Tuesday Nerdster Music Vids: Viva Electro, CMJ, and True Computer Camp Love

Hey, nerdsters! It’s CMJ Music Marathon time here in New York, which generally means lots of roadies, music biz people, crowds, and bands with guitars. Ewww. Guitars — with no software effects? No vocoding granulizer? No trio of laptops nearby? Not even so much as a keytar? What’s a computer music-loving nerdster to do? Happily, synths are back, and electro is making a strong showing this year. In fact, my problem is that all the bands I care about seem to be scheduled at exactly the same time, which I hear is a typical CMJ problem. But with fun music …

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DeVotchKa Rocks the Theremin, Does Not Play Star Trek Theme

Photo: Chad Johnson If you want a look at the future of music, DeVotchKa might be a glimpse. On first hearing, you say, “hmmm, they sound sort of Eastern European … punk.” And then you realize they’re singing in Spanish. In fact, this band, which got an extra injection of popularity from the movie Little Miss Sunshine, is a hybrid Romani – Greek – Slavic – Spanish – Latin – Punk – Folk – Rock indie band that got its start playing burlesque. What does this have to do with digital music creation? Because if technology is every going to …

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Recording on Planes and in Bubbles; Battery-Powered In-Flight Recording

Jamiroquai sound engineer Rick Pope joins the mile-high recording club. Funny, when I try to set up this way on a plane, my neighbors get annoyed. When you hear the repeated stories about how traditional recording studios are dead, I suspect your first thought is not, “Finally! The dream of in-flight recording has its day!” or “Ah-hah! Now all the bands will move into inflatable plastic bubbles as a marketing stunt!” Yet, such things have come to pass. One involves a band you may care about and actually yields some practical tips. The other involves a band I’m almost sure …

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The New Standards: Metal Covers of Nintendo’s Metroid

The old standards: the Tin Pan Alley showtunes, reinterpreted by vocalists and bebop jazzers, followed more recently by reworkings of modern pop and rock tunes. The new standards: video game tunes, apparently. Especially if they’re from Nintendo games. The latest in the trend is MetroidMetal, with elaborate, sprawling metal covers of the moody themes from Nintendo’s legendary sci-fi side-scroller. For anyone keeping score, you can add that to acoustic covers of Mario and, as reviewed by our own W. Brent Latta, live, full orchestras playing game soundtracks old and new. Thanks, Patrick Murphy!

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Silly Ideas Dept.: Lighter Cellphone Wallpaper

Kids today. They’re at a concert, but they’re too busy texting and chatting on AIM on their cellphones. For Generation Why?!, we now have lighter images for your cellphones, so you don’t have to be bothered to take your cellphone and a lighter to the next Pussycat Dolls show. Available for US$1.99 (US customers only?) from Modtones. Better idea from Modtones: mistletoe wallpaper for your phone. I’m sure that will get you some love at your office holiday party. Then again, I’m one to talk. I’ve been scaring the hell out of people with the Doctor Who-esque, frightening (but free) …

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Sexohol Releases First-Ever Widget Album

First vinyl, then 8-track, then tape, then CD, then MP3, now . . . Dashboard widget? Yes, you heard that right. Sexohol is releasing its album Enjoy as a Dashboard Widget for Mac OS X. It’s free, and includes pictures of the lovely couple in the band plus lyrics. Only downside is you have to be connected to the Internet to listen to the music streaming. “But, Peter!”, you say, “I need to feel the hot loving of Enjoy even when I’m not connected to the Internet!” Sexohol hears you; US$9.99 buys you a Widget you can listen to anywhere. …

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Freezepop Goes Anime: Music Videos in 2005 All About Flash

Music videos with actual live video? That’s so expired. Wired: using Flash to create interactive visuals to listen to while you play a track. That’s exactly what our tech-savvy friends in Boston band Freezepop have done (the same folks who I noted have a PlayStation version of themselves and jam live with their PS2s: Fancy Ultra*Fresh Kind of makes you want a hip, anime version of yourself, doesn’t it? The good news about Flash, by the way, is that the Macromedia – Adobe merger isn’t likely to threaten Flash — it’s probably why Adobe bought Macromedia in the first place, …

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INXS Reality Show, Rocking Nuendo

Remember when people singing bad covers of rock songs was called karaoke and didn’t involve a national television audience? Oh, for those more innocent times. Now we’re subjected to one musical reality TV show after another. The latest combines The Apprentice and Survivor (same producer), with American Idol; bands compete to be the lead singer of INXS — amusing, because I had no idea that band was still together. (I think they should have gone with Menudo, but what do I know?) And the name, which I can’t say without chuckling: Rock Star:INXS. Two reasons this is CDM-worthy: first, anyone …

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Rock Gods of Rock: Cartoon of the Week

What do you mean, we’ve never had a cartoon of the week before and probably never will again? And what do you mean, Music Thing has covered it already? (So, my informant Adrian Anders has a tendency to submit tips to multiple blogs and I was traveling this weekend . . . what do you want?) CDM proudly presents another coveted Cartoon of the Week, to Rock Gods of Rock, for achievement in creating a cartoon about a magic guitar, trans-dimensional fights against lousy R&B-driven pop babes, and bad cleavage jokes. Random cartoonists, we salute you. Bonus points: Guitar/bass/keyboard trio: …

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