Ever get tired of just imitating Britt Daniel in your own, not very cool-sounding voice?Â Now you can rest your pipes and yelp with just a click of the mouse.Â It’s probably the only (quasi)useful website I’ve ever made, so I hope you like it.
Do you watch Lost?Â Does that disembodied broadcast of repeating numbers freak you the fuck out?Â Did Sinistar send your four-year-old self screaming for your mommy?
Some of this is probably common knowledge, but it is worth a repost once in a while.
From the Wikipedia entry about Number Stations:
“Numbers stations (or number stations) are shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin. They generally broadcast artificially generated voices reading streams of numbers, words, letters (sometimes using a spelling alphabet), tunes or Morse code. They are in a wide variety of languages and the voices are usually women’s, though sometimes men’s or children’s voices are used.”
I don’t know about you, but I get real nervous whenever I hear a repetitive, disembodied voice.Â The worst moments were during my childhood when television stations were still run by people – occasionally something would go awry and you’d get either a blank screen or a static logo of the station you were watching accompanied by a voice saying,
“We are having technical difficulties.Â Please stand by.”
[pause of 15 seconds or so]
“Please stand by.”
“Please stand by.”
“Please stand by.”
And then I would run hysterically and hide behind the couch.Â I wonder why it never occurred to me to change the channel or turn the television off.Â At any rate, I still have these vestigal twinges of panic whenever the Emergency Broadcast System tests come on the radio.Â Part of me hates it because of its automated and mechanical nature, and another part of me loves it because hey, potential apocalypse.
One of the more interesting Numbers Stations is UVB-76.Â Also from Wikipedia:
“UVB-76 is the callsign of a shortwave radio station that usually broadcasts on the frequency 4625 kHz (AM full carrier). It’s known among radio listeners by the nickname “The Buzzer“. It features a short, monotonous buzz tone (helpÂ·info), repeating at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, for 24 hours per day. The station has been observed since around 1982.
In rare occasions the buzzer signal is interrupted and a voice transmission in Russian takes place. Only three such events have been noted.
There is much speculation; however, the actual purpose of this station remains unknown.”
More info from Wikipedia:Â “The Conet Project: Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations is a four-CD set of recordings of numbers stations, mysterious shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin believed to be operated by government agencies to communicate with spies “in the field”. The collection was released by England‘s Irdial-Discs record label in 1997, based on the work of numbers station enthusiast Akin Fernandez…Â In keeping with its ‘Free Music Philosophy’, the Irdial-Discs label has made the entire collection available for download in MP3 form (along with a PDF version of the included booklet) on its website completely free of charge and encourages fans to freely distribute it on file sharing networks.”
So what the hell is all this stuff?Â Please stand by.
Reposted from Reddit:
After reading the YouTube comments, what I find amazing is the fact that people actually COMPLAINED about the fact that some of this is not perfectly in tune.Â Fucking music majors…
Last night a band called Brightblack Morning Light played a few blocks away from my house. I figured, “Hey, they are on Matador, and I dug the tunes of theirs that I checked out, and it’s only a few blocks from my house. Sounds like a good idea!”
I’m really not one to be unreasonably critical towards bands I’m only seeing for the first time. Actually, that is a lie. However, if your band is on Matador, I reserve the right to be as judgmental as I feel like, since, you know, you’re getting my money in one way or another eventually, and you’re on Matador and I’m not.
Things that separate Brightblack Morning Light from the average college funk band:
1). 30 bpm
2). A second, third, or fourth part to the song
3). Songs that are distinguishable from one another
It is interesting to see a band who receives a decent amount critical acclaim and whose albums I actually have a favorable opinion toward take such a drastic and giant shit when it comes to the live show. Their singer (who goes by the name Naybob Shineywater, by the way) sang through what sounded like a Zoom 505 pedal set on “STEVIERAY” all night, and didn’t bother to switch it off while he spoke to the audience in between songs. NOT COOL. And I seriously, honestly could not tell the difference between any of their songs, despite a concerted effort.
Any other experiences with a giant discrepancy between recording and live show?
The new Jenny Lewis album has me absolutely apoplectic. It’s SO GOOD, embarrassingly simple, and she seems to be able fire this kind of stuff off with regularity. Plus, she seems to be getting better at it, as I have not cringed once due to the lyrics on this most recent album. People like this (see also: Ryan Adams, Robert Pollard, Deerhoof, etc) who are consistently able to operate with such prolificacy and quality (okay, maybe not always Robert Pollard) sometimes get me to feeling like I just don’t have the tools. When one is trying to be constantly productive there are always fallow periods, and although those times have always faded away before I even realize it, it’s still difficult to shake the idea that I might not ever come up with something good any time in the near future. I realize that this is not a unique experience, but when your sense of accomplishment is derived from your ability to produce quality material when you want to, it can be damaging to the ol’ sense of inspiration.
I’m starting to understand how my friends in grad school would be so preoccupied with work that it would prevent them from fully engaging even on a cursory social level. How do you keep from falling into the same patterns of working and creating without repeating yourself? A familiar answer to the question is experimentation via a new instrument or some new piece of software that might give you the compositional insight you would not have normally had, but then there is always the idea that you SHOULD be able to distill all that down to just yourself and an instrument. Does a song need to be able to stand on its simplest elements (for some reason this is always something I strive for yet rarely achieve) or is it okay to rely on more than that? Do harmonies always improve a vocal melody? Is that extra chord or beat really necessary? My hands always default to the same positions on any instrument, my brain defaults to the same chord progressions and the same melodic tendencies.
It has been said that the best way to generate ideas for composition is to learn the inner workings of the music of others, either by learning how to play them, as I always used to do when studying piano in college, or studying song structure and chord relationships, etc etc. Or do I just not sweat it and wait for “inspiration” to strike? Listening to other music nearly always inspires, except exactly what it inspires me to do (other than thinly-veiled imitation) gets kind of unclear sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just my internal filter that’s working too hard. If the best part of creating something is when you’re not judging and just going with that elusive flow, how do you ensure that you’re producing quality material? Should you wait to edit later, and what happens when you get stuck in that process? What do YOU do when this happens?
I recently started work at a law office here in the San Francisco Bay area. The office is pretty quiet, and since I’m a newer hire they aren’t yet comfortable with giving me anything terribly important to do. So in my copious amounts of free time, I have started doing a little writing (Plus, they completely restrict all access to the internet). First, the haikus:
the office people
in oakland along the lake
have no work for me
did you know there is
a firm in san francisco
named low, ball and lynch?
when my boss returns
she shall serve something sublime
time like laser beam
great wall calendar
you can be seen from space, yet
my day feels longer
And, the limerick:
there once was a stack on my desk
filled with diseases of chests
I don’t mean to be rude
but gosh darn it, here’s proof
that mesothelioma congests!
The moral: GIVE ME SOMETHING TO DO OR I WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE THIS SHIT.
Aside from the singer, these guys might be the world’s ugliest band. Also, the hook in the song is “Are we human, or are we dancer?”
I don’t know what that means. Is he talking about one of Santa’s reindeer? Is dancer supposed to be an adjective?
So you click on this video, and you start thinking to yourself, “Oh, great, look at this jerk try to sell me on keyboard drums, like I haven’t tried THAT before.” Then you keep watching, because you’re curious, even though your prior opinion has already been affirmed within the first thirty seconds. Then, you KNOW you’re right after the guy plays the weakest drumbeat ever and proudly proclaims, “This is rock and roll!” Oh, god, more like “this is how my EYES roll, Mr. Japanese dad lame guy!!”
Then you learn why people are buying his shit and not yours: