the illest album cover this year so far

Besides Boundary Waters and Short Stories of course!

baboon_strength

Also wins for one of the best track titles: “Astronaut Love Triangle.”  (I think this will inspire the title for my next song: “I’m Comin’ for Ya and I’m Wearin’ a Diaper”)

Anyways, check out the album here.

Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

t-painful

painfulWhen I first heard the judicious misapplication of autotune on that Cher hit from a number of years ago (the one that goes “I believe in love after love…” or whatever the hell she’s saying) I cringed.  And I cringed whenever I heard it, but I hoped it would go away.  It sounded vaguely like a vocoder (think Kraftwerk’s “Trans-Europe Express” or the voice of Soundwave from Transformers) or a talkbox (think Tupac’s “California Love”) but with all the cool sucked out and replaced with a yodeling Kermit the Frog.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go away.  As anybody who has listened to a mainstream rap radio station once in the last few years can attest, it’s grown into this horrible phenomena.  If you don’t know what autotune is, it’s a pitch-shifting software that was designed to subtly correct a singer that gave a not-so-pitch-perfect performance.  Subtle is the key word here.  Somewhere along the way some knuckleheads discovered that if you tweak the settings to the extreme, your voice gets quantized to exact pitches and the normal gliding between notes that happens when a human sings suddenly becomes instantaneous and robotic.  Kind of like a vocoder or talkbox, but not.  I love vocoders and talkboxes.  I hate autotune (the misuse of it).

Luckily the fellas over at the Rappers I Know blog hate autotune too.  They made a podcast mocking the judicious use of autotune in mainstream rap, and it’s hilarious.  Plus, the podcast has a mix of some dope new songs as well.  Listen here.

Oh, and in their continuing war against autotune they whipped up a few more mixes.  Listen to the Tribe song for especially painful hillarity.

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 10:01 pm  Comments (2)  

RIP Mitch Mitchell

One of my vivid memories of being in a rock band in high school is sweating heavily behind my kit in David V’s parent’s garage, as I desparately tried to keep tempo and play the feverish drum fills that Mitch Mitchell played on Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression.”  That was just one of the covers we (David Vaknin on guitar, Guillermo Godinez on bass, me on drums) practiced, but it was one of the more challenging for me, having just started learning the drums about a year ago at the time.  Later on as I got deeper into playing jazz I found out that one of Mitch’s influences was Elvin Jones–it makes a lot of sense when you listen to his triplety hand-to-foot fills and dense rolls around the kit.  There is a nice, although a kind of depressing, remembrance of him here, and a bit more info here.

Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  

higher ground

74007462AJ006_riotsIt’s an amazing but surreal feeling to finally be honestly proud of my country, as after the previous 8 years I had pretty much given up on that prospect.  I’m envious of my friend Freddie who lives in Chicago and was actually there.

short_storiesOn another positive, though not quite as historic, note, our new Leviathan Brothers EP, “Short Stories,” is now available for purchase.  I’m really proud of our music on this one, and the original artwork by South Park animator Ryan Quincy is off the chain.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

voter suppression is…

a direct attack on the foundation of this country, so why isn’t it being called terrorism?

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

three decades in the bag

I have a few random things I’d like to talk about.

picture-235First of all, it’s now official: I’ve been on the planet for three decades.  I really want to thank my family, friends, and girlfriend for being super awesome and helping me ring in my 30s.  I was afraid I’d suddenly feel like an old man, and though It is a weird feeling to no longer be in your 20s, I guess I’ve been bracing for it for over a year now.  And now that I think about it, being 29, though technically still in one’s 20s, really did not put me in the same category as kids with freshly legal IDs.  So it’s not that big of a change, except that instead of being an old member of the twenty-somethings, I’m a young member of the elite thirty-somethings.  Or something like that.

I’m also bracing myself for tomorrow, like many people.  FYI this is a voter guide from the organization I used to work for, and I fully support all their positions.

And finally, now that i’m older and more bearded, I’ve learned to respect other bearded fellows– especially Beardyman, who is awesome (even though he’s in his twenties).

Published in: on November 3, 2008 at 11:06 pm  Comments (1)