Chicago Avenue Moon

Chicago Avenue Moon

Thanks to my buddy Nate Boateng, I discovered an awesome new app called Chicago Avenue Moon. As the developer describes it:

“Chicago Avenue Moon is a responsive, generative music app that gathers a set of variables including date, time, phase of the moon, and GPS location, and uses that data to determine how its music unfolds, in real-time. The piece is intended for a listener in motion, whose route and speed affect the composition. Composer Joshua Dumas wrote 1000 brief musical phrases which the app manipulates, sequences, and layers to create trillions and trillions of variations, a unique experience with every listen.

He imagines the piece as a personalized soundtrack for strangers’ mundanities—an effort to help re-enchant a person’s daily commute, trip to the laundromat, or evening jog.”

As I just wrote about on Tools & Toys, the music this app generates is very akin to the Journey game soundtrack, which I love it for.

Chicago Avenue Moon is only $1 right now, and will go up to $2 after Feb 11th. I highly recommend checking it out. If nothing else, it will totally change the way you experience a nighttime walk.

Behind the Scenes of a Nine Inch Nails Tour

Nine Inch Nails allowed a Vevo video crew to come film a behind-the-scenes featurette about the stressful process of developing their Tension 2013 tour. It's just under fifteen minutes long and definitely worth checking out.

Rob Sheridan, creative director for NIN and the guy behind some of my favorite wallpapers, described what it was like to be filmed this way:

“These features are interesting (and sometimes hard for me to watch) because they’re very honest. There’s no makeup, no interview prepping, no re-shoots, these guys were in our faces while we were trying to work, catching us off guard and capturing moments that we sometimes would prefer not be filmed. We didn’t script or plan these features, these guys were annoying the hell out of us during production rehearsals - but in the end it’s nice to have a document, however personally uncomfortable, of the work we put into something like this.”

I wish more artists would allow these kinds of fly-on-the-wall glimpses into their creative process.

'The Heist' One-Year Anniversary

Ben Haggerty — better known as the rapper Macklemore — reflects on the year following the release of his hit album, The Heist, and the insane amount of fame that came with it. I particularly dug this bit:

“Every song I’ve ever put out, I have believed in. But Same Love was different. It was a moment that was way bigger than us. Watching teenagers come up to me after shows, with tears in their eyes, gasping for breath in attempts to find the right words to explain to me that they came out to their family after hearing the song…that reaffirms everything. That. Right there. That is the reason why I do this. That is no publicity stunt. That is no calculated move. That is art affecting the quality of people’s lives, the way that other artists influence mine.”

This is one of those times where I wish I hadn't let such a great read linger in my Instapaper queue for so long.

"Stop Covering Sinatra and Write Ten Songs!"

John Roderick reviews the latest Michael Bublé album from the perspective of someone who grew up listening to big-band music, and somehow weaves a Jennifer Anniston backstory into the mix:

“The arrangement is massive, full of stadium-filling electric guitars but brimming over with swirling orchestra too, like Journey teamed up with the Moody Blues. Jennifer Aniston is literally crying now, standing in her kitchen, a dropped milk carton splattered at her feet, all her fame and money no comfort to her in the absence of ever having found her true love.”

I've really been digging John's writings on music lately, particularly his other popular piece, Punk Rock is Bullshit.

Pandora Re-Introduces 40-Hour Listening Cap for Free Mobile Users

Title is self-explanatory, but Jared Newman for Time Tech had this to add:

"It’s worth noting that Pandora did turn a small profit last quarter, according to TechCrunch, but the company expects heavy losses ahead, possibly as high as $20 million in the first quarter of 2013."

Pandora is one of those services I don't use much anymore now that I've got Spotify, but if I did use it more than a couple times a month, I would definitely become a paying subscriber. Hell, I might just sign up anyway. These guys provide an excellent service and have done so for years.

This is just another example of the recording industry's greediness forcing good services to employ these kinds of tactics in order to survive. Ugh.