Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out for the SEMF show in Sacramento last night, you guys were awesome and the energy was great. I always love playing in Sacto and it was nice to see that the electronic scene there is alive and better than ever. Thanks to Adam and everyone from SEMF for putting together three straight days of incredible music; I hope this becomes and annual event.
Create Digital Music has posted an excellent interview with Paul Frindle. Frindle was one of the people at the center of the digital revolution in audio recording; he worked on SSL G-Series Console, was “part of the team that broke the “damnable black art” of digital conversion”, founded Oxford Digital (whose EQ plugin I still use extensively), and developed the application the Sony OXF-R3 Console. It’s a pretty technical article but it highlights how creativity and genius can combine to fundamentally change an art form.
Some producers and musicians these days lament the shift to digital saying that analog will always be better than digital. I tend to agree with that statement — particularly when it comes to synthesis — but the move to digital has made the process of production so much more efficient and accessible that it’s hard to argue against it. Digital audio has opened the doors of the music industry to anyone with a computer and made artists of people who might not have had access otherwise. Although I have spent many years trying to shift my process into the analog domain, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get a start in music if it weren’t for the ability to record digitally.
So here’s to Paul Frindle and everyone like him who paved the way for a revolution in music, because whether we’re making music or enjoying it, we all owe these pioneers a debt of gratitude.
Just a reminder that tomorrow (Sat, Jan.30, 2010) I’ll be playing at the Sacramento Electronica Festival along with Dusty Brown and many others. I should go on around 12:30am and Dusty will be up right after. We’ll be playing some songs together and I’ll have all the visuals set up so it should be a fun night. Hope to see you out.
Since the post about Matthew Dear’s remix of The XX I went on to dig for a 7 inch only remix he did for Colder from 2005. This is one of the first hints at Matthew doing guitar/organic feeling based material and pulling back on the electronics which just sounded natural to have him work with.
Yesterday jonathan suggested I check out The Mary Onettes and i’m glad I did, it opened up a 4am search thru sugary Swedish post rock on iTunes. If you liked The Radio Dept. than this might be right up your alley.
After just releasing their LP Real Estate comes up with an smaller release of material that is LP worthy. The band keeps its laid back sun-dyed feel, so if you loved the LP than this is a must have.
Keepaway got a good grade on Pitchfork’s forkcast/song review because the song is great I think but it also came with a lesson which is if you rip off Animal Collective your gonna get called out hard so maybe adjust a few things so you can be your own idea and not someone else’s, its like the handful of ISO50 rip offs i’ve seen on the innernets, yikes, I can say it because some are just too blatant in my eyes.
Gorgeous typographic works by French studio Hey Ho. I’m a big fan of this super regimented typographic chaos; a contradiction of terms I know, but looking at the pieces I think you know what I mean. Careful inspection usually reveals a tight grid and all of the placement feels *right*. I try to imagine adding or taking away elements and always find that Hey Ho has balanced things perfectly. Their work kind of reminds me of Experimental Jetset in an alternate typographic universe.
Call it Chillwave, Dreambeat or Glo-fi but whatever it is i’m in full support of this sound. The whole genre is like finding an old tape collection of damaged PBS pop music that was never released. I have the lucky opportunity to be in Brooklyn at this time which eats this music up which always isn’t a bad thing because that means live shows while the sound is fresh to the ears. One band i’m excited about is Small Black, their song Pleasant Experience makes me feel like i’m close to real warm water while Despicable Dogs is a bit more noisier and has hints of Big Country – In A Big Country PLEASE TELL ME YOU HEAR IT! or am I crazy?
Tyler Hayes’ furniture label BDDW is a favorite of mine. The prices are — as with nearly all well-designed furniture — off the charts, but it’s always fun to look. I haven’t had a chance to check out their SoHo, NYC showroom in person but Trendland has a nice gallery by Patricia Thompson (who also has some great shots at her Flickr) detailing the interior.
