Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Asynchronous Musical Collaboration

Definitions from Wiktionary.

asynchronous (adj.)
1. not synchronous; occurring at different times
2. (computing) (of a request or a message) allowing the client to continue during a processing

musical (comparative more musical, superlative most musical) (adj.)
1. of or relating to music.
2. pleasing to the ear. (Her voice had a musical tone.)

music (uncountable) (mass noun) (n.)
1. A sound, or the study of such sounds, organized in time in a melodious way.
2. (figuratively) Any pleasing or interesting sounds
3. Something wonderful.
That's music to my ears!
4. A guide to playing or singing a particular tune; sheet music.

collaboration (plural collaborations) (n.)
1. the act of collaborating.

to collaborate (third-person singular simple present collaborates, present participle collaborating, simple past collaborated, past participle collaborated) (v.)
1. to work together with others to achieve a common goal.
2. the product of collaboration.
3. treasonous cooperation, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.

That's how we roll...sometimes...due to a lack of some resources (a decent studio) and a sufficiency of technology (broadband Internet).

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Zeitgeist": Inflating Album Sales?

I bought the iTunes blue Zeitgeist download album as a pre-order for the chance to buy some pre-sale concert tickets, with the hope that the new Smashing Pumpkins would play a full-length concert in Los Angeles. It was a gamble, and since they did not play a proper LA show, I lost that bet. I'm fine with that decision.

I bought the Target-exclusive violet Zeitgeist compact disc album because (1) I wanted a physical, DRM-free copy of the album and (2) since I had to decide between Target's bonus track of "Zeitgeist" and Best Buy's bonus track of "Death from Above" without hearing either song, I chose to go with the title track of the album.

There's little chance that I would want to buy the same album more than twice.

It would have been more palatable if Warner/Reprise released the Inside the Zeitgeist DVD as its own thing. Instead, by bundling it with the album, it's an obvious ploy to boost album sales. That doesn't bode well with me. It just might be the principle of it, but I'd rather buy a music documentary DVD at $15 dollars than essentially the same CD with a bonus DVD for $10. Rationally, you'll get more for the latter, but the former just seems more...honest?

I often joke that reason why Nickelback's recent middle-of-the-road, pop rock album has been high on the charts for two-plus years is because the same 100,000-200,000 people have been buying the album weekly without fail. Unfortunately, that might be a reality for Zeitgeist's current worldwide sales of 700,000 - only to inflate more by week's end - with the same tried and true Pumpkinheads with two or more copies of Billy and Jimmy's production.

But I do wonder if the Pumpkins' silver Zeitgeist music documentary will be any good - like Immagine in Cornice good.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Grey "Zeitgeist": This Is What Record Companies Do...

The other night I had a dream that it was the late 1990s, and the original Smashing Pumpkins were working on a prototype to the new Smashing Pumpkins' song "Starz." It sounded less like a Queen-like production, as it contained a bunch of guitar work from James Iha - wah-wah, Ebow, Digitech Whammy, etc. It was cool, and Jimmy Chamberlin's drum solo was still intact.

Unfortunately, it was all a dream.

Anyway, we can point the finger at Billy Corgan for any number of things. As much as he'd like to believe that Iha broke up the original band, Corgan could have fired whomever he wanted and continue the name Smashing Pumpkins. That's pretty much the de facto power that band leaders (who aren't necessarily the lead singer - Nikki Sixx, Noel Gallagher, etc. - but often are) have. So we can safely say that Corgan broke up the old Smashing Pumpkins. We can also say that, when rebuilding the band, Corgan chose to continue the bandmate relationship with the only peer he truly needs: drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. We can also say that Corgan, after the original Pumpkins and Zwan, was firmly unwilling to relent some creative input to his peers (except for Chamberlin, of course), so the rest of the band needed to come from outside his peer group. They needed to be obedient Christians (also see Zwan), or at the very least, not the following people: James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Melissa Auf der Maur, Eric Erlandson, Jimmy Flemion, Dennis Flemion, Mike Garson, Eric Avery, Dave Navarro, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Sweeney, David Pajo, Paz Lenchantin, Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo, Pat Smear, Krist Novoselic, Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, Mike Starr, etc. (In other words, musicians from the Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, The Frogs, Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden, Zwan, Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, etc.) We can safely say that the bandmates that Chamberlin auditioned fit that sort of Corgan-obedient, less-than-equal archetype.

