Amy Winehouse IS in rehab

The big guy upstairs must have a sense of humor, because not-so-clean Amy Winehouse has apparently been checked into the Causeway drug rehab centre in Essex. A rockstar on drugs? Who knew! Rehab is becoming quite the trend these days.

"Amy Winehouse is currently in the Causeway drug rehab centre in Essex, casting doubt on whether Winehouse will perform this weekend's V Festival (Aug. 18th & 19th) as scheduled.

This morning a V Festival spokesperson said that they had heard no word from Winehouse's camp about a possible cancelation, and so still expected her to play."

Because we all know heroin addiction can be cured in 3 days! To celebrate such a momentous occasion here's Ms. Winehouse's full album "Frank." Which I don't think is as good as her newest album "Back to Black," but you be the judge of that.

Album: Amy Winehouse - Frank
Released: 2003
Tracklist:

  1. Stronger Than Me (Jazz Intro)
  2. You Send Me Flying (Cherry)
  3. Know You Now
  4. Fuck Me Pumps
  5. I Heard Love Is Blind
  6. Moody's Mood For Love (Teo Licks)
  7. (There Is) No Greater Love
  8. In My Bed
  9. Take The Box
  10. October Song
  11. What It Is About Men
  12. Help Yourself
  13. Amy Amy Amy (Outro)


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Today In Music ...Sorta Gay

Rumor has it, homosexuals are everywhere. Apparently they look just like you and me and walk amongst us. Take a look at the proof of this debauchery as we go over "Today In Music" for August 14th.

1965 - Sonny & Cher started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with "I Got You Babe." Everyone knows gay men love Cher. And that's understandable really, she's an easy target for drag queens.

1985 - Michael Jackson outbid Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney to secure the ATV Music Publishing catalog. At 47.5million million he gained the rights to more than 250 songs written by Lennon and McCartney. This is a sad day in history. Nobody should own Beatles songs but the Beatles. Who even owns 'em now, McDonalds?

1993 - Freddie Mercury had his first solo UK No.1 single with "Living On My Own."

2005 - Babyshambles front man Pete Doherty was forced to endure an all-body strip search at Gardermoen Airport in Norway after being held by customs officers for three hours while they ensured he was carrying no drugs. Man why won't Pete Doherty just fall off the face of the Earth?

2006 - Boy George was seen sweeping streets in New York as part of a five-day community service sentence. The former Culture Club front man was moved into a fenced-off area after only 30 minutes because he was mobbed by the media.

The Shins Add Tour Dates

If you haven't had a chance to see The Shins live, all hope is not lost. They've added 14 more shows to their tour. So cross your fingers and check out the list of cities below:

10/5 - Berkeley, CA (Greek Theatre)
10/6 - Santa Barbara, CA (Santa Barbara Bowl)
10/7 - Los Angeles, CA (Greek Theatre)
10/9 - Mesa, AZ (Mesa Amphitheater)
10/10 - Albuquerque, NM (Univ. of N. Mexico’s Popejoy Hall)
10/17 - Atlanta, GA (Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Ctr)
10/18 - Charleston, SC (The Plex)
10/19 - Raleigh, NC (Progress Energy Center)
10/20 - Norfolk, VA (The NorVa)
10/22 - Columbia, MD (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
10/23 - New York, NY (Terminal Five)
10/24 - New York, NY (Terminal Five)
10/27 - Las Vegas, NV (Vegoose Festival)
10/28 - Las Vegas, NV (The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel)

Intelligence, OCD, Music and a Computer

I've recently had the rare opportunity to interview the owner of the website Ulillillia City. Here is the Ulillillia site map. While browsing his site I noticed his rare view on music. Things regarding music the average person would never dream of. Ever played your favorite song on loop for a month straight? How about change its speed or apply detailed algorithms determining how much you "like" it? Like I said, things an average person would never dream of. I hope you enjoy my first attempt at an interview here on All That Racket. For privacy reasons I'll simply refer to him as Uli throughout the interview.

