Category: music

Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski talk analog vs. digital:

Bring back the noise.

Such was the prescription from indie musicians Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski ’85 during an animated discussion about digital creativity Tuesday night at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

Krukowski, who came to the Consumer Research Center/store to kick off the tour for his new book, “The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World,” used “noise” to describe the ambient sounds such as air conditioning or breathing that found their way onto analog audio recordings, but he was also speaking of life in the pre-digital world before social media giants’ content streams.

Krukowski, who was the founder and drummer for Galaxie 500 in the late ’80s, worked on the idea of analog versus digital as a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society in 2015-16. By eliminating noise, he argued, digital technology has isolated authentic sound, though he hoped the debate would not be seen as old versus new, or good versus bad.

But Palmer, a rock ’n’ roll performer who has cultivated an intimate relationship with fans on and off social media, wasted no time lamenting the loss. Instead, she commiserated with Krukowski over a shared displeasure with Facebook. She quoted from Krukowski’s book: “Social media have no content to offer other than what their users provide. Yet that information, too, is limited to isolated signal as defined by the platform — a neat trick.” Then she made her own supporting argument.

“I also hate Facebook, and I hate Facebook more and more every day,” she said, bemoaning the algorithms it uses to determine what is signal and what is noise for its 2 billion users.

“Noise is necessary. If we’re going to stay human, visual, audio, emotional noise, it’s what makes life. If you don’t have it, you don’t really even have the conditions for living. If things are signal only, that literally means there is no room for coincidence, synchronicity, kismet, randomness — the things that make life feel realistic,” she said.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Sometimes I just like to share beautiful things with our fans.

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang performing Cruel Queen – live, so with all the ‘noise’ and it’s meaning in place.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

Radiotopia- Ways of Hearing:

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We loved having Damon Krukowski on today’s show, but we only managed to touch on some of his research into how the shift to the digital world has shifted our perception of the world. 

Thankfully, Damon’s Radiotopia podcast and book ‘Ways of Hearing’ where you can go on a proper deep dive. I love episode 5 in particular, it’s about ow    digital corporations have created a musical universe that adapts to you no matter where you go in the world –  but go on and binge the whole thing, with headphones, you know you want to.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

The Digital Human – Signal and Noise – where does meaning lie? – BBC Sounds:

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It’s our 100th episode today (cue squeaky wee geeky squeal). So Digital Human flipped the script and we’re bringing you the Analogue Human! Edited and broadcast from TAPE!

With the help of artists, musicians and photographers Aleks asks if the endless possibilities we’re offered by digital tools are as liberating as we think or paradoxically are they paralysing, making it impossible to choose one product, picture, tindr date over another.

In this sneak pic, musician Damon Krukowski explains the difference between the clean, perfected sound of the digital world, compared to the organic noise in analogue world. And how in cutting out the messiness of noise, we may risk losing layers of complexity, beauty and meaning in the world.

Be sure to listen to the full podcast here Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human or download it from iTunes any time after it’s broadcast.

“The internet is a devastating wasteland”: How social media could be making musicians sick:

Making and sharing music has never been more accessible than it is right now. Even as listeners, we know this: we can get our music on Bandcamp and SoundCloud, no major labels required. But along with the access to technology and the unprecedented ability to share music with people anywhere in the world, the emotional baggage that can come with fame can plague even the smallest independent artist.

“[The internet] is this devastating wasteland where everybody is emoting and creating,” says Sally Gross, a music industry vet turned course leader and principal lecturer in the Music Management graduate program at University of Westminster, London. “Social media and the democratization of the distribution of music, which so many people see as an amazing new frontier, had me thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, what is going to happen to all these people?’”

Gross’s previous experience working firsthand with artists and her current role teaching young musicians about the business inspired the study “Can Music Make You Sick?” Co-authored with Dr. George Musgrave, a senior lecturer in Gross’s MA program, the study was commissioned by Help Musicians UK, a charity established in 1921. Currently under the leadership of Richard Robinson, Help Musicians UK’s goal is to support musicians from the early talent development stages through to retirement; the organization also provides assistance during times of crisis, including crises related to mental health.

