Evolution of Music Scene

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Postby EmilyD » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:01 am

unjonharley wrote:
teardropper wrote:
marcher5877 wrote:If you think it all sounds the same you just arent paying attention to the differences. Thats fine, you can do whatever you want, but it is different.


... in 2010, people dance to electronic music.

.


Couple of things. Sounds the same. I think my grand parents said that about rock n'roll. No worries, dance to what YOU want to. Just be sure, electronic is not what everyone is dancing to in 2010.


Teckno is in cuz there is no talent writing/producing danceable music..

I have to catch a beat and feel it in order to dance..

That's followed by assholes that want to cuz trouble.. So the sound is cranked just to fuck with people that are not interested in there noise..

Drove the drunk teckno nieghbor out of his mind.. With my 8-10 watts of mid century music.. So he got very drunk and nasty.. All his friends left the camp.. He was out in the middle of the street begging people to come and play with him.. Next day same as the the last.. I played mid century music.. He was dieing of a hang over when I asked him to hold my shade as I untied the ropes See there are all sorts of degrees of fucking with others..


I love it!

I have to say that the stationary techo sources are at least easier to avoid than the mobile ones. It was telling that every time a group of mutant vehicles clumped together (like at the big burns, or unfortunately for us in the middle of our street at 4AM) their sounds meshed because they were all playing the same 3 notes. As an ArtCar artist this was really hard for me to take. Next time I come to the Playa I will make my vehicle mutant enough for the DMV, get me a license and play some other kind of music as I travel about. I also won't be bothering folks who are trying to sleep along the streets all night.
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Postby mars » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:10 am

Let me try to clarify something...and I know it's due to my own inability to articulate this accurately. But I'm not comparing electronic music to live music. I'm talking more about genre, i think. I'm not asking for more live music. I have no problem with using recorded music. And I did hear a lot more variety this year than previous years. But aren't there any wealthy groups of rockers out there who can create a big sound camp with ROCK music? I did enjoy the Bootie music party that unexpectedly went until sunrise, but that was more pop than rock.

I'm a 50-something rocker. I can still dance till sunrise. Have done it many times. But I can't do it to techno or house or dubstep or breaks--believe me, in my 8 years so far at burning man I HAVE TRIED! I need me my good o'l rock 'n roll--some trippy psychedelia--MUSIC WITH WORDS, CHORUS and a BEAT!

It seems there are a LOT of people in my age range, and I imagine a lot of other lost dancers out there...how is it that this void hasn't been filled yet? Has anyone tried?

Oh gosh...now i'm whining! (There's nothing like a good California Whine!) I'll stop now.

Thanks for the discussion!
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Re: Evolution of Music Scene

Postby Bob » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:16 am

unjonharley wrote:
Bob wrote:
mars wrote:I'm just curious about how rave/electronic music became so prominent at burning man. I'd love a discussion here that isn't full of judgement and disdain, but just to explore how the 2 (burning man and rave/techno music) became and continues to be so connected....


Money. They buy tickets.


Great ansewer.. May I quote you on that?

Or, That $$ sums $$ it up


Or you could quote David Mamet:

Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money.

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Postby mthyer » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:54 am

This was my first year, but the music was certainly a big attractant on my list of possible ways to spend my time. I only encountered a couple of instances where the electronic music that was being pumped out at copious volume was something that truly moved me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate this kind of music, I like it for the most part. It’s just that the experience engendered doesn’t really have much room for improvement left in my book. I’m not certain why this is, it might be that there are two essential skills to this practice (choosing music and then blending it into a coherent stream), but my feeling is that we’ve already head most of what will ever be generated by this genera. Fun to dance to, the cause of big crowds, but ultimately repetitive and predictable.

