The Weekend Update

Hey all. Some of you may have been wondering what I’ve been doing with myself over the last few days. I’ve been trying to beat the heat in several different ways:

Watching Movies

9 Songs

I’ve seem more movies in the last month than I’d seen all of last years. I’ve viewed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hustle and Flow, March of the Penguins, and 9 Songs. Now on that last movie, you may or may not have heard of it–it’s the new Michael Winterbottom film. Michael Winterbottom is the man who’s brought you brilliant movies such as Wonderland and 24 Hour Party People. He’s also brought you not so enjoyable films (IMHO) such as Jude and Welcome to Sarajevo. 9 Songs is one of those kinda not enjoyable films.

If you’ve read anything concerning the movie, you already know that it depicts real, live sex. As in the actors in the film were actually having sex as the cameras were filming. There is little to no story line involved–the characters are only seen within the confines of their apartment (talking nonsense or doing it), doing drugs, going to gigs at the Brixton Academy, and going to strip clubs. It’s basically a film you don’t want to see with your parents, and it’s definitely not a date movie–unless it’s a special kind of date.

The part I enjoyed most during the movie was the live concert footage. I had a game with myself to see if I could guess all of the bands. And I won! The bands who are featured in the movie are: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Von Bondies, Elbow, Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand, Super Furry Animals, and The Dandy Warhols.

Riding Bikes

When I’m not watching movies, I’ve been riding my brand new folding bike. Just FYI, I got a Dahon Boardwalk from Metro Bikes on 14th Street. It meets my needs and I love that it folds up into a tiny little space. I’ve been riding the bike paths on the West and East sides. I shouldn’t really ride in traffic because I’m the world’s most uncoordinated person.

Looking at Laptops

PC vs Mac

Now I’m researching getting a new laptop because mine is on it’s last legs. It’s actually limping. I originally thought I wanted a thin and lightweight PC. I read on PCWorld that the Gateway M205X was good. Then I was talking to M. about what I should get and he said, “I can’t believe you’re getting another PC.” You see, M. is a Mac user. I replied, “Well, I have been thinking about getting an iBook or something like that, but I don’t know.” Then we had words about which was better, and then he said, “Well why don’t you post it on your site and see what people say: Macs vs. PCs: Which is better?. Then I said, “Well fine! But you know that all the Mac fanatics are going to write sanctimonious stories and sh-t like that…” So now I’m throwing the question out to you…which do you prefer, Macs or PCs, and for what reasons?

Eating Food

I’ve also been eating a lot. Mmm. Food. I finally got to check out Dumpling Man on St. Marks. Despite all of the raves I’ve read about the place, I have to say Dumpling Man isn’t so dumpling great. You can get better (and cheaper) dumplings in good ol’ Chinatown. BUT the upside to eating at Dumpling Man is that there is a really cute guy working the cash register. He kinda looks like he belongs in BBMak, but he’s not British, and he’s less gay looking. (No frosted tips.) I apologize to Cute Dumpling Man cashier boy in advance for mentioning this on my site.

Another upside is the place looks really cute and they have an adorable logo. But like I said, better little packets of Asian goodness can be found elsewhere. Sad.

Being a Talking Head

On Wed, I was part of a panel for Indie Night School talking about getting exposure in music press/media, etc. It was fun and interesting.

There were some wacky comments made by Paolo De Gregorio, the dude from Deli magazine, about having to spend $10,000 on an album to get the message across that you were a “serious” band, committed to making music. I found that comment to be a weird load of psychobable. Intrigued by that warped sense of reality, I just went on the Deli Web site to find out more information about my fellow panelist.

According to the “about us” page on the Deli magazine site, Paolo is a self-described “producer” who has “refined his skills as a sound/mixing engineer, collaborating with producer Charlie Francis (R.E.M, High Llamas, Turin Brakes, Minus 5).” Now knowing this piece of information, his comment makes a bit more sense. This man has a personal interest in bands spending tons of money on recording music because that’s one way he makes his own money. I urge anyone who was there and who heard Mr. De Gregorio’s comment to take it with a grain of salt.

All in all, I think everyone had fun and I hope folks got some good information from all of our babbling.

More talk about the Indie Night School: Blogger/Writer Edition: Daily Refill.

26 thoughts on “The Weekend Update”

  1. 9 Songs is gut. I also played that band guessing game with myself. And won. Bravo, you are now part of an elite club. Your prize is in your garage.

  2. If you have the dough, get a mac. The second you get another PC, you’ll have viruses up the wazzoo. Take it from someone who’s constantly using both. And don’t be afraid of the change.