We could also say that while Corgan probably didn't make it a point to market multiple versions of the new Pumpkins' debut album - red Zeitgeist, red book Zeitgeist, yellow Zeitgeist, green Zeitgeist, blue Zeitgeist, and violet Zeitgeist - he didn't stand in the way of Reprise / Warner Bros. from doing so. It's almost if, by inaction, his label Martha's Music (which co-published the music, in all likelihood) would also actively benefit from this sad marketing scheme. Hmm...

Anyway, forgive the rambling, as my point is this: On Tuesday, October 30, 2007, after a summer of lackluster sales for Zeitgeist, Warner is reissuing the album with two of the three separated bonus tracks, and exclusive bonus track, and a making-of DVD - solely through the electronics retailer Best Buy. Enough is enough. They should have released grey Zeitgeist on July 10, 2007, and that should have been the only version of the album. The end.

I'm glad that Radiohead seems to have been successful at their relatively novel business model (which had more notoriety than the Pumpkins' year 2000 attempt at it, called Machina II). I'm glad that Pearl Jam seems to have an a la carte record contract with J Records / Sony (and Rhino for DVDs, I guess) after leaving their previous contract with Epic / Sony. I'm glad that Amazon.com has one-upped iTunes Plus' DRM-free downloads in terms of price (about 99 cents vs. $1.29). I'm glad that more artists are willing to break from the stranglehold of the old way of doing things, which has broken down in this new era. (Simple biology states that if you don't adapt, you'll become extinct, and I believe the same holds true for business.)

If record companies, and other dinosaurs of commerce, can only figure out that adapting their business model to this changing media frontier would only give them greater profits and longer viability, instead of passing the headache of the same ol', same ol' to the consumer.

Talk about "Bleeding the Orchid." And by the orchid, I mean the fans - out of about $10 or more at a time.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Society Survey #2: Religion

Please help us understand religion in society by taking this 10 question, multiple-choice survey, and we'll spread some sarcastic misinformation at DeRamos.org.

Thanks,
The Society of Gloves

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Filler

Did I even dream last night? I don't remember...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Review: Zwan "Mary Star of the Sea" (2003)

I don't understand the Zwan backlash post-2003. The criticisms against the alternative rock supergroup were pretty loud during the impending release of the New Smashing Pumpkins debut 2007 album Zeitgeist. In my opinion, Zwan outshines Zeitgeist, if only slightly.

Zwan's one and only studio album, Mary Star of the Sea, is a classic. It borders on spirituality, but in a U2-esque, non-fundie Roman Catholic kind of way. It was optimistic in a time of uncertainty (the invasion of Iraq began at the time of the album's release). The guitars are thick and layered, in a Billy Corgan-meets-David Pajo-kind of way...well, literally, actually. Jimmy Chamberlin's drumming is consistently above par. Paz Lenchantin's bass playing goes above and beyond Corgan's longtime chick bass-player fetish of the past two decades (which I share as well). Additionally, Lenchantin's harmony vocals tame Corgan's signature whine in an unprecedented manner, as her vocals are actually in the final mix - unlike most Smashing Pumpkins records with Corgan thinly harmonizing with himself.

I'm sure Matt Sweeney is also in the mix somewhere, but his contribution truly shines in the Djali Zwan's wild west adaptation of Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" from the Spun soundtrack. Sweeney's vocals on that track, as well as Zwan's acoustic arrangment, make the cover more badass than the original. "Beast" is not on the album, but I recommend that you track it down if you're interested.

"Baby Let's Rock!" is probably the weakest track on the album, and while I can't hang with that song as much as the other thirteen tracks, it's still a solid song.

