The Gentleman Loser

Thoughts and Musings of a Loser

Radiohead_HouseOfCardsSo Radiohead, seemingly in an innovation penny war with Nine Inch Nails, has unveiled it’s newest oddity. A music video without the video.

Radiohead’s new music video for the In/Rainbows song “House of Cards” was shot not with cameras, but with a 3D modeling laser array. Instead of footage on a videotape, the “footage” was a giant spreadsheet of XYZ coordinates. Blogger: The Gentleman Loser – Create PostAfter being fed into computers that must have been running software on the bleeding edge, the points of data were plotted in three dimensional space and manipulated in such a manner to create the video you see on the right. In addition to providing the video, you can go to the Google Labs page for this little experiment and manipulate the 3D data in a (rather slow, though understandably) viewer.

More interesting is the fact that you can download the 3D “Point Cloud” data off of the site in a CSV (an open standard spreadsheet format) file, thus allowing anyone with a beefy computer and some 3D knowhow (I wonder if trusty old trueSpace can use it) to make a video. In fact some people already have. I like this trend that is occuring. Not only are we getting bands leaving their labels (even if Radiohead totally went running back to one) to make a stake on their own, but the bands simutaniously discover the merits of fan service. More specifically, getting fans invloved in the art. Nine Inch Nails uploads multitrack files for fans to remix with, Radiohead lets the fans price their CDs. Nine Inch Nails opens a “film festival” for their double album Ghosts, Radiohead essentially gives fan the video equivilant to multitrack files. So whether you are With_Teeth or In/Rainbows we all win.

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SamJoshLouis2 - 2This film was created in April for the Wis-Kino 2008 Spring Kabaret. The theme (drawn out of a hat two nights beforehand) was “Prop: Ice Cream Cones”. It’s called “RASHnotes: 1984″ and it’s a kickoff of a new series. Basically the premise goes like this: Sam and I pick a book we have never read, we go to the mall’s Barnes and Nobel, grab the Cliff’s Notes for the book, sit in the attached Starbucks and drink overpriced coffee while we read the two page summary, then make a movie with minimal costumes and props. (NOTE that this is the rush-cut version, a reshoot is planned to fix some of the audio issues and tighten the script.)

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The SlipSo yeah, late last night, only a few months after releasing an expansive instrumental double album for just a $5 download, nine inch nails releases a new 10-track/43 min album completely for free. Not instrumentals this time, but a more standard album called “the slip” and available for download in many different audio formats. And it ain’t a bad album either. Don’t really know where this one falls sonically or thematically in relation to other releases, it’s a somewhat hard to classify album. Tracks are as follows:

  1. 999,999
  2. 1,000,000
  3. letting you
  4. discipline
  5. echoplex
  6. head down
  7. lights in the sky
  8. corona radiata
  9. the four of us are dying
  10. demon seed

The first track is a weird glitchy intro to the album. The four tacks that follow sound like they could be at home with the 2005 release [with_teeth], except done better, louder, harder. In fact, the songs “1,000,000″ and especially “letting you” are about as loud and angry as I have ever heard nine inch nails. The song “Discipline,” which was released a few weeks ago as a radio single, sounds like Trent said “Okay, lets make a dancy song like ‘Only‘, except this time not so silly sounding.”

“Head Down” is immediately my favorite of the album. Doesn’t really sound like anything else I have heard by nin, the chorus is warm lush all while glitch and distortion rule the background. “Lights in the Sky” is your nin-standard quiet song that every album seems to have. “Corona Radiata” and “The Four of Us Are Dying” are instrumentals that sounds like they would be at home on The Fragile, aside from the layers, note the signature guitar stylings. The last track, “Demon Seed” is another one that is hard to place, some of the synth sounds are reminiscent of the Reznor-produced Saul Williams album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, regardless, it’s probably my second favorite song on the album and has some unique lyrical progression.

I also find it interesting that I noted a trend on nine inch nails discussion boards where fans were wishing they could have the option to pay for this release. Like some sort of strange Stockholm’s syndrome, once released from the captivity of the status quo for record releases, they try to go running back to something more familiar.

Below I have set up a playlist with the entire album, so you can just go ahead and check it out now if you like:

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Here is your present. I put together a playlist of what I have been listening to as of late when I’m not in the mood for EBM. A lot of the stuff on this list was music my friend Phil turned me on to.

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