Clambake Episode for May 14, 2005

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for May 14, 2005.

This episode is the longest one yet, and is entirely devoted to the remainder of the Paul Melancon interview and playing his music from his solo releases and from the new Arts and Sciences album.

This episode is sponsored in part by the fine folks at iPodderX! Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package.

This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0.

Links mentioned in this episode:

17 Replies to “Clambake Episode for May 14, 2005”

  1. I agree that the big labels have been bad for music in general. I would also commend REM for their integrity but I thought the snide remarks about drum machines and cgi graphics were uncalled for.

    Why is it that the people who are most into computers and technology are total luddites when it comes to music and technology?

    I will take the TLC ‘waterfalls’ video over any REM video any day. It’s catchy and they are easy on the eyes. I also loved the CGI graphics. Pixar is wonderful! Hayao Miyazaki is another amazing talent in animation.

    Dave, I think you have watched the TLC video all the way through and more than once.

    A drum machine is a tool just like a guitar is a tool. It does not matter what tool you use; what matters is the brain behind the tool. I am reminded of an article in Mix magazine with the engineer for Nirvana’s first big hit album. The band insisted that there be no digital effects used so he waited until all the band members were gone and he put some digital effects in there! Bands have an artistic vision but so do engineers and you need at least a little reverb on the vocals god damn it! I presume that Nirvana was happy with the results as were the fans obviously.

    I don’t like REM so as far as I’m concerned they might have sounded better with drum machines. Too many musicians play guitar. If you ask them why they picked this instrument they might say because they like the sound of it or because their favorite musicians play it, but the real reason is because they want to be rock stars and think it would look cool on stage. Maybe they imagine it would be a good way to get chicks… all these reasons have absolutely *nothing* to do with music. It is sad to say but very few guitarists have ever played a single original riff. Think how much more interesting music would be if there was a greater variety of instruments in bands.

  2. Dude, you totally missed the point.

    They didn’t say they had anything against those things per se. They were saying that the way the playing field in the music industry is tilted, the artist PAYS for that stuff, and if they were footing the bill, it wouldn’t be in there because it is way too expensive. I’m sure they both love the shit, just not on their dime. That’s it. That’s all. No need for diatribes about CGI and guitar riffs.

    Take a deep breath and calm down. Go cue up a DVD of anime and get out your favorite lotion. Everything is gonna be alright.

  3. I understand that my comments are not related to the gist of the podcast. Dave Slusher has stated (on ITconversations)that David Kusek contributed to the invention of electronic drums so we should “think of him every time we hear a rap or a disco song”. If you heard the nervous laugh from Kusek, you would agree that this was taken as a sort of back handed compliment. I understand it was a joke. Dave has his input and this is mine. I’m sticking up for all the electronic musicians out here. It’s an odd world when commercials for cars have way better music than FM radio.

  4. TE, You are worked up over nothing. You say you can tell the drum thing was a goof, so what’s the problem. You’ve put way more energy into a silly throwaway ice-breaker joke than it calls for.

    If you were paying attention to what Paul and I were saying, we were talking about how the record company charges all those expenses to your account. If you make a $2 million video that means the company will keep the first $2 million of your royalties. That’s why I was saying that I would never make a grossly expensive video or album – that money comes out of your pocket under the typical contract. It should be noted that not that long after that TLC video came out, after selling millions of albums, the band declared bankruptcy.

  5. I misunderstood you on CGI. I guess I was still thinking about the other slurs.

    Yes TLC went bankrupt and we are now bombarded with expensive makeup commercials featuring Beyonce. We can assume that at least for her, it was worth it!

    We hate the big corporations partly because they do suck but I think a part of it is that they have the power. It feels bad when someone else has power over you and you are a minority. Electronic musicians are a minority too. I’ve seen albums which have a disclaimer stating that no synthesizers were used. The MTV unplugged series was widely popular. Imagine an album which says “No black musicians were used”. I know you will say that this is not a good analogy. I’ll have to differ with you on that point. Everything we say builds on the public perception and prejudices.

  6. Hi, TE. I just thought I’d respond for the record… I enjoy CGI and drum machines when they’re used well, just like I enjoy guitar when it’s used well. I also tend to dislike all three when they’re used poorly (I’m also tired of CGI talking babies and animals in commercials. It’s no longer funny, for pity’s sake! But that’s just me, and god knows it’s not the fault of the technology.). I agree, all of them are tools and they stand or fail based on how they get used. Speaking as a musician I wouldn’t turn down a drum machine if it fit what I wanted (and have used loops somewhat sparingly in the past). My comment about REM was not a comment on drum machines as a whole. It was a comment on a label’s idea that what was popular at the time should just be spraypainted onto anything that gets put out, without regard to whether it truly fits (and the REM of 1983 wanted a sound that had nothing to do with Georgio Moroder) and the POINT of the comment was to illustrate that they refused to go along and were allowed to get away with it, something that is extremely unlikely today.

    The only thing I might add is that saying things like ‘you always need at least a little reverb’ (you don’t ALWAYS need anything) or ‘Too many musicians play guitar’ (as if there’s a quota somewhere that’s been surpassed. I think what’s wrong is that too many BAD musicians play guitar, but that’s certainly not exclusive to the guitar.) right after complaining that people make horrible assumptions about electronic musicians is awfully hypocritical. Blanket statements about why people pick up a guitar are just that: blanket statements, and are about as useful and accurate as someone saying that all drum machines suck. You rail against what you perceive as some sort of ad hominem attack against electronic music by making one of the silliest ad hominem attacks I may have ever read; that the real reason (not ‘maybe’ or ‘I think,’ no, this is the REAL REASON) people pick up a guitar is to get chicks. Are there people who do that? Of course there are. Are there people who do it for other reasons? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s the case and I’m speaking from personal experience.

