Back in a Bit

The DJ in the information age

Ten years ago, when I left home, I realised that I could earn a surprisingly decent living by playing records in a pub. Certainly on the face of it, the “work” involved is ideal: you spend Friday and Saturday night in the place you would have been anyway, surrounded by your friends, playing your favourite records, drinking for free and getting paid for it. This is where my career began in earnest, as it paid for me to eventually leave the backwater of the Thames-valley provincial town and move to London.

It didn’t take long to realise that, in reality, there’s a little more to it than just playing the records you like. The pub DJ is there for one purpose and one purpose alone: to sell more alcohol. The role of the club DJ is a little more complex: they are more like some kind of attraction, but the DJ in the pub beforehand does well to know his place. He’s basically an extension of the bar staff, and that’s how he earns his keep.

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Hippocamp Ruins…

A group of electronic artists have worked on a “ruined” version of the Beatles’ classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Designed to accompany and contrast with the “…Ruins Pet Sounds” release from earlier in the year, this ruined release exists to be compared and contrasted to the original album and its artistic competitor Pet Sounds. The original classic is recontextualised through the humour and vision of these artists whose approaches to the tracks aims to re-examine Pepper’s through a filter of 2005 technology.

Pandora

Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask:

Can you help me discover more music that I’ll like?

Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs.

We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.

Monkeyfilter Musicblog Listing 2.0

A musicblogger is a person who offers interesting, out of print, rare or otherwise engaging music to people at no charge, simply out of love for the sound and to promote artists that they would like to see get more popular. I’m not prejudiced; I also include record label sites, artist’s personal sites, people who aggregate the daily adventures of other musicbloggers into digests… I like em all.

There are more musicbloggers out there than most people would believe; I’ve been keeping a close eye on the phenomena these past eleven months and have compiled what I think is the most comprehensive list of musicbloggers yet available.

Doctor Who theme remixes

The Delia Derbyshire production of the Doctor Who theme marked a significant milestone in the nascent field of electronic music. With 2003 marking the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who, this site attempts to pay tribute to that milestone by providing a forum for the sharing of freely distributable amateur (ie, non-commissioned; pros are welcome!) remixes, electronic or acoustic, faithful or pisstakes, of that influential and timeless theme.

What’s in a name

Ever wondered how a particular band came by their name? Here’s a lengthy list of explanations.

One I particularly like reads: “Michael Jackson—From the subtle combination of his family name, Jackson, plus the christian name given to him by his parents at the time of his birth, Michael”. Silly sods.

Collaborate

I’ve joined a band. Not a difficult process really: turn up to a rehearsal room and make daft noises. It’ll be nice to be making noise with other people—music (as with many things in life) is so much better when you do it with other people.