musical ringtones, contributing millions to the music industry’s bottom line. Are we each liable for statutory damages (say, $80,000) if we forget to silence our phones in a restaurant?
ASCAP Wants To Be Paid When Your Phone Rings [EFF Deeplinks]
There’s no evidence I could find that any EFF position is advocating that music “should be free,” and ASCAP isn’t clear in the letter about either what EFF policies it opposes, or even what the legislative agenda ASCAP themselves are advocating – and for which they want money. ASCAP’s legislative site is also vague, with a link to a legislative timeline that’s now 12 years out of date, before the popularity of MP3s, Napster, iTunes, iPods, and so on. Legislative recommendations made in March to the US government range from the finer points of international trade policy and enforcement in countries of China to ASCAP talking about their anti-piracy mascot for 10-17-year-old kids, skateboard-wielding “Donny the Downloader.”
ASCAP had not yet responded to CDM’s request for comment; I will follow up with them. ASCAP does, however, have a record of a advocating tougher intellectual property enforcement, including harsher penalties and monitoring.
EFF policy is clearer, however: mandatory monitoring and penalties for Internet Service Providers and mass lawsuits don’t work, says Jeschke. And, she says, that means they also don’t work for artists. “The way, for example, the RIAA has [litigated] in the name of protecting copyright hasn’t really gotten anybody paid. They gave up their lawsuit sceheme. The lawsuit campaign just kept going but file sharing continued unabated.”
The EFF is arguing Wednesday in federal court against mass lawsuits. Despite the fact that the music industry dropped the approach, filmmakers of movies like “The Hurt Locker” are now going the same route:
EFF Argues Against Mass Copyright Infringement Lawsuits in Wednesday Hearing: Predatory Suits Improperly Lump Thousands of Defendants Together
Monitoring ISPs and blocking peer-to-peer file sharing, as a recent call from a number of advocacy organizations including ASCAP advocates, is also problematic, she says. When it comes to ISP monitoring, “There are clearly privacy implications for lots of people, in addition to price implications, if ISPs need to step up their enforcement.” Even worse, she says, are policies that would take away users’ Internet access if they are deemed guilty of infringement. “Most of these three strikes policies are three accusations — not three trials where you’re found guilty of infringement. People get caught in that dragnet all the time. Taking away someone’s internet access is a really big thing, and it shouldn’t happen based on three strikes.”
Since even Jeschke acknowledges that music file sharing continues, though, what about artist income? If enforcement isn’t the answer, what is? Voluntary collective licensing is still the EFF’s prescription, says Jeschke. “There will always be some new technology,” she says. “Instead of trying to put fingers in the dam and styming innovation, we need to find ways of getting artists paid.”
In doing so, though, so long as ASCAP sees the EFF as “Copyleft” advocates who only want “free music,” and EFF analysts see ASCAP as the organization confronting Girl Scouts, it’s hard to see these two organizations collaborating on solutions any time soon.
Effect pedals on CDM? Heck, yes. Electro-Harmonix may have just stolen the show in Nashville with the Freeze pedal alone. Continuing our coverage with Nashville locals and musicians Tony and Jeremy, we have some hands-on videos, images, and impressions of the gear on offer. Don’t miss yesterday’s story on how the trade show helps Nashville recover from flooding. They offered a sobering picture of the state of the show, as well, but that didn’t stop them from finding good stuff to share. -Ed.
Summer NAMM was never the size of its winter counterpart. We were still surprised by the poor manufacturer turnout at the June 18th – 20th convention in Nashville, TN. Absent were heavy hitters like Roland and Korg and innovators like Moog, ZVex, and Dave Smith. Luckily, those that did attend brought some pretty cool new gear. Here are our impressions:
The famous TC-Helicon harmonization technology and effects in a unique, stand-mountable package, with the addition of performance-oriented looping. The unit feels very rugged, locking onto the stand to give the performer all of the controls at the right height. The interface is a simple array of touch “buttons” for access to the different DSP units with display duties being handled by a simple LED matrix display. Parameters are accessed and manipulated by a touch slider below the display. The VoiceLive Touch seems designed for quick access to presets in the middle of a gig rather than for delicate parameter tweaking. For ease of use during a set, the vocal harmonizer/looper looks like a winner. TC-Helicon says that while preset management over USB is the name of the game for the time being, a software editor could be in the cards down the road. In the first video, TC-Helicon rep Laura Davidson gives CDM a hands on look at the device. In the second video, a singer-songwriter demonstrates one of the harmonization presets.
Previously on CDM: a preview of the device
The Mixtrack is a solid little device, preset for controlling Traktor for $150. For that price, this looks like an amazing little controller – touch sensitive platters for playback control matched with the full range of DJ-mixer style playback, pitch bend, EQ, and looping controls, many of which are illuminated. It’s class-compliant USB and operates as a simple MIDI controller, so it should work out of the box with any application with a fairly minimal amount of mapping and setup. The Mixtrack supports Mac and Windows with possible future Linux support, “if the customer demand is there.” Ed.: actually, since it’s class-compliant, it will already work on Linux. It’s plastic, but it feels quite solid to lift. The encoders have a nice size and grip, with a just a touch of resistance when turning: you don’t feel like you’re going to pull the encoder off of the front panel when adjusting the EQ. I don’t think the crossfader is going to win any awards when put against a DJ battle-style mixer, but it seems like it will do the job without any complaints, especially considering the price of the unit. While the unit is obviously very portable, it may be just a bit outsized for most laptop bags; but that goes with almost every portable controller out there that isn’t named “micro”. In the video, Numark rep Eric McGregor gives CDM an in-depth look.