All That Racket: Why does slowing down music sound better to you?

Uli: I don't exactly know why changing the speed of music, whether faster or slower, is better, but I have many theories. Some songs are very "active", like Out Where the Lake Is (level 10 on Bubsy), and they tend to sound better at slower-than-normal speeds. For songs that are very "inactive", like Target Zone (Monkey Target 2 on Super Monkey Ball 2), they tend to sound better at faster-than-normal speeds. Some songs have a very wide range of favorite speeds (like Final Fantasy 6 World (the first verison)) while others have a very narrow range. It started with the Talkboy tape recorder [featured in Home Alone 2] and my curiosity. The history on what got me into listening to music at different speeds is on my site here (section 1.3). The most common speed range that almost any song sounds good at is from 68 to 78% true speed (or about 2/3 to 4/5 true speed for close fractions). The extremes range from just 20% true speed (OWTLI and another song from Final Fantasy 9) to up to 400% true speed.

ATR: You've been able to listen to the same song for months on end, even in your sleep. What pushes you to do that?

Uli: What keeps me at the same song for weeks on end is a combination of extremely high compatibilities and my OCD. FF6 World version 1 has the highest sustained compatibility at 2200. Compatibilities rarely go beyond 50. 2200 means I like it 44 times as much as 50 with up to 1936 times the sustainability (the square of 44). By that, instead of playing for 1 minute, it'd play for 1936 minutes without pausing. Further amplifying it is my OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. Very few things I know of even break into the four-figure realm, the start of extreme favorites. Computers, even though I use them daily, aren't even beyond 1000. Putting these extreme compatibilities together with OCD allows me to listen to the same song, even the same song and speed, for weeks on end. As of Aug 8, 2007, my records would just baffle the mind. Same song: 53 consecutive days (with two quick returns lasting for at least a week shortly after this). Same song and speed: 17 consecutive days. Same song on a single source: 107 consecutive days on my MP3 player (due to a record 3190 compatibility spike, the highest known for everything I've experienced). For the same song, my second and third place records are almost just as amazing: 46 and 42 days. I'm quite strict when it comes to keeping these records. The streak is broken when the song does not dominate the day and by dominate, I mean by having listened to it for at least half of my waking time. The time spent while sleeping, even though it may be playing, doesn't count, but even then, it can still be playing making it 23 hours a day for weeks on end. [Related link: How I process music from WAV to MP3 for my MP3 player]

ATR: Why do you think the 3190 compatibility spike happened?

Uli: As to the 3190 spike, the value is determined through motivation and a formula, of which I've mentioned the formula several times on my site. Motive squared equals sustainability compared to neutral. In one of my old blog entries, I've explained things in more details such as the exact position of the spike (last 4 measures of the second part of two).

ATR: Have you ever wondered if you were breaking any Guinness World Records, and if you tried to hold the world record yourself, would the song have to have an exact compatibility (based on the current record) for you to even attempt such a feat?

Uli: As the world records, I don't know what 99.9% of them even are. I don't have any idea what it is. The sustained 2200 compatibility yielded about 70 days' worth of nonstop listening at the max (approximate), but 65 is more likely, but that's with changing speeds and adjusting. If the world record was 1020 days, I'd need a sustained compatibility of 8800 before this is obtainable and something that high is dangerous. Having the OCD made even more intense, allowing for more loops, would also boost the likelihood, but this is more unlikely than finding a song with a 3000 sustained compatibility.

ATR: Why songs from video games opposed to songs on the radio?