I’m getting a rustic-take-on-Dieter-Rams vibe from that second one. Really nice stuff.
I’ve written posts on Content Management Systems before (Cargo Collective, Indexhibit) and I figured it was time to round out my overviews with a look at Squarespace. My personal site runs on Cargo, but I’ve built a few client sites with Squarespace and find it to be a really enjoyable and extremely easy way to design a website.
Squarespace is a fully hosted, completely managed environment for creating and maintaining a website, blog or portfolio. Since its inception, Squarespace has blossomed into a product that powers tens of thousands of sophisticated websites for businesses, bloggers, and professionals worldwide and currently serves hundreds of millions of hits per month.
-Building a site with Squarespace is very intuitive. You can easily go through the whole process without ever catching a glimpse of any code. Like Cargo, if you know even the slightest bit of HTML/CSS you can easily tweak the site to look unique and not easily identifiable as a Squarespace template etc. The basic design view allows you to edit everything in real-time; so if you change the point size of the “body copy”, you will see it update immediately after you slide the little font-size slider. Feels a lot like Firebug in this way, except you aren’t manipulating code, you are manipulating clearly laid out values for all of the page elements. You just have to remember to hit “save changes” after every change you make. I constantly forget to do this.
- Fully functional blog platform. Like many CMS sites, Squarespace works really well as a blog or portfolio site. It’s very easy to post entries, edit old ones, etc, everything you would expect. Once you have the design of your site locked in, it’s just as easy to maintain and update as it was to build. The interface for blog editing can feel a little clunky sometimes, though I think this is because I’m used to WordPress where each open entry gets its own page. Squarespace editing happens as an overlay to the page which feels slower (whether it actually is or not I don’t know).
- The backend of a Squarespace is very well done. Not only do you have access to just about every statistic you could hope for, you are also able to edit some of the more tricky part of your site design. Things like search engine parameters, meta data, and security permissions are all easily editable. It also looks nice, which is a plus.
- Helpful forum. I’ve had many issues (usually due to my own failings with attempts to customize my weird CSS) which I’ve posted to the forum and in each case, the problem has been solved quickly and correctly. I’m always pleasantly surprised.
- They have a slick iPhone app that allows you to post blog entries and check out site statistics (among other things) on the go. And it’s free!
- One important difference to note is cost. Many CMS platforms are free, Squarespace is not. They have a simple pricing structure, but like many sites, the cheaper options are essentially useless. For example, any option where you can’t use a custom URL is immediately off the table in my mind. I’ve found the “Business” option to be the most useful (the form builder is the main reason for this). The crucial thing to note is that Squarespace is hosting your site, so you’re not just paying for the CMS, you’re also getting server space. When you look at it like that, it’s a lot easier to justify a monthly charge. (Of course, you will also have to pay for domain name registration elsewhere. Kind of annoying to have to split this up.)
As I mentioned, I’ve built a few sites with Squarespace. The most recent of which I hoped would be finished in time for this article, but unfortunately we are waiting on some of the final content to come through before launching. The one I will mention instead is aeolas.net, the website for the fake/real aeronautical research firm Aeolas International.
Basically I needed a quick site that could host a blog and quickly display information about the company. The construction of this particular site took about 6 hours. I attribute the speed of the creation to the ease of the Squarespace interface (as well as low page count and small amount of total content). I didn’t move terribly far from the initial template, but I felt like I was able to give the site a unique feel. The most fun aspect has been the contact form; I would have had no idea how to actually make one of these with code. The fact that I could just insert it into the site with the click of a button was pretty cool.
There were some hiccups here and there early on, but nothing too frustrating. The need to ‘save changes’ after every alteration you make can get pretty annoying, but you get used to it after a while. Usually if I had an issue, it was because I was trying to do something either A) impossible or B) the completely wrong way.
I’d highly suggest taking Squarespace for a spin. They offer a free 14 day trial, so at least get in there and muck around. Take the tour here.