The Multimix8 is another iteration of small mixer/USB interface device from Alesis – 8 channels, 4 with microphone preamps, a high-impedance instrument input on channel 2, and 2 pairs of stereo line inputs. Built-in preset effects with individual sends on each channel, all mixed to a class-compliant 2-channel 16/44.1 bidirectional USB audio interface. Alesis is apparently taking user feedback from their original MultiMix8 USB to improve panel layout and knob spacing, dropping 24/96 support and reducing the power consumption. We were quoted $149 street price, which is only around $10 or so off the predecessor’s street price.
A personal highlight for me was finally getting the chance to meet Aja and the Nashville-based Beat Kangz crew. I was impressed with their end-user friendly approach to the marketplace, valuing user feedback on their products. News to me is that Beat Thang Virtual is getting an AudioUnit version within the next two weeks, with VST coming soon after. I think that getting that product integrated with existing DAWs is going to do a lot for them. Of course, the one everyone is waiting for is the Beat Thang Beat Machine. It was there in all of its prototype glory, although Aja said that the first shipment of test units at full production spec were going to be in their hands soon, with some small tweaks to the hardware (particularly with the feel of the pads) ready to go through a final beta test phase. If their goal is to make the ultimate beat production device, I think they stand a really good chance of delivering. The prototype box is solid as a rock, intuitive interface and spec’d out to be an MPC killer. At $1000, it’s hard not to be interested in this box if you do any kind of rhythmic production. In the first video Aja shows Create Digital Music the Beat Thang Virtual. In video two, Aja shows us the Beat Thang Beat Machine.
What may be the first of its kind, Akai has released a hardware accessory for their SynthStation iPhone software. Unveiled at Winter NAMM, the controller is simplicity itself – It’s an iPhone dock with 25-key keyboard, mod and pitch bend wheels, Octave and Program buttons and 4 buttons for accessing the voices in the SynthStation application itself. Couple this with headphone and RCA outputs and USB interface for MIDI, and Akai is offering a package to give actual musical performance control to their iPhone app. The relative merits of the controller or even the use of iPhones for performance and composition aside, Akai is making a strong move here by being the first to market with such a device. Given the sales of SynthStation in the iTunes store, Akai is betting that there are a significant number of people out there that would want to have an extended musical experience with their app and that those people are going to pony up around $100-$150 for a dedicated hardware controller for it. The release date has slipped on this device at least once already, but they seem to be pushing for July at this point. Interestingly, Akai is going to make their API available to third party developers, wishing to allow opening up the SynthStation25 to other iPhone applications.
Shipping in late June, The Electro-Harmonix Freeze sample-and-hold pedal may be my favorite effect unit at Summer NAMM. The concept is deceptively simple: press down on the footswitch and the unit sustains what you just played. Let go and the sustaining stops. In the meantime, you can layer over the frozen part with additional notes. See the video below for a great demonstration. The Freeze seems perfect for experimental music and non-guitar instruments. Homebrew modifications are inevitable.
EH showed off other new products, including the Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi distortion/overdrive (so named because of its 4 germanium transistors), the Neo Clone (smaller version of the Small Clone analog chorus), and tiny Headphone Amp. In the video below, Larry with EH gave CDM a demonstration of these effects as well as the Ring-Thing Ring Modulator. Ed.: Or, as they describe it, to be semantic, a “single sideband modulator.” The unique thing about the Ring-Thing is that you can tune it from an incoming signal and avoid the unwieldy dissonance that come from most ring mods. Of course, unwieldy dissonance is a ring mod’s main charm. But should you want it to sound more musical, you have that option.
Guitar-pedal bad-boys Pigtronix debuted an innovate universal signal router at Summer NAMM called the Keymaster Re-Amp Effects Mixer. Unlike most loopers, the Keymaster has a plethora of input/output options, including xlr and 1/4” in/outs and two pedal-level effects loops. You can run the loops in series or parallel with the option to mix the two loops in parallel mode. The beauty of this pedal is the limitless ways you can use it. Power two amps at once, instantly switch between two amps on the fly, switch between two effects chains, blend two effects chains, put two instruments in the two return jacks and mix them together to a single amp, and any routing you can dream up.
In the video below, Pigtronix founder Dave Koltai gives CDM an in-depth tour of the Keymaster. The second video shows Dave Koltai sampling a variety of Pigtronix’s other innovated pedals, including the Mothership Analog Synthesizer, Philosopher King polyphonic amplitude synthesizer, EP2 Envelop Phaser, and the Echolocution. Great sounds!
Mark Payung’s fledgling Glasstones guitar company isn’t a household name. . . yet. But that may change if the final Glasstones guitars sound as good at the prototype did at Summer NAMM. The secret of the guitar’s long sustain is a patented glass compound that the nut, frets, and fretboard are made of. Supposedly, the highly-dense material better transmits the vibrations of the strings into the wood. Mark excitedly took us over to his friends’ 3rd Power Amplification booth to let us hear the Glasstones prototype guitar through an American Dream amplifier. The American Dream amp features some innovations of its own, including a triangular speaker chamber and switchable output between 22 and 10 watts. Channel one is voiced to sound like a ‘62 brownface Deluxe; channel two, a ‘65 blackface Deluxe.
Of course, it’s always hard to tell what guitars and amps truly sound like unless you’re playing them with your own gear; but this combination under the ideal conditions of the show floor sounded fantastic. (Watch the video below to hear for yourself.) Time will tell if the Glasstones guitar is a game-changing innovation or a fly-by-night novelty. If I were forced to choose, I’d bet on the former.
Jeremy Dickens (additional reporting, photos) is a native Nashvillian musician, engineer, sound designer and and producer with works on dPulse Recordings, Sony Digital and his own Discrepancy Recordings imprint. [@logickal, Twitter]
Want follow-up coverage of any of this gear? What strikes your fancy? Let us know in comments.