Making it as a New Artist: Trent Reznor and Techdirt Founder on What to Do Now

We’ve all watched and commented on bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails releasing free albums and still profiting by them. Will this model still work for new artists, though? Trent Reznor posted yesterday that the Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication reissue is “how you sell music today”. As a rebuttal to the usual “that only works for established artists” replies, he’s followed this up with an extended post on what artists who haven’t reached the Beasties or NIN level of profile can do to get established. NIN’s $300 deluxe edition of Ghosts sold out in under two days, grossing $750,000. …

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Cellist Zoe Keating on Quitting Your Day Job, Going on Tour

Should you quit your day job and go on tour with a rock band? That’s the question answered by cellist Zoe Keating at Ignite, the 5-minute hyperpresentation series put on by O’Reilly. (At an NYC event, I gave a talk explaining why understanding basic programming concepts was as important as calculating your tip on a bill.) Zoe Keating on Should you join a rock band? [Ignite’s Brady Forrest] Zoe debunks the myth of the glamorous tour with some sobering realities with which I’m sure at least some readers here are already far too familiar. The presentation is snappy, sharp, and …

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Free and Discounted Ableton Live Learning in NYC, KJ Sawka’s Chops, Richie’s Controller

Richie Hawtin’s custom-built Ableton Live controller makes up part of his unique live music and visual rig as Plastikman. And, yes, I’ll bring the grassroots “do more as Plastikman” campaign to Mr. Hawtin when I see him. Side note: there’s more than a passing resemblance to certain features of the Akai APC40 here, huh? We talk about tools a lot, but it’s really learning how to make tools expressive in your productions and performances that matters. DubSpot, the music tech production and DJ educational center here in New York, brings its multi-city Ableton Live Sessions tour to its hometown for …

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Man Behind the Mouse Mask: Deadmau5 on Monome, Not Being a DJ, with DTD

Deadmau5 interview with Dancetracks from Dancetracks on Vimeo. Our friends over at Dancetracks Digital send along their video of Deadmau5, the top mouse-headed act on the planet right now. Deadmau5 may surprise you, with some good things to say about playing the open-source, sustainable, OSC-savvy monome controller – the controller that had big grids of buttons before big grids of buttons were cool. He also talks about not being a DJ, which means, I suppose, he’s one of us. Say it with me – M-O-U-S-E! Or, um …five. Okay, enjoy your weekend.

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Glitch Mobber, Laptopist edIT Walks Through His Live Setup, Talks Ableton, Lemur

edIT, live in Chicago. Photo: Eric Rejman, via MySpace. [podcast]http://createdigitalmusic.com/files/media/podcasts/2009/04/edit_interview.mp3[/podcast] Download MP3 Liz McLean Knight aka Quantazelle catches up with one of our laptopist idols: edIT, the talented solo artist and Glitch Mob member. I won’t insult what he does by giving it a dumb name (“Glitch Hop?”). Suffice to say, edIT is adept at bringing insane musical chops to live laptop performance. Liz got to geek out with edIT about the details of his live setup, which now drops the M-Audio Trigger Finger for the visual feedback and fluid multi-touch flexibility of a JazzMutant Lemur. (All due love to …

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MUTEK Line-Up, Showcases: Incredible Audiovisualism Coming, CDM Montreal-Bound

MUTEK, a half decade ago. The goodness continues. Photo: Britta Frahm. We’re inundated with event info, and one of my general rules is to avoid lots of event listings. But the lineup for famed audiovisual fest MUTEK looks simply epic. Highlights, just for a taste: Moderat. Apparat and Modeselektor. Like peanut butter and chocolate. AVISIONS looks, as always, like an essential event in audiovisualism. Wolfgang Voigt will present GAS and Herman Kolgen has a new piece. For the first time, Club Transmediale gets its own showcase. An unusually eclectic lineup adds dub, acoustic-electronic, and cross-genre collaboration. Robert Henke (Monolake) and …

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Reformat the Planet, 8-bit Music Documentary, Free for a Week

The appeal of newer music apps for phones, current-generation mobile game systems, and PDAs is portability first. But for the Game Boy music scene, it’s as much about a distinctive sound, and acquiring Game Boys as a kind of unique synthesizer. Our friend and mobile game musician Peter Swimm points us to the new documentary Reformat the Planet. It’s available for a week free on pitchfork.tv, with screenings to follow. It’s a pretty nice survey of the New York corner of the scene, at least. I’m personally getting increasingly interested in tools like PSPSEQ, which have a distinctive sound all …

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XLR8R vs. Daedelus Video: On Musical Influence, Monome pr0n, Obama

XLR8R TV Episode 71: Daedelus from XLR8RTV on Vimeo. XLR8RTV has a fantastic video interview with one of my favorite artists, Daedelus. The man is, as always, like pure musical joy. He talks about his musical influences, the early connections he made (including at USC, alma mater of a number of the CDM community), his approach to live performance, the virally-popular open source monome controller, and, yes, that pro-Obama song. (The original lyrics were catchier.) The monome connection is an interesting case in music technology. Daedelus was the first artist to gig regularly with the device, possibly helping both him …

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