Category Archives: artfilmphotomusic

MP3’s Part 2: Roll Credits… what! no credits???

One development – since the advent of the MP3 as a delivery format – is the complete lack of credits and liner notes. It’s amazing to look through the records in the iTunes music store, and see how many don’t have downloadable pdf versions of the artwork. I know most artists still put a great deal of effort into selecting the artwork for the cover, the photos and the layout of the booklet, putting together a list of credits, thank you’s and even some decent liner notes and lyrics in many cases. Surely looking at this as an extension of their artistic vision, so for them to then go ahead and not include it in the world’s largest music store, makes no sense to me.

For example, this new 20 yr. anniversary release of U2’s Achtung Baby Continue reading

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MP3’s: The cause of (and solution to) all of life’s problems

In the last few years, there’s been an interesting shift in the music industry – not just among consumers, but also among artists. Albums are being made at an almost alarming rate and the equipment needed has become very affordable – it’s all become very democratized. Albums are being released as MP3‘s online, and thus reaching a lot more people than ever before. One would think that for us recording engineers this was a good thing. And in some cases it is, but not always. As a matter of fact, a similar thing has happened (albeit much faster) in the music industry as has happened in the food industry. The norm has become fast food.. made without nutrients, without soul and without heart. The idea that making an album should be an investment (time and money) is a thing of the past. Since it’s possible to make an album inexpensively, then.. shouldn’t I do it .. by myself? Continue reading

Some fave restaurants, food and downtown LA.

3-4 years ago i started poking around downtown, and have come to find some fantastic restaurants and cafés. It’s a strange place, downtown LA, and if you don’t know your way around, it can be quite depressing. In a way, it’s like a miniature version of Los Angeles, which has several great ‘pockets’ – the Indian community on Artesia’s Pioneer blvd, the oddities of Venice Beach, the altered reality of shopping in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica (or ‘The People’s Republic of Santa Monica’ as i like to call it), all separated by blocks and blocks of ‘culture free zones’.. Continue reading

Should you be in a reggae band?

I was lucky enough to catch a screening of a new documentary ‘The Upsetter: The life and music of Lee Scratch Perry’ the other day, at the Downtown Independent. Now, this guy was an absolute genius and really changed the face of music, essentially creating Reggae and Dub as we know it. When you see people like that, it becomes clear real quick that they have something we don’t. They’ve got something ‘inside’ that makes them unique. Granted, he was (or became) completely bat-shit crazy, but what a force. What drive this man had. Just hearing (and watching) him speak makes it clear that there’s something going on in there that we’ll never understand. That most of us Continue reading

More gear than talent

I’ve always been a gear person. At 10, i was finding ways to hook up more speakers to my stereo than the one ‘recommended’ pair: “There must be a way to twist the wires together, splice it in the back, or something” or I’d be hooking up an external mic to my Radio Shack cassette deck to record the US top 40 broadcasts from the US Military Base in Keflavik (with the mic jammed up against the speaker on my AM transistor radio). In fact, some of those songs would become forever altered in my memory, since these were the only recordings i had of them, and inevitably my mom would come in, mid-recording, to fetch me for dinner; Continue reading

Face-to-Face time, instead of Facetime

One thing I’ve noticed, as people get more and more dependent on technology, is how the actual real-time interaction and/or meeting with someone in person, is on the decline. As a matter of fact, it seems like i can’t even keep people on the phone long enough to let me give them directions to my studio anymore: ‘it’s cool, i’ve got a GPS in the car.. i’ll just punch it in.. click.. dialtone….’ (yeah sure, while you steer with your knee and run over a dog – and then get it wrong anyway!).
I have a company called Groundlift, and at it’s core, it’s a group of like minded artists and creative types. Through this company i collaborate with artists from all over the world. We do music, remixes, videos Continue reading

Why was everything better in the 70’s ?

Been watching a lot of movies from the 70’s (and late 60’s) lately, and no matter how many times i watch these films, they never get boring, never seem too dated and never cease to amaze me. The craft of making movies had really reached some sort of a peak at that time, and even if it’s hard to put a finger on what it was that made it so, everything just seemed so perfectly done.. so beautifully lit.. meticulously written .. there was such a love for the art – not just the telling of the story, and these movies really informed a lot of modern film makers. They set the tone.

A great example is The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) dir. by Norman Jewison and shot by the great Haskell Wexler. Continue reading