Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

The Guitar Collection: George Harrison iPad app February 4, 2012

Even though I don’t own an iPad, millions of you do.  Check out the video below for The Guitar Collection: George Harrison iPad app.

BANDWDTH Publishing, in conjunction with the George Harrison Estate, announces the release of a special iPad app celebrating the guitarist and his historical guitar collection.  The Guitar Collection: George Harrison iPad app will be released through iTunes on February 23, two days before Harrison’s birthdate

The app brings George Harrison’s private guitar collection to life through photographs, detailed descriptions, audio, and video footage.  For the first time, with the help of unique 360° imaging by photographer Steven Sebring, fans can see the scratches, dings, and worn threads on the guitars as if they were themselves holding the instruments.

Fans will be able to examine Harrison’s private guitar collection, through personal audio recordings from Harrison himself as he introduces many of the guitars and plays sections of songs.

The history of each guitar is laid out in great detail; including the origin of the guitar, when and how it became part of Harrison’s collection, modifications he made to it and why each was so important in creating his distinctive sound.  Songs from his catalogue are organized by the guitars used on each track, which allows the user to appreciate the personalities of each instrument.

The video section of the app contains footage of Ben Harper, Josh Homme, Mike Campbell, and Dhani Harrison each playing and showcasing the guitars and exploring their feel and tone.  In addition, Conan O’Brien and Dhani discuss what make these guitars so exceptional.   Also in this section, guitar great Gary Moore shares his views on what made George Harrison such a distinctive and influential guitar player.

The app will sell for $9.99 at the Apple App Store.

 

Perfect Teeth Comic Book Series November 22, 2011

Review by Angela Blasi

What do you do when the world seems to be obsessed with the idea of vampires and you’re a punk rocker?  Why, you create a comic book hybrid of both those things!
 Paper + Plastick Records along with Viper Press have unveiled its newest project in the form of comic book series called Perfect Teeth.  In this fictitious world, art imitates life as vampires aren’t seductive predators, they’re dominating Billboard charts.  In real world fashion, other major music labels follow suit, booking talent from some of Halloween’s most recognizable faces.  If you have a Twitter account, you can download the comic for free here.  But wait, there’s more!  Not only has Paper + Plastick created a comic based on a group of blood sucking rock stars but they’ve brought the experience to life.  Owner of Paper + Plastick Vinnie Fiorello, along with Stephen Egerton (Descendents) and Jon Snodgrass (Drag The River) have teamed up to create a single under the guise of Perfect Teeth that is to be released later this month.  Visually, I enjoyed the content; its satirical nature and the whole look of it in general.  It’s a cool, creative medium jam-packed with sarcasm.

 

THE WM3 ARE FINALLY FREE! August 20, 2011

After 18 years of imprisonment for being wrongfully accused of murder, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley are free men as of August 19, 2011.  Was justice serviced?  Yes and no.  Yes, the West Memphis Three are finally free and Damien Echols was saved from death row.  No, because to gain freedom all three had to plead guilty to the crime, and punishment would be the time they already served.  Jessie Misskelley was against these terms from the beginning and is acknowledged as a hero for taking the agreement solely to save Echols life.  The state of Arkansas recognizes them as innocent men and have no travel restrictions.  They are going to continue to fight to clear their names and bring justice and closure to the murders.  Freedom.  Finally.  I am honored to have had the opportunity to support the WM3 by holding one of the first benefit concerts/events for these brave boys turn men in NJ with some of the most selfless people I have ever known- Paige and Michael Haggerty.

With love and respect, WELCOME HOME!

 Love,

Tina Nicole Teresi and the NVMP crew

 

Happy Friday! May 13, 2011

Rock the hell out of your weekend!
– TNT

“American Trash” by Innerpartysystem.  Yes, this is my nice way of telling you that you are not the most important person in America.  Go live your own life instead of idolizing reality TV non-stars, turning your skin orange by laying in cancer boxes and pretending your hot shit when you’re not.  Actually, this is my way of telling our non-poser readers to tell all the posers out there, or better yet “American Trash,” to get a life and live it.

“Sail” by AWOLNATION.  I heard this song on 101.9 WRXP on my drive home from what felt like the longest week ever and it made my day, perhaps even my weekend.  Great song and video.