Uli: All my songs come from video games since that's the easiest and most accessible way of getting songs without lyrics. This page (section 1.3.4) explains the reasoning for the lack of lyrics. The games they come from are all over the place across many console systems from the NES to the Playstation 2 and the Sega Genesis. The Final Fantasy series holds the 3 first place records of the most listened to songs (FF6's world map music (the version early in the game that seems repetitive), FF9's normal battle music, and FF1's world map music). The next highest is the Genesis game, Ristar (Round 5-1, of which I call "Winter Land"), which has just 27 days, half my record but fourth place. OWTLI, my most listened to song (nearly a million total life time plays achieved in just 11 years (that's almost exactly 2 years of total combined nonstop play at the average speed of about 76% true speed)), has the fifth place record at 22 days, a record that held steady for almost a decade.

ATR: Is there music in the mind game you're working on? If so, have games like Bubsy and Final Fantasy inspired it?

Uli: As to my mind game, there is no music. In the games I make, however, there will be, especially starting with my 2D RPG game and in those later on. My current game in the works, a remake of "The Supernatural Olympics", is unlikely to have music, but it will more likely have sound effects. In the later games, my thoughts at the moment are "200 or bust" or "500 or bust". The number represents the minimum allowed compatibility. Details, right now, even some major ones, have yet to be worked out so whether or not Bubsy or Final Fantasy will inspire it will remain unknown until the time comes and this is likely quite a ways away yet (at least a year, likely 2 to 3 years, about the time I'd have gained enough programming skills to work on my 2D RPG game and have gotten to the point where it's playable and music could be added. One of my remakes of an existing song (Winter Zone (Ice Cap Act 1's music on Sonic 3)) has been made significantly better in compatibility than the original and the highest is 2 1/2 times better. Even then, it's still far from any of the higher ranked ones.

As a side note, I had "Ozmone Plain" playing, the music for the same region in Final Fantasy 12. It was mostly played at around 85% true speed. I've got "Mosphoran Highwaste" playing now, also from the same game, but unlikely to last as long. It currently plays at 90% true speed (86% true speed on my MP3 player). The 68 to 78% range is where intersections occur for almost every song. Ozmone Plain has good speeds in this range and outside of it on both sides (less toward the slow end - 60% in the minimum).

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Holy Miniatures Batman!

Drop whatever you're doing and go check this Flickr photoset out. They're all hand-made cardboard models of old school synthesizers. They're tiny and they're amazing. The artist is Daniel McPharlin and you can even buy one of these off of him, if there are any left.

Free Weekend Listening

Need something "rad" to listen to this weekend? Well need no more. I give you American Gladiators - The Music, for the first installment of Free Weekend Listening. In all seriousness this soundtrack sort of kicks ass. I've definitely got a weak spot for "Tuff Enuff" and Yello's "Oh Yeah" but what really makes this album unique are the sound clips from the Gladiators themselves mixed over the music, "Get him! Switch switch!" So download this puppy, flip on ESPN Classic, invite the guys over and enjoy.

Album: American Gladiators - The Music
Released: 1993
Tracklist:

  1. American Gladiator Introduction - Mike Adamlee
  2. American Gladiator Theme - Bill Conti
  3. We Will Rock You - Queen
  4. Joust - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  5. Rock and Roll (Part 2) - Gary Glitter
  6. Gauntlet - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  7. Jump - The Movement
  8. Eliminator - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  9. Tuff Enuff - The Fabulous Thunderbirds
  10. Tug-O-War - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  11. Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benetar
  12. Whiplash - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  13. Breakthrough and Conquer - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  14. Oh Yeah! - Yello
  15. Assault - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  16. The Warrior - Scandal
  17. Hang Tough - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  18. Atlasphere - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  19. Swingshot - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  20. Powerball - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band
  21. American Gladiators Theme - Dan Miller And The Steele Penny Band

Extra Credit to anyone who can leave a comment and tell me which one of these artists is a convicted pedophile!

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The Gwen Stefani Doll?

Shit like this makes me wonder if newer and younger fans of the heavily-branded solo version of Gwen Stefani even know she used to kick so much ass? I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Stefani back in her No Doubt heyday, right about when "I'm Just a Girl" came out and she was great. Polite, attractive, and knew how get her hands dirty with the boys on stage.