Not so with the live music encountered on the playa; in particular the Samba bands that I came across from time to time. Wow! This music is participatory. Some of these bands are able to make a completely engrossing experience by stringing together various improvised moments. Maybe I’m just a sucker for live music, but I see potential for growth here. I found that every time I encountered one of these bands, the music was changing and had changed. It’s influenced directly by the crowd that forms around it. If you get into the crowd, the more involved you become, the more the music will involve you.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:02 pm

mthyer wrote:This was my first year, but the music was certainly a big attractant on my list of possible ways to spend my time. I only encountered a couple of instances where the electronic music that was being pumped out at copious volume was something that truly moved me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate this kind of music, I like it for the most part. It’s just that the experience engendered doesn’t really have much room for improvement left in my book. I’m not certain why this is, it might be that there are two essential skills to this practice (choosing music and then blending it into a coherent stream), but my feeling is that we’ve already head most of what will ever be generated by this genera. Fun to dance to, the cause of big crowds, but ultimately repetitive and predictable.

Not so with the live music encountered on the playa; in particular the Samba bands that I came across from time to time. Wow! This music is participatory. Some of these bands are able to make a completely engrossing experience by stringing together various improvised moments. Maybe I’m just a sucker for live music, but I see potential for growth here. I found that every time I encountered one of these bands, the music was changing and had changed. It’s influenced directly by the crowd that forms around it. If you get into the crowd, the more involved you become, the more the music will involve you.



Thank you mthyer,

I will try to stream more "toe tapping if you will" music into my small effort in pleaseing the herd..
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Postby K-mom » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:02 pm

Not that it has anything to do with BM itself, but for a really interesting look at the evolution of DJs and 'rave' music, I recommend the movie 24-Hour Party People: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274309/
Draws a line from the Sex Pistols to Joy Division to modern day clubbing, all based on a true story. It's also very entertaining.
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Postby EmilyD » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:52 pm

K-mom wrote:Not that it has anything to do with BM itself, but for a really interesting look at the evolution of DJs and 'rave' music, I recommend the movie 24-Hour Party People: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274309/
Draws a line from the Sex Pistols to Joy Division to modern day clubbing, all based on a true story. It's also very entertaining.


Thanks for that tip K-mom. I'd like to check that film out for sure.
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Postby jerroc » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:31 pm

I would like to see live electronic music production. To say there is no talent in techno is more a statement of taste rather than fact. I know it seems like a point and click or push a button kind of deal but really its not. The programs and keyboards are very high tech and hard to use. Beat machines are constant work if played live. Its a very complicated form of composing. There are as many as 15 layers of sound that you hear and don't even know because its composed so well. Someone has to have some serious music talent to get somewhere with electronic music. It could take some of us a year to really work out a good track. Listen a little closer it has more depth than you may think. I enjoy all kinds of music and don't care for the over played thump thump at BM. I too would like to see more talented live music. Im really not a house fan, same beat over and over all day all night really sucks. and bassnectar I have to say is lacking some talent. He is some what inventive though. Don't care for abstract styles too much I guess.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:10 am

jerroc wrote:I would like to see live electronic music production. To say there is no talent in techno is more a statement of taste rather than fact. I know it seems like a point and click or push a button kind of deal but really its not. The programs and keyboards are very high tech and hard to use. Beat machines are constant work if played live. Its a very complicated form of composing. There are as many as 15 layers of sound that you hear and don't even know because its composed so well. Someone has to have some serious music talent to get somewhere with electronic music. It could take some of us a year to really work out a good track. Listen a little closer it has more depth than you may think. I enjoy all kinds of music and don't care for the over played thump thump at BM. I too would like to see more talented live music. Im really not a house fan, same beat over and over all day all night really sucks. and bassnectar I have to say is lacking some talent. He is some what inventive though. Don't care for abstract styles too much I guess.