The title track "Mary Star of the Sea" is such a great song, and I wish it was granted its own track. Unfortunately (relatively speaking), it's bundled together with "Jesus, I," which is a hard-rocking rendition of a hymn but also the third weakest track. It's a good song, but it's a given that there are songs better or worse than other songs in any given album. I'm glad I have an edited mp3 of "Mary" in iTunes so that I can listen to that epic (comparative to the Pumpkins' "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans") anytime I want, without manually fast-forwarding four minutes or so into the bundled track.

The album closer, "Come with Me" is a catchy ditty, but falls between "Rock!" and "Jesus" in the lower portion of the quality spectrum.

Again, listing the weakest tracks is not necessarily a bad thing, as those songs are pretty good by themselves. With the rest of the album far outshining those solid tracks, why is there such a backlash against Mary? Admittedly, Corgan's only F-bomb on "Yeah!" is consistently out-of-place, but the hooks of "Yeah!" and pretty much every Zwan song are fantastic!

Here's the track list of the album:

1. Lyric
2. Settle Down
3. Declarations of Faith
4. Honestly
5. El Sol
6. Of a Broken Heart
7. Ride a Black Swan
8. Heartsong
9. Endless Summer
10. Baby Let's Rock!
11. Yeah!
12. Desire
13. Jesus, I / Mary Star of the Sea
14. Come with Me

If you can find it, I recommend the limited edition release of Mary Star of the Sea, with the documentary DVD. You'll kind of-sort of get to know the short-lived supergroup and hear extra tracks (albeit fragments thereof) from Zwan.

The bottom line is this: 2/5 Old Smashing Pumpkins (or 100% New Smashing Pumpkins) + 3/5 indie rock credibility = a band that was (1) meant to craft such a marvelous album and (2) inevitably implode as soon as possible. While the latter wasn't a pleasant thing, at least they stuck together long enough to create the former.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Dreamt I Ate a Sandwich

I just woke up from a midnight nap, and I dreamt I made a sandwich. I used a great tasting roll and some all sorts of sandwich ingredients. I was in a laundry room with a TV broadcasting some interestingly strange cartoons.

I think I ate some of the sandwich, and it was good.

One of these days I'll need to pick up a symbolism book or two to decipher what all this weirdness is supposed to mean.

On the other hand, I can pretty much identify which parts of the dream correlates to things that happened yesterday or the days before.

In any case, it would be great to have a sandwich right about now.

Italian sandwich photo credit: Xavier Snelgrove.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Talking Baby Animals

I had a dream last night where I was a temporary caretaker (a babysitter) to about a dozen kittens, puppies, and little birds. They were well-behaved - for the most part - and they could talk. They all spoke English. It was rad. And yes, it was also cute.

There was only one problem. One of the kittens apparently disliked another kitten, and I had to somehow resolve their little feud. I gave this cliche spiel about all the baby animals being family even though they had different parents or weren't part of the same litter. Since they all hung out in the same living room environment for seemingly an eternity (as I presumed they were perpetually youthful talking animals), that constituted being in a family that should stick together. I guess that worked to resolve the differences between the two kittens, but I wish I had remembered their names.

After the exciting confrontation, all the exhausted baby animals went to sleep in a circle formation. I think I passed out too (in the dream) and strayed into another dream.

I wish I had remembered all of the baby animals' names. They all introduced themselves to me at the start of the dream, and I'm sure there's a part of my brain that stored that information, but there's probably little chance of me accessing those names. Well, I do remember three names. I think one of the baby animals was named Scottie or Scooter, or maybe there were two with each name. And there was a kitten named Applesauce. You can't forget someone named Applesauce!

Kitten photo credit: André Karwath (Aka).

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The All-Night Dream Conundrum

I had a dream that there was someone who rewarded people who answered his riddles correctly. He apparently had the reputation of telling easy riddles and giving grand rewards. Unfortunately, before my dream began, this person acquired a book full of harder riddles.

And it was just my luck that an extremely difficult riddle was given for me to answer.

I couldn't answer it.

Therefore, I wouldn't know what the prize was.

That plagued me the entire night, as I was searching for either the answer to the unanswerable, or for the prize itself.