 

The Musical Creative Process April 22, 2011

By Sean Davis

Musicians take a variety of approaches to composition; in the world of popular music alone several schools of thought inform the process of song writing.  John Lennon insisted on writing meaningful, poetic lyrics bathed in metaphors and expression; while Paul McCartney’s focus was on musical precision, making sure every note was carefully planned and perfectly executed.  McCartney was well-known for filling in melodies with nonsensical syllables, replacing them with words later (and often with John’s aid).  This compositional discontinuity is found not only in modern popular styles, but also throughout all western musical history.  Chopin was famous for laboring over minute details for hours, trying to discover the perfect combination of tones.  Monteverdi believed in the concept of text dictating the flow and direction of the music, going so far as to break the fundamental rules governing musical composition at the time.  Regardless of how one composes, the end result will almost always beg questions from listeners.  What inspired such and such song?  What did you mean by this lyric?  I really love the chords in that song, where did you come up with that?  It is these questions, and more, that spawned the fields of musical criticism, music theory, and continue to guide people into a musical life.  The problem with such questions, however, is that the creative process is almost always just as unique as the individual creator; there is no blanket truth we can ascribe to song-writers and composers that will reveal an objective musical process for creating good music.  What we can discover through analytical and historic study, are commonalities that might provide useful insight into how we can discover our own unique musical identities.  By understanding what aided those who came before us, we can capitalize on that information, and possibly use it to enhance the evocative powers of our own compositions.

Let us examine the two different approaches used by Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both systems, which is probably why the music that came from the collaboration between these two was so expressive.  Lennon’s practice of allowing the text do the work for you is not new, as mentioned earlier the baroque composer Monteverdi famously claimed that the music should follow the expressive motions of the text.  This idea can create wonderfully striking relationships with the listener, every word reflected in some musical gesture; we see this notion take form in Lennon’s famous single “Imagine,” the harmony is relatively simple, however the focus on major 7ths and circuitous, repetitive progressions signify a dream-like, ethereal atmosphere.  We can surmise from Lennon’s view on composition that he probably wrote the words first, and then crafted the music around them, trying to match the emotions he felt were in the lyrics.  Composing like this is effective for many, however it does exhibit a few pitfalls.  When the music takes a subordinate role to lyrics, very often it fails to express all that it can.  In other words, the music may not live up to its full potential.  I may be crucified for suggesting this, but in my opinion this dilemma is the main problem with the music of Bob Dylan.  Lyrically speaking, his songs are evocative, poetic and worthy of great praise; however, the music is stale, boring, and goes on far too long without variation.  Also, many times when the words predate the music, it can be difficult to find a way to seamlessly integrate the text with the musical syntax.  Clunky transitions, awkward phrases and misconception of text are often the result of a poor marriage between lyrics and music.

Paul McCartney approached song-writing from a different point of view, he would sweat over the harmony or melody of a song long before even considering the words.  When a composer or song-writer creates in this manner the instrumental aspect of the music tends to be just as important, if not more so than the words.  Focusing on the purely musical allows for a wider range of expression and interaction between musical devices, thus increasing the music’s ability to signify deep and meaningful concepts.  When listening to the opening bars of “You Never Give Me Your Money,” one can commiserate with the singer’s confusion and dejection.  The progression sequences down by fifths, cycling through all of the chords in A minor.  The descending lines coupled with the interaction of the piano chord voices evoke a musical atmosphere separate from the lyrics.  When we finally hear the words, the music has already set the scene for us, coloring our interpretation from the onset.  These kinds of expressive devices come from a learned set of syntactical symbols, arranged in various ways to extract an emotional (or physical, or psychological, etc…) response.  Most people are familiar in some way with how most songs unfold: two or more contrasting sections presented with lyric alteration guiding the listener from beginning to end.  Of course there are any number of variations on this framework; the fact is that because we know what to expect, due to exposure to these symbols over and over again (via radio, television, dance clubs, internet, etc…), we develop a sense of music’s ability to signify.  The skilled composer and/or song-writer has such an understanding of these symbols that she/he is able to utilize them to either fulfill, or stifle, an expectation.  However, ignoring the capacity of lyrics to resonate with individuals can cause even the most well-constructed songs to fail to connect.  Sometimes when composers, especially song-writers, place too much emphasis on the instrumental and non-verbal in their songs the listener is left with a vague wash of expression devoid of any real form.  In the worst case scenario the words and music are almost contradictory, would anyone have listened to “I Want To Hold Your Hand” if the title was “Please don’t hurt or murder me,” and the lyrics grim depictions of armed robbery and muggings?  The imagery of the words would not have matched the imagery of the music.  This kind of extreme case rarely occurs, however poorly worded songs can cause a disconnect with the listener.  Musical creators do not want poetic lyrics with drab music, or poetic music with drab lyrics, the true artist finds a medium between the two, balancing the forces and dipping one way or the other as the situation calls.

It is our job as musicians to learn from these techniques, and to use them to further enhance musical expression.  The famous axiom “you must learn to walk before you can run” rings true here, for we must learn the language of musical signification before we can create artful music, capable of expressing our most intimate thoughts and desires.  Want to be a rock-star?  Want to write the next great song, and not the next hit pop-tune, but the next “Erlkönig” or “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”?  Then your greatest assets are your ears, listen to as much music as possible, and to the greatest variety of music possible.  Learn the symbols and how they manifest themselves in music, use that knowledge to your advantage to create new styles and new symbols, and music will continue to grow in expressive capacity.

 

For The Love Of Music, Or The Money? April 14, 2011

by Angela Blasi

So Drake was momentarily out of Young Money after an alleged argument and shoving match between him and Lil’ Wayne.  According to the rumor mill, like most celebrity fallouts, Drake got heated when discussing the possibility of restructuring his contract and while also inquiring about royalties.  He threw some words around to which Lil’ Wayne, the badass he is, basically told him to get the fuck out.  Days later the internet is a buzz with media citing that, oh, he was just kidding!  Drake, you so funny.  From interviews given by both Drake and Lil’ Wayne the two have cited nothing but the utmost appreciation for one another and are in fact still a part of the Young Money machine.

While this sounds like a sweet tale of bromance, the cynic in me can’t help but wonder how big a role money played in this smoothing over.  I imagine Drake throwing a bitch fit over royalties, starting to get an inflated sense of self (when most people know you’re from Canada and played the handicapped kid on Degrassi) and popping off at the mouth.  Fast forward a day and everyone realizing that, holy shit, we make a lot of money to do this, are you fucking stupid?  Smile for the cameras boys.

 

Men at Work Lose Song Plagiarism Appeal April 12, 2011

Thoughts by TNT

Men at Work may come from a land down under, but after a recent court hearing, the band will have to pay royalties after the judge ruled their hit single from 1982 “Down Under” was partly copied from popular folk song “Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree” by Marion Sinclair.  It was a portion of the flute riff that mimics the classic tune.  Can you hear the similarities?

“Fact of the matter is that it went unrecognized for 27 years because it was unconscious, it was innocuous, naive” states Colin Hay

Now, as I can clearly hear the Kookaburra tune in the flute riff, I wouldn’t call this copyright infringement, especially since it went unrecognized for 27 years.  Marion Sinclair, a school teach from Australia, wrote this song in 1932 and it was copyrighted in 1934.  Ms. Sinclair passed away in 1988 and the rights to her song were renewed, or better yet, purchased by Larrikin Music in 1989 for $6,100.  The owners of the copyright saw an episode of ABC’s Spicks and Specks (an Australian music-themed comedic television quiz show) in 2007 and it prompted legal action against the band for the similarities.  Copyright laws state that the original composer gets life plus 70 years.  I’m sure none of this would have happened if Larrikin Music did not have the rights, and this is why I find the case to be unfair and unjust.  Men at Work was ordered to pay just 5% of royalties from the hit song dating back to 2002 and of course future royalties, which is better than the original asking of 40-60% of ALL royalties since the creation of “Down Under”.  Poor Colin Hay and Ron Strykert.  What do you think about this case?  Is this fair or unjust?

Anyone know what the song is about?  Apparently, “Down Under” paints the picture of an Australian backpacker touring the world, making references to chunder, Vegemite sandwiches and beer.  Wanna laugh?  Think about myself or anyone taking these dance moves to a club today (1 minute and 35 seconds into the video, second guy from the left).