Why Live Music? A Serious Question

| April 18, 2014

Your car stereo. Your computer. Your MP3 player. Your phone. We’ve never had more technology enabling us to listen to music, and that technology has never been more mobile. And with services like iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp Last.fm, GrooveShark, et al, we’ve never had more ways of discovering new music. And due to incredible advancements in personal recording technology, it’s never been easier for amateurs to produce songs on our own, load them on every service and sync them to every device. There is recorded music everywhere, and everyone is making it.

. . .

So why do we come back to live music? What is it about the concert ritual that draws us back in? And what can aspiring musicians learn about their craft from that ritual?

Communal music is an ancient human tradition. After all, some of the earliest tools we find among the fossils of our ancestors are musical instruments. Music’s role in human society has been spiritual in nature across cultural lines and through generations: singing meditation bowls, adhan called out by muezzin from minarets, gospel songs performed on organ to the dancing faithful, the Torah portion earnestly chanted by young congregates on Sabbath. Whether it was music or spirituality that came first to the ritual of communal gathering is the subject for an article written by someone distinctly more educated than myself. For now, it’s suffice to say that these things have gone hand-in-hand for quite some time, and that this ritual is deeply ingrained in our ideas of society and civilization.

In modern Western culture (I speak of primarily the United States wherein lies my expertise), the musical gathering has been largely divorced from religiosity. Most of our musical experiences today are social events. Although we may hope for an amazingly communal and spiritual experience, musical performances are no longer necessarily connected to any kind of spirituality, and they are no longer necessarily communal events with active participation for attendees.

So why do audiences go to live music shows? Why not stay at home and just listen to the recordings that fill our hard drives and our cloud storage?

Steampunk News iPhone App Retiring

| April 18, 2014

I’m sorry to have to announce that the Steampunk News iPhone App will be withdrawn from the iTunes store in the near future.

I originally wrote the app as a hobby, and it led to the creation of this site, which I for one am rather pleased about, however the annual charge for maintaining my app on Apple’s app store is no longer financially viable to me, hence the withdrawal from Apple’s iTunes store.

Existing users of the app will be able to continue using it, however please remember to back it up, as it will no longer be available from the App store if you ever need to rebuild your device.

The site is now completely mobile-friendly, so hopefully this won’t be too much of a problem for anyone.

Regards,

Warren

Trend Hunter publishes the iPhonograph on their web site….YAY!

| April 4, 2014

Click for the Trend Hunter Article:

My friends at Reverse Garbage

| March 31, 2014

Reverse Garbage had a ‘Wheel of Crap’ event showcasing found objects upcycled to useful artefacts…and displaying my ‘Sir Round-a-Sound’

 Reverse Garbage

iPhonograph Chrome is finally finished and with its new owners!

| March 30, 2014

This one also has a remote control and plays your music beautifully.

This is it’s third and final incarnation….see if you can find the differences.

the CAN!CAN!CAN! Sandwich on IndieGOGO!

| March 26, 2014

So there’s this thing. It’s called the Grilled Cheese Invitational, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Their motto is ‘Bread, Butter, Cheese, Victory!’ and they’re holding the last one ever this year. I’m competing and it’s going to be great. This is about fun. It’s about being weird and loving it. It is about the future of what grilled cheese will be, post-apocolypse, when all we have is canned foodstuffs. 

My sandwich is called the CAN!CAN!CAN! and it features canned butter, canned cheese and canned bread. It’s going to be a ton of fun. To help fund my way in this endeavor I have an Indiegogo campaign that has some awesome rewards based on the graphic I’ve created to represent my dazzling creation. You should check it out. Watch the video, because it’s seriously one of the funniest things I’ve done in a while. 

I’ll be wearing a can-can outfit while grilling s’whiches. Because surely those will survive the apocolypse.

Check out my indieGoGo can-pain! 

 

Clockworks! AEther Salon (edited transcript)

| March 17, 2014

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Miss Nika Thought-werk will discuss a topic in which she certainly has experience – clockworks!

Before we proceed, some housekeeping reminders:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.

2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact Baron Wulfenbach.

3) Please remove all

Clockworks! AEther Salon (unedited transcript)

| March 17, 2014

[13:58] Baron Klaus Wulfenbach (klauswulfenbach.outlander) activates the Salon clank

[13:59] Selena (selenaanansi) curtsies to Baronin "Good day"

[13:59] Garnet Psaltery: Hello Wild

[13:59] Dollianna (annamated) waves to Mr Beaumont

[13:59] Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, Admiral, Baronin.

[13:59] Wildstar Beaumont: good evening !

[13:59] Darlingmonster Ember: Hullo Admiral

[13:59] Baron

February flyby

| February 18, 2014

February steampunk events, courtesy of Tor! (Anachrocon was great fun, from what I hear.)

 

The Steampunk Hands Around the World project is still going on – a myriad of wonderful websites awaits.

 

DC Comics is apparently showing off a steampunk version of the JLA. I am intrigued. Wary, but intrigued.

 

Disney is also going steampunk – take a gander at the mechanical Maleficent dragon debuting this year.

 

And finally, opera and steampunk meet in The Dolls of New Albion.

Flirting! Salon – Edited Transcript

| February 17, 2014

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Selena Anansi of Winterfell will extend the Valentine’s season, and regale us with the gentle art of flirting. Before we proceed, some housekeeping reminders:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.

2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact Baron Wulfenbach.

3)

Flirting! Salon – Unedited Transcript

| February 17, 2014

[14:05] Baron Klaus Wulfenbach (klauswulfenbach.outlander): All right, we look fairly well settled.

[14:05] Stereo Nacht: Good day Mr. Branagh!

[14:05] Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Selena Anansi of Winterfell will extend the Valentine’s season, and regale us with the gentle art of flirting.

[14:06] Bookworm Hienrichs: Before we proceed, some housekeeping

A seasonally appropriate link

| February 4, 2014

No Victorian Era explorer would be caught dead without a Burroughs Wellcome & Company First Aid Kit!

 

(Well, actually, they might be caught dead, now that I think about it…)