Sunday, May 21, 2006

MP3 Locker

I ended up having an MP3 Locker because I had bought some music at MP3 Tunes. At first I didn't understand the value of the service and just found it annoying (the script in the plugin cannot deal with big pages full of MP3 links for example).

But recently I've been reconsidering. I have been visiting some of the various John Peel style blogs that are either dedicated to the program and the music of the time or honouring the eclectic style of exploring new music. Most of these blogs have links to recordings of old radio shows, obscure 7" or band sessions. I don't want to download such eclectic material onto my PC, it would be a pain to handle and if its a duffer I don't want to lose it amongst all the other files I have.

MP3 Locker means I can download the file without having to store it on my machine. It also allows me to store a link that may be ephemeral. The locker also has a nice web based MP3 player and allows you to have a quick a blast of something while wandering the web.

It's probably not 100% there yet but it has been becoming increasing useful, to the point where I actually noticed that the SL icon was missing on my MacBook. For music grazers I would definitely recommend, it's the junk store of online music.

D'oh! Or Bleep and Track Numbers

My music player, along with the iPod (I believe) ignores the track numbers in the tagging information on my music files and instead organises directories alphabetically by the filenames. It used to really bug me that once I downloaded something from Bleep I had to spend ten minutes manually rejigging the filenames to add the track number at the start. However it seems that I was just being a bit of an idiot and that if you login and go to your preferences you can select the filename format you want from three options.

Full marks to the Bleep crew for having the option, null pois for advertising it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Primal Scream - Live at the Dundee Radio 1 Weekend

I took the opportunity tonight to use the power of digital TV and the red button to watch Primal Scream perform at the Radio One Dundee event. I've seen Primal Scream live before and didn't really enjoy the experience. That's because for me they are very inconsistent in their output: there's the Rolling Stones Primal Scream, the Stoner Primal Scream and the screaming industrial Primal Scream. That's fantastic in terms of longevity of the band and variety in the albums but live it just results in a confusing experience. As soon as you've got into one style or, rather, as soon as you are enjoying one of the Primal Screams they seem to change to another.

What makes the experience worse is that the band do not seem to have found a way to mesh these styles together into a whole themselves but instead have to lurch from one to another.

It is easy to understand why people like the Scream but personally I think watching them on telly is a far better experience.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Classical Appropriation

I went to see the last Sacred Selection last night (Black Metal). The church was local and the whole performance was less than two hours so it was an enjoyable and easy-going evening.

Out of the music chosen for the night I only really knew Cradle of Filth. So I was coming at it from a very neutral point of view. I was not exactly sure how the important rhythm section was going to be handled and, in fact for the most part, it wasn't due to the selection of the pieces. Something like Cradle of Filth is already orchestrally arranged anyway. A lot of Black Metal albums and tracks also start with keyboard intros based on Requiem style church music anyway so I guess what was more revealing was not the adaption but actually the way it revealed the influence church music has had on the subject matter.

Listening to the recital also made me think about how limited the range of organ music I have heard is. Like many people I most often find myself in a church due to a wedding. At such occasions the music is of necessity mostly in a major key and relatively unobtrusive. It was therefore nice to hear the instrument really displaying a wider range of tone, style and key.

It was also nice to see that the audience was not just die-hard metallers nor the typical ICA art show attendee. Both were present but the audience was broader. It was also a relief to see that the audience for the most part respected the church and its environment as well as the genre. There were a few idiots but there always are at anything that is open to the public.

The show also got me thinking about the way that classical music seems to be plundering popular music genres for ideas at the moment. Over the last year I have bought a couple of classical reinterpretations of dance music and electronica. Generally such crossover traffic is in the opposite direction with electronica borrowing liberally from classical music to provide samples as well as ideas.