Part One of “Can Music Make You Sick,” a pilot survey with input from 2,211 participants, was published in 2016 by University of Westminster’s non-profit music industry information hub, MusicTank. The survey participants are self-identifying musicians in the UK. With the survey, Gross and Musgrave set out to discover how these musicians feel about their working conditions and how they perceive working in the music industry to affect their well being. “[With] the unbelievable amplification of the abundance of music and the value of music seeming to disappear, what was going on in the lives of musicians?” Gross says. “If music and artistic expression is so good for us, what’s on the other side of that?”

In their research, they found that huge numbers of musicians suffer from anxiety and depression and that musicians are at risk to suffer depression three times more than the general public. Although artists “find solace in the production of music,” the study describes trying to build a career in music as “traumatic.” “Musicians feel there are gaps in existing provisions and that something needs to change,” the study reads.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

“The internet is a devastating wasteland”: How social media could be making musicians sick:

Making and sharing music has never been more accessible than it is right now. Even as listeners, we know this: we can get our music on Bandcamp and SoundCloud, no major labels required. But along with the access to technology and the unprecedented ability to share music with people anywhere in the world, the emotional baggage that can come with fame can plague even the smallest independent artist.

“[The internet] is this devastating wasteland where everybody is emoting and creating,” says Sally Gross, a music industry vet turned course leader and principal lecturer in the Music Management graduate program at University of Westminster, London. “Social media and the democratization of the distribution of music, which so many people see as an amazing new frontier, had me thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, what is going to happen to all these people?’”

Gross’s previous experience working firsthand with artists and her current role teaching young musicians about the business inspired the study “Can Music Make You Sick?” Co-authored with Dr. George Musgrave, a senior lecturer in Gross’s MA program, the study was commissioned by Help Musicians UK, a charity established in 1921. Currently under the leadership of Richard Robinson, Help Musicians UK’s goal is to support musicians from the early talent development stages through to retirement; the organization also provides assistance during times of crisis, including crises related to mental health.

Part One of “Can Music Make You Sick,” a pilot survey with input from 2,211 participants, was published in 2016 by University of Westminster’s non-profit music industry information hub, MusicTank. The survey participants are self-identifying musicians in the UK. With the survey, Gross and Musgrave set out to discover how these musicians feel about their working conditions and how they perceive working in the music industry to affect their well being. “[With] the unbelievable amplification of the abundance of music and the value of music seeming to disappear, what was going on in the lives of musicians?” Gross says. “If music and artistic expression is so good for us, what’s on the other side of that?”

In their research, they found that huge numbers of musicians suffer from anxiety and depression and that musicians are at risk to suffer depression three times more than the general public. Although artists “find solace in the production of music,” the study describes trying to build a career in music as “traumatic.” “Musicians feel there are gaps in existing provisions and that something needs to change,” the study reads.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Rise of the Internet Metal Stars: How the game is changing:


I moved to Los Angeles over a year ago to take another stab at professional music, and one of the first projects I became involved in was called Meytal. It is a band created around YouTube megastar drummer, Meytal Cohen. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Meytal is an Israeli female drummer, who made a name for herself doing covers of rock and metal songs on YouTube.

Her online stats are astronomical – Over 128 million plays and 850,000 subscribers on YouTube, over 1.3 million Facebook “likes”, and a Kickstarter campaign to create an album of original material raised over $140,000. What’s really incredible is the level of engagement. Meytal recently posted a picture of her with a cat on Facebook, and it has 28,000 “likes”, 173 shares, and 450 comments. Even massive bands with 4-5 million “likes” don’t get that level of engagement; especially for something as quaint as a selfie with a cat. I was brought into the band near the completion of the album that was crowdfunded. The other band members include Threat Signal’s Travis Montgomery on lead guitar, Eric Emery of Skyharbor on vocals, and the multi-talented Anel Pedrero on bass and backing vocals. The Meytal album, Alchemy, has already sold over 10,000 copies in a little over a month of release, and even charted #104 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, #1 on the New Artist chart, and #5 on the Metal/Hard Rock chart during the album’s first week of release. All of this has been accomplished with no label, no radio, and no touring. It’s astonishing.

