Caught in the Net: This is it, and we hope it's not awful
Friday 18 March 2011
Nick Valensi, guitarist for The Strokes, recently told Pitchfork (ind.pn/fQYH7L) that the fractured process of making the band's new album was "awful – just awful".
Now after a five-year wait for The Strokes' fourth LP, Angles, to arrive, we can decide if it's awful too. The record is released through Rough Trade on Monday, but all this week it's been streaming in full on the band's website at ind.pn/flMgG4.
Tomorrow, the Kronos Quartet perform the world premiere of Steve Reich's latest work "WTC 9/11" at Duke University, in North Carolina. It is one of many Reich-related events this year to mark the celebrated composer's 75th birthday; the piece will be performed at the Barbican's Reich weekend in May. Also this week, his publishers Boosey & Hawkes posted a video at bit.ly/hHuX0L, featuring a succinct 10-minute clip of the man himself discussing several landmarks in his long career. It begins with a quick shot of Reich's residence in upstate New York, and it's a treat to note that the minimalist maestro lives in a suitably minimal modern house – as you imagine all such modern composers should. At boosey.com/reich75, there is also a comprehensive overview of Reich's life and music.
No rage against the machine here
If ever a band was destined to release an app, it was Kraftwerk. The only surprise is that it took this long. Released last week and coming at pricey $8.99, the app works on iphones and ipads – it's called the "Kling Klang Machine" and is described as an "interactive 24 hour music generator", which creates music based on data derived from your location.
I think you'll have to see/hear it to get the full effect. It's not entirely clear how much input Kraftwerk had into the app, though given how they tend to put the robots at the forefront of their identity we'll have to trust them on that one.
Lynch is hungry like the wolf
Probably the oddest bit of music news this week was that of David Lynch directing a live webcast of a Duran Duran concert. The performance is part of the American Express Unstaged series, pairing directors with bands for live performance broadcasts online – previously Terry Gilliam directed an Arcade Fire webcast, while Spike Lee did one with John Legend and The Roots. The Lynch-Duran Duran get together at the Mayan Theatre can be seen live at youtube.com/DuranDuranVEVO, from their gig in LA on 22 March. At the YouTube page is a trailer for the show, with some typically Lynch-like oddness attached. I'm hoping the concert will feature a Twin Peaks-inspired dream sequence, with Nick Rhodes dancing and talking backwards to the strains of Rio.
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