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Call for Entries – Concert Photos and Poster & Album Art Show (U.Oregon)

23rd Apr 13 (Tue) Leave a comment

Sorry for the late announcement, as the deadline approaches… but…

305799_157326424436555_477574662_nConcert Images – Call for Entries:

Seeking photography that features live music performance, musicians, music festivals or concerts for exhibit in the Aperture Gallery located in the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon.

The exhibit, which runs 5/8/2013 – 5/19/2013, will coincide with the Willamette Valley Music Festival May 11, 2013.

Please submit up to five (5) .jpg images, with original dimensions, for consideration to gallery@uoregon.edu by 4/25/2013.

430229_157326417769889_1337631221_nPoster and Album Art Show – Call for Entries:
West Coast Gig – Independent Music Poster and Album Art Exhibition 5/10 – 5/22

Seeking independent album art and concert posters from west coast bands, promoters or venues from 1990 and later for an exhibit at the Buzz Coffeehouse Gallery in the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon.

Please submit pdf or jpg images of posters, with original dimensions, to gallery@uoregon.edu by 4/25/2013

Accepted works will be reproduced and installed by the UO Cultural Forum during the Willamette Valley Music Festival May 11, 2013, in the Buzz Pub Stage Area.

The exhibit will run 5/10/2013 – 5/22/2013

~Dan – np: Tom WaitsRain Dogs
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

Chali 2Na – “Against the Current” & future PledgeMusic (12/12/12)

5th Dec 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Chali 2Na - Against the Current

Jurassic 5 baritone Chali 2Na has a few solo albums to his name, but this next project, as hinted back last winter, is about to see the light of day.  We finally have a video for “Against the Current“…

And a week from now (on 12/12/12), his PledgeMusic drive will go into effect.

As excited as I am to tell you about it, I admit humbly that it’s going to take me some time (and some help) to get this thing assembled the way I intend it for you. So as a snack before the meal, I came up with a way to reward y’all for getting involved and being a part of it from the jump. Starting 12.12.12 (next Wednesday to be exact) I’m going to begin releasing a series of EPs along the way until the book is ready to ship. The first installment of the series, from this project I labeled, “Against The Current” will be a sample of the four that will follow. The most enjoyable thing about my music career for me personally, has been collaborating with Artists from many different walks of life, and even places of the World. And I’ve been influenced by so many different types of music, that with this project I’m actually going in on a couple of them. The 2nd EP will be heavily influenced by Electronic and Dub-Step music. I’m also finishing up one that’s Caribbean influenced and another one I’m going to record exclusively with my live band. And the last one will be a true vintage Hip Hop record, even-though I know that’s not exactly what Hip Hop sounds like in current day. Hence the name of the Project.

Keep in the loop on his PledgeMusic page:
http://www.pledgemusic.com/artists/chali2na

~Dan – np: Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold (Songs For Christmas) Vol. IX: Let It Snow!

Sean Avery ~ animal sculptures from shattered CDs

25th Feb 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

Australian artist Sean Avery created these animal sculptures that uses old CDs…

He chops up the discs and turns them into whimsical animal sculptures. Some of his pieces use circuit boards, chips, and other recycled computer parts.

Avery states, “I blend many different man made materials together to make them appear strangely organic, with a distinct sense of movement.

Gorgeous work, if you ask me!  View more at: http://seaneavery.com/

~Dan – np: John ZornMadness, Love and Mysticism

Mandala (a musical palindrome) by Daniel Starr-Tambor

27th Jan 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

File this under math music… maybe not as odd/arty as John Cage’s Slow Music project, but still a bit ethereal…

Mandala (a musical palindrome) by Daniel Starr-Tambor

With more than 62 vigintillion individual notes, “Mandala” is the longest palindrome in existence. Composed using the first nine partials of the Natural Harmonic Series repeating at the accelerated tempos of our solar system, Mandala would continue without repetition for over 532.25 septendecillion years. In homage to “Art of the Fugue” by J.S. Bach, “Mandala” has been crafted to include the “musical signature” of its author: the stereo imaging is arranged to reflect the exact position of the solar system at the moment of his birth, from the perspective of the Sun as it faces the constellation Libra, so that each note chronicles his birthday on every planet.

Have a great weekend!

~Dan – np: Damien JuradoMaraqopa

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil (Zumanity & O), Penn & Teller, and Criss Angel (Las Vegas, NV – 1/17-21/12)

24th Jan 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

I was in Las Vegas last week for a conference/convention… no, not the AVN/Adult Entertainment Expo – that was just “serendipity“… outside of seeing the random porn star walking around a hotel lobby (like Dana DeArmond, Belladonna, and some others that “a friend” told me about…), I didn’t take in that frivolity.

Some excellent Las Vegas shows were taken in, though… and here is my mega, 4-part review

First up was the Cirque du Soleil show BeLIEVE from Criss Angel on Tuesday night (1/17).   I’ll say it now, that I’ve been a fan of Criss Angel before most of you had even heard of him (long before the TV show, long before “the Loyal” were dreamed up).  I’m not trying to gain “street cred,” but merely setting up a background for my ultimate opinion on the show…

I got into Criss Angel via his first album, Angel Dust’s 1998 debut Musical Conjurings from the World of Illusion – which was a collaboration between Criss Angel (on vocals) and hard-industrial artist Circle of Dust (music).  The album was later re-branded as a Criss Angel release called System 1 (nixing the Angel Dust moniker).  Klayton (Scott Albert aka Circle of Dust aka Celldweller) was still involved in the System 2 & 3 in the trilogy (and even in Criss’ Mindfreak Broadway show and the A&E Mindfreak TV series), but it definitely became more of a Criss Angel project, and less of a Circle of Dust/Celldweller project.  That’s all fine and good.  It became what Criss was… a loud, audacious rocker magician.  There’s a place for everything in this world of entertainment.

I was curious when I heard a few years ago that he was pairing with Circue du Soleil.  I love Cirque shows; so I thought it’d be a given show to see.  Well, Cirque still has its name associated with the BeLIEve show, but apparently toned down the acrobatic/dance/surreal aspects of the show, as it was distracting from the magic side.  What was left was more resembling the A&E Mindfreak show set on a stage… it wasn’t very Cirque-y anymore, but that was probably a-OK with me.

My thoughts… the “clowns” were only “meh.”  The set design was gorgeous.  Some of my favorite tricks were the metamorphosis, dove tricks, and swallowing razor blades and a string only to pull them out on the string (HOW!?).   The Celldweller score was great, the pyro was flashy/bodacious.  It does come off as a bit cheesy/corny/”metal,” but that’s part of what Criss Angel’s always been; so that wasn’t a shock.  One thing I will say, though, on this night’s performance, it did seem like there were too many similar tricks (teleportation/metamorphosis).  Yeah, sure, it’s cool… but how many times do I need to see Criss or one of his characters show up somewhere unexpected?

Bottom Line for Criss Angel’s Believe: I enjoyed it.  Drop the price $20, and I’d like it more.  3.5 of 5 stars.

BeLIEve snippets*
*- much of this show has been somewhat “de-Cirque’d” as it were.
the above was not what was presented when I saw it.
Criss Angel/Cirque website

On Wednesday (1/18), I decided to follow Criss with some more magic.  This had to be Penn & TellerThe hour prior to show was featuring the Mike Jones Duo (Mike on piano, and Penn on upright bass).  I’m a fan of Penn Jillette via his skepticism slant, his Crackle show, his Penn Point show, his book (God No!), and their recent Discovery show P&T Tell a LieI’ve yet to see the Bullshit series on Showtime (but I will!), but what I had seen via short internet clips – I knew I’d like.

Prior to the show on Wednesday, they invited everyone in the audience to come check out the big wooden box on stage and sign an envelope.  The box was solid, no false bottom / trap door that I could see.  The opening of the box was facing the crowd, and when the show started, Penn came out, shut the door, and only moments later Teller showed up inside the box.  WTF!?

Some of my favorite tricks were cell fish, metal detector, slight of hand, ball and string, phony psychics (with the audience signed envelope), helium, the ring trick with Grace, sawing woman in half (better than Criss Angel), goldfish/coins, cow barn camera, nail gun (wow! Penn’s memory!), American flag burning, flower shadow, and the magic bullet.

OK, those were basically all of the tricks.  There were honestly no slow parts.  I found it all profoundly interesting and genuinely entertaining.  Some tricks, I had an idea how they were done.  Other tricks were simply feats of the mind.  And some tricks are still driving me mad…

Bottom Line for Penn & Teller: If you love magic, go see this show.  Utterly brilliant.  They tip their hand a bit, but still mess with you.  4.5 of 5 stars.  I would see this again, without flinching.

the official P&T trailer
ignore the cheesy music (by Rio), this show rocked
Penn & Teller website

Friday night (1/20), it was date night… the sensual Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity.  This is the “sensual side” of Cirque du Soleil.  No, it was the HOT side.  We had 2nd row seats… luckily we escaped the torment of the Cirque “clowns” (barely).

The show started out with a beautiful wind dance mixed with an African dance.  The first bit of acrobatics was with a pool performance (see to the right) by two gorgeous beauties.  Up next was quite amazing… a hula hoop woman who did amazing work on stage, then hula hooped in the air, then hula hooped in the air while doing contortions, and then hula hooped about 20-30 hoops at one time in the air.  Her school girl outfit didn’t hurt either.

There were many aerial artists – all amazing, all sexy… even a “little person” aerial ropes artist.  There was a pole dancer; an extreme balance guy; a sensual balancing couple; a 2-man cage fight over a girl that turned into a lurid, long homo-erotic kiss (saw it coming a mile away, but it was hot); the rose guy’s striptease that worked the crowd into a frenzy; an amazing contortionist; some great audience participation with the clowns in between set changes; an S&M metal hoop guy (blindfolded during parts of his act); and the show culminated in a sexy bath dance number.

Bottom Line for Zumanity: Ya hozna!  Hot, sexy, and amazing Cirque acrobatics.  4.75 of 5 stars.  I would see this again, without flinching.  This is what a Cirque show in Sin City should be!  Pay extra and get a good seat – yum!

the official Zumanity trailer
fairly representative of the show
Cirque du Soleil / Zumanity website

The final show of the Vegas week was the water-borne Cirque du Soleil show O on Saturday (1/21).   The $70 million dollar pool/theatre was quite amazing.  The show was full of some pretty stunning feats – aerial acrobats, outrageous acrobatic diving, floor work with the raising and lowering underwater set, the usual Cirque clowns, a swinging balance girl… but it was all held together by a very confusing/odd storyline (more confusing and odd than other Cirque shows I’ve seen).

The most amazing feats were definitely the diving numbers and the balancing swing woman.  The other acrobatics were made a little bit more interesting than other normal Cirque shows simply due to the water element.  We even had one visible mistake (an acrobat fell off the aerial boat), but they swam to safety and rejoined the crew later.

Bottom Line for O: Pricier than the rest – I left confused but magically entertained.  4 of 5 stars.

the official O trailer
fairly representative of the show
Cirque du Soleil / O website

Best show: Zumanity, with P&T close behind.  If you compared the budgets of both shows, P&T’s was more economical from both an artist creation and audience wallet perspective (high quality entertainment, with a lot of thought and not a lot of exorbitant, unnecessary cash outlay).

Most Frivolous Vegas-y show: O for sheer audacity of grandeur.  BeLIEve for sheer audacity of ego.

Next time I go to Vegas, I’d take in Zumanity and Penn & Teller again in a heartbeat.  I’d also plan to save time for Mystère and – the other non-band-oriented Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas.  I might go see the Beatles’ Cirque show (LOVE), but I am not as keen on the Elvis one (Viva).

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaZoot Allures

MTA Music by Alexander Chen

14th Dec 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

This falls under a fun experiment in music… Alexander Chen turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the NYC Mass Transit Authority’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in real-time by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.

http://www.mta.me/

Related, here’s a the London tube map created by Kyle Bean in colorful (colourful) drinking straws…

click for more

~Dan – np: Florence + the MachineCeremonials

REVIEW: Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal @ Matt Arena (Eugene, OR – 11/15/11)

16th Nov 11 (Wed) 1 comment

I love shows by Cirque du Soleil.  I also dig some Michael Jackson’s music.  A perfect combination?