I was referring to Elctronic DJs as not talented.. Living across the street from a sound stage I can hear the different layers.. But the dancers could not for the def loud pounding of the base.. If the placement team should insist.. The sound stage point there speakers to a point in the middle floor of the club.. Would make a hell of a differance the everyone in and around.. Also that the must stop the show when just a few stoners are hanging.. But I suppose they are the operaters themself..
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Postby jerroc » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:33 am

I would say about 98% of so called Dj's dont know the first thing about sound levels. They crank the bass up on the mixer while the bass is cranked up on the amp and as a result you get Thump Thump instead of a good balanced track. I can't stand this either. Speaker placement is a hard issue. if you place them wrong a Dj could be reading a beat that is bouncing back or coming from another speaker a split second late. Facing the speakers to the dance floor can cause this efect. Makes it hard to beat match. people are great sound asorbers so as more people show up you push the sound a little higher as they leave turn it down saves equiptment keeps happy neighbors and the people never know the difference. simple management.
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Postby davem » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:20 am

gaminwench wrote:Inspired by the 'rockstar librarian', who has compiled all of the DJ performance info for the last couple of years...
I/we (you can help!) am going through this year's camp list to find contacts for live stages & musicians, with the ultimate goal of a comprehensive live music performance schedule for BRC 2011...
Any stages/musicians you know of? PM me with details & info...



This would be VERY much appreciated. 2011 will be my first burn, and I would like to experience as much live music as I can on the playa. I have a long history with electronic music and I still enjoy it very much. However, I'm looking forward to my experience being something different than what I'm used to in the default world. Live musicians playing weird and unknown sounds is what I hope to find.

:)
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:51 am

The thing I really like about Burning Man is the creativity that one often encounters. If all that I am enountering is the same as what I would find in a typical night in the SOMA, I naturally wonder what I'm doing way out in Nevada. I think that may be why many of us are dismayed by traditional club/rave music.
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Postby jerroc » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:03 pm

I fully agree.
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:46 pm

[quote="jerroc"] Speaker placement is a hard issue. if you place them wrong a Dj could be reading a beat that is bouncing back or coming from another speaker a split second late. Facing the speakers to the dance floor can cause this efect. Makes it hard to beat match. people are great sound asorbers so as more people show up you push the sound a little higher as they leave turn it down saves equiptment keeps happy neighbors and the people never know the difference. simple management.[/quot

Any DJ worth his salt would have ear phones on checking each channel.. Along with and outside person to check if it was cracking up.. Most of these guy are lose nuts that couldn't carry a tune over a hill in a basket..
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Postby gunsmith » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:19 am

great thread, yikes! I am older. I go to bed at 8pm at the burn and get up at 4 am and wander around, I check out the rave camps but I aint much of a dancer, to be honest I only heard a few songs that I liked ... some camp near 530 esplanade or RR had something like Hot Tuna playing but I never made it back.

Wait... I saw a real good gig at center cafe! yeah, some cajun band with a girl squeeze box player/singer ... they were great
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Postby zorro sings » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:41 am

mars wrote: I need me my good o'l rock 'n roll--some trippy psychedelia--MUSIC WITH WORDS, CHORUS and a BEAT!

It seems there are a LOT of people in my age range, and I imagine a lot of other lost dancers out there...how is it that this void hasn't been filled yet? Has anyone tried?

!


I know Mars has been to Club Verboten before and knows we often play music with lyrics etc. We do try to offer an alternative but are too small to fill the entire void he speaks of.
Ironically I was attracted to Burning Man through techno music.In the 90's it was pretty hard to hear it anywhere locally and The Project had a reputation for playing alot of it.After first year as tourist I figured I could set up a camp to play what I thought was "good"techno as was for the most part disapointed in what I heard.
Club Verboten was thus born as an electronica venue.We even had an event in 2001,10 days before 9/11,called "Techno Jihad".(escape to paradise without the car bomb I think the description read).Quickly found out our 300 watt speakers and cheap tent did not compare to neighboring Iluuminati.We paid some heavy dues that year.
The next year we came out with Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk nights In 2004 we added UK Glam Rock which much to my surprise was a hit.We have added more rock every year and have generally thrived as a viable alternative to what is still the overwhelming preponderance of electronica.
From my perspective I do not think much has changed or evolved.Techno music is"now"and has been for some time.If you do not like techno music then you are at an audio disadvantage when visiting BRC.If you can seek out and get to,even if it is across the playa,venues playing other things they are,as they always have been,available.
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Postby EmilyD » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:44 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:The thing I really like about Burning Man is the creativity that one often encounters. If all that I am enountering is the same as what I would find in a typical night in the SOMA, I naturally wonder what I'm doing way out in Nevada. I think that may be why many of us are dismayed by traditional club/rave music.


