Posts Tagged ‘music’

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Mixtape Mythology

May 19, 2008

I’ve seen a few blog posts recently about a new site called muxtape. Even my friend mistrust was getting in on the digital mixtape action. I left a comment on one such blog which led to an e-mail from Matt Phillips at the Wall Street Journal, asking questions and continuing the conversation. Of course I didn’t end up reading Matt’s e-mail until a month and a half after he wrote it, so whatever article he was writing is probably old news by now. Nevertheless, after seeing the topic mentioned again on mistrust’s blog, I decided to post my response to Matt. Besides, with all this unicycle training, I haven’t posted about anything music related in a while:

What I loved about mixtapes was the amount of time and dedication it took to piece it together just right. Recording a good one would take hours. I never found it tedious or laborious, it was theraputic. Rarely do we just listen to music these days. With our ipods we can listen to music while riding a bike, working on the computer, washing dishes – it’s become a secondary experience. I think the effort in listening to songs over and over again, fast forward, rewind, how does this song sound after that one, finding the perfect songs with the perfect lyrics and sound to help send your message, it takes a lot of time, and that’s what makes it so important and meaningful. It’s like a gift that’s handmade vs. something storebought.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that 90% of the mixtapes I ever made were for girls, and any that I received myself were also from the opposite sex. Mixtapes were part of the mating ritual. I’ve tried to capture the same ritual with digital music, but burning cd’s has cheapened the whole mixtape experience. We don’t always listen to songs in order anymore. My itunes playlist is always on random. With tapes and vinyl records, you listened to them in order, start to finish, the way the artist intended. Now I don’t know if artists these days even care about that sort of thing anymore, but with mixtapes, I was the artist, and the art was in the order.

I could go on. I’m a bit of an anomaly. I love my ipod and itunes as much as I love my turntable. I buy vinyl records and mp3s and I listen to the radio. I feel dirty when I by a CD, like I’m paying for a cheap one-night stand, a passionate 2 minutes as I rip all the song into my itunes library. Then the CD goes back in its case, back on the shelf, never to be called again.

What do you think of mixtapes then and now?
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…like a wounded animal

April 7, 2008

It’s been a few weeks since my qualifying ride for Ride The Lobster, and my wounds from the heinous crash on day 1 have all healed. I was surprised then to see on the Official Ride The Lobster Blog, a nice funny little post about me and my qualifying ride crash. The blog seems to focus more on the progress of international riders, with countries like Korea putting together internal races of their own to get the 3 best riders in their country to go to Nova Scotia. We’re hardly a USA Dream Team, and I’m probably not even the best rider in Philadelphia, so to be included in a post on a blog that highlights the best of the best around the world is pretty cool.

So we’ve registered as a team and put all of our chips in the middle of the table. All systems are go. Now we just need to focus on getting in shape, getting our gear in shape, and getting the four of us up to Nova Scotia.

In DreamRapper news, I got back together with the band yesterday after taking a month off to focus on moving and unicycling and healing. My hand is still a bit messed up so my guitar playing is a little weak. We’ve got a lot of new songs and we’ll be heading to the studio next weekend, so stay tuned for that. Also, our new apartment has a little more space for my music gear. I should be able to finish up the last of my dream raps soon.

-Kyle D

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Road Rash with a Side of Chips

March 18, 2008

Team Unicycle Max took a beating this past weekend. My dad and I were both riding our 2-day qualifiers and each had a pretty heinous crash. While my shoulder took most of the damage on my spill, my dad described his knee as sounding like a bag of chips. In a third act of cosmic hosery, my brother called to tell me about his emergency room visit and diagnosis of pericarditis, a viral inflammation of the lining of the heart. So while this is something that usually goes away fairly quickly with regular doses of asprin, it does keep the kid off his unicycle with the big race only 89 days away. We’ve all got some healing and recovering to do, but I’m feeling good about it. I still have some numbers to crunch on the 2-day qualifier, but we should all be officially qualified and registered by this weekend.

 unidelphia

So this March has pretty much been the month from hell. Taxes, bills, training, moving…all the worst parts of life decided to get together and have a class reunion this month. I had to tell the band that I couldn’t jam on the weekends this month because too much is going on. Hopefully they don’t bail on me altogether and we can still record some stuff next month. In the meantime, I’m just trying to take it easy, heal, recover, and get ourselves into a new apartment. Stay tuned.

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Ride The Lobster

January 4, 2008

2008 is here and that means one thing and one thing only: Ride the Lobster is fast approaching. This June, Nova Scotia will host a historic unicycle relay race with teams competing from all over the world. The event is 5 days of riding and covers 800km. My dad, brother, and I will be representing Arizona, Maine, and Pennsylvania. The race will be tracked live via GPS and GoogleEarth.

What does this mean for DreamRapper? Well the dream rap project is coming to a close. I have a 5th dream rap in the hip-hop tumbler getting polished, and I’m still playing guitar with DuPont Menage and STC. Once I get my new unicycle, most of my free time will have to be spent riding and training. If you’d like to check out the latest news on RTL, check out the official Ride The Lobster blog.

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Live Philly Hip-Hop Tonight!

November 26, 2007

So I joined a hip-hop/alternative band recently. I’m playing guitar, Dave G is on drums, and DuPont Menage is on the mic with Dave 2 adding backup. We’ve only played together as a group twice now, but tonight will be our first performance out in the wild. Every Monday night, the World Cafe Live hosts a Philly Rising open mic competition sponsored by Discmakers. We’re just playing 2 songs tonight, but it should be a good time. It’s been 2 years since I last performed with a band, and already it feels good to jam again. Dave G’s got good jazz-funk sensibilities on the drums, but knows how to kick up the rock when the time comes. DuPont’s lyrics are smart, creative, and focused. My guitar playing is a little rusty, and I don’t have 5 other instruments and distortion covering up my inadequacies, but it’s sounding good. So if you’re in Philadelphia tonight around 9:00pm, come to the World Cafe Live at 31st and Walnut to hear our groove in Serenading The Culture.

Philly Rising

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Dream Rap Drought

November 9, 2007

It’s been quite a while since I posted the last Dream Rap. October turned out to be a pretty crazy month, like needs drugs and shock-treatment crazy. There’s a new addition to the Dream Rapper’s Wild Kingdom in the form of a little pug puppy. Her name is Beatrix Kiddo “The Black Mamba”. Nevertheless, having a puppy eats up a lot of free time, and shoelaces. She’s just starting to sleep through the night, so perhaps I can get back to dreaming and rapping.

Beaatrix Kiddo

Halloween has come and gone. Nature’s taken the cue and finally turned down the thermostat here in the Northeast. We threw a small party at our place, dressed as zombies, and ate a lot of cookies and brain cupcakes. For the office, I went as a Zombie Johnny Cash. I like the idea of going as undead musicians. Next year it’s either Joey Ramone or Freddy Mercury. Now even though October did not yield any new dream raps, I did manage to get some guest vocals recorded for an old rap that’s been in the works since the beginning of the project. I should be able to finish it up and post it in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Zombie Johnny Cash