Good news and bad news

The good news people are reading Blogerantz!  The bad news is that one of them is Dave Meros of Spock’s Beard.

Thanks for the nice words. Not so many thanks for offering our CD up for illegal downloading, though.

You P2P and Bittorent guys are killing us. .. literally.

Dave Meros / Spock’s Beard

Sorry about that, Dave.  I thought the title (Live at Whiskey and Near Fest) was unavailable through conventional means, but I have since confirmed that it can be purchased directly at Radiant Records on CDR.

I’m pleased to say that I did purchase this item back in the day, as opposed to getting it from bittrorrent or P2P.  My original vision with Blogerantz was to share music the way I did back in high school when I would copy Steve Hackett’s Defector for one friend and they would copy Tony Banks’ Curious Feeling for me.  Behavior like that generally did not lead to cease and desist letters, even though it was technically in violation of copyright laws.

But I understand Dave’s point and I am very sensitive about posting ‘official’ releases for artists who are young or independent.  Despite my deep and abiding love of Beardfish, I’m not posting any of their studio records at Blogerantz, no matter how much I want to spread the word.  Those guys really need the money.

Lots of jazz fusion, waiting for me to listen.

20080616-mgp15mtui57egxhag575d78qpe

Jazz-fusion.  So reviled and so beloved by so many.  I just hauled in the mother load from a dear friend in D.C.  Mr. el Sturj has a deep collection (50+ gigs of Mahavishnu alone!).  We’ve had some famuily staying with us, so I haven’t gotten to assimilate any of this material into the master list just yet.  I also note that there is no shortage of possibilities to help jump start Blogerantz, which has been dormant for too many days.  I have gotten bits of positive feedback recently and Google Analytics confirms that people from all over the global village have stopped by to sample the treats.  So, it’s time for more treats.

Google Analytics – not working for mpomy.com. Yet.

GoogleAnalyticsGraph1

I realize the point of Google Analytics is to help generate ad revenue, but, as with most of my internet experience, I’m checking it out because I’m curious.  I don’t really need to know about hits and who’s checking in, I’m just curious.  Anyway, the functionality for Blogerantz is great, prbably because that’s also a Google product – Blogger.  The graphs are easy to read, and I can see how using the Twitter tie-in has allowed for a few more hits.

But, for some reason, it’s not working with this site.  Which is OK, because there’s a nifty widget that’s already tracking site usage by the outside world – Counterzeii.  But the appearance and attributes of the Google site is just nicer to look at.  There is, of course, a WordPress widget that plugs into Analytics, but the way I have set up my site is, I think, confusing the counter.  I don’t have everything sitting in an ‘mpomy’ directory, but rather in a WordPress subdirectory – that’s why the main URL is mpomy.com/wordpress.

I’ll fool with it some more and see if I can’t get the thing to work.

Squarepusher – Artist Of The Week

4d86ad4e-28d8-4e9f-8cf4-735c57060fdc

Here’s a Squarepusher Top Ten from Hipsterwave.  I’m not sure what the website is all about, but the article/top ten is a good read.

Not to be outdone, I’ve posted Squarepusher’s 2004 performance from BBC radio’s The Breezblock over at Blogerantz – that’s a heavy listen.

And here is all one minutes and twenty-nine seconds of 09 Unreleased from ‘Burning’n Tree’:

Decemberists at the Tower last night

decemberists4

Em and I made our way to Upper Darby via the Market-Frankford elevated train to see the Decemberists at the Tower Theater.  This is a lovely old venue that I find to be somewhat inconvenient becuase it’s outside the center of town, but parking is still very difficult.  Fortunately, SEPTA goe right there.  The upside – no need for a designated driver.

So I’m working off a hangover at the super hip coffee shop in Collingswood, NJ, while Em meets with a new yoga instructor.  What, you’ve never heard of Collingswood?  My point exactly.  The hope had been to prepare a Blogerantz entry with a tasty tidbit from the Decemberists promo tour for Hazards of Love, namely a stop at KCRW to play some of the best bits from the album.  Unfortunately, upload capacity is capped pretty low here, so it will have to wait.

It was a great show.  They performed the entire album front to back, a-la Genesis with The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in 74-75.  That portion of the program was absolutely uninterrupted performance for about an hour.  Highlights came from the guest performances of Becky Stark and the incredible Shara Worden, who are both on the record, even though they have bands of their own.  We were particularly taken by Worden, who stole the show with her intense vocals and outrageous dance and movement.

Both guests stepped away for most of the second set, and that took some of the air out of the balloon, but they came back for a rousing rendition of Heart’s ‘Crazy on You’.  I try not to get caught up with gimmickery of the BIG COVER.  We’ve paid a good bit of money to see what this band can do.  Can they bring the energy and originality of their studio work to the stage.  The cover is often a cheap shot, especially for a band that has several albums worth of material.  But it did feature the girls on vocals, so it was nice to have them front and center again.

This is not to take anything away form the Decemberists-proper.  These guys have probably taken a lot of heat for the excessive literary nature of their lyrics.  Here’s the Village Voice from 2006:

Tonight demarcates the other side of the hipster spectrum: the familiar world of self-pitying white people looking for reasons to be unhappy, or at least suspicious, despite incalculable birthright advantages. The Decemberists look down from the top of this mountain, trying to make a living off of blasé malaise.

And that’s not the nastiest of it.  I wouldn’t be suprised if that was a pervasive criticism, but, you know what?  After a large cup of coffee, I feel like telling The Village Voice to STFU.  Better than that, however, is the fact that the band has become better, tighter, more focused and more adventurous in its dark tone.  If the Voice didn’t like it back in ’06, I’ll be they really hate it now.  The show hits Radio City on June 10.  We’ll see what they have to say then.

The music is tremendous – direct and simple.  There are no highly technical flourishes that often burden concept albums.  That means that the band can concentrate, not on getting it right, but on bringing the passion and the power.  And that’s just what happend.  The cresendo of ‘Won’t Want For Love’ came across about two hundred times stronger live.

Mpomy/Blogerantz Artist Of The Week – Wayne Shorter

wayne-shorter

It’s a little hard to understand the gravity of this man’s achievment.  He is, without a doubt, one of the most outstanding American composers ever.  He’s up there with Zappa.  He’s that big, but simply doesn’t get the credit, most likely because he has always taken things, especially with his solo albums, in his own direction.  But, besides being singularly unique and enormously influential, he has also managed to create the most delicate, complex and achingly beautiful music I have ever heard.

I am going to try and start something new with Wayne – an ‘artist of the week’ feature.  So I’ll try to share some of my general thoughts and observations on this sight and I’ll post some music over at Blogerantz, and, hopefully, there will be conceptual continuity and rejoicing.

More to come…

I just have to say…

The design is adapted from a really user-friendly template developed by these folks.  Those nice looking links at the upper left are a bit of a bother, because I kind of let those ‘pages’ get away from me.  The real music content is, of course, over at Blogerantz.  Also, this VodPod thing on the right is going to get on my nerves.  It looks too much like an advertisement, and, unless I’m the guy getting paid, there’s no advertising on this page.  And when I say paid, I mean getting paid real money.

UPDATE: VodPod thingy is gone. That didn’t last long. Maybe I’ll use it on the video pages, but not here on the front.