Tag Archives: myspace

Interview: Shoot The Image

Although Shoot the Image is a band of the new millennia, their story began the old-fashioned way–on a drunken night out with friends.

After being floored by their future lead singer’s voice at an after party, the friends put together some initial demos in Pro Tools. Through MySpace, they connected to their future producer Boz Boorer (Boorer is most known for his work founding the new wave rockabilly group The Polecats, and later for his work as a co-writer and guitarist with Morrissey).

The MySpace connection eventually led to the recording of their debut album with Boz, deep in the mountains of Portugal.

Below, the band discusses recording off the grid, finding inspiration in lost places, and their unexpected dream collaborator!

1. Wow, how cool that Morrissey guitarist Boz Boorer produced your debut. How did you initially link up? What was it like working with him?

Believe it or not, we initially got in touch with Boz Boorer through MySpace by sending him band and film recommendations.  This began a dialogue that carried on over the course of a year.  We booked a show at the 12 Bar Club in London England and invited him to come.  To our surprise he actually showed up.  We ended up hitting it off and he invited us to record at Serra Vista Studios in Portugal.

Working with Boz was amazing.  He really understood how to bring out the best in our band and the songs.  Serra Vista Studios is located deep in the mountains of Portugal, no cell phone or internet service meant no outside distractions and full attention paid to recording.

The work days were long but laid back and fun.  We had a ton of laughs, ate great food, drank great wine and made an album.  Boz and his wife Lyn were fantastic hosts.  What more could you ask for?

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What Facebook taught me about learning to say NO

I could be a better decision maker. There, I’ve said it. Not that I’m totally indecisive or stubborn, but sometimes I just have a hard time prioritizing. I’m the type who used to say yes to almost anything – I blame the Second City improv training that taught us the concept of “yes…and”.
If you asked me to see a band play, I’d say yes even if I secretly thought the band was crap. If you asked me to meet you for an after work drink, I’d say yes then later realize it’s logistically impossible to do so. Triple booking on a Thursday night left it impossible to attend all events in question.
I had earned a bit of a reputation of what my mom likes to call a “flibbergibbit”. Maybe it’s a fear of commitment – I’m not sure, but I’ve gotten much better.
Facebook makes me face these issues head-on to a degree. Are you actually attending this event? Are you friends with this person? Simply put: Yes, or NO?
And of course there’s a loophole for events: the option of saying …”maybe”. What do all of those maybes mean anyway? Do we really mean “I’ll think about it and actually consider attending your event?” or are we just being polite?
My friend Jeff sees it all on my FB feed. “Are you really going to all of these events?” He asks. I told him the truth – mostly, I will. Mostly.
Friend requests are easier. Either I know you, or I don’t. Velvet rope. Easy.  Done. Decision made.
At first it was hard to kibosh friend requests – aw this person wants to be my FRIEND! How sweet. I learned fast as the friendship almost immediately turns irritating when my news feed becomes cluttered with random musings from a total stranger.
Groups are an easy one because most of the time you’ll never hear from them again. Pages are trickier because they’ll also show up in your feed and do I really want everyone to know that I’m secretly a fan of Weinerschnitzel?  (speaking hypothetically here. The truism for me would be more like, hypo-allergenic vegan non-soy based vegetable protein).
MySpace was a mad race to connect to everything and everyone. With that lesson learned, FB has taught us to be more selective. This forces us to make decisions about who and what we want to include in our (online) life – or more importantly, let everyone know we care about.I’m the type who used to say yes to almost anything – I blame the Second City improv training that taught us the concept of “yes…and”.

I used to be the type who was agreeable to attending almost anything – I blame the Second City improv training that brought us the concept of “yes…and.”

If you asked me to see a band play, I’d say yes even if I secretly thought the band was crap. If you asked me to meet you for an after work drink, I’d say yes then later realize it’s logistically impossible to do so.

Triple booking on a Thursday night left it impossible to attend all events in question.

I had earned a bit of a reputation of what my mom likes to call a “flibbergibbit”. Maybe it’s a fear of commitment – I’m not sure, but I’ve gotten much better.

Facebook makes me face these issues head-on to a degree. Are you actually attending this event? Are you friends with this person?

Simply put: Yes, or NO?

And of course there’s a loophole for events: the option of saying …”maybe”. What do all of those maybes mean anyway?

Do we really mean “I’ll think about it and actually consider attending your event?” or are we just being polite?