Before meeting Meytal and dipping a toe in this world, I had no idea this type of success was possible without taking the traditional path of joining a band, slugging it out in shitty clubs, sleeping in vans and on floors, peddling demos to labels and promoters, and dealing with general grind of trying to make it. Even going back to the Myspace days, there were questions whether these social media numbers would translate to real world album, merch, and ticket sales. New media has proven those questions have been answered with a resounding, “Yes!” I wanted to highlight some talented musicians who have made an impressive name for themselves almost strictly through social media and promotion via the internet.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Rise of the Internet Metal Stars: How the game is changing:


I moved to Los Angeles over a year ago to take another stab at professional music, and one of the first projects I became involved in was called Meytal. It is a band created around YouTube megastar drummer, Meytal Cohen. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Meytal is an Israeli female drummer, who made a name for herself doing covers of rock and metal songs on YouTube.

Her online stats are astronomical – Over 128 million plays and 850,000 subscribers on YouTube, over 1.3 million Facebook “likes”, and a Kickstarter campaign to create an album of original material raised over $140,000. What’s really incredible is the level of engagement. Meytal recently posted a picture of her with a cat on Facebook, and it has 28,000 “likes”, 173 shares, and 450 comments. Even massive bands with 4-5 million “likes” don’t get that level of engagement; especially for something as quaint as a selfie with a cat. I was brought into the band near the completion of the album that was crowdfunded. The other band members include Threat Signal’s Travis Montgomery on lead guitar, Eric Emery of Skyharbor on vocals, and the multi-talented Anel Pedrero on bass and backing vocals. The Meytal album, Alchemy, has already sold over 10,000 copies in a little over a month of release, and even charted #104 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, #1 on the New Artist chart, and #5 on the Metal/Hard Rock chart during the album’s first week of release. All of this has been accomplished with no label, no radio, and no touring. It’s astonishing.

Before meeting Meytal and dipping a toe in this world, I had no idea this type of success was possible without taking the traditional path of joining a band, slugging it out in shitty clubs, sleeping in vans and on floors, peddling demos to labels and promoters, and dealing with general grind of trying to make it. Even going back to the Myspace days, there were questions whether these social media numbers would translate to real world album, merch, and ticket sales. New media has proven those questions have been answered with a resounding, “Yes!” I wanted to highlight some talented musicians who have made an impressive name for themselves almost strictly through social media and promotion via the internet.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why It’s Harder to Be a Successful Musician Than Ever Before | MetalSucks:

Those who read this site regularly know that I’m no industry naysayer. I believe that technology helps music for the better, have supported streaming services from day 1 (literally), think the Internet has done wonders for creativity and music consumption, and think the state of the music industry (and metal industry) in general — from an artistic perspective — is the best it’s ever been in the history of recorded music.

But none of that changes the fact that, in spite of — or maybe because of — those advances, making music for a living is harder than it’s ever been. I’m not pining for the days of yore when rockstars could be rich, or saying kids these days are doing it all wrong, or that art suffers when there’s no investment in it — I’m just stating a fact.

Here’s why:

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why It’s Harder to Be a Successful Musician Than Ever Before | MetalSucks:

Those who read this site regularly know that I’m no industry naysayer. I believe that technology helps music for the better, have supported streaming services from day 1 (literally), think the Internet has done wonders for creativity and music consumption, and think the state of the music industry (and metal industry) in general — from an artistic perspective — is the best it’s ever been in the history of recorded music.

But none of that changes the fact that, in spite of — or maybe because of — those advances, making music for a living is harder than it’s ever been. I’m not pining for the days of yore when rockstars could be rich, or saying kids these days are doing it all wrong, or that art suffers when there’s no investment in it — I’m just stating a fact.

Here’s why:

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion