Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ SXSW 2009

I’ve been a solid fan of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart ever since they burst onto the scene in late 2008/early 2009. I was pretty amazed when I read this article on Stereogum reporting that they’ve finished up their 2nd full-length with none other than Flood behind the faders. Knowing that a producer who was behind such huge massive sounds as U2, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, etc… was working with POBPAH initially scared the hell out of me. Adam Gold of the Nashville Scene/Cream once told me “they rock about as hard as a cupcake” referring to POBPAH. And honestly that’s a pretty accurate statement, but I’m actually fond of several “cupcake” bands, so that is (in some ways) a very good thing in my mind. Such a “big sound” production style would certainly spell doom for the tenderness and teenage awkwardness that is part of the reason I loved their debut album so much. At least that was my initial reaction. The quotes in the article, however, quelled most of my pessimism about this second album. Quotes like “the loud parts are louder and the quieter parts are quieter — with a lot more variation between the two” really make me feel like Flood didn’t just come crashing through the walls and lay down the law while POBPAH cowered in the corner. The band actually developed a “good push-and-pull with him” and believes that he actually learned as much from them as they did from him. To me, a big part of what made their debut so good was the way it was mixed, and most specifically the guitar sounds. Honestly there were a few moments where I found myself wanting the guitar parts to come through a little clearer; that they were a little too awash in fuzz and re-verb. So when I read that they were going for “a guitar sound that hit you in the chest.” I’m all about that. So with slight hesitation, I look forward to hearing this new album. As I’ve said all along, I really think this band has some staying power.

A few random other notes:

Congrats to everyone involved with Make-Out With Violence, the locally shot and produced feature film is now officially out on DVD and On Demand. I mentioned before they’d finally found a distribution home with Factory 25, but now you can actually go order a copy for yourself. Go forth and buy! These dudes sunk a lot of their own cash into this movie and worked tirelessly for years- they deserve it! (Via Nashville Cream)

Just watch this amazing feat of choreography and lighting that happened in NYC for the Target 2010 fall fashion spectacular. Mind=blown. (Via Vitalic Noise)

Megan and me with Rob at the Brian Wilson show last November.

After hearing the song “Energy” on the last Apples in Stereo album, I thought to myself “man, Robert Schneider could easily follow in the footsteps of They Might Be Giants and make children’s educational albums.” Well, turns out he’s doing just that. Billboard reports that he’s started a side project called “Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine,” and released a self-titled album last week through kiddie label Little Monster. I have a feeling the songs will still be enjoyable to us grown-ups, just like the TMBG kids’ songs are.
Another little tidbit from Billboard- that big Jonas Brothers 3D movie event that was supposed to be huge, turned out to be a bit of a flop… Ha. Ha ha.

& I took a picture of u & U took a picture of me. He really should turn this into a short film or something. I would hope it would come out feeling a bit like an SNL skit… but maybe with the irony a little less obvious.

The Strobist is a great blog for photographers. The guy knows lighting very well, and if you’re even remotely interested in photography I highly recommend checking it out. Today I had complete jealous-gasm when I saw his post about traveling to the Large Hadron Collider to do some photos of the engineers and scientists there. I can’t even imagine what it was like to get to shoot in there. Just to be inside it…. I would probably just freeze up in utter awe & amazement.

Back in those good ole days of cinema, they used an optical track on the side of film to record the sound. It was literally an optical representation of the waveform, painted in a black stripe alongside the picture. Nowadays that analog waveform has been replaced by either DTS or Dolby Digital. In the case of DTS it’s a timecode of dots and dashes to sync up with a separate CD containing the audio. In the case of Dolby Digital it’s a gray area between the sprocket holes that, when magnified, shows millions of tiny dots in a pattern, which is read by a digital optical sensor, converted into a digital signal of 1’s (represtented by a dot) and 0’s (represented by a clear space), representing the actual audio. This is a very simplified explanation, and I’m also recalling all this from my Audio for Media class waaaaay back in 2000, so if you’re reading this and you know I’ve mis-stated something, please leave a comment correcting me! Anyway… this all leads to the following video from 1951 showing film artist Norman McLaren, who literally draws sound by painting a series of dashes and shapes on the film, then running it through and optical audio reader. I’d love to try this sometime… it would be fascinating…. Via Clusterflock.