YouTube Bounces Back From Poor Audio Compression System With Improved Sound, Videos of Laughing Babies Have Never Sounded Better
To anyone who's ever gotten the urge to listen to a song you don't have and then gone straight to YouTube, it should be apparent that YouTube is our generation's all-purpose, instantly accessible jukebox. Unfortunately for us, it seemed that the audio quality of YouTube clips had received a drastic blow when, towards the end of July, the website launched a new audio scheme which starkly altered the sound quality of music clips by heavily truncating their dynamic range. As reported on Wired's Listening Post blog, the move prompted not only frustration from audiophile YouTube users (apparently as much a rare breed as you'd expect), but also user-generated hacks designed to counteract the processing, conspiracy theories that the maneuver was designed to favor already-processed mainstream pop over "properly produced music," and dissent from music gear companies who felt that their capacity to advertise on the site had been compromised.
Thankfully, Listening Post's July 30 story prompted both a typically vague response from YouTube PR ("The vast majority of videos currently benefit from our audio technology, and we are committed to improving that in the future" -- oh, okay) and an actual change in the audio process. Because YouTube kept unprocessed copies of all videos' audio files, they were able to develop a new, far less problematic system which is now in place. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the next time a mid-’90s MTV nostalgia kick infects you with the craving to listen to, say, Ghost Town DJs' "My Boo," it will sound as crisp and glorious as online streaming video usually does!
Mark David Chapman, the infamous murderer of The Beatles’ probably all-around good guy John Lennon, was once again denied parole from prison today. Chapman, 53, has been imprisoned in Attica State Prison since 1981 for his crime against the late Lennon in December of 1980.
Of course, no one was surprised by the fifth denial of parole since October of 2000. Apparently, you can’t just kill one of the most culturally significant artists in history, say “I’m sorry,” and then expect things to go your way -- especially when Yoko Ono has been consistently lobbying against you since your first application for parole. Sorry, Mark. Actually, no, I’m not.
As I suspected earlier today in my original story (TMT News), Radiohead have NOT written the "score" to the upcoming film, Choke (see trailer here). In fact, they didn't even record a new song for it at all. According to The Playlist:
It's either a language thing or Palahniuk is confused or mistaken, but Radiohead did not compose a bunch of new instrumental music and cues for this film ala the way Jonny Greenwood did for "There Will Be Blood" (which is what a score is). We hate to be sticklers for language, but if we're not, things get misreported. A score and writing songs are two different things and Radiohead didn't even pen new songs for the film. "Choke" utilizes "Reckoner" from In Rainbows, in the closing credits and the score is actually written by Nathan Larson ex of Shudder To Think.
We just confirmed this btw, with the music supervisors on the film Ken Weinstein and Lyle Hysen. Our original report on the music of "Choke" is still correct. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Funny how most everyone just ate the news up, probably due to the fact that it all derived from the same BBC report and straight from author Chuck Palahniuk's mouth. But just remember: Palahniuk is a Pablo Honey fan. He can't be trusted. Got some press though, that's for sure.
DJ /Rupture, beloved genre-splicer and DJ laureate of Brooklyn circa 2002, is prepping both a new mix CD, Uproot, and a companion compilation of the mix's unaltered "ingredients," both due October 3 on The Agriculture Records. Uproot, Rupture's first solo mix release since 2005's Low Income Tomorrowland and after his return to the States after seven years in Barcelona, draws it inspiration from typically disparate sources such as dub, minimal, and the NYC improv scene. Listenable and bass-heavy, the mix includes artists like British dubstepper Shackleton and blues-inspired glitchster (and improbable RHCP collaborator) Ekkehard Ehlers.
Uproot will also be accompanied by the online release of Ingredients, a 108-minute comp including all of the mix's tracks in unmixed form. Described as a "multi-format release" in a press release, the mix is particularly nice for fans hoping to hear full-length versions of Uproot's nine previously unreleased tracks. Meanwhile, Rupture continues to host a weekly show, Mudd Up!, on indie freeform radio station WFMU.
Oh, that silly +/- and their love of mathematical symbols! With the announcement of their new album, Xs On Your Eyes, due October 21 on Absolutely Kosher, the boys of all things adding and subtracting are quickly drumming up attention for their new album. Hell, I already feel obligated to post their new record’s tracklisting and listen to their entire discography to get ready for it. Now, if I could just do something about my urge to draw Xs on my eyelids, I'd be all set.
Xs on Your Eyes tracklisting:
Don’t draw Xs on your eyes, or you won’t be able to see the following tourdates:
08.15.08 – New York City, NY – Mercury Lounge
08.16.08 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East (Upstairs)
Radiohead Reportedly Scores Music to Palahniuk Adaptation, Exact Contributions Not Entirely Clear; Ex-Shudder to Think Member Writes Original Music
According to a report on Radiohead fansite At Ease, Chuck Palahniuk (best known for authoring Fight Club) told BBC 6 Music that Radiohead have not only written the exit music for the film adaptation of his 2001 novel, Choke, but they have also reportedly "written the score."
Palahniuk apparently wrote the novel while listening to Radiohead's worst offerings, Pablo Honey and its hit track "Creep." The rest snowballed. According to Palahniuk:
So Clark [Gregg, the director] got Radiohead to contribute a song, to write a song for the very end of the movie, the final credits. Apparently Radiohead liked the movie so much, they’ve written the score, most of the ambient music throughout it. So it’s "Choke – with the music of Radiohead."
However, according to an earlier report by The Playlist, Radiohead's contribution is actually just "The Reckoner" and lists Rogue Wave's "Lake Michigan" as the final song during the credits. Things, of course, may very well have changed, but it's worth noting since no official announcements have yet been made. Meanwhile, Choke's IMDB entry lists ex-Shudder to Think's Nathan Larson as the composer of the film's original music.
