Gotye to Queen to Radiohead, The Songs of Hard Drives, Robotics, and Retro Gear

Beyond the viral-ready novelty, listen to the serenades of defunct hard drives, flatbed scanners, and garage sale-rescue computers and you might just hear a sense of urgency. As the discs whir, the chips bleet, and the solenoids ping percussion, this chorus of obsolete electronics seems to plea, save us from landfill doom. The latest breakout hit from repurposed retro machines is Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Here, it’s covered by a set of glockenspiel-playing solenoids and an HP ScanJet as the angst-ridden whine of the now-infamous vocals. An Amiga rounds out the band. Even the robotics can be …

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Let it All Out: Therapy for Radiohead Fans, Courtesy BBC

Readers have spoken, and it seems recent outings by Brian Eno can be a bit divisive. (Okay, I’ll admit – I wasn’t at all fond of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, as a huge fan of Byrne and Eno.) But Eno isn’t the only English musical legend who … cough … might make fans long for the earlier stuff. See video explanation above. Music is, of course, taste – part of why we enjoy it is that it is emotional and not objective or (gasp) entirely quantitative. So, to me, there’s not a moment of the above BBC Web-only …

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Radiohead King of Limbs in 24-bit FLAC; How to Listen Lossless on Any OS, Device

Why shouldn’t a digital download be better, not worse, than a CD release? Sit in a studio as most of your favorite albums are recorded, mixed, and mastered, and odds are the digital material is being recorded at higher bit depths and sample rates. And while the perceptual record is more mixed, there’s also no question that, in terms of data, lossy compression schemes like MP3 do demand some loss in audio information. (Lossless schemes like FLAC, by contrast, use less data but do so without sacrificing sound information.) All of this means that it’s news that you can get …

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The New Radiohead: Digital Saturday, Physical in May, and How

Radiohead are billing their new release as “the world’s first* (*perhaps) Newspaper Album,” except that no one really seems to know yet what that means. (A Style section? Funnies page? Wrapped in newsprint? Apparently, none of these. Chatter online seems to suggest they’re printing the artwork newspaper-style, which could be potentially cool. Update – readers agree the “first” honor belongs to Jethro Tull, at the very least.) They’re definitely pursuing the “kitchen sink” approach some beloved megastars of music embrace these days, with a CD and two vinyl records and downloads and artwork. There’s ecological packaging, too; someday, the music …

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Radiohead Rap by Adam Buxton, Brilliant Commentary on Remixes and TV Rights

I can’t say anything this song doesn’t say brilliantly. Comedian Adam Buxton takes on the Radiohead remix contest with his own entry, which cuts through the hype brings a bit of wit to TV incidental music and remixing alike. And, really, how often do you get to say "Radiohead" and "rap" in the same sentence? Take my mechanical rights, please! See, there, I said something. It wasn’t very good. Just so listen to the song and thank me later, okay? See also Adam Buxton’s sketch for BBC3’s Rush Hour which cleans up NWA to "Help Da Police." Thanks, Jaymis!

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Covering Thom Yorke’s The Eraser on Monome, and an All-in-One Setup for Ableton Live

Reconstructing The Eraser with the monome from makingthenoise on Vimeo. Via Monome virtuoso Matthew Davidson (aka Stretta, the man who has built a lot of the patches that give the Monome its unique personality), here’s a video that really demonstrates how the Monome turns a set of buttons into a way of arranging and performing music. Adam, aka makingthenoise, covers Tom Yorke’s “The Eraser” using a Monome 40h, Ableton Live, and the SevenUp Live software setup. (You may remember makingthenoise from the East Coast Monome Jam, a Princeton convergence of Monomes and the musicians who love them.) The killer ingredient …

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Metallica Attempts to Be Beloved Trent Reznor, Fails

Eliot Van Buskirk has, as always, terrific music coverage for Wired. The story this time: how Metallica’s Radiohead/Nine Inch Nails-style Internet release, free of DRM, seems only to make people angry. It gives a glimpse into how the Internet release could evolve over time, outside the aura of joy in which the latter two bands are enveloped. I can make the story short, though: In many circles, Metallica is no longer cool or never was cool. Lawyer make people MAD. Angry. Smash. (Apparently in addition to going after 60,000 pages of fans on Napster, Metallica doesn’t even like fan-made buttons.) …

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Inspiration: Vintage Computers Parts Cover Radiohead

Big Ideas (Don’t get any) from 1030 on Vimeo. In case you haven’t seen this, James Houston has produced a short film in which an assortment of old computer gear “plays” Radiohead’s “Nude.” We’ve seen various bicycle parts and such performing music around here, but not the actual components of computers in this way. James features: Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead) Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers – Vocals & FX He explains: I grouped together a collection of …

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Gorgeous and Out-there New Art and Music, Inspired by Radiohead

Weird Fishes: Arpeggi from flight404 on Vimeo. Plenty of bands have jumped on the "remix generation" bandwagon, releasing music to be remixed and sampled and visualized as a publicity stunt. But, then, plenty of bands aren’t Radiohead. Readers here may have been disappointed that our favorite superband didn’t embrace Creative Commons sharing when announcing their iTunes-only stems. But a number of the artists we follow came up with some brilliant work. In Visuals: Robert Hodgin, aka Flight404, has the enviable job of exploring new visual expressions as his day gig of sorts. Working primarily in code developed in the open-source, …

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Radiohead Remixing: Contest, Full Stems via iTunes and GarageBand

  The era of artists regularly releasing stems for remixing seems imminent. In the meantime, we see occasional examples of artists who get it. Radiohead have a new feature on their tune Nude, promoted with Apple. Purchase stems of a song (that’s by stem, so you pay US$0.99 * 5 stems + 1 full song if you want everything), and you get audio via iTunes Plus. Purchase the full set, and you can also download a GarageBand / Logic Pro-compatible project with all loop, tempo, and key information embedded, as pictured at top. (Unless I’m mistaken, that’s also the ideal …

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