30. jún. 2010
25. jún. 2010
21. jún. 2010
14. jún. 2010
12. jún. 2010
11. jún. 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Today we're going to take a listen to the isolated drum track on Michael Jackson's seminal Beat It, one of the many singles off of his best selling Thriller album. Supposedly this 1982 crossover hit was Michael's answer to Quincy Jone's prodding, "Why don't you write something like My Sharona."
Listen to the isolated drum track by late great Jeff Pocaro and notice:
1) Pocaro plays to a drum machine and does so incredibly well. This was especially difficult in 1981 when the tune was cut, since many drummers had a tough time with a click during that era, let alone a full-on drum beat. Today this isn't such a big deal since everyone is brought up playing to loops and tracks, but it was no easy task back then. There are only two places, at 3:31 and 3:47, where you hear the slightest of flams.
2) The drum sound is nothing special. But then again, how could it be with the drum machine in the front of the mix. Engineer Bruce Swedien is the the master of track balances.
3) The drum track is simple and that's what's so beautiful about it. On the other hand, it couldn't be anything else and still work in the song.
Tomorrow - more Beat It.
Today we'll look at the the isolated bass and guitars (mostly guitars) from Michael Jackson's 1982 hit Beat It. Let's dive right in.
1) There are 3 players that you hear; Steve Lukather plays the dirty rhythm parts and lead lines in the chorus and the bass (heard here on in the first verse), Paul Jackson Jr. plays the clean rhythm parts, and Eddie Van Halen plays the solo.
2) Most of the guitar parts are doubled. Take notice that they're not exact doubles though; one side is a bit busier than the other most of the time (always a good production practice).
3) Eddie Van Halen's solo at 2:42 is interesting because his guitar track is on the right side while the effects (delay and reverb) are on the right. Credit producer Quincy Jones and engineer Bruce Swedien for coping the sound of early Van Halen records on this solo. They wanted Eddie to play like himself and the best way was to give him the sound that he was used to.
4. jún. 2010
This image, acquired by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer on 24 May 2010, features a smoke-free Iceland.
The Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which had a series of eruptions in April and May, is visible in the dark area on the southern coast. The Vatnajokull glacier (visible in white northeast of Eyjafjallajokull) is the largest in Iceland and in Europe. The white circular patch in the centre of the country is Hofsjokull, the country’s third largest glacier and its largest active volcano. The elongated white area west of Hofsjokull is Langjokull, Iceland’s second largest glacier.
One of my favorite hacks at last weekend’s Music Hack Day is Tristan’s Swinger. The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing. It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half. It has quite a magical effect. Some examples:
Every Breath You Take
Money for Nothing
Update – a few more tracks -by request:
Daft Punk’s Around the world
Sweet Child O’ Mine
(one of my favs)
Don’t Stop Believin’
(this one is hypnotic)
3. jún. 2010
(CNN) -- For the world to tackle truly important problems, people have to stop looking to religion to guide their moral compasses, the philosopher Sam Harris told CNN.
"We should be talking about real problems, like nuclear proliferation and genocide and poverty and the crisis in education," Harris said in a recent interview at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. TED is a nonprofit group dedicated to "ideas worth spreading."
"These are issues which tremendous swings in human well-being depend on. And it's not at the center of our moral concern."
Religion causes people to fixate on issues of less moral importance, said Harris, a well-known secularist, philosopher and neuroscientist who is the author of the books "The End of Faith" and "Letter to a Christian Nation."
"Religion has convinced us that there's something else entirely other than concerns about suffering. There's concerns about what God wants, there's concerns about what's going to happen in the afterlife," he said.
"And, therefore, we talk about things like gay marriage as if it's the greatest problem of the 21st century. We even have a liberal president who ostensibly is against gay marriage because his faith tells him it's an abomination.
"It's completely insane."
Harris also said people should not be afraid to declare that certain acts are right and others are wrong. A person who would spill battery acid on a girl for trying to learn to read, for instance, he said, is objectively wrong by scientific standards.
"It's not our job to not judge it and say, 'Well, to each his own. Everyone has to work out their own strategy for human fulfillment.' That's just not true," he said.
"There's people who are wrong about human fulfillment."
Harris placed no faith in the idea that Muslims and Christians will be able to put their differences aside and cooperate on global issues.
