Can make the biggest acts' live shows tick - but can also rock a live performance like she's just landed from a flying saucer. Check. Laura Escudé, achieving superhuman levels of music-technological knowhow, can still share what she's learned with us Earthlings.

Live Music Tools at the Bleeding Edge: Laura Escudé, From Herbie Hancock Collabs to Solo (Live Berlin, Sat)

It’s one thing to talk about tools. It’s quite another to put them into action, to make them withstand the rigors of creative process and idiosyncracy, let alone the torture test of touring. Laura Escudé is as deep in the trenches, on a day-to-day basis, as just about anyone on the planet. The music tech guru has worked with some of the world’s best-known artists, bending technology to their imaginative desires and world-trotting live shows. (Think Herbie Hancock, Bon Iver, and Cirque du Soleil, among others.) But she’s still found time to develop her own, unique sonic voice and live …

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A Warmer Aspect: Follow Vlek From Brussels to Lithuania – And Off The Beat Grid

From Bruxelles to Vilnius. from Vlek Data on Vimeo. If you’re living in a place that makes you feel hot outside, this video – filmed in Belgium and bitter, wintry Vilnius Lithuania – will cool you down. And if you feel cold inside, this music just might warm you up. It’s the fitting companion to the release by label/collective Vlek of their app Beatsurfing. That app eschews rigid grids for sloppy, overlaid geometries, perfectly-aligned squares for rough-hewn rhythms that stutter and drag. The geometry on the screen, in other words, is connected to the music. Describing his musical imagination, his …

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Music from the Road: Tristan Perich, Lesley Flanigan on Speakers, 1-bit, Harspichord

Strings of tour dates and electronic music often mean crowd-friendly dance music, but there’s a growing, impassioned audience for more contemplative concert sounds, too. Composer-musicians Lesley Flanigan and Tristan Perich are pulling into the last stop on an extended tour of their work, here in New York Friday at Galapagos Art Space. For many, electronic music, in particular that made with computers, becomes about abstraction. For this duo, electronics become a chance to grow even closer to the tangible, acoustic sound – techniques they share in workshops as well as performances. And would you believe… antique harpsichord? Tristan Perich at …

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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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Processing Credit Cards on Tour with New iPhone App; PayPal, Other Alternatives?

Selling merch on the road – whether your band has CDs and shirts or you run your own enterprising business in geeky goods as our contributor Liz McLean Knight does – is a big challenge. Buying a full-blown credit card terminal is expensive. That’s why I’m absolutely with Hypebot’s Virgil Dickerson: running credit card numbers on an iPhone is a game changer. iPhone App Adds Mobile Credit Card Processing to DIY Toolkit The application in question is called Innerfence, and Apple gets it, too, as they’ve added it to a new TV ad. The app is US$49.99, pricey for an …

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Behind the Scenes with Justice in Rio

Here’s a unique chance to step onstage with electronic duo Justice – well, through photos, at least – on tour in Brazil. Behind a stack of Marshall Amps and other gear that looks ready to push back an invading horde of Barbarians with a battering ram, these two have some very lovely goodies for live laptop performance. No plain-vanilla DJ sets here. Our friend Fabio “FZero” writes: I came across some pictures of the gear Justice used to play in Rio. They were taken by a guy which works on Circo Voador (the place were they played) and uploaded to …

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Indie Bands: Taco Bell Wants to Feed You Burritos, Promote You on Hot Sauce

Photo: Morgan Tepsic. Does that mean South Korea has Taco Bells? I usually try to steer clear of the marketing crud, but this is too bizarre to pass up. Taco Bell, anxious to jump on this whole “indie music” bandwagon, is using the only currency it has: combinations of refried beans, cheese, rehydrated ground meat, and tortillas. Here’s the plan: they find 100 bands, and give them $500 in Taco Bell food while they’re on tour — just in case the burritos were the one thing breaking your tour budget. (Okay, there is that whole fuel cost and lodging thing, …

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