Such is dreamland. Fortunately, the next night was a night of comedy, and I felt like I was laughing the entire night.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Band Name Deathmatch

I stumbled onto this bit of trivia recently: There are 21 bands named "Parousia" on MySpace. Since the term parousia refers to Christian eschatology, most of those bands are either play Christian music or death metal (it's only natural with the supernatural/spiritual overtones of metal in general)...or both. That's the problem with having one-word band names...the one who gets famous first (or trademarks their name or publishes something through ASCAP, BMI, etc.) gets to keep the name. Even then, there are all sorts of potential litigation to arise from a myriad disgruntled parties.

After the smoke clears, the losers will be forced to add a suffix, such as an X or their country of origin's abbreviation, to their band name...or change their band name altogether.

Let's just say that I'm glad we're The Society of Gloves, but obviously there several Society of _____ names and organizations in this world.

I wonder what will become with all the Parousia bands in the United States. Will they sue each other (especially as they are mostly supposedly Christian bands)? Who will win?

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Objects Are LARGER Than They Appear

A few weeks ago, I had a dream that I was driving a Ford Mustang. I drove through some dusty roads in some sort of post-apocalyptic wasteland. It was definitely at nighttime. However, the interior of the Mustang was as large as a bus, and I had several passengers, all of whom had familiar faces.

I didn't know where exactly I was driving to, but I thought the whole situation was pretty cool. I especially like that the "Mustang bus" was eerily similar to the contradictory space inhabited by the TARDIS police box from the long-running BBC series Doctor Who.

TARDIS photo credit: Zir.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Review: Stone Gossard "Bayleaf" (2001)

Alternative rock sidemen tend to make great solo albums. As sappy as it is, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha's 1998 solo album Let It Come Down has some solid songwriting. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin's 2005 side project Life Begins Again is the most groovin' fusion album I've heard, and it goes to show why Billy Corgan needs Chamberlin in the new Smashing Pumpkins. Add Pearl Jam's first songwriter/riffmeister, Stone Gossard, to the list of great alt-rock sideman solo albums.

Stone's 2001 solo album, Bayleaf (which was coincidentally released on September 11th of that year), is one of those few albums that already sound pretty good at first listen. It's a fun album. Stone sings lead vocals on seven of the ten tracks, and sings back-up for three of the tracks. While he's no Eddie Vedder, Stone ably sings pretty good melodies with some Neil Young-influenced tone. I have to admit, it's a bit disconcerting whenever another voice (guest vocalist Ty Wilman) sings lead vocals, but it's Stone's songwriting that shines through. Here are some album highlights:

Track 3: "Pigeon" is an instantly classic-sounding groove rocker.

Track 5: "Cadillac" has a fun vocal interplay between Stone and Ty Wilman. It does sound like a mix between a car commercial jingle and an improvement upon the Beach Boys' eighties hit "Kokomo." Once you get past those eerie similarities, it's a happy little number.

Track 6: "Bayleaf" (the title track) has one short instance of melody that borrows from Axl Rose's vocal playbook. It only happens once in the song, but it makes itself obvious. The rest of the song is great, by the way.

Track 7: "Every Family" is a soulful, bluesy song that would make fat Elvis proud. And I mean that in the best way possible. There's some great Hammond organ instrumentation in this song.

Track 9: "Hellbent" seems to have influenced a Stone Gossard/Eddie Vedder-penned Pearl Jam track five years later: "Parachutes." This is ironic because Ed often complains that Stone tends to refuse to return to previously explored territory when it comes to songwriting.

Since I bought this album on iTunes, my biggest complaint is the lack of liner notes. I've heard that Stone did the liner notes art, but I don't have it to confirm. Stone is not only a great guitarist, a decent vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist - he's also a painter. Since Bayleaf seems to be out of print, you'll either need to buy a used copy at Amazon.comor download it with iTunes: Stone Gossard - Bayleaf

While the album is a bit less than 40 minutes, I think I can burn this album with Eddie Vedder's Into the Wild (without the bonus tracks) onto one disc. Ed's folksy acoustic album and Stone's funky electric album sound like companion pieces (albeit six years apart). It like the two belong in a band together...hmm...

