I’ve been waiting for this piece to come up on Sly-Fi for months. I’m so psyched that it’s finally airing. We had a chance to sit down with comedian extraordinaire, Flight of the Conchords star, and newest Daily Show reporter Kristen Schaal and chat music as part of our ongoing series “Record Junkie.” It’s pretty hysterical. She talks about her experiences driving in LA and making a mix disc to cope with the crappy radio:
It can be a little hard to hear at times, but here are some of the tracks on the disc. If you go to the full-screen episode on Sly-Fi we’ve added on-the-fly links to some of the tracks.
“Walking With a Ghost” – Tegan and Sara
“Wolf Like Me” – TV on the Radio
“Dashboard” – Modest Mouse
“1, 2, 3, 4″ – Feist
“Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
“Over And Over” – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
“Marching Bands of Manhattan” – Death Cab For Cutie
Naturally, there’s lots more to see, so do check it out.
Amazing explainers Common Craft have helped us understand every new web development, from RSS, to Social Bookmarks, to Wikis. Today they debut their latest piece on Hobnox specialty: social media.
The ice cream metaphor is great for sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and MetaCafe, but does it work for us here at Hobnox?
I’d say yes, perhaps even moreso. Hobnox is a community made by artists for artists. We have a suite of tools at your disposal on top of the standard upload-and-share interface. If you come along with the videos-as-ice-cream metaphor, Hobnox is the joint where the food critics and semi-pro dessert chefs come to hang out. Sure, that’s a cheeky description, but we are talking about ice cream after all.
If you’d like to join us, comment here, and I’ll hook you up with a beta invite. We have some big news coming up with a contest as well, so stay tuned… and if anyone would like to learn more about Hobnox, come meet me at JP Licks tonight. For some reason I have a hankerin’…
For the past couple days I’ve been enjoying the long weekend by working on some experimental composition. For a while I had a variety of pedals, pads, knobs, and computer programs all laid out in a circle and started creating some rather strange loops and effects.
Being in my living room for good stretches also helps me observe the happenings on Beacon street, which runs right by my window. One thing I’ve noticed recently is that the Brookline Police have rekindled the old speed trap right outside, and have been consistently nailing people who recklessly zip by (and a note to Beacon St. drivers: slow down! It’s that speed limit for a reason. People live up here).
The police have been very clever about the trap; sometimes it’s set up at night with a car parked amidst all of the residents, sometimes it’s two cops working in tandem from both sides of the lanes, sometimes it’s just one bold cop walking out in front of a speeding car and pointing to the side. They seem to have all the latest radar gadgetry as well, making for very efficient ticketing, I’m sure.
They’re doing us neighbors a pretty nice service by keeping the traffic outside our window moving a reasonable pace, so I’d like to help them any way I can. One thing I’ve noticed is that, while the police do seem to have a great system and quality equipment at their disposal, I have yet to hear the gritty Brookline police traffic stop theme music for when they’re nailing bad guys. And so, I humbly submit this rather goofy track that I’ve tossed together over the past few days:
My company Hobnox seeks to be a destination site for the creative community – a place where artists and designers can come online and share their content, while we provide materials on the site to equip these users with the tools to create and a variety of outlets for expression.
Of these tools, the most popular to date certainly has been the Audiotool (although the Livetool is also effing brilliant, and <teaser>will be used in a part of Endless Feature soon</teaser>…). The audiotool is a brainchild of André Michelle, web designer and wunderkind, and as the German office would say. In its early stages BoingBoing ran a piece on the first component of the tool, a flash-based re-imagination of the Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer. Since the the tool has grown considerably, adding in a TR-808, two TB-303s and a variety of effects pedals with EQs, Compression, Delays, Reverb, and Distortion.
We’ve seen plenty of sites that let you make or mix music in a rudimentary way, but none that offer the deep feature set of Hobnox AudioTool. This free online electronic music studio lets you compose with two TB-303 Bass Line generators, Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines and two banks of effects pedals including three delays, crusher, detune, flanger, reverb, a parametric equalizer and a compressor. By clicking the mouse button, you can drag virtual cables between any output and any input to customize the setup.
Composing music in this way is a bit tedious, because you need to add and shape each note individually. But this is exactly how many electronic musicians work, because it allows so much control over each element of the loops and allows you to create melodies and beats without playing them.
Equally at home hanging out with the Beatles or Monty Python (at a show I was at a few years back lead singer Neil Innes described what it was like recording at Abbey Road while the Liverpool four were recording Revolver next door), the Bonzos hold a unique place in the history, and have always been progressive in a lot of fronts. Neil’s website is loaded with chords and MP3 downloads, embracing the idea of open access for music fans. The brilliant collaboration of the Pythons and Bonzos brought us the landmark mockumentary movie: The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash, which is up there with Spinal Tap as the best faux rockumentary of all time. I posted a few weeks ago about They Might Be Giants being the best rock band of all time – it’s hard to imagine how they could have walked the rock/novelty line without the trailblazing efforts of the Bonzos.
Now, whether or not they will be remembered for any of these things remains to be seen, but their legacy might last longer than thought thanks to one particular song they wrote. Frequent viewers of Magical Mystery Tour or owners of Gorilla by the Bonzos probably already know what I’m driving at here, but here it is:
That’s right. Death Cab for Cutie. The song that titled the band. The more you know.
Here’s a lovely picture that will lead to the link that will lead to the interview we did with the boys from Bellingham:
I’ve been meaning to post about this all day, but I’ve been traveling again. Today’s adventures took me to the grand city of Lowell to see my sister perform, and then back to the ol’ homestead, in a very small town in the far northeast west (edit: apparently I’m having trouble with my cardinal directions) extreme of Middlesex county, where I’m currently at. We’re just starting to get the spring peepers. It’s nice.
David over at Echolot posted this yesterday/today (depending if you look at it from his or my perspective). My company Hobnox has released a tutorial video to our popular Audiotool. Go play with it here, and if you need help getting started, watch this:
As y’all probably know by know I’m spending this summer working for Hobnox, a brand new online community with a heavy focus on the creative arts, featuring a lot of neat online production tools and toys, and a rich multimedia platform. As a showcase for the work that will be created on the community (which is still in private beta, but send me a message if you’d like to join), we are hosting content on a series of web channels, including a pretty kickass music page, Sly-Fi.
I’ve been content light over the weekend recovering from commencement exercises and the like, but have a whole slew of stuff coming out this week, including reactions from Atlantic v. Howell, deepthoughts around Creative Commons and frequent misinterpretations, and a reasoned argument as to why a certain band from Boston is officially the greatest rock band of all time. Stay tuned.
As much as the weather has been horrible in Boston over the past couple days, we had one of our token signs of summer come over the weekend:
That’s right, kids. The reflecting pool at the Christian Science Center has been filled again. Summer is here. In light of that fact, here are two videos that should bring some intellectual and musical good karma.
First, as a followup to what I posted almost a month ago regarding Lawrence Lessig‘s speech to Harvard University on the Change Congress movement, Lessig has posted the entirety of his presentation here:
It’s a brilliant feature, but I realize some of you guys might be bored with high intellectual theory as a source of amusement. For you, gentle reader, may I suggest the Cinematic Orchestra, with a live show from Berlin, courtesy of the kids at Sly-Fi.com.
Happy summer, kids.
(Edit: had to take this post down for a little while, as Vodpod was experiencing technical difficulties)