What about Music ?

Jasper

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Apr 12, 2022
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I've always loved this song. I did not expect the lyrics to go this way out of nowhere.

I mean this like it sounds, like it is. And I don't mean George Harrison. You'll just have to watch it.




P.S. This masterpiece was how I first enjoyed the song:

 

tudwell

Sparkwood & 21
Apr 12, 2022
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I've been getting into the jazz guitarist Julian Lage and apparently he did an instrumental rendition of In Heaven from Eraserhead:



The same album also has a cover of Roy Orbison's Crying. Not sure if that's meant to be, at least in part, a nod to Mulholland Drive?
 

Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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I've long been a fan of the French songstress Mylène Farmer. I discovered her videos in the early 1990s. I was initially confused by the English surname (she's a fan of actress Frances Farmer) and French music, but her videos, directed by her producer, collaborator, co-writer (sometime lover, allegedly) Laurent Boutonnat, who should have become a great film director. She's still a huge star in Europe. Her 2019 concert residency was the biggest concert ever held in Europe, apparently. I was more a fan of the videos, initially, but got into the music with my meagre French in time. Her music is typically Gallic, loaded with meditations about sex, love, failure, death, suicide, but all to catchy tunes. Mylène and Laurent settled into a pattern after her first album of her writing the lyrics and Laurent writing the music. This collaboration continued until 2009. They've only done one album since, in 2013, although they have collaborated to produce work for other singers

Her original 1980s era videos actually has a continuing narrative, with spirits crossing paths in more than one video.

Here's a small selection in narrative order (definitely NSFW! Seriously not!!) and some videos are long with the music being only a small component. They're a riot of horror, historical drama, fantasy, sex and violence. And she did all the howling wolves and Catholic symbolism before Madonna!!

Plus grandir is her first major filmed clip


Libertine is the first video I ever saw of her's. It's the beginning of a trilogy featuring a rivalry with characters played by her dancer Sophie Tellier.


Tristana is amazing and the second one I ever saw


Pourvu qu'elles soient douces is a sequel to Libertine and ends a loose trilogy about rivalry.


Sans contrefaçon is eerie and Pinocchio-esque
 

Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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Sans logique is really screwed up and I love it. Quite short and based on Goya's Witches' Sabbath.


A quoi je sers brings the saga to a close with the return of several characters


The next era kicked off with this one, the action-packed Désenchantée. Very cool!
 

Jordan Cole

White Lodge
Sep 22, 2022
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You all may like Camper Van Beethoven, one of my favorite bands. Very Lynch-inspired, with surreal lyrics and strange concepts, but always catchy. Years ago they made a big reunion concept album that was this sci-fi story about an alternate future where things are run by aliens and there's various rebel groups, etc. There's a song about Twin Peaks (sort of):

 

Jasper

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Apr 12, 2022
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I like this guy. I've linked this particular video simply because it's his newest.




He's a talented guitarist (and guitar teacher), obvious fan of 1980s rock (just look at him), and he knows a great deal about singing.

I'm sometimes reminded of you,@Jordan Cole, when I see many of his videos, because of his skillful work at exposing autotune and pitch correction, and arguing persuasively against it. (I believe that Jordan detests autotune as much as I do, which is saying something.) Autotune isn't the only subject of these videos, as he does a lot of analysis of natural vocal performances, often using vocal isolation software and pitch visualization software to do so, looking at a very wide range of popular music styles going back as far as the 1920s. (He made a good video analysis of a Bessie Smith performance, and it's wonderful to hear her isolated vocal.) Possibly of interest to Lynch fans is his video investigating whether the voice of Chris Isaak in a live performance of Wicked Game has been altered after the fact by pitch correction or autotune software. [SPOILER: It isn't for me to spoil.]
 

Jordan Cole

White Lodge
Sep 22, 2022
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I like this guy. I've linked this particular video simply because it's his newest.