You can sample some choice tracks (plus an import-only bonus track) at Stone Gossard's fan-made MySpace Music profile.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Stone Gossard Rocks

Everyone who knows Pearl Jam knows that Stone is the boss. Stone wrote the music to Ten, and an obscure singer named Ed added lyrics and melodies...and the rest is history. Here's an interview he (and his baby daughter, too!) did at a New York radio station called K-Rock:


Here's Stone playing Woody Guthrie's "Roll On, Columbia":

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Society Survey #1: Pop Culture

Please help us understand society by taking this 10 question, multiple-choice survey, and we'll spread some sarcastic misinformation at DeRamos.org.

Thanks,
The Society of Gloves

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Puscifer "Queen B."

Maynard James Keenan has a non-Tool, non-A Perfect Circle side project, called Puscifer. The song for the following video is called "Queen B.":

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mash-Ups Are Cool

Like most of what's posted on YouTube, the legality of mash-ups is dubious, but that doesn't mean that they aren't cool when done well. Case in point: If "Every Breath You Take" by the Police mated with "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, you'd get "Every Car You Chase." Both the audio and the music video have been mashed together well, so it's doubly cool:

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Band with the Staple Singers "The Weight"

While browsing through the Internet, I was on the case of why the Verve forfeited the royalties for "Bittersweet Symphony" to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Evidently, "Bittersweet Symphony" took one sample too many from the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra's rendition of the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time," which itself was unintentionally lifted (without legal consequence) from a gospel song by the Staple Singers.

Yadda, yadda, yadda...I found this video clip from Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz, with The Band and the Staple Singers performing "The Weight":

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Game Plan (Not the Movie)

Here's our tentative process if/when we ever release a full-length album:

1. Write and record 30 songs, and post them on this website. Hopefully this will ensure that there aren't any filler tracks, or at least we'll have filler tracks that we aren't ashamed to post on our website. This part can take weeks (no), months (no), or years (yes).

2. Choose the dozen or so that work together.

3. Put the songs in a coherent order.

4. Rework and/or rerecord those songs.

5. Remix and remaster that collection of songs.

6. Release an official Society of Gloves album.

7. The remaining songs will be B-sides to whatever we consider as album "singles." We'll remix, remaster, and release accordingly.

8. In the meantime, enjoy all our non-album "singles," as we like to write and record songs intermittently. Remember, the magic number is 30. With six songs already posted, one in purgatory, and several other songs already written - we're about 1/5th of the way there.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who Are Your Friends? (Finally.)



WHO ARE YOUR FRIENDS?
(R. DeRamos)
Download | Donate

I want you.
Let me crawl the Earth.
It is barren like my soul.
To find you.
To find truth.
And answers to questions you must know.

Who are your friends; may I torture them?
Who are your friends; may I devour them?
Let's pretend they're still in love with you.
Let's pretend you will see me through.

Misericordia.
I ain't warning you.
Just a consequence.
These tears you have to shed.
Oh my, oh my, am I pleased to meet you.
Don't shake my confidence.

Who are your friends; may I torture them?
Who are your friends; may I devour them?
Let's pretend they're still in love with you.
Let's pretend you will see me through.

A stranger seeks revenge.
And when he gets it, it's the end.
A stranger seeks revenge.
And when he gets it, it's the end.

Who are your friends?
May I devour them?
Let's pretend they're still in love with you.
Let's pretend you will see me through...

Out of this hole, out of control.
Drunken the soul's come down to this.
I am the underdog; I am the sorrow god.
Shadow follows light to hold you in the dark.

© & (P) 2007 DeRamos Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved.


P.S. Compare these lyrics with the original lyrics from 2004 (posted January 2005).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Who Are Your Friends?

Within the next day or so, The Society of Gloves will officially unveil "Who Are Your Friends?" as a free/donations-accepted download. The song will be linked at the top of this blog, as well as on our MySpace profile. We recorded the song in August, so it's about time we officially release the track for download and streaming.