So, while the news is exciting, it's best to wait for some official word from the Radiohead camp.
Choke hits theaters September 26 via Fox Searchlight. Check out the trailer here. You can't hear the Radiohead track, but it does have that annoying "Satan Said Dance" song from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
Meanwhile, see Radiohead on tour in support of Pablo Honey.
$$ Grizzly Bear
J To The Dilla To The New Box Set: Stones Throw to Reissue Ruff Draft Box Set, Complete With Vile of J Dilla’s Sweat!
As you may know, James Yancey (J Dilla) died from lupus a couple years ago, three days after both his birthday and the release of his last album, Donuts. Several albums have since been released or reissued, including The Shining (his second "official" album) and Ruff Draft, the latter of which was reissued by Stones Throw last year and fleshed out with additional songs to form a ‘complete’ version of its original EP form. For a limited time, the album was also released in cassette-form in a box set.
Due to popular demand, Stones Throw are now reissuing the box set again. Titled TURN IT UP! A Little Louder, the set includes the original version of the album on cassette, along with other assorted goodies like:
- A brown tee that says "TURN IT UP! A Little Louder."
- A "Reckless Driving Ticket" that Stones Throw created to ‘ticket’ people outside of Ruff Draft listening parties in Spring 2007.
- A photo of J Dilla taken by B+.
- A 15x12x3-inch box to keep all the goods in.
The box set retails at $39.95 (includes shipping) and you can purchase it from Stones Throw here.
Crystal Antlers are no longer free agents. The Long Beach-based psychedelic/punk/soul band has signed with Touch and Go records, according to an announcement from the label. A full-length album is in the works and is expected out in the first part of 2009, but before that, Touch and Go will be reissuing the Crystal Antlers EP (produced by The Mars Volta's Ikey Owens) on CD in October and pressing it to vinyl for the first time in November.
You can catch Crystal Antlers live now or with The Strange Boys and Fucked Up starting at the end of the month. Or, of course, you can buy a costly badge and see them at the CMJ Music Marathon.
# Fucked Up
$ The Strange Boys
Blitzen the Reindeer, Trapper John, and Blitzen Trapper Tour the U.S., Blitzen and Trapper John Cancel Due to Their Both Being Fictional
Ah, Blitzen Trapper. Them ragtags will just jump at any old chance to hit the road for a few months and live out of a trunk, now won't they folks? But then again, I suppose this ol' yarn-spinner reckons that that makes some sense. Of all the bands that I ever knowd of, none are born to ramble like these guys is born to ramble. Their ramshackle, country-fried indie-rock jamboree music was dag-gone practically built to be packed into the back of them li'l wood-paneled station wagons, carted around these you-nited states on America's bluest of blue highways, setup at a wood-built campground amphitheater near you, and packed back up again after the band done-gets paid-in-full in moonshine and whole chickens until tomorrow night's hoedown. Yup. As long as they can spread their gospel of animal-love and barefoot mountain livin' across the land, you can bet yer best rooster's lucky blue foot that they'll keep rolling along like so many frontiersmen before them, mouth harps and all.
And yessiree, releasing a brand new album for Sub Pop offers these here fellas the perfect excuse to blow-off any games of lawn darts or community puppet shows that they may have had planned in favor of feelin' that wind on their face, taking pride of the bug splatters on their windshield as they drive all across this here wild mountain nation that they love so much. Sure, the womanfolk might be a tad upset by their leavin' and all, but with the rootin-tootin outdoorsy album FURR due September 23 and a handful of dates with their alpha-rambler Stephen Malkmus out on the ol' card table, well shucks, you couldn't stop these boys with all the pork loins in a Ponderosa Steak House... though I reckon they'll be eaten at plenty of them on the road, god bless 'em.
Freakin' Blitzen Country Trapper Jambaroo '08:
* Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
**Iron and Wine
Matthew Herbert to Release Album of Unwieldy Orchestrated Samples, Avant-Big-Band Beats, Protest Lyrics; Listeners to Shrug
Looking for some political content and ’30s-jazz horns with your innovative listener-oriented house music? Well, has Matthew Herbert got the album for you! Longstanding house godhead (and rock press fav) Herbert is gearing up to release There's Me and There's You. The record is out October 28 on Berlin's Studio !K7 records, perhaps best known for distributing the DJ-Kicks compilation series. Following on the jazz-throwback motif of his 2001 LP Goodbye Swingtime, the album will incorporate big-band instrumentation that will require an 18-person orchestra for its subsequent tour (for which a small handful of dates have been scheduled), as well as political lyrics excoriating the 21st century's pattern of abuses of power.
The real key ingredient to Herbert's sound — dubiously touted as "sophisticated subversion" by the official press release — is his use of bizarre, grandly conceived samples. Sounds incorporated into There's Me and There's You's aural fabric will include, among many, many others: (1) The sound of protesters in Palestine being shot against the West Bank wall dividing Israeli and Palestinian territories; (2) vocal sounds taped inside a London McDonalds; (3) the sound, not only of several dozen condoms being dragged along the floor of the British Museum, but also an orchestrated ruckus in the British Museum's entrance hall which includes the sound of several people spraying Britney Spears' perfume brand Curious; and (4) the machine used to keep Herbert's own premature son alive after his birth. Well, erm, I guess the British Museum's floors produce a remarkably unique timbre, and Britney Spears demanded the use of highly four-to-the-floor conducive spray bottles circa Curious' 2004 launch. Either that, or Herbert just has a penchant for gratuitous conceptual spectacle.
There's Me and There's You tracklist: