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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Published Feb. 11, 2014 on The Le Sigh


Let Holly Herndon be your guide through this Internet wasteland.

Holly Herndon wants you to feel uncomfortable. Her debut EP Movement opens with the sound of her breath, which morphs into an inhuman buzz. The record’s backbone is how Herndon manipulates very human sounds into something unsettlingly artificial. On Chorus, her new 12″ released last month on RVNG Intl, Herndon looks to her hard drive for source material. The title track “Chorus” is spliced together from YouTube, Skype and other audio clips as Herndon leaves a trail following her daily Internet habits. As the scattering samples glitch, pop and crash, a pulsing bass enters joined by Herndon’s distant vocals touches to guide you through this techno Internet wasteland. This single pairs well with the digital dystopia Oneohtrix Point Never creates on R Plus Seven, as well as its computer desk spying video. It makes you wonder what you could create from your own browsing history.

With B-side “Solo Voice,” Holly Herndon flips the disjointed layering of “Chorus” and opts for suspenseful minimalism. “Solo Voice” stands to be just as unsettling in its sparseness that struggles to hold on to a phrase as it pulses past. The track peddles from around the bend, only to swoop on by and continue circling. Recorded in one take, the minimal “Solo Voice” serves as a perfect complement to the intricate “Chorus.” Much like Herndon’s composition method (which involves the physical movement of waving induction mics over her laptop to pick up and distort its signal), Chorus sustains the confusion Herndon creates by the blurring distinction between person and PC.

Published Feb. 11, 2014 on Mashable

On Jan. 27, 2011, “#selfie” was born. Just over three years later, there are more than 75 million Instagram photos tagged #selfie and a National #Selfie Portrait Gallery. Furthermore, Oxford Dictionary crowned “selfie” its 2013 Word of the Year after being officially added in August.

Its social media spotlight focused a lot of hatred toward selfies. Some critics cry narcissism, others complain about duckface and cringe at the inappropriate placessome people feel compelled to take selfies (okay, that one’s valid).

SEE ALSO: 11 Vintage Selfies Too Fabulous for Filters

As people explore the limits and extraordinary possibilities of selfies every day, it’s time to realize those single-subject pics won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

#Sorrynotsorry, selfie haters.

Selfies have been around for ages.

Nope, think way before MySpace default photos and its characteristic angles. Before the camera self-timer. Before cameras.

In the 15th century, self-portraiture allowed artists to control the images and versions of themselves the public saw. During the Renaissance, commissioned portraiture was standard practice among the era’s elites, a status symbol.

Today, people carry high-definition cameras in their pockets, making it possible to snap photos of themselves whenever, wherever. The selfie barrier to entry is no longer the wealth, time and privilege of a French monarch. The selfie game is close to a level playing field, so go out and play, Marie Antoinette.

A picture’s worth a thousand words.

NASA selfie

Image from NASA

Remember your high school English teacher’s favorite essay critique, “show not tell?” That’s what selfies do.

Read more about why selfies are a great thing on Mashable

Published Feb. 4, 2014 on The Le Sigh

Tweens get punchy (and a little bit kinky) on “Be Mean.”

Tweens took the playground lesson to heart that boys who tease you actually have a crush on you. While that questionable advice set most of us up for a dating life doomed to trying to decipher texts, lead singer and guitarist Bridget Battle can’t stand her suitor’s boring politeness on “Be Mean” — “Your sweetness is killing me”. Tweens first dropped “Be Mean” last year on bandcamp, but we’re now able to hear the slightly more polished version, which will be off their debut self-titled record out this April. “Baby be mean, mean / I want you to be mean / I want you to be mean to me!” Battle orders her “bore” of a guy, and also are lines you’ll probably find yourself singing at inappropriate times. Self-described trash pop, Tweens’ punchy punk from Cincinnati, Ohio, will help you power through any seasonal affective disorder you may be experiencing. Just wait until spring when you can jump around to this bratty, rambunctious track in the sun like it deserves. For now, blasting “Be Mean” in your bedroom while painting your nails hot pink and practicing your bitch face feels like the next most appropriate thing.

Published Feb. 2, 2014 on Mashable

If pressing play on a shuffled playlist isn’t enough for you, it’s time to step up to the DJ deck.

With these music mixing apps, you can loop, cue, crossfade, pitch-shift and more to remix your digital library. Even apps for tablets and smartphones are in the mix for on-the-go editing, which is especially helpful when you’re out and the current playlist isn’t cutting it (with the host’s approval of course; Mashable does not endorse party playlist mutiny).

SEE ALSO: 13 Best Free Audio Editors

While Ableton — the professional-grade software used by many of your favorite producers and DJs — will run you close to $500, these apps won’t drain your iTunes gift card balance, and some are even free.

Once you get the hang of mixing, record and upload your mixes to a service such asMixcloud, and join its community of amateur and professional DJs. Also, consider investing in a MIDI DJ controller. It will be pricier than the software, but the ability to fiddle with actual knobs will let you be more adventurous — no more worrying the mouse will disastrously slip while adjusting the tempo.

Soon, you too can be an amateur iPad DJ like the ones from HBO’s Girls.

1. Djay

djay

With an unintimidating, clutter-free interface, Djay is a great tool for both beginners and seasoned mixers. The turntable design shows off album art for an attractive setup, and leaves out unnecessary buttons and cheesy effects. Have fun clicking around and testing out features to get comfortable, and experiment with transition ideas to vary your mixes.

Price: $19.99
Compatibility: Mac, iOS (Djay 2 is an iPad and iPhone app for $9.99 and $1.99, respectively.)

Read more on Mashable