Fast forward a decade and she's synchronize dancing, changing outfits between songs and using a fake pre-teen girly voice. Seeing her in concert these days is about 90% image and 10% music. Sure she's never hidden the fact that she enjoys the girly side of things like free makeup, but one look at her site proves she's just trying too hard. Okay enough of my old man banter, here's more info to help you complete doll collection you've got stashed away in your closet:

"Huckleberry Toys is set to release Series II of the Gwen Stefani doll line this fall. To celebrate the launch Huckleberry Toys will be releasing a limited edition preview doll at this year’s San Diego Comic Convention.

We will only be making 150 of these dolls and they will be sold on a first come, first served basis. To ensure that Gwen’s fans have a chance to own the doll, Huckleberry Toys will take phone orders beginning at 10AM Pacific time on Monday, July 16th.

To order, call 1-818-363-4500. The dolls are $100/each plus shipping and handling and must be paid by credit card. Any remaining dolls will be sold at Huckleberry Toys booth 4151 July 25-29th during the convention."

G-G-G-Gcycle!

So what is Gcycling exactly? Basically it's recycling for your electronics and tech gear. The campaign was developed by a firm called 72andSunny who also did tons of work for the Zune launch. They teamed up with G4 in hopes to get "young guys" to pitch in and do their part. So what can you do? Well, you can start by not throwing away your CDs, tapes, tape players, CD players, and iPods. Then you can continue to kick some green ass by hitting up gcycle.org to find out where you can dump this stuff off. Other tech junk is good to Gcycle too, so make sure to keep this in mind when replacing your old inkjet cartdriges, batteries, VHS tapes and what not.

"More than a billion CDs are dumped in landfills each day. That's enough to make a new CD coaster for everyone in India everyday."

Musical Lightning

Introducing Steve Ward's Singing Tesla Coil video. Trust me, this video is much more exciting with your sound ON. I'm no scientist, so here's a snippet from the website:

"This is a solid-state Tesla coil. The primary runs at its resonant frequency in the 41 KHz range, and is modulated from the control unit in order to generate the tones you hear.

So just to explain a little further, yes, it is the actual high voltage sparks that are making the noise. Every cycle of the music is a burst of sparks at 41 KHz, triggered by digital circuitry at the end of a "long" piece of fiber optics."

Rage in Wisconsin... Again?

Tickets have already sold out for Rage's show in East Troy, Wisconsin at Alpine Valley. So if this is the first you've heard of it, your too late. But maybe you'll get another chance to see them?

Nobody knows for sure if they're secretly planning a full blown reunion, complete with a new album and full tour, but I've got a tidbit of insider info. Just last night I was told firsthand that the Apple River Amphitheater in Somerset, Wisconsin (just about 45 minutes from the Twin Cites) has put a bid in to get Rage to play there this summer. So what does this mean? Well it all depends if the band receives bids only when they plan on continuing to tour or not. If so, then that's good news because the bid was for a lot of money. So it's nothing official, but it's one more clue in the guessing game of their reunion. Of course I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so I hope you don't mind that I'm not naming my sources. I'll see if I can't look into it further sometime soon.

Music Sites and Bad Design

They seem to go hand and hand. We've all got our favorite music websites that we frequent, some are put together really nice, some are not. Surprisingly there are more that aren't than are. I think that made sense. So let's take a look at our first installment of Good vs. Bad design, starting with the bad ones of course.

Rage Against The Machine's website ratm.com looks like they built it in 1995 and haven't updated it since. I never get why a band will put so much time and money in the studio, tour and album packaging then turn around and pay the drummer's nephew $100 to build 'em a website for that world wide web that every ones talking about. Or at least that's what it looks like. They've managed to cram Flash and Frames together creating a lovely digital mush. Rage's music is so powerful and moving it's amazing they couldn't find the inspiration to translate that to the web.

