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Topics - drone on

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161
Everything and Nothing / "Big" NASA announcement?
« on: December 03, 2010, 02:38:37 AM »
I don't know how "big" the NASA announcement today is.  I was hoping for some long-overdue truth about structural artifacts found on various celestial bodies over the past 30 years or so, but it turns out to be some microbes that use arsenic to regenerate.  This is supposed to indicate life can form from not-so-usual compounds, and hence extraterrestrial life on hostile places in space is more likely.  Well, considering how NASA is a major participant in the biggest cover-up in history, these "scraps" they're throwing to the masses just seem like more insults to our intelligence.   

162
Any VH fans here? I thought it was pretty lame Eddie, Alex and Dave did not even show up to their own R&R Hall of Fame induction a few years ago.  Poor Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar, it must've been awkward at that awards show.  Then Eddie tours with his then teenage son on bass without inviting Mike (a "real", professional bass player who arguably helped define their sound).  Sorry but I would never pay $150 a ticket to see a little kid flop around on a bass.  I can't even figure out what the big "grudge" was about.  Apparently EVH was pissed MA and SH formed a new band (?)  EVH is a rock god but not much class from what I can tell... 

163
I've been on a Pretenders kick the past few days (the classic stuff--first two albums/demos/live, plus checking out YouTube footage from '79-'82).  They were my favorite band for a couple years when I was around 13 and 14.  Seeing how smokin' hot Chrissie Hynde was back then got me thinking: do you think most/all the "boys" in female-led bands (ie. Pretenders, Blondie, Pat Benatar, etc.) end up "boinking" the singer at some point?  Especially with all the tours, staying in hotels, and playing sweaty rock gigs each night.  Seems like this would be inevitable, even with all the wives/girlfriends involved. But I could be wrong.  Any thoughts?

164
Everything and Nothing / Sitting on the job leads to earlier death
« on: November 29, 2010, 02:36:02 AM »
This is what I keep reading (as I'm sitting down at my computer, ha!)  So does anyone have a job where stand-up work stations are an option?  I know the management where I work would never approve this, they are cheap bastards and could probably care less if I died early anyway!  (they can always hire someone younger and pay them less.  Do I sound bitter?)

I think if you sit on your ass too much you are more prone to things like heart disease, colon cancer, and lazy-itis. 

For those who have stand-up work stations, how do these work for you compared to the sit-down version?  Do you have the urge to just sit down and do nothing like most of the rest of us???

165
Other Ambient (and related) Music / CELER I wanna see some opinions!
« on: November 23, 2010, 01:15:10 AM »
There's been a flurry of Celer releases this past year or two, but nobody's discussing them here.  Those aware of their history know of course about the death of Danielle Baquet-Long, half of the duo (the other half being husband Will Long).  Apparently there is quite a bit of material they recorded together that is coming out on various labels.  This year alone I've bought "Dying Star," limited to 500 on Dragon's Eye Recordings; "Pockets of Wheat" on Soundscaping; and "Salvaged Violets" on Infraction (2 CD's).  There are a couple others I don't have yet: "Generic City," a collaboration with Yui Onodera, and a release on the French label Basses Frequences. 

"Dying Star" is super quiet minimal Eno-type ambient (all synths).  Probably the least "experimental" release so far.  You really need the headphones for this one it's so quiet. 

"Pockets of Wheat" and "Salvaged Violets" are darker and more experimental oriented, and mastered with more volume--a "louder" type of quiet music.  "Violets" is a two-disc set, with the discs not having any track titles or numbering on each disc.  The floral patterns on the CD's are very similar so you don't know which is Disc 1 and Disc 2.  Talk about minimal!  I found this   
a bit weird but maybe because the droning soundscapes are so amorphous and non-specific that it doesn't really matter. 

It's hard to pin down what makes Celer so enigmatic.  I find the music to be at once simple and complex.  A lot of it has this hovering, meandering quality with lots of spatial processing that is very subtle.  Like the best ambient, it's "background" music that demands attention nevertheless.  I'm not sure what Celer's influences were but Eno seems to be an obvious one; organic, ethereal, but not quite "space music."  Celer's releases are so subtle and "barely there" that I am never quite blown away by them, yet I continue to be fascinated enough to keep collecting their work.     