My friend Jeff sees it all on my FB feed. “Are you really going to all of these events?” He asks. I told him the truth – mostly, I will.

Mostly.

Friend requests are easier. Either I know you, or I don’t.

Velvet rope. Easy. Decision made.

At first it was hard to kibosh friend requests – aw, this person wants to be my FRIEND! How sweet.

I learned fast when the new friendship almost immediately turns sour, when my news feed quickly becomes cluttered with random musings from a total stranger.

Groups are an easy one to moderate because once you join, you can control how often you’d like to hear from the group.

Pages are trickier because they’ll also show up in your feed and do I really want everyone to know that I’m secretly a fan of Wienerschnitzel?  (speaking hypothetically here. The truism for me would be more like, hypo-allergenic vegan non-soy based vegetable protein).

MySpace was a mad race to connect to everything and everyone. With that lesson learned, FB has taught us to be more selective. This forces us to make decisions about who and what we want to include in our (online) life – and how that can apply to decisions we make every day.

Part 2: Finding Love in the Social Cloud

intimacy-online-relationships

My girlfriend Leila is seeing two guys. The first has zero presence online. No profile on a company website, no Facebook page, no Flickr feed of his latest holiday or comments he’s left on blogs dissecting political stance. He’s a young attorney and “doesn’t have the time”.  In fact, according to Leila he’s even elusive on e-mail. She can’t find any information on him at all (c’mon, you know you Google your prospective dates too!).
They primarily communicate by speaking over the phone a couple of times a week (yes he does have a RAZR) and they see each other once, sometimes twice weekly.
The second guy she’s dating is totally plugged in. He’s on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Vimeo, Digg, you name it.
They communicate several times a day via iChat, SMS/MMS text, and e-mail. Thanks to Twitter she always knows what he’s up to. Is he seeing anyone else? Who needs a magic 8 ball – ask Twitter!
Interestingly enough, although she communicates much less with guy #1 she feels closer to him.
While communication with guy #2 is consistently frequent it feels superficial to her because she doesn’t have his undivided attention. Oh, and it doesn’t help that she rarely sees him in person.
Guy #1, while she sees him on a regular basis, has more to talk about IRL (in real life). She also has no pre-conceived thoughts about him that she’s garnered from digging up dirt online; no assumptions as to who he may be as a person. She’s gotta find this all out on her own.
If we communicate more frequently with someone thru different mediums does it necessarily promote a healthy relationship?  it doesn’t appear that we’re getting to know a person on a truly deeper level, maybe even at all. With so many of life’s distractions online and in real life, is communicating with anyone on a meaningful level even possible? Have we become all “action” and no “talk”?
A relationship of any kind is meant to be rewarding. Each party wants validation from the other. In a narcissistic world where most online profiles are carefully self-groomed for vanity, the concept of nurturing any kind of relationship becomes a hall of mirrors where each friend appears just like the next.
Maybe the relationships of the future will revert to old-school techniques and mannerisms – like sitting down in person and having a conversation. Even then the smoke and mirrors ambiance of a dimly lit restaurant, music, and people-watching exist. Perhaps just having the opportunity alone to get to know someone – who they really are, not just online and via mass-emails – is what creates meaningful relationships in the 21st century.

My friend Leila is seeing two guys. I say, good for her! It’s interesting because she communicates with each of them in two totally different ways.

The first has absolutely zero presence online. No profile on a company website, no Facebook page, no Flickr feed of his latest holiday or comments left on blogs for her to dissect. He’s a young attorney and “doesn’t have the time”.  In fact, according to Leila he’s even elusive on e-mail. Basically she can’t find any dish on him at all (c’mon, you know you Google your dates too!).

They primarily communicate by speaking over the phone a couple of times a week (yes he does have a RAZR) and they see each other a couple of times weekly.

The second guy she’s dating is totally plugged in. He’s on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Vimeo, Digg, you name it.

They communicate several times a day via iChat, SMS/MMS text, and e-mail. They’re “friends” on Facebook. And, thanks to Twitter she always knows what he’s up to. Is he seeing anyone else? Who needs a magic 8 ball – ask Twitter!

Interestingly enough, although she communicates much less with guy #1 she feels closer to him.

While communication with guy #2 is consistently frequent it feels superficial because she doesn’t have his undivided attention. Oh, and it doesn’t help that she rarely sees him in person.

