Port St. Gaga – A Mash-Up in Three Parts – @weathervanemusic @ladygaga

Part 1 – Weathervane Music

My friend Brian McTear runs Weathervane Music, a not for profit organization based in Philadelphia who’s sole mission it is to make it easier for unique bands to record their music and get distribution.  Candidly, the artist the he gets are often times a little bit too eclectic for my taste, but I think that, on a whole, what Brian is building will not only benefit the music industry, it will radically change it. 

In short, he picks a band a month and produces a record for them and makes a beautiful, hi-def video chronicling the process.  His latest effort, is from a Portland band, Port St. Willow.

<p>Shaking Through: Port St Willow from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.</p>

Earlier this week, Brian sent out a note to Weathervane supporters that they should nerd out and included links to download the raw, individual tracks to the Port St. Willow track that he recorded. 

Part 2 – Mash-Ups

I have a total thing for mash-ups.  Yes, they are a bit cheesy.  They are a little fun and it is something that we can usually all agree to in the car.  A little bit of disco, a little bit of funk, a little bit of hip-hop.  How do you go wrong?

I’m also super in to, especially for gym time, groups like the Kleptones and Hood Internet and I’ve always wanted to spend a little bit of time to figure this out.  How can I create these using Garage Band?  I know that it isn’t as easy as ProTools, but hey, you’ve gotta use what you’ve got. 

Part 3 – Port St. Gaga

The hottest song in our house right now is Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’.  Yeah, I suppose it is the hottest song in the world right now, especially after the Grammy’s, but my daughter and wife dig it and it is great for dance partys around the house.  There is a pox on our house and everyone but me was pretty sick this weekend, so there was a lot of couch time, what better time to try out this fun new experiment. 

The first part, which I assume is the most challenging part if you don’t have ProTools is finding an acapella version of the song that you’re trying to record. Fortunately, with most popular songs, a little bit of the Google Machine and that issue was resolved in about four-minutes.  Brian did all the hard work by sending out a monster zip file that had all of the raw tracks in and I built the Port St. Gaga mash-up that you can hear here:

Port_St_Gaga.mp3For my first one, I’m pretty happy with the way that this turned out.  I got a little bit lucky in that the timing of the Port St. Willow music matched up fairly nicely.  I’d be hosed if that wasn’t accurate.  I don’t have very good timing in the first place, so I might be missing a lot too.

Brian told me that the most recent mash-up that he got garnered over 1,000 downloads from over 60-countries.  I really want to beat that.  If you like it, you can download it here. If you hate it, you should download it to and give a copy to all of your friends and tell them how bad it is. 

If you have tips or hints on how to improve my next one, please leave them in the comments. 


Weekend Reading / Viewing List

Enterprise 2.0 ROI Metrics: One Size Doesn’t Fit All | Collaboration 2.0 | ZDNet.com.Dan Bricklin – New Modes of InteractionAdina Levin – Social and Conceptual Models for Google WaveIvana Taylor – The Reluctant CEO’s Guide to Becoming More PopularAs many videos as possible from the Aspen Idea Festival – Does anyone know how I can get an invite to this next year?A bunch of internal white papers on implementing Enterprise 2.0 that will be published soon.New Geography – Who Killed California’s EconomyThe SkepBitch – Ghost Hunting Can Be a Real Pain in the Ass – I’ll probably have to read the accompanying post too because it just seems to crazy to be thought up by any sane person.Socialtext SocialCalc Webinar – I missed it yesterday.What are you reading this weekend?

Long Weekend Reading & Viewing List

Danah Boyd –“The Not-So-Hidden Politics of Class Online”.Dion Hincliffe – The Enterprise Implications of Google WaveBusiness Insider – Everybody but BP Passes on Iraqi Oil FieldsHello, My Name Is Scott – How to Become the Most Inspirational Person You KnowGoToMeeting 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferris WebinarMIT Technology Review – A Limb Regeneration Mystery SolvedMashable – How to Get Retweeted (Share something useful, I suspect)CIO Magazine – How to Determine the True Cost of Microsoft SharePoint

Neko Case’s “PEOPLE GOT A LOTTA NERVE” – Blog it for a Worthwhile Cause

People Got A Lotta Nerve – Neko Case
If you have a blog, embed this song. If you don’t, get one and embed this song or add it to your iLike profile.

Today, we are especially happy to bring you “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” the first single from Neko Case’s forthcoming album Middle Cyclone (out March 3), because for every blog that reposts the song and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko Case and ANTI- will make a cash donation to Best Friends Animal Society.

Chris Brogan’s 40 Ways to Deliver Better Content

Chris Brogan’s post, 40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content, kicked me in the ass the other day.  I’ve been working on a lot of projects lately and haven’t had a lot of time to focus on this, but I’m going to make the early new years commitment and try to write more.  Chris has some great suggestions in his list of 40, including these first 10:

  1. Brevity rules. Can you say it briefly?
  2. Start at the main point, then work the story up. (Make the main point in the first paragraph.)
  3. Use small words. You don’t have to impress people. You have to be clear.
  4. Analogies help people understand things better.
  5. So do stories.
  6. You don’t have to write complete sentences, even though your teacher taught you to do that. But treat it sparingly. Like this. Like a condiment.
  7. Keep paragraphs small, if possible. We balk at large blocks of text.
  8. Make your point from the reader’s side of the fence. Who is your audience?
  9. Depending on how you write, go back and see if you can cut out more. Reduce. Reduce. Reduce.
  10. Use the word you’re thinking about, not a fancier, or more polite word.

You have to read the rest of the list at Chris’ site.  I agree, that this is something that should be printed out and reviewed regularly.

Timely Persuasion – A Book Review

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about my experience with Lulu.com in trying to procure a copy of Timely Persuasion, a book about rock and roll and time travel, two great tastes that go great together.I finally got the book and banged through it in about 4 days.  It was great.  The reason for my delay is that Jacob LaCivita, the books author, was kind enough to mail me a signed copy of the book and let me send the copy from Lulu to my dad for his birthday.  I didn’t want to spoil anything in the book.I’m not a book reviewer and I’ve never been happy with my results, but here goes…Timely Persuasion is a story about an avid music fan, about my age based on the references to early 90’s indie rock, who inherits the ability to travel through time, which he uses to try to prevent his sisters murder.The story is really well written and the adventures that the nameless protagonist goes on when confronted with his past self are very fun.  In one scene, we find future and past main characters meeting up in college.  Similar to my personal college experiences, past main character was a bit out of it and wasn’t sure if it was real or a hallucination.  In another scene, the main character goes back to Seattle to try to unravel Kurt Cobain’s still mysterious death. Unlike Marty McFly’s DeLoreon, the main character in Timely Persuasion has the ability to blink himself back and forth kind of like Hiro Nakamura.Timely Persuasion is filled with amazing musical references.  The main character is an ex-writer for a musical magazine and regularly speaks in lyrics, at one point causing his father to say ‘Don’t blasphemy’ when he quotes Simon and Garfunkel.The book also deals with the ethics of time travel.  What can you get away with when you’re back in time?  Without spoiling too much, in one chapter, the main character, while back in time, helps “write” songs, borrowing liberally from future popular songs.  What happens to the future artists?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.As someone that loves social media, the thing that I especially loved about this book is the blog that the author kept.  The blog acts as a ‘Behind the Book’ for both the story and what was going on in the author’s life at the time he wrote the chapter.  Each post represents a different chapter and sometimes spoilers.  I was about ½ way through the book when I discovered it and would immediately hit the blog after every chapter.  Often times, I had to go back through the chapter to reread what I had apparently missed.The blog also lists the number of intentional musical references in each chapter.  As a music lover myself, this became a great game, keeping track of the references and seeing how I did.  I was horrible and it really goes to show LaCivita’s interest in music.Finally, the blog made the writer accessible.  If I send an email to a NYTimes Best Seller author, I’ll probably get a short ‘thanks for the note’ response.  Since I’ve received my copy of Timely Persuasion, I’ve had a handful of interactions with Jacob LaCivita via both the blog and email.  From a fan standpoint, it has been really great to be able to ask about certain aspects of the book and get an answer back.If you like rock and roll and time travel (and seriously, who wouldn’t go back in time to see Dylan play in his heyday?) check out Timely Persuasion.