Wednesday

That’s the first song we played in our first performance together, on January 20th in Orlando, Florida. It’s an untitled work in progress for the next Luna Negra album.

Added a few photos, from a walk in the Canyon Preserve last Sunday, to the Photoblog.

Wind powered car drives over 3,000 miles across Australia

They’re not froofy at all. They’re Dobermans with hair. And they are German, not French.

Lend a Kindle Book

LOSTiNSOUND by ONSOMBiL (Vimeo) – nice video, but I have to admit that I am getting tired of guys with loopers.

Sunday

I did not know that about the Grammys. Can’t say I am surprised, though:

The Grammys: the secret committee that alters the membership’s nominations. – By Bill Wyman – Slate Magazine
Why I Hate the Grammys
The secret committee that alters the membership’s nominations, for starters. But there are plenty of other reasons.

From a paper on mastering, from the Danish firm TC Electronics – thanks SM!

0dBFS+ Levels in Digital Mastering – PDF from TC Electronics
Several golden ears in the pro audio industry tend to believe that the best sound in pop / rock music generally was produced between 1982 and 1995.

Despite higher resolution in converters and DSP, lower jitter and probably a better overall understanding of digital media, we seem to be on a declining rather than inclining sound quality slope these years; even though people buying records and film may not be aware of it.

Obviously there could be many reasons for this we cannot directly influence: Trends, basic recording and microphone placement skills, more semi-pro equipment being used, shorter production times and therefore less attention to detail etc.

But if the public do not care, why should we?

Jon and I believe the Golden Years were the Seventies. The recording equipment improved in the Eighties and early Nineties, but the Eighties, while giving rise to a lot of original music, had an overwhelming amount of bad synth sounds and drummachines… I think the Seventies were incredibly creative.

Friday

Great piece: NYT vs HuffPost

The sound of cicadas – also half, quarter and eighth speed to hear the actual rhythm.

Bling Bike – what happens when you ask a rapper to design a bicycle.

I read this rubbish last month and was moved to make the only comment I am likely going leave anywhere all year. I wrote:

o2ma Says:
CDs were always the smallest expense of a production. The recording itself costs the most, perhaps followed by the advertising campaign. Sure, if one records a few synths in a bedroom the recording cost is very low and the album should be priced accordingly. If, however, one needs to pay for a real studio, for musicians and engineers, the cost can hit several hundred thousand quickly.

The difference in cost between pressing CDs or selling downloads is minute.

I find it infuriating when people have no fundamental understanding wherein the value of an LP, a CD or a download album lies. Like all of my favorite art (((NOT this – that is the opposite))) the value of a musical album lies in the ideas contained in it, not in the value of the piece of plastic or vinyl or digital bits. The album in a store (((whether virtual or brick))) is simply a container for the ideas of the musicians and producers. This is similar to a painting, where the canvas and paint itself would not add up to much…

And to say that since musicians enjoy what they do therefore they should be willing to do it for free is such rubbish (((but often read on the interwebs!))). I mean, I know car mechanics who seem to truly love their work, but nobody would consider for a second that they would work for free.

In the past few years, every time I am about to start work on a new album, I think why go through all that trouble, why battle inspiration, why work so cussing hard on a new album when it will be traded worldwide for free, within weeks. I imagine a large part of my audience would be happy for us to play the “classic” stuff on tour and we could do well with that for another deacade or so.

Well, one thing that inspires me to start on the next album is that I already have the cover photography. I saw the image yesterday and think it is stunning.

PS:

It’s funny, when a friend played Medterranian Sundance for me in the mid-Seventies, I immediately wanted to know who the other guitarist was… it was Paco De Lucia. Today a search for Paco brought this to my attention. I am still not a fan of Al DiMeola, but the question and the beginning of his answer fit in with my post from today:

Al Di Meola meets “Strawberry Fields”
What makes you decide to do an album? The changes in the music industry have profoundly affected everything. I wonder if there’s a point sometimes.

There’s not (laughs). There’s really no point in making a record, when you think about it. Just think really quick – Rolling Stones. Do they need to make a record? No. Paul McCartney? Does he need to make a record? No. Assuming they’re going to keep touring…. You don’t go to see them for the new material. You go to see them to play the stuff you remember from way in the beginning …

Indeed, and I might add, they are not going to make any money releasing a new album while they do very well with their tours.

Wednesday

Beautiful Wednesday morning here in Santa Fe. The sun came out and the snow sparkled. In the slanted morning sunlight the snowflakes seemed to float on top of one another, separated by air. This was not wet and heavy snow, this was dry and light snow… like something shot out of a canon for a Hollywood picture.

I received an email announcing Gene Smith’s memorial service in Manhattan on Saturday, featuring brief musical interludes by Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Yungchen Lhamo, and Ning Tien.

Remembering Gene Smith
It is with profound regret and sadness that we announce the passing of E. Gene Smith, our friend, source of inspiration, and founder.

A pioneer in Tibetan Studies, Gene dedicated his life to preserving the rich literary heritage of Tibet. Gene passed away at his home on December 16.

See this and this. I had the privilege of meeting Gene Smith in Manhattan in December of 2009.

Poe’s Law:

Urban Dictionary: Poe’s Law
Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.”

Man killed by Cock… Oh, I should say rooster, shouldn’t I?

Kern County cockfight injury leads to man’s death
A California man attending a cockfight has died after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its limb.

And:

Cockfighting is a sport, illegal in the United States, in which specially bred roosters are put into a ring and encouraged to fight until one is incapacitated or killed.

Isn’t the term sport far too generous for this activity?

Quick, we need something cute now… well, how about this photo?

It’s called An Apartment for Space-Age Lovers, but it looks like somebody watched 2001 too many times. Maybe this apartment will gain enough texture to be interesting in ten years, or maybe it will continue to look like the burn ward of a hospital. I do like the Black Hole idea, a closet that can be moved to extend the living room or the bedroom.

It’s the end of Guitar Hero:

Guitar Hero Gone: What Went Wrong?
A Warriors of Rock guitar bundle will set you back $80. Considering many of the controllers do not play nice with similar games, that’s a lot of dough to drop on pretend jamming.

I added the color… the accent has to be on “pretend”. I think it’s far cooler to play air guitar with a broom than to use Guitar Hero.

It’s getting there: dimmable 60W warm-light LED bulb from Philips at Home Depot for forty bucks.

Beautidul photos:

Honey and beehives are sanctified
Bulgarian Orthodox faithful light candles with jars of honey during a holy mass for the ‘sanctification of honey’ at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin church in the town of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria on Feb. 10. Honey and beehives are sanctified by performing a ritual for health and rich harvest.

Do they really mean jars of honey? Shouldn’t that read jars of beeswax? By the way, I ordered a bunch of candles from Blue Corn Naturals in Colorado and think they are much better than the candles from the Santa Fe Candle Company. They have a rich honey smell, are made in Colorado (not in China, like some of the candles from Santa Fe Candle Company) and burn beautifully. Recommended!

La Luna

That’s La Luna from the Duncan Theater in Lake Worth, Florida, on 21. January. I think it is remarkable how good Houman sounds here already, as it was only his second concert with us. This is an American rhythm and the lilt or swing of it is very different from Arabic or Flamenco music. Enjoy!

OL – Flamenco Guitar
Jon Gagan – Fretless Electric Bass Guitar
Michael Chavez – Drumkit
Houman Orei – Cajon

Recorded live to stereo by Jaren Coler.