  3. I’d also recommend a powerbook over an ibook. I’ve had two ibooks in the past (a 2002 one and then a G4), and both have had hardware issues with the two hinges that connect the display with the computer. Essentially, they start squeaking after awhile when you open & shut them, and they can even cause a crack in the main circuit board. Apple is nice about items under warranty (they replaced the first ibook with the second when it couldn’t be fixed) but I’d say save yourself the time and trouble and go with the powerbook if you’re gonna buy a mac. I’m a devoted mac user, but ibooks aren’t worth the hassle. I’ve had a lot friends with ibooks who have had similiar hardware problems, but fewer that I’m aware of with powerbooks.

    Just my two cents, anyway.

    -kate

  4. I’m strictly an abacus man.

    OK, yes, I know you’re wondering: I’m posting this using an Erector Set.

    Hightire

  5. get a slim pc for less than a mac and run linux on it. you’ll never go back.

    it’s all about what you want to spend and what you plan to do with it. for stability, go with macs but you’re going to spend 2x or 3x as much. for more options to fiddle and play and bang your head with, get a pc.

  6. alyse – macs aren’t 2-3x more expensive. Apple laptops are very price competitive agains PC laptops.

    I’d go with the Mac. I switched to Mac years ago at home, and absolutely love using it. I use a PC at work, and it annoys the living hell out of me. I just spent half the morning clearing another bunch of spyware off…

  7. I’ve used both Macs and PCs — a lot. Macs are nice, they look nice, they work… a lot better than they use to and now are extremely stable… not unlike… most current PCs.

    PC’s are much cheaper. If you buy a regular virus program and keep it updated (that may require purchasing a new version of the software in a year), I’ve found you’ll have no problems and can get everything you need. It will take many years of buying a $39.99 virus program to make the two cost the same, and you really should do the samething for your Mac anyway.

    Despite what the 2% of the world that uses Macs say, I just can’t justify the price, which is totally different when you compare an Ipod to say a Dell Mp3 player, the Ipod really works better And looks better… I still think Macs just look better and make a cool factor statement.

  8. I have a Mac at work and a PC at home, and I rue the day that I purchased that awful PC. I couldn’t afford to get a Mac at the time to replace my old one, so I went the Dell route. One of the biggest purchasing mistakes ever! Always infested with spyware, I hate Windows, and it’s ugly to boot. It is worth the extra cash to get an apple, you’ll end up regretting getting a PC.

  9. Hey, this is paolo, the insane panelist! it’s a bit disappointing to see this kind of gossip happening behind your back, why didn’t you have anything to say there and then? other people objected and i replied. why aren’t you reporting that? this is not very fair – like all gossip i guess.

    to clarify again: the 10,000 bucks thing was not the point of what i wanted to say (but – i admit it – it sounded like an outrageous thing to say during a forum dealing with indie rock music – i should have expected that kind of reaction…)

    the point is that bands – if they are serious – need to have a budget to overcome their limits and to deal with every side of this business in a professional way. some bands record themselves and they are very good at it (on the 1st cover of the Deli we had Grizzly Bear – 100% home recording). but a band good at that might not be very good at other things and viceversa: they might need a press person, or a radio promotion company, or a reliable professional drummer. if you have great recordings but nobody is good at promoting them, it’s all wasted time because you won’t get reviewed (wasn’t that the core question of the panel: how do we get reviewed?). a budget can help – it’s such an obvious thing to say, but ask a struggling musician…

    so here’s the correction: it’s not about how much money you spend; it’s about getting all the basics covered the best way possible. i know extremely talented musicians who won’t ever get anywhere because they don’t understand this point. i know mediocre musicians who are very succesful because they get it. i don’t like this, believe me.

    also, i strongly believe in full length records, which are more expensive to make. LPs made the history of rock music and are a real test for a rock band (creatively and beyond). this is why we only put on the cover of our magazine bands with full CDs out.

    regarding the “warped sense of reality” thing, i have to admit that the reality is changing very quickly – but i wonder what a “self described blogger” knows about recording rates. not long ago you needed a ton of money to make a full length album, now you don’t anymore, unless you hire top top engineers and studios.

    But hey, 10k is still not a huge budget to record an album “properly” (some people need to hire studio, producer, engineer, musicians… and what about mastering and CD printing?)

    i am all for home recording, but some home recording sound just plain bad.

    i would like camille and jervo to explain what they found so insane about my comments (apart from the $10,000 figure thing i will regret forever…)

  10. Paolo–

    Please don’t feel that my post was done with sinister intent. I wrote about my opinion of the night on the site in order to go further into a discussion about the ideas you brought up during the panel–which I thought were…interesting.

    you know, I did think of saying something while the panel was going on, but others addressed similar points to the ones that I had before I had a chance. In order to avoid repetition during the panel itself, I thought it was in the best interest of the flow of the conversation to not make a big deal about it. The folks at the event had plenty of other questions they wanted answered…they didn’t pay to hear talking heads argue over a moot point.

    I urge you not to take offense to me saying that your point represented a “warped sense of reality.” as the Editor-in-Chief of Deli magazine, I’m sure you’re well aware that writers have distinctive and different voices. that is just the way I write. you are more than welcome to write about how I’m a “crazy, delusional BLOGGER/megalomaniac.”