Guy #1, while she sees him on a regular basis, has more to talk about with IRL (In Real Life…hah). She also has no pre-conceived thoughts about him that she’s garnered herself from digging up dirt online; no assumptions as to who he may be as a person. She’s gotta find this all out on her own.

If we communicate more frequently with someone thru different mediums does it necessarily promote a healthy relationship?  it doesn’t appear that we’re getting to know a person on a truly deeper level, maybe even at all. With so many of life’s distractions online and in real life, is communicating with anyone on a meaningful level even possible? Have we become all “action” and no “talk”?

A relationship of any kind is meant to be rewarding. Each party wants validation from the other. In a narcissistic world where most online profiles are carefully self-groomed for vanity, the concept of nurturing any kind of relationship becomes a hall of mirrors where each friend appears just like the next.

Maybe the relationships of the future will revert to old-school techniques and mannerisms – like sitting down in person and having a conversation. Even then the smoke and mirrors ambiance of a dimly lit restaurant, music, and people-watching exist. Perhaps just having the opportunity alone to get to know someone – who they really are, not just online and via mass-emails – is what creates a meaningful relationship.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts by clicking on the comments field at the top of this post.

Part 1: What Does it All Mean, Anyway?

picture-3

On the homepage of a typical social network like MySpace or Facebook, I can see as-they-happen updates from a vetted group of friends, networks, groups and organizations. The answer to the open-ended question “What’s on Your Mind?” gives way to a cacophony of information equivalent to a bunch of people shouting into space. Twitter, perhaps the most extreme exercise in brevity, allows for detailed minutiae of one’s inner monologue in 140 characters or less.

A new form of communication has been born: a medium that allows top-of-mind banter to be shared with whoever has the will to read it. Lifestreaming. Thoughts, images, links and video of the very innate variety can be posted for the world to see. There’s no excuse for someone with access to an Internet connection to not have the opportunity to be heard.

Is this the new public forum – a place to openly hash the public sphere and allow for interpersonal discourse at the local and international level? Or is it passive and mundane chatter amongst so-called “friends”? Because these sites vary by locality – decentralized as Twitter, Tumblr, Friendfeed or Facebook – it’s hard to say. Each island has it’s own population and the inhabitants are speaking a dialect to everyone, yet no one at all.

Why are we so eager to participate in a phenomenon without a distinct cause or purpose driving the madness? Maybe in part because most of these services are free, but what’s the real motivation?

Not too far in the distant past, privacy on the web was a hot button issue. We were hesitant to use real names in email addresses, give clues to things like real age, location, race, and gender, let alone details of political views or religious beliefs.

Despite the fear of releasing personal identity, the willingness to openly communicate with others remained clear. Chat rooms, message boards, emails…all lit up immediately with a new way of reaching out to the rest of the world.

Today, the thought of strangers openly chatting in online chat rooms seems dull. Gone are the days of emailing total strangers or using handles to appear anonymous or intriguing. We now strictly communicate in methods we have absolute control over with those we know – or audiences we feel comfortable sharing with.

We allow constructed personalities and messages to become on display in a one-way feed by communicating specific bits of information to these enabled groups or communities. We’re keen to openly divulge personal information – because we’ve come to realize that we have total control over what is being revealed.

This evolved way of communicating creates a one-sided conundrum whereby we are ultimately talking to ourselves.

We’re sharing information as a way to connect with others to fulfill individual needs of the ego. The reflection of who we present online is a reflection of the ideal self. We are not creating outlets for self-expression or meaning, but rather building upon an artificial construct of self consisting of imagery, text, number of friends – a pastiched cultural relevance that the ideal me would find significant to present to others.

We are an amphitheatre full of egos all shouting for recognition and importance – if only from ourselves.

Later in the series, I’ll take a look at how this affects the concept of the public forum by taking into account issues at the local, national, and international level.

More:

Twouble with Twitter:

New Music: We Have Band

We Have Band

Ok-ok, so these guys really ARE from the UK (see previous post). The song Hear it in the Cans first grabbed me on a Daily Swarm  mixtape and the sixth Maison compilation from parisian label Kitsune. I found myself driving around listening to it over and over again. Oh yes, one of those. 

If you’re headed to Austin next month you can catch We Have Band playing a number of gigs at the SXSW Music Festival: the NME showcase, Urban Outfitters party, Levis/Fader party, and a session with Clash Magazine/WOXY. 

They’re also in this months’ Fader Magazine. Here’s a stripped down acoustic song they taped for the Fader site

We Have Band on MySpace

Website