Red Hot Chili Peppers' website for their latest album Stadium Arcadium is such a let down. After receiving an award for an earlier version of their website it's plain to see they've hired new designers. Designers who must have known they're from California, but somehow never actually listened to their music or have seen an actual piece of Chili Pepper footage or merchandise before. Not only that, it doesn't fit with the "outer space" theme that everything else had for the last year or so. Visit the site yourself and your eyes will be raped with enough jpeg artifacts to kill a small animal. I'm a huge fan of these guys and the site does them no justice whatsoever and browsing it is a nightmare. This site is Flash gone wrong.

Nirvana's website hereisnirvana.com is just so... blah. It somehow conveys nothing. Not grunge, not rock, not modern, just a website. You'd never guess these guys turned the music world on it's ass browsing this Official Universal Records template of a website. Just because the band is no more doesn't mean they deserve a There's even a real genuine pop-up advertising the release of some digitally remastered DVD with footage probably from a Handycam, which doesn't seem to make sense itself. Visit this site if you'd like to buy some Nirvana merch, that's about it.

Tune in next time where I'll point out some kick ass band websites and get your mind off these crappy efforts.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Like Repetition

According to the title of their upcoming EP "Is Is." Note to up and comers in the music world: when in doubt, pick a nice word and then repeat a few times. You've got yourself an album title or even a band name!

Okay on with the show, this thing's coming out July 23rd and it'll be accompanied by a special live film, which was recorded at their show at the Grasslands Gallery in Brooklyn on May 7th. All five tracks on the EP were written while they were on tour for their debut album "Fever to Tell" in 2004. The song titles are:

  1. Rockers to Swallow
  2. Down Boy
  3. Kiss Kiss
  4. Isis
  5. 10 x 10
The EP will be available on CD, double gatefold vinyl, single track download and digital bundle.

Icky Thump

Well the White Stripes new album Icky Thump "drops today" as all the kids are saying these days. From what I've heard of it things are good in the land of Red, White and Black. Can't wait to grab it after work. If you prefer to get your music digitally, legally digitally that is, hit up this iTunes page to get the exclusive track Baby Brother. Make haste though because I think it's only available through today.

As far as their tour goes they've announced that Dan Sartain will be touring with them through most of their tour dates. Who is Dan Sartain you ask? Well he's a pretty kick ass Rockabilly guy... dude. Just check out his video for yourself.



To see if the White Stripes will be showing in a theater near you, check out these tour dates. If you've never seen 'em live you are missing out.

Paul Gives a Surprise Show

Looks like some 700 lucky fans got to see Paul McCartney in a small New York club yesterday. The info appeared on his website Tuesday and the show was the very next day. Fans who made it in were treated to about a dozen Beatles classics mixed with some new songs, all in an effort to get some buzz around his new album Memory Almost Full. Speaking of buzz about the album, somebody in marketing had the splendid idea to play the album in it's entirety all day at every Starbucks in the country. Those poor, poor workers.

To check out the setlist and even some footage from the show check out his website memoryalmostfull.com under the news section.

iTunes' Complete My Album

If you're an avid user of iTunes, you might have some incomplete albums in your library. Maybe you bought a single and never got around to buying the rest of the album, maybe you bought 3 tracks and then lightning struck your computer. Whatever the case you can now use a feature called "Complete My Album" Which searches your library and then allows you to buy the complete album without recharging you for what you already owned. It seems like a no-brainer, but there's a catch. You only have 6 months to "complete your album." Otherwise you have to pay for that single all over again. Why? I have no idea. So consider this a heads up. The feature isn't perfect, but atleast it's a start.

Or you could buy real albums and import them the way you want 'em, and avoid this completely.

Welcome

Welcome to All That Racket. Where music fans can come and read about what's happening in the world of music. For now things will be very broad, including posts about new albums, music news, instruments, auctions, top 10 lists... the whole sh'bang. So stick with me while things come together. Thanks for reading.