New Roger Waters Album Soon

Roger Waters’ politics are his music, and that looks like it won’t change a bit in his next album, Is This The Life We Really Want, which was announced today as coming soon with the teaser video above. He’s also touring in the US again.

There’s a good interview with him on a recent episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

Decades ago I saw Waters in concert, and his Radio Waves solo album is one of my favorites. Can’t wait for this.

Garbage Game for Garbage People, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Might Have Had Music from Michael Jackson

Todd Van Luling has an article for the Huffington Post about the sad garbage people who got too caught up in Sega’s marketing to recognize that Sonic gameplay was awful and their sad hunt for finding the hidden connection in Sonic 3’s soundtrack to Michael Jackson.

Spoiler, Jackson didn’t even want to be associated with the crap Genesis sound processing:

Jackson and the team wrote the music “high-profile,” Grigsby said, meaning that although replicating the music on the Sega console would eventually require massive compression and simplification of the audio, they started out sounding like typical Jackson songs.

Sometimes, Grigsby remembers, Sega developers would drop by to hang out or help the team compress the songs — which, according to Grigsby, were recorded aiming for a “cinematic type of sound” Jackson sought at the time — into Sega-ready versions. “It all had to be squashed down for the game and they made more room for the graphics,” Grigsby says. “They had more data happening with the graphics and they had very little allocated for audio.”

[…]

Buxer, Grigsby and Jones say Jackson pulled his name from the game – but not his music – because he was disappointed by how different the music sounded on Sega’s console when compressed from that “high profile” sound to bleeps and bloops.

“Michael wanted his name taken off the credits if they couldn’t get it to sound better,” Buxer claimed.

Even the sad garbage people now recognize that the gameplay was terrible:

“Someone would track down someone who originally worked on Sonic 2, like a level artist,” said James Hansen, a Sonic fan from the Forest of Dean, near Gloucester. “Then they’d just get bombarded with a million emails and then you’d never hear from them ever again.”

[…]

As a teenager, Hansen was more interested in the “secrets in the Sonic games” than the games themselves, he says now.

Attention K-Mart Shoppers

Archive.org has a special on archived muzak in aisle 89:

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, I worked for Kmart behind the service desk and the store played specific pre-recorded cassettes issued by corporate. This was background music, or perhaps you could call it elevator music. Anyways, I saved these tapes from the trash during this period and this video shows you my extensive, odd collection. Until around 1992, the cassettes were rotated monthly. Then, they were replaced weekly. Finally sometime around 1993, satellite programming was intoduced which eliminated the need for these tapes altogether.

The older tapes contain canned elevator music with instrumental renditions of songs. Then, the songs became completely mainstream around 1991. All of them have advertisements every few songs.

The monthly tapes are very, very, worn and rippled. That’s becuase they ran for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week on auto-reverse. If you do the math assuming that each tape is 30 minutes per side, that’s over 800 passes over a tape head each month.

What do machines sing of?

Martin Backes:

“What do machines sing of?” is a fully automated machine, which endlessly sings number-one ballads from the 1990s. As the computer program performs these emotionally loaded songs, it attempts to apply the appropriate human sentiments. This behavior of the device seems to reflect a desire, on the part of the machine, to become sophisticated enough to have its very own personality.

Apple Music and Beats: 1

Apple’s streaming music subscription service, Apple Musicwas released last week in addition to the new streaming radio station Beats: 1 and other features in the new versions of Music on iOS and iTunes on Windows and Mac OS X.

I’ll admit that although I had tried Pandora and Spotify they’d never really stuck. Why not own my music and listen to the full albums I love instead of playlists? Why listen to ads alongside my favorite music?

The three month trial of Apple Music has made me a quick convert for now, at least. As well as the low price, $15 for six of my family members isn’t that much more than what I was paying for one Spotify subscription. The killer feature is that the music matching (previously available in iTunes Match) will let you bring in any music that isn’t available for streaming. No Beatles to stream? If it was in your iTunes music library before, it’s available through Apple Music. iTunes Match was the thing that finally let me stop syncing my iPhone to my laptop.

There’s something really strange about the new streaming  Beats: 1 radio station that launched alongside Apple Music. It’s good. 

Unlike most other internet radio stations, there are hosts. A revolutionary concept, I know, but it’s how they host that is so different. They don’t sound like pre-programmed chatter bots with dumbass names like Free Beer and Hotwings from radio planet twelve in the marketing galaxy.

The only part of Beats-1 that sounds pre-programmed are the rare advertising reads that are given by what sounds like a BBC presenter who usually says about five words before a track starts. Not between every track, so far it sounds like it’s once or twice an hour you might hear a few words. Way better than any of the terrestrial radio stations you might hear.

One particular program I heard on the launch night was enough to make Beats: 1 post-worthy. St. Vincent had put together a mixtape for an 11-year old named Piper (who won a contest) and what do you know, this is really good. Even St. Vincent’s banter with Piper is good. 

Earlier in the day there was still plenty of fine music to listen to. Some of which was new to me. The day-time (Pacific time) DJ’s has a more traditional radio jockey style, but almost no ads and it didn’t sound like it was ruined by the influence of the record industry. Awesome.

The ads that were there were voiced by a tonally inappropriate genericly British accented person which was a bit hilarious to hear him talking about some hotel chain for a half second with rap going on underneath.

The only downside to Beats: 1 is that the music was edited for radio with no explicit option when the old iTunes radio stations had an explicit language option. Beats: 1 is available to everyone who has iTunes on a Mac, on Windows, or on the iOS Music app, there’s no fee to listen to it.

Work It; Make It; Do it; Makes us DaftPunKonsole

Malik Dellidj made this awesome pseudo-midi keyboard on codepen that plays clips from Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. Dvorak not supported. Qwerty and Azerty are good to go. Here’s the video for inspiration while you music. 

Our work is never over. When it is I need to go watch Interstella 5555.