Musical Pitch is Not “High” or “Low”:

In much of the Western world pitches are conceived of as existing in a metaphorical 2-dimensional space along a vertical axis where “high frequency” pitches lie higher and “low frequency” pitches are lower. but this isn’t a universal phenomenon. In some cultures, and even for some children in the Western world, this orientation is reversed. 

In many parts of the world, pitches exist in other metaphorical spaces (e.g. thick/thin; big/small); metaphorical spaces related to mass (e.g. heavy/light); metaphorical kinship relations (e.g. grandmother/daughter), age metaphors (e.g. old voices/young voices); or very culturally specific senses (e.g. crocodile/those who follow crocodile).

Here is a non-exhaustive list of pitch metaphors across cultures. (Google Doc)

Thoughts on growing out of pop punk music from the early 2000s.

I Hope You’ve Had The Time of Your Life

I’ve always felt like Green Day has been trying to re-capture the magic of American Idiot for almost 20 years now.

Their newest single The American Dream Is Killing Me doesn’t do much to convince me otherwise.

The most egregious attempt at trying to make the American Idiot lightning strike twice was 21st Century Breakdown.  And to be clear, this isn’t a slight against the album at all.  In many ways it’s actually a much better album that American Idiot.

But you can’t cross the same river twice.  There will never be another American Idiot.  Not just for Green Day, but for anyone.  The influence a piece of art has, and the impact it makes, has as much to do with the work itself as it does with the time it was released.

(Not) Feeling This

Though out of all the pop-punk bands in the world, the band that I think I may be most disappointed with is Blink-182.

Mark and Tom are still mediocre at their instruments.  And I know how elitist and judgemental it sounds, but if you’ve been playing for over thirty years you’d think you’d want to try something besides power chords and root note bass lines.  It just blows my mind that people can spend that much time doing something and never be curious enough to try anything new.

Though the most disappointing thing is that they actually ventured out and wrote new and more challenging music when blink was broken up.  Whether or not you enjoyed Angels and Airwaves, at least Tom was doing something different.  Boxcar racer, while still very clearly a blink-esque band, at least went places blink wasn’t going to go. (If it’s not already obvious, I didn’t think much of blink-lite +44).

Also maybe at a certain point the jerk off humour gets a little stale?

La Mondanoj was one of the early Esperanto rock groups, active between 1983 and 1987 and based in Berlin. They had a strong reputation as a live act at Esperanto events and in the local Berlin scene, but produced relatively little in the way of recorded output: their officially published work consists solely of the studio recording of one song, Muskola Belulino, which appeared on Vinilkosmo’s 1994 Kompil’ Vol. 1. The band also produced a number of demo tapes, which were distributed in small quantities, and there was at least one bootleg live recording of the group. The difficulty in obtaining copies of their music has given the band something of a mythical status, and much of the information available about them to date has been incomplete and/or inaccurate. Thanks to significant contributions from the band members, I hope to be able to clarify their history in this post.


The music business used to be characterised by artists disappearing into the studio for months on end and emerging with an album for expectant fans to get their hands on at some time in the future…Streaming and social media combined to turn that model on its head, heralding the era of the always-on artist. Now, artists fear the consequences of not putting out a single every month.

Only material that provokes an emotional reaction will be shared, and a lot of AI generations are devoid of personality. Technical skill isn’t what makes fans join someone’s Patreon or buy their work, or at least not all of it — it’s the person behind it. Once the gimmick of generative AI wears off, the material will have to be good enough to organically earn attention. Creators can’t compete with AI on volume, but they beat it on humanity.

I think I kind of came to a similar conclusion (but regarding AI music). No matter how good AI art is or might become, no one will ever really identify with it or appreciate it in the same way they do with art that was made by a human.

People’s taste in music is largely governed by their identity and culture. A large part of a listener’s attraction to a musician isn’t just the music they make, but how the listener absorbs and incorporates the artist as part of their identity and cultural beliefs. I don’t see people resonating with AI musicians in the same way. No one is going to have a favourite AI musician in the same way they have a favourite performer.


Long time readers know I’m a big fan of Jacob Collier. My opinion, and my bet, is that he’ll go down in history as more than a generational talent. He’s breaking rules and creating music that no one has imagined or dreamed of before, and even the best musicians are stumped by how his creations […]

Weirdly, I’ve always had the exact opposite take on the incomprehensibly talented Jacob Collier.

His original music really doesn’t do anything for me, but I think his covers are phenomenal.  (I think the only Jacob Collier song I enjoy is Hideaway.)

For me he is the ultimate proof that being a good composer is completely separate from being a good performer.  And that having an incredibly deep knowledge of music’s inner workings does not guarantee that you’ll apply this knowledge in an engaging way.

Philadelphia Orchestra’s musicians will play – not strike – their tour this week despite little contract progress:

They also took a jab at POKC CEO Matias Tarnopolsky, claiming his pay went up by 111% from 2019 to 2022, at the same time they said the musicians took $4.6 million in pay cuts to help the ensemble.

SF Symphony Musicians Carry On Without a Contract | San Francisco Classical Voice:

In every labor dispute, there are conflicting claims, but in the case of the San Francisco Symphony’s current contract negotiations, there is one indisputable fact: The orchestra’s musicians are about to reach their 300th day of working without a contract.

I think we’re approaching an era where artists can’t offload administrative work to others.  If you’re an artist of any kind, you need to be self-managed or have some sort of ownership or controlling stake in any organization you are a part of.