Wednesday, 30 January 2008

David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars

David Byrne discusses various models of sharing the proceeds from producing and distributing music in Wired magazine...

Full disclosure: I used to own a record label. That label, Luaka Bop, still exists, though I'm no longer involved in running it. My last record came out through Nonesuch, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group empire. I have also released music through indie labels like Thrill Jockey, and I have pressed up CDs and sold them on tour. I tour every few years, and I don't see it as simply a loss leader for CD sales. So I have seen this business from both sides. I've made money, and I've been ripped off. I've had creative freedom, and I've been pressured to make hits. I have dealt with diva behavior from crazy musicians, and I have seen genius records by wonderful artists get completely ignored. I love music. I always will. It saved my life, and I bet I'm not the only one who can say that.

What is called the music business today, however, is not the business of producing music. At some point it became the business of selling CDs in plastic cases, and that business will soon be over. But that's not bad news for music, and it's certainly not bad news for musicians. Indeed, with all the ways to reach an audience, there have never been more opportunities for artists.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

CD: Trio Joubran (Palestinian oud trio)

The Meaning of the Ouds

Le Trio Joubran

Majaz (Randana Rand 002, 2007)

Inspired by the music of well known guitar trios, the Joubran brothers decided to do the same with ouds. Samir, Wissam and Adnan are three Palestinian brothers who have taken the oud ( also known as 'ud) to new heights On Majaz, released on the Joubran's artist-owned label, the virtuoso musicians improvise music with three ouds and percussion, based on ancient Arabic techniques. There are also elements of Flamenco, which seems to be...

Saturday, 26 January 2008

CD: Winds of Devotion (Native American + Tibetan flutes)

Tibetan and Navajo-Ute Stillness

R. Carlos Nakai & Nawang Khechog

Winds of Devotion (Sounds True, 2007)

Two of the best known flute players in the world music field, collaborate on Winds of Devotion. Native American R. Carlos Nakai is one of the most prolific American Indian musicians and he is famous for his collaborations with musicians from many other cultures. This time he joins forces with Tibet...

Friday, 25 January 2008

CD: Notes from Celtistan (Celtic+Tabla)

Notes From Celtistan

Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell

Notes from Celtistan (Wolf Club Music, 2007)

As the title of the CD suggests, this seductive CD, recorded in concert and live in the studio, brings together the music from the Celtic lands and Indian music. The two multi-instrumentalists, Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell, play evocative melodic instrumental pieces where guitar plays the leading role, accompanied by fiery tabla. One can find a wide variety of influences in the duo's music, ranging from the folk guitar of Leo Kottke to Oregon's new acoustic excursions and Zakir Hussain's world fusion.

Benjy Wertheimer is an award-...

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Video Chronology of The History of British TV Comedy

For the past 50 years, The British have made some of the funniest Comedy TV Shows. Come inside for A Video Chronology of The History of British TV Comedy.

Full list here...

Virgin Galactic unveils model of SpaceShipTwo

The spaceship may be the first to take paying passengers into space on a regular basis, with test flights to begin later this year

Full story here...

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Talks on the Singularity


The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence has put up a some interesting media, including a variety of talks from the Singularity Summit 2006 and 2007, about the possibilites and progress of technological development. For an overview of the issues Ray Kurzweil talks about the ideas and promises of the singularity, while Douglas Hofstadter calls for deeper exploration of the implications and hazards of coming technology.

CD: Namgyal Lhamo

Namgyal Lhamo's Second Coming

As ethnic Tibetans across the globe get ready to celebrate Losar-Tibetan New Year in February 2008, Netherlands based Tibetan singer/songwriter Namgyal Lhamo gets ready for a double flight to accentuate the celebrations.

Signed to Deep Emotions/Universal Music publishing, the artist popularly known, as "The Nightingale of Tibet" presents her traditional album "Anthology" a collection of timeless, classic, traditional Tibetan songs that promise to be a collector's item alongside "Highland Supernova", a flipside to the first and a blazing compilation of 8 tracks that are crafted to cut across cultures, age groups and mindsets with the plush use of explosive guitar riffs and organic house sound against traditional Tibetan singing. 2007 was a grea...

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Rupert Sheldrake: Morphic Resonance and Paranormal Science

From Chris Brauer Media Project Paranormal Science You can tell by the way he theatrically rolls up his sleeves when finished the lecture and ready for questions. He secretly loves the controversy. Two men in crumpled jackets settle deep in their chairs in the third row and can be overheard: "we've come to refute him". A young couple playfully join in the fun near the back: "Am I staring at

Full story here...

Australia rules Japanese whaling illegal

Australia's Federal Court bans whaling in its Antarctic waters, but the government has not said whether it will enforce the ban

Full story here

CD: Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar (female Mongolian singer)

Mongolian singer Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar Preserves Songs of the Zakhchin People

Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar

Zastiin Nogoodoi - Tribal Zakhchin Music of Western Mongolia (self release, 2007)

Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar has recorded an album that preserves the rich tradition of her people. She is a member of the Zakhchin tribe, an ethnic minority in the steppes of Western Mongoilia with a population of 25.000 people, who speak their own dialect and keep their traditions alive up to today. Tribal Zakhchin Music of Western Mongolia is her release in a series dedicated to the music of the Zakhchin people. Her previous releases are “Songs of the Zakhchin People in Western Mongolia” and Zast Altai. The 32 songs Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar are "short songs" (bogino duu) and "long songs" (urtiin duu) style, which are normally performed by women. They are normally sung a cappel...

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Chimps hunting with spears, living in caves

EROCx1 Blog: Savanna Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes verus, Hunt with Tools news service
Rowan Hooper

In a revelation that destroys yet another cherished notion of human uniqueness, wild chimpanzees have been seen living in caves and hunting bushbabies with spears. It is the first time an animal has been seen using a tool to hunt a vertebrate.
Read the full article here.