Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Around The World

I was browsing through sites last night and checked in Pop Producer's blog and found an item I wrote for updating Pet Shop Boys news. It was just very odd to find something I wrote in California about a British band on a Swedish site show up in a blog from Argentina. It's a small world, and it must be an even smaller scene.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The End Of Everything

A week ago I was going to write something about the Electronode Radio Station going off the air, but my personal life has been a bit busy and now that I'm getting the chance to get back on the internet it seems that Electronode has completely shut down. From what I understand the site's owner Jeff hasn't been active on the forum much since he took over the site a year ago and apparently has been disinterested in "synthpop." Given that Jeff has reportedly paying $50 a month to keep the forum running, I completely understand why he might want to shut it down, but it appears that process was accelerated by an argument with Kevin of Pop Star Who Kills. Regardless of the site's demise I respect Jeff for fronting the site and genuinely trying to rebuild some sense of community that has largely splintered since the days of the Electrogarden, and I'm sure he will find success with whatever direction he takes.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

A Personal Note

While I usually keep this blog impersonal or at least limited to my life on the internet I can't help but mention that my first child Ally was born earlier this week. Fortunately mother and child are in great shape and my daughter is even more beautiful and amazing than I could have imagined. I've never been happier.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hush That Fuss

If last year's presidential debates where any indication, there is a popular belief that there are many unnecessary lawsuits out there, but the estate of Rosa Parks suing Outkast has got to be near the top of the list of amazing wastes of our legal system. If you missed it, here is the story from nme:
OUTKAST have settled a lawsuit with civil rights activist ROSA PARKS.

Parks, who helped trigger the civil rights movement in the 1950s and the rap duo have come to an agreement over the use of her name on the group's 1998 'Aquemini' album.

Under the settlement, OutKast and co-defendants Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Arista Records LLC and LaFace Records will help to develop educational programs to "enlighten today's youth about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place for all races," according to a written statement.
...Parks unsuccessfuly sued the band in 1999 for defamation and trademark infringement because they did not ask permission to use her name, but the band were protected under the First Amendment.

Now I know the song and fortunately the nme article does point out one major point that her lawyers may have missed.
The OutKast song ‘Rosa Parks’ does not mention her by name, but its chorus runs “a-ha, hush that fuss, everybody move to the back of the bus.”

Doesn't it seem the two attempts at litigating the song seem have done far more damage to the revered name of Rosa Parks than one inoffensive Outkast song? The sad thing is I'm left with impression that lawyers duped the elderly Mrs. Parks, who apparently now suffers from dementia, into the claim in an attempt to get some cash for themselves.

Monday, April 11, 2005


I admit it. I'm getting a little excited about the new Star Wars movie because it actually looks like a Star Wars movie. For a laugh, you might like the response posts in this imdb thread which proves to be a great exploration of the humorless nature of the hardcore fans.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Would You Like To Come Inside?

A few random thoughts today. It looks like Si's well written review of the new Cosmicity singles collection has over seventy hits since it went live yesterday. Since I have yet to see anyone link to it I assume this says something about an artist who has built a fan base by releasing quality material consistently.
This past Wednesday was a big music night for my musical tastes with Moby, Bloc Party and The Bravery all hitting the late shows. Interestingly, Moby has been on a media blitz this week, appearing on Craig Ferguson, MSNBS and PBS, but it was only on Conan that he played live. Quite honestly, his performance wasn't that terribly exciting, but he did have a different live set-up than I've seen him use in the past. I'll see if that holds up when I see him live next month. What was interesting was the difference in watching Bloc Party and The Bravery play a few minutes apart. Their material isn't too far apart, but their stage presence is world's apart with The Bravery looking like posers stepping out of a tiny club into a spotlight they aren't ready for, while Bloc Party's performance was understated but fueled by a confidence that the music would carry them through. Perhaps it's a bit rash to make a call like this based on one night of late night tv performance but I think we'll still be interested in Bloc Party five years from now, while The Bravery will have faded into a distant memory.
The Electronically Yours internet station is now essentially off the air having just changed status so is now for live 365 preferred members only. I can only assume that Orac hasn't had the time or interest in updating the station so he let his subscription run out, which is too bad because it was a great, even if not frequently updated, station that tied newer electropop in with classic tracks. Of course the real shame is that Orac hasn't updated his online column in over a year because he offered a truly insightful and intelligent look at electropop. Hopefully, his schedule will clear up and he'll get back to it soon because his view is missed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Disco Infiltrator

I mentioned that I recently picked up the debut album from LCD Soundsystem, and as I expected it grew on me. What has surprised me is the backlash in the mostly positive reviews the album has received from folks who usually support electronic music with vocals. In particular I've read reviews in sideline and sickamongthepure which both claimed that it was over hyped and for people who don't understand electro (or something else to that effect). I disagree, but what I found most interesting in those reviews is that they spent as much time attacking the band's fans as the music itself leaving me feeling that they didn’t properly address the music because they didn't agree with the influences the band is sourcing for it's music. Why? It is different than most of the ebm/synthpop that sustained "the style" throughout the nineties before electroclash made vocals and electronic alright together again while bringing people back from the "techno" and indie crowds. This conservative rejection of influences from "other" on music is annoyingly consistent from reviewers in the microscene zines and all the more strange because of the claims of frustration from one of the writers from one of these about how "the scene" could be so much bigger if it made a few changes. The changes are here. Can you accept them or is this the attitude that is holding “the scene” back?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Stream Away

You might be interested in the new Fischerspooner album. Vh1 has been streaming "Odyssey" this week and it seems to me that the boys are trying desperately to get some substance going with their new material to counter the claims that they are pure style. Do they succeed? Mostly. The album is definitely worth a listen.
Need more? A new Gorillaz video is always worth a look because they've got some amazing visuals.