Favorite Home Recordings

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 24, 2008 10:20am | Post a Comment

An album made entirely in one’s bedroom is no longer a foreign concept. In fact, it has become the norm. Digital sampling and recording programs such as Pro-Tools, Reason, Cubase and Digital Performer have all become the norm for most musicians. Why pay studio costs and mixing engineers for what you can do on your own your own computer?

The unfortunate result has been that as the need to record in a pricey recording studio has become a thing of the past, so has analog home recording. There is something a bit different from home recording made from analog forms (cassette or reel to reel recorders) rather than digital. Most arguments made on digital versus analog have to do with sound. My argument has to do with creativity. Although you still have the ability to overdub parts in analog recording, there are no quick fixes. You cannot instantly quantize bad timing, edit mistakes, cut out background noise or automatically tune vocals that are off key; all which you can do on the most basic digital recording programs. Instantly the mediocre can sound like the professionals. But what if some mediocrity is part of the charm? Honesty captured onto tape, with background noise, slightly off key vocals and poor recording techniques that captures a song in its purest form. It's no wonder fans of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix used to pay top dollar for bootlegs of their home demos. There is purity to their songs that got lost once they made their way into a professional recording studio. The same thing sometimes happens with digital recording. The options are limitless, so much so that the end results sounds nothing like the beginning.

The Lo-Fi movement of the late eighties/early nineties exemplified this. Artists such as Daniel Johnston, Sebadoh, and The Mountain Goats didn’t just record onto four track for the sake of purity, it was also about economics. A Tascam 4 track recorder was affordable. Many studios were selling their outdated eight and four track reel-to-reel recorders dirt-cheap as well. In a bedroom, garage or in a practice space, you were left to your imagination to create without the restraints of paying a studio an hourly rate.

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The Accolade break barriers in Saudi Arabia

Posted by Mike Battaglia, November 23, 2008 10:50pm | Post a Comment

Thanks to user Navelgazer at community blog Metafilter, I was turned on to this interesting story recently published by the New York Times about an all-female Saudi rock band called The Accolade, most probably the first one of its kind ever. There are no photos of The Accolade because they are forbidden from posing for them. They have a MySpace page though, where you can listen to their first single, "Pinocchio." It is the sound of cultural awakening.

Eye Of The Demon

Posted by phil blankenship, November 23, 2008 01:21pm | Post a Comment
Eye of the Demon aka Bay Cove starring Tim Matheson & Pamela Sue Martin  Eye of the Demon aka Bay Cove starring Tim Matheson & Pamela Sue Martin

Eye of the Demon reviewed by Jeff Jarvis People Magazine

Eye of the Demon aka Bay Cove plot synopsis

Vidmark Entertainment VM 5305

Irving Gertz 1915 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, November 23, 2008 11:43am | Post a Comment

I am a big 1950’s sci-fi film fan and aficionado of the scores of these classic and occasionally not so classic B-movies. The fact is, more often then not, the music will be oddly brilliant. Another inevitable universal truth is the lower the budget, the better the soundtrack. Some of the very best ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ scores were composed by Irving Gertz. He died on November 14th in Los Angeles at the age of 93.  

The youngest of eight children, Gertz was born in 1915, in Providence, Rhode Island, where he learned to play the piano, clarinet, upright bass and tuba as a kid. He studied composition at Providence College of Music and privately with composer Walter Piston. In 1938 Gertz was hired by the music department of Columbia Pictures, but left to serve during the Second World War. After his tour of duty, he studied with legendary composers Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Ernst Toch before returning to the industry.

Throughout the 1950’s and until his retirement in 1968, Gertz contributed music to more than 200 films, often without screen credit. One of his most recognized early works is the music for the 1955 western Top Gun, but his most notable musical efforts are in the Sci-fi world. Some of his soundtrack work includes The Alligator People, The Leech Woman, The Curse of The Undead, and The Creature Walks Among Us. Gertz also worked extensively with Jack Arnold, the first certified genius of the low budget 1950’s sci- fi genre, scoring films like It Came from Outer Space, The Monolith Monsters and The Incredible Shrinking Man. Gertz also worked extensively in television, composing for Land of the Giants, The Invaders and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

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Posted by Billyjam, November 23, 2008 10:54am | Post a Comment
the white album
fans take note: in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' White Album (in actuality their self-titled album), "the producers, engineers and technicians who worked on the LP recall their contributions" in a recommended documentary special by the BBC in celebration of the double LP set that was originally released on November 22nd, 1968 and was the fab four's ninth studio album.

Click here to check it out. Note that you will need Real Player in your computer. Meantime, check out some White Album related video footage (including some rehearsal/recording sessions) of John, Paul, George, & Ringo down below the track listing & YouTube album audio medley (immediately below). Luckily I found a copy of the album for just a dollar in the used vinyl bin at the Amoeba Music Berkeley store some years back (a numbered copy and in good condition too!). It is also available on CD-- both new and used. Get it if you don't already own it. And buy it at Amoeba!



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