Unlike our previous "record covers," the album art for this song is just an otherwise unedited (other than cropping into a square) classic painting by Francisco Goya: "Saturn Devouring His Son." Last year's album art also had classic, public domain art, but the images were heavily modified. We pretty much left Goya's painting alone, albeit cropped. As you can see from the thumbnails above, we'll also use another part of this painting for "Time (Lose Your Hold)," which will be released soon.

The darkness, despair, and franticness of Saturn just fit the mood of the song like a glove. The word "devour" is also used in the lyrics, if you want to get obvious about it. Check out the original painting by Francisco Goya:



At the recent Peter Chavez album release, a random observer compared my friend Jason Loya's artwork to that of Francisco Goya, so be sure to check out Jason's art too.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"In Rainbows" Is Back!

Yesterday, InRainbows.com was down, and Radiohead.com redirected to Radiohead's blog. I thought that meant the sale was over and you'd have to wait for the album to be re-released sometime later. However, the site apparently still works, so you can order the album as a digital download or discbox directly from the band. Unfortunately, the site's servers are slow because many people are buying and downloading right now (which is good for Radiohead's business plan).

Remember, the price is in Great Britain Pounds Sterling (GBP), and it takes roughly $2.00 USD (more than that, more recently) to equal £1.00 GBP. You can also "buy" the album for free, but it is worth whatever money you give the band.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Review: Radiohead "In Rainbows"

Few "mainstream" wood-skin-and-metal rock bands have ventured into an electronic world of soundscapes and survived, much less thrived in it.

U2 had a somewhat forgotten (forgettable?) 1990s dance music stretch between Achtung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Nirvana never had the chance, other than a few, obscure, lo-fi audio collages by Kurt Cobain.

After firing drummer Jimmy Chamberlin in 1996, the Smashing Pumpkins tried out Billy Corgan's vision of "arcane night music" with their 1998 album Adore. While an underrated album, the result was almost immediate: The loss of much of their Gish-Siamese Dream-Mellon Collie fanbase and subsequent beginning of the end for Smashing Pumpkins, version 1.0. In the longterm, it meant: Billy Corgan + synthesizers = no-no (TheFutureEmbrace).

The closest Pearl Jam has gotten to ambient-sounding-yet-dance-inspiring-grooves is Matt Cameron's "You Are," from Riot Act. Then again, the song being reminiscent of the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" doubled the cool factor of that song.

To the contrary, post-OK Computer Radiohead has apparently thrived being a "mainstream," major label band that does this sort of electronic, post-rock (post-pop format) thing. Honestly, I need to give Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief several more spins, but I'm happy to report that In Rainbows has the same vibe as OK Computer, e.g. 2007's "Nude" is reminiscent of 1997's "No Surprises." For the new album, Radiohead's rhythm section is sometimes jazzy and always dance-friendly. Radiohead's guitar/soundscape section is as dreamy as ever. And Thom Yorke's voice - which prevously launched a thousand Matthew Bellamy and Chris Martin ships - is as moody and high-pitched as ever. You have to realize that moody and high-pitched are difficult to have simultaneously.

In Rainbows has a good mix of aggressive/upbeat songs and ambient/downbeat moodiness. Here is the tracklist:

1. 15 Step (3:57)
2. Bodysnatchers (4:02) I recommend this rocker.
3. Nude (4:15) This is the tenth anniversary edition of "No Surprises," but not really.
4. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (5:18)
5. All I Need (3:48)
6. Faust Arp (2:09)
7. Reckoner (4:50)
8. House of Cards (5:28)
9. Jigsaw Falling into Place (4:08)
10. Videotape (4:39) Starts off like a Coldplay song for a couple of seconds but quickly resolves as a Radiohead song that Coldplay will try to do for their next album.

The bottom line: In Rainbows was the best £2.45 I've spent on music...in recent memory, at least, although I wish they had provided a PDF file of liner notes in the downloadable ZIP file. And if you missed the boat on their special you-name-the-price digital release sale, too bad for you. You're going to have to wait for the albums rumored physical release early next year.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

About the Society of Gloves

The Society of Gloves officially formed in May 2005 but can trace its roots back to 1994, when the brothers DeRamos learned to play guitar. The band consists of Jonathan DeRamos on guitar/soundscaping and Ryan DeRamos on guitar/everything else, with room open for collaboration. Our first recording as the Society, "White Rhino," was recorded in July of 2006. If was followed by "Fifty Can't Be Wrong" and "Shield" later that summer. "Transcend the Writing" was recorded in fall of 2006.