166
Other Ambient (and related) Music / New Brian Eno
« on: November 06, 2010, 10:58:35 PM »
I'm finding "Small Craft on a Milk Sea" (Warp) to be a very mixed bag.  The first 3 tracks are very good ambient pieces, but things  start getting noisy and technoid-ish from track 4 through 10.  Somebody take that PC away from Brian, he's having too much fun cutting and pasting digital files.  This kind of stuff was never my cup of tea, just sounds like somebody trying to create weird annoying music.  Remember "Nerve Net" and some of those other early to mid 90's Eno albums?  Guess this is why it was released on Warp.  Then at Track 11 we get back into the ambient groove to finish out the last five tracks.  So what we have here is about 27 min. of good but somewhat cold/clinical digital ambient (but nowhere near the classic 80's stuff) and 27 min. of technoid masturbation produced at the "click of a mouse."  I wish they had released two e.p.'s instead: one for ambient, the second for the weird shit.  Would have saved me some bucks.  Guess I can always burn the good half onto a CDR.  Interesting that Eno is only credited with "computers," while the others (Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams) use some real instruments.  I guess I should stop whining as Eno doesn't release that much music anymore, so maybe should be lucky there's anything new at all?  Other opinions?

167
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Best Releases of 2010
« on: November 02, 2010, 07:59:23 PM »
I can't wait until the end of December to do this, so why not now?!  I like reading others' best of lists as I invariably discover stuff I missed that I should investigate.  Anyways, here are my ten best of 2010 (subject to editing in the next two months!):

(in no particular order)

1) Concert Silence (Infraction) This is a beautiful and haunting album with great use of sound manipulation.
 
2) Pjusk-Sval (12k) What's not to love about this awesome Biosphere-like duo?  Ultra ethereal Nordic soundscapes abound.

3) David Sylvian-Sleepwalkers (Samadhi Sound) Even though this is a comp. with some previously unreleased tracks, I found myself thoroughly enchanted, with a new-found appreciation for Sylvian's current phase of experimentalism. 

4) Taylor Deupree-Shoals (12k) I agree with some other reviewers that this disc is his best to date. 

5) Steve Roach/Mark Seelig-Nightbloom (Projekt) Roach makes the list again (surprise!)

6) Steve Tibbetts-Natural Causes (ECM) Aural magic.

7) Arc-Church (DiN) More Berlin School perfection from two masters of EM.

8) James McDougall-Dispossession of Periphery (Mystery Sea) Mysterious and essential drone zones.

9) Ben Fleury-Steiner-Keep a Weather Eye Open (Infraction)  Mesmerizing ghostly infractions.

10) Solo Andata (12k) Did this come out in 2010 or 2009? Who cares, it's awesome!

168
Like me, you've probably met some famous musicians over the years of going to shows, record signings, or in-store appearances  Most I've met were of course at concert halls, backstage, outside venues, etc.  Anybody run into musicians in a place where you least expected to ever see them?

Over the weekend I was in a tiny record store in San Mateo, CA (SF Bay Area) when in walks Dave Murray (guitarist) of Iron Maiden!  I've been a huge Maiden fan for 30 years, and this was totally surreal.  Turns out he was visiting some family here.  Not having any IM discs in my car, I re-bought their "Powerslave" CD, which he graciously signed.  I acted like a teenage fanboy, gushing superlatives at this metal guitar god. 

So let's hear your brushes with greatness (in the unlikeliest of places)!     

169
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Namlook losing steam?
« on: October 02, 2010, 11:58:31 PM »
What's happened to Pete Namlook?  He keeps releasing these totally boring "experimental" CD's and limit them to 300 copies.  The trio "Pearl" was pretty horrid.  I didn't like the first two and didn't even bother with the third. A project with Move D called "Stranger" had a decent first release, but the second one was just godawful weird.  Now a new one called "Permutations," also 300 copies.  The description sounded like another experimental noodling project.  I'm still waiting for something epic to come along that's powerful and emotional  like many of his past glories.  C'mon Pete: Shades of Orion 4, Dreamfish 3 anyone? 

170
Please let me know if you have this release and notice the awful mastering job (check out the numerous scratchy glitches and hiss on Track 2, especially), not to mention the mis-numbering of tracks on the back cover.  There are 6 tracks on this CD, and track 5 is listed as track "7". 

Also, my copy is in a jewelcase, yet this release is listed online by many vendors as being a digipak(?)

Regarding the glitches, I noticed this same problem on another Lotuspike release by Rudy Adrian, "Moonwater."

Not sure what's going on, but nothing ruins good ambient music for me more than sonic glitches.  And the tracklist misprint just shows real sloppiness. 

171
Everything and Nothing / Ayahuasca: drug or sacrament?
« on: August 15, 2010, 12:27:22 AM »
Anyone familiar with this topic? Some famous people like Sting and Tori Amos have used this psychedelic and it has many proponents saying it can cure some mental illness and even physical illness, and that it is not harmful (like ecstasy and other synthetics).  Any "experiencers" here?

172
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Celer "Dying Star"
« on: August 14, 2010, 12:45:45 PM »
Another good one from Celer, on the Dragons Eye Recordings label.  Limited 500.  This is pretty basic Eno-type ambient, analog-synths (as opposed to Celer's heavily processed environmental releases), maybe most similar to "In Escaping Lakes" on Slow Flow Rec. 

173
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Dark Duck prices
« on: August 11, 2010, 11:45:03 AM »
Is it just me or do Dark Duck prices seem kinda high? I was going to place an order for $12.50, then the shipping comes up to $5.00(!) within the US.  So $17.50 for a CDR?  I think if you're doing a small run, obscure label on CDR, discs should be going out the door for no more than $12 (total).  Otherwise it makes me not want to invest in these releases...See Ambientlive for a good example of how to do it right: about $10 to $12 POSTAGE PAID WORLDWIDE for their single albums.   8)

174
Everything and Nothing / Is there such a thing as a "black CD"???
« on: July 20, 2010, 06:58:10 AM »
Is there such a thing as a "black CD"?  By this I mean the playing surface is black instead of silver.  I say these are not replicated CD's but CDR's.  A label is telling me their black discs are really CD's.  I invite all media experts to comment. Thanks!

175
I've been collecting these La Vie Electronique releases for the last couple years.  They are reissues of material from some of those massive limited edition box sets from the 90's like "Ultimate Edition," "Historic Edition," "Jubilee Edition," etc.  The first four LVE were released by SPV/Revisited in Germany.  Only the first two were available domestically.  Now a label called MIG (Made in Germany) is releasing the remaining volumes (5 and 6 recently released, 7 and 8 in the next couple months).  I received volumes 5 and 6 yesterday.  Same gorgeous, high-quality digipak foldout packaging (3 discs per set like the others), except....they are on CDR'S!!!??!  The disc labels are similar to the previous sets, yet the playing surface is BLACK (CDR).  What's up with this? Anyone have these and noticed this?

176
Everything and Nothing / I Hate Paypal
« on: July 02, 2010, 02:07:40 PM »
Here we go again...as we all know eBay and Paypal are in CAHOOTS, I see Paypal is now going the way of E(vil)Bay by giving the buyers ALL THE POWER and the sellers are treated like criminals!  Now if a buyer opens a dispute with you (the seller), Paypal will automatically withdraw your funds from your account or if you don't have funds in your account make your account have a NEGATIVE BALANCE.  They will restore your funds once you provide a shipping tracking number and proof of delivery!! Selling a few CD's a month here and there on EvilBay has now cost me $25 a month in seller fees, and now Paypal is TAKING MY MONEY because the postal system in a sketchy country lost the package.  NO MORE EBAY SELLING AND NO MORE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING FOR THIS DUDE EVER AGAIN.   >:(

177
Everything and Nothing / Car CD player problem--any ideas? Thanks!
« on: June 30, 2010, 11:15:03 PM »
My new car (3 mos. old Mazda3) stock CD player (single disc, not a changer) is malfunctioning.  When I play live CD's (today it was Kiss "Alive"), the player shuts off when reading data between tracks where the time display counts in reverse.  For example, after a song ends, there is performer/audience banter which is in between songs.  The discs display this "nether region" of data by counting back to zero before the next official track (song) starts.  My car's CD player only shuts off in this "in between tracks" situation.  Never seen this or heard of this happening in CD players in general.  I saw a similar question on a Mazda online forum and the only ideas were "take it back to the dealer."  I'm doing that, but wondering if anyone has any idea what could cause this.  Can't be a dirty lens as I've done regular lens cleaning and Cd's have never skipped or done anything else strange.  Any help is GREATLY appreciated!   

178
This is a limited edition (I believe of only 100 copies) on the great Slow Flow Rec label in Japan.  Haven't seen any reviews on it but I think it's really great stuff.  Shadowy drone experimental piano would be the best way to describe it.  Anyone else have this?

179
Computers, Internet and Technology / I Hate eBay
« on: June 13, 2010, 11:55:51 PM »
I have been paying about $25 a month in eBay seller fees.  I didn't sell that much.  My discogs monthly billing have been about $2.  On eBay, as a seller I cannot leave any negative feedback for a buyer, yet the buyer can leave negative feedback for me.  What the hell is up with that? And some of these buyers are real deadbeats, don't pay for a week or more, ignore emails, and then complain to eBay when they don't get their item right away.  Some total wanker just did this to me and this, coupled with the outrageous $ eBay is making off me, is making me not want to ever return to eBay as a buyer or a seller. 

180
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Another essential Fax re-issue
« on: May 28, 2010, 08:09:48 PM »
Fax just reissued Tetsu Inoue/Carlos Vivanco "Zenith" ('94 or '95?), a true highlight of the whole Fax catalog.  "Ambiant Otaku" always gets all the attention but this one was, IMO, a better release.  Highly recommended if you don't have it!

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