The short of it: No, not a perfect combination in my opinion.

The stage set-up, lights and costumes, dancers, live band mixed with Michael Jackson vocal tracks was TOP NOTCH.

The usual acrobatics from a Cirque du Soleil show were a bit toned down.  Well, more than a bit… A LOT.  The intro spray can skit was great, the few aerial artists were awesome, the pole dancer was awesome (but seemingly out-of-place), and the dancing overall was awesome.  One of the dancers was one-legged… wild stuff.

But… I don’t think people tend to go to Cirque shows for “dancing.”

They played a great mix of MJ’s music.  The live band was top notch, though sometimes a bit over the top with the crazy rocking (it just seemed out-of-place).

My bottom line opinion: I had fun, but I think if you’re a Michael Jackson fan and have some money to blow… go for it.  If you’re more of a Cirque fan, I’d recommend saving your money for one of their other terrific shows.  For me, it was more of a “price tag” thing.  With that being said, I understand the price tag based on the number of people & sets involved.  I just don’t think the pay-off was up to past Cirque experiences.

~Dan – np: Chali 2Na – Fish Outta Water

Inner City Bikes

3rd Sep 11 (Sat) Leave a comment

[video] Steven Wilson “Track One” (from Grace for Drowning)

24th Aug 11 (Wed) 3 comments

Lasse Hoile’s new video for “Track One,” taken from Steven Wilson’s second solo album Grace for Drowning.  Slow start, then some bombast… then returning… quite gorgeous.


lassehoile.com

Steven Wilson’s Grace for Drowning comes out September 26th.  The mega deluxe & vinyl editions are available from gfd.com.  The digipack CD is for pre-order on Amazon (only $11).

~Dan – np: Ty TaborBalance

Frank Zappa: Will That Be An Aisle Or A Window? (Cartoon)

14th Aug 11 (Sun) Leave a comment

A business lesson from the late, great Frank Zappa

A Business Lesson with Frank Zappa. Animated by Carl King. Original Score by Stephen Cox. Special Thanks to Anthony White. Original FZ audio interview recorded in September 1984. Source unknown. This cartoon was manufactured with the non-commercial / educational purpose of paying tribute to the wisdom of Frank Zappa.

~Dan – np: Sunny Day Real EstateDiary

Fair Use in Digital Media (the story of Kind of Bloop)

1st Jul 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

A Perfect Circle Portland fans, my photos will be posted by midday today.

Almost two years ago, I posted about an interesting 8-bit tribute album of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue called Kind of Bloop.  I like it, more in concept than execution, but I liked the music nonetheless.  Well, the guy who put it together Andy Baio (who also helped start Kickstarter) got in hot water with the original photographer Jay Maisel for Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violations.  He settled out of court, but was he in the wrong?  Personally, I think not.

I mean, his use of the photo was altered in a way that appears consistent with the fair use provisions in the copyright law.  Check out the full read over on the waxy.org article “Kind of Screwed“…

What do you think?  And what do you think about these transformative recreations?

What is art, and can derivative works be safe from legal harassment?  Where does the line get drawn?

~Dan – np: Pet Bottle NingenPet Bottle Ningen

Daniel Johns & Josh Wakely at TEDxSydney

29th Jun 11 (Wed) 1 comment

As previously reported, Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns is collaborating with filmmaker Josh Wakely on a musical feature My Mind’s Own Melody.  Here they are talking about it at TED Talks Sydney (aka TEDxSydney):

TEDxSydney featured a selection of Australia’s leading visionaries and storytellers showcasing their Ideas Worth Spreading LIVE … as well as online to the world at large. TED is a not-for-profit enterprise devoted to the propagation of Ideas Worth Spreading. TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment & Design.

~Dan – np: KlezmersonSiete

Packaging Art : Design in front of the Music

27th Jun 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

A big piece of what still links me to music is the artistic approach that goes into the whole package.  Sure, break it all down, and the actually music hitting my ears is the “most important” component, but I still dig the physical product (CDs & vinyl).

Two of my favorite record labels go out of their way to create stunning packaging: the John Zorn-run Tzadik Records and the Mike Patton co-owned Ipecac Recordings.