Spring 2007 brought "Do the Code," which is the Society's adaptation of a song written for the upcoming film Elan Vital. "Who Are Your Friends?" and "Time (Lose Your Hold)" were recorded this summer but will be released sometime in the fall of 2007.

You can visit our MySpace profile at www.myspace.com/societyofgloves and our CafePress store at www.cafepress.com/societyofgloves.

Monday, October 08, 2007

If You Bill It, They Will Rock...

I had this dream the other night (well, the other day since I've succumbed to vampirism) that I threw a gigantic music festival in an old European village - it was probably from the Immagine in Cornice DVD ingrained to my subconscious.

As I looked down from an ancient balcony, I saw a large causeway/stairs full of people. They formed a circle around a performer playing an acoustic guitar. After that set was done, the performer passed the guitar to the next musician to play. And so on, and so forth. This was exciting stuff, as everyone knew the songs that were played. I was pleased with the festival I had created.

Somewhere during this sequence, Bruce Springsteen asked if he could play, since he was in this neck of the world on tour, but the E Street Band had their day off that day. So he offered to play an acoustic set in the middle of the day. I thought that was cool, so he was part of the festival.

The End. Now download some songs linked above, or you can preview the songs by using the streaming music widget at the top left. And if you feel the need to throw some Euros, pence, or cents into the donation fund, I won't stop you!

Bruce Springsteen photo credit: Sister72.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Radiohead's Business Model

Within the next day or two, the Society of Gloves' blog will host free downloads of the songs we've recorded as the Society of Gloves - the four songs recorded last year, the three songs recorded this year (thus far), etc.

The songs will be free to right-click and save as, and we are glad to spread our music to as many ears as possible. At the same time, we will leave the guitar case open - so to speak - and have links to donate to our PayPal account.

Yes, it's almost exactly like Radiohead's business model for In Rainbows, except that Radiohead is a gazillion times bigger than the lowly Society of Gloves.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

WIDE Rhino

Here's a bit of trivial knowledge, courtesy of Wikipedia:

The name White Rhino originated in South Africa where the Afrikaans language developed from the Dutch language. The Afrikaans word "wyd" (derived from the Dutch word "wijd"), which means "wide," referred to the width of the Rhinoceros mouth. Early English settlers in South Africa misinterpreted the "wyd" for "white."

Here's a bit of Society-related minutiae: Our song "White Rhino" was named after the albino-colored rhino drawing on a Dunlop Ultex guitar pick that I was using while writing the main riff of the song.

What does this have to do with anything? Not much at the moment, other than we've slightly modified the template of this blog, making it wider. See? The payoff is here!

We hope to get back on track soon, writing deeper and more useful blog entries. And possible writing, recording, and posting new songs here and/or on our MySpace profile. Anyhow, I feel a Radiohead review coming in the next few days...when they release their you-name-the-price album In Rainbows next week.

White rhinoceros photo credit: Colin M.L. Burnett.

Friday, October 05, 2007

We've Improved Chord du Jour!

I want you to check out our new and improved guitar lessons blog Chord du Jour at chord.deramos.org. We've made it look more user-friendly, and we plan to change the templates of all the blogs in the DeRamos.org Network, including this one.

Anyway, this blog entry is going to be cut short because it is my bedtime. Yes, the sun is rising and I must go to sleep...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Apparently "Beatbox" Is Also Spelled "Bitbox"...

...it must be an phonetic, transliteration, language, or regional dialect thing. Obviously I am not much of a philologist. Here's a video of a beatboxing (or bitboxing, if you will) chef creating a mix, though I suspect there are moments of postproduction sweetening and overdubbing to sell the effect more:

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Archive of Music Review Blog Entries

We've opened a new blog called Muze Nuze 'n Revuze at music.deramos.org to organize our various music review blog entries at various blogs around the Blogosphere. No, this blog isn't a simple copy-and-paste job, but a concise summary of the reviews containing the following features: (1) Artist name, (2) album or film title, (3) quick review summarizing the album/film, (4) a track worth noting - whether good or bad - and (5) one or more links to further reading about the album/film.

