Monthly Archives: September 2010

True silence

A studio with a negative dB rating. I’ve been in recording studios and noticed the feeling of compression, like wearing closed back headphones for too long. This place sounds a bit scary:

Silence is a truly rare thing. All reverberation is removed… all sounds that aren’t coming from your own body disappear. After a few moments in the anechoic chamber, you’ll begin to feel a touch jumpy. Hearing your heart beat, your blood pulse, the sound of your own ear buzzing and your body functioning like you’ve never heard before has a tendency to be a bit unnerving.

Madonna, 1985

Even at the very beginning, she was in control:

Other detractors suggest that she is almost entirely helium, a gas-filled, lighter-than-air creation of MTV and other sinister media packagers (these doubters have not felt the power of Madonna’s personality, which is as forceful and well organized as D-day).

Bikes, cars & pedestrians

A unified theory of New York cycling. Replace all “New York” “Sydney”:

Bikes can and should behave much more like cars than pedestrians. They should ride on the road, not the sidewalk. They should stop at lights, and pedestrians should be able to trust them to do so. They should use lights at night. And - of course, duh - they should ride in the right direction on one-way streets. None of this is a question of being polite; it’s the law. But in stark contrast to motorists, nearly all of whom follow nearly all the rules, most cyclists seem to treat the rules of the road as strictly optional. They’re still in the human-powered mindset of pedestrians, who feel pretty much completely unconstrained by rules.

The irrational fear of Border Control

I’ve always hated returning to the country through immigration control - you are made to feel like you’ve done something wrong no matter what. You hope they let you back home (I do belong here, don’t I?), that the drug dogs don’t mistakenly sniff you out (it’s only chocolate), that you’re smiling enough (or not enough), that it’s ok to go to the toilet (wait, maybe they take that as a sign you’re guilty?), that you don’t look dodgy (but I haven’t slept for 12 hours so how can I not look odd), that you don’t look like you’re loitering waiting for your baggage (it’s not my fault), etc etc.

This guy took exception and evoked his (US) rights. Takes chutzpah - as he says, they’re keeping records, so he will be forever harassed.

(via Daring Fireball)

Nick Cave smackdown

Don’t like Nick Cave? You’ll love this review of his new Grinderman LP:

Even the crude sounding guitar workouts could be forgiven if a haunting melody, a startling lyric, or the hint of a violent need for expression lurked underneath. Instead, every line Cave delivers sounds tentative, semi-improvised and completely uninspired.

I disagree, but it’s a great review.