 

For Zorn, the die-cut and gorgeous lettered detail in Tzadik’s Masada Book Two series jumps to the forefront, as do many of the stunning titles in the Archival series (The Dreamers, etc).  For Patton, the gold-embossed Mit Gas from Tomahawk was a first step, and the Peeping Tom & Mondo Cane packaging was colorful and stupendously took Ipecac’s level of art-packaging to a new level.

Both labels obviously believe in the physical artistic value, otherwise, they wouldn’t bother.  Well, this post delves a little bit into that process with two designers for Tzadik & Ipecac, respectively…

In a recent interview with Chippy from Tzadik…

Poor quality digital artwork is a shame because the original art/packaging is an extension of the concept. Most people therefore will not be able to fully appreciate/experience beyond the music. At the same time, the low quality is a good reason to truly really seek out the hard copy because there is so much more beyond the digital world. People forget about the beauty of books and print. The paper, the binding, the thread, glue, etc. There’s a reason why artists/designers use a certain ink, stock, varnish, diecut, emboss/deboss, etc. Dismissing this part of the experience minimizes the experience.
READ the FULL INTERVIEW with CHIPPY

Aaron Lazar from Tzgani Design worked on the most recent Book of Knots release from Ipecac.  The original design would have cost too much ($6-7/per unit), but would have been a three piece laser etched packaging design that would cradle a CD (printed in aqua, yellow and orange) and would function as a working astrolabe. Check it out in higher-resolution.  I wish this could have come to fruition, but I guess you have to be realistic in your artistic pursuits, too.

It is works of art like this that make me seek out more than just a download version.  Even if “CD quality” 320 kbps, it still seems hollow to me.  And more than just design… with music moving to a cloud-based platform now, here are eight reasons why vinyl is cleaner than “the cloud”… READ HERE at DigitalMusicNews.

~Dan – np: John ScofieldUp All Night

Kaki King on the Les Paul Google doodle

23rd Jun 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Did you miss the Les Paul 96th birthday celebration Google doodle from June 9th?  Well, check it out, play something, record it…

…and then compare what you did with the three that guitar phenom Kaki King did for Brazil’s MTV Hive:

Further proof that this is one of the best Google doodles conceived thus far.

~Dan – np: Saviour MachineSaviour Machine II

Sky Diving Elite!

18th Jun 11 (Sat) 1 comment

Going to see Dralion tomorrow!

18th Jun 11 (Sat) Leave a comment

Well, Cirque du Soliel’s Dralion went on sale in Portland about a month and a half before it was even announced for Eugene.  After seeing my first Cirque show in Cincinnati (Quidam 2006), I think I said I’d go to any that came close; so a group of us bought tickets to see it in Portland.

Well, the shows at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene were last week… the Eugene Weekly posted some preview and performance photos on their blogs…click pics for more.

I’m sooooo stoked for tomorrow’s Dralion performance at the Rose Garden in Portland… :)

~Dan – np: Marc Ribot’s Ceramic DogParty Intellectuals

The Office in Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon”

18th May 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

I’ve seen Georges Seurat’sA Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” done as a topiary garden / art installation (in Columbus, OH)… well, now NBC has put the cast of The Office into the mix…

(click for larger)

Oddly no Michael or Holly… but, cool nonetheless…

~Dan – np: The Lonely IslandTurtleneck & Chain

Pendulum Wars

18th May 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Our Taxes present The National Jukebox

17th May 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

This was flying around the interwebs last week… finally got as chance to check it out.  The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives.

** http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/ **
facebook.com/libraryofcongress
twitter.com/librarycongress

Within the first 48 hours since its launch on May 10th, it logged more than 1 million page views and more than 250,000 streams.   The project has opened up the library’s archive with an initial posting of more than 10,000 pre-1925 recordings from the Victor record label, now under the Sony Music umbrella. The recordings span jazz, blues, ethnic folk, gospel, pop, spoken word, comedy and other genres dating to the early 20th century.

You think tax dollars aren’t going towards something good?  Well, as far as archival music, I’m super happy that my tax dollars helped make this possible.

~Dan – np: The Book of Mormon (original cast recording)

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