Today we’re releasing an INTERACTIVE back to the future (I mean, is this old or is this new, technology?) “MIDI SINGLE”.
The idea being, if you have the vocals and a midi file - the song can be an endless stream of variations on itself - “grow”, if you will. I’ve already made 5 to 10 versions of this “Midi Version” of our song already…
Here’s all the info:
This is the “MIDI VERSION” of the song “No” from the album “PEOPLE” by Skeletons.
This was made (mistakes and all!) by playing midi drums, a keyboard, and a midi guitar live, then using “SOFT-SYNTH” presets to create a “version”. We then edited the original vocals from the “PEOPLE” album to fit this new “version”.
We used the presets: “Hip Hop Heavy Kit”, “Square Pad”, “Subsonic Bass”, “Wurlitzer 200A”, “God Bless”, and “High Strings” from Logic Pro - for this particular “version”.
Download the “NO (Midi Version)” album and get the midi file and vocal track - and make your own “version”! Have the drum part played by an OBOE or the keyboard part played by “Nature Sounds”. Use the “Vocal Transformer” to make Matt’s vocals into a woman’s voice. Or scrap the vocal tracks and record your own. Or screw the whole thing up and make a new piece of avant-garde “MIDI MUSIC”. Or scrap the midi and make a new backing track. It’s in YOUR hands.
Import or drag the midi file and vocal track together into a session - it should be compatible with all midi/audio capable software programs (Logic, Garageband, Pro-Tools, Ableton, etc!). The midi file will split into 6 different midi tracks as follows:
2. Keyboard part
4. Keyboard part (doubled - GET LAYERED!)
5. Midi Guitar part
6. Midi Guitar part (doubled)
Rather than make it easy on you - we recorded the midi without a click (who wants to be stuck to a grid!)! SO the bpm should be set to 120 (typically the default) for the midi and audio to sync properly.The song itself is in 13/8, and is not at 120bpm. Herein lies a challenge…
Have fun and share your “versions” with us! Email - skeletons @ shinkoyo.com and send us a link! We’ll post them here and re-post and re-post and re-post!
ALSO, I will be heading out for a few select Midwestern dates, performing the songs of Skeletons new and old in a solo setting - with my great friends BABY & HIDE from Chicago. Dates are below.
11.22.11 - CHICAGO, ILat The Gallery Formerly Known as Happy Dog w/ Baby & Hide, Michael Collins (x-Prince Rama), Toothache
There is little music right at the moment that I think is as good as Bernard Herrmann’s score to Taxi Driver. Two sections in particular: the “Main Title” and “Getting Into Shape” themes.
OH MAN and that sax line. WTF.
He’s TOTALLY dramatic and sorta “neo-romantic”, which are things you’d want in a film - but sometimes he’s WAY TOO INTENSE compared to most “film composers”, and MAYBE too musical even? Kind of like when Mr. P. Glass scores a movie and e’rybody’s all like WHOA slow down bro. It’s almost like some of his music should be for ballet - i.e. half the point of the performance… But nah, it might just be our vibe about BACKGROUND MUSIC. We put music “in the background” of images and say that the music “supports the image”. Do I like the Taxi Driver music so much because I like the movie so much? What does this music sound like without a visual context? I’ll never know. Do we ruin music by doing the laundry or dishes at the same time? Reading THE INTERNET and paying it no attention? Or do we thrive on that vibe - we give the dishes and the internet a soundtrack that suits our mind vibe at any given moment. I kind of know the latter is true for most people… I get most music listening done when I happen to be in a car.
Check out this vibe from De Palma’s “Obsession”:
That’s that intense thing I’m talking about. I’ve never seen Obsession but it looks amazing. This music is about to explode through these images (which are no less intense!) but I can imagine a truly boring piece of music sort of accomplishing the same goal… This idea depresses me.
"Sisters" I’ve seen before. It’s wild. The music is wilder. Can you imagine if this was the theme for like, "Seinfeld"? What kind of insane darkness would you read into the comedy of that show if it did? Let’s remove the laugh track too! ART.
The other Hermann (one R), Hermann Nitsch… You ever heard his music? Incredible. Likewise though, it’s hard to separate his music from his visuals. In a way I think he’s more known for his paintings and performance “orgies”. Do a INTERWEB search if you wanna… I wish I could separate it sometimes actually, in his case. It’s hard to always want to soundtrack the banal rituals of the everyday with some music that has a context of paint and blood and wine being poured over people and canvases and animal carcasses being pulled apart…
SO, if the search musically (or lyrically even) is for intensity - how do you find it and make it “suitable” or “socially acceptable” even, if you’re (in the end) soundtracking the washing of the dishes? Or a “night out on the town”?