Yes the creativity! It's the sameness of the sound that got to me more than anything else. The mobile sound was the least creative, I'm sorry to say. I'd really like to hear something different from mutant vehicles, even something that goes with the them of their visual piece.
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Postby mars » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:11 pm

Yes...this is the first year I didn't go to Club Verboten...I don't even know why, but, I will definitely be there next year.

May I propose a Pink Floyd night at Club V?!

I saw House of Floyd last night, a Pink Floyd cover band and they were MAGNIFICENT!!!! OMG! I kept thinking, this would be sooo awesome on the playa...not just their more popular songs, but the really crazy more obscure stuff, plus the stuff everyone knows and can sing along to.

Add a few laser lights, and maybe some Wizard of Oz film footage and we're all set for a fantastic evening of music.

p.s. i'm a girlie girl--not that it matters, though.
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Postby Tin Halo » Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:44 pm

While doing research on another project, I came upon this little tidbit from Wikipedia... and immediately thought of this thread.

"Noise-induced neurologic disturbances in humans exposed to continuous low frequency tones for durations longer than 15 minutes has involved in some cases the development of immediate and long term problems affecting brain tissue. The symptoms resembled those of individuals who had suffered minor head injuries."

:lol: :lol: I say! :lol: :lol:
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Postby EmilyD » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:06 pm

Tin Halo wrote:While doing research on another project, I came upon this little tidbit from Wikipedia... and immediately thought of this thread.

"Noise-induced neurologic disturbances in humans exposed to continuous low frequency tones for durations longer than 15 minutes has involved in some cases the development of immediate and long term problems affecting brain tissue. The symptoms resembled those of individuals who had suffered minor head injuries."

Thanks for that I'll take it to heart. I had brain surgery 5 years ago and if something makes my head go "Ick" I try to stay away from it.

:lol: :lol: I say! :lol: :lol:
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Postby gunsmith » Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:41 pm

[quote="Tin Halo"]While doing research on another project, I came upon this little tidbit from Wikipedia... and immediately thought of this thread.

[i]"Noise-induced neurologic disturbances in humans exposed to continuous low frequency tones for durations longer than 15 minutes has involved in some cases the development of immediate and long term problems affecting brain tissue. The symptoms resembled those of individuals who had suffered minor head injuries."[/i]

:lol: :lol: I say! :lol: :lol:[/quote]

why are you stalking me?
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Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:33 am

Mars:

Sorry you're not really getting the history lesson you're looking for. I can't really help you with that. As a music fan I would be interested in it as well.

I was first introduced to BRC music when I first arrived at my first burn in 2005. Prior to that I only dabbled in electronica - like thievery corporation, massive attack, Kruder & Dorfmeister, and of course psycedelic rock.

Being a musician myself, at that time I was really into jam bands and we were experimenting with alot of psychedelic rock in our band - lots of effects and analog synthesizers, but still creating the music live.

Since then, with a new interest in electronica, I have become familiar with downtempo, trip hop, acid house, ambient, dubtronica, jamtronica.... The latter of which I think is kinda fitting what you are asking for on the playa.

Jamtronica is a sub genre of electronica where the music is played in a live setting, with real drums, guitars, bass, synthesizers and of course, many effects! There's a great show on Sirius satellite Saturday night featuring these bands, like Soundtribe Sector 9(santa cruz locals) Lotus, Shpongle, the Egg, Particle (played live at Bman?), Disco Biscuits, Zilla, etc.

I have a playlist of such on my ipod that I play aboard my rickshaw, and people seem to dig it and the techo crowd is always asking "who's that?, I like it.)