    I think if I were in your position and felt (as you seem to) so strongly about a particular style of music I might have taken the discussion personally, but since at no time did I (or Dave, if I recall) say that all electronic music sucks, and even now I’ve tried to be careful to frame what I’ve said as my opinion and not incontrovertible fact, I think I might be able to see that there’s no need to be so offended and hurt. On the other hand, as a guitarist, if I found myself explictly lumped into your psychoanalysis of all guitarists I might feel perfectly justified in pointing out that you can bite me.

    So, you can see how tricky a discussion like this can be.

  7. I like your music, but seeing how much new music I have on my plate right now I wasn’t planning on buying anything for a bit.

    That being said, I believe very strongly in rewarding good behavior. That reply was absolute beauty in and of itself. It was precisely what I needed to hear at the precise moment I needed to hear it. Thank you.

    I am now going this instant to buy every album you’ve ever put out. I hope I can play some of the songs on my podcast, also. Rock on, bad man.

  8. That’s great James, so some good came out of all this.

    Paul, I am sorry that I made a gross generalization. My favorite musician is a guitarist and his name is Robert Fripp. Perhaps Moroder was a bad fit for REM. Maybe Jam and Lewis would be a better?

    My favorite REM song is “Don’t Go Back to Rockville” because I sold my house in Rockville a year ago. It’s a horrid place. Sorry to all the Rockvillians reading this who like it there. That was another of my generalizations. I would love to take this opportunity to apologize to the mayor of Rockville.

    I can understand how you would be bitter about the industry. perhaps we should also put a lot of blame on the buying public. There would be no massive recording industry if not for the millions of people who buy the music.

  9. Well, your apology is certainly heartfelt, and between it and the touching email I received from you I’m sure the nights I would have spent crying myself to sleep will be eased. My family and friends thank you as well, in these hard times.

  10. Oh, and I might add, before I stop darkening Dave’s site (and thank you, Dave, for having me) that the “lots of people buy it so they must be right” argument is a particularly spurious bit of logic that doesn’t hold up to much examination. People buy what they are allowed to know exists. If you have a virtual monopoly on the major forms of distribution well, gosh, who could have predicted that you would also receive the majority of sales?

    Anyway, I apologise to the rest of whoever might be reading this for my testy nature today. I doubt I’ll be posting again as I’ve got several very important meetings with the shadowy cabal responsible for keeping electronic musicians down. You won’t see us but you’ll know our results.

    Thanks again, Dave. Say hello to your better half for me. πŸ™‚

  11. Did I say that lots of people buy it so they must be right? You were not reading my post carefully. I’m saying lots of people buy it which proves that people are morons. I’m saying the companies are greedy and evil and the buying public are idiots. I hope this clarifies my position. Good luck with your music Paul. I wish you nothing but success and peace of mind. I will try not to post much or monopolize the forum in the future.

  12. Dave and Paul,

    Sorry for the belated comment on the last installment of Dave’s interview with Paul. Thoroughly enjoyed it, ordered Hopeful Monsters on Sunday.

    I am a musician as well, and I have a little mantra about what the major labels do these days that helps keep things clear in my own mind: they are not in the *music* business, they are in the *record* business. A musician must decide which priority serves what made him or her pick up the axe in the first place. From what I have heard so far, Paul’s priorities seem clear.

    The record industry has done far more damage than good to music and musicians, even among “successful” artists. Paul seems savvy and experiened enough to not need advice about being careful what one wishes for from “record deals.” But, I hope that younger players can somehow tune in to what a farce the “record business” has become, and reject it out of hand. I see podcasting as (amomg other things) perhaps the beginning of that.

  13. I must say, I really really enjoy Paul’s singing and song writing. And the musicianship in “The Arts and Sciences” is awesome. Lee’s solos rock. I like “The Arts and Sciences” the best of all the music Dave has played. This from an edgy electric blues fan (i.e. Stevie Ray Vaughn, 90s Susan Tedeschi, 90s Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band).

    The Michelle Malone, Lee Cuthbert, and Paul Melancon interviews have really opened my eyes to the bitter realities of musicianship: song writing, recording, touring, etc. I can now appreciate the music I listen to better, knowing the hard work that goes into making it happen.

    I am visiting the USA this summer, doing the “software development conference hop”. So I’ll be checking your tour dates for synergistic opportunities. πŸ˜€

    Much luck to Paul and “The Arts and Sciences”, from your newest big fan.

    PS – The CDs should be here any day now! πŸ˜‰

  14. Really liked the music from this very much. As I am told, people like it if we tell them, that we are from the outside of your world (in my case, Germany). πŸ˜‰

    Two things to add: As usual, why the hell do I have to go buy a CD to ‘give’ money? I have to pay $8 to receive a physical CD, which I have pay money for where only part of that money goes to the artist, due to cost of goods sold, which I would only take to my PC, make mp3 of it and then have no use any more for a CD. :o)

    I do have an internet connection which could handle that very fine, thank you. πŸ™‚

    I won’t buy that stuff over Itunes, as this puts the files as far as I am told, into a DRM system. How about payloadz download? I happily write you an email or visiting a website, that this, my purchase, can be counted as a cd buy.

    Second: How would a playing of part of the EGC, namely the music, on our local non com. community radio, be correctly attributed through the radio? πŸ™‚

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