Anyhow, we are slowly building the music review archive; so far there are articles for relatively recent releases. Every article is organized by release date, so hopefully there will be some blog entries with timestamps from decades past. I hope that Blogger will give us that function.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Immagine in Cornice" DVD Tracklist

Here is a quasi-accurate tracklist for Pearl Jam's Immagine in Cornice: Picture in a FrameDVD. The bold, numbered tracks are the band's concert songs in order of presentation, while the appropriately italicized titles are - for the most part - listed in the end credits. In any case, it's a bit difficult to know which McCready or Ament instrumental is which.

Anyhow, the list of songs:

1. Severed Hand (Milan)
2. World Wide Suicide (Montage)
3. Life Wasted (Torino)
Mike McCready's score:
"Meander #1"
"Meander #2"
"Frentic 2 Edit/Abstract"
"Abstracts-Whale Sounds"
Other soundtrack music: "Pesina Marina."
Ed practices "Immortality" before a show.
4. Corduroy (Verona)
Ed and Mike play the first verse and chorus of "Lukin," acoustically.
5. State of Love and Trust (Milan)
"Wasted Reprise"
6. Porch (Verona)
7. Even Flow (Torino)
Jeff Ament's score:
"Forest is My Church"
"Only Cloud in the Sky"
8. Better Man (Verona)
9. Alive (Milan)
10. Blood (Verona)
Boom plays "Heaven Can You Hear Me Now" in a Pistoia cathedral.
11. Comatose (Pistoia)
12. Come Back (Pistoia)
"Donato's Dance (Vivo)," with hints of "Alive."
13. Rockin' in the Free World (Pistoia)
Eddie Vedder's "Transcendent Mental Clarity."
Ed sings "Picture in a Frame."
"Love Boat Captain" plays during the end credits.


Bonus Tracks:
1. A Quick One While He's Away (Ed with My Morning Jacket in Torino)
2. Throw Your Arms Around Me (Ed solo in Pistoia)
3. Yellow Ledbetter (Milan)

Please read my review at DeRamos.org. Thank you!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Digidesign Strike: Our Favorite Robot Drummer

I feel the need to blatantly sing the praises of Digidesign's proprietary plug-in for Pro Tools called Strike.

Strike is a virtual instrument RTAS plug-in that, as I have redundantly stated one sentence ago, only works with Pro Tools. But never, ever, ever call Strike a drum machine. You'll hurt his feelings. Strike is programmed to be like a human drummer, sometimes random in action and timing...yet solid and consistent like an experienced drummer. You can tell Strike to be varying degrees of loose or tight, depending on the mood of the jam. Right out of the box, Strike knows how to play a near-myriad (okay, not quite 1000) genres, and several grooves and fills within each genre. Of course, as any friendly robot should, Strike is fully prepared to learn a new thing or two...that is, if you have the chops to teach him.

Anyhow, we've only begun to scratch the surface with our favorite robot drummer Strike. While strike is a natural at 4/4 time, he can almost adapt to other time signatures at the click of a mouse and a stroke of the keyboard. Chances are good, though, that Strike still would like your input in terms of where to place the accents (usually the snare). That's not a bad thing, as Strike needs to know if the musicians he's jamming with are within the same ballpark as the almighty Strike. If you don't have the knowledge to unlock Strike's full potential, Strike won't take you to the next level. It's like when someone tells you something groundbreaking, and you berate him/her for not telling you sooner - and that person's response is almost always, "You never asked."

That's the potential of Strike. We, the Society of Gloves, need to ask Strike better, deeper, and more philosophical questions - musically speaking, of course.

The other day, we were at the local Home Depot buying AA batteries and using the self-checkout to be our robot cashier. Anyhow, Strike was all getting his mack on with the robot cashier...'cause STRIKE IS THE MAN!!!

Drumsticks photo credit: Uryah.