He's a talented guitarist (and guitar teacher), obvious fan of 1980s rock (just look at him), and he knows a great deal about singing.

I'm sometimes reminded of you,@Jordan Cole, when I see many of his videos, because of his skillful work at exposing autotune and pitch correction, and arguing persuasively against it. (I believe that Jordan detests autotune as much as I do, which is saying something.) Autotune isn't the only subject of these videos, as he does a lot of analysis of natural vocal performances, often using vocal isolation software and pitch visualization software to do so, looking at a very wide range of popular music styles going back as far as the 1920s. (He made a good video analysis of a Bessie Smith performance, and it's wonderful to hear her isolated vocal.) Possibly of interest to Lynch fans is his video investigating whether the voice of Chris Isaak in a live performance of Wicked Game has been altered after the fact by pitch correction or autotune software. [SPOILER: It isn't for me to spoil.]


Ohhh yes, and thank you, that is flattering! I'm obsessed with this too. I had a big fight on the Morrissey forums because I am positive he used autotune on his latest album, which to me is just blasphemy, a crime. It shouldn't even be an option. We're here for the man's voice, damn it. No one believed me and I pointed to specific seconds where you can hear his voice unnaturally smoothed out or leaping to new notes.

I never use it on a main vocal for my own stuff, but I have used it to smooth out background "ahhhs" and "ooohs", but even that made me feel bad.

I will check this guy's stuff out! I've watched some before a long time ago.
 

Jasper

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Apr 12, 2022
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Ohhh yes, and thank you, that is flattering! I'm obsessed with this too. I had a big fight on the Morrissey forums because I am positive he used autotune on his latest album, which to me is just blasphemy, a crime. It shouldn't even be an option. We're here for the man's voice, damn it. No one believed me and I pointed to specific seconds where you can hear his voice unnaturally smoothed out or leaping to new notes.

I never use it on a main vocal for my own stuff, but I have used it to smooth out background "ahhhs" and "ooohs", but even that made me feel bad.

I will check this guy's stuff out! I've watched some before a long time ago.

If it's true what you say about Morrissey, I'd agree that it would be blasphemous, not to mention utterly unnecessary. However much Morrissey may upset people with this or that opinion, at least you know you're dealing with a forthright person. Autotune, however, in addition to sounding horrendous, is deceptive by its nature (or anti-nature).

I believe that Fil (the Wings of Pegasus guy) pays attention to requests in the comments, so I'd give that a try. He does have 335k subscribers, but it's still worth a shot. If the autotune or pitch correction is there, he will find it and demonstrate it for all, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
 

Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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I hear there have been rows going on because studios have been using autotune and quantising on old records when they're reissuing them. I don't need, say, John Densmore's drumming quantised and Jim Morrison's distinct vocals tweaked. The Doors sound like the Doors because Jim's voice wavers a bit. It was part of what made him human! I love electronic music - particularly Tangerine Dream - and I expect electronic music to sound much the same live as it does in studio. That's inevitable. But live concert albums, on the other hand, are bought and loved because they're raw. I know there's always been a lot of 'fixing' done on live albums - IIRC, the microphone feed on The Doors at the Hollywood Bowl blew so the producer of the album had use Jim Morrison's album vocals and match them to the live sound. But actually radically altering old music in all its analogue glory is an utter sin. I was actually surprised at how much much it's used in classical music as well. I mean, everyone knew how much editing was done on albums - a phrase re-recorded here and there, but it's used a good deal more nowadays, by all accounts.

The reason for widespread autotune usage in popular music these days, sadly, is that singers and bands are hired based on demographics rather than talent. Autotune then gets used to 'improve' a lesser singer's voice. The days when bands and singers were hired by major labels on the basis of their live sound and basic ability to perform live are long gone sadly. Who needs talent scouts when a studio executive can invent a band, hiring band members based on demographics, and use computers to alter their voices, hire session musicians the bandmembers can mime to in videos, then cheat in the live performances. Even worse, autotune is used at live concerts. The Spice Girls (never known for their singing ability) were going to be using it when they were intending to do a reunion tour. I wouldn't miss that one: what you don't see, you don't miss!! :D Never saw the attraction of that lot: pure marketing.

Watch a film like the original Valley Girl with its New Wave sound and imagine all that New Wave music quantised and autotuned. It would utterly ruin the point of the film!!

My great regret is that there was a format war over the replacement for CD: SACD and DVD-Audio. I love physical media and it seems potty to me that we're still stuck with CDs. I still buy CDs in preference to downloads. If I buy something on Bandcamp, I always take the WAVs and convert to ALAC.
 

Jordan Cole

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Sep 22, 2022
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My favorite band They Might Be Giants had admitted to using autotune on their newer albums and it's a weird conflict with me: they never exactly claim to be "real" (their theme song does say "They Might Be big big fake fake lies"), and they've always used trickery in songs, fake instruments, vocal samples, etc...They aren't a band that is trying to be heartfelt.

BUT it doesn't seem the same to me as "hey this vocal you thought was well-sung is actually autotuned because the singer felt too tired or something that day." It's very professional autotune, you actually can barely tell on some of the songs. But when you CAN tell. Yikes. Takes me right out of it.
 

Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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My favorite band They Might Be Giants had admitted to using autotune on their newer albums and it's a weird conflict with me: they never exactly claim to be "real" (their theme song does say "They Might Be big big fake fake lies"), and they've always used trickery in songs, fake instruments, vocal samples, etc...They aren't a band that is trying to be heartfelt.
It depends on the context. I mean, something like Daft Punk using autotune as a creative tool is different from a band covering up for lack of talent. And, sadly, some singers as they get older struggle to hit notes. Would I accept a 60-year-old, 40-year industry veteran singer needing the occasional tweak on a studio album? Maybe, if that's all it is. I'm very fond of live albums, so I mind less if singers fail to hit the odd note. It's part of the atmosphere.

BUT it doesn't seem the same to me as "hey this vocal you thought was well-sung is actually autotuned because the singer felt too tired or something that day." It's very professional autotune, you actually can barely tell on some of the songs. But when you CAN tell. Yikes. Takes me right out of it.
I can almost forgive that, depending on how much it's used and why the singer was tired!! ;) What I can't abide is a bunch of 'actors' being hired because they have a certain look, but little talent and autotuning them to death to pretend they're singing. It makes Milli Vanilli and Boney M seem quaint and honest in comparison! Studios would be better off just use a f***ing computer to make songs and admit it! I mean, someone's put out an entire new Tatu album on YouTube written and generated by AI software, based on scraping the lyrics, voices and music from the band's real albums!!

I never really listen to modern music anymore. The only albums I've bought on release day in recent times are Mylène Farmer's L'Emprise and Tangerine Dream's Raum. When I go to the shops, I notice all the recent music playing on the shop speakers sounds the same and it's all heavily autotuned. It sounds weird and just... wrong: the audio equivalent of uncanny valley! Call me paranoid, but I'm not convinced hearing 'analogue' sounds like real drums played by real drummers that are then quantised is good for the brain. Real people can't play drums that perfectly and when their performances are altered to 'perfect' them, it registers as wrong in the listener's mind and is somehow jarring on a subconscious level. It's like looking at a tree that's been altered to be perfectly proportioned with no random branches, twigs leaves and angles! ;)
 
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Jasper

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Apr 12, 2022
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@Jordan Cole
Here’s a new one where a commenter has asked if this live performance used after-the-fact pitch correction (meaning manual fakery vs. automatic autotune). I don’t know anything about the band. My brain was hearing the name London Grammar, and thinking Modern English, and then, hey, isn't the Hey Now song by Simple Minds or Tears for Fears or something? (It turns out that the Hey Now song is actually by Crowded House, but this is a completely different Hey Now song.) Anyway, this one is a highly atmospheric performance of a nice, very simple composition. I suppose that the person who asked about it might have suspected that pitch correction was at play, but if so, it was a false positive, as the examination shows that the performance features a natural vocal, and a perfectly agreeable one.