You can play any kind of music on the playa, we're kinda diverse. But sorta what would work in a large sound camp setting has got to be a genre-bridging style, which I think jamtronica provides.

I have thought about building a live set for Burning Man - but the logistics keep it from happening:

1) getting bandmates who aren't burners to pony up 300 bucks to show up.
2) finding/building a venue
3) power
4) bringing your expensive instruments/equipment to the desert to be potentially destroyed
5) performing under difficult conditions

My guitar player finally came this year - and he's excited about developing something playa appropriate and maybe doing some impromptu performances next year - PA, Lights, genny on the open playa some night and just do it.

I'll say though, it would be awesome if someone started a camp and then sought audition tapes for timeslots thru the week. I'm sure it would be exhausting but.....
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:14 am

Colonel
So, I guess there's not really a hope of some sort of "jam sessions." I guess it would work for jazz where there's that sort of tradition, and maybe folk, where there are standards that most people would know. It does sort of annoy me (even though I don't usually do live music) that that sort of creativity doesn't seem to happen there.

On the other hand, now that I think of it, is getting a band to shell out for tickets and whatever else really all that different from a theme camp or mv?
(Not meaning to dig into what you're saying--just thinking out loud.)
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Postby gaminwench » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:39 am

Colonel...
if you put a band together, there are camps that will provide a stage, soundsystem and (maybe) backline... it's better, sooner- that way you can get timeslots you want to play...
Keyboards are the instruments that really suffer on the playa; there are ways to prepare/keep them so they don't get too much playafication...
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Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:12 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Colonel
So, I guess there's not really a hope of some sort of "jam sessions." I guess it would work for jazz where there's that sort of tradition, and maybe folk, where there are standards that most people would know. It does sort of annoy me (even though I don't usually do live music) that that sort of creativity doesn't seem to happen there.

On the other hand, now that I think of it, is getting a band to shell out for tickets and whatever else really all that different from a theme camp or mv?
(Not meaning to dig into what you're saying--just thinking out loud.)


Jam Sessions? Sure! I'm really just a hack with a knack for a groove. I (we) improvise all the time, especially with my old band, and that's how we write music. I don't mind doing that in front of people, but it doesn't always come to quick fruition. In terms of Jazz, most everyone is a shit hot musician and they talk about where they're going before they start.

We don't do electronica per se, so when I talk about something playa appropriate I'm just thinking of what I like to hear when I'm out there vs. what we normally do.

I've never been a really active recruiter to bring people to Burning Man. I figure I know if someone's going to like it, but some of those people have preconceived notions like "it's just a rave, I didn't know you were a raver" type of bullshit. So I bring it up from time to time, but when pressed what it's about I say "come up and find out what it's about for YOU". What I like about means little to anyone but me. That's one of the things I love about it. So no, it's no different from a theme camp, except the people I want to play music with aren't all burners! Not yet anyway.....
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Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:21 pm

gaminwench wrote:Colonel...
if you put a band together, there are camps that will provide a stage, soundsystem and (maybe) backline... it's better, sooner- that way you can get timeslots you want to play...
Keyboards are the instruments that really suffer on the playa; there are ways to prepare/keep them so they don't get too much playafication...


That's what I'm talking about!

If some camps existed with a setup and it was known that you could come and setup and do a show, I think more people would.

I actually did bring some equipment this year, but also spent the 4 weeks prior and week of burning man finishing my mini-Mutant project, so there wasn't really the time or stoke to do it this year.

Bman would be the perfect outlet for music I enjoy creating for myself versus what I do in my current band. Not that I don't enjoy it, but it's not typically 100% creative / collaborative freedom.

I think for next year that will be my artistic focus for the year - as I mentioned maybe bring some scab gear and setup on playa somewhere.

I love the idea of a soundcamp but that's not an endeavor that I could chair. Be a part of yes, start from scratch NO.
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Postby Colonel Monk » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:28 pm

BTW - there were two guys from Sydney Australia that I helped move their gear from their camp to 3:00 keyhole.......