"There's no way to reconcile Islam with Christianity," he said. "This difference of opinion admits of compromise as much as a coin toss does."
-Kinda speaks for itself.Clips taken from
Godzilla of course :-)'the end of the world cult'
Fascinating documentary about some guy who claimed to be jesus (one of many) and predicted the end of the world a couple of times. The interesting conclusion (other than the world not ending of course) was that he was arrested for his sexual abuse of minors. Seeing the 'son of god' go from righteous 'they are persecuting me like they did with jesus' to a man institutionalized in prison, on hunger strike is a fascinating insight into the human mind and the messiah complex.
I would also recommend reading the wiki article on him.... it's captivating stuff!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_BentJesus camp of course (I'll leave you to find that!)and Mr Deity (who does some wonderfully funny satire on Christianity).
http://www.youtube.com/user/misterdeityTurns out he's an ex mormon (damn the typo is so tempting), and has a v. interesting story to tell.
RDF.netClip from Richard Dawkins vs the Muslim from 'The Big Debate'
Clip also taken from the simpsons satire of cults 'The Joy of Sect'.Clip of Bill Maher also taken from religulous.
A song for all the young and over enthusiastic people who seek to make this world a better place. Next time they by a T-shirt from one of the big fashion designers with Che Guevara's face on the front they should take a moment and think about the children in various sweat-shops around the world who slave to make them for nickels and dimes.
from Menn Ársins, released 29 September 2008
Haraldur Vignir: piano, backing vocals
Kjartan Guðnason: drums
Sigurdór Guðmundsson: electric bass
Sváfnir Sigurðarson: acoustic guitar, vocals
Sigurgeir Agnarsson: cello
Earthquakes and Eruption in Iceland 2010 - This visualization shows earthquakes leading up to an eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland in March 2010.
Rhythm Series: Keeping Time
by Donovan Stokes Monday, April 12th, 2010
Keeping a steady pulse is a fundamental skill for any musician, and it is especially important to any one who is part of the rhythm section. Even in styles of music that encourage flexible rhythmic expression (i.e. rubato, etc.), the ability to maintain an accurate pulse is essential for a musician. No matter what style of music we play, or what instrument, we can all benefit from improving our “time.”
One of the most common causes of tempo problems is a performer’s inability to maintain an accurate internal pulse. In order to keep a steady beat musically we must be able to consistently feel the beat/pulse. Precise rhythmic acuity is the result of not only of an intellectual understanding of rhythm, but a finely honed physical sensation of pulse as well.
What does it mean to keep an internal pulse?
First off, an internal pulse something you feel physically, not something you understand intellectually. It is also something you feel… well…internally, as opposed to externally.
I sometimes try to express the sensation of feeling a pulse internally like this:
Dr. D: “Have you ever been to a concert where the music was so loud that you could feel the beat of the bass drum in your chest?.
Dr. D: “That is what you want to feel when you play”
Most people comprehend my meaning immediately. Your pulse should not be abstract or ethereal, but tangible. Although you can move your body to the beat by tapping your foot, bobbing your head, dancing, etc., it is the internal sensation, not it’s external representation, which is most important in having a good sense of tempo. Don’t start tapping your foot and hope it will remain steady. It won’t, and you will only be fooling yourself if you think it will. It is highly unlikely that your foot will keep a steady pulse without your express direction to do so, particularly while playing a complicated passage.
Of course, you can have an excellent rhythmic sense and not move outwardly at all. Some people feel this is the ideal goal to shoot for, others find it an irrelevant goal. Whether you like foot tapping and head bobbing or not, it is essential to realize that an internal pulse is something you experience, not something you understand. Aim for the feeling.
Using a Metronome to Improve Pulse
When someone performs with an inconsistent pulse, (i.e. they “can’t keep a beat”) they are usually advised to practice with a metronome. While this is an appropriate prescription for someone diagnosed with poor rhythmic accuracy, it is an incomplete instruction.
Although most of us know we should “use a metronome,” many people never learn HOW to use a metronome so that their sense of pulse actually improves. As a result, so many aspiring musicians practice with their metronome clicking or beeping away for hours on end, to no avail. They seem to have improved rhythmic accuracy when the metronome is going, but once it is off, they are back where they started. No matter the hours spent, they don’t improve. This can be frustrating.
The primary thing to realize is that the metronome should only be a guide to check your internal pulse, and not a crutch to keep time for you. If you are letting the metronome keep the time, and you are not feeling an internal pulse simultaneously, then you are not using the metronome to it’s best advantage. In short, the metronome is keeping time, but you aren’t. You are relying on the metronome, but not learning form it. Don’t fall into this trap.
When using a metronome you should keep an internal pulse of your own, one that just happens to be in sync with the metronome. In this way, the metronome can show you when, where and how often you need to correct your internal pulse. When your internal pulse rushes, drags or drops out entirely, you should notice it and adjust it to match the metronome. Again, awareness is key. The more you practice in this manner, the better your internal pulse will get. When the metronome is off, you should continue to feel your internal pulse, which you have been training with the metronome on.
When practicing with a metronome, you should be striving to create and maintain a visceral feeling of accurate pulse. If you remember this every time you click on the metronome, you should be on your way to an improved sense of time.
Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story comes home to the issue he’s been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world).
But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film goers into uncharted territory. With both humor and outrage, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story explores a taboo question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism? Years ago, that love seemed so innocent.
Today, however, the American dream is looking more like a nightmare as families pay the price with their jobs, their homes and their savings. Moore takes us into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down; and he goes looking for explanations in Washington, DC and elsewhere.
What he finds are the all-too-familiar symptoms of a love affair gone astray: lies, abuse, betrayal… and 14,000 jobs being lost every day. Capitalism: A Love Story is both a culmination of Moore’s previous works and a look into what a more hopeful future could look like. It is Michael Moore’s ultimate quest to answer the question he’s posed throughout his illustrious filmmaking career: Who are we and why do we behave the way that we do?
Watch the full documentary now (Please read FAQ No.10 before watching)
2. jún. 2010
Ash from Iceland’s erupting Eyjafjallajökull Volcano had drifted over northern Europe by April 16, 2010. The brown ash is mixed with clouds in this photo-like image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite at 12:45 p.m. local time (GMT +2). The visible ash sweeps in an arc across the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and Russia. It is likely that the clouds mask additional ash.
The airborne ash grounded flights across much of northern and western Europe starting on April 15. As the ash moved south, more countries began to close their airspace. Fine volcanic ash can clog jet engines, causing the engines to stall. Many airports anticipated remaining closed through Saturday, April 17, reported BBC News. Ash had been reported over Norway, Sweden, northwestern Russia, northern Poland, northern Germany, northern France and the southern United Kingdom, said the Icelandic Met Office.
Eyjafjallajökull began its eruption on March 20, 2010, after 187 years of quiet. On April 14, the volcano began a more forceful eruption, emitting plumes of ash. As of April 16, the eruption was still ongoing, with ash reaching heights of four to five kilometers, said the Icelandic Met Office. The volcano’s previous eruption lasted just over a year between December 1821 and January 1823.
The large image is the highest resolution version of the image available. The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response System, which also provides daily images of Iceland.
- BBC News. (2010, April 16). Volcanic ash: Flight chaos to continue into weekend. Accessed April 16, 2010.,/li>
- Global Volcanism Program. (n.d.) Eyjafjallajökull. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
- Icelandic Met Office. (2010, April 16). Ongoing Eruption. Accessed April 16, 2010.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.
- Terra - MODIS
Eric Clapton - Forever Man - [Jeff Porcaro (drums) & Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass), how's that for a pocket!!]
This was Eric Clapton's first music video, showing Clapton himself performing the song with Donald "Duck" Dunn, Jeff Porcaro, Michael Omartian, Steve Lukather, Shaun Murphy, Yvonne Elliman and Marcella Detroit in a circular stage that in the center had a step, this is where Eric Clapton is performing, the other members of the band are a step below.
This video was directed by Godley and Creme, and it was the only music video made from this album.
"Forever Man" was performed twice by Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood during their second US Blind Faith reunion tour at Madison Square Garden, NYC, February 25th-28th, 2008 and their 2009 US Summer tour (featuring Sharon White and Michelle John on backing vocals). Clapton also performed the song at the Royal Albert Hall in February 3, 1989 with Mark Knopfler on rhythm guitar.
Photos by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orvaratli/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ornsig/
Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hallgrg/
(Photos by Marco Fulle - http://www.swisseduc.ch/stromboli/ )
Photo: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson - http://www.arctic-images.com/
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