    On the whole money comment. As you can see from some people’s reactions, the quoting of 10k put many people off. I’m glad you’ve had a chance to elaborate more on your point.

  11. Paolo – “insane” is a strong word, but your comments in general were a bit different from the forum’s consensus. Which is not a bad thing, at all – it was refreshing to hear your honest opinions, especially regarding press kits. My band just spent approximately $5G on a 5-song EP that we’re really, really proud of, and we’re in the process of sending out packages ourselves – it’s good to hear what it is you guys want. I’m also sensitive to your particular situation – you were the only person up there representing a magazine (and not just in an editorial capacity) – your particular perspective was illuminating. The $10,000 comment has been blown a bit out of proportion, I suppose, but that was the only thing that took me by surprise – again, we spent $5G on something we’re really happy with and I’d hate to think that we’d somehow not done enough.

  12. Undoubtedly, go for a Mac. Why? Because it’s a working computer, that works for you. A PC, well, you have to make it work.

    The iBooks are great and have just been relaunched, and the PowerBooks are phenomenal.

    Here’s a tip though, go to the Apple Store in SoHo, and ask for a “refreshed” or “refurbished” model, and get between 10%-20% off the price, just for one that’s fine, but was returned as unwanted gifts etc. They have the same warranties, and exact same customer treatment.

    I just bought a $1700 Powerbook for Andi for only $1200, and it’s brand new, boxed, perfection. Let me know if you need help choosing, it’s what I do freelance (hamish@blog.verbosecoma.com).

    Hamish

  13. guys, i didn’t mean to imply you said i was insane as i didn’t use quotes – besides, english is not my first language so sometimes i can write or say things that sound strange…

    jervo: your posting is helping me a lot here! you guys spent 5k for an EP. as when i quote 10k i was referring to a full length album you will agree with me that that amount is not that out of proportions…

  14. by the way, as this has become a bit like the “post indie school forum”, i thought i might give you a preview of an upcoming deli article.

    we interviewed 2 NYC artist managers, asking them advice for bands, and this was one of the questions we asked: “is it any easier to get an interview/feature from a magazine where your artist’s record was advertised?”.

    both managers admitted that that’s the way magazines work. well, that’s not the way the deli works – at least for now… i thought this was a relevant point for that panel.

  15. i never stop hearing the battle over mac vs. pc – i would definitely say that the mac is the accepted standard of the recording industry. i built my own pc for home use, and use it to record demos all the time. by building my own, i saved almost two-thousand dollars off of retail price. i like pcs because you can easily alter the hardware and deal with system problems, if you know what you’re doing. pcs certainly do have a higher amount of residual noise that seems to find its way into your recordings, but it doesn’t concern me since all i’m doing is sketching out ideas.

    to me, it doesn’t matter which one you use – the trick to home recording seems to lie in peripherals – a good compressor, good microphones – and everyone i know that has accomplished anything near a studio-quality recording at home has invested thousands and thousands of dollars on home recording equipment. and virtually none of those additions can help your average nyc musician (living in an small apartment) to get the perfect drum sound. i learn new things each time i record, but i have no interest in becoming an engineer, i’m too busy trying to write music. i don’t mean that as a dig on anyone who goes at it holistically – i’m just not wired that way. i would rather save my money and go to a studio where i can say “i want this sound” and the engineer will say “give me ten minutes and it’s yours” – that kind of work at home can take inordinate amounts of time if you don’t know how to accomplish it.

    to that extent, i understand what paolo was saying at indie night music school. whether you are purchasing your own computer, digital 8-track, microphones and compressors, 2-inch tape machines, and whatever else you want or need for home recording, OR you are paying a studio to have all of those tools already and the expertise to use them quickly and confidently, you’re still spending a lot of money. the only way out i’ve seen is to have a project like “iron and wine” that is small and simple to record.

    one last comment – the term DIY is taken a bit too far in this respect at times – no one is able to accomplish their goals on their own. if you have skills, use them. if you need skills that you don’t have, find someone that can help you.

  16. You have a huge fan who WORKS at the apple store. Can’t say who I am but if you’re creative I’m sure you can come and find me. I’ll hook ya up.

    –Dr. Apple Store, the 3rd.

  17. dear dr. apple store III,
    i just ordered my new apple comp on friday. sad to have missed out on a potentially sweet deal on the laptop… but i may be in the market for an iPod… yes, i do not own one yet.

  18. Paolo definately has this incredible false sense of being a purveyor and godfather of the NY indie scene. So do alot of The Deli staff. Their mag is bland and poorly written, clique-y, and great at stroking their own egos. The mag is a nice idea but executed poorly.

  19. Thanks for your deep analysis of The Deli – and for leaving a link, Jimmified! Anonymous negative comments always make my day.

    And definitely is spelled with 2 “i”s and no “a”s by the way.

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