So, false positives happen, and he (Fil, Wings of Pegasus) can find those as well. I hope that he’ll check out your Morrissey suspicion, Jordan. It seems like something he’d tackle, so I hope that you'll ask and keep asking.

 

MasterMastermnd

Waiting Room
Apr 12, 2022
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Lately I've returned to one of my favorite pop acts, the Japanese artist Kyary Pamyu-Pamyu. I love how the visual elements of some her endlessly creative music videos can become Lynchian at the drop of a hat:
 

Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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783
I'm old school and like to have a portable music player with CD quality music stored on it. Apple abandoned the iPod a while ago, which was awful for me. I'd had several iPods since 2006 and had bought what became the final incarnation of the iPod Touch in 2019. At the beginning of 2023, the iPod Touch stopped syncing with my Mac. This continued through the year. My only option was to put my CDs on to the Mac's Apple Music app (at ALAC quality) then let the music upload to the iCloud library. The trouble with that was that when I downloaded my tracks to the iPod (at AAC quality) gapless playback didn't work.

So, I took the plunge at the beginning of January and bought a Sony Walkman A306 (with a 512GB micro SD.) I've been delighted so far. I've had a fair amount of tinkering to do to get the music to work right on the Walkman as there's no iTunes/Apple Music equivalent app to sync to the device. It's a straightforward 'drag and drop' to the memory card, but I found a lot of sorting had to be done first.

I cleared the Apple Music iCloud library first, which entailed deleting all the tracks from Apple Music, but keeping them on the hard drive. When I put the contents of the drive back on, I was shocked. Allegedly iTunes and Apple Music kept my music organised. Well... I found dozens of duplicated tracks, tracks I'd thought I'd deleted years ago, old podcasts and... just tons of chaff like voice recordings I'd made as temporary voiceover on programmes I'd worked on years ago. It took several days to clear the duplications from the hundreds of albums I own and in several cases, I deleted tracks and re-encoded them from the CDs. When I finally put the tracks on to the memory card and tried them on the Walkman, things were pretty smooth, although there were 200 tracks that the device didn't recognise. Fortunately, it turned out to be about 20 albums, rather than random tracks, so that was a straightforward re-encode job. However, where Apple automatically sorted tracks and artists that began with 'A' or 'The', I discovered that the Walkman put 'The' under 'T' and 'A' under 'A'. I had to go into the sorting options on the Apple Music app and go through all the albums and artists making sure that, for example, the album by The Prodigy called The Fat of the Land was set in the sorting fields as 'Prodigy, The' and 'Fat of the Land, The.'

It was a faff and probably only an editor type like me - obsessed with folder organisation - would go to great lengths to get these things right, but I figured that if I could get this right upfront, I'm sorted for the future. And now I'm happily typing this while listening to my music.

The other good thing is that the sound on this device is superb and better than that the iPod!!!
 
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Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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An interesting aspect of moving to a new digital audio player is that it's caused me to look at what I've got on the device and rediscover some of my old music. The Apple interface bred a certain amount of lazy habits. Some years ago, during a move, a number of my CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays were lost. When some old albums reappeared as old 128kbps AAC files from decades ago while I sorted my albums for the Walkman, I found my five old albums by The Sisters of Mercy among them and gave them a listen. Ah, the memories... I'd had a flatmate who was a massive fan of The Mission, The Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim - he's dead now: the silly sod drank himself to death in the mid 2010s before he reached his mid-40s. But we used to hang out late at night drinking too much and smoking endless cigarettes and listening to so-called 'gothic rock'. I put on Floodland first, which was always my favourite Sisters album and... damn! I'd forgotten how much I loved it! 25 years ago, I would have said Lucretia My Reflection was my favourite track, but I've fallen deeply in love with Flood II this time.

I enjoyed the tracks so much that I looked on Amazon to see how much the albums (all lost) cost and discovered a five-CD set for £11, which had pretty much everything on it. It had the three albums: First and Last and Always, Floodland and Vision Thing, along with the two compilations: Some Girls Wander by Mistake and A Slight Case of Overbombing.

So I checked to see what the situation was with regards to quality, as I knew there had been remasters and found out something intriguing.... Basically, I'd never been much of a fan of First and Last and Always. In several places, it sounded like a Mission album (given the presence of Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams) with Andrew Eldritch singing over the top, karaoke style, disconnected from the music. Yet many say this is the best Sisters album. I never got why! As it turns out, there was a CD released using the wrong tape masters of several tracks. This five-CD set apparently had the right version. So, colour me intrigued.... I deleted the old tracks today and encoded the new CDs at ALAC quality. And, yep, I'd had the CD with the wrong masters all these years. The whole thing sounds much more like it should, with Eldritch's voice blending properly into the tracks. 25 years of listening to the wrong version of the CD! Eek!! On the other hand, the 'bonus' track on Floodland in the collection, Colours, seems to have the Lucas Fox vocal from The Sisterhood album, Gift, rather than Eldritch's vocal! Oh well!! :D

So I've rediscovered my inner 'goth' (Andrew Eldritch despises the term) but it's a convenient lazy term for a bloc of music. I'm listening to Floodland at the moment ('This Corrosion' to be precise!) It's amazing how music connects you to a time and a place. I feel like I've reconnected to that period of my life a bit - not too much, because that's where I pretty much became a full-on drunk. I'm staying on the wagon!!

On the basis of revisiting The Sisters of Mercy, I really need to delve back into Fields of the Nephilim (there's a pretty decent price five-disc set on Amazon containing Dawnrazor, The Nephilim, Elysium, Earth Inferno and Singles & Mixes) and The Mission. The Mission's an odd one, given the breakup of the original Sisters line-up. Gary Marx left and set up Ghost Dance, then Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams set up The Mission (called The Mission UK in the USA, I believe) leaving Andrew Eldritch on his own. And the Sisters has arguably been 'Eldritch plus a backing band' ever since.

I might give Texas Greatest Hits a go next - another album involving a lost CD and deleted AAC files...

 
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Dom

White Lodge
Jul 10, 2022
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Continuing my tour through my old albums... Fields of the Nephilim's Elizium.

I love this album. The band really takes off in interesting directions. Carl McCoy has really found his feet after the previous ass-kicking album, The Nephilim.

Favourite track: Sumerland (What Dreams May Come)


The album version of the song is the best. It goes for a much heavier rock sound than the single and is, to use the cliché, epic! Blending a phenomenal bassline, superb guitar rhythms, electronic sounds running underneath and McCoy's voice often less gravelly than we're used to, this is a fantastic 11 minute track loaded with psychedelic lyrics that contains two distinct movements - no going back to the original chorus.

Elizium is, itself, a superb album, although Sumerland (What Dreams May Come) is such a fantastic track that it threatens to overshadow everything else!

I've never seen Fields of the Nephilim perform live, although I have their Earth Inferno live album. I ought to see them at some point. I went to see The Sisters of Mercy about 23 years ago at a place around the corner from Tottenham Court Road Station for their 20th anniversary tour and wasn't blown away. Andrew Eldritch seemed to be in a bad mood - I don't think he likes London much - and seemed a bit disengaged from the audience. Where I was standing at the venue, it reached the point where everyone around me was just hanging around chatting and drinking like we were at a pub gig with the music in the background. I think people in the mosh pit enjoyed it more. My late flatmate thought it was a great gig. I just didn't feel it. It put me off going to gigs, frankly.
 
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