I don't see the problem with Pro-Tools; it's a tool for music production, just like an an analogue mixing desk, a tape machine, and all the other parts of the studio it replaces. Any artificiality is a result of the person using it, rather than a problem with the software itself. If McLaren really thinks that it's the software's fault, then I don't understand where he's coming from, as the LittleSoundDJ cartridge he enthuses about is little more than a collection of old Roland samples; surely if the scene is really pure, then they'd wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a properly restored TR-808? Why does the use of old Gameboy sound chips make this music any more real than the latest Neptunes production?
I've no doubt that there's good music coming from this scene (I'll be going on a hunt after I finish writing this entry), but I hate the retro argument that McLaren espouses. As if all we can do is remain trapped in the past, with music trapped in a vinyl cage. As if we shouldn't look to the future. As if music shouldn't be easier to create. Who cares if you use a Gameboy, a half-broken C64, a Powerbook G4, or a four-track tape machine to make it?
Four hours later, it all seems to have fallen apart again. David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (the biggest Unionist party in NI), took issue with this afternoon's decommissioning announcement by General de Chastelain (to sum up: He can't say what they got rid of, but it was a lot of guns). As of tonight, it looks like it's all gone horribly wrong yet again.
I can see Trimble's position; I think he's ready to jump for a new Stormont assembly, and that he'd quite like to be the UUP leader that brought peace to the region. However, there's a sizable section of his party (and the electorate in the area too) that won't be satisfied until they see every last IRA gun destroyed with their own eyes (they're normally surprisingly quiet when it comes to the subject of Loyalist arms, but that's another debate). Trimble has to be careful, as his position as leader is shaky at best, and he doesn't want the party to be routed in the November elections by the hard-line DUP. The IRA, on the other hand, have hopefully realised that violence is not the answer, but I think that they want to keep the extent of their weapons cache under wraps (perhaps it was larger than British intelligence thought?), and while they're receptive to the peace process, they're not willing to bend over backwards to save Trimble. Hence the current deadlock.
On some days, all you want to do is round them up, lock them in a room, and not let them out until they've come up with a solution. Perhaps it's time to break out the IKEA Paas Table again…
Did I mention that Neil Gaiman is going to be having a signing at the Oxford Borders in November? Anybody fancy going?
The Pope began the process of making Mother Teresa a Saint earlier today. It all seems a bit too fast to me; there's quite a bit of evidence that she wasn't the huggable, snuggable figure that the media continues to present, and the miracle that has been attributed to her seems to be more of a triumph of medicine than divine intervention. There doesn't seem to be any particular need to rush on these things, either; it normally takes decades, or even centuries, for a person to become a saint, so why do things have to be speeded up just for her?
This is the version that the estate of Elvis Presley suppressed, as it uses lyrics from "I Can't Help Falling In Love". Haunting and lovely.
Taken from the almost-impossible-to-find Chronic Town E.P., this is a very early R.E.M. record (1982), in celebration of the fact it's a week since we went to the concert (and yes, Bill Berry is on drums).
I mentioned this band yesterday, so here's a track from the Kill Band soundtrack. Japanese punk goodness.
This was played this morning thanks to the random feature on my music player; it's a nice little song, so I thought I'd share it with you all.
For all the Americans reading: when this Pepsi promotion goes into full effect, and if it allows arbitrary downloads, throw a couple of codes in my direction, okay 8-)? And if you aren't blessed with a Mac, then don't worry, for the Gentleman's MP3 Player is finally available for Windows (albeit Windows 2000/XP). Yes, iTunes really is that good. Smart Playlists, a browsing system that actually works, a random play feature that seems to use a random number generator, unlike, say, WinAMP, plus all the Music Store goodness.
I can also throughly recommend the 5, 6, 7, 8's, although you can't get them from iTMS yet, so it's back to Kazaa for the time being…
Jet lag has yet to hit me, but it normally kicks in a day or so after I land, so I'll probably get it tomorrow. Yay me.
I signed the contract for the magazine article today, so hopefully it'll get published soon. I'll keep you updated.
Um, not much else to talk about today. Did some work on my secret plan to fight inflation, but that's about it. More tomorrow, perhaps…