Vin Du Select Qualitite

VDSQ

“I try to look at these records as collaborations between the label and the musicians. We have no interns, I pack every order, I answer every email, I try to take as much pride in the daily operations as I do the grand picture.” Exploring eclectic, trailblazing guitar soli in the 21st century (inspired by Johnny Smith, John Fahey, punk, and noise) with the Vin Du Select Qualitite label.

VDSQ Brings a Punk Aesthetic to Acoustic Music for Bandcamp

A Guide to Al Green Deep Cuts

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“Al Green made seriously sensuous music, but the fascinating, evergreen quality of it all is in how he embraces and wrestles with both the carnal and spiritual manifestations of love. The friction between the sacred and profane can be heard in nearly every note, alluring and manic in equal measure. Al Green is as suave and silken as he is shattered.”

A Guide to the Essential Al Green Deep Cuts for Bandcamp

Technical Writing Work

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Amazon Web Services: Blue Hexagon Cybersecurity Fights Fire With Fire Using Deep Learning

Amazon Web Services: BuzzFeed Keeps Scoops and National Security Secrets Secure with Amazon’s KMS

Amazon Web Services: Fiverr Relies on SageMaker to Streamline and Simplify Machine Learning Models

NBCUniversal needed to increase ad impressions. Four Kitchens helped them dramatically increase engagement—and drastically reduce maintenance and hosting costs in the process.

Humio’s Delete Events and the Act of Forgetting

Lix Makes Cramming for University Exams Easier

How to Use the EWS API to Authenticate Accounts Into Your App

Recent Writing Work

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Some recent work:

Mayo Thompson – In a rare move, the iconoclastic Houston artist took his only solo album on the road—fifty years after its release (Texas Monthly)

Inside the World’s First Mainstream Album Made With AI (New York Magazine)

Channel Tres is straight out of Compton and counts Elton John as one of his biggest fans (The Fader)

Vans Shoes presents Living Rooms: Global Punk & DIY Venues – Visiting New York DIY Space Trans-Pecos (Pitchfork)

Yvonne Turner Helped Invent House Music—So Why Does No One Know Her Name? (Pitchfork)

Every Nirvana Song, Ranked (Vulture)

A Brief Guide to Ann Peebles (Bandcamp)

Film Director Nicolas Roeg’s Legacy (Vulture)

 

 

Mayo Thompson

Mayo

“Me, I go with the contradictions. That’s what I’m interested in. That’s where the action is.” On the occasion of his recent string of concerts performing his lone solo album, Corky’s Debt to his Father, a feature on Mayo Thompson’s long, strange trip through Texas psychedelia, British post-punk and art-rock, Chicago post-rock, and more. For Texas Monthly.

Jean Seberg

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[This essay on Jean Seberg originally appeared in the print edition of Stop Smiling Magazine. It’s not in their online archive, it’s one of my favorite pieces from back then, and since there’s now a movie about her life, I dug it up.]

At the end of Played Out, David Richards’s biography of doomed blonde starlet Jean Seberg, he offers an epilogue set at Marshalltown High School, Jean’s Iowa alma mater. Members of the Masque and Dagger drama club are preparing to crown that year’s winner of the Jean Seberg Award, named in honor of the small town’s most renowned citizen, who long since absconded from farm life for the life of a movie star in Paris. Both finalists, Patty Tiffany and Kris Hoelscher, are visibly nervous about the impending honor, yet neither –when prompted– can conjure the name of a Jean Seberg movie. It is September of 1980, but eight months on from when Seberg’s body was found in the back seat of a Renault on a Parisian side street, wrapped and bloated beside emptied bottles of barbiturates and mineral water, and yet she is already a distant memory in her home, all but forgotten in America.

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Persian Electronic Music

Persian 2

Digging through an old CDr of work from 2007 and came across this piece, originally written for The Believer, though I don’t believe it ever ran there and remains unpublished. It was based on a compilation of composer Alireza Mashayekhi and a CDr that Simon Reynolds sent to me. Not sure where either item might be now. But in light of this story about how David Rockefeller’s involvement with the Shah has led to decades of conflict between the US and Iran (buried in the Times buried at the end of the year), it felt timely. Most recent events suggests war is unavoidable. And so…

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Holly Herndon & Spawn

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In January of this year, I started speaking to Mat Dryhurst about artificial intelligence and machine learning. I knew very little about it, save for the works of David Behrman, George Lewis, and the like, early pioneers into the interface between man and computer. Mat was open, enthusiastic, and suggested many fine articles. Along with partner Holly Herndon, the two created Spawn, an artificial intelligence that was also a member of their vocal ensemble.

In April, I chatted at length with Dr. Holly Herndon about her upcoming album, PROTO, which was the first album to feature AI. It certainly won’t be the last.

And in November, an excerpt from this chat was finally published as part of New York Magazine‘s Future Issue. You can read that here.

Below is a deeper dive into the future of music and machine learning.

Continue reading “Holly Herndon & Spawn”