Listening: Pretty Prizes by Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts feat. Karen O

Leave it to the Too Beautiful To Live (TBTL) team to get me on to Milano by Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts.

“Pretty Prizes (feat. Karen O)” is Andrew’s Music for your Weekend pick (around the 60 minute mark). It is a bit like Talking Heads (as Andrew and Luke agreed), but I argue it’s more Roxy Music (or just Bryan Ferry) meets Siouxie and the Banshees (or just Siouxie Sioux).

The album as it is has other moments that speak to me. The opener, “Soul and Cigarette”, lyrically is reminiscent of Syd Barrett though the actual singing lacks Syd’s etherial quality. “Talisa (feat. Karen O)” has a sixties feel as well, but more as if in the The Italian Job.

Many reviewers think this should have been an EP, and I tend to agree. I would take this from nine to five tracks, losing “Mount Napoleon”, “Memphis Blues Again” (although there is something about the song I quite like but cannot pinpoint), and the last two songs. I would not mind them letting Karen O lose on “Soul and Cigarette”.

Then again, maybe just let her sing lead on all the songs?

I read somewhere that this album is supposed to be a page out of 80’s Italy. Maybe they were in a 60’s renaissance?

(Image: By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

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Report from the Taste of Tokyo

As N8 said, these folks are Rock ‘n Roll

富岡一丁目, Tokyo, Japan

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David Gilmour Talks About the Mysteries of His Famous Guitar Tone

David Gilmour Talks About the Mysteries of His Famous Guitar Tone:

The phrase “holy grail of tone” shows up a lot in the marketing of guitar gear, a promise of perfection that seems more than a little ironic. Perfect “tone”—that nebulous term used to describe the sound produced by an ideal combination of instrument, effects, amplifier, and settings—is ever sought but never seemingly found. Guitarists bicker and advise on forums, and religiously consult the gear guides of the pros, who often deign in magazines and videos to explain their own peculiar setups.

While more and more manufacturers are promising to recreate the tone of your favorite guitarist in digital simulations, true tone-ophiles will never accept anything less than the real thing. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, a guitarist whose tone is undeniably all his own, has inspired a cottage industry of fan-made videos that teach you how to achieve “The David Gilmour Sound.” But there’s no substitute for the source.

In the clip above from a BBC documentary, Gilmour vaguely discusses “the Floyd sound” and some of the techniques he uses to get his distinctive guitar tone. Every discussion of tone will include the admonishment that tone resides in the player’s fingers, not the gear. Gilmour suggests this initially. “It’s the tiniest little things,” he says, that “makes the guitar so personal. Add a hundred different tiny inflections to what you’re doing all the time. That’s what gives people their individual tone.”

It’s a true enough statement, but there are still ways to get close to the sound of Gilmour’s guitar setup, if not to actually play exactly like him. You can buy the gear he’s used over the years, or something approximating it, anyway. You can learn a few of his tricks—the bluesy bends and slides we know so well from his emotive solos. But unless you have the luxury of playing the kinds of huge stages, with huge volume, Gilmour plays, he says, you’ll never quite get it. Small amps in small rooms sound too cramped and artificial, he says.

And if you’re playing stages like that, you’ve probably discovered a holy grail of tone that’s all your own, and legions of fans are trying to sound like you.

via Laughing Squid

Related Content:

Watch David Gilmour Play the Songs of Syd Barrett, with the Help of David Bowie & Richard Wright

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Sings Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18

Italian Street Musician Plays Amazing Covers of Pink Floyd Songs, Right in Front of the Pantheon in Rome

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

(Via Open Culture)

I do not play music, so the whole thing is academic for me if still fascinating. Plus, it’s Pink Floyd, y’all!

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Prog Rock Karaoke?

I’m in an izakaya trying to stay cool, drinking beer and eating things on sticks. King Crimson‘s “21st Century Schizoid Man” starts playing in the audio mix.

Which got me 🤔 – is there any Prog Rock that can be sung in a karaoke joint, assuming they even have any? David Bowie is excluded, and I am talking old school – classic Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, and their ilk.

My initial thoughts:


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Ask an indie rock veteran: What’s the best band of all time?

Ask an indie rock veteran: What’s the best band of all time?:

Can you make an argument for the best band of all time? —Aileen, Glasgow Scotland I’ll try. I can’t promise even I’ll buy it though. Anything like this leaves you wide open to the counterargument, “they suck.” Which is always much more effective than it ought to be.

That said, let’s try The Smiths.

Yes, let’s. Read on for the math and analysis, with which I strongly agree.

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Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand

Inspiration from Bruce Lee, William James, Diving, and More:

Songs make you think of people. Sometimes, you hear a song and you miss someone.

Sometimes you go look up that person to find out what happened to them and it breaks your heart.

Sometimes you realize that it’s a mistake to lose track of people who meant so much to you.

Reach out to that person who changed your life and then disappeared. If nothing else, let them know they changed you and thank them. Do it now, before you wake up one day, hear a song, look for the person that the song reminds you of, and realize that person isn’t around any more.

I’ve been downhearted, baby, ever since the day we met. We were never quite sure what B.B. King was saying in that repeated sample. That’s what he was saying. I wish I could tell you that now.

(Via The Simple Dollar The Simple Dollar)

One of the non-family related good memories of my time living in Oklahoma is this song.

Hard Drives Susceptible to Loud Music? Yeah, We Know

Damaging Hard Drives with an Ultrasonic Attack

Playing a sound over the speakers can cause computers to crash and possibly even physically damage the hard drive.

I don’t know why this is news. My university friends and I knew this in the early 90’s, and I think it was common knowledge at the time. Did the sound have to be ultrasonic? No. But we knew a loud party could screw up the hard drives we had in our desktop computers. As low end bass became more and more of a thing, it was even easier to see the connection.

We played audio cassettes at parties to deal with this very issue.

Moving in Stereo

For the last month or so I’ve listened to The Cars fairly regularly. I think it’s the change of the season as I’ve always associated them with summer.

When I was a young pup, knee high to a garden snake, my Californian brothers brought many an otherwise unknown band to our midwestern home. Van Halen, Rush, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, and others were in the mix. The more heavy metal of the bunch I discarded.

Rush was the first of those bands I embraced. One of my friends in my Connecticut high school was a big Rush fan. When I started working many years later for a Canadian company Rush again entered my listening life.

Van Halen, and later Van Hagar, became frozen in that late 80’s to 90 moment when they were everywhere.

And then there was The Cars.

The Cars was like a less overplayed and better version of what Journey was doing at the time (also part of my brothers’ music mix). Journey stayed ever present on US radio from the Rock to Classic Rock to the oldies station where they live today.

I recall having one of their tapes, Heartbeat City, when the family road tripped across the western US on holiday in the mid 80’s. Then they dropped off my radar.

I’m caught a bit off guard by the high regard in which I hold The Cars today.

Who cares. It’s summer (in the Northern Hemisphere)!

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Deranged if effective media source cabling

Reminds me of my old radio and podcasting days. Well, the cabling and not the coffee setup.

HomePod and the Apple Music Japanese Metadata Mess

HomePod and the Apple Music Japanese Metadata Mess:

Japan is one of most profitable music markets after the US market. If Apple wants to sell HomePod in Japan at some point, they’ll have to get their Apple Music Japanese metadata problem sorted out first.

(Via Ata Distance)

Read the whole article for examples of how Apple Music/iCloud Music/iTunes Match is a “hot mess”.