I saw Swans a few weeks ago and it was really the best concert I’ve seen in years. They turned the air conditioning off so the venue was like a gross human sauna. Loudest show I’ve been to (where it sounded GOOD) in a very long time. They gave no easy ways in, every song was extended and each with an intro that took the time it needed. The whole show was a feat of strength without resorting to faux “feats of strength” style entertainment. I have to admit I feel like I think too much to pull a set like that off. They played for 2 hours, pouring sweat.
This was my favorite track of the night. 25 minutes. How do they pull it off? Is it because they have the right look for their particular music? You believe the image, and it gives you the right context? Are their lyrics dark enough that they suit the music (or vice versa)?
Remember when you heard music first, then found out what the band looked like later? Now it feels like the opposite. Is it just impossible to put together something that is stylistically in conflict?
Another mind vomit daydream. With love and apathy,
I’ve fallen way behind on you. I want to do things outside and touch things that aren’t a computer keyboard and flail my body around and speak to people and hear the words while reading their facial expressions. I’m sorry.
I have news though, that we are going on a short tour in a few European countries:
11.10.2011 Utrecht (NL), Ekko - TICKETS 12.10.2011 Rotterdam (NL), Worm 13.10.2011 Paris (FR), Petit Bain - TICKETS 14.10.2011 Düdingen (CH), Bad Bonn - TICKETS 15.10.2011 St. Gallen (CH), Palace - TICKETS 16.10.2011 Berlin (DE), HAU 2 (w/ Lucky Dragons) - TICKETS 18.10.2011 Gent (BE), Vooruit Kaffee
There’s also recently been a post/recording of a recent live show of ours on the NYC Taper site:
YOU KNOW WHAT? We want to come play in your American town. Can you help us do that? Do you go to college and work on the concert board? Do you work at a local venue or DIY space or Art event location? Are your parents on vacation and they left you enough food money to put on a rock show in your living room?
I know that’s it’s annoying that we haven’t toured in the United States of America since our album “PEOPLE” came out. I hate excuses, and really, if my heart swelled with ambition still we would’ve already played music in front of you maybe in Baltimore, Knoxville, St. Louis, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit, etc. BUT, you know, my trusty van “Van” passed away last January and now I am no longer contributing to the congested streets of New York City nor the sad city air quality. I work full time when I’m not on tour and want to spend my free time away from the computer. I use my vacation time to go on tours, which are not vacations. I like spending time with my girlfriend. I should’ve used the time it took to write this blog post to book a tour! Actually, I should be working. WHO CARES. I will book the ol’ DIY tour. We will sleep on dirty wood and concrete kitchen and basement floors. We will eat McDonalds for every meal. We won’t even put up a physical fight if you don’t pay us the $75 you promised. We’ve been doing it for 8 (or 9?) years now no big deal. I want your help. Email me: skeletons @ shinkoyo.com
Interview with me and Vincent Kenis (Congotronics producer) on Brussels TV, previewing the first Congotronics Vs Rockers show on Brussels TV.
I suppose I haven’t officially mentioned this band/tour/recording project that I’m shocked and humbled and amazingly lucky to be a part of. In early Spring we started sending tracks between myself, Deerhoof, Juana Molina, Wildbirds & Peacedrums, and Konono No. 1 and Kasai All Stars in Kinshasa - then in May we met in Brussels for a week of rehearsals and our first concert.
This past week we’ve spent rehearsing again and writing a few more new songs before today, which is the start of our tour. We’ll be heading all over Europe and then playing Fuji Rock in Japan! Going to many places - both geographically and musically - that I’m super psyched and inspired by. This whole process has been intense and awesome… More on that later…
What do you think? Is all the internet too WEB 2.0 these days? Do we have too many websites? Does this need more “BACKGROUND INFORMATION”? Should I put up our “BIO” and “CV”? Do you want to read a list of “PREVIOUS SHOWS”? Where do you get your information on upcoming concerts that you want to see? Should these be featured more prominently? Should we write great fictional backstories and in depth interviews about “THE MAKING OF”? Should we post more often on our blog and facebook? Should I join TWITTER? Should we post less about SKELETONS and more about “stuff” we “LIKE”?