spreadorgan300_web

Spinning Optical Drum Buddy and the Wild DIY Punk World of Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Deep in the Ninth Word of New Orleans lies the workbench and studio of one Mr. Quintron, the inventor-organist who has applied his DIY mad-scientist sonic production to a unique flavor of insistent punk. Mr. Quintron was this week in my home neighborhood in Berlin, accompanied by his wife Miss Pussycat – maraca player (maracaist?), vocalist, and puppeteer behind Flossie and the Unicorns. There was a puppet show. It was about cake – demon cake. There was the debut of a new inflatable puppet. Shirts came off. Sounds were made. It was hot. It was loud. Just as these puppets …

READ MORE →

For the Music Manufacturers, a Subdued Trade Show; For Nashville, Badly-Needed Relief

Nashville locals Jeremy Dickens (logickal) and Tony Youngblood were on-site this month for CDM to cover the Nashville’s NAMM show, the summer installment of the major music manufacturer trade show. The Summer 2010 edition of the North American Music Merchants trade show (Summer NAMM to most of us) has come and gone. For three days in humid downtown Nashville, members of the gear manufacturing, distribution, and retailing businesses converged upon the convention center to see the latest new merchandise being brought to market. This year, however, they did so against the backdrop of a city whose economy faces an uncertain …

READ MORE →

Tell Us Your Musical Technological Dreams, Get A Chance to See Them Realized

Ready for some blue-sky, 35,000-foot-altitude thinking? Photo (CC-BY-ND Andres Rueda. Want a flying car? Dream of the flying car. Build the flying car. A competition I’m hosting with Digitópia, the musical-technological community of Porto, Portugal, extends to readers worldwide a challenge to dream up the digital musical instrument/interface/creation you want. Got something practical you wish could be built? Got something impractical and bizarre? Either way, articulate it in the best way you can — images, words, videos, mock-ups, stop motion animation, beat poetry, whatever you think is best — and send it in. We’ll share the most interesting entries, and …

READ MORE →

An Adorable Singing Note as Musical Instrument: Maywa Denki’s Otamatone

What’s the cutest conceivable musical instrument? It’d be tough to top an anthromorphic musical note, complete with eight-note flag, whose smiling face opens when it “sings.” Boing Boing Gadgets (by way of Tokyo Mango) gets the story on this latest creation of art group Maywa Denki and lead creative instigator Novmichi Tosa. The Otamatone is only barely practical as an instrument; it sports a nasal tone from its simple electronic oscillator and, at the end of the video, demonstrates an entirely new way to render the US National Anthem slightly out of tune. (Apologies to Jimi Hendrix.) But it also …

READ MORE →

Beamz Laser System Strikes Back, But What’s Wrong With Instruments, Anyway?

This week, on Top Chef. Photo: croncast. The saga of the Beamz Laser Music System goes on: the spectacularly awful demo video has spread on the Internets, and after Gizmodo proclaimed it the most stupid promo video ever, they were challenged by the PR company to do a real review. (No such challenge yet for CDM, mercifully.) This does reveal where the thing came from, though. The Beamz tool was “invented” by songwriter Jerry Riopelle, who had a fairly significant career penning tunes in the 60s (“The Thrill is Gone”) and went on to a solo career in the 70s. …

READ MORE →