Angry Robot

Good Night, Earth

Bad morning. Wake up to news that Trump is going off on Iran in all caps and some asshole went on a shooting rampage on the Danforth.

I found this video, of Kraftwerk jamming live with an astronaut on the International Space Station, at least somewhat restored my faith in humanity. Perhaps you will like it too.

Who gives a damn about the past? I live for today, plan for the future, pack a lunch and haul ass

Last call at Massey Hall: fans and musicians share their stories

It’s closing down for 2 years for renovations (that sound pretty great BTW)

JAZZ.FM91 listeners stunned at changes, allegations of misconduct at beloved radio station

Sad! Hope someone can right the ship… “it’s one of only three all-jazz radio stations in North America.”

Rich Intersections

I’m on my lunch, reading this article about Netflix taking over the world and listening to my “Discover Weekly” on Spotify, and it throws up a distinctive-sounding track, so I flip to the band’s bio and read:

ARIWO are a Cuban/Iranian four-piece focused on the rich intersection between electronic music, Afro-Cuban rhythm and Iranian mysticism.

It is an incredible world we live in now, folks. Rich intersections indeed.

Disc Spinning

Confession: I’m a vinyl person now. I bought a music-platter-spinning machine, and am spending actual dollars on music printed onto archaic physical discs. I am fussing with cartridges and alignment and dust and suchlike.

You’ll recall my enthusiasm for streaming, and perhaps you are familiar with my general love of technology, especially in its newest forms. What happened?

Deep background: I have quite a few vinyl-type friends. Some collectors, some DJs, some miscellaneous. My wife and I have in fact never gotten rid of our records – we have been holding onto them with no means of playing them until a few months ago. The collection includes some passed down from parents or siblings who divested themselves of their music-circle collections. Some I bought during the last time I had a record player, during college, at fire sale prices when music was actually expensive and paying for it was not optional.

There is certainly a nostalgic angle to all this. At my parents’ cottage when I was a child, the rotating music device was in the garage, and when the weather was bad I could spend whole days out there, playing Elvis, the Beatles, Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Dylan. I have many fond childhood memories of experiencing music, and this is one of my fondest.

I also have always loved the record-playing experience. The large art. The focus on albums as opposed to songs or mixes. The way the listening must happen in the foreground. I think there are limits to the value of convenience, as well captured in this article, and that physical constraints can focus the mind in important ways.

The crackle and scratch are familiar and almost comforting to me, but I don’t actually believe vinyl sounds better. I am uncommitted on this issue.

Because my daughter is old enough to be forming musical preferences, and with the birth of a brand new kid, I have been thinking a lot about the value of a personal music canon. I want to transmit to these kids my favourite music, but more importantly I want to pass down the value of treasuring music. Streaming has been great to me, especially for finding new music. But with easy access to almost all music, I find myself rarely listening to the same thing twice. I look through my “library” in Spotify and I can’t remember what half of it is. I have become skittish, manic in my listening; easily distracted by new and shiny things. Do I want to pass down a collection of 10,000 virtual albums I’ve barely listened to? Where is the value in that? Perhaps we only really value things we have spent money on, or more accurately things that do not come easily.

So I’m buying fucking records.

There’s a lot to be said about this world – the lure of crate-digging, the characters inhabiting record shops, the rare finds, the bizarre character of a marketplace where sales of a century-old medium are spiking while CD sales are tanking. I’m doing a mix of buying cheap shit at thrift stores for kicks, and gradually amassing a collection of 100 or so personally cherished albums. It’s ludicrous perhaps, or maybe it makes sense.

Whatever it is, I love it.

There is a Canadian hip-hop history exhibit going down at the McMichael; pictured: Michie Mee. (Thanks Ed)

People City prompts a journey down memory lane

Greatest sample ever?

This was an algorithmic Spotify recommendation. Tiiiiight tho. More about the band here.

Game Of Thrones badass Bronn used to be a cuddly British pop singer

Oh wow.

The Rowdy World of Rap’s New Underground

“SoundCloud rap” 😟

SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time

Well that sucks.

The Persistence of Prog Rock

Hot take: any proper history of prog would include Radiohead, regardless of what they say

Forgotify | Discover a previously unheard Spotify track

The 2017 Polaris Music Prize Long List Is Here

Letting neural networks be weird • The neural network will name your next band

A lot of potential here, especially if you want a shark-themed band – and why wouldn’t you?

Amazon Prime members now get exclusive live concerts

The TV business is changing incredibly rapidly at this point.

This Is Spinal Tap’s $400 Million Lawsuit

They’re not the first to go after Hollywood accounting, but they could be the loudest.

My job is basically like running a record label, except this record label also happens to sell chicken.

thanks y!

Radiohead and sadness: a data analysis

So lower scores on the “gloom index” are more gloomy? I guess that makes sense. Anyway, saddest albums appear to be Amnesiac and A Moon Shaped Pool.

Four Tet Made a Playlist of Music from Trump’s List of Banned Countries