They came all the way from australia with some gear, had a battery/inverter to run PA/AMP, and set up Thursday night - and they played some of the best live electronica I've seen.

That's what I'm talking about. And I did try to set up a jam with them on the open playa; offered to haul their shit out there and bring more power. But shit friday/sat night I'm sure they were doing what everyone else was doing - having fun.

I liked their spirit, and was kind of embarrassed - I mean, they brought a bunch of that shit from Australia, and pulled it off their first time to burning man. All we had to do was bring some of our equipment and we could have done it too.

Whoever you were you rocked.
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Rock On The Playa

Postby Mister Jellyfish Mister » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:57 pm

I've come full circle with electronica. I still love some of it but see now that it's got to have something special the way Kraftwerk did originally for me to hang on to it.

Zorro Sings and Club Verboten are right-on about starting small, keeping it intimate, and just playing good music. I'd love to see more venues like his on the playa that isolate you a bit with a "room" and atmosphere that is so magical to enter, enjoy, and take with you when you are ready to mix yourself back into the big soup that is Black Rock City.

As the artist responsible for the Ein Hammer art installation, I had a great venue at my disposal to get some good rock music out on a somewhat large sound system. It was an honorarium art installation with an interactive audio component so I did not have to deal with the wattage limits or edge of playa placement that most dedicated sound camps have to abide.

Most of the "payday" sequences where the hammer's flame effects climaxed were accompanied with rock music which just felt appropriate. I also put together two hour playlist sets for themed sunrises, not all of which made it into the What Where When guide. For example, when I showed up at 6:00 AM and Bruce Hornsby's Madelin Rain was playing at "Joy Pop Sunrise", those tears of joy flooded my eyes before I could even park my bike. I figured after a night of dancing to techno, it just might grab the soul the way a good playa sunrise does, and the handful of people there totally got it-- what a great memory!

One thing is for sure, whatever I end up doing for playa art next year will be small, yet it will have a musical/audio component as THAT is the part I love working on the most.
Art cred: Georgie Boy 2011: www.mutantvehicle.com/georgie_boy.htm ; Ein Hammer 2010; Fluffer 2009; Zsu Zsu 2008; U-Me 2007; Mantis 2006; MiniMan and Pikes Of Paranoia 2005; Time Machine Mutant Vehicle 2004. www.MutantVehicle.com
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Postby bud buddah » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:10 pm

I agree with Mars. I'd love to hear more recorded rock on the playa. Along with electronic music. And Mars, there was a camp playing Dark Side of the Moon while showing the Wizard of Oz this year, over somewhere on the esplanade near HookahDome.
In order to create an art piece out of this, we need a wiki where we can put together the song list. Argue over it, discuss themes and movements, and then put together song lists for each night and just play it. No DJ. Community music chosen by a community. Sunday night, blues. Monday, early american rock. Tuesday, early british invasion. Wednesday psychedelics (all Dead?), Thursday, 80's pop punk ( clash, nick lowe, devo, elvis costello, talking heads?) etc. etc. Fuck DJs. Just put it all together and play it. We'll put a mannequin with headphones up on a big stage to make an artistic statement :-)
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Postby Mister Jellyfish Mister » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:16 pm

I like your idea, Bud. Another thing that got our rock on this year:

One afternoon in front of our camp, Robotronia, we were playing some Zappa on our small PA for the neighbors at Cereal Thrillers who like it. They came out and started playing air guitar. Next thing you know, we were pumping out Rush with a full air guitar band that came together spontaneously. We had air groupies, and I was using the air foot pedals to "sweeten" my sound. I got a couple laughs signaling to the air sound man to turn up my air monitor. Next year we want to have an air t-shirt concession, air Yoko-- the works!
Art cred: Georgie Boy 2011: www.mutantvehicle.com/georgie_boy.htm ; Ein Hammer 2010; Fluffer 2009; Zsu Zsu 2008; U-Me 2007; Mantis 2006; MiniMan and Pikes Of Paranoia 2005; Time Machine Mutant Vehicle 2004. www.MutantVehicle.com
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