an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

The Sound Palette of the ’80s

David Pescovitz has been publishing an amazing series of posts over at BoingBoing focused on the Fairlight synthesizer. I suspect a few Mind the Gap readers are going to want to check those out. Many of the accompanying videos are coolly instructional in nature, but the one linked via the image below (sorry--embedding disabled) has been my favorite so far purely in terms of the aural nostalgia factor. This will take you back. Musically and (wow, was that a 5'1/4 floppy?!) otherwise. They're just … [Read more...]

Writing about Music Is Like, er, Writing About Food

So here I was in my off-music-writing-hours having a grand old time blogging about my food adventures with my fellow culinary adventurers over at Three Points Kitchen, and it turns out I'm just a trend. A trend! Food for Thinkers: When Music Writers Grow Up, They Become Food Writers...Both music and food journalism deal with writing about something intangible--something invisible. Sure, sound waves exist, but you can't see them. And taste; there's no accounting for it. So how do you describe … [Read more...]

Dear Customer Complaint Department

I have a soft spot for epic tales delivered via song, but such narrative ballads seem to be out of fashion these days. Today however, in the middle of an article on complaint letters, I was gifted a referral to this bit of fantasticness. Hear more music by Matt the Electrician here. UPDATE! Meanwhile, on the opposite end of customer support: [via] … [Read more...]

Big Adventure

Feeling sluggish or uninspired in your creative life as you cruise into 2011? Looking to shake things up a bit? Here's some inspiration: Found: Lost Pictures of New York BlizzardBackground: There is some discussion online considering whether this is a true tale or a gonzo marketing ploy. Either way, I was charmed by the storytelling. [via] Matt Danzico is experimenting with his perception of time when he engages in "new and unusual experiences." Will he get more out of life? You can follow … [Read more...]

A Matter of Taste (Judgment Edition)

A.O. Scott neatly points out that the cultural elite, those naked emperors trying to control everyone, are not actually art gallery curators and orchestra CEOs, but rather the marketing arms of corporations. Considering the products they're pushing, that would make me nervous if I didn't so much enjoy the shove back at them. Freedom! Elsewhere in judgment, taste, and classical music, there has been much debate of late regarding the utility of top ten list unattached to David Letterman's sound … [Read more...]

Some Sort of Hack

Today's NYTimes music coverage mines the mash-up (from Ives, forward) and skims the cream off the top of the classical composer (must be dead!) crop. Expect fights in the comments! So far, Tchaikovsky is either a god or a third-rate hack. Meanwhile, among the still-breathing sonic crafters whose contributions are under Gray Lady examination... … [Read more...]

Light It Up: Picture Your Brain On Music

Should scientists study creativity? Charles Limb considers our understanding of how the brain is able to innovate... [via Brian] … [Read more...]

The Best Fake Album of 2011

Jimmy Kimmel's musical guests have impressed me before, and they continue to do so. … [Read more...]

Do/Do Not Do [Funny Because It’s True Edition]

I read a rather heavy volume of articles online every day, and I often find myself wondering if I'm actually thinking enough about/doing enough with all the information I'm consuming to make it worth the time investment. On the flip side, I also fret about what I'm missing as the data goes whizzing by. So in 2011, I'm going to try and share more of the daily content that stands out to me for reasons large and small, and I hope you'll add in links to the great material you come across as … [Read more...]

An Audiophile Walks Into an Apple Store…

First, this morning's brilliant comment on our modern reality from xkcd (click through to the site for full version). Which reminded me that I had been saving this article for post-holiday reading, an essay which teased "new devices that make downloaded music sound good." For audiophiles who die a little every time they hear the term "mp3" (let alone the actual sound files) and for those of us who swear the difference is indistinguishable, Kaplan's article is a nice review of the situation. In … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog