Supergrass & Sleepwalking (video)

I finally got around to buying Supergrass' 2005 release "Road to Rouen," only to learn that Supergrass' sixth studio album will be released this Spring.

You can catch a video of the first single on YouTube:

The first thing I noticed in the video was that Mick Quinn was missing! Has Supergrass become a two-piece, a la The White Stripes? No, it turns out that Mick had a freak accident:
The bass player and vocalist sleepwalked out of a first floor window of the villa where he was staying in the South of France.

Quinn was rushed to a specialist spinal unit in Toulouse where surgeons operated to repair two broken vertebrae as well as a smashed heel.

He is expected to make a full recovery, although it could take several months.
Weird, huh? Thank god he didn't kill himself. I was a somnambulist as a child, so I can empathize with Mick. One time I walked to the girl next door's house in my underwear. I awoke to find myself on the front porch with the girl's parents staring at me, not sure why I was at their door in the middle of the night. The last episode I know about was in boot camp. I was told by a friend that I got up out of bed and walked to the end of the barracks, ready to proceed downstairs. My friend asked me, "Where are you going?" I mumbled something and then he led me back to my bunk. He told me what happened a few days later and although I don't recall a thing, I trust that he was telling me the truth. Why did it come up? A few of us were talking about other recruits who were talking in their sleep. I was fortunate that he was a friend, otherwise I might have been discharged. Even luckier was that I didn't make it to the outdoor staircase -- our barracks were on the fourth floor.

"Yes We Can" (video)

How long does it take for a viral YouTube video to go from being launched to reaching me? Six days, apparently. I must not be one of the cool kids anymore.

From the Los Angeles Times, "Obama song resonates on the Internet":
The Barack Obama-boosting music video "Yes We Can" hit the Net on Friday and by Super Tuesday it had been streamed a staggering 10 million times on YouTube and the website

Produced by multi-platinum-selling rapper-producer of the Black Eyed Peas, the elegiac, reggae-tinged composition isn't a campaign commercial, per se.

"This is an ode to inspiration," said. "Barack's speech inspired me. It changed my life as far as how I look at myself as an American. If that's what he does, the world could use some of that. It's about making people think about change and hope."

The video features clips of the presidential candidate in New Hampshire delivering his Jan. 8 "Yes We Can" stump speech, inter-cut against a cross-section of A-list actors, musicians and athletes: Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Herbie Hancock, rapper Common and Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls among them. In black and white, they sing, mouth and recite Obama's messages about hope, change and social uplift against a plain black backdrop. said he does not plan to sell downloads of the song, preferring to keep it free so that its core messages reach as many people as possible. And trying to come to grips with the video's out-of-nowhere impact, the normally loquacious rapper-singer-producer is for once at a loss for words.

"This is the nuttiest thing in the freaking world," he said. "It's not propaganda. It's not part of a campaign. There's no corporation behind it -- the record company couldn't get involved. I did it on my own. The only thing behind it is the people. And that's like, wow!"
I have no idea what it cost to produce this video, but its worth a million bucks.

CNET's (MP3)

I was looking for new music on eMusic and came across a link that led me to free downloads for American Music Club's classic 1991 album, "Everclear."

CNET's site has over 100,000 free MP3s! Here are a few of the bands I found on the site:

Band of Horses
Her Space Holiday
Super Furry Animals
Nada Surf
Death Cab for Cutie
Postal Service
Viva Voce
The Shins
The Apples in Stereo
Jens Lekman
Of Montreal

Enjoy the music!

Turn It Down!

If you've ever made a mix with music from different eras, you've noticed that music made in the iPod era is much louder than what was made in the vinyl, 8-track, and cassette eras. And that's not necessarily a good thing.

From The Seattle Times:
How much louder are recordings now? Engineer Charles Dye, co-founder of Turn Me Up with artist John Ralston, estimates that records today are 6 to 8 decibels louder than they were 15 years ago, the equivalent of about a quarter turn of a volume knob. Katz said some music that is heavily compressed has gone up almost 20 decibels in 20 years.

Advances in recording technology have allowed sound engineers and producers to raise recordings' overall volume by compressing the dynamics of the audio during the mixing process. The compression technique removes the peaks and valleys, making all parts of a song equally loud.

It's something the average person might not even notice, unless he/she listened to a recording from 1992 next to one made in 2007. People are used to being bombarded by sound, from movies and blaring TV commercials to their iPods cranked up to drown out background noise on the bus or street.

Compression has been used for years in television commercials — which are often louder than the program they are sponsoring — to catch people's attention with the loudness, sound engineers say. Now that songs are frequently bought as singles or heard on commercials rather than as part of an album, artists and labels feel the same pressure to grab listeners in a few seconds.