artist

Foo Fighters at the Key Arena

The Foo Fighters performed at the Key Arena last night, yours truly was there to witness the epic event. These guys sure know how to put on one helluva show. Since no blog post is complete without a wikipedia citation, let me copypaste the lines that a friend quoted near-verbatim at the concert, when another friend asked about the band’s name:

Grohl completed an album’s worth of material in five days and handed out cassette copies of the sessions to his friends for feedback. Grohl hoped to keep his anonymity and release the recordings in a limited run under the title “Foo Fighters”, taken from the World War II term “foo fighter”, used to refer to unidentified flying objects. However, the demo tape circulated in the music industry, creating interest among record labels. Grohl formed a band to support the album.

Openers for the show Minus the Bear didn’t impress me that much; the second act SuperGrass was very slick and enjoyable. SuperGrass seems to be a big favorite of the Foos — the rather funny Foo Fighters purchaser contract specifically says “Artist shall not be required to share dressing room with any other performer, except Supergrass, Oasis or maybe Led Zeppelin.”

In David Grohl’s own words, “this isn’t your 1 hour show… or your 1 and a half hour show… or your 2 hour show… we’re going to play till we’re done!”. And boy did they play — one hit after another, set after set, all the way close to midnight.

Image (c) hermosawave

They played all the songs I was hoping for; my all-time favorite Learn To Fly was in the first set, and they ended the show with Aurora. I was impressed with the “2nd stage” they had — it was an accoustic stage at the rear end of the arena, much closer to where all the “sucky seats are” (Grohl’s words, not mine). The stage was lowered from the top of the arena, and hosted the extended version of the band, including violinist Petra Haden and original Foo Fighters / Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear. (The calculator + egg video in the previous post is Petra’s song)

All in all, a great show, well worth the time, money, and temporary loss of hearing.

Rock el Casbah

Algerian artist Rachid Taha covers The Clash’s hit Rock the Casbah:

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myspace music player code

I've been writing a lot of useless code lately! This one is for all you myspace.com fans out there, and also for people who want to add a Flash / xpsf Mp3 player for their profile page. To add the player, simply select your favourite artist, and copy the HTML code. The player will _automagically_ start playing _full_ songs by your artist! This is how it will look like:

Screenshot

Ok, so here you go!

Select an artist:

Copy this code into your myspace profile:

How this works: Your favourite artist is first searched for on Seeqpod. Then, the Yahoo/Webjay XSPF player is used to play the searched flahs m3p songs. The beauty is that you (or I) don't have to host or worry about any file uploads, etc, so it's all painless!

kiss and tell

An excerpt from an interview with the KISS guy:

Every little college kid, every freshly-scrubbed little kid’s face should have been sued off the face of the earth. They should have taken their houses and cars and nipped it right there in the beginning. Those kids are putting 100,000 to a million people out of work. How can you pick on them? They’ve got freckles. That’s a crook. He may as well be wearing a bandit’s mask.

Doesn’t affect me. But imagine being a new band with dreams of getting on stage and putting out your own record. Forget it.

But some artist like Radiohead and Trent Reznor are trying to find a new business model.
That doesn’t count. You can’t pick on one person as an exception. And that’s not a business model that works. I open a store and say “Come on in and pay whatever you want.” Are you on f*cking crack? Do you really believe that’s a business model that works?

So what if music just becomes free and artists make their living off of touring and merchandise?
Well therein lies the most stupid mistake anybody can make. The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care? Even the idea that you’re considering giving the music away for free makes it easier to give it away for free. The only reason why gold is expensive is because we all agree that it is. There’s no real use for it, except we all agree and abide by the idea that gold costs a certain amount per ounce. As soon as you give people the choice to deviate from it, you have chaos and anarchy. And that’s what going on.

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Flickr mobs

An interesting story has panned out at Flickr, which involves the stealing of a independent artist’s image by an agency, a flickr comment posted by the artist calling fans to send letters to the agency, the censoring of that comment by Flickr, culminating in the world calling Yahoo! Flickr the biggest known evil dictator censorship company since the prehistoric times. Here’s my view, sent as a letter to the artist:

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Dear Rebekka,

Here’s something you wrote at the end of your letter:

So i encourage everyone that has been displaying similar landscape photos on flickr to look at their site and see if they see something suspicious.
It would also be pretty cool if as many people as possible would send them angry letters, (address them to info@only-dreemin.com ) but that’s just if you feel like it;)”

The first line is ok. The second line, you are actively calling for a mob to do wrong things. And if you look at reddit.com and digg.com, this is exactly what they are doing. In other words, that last line of yours has spurted a mob of angry people to send death threats to a company. Thousands of blog articles now are talking about how Flickr is a censoring company, how Yahoo sucks. Competitors with similar sounding names are voicing attacks to market their own product. And the funny thing is that most of these articles and opinions are either baseless or are completely false. And they were instigated by you. Using flickr.

Sending death threats to a company is wrong, even if they are caught stealing. The right way is to report them to the police.

However, this is not what your fans did. Furthermore, they did it based on your call for arms. And this sentence of yours was hosted at Flickr. In turn, this means that Flickr supports that sentence, that they are all in favor of harassing and sending angry letters.

While I can see that you are a talented photographer, and that it was very wrong to steal, you seem to have (knowingly or unknowingly) used your fame to fire a mob war. Note that you have used Flickr as your platform, and that they are just as responsible for letting you do this as you are.

Which is wrong — Flickr is a photo sharing site. It is not a union for photographers or a place to launch mob wars. All they did was stand by their own convictions of being a photo hosting site, and not your personal podium for war mongering.

Prior to this, I have NEVER heard of any censorship or willful harm done by Flickr to anybody. You seem to be an odd case, and I think it is in some part, if not all, due to your inciting messages which were taken too seriously by the internet.

I think it would be advisable to think about your actions in conjunction with Flickr’s actions, and then form an opinion on the service.

Also, I think you owe the crowds you have infuriated a message, telling them what you think of flickr, since they are right now burning down a beautiful community.

Regards,
Arnab

Note: I am an infrequent flickr user, and have been a user of their services since Ludicorp’s Game Never Ending times. I have very I am in no way associated or sympathize with any of the parties involved, and only care for the reduction of mob mentality on the internet. Hope you understand me and have read all of my email.
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An Introduction to Digital Watermarking

With the recent spate of cases involving fake currency, no one needs to be reminded of the importance of watermarking. A watermark is a form, image or text that is impressed onto paper, which provides evidence of its authenticity. Digital watermarking is an extension of this concept in the digital world.